- The Washington Times - Friday, February 11, 2000

Hill ambush

"Red alert!" was spread by memo up and down the hallowed halls of Congress Thursday, warning that documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, best known for "Roger & Me," was lurking on Capitol Hill.
One office had received a call from the Bravo cable channel, explaining that Mr. Moore was interested in filming a documentary on the political process.
All of a sudden, the filmmaker, whose modus operandi is to confront and even ambush people he wants to interview, burst into the office and quizzed an unlucky congressman on whether he serves the people or God, and then asked him to recite the Ten Commandments.

Gold mine

We've gotten a peek at the invitation list for next month's black-tie gala celebrating the 75th birthday of the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel, and found dignitaries and celebrities including President and Mrs. Clinton, former President Jimmy Carter, past British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Barbra Streisand, Kurt Russell, Muhammad Ali, Elizabeth Taylor and Stevie Wonder.
Hosting is George J. Cook Jr., the current general manager of the historic hotel. Built in 1925, the inaugural ball of every president from Calvin Coolidge to Ronald Reagan was held at the Mayflower, where overnight guests have included Queen Elizabeth II, Winston Churchill, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Prince Takamatsu of Japan, Charles de Gaulle, Walt Disney, Carole Lombard and John Wayne.
J. Edgar Hoover lunched there regularly. The first mainland Chinese delegation to the United States stayed at the hotel for eight months awaiting its new embassy. Charles Lindbergh celebrated his historic flight there. Jean Harlow spent a morning working the hotel's telephone switchboard, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote the famous line "We have nothing to fear but fear itself" in Suite 776.
In addition, Washington debutantes have traditionally been presented to society at the Mayflower, which opened its doors on Feb. 18, 1925. In those days, it was the most talked-about hotel in the land, for it contained more gold leaf than any building in the country, excluding the Library of Congress.

Apprehend that human

For future air travel, Uncle Sam will rely on a computer to determine who is and isn't a terrorist.
The Federal Aviation Administration, the American Policy Center notes in a briefing paper, will implement a new computer system, "Computer Assisted Passenger Screening," to profile and evaluate airline passengers before they get on planes.
The computer will be trying to determine if a passenger is a terrorist by analyzing "suspicious" characteristics, the APC notes.
"Although bureaucrats won't reveal the specific 'suspicious' profiles they're looking for, experts speculate that traveling alone, buying your ticket at the last minute, visiting unapproved foreign countries or frequent travel could get you tagged as a possible terrorist."
Which covers just about everybody.

Simon says

We've been profiling the players contending for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate in Maryland, and have already interviewed physicist Howard David Greyber and lawyer John Stafford.
Today, we highlight the candidacy of Kenneth Timmerman, a name you might recognize. Mr. Timmerman is a contributing editor for Reader's Digest magazine.
As far as we can tell, Mr. Timmerman carries the most impressive list of endorsements, including former U.N. Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick and Richard Perle, both members of Ronald Reagan's White House national security team.
In fact, Mr. Perle, along with two other backers of Mr. Timmerman Dov Zakheim and Richard Armitage sit on Republican presidential hopeful George W. Bush's foreign policy and national security advisory team.
And last, but not least, Mr. Timmerman adds: "I have also been endorsed by Simon Wiesenthal, the famed Nazi hunter, for work promoting democracy and human rights."

Chicken little

"Hey, it's Petrelis calling from San Francisco, how ya doin'?" asks Michael Petrelis, outspoken leader of Queer Nation and persistent thorn in the side of President Clinton on AIDS issues.
Today will be no different.
"There's an issue of A&U; magazine that just came out it stands for 'Arts and Understanding,' one of those glossy AIDS magazines and Sandra Thurman, the White House AIDS czar, is on the cover looking like Martha Stewart," he says.
"And she's quoted in this February 2000 issue as saying, 'Everyone is at risk [of AIDS] themselves.' OK, that's her quote.
"But if you look at the actual statistics from the Centers for Disease Control [and Prevention], everyone is not at risk of contracting AIDS in America, and indeed the annual new cases for full-blown AIDS is declining in America."
Mr. Petrelis would rather Miss Thurman call a spade a spade, preaching to the most at-risk homosexual-bisexual community and needle exchangers, rather than wasting precious time and money scaring unlikely candidates for the virus.
"Sandy Thurman is wrong when she says everyone is at risk themselves," he says.

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