Wednesday, September 14, 2005

What's blowing through the AC vents in DC?

Last Thursday, David Almasi, director of the black conservative organization Project 21, answered a phone call from a woman who asked for him. Almasi told Culture and Cosmos that although the woman never identified herself she took on a tone of great familiarity and was, according to Almasi, "acting like she was my best fiend." She asked which organization had the briefing book on Roberts and how she could obtain it. "That automatically made me wary. And I said 'Look no one has it. As far as I know no one has done it.' And then for good measure I said 'I know People for the American Way have a nice big old report on John Roberts. I don't know of anyone on our side that has something similar.'"

Following the call, Almasi used the star 69 feature on his phone to find out the call's origin. It turns out the call came from the offices of the Religion Action Center of Reformed Judaism, a liberal religious lobbying organization. Alexis Rice, the organization's communications director, was evasive when asked by Culture and Cosmos to comment on the episode. Rice said she was unaware of any such call and suggested that it could have come from someone not associated with the organization because outside organizations hold meetings there. Rice said that the Religious Action Center has not come out for or against the Roberts' nomination and that perhaps someone from the Center was trying to gather more information on the nominee. Rice did say that if it was someone from the Religion Action Center they should identify themselves.

Even more bizarre, last Wednesday night Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz told Air America Radio that during his college days "a few years after the Second World War" that recently deceased Chief Justice William and his friends, "would wear brown shirts and parade in front of Encino Hall – one of the halls in which a small number of Jewish students lived." Dershowitz claimed that Rehnquist and companions did "the heil Hitler salute, and goosed-stepping and singing German songs…" Dershowitz offered no proof of this wild story but said he "confirmed it" in 1971 with a number of Jewish students who had been in the dorms.

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