- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 12, 2006

Teacher’s pets

“In the ‘80s, Republicans talked of abolishing the federal Department of Education. In the ‘90s, they blocked President Clinton’s quest for national education standards. Former Reagan education secretary William Bennett even dubbed America’s bloated school monopolies ‘the Blob.’

“But with the election of George W. Bush and the passage of his No Child Left Behind law in 2002, the ‘party of limited government’ apparently decided to stop worrying and love the Blob. … A chorus of Republicans — including Bennett himself, in a recent Washington Post op/ed — is now calling for a national system of education standards and testing. …

“[T]he notion that we can best pursue educational excellence by federal edict is shortsighted, unconstitutional, inconsistent with conservative principles, and, most importantly, mistaken.”

— Andrew J. Coulson, writing on “Strange New Love for ‘The Blob,’ ” Wednesday in the American Spectator Online at www.spectator.org

History re-written

“Left-wing academics will use the auspices of the History Channel to denounce the United States as a ‘bully’ launching a ‘war of conquest’ — in the Mexican War. …

“On Sept. 29, the History Channel premiered a two-hour documentary on the Mexican-American War of 1846-48, which will air again [tonight]. The well-regarded cable channel promoted the program by tying it to current issues, stating, ‘At a time when immigration reform continues to be one of the most heated topics in political and business circles, this 2-hour special re-examines the controversial war that resulted in the United States taking control of what was nearly half of Mexico’s territory.’ …

“Mexican textbooks claim that the American southwest was ‘stolen’ and will someday be regained. Radical elements in the movement championing an ‘open border’ between the U.S. and Mexico, and not just amnesty for the millions of illegal immigrants who have crossed the existing border, hope to someday fulfill this irredentist ambition. …

“Leftist criticism of the Mexican-American War shows just how far this self-defeating ideology can go.”

— William R. Hawkins, writing on “Blaming America First — for the Mexican War,” Wednesday in Front Page at www.frontpagemag.com

Nobel campaigns

“As I’ve noted many times before, Nobel Peace Prizes don’t award themselves. You have to campaign for them. Oprah Winfrey … is the candidate favored by the Oprah Winfrey for Nobel Peace Prize Fan Club, which has the goal of collecting 100,000 signatures by October 2007. The group has collected 60,000 so far.

” ‘We have people in our movement who are very close to Oprah,’ says Rocky Twyman, a public-relations consultant who since 2005 has run the club (lately he prefers to call it a ‘grass roots organization’) out of his house in Rockville. In Venezuela, where it is illegal to show disrespect to government authorities, a campaign has been underway since 2004 to win the Nobel Peace Prize for President Hugo Chavez. … On Vheadline.com, a U.S.-based ‘independent’ Web site that propagandizes in favor of the Chavez government, one Carlos Herrera argues that Chavez has the necessary ‘qualities and the accomplishments, even though his style may have upset some influential international personalities in the past,’ and urges readers to sign a petition to the Nobel committee.”

— Timothy Noah, writing on “Peace Prize Campaign ‘06,” Wednesday in Slate at www.slate.com

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