Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Tom Perez and More Justice Department Lies

PJ Media ^ | May 8, 2013 | J. Christian Adams

The Department of Justice under Eric Holder can’t seem to help itself. Truth and candor have gone extinct. The latest lie involving the nomination of Thomas Perez to be Labor secretary is found in today’s Washington Post. Naturally, the compliant reporter, Josh Hicks, appears to make no effort to challenge the lie, and probably never will.
This latest lie about Perez revolves around his illegal use of his personal Verizon email account to conduct Justice Department business at his Takoma Park, Maryland, home. I testified to the House Judiciary Committee last month that when he was confronted with the question whether he ever used his personal email account to conduct DOJ business, he said under oath he “could not recall.”
This latest lie about Perez revolves around his illegal use of his personal Verizon email account to conduct Justice Department business at his Takoma Park, Maryland, home. I testified to the House Judiciary Committee last month that when he was confronted with the question whether he ever used his personal email account to conduct DOJ business, he said under oath he “could not recall.”
The reason the question is important is because it is against the law to conduct government business on a personal email account. One reason for the law is to permit transparency, another extinct concept in the age of Obama.
When Perez was confronted with his emails conducting DOJ business on his home Verizon account, his recollection became less foggy.
Enter the liars at the Justice Department to cover for him further, courtesy of Josh Hicks at the Post :
The Justice Department said in a letter to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House oversight committee, that Perez used his personal e-mail account “to allow him to review or edit documents after normal working hours.”
So they admit the substance of Perez violating federal law, but offer up an excuse: he had to work at home.
What Rep. Issa was not informed about by the DOJ are the robust DOJ protocols for doing DOJ work at home. Each year, DOJ lawyers must undergo computer security training. It is a nuisance because it diverts every DOJ employee, including me, from their regular duties. But nevertheless, the training is clear — you don’t use personal email for DOJ business and you don’t do DOJ work at home on non-secure computers.
DOJ has equipment and security systems available for attorneys who wish to do DOJ work at home. It allows them to log into a secure server using high-security log-in protocols. Perez could have accessed his DOJ email at home in Takoma Park by using this system. He never needed to use his own Verizon email account. And he knew it.
The reason he used his home email account when a required secure protocol was in place is obvious. He wanted to skirt federal laws which ensure transparency and shield his work from the Freedom of Information Act. When asked about this behavior, he lied to Congress.
Lied, you ask?
Yes. He said he couldn’t recall using his home Verizon email account. The problem for the Labor secretary nominee is that he did it over 1,200 times, and now he is fighting subpoenas to turn over the private emails related to DOJ.
Tom Perez has a habit of not being forthright to Congress and other investigative committees, even when under oath. Someone with so much trouble with the truth doesn’t deserve elevation to higher office.

An Inconvenient Truth for Democrats Who Think They Can Blame Benghazi on a Lack of Security Funding!

The Looking Spoon Blog

This was posted last October in response to Democrats idiotically thinking apparent budget cuts caused the attack. This argument is rearing its ignorant head again. I'll say what I said back then.
If the Obama Administration, and the State Department doesn't know how to allocate 90% of what it requested in a way that covers embassies that NEED security (Libya) from embassies that could spare some funding (i.e. anywhere in Western Europe) that is not the fault of those who "denied" Obama that extra 10%, not properly allocating the funds was a choice on the part of Obama's Administration.

Biden: “When [Susan Rice] speaks…no one wonders whether or not she’s speaking for the President”

