- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 27, 2002

And the winner is…
Recapping the 74th Academy Awards on his network radio show yesterday, ABC newsman Sam Donaldson added a few Oscar categories and winners, including one for the longest continuing role as national drug suspect: Marion Barry.
If you haven't read, former Washington Mayor Marion S. Barry, who is seeking an at-large seat on the D.C. Council, was observed Thursday evening by U.S. Park Police officers "ingesting something" while sitting in his parked car on a remote Washington street.
When the officers approached his honor, they noticed a white powdery substance around his infamous nose and are said to have found a small rock of crack cocaine and traces of marijuana in his car. Despite the evidence, Mr. Barry denied having any illegal drugs, and he was not arrested.
As Mr. Donaldson reminds us, Mr. Barry's numerous tussles with the law go back for decades, at least to 1967 (long before the then-mayor was arrested in 1990 after buying crack cocaine from an undercover agent and smoking it on videotape). In fact, Inside the Beltway, as you can see from today's photograph, has obtained a never-before-published mug shot of a youthful Mr. Barry snapped by the Washington Metropolitan Police Department on May 13, 1969.
That was the day Mr. Barry reportedly threatened to "kill" two D.C. police officers who were writing tickets on illegally parked cars. A brawl and near-riot ensued, involving 125 persons and 50 police officers. Mr. Barry was one of only four people hauled to the police station.
Moments after his mug shot was taken, Mr. Barry reportedly jumped on a policeman and grabbed his throat. He was subdued with a blackjack, suffered a head wound, and was transported to the hospital.

Scouts and guns?
We have to laugh at a letter to Inside the Beltway from Jed L. Babbin, a K Street lawyer who is helping arrange a sporting-clay charity shoot scheduled for April 20 at the Prince George's County Trap & Skeet Center to benefit the National Capital Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
"It would be a great help if you could mention it in your column," Mr. Babbin writes. "After all, it's a politically incorrect twofer: Scouts and guns. Who could ask for more?"

Pass the mayo
If you didn't know, the federal government has changed its BMI (Body Mass Index, calculated from height and weight) standards. As a result, 30 million Americans overnight went from being government-approved to "overweight" or "obese."
"Activist groups are using these new statistics to fuel their agenda for 'fat taxes' on snack foods and tobacco-style class-action lawsuits against restaurants," says Mike Burita, spokesman for the Center for Consumer Freedom, which is headquartered just one block from the White House. "Some activists have gone so far as to compare Ronald McDonald to Joe Camel."
And if Uncle Sam declaring a war on fatty foods isn't enough, the surgeon general in recent days warned that an "obesity epidemic" threatens public health, allowing the activist groups a more solid basis for proposing "Twinkie taxes" on sodas, snack foods and restaurant meals.
How do people find out if they are officially overweight? Mr. Burita has posted a "Does the Government Think You're Fat?" test on the consumer center's Web site, www.consumerfreedom.com.
Yesterday, this seemingly fit-and-trim columnist, who regularly works out in the gym and runs several miles every other day, took the test. To my surprise, not only was I declared "overweight" by the government guardians, I'm approaching "obese."
Not to worry. Michael Jordan and Cal Ripken Jr., are also officially overweight, according to Uncle Sam, while Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe are obese.
"We just checked out height and weights of the Final Four [college basketball] players and found 16 to be in the 'overweight' category," says Mr. Burita.

'Heartless profiteers'
Days after Rep. Mark Foley told us that the General Accounting Office accepted his request to conduct an investigation involving recent cases of desecration at cemeteries and crematoriums in Georgia and Florida, he's now asking the inquiry be expanded to Hawaii.
It's been brought to the Florida Republican's attention that Memorial Mortuary, a Hawaii-based funeral-services provider, has been accused of selling mourners caskets and then burying their loved ones in plastic bags.
"Buried in bags like yesterday's trash," Mr. Foley observes. "The heartless profiteers responsible have not only desecrated human bodies, they have perverted the very essence of morality and decency."


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