- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 26, 2000

Greener bathrooms

Everybody but Vice President Al Gore himself responded to our "Al and Coconut" item from yesterday, recalling the day in 1994 that District of Columbia animal-control authorities tipped off by an unidentified Secret Service officer picked up the Gores' 16-year-old poodle, Coconut, and treated her for "maggot infestation of the muscles, resulting from an open, untreated wound."

Tipper Gore told us at the time that Coconut had been missing for a couple of days during renovation of the vice president's mansion, yet the poodle managed to find her way home just as the dog catcher showed up.

Others aren't so sure.

"My instinctive presumption upon reading of the plight of Coconut Gore was that, knowing the canine penchant for refreshing oneself from the cool porcelain of the commode, Coconut merely wandered the relative desert in search of such an oasis that actually had water in it," writes Christopher C. Horner, a counsel and adjunct with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, referring to Mr. Gore's fondness for the inefficient, low-flow, double-flush mode of toilet.

Or perhaps, he suggests, given Mr. Gore's proclivity for felling trees around his mansion, "maybe Coconut had other motivations as she roamed lovely Northwest [Washington] in search of more hospitable environs."

Gore to go

Internet innovator that he is, Vice President Al Gore has just introduced the Gore "Campaign to Go," giving his supporters political updates via their Palm Pilots.

So long, 'Dreamboat'

John Czwartacki, chief spokesman and press secretary to Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, is leaving his post at the end of the congressional session to join Greener and Hook, a Republican communications firm downtown.
The spunky Senate aide, once dubbed "Dreamboat" by Vanity Fair, insists he will miss working with the Capitol Hill press.
"I like reporters," he says, followed seconds later by "oops, there goes my Republican colleague ties."

Enough said

With all the controversy over the accuracy of political polling, we have to laugh at the latest Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll, which, after asking registered voters who they'll vote for in the presidential election, poses this follow-up question:
"You say you will vote for (Gore/Bush/Buchanan/Nader). Are you: 1. Certain you'll vote for him; 2. Very likely to vote for him; 3. Only leaning toward him; 4. Might change your mind; 5. Don't know."

History still standing

It's news that the 60 Plus Association, a national nonpartisan senior citizens organization, announced that the 106th Congress has earned designation as the most "senior friendly" Congress in 40 years.
Still, the biggest news announced in the Caucus Room of the Cannon House Office Building was the 101st birthday of the association's oldest member, Bill Solliday, born on Sept. 25, 1899.
Just this past June, Mr. Solliday, a native of Knox, Ind., who started work in his father's printing business in 1911 at age 12, married Mary Martin, now 83, who happens to be the mother of 60 Plus President Jim Martin (the Washington insider who gave Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush his first political campaign job as a "press gofer" in 1967).

The economy, stupid

After listening to President Clinton's speech to the Democratic National Committee, Alan R. Davis, of Chillicothe, Ohio, wrote the president to say his claim that interest rates were high when he took office wasn't correct. He sent a copy of the letter to Vice President Al Gore.
Mr. Clinton sent Mr. Davis a note actually thanking him for his "support."
Much to his surprise, Mr. Gore also wrote back, but unlike the president, he bothered to read the letter: "Thank you for taking the time to share with me your views on the state of America's economy. I welcome this opportunity to respond to your inquiry.
"This administration's 1993 economic plan, which reduced projected red ink by more than $400 billion over five years, has indeed sparked a major drop in interest rates since President Clinton and I took office," Mr. Gore wrote.
He concluded by saying "our agenda has helped to get America back on its economic feet while restoring the values of opportunity, responsibility, and community that made this country great."
Mr. Davis isn't convinced, noting interest rates already were low when Mr. Clinton came to Washington. The Federal Reserve Board had lowered the discount rate from more than 6 percent to 3 percent from January 1991 to July 1992, he observes, and other rates came down accordingly.

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