- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 30, 2001

Now appearing

Where does the longest-serving secretary in Education Department history go after leaving the Clinton Cabinet?

And what about the lone Republican in the Cabinet, who served President Clinton as defense secretary?

Richard W. Riley, like past education secretaries and governors is headed to the New York-based private equity firm of Leeds Weld & Co., which invests largely in the education arena.

The former governor of South Carolina will join a firm whose roster includes former Massachusetts Gov. William F. Weld, former Education Secretary (and former Tennessee Gov.) Lamar Alexander, and former Clinton presidential counselor Thomas F. "Mack" McLarty III.

Former Defense Secretary William S. Cohen, meanwhile, is the new co-director of Empower America, joining founding co-directors William J. Bennett, Jack Kemp, Jeane J. Kirkpatrick and Vin Weber.

Dry cleaning

A noon event is slated for Feb. 8 in Washington, called "Cleaning Up After Clinton."

"No, we're not talking about graffiti removal in the Old Executive Office Building," says Jim Weidman, public relations director of the Heritage Foundation.

Instead, Mr. Weidman says the conservative think tank with a panel that includes Ed Meese, C. Boyden Gray and David Rivkin will examine how best to deal with some of the more substantive problems dumped on President Bush's doorstep during the waning days of the old Clinton regime: executive orders, recess appointments, land grabs and treaties.

Balancing act

You might have heard House Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt's response to President Bush's first-ever national radio address, in which the Missouri Democrat warned that Mr. Bush's proposed $1.6 trillion tax cut over the next 10 years "threatens our prosperity and could return us to the big deficits of the 1980s."

Well, the congressional vote-tally system of the National Taxpayers Union (NTU) measures the increase or decrease in federal spending that would occur under a congressman's individual floor votes. Wouldn't you know, in the 105th Congress, Mr. Gephardt voted to increase spending by $162 billion per year.

"Over 10 years, that's $1.6 trillion," notes NTU President John Berthoud.

Exit stage left

Is anybody surprised that the National Council for a Republican Congress has chosen President Bush's home state of Texas to host its national conference next month?

Confirmed speakers for the influential Republican Party powwow: Bush adviser Fred Meyer, House Majority Leader Dick Armey, former Vice President Dan Quayle and National Rifle Association President Charlton Heston.

Meanwhile, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Rep. Thomas M. Davis III spots early setbacks for House Democrats in advance of the 2002 congressional elections, not the least being the recent announcement that Rep. Tim Roemer, Indiana Democrat, won't seek re-election.

"This is only the first of what could be a long line of retirements by dispirited Democrats after their failed all-out effort to take back the House in 2000," says Mr. Davis.

Pronouncing leaders

Vice President Richard B. Cheney has responded to an "unpleasant personal controversy," as Tony Snow of "Fox News Sunday" describes fourth-estate confusion.

"How do we pronounce your last name? Ch-A-ney or Ch-E-ney?" Mr. Snow wondered.

"Well, the family's always said Cheney with an E, but when you get east of the Mississippi, people tend to say it with an A. So, I've never worried about it. It's close enough," said the vice president.

Come to think of it, is it C-O-lin Powell or C-Aw-lin Powell?

Russian brides

The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!

Russian women, that is flocking to Washington in advance of Valentine's Day. And American men from around the country are arriving to meet these marriage-minded ladies.

"Quite honestly, we have found that many American men have become tired of dealing with the results of feminism," says Natasha Spivack, who drawing on her eight years' experience as a professor of Russian studies at Johns Hopkins University, matches "stunningly beautiful and intelligent" Russian ladies with successful American men.

American men, she says, "seek women with traditional family and religious values, exchanged many years ago in America for the pursuit of equality and a career."

In 1993, Ms. Spivack began helping friends in Russia find American husbands, and in the process of doing so founded Bethesda, Md.-based Encounters International. So far, the professor is responsible for 230 marriages and engagements, 42 babies, and 12 divorces.

Not bad, she says, considering her firm's divorce rate is "tenfold less" than the U.S. as a whole.

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