Entirely New Deal

John McCaslin

4/4/2008 9:44:26 AM - John McCaslin

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the two Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill, have been chosen to receive the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Distinguished Public Service Award at a Washington gala on Wednesday celebrating the 75th anniversary of the New Deal.

The New Deal was launched during FDR's first 100 days in office, when Congress passed 15 major pieces of legislation to meet the crisis of the Great Depression.

Readers will recall that Mrs. Pelosi widely touted her first "100 hours," but not so much her first "100 days" in power. Once the latter milestone was reached, 70 percent of Americans contacted in one survey could not identify anything significant the 110th Congress had accomplished.

Pheasant stew

Now that he is no longer seeking the White House, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has agreed to be keynote speaker for this summer's Shooting Sports Summit in Colorado Springs.

An avid outdoorsman, Mr. Huckabee ingratiated himself with Iowans the day after Christmas when he grabbed a 12-gauge shotgun and went pheasant hunting. He bagged not only a bird but also eventually 35 percent of the state's caucus votes — easily beating the rest of the Republican field, including the presumptive nominee John McCain. He finished fourth with 13 percent of the Jan. 3 vote.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who came in second in Iowa, tried telling voters that he, too, was a lifelong hunter, although he acknowledged later that he had hunted only a few times and did not own a gun.

The June 23-25 summit is sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

Sticklers

In Wednesday's column, we had Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican, criticizing the majority of college freshmen and seniors who didn't know "that Yorktown brought the Revolutionary War to an end."

Indeed, most historians will tell you that the Battle of Yorktown, when Lord Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington, effectively ended the Revolutionary War.

Still, Mary Mostert, author of "A Hunger for Liberty Leads to the Declaration of Independence," now writes to Inside the Beltway to say that "there were still 30,000 British troops in America after Cornwallis' surrender" in 1781.

"The Revolutionary War did not end until the Paris Peace Treaty was signed in April of 1783," she says. "George Washington declared the war over on April 19, 1783."

Meanwhile, in the very last paragraph of yesterday's column, we had quoted former Vice President Walter Mondale as acknowledging that Jimmy Carter's administration was "criticized for many things," however "we told the truth, obeyed the law and kept the peace."

To which Olin Raymond Miers of Laurel adds: "Oh yeah, and gave away the Panama Canal."

Fallout shelter

Security personnel guarding the nation's nuclear power plants hopefully won't be sleeping on the job in light of a new rule enacted by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that limits collective work-hour averages to 48 hours per person per week.

Reacts Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project On Government Oversight: "It is critically important that those who are guarding the nation's nuclear plants will now be fulfilling their mission without being exhausted."