Water Cooler

WATER COOLER

The Water Cooler is written by Washington Times staffers.

  • Local news blogging: S.C. governor charged for violating ethics.

    By Anthony BowePublished November 24, 2009 Comments

    Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina is facing 37 counts of ethics violations from the state's ethics committee for using state money to fund personal trips and purchase flight upgrades. From The New York Times: "The charges include spending state money on business-class plane tickets, instead of flying coach; using state aircraft to attend political and personal events, like the birthday party of a campaign donor; and using his campaign fund for noncampaign expenses, like a ticket to President Obama’s inauguration. "The list, citing incidents from September 2005 to April 2009, provides the first details of the accusations that the Ethics Commission will pursue after a wide-ranging review of Mr. Sanford’s travel and financial records. The commission’s nine members are appointed by the governor." In June, Gov. Sanford found himself the punch line in late night talk show banter, after he took an unannounced week long trip to Argentina unbeknownst ...

  • Video: 9/11 defense attorney will not call '01 attacks 'murder'

    by Kerry PicketPublished November 24, 2009 Comments

    Scott Fenstermaker, attorney for a terrorist suspect in the 9/11 trial joined Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly last night.  When O'Reilly asked Fenstermaker if the attacks of September 11th was an act of murder, the defense attorney refused to answer. Check out the video below:    

  • Off the beaten path online: Seven big lies about the stimulus...

    by Kerry PicketPublished November 24, 2009 Comments

    Today's Water Cooler lineup of off the beaten path online stories are: The seven big lies about the stimulus are revealed, Olbermann whines about media coverage of Glenn Beck, and the University of Minnesota makes educators pledge their political allegiance. National Review: Seven Big Lies about the Stimulus David Freddoso and Mark Hemingway of the Washington Examiner put the number of phony jobs at about 75,000. They found more than 100 separate incidents, but these incidents can be grouped into seven categories, representing the seven biggest lies the administration is telling you about the stimulus NewsBusters:Olbermann Complains Media Focused on Beck Instead of His Astroturf Health Care Clinic Olbermann, on his Nov. 23 broadcast, didn't stray from his usual shtick of character assaults and name-calling for his "Worst Person in the World" segment. But he did hint his feelings were hurt after he named Fox News host Glenn Beck the third place recipient in ...

  • Local news blogging: Catholic Church vs. Rep. Patrick Kennedy

    by Anthony BowePublished November 23, 2009 Comments

    An ongoing ideological battle between the nation’s Roman Catholic Church and Representative Patrick Kennedy, D-RI, continues to push national headlines. The latest flare up occurred Sunday when Rep. Kennedy announced Providence Bishop Thomas J. Tobin told him “not to take communion and said that he has instructed the diocesan priests not to give me communion.”  The feud between Bishop Thomas J. Tobin and Kennedy centers around the Representative’s stance on abortion and its placement in healthcare reform legislation.  Kennedy is the son of the late Ted Kennedy. From The New York Times: “The announcement by Mr. Kennedy, a Democrat in his eighth term, is the most recent escalation in an unusually personal dispute between the men that became public after Mr. Kennedy criticized the nation’s Roman Catholic bishops for threatening to oppose an overhaul of the health care system unless it tightened restrictions on publicly-financed abortion.” Since Rep. Kennedy’s initial ...

  • Off the beaten path online: The SEIU threatens home health care workers in Fresno...

    by Kerry PicketPublished November 23, 2009 Comments

    Today's Water Cooler lineup of off the beaten path online stories are: The SEIU threaten home health workers in Fresno, the Colorado GOP creates their own "Contract for America", and Saturday Night Live mocks Obama agin this week. The Hot Joints: Video: Home Health Workers In Fresno Threatened By SEIU Thugs The gangsters in the SEIU are at it again! This time in Fresno, CA where they were determined to “represent” home health workers. The Conservatives:Colorado GOP Offers Voters a Contract How closely will the 2010 elections resemble those of 1994? The Colorado GOP has not only united behind one gubernatorial candidate (against expectation), but GOP candidates are endorsing a 'Contract For Colorado.  Powerline Blog: If Obama's Lost Saturday Night Live, He's Lost... Still, the fact that Obama's actual policies (not his failure to be a liberal messiah) were lampooned in this vulgar, sometimes-funny skit on SNL last night does seem ...

