- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 12, 2000

Diverse bums

Good news for bureaucrats whose bottoms are too big for their chairs.

We've obtained an agreement regarding the procurement of various items of office furniture for U.S. Patent and Trademark Office employees, signed by Patents Commissioner Nicholas Godici and Patent Office Professional Association President Ronald Stern.

Under "Part C. Seating," the agreement reads:

"Ergonomic task chairs will be equipped with independently adjustable arms, adjustable lumbar support, pneumatic lifts, and tilt mechanisms. The chairs provided will include standard, petite and large-sized chairs to fit a diverse population. Each employee will be provided with a comfortably sized chair."

Burritos and biscuits

Former Clinton counselor Paul Begala, whose sister was Vice President Al Gore's communications director, has written a new book blasting George W. Bush that he swears "is not a product of the Gore for President campaign."

"I could have never written this book without Mary Matalin," says Mr. Begala. "Mrs. James Carville is so loyal to her old pal George W. Bush that she threatened to leave James if he took up Simon & Schuster's offer to write this book."

So the well-timed hatchet job, "Is Our Children Learning? The Case Against George W. Bush" (arriving in bookstores Sept. 20),was delegated to Mr. Begala, the other half of Mr. Carville's former political-consulting firm.

"It is not a hatchet job. It is meticulously documented," insists Mr. Begala, who lived in Texas until politics brought him to Washington. "And it is limited to Bush's public life and public record."

Unless you count the personal insults unleashed by Mr. Begala in the book's introduction.

"W, you're going to hate me when someone reads this to you (I know you're not big on books yourself). But you don't have what it takes to be president. Even your most loyal defenders say you're a few beans shy of a full burrito intellectually," the author says.

"Let's face it, Dub: you were born on third base, and you think you hit a triple. You're lighter than my grandma's biscuits."

Liberal season

Speaking of books, author Marcus P. Meleton Jr. arrives on Capitol Hill "the center of political heathenism" Friday to sign his new tome, "Liberal Man: Final Mission."

Among the other books Mr. Meleton will be signing at the Trover Shop from 12:30-1:30 p.m. is one of this column's favorites, "Hunting for Lawyers," which proposes a hunting season on lawyers "to reduce the herd levels to a manageable size."

Just the facts

Republican National Committee Chairman Jim Nicholson acknowledges that the George W. Bush campaign is "getting into serious crunch time," so Americans will be seeing even more ads attacking Vice President Al Gore's credibility.

One ad airing this week examines the 1996 blitz of Clinton/Gore fund-raising: "A scandal that, when investigated, resulted in 22 indictments, 12 convictions, 70 people taking the Fifth Amendment, and 18 witnesses fleeing the country."

Since going on the "offensive," Mr. Nicholson says the Bush-Cheney ticket has drawn even in four new polls and "that puts us right where we thought we'd be, and right where we want to be within striking distance."

Queen's visit

Anybody watching the musical and theatrical entertainment produced by Republicans and Democrats during the two recent party conventions knows to what unprecedented lengths the two parties were willing to go to unite the young and blacks behind their tickets.

The effort will continue in Washington this week during Congressional Black Caucus Week.

Besides the usual left-leaning politicians, entertainers are in town to help "bridge the gap" between the masses before Election Day.

Meanwhile, Sister 2 Sister magazine, described as "an African-American version of People magazine," is holding its second annual Intergenerational Celebration today at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, honoring NAACP President Kweisi Mfume, California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters, talk-show host Queen Latifah and rapper Mister P.

"The purpose of the event is to build communication between politicians, entertainers and business professionals with both baby boomers and generation-X'ers," one organizer tells this column.

Rep. Harold E. Ford Jr. of Tennessee, who delivered the keynote speech at last month's Democratic National Convention, says it is "essential for the generation commonly known as Generation X to reflect on the contributions of those who have been drum majors for change and progress."

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