- The Washington Times - Monday, March 14, 2005

Boats to planes

“In one of my first meetings with the coalition, I sat across from a man whose son was murdered in the Twin Towers,” explains Rick Reed, a partner with Alexandria-based Stevens, Reed, Curcio & Potholm, as to why he wants to help stop a terrorist from walking into a division of motor vehicles with a utility bill and walking out with a valid driver’s license.

Thus begins an ad campaign this week on behalf of the New York-based Coalition for a Secure Driver’s License — by the same team responsible for the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ads.

The ads, which began airing yesterday on national television, show terrorists easily acquiring driver’s licenses and commenting that it’s all they need to board a plane and blow it up.

Red carpet

A slew of senators, congressmen and Hollywood types showed up last night at the Willard InterContinental Washington, where legendary crooner Tony Bennett took home the Creative Coalition’s 2005 Capitol Hill Spotlight Award in recognition of his leadership in arts advocacy and education.

Also honored for support of public funding of the arts were Sen. Max Baucus, Montana Democrat, and Sen. Ted Stevens, Alaska Republican.

Sesno reports

Frank Sesno, former anchor and Washington bureau chief for CNN, is rejoining the network as a special correspondent.

His in-depth segments will premiere on CNN’s “Paula Zahn Now” and across the network, which has struggled in recent years to regain cable news channel viewers.

Mr. Sesno will continue teaching at George Mason University, where he is a professor of public policy and communication.

Pair of Arnolds

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s personal fleet of five Hummers is being targeted by a student-run environmental firm that wants the governor to clean up his four-wheeling lifestyle.

But didn’t Mr. Schwarzenegger recently announce the hydrogen conversion of one of his SUVs? (It cost him a pretty penny, by the way, $100,000 for just the one Hummer.)

“Great politics for Arnold, but in the real world, Schwarzenegger’s hydrogen effort amounts to little more than hot air,” says the company called TerraPass.

Instead of spending big bucks to clean up his fleet, graduate student and TerraPass manager Tom Arnold is challenging Mr. Schwarzenegger to sign up for the program at a mere $79 per sport utility vehicle. By doing so, he says, the governor would neutralize carbon-dioxide emissions by 20,000 pounds a year per Hummer.

The TerraPass works by funding renewable energy initiatives like wind power and other renewable energy initiatives, which offsets the 20,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emitted by an SUV in a typical year.

Senate’s Cicero

“To paraphrase Oliver Cromwell’s sermonizing to the British Long Parliament, Sen. Robert Byrd, West Virginia Democrat, has sat too long for all the good he has been doing lately. The octogenarian should retire. He has become a caricature of Cicero.”

—Constitutional lawyer Bruce Fein, deputy associate attorney general in the Reagan administration, writing in an op-ed for the congressional Roll Call newspaper that Mr. Byrd’s misstatements or exaggerations of late on judicial nominations mounted taller than the Washington Monument.

Curve ball

Next time you’re in Cooperstown, N.Y., drop by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. After all, you own a piece of it.

“[I]t’s congressional appropriators who are throwing the curve balls,” says Rep. Jeff Flake, Arizona Republican, who isn’t happy that the massive omnibus spending bill approved by Congress contains an “egregious” earmark of $450,000 for the hall of fame.

As private nonprofit educational museum, the Cooperstown facility is independent of Major League Baseball. So it constantly is seeking tax-deductible contributions.

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

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