- The Washington Times - Monday, June 5, 2006

Bush allies

That would be Bishop Harry Jackson, a Democrat, set to lead a group of left-leaning black pastors from around the country into senatorial offices today to show support for the Federal Marriage Amendment.

First stop: the office of Sen. Barack Obama, Illinois Democrat.

“We cannot sit idly by and let Democrat members we helped get elected in the past ignore the fact that the institution of marriage is suffering,” explains the senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Maryland.

Venetian performance

The last time we caught up with music impresario Quincy Jones was in 1993, when he staged a spectacular concert to celebrate the inauguration of a little-known Arkansas politician who’d just been elected president, Bill Clinton.

Last night, the 73-year-old composer and filmmaker was back in town, making reservations for eight at Teatro Goldoni on K Street Northwest, where he no doubt felt at home amid the Venetian masks, theatrical lighting at the bar and stagelike kitchen starring chef Fabrizio Aielli.

‘Clinton’ legacy

An unusual sighting this week on the White House South Lawn, where a staff member propped up Miss Beazley on her hind legs and had her wave (with one paw) at President and Mrs. Bush’s motorcade.

Beazley Weazley, as the Scottish terrier is nicknamed, was the president’s birthday present to Mrs. Bush in January 2005.

We’re told the dog’s favorite treat is a cheeseburger — not surprising, considering Miss Beazley’s father is none other than Clinton of Champion Motherwell Alberta Clipper.

Governor in chief

“Bush, after handling eight hurricanes and four tropical storms in 14 months in 2004 and 2005, has become the undisputed national leader in hurricane management. Imagine if he had been governor of Louisiana when Katrina hit last summer. Does anyone doubt that the recovery would have gone far, far better with Bush in charge?”

— Fred Barnes, executive editor of the Weekly Standard, writing a glowing piece this week not about President Bush — but rather his little brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

Gun myth

Don’t tell anti-gun crusader Sarah Brady, but firearms sales in the United States remain on the rise, while contrary to popular belief, gun-related crime, suicide and gun accidents are on the decline.

Figures released by the Treasury Department show that retail sales of firearms and ammunition rose almost 3 percent in 2005. All told, 4.7 million new guns were sold during this past year.

Yet government figures and independent statistics reveal that firearms crimes, suicides and accidental fatalities, including among youth, all trend downward.

According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the estimated number of privately owned firearms in the U.S. now stands at more than 290 million, while American households with at least one firearm is estimated at nearly 110 million.

Foundation President Doug Painter says that although reductions in gun crimes and accidental fatalities have been documented for many years, “today’s anti-gun organizations rake in lots of cash by perpetuating the myth that more guns equals more bad news.”

‘Middle men’

Capitol Hill staffers are laughing at circulating phony legislation that somebody, somewhere dreamed up: The Americans With No Abilities Act.

The prankster even affixed the sponsorship of Democratic Sens. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts and Barbara Boxer of California to the act, which pertains to Americans who lack any real skills or ambition, or as it reads, the “roughly 50 percent of Americans who do not possess the competence and drive necessary to carve out a meaningful role in society.”

Under the act, more than 25 million “middle man” positions would be created, “with important-sounding titles but little real responsibility, thus providing an illusory sense of purpose and performance.”

Private-sector industries with good records of nondiscrimination against the inept, it states, include retail sales (72 percent), the airline industry (68 percent), and home-improvement “warehouse” stores (65 percent). The DMV, or Division of Motor Vehicles, is also listed as having a good record of hiring persons of inability.

John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or [email protected]washingtontimes.com.

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