- The Washington Times - Friday, January 5, 2007

Let’s roll

“This is an historic day,” House Minority Leader John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, told Inside the Beltway yesterday, just before the 110th Congress convened. “It’s the day we’ll swear in the first female speaker of the House, and for that Nancy Pelosi deserves great credit.”


“It’s also ‘Day One’ for Republicans as we work to earn back the majority, and I’m ready to go.”

Seeing double

Clerk of the House Karen Lehman Haas certainly has her work cut out for her in this 110th Congress, where one finds:

Three Bishops: Rob, Sanford and Timothy

Four Smiths: Adam, Adrian, Christopher and Lamar

Five Millers: Brad, Candice, Gary, George and Jeff

Eight Davises: Artur, Danny, David, Geoff, Jo Ann, Lincoln, Susan and Thomas

Three Wilsons: Charles, Heather and Joe

Four Johnsons: Eddie, Henry, Sam and Timothy

Three Lewises: Jerry, John and Ron

Three Browns: Corrine, Henry and Virginia

And last, but not least: Three Rogerses: Harold, Mike and (uh oh) Mike

Musical chairs

That was newly retired Maryland Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes pressing flesh on the floor of the House yesterday at the start of the 110th Congress.

Mr. Sarbanes didn’t jump ship to the House; rather, he was on hand to salute his eldest son, freshman Maryland Rep. John P. Sarbanes, who has filled the seat of former Democratic Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin, who in turn departed the House and filled the seat of Mr. Sarbanes in the Senate.

Inevitable actors

Arizona Sen. John McCain, who word has it is all but ready to announce his candidacy for president in 2008, said yesterday that he is “very sad” about Democrats assuming control of Capitol Hill. He was critical, at the same time, of certain members of his Republican Party, who he said placed power over principle.

Certainly, during the previous Republican-controlled Congress, more than one of Mr. McCain’s colleagues was dragged kicking and screaming to the woodshed to answer to ethics charges. But don’t think such unscrupulous behavior will now suddenly cease.

Let’s recall the words of House MinorityWhip Roy Blunt, Missouri Republican, before a Heritage Foundation audience soon after the Nov. 7 elections:

“Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats, neither liberals nor conservatives, is immune from having bad actors in their midst. In fact, there are a few individuals in all walks of life from all parts of the political spectrum who will engage in unethical, immoral, and even illegal behavior.

“Lawmakers all too often respond by doing what we do best — thinking you can solve problems by passing new laws or creating new rules. No amount of law or rule making, however, will cause all people to behave well all the time.”

Baby props

No, it wasn’t nearly as bad as American pop star Michael Jackson dangling his baby over a hotel balcony. Or the Australian crocodile hunter Steve Irwin, who died Sept. 4, holding his infant son within feet of a hungry crocodile.

Still, one might question House Speaker Nancy Pelosi cradling her sleeping seven-week-old grandchild, Paul Michael Vos, with one arm for several minutes yesterday while she shook hands and kissed lawmakers immediately after becoming the first woman elected leader of the House.

Snow job

“Weather Bulletins” from both North Dakota and Colorado are making the rounds on Capitol Hill, about how the regions are recovering from 90-mile-per-hour blizzards that dropped upward of 44 inches of snow, broke trees in half, knocked down utility poles, cut power to tens of thousands, closed roads and stranded motorists in lethal snow banks.

Nevertheless, say the creators of the bulletins: “George Bush did not come. FEMA did nothing. No one howled for the government. No one blamed the government. No one even uttered an expletive on TV. Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton did not visit. Our mayor did not blame Bush or anyone else. Our governor did not blame Bush or anyone else, either. CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX or NBC did not visit — or report on this category 5 snowstorm. Nobody demanded $2,000 debit cards. No one asked for a FEMA trailer house. No one looted. No Larry King, no Bill OReilly, no Oprah. … ”

It goes on and on and on, but you get the message.

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

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