WASHINGTON, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Capital Comment -- News notes, political rumors, and important events that shape politics and public policy in Washington and the world from United Press International.
Fight or flight -- Since the bombing started in Afghanistan, the Peace Corps has received at least a dozen calls from students wanting to know if Peace Corps service will be an acceptable alternative to military duty. According to our source, the callers are being told "no" with no additional explanation, leading to chuckles among the Peace Corps staff. For the record, the volunteer service option only comes into play when there is a draft -- which makes military service mandatory when your number comes up. There hasn't been a draft since the early 1970s.
The GOP has a lot of friends in Pennsylvania -- Voters handed control of all three branches of the state government to the GOP on Election Day, and Republicans are still rejoicing. Party leaders are calling the victory of all seven judicial candidates "a resounding affirmation of GOP leadership." With the election of Mike Eakin, the GOP now controls the state Supreme Court for the first time in nearly three decades. In Erie County, Rick Shenker upset a longtime Democrat incumbent county executive; in Lebanon, GOP City Councilman Bob Anspach upset the incumbent Democrat mayor; in Lancaster, Republicans swept all three city council seats; and in Allegheny County, Republican Doug Price knocked off a Democrat county council member, removing from Democrat's the power to override GOP County Executive Jim Roddey's veto on partisan lines.
Totally booked -- There was barely room to move about the room Monday night as friends and admirers gathered in the office of powerhouse consulting firm Barbour, Griffith, Rogers to celebrate the publication of The Final Days, the posthumously published best-seller by Barbara Olson. The book is already number two on the New York Times best-seller list.
Nailing it down -- Amy Tuck, the Democrat who serves Mississippi as lieutenant governor, is firmly denying rumors that she will switch parties and run for governor as a Republican. Rumors to that effect have be flying around Jackson after she unveiled a congressional remap that benefited Republican Rep. Chip Pickering at the expense of Democrat Rep. Ronnie Shows, who will likely face each other after the state loses a seat because of redistricting. "I have no plans to switch," she said. "Better nail that down."
Not an end but a beginning -- As victory in Afghanistan appears at hand, a coalition of groups including the conservative Free Congress Foundation, Americans for a Safe Israel, and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs is urging "total war against Arab/Muslim terror." On Thursday at noon, representatives of these groups will present their case in the Lisagor Room of the National Press Club, explaining "how victory can be achieved in the U.S. war on terrorism in spite of the U.N."
Independence streak -- Michael Bloomberg got most of the 718,011 votes in his winning campaign for mayor of New York from the Republican line. But 8 percent of the victory belongs to the Independence Party, whose members cast 60,025 votes for the multi-millionaire media mogul. Bloomberg's margin of victory over Democrat Mark Green was 39,724 votes, auguring the era of a new kingmaker in New York City politics -- former New Alliance Party presidential candidate Lenora Fulani, whose forces took over the party in conjunction with allies of former White House communications director Pat Buchanan for his 2000 New York presidential run.
Calling Warren Christopher - Former City Administrator Shirley Franklin has once again been declared the winner of the Nov. 6 Atlanta mayoral race. The Fulton County, Ga., elections board ordered a recount last week after City Council President Robb Pitts questioned the 191-vote margin by which she avoided a runoff. Following the announcement of the results, a lawyer for the Pitts campaign moved to challenge the finding.
Oh my mama -- Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, has become a mother for the second time in four months. The senator and her husband, Ray, recently announced that they had adopted a 3-month-old boy, Houston Taylor. In August, the Hutchisons announced the adoption of Kathryn Bailey Hutchison, who is now seven months old. A spokeswoman for the Senator said Houston is named for Hutchison's great-great grandfather, Charles S. Taylor, who was a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence.
"And his good friend was Sam Houston,'' the first President of the Republic of Texas, said the spokeswoman, Lisette McSoud Mondello.
Dumb luck -- Dave Bossie, the former congressional investigator who became expert on the myriad scandals associated with Bill and Hillary Clinton, lived in a Maryland firehouse for 10 years where he was a volunteer. Now that he has married, he has a home of his own, just down the street from the firehouse where he is still a volunteer. This has led to some interesting incidents, as was the case a week ago Sunday ago when his first child, Isabella, was christened.
While friends and family reveled at the celebration afterward, one guest noticed that a house several doors down appeared to be on fire, which caused Bossie and several other guests to grab their gear and dash to the rescue -- much to the surprise of the homeowner who had just gotten on the line with 911 to call for help when it arrived en masse.
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