Pope's Left Turn

John McCaslin

4/11/2008 10:34:58 AM - John McCaslin

We're just days away from the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI, whose busy schedule includes a conversation with President Bush and celebrating both Mass and his 81st birthday.

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, Michigan Republican, says he's been hearing too many "inane questions" about how the pope will be received by the American people. He counters that Americans of every faith understand the pope's role and the purpose of his visit, especially during these "trying times."

"You know, I remember back when I was growing up there was a movie," he says, "called 'A Hard Day's Night.' This was at the height of Beatlemania, and the Beatles had obviously been wildly popular and well-received when they first hit our shores. And yet in the movie, there is a scene where a reporter, seemingly unaware of this, asked John Lennon a question.

"And the question was this: 'How did you find America?'

"And Lennon said, 'I turned left at Greenland.' "

Radio platforms

That was former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney guest-hosting yesterday for radio legend Paul Harvey, whose broadcasts are heard locally on NewsTalk 630 WMAL.

"You know, Ronald Reagan did a radio show after losing the nomination to Gerald Ford," WMAL president and general manager Chris Berry reminds Inside the Beltway.

Indeed, between his 1975 campaign against Mr. Ford and his victory over President Jimmy Carter in 1980, Mr. Reagan delivered more than 1,000 three-minute radio broadcasts, most of which he wrote himself.

As for Mr. Romney's on-air talent?

"Governor Romney is a natural, and I think he did a terrific job filling in for Paul," Mr. Berry says. "His delivery of the news was very easygoing and polished, and based on what I'm hearing, he really connected with our audience."

Lost and found

Good news from the U.S. Postal Service: After two weeks of being lost in the registered mail, the cremated remains of Thomas R. DeKay have been found, but not before his internment with U.S. military honors was postponed last Friday at Quantico National Cemetery.

"As most of you know, Thom did one last tour and did not make it to his memorial service on April 4," his widow Jane DeKay wrote to family friends yesterday. "Evidently, he was too much of a challenge for the Postal Service because he stayed in Dallas for over a week ... He is now safely in Virginia and will be interred at Quantico on May 9."

We reported Monday about the missing remains of the 61-year-old former Nixon White House official, who later became a Catholic priest in the Arlington Diocese and chaplain in the Navy before retiring recently as an environmental analyst in Washington.

Mourners arriving for last Friday's service at the Miller Funeral Home in Woodbridge, Va., were informed by Mr. DeKay's distraught widow that the remains were sent to Virginia by an Austin, Texas, funeral home via USPS registered mail, which is standard procedure. But the ashes didn't arrive for two weeks, and by then, as the old saying goes, Mr. DeKay was late for his own funeral.

Wrecks everywhere

Washington pundit and talk-show host Bill Press has never been one to hide his liberal leanings, and the title of his new book continues that tradition: "Trainwreck: The End of the Conservative Revolution (and Not a Moment Too Soon)."

Mr. Press will be reading from his book tomorrow at 6 p.m. at Politics & Prose on Connecticut Avenue Northwest. Maybe he'll mention the "train wreck" that at least one leading Democrat warns is headed in the direction of the Democratic Party.

Shades or mittens?

First, we are told yesterday that several U.S. governors will convene next Friday on the campus of Yale University to review programs to combat climate change and hear remarks on "global warming" from California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Then we are sent a lead paragraph from this week's Bellingham (Wash.) Herald newspaper: "Fluctuations in solar radiation could mean colder weather in the decades ahead, despite all the talk about global warming, retired Western Washington University geologist Don Easterbrook said Tuesday. Mr. Easterbrook is convinced that the threat of global warming from mankind's carbon dioxide pollution is overblown."