- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 23, 2005

Al and company

Former CBS News senior correspondent Bernard Goldberg has an intriguing title for his forthcoming book: “The 100 People Who are Screwing Up America: And Al Franken is #37.”

After exposing his old network’s political stripes in his best-seller “Bias,” Mr. Goldberg will argue in his next book that America has become indiscriminately tolerant of garbage in our culture, which he adds is not the work of some vague, irresistible natural force.

Specific people are to blame, Mr. Goldberg says, and he names names. They are injecting a “slow poison” through America’s veins, he explains, turning the country into a selfish and cynical place, a less decent and civil place, eroding its very ethical and moral underpinnings.

And who, besides #37, are the culprits?

He cites pinstripe crooks and intellectual thugs, Hollywood loudmouths and American jackals. He then presents the dirty 100.

Where it stands

A conservative who’s who in Washington — David Keene, Becky Norton Dunlop, Morton Blackwell, Grover Norquist, Ron Robinson and Tony Perkins — huddled this week with Sen. Richard M. Burr, North Carolina Republican, and the family and office alumni of Jesse Helms, to plan what one dubbed a “long-overdue Washington tribute” to the senator, who retired in 2002.

It was decided that the gala, benefiting the Jesse Helms Center Foundation, will take place Sept. 20 at the Marriott Crystal Gateway. Mr. Burr and North Carolina Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole will be co-chairmen for the event, which is timed to coincide with the release of Mr. Helms’ long-anticipated memoir, “Here’s Where I Stand.”

“This is going to be huge,” one attendee says. “I think a lot of folks — and not just conservatives — will really look forward to this opportunity to properly honor Senator Helms and his rich legacy here in Washington. The fact that we’re able to do it to coincide with the release of his memoir is just icing on the cake.”

Calling on Rove

Who better than Karl Rove’s former team of campaign strategists to help Ed Cox, the 58-year-old lawyer and son-in-law of former President Richard Nixon, defeat New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in her re-election bid next year?

Mr. Cox’s Senate exploratory committee this week brought aboard political consultants Todd Olsen and Kevin Shuvalov, whose firm, Olsen & Shuvalov, was founded in 1999 after Mr. Rove’s departure to advise George W. Bush in his inaugural campaign for the White House.

Mr. Olsen served as executive vice president of Karl Rove and Company, while Mr. Shuvalov moved from Mr. Rove’s firm to Mr. Bush’s campaign in 2000.

Gandy’s moment

A prominent women’s group says National Organization for Women President Kim Gandy is “in hysteria mode.”

“Ms. Gandy and her fellow feminist leaders are so ‘open-minded’ their brains are falling out,” the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute says in a statement. The women’s group, named after the late Connecticut congresswoman who was also managing editor of Vanity Fair, was reacting to the NOW president’s recent directive at the “Take Back America Conference” to oppose Social Security reform, oppose parental notification on teen abortion and oppose faith-based initiatives.

“The Taliban used religion to suppress the basic rights of women. The Southern Baptists and the Promise Keepers preach submission of women as part of their religion,” Miss Gandy told the crowd, calling for support of universal health care, “marriage” for homosexual couples and a continuing blockage of President Bush’s judicial nominees.

McCain in 3-D

Just when you thought Sen. John McCain couldn’t possibly show up in any more places, along comes pop artist Charles Fazzino, whose take on last summer’s Republican National Convention featured the popular senator.

Now, that 3-D canvas of the feisty Arizona Republican will be on display at the Wentworth Gallery in Bethesda tomorrow and Saturday.

Mr. Fazzino, a New York native, is often referred to as the Norman Rockwell of the modern art world. Collectors of his works include Maria Shriver, Bobby Bonilla, Donald Trump, Brooke Shields, Larry King, and who knows, perhaps now John McCain.

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

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