WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In the Marine Corps, we called them fitness
reports. In the private sector, they're annual reviews. Even Santa keeps a
list of whose been "naughty or nice." Whatever you want to call them, here's
how my radio audience rated the best and worst performances on the banks of
the Potomac in 2002.
1. President George W. Bush. He continues to lead the war
against terror; sallied into the toothless U.N. and demanded enforcement of
resolutions on Iraq; made history in the midterm elections; and is cleaning
up corporate America. Last week he led by example, getting a Smallpox
inoculation. What's the encore?
2. The Men and Women of Our Armed Forces. From the soldiers,
sailors, airmen and Marines risking their lives in the war on terror to
reservists spending the Christmas holidays away from home -- America loves
3. The Men and Women of Law Enforcement. Attorney General John
Ashcroft has federal, state and local law enforcement officials working
together. The Beltway Snipers case showed police cooperation at its best. A
salute to those who wear badges.
4. Pennsylvania Miners and their Saviors. For 77 hours, rescuers
struggled around the clock to free nine coal miners trapped beneath the
earth in Somerset County. When they succeeded, some called it "a miracle."
5. Don Rumsfeld. He's masterfully directing the war against
terror and simultaneously reforming the procurement process. The SecDef's
press briefings are the hottest ticket in town. His performances make Leno
and Letterman look like amateurs.
6. Long-shot Conservatives. Few gave them a chance, but they
fought and won: Minnesota's Sen.-elect Norm Coleman; Maryland's Gov.-elect
Robert Ehrlich; Massachusetts Gov.-elect Mitt Romney; and Georgia's
Gov.-elect Sonny Perdue. No "cold and timid souls," these.
7. (Some) Hollywood filmmakers. "Black Hawk Down" and "We Were
Soldiers" are the best depictions of the horrors and heroes in war since
John Wayne roamed Tinsletown. Oliver Stone, eat your America-bashing,
propaganda-pumping heart out.
8. The Fox News Channel. I'd say it even if I didn't work for
them. Fair and balanced reporting is in, liberal bias in the media is out.
Dan Rather, call your agent.
9. Prime Minister Tony Blair. Kudos to the British PM for
standing up to Euro-leftists and peaceniks in his own Labor Party. He's
helped preserve the special Anglo-American relationship that has promoted
peace and stability in the world for over a century. God save the Queen.
10. Augusta National. Hootie and the Boys stood up to the
combined assault of the feminist lobby and The New York Times to save an
endangered species: their all-male club. You gotta admire anyone who tells
The New York Times to shove their opinions ..." Well, you get the point.
1.The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. By ruling that the
words "under God" in our Pledge of Allegiance are unconstitutional, it
showed why this court has the dubious distinction of being reversed more
often than any other. Time for the Senate to act on those judicial
2.The U.N. From the America-bashing by U.N. Secretary General
Kofi Annan to the "Earth Summit" in Johannesburg, South Africa, where they
jeered U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and cheered Zimbabwe dictator
Robert Mugabe, this outfit has worn out its welcome.
3. Hollywood's Clueless. Jessica Lange says "it's an
embarrassing time to be an American." Woody Harrelson insists America is
waging "a racist and imperialist war" against Iraq. Sean Penn flew to
Baghdad on a private peace mission. Barbra Streisand babbles incoherently
about how we're to blame for the ills of the world. Is there a new "Oscar"
for "Best America Basher"?
4. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. His virulent
anti-American rhetoric and the vicious personal attacks his ministers have
made on President Bush have earned this guy his own personal "Oscar." See
No. 3, above.
5. Jimmy Carter's Diplomacy. He denounces the United States in
Cuba and gets the Nobel Peace Prize for keeping the North Koreans from
building nuclear weapons. Stick to building houses, Mr. Carter.
6. Sen. Patty Murray. She tells high-school students that we're
attacked by terrorists because Osama bin Laden has "built schools, roads and
even day-care facilities" and that, "We haven't done that." How stupid are
U.S. senators allowed to be?
7. Minnesota Democrats. Even Gov. Jesse Ventura, who used to
earn a living wearing tights in a steel cage, was embarrassed by the
political pep rally/funeral for Sen. Paul Wellstone. Does the new campaign
finance law cover funerals?
8. U.N. Weapons Inspectors. From the double-dealing Scott Ritter
to the S&M sex aficionados working for the Inspector Cleuseau of weapons
inspectors, Hans Blix, this is the gang that can't shoot straight, talk
straight or see straight. Replace 'em all with French Figure Skating judges.
9. Former VEEP Al Gore and Sen. Tom Daschle. Dumb and Dumber
insist they're victims of "conservative media bias" in America. Their axis
of evil: Fox News, The Wall Street Journal and talk radio. Lay off the
10. William "The Zipper" Clinton. On CNN, he denounced the GOP
as racist by claiming Republicans, "... try to suppress black voting, they
ran on the Confederate flag in Georgia and South Carolina. ..." Apparently,
the zipper on his lip doesn't work any better than the one on his pants.