Inside the Beltway is pleased to present its annual list of New Year’s resolutions, whereby readers assume the personas of the president and his fellow politicians — indeed, members of the incoming 110th Congress:
“I, Patrick Leahy, resolve to provide al Qaeda with calling cards after I pull the plug on the warrantless wiretaps.”
“I, Patrick Leahy, resolve to provide the Guantanamo detainees with both habeas corpus and ‘habeas vacationus’ in Vermont.”
“I, John Kerry, who served in Vietnam, hereby resolve to have Air America critique my jokes prior to me botching them.”
“I, Joe Biden, resolve to improve my enemy/friend identification skills: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad = bad; John Bolton = good.”
“I, Ted Kennedy, resolve to continue working with President Bush onNCLB(NoChildLeftBehind,and to correctly rename the program to NCLB, No Cash Left Behind).”
“I, Jay Rockefeller, resolve to forfeit my great-grandfather’s Standard Oil fortune when Exxon Mobil gives up the freedom of speech and falls in line with the global-warming crowd.”
“I, Hillary Clinton, resolve to add a chapter in the rerelease of ‘It Takes a Village,’ that deals with the village intern.”
“I, Carl Levin, as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, resolve to have a Navy corpsman instruct me on the proper wearing of eyeglasses.”
“I, President Bush, resolve to improve bipartisanship by having Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi and Senator Ted Kennedy to this year’s White House New Year’s Eve party, if the distinguished senior senator from Massachusetts will provide Mrs. Pelosi with transportation.” (Lester Berry, Voorhees, N.J.) “I, President Bush, resolve to be the resolute president that American citizens met on September 11, 2001.”
(Cara Lyons Texas)
“We, congressional Republicans, resolve to stop spending like drunken Democrats.”
(Ed Van Voorhees, Nashville, Tenn.)
“We, members of Congress, hereby resolve that the government of these United States will spend one dollar less than it spent the previous year, and will employ one less person than the previous year.”
(Charles Thomas, West Pittston, Pa.)
“We, members of Congress, resolve not to pass any legislation that we have not personally read from beginning to end. There needs to be no haste in passing permanent laws. Our staff should not be doing that part of our jobs.” (Tom Camp, Shelby, N.C.) “I, member of Congress, pledge that I will serve honestly and honorably, and that I will truly represent my constituents — in district or state — without regard to political persuasions.” (Richard Letaw, Vienna, Va.) “We, senators and congressmen, hereby resolve to recognize that truth is objective (that which conforms to reality) rather than what I, in all my pomposity, prefer to believe it is.”
(Bill Dillon, Ocean Pines, Md.)
“We, members of Congress, hereby resolve to nominate former D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey as a candidate for chief of the United States Capitol Police. Chief Ramsey’s professionalism and integrity have been of the highest degree during his eightyear tour as chief of the Metropolitan Police force.” (Jim Dawson, Clinton, Md.) “I, John Kerry, hereby resolve to continue: denouncing President Bush’s policies in Iraq, even in the face of people saying I’m aiding and abetting Islamo-terrorists; praising priests who allow me to receive the Sacraments before, during and after I vote for legislation facilitating abortion; and promise to use my wife’s money more wisely in proving myself to be the best candidate for the presidential election in 2008.”
(Ann Sheridan, Washington, D.C.)
“We, members of Congress, resolve to approve immediate declarations that: support the nation of Israel ‘for life’; support the establishment of an independent nation of Palestine; partially privatize Social Security; extend tax cuts (income, capital gains) beyond 2010; write a national ‘Jessica’s Law’ (anti-pedophile bill); write an antipornography Internet-control bill; write a border-protection bill without amnesty for illegal immigrants, but with a requirement for illegal immigrants to step forward, admit their illegal status and make restitution through public service, thus waiving any further legal action against them.”
(Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Rob Weinhold; Dale City, Va.)
“We, members of Congress, resolve not to wreck the country by leaving it trillions of dollars in debt, with entitlements that are out of control, leaving young people today in fear of the future.”
(Michael Krekel, Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.)
Not Lady Bird
“Why do you Hillary?”
That’s the blaring question posed on the January/February cover of Mother Jones magazine, which seeks to explain why the junior senator from New York, Hillary Rodham Clinton, “stokes our deepest fears and darkest hatreds.”
The answer, says writer Jack
hate Hitt, might surprise readers.
First, obviously, Mrs. Clinton was atypical as White House first lady.
