Filner, like Weiner, isn’t budging

Al Kamen
Columnist July 25, 2013

Anthony “Carlos Danger” Weiner has so far resisted calls from his former New York congressional colleagues to drop out of the race and get some “serious” help for his sexting habits.

Polls had shown the Democrat in the lead in the crowded field for the first-round vote on Sept. 10 but losing in an Oct. 1 runoff.

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993. View Archive

The late-night comics, led by Jay Leno, desperately pleaded for him to hang in there. “I’m pleading with the voters of New York,” Leno said, “please elect this man, please.”

(Probably not going to happen, but it would be nice if he hung in there until September, to help get us through traditionally slow August.)

Meanwhile, on the West Coast, a congressman-turned-mayor, San Diego’s Bob Filner (D), is also resisting calls for him to step down, amid allegations that he sexually harassed several women.

Things got worse this week when his former communications director filed a harassment suit.

The City Council president suggested that employees be given “alternative workspace” away from Filner’s office “to ensure a safe work environment and maintain productivity.”

Filner also apologized and promised to change his ways.

We had assumed Filner was surely a goner any day now. But then, just as a third woman came forward Wednesday with more allegations against him, we got a “You’re Invited! Save the Date” ­
e-mail from him asking us to join him Sept. 28 at the “Grand Opening Ceremony” of the new San Diego Central Library.

We tentatively penciled in the event.

A George boom?

The royal couple picked the name George Alexander Louis for their new baby. It’s distinguished, for sure, and quite British (see the various King Georges and George Harrison).

Some political trivia: Although we’ve had a good run of presidents named George (George Washington, and then those two George Bushes), it’s not the most popular presidential name. That would be James (six of ’em), followed by John and William at four each.

But George isn’t so common among the current political set.

Congress has only two Georges, both in the House: Reps. George Miller (D-Calif.) and George Holding (R-N.C.). Not a one in the Senate.

There are no Georges to be found in the Cabinet, either.

Though if, as expected, the royal baby name sets off a global trend, we can expect a Congress full of Georges starting in about . . . 2070 (since the average age of the House is 57).

The Vote for Me Act

Bill titles, with their often loaded and coded language, have become marketing tools for lawmakers looking to sell their policies to their colleagues and constituents.

From clever acronyms to carefully chosen buzzwords, the names of pieces of legislation are rarely afterthoughts.

The Loop sorted through some of the immigration and other bills floating around Congress, and helpfully translated them.

S. 1348 (of the 110th Congress): The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007.

Translation: Here’s our latest attempt at a really, really big bill that fixes immigration. (Snooze — that was so 2007.)

S. 1: The Immigration Reform that Works for America’s Future Act. (This is the Senate Democrats’ signature bill.)

Translation: “Works” — that’s a double entendre — means it creates jobs. And “America’s Future” has a grand sort of scope to it, so you know it’s good.

S. 744: The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.

Translation: There’s something in here for everyone! Sealing up the borders? Yup. Creating jobs? Done. Also, it’s not that scary, liberal “reform,” it’s just “modernization” (i.e., the current system is outdated).

H.R. 2131: The Supplying Knowledge Based Immigrants and Lifting Levels of STEM Visas Act.

Translation: We can let the smart ones in.

H.R. 2278: The Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement Act.

Translation: Who doesn’t like their enforcement nice and beefy?

And a few non-immigration bills with titles that caught our eye:

H.R. 23: The Sanctity of Human Life Act.

Translation: Vote against this one, and you might as well vote for the Anti-American Pie Act.

H.R. 2643: The Stay in Place, Cut the Waste Act of 2013.

Translation: Keeping federal workers right where they are instead of gallivanting off to far flung conferences = saving money.

S. 1192 and H.R. 2444: The Commonsense Contractor Compensation Act of 2013.

Translation: What, you don’t like a little common sense with your reforms?

Those darn scribes

As the U.S. and Vietnamese media were leaving the Oval Office on Thursday after a brief photo op, one of the television cameras still rolling caught President Obama quipping to Vietnam’s president, Truong Tan Sang, about the slow pace of the media pool in exiting the room: “Reporters are the same everywhere.”

Of course, that’s arguably an accurate observation. But probably not something you want to tell the head of a government that the Committee to Protect Journalists says is engaged in “a campaign of harassment and intimidation that has specifically targeted the country’s few independent online journalists and bloggers.”

With Emily Heil

The blog: washingtonpost.com/
intheloop
. Twitter: @InTheLoopWP.

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