Water Cooler


The Water Cooler is written by Washington Times staffers.

  • Who is Kalpen Modi?

    By Kerry PicketPublished September 9, 2009 Comments

    Who is Kalpen Modi ? Before entering the White House Office of Public Engagement, Kalpen Modi was better known to many Americans as Hollywood actor Kal Penn. Mr. Modi is best known for playing one of the title roles in the film "Harold and Kumar go to White Castle."  Sequels of the film series, which Mr. Modi is starring in, have followed.

  • Did the National Endowment for the Arts break any laws on controversial conference calls?

    by Kerry PicketPublished September 8, 2009 Comments

    Update:September 8, 2009: Patrick Courrielche has revealed a second conference call similar to the first one occurred in late August. Syndicated columnist and ABC's This Week panelist George Will believes that the National Endowment for the Arts likely "broke some laws" after the federal agency recently hosted a controversial teleconference call of various artists.  Mr. Will spoke about his concerns on the NEA this Sunday on This Week with George Stephanopoulos (see video below).  Big Hollywood's Patrick Courrielche was on the conference call and described what was being asked of them: Obama has a strong arts agenda, we were told, and has been very supportive of both using and supporting the arts in creative ways to talk about the issues facing the country. We were “selected for a reason,” they told us. We had played a key role in the election and now Obama was putting out the call of service to help create change. We knew “how to ...

  • Video: Reagan's 1988 Q and A with junior high school students

    by Kerry PicketPublished September 7, 2009 Comments

      Those defending President Obama's controversial address to school students this week are pointing out that past U.S. presidents like George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush,  and Ronald Reagan also spoke to school children during their presidencies as well.  In 1988, Mr. Reagan not only spoke to jr. high school students about American history in the East Room of the White House but also answered their questions.  These questions were not exactly softball oriented either.  Topics ranged from race to gun control to taxes.  President Reagan's address was telecast in classrooms all over the country.  C-SPAN has the video (embedded above).  Here is an excerpt of the transcript: Q. Hi. My name is Ben Allnutt. I go to Poolesville Junior-Senior High School. I was wondering if the younger generation today is going to have to pay for the world debt in years to come? The President. No, I don't believe that it is that big a problem. You ...

  • Virginia bloggers to face off on upcoming gubernatorial race

    by Kerry PicketPublished September 3, 2009 Comments

    Bloggers on both sides of the political spectrum will debate state politics and the upcoming Virginia gubernatorial race between Democrat Creigh Deeds and Republican Bob McDonnell.  According to commonsenseforva.blogspot.com: Deeds supporter Waldo Jaquith, editor of cvillenews.com, and McDonnell supporter Tom White, editor of VirginiaRight! will debate here from 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM on Saturday, September 12, 2009 in a live-blog at CSFVA. And, in this debate of bloggers, for bloggers, by bloggers, we are giving a chance for questions to be wholly submitted by bloggers. Email questions to either CSFVA at venukatta@hotmail.com or The Virginia Conservative at conservativeva@gmail.com. Please put "Debate Question" in the header. We will attempt to get through all submitted questions and credit whoever submitted the question. Thank you and join us at 7:30 PM September 12, 2009 for the 2009 NetRoots Supporters' Debate at http://www.commonsenseforva.blogspot.com

  • NY Times: Justice Stevens stepping down?

    by Kerry PicketPublished September 2, 2009 Comments

    Conservatives may find themselves geared up for another Supreme Court fight sooner than they thought. The New York Times along with Paul Mirengoff at Powerline are both speculating that the eighty-nine year-old Justice Paul Stevens may be thinking of retiring from the high court soon. The New York Times reports today: Clerk-watching has long been one of the signals as to whether a justice plans to retire, although clearly not foolproof and definitely not official. Justices usually hire three to four clerks by the beginning of the summer, a year or so before the next term when the clerks would start work. For Justice Stevens, the one hire — for the Supreme Court season beginning in October 2010 — is fueling suggestions that plans to retire may be in the offing.  

