- The Washington Times - Friday, August 3, 2001

Summer wool
"I was pleased to see in your column that Congressman Don Young is practicing energy conservation and has turned up the thermostat to a balmy 73 degrees," writes one congressional correspondent, referring to our item yesterday about Capitol Hill ignoring President Bush's directive to set thermostats at 78 degrees to conserve energy.
"When covering his committee last year in the height of summer, I always carried a wool jacket to protect me against the sub-zero breezes in his committee room (I'm guessing 60 degrees on days it was 90 degrees outside)," says the woman. "It was so cold during one hearing I had to call in sick the next day with a sore throat and earache. Bravo, Mr. Young, for your sacrifice."
The Republican Mr. Young insists that humans don't work well in 78 degree temperatures. That explains why he lives in Alaska.

Calling on Dubya
Yes, that's the famous Greenpeace vessel "Rainbow Warrior" — sunk a dozen years ago by French agents after the environmental bunch drifted in the way of French nuclear tests in the South Pacific — moored at the Metropolitan Police Department dock in Washington.
Greenpeace will be offering tours of the warrior ship tomorrow and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Juntos Podemos
Speaking of the environment, President Bush and the House Republican leadership weren't without allies — Republican and Democrat — in their effort to pass a House energy bill this week, led by former Rep. Vin Weber, Minnesota Republican, political strategist and former Bush campaign adviser Ed Gillespie, and the American Petroleum Institute's Red Caveney.
Rather than attacking opponents of Mr. Bush's plan, Mr. Weber's Citizens for Real Energy Solutions ran ads mirroring Mr. Bush's theme of cooperation and optimism, saying: "Our next great challenge? Conserving and producing cleaner energy. Using new digital-age technologies to power the future while still protecting the earth."
It harks back to the Bush 2000 Hispanic campaign slogan: "Juntos Podemos," or "Together, We Can."
And given the active support of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters for drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), and the rather sizable 36 Democratic votes for final passage of the Bush plan, there even seems to be some truth to it.

Preserving freedom
What's become of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights?
The Charters of Freedom, as this country's treasured parchment (animal skin) relics are known, have been transferred — by police escort in an air-ride vehicle — from an underground vault at the National Archives Building to a temporary vault in suburban Maryland, where for the next two years they will undergo microscopic examination, humidification, mending, flattening and cleaning.

Shoeshine and wisdom
It was well after midnight when Rep. J.C. Watts Jr., Oklahoma Republican, finally made his way home after a "brutal day" yesterday, 13 hours of it spent on a markup in the Armed Services Committee.
"I went home last night at 12:50 thinking, 'Why do we do this? I could be at home with my kids watching Little League baseball,'" said the 43-year-old father of five children. "And as I walked down C Street, I looked to my left and saw this beautiful dome lit up, and all of a sudden my heart said, 'Don't forget your purpose. That's why you're here.'"
Wisdom implanted in Mr. Watts two decades before, in an unlikely chair by an unlikely person.
"About 20 years ago, I went to a fellow back in Oklahoma City who operated a shoeshine stand — yeah, operated a shoeshine stand," Mr. Watts recalled yesterday. "And I was talking to this fellow, and he said to me, he said, 'J.C., you should always have something to live for, something to hope for, and something to love.'
"And I've thought about that from time to time," he said. "Especially over the last 6 1/2 years that I've been here in Washington."

Shorter lines
A final word on our pair of items this week dealing with California Sen. Dianne Feinstein's proposal to limit airline passengers to two alcoholic drinks each, thus presumably reducing the risk of "air rage."
"Maybe Senator Feinstein is onto something here," writes Michael W. Hansrote, an engineer in Tempe, Ariz. "From personal experience, I have just about been in a 'rage' at times waiting in long lines to use airplane restrooms. So maybe a two-drink maximum isn't such a bad idea after all."

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