- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Cheney’s health

Doctors discovered a blood clot in Vice President Dick Cheney’s left leg yesterday, a condition that could be fatal if left untreated.

The 66-year-old Mr. Cheney, who has a history of heart problems, will be treated with blood-thinning medication for several months, said spokeswoman Lea Anne McBride.

She said Mr. Cheney visited his doctor’s office in Washington after feeling minor discomfort in his calf. An ultrasound showed the blood clot — called a deep venous thrombosis — in his left lower leg.

Blood clots that form deep in the legs can become killers if they break off and float into the lungs. That is called a pulmonary embolism. Deep-vein thrombosis strikes an estimated 2 million Americans each year, killing 60,000. Many people suffer DVT after spending long periods without moving, such as passengers on long-haul airline flights. Mr. Cheney spent about 65 hours on a plane on a nine-day, round-the-world trip that ended last week.

“When you’re just sitting there with your legs hanging down for long periods of time, that’s what predisposes you to the problem,” said Dr. Sean O’Donnell, chief of vascular surgery of Washington Hospital Center.

“Treated properly, it poses a small threat,” Dr. O’Donnell said. “Untreated and unrecognized, it’s a very serious problem.”

Mr. Cheney returned to the White House after the medical exam and continued his workday, the Associated Press reported.

Seeking privacy

Republican presidential candidate Rudolph W. Giuliani asked for privacy yesterday to deal with strained relationships within his family, including the estrangement between his third wife and his son.

Campaigning in Southern California, Mr. Giuliani faced questions about his family after his 21-year-old son, Andrew, publicly said their relationship had become distant after Mr. Giuliani’s messy divorce from Andrew’s mother, Donna Hanover, and his later marriage to Judith Nathan.

“My wife, Judith, is a very loving and caring … mother and stepmother. She has done everything she can. The responsibility is mine,” the former New York mayor told reporters gathered outside the Los Angeles County sheriff’s headquarters.

“I believe that these problems with blended families, you know, are challenges — sometimes they are,” he said. “The more privacy I can have for my family, the better we are going to be able to deal with all these difficulties.”

The New York Times reported Saturday that Andrew Giuliani and his father have recently tried to reconcile after not speaking “for a decent amount of time.” In the Times article, the younger Mr. Giuliani said, “There’s obviously a little problem that exists between me and his wife.”

Hillary’s ‘partners’

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, New York Democrat, told the nation’s leading homosexual-rights group in an unpublicized speech that she wants a partnership with homosexuals if elected president.

Mrs. Clinton also said she opposes the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy regarding homosexuals in the military, which was instituted during her husband’s presidency.

“I am proud to stand by your side,” Mrs. Clinton said in a keynote speech Friday to the Human Rights Campaign. Neither Mrs. Clinton’s campaign nor her Senate office made any announcement that she would be making the Friday address.

In the speech, Mrs. Clinton joked that she shares the same initials as the group, and pledged to maintain the same close working relationship that last year helped defeat efforts in Congress for a constitutional ban on same-sex “marriage.”

“I want you to know that this is exactly the kind of partnership we will have when I am president,” Mrs. Clinton told the group. “I want you to know that just as you always have an open door to my Senate office, you will always have an open door to the White House and together we can continue this journey.”

Mrs. Clinton said it would be safer for the nation if open homosexuals could wear the military’s uniform, the Associated Press reports.

“This policy doesn’t just hurt gays and lesbians, it hurts all our troops, and this to me is a matter of national security,” she said.

Edwards and Jesus

Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards says Jesus would be “appalled” at how the U.S. has ignored the plight of the suffering, and said that he believes children should have private time to pray at school.

Mr. Edwards, in an interview with the Web site Beliefnet.com, said Jesus would be most upset with the selfishness of Americans and the country’s willingness to go to war “when it’s not necessary.”

“I think that Jesus would be disappointed in our ignoring the plight of those around us who are suffering and our focus on our own selfish short-term needs,” Mr. Edwards told the site. “I think he would be appalled, actually.”

Mr. Edwards also said he was against teacher-led prayers in public schools, but he added that “allowing time for children to pray for themselves, to themselves, I think is not only OK, I think it’s a good thing.”

Spending more

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and several other top senators yesterday threw their support behind legislation aimed at making America more competitive in the global marketplace by increasing federal spending on research and also by spending more on education in science, technology, engineering and math.

“This act will strengthen schools, universities and research centers in Nevada and throughout the country with the necessary funding to regain America’s competitive edge in the world through innovation and long-term investment,” Mr. Reid said.

The America Competes Act of 2007 also has the support of Sens. Jeff Bingaman, New Mexico Democrat; Ted Stevens, Alaska Republican; Joe Lieberman, Connecticut independent; Pete V. Domenici, New Mexico Republican; and Lamar Alexander, Tennessee Republican.

Jury still out

Jurors completed their ninth day of deliberations yesterday without a verdict in the perjury trial of ex-White House aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the Associated Press reports. But before finishing, they asked three more questions about one charge.

The seven women and four men were told they would get answers when they resume work today. The note with the jury’s latest questions was not made public.

Not involved

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, New York Democrat, was not involved in a Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee lunch and press conference last week concerning legislation recommended by the September 11 commission, according to her office.

This column on Thursday reported that she had participated in the event, which drew criticism from a relative of a World Trade Center victim. The relative said he had been invited to participate, but then was snubbed after he criticized the Democratic legislation.

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

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