- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 3, 2001

Jackie O revisited
Yes, that was first lady Laura Bush "incognito" — hiding behind a pair of dark sunglasses this week while enjoying lunch with a lady friend at TenPenh on Pennsylvania Avenue, just a few blocks from the White House.
And while the Secret Service certainly was nearby, no security was visible around the concealed first lady.
Mrs. Bush obviously heard how delicious TenPenhs entrees were from Vice President Richard B. Cheney, whom we spotted at the restaurant only a few days before.
Interestingly, both Mrs. Bush and the diet-conscious Mr. Cheney declined dessert, although both asked the wait staff to go ahead and describe the assorted delicacies from the pastry kitchen anyway.

Washington walnuts

President Clintons former White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta was back in Washington this week sporting a California tan.
"I was on a tractor last week," Mr. Panetta explained over lunch at the St. Regis Hotel. "My family has a walnut orchard. When I was first elected (to Congress), my father said I was perfectly suited for Washington because Ive always worked around nuts."

Rotunda yoga

"Please dont disturb the senator, hes breathing."
Dont laugh. Every Monday and Friday afternoon starting in June, posture and breathing exercises will commence in Room 628 of the Senates Dirksen Building (just a few steps up from North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms office, should he be interested in assuming the yoga position).
"With regular practice it will increase your flexibility, balance, breath control, and will enhance your overall health," senators and their staffs are told by the Senate Office of Education and Training, proud sponsor of "Yoga on Mondays & Fridays."

Proving ground

It was bad enough that Americas Promise lost its visible chairman, Colin Powell, to George W. Bush and the State Department.
Now Americas Promise faces the possibility of losing Mr. Powells newly chosen replacement, former Montana Gov. Marc Racicot, to Mr. Bush and the FBI.
Mr. Racicot, mentioned as a possible successor to retiring FBI Director Louis J. Freeh, joins Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend this morning to challenge corporate leaders to support Marylands Promise on behalf of youth.
Beyond that, what should happen if Mr. Racicot jumps ship?
"We begin the search process all over again," an Americas Promise spokesperson tells this column.

Chinese symptoms

Internet posting by Washington-based Judicial Watch:
"The website you are currently looking for is experiencing technical difficulties. At this time, all evidence suggests that hackers are responsible for these difficulties. Over the last couple days, there have been reports of Chinese hackers targeting U.S. sites in retaliation for the recent tensions in U.S.-Chinese relations. We especially suspect this scenario due to the fact that all symptoms related to our problem are the exact same symptoms being reported widely over the last 12 hours from high levels at the U.S. Department of Transportation and Microsoft."

Gay guns

Letter to the editor in this weeks Washington Blade, a newspaper that since 1969 has catered to the Washington areas homosexual community: "Great article on the Pink Pistols, the gay-friendly pro-gun group."

Mailbag

Two recent items in particular generated considerable reaction: yesterdays opinion that abolishing slavery may not have been Abraham Lincolns intent; and the previous days item on Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez being verbally lambasted by Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Ohio Democrat, during a recent congressional hearing.
On Honest Abe, David P. Graf writes: "When we look back at Lincoln, its easy to forget the tenor of his times and conclude that he was no real opponent of slavery. However, we might have a different perspective if we were one of his contemporaries. One of them, the former slave, Frederick Douglass wrote:
"'Viewed from the genuine abolition ground, Mr. Lincoln seemed tardy, cold, dull, and indifferent; but measuring him by the sentiment of his country, a sentiment he was bound as a statesman to consult, he was swift, zealous, radical, and determined … (and) in his heart of hearts he loathed and hated slavery."
As for Mrs. Tubbs Jones, Carl Snook of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio — the congresswomans district — writes:
"I have mixed emotions about your article about Rep. Tubbs Jones. On the one hand, America has once again read about one of our congressional buffoons. Conversely, you are a lone soul with the nerve to print the idiocy which passes for the thoughts of Americas Democratic elected officials."


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