- The Washington Times - Monday, February 21, 2005

Risky business

There’s an alert blogger around every corner, it seems.

Rep. Maurice D. Hinchey, New York Democrat, accused White House adviser Karl Rove of “planting” the forged memos used by CBS anchor Dan Rather in an attempt to discredit President Bush’s Vietnam-era National Guard service.

Mr. Hinchey was speaking at a community forum in Ithaca, N.Y., on Sunday when he launched into what was described as “a barking moonbat conspiracy rant worthy of the Democratic Underground,” according to Little Green Footballs (LGF) — a popular political Web log.

An LGF reader tape-recorded the lawmaker “telling the audience he believed the fake CBS memos were planted by Mr. Rove to discredit Mr. Rather and divert attention from President Bush’s ‘draft dodging.’ —



The reader asked Mr. Hinchey whether he had evidence.

First, he said “Yes, I do,” but when pressed, admitted that he did not.

The reader persisted, asking, “Don’t you think it’s irresponsible to make charges like that?”

Mr. Hinchey replied, “No, I don’t. I think it’s very important to make charges like that. I think it’s very important to combat this kind of activity in every way that you can, and I’m willing, as most people are not, to step forward in situations like this and take risks. I consider that to be part of my job, and I’m going to continue to do it.”

$280, drinks extra

Seems like former President Bill Clinton has an additional agenda built in to the tail end of his government-funded trip to tsunami-damaged Indonesia with former President George Bush, which ended yesterday.

Mr. Clinton will journey on to Hong Kong today to sign copies of “My Life,” his 2004 memoirs, according to the South China Post.

He’ll appear for two hours at the Kelly and Walsh bookstore, with a limited number of $280 tickets available — and at such a bargain, too. The price includes the book.

Mr. Clinton then will head to Seoul and Tokyo for more meeting and greeting, according to the Post.

It’s all last-minute, said the flabbergasted booksellers.

“It has been a very surprising, secretive, but exciting few days,” one organizer told the paper.

Screen gems

Hollywood is caught in the crossfire between red and blue America, noted Newsweek’s Tamara Lipper yesterday — spawning challenges for Dan Glickman, new chief of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

“Now Tinseltown must come to terms with the new political landscape: Republicans have tightened their grip on Washington just as Hollywood’s need for help in fighting illegal movie downloads is rising.”

“I’ve got some bridge building to do,” said Mr. Glickman, a Democrat, ex-congressman and former U.S. agriculture secretary in the Clinton administration.

Although some studios are “wooing Republicans with campaign cash,” Mr. Glickman “has hired two respected GOP aides — Stacy Carlson, a veteran of the Bush campaign, and John Feehery, longtime spokesman for [House Speaker J.] Dennis Hastert,” Miss Lipper noted.

Republicans were invited to screen Oscar-nominated films at the MPAA’s plush private theater and treated to “Glickman’s pitch against movie piracy, which costs the industry an estimated $3 billion a year.”

And while the new MPAA chief tends to sidestep the culture wars, he “admits that last year’s Bush-bashing by Hollywood celebs made him ‘cringe,’ — Miss Lipper wrote.

Pet peeves

Hawaii state Rep. Glenn Wakai, a Democrat, has introduced a bill banning the slaughter of dogs and cats for food and making it a felony to kill, purchase or distribute any dog or cat for human consumption.

Local Asian groups call the measure unfounded, saying it promotes racist stereotypes of their cultures.

Democratic state Rep. Alex Sonson agreed, noting, “It perpetuates this myth that every Filipino is eating it. But they’re not.”

“There’s no language in the bill that distinguishes certain ethnic groups or cultures of partaking in this type of practice,” Mr. Wakai countered, according to the Associated Press yesterday.

He insists that there is a “cottage industry” in Oahu, citing recent news accounts of butchered dogs and an undercover investigation by Environwatch, a local environmental group.

“It’s a practice that has been known, noted and documented, and no one has touched it because it’s a cultural issue,” said Caroll Cox , the group’s president.

Joint investigations last year by the Hawaiian Humane Society and Animal Crimestoppers yielded no proof that anyone was making fricassee out of Fido, however.

“There was no evidence of slaughterhouse equipment, butchering tools, or anything to substantiate such claims,” said one Honolulu police detective.

The slaughter and sale of dogs, cats or other companion animals is prohibited only in California, Delaware, Georgia, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey and New York.

Jerry meandering

“Move over, Moonbeam — Moonblog has arrived,” warned the San Francisco Chronicle yesterday.

Former California Gov. Jerry Brown, now mayor of Oakland, cranked up his own personal Web log yesterday, offering “a barbed, 245-word stream of consciousness that was beamed to the world at www.jerrybrown.typepad.com,” according to the Chronicle.

“Why are you wasting time with a blog when you have a city falling apart around you?” asked one online visitor to the site. “I sold my house in Oakland last year to escape your horrid administration.”

Asked another, “Hey Jerry, have you tried pot yet? If you want to hang and chill, I always have great herb and excellent trips on politics.”

Unfazed by aggressive readers, Mr. Brown plans to write on.

“As an old talk-show host, I’ve had some experience in unrehearsed dialogue. Blogging is the logical next step,” he said.

Falwell ill

The Rev. Jerry Falwell has checked into a hospital in his hometown of Lynchburg, Va., for treatment of a viral infection, the Associated Press reports.

The 71-year-old founder of the Moral Majority and prominent evangelist was taken Sunday to Lynchburg General Hospital after falling ill at a church service. He had battled a severe cold last week and saw a doctor Friday.

“It’s not considered dangerous,” said Mr. Falwell, also the chancellor of Liberty University in Lynchburg. “It is just troublesome. I am going to be here a few days.”

The Baptist minister said doctors planned to keep him at the hospital “until my lungs clear.”

Contact Jennifer Harper at [email protected] or 202/636-3085.

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