- The Washington Times - Monday, August 13, 2001

Condit's odds
Don't hold your breath if you're waiting for Rep. Gary A. Condit, California Democrat, to resign over the recent revelation of his sexual escapades.
After all, he might have lost his reputation, but it's almost impossible for a congressman to lose re-election.
Paul Jacob, executive director of U.S. Term Limits, says the chances that a congressional incumbent who has been in office for more than two terms will be re-elected are between "99 and 100 percent."
"Sure, once in a while an incumbent senator might get knocked out of office," says Mr. Jacob. "But it's rare indeed for a member of the House to lose in his district. And it is especially rare after the incumbent has survived his freshman and sophomore terms in office. The advantages of incumbency are just too great."
Even for Mr. Condit, after the way he has tap-danced around the Metropolitan Police and FBI during the Chandra Levy missing-person investigation?
"If he does run again, he might or might not win. But the whole sordid mess reminds us once again that it really does take a big scandal to rattle the cage of congressional incumbency," says Mr. Jacob.
"Unless a representative retires, dies, gets squeezed out of power by redistricting, or lies to police about a missing person who might be dead, he has a permanent lock on power."

Step aside, Zogby
As debate over stem-cell research now shifts from the White House to Congress, let's examine what, in our opinion, is as good a poll as any on the controversial subject, this one conducted by Mike Fisher, a taxi driver in Sacramento, Calif.
"I did an impromptu poll in my taxi today on the stem cell," Mr. Fisher writes to Inside the Beltway, referring to controversial research involving embryonic stem cells that scientists say could help cure major diseases. But to get to the cells, the embryo is destroyed, which opponents argue is killing one life to save another. President Bush late last week decided to allow limited federal funding for the research, restricting it to stem cells already harvested.
"Four agree to stem cell research, seven disagree, three didn't even know what I was talking about, eight did not think the government should pay for it," says the cab driver. "Out of 14 people, eight disagree on paying for it, 57 percent! Wow. Just thought I would give you some insights from a Sacramento Yellow Cab."

Black tears
A tremendous response from the black community to our item Friday about Jason Koehne, chairman of the Northern Virginia chapter of the League of the South, shedding tears over the way Southern history is being rewritten and its population ridiculed.
"One wonders just how many of those tearing eyes of Mr. Koehne's belong to African-American people?" writes Ted Church of Memphis, Tenn. "How many of those eyes represent enslaved parents mourning the sale of their spouse or child[ren] to another owner, destroying their family? One wonders how many of those tearing eyes belong to people who have seen their relatives lynched, beaten or murdered because of the color of their skin or the color of those whose freedom they were working for?
"Before you publicize a leader of the League of the South, it would behoove you to investigate its blatantly racist leadership," Mr. Church states. "The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is correct in its [hate group] appraisal of the league. SPLC leadership has the record of risking their lives to bring racists to justice and the quotes to substantiate the overt racism of its leadership."

Partisan preachers
"Commonwealth Catholicism: A History of the Catholic Church in Virginia" (University of Notre Dame Press, 687 pages), has just been written by Father Gerald P. Fogarty, a Jesuit professor of church history at the University of Virginia.
In the post-Civil War years, Father Fogarty reveals, it wasn't unusual for a Catholic priest, like Father Matthew O'Keefe of St. Mary's Church in Norfolk, to come to the aid of a Presbyterian minister, like the Rev. George Armstrong.
Observes Father Fogarty: "Father O'Keefe also had the wedding of the parents of General Douglas MacArthur because no Protestant minister would take part in a wedding of a Yankee military officer and a Virginia woman."

Exposing expos
"Enjoyed the book titles," says Chuck Rigney, a top Democratic Party officer in Virginia, referring to title suggestions last week from our readers for Bill Clinton's forthcoming memoirs. "What about 'The Clinton Briefs'?"

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