Inside the Beltway
Where’s Paul Begala’s new book on Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s outrageous flurry of blunders and gaffes since he took office in January?
The Democratic strategist and former aide to President Clinton wasted no time - within weeks of the 2001 presidential inauguration, in fact - poking more than fun at the previous president with his much-celebrated book, “Is Our Children Learning? The Case Against George W. Bush.”
Certainly, Mr. Begala would have a best-seller on his hands recalling dozens of amusing, embarrassing, if not downright offensive foot-in-the-mouth comments by Mr. Biden of late, whether it was disclosing the location of a vice presidential security bunker, calling on the wheelchair-bound Missouri state Sen. Chuck Graham to “stand up” and take a bow, or giving out wildly alarmist advice on national TV about protecting your loved ones from swine flu.
One would have thought that an increasingly irritated President Obama would have gotten the hint in a newspaper interview that Mr. Biden gave n 2007 as he was announcing his own presidential bid. Mr. Biden observed that his future rival was “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”
Nobody else may bother these days, but Canada Free Press correspondent Judi McLeod took a peek into the Web site of Pravda, once the official voice of the Soviet Union, and found Russians cheering the demise of America under the leadership of President Obama.
In his Pravda-run piece, “American capitalism gone with a whimper,” Stanislav Mishin writes: “It must be said that, like the breaking of a great dam, the American descent into Marxism is happening with breathtaking speed, against the backdrop of a passive, hapless sheeple, excuse me, dear reader, I meant ‘people.’ ”
TWO MORE THINGS
The long-awaited and terribly costly U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, which opened to much fanfare in December, isn’t completed after all.
Rep. Dan Lungren, California Republican, has just noticed that a concurrent resolution will be sent to the Committee on House Administration directing the architect of the Capitol to engrave the Pledge of Allegiance and the national motto of “In God We Trust” on the walls of the 580,000-square-foot, mostly marble center.
NICE DOG, LADY
Are you sure that faux fur you’re wearing wasn’t once somebody’s pet dog or cat?
We’re serious, and so are two lawmakers - Rep. Mary Bono Mack, California Republican, and Rep. James P. Moran, Virginia Democrat - who have just introduced the Truth in Fur Labeling Act of 2009, which would require the labeling of all garments that contain animal fur.
Mr. Moran said investigators from the Humane Society of the United States have found a proliferation of falsely labeled and falsely advertised “dog fur” on fashion clothing sold by some of the largest names in U.S. retailing.
He said current U.S. law contains a glaring loophole that allows garments containing less than $150 in fur to be sold without an identifying label. Consumers “may inadvertently purchase garments that contain real fur, possibly from a dog or cat,” Mr. Moran observed.
“Of the fur-trimmed jackets subjected to mass spectrometry testing by HSUS, 96 percent were found to be domestic dog, wolf or raccoon dog, and either mislabeled or not labeled at all,” Mr. Moran said.
The legislation notes that half of all fur garments entering the United States come from China, where large numbers of domestic dogs and cats are killed every year for their fur. It is illegal to import, export, sell or advertise any domestic dog or cat fur in the United States.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, the total number of fur, fur-trimmed garments and fur accessories sold annually in the United States is estimated to be 3.5 million.
• John McCaslin can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin@washingtontimes .com.