Mary Lynn Jones

Mary Lynn F. Jones is a Washington-based writer. Her work has also appeared in The Chicago Tribune, National
, the Washington Business Journal and Barron's Guide to the Most
Competitive Colleges
. A native Washingtonian, Jones has been a regular
political commentator for WMAL-AM and has made numerous radio and television
appearances, including on National Public Radio's "Talk of the Nation"
and Fox
News Channel. Mary Lynn received her master's degree in journalism from
Columbia University and her bachelor's degree from Wellesley College.

Recent Articles

Déjà Vu All Over Again

During his convention speech in New York later this week, George W. Bush will finally unveil his agenda for the next four years. I'm guessing that Bush will call on Congress to pass some of his initiatives that remain stalled. In other words, his plan for a second term could look a lot like his plan for the first.

Congress isn't finished for the year, of course. But it's unlikely that lawmakers will have time to pass much legislation, such as an energy bill, which was one of Bush's top priorities in 2000. Another issue that Bush talked about that year -- and that he may raise again now -- is privatizing Social Security.

Appraising McCain

Ever since Sen. John McCain ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000 against then–Gov. George W. Bush, he's been the Democrats' favorite Republican. McCain championed campaign finance reform, an issue Democrats pushed into law over GOP objections. He was thought to be in the running for Sen. John Kerry's vice-presidential nominee and defended Kerry against a recent ad criticizing Kerry's Vietnam service.

What's the Rush?

As Republicans continue playing politics -- such as
persuading a Democratic congressman from Louisiana
to register as a Republican shortly before the
election filing deadline on Friday -- Democrats are
returning to Washington Tuesday to talk about national
security issues.

“It's a historic opportunity to enact into law the recommendations of the 9-11 Commission,” Rep. Jim Turner of Texas, the ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee, told me during the Democratic convention, when he thought Republicans would be joining the Democrats this week. “The report gives us momentum we needed to retain a sense of urgency.”

Court Jester

Sen. Patrick Leahy used an event held in his honor during the Democratic convention last week to talk about the importance of the First Amendment.

“With the crew we have in charge right now, we would not be able to ratify the Bill of Rights,” Leahy said on July 27. He noted that after the founding fathers set up the new government, the first thing they did once in power was pass the Bill of Rights to protect the people they were governing.

But the current administration, “who have botched everything, question the patriotism and the honesty of those who dare stand up to use their First Amendment rights” to challenge it, he added.

Just say Om-m-m

Of the 60 speakers who will address the Democratic national convention during the prime hours of 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. this week, 29 are members of Congress. Perhaps that's not a surprise considering that both men on the ticket are sitting senators, and that presidential nominees have to pay obligatory dues to leaders on the Hill. But it also speaks to the important role lawmakers will play in trying to help John Kerry become president as they attempt to win back control of the Capitol.

“The momentum is certainly on our side,” said Representative Jim Langevin of Rhode Island, who will introduce Ron Reagan on Tuesday night to address the need for more stem-cell research. “People recognize we need a new direction in America.”