- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 1, 2000

Bush virus

Inside the Beltway has intercepted an urgent memo "Importance: High," it reads issued yesterday by the Department of Education's network manager concerning an unauthorized message being flashed at bureaucrats when they turn on their government computers:

"Please be advised that we have discovered a message, 'Vote for G.W. Bush,' that briefly flashes on your screen during log-on process. We have identified the cause being a statement in the log-on script. We are investigating whether a virus or security violation has occurred.

"We have corrected the problem in Headquarters and are working in the regions to delete it now. We believe the problem has been resolved but if you continue to see the above message when you log on, please contact … ASAP."

And for good reason. Although Mr. Bush has not proposed dismantling the Education Department, his conservative supporters in Congress have.

This just in

Burke's Peerage, the London lineage house that every four years traces the bloodlines of our presidential candidates, now informs us that Vice President Al Gore is actually a cousin to former President Richard M. Nixon.

Both White House candidates, it turns out, are related to one George Maris, who landed in Philadelphia in 1699.

Kids and yo-yos

A Washington area resident may have discovered why the polls in this election cycle are behaving like yo-yos: Pollsters may be polling children.

"At 6:59 p.m. on October 30, the phone rang, and my son, who is 10, answered," reveals Steve A. Brown.

"The lady on the other end, without identifying herself or asking my son's age or voting status, wanted to know if he would vote for [Sen. Charles S.] Robb or [George F.] Allen if the Virginia Senate election were held today."

Fortunately, Mr. Brown says, his son did not answer the question "and opted to hand the phone to me. I told her I would vote for Mr. Allen."

Let us burden you

The 106th Congress remains stuck in the political mire of Washington.

Lawmakers should have sounded the closing gavel and gone home four weeks ago, but either the Democrats or the Republicans (choose a party) insist this election year of putting politics ahead of the people.

And Americans, wouldn't you know, will end up footing the bill.

"In fact," reveals Rep. John Linder, Georgia Republican, "the president plans a trip to California this week to campaign. We will pass one of these one-day continuing resolutions [to keep the government running], and a military jet will be dispatched to take it to the president for his signature.

"But the cost of thousands of dollars will not be billed to his party or the people he was campaigning for. The taxpayer will foot the bill. But an uncritical press will not burden the public with that fact."

Eat your words, congressman.

Speaking of which

With no end in sight and the November election only days away, tempers in the 106th Congress are running high.

"We were supposed to have been adjourned, but we are here because of the politics down at the White House," Rep. Bob Schaffer, Colorado Republican, told congressmen assembled on the House floor this week.

"Mr. Speaker, I wonder how many of our colleagues ever saw the movie 'The Jerk.' "

Chinese doorman

We're giving away some great prizes in our latest contest asking what job Bill Clinton should tackle after he leaves the White House.

Hundreds of readers already have responded with suitable job openings, a few being:

• Doorman at the Chinese Embassy in Washington

• Author of the Clinton New Word Dictionary

• Any job with Revlon

• Monica's agent

• Chief of staff, Larry Flynt

• Mustang Ranch trainer

• Lap dance practice dummy

• Zipper tester

• Cabinet secretary, Office of Ethics and Ethical Behavior for the Public Trust.

• Professional mourner

• Itinerant preacher

• First man, 2004

• Host of TV quiz show, "What's My Lie"

• Ambassador to Jupiter

• Washington Post columnist

• Cuban dictator

• Commissioner, World Wrestling Federation

• And finally, writes Paul Svirbely: "I predict that after leaving office, Bill Clinton will start a chain of motels called 'The Lincoln Bedroom.' "

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