Red Alert Politics ^ | 5/8/13 | Kelsey Osterman

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice speaks for President Obama, as Vice President Joe Biden pointed out on Tuesday night.
But what was surely intended to be a nice pat on the back for the ambassador has created an awkward position for the administration in regard to the Benghazi attacks.
“[Rice] also has … the absolute, total, complete confidence of the president of the United States of America,” Biden said, as POLITICO reported. “So when she speaks, when she speaks in the discordant world we reside in right now, no one wonders, no one wonders, whether or not she’s speaking for the president.”
Biden’s remarks came during his address at the gala dinner for The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, where Rice was presented with the 2013 Louis E. Martin Great American Award — despite her involvement in spinning the Benghazi narrative. He also said the ambassador has “done an incredible job representing America’s interests.”
But if Rice speaks for the POTUS, then how would the administration explain away her Sunday morning news show appearances just days after the Sept. 11 attack?
During her interview with FOX News Sunday, Rice said the attacks were “a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired in Cairo as a consequence of the video.”
Following the Benghazi attacks, the Obama administration was put under the microscope for the back-and-forth narrative it presented about whether the U.S. consulate was targeted due to terrorism or as a backlash following an anti-Islam video. It soon became apparent that the attacks in Libya were terrorism, despite administration officials — and the President himself — saying otherwise.
When the administration’s conflicted narrative was brought up during the presidential debates, President Obama asserted that he had labeled the onslaught as terrorism from the start, pointing to remarks he made in the Rose Garden a day later.
“No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for,” he said at the time, in what is a weak admission of terrorism at best.
Yet as a CBS transcript released just days before the 2012 president election revealed, the President said in an interview after the Rose Garden appearance that it was too early to tell whether or not the attack was terrorism.
So if Rice does indeed speak for the President, as Biden says, Obama is once again in a tight spot when it comes to Benghazi.

105-Year-Old Texas Woman Reveals Bacon as her Secret behind Long Life ^ | 05-08-13 | Staff

A 105-year-old Texas woman has earned a place in almost all headlines by revealing the most unlikely secret to her long life.
Strangely, her key to longevity is bacon. Yes, you read it right; 105-year-old Pearl Cantrell loves to eat bacon and feasts on it almost every day. Her story, for sure, will be a subject of research for most health scientists.
Pearl Cantrell, who's mostly referred to as the '105-year-old bacon woman', said in an interview with a local NBC station, "I love bacon and I eat it everyday. I don't feel as old as I am, that's all I can say."
Resident of Central Texas, Cantrell, a mother of seven, has outlived three of her kids, as well as her husband. Her recent 105th birthday bash was a three-day affair that included more than 200 guests.

Democrat Contradictions: Corporate Tax Breaks Bad, But Incentives for Hollywood Good

Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 5/6/2013 | Tom Gantert

Longtime Hollywood movie producer Harvey Weinstein would fit most people's definition of a "fat-cat CEO."
Weinstein, along with his brother, Bob, founded Miramax Films in 1979 and then sold it to Disney for $80 million. In 2005, Forbes reported that Harvey Weinstein enlisted the help of Wall Street investment banking firm Goldman Sachs to raise $1 billion to open another studio they called the Weinstein Co.
The Weinstein's net worth has been estimated at $150 million.
Yet, Weinstein Co. received $1.8 million from Michigan taxpayers in 2011 as part of a reimbursement for payment to a Michigan company for post-production work it did on the movie Spy Kids 4. The website,, notes Spy Kids 4 had a $27 million production budget and has grossed about $86 million worldwide.
Michigan House Democrats have repeatedly said they would like to stop "massive tax giveaways," and routinely complain about cozy relationships big business allegedly has with Republicans.
However, House Democrats have universally supported the state's film subsidy program and want to see it continued. Massive tax giveaways to Hollywood apparently are different. For example, Disney received $40 million from the state's film incentive program in 2010 for its expenses in making, "Oz: The Great and Powerful." That year, Walt Disney Chief Executive Roger Iger had a reported compensation of $39.8 million.
When the Michigan House Republicans went to eliminate the film subsidy entirely from its fiscal year 2014 budget, House Democrats proposed maintaining the film budget at $50 million.
"Republicans have repeatedly shown that they put their corporate donors before Michigan residents," House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel, D-Auburn Hills, was quoted in MLive as saying as budget talks began. "They handed massive tax giveaways to big corporations and fat-cat CEOs, and paid for them by slashing education funding and raising taxes on middle-class families."
But House Democratic Spokeswoman Katie Carey said they weren't talking about film subsidies when Rep. Greimel targeted "fat-cat CEOs."
Carey, who is press secretary for Rep. Greimel, defended the film office, saying it was the Michigan Economic Development Corp. Greimel was referring to when mentioning the tax giveaways.
"The MEDC is a slush fund the governor uses to funnel tax dollars to big corporations and CEOs," Carey said in an email. "That money comes from the state without any requirement that new jobs are created. The House Democratic Caucus believes we need transparency and accountability in government, and we need economic development programs that actually work, not empty promises. The MEDC for far too long has wasted tax dollars on proposals that don't work and it must stop."
Michigan Film Office Spokeswoman Michelle Begnoche confirmed that her office is part of the MEDC.
"Politicians of both parties score points with voters by criticizing corporate handouts and special treatment, yet in Lansing they defend even the most egregious example," said James Hohman, a fiscal policy analyst with the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
Hohman said the film incentive was the single largest taxpayer-funded handout Michigan offers.
Most tax deals require some capital investment, such as improving land or buildings, and the tax incentives are just a fraction of those investments, Hohman said. However, the film subsidies simply require operational spending and the incentives represent a large share of that spending.
The film incentive gives up to 32 percent back to production companies on expenses.

