- The Washington Times - Monday, October 5, 2009


The press was quick to pick up on assorted links between former President Bill Clinton and CBS late-night host David Letterman, who used his show to reveal sexual dalliances with female staffers. Mr. Clinton had been a guest on the show not a week before the big reveal, journalists noted. Both were heart patients. Both cultivated intrigue with interns. And oh, the irony.

“David Letterman built an entertainment empire on jokes about sex - notably involving former President Bill Clinton’s trousers,” said the Times of London on Sunday.

Mr. Letterman was “haunted by ghosts of Monica Lewinsky jokes past,” said Brian Moylan of Gawker.com.

Mr. Clinton was not available for comment, most likely because he was on a good will tour of Haiti in the 24 hours immediately following Mr. Letterman’s seamy revelations. CBS, in the meantime, has ordered the much-viewed video clip of the moment removed from YouTube. Weary of dissecting Clinton links and moral underpinnings, the press is now whetting its chops for the next stage. Witness these Sunday headlines:

“David Letterman affair is no joke” (Los Angeles Times)

“How Letterman could lose” (Hollywood Reporter)

“The Joke is on David Letterman” (Entertainment Weekly)


To panic or not panic, that is the question. Whether prompted by impending nuclear strikes, weather disasters or terrorist chatter, Americans have been exposed to an interesting spectrum of emergency-warning systems - from baleful sirens to color-coded alerts and disquieting radio spots that include the voice of doom and weird static noises. Have they done much good over the years?

Uh-h-h, “no,” says Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, who is alarmed by our alarms, or lack thereof. The Florida Republican is calling on federal agencies to get serious with the nations emergency alert and warning system, which he says dates back to the 1960s.

“The ability to warn the public of an emergency is a life-or-death matter,” Mr. Diaz-Balart says. “Undoubtedly, our current system is not sufficiently adequate, comprehensive or efficient and needs to be brought up to speed with present-day technologies.”

Earlier this year, he introduced H.R. 2591, the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Act, which requires the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to modernize and implement an integrated public alerts and warning system.

“I demand that FEMA prioritize this matter and work with states and localities, as well as private partners, in identifying what works and implementing the necessary changes,” he adds.


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has announced that as part of the “Green the Capitol Initiative,” the Congressional Record is now printed on 100 percent recycled paper. Mrs. Pelosi introduced the initiative herself in 2007 to prompt “sustainability practices” on Capitol Hill.

“Every day the Government Printing Office prints 4,130 copies of the Congressional Record. That is down more than 75 percent from 1995 because of the Internet. What we are doing now will reduce landfill waste, reduce 1.4 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions annually, support private industry efforts to develop new, environmentally friendly technologies. It puts the official proceedings of Congress on recycled paper, and that is good for our environment and good for our future,” Mrs. Pelosi says.


Are we coming or going in Afghanistan? Is Iraq on the mend? As pundits and politicians bloviate upon such questions, we offer an untrammeled Inside the Beltway military appreciation moment. It’s evidence that no matter what is happening, well, inside the Beltway, the U.S. military continues to do the heavy lifting.

Dog included.

Because it’s Monday and everyone needs a lift, consider this high-flying historic parachute moment - a recent tandem airborne jump from 12,500 feet above Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., by U.S. Army Sgt. Chris Lalonde; his military working dog, Sgt. Maj. Fasco; and civilian jumpmaster Kirby Rodriguez. The three-way jump from that altitude was a first.

Yes, this fabulous German shepherd jumped out of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter cradled in the arms of his master. Yes, the dog had an oxygen mask and a nifty jumpsuit. We assume he got a biscuit, hopefully lots of them.

Sgt. Lalonde is assigned to Company D, 701st Military Police Battalion. And Sgt. Fasco? We suggest a nice little medal, with T-bone clusters.


• 32 percent of Americans say Iran is the biggest threat to the national security of the U.S.

• 19 percent say North Korea is the biggest threat.

• 14 percent cite China.

• 12 percent are not sure what country presents the biggest threat.

• 8 percent cite Pakistan.

• 7 percent cite Afghanistan.

• 5 percent cite Iraq.

• 3 percent cite Russia.

Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted Sept. 30-Oct. 1

Grumbles, rumbles, press releases to [email protected] .com or 202/636-3085. Follow her at twitter.com/harperbulletin.

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