- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 28, 2008

STUCK AT GREEN

Since 1992, and continuing with directives through 2007, Congress and the White House have set forth energy objectives for federal agencies’ vehicle fleets.

According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), federal agencies were to (1) acquire 75 percent alternative-fuel vehicles (AFV) with all new light-duty vehicle purchases; (2) use only alternative fuel in AFVs, unless granted a waiver; (3) increase overall alternative fuel use by 10 percent annually; (4) reduce petroleum consumption by 2 percent annually through 2015; and (5) purchase plug-in hybrid electric vehicles when available and at a reasonable cost.

However, in a new GAO report we’ve obtained, data indicates that the U.S. government in 2006 “primarily fueled their AFVs with gasoline — not alternative fuel — and our analysis found no evidence that this changed in 2007.”

About half of the agencies did increase alternative-fuel use by 10 percent, and two-thirds reported reducing petroleum use by 2 percent in 2007, however “persistent data problems call these results into question,” the GAO states.



Finally, not a single federal agency “acquired plug-in hybrid electric vehicles because they were not commercially available.”

FEW CROSSOVERS

If the presidential election were held today, Democrat Barack Obama would win 11 percent of the Republican vote, while Republican John McCain would get 10 percent of the votes cast by Democrats.

That’s according to the latest Rasmussen Poll, which counts the pair of candidates essentially even among unaffiliated voters.

OBAMA LANDSLIDE

Melani Dizard‘s and Kristin Weber‘s St. Columba’s Nursery School class in the District just held a mock presidential election with a voter turnout most politicians only dream of — 82 percent.

If the preference of 4- and 5-year-olds is any indication of what’s to come on Election Day, the Democrats will certainly be happy with the results: Barack Obama, 73 percent of the vote; John McCain, 27 percent.

The mock election, and surrounding educational activities, were organized by Michelle Bernard, president and CEO of the Independent Women’s Forum, who provides commentary on MSNBC; and her husband, CNN correspondent Joe Johns. The couple’s son, Logan, attends St. Columba’s.

(The proud parents declined to reveal Logan’s choice for commander in chief. The ballot judge was similarly mum, given the “secret ballot” voting, as were the registrar, clerk, election marshal, and official polling observers. If only the national election could run as efficiently.).

SARAH AND SUCH

We don’t recall this much enthusiasm on the part of gentlemen surrounding the selection of Geraldine Ferraro as the country’s first female vice-presidential candidate on a major-party ticket.

We are alerted to a Las Vegas club that is hosting a Sarah Palin look-alike contest. Contestants will be judged by club guests on how much they resemble Mrs. Palin — while wearing a swimsuit, and how well they debate.

Mrs. Palin would no doubt frown at the competition in her honor. After all, the club is a strip joint that is bringing in women from “gentlemen’s clubs” all over the country.

CALL FOR JUSTICE

“As a former judge and prosecutor for over 30 years, I believe the law applies to everyone, even elite white-collar criminals in New York City.”

So declares Rep. Ted Poe, Texas Republican, who — together with Democratic Rep. Nancy Boyda of Kansas — has sent a letter to Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey calling for a thorough investigation “into any and all financial institutions, corporations and individuals that are suspect of criminal action relating to our current economic crisis.”

The pair’s plaintiffs: constituents concerned “about their retirement accounts, their savings, and how they can afford to send their kids to college.”

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

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