- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 23, 2001

Gray out
Inside the Beltway is back in Washington, having journeyed to California to experience firsthand how the Left Coast is coping with the rolling blackouts.
They thankfully will no longer be rolling in unannounced, as the states electricity grid announced this week that along with the morning weather and traffic reports, it will issue blackout forecasts 24 hours ahead of darkness.
Californias Democratic Gov. Gray Davis, meanwhile, continues to take the heat for his states critical power shortages, as reflected by this popular California bumper sticker: "Black Out in 2001 Gray Out in 2002."

Musical chairs

"For those of you visiting from the East Coast, the band does not take regularly scheduled breaks. It just waits for the rolling blackouts."

— Announcement made at Sundays wedding ceremony of Ed and Lisa Maass in Sonoma, Calif.

Bush petroleum

Democrats, meanwhile, blame President Bush for skyrocketing gasoline prices, averaging $2.50 a gallon where we filled our tank in California.
Here in Washington, the Democratic National Committee has gone so far as to open a Web site GrandOldPetroleum.com which it says unshrouds the faces of "Big Oil" within the Bush-Cheney administration.
DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe (who, for the record, is seen cruising the crowded streets of Washington in an expensive 4-wheel drive gas guzzler, sporting vanity tags that read "DNC") says the Web site calls attention to how Mr. Bush and Vice President Richard B. Cheney, both former Texas oilmen, "supported higher gas prices throughout their careers" because higher fuel bills meant record profits for Big Oil.
"The $100 billion in economic stimulus Bush is proposing for next year could be swamped by as much as $130 billion in higher gas prices," warns Mr. McAuliffe. "So all the money you supposedly save with the tax cut goes right into the pockets of the oil companies."

Read my lips

Talk about mixing politics with arsenic.
"I regret doing that," NuElectric Corp. CEO Howard Scala now tells Inside the Beltway of his companys stock "buy alert," which sensationalizes President Bushs decision to suspend, pending further review, President Clintons order lowering levels of arsenic in drinking water.
The Florida-based company, which claims to own exclusive license to a technology capable of removing arsenic from water, wrote in a recent stock (trading under the symbol NRGE) alert:
"Thanks to President Bush, the dangerous level of arsenic in our drinking water has become a major issue. In a stunning reversal of their March position, the Bush administration announced on April 19th that they favored a substantial reduction in the arsenic standards, which will trigger billions of dollars in spending.
"One beneficiary of this boom will be NuElectric Corporation, a pollution-control company with a patented process for safe arsenic removal. Timing is everything with low-priced stocks, and we believe there is a real buying opportunity for NRGE …"
In a telephone interview yesterday, Mr. Scala said in retrospect that he shouldnt have injected Mr. Bushs ruling into his company stock portfolio, but stressed that his motive was not political.
"Arsenic is on everyones lips," he reasoned.

PC rating

"Another movie," revealed one official at the Environmental Protection Agency regarding next weeks 11:30 a.m. feature presentation for bureaucrats titled "On the Threshold of Change."
"This is a facilitated video session," says an EPA memo, "that provides an overview of … how individual differences, when managed positively, can strengthen an organization; show that in order to embrace diversity individuals must broaden their perspective consciousness by education, exposure and experience; discuss the nature of conflict as it relates to diversity …; and identify the skills that help individuals relate to people who are different from themselves."

Yolk tale

Rep. Billy Tauzin, Louisiana Republican, addressed the Nuclear Energy Institute Assembly in Washington yesterday, saying the nations current energy situation began with the egg.
The congressman told the story of a lady who walked into a Cajun country store to buy eggs and was told the price was "two dollars a dozen."
"Thats awfully high," she told the store owner.
"Sorry," he replied, "but thats what we sell them for."
"Well, you know," she said, "across the street they sell them for a dollar a dozen."
"Well," he said, "why dont you go over there and buy them?"
"I cant," she said, "theyre out."
"Well," said the store owner, "when Im out I sell them for a dollar a dozen, too."


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