Water Cooler

WATER COOLER

The Water Cooler is written by Washington Times staffers.

  • ABC: Al Qaeda leaders behind Northwest flight 253 terror plot were released by U.S.

    By Kerry PicketPublished December 28, 2009 Comments

    Brian Ross at ABC News is reporting that two of the four leaders allegedly behind the failed terrorist attack on Northwest  flight 253 were previously released from Guantanamo Bay in 2007.: Two of the four leaders allegedly behind the al Qaeda plot to blow up a Northwest Airlines passenger jet over Detroit were released by the U.S. from the Guantanamo prison in November, 2007, according to American officials and Department of Defense documents.  It should be noted that President Obama called the terrorist suspect in custody, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, an "isolated extremist" today during a speech addressing national security concerns in the skies.

  • Homeland Security's Napalitano bashed for terrorism fail

    by Anath HartmannPublished December 28, 2009 Comments

    In the days since the failed Christmas airline bombing by a Nigerian national, bloggers from both sides of the ideological fence have come out with disapproval of the Department of Homeland Security and Janet Napolitano. Following news that 23-year-old terror suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutalla had been on a U.S. terror-suspect list since November and a U.K. watch list since last spring but had managed to procure a U.S. visa anyway, bloggers seem to be questioning the judgment of equivocation-prone DHS Secretary Napolitano. Michelle Malkin ran news of Napolitano's Sunday remarks along with a doctored picture of the politician in a red clown nose and hat. "The “system,” like Napolitano, was an epic fail," Malkin blogged Sunday.     HuffingtonPost.com ran news of the apparent about-face on its main page in bolded red font and titled it "On Second Thought...In Turnaround, Napolitano Now Says Security System Failed"  "Janet Napolitano needs to go," theblogprof wrote on Sunday. ...

  • TWT last week: Failures of the transportation security authority

    by Kerry PicketPublished December 28, 2009 Comments

    One week prior to the foiled attack on the Northwest flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, The Washington Times Opinion page published an editorial titled Terrorism Service Administration. Apparently, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano did not read it. Here's an excerpt: "The information was posted in March and removed only this month, although it is now reproduced across the Web. The document details who is exempt from secondary screenings, which foreign travelers automatically get a second screening, as well as the frequency and methods for ID verification during peak travel periods and the circumstances when airport screeners allow police, fire or emergency personnel past a checkpoint. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who oversees TSA, went so far as to tell the House Homeland Security Committee that "the security of the traveling public has never been put at risk." All right, add "Truly Specious" to the list of sobriquets that ...

  • Off the beaten path online: Report says 225,000 Haiti children work as slaves...

    by Kerry PicketPublished December 28, 2009 Comments

    Today's Water Cooler lineup of off the beaten path online stories are: Report says 225,000 Haiti children work as slaves, Gibbs passes on one last chance to make health care negotiations transparent, and why the filibuster is more essential now than ever. AP:  Report says 225,000 Haiti children work as slaves Poverty has forced at least 225,000 children in Haiti's cities into slavery as unpaid household servants, far more than previously thought, a report said Tuesday. ABC Gibbs passes on one last chance to make health care negotiations transparent Gibbs' response: "Well, Jake, first of all, let's take a step back and understand that this is a process legislatively that has played out over the course of nine months.   Real Clear Politics: Why the filibuster is more essential now than ever We can get rid of the filibuster to facilitate legislative policymaking, but we should brace ourselves for ideologically polarizing laws that will leave a ...

  • Obama defenders try to explain president's absence after failed terrorist attack

    by Kerry PicketPublished December 27, 2009 Comments

    ***UPDATED with 11/28/09 Washington Post Excerpt 11:00pm Many are asking why President Obama has not stepped in front of cameras he has become so accustomed to and personally address the nation regarding Friday's foiled attack on Northwest Flight 253 en route from Amsterdam to Detroit. Surely a president would want the nation to know what his direct thoughts are when a terrorist suspect like London-based Nigerian national Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab allegedly tries to ignite a bomb on an airplane bound for the United States. However, Mr. Obama has left all statements on the matter to those like Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, and Deputy White House Press Secretary Bill Burton. In the meantime, Mr. Obama continues his vacation in Hawaii. Immediately following the attempted terrorist attack, Mr. Burton did release a statement to the press.: “The President was notified of the incident this morning ...

