- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 10, 2002

And to your left

Inside the Beltway has learned that the racially embattled Prince George’s County Police Department will be leading its officers on tours of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington what is being called “authority awareness training.”

“Our authorities are likening us to a bunch of Nazi S.S. officers,” one P.G. police officer charges in an interview with this column.

Police officers in the suburban Maryland county that borders Washington have been sharply criticized in recent months, particularly in the media, for so-called “racial profiling” and insensitivity, accusations many of the officers deny.

Now, these same cops have just been handed the “Prince George’s County Police In-Service Training 2002 Schedule,” also obtained by this column, where an eight-hour block of time is set aside for “Authority-Awareness Training (Holocaust Museum).”

“It’s caused quite a stir in the department,” says the officer we interviewed.

When not touring the Holocaust Museum established by President Jimmy Carter so that future generations can “learn how to prevent such enormities from occurring in the future” the officers over a four-day period will be trained in more conventional areas of law enforcement firearms and officer-survival skills, defensive driving, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, to name several.

Only in California

Here’s a memo to the Heritage Foundation staff from Ron Utt, the Washington think tank’s senior economist and analyst.

The subject line reads “it’s true,” and the memo says: “Thanks to Rep. Lois Capps, California Democrat, this Congress may have hit a new low in the creation of a wasteful spending program. Representative Capps has secured $50,000 in federal money to fund a tattoo-removal program in her district. According to her press release: ‘People with visible, inappropriate tattoos often encounter negative attitudes, stereotyping and discrimination, resulting in unemployment, underemployment, or the inability to move forward in their careers. This program supports people who are trying to make a change in their lives by removing those negative marks of distinction … and the psychological barriers they create.’

“Dennis Rodman, phone home.”

Almost to the yogurt

It’s been nearly three months since Oct. 15 that an anthrax-laden letter was opened in the office of Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle. Considering the tremendous fallout from that single envelope, officials are now taking every precaution to prevent another parcel like it from arriving on Capitol Hill.

For instance, Hill staff are advised this week of a new process for delivering UPS and FedEx packages addressed to the Senate.

“UPS and FedEx packages will be delivered by uniformed, Senate Post Office employees, displaying a valid Senate I.D. Offices should only accept packages delivered in this manner. Similar to the mail, the number of packages received will be minimal at first, and will increase in the coming weeks,” staff is advised.

Meanwhile, a working group from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Environmental Protection Agency, and the federal Incident Command is currently evaluating samples taken from the Senate Hart Office Building, which has remained closed owing to anthrax contamination.

Once the EPA and CDC, in conjunction with the Senate’s Office of the Attending Physician, advise that the building is safe, the Architect of the Capitol will verify that building systems ventilation, fire protection and electrical systems, plumbing and elevators are all in working order.

Then, in conjunction with the U.S. Capitol Police, the architect’s office will test, inspect and restore security systems and door locks, and repair and replace broken, damaged or removed ceiling tiles, and touch up painted surfaces.

The architect then will clean and restore, including “detailed cleaning [and] sanitizing and deep scrubbing public and private restrooms; and emptying and cleaning refrigerators.”

Birthplace of buncombe

Number crunchers at the Cato Institute in Washington are now referring to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle’s latest economic-stimulus plan as economic “bunkum,” also spelled “buncombe,” which means empty or meaningless talk, or claptrap.

Apart from Mr. Daschle, residents of one state, in particular, aren’t fond of the noun, given its etymology: “After Buncombe County, North Carolina.”

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