Change of heart
Former Sen. Jesse Helms has videotaped a plea urging Americans to help combat the AIDS epidemic in Africa and to treat victims of the deadly disease as if they were family.
The North Carolina Republican was an outspoken opponent of funding for AIDS research, but his views evolved during his final years in the Senate, partly because of a friendship he developed with rock singer Bono of the band U2, who pushed him to the fight against AIDS.
“Until then,” Mr. Helms has said, “it had been my feeling that AIDS was a disease largely spread by reckless and voluntary sexual and drug-abusing behavior, and that it would probably be confined to those in high-risk populations. I was wrong.”
In fact, Inside the Beltway learned that Mr. Helms and Bono dined together Monday in Charlotte before U2’s concert, joining roadies and other U2 band members. The senator gave Bono a signed copy of his recently released memoir, “Here’s Where I Stand,” and a copy of the AIDS video he taped.
Buy the advance
Asked during lunch yesterday at the restaurant Teatro Goldoni on K Street what’s the “juiciest” tidbit of his forthcoming book, former Democratic National Committee Chairman and Clinton confidante Terry McAuliffe quipped, “$34.95.”
Not surprising, given Mr. McAuliffe landed a seven-figure book deal with Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press for the none-too-cheap political yarn, titled “Bring it On!” He hopes to have his writing completed shortly after the 2006 midterm elections.
Ironing his words
We thought we’d written all there was to write after pointing out that the debate over climate change has now evolved into a battle of the sexes.
Ulrike Rohr, a spokeswoman for a Germany-based feminist group, got things rolling by charging that men are the chief culprits of greenhouse gas, giving as one example men driving cars, whereas women prefer public transportation.
To which Inside the Beltway reader Scott Neubold of Campbell, Calif., reasoned: “Maybe the men travel by car more often, but what about the women who had been spraying the cleaning substances, the spray-starch and all the other CFC pollutants that really got the ball rolling?”
Now, we receive this follow-up note from Mr. Neubold:
“Thank you for publishing my remarks last week in reference to the battle of the sexes on global warming. My wife, an avid reader of your column as well, called me at work to ask me whether I was quoted correctly in your column. After swallowing hard and thinking about all the other people who claim misquotation, I fessed up. …
“My wife politely informed me that she would be doing her part for global warming by hanging all my shirts on the clothesline and scanning EBay for a ‘real’ iron for me to press my own shirts.”
Former Clinton campaign strategist Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, founder and president of the Israel Project in Washington, was the target of anti-Semitic and racist material left in the driveway of her Annapolis home this past weekend.
Twenty-two pages of material were placed in a bag that, upon first glance, appeared to be an appeal to find a missing child, except beneath the picture were the words: “A Future For White Children Is Missing.”
Police in Maryland are investigating the incident. Washington Jewish Week reports that propaganda drops like this one tend to be the work of the neo-Nazi group National Alliance.
Besides her friendship with former President Bill Clinton, Mrs. Laszlo Mizrahi was recognized as “A Point of Light” by former President George Bush.
John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or firstname.lastname@example.org.