- The Washington Times - Monday, December 25, 2006

Bush camp

The Bush family was well represented at the presidential retreat of Camp David in Maryland yesterday, celebrating Christmas with President and Mrs. Bush.

Opening gifts and sharing a traditional Christmas lunch were former President and Mrs. Bush; first lady LauraBush’s mother, Jenna Welch; first twins Barbara and Jenna Bush; presidential brother Marvin Bush and his family from Alexandria; and presidential sister Doro Koch and her family from Bethesda.

Sandy and Danny

“I have often wondered what Mary and Joseph did with the gifts the Magi had brought. What became of the gold, frankincense and myrrh? Did the couple use the gold to purchase food? Of what use was frankincense to a couple forced to flee to Egypt to avoid the jealous wrath of Kind Herod? I do not know: the Bible does not tell us.”

So reads a portion of “A Christmas Message,” posted yesterday by embattled former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas, who recently started his own daily blog, TomDelay.com.

Rest assured, the former Republican leader’s other postings aren’t so Christmasy.

Take “The Trashy Tale of Sandy ‘Burglar,’ ” or so Mr. DeLay headlines his personal take surrounding PresidentClinton’s national security adviser, Sandy Berger, hiding classified documents that he removed from the National Archives under a nearby construction trailer.

Weepy writing

The Washington Post editorial page is under fire from the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) for the “irony of ironies” when it comes to opining about unions — particularly given that Fred Hiatt, the newspaper’s editorial-page editor, and AFL-CIO general counsel John Hiatt are brothers.

Patrick J. Cleary, NAM’s senior vice president of communications, holds up a Dec. 22 Post editorial headlined “Just Capitalism,” which he labels a “weepy tribute to the anti-democracy ‘card-check’ bill, the one that will allow unions to win recognition without an election, and by using coercion.

“Heck, if we wanted this kind of democracy, we’d just go see Fidel Castro. Or that guy in North Korea,” writes Mr. Cleary, who recalls the newspaper’s own past labor disputes that continue today “as they try to force their reporters to appear on their fledgling and flailing [Washington] radio station.

“So forgive us if we tire of hearing The Washington Post lecture us all about the importance of unions,” he says. “But lecture they do, pointing out all the canards from the AFL-CIO talking points (Washington Post Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt and AFL-CIO general counsel John Hiatt are brothers, after all), including our favorite that ‘polls suggest that between 30 [percent] and 50 percent of nonunion workers would choose union representation if they had a chance to vote for it.’ ”

Mr. Cleary was deputy assistant secretary for policy at the Labor Department under President Reagan, and later served in the first Bush administration as chairman of the National Mediation Board.

Too green

Given the balmy winter weather, it was only a matter of time before the advent of Driving Green, a new service that enables American consumers to fight global warming by making their vehicles, flights and events “greenhouse-gas neutral.”

But you have to pay to play.

Publicist Loren Pomerantz tells Inside the Beltway that by using a calculator, consumers can determine the total pounds of carbon dioxide, or CO2 (the most prevalent greenhouse gas), that their particular car or flight emits and its equivalent cost.

That dollar amount is then paid to Driving Green, which provides the cash to select farmers to pay for equipment (called “digesters”) that convert animal waste into renewable energy. In other words, no fossil fuels are burned to power the farm, and the waste doesn’t permeate into the atmosphere.

The average American drove 12,000 miles in 2006, emitting 11,000 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere, according to DrivingGreen.com.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported last week that Nobel Prize laureate Paul Crutzen has new data supporting his theory that injecting the common pollutant sulphur into the atmosphere would cancel out the greenhouse effect and lower global temperatures.

“Our calculations using the best models available have shown that injecting 1 million tons of sulphur a year would cool down the climate so the greenhouse effect is wiped out,” he said.

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

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