- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Plagiarized letter

Rep. Sherrod Brown, Ohio Democrat, wrote to Sen. Mike DeWine, Ohio Republican, last week, voicing concern about Supreme Court nominee Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr.’s labor record.

Mr. Brown’s language was crisp — and was plagiarized — the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

Roughly 90 percent of what Mr. Brown wrote in his letter was lifted from an Internet posting by a blogger, as Mr. Brown’s office acknowledged Monday when the Plain Dealer presented the similarities.

Mr. Brown had not credited the blogger, Nathan Newman of NathanNewman.org, or any other source, Plain Dealer Washington Bureau Chief Stephen Koff wrote.

For instance, Mr. Newman, a lawyer and labor and community activist, posted this on his blog Nov. 1: “What is striking about Alito is that he is so hostile even to the basic rights of workers to have a day in court, much less interpreting the law in their favor.”

Mr. Brown’s letter merely changed the last clause so the sentence read: “What is striking about Alito is that he is so hostile even to the basic rights of workers to have a day in court, not to mention interpreting the law against them.”

Mr. Brown’s letter cited details of 13 rulings by Judge Alito, who in early 2006 will face confirmation hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The problem is, Mr. Brown’s descriptions in 12 of the cases were almost verbatim what Mr. Newman wrote on his blog.

Mr. Brown’s office acknowledged that it should not have used Mr. Newman’s words without giving him credit. Spokeswoman Joanna Kuebler said she found Mr. Newman’s work when researching labor issues. Mr. Brown’s legislative staff confirmed its accuracy, and Mr. Brown then signed the staff-prepared letter, the spokeswoman said.

Left-wing circus

President Bush learned two lessons at the failed summit of Mar del Plata: the visceral hatred that the ideas inspired by Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez have for the United States, and the profound division that afflicts Latin America,” Carlos Alberto Montaner writes in the Miami Herald.

“The devastating protest was not surprising, however. After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the disappearance of the Soviet Union, the Left everywhere stopped offering options for governance or serious theories about development and equity and sought refuge in protest,” Mr. Montaner said.

“Anti-Americanism has turned into ideology. The communists have exchanged Das Kapital for T-shirts with the image of Che Guevara and choruses of brief (and badly rhymed) slogans. The Left today is nothing but circus and street violence.

“But that strategy, along with the corruption and follies of many governments, has burrowed deeply, especially in Latin America, where a growing number of citizens despise democracy as a method to organize co-existence and reject the market economy as a way to create and assign wealth.”

Nussle’s ad

The first TV commercial in what is likely to become a blitz of campaign ads in the Iowa governor’s race was aired Monday by Rep. Jim Nussle, the Des Moines Register reports.

The Republican is leaving his U.S. House seat to run for governor. A commercial touting Mr. Nussle’s congressional record and his goals for Iowa is running in the TV markets of western Iowa — the home turf of party rival Bob Vander Plaats, a Sioux City businessman.

The Republican stronghold could be key in the June primary, which will determine who becomes the party’s nominee, reporter Jonathan Roos said.

Mr. Nussle, a former Delaware County attorney, has represented an eastern Iowa congressional district since 1991. “This [commercial] gives western Iowa voters an opportunity to see exactly what that record is,” campaign spokeswoman Maria Comella said.

Short memories

“Like children in a fever to dive into their Christmas presents, Senate Democrats can’t wait for a new Senate report on pre-Iraq war intelligence failures,” Dennis Byrne writes in the Chicago Tribune.

“They even forced the Senate into a rare secret session last week because, ironically, of their supposed determination to make government more transparent,” Mr. Byrne said.

“It’s almost as if they have forgotten that the Senate’s bipartisan Select Committee on Intelligence already issued a report last year on the quality of the intelligence. The one that should have — but hasn’t — stopped former Ambassador [Joseph C. Wilson IV] from recklessly claiming that President Bush’s ‘lies’ and ‘disinformation’ led us into war. The same report that convincingly demonstrated that any prewar intelligence misinformation was the result of organizational failure or incompetence, not evil intent.”

Told you so

The riots in France, which continued for a 13th consecutive day yesterday, shouldn’t have surprised anyone, says Debbie Schlussel, who more than three years ago warned of the problems caused by that nation’s flood of Muslim immigrants.

“I warned about Islamo-fascist impending doom in France in May 2002. But no one listened,” writes Miss Schlussel, a Michigan lawyer and Internet columnist.

Her 2002 column noted that France had “between 5 and 10 million Muslim Arabs in that country of 60 million.” Because the immigrants have much higher birthrates than French natives, Mrs. Schlussel wrote: “One thing is for sure: in the next 50 to 100 years — maybe sooner — France will become a Muslim nation. Demographics dictate it.”

Mother, may I?

The Supreme Court, in what the Associated Press called an unusually spirited debate, considered yesterday whether police may search a home when one resident says to come in but another objects.

The justices have never said whether the Constitution’s ban on unreasonable searches covers such a scenario. The dispute arose in 2001 when police in Americus, Ga., were called to a domestic dispute at the home of Scott Fitz Randolph and his wife, Janet.

The two were having marital troubles, and she recently had taken their son to her parents’ home in Canada for several months. Attorneys for Mr. Randolph said the police call came when she returned for a few days to get belongings.

Mrs. Randolph led officers to evidence later used to charge her husband with cocaine possession. Several justices seemed sympathetic to the police, raising concerns that limits on searches would hamper domestic-disturbance investigations.

“The two words on my mind are ‘spousal abuse,’” Justice Stephen G. Breyer said.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. worried that if a home had 10 occupants, all 10 would have to agree before a search.

The case could come down to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who is retiring. If Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. is confirmed before the ruling is announced, her vote will not count.

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@washingtontimes.com.

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