Members of the women-initiated antiwar and social justice movement CODEPINK shuffled out of a Capitol Hill hearing room this week after senior Democratic Sen. Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia said he’d heard enough of their bellyaching.
“Let’s clear the room. Let’s clear the room. We have had enough of this. Clear the room. Clear the room. Clear the room. Clear the room. That’s enough of this,” scolded Mr. Byrd.
“We have had enough of the war!” one of the women shouted back.
“I have tolerated all I can stand,” Mr. Byrd repeated.
“Stop the killing. We can’t tolerate [war],” another woman shouted.
“I stopped it before you were born. I said stop it before you were ever born. I said, don’t go into it before you were ever born. Get out of this place,” said Mr. Byrd, who turns 90 in November.
Politics as usual
“I’ve been around a few races and I know what they’re going to be up against: Karl Rove-style swiftboat attacks, dirty tricks, dirty lies, and all other manners of mudslinging. Heck, if I was advising the Republicans, that’s what I’d tell them to do.”
Or so admitted Democratic strategist James Carville yesterday, when looking ahead to the 2008 elections.
Socks and shampoo
Finally, a politician in this country has figured out a way to track the movements of illegal aliens.
“Two delivery services, UPS and FedEx, take a package and deliver it for a customer anywhere in a world in just a handful of days,” noted Rep. Ted Poe, Texas Republican. “Amazingly, a customer can even track one of those 23 million packages on the Internet and know exactly where it is on any given day. Maybe the federal government could learn something here.
“The federal government doesn’t seem to even know where 20 million illegals are in this country, much less track their whereabouts,” Mr. Poe pointed out. “Anyway, it has been suggested that the way to solve the case of the missing illegals is to give every illegal that crosses into the United States a FedEx or UPS package. Then we could record when people enter the U.S. and know where they are at any given time.”
What about the packages, should they be empty?
“The package could contain items for their stay illegally in the United States,” the congressman suggests.
The demand by leading Democrats for an immediate U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq seems to be on everybody’s minds these days, including Republicans.
Consider the exchange between House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Rep. Bob Filner, California Democrat, and deputy ranking member Rep. Cliff Stearns, Florida Republican.
“There is a problem with the administration at the VA and we are frustrated and need to do something, some shock factor, to spur a change,” said Mr. Filner.
“Is the chairman recommending then a full withdrawal from the VA?” Mr. Stearns wondered.
“Not withdrawal,” Mr. Filner replied. “Redeployment.”
Interpret, for now
Keep honest to the best of your ability — or such is the message being sent to politicians and their operatives until the Federal Election Commission can fully implement the new Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007.
President Bush on Sept. 14 signed the act into law, which includes several revisions to ethics rules governing the conduct of senators and congressmen. One section, for example, places new restrictions on the use of campaign funds for travel on noncommercial aircraft.
“The [FEC] considers the new law a high priority and is working diligently to implement it,” advised FEC Commissioner Robert D. Lenhard. “Until regulations are issued, the commission will not pursue a political committee if it operates under a reasonable interpretation of the statute, even if our subsequent regulations reach a different interpretation.”
Quote of the week
“We will sit down in front of a big TV with a big bowl of chips, watch the debate and talk about the race.”
— Bill Clinton, referring to three lucky persons chosen by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton‘s presidential campaign to watch one of the upcoming presidential debates in the company of the former president.
• John McCaslin can be reached at 202/636-3284 or firstname.lastname@example.org.