Water Cooler


The Water Cooler is written by Washington Times staffers.

  • Local news blogging: NC college board welcomes illegals

    By Anthony BowePublished September 21, 2009 Comments

    Illegal immigrants in North Carolina may again pursue two-year degrees after the State Board of Community Colleges voted 16 to 1 in unanimous approval Friday.  Immigrant students without legal papers will still have to pay out-of-state tuition and will not be eligible for financial aid.  Local bloggers had this to say:The battle's not over: Will the immigrant admissions policy find its way back to state legislature?Board's only “nay” vote made by a democrat: “State Republicans have decided to direct outrage over the decision to admit illegal immigrants into the community colleges toward Gov. Beverly Perdue.”“State House Republican leader Paul Stam said the decision to admit illegal immigrants to community colleges ignores some costs state residents will have to bear.”"Good for the board for finally making the right call and allowing kids who have excelled in North Carolina schools to continue their education." U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick responds. Quote of the ...

  • May 12 White House briefing pushed Obama agenda on to artists

    by Kerry PicketPublished September 21, 2009 Comments

      Andrew Breitbart's Big Hollywood has revealed new audio of the August 10 National Endowment for the Art, White House, and United We Serve conference call.  However, The Obama administration apparently met with 60 artists and creative organizers as early as May 12 according to an online document (downloadable)by the Pratt Center for Community Development, State Voices, Arlene Goldbard, and the Nathan Cummings Foundation.  Other artists(link1 link 2)have corroborated this meeting happened. (h/t machogirl from FR)  (Update 9/25/09:White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton has confirmed a White House briefing of sixty visiting artists did occur on May 12) “This is one of hundreds of briefings as an effort to engage the community.  The office of public engagement often meets with groups to let them know what’s going on.  We have a lot of meetings here at the White House to make sure this is the most open and transparent White House this can be.   ...

  • Revealed: Partial list of August 10 National Endowment for the Arts conference call participants

    by Kerry PicketPublished September 20, 2009 Comments

    We're asking for your help. The Washington Times has obtained a partial list of "artists and influencers" who were participants on the controversial August 10 National Endowment for the Arts hosted conference call. The following links show images of an excel file of some of those on the teleconference call.: Page 1 -Download  Page 2-Download   Page 3- Download  Page 4 - Download The file was provided by a participant on the call who said the list was distributed by Michael Skolnik, an arts activist involved in setting up the call. According to the electronic signature on the spreadsheet file obtained by The Washington Times, the file was created by a Michael Skolnik. We contacted Mr. Skolnik, and he has responded to several different questions with the same statement: "I cannot authenticate the excel attachment you sent to me." The Times also has a screen capture of an email coming from Skolnik's ...

  • Irving Kristol remembered

    by David MastioPublished September 18, 2009 Comments

    The following is compiled by The Washington Times' opinion staff.   He loved America There is so much to be said about Irving Kristol—his accomplishments, his capacious intellect, his personal generosity, his good humor and good sense—but somehow what always struck me about him was his profound and intense love of America. It leaps from every page of his immense body of work, it was always just below the surface of everything he did, and very often on the surface too. He was a model of what it means for an intellectual to be a patriot, and he did what every patriot strives to do: he strengthened his country, in good times and especially in bad. – Yuval Levin   A helping hand to legions Kristol was, of course, a titan. There will be comparisons to William F. Buckley coming down the pike, I'm sure. I'm not sure I will ...

  • Pelosi and Feinstein: Different Milk messages

    by C BourgePublished September 18, 2009 Comments

    Invoking the anti-gay rhetoric of the late 1970's, House Speaker Pelosi Thursday sought to tie the November 1978 murder of San Francisco gay rights activists and Board of Supervisors member Harvey Milk to potential violence today because of heightened rhetoric surrounding Democratic healthcare reform efforts.  Mrs. Pelosi's histrionic and troubling admonishment to “curb our enthusiasm in some of the statements” on healthcare aside, her thoughts don't appear to jibe with the recollections of fellow San Francisco Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Last year Feinstein reportedly said former Supervisor Dan White wasn't driven by anti-homosexual sentiments when he murdered Milk. According to a November 26, 2008 San Francisco Sentinel article, Feinstein told reporters in her San Francisco office that White did not kill Milk because he was gay, but that White felt betrayed when he was unable to reclaim his seat on the Board of Supervisors after resigning. Feinstein, who was President ...

