- The Washington Times - Friday, January 7, 2000

Turning red

President Clinton was having a delicious time at his New Year's Eve gala dinner at the White House, someone who was there tells us.

Mr. Clinton, pulling rank when the seating was arranged, like any red-blooded American man would, put himself between Sophia Loren in a low-cut black Armani gown and Elizabeth Taylor.

Miss Taylor, according to our well-connected Democratic guest, simmered toward a boil as the dinner went on. She thought the president was focusing entirely too much attention on Miss Loren.

"She said to the president, 'I hope you are not going to spend the whole evening staring at her boobs.' "

"The president replied, 'I don't do that anymore.'

" 'Bull,' replied Miss Taylor.

The president turned so red he barely spoke to her the rest of the evening, the witness says.

Roll to the attic

There's no better time than the present to drop in on Aaron Taylor, media associate for Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) here in Washington. We asked him for an explanation of this week's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) decree that telecommuters should meet the same safety standards in their homes as OSHA has established for offices, factories and other places of business.
The policy would have made businesses liable for the conditions of their telecommuting employees' homes. But, after predictable public outcry, Labor Secretary Alexis M. Herman withdrew the advisory, calling for "national dialogue" on the issue.
Mr. Taylor explained all this as best he understood, then leaked us the CAGW's contribution to Miss Herman's "dialogue" telecommuting home-improvement tips:
* "Always wear a hairnet in your kitchen.
* "Ensure that Laz-E-Boy is ergonomically sound.
* "Widen driveway to accommodate handicapped parking.
* "Install wheelchair ramps to attic.
* "Refer to your children as 'interns.'
* "Hang illuminated exit signs above all doors.
* "No smoking on the premises.
* "Build separate restrooms for men and women.
* "Post number of accident-free days over teen-ager's car.

Nails and screws

"There is a saying that if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Experience has suggested to us that in the workplace employees are not all the same; not all nails."
"Therefore," the Environmental Protection Agency continues in a roundabout memo to staff this week, "more than a hammer … is necessary to work effectively with the diversity present in today's work force."
The point being?
"Gay men and lesbians are a growing presence in the federal government and other work sectors. Understanding the issues and concerns specific to this group can lead to more work productivity, a decreasing of EEO [equal employment opportunity] complaints, and greater team accomplishments."
To accomplish all this, the EPA has scheduled two three-hour participatory workshops later this month "to uncover misinformation and myths that prevail concerning lesbians and gay men" and "to provide factual information regarding lesbians and gay men."

No plain Jane

Jane Fonda's "misguided philanthropy" will likely increase through her $10 million Atlanta-based Fonda Foundation now that she and her husband, Ted Turner, have split the sheets.
So predicts Foundation Watch in Washington, labeling Miss Fonda the "most notorious celebrity donor." The big question now is whether the former Vietnam War protester will pack up her foundation and move it to California.
Foundation Watch recalls that a good chunk of earnings from the Hollywood activist's exercise videos some $17 million funded the Campaign for Economic Development (CED) in the 1970s and 1980s, a socialist group founded by Miss Fonda's previous ex-husband, Tom Hayden.
She'd go on to co-found the liberal Hollywood Women's Political Committee (HWPC). But more recently, with help from Mr. Turner, she's devoted much of her attention to supporting advocates of family planning and population control.
Stay tuned.

Planning parents

The Family Research Council is complaining about one of its pet peeves: Planned Parenthood.
The FRC is taking issue with a fund-raising letter sent out by the family-planning group that targets what it calls "religious political extremist groups," identifying as such the Christian Coalition, Focus on the Family and the FRC itself. These groups' intent, according to Planned Parenthood's president, Gloria Feldt, is to abolish her organization altogether.
"To some of these groups," the letter reads, "this might mean bombing a clinic … blockading a door … harassing a patient … stalking a doctor."
The FRC's executive vice president, Chuck Donovan, says his group has never condoned such acts. His Dec. 30 missive called Mrs. Feldt's assertion "brazen," considering Planned Parenthood received $158 million to $163 million in Title X funding federal tax dollars annually between 1994 and 1996.
"Surely, you don't need the additional money," he wrote. "As the largest single provider of abortions and you don't do them for free your operations are hugely profitable."
Expect the war of words to continue until at least Jan. 22 the 27th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court case that legalized abortion.

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