- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 30, 2009

FUTURE LOOKS BRIGHT

Former Vice President Dick Cheney said the Republican Party’s slate for a White House run in 2012 is strong, even though two of the party’s potential presidential hopefuls recently were sidelined after each acknowledged an extramarital affair.

When asked about Sen. John Ensign of Nevada and South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, both of whom recently admitted to having affairs, Mr. Cheney said the party has “got some great talent out there, young people coming along that are going to do a superb job.”

“I always remind people that in adversity, there’s opportunity,” Mr. Cheney said in an interview on The Washington Times’ “America’s Morning News” radio show.

Mr. Cheney pointed to Rep. Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin and President Obama’s ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman Jr., as potential Republican White House aspirants.

“I think that it’s just a matter of time before the party begins to sort of firm up around a few key individuals, and we’ll hear big things from them in the future,” Mr. Cheney said.

FIGHTING BIAS

“The Supreme Court’s ruling [Monday] morning on the New Haven firefighters’ lawsuit is a reminder of the vital role a sane majority on the high court plays in protecting the rights of citizens against the dictates of liberal ideology,” Jonathan Tobin writes in a blog at www.commentarymagazine.com.

“The 5-4 ruling, which reverses a decision endorsed by Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, validated the complaints of a group of firefighters who took and passed a promotion test but wound up being told that the exam was invalid because no minorities had done well enough on it,” Mr. Tobin said.

“Though no one could credibly allege that the test was biased or that any discrimination had actually taken place, the city of New Haven threw out the test (thus rendering the efforts of the firefighters who had passed it worthless) because they feared that they would nonetheless be sued by the affirmative-action bar, which views any result other than the one sought for minorities as inherently discriminatory.

“Sotomayor and the Second Federal Circuit majority that dismissed the firefighters’ appeal didn’t even bother to state their reasons for their egregious and unconstitutional approval of this outrage. But fortunately there are still five members of the Supreme Court who aren’t willing to go along with such travesties.

“How did the four members of the minority justify their dissent? Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote that the white firefighters ‘understandably attract this court’s sympathy. But they had no vested right to promotion.’ This is nonsense. Having jumped through every hoop that the city of New Haven set for them, the firefighters were entitled to the promotions that they had fairly earned in open competition. Denying them these promotions, merely because they were neither black nor Hispanic, is inherently discriminatory.

“Such reverse discrimination has become commonplace in recent decades, but it is still a disgrace when our courts seek to rationalize such naked racialism through the sort of convoluted reasoning put forward by Ginsburg.”

HUGO’S PALS

Hugo Chavez’s coalition-building efforts suffered a setback [Sunday] when the Honduran military sent its president packing for abusing the nation’s constitution,” Wall Street Journal columnist Mary Anastasia O’Grady writes.

“It seems that President Mel Zelaya miscalculated when he tried to emulate the success of his good friend Hugo in reshaping the Honduran Constitution to his liking,” the columnist said.

“But Honduras is not out of the Venezuelan woods yet. [Sunday], the Central American country was being pressured to restore the authoritarian Mr. Zelaya by the likes of Fidel Castro, Daniel Ortega, Hillary Clinton and, of course, Hugo himself. The Organization of American States, having ignored Mr. Zelaya’s abuses, also wants him back in power. It will be a miracle if Honduran patriots can hold their ground.

“That Mr. Zelaya acted as if he were above the law, there is no doubt. While Honduran law allows for a constitutional rewrite, the power to open that door does not lie with the president. A constituent assembly can only be called through a national referendum approved by its Congress.

“But Mr. Zelaya declared the vote on his own and had Mr. Chavez ship him the necessary ballots from Venezuela. The Supreme Court ruled his referendum unconstitutional, and it instructed the military not to carry out the logistics of the vote as it normally would do.

“The top military commander, Gen. Romeo Vasquez Velasquez, told the president that he would have to comply. Mr. Zelaya promptly fired him. The Supreme Court ordered him reinstated. Mr. Zelaya refused.

“Calculating that some critical mass of Hondurans would take his side, the president decided he would run the referendum himself. So on Thursday, he led a mob that broke into the military installation where the ballots from Venezuela were being stored and then had his supporters distribute them in defiance of the Supreme Court’s order.

“The attorney general had already made clear that the referendum was illegal, and he further announced that he would prosecute anyone involved in carrying it out. [Sunday], Mr. Zelaya was arrested by the military and is now in exile in Costa Rica.”

SECRET STUDY

“The Competitive Enterprise Institute has obtained an [Environmental Protection Agency] study of the ‘endangerment’ to human well-being ostensibly caused by carbon dioxide emissions, together with a set of EPA e-mails indicating that the study, which concludes that carbon dioxide is not a significant cause of climate change, was suppressed by the EPA for political reasons,” John Hinderaker writes at www.powerlineblog.com.

“You can read the comments that the CEI submitted to the EPA on EPA’s proposed endangerment finding [at cei.org], along with the e-mails. The censored report, by Alan Carlin and John Davidson, is [at cei.org].

“In their report, Carlin and Davidson point out that the EPA has not done its own evaluation of the global warming theory. Rather, it has relied on analyses by others, mostly the U.N.’s IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report. That report, however, was a political document, not a scientific one. Knowing that current scientific research disproves the anthropogenic global warming theory, the U.N. ordered that no recent research be considered in the IPCC report. This is a scandal of which too few people are aware. As science, the U.N. report is a bad joke,” Mr. Hinderaker said.

“Carlin and Davidson go on to recite the scientific work that shows rather clearly that human activity is a minor factor, at most, in climate change - which has, of course, been occurring from the beginning of Earth’s history to the present. Their report is a useful summary of the evidence for those who are not familiar with it.”

REAGAN REDUX

“Over the next two years, Ronald Reagan is going to gallop back into our lives as his posse prepares a string of events to celebrate his centennial birthday, Feb. 6, 2011, and take into account just what an American giant he has become since leaving office in 1989. And it’s being done in a very Reaganesque way: at no cost to taxpayers but instead from donations,” Paul Bedard writes in the Washington Whispers column at www.usnews.com.

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

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