John McCaslin

Diplomats from terrorist-supporting nations would not be able to venture more than one-half mile beyond the United Nations complex in New York City under a bill to be introduced by a U.S. congressman.

"One-half mile is more than enough space for lodging, food and other necessities, but it will be easier and more cost-effective for the intelligence community to monitor suspected individuals when necessary," explains Rep. Paul Broun, Georgia Republican.

The congressman says the United States is required under the 1947 United Nations Headquarters Act to allow diplomats into the country for official business, including foreigners who would otherwise be ineligible for U.S. visas.

"In keeping with our agreement, we are allowing large numbers of individuals from state sponsors of terrorism into our country, and to add insult to injury giving them diplomatic immunity," he says, noting that between 2002 and 2007 the State Department issued more than 6,600 visas to delegates and representatives from such nations.

Mr. Broun points to Iran, where there are no U.S. diplomats stationed, yet Iranian diplomats posted in the U.S. "enjoy access and diplomatic immunity," while in 2002, 2003 and 2004 "personnel from the Iranian Mission to the United Nations were caught photographing and videotaping the New York City subway and other popular landmarks."

Those guilty Iranians, by the way, were consequently expelled. Now, the congressman says if such intelligence gatherers can't be stopped from entering the United States, "the least we can do is limit their access."

Hip-hop Barack

The message from Richard Prince's "Journal-isms" column published by the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education is "some journalists got it; some did not."

Or as the headline reads: "Obama's Shoulder Gesture Goes Over Some Heads."

Few are ducking anymore, it would appear. The Washington Post's Richard Cohen is talking about Barack Obama brushing the dust off his shoulders in the fashion of a popular rap musician or two, as are ABC's George Stephanopoulos, the New York Times' Maureen Dowd and MSNBC host Joe Scarborough.

"What's he doing?" wondered the latter, while watching the Illinois senator dust himself off at the podium recently.

On theRoot.com, Mr. Prince notes, Melissa Harris-Lacewell, a Princeton professor, was ecstatic. "Did you see it? Did you see Barack brush his shoulders off?" she wrote. "Like every other hip-hop generation voter in America I went crazy when he did it. I almost couldn't believe it. It was a perfect moment."

"But while some were in ecstasy over Obama's hip-hop connection, others have seen reason for alarm," writes Mr. Prince, who is black.


John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on Townhall.com and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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