- The Washington Times - Monday, September 8, 2003

Court faces corruption

Today is the day the Supreme Court will hear four full hours of arguments in what some are calling the most important political speech case to be decided by the court in more than a quarter century: the consolidated constitutional challenges to the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, popularly known as McCain-Feingold.

One of the plaintiffs in the case is the Center for Individual Freedom.

“Given last term’s ruling upholding campaign finance restrictions against not-for-profit advocacy groups like the Center for Individual Freedom, it may be that a majority of the court now buys into the rationale advanced by campaign finance reformers that the only way to end corruption in politics is to strictly limit all the private money and, as a consequence, the political speech generated about candidates and our country’s political future,” comments Reid Cox, the center’s assistant general counsel.

Pastime first

“Washington — President Bush attends the T-ball game … on the South Lawn of the White House and later Sunday addresses the nation on the war on terrorism and the situation in Iraq. The ball game is scheduled for 4 p.m.; his speech is scheduled for 8:30 p.m.”

—Top stories of the hour from the Associated Press yesterday.

When all else fails

We were debriefing Ray Wannall, former top intelligence chief of the FBI, yesterday when his conversation turned to last week’s debate of Democratic presidential hopefuls: “I was reminded of that old saw on advice to new lawyers as they start their practice: If the law is on your side, stress the law; if the facts are on your side, stress the facts; if neither is on your side, pound the table and shout.”

Cloned but clothed

“Ever since that first meeting with Howard Dean some five years ago, I’ve been trying to think of what politician he most resembles,” Stephen Moore, president of the Club for Growth and senior fellow at the Cato Institute, said in the latest Weekly Standard.

“The former governor of a small state, he is charismatic, good looking, wonkish, craving of the spotlight, and capable of telling a room full of people precisely what they want to hear. The obvious answer recently hit me: Dean is Bill Clinton, but without the skirt-chasing.”


We’d known the nation’s immigrant population grew by 11.3 million during the 1990s — faster than at any other time in U.S. history.

Now, the latest report from the Center for Immigration Studies finds that one country, Mexico, and one region, Spanish-speaking Latin America, have come to dominate U.S. immigration.

In 1990, immigrants from Mexico accounted for 22 percent of the total foreign-born in this country. But between 1990 and 2000, Mexico alone accounted for 43 percent of the growth in the immigrant population.

Absorbing most of the Mexicans are the states of Arizona — Mexicans grew from 55 percent to 67 percent of the state’s total foreign-born population — and Texas, where Mexicans now represent 65 percent of foreign arrivals.

One downside, says Steven A. Camarota, the center’s research director and co-author of the report: “Allowing in so many people from one country and region of the world may significantly slow the assimilation process by creating the critical mass necessary for linguistic, cultural, and residential isolation.”

Hitting the Hay

The Republican confidence in their ability to break into the South was emphasized yesterday when it was made known that Herbert Hoover planned to make a speech somewhere near the North Carolina-Tennessee border.

Or at least that’s what one Washington newspaper was reporting 75 years ago, when the Hay-Adams — one of Washington’s most famous and historic hotels — first opened its doors. Among the early guests cooling off in the city’s first air-conditioned dining room were Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart and Sinclair Lewis.

Celebrating its 75th anniversary over the weekend, Hay-Adams staff decked out in flapper dresses and pinstripe suits greeted guests that included Bill Clinton’s attorney Robert Bennett. To mark the occasion, guests were treated to food, beverages and lodging reduced to 1928 rates.

In fact, one unidentified Hay-Adams regular who booked the hotel’s plush Presidential Suite months ago was amazed to receive a 1928 daily rack rate of just $15, far below the $3,500 nightly rate he or she was prepared to pay.

Other guests paid $6 for rooms overlooking the White House and Washington Monument, while eggs Benedict were served for just 60 cents.

And who was Hay-Adams?

Two people, actually. In 1884, good friends John Hay and Henry Adams bought adjoining lots at 16th and H streets, the present site of the hotel. Hay was private secretary to President Lincoln and later secretary of state under Presidents McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt. Adams was an acclaimed author and descendant of Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams.

John McCaslin, a nationally syndicated columnist, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin@washingtontimes.com.

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