  • Reid remains mum on conference committee process

    by Kerry PicketPublished December 24, 2009 Comments

    Following procedural votes regarding the constitutionality of a number of provisions in the Senate health care bill yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D - NV) avoided talking about how he plans on structuring the conference committee hearing process. Conference committee hearings are where House and Senate bills are merged and usually tend to be televised with members of both houses. The Wall Street Journal is reporting, however,  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D - CA) and Mr. Reid may do away with all of that and prefer closed door meetings to work out the differences in the bills instead.: "Conferences involving members from both houses are messy things. They are usually conducted in public and often televised, and can produce a compromise version of the bill that leaves rank-and-file members tempted to vote against the final version. That could be perilous in the case of health care since it's likely to ...

  • Donations-for-earmarks: just as corrupt as oil-for-food

    by Anath HartmannPublished December 23, 2009 Comments

    How far the corrupt have fallen -- and how shamelessly they have dragged their family members down with them. Formerly the head of PMA Group, once the ninth-largest lobbying firm in the country, Paul Magliocchetti is now at the center of a federal grand jury investigation for having quietly swapped defense earmarks for campaign donations and funneled political donations through relatives. Magliocchetti, whose now-defunct firm was raided by the FBI last November, involved nine of his family members and several business associates in an apparent donation scam in which the latter groups, at his request, donated to various Democratic candidates in their own names in exchange for hundreds of millions of dollars in allocations for PMA Group clients. Magliocchetti later reimbursed the individuals, all of whom had finances dependent on or tied directly into his. An analysis by Congressional Quarterly shows that from 2000 to 2008, Magliocchetti's former in-laws, two children, daughter-in-law, current wife, ...

  • Shuster ignores 'Aryan' insults in favor of Coburn's snowstorm wish

    by Anath HartmannPublished December 23, 2009 Comments

    This should come as no surprise considering the source, but MSNBC has once again ignored a wildly insulting Democratic temper tantrum in favor of portraying the Republican establishment as violent. MSNBC went wild Monday, a day after Rep. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) commented before the health care vote that Americans should pray one Democrat would be unable to "make the vote tonight" so the bill would not move to final passage. Shaking his head, the news channel's David Shuster said, "What on Earth was that senator thinking?", and he and a female colleague went on to boldly assert as though it were undisputed fact that Coburn had surely asked the American public to pray for the death or incapacitating, sudden illness of a Democratic member of Congress. Well, obviously. What else could Coburn possibly have meant in the middle of the worst snow storm to hit the northeast since 1880, one that ...

  • Sen. Casey abandons dad's legacy

    by Kerry PicketPublished December 23, 2009 Comments

    Senator Bob Casey Jr. (D - PA), who came to office as a pro-life Democrat in 2006 under the banner that he would continue his father's fight in pro-life causes has turned out to be pretty disappointing. When asked by the Washington Times on Tuesday what he thought his father, the late Bob Casey Sr., former governor of Pennsylvania from 1987 to 1995, would think of the abortion issue in the health care bill, he answered: "I have no way of knowing. We’re dealing with something here which is unusual and unprecedented. We’ve had year to year appropriation bills where the Hyde amendment was attached to year by year appropriation for health and human services. We’ve never had an exchange before. Never in American history have we had to face… these kinds of questions are complicated." It should be remembered that the Senator's father was the "Casey" in the notable ...

  • Off the beaten path online: Chairman Mao adorns White House Christmas tree...

    by Kerry PicketPublished December 23, 2009 Comments

    Today's Water Cooler lineup of off the beaten path online stories are: Chairman Mao Adorns White House Christmas Tree, Democrats Protect Federal Employees From Health Care Overhaul, and Ammunition Control by the Obama Administration. NewsReal: Chairman Mao Adorns White House Christmas Tree President Obama and our first lady have chosen a lovely ornament featuring China’s mass murderer, Chairman Mao, to adorn our national Christmas tree at the White House.     The Conservatives: Democrats Protect Federal Employees From Health Care Overhaul Why is the Senate 'protecting' federal employees by keeping them in their own, separate plan? Isn't the whole point to aggregate as many consumers as possible, to enhance negotiating power and better average risks across a large pool? Further, why force OPM to operate two separate, but equal plans - wouldn't it be simpler and less costly to merge the plans?.  Human Events: Ammunition Control by the Obama Administration In other words, the ...