Why the Benghazi Cover-Up is Not the Next Watergate

Neal Boortz
Here we go. The House Oversight Committee hearings on Benghazi begin today, and do you know what we’re going to learn? We’re going to learn that 0bama and Hillary Clinton were informed almost immediately that the attack on the Benghazi consulate was being waged by Islamic jihadists connected to al Qaeda. Then we’re going to learn that 0bama and Hillary immediately went into protective mode … protecting 0bama’s reelection efforts and Hillary’s chances for 2016.
0bama had a narrative to protect. His diplomatic efforts in the Middle East had brought about a new era of cooperation and peace, right? Al Qaeda was on the run and all but decimated, right?
Hillary? She had incompetence to cover up. Almost immediately she came to understand that this consulate had requested additional security and protection, and that her chain of command had said no. Now she had four dead Americans, including one dead Ambassador to deal with. The 3:00 am phone call came, and her phone was turned off.
There was one current and one future presidency to be saved here, so a narrative had to be developed and presented to the American people that would clear 0bama and Hillary of any culpability. So not only did they come up with this phony YouTube video lie, they actually used the police power of the Executive branch of government to take an American citizen, an unknown video producer from California, and jam him in jail on spurious (at best) charges in order to support their phony and entirely contrived YouTube video narrative.
Now, as the hearings begin, we have luminaries such as Senator Lindsey Graham, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton and my friend Mike Huckabee all predicting, to one degree or another, dreadful times ahead for 0bama. The predictions range from a Watergate-style scandal to outright impeachment.
Forget it. Ain’t going to happen. You’re dreaming.
Only a minority of Americans give a flying widget about any 0bama cover-up of the Benghazi matter. They are more likely to buy into White House Spokesman Jay Carney’s “That was a long time ago” narrative, or Hillary’s “What difference does it make” rant than they are to actually care about a deliberate, lying cover-up of the reasons behind the death of four Americans.
Watergate? Gimme a big league break here. There’s a HUGE difference between 0bama’s problems with Benghazi and Nixon’s Watergate mess. When the Watergate scandal broke we had a New York and D.C. press corps with a burning desire to destroy Richard Nixon. With 0bama and the Benghazi scandal we have the very same press corps ready to do anything it can reasonably expect to get away with to protect their God-like hero and preserve his presidency. “But people died in Benghazi!” you say? And you think that’s enough to stop the 0bama hero-worship among the Fourth Estate?
But what about the American people? Really? Think about that for a few moments. Now … you’re not telling me that the same people who put this colossal failure back into the White House for four more years is going to get worked up over Benghazi, are you?
Let me tell you what the American people are concerned with right now – and we’re talking about those who aren’t gunched up with 24/7 discussions about college football recruiting and gay NBA players. In a nutshell (and thank goodness for the few exceptions we DO have) the majority of the American people are more worried right now about acquiring and keeping their monthly checks from the government than they are about 0bama’s lies or foreign policy failures. They think a Benghazi is a small yappy dog.
These people are more concerned about next Winter’s home heating assistance checks than they are about dead ambassadors. They’re worrying about getting more federal dollars for child care to help them take care of the next tricycle motor they’re fixin’ to download without the benefit of a husband. They’re wondering who is going to pay their medical bills, and how they can get their hands on one of those great Section 8 housing vouchers. Some are looking to upgrade their 0bamaPhones.
How many people do we have on Social Security disability right now? The figure is nearing 12 million Americans. These 12 million are principally worried about how to keep those checks coming, while another 12 million (at least) are wondering how to get on this bandwagon as well. After all, their backs hurt and you surely can’t expect them to get out there and work for a living, can you? (Apologies to those of you with actual disabilities, but we could probably cram every one of you into a Jai Alai Fronton somewhere in Miami if we had to.)
Then there’s millions more who’s main concern is making sure their unemployment benefits don’t run out (Me? Get a job?) and others who are waiting for 0bama to make their boss pay them more than they’re actually worth on their jobs.
Benghazi 0bama’s Watergate? For that to happen you need concerned citizens who actually care and a media that will do it’s job objectively. Both ingredients are in short supply.
It’s going to be a great show, to be sure. But in the end it adds up to nothing.

