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

Republican Cowboys

"They deal with us [Democrats] the same way they deal with our allies around the world: 'It's our way or the highway'," House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer says. "'You do things our way or you don't play'." So last week, the House Judiciary Committee passed, with an unfavorable recommendation, a constitutional amendment sponsored by Democratic Rep. Brian Baird along party lines. All Republicans opposed it, while all Democrats favored it. Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner has a bill that would require special elections be held to fill House seats within 45 days if at least 100 members of Congress are killed in an attack. Baird's amendment would allow for temporary appointments to the House in such an event. In his rush to dispose of the issue, Sensenbrenner ignored requests from other lawmakers, including Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher and Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren, to hold hearings on their amendments. "To prevent the country from examining the issue and the whole House from...


It's well known that Speaker Dennis Hastert and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi are barely on speaking terms in the House. Now it looks as if the Senate's leaders may be next. Majority Leader Bill Frist is waging an aggressive campaign to cost Minority Leader Tom Daschle his job. Frist is urging Republican donors, “If you can only make one more contribution to one of our Republican Senate candidates this election cycle ... you should make that gift to John Thune!” Thune, who narrowly lost to Senator Tim Johnson in 2002, is now challenging Daschle for his South Dakota Senate seat. It's an uphill battle for Thune, who trails Daschle in the polls and in fund raising. But while Frist's job as majority leader is to increase his party's hold on the Senate, his decision to be so bold about politicking against Daschle is no doubt further polarizing a chamber already beset by partisan gridlock. One of the items that's stuck in the traffic jam is the six-year transportation bill. Daschle and...

Body Politics

Hundreds of thousands of women turned out for the March for Women's Lives on Sunday to rally in support of abortion rights. But while the Republican effort to scale back abortion-rights victories has been relentless, abortion is just one of the areas in which women's freedoms are under assault. As Democratic Representative Jan Schakowsky told me, “There is almost a daily attack on the rights women have won over a really long period of time and programs … we never expected to be under attack.” A new report from the National Women's Law Center outlines some of this, such as the abolishment of the Equal Pay Matters Initiative; the cut in funding for programs that advocate gender equity in education; the reduction in the number of children served by the Child Care and Development Block Grant, which helps low- and moderate-income families afford child care; and the proposal to fund support services for domestic violence victims at 26 percent below the authorized level. “In ways both well-...

Repeat Offender

There are a number of disturbing revelations in Bob Woodward's new book, Plan of Attack , at least as he explained it Sunday on 60 Minutes . One is that President Bush told National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice that he wanted to focus on Iraq five days after the September 11 attacks. Another is that he decided to go to war without first consulting Secretary of State Colin Powell. But just as alarming is that Bush misled Congress in July 2002 by spending $700 million lawmakers thought they had assigned to fight the war in Afghanistan, using it instead to plan the war against Iraq. As Woodward told Mike Wallace, “Some people are gonna look at a document called the Constitution, which says that no money will be drawn from the Treasury unless appropriated by Congress. Congress was totally in the dark on this.” It's not the first time and you can bet it won't be the last. In 2003, the administration hid the estimate of the Medicare prescription-drug plan to ensure that conservative...

Just the Ticket

The New York Times reported last week that John Kerry hopes to choose a running mate in the next two months. No doubt his rushed timetable is due in part to the front-loaded primary season. In addition, he could use the help a vice-presidential candidate will provide in the campaign against President Bush. With the September 11 commission and Iraq dominating the network broadcasts, now Kerry can spend a moment out of the spotlight to weigh his options. I'll make a bold suggestion: Choose a congressional colleague as running mate. Why is this bold? Well, campaigning against Washington is a proven vote-getter. Bush did it in 2000. He promised to “change the tone” here and to bring some of the so-called bipartisanship he'd demonstrated in Texas to the nation's capital. His ranch in Crawford is nicknamed the “Western White House,” and he's made no secret of the fact that he'd rather spend time there than here. It also worked for Republicans in the 1994 congressional elections, in which...