- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 4, 2000

Keeps on ticking

"I see you folks at The Washington Times have solved the Y2K problem 1999 just goes on and on and on," writes Charles Dresser, an on-line fan of Inside the Beltway.
"Your Internet weekend edition was dated December 31-33."

Hippy New Year

Instead of some bubbly to wash down 1999, Tom Adkins, editor of the on-line magazine Common Conservative, popped a pint of Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough to celebrate the new year, only to scoop out an unsavory surprise.
"Buried in one of those luscious globs of goo was a fingernail clipping, which my tongue unfortunately found," claims Mr. Adkins, who promptly mailed the offending shaving and empty container back to Ben & Jerry's with a heartbreaking letter.
It reads, in part:
"Dear Ben & Jerry's, I am an avid ice-cream lover. I've always found Ben & Jerry's ice cream exceptional. But I found a fingernail shaving in my last pint of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. (It is enclosed for your review). Yeccchhhh!
"This puts me in a predicament. Normally, I'm a conservative capitalist who wouldn't worry about this. But lately, I've been inspired by your political activism. I am wondering how I should resolve this fingernail-in-the-ice-cream crisis.
"Should I take the socialist, liberal activism you recommend? If so, I must immediately establish a class-action lawsuit against Ben & Jerry's. I'll shed tears on CNN. And cry bitterly on "60 Minutes." I'll take my case to the American people via NBC, ABC, CBS, XYX, and every media outlet across America in a personal vendetta against the nasty, uncaring Ben & Jerry's corporation.
"I shall start a nationwide boycott. I'll create a nonprofit group, dedicated to monitoring Ben & Jerry's. I'll call it Group for Ethical Treatment from Ben & Jerry's. That would lead to a government oversight committee, and I'd bring dozens of big-time celebrity witnesses to testify… ."

Boys are back

Two fallen lawmakers former Rep. Dan Rostenkowski, Illinois Democrat, and former Sen. Bob Packwood, Oregon Republican are among panels that will predict how the four leading presidential candidates would govern if elected to office.
The American Enterprise Institute, starting today, will examine how former New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley, Vice President Al Gore, Arizona Sen. John McCain and Texas Gov. George W. Bush would rule the land if given the chance.
Mr. Rostenkowski, who does consulting part time in Arlington, will surface from 10 a.m. to noon today to offer his 2 cents' worth on Mr. Bradley, even though he has plenty critical to say of Mr. McCain.
On Thursday, same time, it will be Mr. Packwood, who consults out of Georgetown, who will opine on Mr. McCain's ability to lead the nation.
Close associates of the remaining two candidates Mr. Gore and Mr. Bush will gather Jan. 11 and Jan. 13 respectively.

Green grocer

That's Marsha Martin, special assistant to Health and Human Services Secretary Donna E. Shalala, who has opened the 8th Street Market fresh produce, baked goods and gourmet deli items at 419 Eighth St. SE in Washington.
To help promote jobs in one of Capitol Hill's most overlooked corridors (her sister, Annette Martin, opened a restaurant, Ellington's, two years ago just across the street), Miss Martin will also provide food-industry training at the grocery store until a permanent location is found later this year.

Gift in the mail

The Smithsonian Institution has received a $10 million gift from former Postmaster General Winton M. Blount to create a Center for Postal Studies.
Among other projects, the center will explore the role of the U.S. postal system in the next millennium, which really arrives with the mail in 362 more days.
Mr. Blount, appointed by President Nixon in 1969, was actually successful in transforming the U.S. Post Office Department a federal agency plagued by decades of patronage appointments into a government corporation that operates under business principles.
An Alabama businessman, Mr. Blount launched Blount International Inc. in 1946 by building fish ponds in rural Alabama, expanding the company into a multimillion-dollar construction and manufacturing company.

Professor Bubba

Inside the Beltway is proud to be a regular read on the Greg Knapp Show on NewsTalk 690 in Jacksonville, Fla.
The other day, Mr. Knapp discussed President Clinton's plans to start a new graduate program with the University of Arkansas that will bear his name. He asked his audience for suggestions on courses that the Clinton program might include. A few responses:
* Situational ethics.
* Vocabulary enhancement: redefining words to meet your needs.
* Managing power: bringing subordinates to their knees.
Mr. Knapp welcomes any additional suggestions for the Clinton curriculum.

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