- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 19, 2002

Welcome to the club
That was Florida's once-beleaguered Secretary of State Katherine Harris mingling with dozens of admiring Washingtonians during a campaign fund-raising reception in her honor at the Mount Vernon home of Republican political operative Craig Shirley and his wife, Zorine.
A former IBM executive and state senator from Sarasota, Mrs. Harris made history and plenty of enemies after certifying President George W. Bush's narrow margin of victory in her home state of Florida.
Now, less than two years later, Mrs. Harris, too, is seeking office in Washington to fill an open congressional seat in her Florida district.
"I'm conservatively optimistic," Mrs. Harris said when asked about her chances of victory. "Our campaign is going quite well."
She told the crowd of supporters that the 2000 presidential election was not an assault on democracy or the Constitution, as many liberals charged, but instead just happened to be a "very close race."
Mrs. Shirley reminded Mrs. Harris that while her opponents and the left-leaning media tried to label her an "enemy of the state" for faithfully discharging her duties as Florida's secretary of state, she should feel comfortable in present company "because most people here tonight had that label affixed to them years ago. Welcome to the right-wing conspiracy."

Check your suitcase
What with all the talk about "suitcase nukes" and how easily they could be smuggled into the United States, it's not surprising that visitors to the U.S. Capitol are warned that "oversized suitcases" are now among prohibited items like cans, bottles and food.
And another suddenly deadly item that U.S. Capitol Police will not tolerate: box cutters.
Meanwhile, it wasn't too long ago that congressional staffers leading tours of the Capitol had only to concern themselves with getting visitors into the building. Now, police are asking a representative from every Senate and House office to enroll in a class that will instruct them how to properly exit the Capitol in case of an emergency.
All this in advance of tomorrow, when, after a six-month stoppage, congressional staffers will once again be allowed to conduct a limited number of unescorted tours of the Capitol for up to 15 visitors at a time. Each tour will have to follow a specific route under the watchful eye of security.
If everything goes smoothly, beginning April 1, a small number of pre-screened school groups will be permitted to tour the Capitol. Regular public tours remain available on Saturdays only.

Worthy of Brumidi
Murals painted since 1855 along the "Brumidi Corridors" of the U.S. Capitol depict such historical events as the Wright Brothers' first flight and the 1969 lunar landing. The last painting to be added was a tribute to the astronauts who lost their lives aboard the Challenger space shuttle.
Now, New York freshman Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has proposed that an artistic memorial to the heroes of September 11 be painted in the corridors, where space was set aside two centuries ago by Italian artist Constantino Brumidi so that future generations could honor the heroes of their time.
"I believe the time has come to commission a new work of art to honor the memory of all the innocent children, women and men who died on September 11 and all the first responders who heroically tried to save lives on that tragic day," Mrs. Clinton says. "Such a memorial would convey America's grief and gratitude to the ages."

Daisy whistles 'Dixie'
We noted yesterday that the Girl Scouts of America are celebrating their 90th anniversary this year. While the Boy Scouts have come under fire for their ban on homosexual leaders, few have noted that the Girl Scouts have some politically incorrect history of their own.
Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low, affectionately nicknamed "Daisy" by her family, was the daughter of William Washington Gordon, a Savannah, Ga., cotton merchant who served as a captain in the Confederate army. As one biographer noted, Daisy "remained true to her 'papa's faith, the Confederate faith,' as long as she lived."
On one occasion related in the biography "Lady From Savannah," Daisy Low and her sister, Mabel, were visiting Egypt, where they "were guests of some British military officers at dinner, who had arranged for a native band to entertain. As a special 'honor' to their guests, the band played 'Marching Through Georgia'" apparently not realizing it was a Yankee song celebrating Sherman's devastation of the sisters' native Georgia.
"Daisy and her sister, Mabel, were so indignant that they started to leave. They finally agreed to stay only if the band would play 'Dixie' by way of apology. Since the band did not know 'Dixie,' Mabel played it on the piano and Daisy whistled it until they caught the tune."


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