- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 16, 2005

Clinton and Murdoch

The specter of an alliance between Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, New York Democrat, and media mogul Rupert Murdoch “is beginning to whet the appetites of the chattering classes,” the New York Observer reports.

“At the moment, the two speak of each other (through surrogates) in notably similar terms:

” ‘Senator Clinton respects him and thinks he is smart and effective,’ said a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton, Philippe Reines.

” ‘Rupert has respect for her political skills and for the hard work that she’s done as a senator,’ said an executive vice president at News Corp., Gary Ginsberg.

“Other evidence is still a bit lean. …

“But what a couple they’d make!” Observer reporter Ben Smith said. “For the 74-year-old native of Australia, an embrace of Mrs. Clinton would be only the latest in a long string of daring and (mostly) winning political plays. For New York’s junior senator, it would be the perfection of an art that she and her husband have practiced for more than a decade: keeping your enemies close.”

Fox hires Clark

Former Gen. Wesley Clark, a Bush critic who ran for president as a Democrat last year, has been hired by the Fox News Channel as a military and foreign-affairs analyst, the network announced yesterday.

“I am excited by this opportunity to contribute to Fox News Channel’s coverage and offer my perspective to the important issues facing the United States and the global community,” Mr. Clark said.

Mr. Clark ended his presidential bid after the Tennessee and Virginia primaries in February 2004 and soon thereafter traveled around the United States in support of Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry.

A lack of deference

“In the minds of many liberal Democrats, Hispanics and African Americans must seem to come in only two varieties: deferential or defective,” syndicated columnist Ruben Navarrette Jr. writes.

“And according to one angry caller — who was, from the sound of it, perfectly at home in a blue state — I fall into the second category. ‘I think you’re deluded,’ he said, ‘and maybe insane.’

“I’m just guessing, but something tells me the caller would probably say the same thing about Janice Rogers Brown, who two years ago was nominated by President Bush to fill a vacancy on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Last week, Brown was finally confirmed, but not before Senate Democrats and their accomplices in left-leaning advocacy groups such as People for the American Way did their best to try to paint this black conservative and California Supreme Court associate justice as an ‘extremist’ whose views are outside the mainstream.

“Translation: Brown doesn’t defer to liberals. So she must be defective.”

The columnist also noted what he called liberal Democrats’ “lukewarm reaction” to Alberto R. Gonzales as the nation’s first Hispanic attorney general, and the case of Miguel Estrada, whose nomination to a federal appeals court “was unfairly derailed by rank racial politics.”

Mr. Navarette added: “I don’t see why liberals won’t say what they really mean. It’s obvious that what concerns them is not that these nominees aren’t real minorities, but rather that they aren’t their kind of minority. You know, the kind that asks for permission before they speak and makes sure that what they say falls in line with the views of their liberal benefactors.”

Inhofe’s response

“Despite the lack of a scientific consensus to warrant such measures, climate change alarmists — in the heat of the summer for the scariest effect — are promoting mandatory caps on carbon dioxide emissions in the USA. It’s a classic case of ‘ready, fire, aim,’ ” Sen. James M. Inhofe, Oklahoma Republican and chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, writes in USA Today.

“Until recently, the foundation of climate change alarmism has been the so-called hockey stick graph. The graph, constructed by … Michael Mann, a professor at the University of Virginia, and shaped like a hockey stick, purports to show a link between rising temperatures and human activity,” said Mr. Inhofe, to whom the newspaper provided space for an opposing view beneath an editorial that compared President Bush and global-warming skeptics to “the flat-Earth brigade.”

“Recent Canadian research discredited the graph because of its errors and improper methodologies,” Mr. Inhofe said.

“In spite of this, some still seek to solve a problem even before it has been established one exists. Two Senate bills would, like the Kyoto Protocol, cap carbon dioxide emissions. Wharton Econometrics Forecasting Associates estimates that the costs of implementing Kyoto would cost an American family of four $2,700 annually.

“Two international leaders once described Kyoto’s intent. Margot Wallstrom, the European Union’s commissioner on the environment, said Kyoto is ‘about leveling the playing field for big businesses worldwide,’ and French President Jacques Chirac called it ‘the first component of an authentic global governance.’

“MIT professor … Richard Lindzen sums up the current state of affairs best: ‘Science, in the public arena, is commonly used as a source of authority with which to bludgeon political opponents and propagandize uninformed citizens. … A fairer view of the science will show that there is still a vast amount of uncertainty — far more than advocates of Kyoto would like to acknowledge.’

“Based on that uncertainty, our constituents hardly need ‘global governance,’ but they do deserve responsible governance at home.”

FEC losing Smith

The former chairman of the Federal Election Commission resigned yesterday, the fourth member to leave the commission with no signs of replacements in mind from the White House.

Bradley A. Smith, a Republican, said he will leave effective Aug. 21. He is one of the panel’s strongest opponents of campaign-finance laws, and he is the fourth commissioner to announce intentions to leave.

“It is just time for me to go,” Mr. Smith said. “My term is up, and I had always planned on going back to teaching at the end of the term. and I am ready to go.”

He said he will now follow his heart back to the professor’s podium at Catholic University Law School.

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@washingtontimes.com.

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