Bigger fish to fry

John McCaslin
Posted: Jul 29, 2004 12:00 AM

Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean can't comment on all the convention fussing and fighting surrounding left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore's anti-President Bush film "Fahrenheit 9/11."

Top party leaders, in fact, kept their distance from the movie and its producer during this week's Democratic National Convention, reports Marc Morano,'s senior staff writer.

"I have not seen the movie, so I can't comment on it," Dean said.

When pressed for his reaction to Moore's harshly critical statements about Bush, Dean replied: "To be honest with you, I am not sure what that is, either. I haven't paid that much attention."

Others apparently want Moore permanently out of the picture, so to speak, or as CNN anchor Bill Hemmer told the filmmaker during an interview this week: "I've heard people say they wish Michael Moore were dead."

The New Republic reported that a visibly angry Moore later confronted the popular CNN anchor on the convention floor and spouted: "'Some people want you dead? Some people want you dead,' Bill? Why would you say that on live TV? Would you say that to (George) Bush or (John) Kerry?"

Before the anchor could respond, Moore stormed off, saying Hemmer and others in the news business are responsible for U.S. casualties in Iraq because they aren't doing their jobs.


"It is unfortunate that you instinctively assume the investigation into the Berger matter has anything to do with Sandy Berger 'the Democrat.' The fact is, I don't care if it's Sandy Berger or Warren Burger or Veggie Burger who walked off with 'code word' documents. It's the walking off - the consequences of it, the fact that it could happen - that concerns the committee."

- Rep. Thomas M. Davis III, Virginia Republican and chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, responding to a letter from Rep. Henry A. Waxman, California Democrat and the committee's ranking member, who suspects that politics is behind an investigation of former Clinton National Security Adviser Samuel R. Berger's apparent theft of sensitive documents from the National Archives.


Leaders of the Democratic Party have charged repeatedly that federal education-reform initiatives such as President Bush's No Child Left Behind Act are "underfunded."

Well, says Rep. John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican and chairman of the Education and the Workforce Committee, get a load of these apples.

The chairman has produced new Education Department figures showing that states have access to more than $16 billion in "unspent" federal education funds - including more than a half-billion dollars appropriated during President Clinton's administration.


Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne, were in Casper, Wyo., to attend their 45th high-school reunion.

The vice president said he had to laugh when a former classmate walked up to him and said, "Gee, whatever happened to you, Cheney?"


Congress is moving closer to approving Maryland and Constitution avenues NE as site of the Victims of Communism Memorial to remember a death toll from Berlin to Beijing, Hanoi to Havana, that was greater than all of the wars of the 20th century combined.

The memorial will feature a replica of the Goddess of Democracy statue, as well as an eternal flame and bronze panels with quotes from heroes of the Cold War.

The proposed site, recommended by the National Park Service and part of the master plan for memorials in Washington, is one block from the U.S. Capitol and would be directly across the street from the Veterans of Foreign Wars headquarters, whose members fought against communism on several fronts.


The Council on American-Islamic Relations is calling on the nation's largest radio network to apologize for remarks by comedian Jackie Mason, who they said labeled the Muslim religion a "murderous organization" that teaches "hate, terrorism and murder."

Seeing fit to add that Mr. Mason is also "pro-Israel," the council says he voiced his opinion while a guest host of Jim Bohannon's show, syndicated nationally by Westwood One.


Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has hired himself a public-relations firm.

"$1.2 million is a very big number for government work, especially for a two-person firm," Kevin McCauley, editor of, tells The Beltway Beat.

Having recently abandoned its weapons of mass destruction program in favor of better ties with the United States, Libya has given Fahmy Hudome International (FHI) a $1.2 million one-year pact to improve the nascent diplomatic relationship, McCauley reveals.

"Randa Fahmy Hudome, who served as associate deputy secretary of energy in the current Bush White House, heads FHI," he says. "Hudome will approach U.S. government officials, think tanks, 'influentials,' nongovernmental organizations on behalf of Col. Moammar Gadhafi's regime."


He was known for a manner imperious,
With pretensions that now seem delirious,
For a man in the habit
Of a powder-blue rabbit
Can't expect to be taken too serious.

- F.R. Duplantier


"We've been looking forward to spending some time this morning - at ease. Please, everybody, you can sit down."

- Deputy Commander in Chief and Vice President Dick Cheney, rallying around U.S. Marines at Camp Pendleton in California this week.


Democrats are taking more than verbal aim at Republicans during the Democratic National Convention in Boston.

Take Sen. Jon Corzine of New Jersey.

Jody Franklin, who was Hillary Rodham Clinton's chief of staff during the 1992 presidential campaign, says she was in the audience when Corzine addressed a union breakfast coinciding with the convention. Surrounding him were artfully placed full-size cutouts of President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.

"After his remarks, Senator Corzine was offered a few bean bags," she reveals. "Without missing a beat, he threw a pitch, hit Cheney on the chin and knocked him over to a cheering crowd."


The number of Muslim delegates from across America who have come to Boston to have their say during the Democratic National Convention and express their support for John Kerry's campaign: 40.

Shahid Khan, national finance co-chairman of the John Kerry for President Committee, says the aim of the delegates is to "mobilize American Muslims in the community and show our support to the Democratic Party."


Out to define what has the potential of being an important voting bloc in the 2004 presidential election (that is, if they come out to vote), 18- to 24-year-olds across the United States have chosen the term "Wired Networkers."

Register and Vote 2004 held a nonpartisan contest for name ideas, then conducted a poll to empower young adults to define their voting segment. Wired Networkers won with 46 percent of the vote, beating the Go-Gos and the Detached Connectors.


People from around the world who hope to permanently reside in the United States can now learn whether they're winners in Uncle Sam's "2005 Diversity Lottery."

Conducted under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the lottery every year makes available 50,000 permanent resident visas to people from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.

"Approximately 100,000 applicants have been registered and notified and may now make an application for an immigrant visa," the State Department says.

Applicants for the 2005 lottery were selected at random from more than 9.5 million qualified entries received during the 60-day application period that ran from Nov. 1 to Dec. 30, 2003. The visas have been apportioned among six geographic regions, with a maximum of 7 percent available to people born in any single country.

During the visa interview, applicants must provide proof of a high-school education or its equivalent or show two years of work experience in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience.

Registration dates for the 2006 lottery will be widely publicized next month.