- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 29, 2007

Forbes backs Giuliani

Republican presidential candidate Rudolph W. Giuliani gained the endorsement yesterday of a former Republican candidate — billionaire publisher and flat-tax proponent Steve Forbes.

Mr. Forbes ran for the White House in 1996 and 2000 as a Republican pushing a flat-rate income tax. The chief executive officer of Forbes Inc. said yesterday in New York that Mr. Giuliani’s record as mayor of that city “showed how exercising fiscal discipline, including tax cuts, lowers deficits, spurs economic growth and increases revenue.”

Mr. Giuliani said he and Mr. Forbes share “an economic vision that embraces supply-side economics, tax relief and spending restraint.” Yesterday, the two men also attended the opening-bell ceremony at the Nasdaq stock exchange, the Associated Press reports.

John Doe’ rights

Bloggers were cheering after House Republicans on Tuesday were able to get a 304-121 vote in favor of a measure to protect travelers who report suspicious activity from “John Doe” lawsuits, such as the case of the so-called “flying imams” removed from a US Airways flight at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in November.

Immediately after Rep. Peter T. King, New York Republican, introduced the measure first proposed by Rep. Steve Pearce, New Mexico Republican, Audrey Hudson of The Washington Times filed a Web-only exclusive report on the bill at www.washingtontimes.com, which was in turn linked by numerous blogs, including PowerLineBlog.com and MyPetJawa.mu.nu.

“Happily, this measure passed, and marks a significant victory against that part of the Islamist strategy that — like ‘Jurassic Park’ raptors systematically attacking an electrified fence — has them probing at our legal system to find its vulnerabilities,” Jeff Goldstein wrote at www.proteinwisdom.com.

The blogger known as “See Dubya” — who last week declared his JunkYardBlog.net “home of the Audrey Hudson fan club” — was pleased at Tuesday’s procedural move, which got the passenger-protection measure into the supplemental budget. “Kudos to Rep. Peter King … and to JYB fave Audrey Hudson, who has been pouring cold water on the imams’ politicized sympathy ploy from the beginning.”

“Congress does something that makes sense? And defends average Americans from racial mau mauing? This Congress? I might faint,” Bryan Preston wrote at HotAir.com, which yesterday posted a video in which Michelle Malkin — whose syndicated column appears regularly in The Times — joined others in declaring, “I am John Doe.” A line of “John Doe” merchandise is already available online at www.cafepress.com/frankopinions/2760036.

Striking a nerve

“To devoted opponents of global warming, it must have seemed like the makings of a perfect storm: Al Gore pocketed an Oscar for his doomsday climate documentary, ‘An Inconvenient Truth.’ The [Intergovernmental] Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a report with dire warnings about man-made carbon dioxide emissions. … Even President George W. Bush offered conciliatory talk about the importance of reducing carbon pollutants,” Joseph Loconte writes at the Weekly Standard Web site (www.weeklystandard.com).

“But then an unwelcome squall appeared on the horizon: The documentary film ‘The Great Global Warming Swindle’ aired earlier this month on British television’s Channel 4. Director Martin Durkin’s 75-minute production combines interviews with distinguished scientists, a sober narrative, and damning graphs and statistics to challenge the core claims of global warming theory. …

“The fierce response to the film suggests it has struck a nerve not only with establishment opinion, but also with an audience weary of being hectored by media elites and environmental activists.”

Perjury trap

“If Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy wants to investigate the Bush Administration’s dismissal of eight U.S. attorneys, that’s certainly his prerogative. But he and other Democrats determined to play up this faux scandal shouldn’t be surprised if government officials decide they’d rather not step into this obvious perjury trap,” the Wall Street Journal says in an editorial.

“The Judiciary Committee is seeking testimony from, among others, Monica Goodling, the Justice Department’s liaison to the White House. Democrats want to quiz Ms. Goodling on her communications with other Justice officials such as Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, who testified about the firings before the Senate committee in February. This week, Ms. Goodling indicated she will exercise her constitutional right to keep mum,” the newspaper noted.

“Sad to say, this is one more unfortunate result of the Beltway’s modern habit of criminalizing political differences, a la the Scooter Libby travesty. Congress has the right to conduct oversight of the executive, and in a better world government officials would be willing to testify and give as good as they get. Thus would the public be educated about the facts and policy differences be aired.

“But Ms. Goodling has been around, and she can see Democrats don’t really want to know the truth; they want to shout ‘liar, liar’ and set the stage to accuse Justice officials of criminal behavior.”

‘Feminist’ Hillary

Presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, New York Democrat, declared yesterday that if you look up the word “feminist” in a dictionary, you’ll find her.

Mrs. Clinton made the statement while receiving the endorsement of the National Organization for Women, the Associated Press reports.

“If you look in the dictionary, the word ‘feminist’ means someone who believes in equal rights for women in society, in the economy, the political process — generally believes in the equality of women. And I certainly believe in the equality of women,” she said to enthusiastic cheers.

Presidential humor

Tell us, Mr. President, how have things changed since the last broadcasters’ dinner?

“A year ago, my approval rating was in the 30s, my nominee for the Supreme Court had just withdrawn, and my vice president had shot someone,” President Bush said last night during the 63rd annual gathering. “Ah,” he said, “those were the good ol’ days.”

In keeping with the traditions of the Radio-Television Correspondents’ Association dinner, Mr. Bush poked fun at himself drawing laughter and applause at the Washington Hilton Hotel, the Associated Press reports.

Mr. Bush thanked the organization for providing dinner, “and I’d like to thank Senator Webb for providing security.” An aide to Sen. James H. Webb Jr., Virginia Democrat, was arrested this week trying to carry the senator’s handgun into the Capitol.

On the furor over the Justice Department’s firing of eight federal prosecutors, Mr. Bush said: “I have to admit … You know you’ve lost it when people sympathize with lawyers.”

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@washingtontimes.com.

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