- The Washington Times - Friday, September 21, 2007

Get mean

Feeling down in the dumps? Start trashing Rudolph W. Giuliani or Hillary Rodham Clinton, and you’ll be feeling better soon.

“The strange fact of the matter is that the hard-core liberals and conservatives in America are actually some of our happiest citizens,” says Arthur C. Brooks, visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. “As much as you might prefer not to believe it, the politics of happiness is actually the politics of intolerance, nasty sloganeering and the screaming pundits on cable television.”

He cites figures showing that “in spite of their bile,” 35 percent of people who said they are “extremely liberal” also reported being “very happy” with their lives — versus 22 percent of people who were just “liberal.” At the same time, a whopping 48 percent of people who were “extremely conservative” were very happy.

‘Hostile’ Congress

“You may think it will never happen to you: ‘Hostile Congressional Committee Investigation.’ … Be prepared in the event it does.”

Or such was the headline top federal officials in Washington read in a flier touting yesterday’s “Government Executives at Risk” seminar, held at the L’Enfant Plaza Hotel.

Free the throne

Republican and Democratic presidential candidates and members of Congress alike are being pressured to take a stand against the British Act of Settlement, 1701, via a campaign spearheaded by the Irish National Caucus and its president, the Rev. Sean McManus.

The Washington-based Catholic priest tells Congress: “The sectarian act, which is still law today, decrees that only a Protestant can succeed to the British throne and that if the monarch becomes a Catholic, or marries a Catholic, he/she forfeits the throne.”

Imagine, he adds, if there were a provision in the U.S. Constitution forbidding a black person from becoming president of the United States, “or forbidding the president to marry a black person.”

Claim to fame

“Congressman Bob Barr, Clinton Impeachment Manager”: the title the Georgia Republican — who currently serves on the national committee of the Libertarian Party — gives himself on his stationery.

What’s in a name?

We see that Sen. John W. Warner, Virginia Republican, will be the guest of honor at Monday’s rooftop fundraiser overlooking Old Town Alexandria to benefit Mark Allen, the Republican candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates.

A business and real estate transaction lawyer, who as of this week collected more than $140,000 in donations in the Democratic-heavy 45th District that covers portions of Arlington, Alexandria and Fairfax County, Mr. Allen is banking on enough party crossover votes to defeat the Democratic incumbent, first-term Delegate David Englin, who the Allen campaign notes was recently evaluated as one of the “least effective” delegates in the state.

Saying the state’s General Assembly “is saddled with too many delegates more interested in pushing their ideological agenda than finding solutions,” the Republican is pushing a pro-business, solid infrastructure and environmental preservation platform. He was appointed by Gov. Mark Warner, a Democrat, as a trustee of the Virginia Outdoors Foundation.

Mr. Englin, an Air Force veteran, pledges to “continue to fight for progressive policies grounded in social justice that give every member of our community — including the poor, the elderly, the weak and the oppressed — a fair shake and an equal shot at the American dream.”

Should voters be curious, says Mr. Englin’s campaign site: “Some people wonder why David used to have a different last name. Before they were married, David was David English and Shayna was Shayna Wolin. At their wedding, they combined their names into Englin as a way to honor both of their families equally and as a meaningful symbol of their new life together.”

John McCaslin can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin@washingtontimes.com.

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