“The national trauma began when Hillary violated perceived roles of domesticity,” writes Mr. Hitt, who turns to University of Missouri professor Betty Winfield for further explanation:
“People had a very preconceived idea about how a first lady was supposed to act, the image of a supportive wife, but not too outspoken. Hillary had no noblesse oblige cause, nothing coming from the domestic sphere like highway beautification or illiteracy or anti-drug use among teens. No, no. She was going to change the entire health care system for the whole country.”
Still, the underlying reason for so openly fearing Mrs. Clinton is far deeper, according to Mr. Hitt.
“Hillary is an avatar of an existential dread that lurks in the hearts of every couple who’ve tried to put together a life since the feminist revolution,” he explains. “Hillary has come to embody a dark fear in the hearts of modern men: the wife who neglects the joys of the bedroom for her career.
“The middle years of marriage are hard enough (or so I have read), trying to keep the flame flickering amid the anxieties of bills, the call of career, the squall of little children. That’s the age-old stuff. Add to that a novel stress on the guy: a new destructive Oedipal force right at his side, his wife. She wants a career equal to, if not better than, her husband’s.”
No useful purpose?
Uncle Sam’s new 2007 abstinence-only education program isn’t just for teenagers, says the taxpayer-watchdog Citizens Against Government Waste.
“[T]he government’s official message of no sex prior to marriage will be directed at single individuals up to 29 years old,” observes CAGW’s Sean Kennedy, adding the new policy “may be a case of trying to lock the barn door after the horses have escaped.”
He cites National Center for Health Statistics showing that more than 90 percent of adults ages 20 to 29 are sexually active.
“Looking at a statistic like that, it is easy to question the purpose of teaching abstinence to an age group of which nine out of 10 individuals has already failed to abstain,” he notes.
Leah Taylor’s new book, “Horses of the Presidents,” reveals that George Washington always had his horse’s teeth brushed before he would go out for a ride.
The majority of America’s great leaders, the author writes, had a fondnessforhorses.TakeAlgonquin, the calico pony given to President TheodoreRoosevelt’schildrenwhen they lived at the White House.
Roosevelt saw to it that Algonquin actually rode in the White House elevator in order to pay his bedside respects to presidential son Archie Roosevelt when the youngster was ill.
Can’t trust ‘em
First, Vice President Dick Cheney warned Americans in 2004 that if Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, was elected president, “the danger is that we’ll get hit again” by terrorists. Americans responded by giving President Bush a second term.
Now, televangelist and one-time Republican presidential candidate Pat Robertson says God has told him that even with Mr. Kerry safely confined to Capitol Hill, a terrorist attack would occur on U.S. soil sometime this year (likely in September or after) and result in “mass killing.”
Taking a cue from the bartender at the National Press Club, Charles “Hap” Hazard, who for 29 years was a political illustrator, graphic and courtroom artist for the Baltimore Sun, lit his tobacco pipe for one last time. No, he’s not quitting smoking. “Jack the bartender told me that I might as well have my final smoke in the club because I’m not going to be able to do it anymore,” Mr. Hazard tells Inside the Beltway, after a strict citywide smoking ban went into effect last week. The ban stretches from offices and restaurants to taverns and nightclubs.
“Actually, although it’s a private club, the press club board is apparently made up of the politically correct and sensitive types, and they chose to do away with the smoking part of it,” Mr. Hazard says. “I signed a petition asking them to reconsider, but [. . .]
“So, while my wife was having her cup of coffee and reading, I smoked my pipe one last time. And other people around the bar were having their smoke. I’ve just always enjoyed the ambience of the place.”
(As did the late CBS newsman Eric Sevareid, who upon his retirement called the National Press Club “the only hallowed place I know of that’s absolutely bursting with irreverence.”)
“I find it so interesting that we can’t smoke; it’s a terrible evil. You can’t smoke in Ireland, and you can’t smoke in Washington, D.C.,” notes Mr. Hazard, who in recent years has been an outsource artist for the National Park Service and ChesapeakeBay Foundation. Pipe smoker that he is, he even helps out at a local tobacco shop.
“Even in the tobacco shop where I work they are attempting to stop smoking because they want to protect me, an employee, from the secondhand smoke that I have to endure for being in their shop. They forget that I enjoyfirsthand smoke.”
John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The cover story of the latest issue of the leftist magazine Mother Jones offers an explanation of why people “love to hate” Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.