- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Do I hear a dollar?

Poor Joe Lieberman doesn’t appear to be worth very much these days — just shy of one dollar, at last check.

Political memorabilia collectors have one day left to bid on a what is described as a picture-perfect, hand-signed 8x10 color photo of the Connecticut Democrat, who barely missed becoming vice president and now suddenly is running for re-election as an independent following his stunning primary defeat.

“You could own this picture that has been authentically autographed by this incredible U.S. senator,” boasts the EBay peddler. “Don’t miss your chance to own this great item!”

Current bid: 98 cents.

Wasted hours

Once again, we draw your attention to George W. Bush’s frequent bike-riding jaunts through the Maryland countryside — journeys that, for the gaggle of White House reporters who are required to tag along, hardly ever produce news, or for that matter produce sightings of the president aboard two wheels.

It’s now gotten to the point that the reporters are running out of things to write about in their pool reports, although as one scribe points out concerning the most recent trek: the biking “represented 2 news-less hours of our lives that your poolers will never get back.”

Keystone cop

We should point out that at least one of President Bush’s motorcades over the last 48 hours made news, albeit at the expense of an unnamed Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police officer.

“We arrived back [at the White House] at 4:46 — and would have been back sooner except for a hapless D.C. cop, clearly soon to be reassigned to the weekend graveyard shift, who had blocked off the wrong road, keeping the non-[presidential] highway wide open while simultaneously keeping the presidential motorcade blocked in bumper-to-bumper traffic” — or so reads the official White House report of the bottleneck.

Never too late

While waterlogged Washington eyes yet another budding hurricane in the Atlantic, Washington PR mogul Gloria Dittus is focusing attention on New Orleans and its surrounding parishes as they rebuild from last year’s devastating Hurricane Katrina.

The president and CEO of Dittus Communications is appealing to Washington’s “movers and shakers” in hosting her 1st annual Hurricane Katrina fundraiser at her Kalorama home tomorrow evening.

Expect to see several familiar faces in the crowd from an impressive host committee that includes former Sen. John B. Breaux and former Reps. Billy Tauzin and Bob Livingston, all of Louisiana.

Mr. Livingston’s son, 37-year-old Richard Livingston, was killed on July 25 while doing tree-trimming work in New Orleans.

State of the unions

Labor Day traditionally kicks off the fall campaign season, and the just-concluded holiday saw unions around the country attracting the usual candidates to their parades and picnics — those leaning left, in other words.

So far this election cycle, the Center for Responsive Politics reported yesterday, unions have contributed more than $43 million to federal candidates and parties — 85 percent of it to Democrats.

No milk money?

School bells rang across much of the nation yesterday amid a growing concern that students will once again be subjected to child abuse and drug addiction.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has issued failing grades to school districts whose cafeterias emphasized meat and dairy foods, while praising those offering vegetarian menu items.

“This is a wing-nut animal-rights group that believes milk is an instrument of child abuse and cheese is an addictive drug,” said Center for Consumer Freedom research director David Martosko, calling on the PCRM to withdraw its latest school-nutrition “report cards.”

Mr. Martosko, who said that less than 4 percent of PCRM members are physicians, says the group is advancing a “hidden” animal-rights agenda that seeks to remove all animal protein from school diets.

Inside the Beltway got hold of the lengthy report card, and read on the very first page: “Vegetarians, and in particular vegans (those who consume no meat, dairy, or other animal products), are leaner than their meat-eating peers. … Experts agree that healthy vegetarian diets meet all the nutrition needs of growing children.”

(Of course, other “experts” argue in favor of additional proteins.)

According to the PCRM, “25 percent of children ages 5 to 10 years have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or other early warning signs of heart disease.”

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

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