- The Washington Times - Monday, February 28, 2000

Question answered

John McCain came to campaign in Alexandria last evening in advance of tomorrow's Republican primary in Virginia, and Peter Wingate wasn't there to greet him.
Like many Republicans across the country, Mr. Wingate, who lives in Virginia, wrote to the McCain camp questioning the candidate's decision to aggressively encourage Democrats and independents to participate in open primaries, Virginia among them.
"I see nothing in your message encouraging them to believe in a Republican ideology, you are simply inviting them over to vote in our primary for your candidate," Mr. Wingate noted. "Do you actually believe that these self-serving Democrats will be won over to the Republican Party?
"I doubt you do, and that's why I've come to believe that you and your candidate care more about yourselves than you do about the party."
A few days later, Mr. Wingate received the following response from Mr. McCain's campaign, which obviously didn't read his letter.
"We'd like to let as many voters Republican, Independent or Democrat know that they can vote for Senator McCain in the primary. That's right! Independents and Democrats can participate in the Virginia Republican Primary… . Thanks again for your support. See you at the polls on Tuesday."

Eating worms

A new federal program is under way and outlined in the Child Support Report the official newsletter of the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) which some humanitarian groups have dubbed "Starving Dads for Dollars" because it keeps poor fathers from not only obtaining food stamps, but enjoying two of man's favorite pastimes.
"In addition to extorting money from relatives of fathers who cannot afford to pay child support, OCSE expects to save $25 million in costs to the food-stamp program by kicking poor fathers off of the program if they cannot afford to pay child support," notes Stuart A. Miller, a Washington lobbyist and senior legislative analyst for the American Fathers Coalition.
"Currently, all 50 states are required by OCSE to confiscate hunting and fishing licenses from fathers who cannot afford to pay child support to make sure that they cannot legally hunt or catch food to eat," he notes. "This proposal will close some of the loopholes that allow these deadbeat dads to continue to eat."

Vicious cycle

Speaking of food, remember when Africa was populated by starving throngs?
Enter the United Nations, with money and advice on how to make the land bear crops. People caught on, and before long bountiful harvests were helping to feed a famished continent.
The Africans apparently like eating so much that they want more, and they're chopping down trees in order to grow and cook it.
Once more, enter the United Nations, now calling on African governments to develop and apply national programs to curtail overlogging and rapid conversion to agricultural land.
The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says that between 1990 and 1995, Africa consumed 39.5 million acres of forest. Sub-Saharan Africans, the FAO says, particularly rely heavily on wood, especially for food preparation.

Pick a number

Thanks to priests and preachers of every faith who have written to Inside the Beltway about politicians who confuse Bible passages, often with humorous results.
We'd written twice last week that Vice President Al Gore was accused of citing John 16:3 instead of John 3:16 as his favorite Bible verse, when it fact it was former President George Bush who confused the apostle's lessons.
Then there's politicians who take another biblical route, as fellow journalist Matt Crossman writes to this column:
"Saw your blurb about quoting the Bible and thought the following tidbit might give you a chuckle. In 1994, I was covering a debate between a sitting congressman and a challenger in the primary. The challenger was ripping pretty hard on the incumbent. So the incumbent cites a Bible verse and encourages his challenger to read it.
I had an hour's drive back and a tight deadline, and it seemed inconsequential, so I didn't use the quote. A local paper did. The reporter looked up the verse and found it didn't even exist. The idiot congressman, who easily won re-election and remains in office, made it up. It was pathetic."

Click with Hillary

"They even have the official Hillary for Senate mouse pad!"
Memo from the Hillary2000 campaign, on its vendor's selection of Hillary Rodham Clinton hats, shirts, mugs, bumper stickers and more.

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