- The Washington Times - Monday, June 22, 2009

A second opinion

Why were House Republicans holding an off-the-record meeting last week on health care with the real-life liberal doctor known as Patch Adams?

The Hot Button obtained an e-mail about the meeting, sent from the office of Rep. Jack Kingston, Georgia Republican, by a disgruntled Republican staffer who questioned why any Republican would seek advice from Dr. Hunter Adams, whose unconventional approach to treating patients (for example, preparing a noodle bath for a sick woman), was made famous in the 1998 film “Patch Adams,” in which he was portrayed by actor Robin Williams.

Today, Dr. Adams leads the Gesundheit Institute, which supports a single-payer health care system.

Mr. Kingston, who organized the event, said that while he might not agree with Dr. Adams on everything, they did both support the need to preserve the doctor-patient relationship and leave room for out-of-the-box solutions to medical problems in the health-care system.

Most members of the Republican Party oppose single-payer health care, but “when a guy walks in with blue socks and blue hair and wants more love, more fun and creativity, who doesn’t want that?” Mr. Kingston said in a phone call with The Washington Times.

Mr. Kingston said they stayed out of the “weeds of policy” in their meeting, but the Republican Party did discuss how to bring more of an “entrepreneurial approach” to health care.

Commie veg

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is glorifying the murderous legacy of communist revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara with a sexy, semi-nude photo of his granddaughter dressed in his iconic style.

Lydia Guevara, 24, will appear in a new PETA advertisement wearing camouflage pants, a beret and a bandolier made of carrots, instead of bullets, asking others to “join the vegetarian revolution.” Miss Guevara lives in the United States, but this ad will be targeted toward audiences in South America.

PETA spokesman Michael McGraw has told the press that the campaign is “an homage of sorts to her late grandfather.”

Although this is the first ad in which PETA has combined overt sexual appeal with Marxist iconography, it’s one of many PETA campaigns that have featured scantily clad women to promote the organization’s cause.

Actress Alicia Silverstone appeared completely nude in a 2007 PETA advertisement. The group also rotates different celebrities to appear naked in its “I’d rather go naked than wear fur” ad campaign and hosts an annual “Live Make Out Tour” in the run-up to Valentine’s Day, featuring women wearing sexy lingerie kissing provocatively in public places.

NBC rejected a 2009 Super Bowl ad from PETA that used female models interacting with vegetables in sexually suggestive ways, because it depicted “a level of sexuality exceeding our standards.”

Ensign’s polling

Cheating on your wife is bad, but not bad enough to step down from elected office, say Nevada voters.

The favorability ratings of Sen. John Ensign, Nevada Republican, have dropped considerably since his admission of an extramarital affair, yet a majority of Nevada voters don’t think he should resign over the scandal.

A new poll conducted by Mason Dixon Polling and Research Inc. for the Las Vegas Review Journal found 39 percent of voters had a favorable view of Mr. Ensign, down from 53 percent last month.

Although his favorability ratings have plunged, 62 percent of the voters polled don’t think Mr. Ensign should give up his office over the affair. He has, however, already relinquished his role as the Senate’s Republican Policy Committee chairman, the fourth-ranking position in Republican leadership.

Mr. Ensign expressed remorse for his actions in a news conference he unexpectedly held to tell reporters about the affair last week. The timing of the admission is curious, and it’s unclear whether it was motivated by future presidential ambitions, threats from the woman’s husband that he might go public himself, or other reasons. Regardless, Mr. Ensign will not have to worry about his public image for a while - he is not up for re-election until 2012.

• Amanda Carpenter can be reached at [email protected] times.com.

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