- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 3, 2001

Austin drill

"With George Dubya coming to town, we'd all better learn the Texas two-step. So grab a partner and get out on the dance floor everybody."

Music director of the Army Navy Country Club's New Year's Eve celebration in Arlington, Va., where 2,300 members, including presidents, presidential appointees, congressmen and military officers play 120,000 rounds of golf per year.

Pet projects

"For eight years, I have held my head high and purroudly served this nation."

Or so reads a farewell letter from Socks the Cat published in the final issue of the Socks the Cat Fan Club Newsletter, which to the surprise of founder Jay Wind attracted thousands of subscribers all over the world Australia to Sweden.

Meanwhile, the first lady's office informed this column yesterday that Sen.-elect Hillary Rodham Clinton hasn't decided whether Socks will catch mice in her Colonial home in New York or her Colonial home in Washington.

Ditto on the fate of Bill Clinton and his best friend, Buddy the chocolate Labrador retriever.

Rise and fall

Contrary to popular belief, the American Enterprise Institute has found that voter participation fluctuated during the century "without any clear trend." It was high in 1952 and 1960, but low in 1920, 1924, 1948 and 1996.

The party balance in Congress, meanwhile, similarly alternated between Republicans and Democrats, with the latter in the majority for more than half of the century.

Finally, the number of women in Congress rose from zero in 1900 to 65 in 1999 (worth noting, the proportion of women who reported doing four or more hours of housework each day fell from 87 percent in 1925 to 14 percent in 1999), and the number of black elected officials in America grew from an estimated 50 in 1900 to almost 9,000 in 1998.

Master vendor

Brian Harlin, who with only change in his pocket eight years ago began peddling Republican campaign paraphernalia out of his off-campus bedroom at the University of Maryland, will sign a contract today with the Presidential Inaugural Committee to be "master vendor" of the 54th Presidential Inauguration.

Owner of Washington-based www.GOPShoppe.com, Mr. Harlin has landed other major political contracts in recent years. And while a Republican, he held in his pocket the seal to President Clinton's inauguration in 1997.

You see, when the Presidential Inaugural Committee's trademark of the official inaugural seal expired in 1995, Mr. Harlin was the first to successfully apply for it. Shortly thereafter, he received a letter from Mr. Clinton's inaugural committee saying he wasn't allowed to use the seal.

"Our lawyers responded that President Clinton's inaugural committee had no grounds," says Mr. Harlin. "We did it all legally."

Not wishing to spoil the president's party, Mr. Harlin went ahead and allowed Mr. Clinton to use the seal.

Layers of bureaucracy

President-elect George W. Bush's press secretary, Ari Fleischer, all but passed out maps and compasses yesterday when calling attention to an important announcement from the Inaugural Committee, "and that will be in Federal Office Building Number 10, located at 1600 Independence Avenue, Southwest, Floor A, Room A-318 not to be bureaucratic about it, that's where it will be located the ZIP code, for those of you who would like to write, is 20599."

Sequel sticker

"Don't Blame Me, I Voted for Gore and Buchanan."

Submitted by Inside the Beltway reader Carl W. Moore.

Spot for Spotila

The man who coordinated information policy for the Clinton administration, John T. Spotila, administrator of the Office of Management and Budget's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, will become GTSI's chief operating officer.

GTSI is the leading business-to-government marketer of information-technology solutions.

Rehabilitation tool

Best-selling author Adrian Havill reveals in his new book, "While Innocents Slept," that the only newspaper available to prisoners in the Prince George's County Detention Center is The Washington Times, "perhaps reflecting the conservative beliefs of [the] captors."

Nonsense, Mr. Havill.

The nation's incarcerated write to us almost every day, saying they prefer the Times over other newspapers for its feisty front page, killer sports section, and scrappy "take no prisoners" columns.

Day 3

"Resolutions I've hastily made

Are infrequently kept, I'm afraid.

Still, I find I can live up

To a promise to give up

Resolutions I've hastily made."

F.R. Duplantier

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