  • Barry and his ilk are at it again

    by Anath HartmannPublished December 22, 2009 Comments

    It pays, quite literally, to be a buddy of Barry's. A recent audit found the D.C. councilman and other elected officials in the District spent fiscal 2009 doling out more than 150 earmarks, worth nearly $48 million, to organizations with such illustrious credentials as owing back taxes and not being registered to do business in Washington. Many of the groups spent the ill-gotten funds on internal salaries, other overhead and various "fringe benefits" for employees.  The investigation, undertaken by auditor Deborah Nichols, was spurred by the discovery earlier this year that Councilman Barry, D-Ward 8, had been shifting money in the direction of women with whom he was "romantically involved," according to The Examiner. This comes less than six months after D.C. Councilman David A. Catania (I-At large) called for an investigation into Barry's creative management of public funds. In June 2008, the convicted felon and four-term mayor apparently earmarked $1 million for ...

  • Off the beaten path online: Cheney named Conservative of the Year...

    by Kerry PicketPublished December 22, 2009 Comments

    Today's Water Cooler lineup of off the beaten path online stories are: Cheney named Conservative of the Year, Fort Hood Terrorist Claims His Rights Being Violated, and Sorry, Vegans: Brussels Sprouts Like to Live, Too. CNN: Cheney named Conservative of the Year He may have exited the national stage nearly one year ago, but former Vice President Dick Cheney has been named "Conservative of the Year" by the conservative Human Events magazine.     Yid With Lid: Fort Hood Terrorist Claims His Rights Being Violated Hasan who is paralyzed from the waist down as a result of being shot by police trying to prevent any further victims, is whining that the military court are are not allowing him to speak to others in Arabic, only in his native language, English.  NY Times: Sorry, Vegans: Brussels Sprouts Like to Live, Too Just because we humans can’t hear them doesn’t mean plants don’t howl. Some of ...

  • Audio: Post floor speech interview with Sen. Whitehouse

    by Kerry PicketPublished December 21, 2009 Comments

      "They are desperate to break this president. They have ardent supporters who are nearly hysterical at the very election of President Barack Obama. The birthers, the fanatics, the people running around in right-wing militia and Aryan support groups, it is unbearable to them that President Barack Obama should exist. That is one powerful reason. It is not the only one." - Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D - R.I.) 12/20/09 floor remarks “Let's Look At What Current Observers Are Saying As A Possible Early Indicator Of The Judgment History Will Inflict. Recently, The Editor Of The Manchester Journal Inquirer Editorial Page Wrote Of The  Current G.O.P. Which He Called ‘This Once Great And Now Mostly Shameful Party,’ That ‘It Has Gone Crazy, Is More And More Dominated By The Lunatic Fringe And Has Poisoned Itself With Hate.’ He Concluded, ‘They No Longer Want To Govern. They Want To Emote.’ A Well Regarded Philadelphia Columnist Recently Wrote ...

  • If you don't want to die in New York City, make sure it's not lunchtime

    by Anath HartmannPublished December 21, 2009 Comments

    Here's a good use of New York taxpayer dollars: salaries for EMTs who only save lives when they aren't eating. While lunching at a Brooklyn, NY, Au Bon Pain Dec. 9, two of New York City's finest were asked for medical asistance for pregnant cafe worker Eutisha Revee Rennix, 25, who was complaining of stomach pains and shortness of breath. Did they drop their baguettes and rush to the woman's aid? Nope. Just as helpfully, the two medics advised the other Au Bon Pain employees to call 911 because they were not on the clock and thus couldn't help. "I remember them saying they couldn't do anything because they were on their break," a witness said, according to globalgrind.com. Accordng to a union representative, there is no such thing as a responsibility-free break during which citizens are either not allowed to need medical aid or EMTs are not required to aid them. Medics ...

  • Nelson: Full funded Medicaid for every state or none at all

    by Kerry PicketPublished December 21, 2009 Comments

    *Updated with more transcript - 1/27/10 Democrats voted early this morning in the Senate on the initial series of cloture votes with the goal of passing the Senate's health care bill by Christmas. Following the 1:30 A.M. vote, Sen. Ben Nelson (D - NE) emerged from the floor and spoke to reporters about the bill as well as the controversy surrounding the deal Senator Nelson acquired for Nebraska for full federal funding of Medicaid in perpetuity. The Washington Times asked the Senator if he thought the other states should get the same Medicaid deal that Nebraska received. "Of course.  As a matter of fact, I said it needs to be fixed. They chose to fix it this way," he said.  "I expect because of the length of time, before that ever becomes effective, that the other states will be asking either for full support like Nebraska has achieved right now ...

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