- The Washington Times - Friday, April 18, 2008

Baked Alaska

First we wrote this week that Rep. Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts chided the Bush administration for sending “a grand total of zero participants” to a major international renewable-energy conference in Berlin to combat global warming.

To which Scott Stanzel, deputy assistant to the president and deputy press secretary, countered to Inside the Beltway that “top advisers for the president are meeting in Paris this week as part of the Major Economies Meeting process on climate change that the president launched.”

Now, Mr. Markey is saying “the Major Economies Meeting is no substitute for broad multilateral action involving the developed and developing world, since the developing world will account for the majority of increased greenhouse gas emissions in the 21st century.”

Says Mr. Markey, the Democratic chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming: “By the time President Bush’s plan finally starts to cut global warming emissions, the planet will already be cooked.”

Quote of the week

“Speaking of Vice President [Al] Gore, I’m sorry to relate that he’s a little bit sore at me. He’s convinced that, on global warming, I just don’t get it. But lately with every passing day, the evidence has been catching my attention. I have no doubt, none at all, that we are in the midst of a global warming, or as I prefer to call it, spring.”

Vice President Dick Cheney at Wednesday’s Radio & Television Correspondents’ Association dinner in Washington.

Spring chickens

The head of one of the country’s leading senior citizens’ organizations is calling on Rep. John P. Murtha, Pennsylvania Democrat, to apologize to older Americans for his “thoughtless” remarks this week that Republican John McCain is “too old to be president.”

“Ageism is one of the last remaining prejudices that parades openly in our society and it is discouraging to hear a sitting U.S. representative, a senior himself at 75, state that age is an indicator of performance or ability,” says James L. Martin, president of the 60 Plus Association.

“Has he never heard of Charles De Gaulle … or the inimitable Winston Churchill who left office the last time at 81? Who can listen without a surge of pride and gratitude to Churchill’s stirring remarks in the dark days of World War II when he, and he alone, rallied Great Britain and the rest of the world against Hitler?

“Churchill was then only 71, McCain’s age, ultimately retiring from office 10 years later.”

Mr. Martin wonders why Mr. Murtha isn’t speaking about 90-year-old Democratic Sen. Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia who “is third in line to be president … and if Byrd steps aside, who is third in line … none other than Sen. Ted Kennedy, age 76 …

Sens. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, 84, Daniel Inouye, 83, Daniel Akaka, 83 … and I must say that Congressman Murtha’s timing is interesting, with none other than His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, in town this week celebrating his 81st birthday at the White House. Too old to be pope?”

Shake hands

CNN spokeswoman Edie Emery did her part Wednesday night to bring the warring parties together before the real battle begins to see who becomes president (granted the Democrats ever get around to picking a nominee to face Republican John McCain).

Miss Emery purposely seated at one of CNN’s several tables at the Radio & Television Correspondents’ Association dinner Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Karen Finney and Republican National Committee spokesman Danny Diaz.


Former Vice President Al Gore, as one might gather from reading our earlier item today, was the butt of more than one joke at Wednesday night’s gathering of television and radio correspondents at the Washington Hilton, where former Massachusetts governor and 2008 presidential candidate Mitt Romney made a surprise appearance at the podium to deliver his “Top 10 Reasons for Dropping Out of the Race.”

No. 5: “I needed an excuse to get fat, grow a beard and win the Nobel prize.”

John McCaslin can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin@washingtontimes.com.

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