Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Two too many

China’s notorious one-child family-planning program is coming under attack on Capitol Hill, and a congressman says that unless it stops, the 2008 Olympic Games should not be held in Beijing.

“According to the Olympic charter, established by Pierre de Coubertin, the goal of the Olympic movement is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport, practiced without discrimination of any kind,” says Rep. Tom Tancredo, Colorado Republican, who labels China’s human rights record “abysmal.”

The one-child rule remains a source of “coercion, forced abortions, infanticide and perilously imbalanced boy-girl ratios,” he says, and Chinese couples who bring “unsanctioned” children into the world face forced sterilization, heavy fines and job losses.

Mr. Tancredo has introduced a congressional measure calling on the International Olympic Committee to change the venue of the Olympic Games unless “significant progress” is made in ending abuses.

Saluting Sam

Former Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge, TV talkmeister John McLaughlin, Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder and legendary football coach Joe Gibbs were all pressing the flesh Monday night at the Partnership for Public Service’s 20th annual Leadership Awards Dinner at the Ritz-Carlton.

Honored this year for improving the way government works were a business leader, Home Depot Chief Executive Officer Bob Nardelli, and a government leader, Ohio Republican Sen. George V. Voinovich.

Social engineers

Hoping to prevent the U.S. court system from “dictating a radical redefinition of marriage,” while stopping judges who are engaged in “social engineering,” a California congressman is seeking to amend the U.S. Constitution by defining marriage as a legal union of one man and one woman.

“Ironically, in 1878, the United States Supreme Court itself acknowledged the critical role of marriage in maintaining social stability,” says Republican Rep. Dan Lungren. “As the court observed, ‘Upon it society may be built, and out of its fruits spring social relations and social obligations and duties.’”

Agonized by Gitmo

“I expect it to be the largest book party that we’ve ever had,” Time’s Judith Stoler said in advance of last evening’s reception at the magazine’s Washington bureau for “Inside the Wire,” by former Army Sgt. Erik Saar and Viveca Novak, Time’s terrorism correspondent.

A one-time FBI and National Security Agency intelligence analyst, Mr. Saar was posted for six months at the U.S. terrorist detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. What he saw there more than disturbed him — from beatings of detainees to sexual interrogation tactics.

“Saar couldn’t have been more eager to get to Gitmo,” the book’s publisher said. “After two years in the Army learning Arabic, becoming a military intelligence linguist, he pounced on the chance to apply his new skills to extracting crucial intel from the terrorists.

“But … he entered a bizarre world that defied everything he’d expected, belied a great deal of what the Pentagon has claimed and defiled the most cherished values of American life.”

Master lawyer

The Washington Bar Association and Chief D.C. Court of Appeals Judge Annice M. Wagner have presented the Charles Hamilton Houston Medallion of Merit posthumously to O.J. Simpson trial lawyer Johnnie L. Cochran Jr.

Also receiving the medallion was Washington malpractice lawyer Jack Olender, who told the audience of 500 lawyers and judges that Mr. Cochran was the master trial lawyer of this era.

Past recipients of the medallion were Supreme Court Justices Thurgood Marshall and William J. Brennan Jr., as well as Martin Luther King.

Mr. Houston is former dean of the Howard University Law School and was instrumental in forming the team of lawyers that prosecuted civil rights cases culminating in Brown v. Board of Education to end racial discrimination in the schools.

Rather or not

Today marks the 24th straight time that Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. Richard G. Lugar, Indiana Republican, will compete in the annual three-mile Capital Challenge around Anacostia Park.

Defending champions include the fastest man in the House, Rep. Bart Gordon, Tennessee Democrat; the fastest woman, Rep. Jane Harman, California Democrat; and the fastest senators, John E. Sununu, New Hampshire Republican, and Kay Bailey Hutchison, Texas Republican.

Best name for a media racing team goes to CBS: “Rather or Not, Here We Come.”

• John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or

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