- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Gore’s rant

George W. Bush as Neville Chamberlain?

“That’s the comparison Al Gore makes in Vanity Fair’s environmentally correct ‘Green Issue.’” New York Daily News gossip columnist Lloyd Grove writes.

“The former veep — President Bush’s 2000 election opponent — keeps insisting that he has no intention of running again for the White House.

“But that hasn’t stopped him from writing a gasket-blowing polemic arguing that by refusing to face up to the threat of global warming, Bush is just like the disgraced British prime minister who appeased the Nazis before World War II,” the columnist said.

“‘Where there is no vision, the people perish,’ Gore writes, quoting the Bible to bash Bush.

“Warning that Bush and the Republican Congress have displayed ‘a blinding lack of awareness’ about ‘the worst catastrophe in the history of human civilization’ — global warming — Gore also blames the incumbent for ignoring the threat of 9/11.

“Bush ‘was warned on Aug. 6, 2001, of an attack by al Qaeda. “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US,” said the intelligence community in a message so important that it was the headline of the president’s daily briefing that day, five weeks before the attacks,’ Gore seethes.

“‘Didn’t he see that clear warning?’ asks Gore. ‘Why were no questions asked, meetings called, evidence marshaled, clarifications sought?’

“As for Bush’s slow response to Hurricane Katrina, ‘Once again an urgent warning was ignored. The videotapes of one session make clear that the president heard the warnings but, again, asked not a single question.’

“Americans are finally acknowledging ‘that Katrina, as horrible as it was, may have been the first sip of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us over and over again,’ Gore rants.

“It’s not easy being green.”

Obama’s critique

Democrats should stress energy independence, education improvement and science investment in the 2008 presidential campaign, Sen. Barack Obama said yesterday. He laughed off a question on whether he wants a place on the ticket.

Mr. Obama, a first-term Democrat from Illinois, also said he doubts Congress will pass immigration legislation this year, but he added that if the Senate can clear a bill, “it lays the groundwork” for 2007.

Mr. Obama was guest speaker at the Associated Press’ annual luncheon, held on the opening day of the Newspaper Association of America’s convention in Chicago.

He accused President Bush of a “stubborn refusal” to attack the causes of climate change, and said tougher fuel standards, stricter curbs on oil imports and more investment in cleaner energy are essential to avert global catastrophe.

“Saying that America is addicted to oil without following a real plan for energy independence is like admitting alcoholism and then skipping out on the 12-step program,” said Mr. Obama in a reference to one of the principal themes of Mr. Bush’s State of the Union address.

Republicans promptly returned the criticism, the AP said.

“Rather than attack the administration, Sen. Obama would be better served to read the energy bill President Bush signed into law, particularly the portions that focus on energy-efficient vehicles, renewable energy sources and less reliance on foreign sources of fuel,” said Tracey Schmitt of the Republican National Committee.

In addition to criticizing Republicans, Obama chided members of his own party.

Switching sides

“Nothing produces more finely chiseled hypocrisy than campaign politics,” the Wall Street Journal says in an editorial.

“Consider that on the issue of campaign-finance reform, Republicans and Democrats are now on opposite sides of where they were only four years ago. And they’re both still claiming this is all a matter of high moral principle. Beautiful.

“The worst chiselers are House Republicans, who opposed McCain-Feingold back in 2002 on grounds that it was a violation of free speech and wouldn’t stop the flow of money in any case. They were right at the time. But this week they are going to try and do John McCain one better, or should we say worse, and vote to curb so-called 527 organizations. These are the funding vehicles that George Soros, Stephen Bing and Harold Ickes have used to (legally) evade McCain-Feingold and help elect liberal Democrats,” the newspaper said.

“The GOP goal is to close these cash-raising machines, which in 2004 and heading into November of this year have been exploited with more skill by the left. Naturally, Democrats are now saying these 527s are a bulwark of free political speech and association. This time they’re right, though you’d think that some Democrat somewhere would be red-faced about this egregious switcheroo. But politics means never having to say you’re embarrassed.”

One-sided coverage

“Hello, global warming. Goodbye, journalistic ethics,” Amy Menefee and Dan Gainor write at www.freemarketproject.org.

“The new Time magazine/ABC News poll showed about two-thirds of Americans still believe there’s a debate about global warming, despite the media’s best efforts to convince them otherwise. Americans now face an onslaught of one-sided global warming coverage that downplays or even derides critics and skeptics,” the writers said.

“‘It’s no longer a controversy. Science tells us it’s a fact. The new issue of Time magazine tells us to worry,’ proclaimed ABC’s Terry Moran on the March 27 ‘Nightline.’

“Time devoted 24 full pages of its April 3 edition to shameless advocacy about global warming, blaming the United States and the Bush administration for destroying the world. Time called the United States ‘intransigent’ for not joining Kyoto’s emissions mandates and the White House’s environmental record “dismal.” Simultaneously, ABC launched a series of reports on global warming.”

Liberal authors

Dave Eggers, Jane Smiley and Daniel Handler, aka “Lemony Snicket,” are among those involved with the newly formed LitPAC, a coalition of authors that plans readings around the country to register voters and raise money for liberal candidates in this year’s congressional elections.

“We feel we can raise $75,000 in hard money for congressional candidates, at $5,000 apiece,” says LitPAC executive director Stephen Elliott, who has written four novels and a political memoir, “Looking Forward to It.”

“We’re not George Soros; we’re not going to make a massive impact. But if you ask any non-incumbent candidate if $5,000 is a big chunk of money, they’ll tell you it’s a very big chunk of money.”

Other LitPAC authors include Mary Gaitskill, whose “Veronica” was a finalist for the National Book Award, Tobias Wolff and Rick Moody, the Associated Press reports.

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

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