- The Washington Times - Monday, May 8, 2000

Distinguished mice

Once already that evening on the floor of the House, Republican Rep. Greg Ganske of Iowa was warned by the speaker pro tempore fellow Republican Rep. Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin that under the rules and precedents of the House he was out of order to cast reflections on the Senate, collectively or individually.
So, wishing to continue discussion of a new investigative report documenting how campaign cash, particularly soft-money contributions, has cemented an alliance thwarting patients' rights protection, Mr. Ganske tried another avenue.
"Let me talk about a parable," he said, recalling a book on display in the House gallery, "House Mouse, Senate Mouse."
"It is a little book that I take to grade schools, usually about third-graders, and I read this story about … for instance, the oldest mouse in the Senate, Senator Thurmouse," the congressman said, referring to 97-year-old Sen. Strom Thurmond, South Carolina Republican.
"It seems to me that this report is very similar to what may be going on in the mouse Senate, where senior mouse senators from Rhode Island who tried to work in an independent manner, bipartisan fashion, were ostracized by those other mouse majority senators," said Mr. Ganske, one of only four Republicans last year to vote against the party leadership's $785 billion tax cut.
(He also did not vote for President Clinton's impeachment, regarding it as partisan politics, and does not vote on important economic matters that involve political posturing.)
"Or about the senior mouse senator from Arizona who tried to work with the junior mouse senator from Illinois," the congressman continued, until the speaker interrupted for one last time.
"The gentleman will suspend," ordered Mr. Ryan, saying Mr. Ganske was out of order casting reflections on senators "even by innuendo."
"Do you think that when I am referring to a mouse Senate that I am actually referring to the actual Senate?" Mr. Ganske asked.
The speaker didn't reply, but certainly could have asked, "Is the pope Catholic?"

Next stop: gun control

Washington subway riders heard an unusual political statement come over the loudspeaker Thursday morning at 8:30 as a Yellow Line train emerged from the L'Enfant tunnel into the sunlight over the Potomac River.
Passenger Demian Brady, who works for the National Taxpayers Union, tells Inside the Beltway that the Metro operator suddenly announced that there would be extra trains operating during next weekend's Million Mom March against violence. He then said, "Remember, whether in the name of freedom or oppression, guns are made for the taking of lives."
Mr. Brady was immediately roused from his morning stupor, thinking to himself first that the operator's statement was epistemologically inaccurate.
"Guns are made to allow for a triggering mechanism to propel a round, small object at a high velocity plain and simple," the subway passenger notes. "Any additional meaning attached to a gun, its raison d'etre, is provided in context, whether it be to take lives, to disarm or disable, to defend property, etc."
"Second," he continues, "the rail conductor delivered an unsolicited, entirely inappropriate political statement to a captive audience."
Mr. Brady filed a complaint with Metro, which apparently took his call seriously. He was informed the operator could be given a daily suspension or possibly fired, depending on his Metro record.

Helmets required

A large sign hung outside a building demolition site in the Rosslyn section of Arlington, Va., just across the Potomac River from Washington, is attracting plenty of attention in the wake of the controversial armed seizure of Elian Gonzalez by Immigration and Naturalization Service and Border Patrol agents in Miami. It reads: "INS TRAINING SITE."

Reconsidering Reno

Speaking of commando tactics used in the Elian Gonzalez rescue, the Cuban American Bar Association has decided not to participate in a Florida Bar gala May 25 because Attorney General Janet Reno is the keynote speaker.
"CABA feels that this raid was contrary to the democratic conditions of our great nation," the group said in a statement.

Feminese guide

The right-minded Independent Women's Forum, based here in Washington, has released a new guide to understanding feminese:
Equal: Proportional outcome, not freedom of opportunity.
Family: Any group of people who call themselves a family.
Economic justice: Redistribution of wealth.
Comparable worth: Government dictation of wages and salaries.
Violence: Suffered by women, not men.
Peacemaking: Appeasement.
Empowerment for women: Political domination by radical feminist agenda.

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