- The Washington Times - Friday, May 18, 2001

Secrets of the service
"Eleven high-school students, two parent escorts and a teacher were abruptly escorted out of the White House this week after daring to stop during a tour of 'the peoples house to pray for its chief resident, President George W. Bush," the Asheville Tribune reports.
Students from Merrimon Christian School in Asheville, N.C., had prayed quietly for Mr. Bush for less than a minute when a Secret Service agent "rudely" began ordering the group to "take it outside," according to one of the group.
The school is considering writing a letter of complaint.
Meanwhile, Sen. Jesse Helms, North Carolina Republican, is trying to get to the bottom of the incident, and "will not drop this until he gets an answer," according to a spokesman. Sen. John Edwards, North Carolina Democrat, contacted the Secret Service and was waiting for a call back from them.
A White House spokesman had no comment, although Mark Connolly, spokesman for the Secret Service, told the Tribune, "Were not aware of any specific incident," adding, "If a group was asked to keep moving, the officer is focusing on keeping the tour moving."

NOW and then

The Senate Finance Committee has passed seven Bush administration political nominees for jobs in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Treasury Department and U.S. Trade Representatives Office.
An eighth nomination of Wade F. Horn as head of the HHS Administration on Children and Family Services was postponed, pending "review of his materials," said Sen. Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican and chairman of the committee. He didnt elaborate, although the National Organization for Women (NOW) has been critical of Mr. Horn of late.
"Horn wants the government to discriminate against single parent families … and families where both parents live in the house but are not married," said a memo from the NOW Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women, which urged its members to oppose his nomination.
Mr. Grassley said he hoped Mr. Horn — a former HHS official, child psychologist and president of the National Fatherhood Initiative — would get his hearing. The delay "is no reflection on him whatsoever," added Sen. Max Baucus, Montana Democrat.
The successful nominees and their future jobs were Claude A. Allen, HHS deputy secretary; Thomas Scully, Health Care Financing Administration administrator; Piyush "Bobby" Jindal, HHS assistant secretary for planning and evaluation; Peter R. Fisher, undersecretary of the Treasury for domestic finance; James Gurule, undersecretary of the Treasury for enforcement; and Linnet F. Deily and Peter Allgeier for deputy U.S. trade representatives.

Border line

Tylenol, condoms, granola, snake-bite medicine and bandages are among the items in "survival kits" that will be available beginning June 15 to Mexicans trying to cross the U.S. border. About 200,000 kits will be distributed.
Though the $2 million program is sponsored by the Mexican government, organizers want funding from the California Endowment, a Los Angeles health foundation.
"The concept is consistent with the kind of commitment this money would support," said its president, Dr. Robert Ross, a former San Diego County health director.
The U.S. Border Patrol reports that 490 persons died last year along the 2,000-mile border. Mexican officials, meanwhile, are concerned that American junk food is dangerous to their far-flung citizens. When distributing the kits, health workers will lecture on the dangers of snacks, related diabetes and psychological problems.
Yesterday, an online poll from the San Diego Union-Tribune found that 76 percent did not approve of the kits.

Fun with funds

Democratic fund-raiser extraordinaire George Durazzo has not gotten over Bill Clinton yet.
"I miss his energy, his charisma and the incredible ability he had to motivate us," Mr. Durazzo said during a recent Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee event, which raised $2.75 million.
"This is a huge success," Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota told the crowd. "We have broken all records tonight."
And its fund-raising season, according to Rep. Martin Frost, Texas Democrat, who said folks scurry to stage money-makers before the June 30 deadline for candidates federal campaign-finance reports. More money in the pot signals that candidates are "strong," Mr. Frost said.
And its no wonder Mr. Durazzo pines for the old Clinton days. The all-time record for fund raising in a single night belongs to Mr. Clinton, who last year raised $26.5 million at a barbecue for Democrats.

Paper chase

Mr. Clinton, meanwhile, is looking for a home for several hundred boxes full of policy papers, proclamations, bills, phone numbers and ephemera left over from his days as Arkansas governor, according to the American Spectator.
"He believes there should be a separate facility for his work as governor," says a staffer working on the future Clinton presidential library.
So far, Mr. Clintons people have contacted the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and his alma maters Georgetown University and Yale Law School about taking the material — and providing a building for them.
But alas. All have declined.

Missile epistle

"Voices from the left generally enjoyed depicting Ronald Reagan as Slim Pickens cowboyish character from 'Dr. Strangelove — strapped to the back of a nuke without a care in the world, except for the ultimate destruction of the Evil Empire. They do not perceive President W, the Texas rancher, any differently," noted a Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial yesterday.
"The Gipper had no intention of getting into a game of nuclear chess with the hammer-and-sickle Reds, nor has President Bush with the Red Chinese or the Russians or the North Koreans… .
"Bush plans to build a missile-defense system that might (a) require elements of space-based, land-based, and sea-based systems; and (b) provide for a layered attack on enemy missiles, most notably during boost phase (the slowest phase of a missiles flight) and after re-entry. Might is better than the NMD approach of Bill Clinton, who pushed a defense systems implementation to his successor and who favored land-based sites attacking projectiles at mid-course, in which decoys may disrupt anti-missile capabilities," the Times said.
"The President is on the right track … protecting America and her allies from the real, maniacal Dr. Strangeloves."

Coming home

Massachusetts Gov. Jane Swift hopes to leave the hospital and return home Sunday morning with newborn twins Sarah and Lauren, an aide told the Associated Press yesterday.
Lauren, though, may not be able to leave. She is under observation for fluid in her lungs in the special-care nursery at Brigham and Womens Hospital, but she is otherwise healthy, said Swift spokesman Jason Kauppi.
Mrs. Swift, 36, is the nations first governor to give birth while in office.
Mrs. Swift plans to preside today over a meeting of the Governors Council by teleconference.
The all-Democrat council stirred debate last week when it voted to ask the states highest court to rule whether it was legal to run such meetings from a hospital room.


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