  • Official dishonesty from the National Endowment for the Arts

    by Kerry PicketPublished September 1, 2009 Comments

    9/2/09 UPDATE: Video from Fox News Channel's Glenn Beck playing excerpts from the August 10th conference call 9/2/09 UPDATE: Transcript of phone interview added.       On a previous blog, the Washington Times Water Cooler reported that we contacted the National Endowment for the Arts's (NEA) Yosi Sergant about an August 10th conference call invitation sent out to artists and other creative influence peddlers.  When asked if the NEA sent the invitation, Mr. Sergant denied the NEA had sent the invitations to any participants for the conference call and refused to send the Washington Times a copy of the invite. AUDIO  OPERATOR: Kerry? WASHINGTON TIMES: Yeah? OPERATOR: You have Yosi Sergant in the communications office. WASHINGTON TIMES : Okay. YOSI SERGANT: Hello? WASHINGTON TIMES: Hi, this is Kerry Picket.  I’m calling from the Washington Times Editorial page. SERGANT: Hi, Kerry.  How are you? WASHINGTON TIMES: Fine thank you.  Hey, I ...

  • Nevada paper rebukes Sen. Reid

    by Kerry PicketPublished August 31, 2009 Comments

    The publisher of the Las Vegas Review-Journal Sherman Frederick sent a sharp message to the senior Democratic senator from Nevada Harry Reid yesterday, after the Senator reportedly told the paper's Director of Advertising Bob Brown, that he hoped the Review-Journal would "go out of business."  How sweet of Mr. Reid to be thinking of potential unemployment in his home state.  Senator Reid should know better than to say such things.  He is down in the polls against two possible GOP challengers, and supporters of Mr. Reid's, from the National Education Association, cannot even release a radio ad where "Nevada" is pronounced correctly.  The Review-Journal's Mr. Frederick hit back hard: No citizen should expect this kind of behavior from a U.S. senator. It is certainly not becoming of a man who is the majority leader in the U.S. Senate. And it absolutely is not what anyone would expect from a man ...

  • Video: Tucson town hall pro-Obama care attendee gets violent

    by Kerry PicketPublished August 30, 2009 Comments

    During a health care Tea Party town hall in Tucson, Arizona yesterday, a proponent of Obama's health care plan arrived with a sign promoting his stance.  When another attendee stood up to tell the sign holding Obama care supporter something, the pro-healthcare reform protester elbowed the other attendee in the face. (h/t gateway pundit).  Tucson Tea Party describes the incident like this: As many of you in attendance witnessed, an Obamacare supporter loudly interrupted the meeting just after a TPD officer thanked us for always being civil and law-abiding at our events. This protester shouted over our panelists incessantly and, when approached, hit one of our attendees in the face with his elbow. The man who was assaulted kept his cool and TPD promptly removed the protester from the auditorium. Video of the incident can be seen at KGUN9’s newscast and Gila Courier. Tea Partiers have been called extremists, racists, ...

  • Video: Town hall attendee tells off Rep. Weiner

    by Kerry PicketPublished August 30, 2009 Comments

    In this video, a town hall attendee ripped into Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), on August 27th,  over health care among other issues. (h/t freedom's lighthouse) : "Thank you Congressman. My name is Bonnie Cohen. Im a patriotic, law abiding, tax paying citizen who clings to her religion. We the American people were fed up with Washington so we voted for change. But we did not vote to remake the nation! You may not be aware of it but we love this country! Im an Independent; Ive never been interested in politics. But, let me tell you Congressman that for the first time in my adult lifetime I am afraid for my country. I see Washington bankrupting our future one day at a time! From TARP to Stimulus to 9000 earmarks to auto bailouts to Cap and Trade. And now you guys want to take over health care after you screwed ...

  • Audio - Kennedy biographer Klein: Kennedy and Obama were not that close

    by Kerry PicketPublished August 29, 2009 Comments

    Kennedy biographer Ed Klein joined WOR radio's Steve Malzberg  on Wednesday, and revealed President Obama's relationship with the late Senator Ted Kennedy was not as close as has been depicted in the media (h/t Noel Sheppard at Newsbusters). Mr. Klein seemed disgusted by the notion that Mr Obama is considered to be the "last Kennedy brother" by MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews. : AUDIO STEVE MALZBERG: This relationship between Obama and Ted Kennedy led Chris Matthews, wacko of all wackos in my view, to say that he's now the next, he's the last brother. Obama's the last brother. ED KLEIN: Yeah, I, I heard that. Yeah. MALZBERG: What do you think of that? What was their relationship, and what do you think of that description of it? KLEIN: Makes me want to puke. To tell you the truth. MALZBERG: Why, why, why? KLEIN: Because it's so patently untrue, number one. And number two, ...

