Thursday, September 30, 2004

Damage control

Before Rep. Adam H. Putnam, a Florida Republican who resides in Bartow, could join President Bush for this week’s presidential fact-finding tour of his hurricane-battered state, the congressman was busy “pulling the oak tree off my attic.”

Islamic fund-raiser

Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader will deliver tomorrow’s keynote address to the Council on American-Islamic Relations when it holds its annual fund-raising banquet at the Wardman Park Marriott Hotel in Washington.

Meanwhile, the council is applauding a federal court ruling this week that struck down as unconstitutional an important provision of the USA Patriot Act, enacted in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks. The court was acting on a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union.

At tomorrow’s fund-raiser, a sneak preview of the soon-to-be released Hollywood production “Muhammad: The Last Prophet,” will be shown, explaining why people first embraced Islam.

Walking U.N.

Perhaps Sen. John Kerry does have an advantage after all over President Bush in understanding the complex political issues of the Middle East.

New research by Burke’s Peerage reveals that Mr. Kerry is the only presidential candidate in U.S. history who has genealogical descent from Muslims, Jews and Christians.

“Senator Kerry … is a virtual walking United Nations,” says Harold Brooks-Baker, publishing director of Burke’s.

Mr. Kerry is kinsman of the Shi’ite shahs of Persia (the most famous was Shah Abbas I, who reigned from 1587 to 1629), as well as the Muslim kings of Tunisia, all of whom — Democratic presidential nominee included — descend from the prophet Muhammad.

That dog won’t hunt

Yes, you heard correctly — an ad produced by the National Rifle Association portrays Sen. John Kerry as a sweater-wearing poodle with a pink bow. Needless to say, the NRA doesn’t buy the Democratic presidential nominee’s timely outreach to gun enthusiasts.

Light reading

Amidst their daily stack of congressional reading material, congressmen who sit on the House Republican Conference discovered colorful fliers advertising “The Dan Rather Library” — housing everything from “e-mails from Woodrow Wilson’s Blackberry” to documents on “how General McArthur’s rich father pulled strings to get him a cushy job in the Army.”

The flier contains the fingerprints of Friends of Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston, vice chairman of the GOP conference.

Pound of caviar

Thanks to our many Texas readers — including Lois McMaster of Copperas Cove and Mike Ryan of the “Peoples’ Republic of Austin (PRA)” — for sending in recipes for Texas caviar, which we pointed out yesterday, in celebration of the 2004 campaign season, can now be ordered off of the Ritz-Carlton menu.

“I saw your trepidation regarding Texas caviar. It’s actually quite good,” notes Mr. Ryan. “The general recipe contains black-eyed peas, bacon, corn, jalapenos, onions and spices. It’s served either hot or cold. There ain’t nothin’ fishy about it and it sells by the pound, not the ounce.”

Warns Texan Joan Parker: “Some of it is so hot it will either set you free or make you see things you know not of.”

Extreme protection

“This is no ordinary election year. Across our country, people are searching for security, hope and peace. The George W. Bush administration and the Republican controlled Congress have delivered unemployment, economic insecurity, inequality, fear and war. Instead of freedom and democracy, the people of our country and the world have been subjected to unilateral military aggression and curtailment of democratic rights based on lies and deceit. …

“In 2000 the Supreme Court disregarded the voters’ choice and installed George W. Bush. Now is the time for all Democratic minded people to stand united, march on ballot boxes and vote in massive numbers to defeat right-wing Republican control of the White House and Congress.”

Election Platform 2004, Communist Party USA

• Fans of this column will enjoy John McCaslin’s new book, “Inside the Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops and Shenanigans From Around the Nation’s Capital.” Mr. McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or

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