- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Midterm suspense

No better political junky luncheon than today’s at the National Press Club ballroom, where former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe and former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie will be jawing over the 2006 midterm elections and whether Democrats can steal both houses from Republicans.

Registration for the event already is closed, due to popular demand.

Race to bed

What’s the official protocol if President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney are cleared for landing in their respective jets at precisely the same time at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington?

“Never get in the way of the [president] heading to his soft down pillow,” observes the White House pool report.

Here’s Monday night’s timeline: Mr. Cheney, aboard Air Force 2, landed at Andrews at 8:10 p.m., just two minutes before Air Force 1 touched down.

“But being [president] means never having to wait your turn,” the report notes. “He bounded down the stairs and onto his chopper before [Mr. Cheney’s] entourage even realized what was happening.

“Marine One quickly powered up the blades, forcing Marine Two to sit on the tarmac until the top bird lifted off. Marine Two waited barely a minute longer before taking off as well, producing a rare moment when both presidential and vice presidential helicopters were in the air flying almost in tandem back into the city.”

Not worth a ticket

A Republican senator this week blasted former Vice President Al Gore and his new film, “An Inconvenient Truth,” which he labeled “one of the slickest science propaganda films of all time.”

In a lengthy floor speech, Oklahoma Sen. James M. Inhofe, chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, said he was “almost at a loss as to how to begin to address the series of errors, misleading science and unfounded speculation that appear in the former vice president’s film.”

He began by quoting Richard Lindzen, a meteorologist with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who wrote: “A general characteristic of Mr. Gore’s approach is to ignore the fact that the earth and its climate are dynamic; they are always changing even without any external forcing. To treat all change as something to fear is bad enough; to do so in order to exploit that fear is much worse.”

Mr. Inhofe presented a summary of “science” that Mr. Gore promotes in the film, including “the now-debunked ‘hockey stick’ temperature chart” and “a link between increased hurricane activity and global warming that most scientists believe does not exist.”

As for the North Pole melting and polar bears drowning, the senator argued that “the vast bulk [of the Arctic] has been cooling and gaining ice.” And whereas Mr. Gore asserted the Arctic is experiencing unprecedented warmth, he ignored “temperatures in the 1930’s were as warm or warmer.”

For the record, Mr. Inhofe said he did not see Mr. Gore’s movie.

Bull market

Washington blogger Howard Mortman’s (www.extrememortman.com) ears’ perked up when former President Bill Clinton told Fox News’ Chris Wallace on Sunday that what Osama bin Laden said about his administration was “a bunch of bull.”

Sounds familiar, said Mr. Mortman, who presents Mr. Clinton in his own words:

• “They knew for a long time there was nothing to Whitewater. They knew it was a bunch of bull.” (Jan. 26, 2000)

• “The American people know that all the old cliches — tax and spend, soft on crime, weak on welfare — that it’s all a bunch of bull.” (Feb. 17, 1996)

• “He has said publicly that Judge David Hale’s story is ‘a bunch of bull’ fabricated to help him engineer a plea bargain with Kenneth Starr.” (April 3, 1996)

• “They say, aw, it doesn’t matter who wins, all the politicians — you’ve heard all that stuff. I’m telling you it’s a bunch of bull.” (March 17, 1996)

• “Folks, it’s a bunch of bull.” (Oct. 4, 2000)

Endless crises

Now that the computer laptop stolen from an employee of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, containing sensitive data belonging to 26.5 million veterans, has been recovered, Scott Hogenson can move onto the next crisis.

The veteran of the Republican National Committee, who became founding editor of CNSNews.com and then deputy assistant secretary for public affairs at the Veterans Affairs Department, this week joined the high stakes communications and crisis management group Dezenhall Resources as senior vice president.

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

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