- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 31, 2000

Political organs

First there was the tasteless and unauthorized "Got Prostate Cancer?" ad a knockoff of the familiar "Got Milk?" ads featuring New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani.

Now, Ingrid Newkirk, president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, says PETA's next ad targeting dairy products will feature former Senate majority leader and Viagra poster boy Bob Dole beneath the slogan "Got Impotency?"

Miss Newkirk cites medical studies showing that a majority of American men over age 60 have erectile dysfunction because a meat-and-dairy diet clogs arteries to other vital organs, not just the heart.

While conceding that Mr. Dole is a nice guy, Miss Newkirk contends that tasteless ads featuring public figures are fair play if those people have discussed their ailments in the press, or received money for it.

PETA says Mr. Giuliani received campaign contributions from New York's dairy industry and Mr. Dole from the pharmaceutical industry. The 1996 Republican presidential candidate has also appeared in television commercials about erectile dysfunction.

Miss Newkirk suggests that men like Mr. Dole clean out their arteries by adopting a "vegan dietary regime" even though such a diet subjects carrots and turnips to a horrible and merciless death by boiling, thereby avoiding any risk of heart attack that may be associated with sex drugs.

Cyber-precincts

The Internet is changing the way politicians, especially Democrats, run campaigns.

So who better than Vice President Al Gore to announce an innovative campaign program to garner the support of voters: the "E-Precinct Leader Program."

"In 1960, John F. Kennedy was elected by a margin of only 1 vote per precinct. This election will be just as close and we need your help," says the Gore camp, urging Democrats to become "E-precinct leaders."

No, this doesn't mean Democrats will be casting electronic ballots for Mr. Gore from their living rooms, at least not in this election. November 2004 may be another story.

In March, Arizona Democrats became the nation's first to cast cyber-votes in a legally binding public election walking up to the Democratic presidential primary.

Earlier, an Oakland, Calif., suburb introduced the first U.S. fully electronic vote, using 25 computers to accommodate 7,609 voters. The average voter required only 20 seconds to cast a ballot, and it took just 29 minutes once polls closed to tally the results.

Solitude soiled

We hereby apologize to the sensitive Nebraska readers we never knew we had. That is, until pointing out this week that in his seven-plus years in the White House, President Clinton has visited every state but one theirs.

White House spokesman Joe Lockhart assured this column on Monday that Mr. Clinton would be traveling to Nebraska shortly, certainly before his White House reign expires in January. And how are Nebraskans reacting?

"I have enjoyed your informative and often witty column for the past few years," writes Steven K. Slykhuis of Lincoln, Neb.

"However, you have earned my eternal enmity if your queries into President Clinton's travels have caused him to visit Nebraska. We are very happy our quiet Midwestern solitude has not been disturbed by the current king in Washington and would have preferred living out the final months of his administration in quiet solitude."

Threatens Thomas Bender: "I was born, raised and educated in Nebraska. I love the state and the Cornhuskers, second only to my wife and children. Why did you have to remind the White House Clinton had never visited my home state? If my Nebraska is damaged in any material way as a result of this column, I shall hold you personally responsible."

Nice after all

Sen. Jesse Helms, North Carolina Republican, can't believe his eyes.

So stunned is the outspoken, right-wing, fire-breathing senator by the personality traits attached to him in one recent magazine article that he's issued a news release to respond:

"Proving that media caricature doesn't always reflect reality, the Washingtonian's 'Best and Worst of Congress' has named the allegedly 'cantankerous' and 'crusty' Senator Jesse Helms as number one in the 'Just Plain Nice' category. A copy of the article is attached. Thought you'd like to see it."

Rickshaw, anyone?

Finally, regarding the memo we intercepted on Climate Action NOW, a grass-roots movement fighting climate destabilization from greenhouse-gas emissions that is organizing an "International Day of Outrage Against the Automobile" in Detroit, reader Edward Sorensen points out:

"Though a specific date was not mentioned for those wishing to attend … it would have been prudent of you to suggest that those in the far outlying regions of Detroit (such as California, etc.) start pedaling."

And along those same lines, Tom Lynch, a modeling analyst for Houston's NeuroCorp Inc., says, "One good thing about a protest in Detroit over cars is that they will not have to provide any parking."

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