- The Washington Times - Friday, November 27, 2009

Bragging it up

In preparation for President Obama’s trip to the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, the White House began touting its efforts to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions in the U.S. and abroad.

Heather Zichal, deputy assistant to the president for energy and climate change, bragged about domestic and international projects in a White House blog post, previewing what Mr. Obama will boast about on the international stage.

She noted the billions allocated in the $787 billion stimulus bill for green-energy projects, new regulations for automobiles, the progress Congress has made toward passing a cap-and-trade bill and more stringent energy-efficiency standards enacted for home appliances. Also, “For the first time, the U.S. will catalog greenhouse-gas emissions from large emissions sources - an important initial step toward measurable and transparent reductions,” she said.

Internationally, the White House highlighted the Major Economies Forum launched in 2009 to “create new dialogue among developed and emerging economies,” an elimination of some fossil fuel subsidies and work with other countries in the Western Hemisphere to reduce the number of hydrofluorocarbons.

Kerry’s take

“This could be one hell of a global game changer with big reverberations here at home.”

- Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, talking about the significance of President Obama’s upcoming trip to the U.N. Conference on Climate Change in an official White House press release. Mr. Kerry is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Promoted

The 14 white firefighters who the Supreme Court ruled were victims of reverse discrimination have been given promotions, marking the end of six years of controversy over thrown-out tests in which whites performed better than minorities.

U.S. District Judge Janet Bond, who initially threw out the firefighters’ lawsuit in 2006, stated Tuesday that New Haven, Conn., city officials wrongly ignored the results of 2003 exams in which minorities didn’t perform as well.

Judge Bond followed the Supreme Court and ordered the city to promote the firefighters. Six of them will be named captains and eight will become lieutenants.

Booking it

Jenny Sanford, the wife of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, is working on a memoir, scheduled for release in May, to talk about how she dealt with being publicly humiliated by her cheating husband.

Publisher Ballantine Books, a Random House imprint, said in a news release that the book “will grapple with the universal issue of maintaining integrity and a sense of self during life’s difficult times.”

Unlike many other political wives, Mrs. Sanford promptly separated from her husband when the news of his affair broke, moving herself and four young sons out of the governor’s mansion.

The governor also stands accused of breaking 37 ethics laws, mostly campaign finance regulations, by using government resources and money to visit his mistress in Argentina.

Faith abroad

Popular author and pastor Rick Warren wants Americans to realize they aren’t the only ones with religious faith, as he told listeners at a recent speech to the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life.

“There are about 15,000 missionaries now working in England from Brazil, China, Korea, other countries that you used to think, well, those would receive missionaries,” he said. “In fact, Brazil sends out far more missionaries than either Great Britain or Canada combined. So that’s a fundamental shift.

“That’s all I’m going to say about the future of evangelicalism. It ain’t here. OK? It isn’t Europe. Now, I will say this: The world is becoming more religious. There are 600 million Buddhists. There are 800 million Hindus. There are 1 billion Muslims. And there are 2 billion Christians.

“That means the actual number of secularists outside of Europe and Manhattan is quite small. It really is quite small, and we don’t understand it. We’re in this little bubble that we think most people don’t have a faith. Well, you need to get a life and get around the world because most people have some kind of faith.”

Mr. Warren is pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., and the author of “The Purpose Driven Life.”

Still partying

Conservative and libertarian activists will be hosting another “tea party” to protest the government’s big spending policies in St. Louis on Saturday.

The St. Louis Tea Party Coalition is calling it a “Holiday Tea Party” and is encouraging attendees to come and “let off some steam.”

Planned speakers include James O’Keefe, a young filmmaker who recently exposed bad practices at several branches of the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN), nurse Stephanie Rubach and former Hollywood agent-turned war documentarian Pat Dollard.

Tea partiers will also be able to play games like “Visit a Soviet Gulag,” “Pin the Feather on the President” and “Spot the Commie Professor.”

“Because you people of the St. Louis Tea Party Coalition have done so much to hold back socialism, stand up to violence, and restore our republic, some of the hottest names in movement conservatives want to party with you, cowboy!” read a note posted online by organizer Bill Hennessy to supporters.

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


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