- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 23, 2000

Hell to the chief

Washington political observer Elaine Crispen, press secretary to then-first lady Nancy Reagan, wonders if all the presidential ballots in question in Florida are totally dimpled.
Because, she tells this column, if a ballot showed evidence that the voter using it indeed was able to perforate selections for the other offices and referendums on that ballot, it would indicate no other problems existed.
"Thus, the paper was not 'armored,' the stylus was not 'blunt' and the voter was not 'feeble,' " she explains. "Perhaps those citizens wanted to cast a vote for dogcatcher, but said 'to hell with it' when it came to the presidency."

Presidential pickles

"If you have been tongue-tied … hoodwinked or in a pickle, you are in the Cabinet."
Health and Human Services Secretary Donna E. Shalala, quoting Shakespeare (sort of) at Washington's Shakespeare Theatre benefit this week.

Fresh chad

Chart House waiter Ric Smith tells patrons that the fish special this week at Alexandria's favorite dockside restaurant is "Fresh Florida Hanging Chad," although there's another catch: "Nobody knows if it is 'ballotable' or not."

Count on Florida

Holly Anderson, purchasing agent for Air Force One, got our latest contest to create a new state motto for Florida off to a rousing start yesterday with "Come to Florida Where you vote counts and counts and counts."
Dmitri Smirenski, director of operations for the Declaration Foundation, weighs in with three mottos:
"Welcome to Florida You're among lawyers."
"Florida You can count on us."
"Florida Population 10 million and counting."
Jason Rohr, research and data analyst with Southern Wine & Spirits in Irvine, Calif., suggests: "Come to Florida Where we have more 'counts' than Transylvania."
Instead of a new motto, retired Maj. Gen. G. L. Gunderman is among readers who recommend we rename the entire state of Florida to "Fraudida," while everybody and their mothers suggest "Flori-duh."

From The Hague

Washington-based counsel Christopher Horner was hard at work this week in The Hague, representing the Cooler Heads Coalition of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) at the current round of U.N. global-warming negotiations until somebody carted off his tools from the exhibition hall.
Needless to say, the majority of the delegates to the negotiations are dedicated "globalist greens," eagerly pushing the Kyoto Protocol and an anti-development solution to climate change. Mr. Horner's coalition, as its name suggests, encourages a "cooler heads" approach when addressing global warming.
The amusing part, as you'll read in Mr. Horner's urgent dispatch to CEI, is the remarkable intolerance for any message that doesn't toe the establishment line.
"The tactic to suppress dissent on the way toward suppressing energy consumption is to steal, cover up, or lose all materials disagreeing with the right-think," Mr. Horner writes. "They even stole my table, as apparently the easiest way to cart away all of the materials on it just a pathetic, bare space where my assigned spot had been."

Ouch!

Stuart Roy, communications director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, insists there's no vast right-wing conspiracy when it comes to naming his family.
He acknowledges his dog "Gipper" is named after former President Ronald Reagan, and his cat "Maggie" after former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
However, he emphatically denies that his newborn daughter "Halley" is named after former GOP Chairman Haley Barbour.
Shelly Roy was due to deliver Halley on Election Day, but the baby didn't come until Nov. 11.
Said dad: "I really wanted her to be born on Election Day, so Senator Chuck Robb would not be the only one getting his butt slapped."

First encounters

If you think being a newspaperman is easy these days, get a load of this "correction" the Columbia Journalism Review clipped from a recent edition of the New York Times:
"A report last Sunday about the marriage of Nicole Judith Barth and Neal Andrew Thompson misstated the location of her mother and stepfather's current residence. They live together in Manhattan, not separately in Middlefield, Ohio, and Ridgewood, N.J.
"The report also misstated the location of Ms. Barth's first encounter with Mr. Thompson. It was at the home of her mother and stepfather, then in Ridgewood, not at her stepmother's home in Paterson. In addition, the report referred incorrectly to the Cape Cod home in which the proposal took place. It is owned by her mother and stepfather, not her stepmother."

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