Thursday, July 5, 2007

Novak on Wilson

“It’s not often that a political book hyped as a ‘tell-all’ actually delivers the dirt, but that’s certainly not the story in Robert Novak‘s fast-paced bio ‘The Prince of Darkness, 50 Years Reporting in Washington,’ ” U.S. News & World Report’s Paul Bedard writes in the Washington Whispers column at

“Let’s get right to the point: Did the administration leak former CIA officer Valerie Plame‘s name to him to punish her hubby, Joe Wilson, who had blasted the president’s claim that Iraq was shopping for uranium in Niger? Nope. He says that it was just an afterthought from his source, former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. In fact, it wasn’t even a leak. Armitage was just asking a question about Wilson, whom Novak met two days before, July 6, 2003, in the ‘Meet the Press’ green room.

“According to an advance copy of ‘Prince’ provided to Whispers, Novak entered the normally quiet green room only to see Joe Wilson (whom he didn’t know) boasting about his fact-finding mission to Niger, where he found no evidence that Saddam Hussein was hunting for uranium like the president claimed about in his State of the Union address.”

Mr. Bedard quotes from the book: “[Mr. Wilson] kept saying, ‘We did this’ and ‘We did that.’ The ‘we,’ I soon surmised, consisted of the National Security Council staff in the departed Clinton administration. He was making clear that ‘we’ handled affairs better than ‘they’ — the Bush NSC — did now. In view of what followed, I hope I can be excused for the vulgarism that crossed my mind: ‘What [a jerk]!’ ”

Non sequitur

Michelle Malkin yesterday gave a July Fourth history lesson at the National Review Web site to rebut the “factual error” and “warm-and-fuzzy non sequitur” that “America is a nation of immigrants.”

“If the open-borders advocates would actually read American history instead of revising it, they would see that the founding fathers were emphatically insistent on protecting the country against indiscriminate mass immigration,” she wrote.

Alexander Hamilton wrote in 1802: ‘The safety of a republic depends essentially on the energy of a common national sentiment; on a uniformity of principles and habits; on the exemption of the citizens from foreign bias and prejudice; and on that love of country which will almost invariably be found to be closely connected with birth, education and family.’

“Hamilton further warned that ‘The United States have already felt the evils of incorporating a large number of foreigners into their national mass; by promoting in different classes different predilections in favor of particular foreign nations, and antipathies against others, it has served very much to divide the community and to distract our councils. It has been often likely to compromise the interests of our own country in favor of another. The permanent effect of such a policy will be, that in times of great public danger there will be always a numerous body of men, of whom there may be just grounds of distrust; the suspicion alone will weaken the strength of the nation, but their force may be actually employed in assisting an invader.’ ”

She quotes Hamilton: “To admit foreigners indiscriminately to the rights of citizens the moment they put foot in our country would be nothing less than to admit the Grecian horse into the citadel of our liberty and sovereignty.”

War on speech

The conservative Club for Growth accuses Rep. David R. Obey, Wisconsin Democrat, and Rep. Barney Frank, Massachusetts Democrat, of trying to shred the First Amendment.

Their Let the People Decide Clean Campaign Act would publicly fund all general election House races with taxpayer dollars, the group said. Taxpayers would have the option of making a donation on their tax forms to the Grassroots Good Citizenship Fund, which would distribute up to $2 million to each congressional district to be divided among the general election candidates of the major parties.

The legislation prohibits all independent expenditures by political groups, allowing only state and national parties to provide assistance to candidates, so long as the value of the assistance does not exceed 5 percent of the maximum expenditure applicable. In what the Club for Growth called “a deathblow” to independent candidates, the legislation would distribute money to third-party candidates based on demonstrated public support in the past three elections.

Perhaps the only positive feature of the legislation, the group said, is a sunset provision in case it ends up being, according to Mr. Obey, a “harebrained” idea.

“Let me save Reps. Obey and Frank the trouble,” said Club for Growth President Pat Toomey, a former Republican congressman from Pennsylvania. “Not only is the Obey-Frank legislation a ‘harebrained’ idea — and that’s being generous — it is a blatant violation of the First Amendment as dictated by Buckley v. Valeo (1976) and, more recently, Wisconsin Right to Life v. FEC (2007), and a slap in the face to American taxpayers forced to foot the bill for political races approved by the speech police but prohibited from donating to candidates and independent groups more to their liking.”

Gore son arrested

Al Gore‘s son was arrested early yesterday on suspicion of possessing marijuana and prescription drugs after deputies pulled him over for speeding, authorities said.

Al Gore III, 24, was driving a blue Toyota Prius at about 100 mph on the San Diego Freeway when he was pulled over at about 2:15 a.m., Sheriff’s Department spokesman Jim Amormino said. The deputies said they smelled marijuana, searched the car and found less than an ounce, Mr. Amormino said.

They also found Xanax, Valium, Vicodin and Adderall, and he “does not have a prescription for any of those drugs,” Mr. Amormino said, according to the Associated Press.

Mr. Gore was held in the men’s central jail in Santa Ana and released around 2 p.m. on $20,000 bail. He will receive notice of a court date within 30 days. The son of the former vice president has had several previous brushes with the law, including a 2003 arrest in Bethesda on marijuana-possession charges.

A spokesman for the elder Mr. Gore told Reuters news agency that he was traveling and could not immediately be reached for comment.

c Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or

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