Nerds gone wild


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Carnegie Mellon University, perhaps the finest academic institution in Pittsburgh and one of the best in the nation, has announced that it will allow opposite-sex students to share rooms under a pilot program in the fall.

Being a leading member of the fuddy-duddy community, I am against it, as this could start a new trend — already roughly 30 schools, private and public, are said to have some form of gender-neutral housing.

The real terror in the West


How curious that at the Academy Awards ceremony last weekend, not a word was said about the terrorist movements dedicated to the destruction of the West.

Hollywood stars and moguls don’t appear to fully grasp that such groups as al Qaeda and such regimes as that ruling Iran not only hate Republicans, but also evangelicals and Richard Perle. They also hope to suppress artistic freedom, impose second-class status on women and stone to death those with unconventional sexual orientations.

Improving education

By JOSE de la ISLA

Do you remember taking the SAT? It might have had a problem like this: “Pat needs two colors for a fashion design. She has green, black and red material. Which one will she not use?”

The answer is black. It is not a color.

Similarly, the Education Testing Service, the people who bring you the SAT, missed the mark in its recent study delineating the “factors” leading to a national economic wreck looming ahead for lack of education reform.

Another Al Gore makeover?


Former Vice President Al Gore’s renewed prominence as a result of winning two Oscars for “An Inconvenient Truth,” his documentary on global warming, is fueling extensive speculation about his political future — not too many years after he was regarded as not having one.

He has explicitly denied interest in running for president again. Such statements can be dismissed; his cinematic actions speak louder. Moreover, his current quips about being a “recovering politician” indicate that he is working very hard to develop a sense of humor.

Early support for Obama


McClatchy Newspapers

With the first presidential primary and caucus still 10 months away, Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama in the race for the Democratic nomination.

Smith was one of 14 House members to host a congressional breakfast Wednesday for the Illinois senator and is the first member of the Washington state congressional delegation to make an endorsement in the presidential contest.

Union requirement threatens anti-terror bill


President Bush and his Senate allies will kill a Sept. 11 antiterror bill if Congress sends it to the White House with a provision to let airport screeners unionize, the White House and 36 Republicans said Tuesday.

“As the legislation currently stands, the president’s senior advisers would recommend that he veto the bill,” said White House spokesman Scott Stanzel.

Senate Republicans swiftly backed up the threat with a pledge by more than enough senators to block any veto override attempt.

Life in the second tier


While the early favorites in the 2008 presidential race fight for dollars and support, the immediate challenge for a crowded band of lesser known candidates is political survival.

A fast-starting White House race dominated by a cast of political heavyweights already has knocked out two Democratic contenders and left a handful of hopefuls in each party scrambling to escape the bottom of the pack and climb into the top ranks.

GOP dumps terrorist money

A Republican Party campaign committee that received $20,000 in 2003 from a man now accused of helping terrorists has donated the money to a foundation that comforts families of wounded soldiers.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee, the campaign arm for Republican senators, renounced the contribution after news reports identified Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari as an NRSC “Inner Circle Member for Life.”

Edwards apologizes for war vote


Democrat John Edwards said Tuesday that honesty and openness were essential qualities for a president, and that he was proud to acknowledge his 2002 vote authorizing the invasion of Iraq was a mistake.

Trolling for campaign cash on a three-day visit to New York — home of his chief Democratic rival, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton — Edwards spoke to reporters after attending a union-sponsored workshop on eradicating poverty.

Democrats rethink Iraq funding strategy


House Democratic leaders are developing an anti-war proposal that wouldn’t cut off money for U.S. troops in Iraq while requiring President Bush to acknowledge problems with an overburdened military.

The plan could draw broad bipartisan support but was expected to be a tough sell to members who said they don’t think it goes far enough to assuage voters angered by the four-year war.