- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 20, 2001

Gay pays
Uncle Sam is offering top dollar — almost six figures — for a "Gay and Lesbian Program Specialist."
The Department of Agriculture yesterday initiated a monthlong search for somebody to manage its Gay and Lesbian Employment Program.
Depending on experience, the permanent position will pay anywhere from $74,697 to $97,108 annually, with "promotion potential."
As for qualification requirements, the position "requires a minimum of one full year of specialized experience in performing a range of duties similar to those outlined above."

Man's best friend
"Splash," a Portuguese water dog belonging to Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, is making quite the splash on Capitol Hill, where the curly haired pooch is granted greater access to the hallowed halls of Congress than the Massachusetts Democrats own constituents.
Yesterday, for instance, Mr. Kennedy and Splash emerged from a VIP reception room just off the Senate floor. From there, a Kennedy aide led Splash into a U.S. Capitol elevator, onto an escalator, aboard a Senate subway car, into another elevator and — freed from his leash by now — back down the hallway to the senators office.
U.S. Capitol Police told us yesterday that all Americans who cant bear to part from their best friends are allowed to bring their dogs into the U.S. Capitol, or any of the surrounding congressional buildings, so long — attention, Mr. Kennedy — as they remain leashed.

Judge by numbers
Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle is leading a deliberate disinformation campaign by contending that Republicans treated President Clintons nominees worse than Democrats treated Republican nominees.
That according to Thomas L. Jipping, director of the Judicial Selection Monitoring Project in Washington, who says when Democrats last ran the Senate during the first year of the former President Bushs administration, they set the modern record for the fewest annual confirmations.
"In 1989, Democrats confirmed just 15 Bush nominees [and] closed the Bush presidency in 1992 refusing to confirm 55 judicial nominees," says Mr. Jipping. "By contrast, the Republican-led Senate closed the Clinton presidency last year refusing to confirm 41 judicial nominees."

Flatulence of sorts
Mother Earth might be regulating her own temperature, venting global warming — man-made or not — into space.
The National Center for Public Policy Research in Washington is drawing attention to a new study, conducted by a team of scientists led by Richard Lindzen of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, pointing to a natural "vent" in the Earths atmosphere that releases heat into space.
"The authors say that, if true, the existence of a de facto atmospheric thermostat that helps keep the Earths temperature on an even keel would require global-warming theorists to significantly scale back their predictions of warming allegedly caused by the buildup of greenhouse gases," notes the policy centers David Ridenour.
Appearing in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, the study examines how thin, high cirrus clouds help to regulate global temperature — and serve as a counter to global warming.
In short, Mr. Ridenour summarizes, the cirrus clouds operate much as the "iris" of an eye regulates the admission of light. The clouds open in response to rising surface temperature, permitting cooling. The clouds close when the surface temperature cools to retain heat.

Escape in a book
First lady Laura Bush, a former schoolteacher and librarian, will host the first-ever National Book Festival at the Library of Congress, modeled after the highly successful Texas Book Festival she founded.
The festival will take place on Saturday, Sept. 8, with readings, performances, music and book signings by a wide selection of noted authors and artists from around the country.
Days into her husbands presidency, Mrs. Bush sought out a public school library in Washington to renew the nations focus on the importance of reading. Rather than visiting a more affluent school, Mrs. Bush chose one where 750 children have to walk through metal detectors every day, greeted by a security guard instead of their principal.

Must-read TV
Speaking of books, longtime Washington producer (creator of "Equal Time" with Mary Matalin and Jane Wallace) Ann Klenk is writing a book on television, Washington-style.
"The First Producers Club," Ms. Klenk tells this column, will take readers inside the industry with anecdotes from producers and "behind-the-camera" players, including directors, writers, bookers, editors, makeup artists — even limo drivers, who often hear more than the rest of us.

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