- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 7, 2009

3 out of 4 doctors

Not only did the four doctors who flanked President Obama at his White House press event on Monday recommend his plan, three of them donated to his presidential campaign.

It could be an ad slogan to put to shame the toothpaste marketers who like to brag that nine out of 10 doctors recommend their brand.

The four doctors who stood and applauded along with Mr. Obama’s plans were Dr. Mona Mangat of St. Petersburg, Fla.; Dr. Hershey Garner of Fayetteville, Ark.; Dr. Richard A. Evans of Dover-Foxcroft, Maine; and Dr. Amanda McKinney of Beatrice, Neb.

Campaign-finance records made available by the Center for Responsive Politics show three of them gave to Mr. Obama’s presidential campaign. Dr. Mangat gave $500, Dr. Garner gave $4,415 and Dr. McKinney gave $1,750.

No campaign donations were found in the 2008 election cycle for Dr. Evans.

“Accordingly, three out of four doctors agree, contributing to the president’s campaign gets you a great photo-op!” one Republican Hill staffer joked.

Patriot award

A combat pilot in Korea and Vietnam who survived seven years of communist imprisonment and who flew planes through nuclear test sites during the Cuban Missile Crisis will receive the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s highest civilian honor this weekend.

Rep. Sam Johnson, Texas Republican, will receive the National Patriot Award at the society’s gala in Dallas on Saturday.

His military career is legendary. He flew 62 combat missions during the Korean War and served two tours in the Vietnam War. During his second tour of duty in Vietnam, he flew 25 combat missions before being shot down in a F-4 Phantom. He survived the crash, breaking his right arm, his back and dislocating his left shoulder. He was taken as a prisoner of war and was held for nearly seven years in a North Vietnam prison, 42 months of it in solitary confinement.

Like Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, who is also a National Patriot Award recipient, Mr. Johnson was held captive at the Hanoi Hilton prison. The Texan spent 72 days in leg stocks and 2 1/2 years in painful leg irons.

During the Cuban Missile Crisis, Mr. Johnson flew through a nuclear explosion at a Nevada test site to help the military figure out what the effects of such a blast could have on an airplane.

Mr. Johnson wrote about his experiences in his autobiography, “Captive Warriors.”

His combat decorations include two Silver Stars, two Legions of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, one Bronze Star with a V device for valor, two Purple Hearts and four Air Medals.

Feeling good

Matt Latimer’s name may be getting dragged through the mud by his former Bush White House colleagues, but it is shooting up important best-selling book lists.

His tell-all tome “Speech-less: Tales of a White House Survivor” about his days working as a speechwriter for President George W. Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld is ranked No. 27 on the New York Times best-sellers list. Mr. Latimer’s motives for writing the book have been publicly questioned by former Bush press secretary Dana Perino, former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie and others.

“The message of the book is getting through,” Mr. Latimer wrote in an e-mail to The Washington Times. “Those who have defended the mainstream media’s narrative that Bushism equals conservatism are betraying the conservative movement, and making recovery from our current minority status all the more elusive.”

Amanda Carpenter can be reached at acarpenter@ washingtontimes.com

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