Walking Wounded

John McCaslin
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Posted: Feb 13, 2008 10:43 AM
Walking Wounded

One Republican presidential candidate we don't hear much about is former Reagan administration ambassador Alan Keyes, who yesterday released a none-too-glowing assessment of leading Republican Party contender Sen. John McCain.

Bottom line: Mr. Keyes cannot support Mr. McCain at the ballot box without abandoning his conservative principles. As he put it, "There's not a single constituency of true conservatives that doesn't have one of John McCain's knives stickin' out of our backs."

Government growth

Inside the Beltway readers weren't laughing when we quoted the American Land Rights Association as saying that Congress is out to seize control of every drop of U.S. water by giving the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers jurisdiction over everything from "bathtubs to baptismal fonts."

Actually, the Clean Water Restoration Act of 2007 would effectively amend the 1972 Clean Water Act by replacing the words "navigable waters" with "waters of the United States."

We'll allow reader Andrew Hunt to speak for the others: "The definition of waters in the proposed legislation is very scary. The American Land Rights Association may be a little off but not by much. If your yard does not have very good drainage then they will be able to control it. The only good thing about that is they may say you can no longer have your lawn mowed."

Crooked country

Republicans on Capitol Hill are keeping a running list of nationwide voter-fraud cases during this 2008 election season. Just how prevalent is the problem?

Consider that Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama have actually filed lawsuits against each other in Nevada, alleging voter suppression by the other side — from pre-filled-out ballots to providing false information to voters.

And in the Pacific Northwest, there exists "the worst voter-registration fraud in Washington history," reports one news outlet. One county in the state is purging from voter rolls 230 names provided by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN).

Check with mom

That was Democratic U.S. Senate candidate and former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner shopping with one of his three daughters for a new dress at Hysteria boutique in Old Town Alexandria.

Once she picked out the dress she liked, Mr. Warner had his daughter telephone her mother, former Virginia first lady Lisa Collis, for final approval.

Otherwise, Mr. Warner will speak at a Ritz-Carlton luncheon today hosted by the Potomac Officers Club, a business organization exclusively for senior executives. We're told Mr. Warner will discuss his commitment to bringing about that political "change" we've been hearing so much about from the various Democratic candidates.

Space surfing

Don't look now, but more people are gazing into outer space through the Internet.

NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale has just informed the National Space Club that NASA's "Return to Flight" launch of the STS-114 — the 2005 Space Shuttle mission commanded by Eileen Collins — "was the largest single live event in Internet history with approximately 438,000 [webcasts], even more than the NCAA basketball tournament."

And when NASA's Deep Impact mission slammed into the comet Tempel 1 on July 4, 2005, she says the nasa.gov Web site "transmitted over 180,000 simultaneous streams of live video, even more than the Live 8 concerts that occurred around the world that same week."

Pick an animal

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox, in remarks at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, recalled the role that Joseph P. Kennedy played upon the creation of the SEC nearly 75 years ago.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had appointed Mr. Kennedy, the father of President John F. Kennedy and Massachusetts Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, to serve as the inaugural chairman of the SEC, even though accusations existed at the time that the senior Kennedy had been involved in everything from insider trading to importing liquor during Prohibition.

Mr. Cox recalled that some observers described Joseph P. Kennedy's selection "as 'putting the fox in charge of the henhouse.' Or as future SEC Chairman Jerome Frank put it in 1934, it was 'like setting a wolf to guard a flock of sheep.' "