Buried in 844-Page Immigration Bill: Immediate U.S. Entry for Millions

Judicial Watch ^ | May 8, 2013

Buried deep in the colossal immigration bill that’s floating around Congress is an obscure little section that rewrites the current immigrant visa waiting list to allow millions to cut in front of the line via new categories of family-sponsored immigrants.
As if it weren’t bad enough that the measure, known as the Schumer-Rubio bill after the New York Democrat and Florida Republican pushing it, already offers 11 million illegal aliens instant amnesty. A nonpartisan group dedicated to researching legal and illegal immigration into the U.S., discovered the provision in the course of dissecting the monstrous legislation, which at last count spans 844 pages.
The group’s Director of Policy Studies, a former State Department foreign service officer, found this interesting little tidbit that the mainstream media is unlikely to mention; the bill expands an old visa criteria by adding three new categories of family-sponsored immigrants that will instantaneously be allowed into the U.S. They include single and married adult sons and daughters as well as siblings.
This will allow more than 1.4 million family visa applicants to bypass the current waiting list and be admitted immediately and will permit an additional 2.9 million visa hopefuls to enter the U.S. as temporary visitors. This is outrageous since we all saw what “temporary visitors” did on 9/11. It’s fair to assume that this can only weaken national security, which isn’t all that strong to begin with.
This expansion is found in Section 2308 of the legislation, on “V Non-immigrant Visas”. Originally, the V visa was created to allow the eligible kids and spouses of legal U.S. residents (green card holders) to enter the country if they had been waiting a minimum of three years. The change will reward a much larger group with immediate U.S. entry under a perk intended for children and spouses of those living in the U.S. legally.
Here’s another interesting detail; a chunk of the new immigrants can get work permits upon admission and will be processed similarly to immigrant visa applicants, with pro forma fingerprint and medical screenings. Those not entitled to a work permit can still stay in the U.S. up to 60 days a year and it’s likely many won’t leave. “Why should they? After all, they have already discovered that following the rules is not rewarded (many have been on the waiting list for several years) and overstaying is a better deal,” the immigration research group points out in its analysis.
Earlier in the week another well-known D.C. organization published a report asserting that the pending immigration legislation will cost American taxpayers an astounding $6.3 trillion . That’s because newly legalized immigrants would receive $9.4 trillion in government benefits—such as Social Security, Medicare, unemployment and workers’ compensation—and services while paying only $3.1 trillion in taxes.

