- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Grade of F

One of the most outrageous pork-laden projects approved by Congress for 2006 has to be the $41 million added by the Senate for “Byrd Honors Scholarships,” named after Sen. Robert C. Byrd, West Virginia Democrat.

Sure, the intentions are good — encourage secondary-school students to excel in their lessons and go on to a postsecondary education.

However, our friends at Citizens Against Government Waste point out: “There are no requirements that must be met or set goals to be achieved. Absent any defined standards, there is no way of knowing whether students who received this aid ever really qualified for the coveted scholarships.”

Crossing the line

Yesterday, we wrote about a Republican congressman — Rep. Ted Poe, a former Texas judge — voicing some of the strongest language yet in this country’s immigration debate.

He said the United States is not only “under attack,” the country is “being invaded, we are being colonized, and there are insurgents from the nation of Mexico and their allies further south.”

He referred to Mexican President Vicente Fox as “Generalissimo Fox,” calling him “really a fox in fox clothing” who “sends his people here and expects them to colonize and invade the United States.”

Perhaps it’s not surprising that a House Democrat is now accusing Republicans such as Mr. Poe of using the U.S. border-security issue to play on people’s fears, inciting “xenophobia” in the minds of Americans and provoking extremists to commit violence against immigrants.

Rep. Joe Baca of California singled out New Jersey-based radio talk-show host Hal Turner, described on his Web site as an ardent pro-life, conservative Republican, who “says publicly what most people only dare to think privately.”

On March 29, according to Mr. Baca, the radio host announced: “It is time to fight, to kill such [illegal alien] invaders. … If you don’t fight and don’t support those of us who do, when we’re done with them, we can come for you.”

The Democrat also drew attention to an Internet game called “Border Patrol,” which encourages players to shoot at immigrants as they cross into the United States.

“This is obscene and crosses the line,” he says.

Nixon goes West

Even with Deep Throat out of the closet, interest and intrigue still surround the Nixon White House.

Readers responded en masse to our item this week about the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, Calif., as it becomes part of the National Archives’ system of presidential libraries.

“You mean it already wasn’t?” one visitor to the existing library wrote to ask.

Not until 2004 did Congress approve a federally operated Nixon library, amending a 1974 act mandating that Mr. Nixon’s presidential materials were to remain stored in or around Washington.

Thus, the Nixon library was built in 1990 with private funds, housing only 6 million pages of documents, 150 reels of film, 900 audio recordings of speeches and about 3,000 books.

Now, the National Archives will pack up and ship to California 46 million pages of Nixon presidential materials (including White House special files, National Security Council files, and White House central files), more than 2.2 million feet of motion-picture film, 350,000 photographs, 4,000 videotapes, more than 3,000 hours of tapes (1,000 hours of which have not been available to the public), and 30,000 artifacts and presidential gifts.

Stick to law

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid would agree there are certain things better left said by Republican Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.

Like when Mr. Frist of Tennessee — a heart surgeon by profession — was explaining the ventricular defect called tetralogy of Fallot: “Tetralogy means there are four things, it doesn’t matter what they are, but it is a hole between two chambers of the heart; a ventricular septal defect [VSD] it is called.

“The second is an outflow-tract obstruction from the right ventricle to the lungs, and therefore the obstruction there means the blood does not get up through the lungs. There is an overriding VSD and then there is some right ventricular hypertrophy — the right side of the heart is big and very muscular … .”

“Will the senator yield?” interrupted the Nevada Democrat, a lawyer. “Would you like me to help explain some of that for you?”

“That is three of the four tetralogies,” Mr. Frist replied. “I know my colleague knows the fourth is that right ventricular hypertrophy. I would be happy to yield to the Democratic leader.”

“I have forgotten quite a bit about that,” Mr. Reid said on second thought, “so maybe you should go ahead and explain it.”

John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or [email protected]

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