- The Washington Times - Monday, May 13, 2002

Expensive threads
One of former HUD Secretary Jack Kemp's congressional liaison aides at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, in town for a reunion of the Kemp team last week, complained that the presidential impeachment section of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History displayed the travails of Andrew Johnson and Richard Nixon, but not Bill Clinton.
Not so, says David Umansky, director of communications for the Smithsonian, who wonders what tour the Kemp team was led on.
"The sections are divided equally between Johnson, Nixon and Clinton," the spokesman says. "In fact, for the Clinton section there are two photos and six objects, while for the Nixon section there are three photos but just two objects."
Even the robe worn by Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist during the Senate impeachment trial of President Clinton is on display at the museum, Mr. Umansky notes.
Which gives us the opportunity to add that Chief Justice Rehnquist, in his 1999 financial disclosure report, listed the same robe he presented to the Smithsonian as a "donation." In fact, the chief justice declared in the report that the robe was appraised by Sotheby's at a whopping $30,000.
Which begs the question: If Chief Justice Rehnquist's robe is valued at $30,000, can you imagine the price tag put on Monica Lewinsky's blue dress?

Gumbo and golf
No, your eyes did not deceive you; that was tough-guy Rep. Billy Tauzin of Louisiana sporting an apron alongside television homemaker Martha Stewart.
"That show first aired several months ago," Mr. Tauzin's spokesman, Ken Johnson, informs Inside the Beltway. "I guess you could say that like Mary Tyler Moore, Billy continues to be popular in reruns."
In this particular Martha Stewart segment, the congressman is sharing his personal recipes for barbecue shrimp and Louisiana gumbo.
"Gumbo is like politics," the Democrat-turned-Republican lawmaker explains. "You throw everything into a pot, stir it up, then see how long it takes to bubble."
Speaking of Mr. Tauzin, we might mention he is playing in a foursome today, alongside country music singer Trace Adkins, at the Army-Navy Country Club's first USO Charity Golf Tournament.
"Billy is not the greatest golfer in the world," acknowledges Mr. Johnson.
As for the congressman's handicap?
"His swing."

Paybacks are hell
At least four of the 19 September 11 terrorists every one an illegal alien were issued Virginia driver's licenses, enabling them to conduct myriad business transactions in this country, not the least being entering flight schools.
Now, when motorists in Virginia are mailed their vehicle registration renewal notices, this prominent notice is included: "Recent legislation raised the registration renewal fee by $2. Revenue from this fee change will be used to fund homeland defense, public safety and emergency services."

Farewell, Flipper
The National Marine Fisheries Service, which falls under the stewardship of the Commerce Department, is considering whether to propose regulations to protect marine mammals in the wild from human activities that might "harass" the animals.
This would include swimming with, performing with, and even "posing" with dolphins.
"Over the past several years, swimming with wild dolphins has significantly increased in the Southeast United States and Hawaii, and is beginning to expand to other U.S. coastal areas," the NMFS writes, adding that "attempting to swim with, pet, touch or elicit a reaction from the animals constitute harassment."
Instead, the NMFS is recommending that humans "use binoculars or telephoto lenses to get a good view of the animals [and] limit observation time to 30 minutes or less."
"A regulation amending the definition of 'harassment' could clarify which specific activities are prohibited," the service notes. "Interaction would include swimming with, touching, posing with, or otherwise acting on or with a marine mammal."
And what if the ever-playful dolphins swim up to people?
"NMFS recognizes that there are situations where wild marine mammals will approach people on their own accord, either out of curiosity or to ride the bow wave/surf the stern wake of a vessel underway," the service says. "If wild marine mammals enter an area used by swimmers or divers, NMFS recommends avoiding abrupt movements and moving away."



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