On the American dime?

Posted: Sep 12, 2007 11:32 AM
On the American dime?

Secret access

He's a Democratic congressman indicted on 16 federal counts of bribery. He was videotaped by the FBI accepting $100,000 from an investor wearing a wire. His home was raided by federal agents who discovered $90,000 wrapped in aluminum foil in the freezer. Most recently, his congressional office was searched.

Now, last Friday, on the same day he argued in court papers that he did nothing illegal, Inside the Beltway has discovered that Louisiana Rep. William J. Jefferson joined other congressmen and executed the "oath for access to classified information."

Then again, in this country one is innocent until proven guilty.

Showcasing policy

Make way for another Washington museum,provided enough private donations are raised by former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger, Alexander Haig, George Schultz, James A. Baker III, Lawrence Eagleburger, Warren Christopher, Madeleine K. Albright and Colin L. Powell.

All of the above are honorary directors of the charitable Foreign Affairs Museum Council, which seeks to build a Museum of the History of American Diplomacy. So far, the council has raised $1.3 million, with $300,000 already spent on an initial concept design for the museum.

Given no taxpayer funds will be provided, the Senate has given its blessing to the museum, saying in writing that the role of diplomacy in the foreign policy of the United States "deserves recognition." The State Department began exploring the feasibility of establishing a diplomatic museum in 1998.

Needing God

Saying America is "moving in a very, very wrong direction," Indiana Rep. Dan Burton says he will introduce legislation mandating that "In God We Trust" be retained in a prominent place on U.S. currency and coinage.

"Recently, there were thousands of coins minted without 'In God We Trust' on them, and now they're talking about putting 'In God We Trust' in an obscure place on coins so that people can't read it, right on the edge of the coin," the Republican complains.

Practically preaching from the pulpit, the congressman warns that "once you start turning your back on the good Lord, I think you are going to reap the whirlwind, and this is something this nation cannot afford to do right now."

Endangered peacock

We've written of late about the increasing popularity of the Spanish-language television network Univision, including its entry into the 2008 presidential campaign.

Now the New York City-headquartered network says that in the one-week period ended Sept. 2, "Univision ranked as the No. 1 network with an 11 percent advantage over its nearest competitor, Fox, and beating ABC by 43 percent, CBS by 42 percent, NBC by 57 percent, and fully 125 percent ahead of CW for all adults 18-34, not just Hispanics."

English majors

Armed with a camera, Rep. Ted Poe, Texas Republican, traveled the other day to the city of El Paso to get a firsthand look at the region's illegal-immigration mess.

"At about 6:15 in the morning, very early, was when these photographs were taken," said Mr. Poe, who is now showing off his pictures. "Now, these photographs were taken by the Rio Grande River and ... these photographs are taken of students going into El Paso city. And you will notice they have on school uniforms.

"This individual is even carrying a set of golf clubs that he brought from home, I suspect, to go to school. Here are some kids ... and they also have their backpacks, their school uniforms, and they are headed into the United States."

Mr. Poe was told by authorities that "hundreds" of Mexican students, wearing "purple and blue and green and red, or gray [uniforms] ... cross the border into the United States every day from Mexico to go to school in the United States. At the end of the day, all of these kids, some of them escorted by their parents, cross back over into Juarez, Mexico, to go home."

On the American dime?

"It seems to me that the United States is funding the education of foreign nationals that not only don't live here, they live somewhere else and come to our schools all at the expense of taxpayers in the United States," Mr. Poe said.