- The Washington Times - Friday, April 6, 2007

Highway 43

He won’t have a stretch of highway named after him, but that doesn’t mean enthusiasm isn’t growing in Tennessee for a 2008 presidential bid by actor and former Republican Sen. Fred Thompson.

Carlie Crenshaw, communications director for the Tennessee Republican Party, relays word that Mr. Thompson has kindly asked state lawmakers to withdraw a proposal, already approved by the Senate, to name a stretch of U.S. Highway 43 through his hometown of Lawrenceburg “Fred Thompson Boulevard.”

The former senator and potential presidential candidate, according to the Associated Press in Nashville, wrote a letter to one Republican state representative saying that “it is entirely appropriate that it remains Highway 43, the … way I remember it was when I was a boy.”

Democrats in the state suggest that they would have eventually passed the measure to honor Mr. Thompson, but they had asked to delay the vote after a pair of Republicans voted against a resolution to congratulate former Vice President Al Gore for his global warming documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Meanwhile, we’re told “throngs” are expected for a Draft Fred Thompson Rally in central Tennessee later this month, with Republican Rep. Zach Wamp leading the charge.

Dueling crusades

Fans of the once-popular TV-series “M*A*S*H” might be interested to read what Mike Farrell, who played the popular character Captain B.J. Hunnicutt, has to say about President Bush in his new book, “Just Call Me Mike: A Journey to Actor and Activist.”

“George Bush,” Mr. Farrell opines, “was clearly unequipped to live up to his ‘moment in history.’ His dualistic thinking (‘either you’re with us or you’re with the terrorists’, 5); his claim that the 9/11 assailants attacked because ‘they hate our freedoms’; his unwillingness to acknowledge any responsibility on our part for the smoldering resentment that precipitated the attacks; and his invoking God’s name in our cause — presumably against Allah — revealed a frighteningly simplistic worldview. And then there was his thoughtless use of the word ‘crusade.’ One could only hope it was thoughtless.”

Ouch!

Being boiled alive is a horrible way to die, announces Sirius Satellite radio host Howard Stern, referring fortunately to lobsters and not human beings.

Still, by rushing to the aid of the tasty crustaceans (if you’re going to boil one, be sure it is freshly caught, and the livelier the better), Mr. Stern has earned “purrs” from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA.

But the “grrrs” outweigh the purrs this month, with one of PETA’s growls directed at fashion designer Manolo Blahnik for his “cold comments” in National Geographic magazine while describing his new fur-trimmed shoe: “It will never sell in London. You know. The British. Animal rights. No fox hunting. No shooting birds. It is crazy.”

The NBA, meanwhile, has also come under fire from PETA “for yanking its new, high-tech, non-leather game ball and switching back to a leather ball after players like ShaquilleONeal complained that the new ball was rough on their delicate hands.”

Taxed enough?

With 11 days and counting to file 2006 taxes with the Internal Revenue Service, there could be more to worry about than just your wallet.

We’ve gotten hold of a Government Accountability Office (GAO) audit of IRS financial statements for fiscal years 2005 and 2006, which warns that until the IRS fully implements an agencywide computer security program, “financial and sensitive taxpayer information on its systems will remain vulnerable” to inadvertent or deliberate misuse, fraudulent use, improper disclosure or destruction.

The IRS has made “limited progress” toward correcting security lapses at two data processing sites, the GAO states, adding that 66 percent of the weaknesses it previously identified “still existed.”

The IRS says it is working diligently to fix the problems.

.xxx rejects

Internet pornographers violate the dignity of women and men, destroy marital bonds and pollute the minds of child and adult consumers, says Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, applauding yet another rejection of a .xxx domain address that would have attempted to confine pornographic Web sites to one planet of cyberspace.

Board members of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), by a 9-5 vote, recently handed the domain its third rejection within the past seven years.

Mr. Perkins warned that the .xxx domain would have established “a virtual red light district, giving pornographers even more opportunities to flood our homes, libraries and communities with illegal, hard-core obscenity.”

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


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