- - Sunday, May 8, 2011


Lawmakers eye bounty for victims

NEW YORK | Two congressmen from New York City say that up to $50 million in Osama bin Laden bounty money should go to first responders, survivors and families of victims of the Sept. 11 attacks.

The Rewards for Justice Program established a bounty of $25 million in 2001 to help bring bin Laden to justice. In 2004, Congress passed legislation providing the secretary of state up to $50 million to award for information leading to the capture of bin Laden.

Bin Laden was killed last week. It’s unclear whether anyone is eligible for the bounty.

U.S. Reps. Anthony D. Weiner and Jerrold Nadler said Sunday that the funds should be redirected to organizations that assist first responders, families and survivors affected by the 2001 terror attacks.

The state department didn’t immediately comment.


Cheney considering transplant operation

Former Vice President Dick Cheney said he hasn’t decided whether to seek a heart transplant.

Mr. Cheney told “Fox News Sunday” that his health has improved since last year, when he was diagnosed with end-stage heart failure. He had an operation last summer to fit his body with a battery-powered device that helps his heart pump blood.

In his Fox appearance, Mr. Cheney spoke with a raspy voice and appeared less gaunt than he had in the months after the operation.

Mr. Cheney said he is working on a book and planning a fishing trip later in May.

Asked how he could go fishing safely with an electrical device attached to his body, the 70-year-old former vice president quipped, “You’re not supposed to fall in.”


Pakistan’s stance on bin Laden frustrates

Two high-profile congressional leaders expressed some frustration Sunday with Pakistan over its role in the recent commando raid that resulted in the killing of terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden.

Sen. Richard G. Lugar, Indiana Republican, said the incident shows the Pakistan government has not been upfront with the United States.

“It seems obvious to me … a lot of people in Pakistan knew about [bin Laden’s] whereabouts,” Mr. Lugar said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Sen. John F. Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, echoed those comments on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

“It is extremely hard to believe he could have survived there without some kind of support system” inside the Pakistani government, Mr. Kerry said.


Catholic priest chaplain nominee

House Speaker John A. Boehner said he will nominate the Rev. Patrick J. Conroy, a Catholic priest who now teaches at Jesuit High School in Portland, Ore., as the next House chaplain.

Mr. Conroy, a 60-year-old native of Washington state, will succeed the Rev. Daniel Coughlin, who retired last month after 11 years in the position and was the first Roman Catholic priest to serve as chaplain.

Father Conroy would be the 60th House chaplain. The duties include opening each session with a prayer, presiding over memorials and other ceremonies and providing pastoral counseling to the House community.

Father Conroy entered the Society of Jesus in 1973 and was ordained a priest in 1983. He has also served as a chaplain at Georgetown University. His nomination goes to the full House later this month.


‘Dishonors’ given to cable hosts

MSNBC hosts past and present dominated the Media Research Center’s annual Dishonors Awards on Saturday night in Washington.

The liberal cable network’s hosts were nominated in four of the MRC’s five mock “awards” categories, presented in recognition of liberal media bias, and won two of the four.

The conservative media-watchdog group’s annual gala was held at the National Building Museum in Washington, using TV clips to cite the nominees, who were - not surprisingly - absent.

Ed Schultz, the firebrand host of MSNBC’s “The Ed Show,” was awarded the “Damn Those Conservatives Award” and “Quote of the Year.” Both were for a September 2009 segment in which Mr. Schultz, commenting on GOP opposition to the Obama health care bill, contended that Republicans “want to see you dead” and to “make money off your dead corpse.”

Another MSNBC host, Chris Matthews, was nominated in two categories, “The Obamagasm Award” and the “Damn Those Conservatives Award,” while a third, Keith Olbermann, who has since been fired by the cable network, was among nominees for “The Tea Party From Hell Award,” but both were shut out. Evan Thomas, an editor at Newsweek, took “The Obamagasm Award,” while Tavis Smiley of PBS won the anti-tea party award.

Mr. Thomas’ award was for his effusive praise of President Obama’s June 2009 speech in Cairo. “I mean, in a way Obama’s standing above the country, above — above the world, he’s sort of God,” he said on Mr. Matthews’ “Hardball” show, responding to the host’s own lavish praise for the speech.

Mr. Olbermann, now with Current TV, a cable network owned in part by former Vice President Al Gore, was feted with a lifetime achievement award of sorts, “An Ode to Olbermann,” by conservative commentator Ann Coulter, who along with MRC chief L. Brent Bozell III, was among the presenters.

“The I’m Not a Political Genius, But I Play One on TV Award” was given to actor-director Rob Reiner, edging out Roseanne Barr and Bill Maher.

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