  • Audio Flashback: Eric Holder advocated for internet censorship

    by Kerry PicketPublished August 29, 2009 Comments

    Recent revelations from CNet News , showing a bill revised by Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) giving the president emergency control of the internet, exploded on to the Dudge Report yesterday.: (all bolding below is mine) The new version would allow the president to "declare a cybersecurity emergency" relating to "non-governmental" computer networks and do what's necessary to respond to the threat. Other sections of the proposal include a federal certification program for "cybersecurity professionals," and a requirement that certain computer systems and networks in the private sector be managed by people who have been awarded that license. It is important to look back at some statements President Obama's top enforcer in his administration made back in the days of the Clinton administration.  Attorney General Eric Holder was known as Deputy Attorney General Holder in April of 1999, when the Columbine High School massacre shocked the country.(AUDIO ABOVE) Writing on Newsbusters last November, I pointed ...

  • Sex offender Garrido sentenced to fifty served eleven

    by Kerry PicketPublished August 28, 2009 Comments

    At 11 years of age, Jayce Lee Dugard was snatched from her family in 1991 at a school bus stop in South Lake Tahoe, California.  Convicted sex offender, Phillip Garrido kept Miss Duggard in a complex of sheds in his backyard for 18 long years.  During that time, Mr. Garrido is said to have fathered two daughters, aged 11 and 15 respectively, by Ms. Dugard.  He kept all three females hidden within the sheds of his back yard in Antioch, California.  Ms. Dugard resurfaced this week, when Mr. Garrido was called into a Concord, California parole office.  The Telegraph has posted audio of a jail cell interview with Mr. Garrido (audio below): Earlier, Mr Garrido gave a bizarre and sometimes incoherent phone interview to KCRA-TV from the El Dorado County jail, in which he admitted that his behaviour to his captive had initially been "disgusting", but developed into a "heart-warming ...

  • Father Pfleger erupts in Arkansas: Terrorism began with the pilgrims

    by Kerry PicketPublished August 28, 2009 Comments

    The Rev. Michael Pfleger, the white pastor from Chicago's predominantly black Saint Sabina Catholic Church, made some incendiary statements at Philander Smith College's opening convocation on Thursday, reported the Arkansas-Democrat Gazette.  The clergyman first came to the national spotlight, when he gave a sermon at  President Obama's own former controversial Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago in May 2008 (see video below). Here are some of the charges made by Father Pfleger that were recently reported (subscription only):   Pfleger said racial bias is "alive and well" in America and likened discrimination to terrorism. He said terrorism in America did not begin with the Sept. 11,2001, attacks. Instead, he believes American terrorism began with the pilgrims on the Mayflower "who got lost and came upon a land and decided to take the first nation and enslave them." Father Pfleger also said: “Yes, terrorism is old in America. Not only is terrorism old in America, ...

  • Art for Obama's sake - The NEA pushes the White House agenda

    by Kerry PicketPublished August 27, 2009 Comments

    Once again looking to duplicate the 2008 campaign, the Obama administration is bringing in creative types who were key in helping President Obama win in November.  Now in the role of government, Obama's team is using its power to corral the artistic community through the National Endowment for the Arts(NEA).  A conference call was hosted by the White House Office of Public Engagement, the NEA, and United We Serve on August 10th.   The Washington Times asked the NEA for a copy of the invitation to the conference call, but Communications Director for the NEA Yosi Sergant told us that they were not the ones who sent out the invitations for the conference call.  Mr. Sergant directed us to the Corporation for National and Community Service as the body that sent out the invitations.  We contacted Sandy Scott in public affairs at this government agency and asked for the invitation this afternoon.  As of ...

  • Audio - Right and left call Obama agenda fascist

    by Kerry PicketPublished August 27, 2009 Comments

    ***August 28- Updated with Greg Palast Audio Top rated conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh called the Obama agenda today fascist.  During a conversation with a caller who was critical of the Obama administration's stance on health care, Mr. Limbaugh responded to the caller's charge that the country will be "worse off under Obama and socialism."  Mr. Limbaugh replied:       AUDIO "It's not socialism.  It's actually fascism, and I think we need to be precise about this.  Socialism, technically, is when the government owns the means of production, and they don't yet.  They own a couple of car companies, and they're mucking that up, but fascism is where the private sector still owns businesses, but the government runs it.  The government in one way another is either in bed with the CEO or the management team or they rule by dictate and fiat.  Fascism is a more apt ...

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