- The Washington Times - Monday, February 5, 2007

ACLU lauds watchdog group

The American Civil Liberties Union today applauded the creation of a new Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law, which will deal with issues such as genocide, human trafficking, war crimes, torture and arbitrary detention.

“We are eager to see the subcommittee get to work to reveal these abuses committed in our name and with our tax dollars,” said Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office.

“The America we hold in our hearts is not a place where persons can be kidnapped off the streets, flown to foreign countries and subjected to torture, or where detainees can be held at Guantanamo Bay indefinitely and without any due process,” she said. “America must once again set the high standards that we champion around the world.”

The subcommittee is chaired by Sen. Richard J. Durbin, Illinois Democrat and majority whip.

— S.A. Miller, Capitol Hill correspondent, The Washington Times

Hot to testify

Al Gore is headed to Capitol Hill to brief lawmakers on global warming.

On March 21, the former vice president, who is being urged to run for president in 2008, will appear before two key panels that deal with climate change legislation.

The Democrat will testify before a joint meeting of the House’s energy and science committees before heading to Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing.

Stay tuned - by then Gore may be an Oscar winner.

Pelosi gets her some NASCAR

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is cozying up to her Blue Dog Democrat cousins today for a photo op with NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson — the reigning champion of a decidedly Republican sport.

In fact, Mr. Johnson’s last campaign contribution was $2,000 to the failed 2003 run of former NASCAR executive Kevin R. Triplett, a Republican who challenged Democrat Rep. Rick Boucher of Virginia.

Mrs. Pelosi and the Democrat’s conservative Blue Dog Coalition and Rural Working Group will congratulate Mr. Johnson on his recent NASCAR Championship this afternoon.

Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, was not available for comment.

A spokesman for Rep. Jim Cooper, a Blue Dog Democract from Tennessee, said NASCAR is bipartisan, depending where you live.

“When you are from the South you don’t have to associate yourself with NASCAR, you are NASCAR,” said Cooper spokesman John Spragens.

— S.A. Miller, Capitol Hill correspondent, The Washington Times

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