- The Washington Times - Monday, March 4, 2002

Extended autumn
Whether global warming is the culprit or not, nary a snowflake has adhered to the U.S. Capitol dome this winter. Good riddance, says political operative Lyn Nofziger, who also is a poet (under the nom de plume of Joy Skilmer):
I thought that I would never know
A D.C. winter without snow,
A winter that just once or twice
Dropped a wee bit of snow or ice,
A winter that most ev'ry day
Forced all the kiddies out to play
Without their sleds or skis or skates,
Or even caps to warm their pates.
A winter more like spring or fall,
A winter that was not at all.
Though some may cheer when north winds blow,
God bless those days when there's no snow.


Paybacks are hell
Self-appointed black spokesman and racial provocateur the Rev. Al Sharpton is stepping down from his Harlem pulpit to rail against Uncle Sam. He will arrive in Washington tomorrow to protest discrimination, retaliation and abuse in the federal workplace.
Or so he says.
Notice of Mr. Sharpton's "Get On The Bus" protest was sent to most, if not, all U.S. government agencies. Some employees, for instance, received printable color posters of the Sharpton protest from Dwight Welch, president of the Environmental Protection Agency chapter of the National Treasury Employees Union.
Mr. Sharpton shall commence his diatribe at noon in Washington's Freedom Plaza, after which participants will board buses and ride the few blocks to Capitol Hill to deliver petitions, letters and prayers to the Senate leadership.
In one of his more memorable Washington appearances, Mr. Sharpton last year led a "shadow inauguration" on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court while President Bush was being sworn in across the street. The preacher promised to seek payback from the Bush administration for what he claimed was a "stolen" 2000 election.

Cheap labor
Perhaps the Rev. Al Sharpton, as other Americans are doing in the wake of September 11, should be taking a closer look at U.S. immigration policy, particularly its economic impact on black America.
An analysis of the latest Census Bureau data by ProjectUSA indicates that while the economy boomed during the Clinton administration, adjusted figures for median household income failed to climb in many states because of the influx of low-income immigrant workers.
"This phenomenon is particularly hard on the black community," says the group. "While African-Americans make up 12.5 percent of total U.S. population, they account for 25 percent of Americans below the poverty level. By depressing wages for low-income Americans in high immigration areas, mass immigration makes it disproportionately harder for large numbers of blacks to improve their financial positions."

Future leader
The board of directors of Black America's Political Action Committee (Bampac), chaired by Alan Keyes, has named Alvin Williams its president and chief executive officer.
Mr. Williams was co-founder and, until recently, executive director of Bampac, a nonpartisan political action committee founded in 1993 to mobilize black candidates and highlight the importance of the black vote. During his tenure, the donor base of Bampac grew to more than 133,000, contributing more than $1 million to black candidates seeking office.
A member of the first President Bush's campaign and transition team, Mr. Williams has been named one of the "50 Leaders of the Future" by Ebony magazine and a "Rising Star" by Campaigns & Elections magazine.

Extraordinary gals
Girl Scouts of the USA is celebrating its 90th anniversary by holding its first national awards dinner in honor of 10 "extraordinary" women, including Alma J. Powell, wife of Secretary of State Colin L. Powell; and Elizabeth Dole, Senate candidate in North Carolina and past presidential hopeful.
"This select group of honorees serves as role models for today's Girl Scouts, exemplifying how all girls can pursue their greatest dreams and opportunities," says the Girl Scouts. "It promises to be a dramatic and high-energy event with D.C. dignitaries, celebrity honorees … and hundreds of girls performing song and dance."
President Bush and first lady Laura Bush will be the honorary co-chairmen of the fund-raising gala, to be held March 12 at the National Building Museum.
Besides Mrs. Powell and Mrs. Dole, honorees include Val Ackerman, Martha W. Barnett, Gladys Kamakakuokalani Ainoa Brandt, Judge Glenda Hatchett, Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Esmeralda Santiago, Kathryn D. Sullivan and Vera Wang.


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