- The Washington Times - Friday, May 22, 2009

ANOTHER KENNEDY

Another member of the Kennedy family is considering a run for the U.S. Senate - this time for the Illinois seat once held by Barack Obama.

A spokeswoman for Christopher George Kennedy, president of the Merchandise Mart Properties in Chicago, said this week that the son of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy is seriously considering a campaign for the Senate seat now held by Roland W. Burris, a fellow Democrat.

The Associated Press quoted Kennedy spokeswoman Kasey Madden as saying it’s uncertain when Mr. Kennedy would make an announcement.

Mr. Burris is an appointee of Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich, who was ousted from office soon thereafter. Mr. Burris’ term ends in 2010.

Christopher Kennedy’s father was a senator when he was assassinated in 1968 during his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. Christopher Kennedy is also a nephew of former President John F. Kennedy and current Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts. His cousin, Caroline Kennedy, sought an appointment to New York’s Senate seat earlier this year, only to withdraw her candidacy.

Christopher Kennedy’s grandfather, Joseph Kennedy, purchased the Merchandise Mart in 1945.

OBAMA VS. BIDEN

President Obama is so ‘distracted by his vice president’s indiscipline’ that he has been forced to rebuke privately Vice President Joe Biden, according to a new book by Newsweek journalist Richard Wolffe, who interviewed Obama a dozen times,” Bill Sammon writes at www.foxnews.com.

” ‘He can’t keep his mouth shut,’ Wolffe quotes a ‘senior Obama aide’ as saying of the gaffe-prone Biden in ‘Renegade: The Making of a President,’ set for release June 2,” Mr. Sammon said.

“As evidence, Wolffe reports that during the presidential transition period, Biden insulted Valerie Jarrett, one of Obama’s closest friends and confidantes. Jarrett had been considered Obama’s top choice to fill his vacated Senate seat in Illinois, but took herself out of the running just hours after Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich allegedly told a wiretapped conference call he would not heed any Obama recommendation without a payoff.

” ‘Soon after Jarrett pulled out of consideration for the Senate seat, the senior transition team met to discuss Cabinet picks,’ Wolffe writes.

” ‘Biden tried to compliment Jarrett after one contribution. “You should be in the Senate,” he quipped. After the meeting, as everyone returned to their offices, Obama stopped Biden to warn him not to say anything like that again. “It’s not funny,” he told him.’

“Obama ended up naming Jarrett a senior presidential adviser. …

“In an e-mail sent to Fox News on Thursday, Jarrett said she took no offense to Biden’s remark.”

POINTING FINGERS

“While insisting ‘we need to focus on the future,’ President Obama devoted much of his speech on terrorist detainees [Thursday] to denouncing the policies of President Bush’s administration,” Fred Barnes writes at www.weeklystandard .com.

“He faulted everyone in Washington for ‘pointing fingers at one another,’ yet pointed his own finger frequently, and critically, at the Bush administration. Obama said America’s problems won’t be solved ‘unless we solve them together’ - in a divisive and partisan speech certain to alienate Republicans and conservatives,” Mr. Barnes said.

“If any president has gone to such lengths to attack his White House predecessor as Obama did [Thursday], I don’t recall it. True, presidents have blamed the prior administration for problems they inherit, but I can’t think of a president who did so as aggressively and with such moral preening as Obama.

“There was a reason for this. His speech was a dodge because when it came to the issue at hand - what to do with the 240 remaining terrorists imprisoned at Guantanamo - he had no answer at all. Instead, the best he could do was elaborate on the five categories in which his administration has pigeonholed the detainees.

“He reiterated his intention to shut down Guantanamo, though he didn’t repeat the artificial deadline for closure (next Jan. 22). But he didn’t offer a plan for dealing with prisoners so dangerous they can’t be released, citing Khalid Sheik Muhammad, the mastermind of 9/11 as an example.

“Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress are demanding a plan before they appropriate funds for closing Guantanamo. Obama said he’s still working on that, four months after he announced the prison would be closed.”

CLIMATE PROFITEERS

“Some business leaders are cozying up with politicians and scientists to demand swift, drastic action on global warming. This is a new twist on a very old practice: companies using public policy to line their own pockets,” Bjorn Lomborg writes in the Wall Street Journal.

“The tight relationship between the groups echoes the relationship among weapons makers, researchers and the U.S. military during the Cold War. President Dwight Eisenhower famously warned about the might of the ‘military-industrial complex,’ cautioning that ‘the potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.’ He worried that ‘there is a recurring temptation to feel that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties.’

“This is certainly true of climate change. We are told that very expensive carbon regulations are the only way to respond to global warming, despite ample evidence that this approach does not pass a basic cost-benefit test. We must ask whether a ‘climate-industrial complex’ is emerging, pressing taxpayers to fork over money to please those who stand to gain,” said Mr. Lomborg, author of “Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming.”

“This phenomenon will be on display at the World Business Summit on Climate Change in Copenhagen this weekend. The organizers - the Copenhagen Climate Council - hope to push political leaders into more drastic promises when they negotiate the Kyoto Protocol’s replacement in December.

“The opening keynote address is to be delivered by Al Gore, who actually represents all three groups: He is a politician, a campaigner and the chair of a green private-equity firm invested in products that a climate-scared world would buy.

“Naturally, many CEOs are genuinely concerned about global warming. But many of the most vocal stand to profit from carbon regulations. The term used by economists for their behavior is ‘rent-seeking.’ ”

• Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/63-3285 or [email protected] .com.


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