  • Local news blogging: Three Dems sit on shaking fence.

    by Anthony BowePublished November 20, 2009 Comments

    The healthcare showdown in the Senate starts Saturday.  Floor debate on the bill will not open unless Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid can get all 58 Democrats and two Independents to vote to allow debate to begin on Saturday. Three Democrats have been on the fence about allowing the debate to begin.  However Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson stated he will vote in favor of debate on Saturday.  Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas and Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana have yet to publicly commit. Sen. Reid may harken back to lessons learned from Senate majority leaders past in persuading colleagues.  Local bloggers from states with Senators sitting on or near the fence offer comment: BEN NELSON, NEBRASKA Leavenworth Street: Ben Nelson vs. Mike JohannsNote: This post includes several videos and updates on the Nelson decision. “Sen. Reid is now saying that HE WON'T use reconciliation if cloture is not invoked. So...will ...

  • Pence: Obama in China to visit our money

    by Kerry PicketPublished November 20, 2009 Comments

    The American Spectator held its annual Robert L. Bartley dinner last night at the Capitol Hilton in Washington, DC. The dinner included speeches from the Spectator’s President Alfred S. Regnery, it’s Editor-in-Chief R. Emmet Tyrell, and Republican Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana. Pence rallied the crowd with a thoughtful address about the need to preserve the ideals of the American Revolution.: “According to our second President, the real American Revolution was a revolution of self reliance and independence, casting off dependency on the crown, in the hearts and minds of the American people. It was a rejection of the spirit of dependence in favor of a society of free and independent people. “As Thomas Sowell wrote, ‘What the American Revolution did was give the common man a voice, a veto, elbow room, and a refuge from the rampaging presumptions of his “betters.”’ And, I submit, it is that revolution of ...

  • Off the beaten path online: Jesse Jackson says black men can't vote against healthcare...

    by Kerry PicketPublished November 20, 2009 Comments

    Today's Water Cooler lineup of off the beaten path online stories are: Jesse Jackson says black men 'can't vote against health care,  Reid's health care plan could leave 24 million people uninsured in 2019, and fuzzy math is being used in the Senate health care bill. NewsBusters: Jesse Jackson Says Black Men Can't Vote Against Healthcare', Media Mostly Mum If a prominent white man said all white men in Congress should vote for or against a pending piece of legislation, what do you think the media firestorm would be like? American Thinker: All that health care reform money - for nothing According to reports, Reid's plan would leave 24 million people uninsured in 2019. That is approximately the same number of people that some studies show who are currently uninsured because they can't afford health insurance.  NY Post: Another set of cooked books Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is touting the Senate's ...

  • Local news blogging: NYC terror trials

    by Anthony BowePublished November 19, 2009 Comments

    Attorney General Eric Holder's announcement last week that New York City will host the terror trials for suspected 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and 4 suspected co-conspiritors has ignited furious debate across the political spectrum.  Democrats overwhelmingly support the decision, with the exception of one embattled local governor, but Republicans say the trial would grant the wishes of Mohammed and put the city's security at risk. For law junkies, this is shaping up to be the perfect storm/circus. New York bloggers comment: Gothamist: Polls: Americans, But Not NYers, Oppose 9/11 Trials in NY. "While the majority of Americans aren't happy with the plan to try Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other suspected terrorists in New York City, more New Yorkers support the plan than oppose it, according to two new studies." Gawker: Rudy Guiliani Argues with Himself on The Daily Show. “Ah, the old politician-debating-himself bit. Kills every time.” Gothamist: ...

  • House GOP launches transparency initiative

    by Kerry PicketPublished November 19, 2009 Comments

    The House GOP transparency initiative launched recently and is composed of the following five House Resolutions.: READ THE BILL:(H. Res. 554 Rep. John Culberson, R-TX & Brian Baird, D - WA;  Discharge Petition ) Puts all bills online fro at least 72 hours before they come to a vote. BAN "PHANTOM AMENDMENTS": (H. Res 835, Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-KS) Require committees to post bill text online within 24 hours of adoption. SHOW THE VOTES: (H. Res 874, Rep. Dave Reichert, R - WA) Post members' committee votes online within 48 hours. OPEN HEALTH CARE NEGOTIATIONS TO THE PUBLIC: (H. Res 847, Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-FL) Prevent secret deals behind closed doors and ensure a full and open debate. BRING SUNLIGHT TO THE RULES COMMITTEE: (H. Res 869, Rep. Charlie Dent, R - PA) Allow cameras in the secretive Rules Committee, which decides which bills come to a vote. Rep. Dent ...

