- The Washington Times - Monday, July 9, 2001

Two kings, one queen
Most would concur that one Chris Matthews is enough to digest. But what about two?
Westwood One's fast-rising radio star Laura Ingraham found out — and it wasn't easy.
During an on-air interview with the man she believed was MSNBC's Chris Matthews, a caller claiming to be the real Chris Matthews phoned in, blustering that he was "outraged" by the "lame imposter" posing as the popular "Hardball" host.
Unable to determine who was real and who was fake (both men were constantly interrupting her), Miss Ingraham solicited the help of Mr. Matthews' wife, Washington news anchor Kathleen Matthews.
Grabbing the phone, Mrs. Matthews quizzed both men about Winston Churchill — a favorite pol of her hubby — but she had to finally settle the issue by asking each man to reveal her "pet name."
The real Chris Matthews answered correctly (Kathleen's pet name is "The Queen").
His cover blown, comedian Darryl Hammond, who does an uncanny Chris Matthews on NBC's "Saturday Night Live," blustered that he was having trouble hearing because of static on the line.
Only fair, therefore, that Mrs. Matthews invited both men out to dinner with her.

Face in the crowd
We've just picked up the State Department's Office of Foreign Missions' glossy annual report, published in April 2000, and lo and behold who is found posing with OFM staff but former FBI special agent Robert P. Hanssen, who pleaded guilty on Friday to 15 counts of espionage and conspiracy to commit espionage on Moscow's behalf.
As seen in the photograph, reprinted here in the column, Hanssen is almost front and center, wearing a rather smug expression on his face.

Special Agent Waxman
Seth Waxman, a longtime Justice Department lawyer who was appointed by President Clinton to be solicitor general of the United States, is joining Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering (WCP), representing clients in cases before the Supreme Court.
Former Attorney General Janet Reno worked closely with Mr. Waxman, and former Clinton White House counsel Lloyd Cutler, a founding partner of WCP, calls his new partner "one of history's finest solicitors general."
Mr. Waxman, who was solicitor general from 1997 to January 2001, recently received the Edmund J. Randolph Award, the Justice Department's highest honor. And in May he was named an honorary special agent of the FBI, in recognition of his years of service to law enforcement.

Houston problem
A follow-up to our item of Friday on a memo purportedly written by NASA public affairs spokesman Doug Peterson that was highly critical of President Bush and his space exploration policy:
We'd written that Mr. Peterson encouraged his NASA colleagues to attend a Democrat-sponsored "NASA Budget Town Hall Meeting," particularly "Democratic troops who would like to pin Dubya with another failure to follow through on **his** campaign pledges and to support a Texas industry — space, … cutting NASA to enable spending $10 billion more for star wars."
It's worth noting, reacts Henry Vanderbilt, executive director of the Space Access Society, "that those dreadful Bush 'cuts' to NASA the Houston Democratic operatives are whining about are actually a small increase in this year's White House budget request (unlike the real cuts during most of the Clinton years)."
"The actual problem is that the Space Station project, under Houston NASA Johnson Space Center's leadership, ran up over $4 billion in overruns that didn't surface 'til this spring. The cuts they complain about are of their own making — but since they see NASA as primarily white-collar welfare, they apparently have no qualms about asking ever more money for ever less results."
Eric Sterner, staff director of the House Science Committee's subcommittee on space and aeronautics, also has read the memo and tells Inside the Beltway: "It should be pointed out that the president **Bush** requested a 2 percent increase in NASA's budget, which is more than his predecessor **Bill Clinton** ever did, and that NASA surprised the new president with a $4.8 billion space station cost increase over the next five years."
Finally, Paul Spudis of the Lunar and Planetary Institute forwards a NASA Watch eyewitness account of the budget meeting titled "Washington, Houston has a problem."
"It was fun to watch — the anti-Bush placards, especially those that loving parents had their 8-year-old kids parade with in front of TV cameras ('Don't BUSH-whack the Space Station') … plus the anti-Republican brochures that were so phony that even one of the speakers had to rebuke the activists who were handing them out," writes NASA Watch's Jim Oberg

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