- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 20, 2005

Doctor’s due

“Thank you for the mention! However, it is ‘DR.’ (I worked hard for six years at Columbia University in New York City to earn it!) Laura Schlessinger.”

Or so Mrs. Schlessinger writes to Inside the Beltway after we’d written in our previous column that the popular talk-radio host was once crowned “Woman of the Year” by the Clare Booth Luce Policy Institute.

“Have a wonderful holiday weekend,” she concludes. “Warmly, Dr. Laura Schlessinger.”

Thanks for reading — and taking the time to write, Mrs. Schlessinger.

For the record, this newspaper’s style rule is that “Dr.” is only used as a formal title before the name of an individual who holds a doctor of medicine or dentistry degree, as opposed to the many varied doctorates presented by nonmedical institutions (again, not to take away from Mrs. Schlessinger’s studying very hard to earn a Ph.D. in physiology from Columbia and a postdoctoral certification in marriage, family and child counseling from the University of Southern California).

Furthermore, as the Associated Press observes in its stylebook: “Because the public frequently identifies Dr. only with physicians, care should be taken to assure that the individual’s specialty is stated in first or second reference.”

Visible pair

We wrote recently that Bob Schieffer, veteran CBS “Face the Nation” moderator and chief Washington correspondent, will take over “CBS Evening News” anchoring duties from Dan Rather for a short period beginning March 9.

What many don’t know is that Mr. Schieffer has a younger brother who similarly appears on the world stage.

“Tom is more like my son,” the 68-year-old Mr. Schieffer tells Inside the Beltway of younger sibling John Thomas Schieffer, 57, a longtime friend of President Bush who has been tapped to replace Howard H. Baker Jr. as U.S. ambassador to Japan.

“We are all very proud of him,” says the TV newsman. “We say he is the smart one in the family.”

Since September 2001, Mr. Schieffer has been U.S. ambassador to Australia, working closely with that country in the war on terrorism. His relationship with the president goes back to the Texas Rangers baseball days, when he became a major investor, like Mr. Bush, in the club and oversaw its day-to-day operations.

When Mr. Bush became governor of Texas, Mr. Schieffer assumed the role of the club’s general partner.

As for his political stripes, Mr. Schieffer is a Democrat in a new ambassadorial class of mainly Republicans. He was elected to the Texas House of Representatives at the ripe young age of 25, serving three terms. A lawyer, he previously worked for Gov. John Connolly and for the campaign of Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, Texas Democrat.

He already has his work cut out for him as the new ambassador to Japan, which feels threatened by North Korea’s nuclear weapons capabilities.

As for his brother’s move to Japan, the senior Mr. Schieffer observes: “Now we will have the Western world — and Eastern world — tuned into us one way or the other.”

Quote of the week

Sen. Judd Gregg, New Hampshire Republican, was asked by CNBC talk-show host Dennis Miller why the FBI and CIA prefer not to share intelligence information with each other. His reply:

“You don’t share jokes with Jay Leno, do you?”

Lump day

Today is Presidents Day — the third Monday of February — when together as a nation we celebrate the birthdays of George Washington (his actual birthday is tomorrow, having been born in 1732 in Westmoreland County, Va.) and Abraham Lincoln (born on Feb. 12, 1809 — in a log cabin in Hodgenville, Ky.)

The only other pair of presidents born in February were William Henry Harrison (born on Feb. 9, 1773, in Charles City County, Va.) and Ronald Reagan (born in Tampico, Ill., on Feb. 6, 1911), so why not celebrate their birthdays today, too?

John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin@washingtontimes.com.

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