The Washington Times - October 26, 2009, 07:51AM

Today’s Water Cooler lineup of off the beaten path online stories are: Bob McDonnell kept his conservative values and victory in Virginia is looking better than ever, Think tanks are bigger power players in Washington, and the “hate” industry like the Southern Poverty Law Center have become the judges of what is evil in our culture.

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McDonnell’s stances and his background seem to make him the ideal candidate for a new-age Obama-style Democrat to rout, particularly in state that’s been trending blue, and in which Republicans have not won a statewide race in years.

In the last few months, we have seen shifts in the balance of power in Washington. Thinks tanks, such as the Center for American Progress, have become even more  powerful than in the past with the advent of Barack Obama as president.

The term “social engineering” never fit an entity better than it does the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). This intrusive, tenacious organization has spent years attempting to recast and transform American society to fit its own peculiar ideals.