- The Washington Times - Monday, March 6, 2006

Land of Oz

Suffice it to say, Pakistan is not Kansas.

Security concerns and challenges abounded throughout President Bush’s journey this past week into the belly of the terrorist beast, with wary eyes cast around every corner Mr. Bush turned — right up until his presidential luggage was loaded aboard Air Force One for his return flight to Washington.

Consider the official White House pool report of the departure: “If anything had happened to Air Force One, the congressional inquiry would have opened with this question: ‘Now where did those luggage trucks with the tin trinkets hanging off the fenders, mirrors and bumpers, and the circus tents for covers over the Noah’s ark-like bows erected atop the cabs, lighted inside with a hot red glow, come from? Who hired those guys?’”

Full circle

“We need Saddam [Hussein] or somebody like Saddam back in that country. It’s been held together by somebody like him for the last 300 years, and we’re not going to do it by democracy.”

Former CIA field officer Bob Baer on controlling the increasing unrest among opposing factions in Iraq, on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.”

This is Washington?

That was Frank Sinatra’s Rat Pack showing up for an encore performance at Peter Mirijanian Public Relations’ sixth anniversary Party at Felix in Adams Morgan.

Mix together an overflow crowd of Washington VIPs swigging martinis, the live swing band the Joker’s Wild, and the vintage black-and-white footage of Ol’ Blue Eyes, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr., and this trendy venue might as well have been the Sands, circa 1964.

To top it off, Mr. Mirijanian, a top media relations pro specializing in crisis communications (he’s gone from being spokesman when Marc Rich appealed to former President Clinton for his pardon, to toiling in Al Gore’s camp during the outrageous 2000 presidential election, to representing embattled lobbyists today), took to the microphone for several Sinatra and Louis Prima classics.

“It’s my party, and I’ll sing badly if I want to,” he explained to guests.

Mr. Mirijanian, we’ll have you know, is no stranger to stage lights. One of his previous gigs in life was as a stand-up comic in New York during the mid-‘80s.

Drifting right

More proof the National Black Republican Association (NBRA) is gaining power is seen in the pages of its first issue of the Black Republican magazine, which highlights the increasing role of black Republicans in American politics and the GOP.

Meanwhile, more than 40 NBRA members attended a recent Grassroots Activist Campaign School conducted by the Leadership Institute in Arlington. That came on the heels of the NBRA hosting its Celebration of Pioneers Dinner, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Booker T. Washington and the 150th anniversary of the first Republican Party convention.

Guests on hand included Gloria Jackson, great-granddaughter of Washington, to Florida Republican senatorial candidate Rep. Katherine Harris, who read a greeting from President Bush.

Took everything

A motion for contempt has been filed by the National Rifle Association against New Orleans and its mayor, C. Ray Nagin, for failure to comply with a temporary restraining order to end the city’s “illegal” gun confiscations.

The motion includes an order that all seized firearms must immediately be returned to their rightful owners.

“With looters, rapists and other thugs running rampant in New Orleans, Ray Nagin issued an order to disarm all law-abiding citizens,” Wayne LaPierre, NRA executive vice president, recalled of the wake of Hurricane Katrina. “With no law enforcement and 911 available, he left the victims vulnerable by stripping away their only means of defending themselves and their loved ones.”

Broke-bad Oscar

There are some who will say that I’m narrow,

But I feel from the depths of my marrow:

The Best Actor award

Should be held in regard

And not go to a gay caballero.

F.R. Duplantier

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

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