- The Washington Times - Friday, October 9, 2009

No Che day

Young America’s Foundation has declared Friday “No More Che Day” as part of its efforts to educate college students about the dictatorial legacy of a Marxist killer who has become a pop icon in recent years.

Fashionistas and liberals have adopted the likeness of Ernesto “Che” Guevara, one of the leaders of Cuba’s communist revolution, as a symbol of modern-day rebellion, outraging observers of history who know him to be a cold-blooded killer.

Ron Robinson, the president of Young America’s Foundation, said: “Young people are led to believe that Che was a man of the people - a champion for human rights. They are not taught that he was a cold-blooded murderer who executed Cuban dissidents. Academia and Hollywood are the last vestiges in America where the failed ideas and brutality of Marxism are celebrated.”

YAF has designed two posters, available to download on its Web site, mocking the icon. Both feature the highly recognizable image of Guevara’s face with real quotes. One of the posters reads, “To execute a man, we don’t need proof of his guilt” - instructions he once gave to his soldiers.

Off the hook

CBS “Late Show” host David Letterman doesn’t seem to be suffering at all despite his on-air admission he’d had sexual relationships with female staffers.

The National Organization for Women is not pleased. Its president is calling for CBS’ board of directors to take some kind of action to punish the popular comedian. NOW President Terry O’Neill said that not doing anything sends a bad message to young girls.

“Television and news reports appear to make it OK to objectify women as long as the man in power is famous. He can crack a few jokes and publicly apologize for his mistakes. It is this kind of hypocrisy that perpetuates the image of men in power preying on women, while many look the other way … The National Organization for Women calls on CBS to recognize that Letterman’s behavior creates a toxic environment and to take action immediately to rectify this situation. With just two women on CBS’ Board of Directors, we’re not holding our breath,” Ms. O’Neill said.

Levi cashes in

Single dad Levi Johnston is still riding out his 15 minutes of fame from the 2008 campaign.

Mr. Johnston, who fathered a son with former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s daughter Bristol, has happily embraced the media spotlight in the aftermath of the campaign, posing on the red carpet, giving interviews with Vanity Fair and hitting the talk-show circuit.

Now, he’s joking about teenage pregnancy in a pistachio commercial and has plans to appear in Playgirl magazine. In the pistachio ad, Mr. Johnston appears with bodyguard Tank Jones, who is near Mr. Johnston in nearly every one of his public appearances nowadays, fending off the paparazzi. Once the coast is clear a voice-over says: “Now Levi Johnston does it with protection.”

Joan Wickham, a spokesman for Wonderful Pistachios, has said, unconvincingly, there was no sort of pregnancy pun intended.

“We aren’t making any type of pregnancy comment,” she’s told reporters. “We just tried to pick quirky celebs doing funny things. We wanted something to catch attention.”

Not calorie counting

New laws requiring New York City restaurants to post caloric information about their dishes for customers isn’t working out as well as planned, according to a new study.

The citywide law was enacted in July 2008 in hopes of encouraging people to limit their caloric intake while eating out and in turn, lowering obesity rates.

But research published this month by Health Affairs and conducted by a group of professors at New York University and Yale says otherwise. It found that people in New York typically purchased 825 calories before the menu labeling law went into effect and 846 calories after it became law.

“Thus, simply displaying information about the caloric value of various food options may fail to translate into attitudinal, motivational, or - most importantly - behavioral changes in line with choosing healthier food options,” the study said.

Come-out call

A group of gay Republicans is asking President Obama to “come out of the closet” on his commitment to gay issues.

GOProud, which bills itself as the only national organization for gay conservatives and their allies, says Mr. Obama’s record on gay rights has been “abysmal” so far.

“We think it is time that President Obama came clean with gay Americans,” said Jimmy LaSalvia, executive director of GOProud. “Talk is cheap, but unfortunately with this administration talk is all you get. It’s time President Obama told gay Americans just how unimportant they are to him and his administration.”

Mr. LaSalvia continued, “Whether it’s failing to deliver on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal, or his administration’s homophobic court filing in support of the Defense of Marriage Act, or his total unwillingness to confront tyrannical anti-gay regimes like Iran - President Obama’s record speaks louder than his words. Instead of delivering on campaign promises, Obama has chosen to play politics and trade away the promises made to gay families in secret backroom deals.”

GOProud has created a Web ad accusing Mr. Obama of “betraying” the gay rights community by taking its donations during his 2008 campaign but not enacting the gay-friendly platforms as president that he embraced as a candidate.

Mr. Obama will get a chance to speak on gay issues Saturday, when he addresses the nation’s largest gay rights group with a keynote address at the Human Rights Campaign’s 13th annual National Dinner.

Amanda Carpenter can be reached at acarpenter@ washingtontimes.com.

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