- The Washington Times - Friday, March 16, 2007

Brownback’s letter

Republican presidential candidate Sam Brownback is backing the Pentagon’s top general over his remarks that homosexual acts are immoral.

The senator from Kansas planned to send a letter yesterday to President Bush supporting Marine Gen. Peter Pace, who earlier this week likened homosexuality to adultery and said the military should not condone it by allowing homosexual personnel to serve openly.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff also said: “I believe that homosexual acts between individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts.”

Lawmakers of both parties criticized the remarks, but Mr. Brownback’s letter called the criticism “both unfair and unfortunate,” the Associated Press reports.

“We should not expect someone as qualified, accomplished and articulate as General Pace to lack personal views on important moral issues,” Mr. Brownback said. “In fact, we should expect that anyone entrusted with such great responsibility will have strong moral views.”

Asked whether he agreed with Gen. Pace’s comments, Mr. Brownback said: “I do not believe being a homosexual is immoral, but I do believe homosexual acts are. I’m a Catholic and the church has clear teachings on this.”

Although there is no indication that Gen. Pace’s job is in jeopardy, Mr. Brownback’s letter to Mr. Bush said “personal moral beliefs” should not disqualify anyone from a position of leadership in the U.S. military.

“General Pace’s recent remarks do not deserve the criticism they have received,” the letter said. “In fact, we applaud General Pace for maintaining a personal commitment to moral principles.”

Politicizing politics

“ ’Loyalty to Bush and Gonzales,’ blared Wednesday’s ominous headline in the New York Times, “Was Factor in Prosecutors’ Firings[.]”

“One would hope so,” Andrew C. McCarthy writes at National Review Online (www.nationalreview.com).

“Of all the Bush-administration controversies, the tempest over the termination of eight United States attorneys, the top federal prosecutors in their jurisdictions, may ultimately rank as the most damaging. And not because it was the most serious, but because it was the most revealing: about the administration’s ineptitude and Washington’s hypocrisy,” Mr. McCarthy said.

“As it does peerlessly, the Times has crafted the template for mainstream-media coverage of this saga. Loyalty to Bush and Gonzales — could anything be more sinister? That’s why, we’re told in yet another breathless dispatch, ‘Congressional Democrats … are investigating whether the White House was meddling in Justice Department affairs for political reasons.’

“The storyline makes great theater. It is also absurd. You might as well ask whether Congress is proposing legislation for political reasons, or whether loyalty to the party leaders might have had a teensy-weensy bit to do with what bills got voted.”

TV spin

“When the Clinton administration in 1993, in a then-unprecedented decision, gave all 93 U.S. attorneys 10 days to leave their offices, including Jay Stephens who was in the midst of investigating House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dan Rostenkowski, ABC’s ‘World News Tonight’ and the ‘CBS Evening News’ didn’t utter a syllable about it,” the Media Research Center’s Brent Baker notes at www.mrc.org.

“But on Wednesday night, the evening newscasts on both networks led with Republican Sen. John Sununu’s call for the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales as both highlighted different U.S. attorneys who were amongst the eight replaced late last year by the Bush administration, painting both as victims of nefarious political maneuvering.

“ ’The pressure on the attorney general of the United States to resign is growing,’ ABC anchor Charles Gibson trumpeted. ‘For the first time, a Republican senator has said Alberto Gonzales must go’ Focusing on the fired U.S. attorney for San Diego, Carol Lam, reporter Pierre Thomas suggested she was removed for pursuing a case against a GOP congressman and relayed how ‘Democrats pointed out that most of the eight fired U.S. attorneys had excellent performance reviews.’

“On CBS, Sandra Hughes delivered a ‘CBS News Exclusive’ about how ‘John McKay was fired in December for reasons he now believes had nothing to do with the way he did his job, but very much to do with Washington politics.’ Hughes passed along how ‘it was what he didn’t do that McKay believes got him fired. In the 2004 gubernatorial race in Washington state, the Democratic candidate won by just a couple of hundred votes. McKay didn’t call a grand jury to investigate questions of voter fraud.’ But as a Wall Street Journal editorial on Wednesday noted, McKay ignored very real evidence of voter fraud.”

Award winner

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation announced yesterday that one of four 2007 Bradley Prizes to honor outstanding achievement will be awarded to Martin S. Feldstein, the George F. Baker professor of economics at Harvard University, and president of the National Bureau of Economics Research.

Mr. Feldstein will be presented the award during a ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on May 3. Former Ambassador John R. Bolton and two other recipients will also be honored. Each award carries a stipend of $250,000.

“The Bradley Foundation is honoring Martin Feldstein for his contribution to economic thought and his vigorous defense of free markets,” said Michael W. Grebe, president and chief executive officer of the Bradley Foundation.“Through his teaching, he has inspired a generation of economic thinkers who have shaped and defined government policy.”

Mr. Feldstein served as the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Reagan from 1982 to 1984.

Democrat blacklist

Rep. Rahm Emanuel, Illinois Democratic and party caucus chairman, has told new Democratic members of Congress to steer clear of Stephen Colbert, or at least his satirical Comedy Central program, “The Colbert Report,” The Hill newspaper reports.

“He said don’t do it. … It’s a risk and it’s probably safer not to do it,” Rep. Steve Cohen said. But the freshman lawmaker from Tennessee taped a segment that last week was featured in the 32nd installment of the “Better Know a District” series. Mr. Colbert asked Mr. Cohen whether he was a black woman. He isn’t.

Eyes roll in Mr. Emanuel’s office when other freshmen stumble, such as the time Rep. John Yarmuth, Kentucky Democrat, got into a debate about the merits of throwing kittens into a wood chipper, or when Rep. Zack Space, Ohio Democrat, explained that he is not his Republican predecessor, convicted felon Bob Ney.

c Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or [email protected]m.

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