- The Washington Times - Monday, February 7, 2000

Uh oh, Al

Despite the near-unanimous endorsement of Vice President Al Gore by the nation's two top teachers unions, an eye-opening survey by the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution of more than 4,200 teachers nationwide indicates no consensus about who the next president should be.
In fact, the survey shows 25 percent of teachers backing Republican George W. Bush, the governor of Texas, for president and another quarter undecided about their preference.
Additionally, 92 percent say they want their teachers unions to give members a vote before issuing political endorsements in their names, which stands in contrast to the October endorsements of Mr. Gore by the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers.
"Clearly, teachers themselves have not yet made up their minds, but the teachers unions have tried to make up their minds for them, and are spending members' dues money to support one candidate over another," says Christian N. Braunlich, president of the institution and a member of the Fairfax County, Va., School Board.

Screwball pitcher

Major League Baseball may be violating federal law by suspending Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker on the assumption his loudmouthed opinions could be caused by "mental illness."
Because if the baseball player does have a screw loose, then he's protected by Uncle Sam under the Americans With Disabilities Act.
"It sounds crazy, but if John Rocker is a crazy bigot, then it's a federal crime to discriminate against him in any way," observes Steve Dasbach, the party's national director.
"Even more amazing, if John Rocker is crazy, then Major League Baseball must make 'reasonable accommodations' for his prejudices which could include keeping foreigners and homosexuals away from him so he can continue to pitch."
Last Monday, baseball Commissioner Bud Selig announced the controversial pitcher would be suspended until May 1, fined $20,000 and ordered to attend sensitivity training.
Mr. Rocker sparked a firestorm of controversy in December when he was quoted in Sports Illustrated criticizing homosexuals, foreigners who don't speak English, people with "purple hair," Asian female drivers, toll booths, criminals and young mothers bearing countless children.
Although he promptly apologized, Mr. Rocker was ordered to undergo psychological testing and that's where the league got into trouble, says Mr. Dasbach.
"As long as John Rocker was just an ordinary bigot, then the league can discipline him as it sees fit within the limits of his contract, of course," he says. "But the federal government doesn't agree. Thanks to the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), you can fire a sane bigot, but it's illegal to discriminate against a crazy bigot."

Hillary 200

Leave it to computer nerds to have a site waiting for those who accidentally don't type in enough zeroes when trying to reach the "Hillary2000" senatorial campaign site.
The "Hillary200" site looks like the real one, until you come upon a box for "Chinese Military Officials" to leave their address to receive the first lady's campaign updates.
Under Mrs. Clinton's bio, we read that while growing up in the Windy City during the 1950s "Hillary often drew the ire of schoolmates in Chicago by rooting for the Yankees when they played the White Sox."

Trade trade

Ambassador David Aaron, the former U.S. permanent representative to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, is joining an old friend, former Vice President Walter Mondale, in the private sector.
Mr. Aaron, since 1997 undersecretary of commerce for international trade, rejoins Mr. Mondale at Dorsey & Whitney, one of the nation's largest law firms, as senior international trade adviser.
Longtime friends, Mr. Mondale and Mr. Aaron were former colleagues in the Carter administration. Mr. Mondale works out of the international firm's Minneapolis office, while Mr. Aaron will remain in Washington.
Dorsey & Whitney, with a force of 625 lawyers, ranks first in the nation for handling the largest number of completed mergers and acquisitions in each of the last four years.

I screamers

In the midst of this the iciest winter to encase Washington in years hordes of people are eating ice cream.
Proof being the enormous show of support from customers of the Ben and Jerry's at Eastern Market on Capitol Hill who want their ice cream cones to lean no differently than usual to the left.
Over their favorite scoops of Phish Food and Cherry Garcia, an impressive 400 regular patrons of the Capitol Hill ice cream parlor have signed up to help franchise owner Lori Johnston lick a rumored corporate takeover bid of the socially aware Vermont ice cream maker.
The hundreds of Capitol Hill types join well-known politicians who likewise can't swallow the idea of Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, the firm's founders and leading stockholders, selling out to an out-of-state conglomerate.
Among the screamers: Vermont Rep. Bernard Sanders, a socialist who aligns himself with Democrats, and Vermont Democratic Gov. Howard Dean.

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