- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Diploma-cy

Many commencement speakers at America’s top campuses were “Democratic Party officials, leftist activists, and members of the media,” according to a survey released yesterday by Young America’s Foundation.

The tally includes former President Bill Clinton (Princeton University), Archbishop Desmond Tutu (College of William & Mary), Illinois Sen. Barack Obama(Northwestern University), retired Gen. Wesley K. Clark (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (Virginia Tech), Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano (University of Arizona), Al Gore’s daughter, Karenna Gore-Schiff (Columbia University), and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa (University of California at Los Angeles).

From the press: CNN’s Anderson Cooper (Yale University),MSNBC’s Chris Matthews (Fordham University) and the New York Times’ Paul Krugman (Clark University). The roster also included self-described Marxist Gustavo Esteva (University of Vermont) and global-warming guru Ralph Cicerone (North Carolina State University).

The study also found that Vanderbilt University, University of California at Berkeley, University of Michiganand University of Minnesotaoffered “separate” recognition ceremonies for black students. The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Duke University, Georgetown University, Princeton, the University of California at Santa Barbara, Iowa State University, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of California at Davis and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology offered separate ceremonies for homosexual and transgender students.

A few centrists and conservatives sneaked in, such as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (Boston College), former New Jersey Gov. Thomas H. Kean (Rutgers University) and Secretary of LaborElaine L. Chao (Marquette University).

Oh, and that was a mere 50 disgruntled graduates who managed to rally during Miss Rice’s address in Boston yesterday. The “protest,” pathetic by 1960s standards, barely was noticed in a crowd of 25,000, many of whom gave her a standing ovation.

Chuck amok

Sen. Charles E. Schumer has a little more than six months to figure out what’s wrong with American politics. The New York Democrat has signed a book deal with Rodale, the Pennsylvania-based publisher that also backed Al Gore’s book “An Inconvenient Truth,” a global warming-destroys-the-Earth tale.

Mr. Schumer announced Sunday he planned to showcase the failings of both Democrats and Republicans to buffer the nation from technology run amok. He will call on both parties to abandon old ideas — “Democrats from a New Deal belief in government and Republicans from the Reaganite distrust in it,” according to the New York Times yesterday.

“What Bill Clinton did was modify Reagan Republicanism and put a Democratic face on it. That’s not going to work. You need a whole new paradigm,” said Mr. Schumer, who has a January deadline at Rodale — previously known for environmental and health publications alone.

Raining on Al

Meanwhile, Robert Balling, professor of climatology at Arizona State University, and Joseph D’Aleo, former chairman of the American Meteorology Society’s committee on weather forecasting, have screened Mr. Gore’s film. They find it foggy.

“Through alarmist rhetoric and dire predictions, the film attempts to portray man as the culprit behind global climate change,” Mr. Balling said. “But in typical Gore fashion, many of his facts are drawn from hand-picked science that overstates what is happening in climate change.”

But hey, a few boo-boos shouldn’t get in the way of some more alarmist speechifying.

“I even believe that there is a chance that within the next two years even Bush and Cheney will be forced to change their position on this crisis,” Mr. Gore told an audience in Cannes, France, yesterday, saying that we were now in a “planetary emergency.”

No Gore-fest

Sure, sure — but will President Bush bother to see the movie?

“Doubt it,” Mr. Bush said yesterday during a Chicago press conference.

Judge vote

Senate Republicans will attempt tomorrow to get a final vote on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the Associated Press reports.

Majority Leader Bill Frist, Tennessee Republican, yesterday arranged a test vote for President Bush’s nomination of the former White House aide. Although Mr. Kavanaugh only passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on a party-line vote earlier this month, Republicans say they are confident they will get the needed 60 votes to put the nomination up for a final vote.

Jersey confessions

Former New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey spent 384 pages detailing his reinvention as a homosexual, a transition he made public almost two years ago during a TV appearance to announce he had an affair with a male aide and would resign from office. “The Confession” will be on bookshelves Sept. 19; Mr. McGreevey received a $500,000 advance for the story from Regan Books.

Though he aspired to become “as avid a womanizer as anyone on the New Jersey political scene,” Mr. McGreevey writes that he eventually explored his homosexuality in the “detached anonymity of bookstores and rest stops,” according to excerpts of the book.

Mr. McGreevey is divorcing his second wife, Dina, and plans to buy a $1.3 million house in Plainfield, N.J., with Mark O’Donnell, an Australian businessman, according to the New York Daily News.

Counterinvasion

Andres Oppenheimer of the Miami Herald has a proposal to quell illegal entry. As 100 million Americans reach retirement age in the next three decades, why not send adventurous boomers to the sunny South for their golden years?

“The U.S. should negotiate agreements with willing partners in the region to provide favorable deals to U.S. citizens willing to retire south of the border,” Mr. Oppenheimer wrote yesterday. “It could, among other things, offer reimbursement under Medicare for Americans seeking medical care in qualified and licensed health care facilities in Latin America.”

“Since these reimbursements would be much lower than those Americans would get in the United States, the U.S. government would save billions of dollars, which it could use to replenish Social Security coffers. By creating hundreds of thousands of jobs for doctors, nurses, hospital technicians, restaurateurs and construction workers, Latin American economies would get a big boost.”

It “may help the Bush administration appease the Republican right in Congress,” Mr. Oppenheimer writes.

Is he on to something? Maybe. “Gringos are a great, clean, sustainable industry. One Gringo, no matter how frugal, can support many locals,” notes Art Jones, who retired to Mazatlan in 2001, in “The People’s Guide to Mexico.”

Contact Jennifer Harper at 202/636-3085 or [email protected]


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