- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 30, 2002

Senator Foley
It's not every day that a congressman is invited to sit alongside a senator while the latter is conducting a Senate hearing, but that was the seating arrangement last Friday during a hearing to examine abuses in the funeral industry.
After Republican Rep. Mark Foley finished testifying on funeral-related abuse in his state of Florida and elsewhere, Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, the Connecticut Democrat chairing the hearing, invited the congressman to step up and sit next to him.
"We're now calling him Senator Foley," spokesman Chris Paulitz tells Inside the Beltway.
And the senator's, er, congressman's reaction?
"We're denying comment since he's a senator," Mr. Paulitz replies, "so if you want a response, forget it."

Turbulence
Best-selling author and ABC television aviation analyst John J. Nance tells us he won't be flying aboard a commercial aircraft to reach his book launching party at Cafe Milano in Georgetown next Monday.
This is one veteran pilot who prefers to fly his own plane at least until the airline industry corrects major problems regarding safety and security.
While numerous changes have been made to improve aviation security since September 11, Mr. Nance believes the recent arrests of dozens of illegal alien employees at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport many with full access to tarmacs and aircraft are inexcusable.
As for the author's latest thriller, "Turbulence," Publisher's Weekly writes: "It's unclear why anyone who's read a Nance novel is willing to board an airplane."
In a recent letter to Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, Mr. Nance wrote: "I am deeply distressed and thoroughly alarmed by published reports this past weekend that the emerging requirements for airport screeners under the new congressionally mandated federal program [are] being 'dummied down' to dangerous levels.
"Those of us who know this system as veteran airline professionals and, in my case, as safety analysts, have made it crystal clear that the wholly dysfunctional excuse for a screening system with which we have been afflicted for some 30 years will never be substantially fixed unless, and until, the personnel doing the screening are possessed of adequate education, acceptable English skills, and balanced professionalism."
No word on whether Mr. Mineta plans to attend the book signing.

Harper's Index
"Minutes from nuclear armageddon shown on the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' 'doomsday clock' this year: 7"

Beats being mayor
"I knew that the D.C. [Department of Public Works] Parking Officers were efficient and making money for the District, but I didn't realize how good they have been until reading their ad for 'Parking Officers' in today's Washington Times classified ads," alerts reader John Bowen. "Seems that they have been doing so good that they are able to raise the salary range from $22,252 to $528,551 per annum."

Economic update
James Carter, former senior economist with the Joint Economic Committee, has his work cut out for him at the White House, where he now serves on the National Economic Council.
From his stack of incoming mail and memorandums, Mr. Carter came across these "Rare Moments of Fiscal Candor Throughout History," which he thought Inside the Beltway readers would enjoy:
1407: "You have gold and I want gold; where is it?" King Henry IV of England
18th Century: "Let them eat cake!" Attributed to Marie Antoinette, Queen of France
1938: "We will spend and spend, and tax and tax, and elect and elect." Harry Hopkins, director, Public Works Administration.
1954: "It's a terribly hard job to spend a billion dollars and get your money's worth." Treasury Secretary George Humphrey.
1963: "There is one difference between a tax collector and a taxidermist the taxidermist leaves the hide." Mortimer Caplin, commissioner, U.S. Internal Revenue Service.
1984: "Mr. Reagan will raise taxes and so will I. He won't tell you. I just did." Vice President Walter Mondale.
1995: "Probably people in this room are still mad at me, at that budget, because you think I raised your taxes too much. Well, it may surprise you to know that I think I raised them too much, too." President Clinton
April 2002: "We will also never bring up the permanent tax cut the president is advocating." Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, South Dakota Democrat.

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