- The Washington Times - Friday, June 29, 2001

Go figure
Comedian Paula Poundstone, arrested in Malibu for purportedly committing lewd acts upon a child and endangering four other children, is no stranger to Washington politics.
The comic caused quite the stir here in 1992 when, six months before Election Day, she pounded then-President George Bush at the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner for being out of touch with reality.
She said all she'd gathered from the campaign between Mr. Bush and Bill Clinton is: "I'm a Democrat, I don't want Bush, Clinton may have had sex, and Tammy Wynette is upset about it."
Her most memorable line, though, portrayed Mr. Bush as being so unfamiliar with technology that he'd expressed incredulity at an electronic checkout scanner.
Afterward, she boasted, "The president looked shocked at a couple of points."
Ironically, just three months ago, Miss Poundstone, who adopted two girls in 1997 and has been a foster mother, joined Sen. Barbara Boxer, California Democrat, in judging the Funniest Woman on Capitol Hill Contest, proceeds of which went to a Washington shelter for abused women and children.

Buddhists and blackouts
A Texas congressman is blasting Democrats for blaming Republicans for California's energy crisis.
"I am sick and tired of being sick and tired," says Republican Rep. Sam Johnson, who says not only is California Gov. Gray Davis a Democrat, "the last time I checked, Democrats also controlled the White House for eight long years and did nothing. Bill Clinton and Al Gore had plenty of time to examine and solve the energy crisis while they were out there visiting Buddhist temples, but they did not."
An identical point was driven home yesterday by Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham, while welcoming President Bush to the Energy Department.
"Twelve years, three months, 19 days and 20 hours — that is how long it's been since a president of the United States visited us here at the [the Energy Department's] Forrestal Building," noted Mr. Abraham. "But then, who's counting?"
That previous president was Mr. Bush's father, former President George Bush.

California fault
One of the primary electricity providers in the Washington metropolitan area, Dominion Virginia Power, has taken the unusual step of assuring its customers that despite dire predictions voiced from the Democratic side of Capitol Hill, don't expect any rolling blackouts around here.
The reason: California is to blame for its own shortcomings.
"In the 1990s, Virginia added more than 6,000 megawatts of generation to its energy portfolio," Dominion writes to customers. "In the 1990s, California built no new generation and, in fact, lost 3,000 megawatts of electricity through power-plant decommissioning."

Hill veterans
Longtime Washington politico Nick Hayes has joined the Livingston Group, a government relations and public-affairs firm led by former House Speaker-designate Bob Livingston, who chaired the House Appropriations Committee.
Since leaving the Hill in 1994, Mr. Hayes has headed his own consulting firm, Hayes & Co. He previously was chief of staff to the late Rep. Hamilton Fish, New York Republican, during the Reagan administration handled congressional relations for the department of Housing and Urban Development, and was campaign-finance director to the late Republican Sen. Jacob Javits of New York.
Meanwhile, Nick Macri, founder and vice president of Net.Capitol Inc. and former defense, transportation and government affairs aide to former Republican Sen. Dan Coats of Indiana, has accepted an associate position with 411 Communications, an Arlington-based polling, communications and public-relations provider.

Tourist robe
The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History is proud new owner of an unusual gypsy robe.
The robe was donated yesterday by a New York-based actors' union, which explains that the ritual of the gypsy robe began in 1950 at the opening night of "Call Me Madam," starring Ethel Merman. A dancer in the company from another smash hit on Broadway, "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," sent a tacky dressing gown to a friend dancing in the new show, and a Broadway tradition was born.
The robe was then passed from show to show, with a souvenir from each added to the garment. When one gypsy robe becomes laden with ornaments and mementos, it is retired. There are more than 20 completed gypsy robes.
The robe donated to the Smithsonian is from the 1983 to 1985 seasons, and includes memorabilia from "La Cage Aux Folles," "Zorba," "The Tap Dance Kid," "Oliver," "The Wiz," "Big River" and "Singin' in the Rain."


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