- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 16, 2000

Arkansas hunter

"Do us a favor," asks the National Rifle Association, hoping President Clinton is reading.
"Tell the president that if he's going to keep claiming that he has a 'lifetime' membership with the NRA to at least get the terminology right. We don't have such a thing," says NRA spokesman Bill Powers. "We've always called it a 'life' membership."
Try telling Mr. Clinton he has neither. This week he's insisting all over again that while governor of Arkansas the NRA presented him with a "lifetime" membership. He says he even sported an NRA jacket when the winds blew off the Ozark highlands.
"I think it's been revoked now," the president joked after his latest encounter with NRA Executive Vice President Wayne R. LaPierre Jr. turned ugly this week.
In November, we reported that Mr. Clinton told guests at a private dinner in Atlanta that he was once a card-carrying member of the NRA.
"Now, you know, I once had a lifetime membership in the NRA. I've even got my jacket there," Mr. Clinton said. "But you listen hadn't anybody missed a day of deer season on what I've done nobody."
After an extensive search of NRA records, Mr. LaPierre said Mr. Clinton never had an NRA "membership, he never had a jacket. He made it up."
"I can't believe it," the NRA chief added. "You know, if he's that delusional maybe he did inhale."

Congressional cuts

A U.S. Capitol policewoman did a double take yesterday when a man passed through the security checkpoint with a butcher knife. Not to worry. He was a congressional chef.

Folks react

Diversity hit the fan at the Environmental Protection Agency after we uncovered Uncle Sam's latest seminar for bureaucrats: "White Folks and Diversity."
"White folks often want to participate equally with people of color in creating a multicultural work environment, yet are unsure of their place in it," was the EPA's description of the March 22 seminar. "To participate equally, whites need an awareness of white culture with its strengths and weaknesses, as a component of a multicultural workplace."
Uproar over the course, we now learn, rang bells in EPA Administrator Carol M. Browner's office. One white bureaucrat said if he similarly referred to other races he'd be subject to disciplinary action.
So this week, EPA division director Elizabeth Cotsworth announced a new course description, noting the previous one "raised some concerns."
"We have tried to respond to the concerns expressed by revising the description of the upcoming class and advising the vendor about improvements that must be made to properly accommodate the sensitivities and issues that have been shared with us," she writes. "I regret that the original design and description … troubled some of you …"
New course title: "Whites and Diversity."

Protest and support

Don't let us rain on New York's historic St. Patrick's Day Parade, or, more importantly, the American Red Cross.
But we've learned that the "Go Home Hillary" banner featured along tomorrow's parade route will not only be auctioned, but "100 percent" of the proceeds will benefit the New York chapter of the Red Cross.
Hillary's protesters say they're collecting bids in the form of checks, made payable to the Red Cross. They'll even pay for the banner to be shipped to the highest bidder.
March is Red Cross Month, and last year the American Red Cross in New York responded to 2,925 disasters; housed over 500 homeless families; trained 107,897 people in safety skills; and assisted 1,840 seniors.
Reached yesterday in New York, Red Cross spokeswoman Jamie Drogin said the Hillary protesters are a "partisan political group," and their use of the Red Cross name was "unauthorized."
As a result, she said the Red Cross will "refuse" all of the group's donations.

Green GOP

Capitol Hill Club was site last evening of the annual reception for Irish American Republicans: "29 House members and six senators more than the Dems can claim," boasts organizer Frank Duggan.
Traditional Irish fare: dinner, bagpipes, cash bar.

Stay off the Wall

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is urging Congress to proceed cautiously as it considers proposed changes to the popular Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
"The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was intended to honor and does honor all who served with the U.S. Armed Forces in the Vietnam War," says Jan C. Scruggs, the organization's founder. "It poignantly symbolizes the patriotism of those who served under difficult and dangerous circumstances.
"Let us not today begin a process of robbing the Wall of this power by finding new groups desiring to add more and more elements to this masterpiece."
Mr. Scruggs, a Vietnam vet who spearheaded the effort to build the Wall in 1979, will testify this morning on a congressional proposal to place a 3-foot plaque at the Memorial honoring Vietnam veterans who died after their service ended whether from Agent Orange-related cancer to post traumatic stress disorder-induced suicides.

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