  • Off the beaten path online: Obamacare sinking poll numbers...

    by Kerry PicketPublished September 18, 2009 Comments

    Today's Water Cooler lineup of off the beaten path online stories are: sinking Obamacare poll numbers, a Hollywood actor is not impressed with Obama's environmental action, a congressman skips out on the ACORN vote, and Andrew Breitbart is promising more ACORN videos. Hotair.com- Ed Morrissey on: Rasmussen: ObamaCare hits highest disapproval rate yet The bounce from Barack Obama’s speech last week to Congress continues to amplify … to Obama’s detriment.  Rasmussen now reports that opposition to ObamaCare has reached its highest level yet, at 56%, while only 43% support it.  Newsbusters.com- Brad Wilmouth on: Actor Alan Autry Slams Obama for Choosing Fish Over Farmers ...in Huron, California, where drought-stricken farmers are suffering because the federal government continues to withhold water to save endangered fish, leaving tens of thousands of farm workers standing in line for hours at food banks. TheConservatives.com- Brian Faughanan on: Gerry Connolly's Dodge  ...the House of Representatives voted to deny ...

  • Local News Blogging: Virginal Gubernatorial Race

    by Anthony BowePublished September 18, 2009 Comments

    Polls conducted for the Virginia gubernatorial election between Creigh Deeds (D) and Bob McDonnell (R) before yesterday's debate vary  widely, but it appears this race may be getting tighter.  Virginia bloggers comment on the latest polls and yesterday's debate:Below The Beltway:“...it became fairly clear early on that the race has entered a much more combative phase.”Bearing Drift:“...today was not a good day for the Deeds campaign. With two polls allegedly showing ‘tightening’ of the race, the debate with Bob McDonnell today was supposed to be a momentum changer, solidifying the drive towards an upset in November. Today’s end result? FAIL.”Anti-BVBL:"McDonnell’s college thesis from an evangelical university continues to haunt him as he reminded voters of his 3 working daughters and strong wife." Barticles:“Because it’s hard to understand otherwise how Creigh Deeds could make so many seemingly contradictory and incoherent statements as he does here.”Quote of the Day:“What's your favorite Virginia ...

  • Gore minion on NEA's controversial call?

    by Kerry PicketPublished September 17, 2009 Comments

      The National Endowment for the Arts' controversial August 10 conference call included some interesting participants eager to help the NEA, United We Serve, and the White House.  According to a partial list obtained by The Washington Times, one of the participants is an employee at former Vice President Al Gore's Current TV.  Mr. Gore serves as chairman to the San Francisco based media company.  The media company features user and viewer (a.k.a. VC2 producers) generated short form programming called "pods."  Current was in the international headlines recently when two of its reporters, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, were held captive by the North Korean government.    Current TV's Saskia Wilson-Brown heads up the Filmmaker (VC2) Outreach at Current.  Ms. Wilson-Brown describes her beliefs as: I believe in public funding for the arts and the value of good spelling, empathy, languages, transparency and integrity. I like documentary film, film festivals, the internet, snowboarding, books, languages ...

  • Local News Blogging: State Bloggers on ACORN

    by David MastioPublished September 17, 2009 Comments

    By Anthony Bowe As BigGovernment prepares to release EVEN MORE videos of filmmaker James O'Keefe and TownHall.com columnist Hannah Giles busting ACORN offices coast-to-coast, local bloggers in states with suddenly famous ACORN offices follow side-stories and offer commentary: Maryland The Baltimore city state’s attorney considers prosecuting O'Keefe and Giles on suspicions they violated Maryland’s wiretap laws.Why doesn't Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler remove the ACORN link from the office website? California Is California Gov. Schwarzenegger simply “piling-on”? “It's interesting in and of itself that the right has decided the source of all ills in America is a relatively small non-profit community organization and not the banking and financial interests who destroyed the economy and took hundreds of billions in bailout money for good measure (lots more on this here).  But never one to miss a pile-on, the Governor has requested an investigation of ACORN” ACORN story going “nuclear” while Bob ...

  • Sergant's outreach effort was always political

    by Kerry PicketPublished September 17, 2009 Comments

    0 false 18 pt 18 pt 0 0 false false false    Yosi Sergant, now former Communications Director of the National Endowment for the Arts was active in the Barack Obama  presidential campaign in 2008.  He was a curator at an art show during the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver. In this video (at 1:20 in) he talks about how artists coalesced around themes of the Obama campaign: "The arts movement has really coalesced around the themes underneath the Barack Obama campaign.  There have been individual artists  working all over the country to raise visibility for those themes from hope and unity and healthcare and union support and what we wanted to do was we wanted to give them a place to showcase these messages here at the Democratic National Convention." "Barack Obama is the first nominee who had a policy before he was even the nominee for arts and ...