Terry McAuliffe's Woman Problem

National Journal ^ | 5/8/2013 | Jill Lawrence

It’s hard to believe, but the Democrat running against Republican Ken Cuccinelli for governor of Virginia might have a woman problem.
Cucinelli -- the attorney general and a former state senator -- is the candidate who opposes all abortions except to save a woman’s life. He has twice tried to defund Planned Parenthood and once proposed criminal penalties for doctors who didn’t anesthetize fetuses. He pushed for new hospital-level building codes for clinics that perform abortions, which some say will force them out of business. He is also a leading foe of the Affordable Care Act requirement that insurance policies cover contraception.
Not exactly a feminist dream candidate, or one with obvious appeal to the moderates who helped President Obama win Virginia and reelection last year.
And yet Democrat Terry McAuliffe has drawn a portrait of his marriage that is going to be hard to dispel. He is in the spotlight right now for ditching his wife Dorothy while she was in labor, to dash to a party for a Washington Post reporter. In his telling, in his 2007 book What A Party, she ordered him to leave the hospital because he was driving her crazy. That I can definitely believe. I mean, this is a guy who says he watches action movies to wind down at bedtime. Probably not a calming presence in the delivery room, but still. He left -- and then, dear reader, he wrote about it.
The more problematic anecdote to me is one that involves the birth of another baby, in this case a newborn son whom McAuliffe left in the car with Dorothy on the way home from the hospital while he spent 15 minutes at a fundraiser. She was in tears, he writes. How the heck did he think women would react to that?
Then there’s what McAuliffe told the late writer Marjorie Williams for a profile in Vanity Fair. He said his wife “has no idea” how much money he has, and implied she doesn’t need to know: “She’s got a great life. Listen, her credit cards are paid and all that. She knows I do very well.”
Obama won women voters in Virginia by 9 percentage points last year. But at the moment, a Washington Post poll shows Virginia women are splitting evenly between McAuliffe and Cuccinelli.
Furthermore, Cuccinelli is already trying to soften up his image. His first (quite effective) ad features his wife, Teiro, talking about his work on behalf of homeless people, sexual assault victims and the mentally ill.
Dorothy McAuliffe has not been in hiding. In 2009, during McAuliffe’s first run for governor, she starred in an ad about his business experience and their family of five children – including, believe it or not, a delivery room scene. His first ad this time around is about his upbringing and his family -- complete with another delivery room scene. This is a very resonant image at this point, and not in a good way.
McAuliffe isn’t the first candidate to write a book that did more harm than good during the author’s next political race. Rick Perry did it. In fact, so did Ken Cuccinelli. In this instance, Virginia voters are already having trouble figuring out what to think of McAuliffe as a businessman, and now his own words are raising questions about him as a spouse. It’s time for Dorothy to step into the time-honored political-wife role of character witness, speaking for herself in an ad that goes heavy on Terry’s qualities as a life partner.
It can’t hurt. In the end, however, what may save McAuliffe is the same thing that saved Mark Sanford this week in the South Carolina special House election. Women – and men for that matter -- didn’t like what Sanford did to his wife, his kids or his state. But their conservative political principles prevailed, just as Virginia’s increasingly moderate-to-liberal tilt could help McAuliffe. Even if he can’t overcome his image as a manic husband out of the Mad Men era.

Wrong Number!

How'd you do that?

Blood on HIS hands

Men with GUNS!

The Law?



Nice Kitty

A Congressman

Stop Right There!

Religion in the military

Climate Change?

I have a dream

Modern History



Go Back to sleep

A Good Story

Train Wreck

The Scouts

Wrong house!

Sales Tax

Border Voting

Life Boats

30 out of 31

Bush is a bottomless chasm, a deep, mysterious, emotional, profound man.

