- The Washington Times - Monday, March 6, 2000

Political erosion

As expected, the two leading Republican presidential candidates spent the final weekend before Super Tuesday slinging mud Texas Gov. George W. Bush called Arizona Sen. John McCain's views "clouded," while the latter wondered, "Where's the outrage?" over Mr. Bush's million-dollar money machine.
The question now is which candidate dug the deepest mud pit.
As Rep. James T. Walsh, New York Republican, reminds us: "Hubert Humphrey said a long time ago, 'He who throws mud loses ground.' "

Write to Aldrich

Who will ever forget Aldrich Ames, the former CIA counterintelligence officer sentenced to life in prison for selling information to the Soviet Union and Russia?
Well, one of our readers just received his copy of the McLean (Va.) High School Alumni Directory 2000, and was highly amused upon recognizing the name of one McLean graduate on page 4. It simply reads: "AMES: Aldrich Hazen; '59; Marion, IL, 62959."
The directory was compiled by the McLean High School Alumni Association; and yes, Ames not only graduated from the Virginia school, he was crowned the "most talented classmate."
Our reader's question: "Did they send Aldrich his copy?"

Abu Dhabi anyone?

So you want to be an ambassador, dispatched to some far-off exotic land to sip champagne and pass on caviar in the company of diamond-drenched queens and their admiring courts?
Think again.
"I think people have a sense that our diplomats are out there in striped pants, you know, in receptions," says Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright. "And basically, as I travel around, these are very hard-working people who often live in sub-conditions."
Do you mean to say, Madame Secretary, that embassy bathtubs aren't really filled with champagne?
"When I was in Moldova, our ambassador there was washing dishes in the bathtub," Mrs. Albright reveals.

It's about time

So you want to be an ambassador, dispatched to some far-off exotic land to sip champagne and pass on caviar in the company of diamond-drenched queens and their admiring courts?
Think again.
"I think people have a sense that our diplomats are out there in striped pants, you know, in receptions," says Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright. "And basically, as I travel around, these are very hard-working people who often live in sub-conditions."
Do you mean to say, Madame Secretary, that embassy bathtubs aren't really filled with champagne?
"When I was in Moldova, our ambassador there was washing dishes in the bathtub," Mrs. Albright reveals.

It's about time

Speaking of distant lands, would somebody please tell Americans in Guam what time it is?
"Not that there is no time there, but there is no specific name for this time zone," complains Rep. Robert A. Underwood, Guam Democrat, who has just introduced a bill in the House to create a ninth time zone under the American flag.
The delegate points out that Puerto Rico gets the Atlantic time zone, Washington the Eastern time zone, Chicago is given Central time, Denver Mountain time, Los Angeles Pacific time, Honolulu gets Hawaii time, "even Pango Pango" gets Samoa time.
Yet nobody has time for Guam."Perhaps this is an oversight," says Mr. Underwood. "But when information is being sent out about changes in national time or announcements concerning time, this ninth time zone in geography going west, but first in terms of time frequently gets ignored. If all Americans count, then all Americans should be included in time."
If Congress concurs, because Guam sits on the other side of the international date line, it will appropriately claim title of being the first American time zone.

White culture

Environmental Protection Agency employees are outraged over the latest course offering for bureaucrats on March 22, published here verbatim:
"Enroll in [Office of Solid Waste's] White Folks and Diversity Course. 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. To participate equally, whites need an awareness of white culture with its strengths and weaknesses, as a component of a multicultural workplace. It is also necessary for whites to learn how to be better allies with people of color in creating positive change."
Says one EPA official we spoke to: "This obviously scored pretty high on what I call the 'Flame Index' here, and I've gotten plenty of expressions of disbelief from inside the agency."
Course instructors are Eleanor A. Hubbard, president of Diversity Works, a consulting firm "specializing in white awareness," and M. Duncan Rinehart, a University of Colorado teacher of the education series "Diversity Discussion Among White Males."

Mum on Maria

Be glad you're not a secretary today to one of the three network news anchors Peter Jennings, Dan Rather and Tom Brokaw.
Republican National Committee Chairman Jim Nicholson over the weekend mailed to every GOP activist he knew the telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of the anchors after they brushed off last week's five-felony-count conviction of Maria Hsia, stemming from her 1996 fund-raiser in the company of Vice President Al Gore at the Hsi Lai Buddhist temple.
On ABC, Mr. Jennings spent 19 seconds on the story; Mr. Rather on CBS gave it 23 seconds; while on NBC, Mr. Brokaw didn't utter a single word about it.

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