Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton won't be reading her own long-awaited memoir, so she might as well pick up the just-released book of a former White House colleague.
A retired FBI agent and now president of the Patrick Henry Center for Individual Liberty, Gary Aldrich previously took readers into the myriad nooks and crannies of the Clinton White House with his No. 1 best seller, "Unlimited Access: An FBI Agent in the Clinton White House."
His new book, "Thunder on the Left: An Insider's Report on the Hijacking of the Democratic Party" (Allegiance Press, $25.95), caps a five-year investigation in which Aldrich reveals how the "hard left," led by Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota, worships everything from political correctness to big government.
And, adds the author, when people dare call left-handed politics by its real name, centrist Republicans often come to their defense, saying those on the left are merely patriots with other opinions.
"Nonsense," Aldrich writes. "For too long, the soft-hearted right has been far too polite. We need to expose the hard left for the dangerous threat they represent."
Which is? "Gutter tactics," he says, "including a 'nanny state' mentality: The hard left sees a need to regulate everything from SUVs to cell phone use by drivers."
He also says the left is responsible for turning the media into a massive "entertainment machine," designed to slant the news and move the culture ever leftward. That's why the former G-man labels today's journalism "Big Entertainment."
MAKE YOURSELF AT HOME
It's not likely to happen, but a Colorado congressman and outspoken watchdog of illegal immigration in this country wants President Bush to tell his friends south of the border that our two governments are not one and the same.
Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo says several foreign governments are now distributing identification cards to their nationals living illegally in the United States.
"Some of these governments - specifically, one of them, Mexico - has taken this one step further and decided to begin to use their consular offices here to lobby state and local governments in the United States to get them to accept these cards, thereby aiding and abetting people living in this country illegally," he says, labeling the lobbying outrageous.
"If the United States had asked its consular offices in Mexico or any other country to undertake such a practice, there would be a storm of protest, and rightly so. Consular offices would be closed; officials would be recalled. It would be appropriate for governments to respond that way."
"Our government has not said a word about this," the congressman adds, calling on Bush to issue a "formal protest to the government of Mexico for this egregious, outrageous behavior, and it is time for this government to take control of its own immigration policy."
Arlington (Va.) Catholic Bishop Paul S. Loverde is blasting Catholic lawmakers on Capitol Hill, including Rep. James P. Moran (D-Va.) for opposing a bill approved by Congress last week to ban partial-birth abortions.
"Catholics in public office cannot claim to be faithful Catholics while at the same time voting on measures which directly attack innocent human life," Bishop Loverde tells this column, saying the partial-birth abortion procedure is "truly barbaric and, basically, is a form of infanticide."
"Such Catholics should come to the conclusion that their vote is incompatible with their baptismal commitment. I would be more than willing to discuss with them the church's teaching on this critical issue of upholding life at its very beginning."
Many Catholic lawmakers reside and attend church in the Arlington diocese, and Bishop Loverde says he is "grateful to and proud of those Catholics serving in both the House and the Senate who have followed the natural law and God's law regarding human life by their vote to ban the heinous procedure of partial-birth abortion."
But he says he is "more than disappointed and, indeed, profoundly saddened by those Catholics in both the House and the Senate, who ignored the natural law and God's law regarding human life. I plead with them to weigh the decisions they make regarding the life issues in light of both the natural law and God's law."
A total of 133 Democrats, five Republicans and the House's lone independent, several of them Catholics, voted against the ban June 4, including Moran, who had previously opposed partial-birth abortion, then suddenly flip-flopped.
Moran said last week that while "I have voted for the ban on partial-birth abortion at every other point when it has come up ... I am changing my vote, and I could suggest it is for legalistic, intellectual reasons.
"But my decision is not coming from the mind as much as the heart," he said, explaining that Uncle Sam has no right to "barge into (a couple's) bedroom, to sit down at their kitchen table and put our hands on our hips and preach to them what they should do."
CHURCHILL AT CHURCHILL
Not by mere happenstance was Winston Churchill's granddaughter, Celia Sandys, the keynote speaker at last week's graduation of the Winston Churchill High School Class of 2003.
It began last summer. Washington lawyer Courtenay Ellis had moved from Annapolis to Potomac, Md., to be near the town's Churchill High School.
Having grown up as a Brit and being former president of the British-American Business Association, Ellis figured that Churchill would be the right high school for his children.
"How could you go wrong with a school named Churchill?" he tells this column.
Ellis verified his research by attending the 2002 rededication of Churchill High School after a total renovation. Totally impressed by the school and the student ambassadors he met, Ellis approached school principal Joan Benz.
"This school is amazing," he told her. "Winston Churchill would have loved it. Have any Churchills been here?"
From this beginning, the two took the Bulldog by the ears and made it happen. Ellis tracked down Sandys, who agreed to speak.
The lawyer then went to work bulldogging blue-ribbon sponsors to bring a Churchill to Churchill. Besides his own international law firm, Murphy Ellis Weber in Washington, he landed British Airways, Rolls-Royce, BSi Management Systems, and Sea Containers/Orient-Express.
The sponsors were symbolic. Winston Churchill often flew on BOAC, the predecessor to British Airways; he traveled in World War II on military aircraft powered by the legendary Rolls-Royce Merlin engines; he was taken to his rest in the Pullman car of the Orient Express. BSi wrote more than 400 war-emergency standards, saving materials and contributing mightily to Churchill's war-production effort.
Sandys tied everything together with her new book, "We Shall Not Fail: The Inspiring Leadership of Winston Churchill" (Portfolio). Before he knew it, Ellis was on stage at Constitution Hall with Churchill's granddaughter, Montgomery County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jerry Weast and a host of dignitaries.
Sandys presented autographed copies of her book to the class valedictorians, and began her speech: "I grew up with the great British Bulldog so it is for me a special pleasure to be in the company of fellow Bulldogs." In closing, she said: "I will end with my grandfather's advice to the boys at Harrow when he visited his old school just after it had been bombed in World War II: Never give in! Never give in! Never, Never, Never - in nothing great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense."
WIZARD OF RESEARCH
He's one of the least well-known, yet most revered men in Washington.
On Tuesday (June 10), 82-year-old John E. Taylor, longtime historian of the National Archives (we're talking nearly 60 years), was presented with a "lifetime achievement" award by the Scone Foundation, set up by New York scholar-philanthropist-lawyer Stanley Cohen to honor unrecognized professionals of importance.
Former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey was to be on hand, as well as Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Caro, who spoke on "Archives and the Historians' Craft." Also attending: Richard Baker, historian of the Senate, and authors Richard Reeves and David Kahn ("The Codebreakers").
"He's like a magician pulling a rabbit from a hat," said Kahn, who noted that Taylor was able to retrieve "amazingly useful documents from the immensities of the archives (that) makes all of us writers look like wizards of research."
Taylor has been a lifeline to numerous investigative authors and reporters, especially pertaining to declassified material, intelligence and warfare. One writer was so impressed he made him a minor character in his 1979 novel.
Taylor, who could have retired 27 years ago, graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1945. He began working at the archives that Sept. 5, and hasn't found time since to stop.