DALLAS — Shortly after Barack Obama was elected in 2008, a fellow reporter who'd covered President George W. Bush all eight years told me she'd had enough of the travel and stress and strain of the White House beat, that she was moving on.
We reminisced about all the places we'd been, all the crazy days and wild nights, all the history we'd seen — first hand. Just before we said our goodbyes, I asked her if she'd miss covering President Obama.
"Not at all. He's an inch deep. Bush is a bottomless chasm, a deep, mysterious, emotional, profound man. Obama is all surface — shallow, obvious, robotic, and, frankly, not nearly as smart as he thinks. Bush was the one."
Her words, so succinct, have stuck with me ever since. By the way, she's a hardcore Democrat.
But she was right. And that contrast was apparent to all who watched Thursday's ceremonial event to open W's new presidential library in Dallas. The class and grace and depth of America's last president completely outshined that of his successor (who, coincidentally, or perhaps not, was the only one seated in the shade on a sunny Texas day).
In fact, the day gave America a chance to measure the men who have served it as commander-in-chief for 28 of the last 36 years. Five of the last six presidents were on stage, the first time the quintet has appeared together in public. And what a study in character it was.
Jimmy Carter, the Man From Malaise who was thrown out of office after just one abysmal term (remember double-digit inflation, 9 percent unemployment, gas shortages and low economic growth?) was first to speak. But he was, as always, befuddled. After Laura Bush finished her welcome to the crowd, there was a pause as the Army Chorus prepared to perform "America the Beautiful." In those few moments, Mr. Carter, the only president wearing sunglasses, rose and moved toward the podium. W waved him back down, but Jimmy apparently thought he waving him over. After a short whispering session, the peanut farmer went back to his seat (and W made a funny face to the crowd that said "Adoy!")
When Jimmy did speak, he opened with, "In 2000, as some of you may remember, there was a disputed election for several weeks." Nice way to start. He then took credit for giving W the idea to intercede in Sudan, and went on to praise W's great successes — in Africa. He never mentioned 9-11 and the war on terror, or the commander in chief's leadership during America's most trying hour. Which is why his comments lasted just 3 1/4 minutes.
Bill Clinton followed. He, of course, spoke twice as long, filling his speech with jokes and faux humility. He was his usual affable self — smooth, confident, taking just the right pauses to punch passages, set up jokes (all of which wife Hillary guffawed at).
But the lip bites, the craggy-finger point, the cocked-head squint all looked like "Saturday Night Live" caricatures — mainly because they once were. Mr. Clinton, for all his prodigious gifts, will always be the class clown, the one no one takes too seriously. And with good reason: He did, after all, not "not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky" in the Oval Office. And W — who vowed "to return dignity to the office of the presidency" — was America's answer to his tomfoolery. It was, America said, time for a grown up.
George H.W. Bush, turning 90 in June, was a welcome respite. Somewhat frail now, he spoke only briefly from his wheelchair, but garnered two standing ovations — and the biggest laugh of the day from his oldest son. After his remarks, just 24 seconds, he shook his boy's hand and said, deadpan, "Too long?"
President Obama took the podium next. Every bit as cunning as Slick Willy, his speech too was filled with fake self-effacing insights, including one on "the world's most exclusive club," which he said "is more like a support group." Another laugher from the man with no humility was when he said "being president, above all, is a humbling job."
Then, on a day that was intended to be without politics, he hawked his push for amnesty, imploring "some of the senators and members of Congress who are here today, that we bring it home — for our families, and our economy, and our security, and for this incredible country that we love."
In fact, Mr. Obama made the whole trip about politics. He did a Democratic fundraiser the night before the library opening, and planned a pro-abortion speech at a Planned Parenthood event the same night (which his handlers finally realized was over the top and rescheduled).
But on Thursday, Mr. Obama skipped the praise he had laid on W the night before. "Whatever our political differences, President Bush loves this country and loves its people and shares that same concern and was concerned about all people in America, not just those who voted Republican. I think that's true about him, and I think that's true about most of us."
Except it's not. Especially not this president. He has made his presidency about dividing America — along lines of class, sex, race, sexuality, you name it. Successful people are "the rich who need to pay their fair sh ar e." Last week, he had a name for elected lawmakers who opposed his new gun laws — "liars." And more than any president before him, he has set out to destroy the other party, casting Republicans as out of touch, archaic, maybe even racist.
Then, finally, W took the podium. Gone were the punched phrases, the comfortable pauses, the perfect elocution of Barack and Bill. Back was the Texas drawl, the too-fast delivery — nerves? No, just impatience — that the wine-sipping media so deplored.
He got right to the point: "For eight years, you gave me the honor of serving as your president. Today I'm proud to dedicate this center to the American people."
He gave a profound lesson to his successor and his predecessor: "In democracy, the purpose of public office is not to fulfill personal ambition. Elected officials must serve a cause greater than themselves. The political winds blow left and right, polls rise and fall, supporters come and go. But in the end, leaders are defined by the convictions they hold.
"As president, I tried to act on these principles every day. It wasn't always easy and it certainly wasn't always popular ... And when our freedom came under attack, we made the tough decisions required to keep the American people safe," he said to loud applause.
But it was the end that gave us the truest glimpse of the man. Like so many other times, the power of America got to him. With tears in his eyes, his voice breaking, he said: "It's the honor of a lifetime to lead a country as brave and as noble as the United States. Whatever challenges come before us, I will always believe our nation's best day lie ahead." By the end he was in tears, barely able to creak out: "God bless."
Then with a wink and a wave, he turned and went back to his chair. Leaning in to Laura, he said with a shrug, "Sorry." Then he sat down, looking shell shocked. The 10,000-plus crowd was on its feet, cheering. That made him even more sheepish. He pawed at an escaping tear. Then he noticed the other presidents on their feet. So he stood back up, and held up three fingers — W.
But there was one last classy move not many saw. The program nearly over, Sgt. 1st Class Alvy R. Powell Jr. came to the side of the stage to perform the "Star Spangled Banner." A big, powerful black man, Mr. Powell belted out the anthem. With the crowd applauding, the sergeant moved along the line of people, shaking hands with all. After greeting W, he turned to go. But the 43rd president put his hand on the sergeant's arm and said, "Stay," just as a chaplain stepped forward to give a benediction.
So the final tableau of the day: Five presidents, five first ladies, heads bowed in prayer. And Sgt. 1st Class Alvy R. Powell Jr. No one, really, just the Man a President asked to "Stay."
• Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times and is now editor of the Drudge Report. He can be reached at and @josephcurl.