John McCaslin

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, CNSNews.com'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.

PASS THE KETCHUP

"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.

NO TAKERS

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.


John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on Townhall.com and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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