  • Americans for the Arts disputes NEA editorial

    by David MastioPublished September 17, 2009 Comments

    On Sept. 13, Americans for the Arts emailed The Washington Times a letter objecting to an editorial published online on Sept. 11 and in the Sept. 14 print edition of the paper. They published both on their web site on Sept. 14 and you can read them in full there.Below are the allegations of mistakes and distortions made by America for the Arts and The Washington Times' reply (in the order that the issues were discussed in the letter and then the memo): Were the arts organizations that endorsed healthcare reform on the NEA conference call? Did the arts organizations do anything more than reiterate an old position? When did the NEA chairman and the Americans for the Arts president meet? Was it fair to allege that Americans for the Arts Action Fund is Democratic?  

  • Did arts organizations just reiterate an old position?

    by David MastioPublished September 17, 2009 Comments

    Americans for the Arts: “The health care statement by the 21 arts groups was begun and finished well before August 10. The nation’s arts groups have a long history of advocating to presidential administrations and Congress, not the other way around. In December 2007, almost two years ago, Americans for the Arts released a widely publicized policy brief that included items on health care and the arts to all Presidential candidates. And in March 2009 we issued another policy brief on health care and the arts that was drafted in agreement with more than 80 national arts organizations. ...(from the supporting memo) There never was an endorsement of Obama's health reform plan. ... The statement reiterates arts policy positions on health care consistent with at least two years of similar advocacy by Americans for the Arts ...” The Washington Times: The Times has not published anything about when groups began ...

  • When did the NEA chairman and the Americans for the Arts president meet?

    by David MastioPublished September 17, 2009 Comments

    Americans for the Arts: “Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert L. Lynch and NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman did not meet on August 27 or 28. They did meet earlier in August as chronicled in the informal podcast posted on the Americans for the Arts blog. They didn’t discuss health care.” The Washington Times: The National Endowment for the Arts has still not confirmed, denied or provided a date for the meeting. Confusion came from the comment of an NEA spokesperson and the fact that Mr. Lynch posted a podcast on Aug. 28 that begins “I am really excited to have just met with Rocco Landesman ...”. According to Mr. Lynch, the meeting was on Aug. 12. The Times regrets the error. The point was never the date of the meeting, but the fact that Mr. Lynch and Mr. Landesman met in close proximity to the Aug. 10 conference ...

  • Was it fair to point out Americans for the Arts' Democratic ties?

    by David MastioPublished September 17, 2009 Comments

    Americans for the Arts: “The Washington Times deliberately omits the fact that the PAC of the Americans for the Arts Action Fund … also gave donations to 26 Republicans running for Congress. … (and) by implying that the arts and the needs of artists are somehow a Democrat issue dishonors the hundreds of thousands of Republican elected officials, arts patrons, board members and arts leaders across America who should be recognized for their ongoing strong arts support.”   The Washington Times: The Times did not omit anything. When The Water Cooler blog first reported the donations, we linked to OpenSecrets.org's database of 2008 donations by Americans for the Arts Action Fund PAC – including the Republican ones. According to OpenSecrets.org, 82% of Americans for the Arts donations went to Democrats in the 2008 election cycle. Readers could judge for themselves whether our emphasis on the Democratic donations was fair. Americans ...

  • Were the arts organizations that endorsed health care reform on the NEA conference call?

    by David MastioPublished September 17, 2009 Comments

    AFA: “ None of the 21 arts organizations, to my knowledge, were on the August 10 conference call, which was reported as for artists, arts marketers, and producers. ...  Americans for the Arts did not even learn about the conference call until we read news reports about it in September.” The Washington Times: According to both a participant in the conference call and a partial list of participants compiled by one of the organizers and obtained by The Times, Kerry Washington was on the call. The document describes Miss Washington as “actress/arts activist. She sits on the board of The Creative Coalition and Americans for The Arts (arts and arts education advocacy organizations) and serves on the board of two organizations committed to the use of theater arts for social change: V-day and The People Speak.” On the Americans for the Arts website, Miss Washington is described in this way: ...

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