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EDITORIAL: NEA scandal timeline

Nov. 10, 2008: A former National Endowment for the Arts chief is named to the Obama transition team. Bill Ivey, NEA head under Bill Clinton, will handle arts and cultural issues in the transition. Published September 14, 2009

EDITORIAL: Fenty's traffic camera jackpot

The District has ramped up its shakedown of local motorists. Escalated photo enforcement means commuters will be paying more out of their pockets with no corresponding increase in safety. Published September 13, 2009

EDITORIAL: Baucus bill would destroy private health insurance

Some breathed a sigh of relief that a new health care bill introduced by Sen. Max Baucus does not include government insurance. This solace is premature. The Montana Democrat's bill proposes new regulations that would doom the private insurance industry. Published September 13, 2009

EDITORIAL: Tehran's nuclear endgame

It's beginning to look like peace had its chance with Iran and failed. Tehran is facing a Tuesday deadline to respond to the Group of Six offer to open talks on trade if Iran ends its nuclear enrichment program. The United States should make contingency plans for when Israel takes action. Published September 13, 2009

EDITORIAL: Obama's unemployment shuffle

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said last week, "The Recovery Act has played a significant role in changing the trajectory of our economy and changing the conversation about the economy in this country." In lock step with the Obama administration, the media dutifully reports that job losses are getting smaller each month. This rosy outlook depends on a selective use of government data. In reality, the unemployment rate is rising. Published September 11, 2009

EDITORIAL: Grounded down at Ground Zero

Eight years after the Sept. 11 tragedy, construction at the Ground Zero site is finally rising above street level. In August, 24 70-ton steel columns began to be erected as part of the base for the largest of the site's buildings. One World Trade Center, formerly known as the Freedom Tower, is now slated to be completed in 2013 at a budget of over $3 billion. When completed it will be the tallest building in America at 1776 feet. Published September 11, 2009

EDITORIAL: The Blago diaries

Ousted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's book telling "the truth" about his arrest on corruption charges makes for interesting reading. In "The Governor" (Phoenix, 352 pages), the impeached pol details his connections to President Obama and his political team, which offers a useful tutorial on the linkages and practices of Chicago's corrupt Democratic machine. The most compelling selling point of this book, however, is its entertainment value. Published September 11, 2009

EDITORIAL: Waxman stifles dissent

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce will hold a sham of a hearing today on the deleterious effects of the misguided Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA). The hearing is a sham because Chairman Henry A. Waxman, California Democrat, has refused multiple requests for testimony from small-business owners, consumers or anybody other than government officials. Instead, the sole witness will be new Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman Inez Moore Tenenbaum, who started her job less than three months ago. Published September 10, 2009

EDITORIAL: Obama's doves come home to roost

It was an article of faith to Democrats during the latter years of the George W. Bush administration that Afghanistan was the "right war," in contrast to the "wrong war" in Iraq. Taking a vocal stand for Afghanistan enabled them to slam President Bush's unpopular Iraq policy while adopting a fashionably hawkish stand on the war on terrorism. No one likes al Qaeda, and this posture gave then-candidate Barack Obama the chance to say tough-guy things like, "We must make it clear that if Pakistan cannot or will not act, we will take out high-level terrorist targets like bin Laden if we have them in our sights." Because Iraq was the idee fixe of the antiwar crowd, talking about Afghanistan wasn't likely to alienate the doves so long as Iraq was roundly denounced. Anyway, they knew it was just political posturing, right? Published September 10, 2009

EDITORIAL: Gays but not guns

The Senate took further moves last night toward the expected confirmation of Harvard Law School professor Cass R. Sunstein to head the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. This is a key but little-known position that sets governmentwide standards for bureaucratic rule-making. The senators ought to slow down. Published September 10, 2009

EDITORIAL: Better ways to reform health care

For a politician who promised to be post-partisan and unifying, President Obama is proving to be awfully ideological and divisive. His speech on Monday at an AFL-CIO picnic in Cincinnati showed that he enters Wednesday's national address on health care in full attack-dog mode. That approach is not likely to bring Americans together to support his unpopular policies. Published September 9, 2009

EDITORIAL: Citizens united against censorship

The Supreme Court is hearing arguments today regarding Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The case could decide what political speech is prohibited by federal campaign finance laws. To put it simply, campaign finance laws constrain free speech. This showdown provides the high court with an opportunity to make clear that it's not the proper role of government to limit how much is being spent on campaigns or by whom. Published September 9, 2009

LETTER TO EDITOR: Sign of the Times

A recent article about generator profits under proposed "cap-and-trade" legislation took too narrow a view ("Nuclear power plants face big profits in House bill," Page 1, Sept. 1). We should be looking not at profits but at price signals from well-functioning markets that in the long run will provide consumers with least-cost outcomes and innovation that no government regulatory program can provide. Published September 9, 2009

LETTER TO EDITOR: Rahm is raw, not well-done, but still finished

We've all heard the story. At a dinner to celebrate President Clinton's 1992 electoral victory, Rahm Emanuel named each person who had crossed the Clinton campaign and plunged a knife into the table while shouting, "Dead! Dead! Dead!" Published September 9, 2009

EDITORIAL: Sunstein flunks gun rights test

Harvard Law School professor Cass R. Sunstein, the president's embattled nominee to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, misfired one time too many. Published September 9, 2009

LETTER TO EDITOR: Founders would be dumbfounded

The front-page story about a doctor who wants elderly critics of the Democrats' health care plan to burn their Medicare cards provides great insight into the mind-set of supporters of the plan ("Pro-reform doctor wants critics to forgo Medicare," Page 1, Monday). Dr. Aaron Shirley's stunt -- and that's exactly what it is -- reveals exactly what the Founding Fathers warned us about: a people so dependent on the federal government that they are labeled un-American or hypocritical when they criticize it. Published September 9, 2009

EDITORIAL: Shakedown at the luau

Imagine what would happen if Congress proposed setting up a special, sovereign government for any descendant, anywhere in the country, of the mix of Cajuns and American Indians who lived before the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 in what is now the state of Louisiana. Imagine if the law created a new Office of Native Cajun Affairs that would own one-fifth of the land in Louisiana and would have the power, independently from the state, to write and enforce laws, punish offenders, tax its members and seize private land for the new sovereign entity - without the full protections of the Bill of Rights. Published September 8, 2009

EDITORIAL: The public chooses school choice

Another respected poll is out that shows the American public overwhelmingly favors school reforms opposed by the union that is misnamed the National Education Association. On two issues in particular, the public is far ahead of the NEA. Published September 8, 2009

EDITORIAL: Hamas and the Holocaust

How much should Palestinian children know about Nazi war crimes? According to Hamas, only enough to know the Holocaust is a lie. Published September 8, 2009

EDITORIAL: Occupational hazard

President Obama has made a mantra, even a fetish, of his determination to "restore science to its rightful place." It appears that he means junk science rather than the real thing. The president's nominee to head the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), a virulently anti-business epidemiologist named David Michaels, is one the nation's foremost proponents of allowing junk science to be used in jackpot-justice lawsuits. Published September 7, 2009