- The Washington Times - Monday, February 11, 2002

You can have it
When Republican Sen. Frank H. Murkowski of Alaska last year invited official members of Washington on a far-reaching expedition to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, an icy and desolate region of Alaska that President Bush wants to tap for oil, senior White House adviser Mary Matalin signed up to go.
Mrs. Matalin and the rest of the fact-finding delegation flew first to Anchorage, then on to Valdez, from there up to Prudhoe Bay, where nearly 2 million barrels of oil a day flow into the trans-Alaskan pipeline, and finally into Barrow, the northernmost and often coldest town in the United States.
How cold was it?
Mrs. Matalin and her fellow expeditioners, including Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton, awoke on their first and only morning in Barrow to an outdoor temperature of minus 35 degrees Fahrenheit minus 65 degrees with the wind chill.

Not so fast
President Bush said recently that he just finished reading Edmund Morris' latest Theodore Roosevelt biography, and saw fit to add that he saw T.R. as a great role model.
The Washington-based Wilderness Society is wondering if the president has his role models mixed up.
Congress, the society notes, is headed for the biggest showdown yet in the 25-year-struggle over drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge of Alaska. Proponents of drilling, led by Sen. Frank H. Murkowski of Alaska, plan in the coming weeks to attach a drilling provision to the forthcoming energy bill.
The Wilderness Society, at the same time, says it is prepared to mount a counteroffensive, led by its intriguing new ally: retired Navy Vice Adm. James E. Service. The admiral flew more than 100 combat missions in Vietnam and Korea, commanded vessels such as the aircraft carrier Independence and served as president of the Naval War College.
According to the society, Adm. Service disputes the suggestion that drilling in the Arctic preserve "has something to do with national security."

Endorsing shorty
Co-founder of The American Prospect magazine is none other than Robert Reich, labor secretary in the first term of the Clinton administration and now a candidate for governor of Massachusetts.
With the recent declaration of his candidacy for the state's highest office, Mr. Reich (who stands 4 feet 6 inches tall, his magazine sees fit to point out) has taken a leave of absence as the magazine's regular columnist.
"The Prospect is verboten from formally endorsing candidates for office something about our tax status," the magazine's editors observe. "Accordingly, we feel compelled to call your attention to the large number of short individuals who played decisive and heroic roles in the grand pageant of American history."
They point to James Madison, the "Father of the Constitution," who stood only 5 feet 4 inches tall. John Adams, architect of the Treaty of Paris, by which this nation formally secured its independence from Britain, hardly towered over others at 5 feet 7 inches.
The list includes the "Little Giant," 5-foot 4-inch Stephen Douglas, "without whom Lincoln would have looked pretty silly debating all by himself," the Prospect notes.
"As Fiorello La Guardia (5 feet 2 inches) the consensus choice as America's greatest mayor once noted during a discussion of the requisite height for a New York City water-and-power inspector: 'What's the matter with a little guy? What's the matter with a little guy?'
"And we say, what indeed?"

Worth quoting
'All knowledge doesn't repose here in Washington, D.C. There is a great deal of knowledge maybe more so with the state legislatures than in Washington, D.C."
Sen. Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican, addressing fellow senators in recent days.

Chain reaction
Like Washington, New York City is well known for its museums. Now, with the collapse of the Enron Corp., the arts community could be seeking much-needed donations elsewhere.
It turns out that philanthropist Robert Belfer, chief executive officer of Belco Oil and Gas in New York, owned Enron stock once worth $2 billion (we last wrote about Mr. Belfer when he attended President Clinton's White House "coffee" at which Democratic fund-raiser John Huang solicited donations). According to the Capitol Research Center, Mr. Belfer has doled out large sums to New York's museums, including $6 million to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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