- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Oh Zone

Hot air is a given in politics. And there has been much hot air about hot air lately. Witness this stupendous statement that recently floated out of the hallowed hubs of diplomacy — to hover majestically over Washington:

“The U.S. Department of State congratulates the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer on achieving universal ratification, an unprecedented milestone in the world of international environmental agreements. Timor-Leste becomes the 196th Party to the ozone layer treaty on International Ozone Day.”

Wait. International Ozone Day? Who knew? Why not International Methane Day or Global Gas Week?

The State Department also notes that it had dedicated $20 million “to facilitate the elimination of ozone depleting substances worldwide.”

The agency adds, “By 2165, an estimated 6.3 million American lives — and many times more, worldwide — will have been saved from fatal skin cancer as a result of worldwide action to protect the Earth’s ozone layer.”

Balderdash, say Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer, a pair of fierce filmmakers behind the documentary “Not Evil, Just Wrong,” which they bill as “the film Al Gore does not want you to see.” It is an expose not about the cost of global warming but the cost of global warming hysteria.

“Carbon dioxide is the new DDT,” Mr. McAleer tells Inside the Beltway. “CO2 has been demonized in the media as a pollutant, a poison for humanity, using flawed science and scare tactics. But consider that after the Rachel Carson crowd succeeded in banning DDT with the same methods, some 13 million people died because of the mosquito-born diseases that followed in developing countries.”

Those evil fossil fuels, Mr. McAleer says, have benefited mankind and enriched lives. And the public should be reassured that the climate continues to change and has always been in flux, he adds. That’s just Earth being Earth.

“We intend to have a cinematic ‘tea party.’ The film will have some limited public screenings and is available as a DVD, with a poster and a nice little swatch of red carpet for friends and family to walk on. The idea is that interested Americans watch it in their own homes simultaneously.”

The big debut is Oct. 18. For information, consult www.noteviljustwrong.

Behavioral therapy

Just to make sure that lawmakers mind their ways, House Rules Committee Chairwoman Louise Slaughter issued a list of reminders for those tempted to sacrifice their civility on the altar of politics.

“Members should comport themselves with the rules of decorum and debate in the House and in committees specifically with regard to references to the president of the United States as stated in Section 370 of the House Rules and Manual,” the New York Democrat says.

Curious? It’s OK for House members to refer to the government as “something hated, something oppressive.” Presidential messages can be deemed a “disgrace” and unnamed officials “half-based nitwits.” But woe to the lawmaker who calls the president a “liar,” “hypocrite,” “intellectually dishonest” or as “giving aid and comfort to the enemy.” Oh, and lawmakers can’t refer to alleged “sexual misconduct on the president’s part.”

That will land them on the naughty chair.

Poll du jour

90 percent of the world’s population say it’s important to live in a democratic country.

24 percent say they’re “completely free” to express their political view without fear.

42 percent are “somewhat free,” 30 percent are “not very free.”

37 percent say opposing political parties get a fair chance to speak “most of the time.”

38 percent say the opposition is heard “only sometimes,” 20 percent say it’s heard “rarely.”

Source: A World Public Opinion poll of 21,285 respondents in 24 nations conducted April 4 to June 30.

Quotes of note

“Navigating Your Health Benefits for Dummies.” — New title from Wiley Publications.

“This Halloween, liberals will dress up as Joe Wilson and conservatives will dress up as acorns.” — Politico’s Patrick Gavin, on his personal Facebook page.

“The ever-sunny Reagan is dead. The congenial Buckley is dead. The old-school conservative Novak is dead as well. In their place is the party of Joe the Shouter and Joe the Plumber and Sarah the Death Panel Screecher.” — Democratic strategist Paul Begala, on Huffington Post.

Joe Wilson. The answer to your question is ‘yes.’” — William Tucker, The American Spectator.

Days of Yore

The first National Negro Convention opened on this day in Philadelphia in 1830, organized by clergyman Richard Allen at his Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church and attended by delegates from Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

On this day 128 years ago, Chester A. Arthur was inaugurated, becoming the third U.S. president in a year: Rutherford B. Hayes finished his term of office and James A. Garfield took over — only to be shot by an assassin four months later.

Described as “optimistic and upbeat,” President Kennedy suggested on this day in 1963 that the Soviet Union and the U.S. cooperate on a mission to the moon. Both sides were a little nervous about the prospect. But we got there. On this day in 1970, the unmanned Luna 16 landed on the moon’s surface and drilled out core samples.

Last but not least, here’s one of those little cultural moments. Thirty-three years ago today, Playboy Magazine ran an interview with President Carter who admitted he lusted for women “in his heart.”

Contact Jennifer Harper at [email protected] or 202/636-3085. Follow her at twitter.com/harperbulletin.

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