- The Washington Times - Monday, June 11, 2001

Divided people
Congress tells us that just 2 percent of Americas elementary school teachers have science degrees and only 1 percent hold math degrees. Which explains why only 11 of 21 elementary teachers can divide 1 3/4 by 1/2 and come up with the correct answer.
Even more embarrassing, every single one of a similar group of 72 Chinese teachers got it right.
The answer, or so our college intern at this newspaper assures us, is 3 1/2.

Georgie's travels

President Bush has arrived — once again — in Europe.
We stress again because it was incorrectly repeated by reporters last week that Mr. Bush had never set foot on European soil.
In fact, Mr. Bush once plowed the sod of Scotland, his acquaintance with the land of Robert Burns, heather, mist and malt whiskey brought to this columns attention by our knowledgeable British correspondent Maggie Hall, who lives on Capitol Hill.
Maggie was first alerted to the widely held belief that Mr. Bush had never crossed the Atlantic when, in early April, our new president welcomed Scottish First Minister Henry McLeish to the White House. A snippet from their Oval Office meeting revealed that Mr. Bush told Mr. McLeish how much hed enjoyed visiting Scotland.
Turns out that in 1959, 13-year-old George was dispatched to Perthshire to spend the summer with the Gammell clan on their estate in Glen Isla. The two families had been friends since the Gammells, who owned an investment bank in Edinburgh, became early investors in a fledgling oil business started by the elder George Bush.
After young Georges summer stay, Mr. Bush wrote to the family: "Georgie returned home full of excitement. He learnt a good deal there at the farm. We shall not forget it."
Certainly, young George didnt forget the friendship he forged with one of the Gammell children, Bill, who like him went into the oil business. In fact, Mr. Bush reportedly attended Mr. Gammells wedding in Glasgow in 1993.

Worth catching

"Dont miss Congressman Barney Frank, author of Speaking Frankly."
Or so posters encourage Treasury Department employees in the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), which at 2 p.m. today, in the OCC dining room, celebrates Lesbian & Gay Pride Month with the openly homosexual Massachusetts Democrat.

Taylor's new suit

Were told that Lonnie P. Taylor, one of Washingtons most influential black lobbyists — who is being forced out of his post as senior vice president for congressional affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — is pursuing a wrongful termination lawsuit.
Mr. Taylor, sources say, is pointing to "political differences" between him and chamber President Thomas Donohue as being key to his dismissal.
"It got to be a daily confrontational thing" between Mr. Donohue and Mr. Taylor, one chamber official says, particularly regarding the latters "unbridled support for Republicans."
Mr. Taylor had worked in the previous Bush administration.
The source cited as one example Mr. Taylors unsuccessful attempt last month to organize a chamber appearance by Vice President Richard B. Cheney centering on President Bushs controversial energy plan.
The same source quoted Mr. Taylor as saying, "It was politically expedient [for the chamber] to cut me out at this stage."
Mr. Donohue was traveling Friday and would have "no comment," however Linda Rozett, chamber vice president for media relations, says any wrongful dismissal charge by Mr. Taylor is news to the chamber.
Mr. Taylor, in the interim, remains employed by the chamber until such time as a severance package is agreed to by both parties. He joined the chamber in 1993.

Queen for a day

Diane Williams, wife of D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams, was leaving a function at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington at the same time that 50 of the hotels managers and staff formed an honor cordon at the front door to sing "Happy Birthday" to a long-term guest on his way out for the evening.
Just for the fun of it, Mrs. Williams began working the two lines like a political pro — shaking hands with every person, thanking each for their hard work, and ensuring that they were all "residents of the District."
"She was having a great time, laughing and kidding around with everyone," says the Four Seasons Tricia Messerschmitt. "It was a wonderful moment with a lot of laughter for several other hotel guests who witnessed the whole thing."
The other honored guest eventually came down for his birthday surprise, albeit with much less fanfare.

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