- The Washington Times - Friday, February 3, 2006

Nobles: The four Democratic senators who voted to confirm Justice Samuel Alito, for breaking ranks and making sense.

Yes, yes, Sens. Robert Byrd (W.Va.), Kent Conrad (N.D.), Tim Johnson (S.D.) and Ben Nelson (Neb.) probably bucked their party on the Alito confirmation out of pure survival. Messrs. Byrd, Conrad and Nelson are all from states that voted for President Bush in 2004 and all are up for re-election this year. And Mr. Johnson, from deep-red South Dakota, narrowly defeated now Sen. John Thune in the 2002 midterm election.

But it is altogether appropriate to give credit where it’s due. The Democrats as a party are convinced that recent troubles affecting the president and House Republicans will be enough to carry them to large gains in November. Yet time after time they have proven they don’t have the courage to either develop their own platform or resist their feverish base. They are left with no new ideas and with meaningless gestures, like Sen. John Kerry’s last-minute, doomed-to-fail filibuster.

The defection of four Democrats, while not all that significant on the matter of the Alito confirmation, shows that there are still some in the party not totally subservient to the abundant treasuries of the MoveOn.org crowd. Not to mention that fulfilling the wishes of one’s constituency is the definition of republican government.

For their display of courage, Messrs. Byrd, Conrad, Johnson and Nelson are the Nobles of the week.

Knaves: Colombian drug traffickers, for using puppies as their own personal heroin containers.

Being a drug trafficker is enough to make anyone Knave of the week. But, alas, U.S. authorities revealed this week that Colombian traffickers and their contacts in the United States used puppies as drug couriers. The fiends were surgically implanting large packets of liquid heroin into the puppies on a farm in Colombia and planning to ship them to the United States.

When Colombian authorities raided the farm last year, they found 10 puppies, six of which had already been implanted with about a pound of heroin each. The other four were awaiting a similar fate.

“Throughout my 25-year career, this is one of the most outrageous methods of smuggling that I personally have encountered,” said the Drug Enforcement Administration’s special agent in charge of the U.S. investigation. Just three of the puppies have survived following operations to remove the heroin. One, now named Heroina, is being trained to sniff out narcotics traffickers. Now that’s poetic justice.

For their ghoulish scheme, the Colombian drug traffickers are the Knaves of the week.

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