- The Washington Times - Friday, December 13, 2002

Whatever works
Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson didn't beat around the bush when he sat down recently with representatives of several AIDS-advocacy groups.
He warned a dozen AIDS activists at an Oct. 31 meeting at HHS headquarters in Washington that government subsidies bring government oversight and that the groups need to avoid using that money for "a sex party or a gay stripper."
A transcript of the meeting was obtained by Inside the Beltway.
"We have a great team here and we are passionate about this," Mr. Thompson said of federal efforts to combat AIDS. "Some of you are concerned about the commitment of the Bush administration to this issue. Some of you think we're more concerned about abstinence [than about HIV prevention].
"All we're trying to do is to balance," the secretary said. "I think maybe more than some in the White House [believe] you have to have both [abstinence and condoms], especially with young African-American gays. Try everything."
Mr. Thompson assured the AIDS activists that "I am a pretty nice guy," and pointed out that when he was the Republican Wisconsin governor "I was the first to put money into prevention for HIV/AIDS, especially being a Republican."
"I've been fighting for your stuff," he said. "I'm sure all of you supported Al Gore over George Bush. I want you to get to know us. I want to be your friend, partner, associate.
"Now with the audits, you've got to realize that not everyone agrees with you and me in Congress. When you take federal dollars and have a sex party or a gay stripper you're going to have audits. Maybe you should use other money to hire a stripper. Audits are there to find out what's working. I believe in audits."
This column reported in recent months about one AIDS-prevention group in St. Louis that used federal money to hire Edgar Gaines, a stripper and homosexual-porn star, to educate young men when he wasn't dancing about the deadly disease.
The secretary concluded his remarks by saying, "Prevention is the hallmark of our administration AIDS, diabetes, obesity, smoking we are passionate about prevention."

Who isn't racist?
"Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Maxine Waters and the Congressional Black Caucus are hypocrites and they are the real racists. Jackson has not apologized for his 'Hymietown' comments, Sharpton has never apologized for his role in the Tawana Brawley disgrace, members of the Congressional Black Caucus have never asked fellow Democrat Sen. Robert Byrd to step down for using the word 'nigger' twice on national television."
The Rev. Jesse Peterson, head of the black organization BOND (Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny), referring to the furor swirling around Senate Republican leader Trent Lott's remark that Sen. Strom Thurmond would have made a great president when he ran in 1948.

'Puff' poll
Who in the United States isn't a pollster?
We draw your attention to a new national survey on President Bush and Iraq, conducted by none other than rap star Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, formerly known as Puff Daddy.
Mr. Combs, a Harlem native, is chief executive officer of Blue Flame Marketing and Advertising, which polled 956 "urban" Americans about a potential U.S. war with Iraq. And if Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein ever thought he had the support of urban Americans, he can think again.
Just over 34 percent of respondents believe Saddam poses an "extreme danger" to the United States, 38 percent believe he poses "serious danger," more than 23 percent say he poses "moderate danger," while just over 4 percent believe Saddam poses "minimal to no danger" to Americans.
And the majority of those polled also believe that President Bush's motivations for any war is "to prevent Iraq from developing weapons of mass destruction."
However, only 13 percent of those polled "strongly support a U.S. invasion of Iraq," despite the fact that more than 95 percent believe Saddam poses a danger to this country.
"It is interesting to note that while the youth of today recognize the danger of Iraq, many of them oppose a U.S. invasion," says Jameel Spencer, president of Blue Flame Marketing.
So what are "urban" Americans?
Mr. Spencer says the urban term describes the "attitudinal/psychographic force behind trends that arise in inner-city areas," and counts 45 million Americans in the category, 60 percent of them non-minorities.
As for Puff Daddy-turned-P. Diddy, we recall that Mr. Combs actually attended Howard University here in Washington, and later landed an internship at Uptown Entertainment. It wasn't too much longer before he started Bad Boy Entertainment, among his other companies. The rapper also has his own successful clothing line, Sean John.

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