- The Washington Times - Friday, May 11, 2001

Heard it before
"He is Italian. My wife is Italian. Italians have a lot of spirit."
Sen. Kent Conrad, North Dakota Democrat, referring to an emotional Senate Budget Committee Chairman Pete V. Domenici, New Mexico Republican and to his wife, Lucy Calautti Conrad before yesterdays crucial Senate vote paving the way for President Bushs $1.35 trillion tax-cut plan, which Mr. Conrad opposes.

No such courtesy
As expected, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer emerged from his West Wing office yesterday afternoon to "thank the Democrats who helped make this possible.
"And the bipartisan action that the Senate took," Mr. Bushs spokesman continued, "represents a new and helpful way to get business done in Washington."
"Bipartisan" — just what Rep. John M. Spratt Jr., South Carolina Democrat, was afraid of hearing.
"I have been in this House for more than 18 years," Mr. Spratt said, "but I have never been so completely excluded, so totally shut out.
"I hope at the end of it all, my colleagues on the other side will allow us at least one thing, and not call this bipartisan. It is by no stretch of the imagination bipartisan. It is the very opposite. And it does not augur well for bipartisanship in the House in the future."

Yuppie problem
Blame high prices at the gas pumps on "rich yuppies," says Tennessee Rep. John J. "Jimmy" Duncan Jr.
"Some wonder why gas is going toward $3 a gallon … and why utility bills are going way up," says the Republican congressman. "Well, it is primarily because rich, yuppie environmentalists are slowly but surely shutting this country down economically."
The member of the House Resources subcommittee on forests, national parks and public lands says "children in our schools have been brainwashed in recent years by extreme left-wing environmentalists," while the "Sierra Club and some other environmental groups have gone so far to the left in recent years they are making socialists look conservative."

Sense of duty
Despite all the commotion surrounding President Bushs tax-cut agenda, Sen. Wayne Allard, Colorado Republican — a veterinarian by practice — went ahead and rose on the Senate floor to recognize this week as National Pet Week.

Dusty shelves
Introducing a bipartisan amendment this week to ensure that the President Bushs "Reading First" literacy initiative is a success, Sen. Jack Reed, Rhode Island Democrat, held up an outdated book taken from a school library shelf in Arizona, titled "Asbestos, The Magic Mineral."

Departments of Mom
In time for Mothers Day on Sunday, Rep. Constance A. Morella, Maryland Republican, has introduced the Womens Health Office Act of 2001, which proposes establishing womens health offices within five federal agencies:
The Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, the Health Resources and Services Administration, and the Food and Drug Administration.

Ditch digger
Wyoming Sen. Michael B. Enzi wore several hats before digging a ditch to Capitol Hill: He served in the military, worked as an accountant and owned a shoe store.
But its not his present job or any other thats important, says the Republican, but how one performs it.
"My dad was a traveling shoe salesman most of his life and I got to travel with him in the summer," Mr. Enzi tells us. "When we were making those trips, people would say: 'Are you going to grow up and be a salesman like your dad?
"Before I could answer, my dad would always jump into the conversation and say: 'I dont care whether he is a doctor or a lawyer or a shoe salesman or a ditch digger. But what I always tell him is, if he is a ditch digger, I want that ditch to be so distinctive that anybody can look at it and say, 'That is a Mike Enzi ditch."

Washington Redskins
Regarding our pair of items this week on the Washington firm Nichols and Associates, and its president, Edwin J. Nichols, pocketing thousands of dollars to train thousands of bureaucrats on race sensitivity, reader Marv Pelon observes:
"It is quite apparent that the taxpayers have wasted a great deal of money on this individual. If he has provided training on diversity/sensitivity etc., to all of the federal employees as claimed, it has not done much good.
"This area, which claims to be in the forefront of human rights as well as the foremost authority on ethnic diversity and racial sensitivity, still uses a racial slur as the name for its professional football team. Hypocrisy rules.
"Love the team. Hate the name."

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