  • Video: Riots at UCLA over tuition hike

    by Kerry PicketPublished November 19, 2009 Comments

    Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) expressed concern in September that right wing anger over the political environment would morph into violence in the streets. "I saw this, myself, in the late '70s in San Francisco," she said. This kind of rhetoric was very frightening, and it created a climate in which violence took place."Finally regaining control, she expressed a wish that "we would all, again, curb our enthusiasm in some of the statements that are made," and "take responsibility" for what they say, "because "the ears that it is falling on are not as balanced as the person making the statement might assume."Pelosi's comments come after the House chastized Rep. Joe Wilson for shouting out, "You lie," during President Obama's address to Congress last week, part of an insurgent politics of anger that is gaining ground in public discourse. Perhaps the Speaker of the House should have looked closer to home. ...

  • Schumer in '01: Those who attack the U.S. don't deserve same due process as Americans

    by Kerry PicketPublished November 19, 2009 Comments

      Sen. Charles Schumer's (D - NY) support of the Obama administration's use of the civil court system to try terrorist suspects is odd to say the least, considering how he saw this issue eight years ago. Immediately following the attacks of September 11th, in December of that year, the Senate Judiciary Committee met to discuss the idea of prosecuting terrorists in military tribunals. According to the hearing's transcript  (PDF), Schumer was in favor of military tribunals to try terrorist suspects.:  There are also those prisoners of war who we have captured and will capture in Afghanistan and other countries who will receive a trial of some sort. It is clear we need to try those suspects in a forum that achieves two primary goals—two goals, I might add, that may not conflict. First, the Government must have the power to use even the most sensitive classified evidence against these suspects without compromising national security in ...

  • Off the beaten path online: Sarah Palin gives Oprah biggest audience in two years

    by Kerry PicketPublished November 19, 2009 Comments

    Today's Water Cooler lineup of off the beaten path online stories are: Sarah Palin gave Oprah her biggest audience in two years, Hillsdale College explores charter school opportunities, and Harry Reid proposes a tax on cosmetic surgery. The Live Feed: Sarah Palin gives Oprah biggest audience in two years Monday's episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" drew a 8.7 household rating and 13 share -- the best since Winfrey had the entire Osmond family on the show in 2007. The Collegian: Hillsdale plans for charter school Hillsdale College is getting into the public school business. The college plans to establish a charter school in the near future and possibly create more, should the first prove a success, said administrators. They have not yet chosen a location for the first school.. NY Times: Reid Proposes a Tax on Cosmetic Surgery Senator Harry Reid’s health care bill included an array of new provisions that are being scrutinized ...

  • Video: Why won't Al Gore debate?

    by Kerry PicketPublished November 18, 2009 Comments

    The Washington, D.C. based Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) has put together a new video asking why Al Gore refuses to debate the global warming issue. CEI describes their video below: For years, Al Gore has steadfastly refused to debate the global warming issue.  Most recently, he ignored a put-up-or-shut-up challenge on the Glenn Beck Show from climate policy expert Lord Christopher Monckton, a former British government adviser.  Today, the Competitive Enterprise Institute hopes to change all that with the release of a new video campaign.  In it, CEI offers Mr. Gore a $500 check, together with the proceeds of a world-wide email pledge-a-dollar drive, all aimed at persuading Mr. Gore to accept Lord Monckton’s challenge.    

  • Off the beaten path online: House GOPers ask AARP to retract endorsement of healthcare bill...

    by Kerry PicketPublished November 18, 2009 Comments

    Today's Water Cooler lineup of off the beaten path online stories are:House Republicans are asking the AARP to retract the organization's health care endorsement, Democrats continue to lose independents, and a list of 100 things global warming has "allegedly" caused.   The Hill: House GOPers ask AARP to retract endorsement of healthcare bill A report predicting House Democrats' healthcare bill might affect Medicare coverage has prompted some Republican leaders to ask the AARP to consider rescinding its endorsement of that legislation.  Politico: Dems alarmed as independents bolt party Mounting evidence that independent voters have soured on the Democrats is prompting a debate among party officials about what rhetorical and substantive changes are needed to halt the damage. Opposing Views: 100 Things Global Warming is 'Allegedly' Causing Late for a party? Miss a meeting? Forget to pay your rent? Blame climate change; everyone else is doing it. From an increase in severe acne to all ...

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