- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 6, 2006

Still not baking

Now the Senate has a women’s to-do list.

“We women know about checklists,” says Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, Maryland Democrat. “We remember all the important things that we need to get done by having a checklist.”

So, the nine Democratic ladies in the Senate gathered recently for more than just tea at the historic Sewall-Belmont House on Capitol Hill, one-time home of National Woman’s Party founder and Equal Right Amendment author Alice Paul. The senators, New York’s Hillary Rodham Clinton among them, drew up a checklist for change.

First, Republican men need to recall the advice of former President George Bush and be kinder and gentler.

“We want to change the tone in the Senate for one of more civility,” Miss Mikulski explains.

Secondly, the Republican leadership needs to get back on schedule.

“We have only 50 days left before this Senate adjourns,” she points out.

Third, remember what Moses taught: “Honoring your father and your mother is not only a good commandment to live by, it is a very good policy by which to govern,” Miss Mikulski says.

Mrs. Clinton is a bit more blunt.

“We are sounding the alarm, and we are making clear that the Democratic women of the Senate will stand sentry.”

Cookie dough, in other words, isn’t on this list.

Liberal values

Left-wing radio talker Al Franken will emcee the third annual DemocracyFest, tasked with “rediscovering the roots of America’s core liberal values.”

San Diego plays host to the July 14-16 festival, featuring some of the bigger names in “progressive” politics: Democratic Party leader Howard Dean to filmmaker and Huffington Post blogger Robert Greenwald.

Also appearing will be author David Sirota, who opines on his Sirotablog that Democrats continue to regurgitate a “fallacy” that Sen. Joe Lieberman is a centrist while lecturing Connecticut primary voters that Mr. Lieberman is “supposedly the reincarnation of John F. Kennedy.”

“I swear — sometimes it is really just incredibly amazing how arrogant these out-of-touch, Beltway-insulated establishment apologists are, how stupid they think the public is — and how they are willing to embarrass themselves by so publicly expressing those traits in print,” he writes.

Another festival highlight: a screening of Mr. Greenwald’s new film, “The Big Buy: Tom DeLay’s Stolen Congress.”

Evil holidays

We wrote last month that more and more Westerners, including Americans, are vacationing in North Korea, of all militaristic, missile-launching communist states.

Even the British Broadcasting Corp. highlighted the country in the vacation series, “Holidays in the Axis of Evil,” although their reporter described it as a “Stalinist theme park.”

Aware that North Korea is attracting foreign tourists as a means of earning much-needed international currency, the State Department has issued this advisory to Americans:

“Government security personnel closely monitor the activities and conversations of foreigners in North Korea. Hotel rooms, telephones and fax machines may be monitored, and personal possessions in hotel rooms may be searched. …

“Foreign visitors to North Korea may be arrested, detained or expelled for activities that would not be considered criminal outside North Korea, including involvement in unsanctioned religious and political activities, engaging in unauthorized travel or interaction with the local population.”

Birthday party

Speaking of celebrations, they’re gearing up for a celebration of President Bush’s birthday — he was born in New Haven, Conn., 60 years ago today — in Little Rock, Ark., and at, of all places, the Clinton Presidential Library.

Cafe 42, at the library overlooking the Arkansas River in downtown Little Rock, will have the president’s fave foods on its menu for the day: PB&J; and BLT sandwiches and several Tex-Mex items. His favorite baseball movie, “Field of Dreams,” will be shown several times during the day, and visitors can even sign a birthday card to be sent to the White House.

Some Democrats, who regard the library as a holy sanctuary, much as the early Christians regarded the catacombs beneath Rome, are grumbling about the salute to 43 at the shrine to 42.

“On the whole,” comments the fiercely countercultural Arkansas Times, “we think we’d rather go see Al Gore’s movie. Gift idea for birthday boy: Copy of the U.S. Constitution.”

But die-hard Bill Clinton fans can regard it as merely a warm-up for another red-letter yuppie day: the birthday of No. 42 is coming up Aug. 19.

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

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