Water Cooler

WATER COOLER

The Water Cooler is written by Washington Times staffers.

  • Making pro-government healthcare pols take their own medicine

    By Kerry PicketPublished July 15, 2009 Comments

    Update 7/16/09 -  Fox News Channel interviewed Congressman Fleming today, and he reveled there were no Democrat co-sponsors on House Resolution 615 (h/t Freedom's Lighthouse) In the wake of the healthcare reform debate, Rep. John Fleming, R-La., introduced House Resolution 615 last week. This bill would force members of congress who vote for a government run healthcare option to agree to choose a government run healthcare program to enroll themselves in as well as their families. Congressman Fleming went to the floor of the House and said: "Gradually, the details of the Democrat Health Plan are leaking out to the American people. Call it whatever you like this proposal is nothing more than a government run healthcare plan if it has a government run option. Interestingly it exempts members of congress from having to join a government run healthcare system. As a physician for many years, I'm amazed at the ...

  • VIDEO: Freerepublic defends site on MSNBC

    by Kerry PicketPublished July 13, 2009 Comments

    Conservative web forum Freerepublic.com took a hit in the media recently when a Daily Kos reporter wrote an article about a Freerepublic discussion thread involving controversial comments about President Barack Obama's children, Sasha and Malia. Freerepublic spokesman Kristinn Taylor defended the conservative site on MSNBC tonight.

  • Where are the media comparisons over Obama trusting Medvedev

    by John LottPublished July 7, 2009 Comments

    President Bush was strongly criticized for his statement about Putin:   "I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy and we had a very good dialogue," Bush said. "I was able to get a sense of his soul." Where is the media discussion about Obama's statement:   "I trust President Medvedev to not only listen and to negotiate constructively, but also to follow -- follow through on the agreements that are contained here today." Obama's statement goes at least as far as Bush's, though outside of Fox News I am not sure that a comparison has been made.  

  • Why you might not be using Social Security numbers on all the forms that you fill out much longer

    by John LottPublished July 7, 2009 Comments

    MSNBC has this story:   There’s a new reason to worry about the security of your Social Security number. Turns out, they can be guessed with relative ease. A group of researchers at Carnegie-Mellon University say they’ve discovered patterns in the issuance of numbers that make it relatively easy to deduce the personal information using publicly available information and some basic statistical analysis. The research could have far-ranging implications for financial institutions and other firms that rely on Social Security numbers to ward off identity theft. It could also unleash a wave of criminal imitators who will try to duplicate the research. Details of the research were published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal and will be explained at the annual Black Hat computer hacker convention in Las Vegas later this month. The report means companies and other agencies should once and for all stop ...

  • Limbaugh responds to Palin resignation

    by Kerry PicketPublished July 5, 2009 Comments

    Rush Limbaugh sent Radio Equalizer Brian Maloney his thoughts (via exclusive taped audio) on Sarah Palin's resignation as Alaska's governor.  Mr. Limbaugh seems unimpressed with media speculation of Ms. Palin's strategy and what her next move is.  Check out the audio below.

  • Is there a pattern here?: Sotomayor's views on quota type rules shown again

    by John LottPublished July 4, 2009 Comments

    The WSJ has this:   WASHINGTON -- A civil rights group advised by Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor in the 1980s brought several discrimination lawsuits that sought to scrap the results of job tests because too few Hispanics scored well, according to new documents that are fueling GOP criticism of the judge. The Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund represented Hispanic sanitation workers in New York City who wanted to stop white employees from getting promotions because, they argued, the qualifying exam unfairly disadvantaged minorities. The case unfolded as Judge Sotomayor chaired the organization's board of directors' litigation committee, although there is no evidence that she had any role in the group's decision to participate in the lawsuits, or in formulating or drafting any of their legal arguments. . . . .

  • The Organization of American States threatens to suspend Honduras, but Venezula and Cuba are fine

    by John LottPublished July 3, 2009 Comments

    Why does the WSJ refer to the removal of Zelaya from power as a "coup"? Haven't they read their own John Fund? In any case, does it seem strange that the OAS is threatening to suspend Honduras when Venezula and Cuba are members? Also the US apparently tried to put more pressure on Honduras. From the WSJ:   Honduras rebuffed a personal appeal from the Americas' top international diplomat Friday, refusing to restore President Manuel Zelaya and setting the stage for a dramatic showdown when the ousted leader returns to reclaim power this weekend. Jose Miguel Insulza, who heads the Organization of American States, said after meeting with Honduras' Supreme Court, Attorney General and other political figures that he had found no willingness to return Mr. Zelaya to office ahead of a Saturday morning deadline. Mr. Zelaya was toppled in a military-backed coup on Sunday and flown out of the ...

  • Congressional travel expenditures have risen by 50 percent in two years

    by John LottPublished July 3, 2009 Comments

    There hae been a huge increase in other things such as franking privileges over the last two years as well. From the WSJ:   Hundreds of lawmakers traveled overseas in 2008 at a cost of about $13 million. That's a 50% jump since Democrats took control of Congress two years ago. The cost of so-called congressional delegations, known among lawmakers as "codels," has risen nearly 70% since 2005, when an influence-peddling scandal led to a ban on travel funded by lobbyists, according to the data. . . .

