- The Washington Times - Friday, March 16, 2001

Feel good

The federal government is holding health-fair workshops for its Washington workers on April 24, two of the more intriguing titled "Mind-Body Connection" and "How to Feel Good to Your Self."

One bureaucrat forwards the government's memo he received about attending the workshops, noting that at the end of the missive, employees are invited to drop an e-mail to a health expert who calls himself "Flying Fruit Bat."

"I don't think I'd trust my emotional and psychological well-being to such a person," said the federal worker, "and I wonder how the government decided to pick such a person."

Moved to Virginia

Since Hillsdale College in Michigan accepts no federal taxpayer funding, it relies on the loyalty of its many friends, including former Vice President Al Gore, to support the college and its privately funded scholarships.

Central to that effort is the monthly speech digest Imprimis, mailed free of charge to more than 1 million people. As you can see by today's art feature, those who change jobs or addresses or both, as in the case of Mr. Gore may have their Imprimis issue "Returned To Sender."

"No Longer At This Address," the U.S. Postal Service stamped on the digest mailed to Mr. Gore at the White House. "Remove From Mailing List."

Strom's recipe

Everybody but Strom Thurmond himself is wondering how long the 98-year-old South Carolina Republican can continue serving in the United States Senate.

As for Mr. Thurmond, he says he's not planning to leave anytime soon, and who are we to argue?

After all, the last time this column wrote about the senator, he'd slurped down not one, not two, not three, not four but a record five orders of raw oysters (30 in all) at Alexandria's Stardust Restaurant & Lounge.

Wouldn't you know, Mr. Thurmond's daughter called the Stardust over the weekend to confirm that oysters have remained on the menu, saying: "It is rumored that my dad loves your oysters."

A short time later, Mr. Thurmond strolled through the restaurant's door, ordered and "ate five orders again," reveals the Stardust's Avery Kincaid.

Steak and eggs

At a Sinn Fein fund-raising breakfast being held this morning before St. Patrick's Day at Bobby Van's Steak House in Washington, among the guests scheduled to be on hand is Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams.

Proceeds from the breakfast will help fund Sinn Fein's Washington office and assist with upcoming elections in Northern Ireland. Other dignitaries on the guest list: AFL-CIO President John J. Sweeney, AFSCME President Gerald McEntee, United Association President Martin J. Maddaloni, Laborers' International Union President Terence M. O'Sullivan, Building & Construction Trades Department President Edward C. Sullivan, United Food and Commercial Workers President Douglas H. Dority and International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers President John J. Flynn.

People's house?

President Bush's White House is departing from tradition and severely cutting back on the number of visitors allowed on public tours of the White House.

So charges Bill Appell, director of Annapolis-based Tech Tours, who adds that while closing the line early to the public, the White House opens the gates to preferred groups after hours.

"Historically," he said, "and I've been going in as a tour guide since the Reagan administration, the White House public tour is from 10 a.m. to noon. As long as you were in line by noon you would be assured of a tour. Not so now."

"[Tuesday], they cut the line at 10 o'clock; today it was 10:30. While they had turned away thousands of people from the line today they gave as their reason that the house had to be cleared by 12:30."

Mr. Appell isn't so sure.

"They weren't clearing the house. They were making room for a specially privileged … group to come in without waiting in line. I hear this is just the beginning."

Mr. Appell says starting next week the ticket system in use during the peak visitor season begins. Historically, the White House has allowed 15 tour groups with 300 tickets issued to each.

"This year they are planning on having only nine," he said, doubting Mr. Bush has any idea this is happening.

"Bush the elder's administration was the best for keeping the house open," he said, referring to former President George Bush.

"He even introduced visiting heads of state to the tourists," adds Mr. Appell, showing us a photo of former President Bush introducing Mr. Appell's tour group to the president of Kazakhstan. "He never closed early. Hopefully, he will have a talk with his son the president."


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