  • White House won't give Republicans Sotomayor documents claiming that they are irrelevant

    by John LottPublished July 3, 2009 Comments

    So why isn't this getting really any attention in the news? If Sotomayor hadn't already made so many controversial statements, I might think that the WH had a point here, but Sotomayor is already over the top. The AP has this:   A top Republican pressed for more information Thursday about Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor's ties to a Puerto Rican civil rights group he said took extreme positions on race, as the White House argued that the material was irrelevant to the judge's nomination. White House Counsel Greg Craig told Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., in a letter that board meeting minutes and other papers detailing the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund's activities while Sotomayor was an outside adviser shouldn't impact her nomination because she had no role in writing or approving them. But Sessions, the top Republican on the Senate committee that will consider her nomination, said ...

  • Stuart Taylor explaining why the Supreme Court rejected Sotomayor's position by a 9-0 vote, not 5-4

    by John LottPublished July 3, 2009 Comments

    Stuart Taylor's piece is available from the National Journal here:   What's more striking is that the court was unanimous in rejecting the Sotomayor panel's specific holding. Her holding was that New Haven's decision to spurn the test results must be upheld based solely on the fact that highly disproportionate numbers of blacks had done badly on the exam and might file a "disparate-impact" lawsuit -- regardless of whether the exam was valid or the lawsuit could succeed. This position is so hard to defend, in my view, that I hazarded a prediction in my June 13 column: "Whichever way the Supreme Court rules in the case later this month, I will be surprised if a single justice explicitly approves the specific, quota-friendly logic of the Sotomayor-endorsed... opinion" by U.S. District Judge Janet Arterton. . . .

  • Obama appoints a lot of donors to be Ambassador Corps

    by John LottPublished July 3, 2009 Comments

    Another broken promise from Obama. From the WSJ: "We're not only insulting nations [that] we're appointing these bundlers to, we're risking U.S. diplomatic efforts in these key countries," said Craig Holman, a government-affairs lobbyist at watchdog group Public Citizen. This tension can be traced back to Mr. Obama's claim during last year's campaign that President George W. Bush engaged in an "extraordinary politicization of foreign policy." Mr. Obama said he instead would ensure that hires are based on merit, rather than party or ideology. The American Academy of Diplomacy, an association of former diplomats, seized on the comments in lobbying him to lower the portion of ambassadors drawn from outside the foreign-service establishment to as little as 10% from the 30% average since President John F. Kennedy's tenure. (Mr. Bush's score was 33%.) Of the Obama administration's 55 ambassadorial nominees so far, 33 -- or 60% -- have gone to ...

  • Colin Powell 'concerned' with government spending?

    by Kerry PicketPublished July 3, 2009 Comments

    Colin Powell told CNN's John King this week he was a "a little concerned" with government spending recently (h/t allahpundit @ hotair.com.)  What does this kind of "concern" mean now? Mr. Powell's endorsement of the Obama ticket was a slap in the face to the former administration, the votes for the 2008 presidential election have already been counted, and Barack Obama is now president, so the former Secretary of State's concern is just too little too late.  Check out Mr. Powell's "concern" on CNN's video embedded below. Embedded video from CNN Video

  • Tea party demonstrations roll out on Independence Day

    by Kerry PicketPublished July 3, 2009 Comments

    The Tea Party movement is far from over, and Americans from all over the country are organizing July 4th rallies. Here is a list of contacts and locations of where July 4th tea party demonstrations are taking place (h/t teapartyday.com.)  The media may try to dismiss these rallies again as CNN reporter Susan Roesgen did back in April, but attendees are as vigilant as ever.  Here's a reminder of Ms. Roesgen's excoriation of the April tea party protest in Chicago. Check out the video below(h/t eyeblast.tv):

  • Isn't a dog or cat enough?

    by Kerry PicketPublished July 2, 2009 Comments

    There is a reason why zoos and farms exist.  Families and school children go to their local zoos to look at exotic animals from all over the world.  It is fun to make goofy faces at the monkeys, stare at the tigers rough house with one another, and watch the sharks during feeding time at the aquarium.  However, all of this activity is done behind the safety of large walls, fences, and glass. Unfortunately, such experiences are not enough for some people, and they feel that owning exotic animals in their private homes as "pets" should be available  regardless of danger to others or the eco-system.   It was particularly heart-rending to find out about two-year old Florida girl Shaiunna Hare who was strangled by an 8-foot long albino Burmese python that slithered into the child's crib early Wednesday morning. The python's owner, her mother's boyfriend, stabbed the reptile, but ...

  • Reporters slam Gibbs on White House press control

    by Kerry PicketPublished July 1, 2009 Comments

    Irritation is running high among White House reporters about that coordinated question Huffington Post's Nico Pitney was able to get in with President Obama last week.  The Washington Post's Dana Milbank first spoke out against it, which eventually came to a head on CNN's Reliable Sources.   Helen Thomas and CBS News correspondent Chip Reid are putting in their two cents in on the  "pre-screened questions" at a town hall on health care President Obama attended today.  Check out the video below.  

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