- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 23, 2002

Banning Bush
As a result of last week's flap over the insertion of a photo of President Bush taken on September 11 into a Republican House-Senate dinner mailing, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) has banned all references to Mr. Bush, "the Bush administration," "the Bush agenda" and similar phrasing that includes "Bush" or "president."
As a result, says our source, a direct-mail fund-raising letter that would have called for "re-electing a GOP majority to help pass the Bush agenda" now must read, " to help pass the Republican agenda."
"Bush is not to be mentioned at all," the source tells Inside the Beltway.
A high-ranking NRCC official reached yesterday confirmed the Bush ban, so as to be absolutely certain that the White House was not again caught off guard by any political mailing or similar release that might bear the Bush name.
Democrats last week said the photo distribution to NRCC donors showed that Republicans were using the war on terrorism for political gain. It "is nothing short of grotesque," charged Terry McAuliffe, chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Says our source: "To any normal politico, [the ban] would seem asinine, particularly during an election year where your party's greatest asset is the extremely popular president."
According to the source, it was not the often heavy-handed White House that initiated the new directive.
Instead, NRCC chief John Hishta dictated the policy, "and even ordered the trashing of a previously scheduled mailing" at considerable cost, said the source.
The NRCC official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, denied yesterday that mailings had been trashed, rather just "put on hold," he said.
Says our source: "What's the old saying about Republicans' worst enemies are themselves?"

"Time to dust off those 49-star flags again?" asks one Environmental Protection Agency official, reading his invitation to an EPA National Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month event scheduled for next week. The event will focus on the effect that "a future sovereign Hawaiian nation" will have on how water resources are managed.

"James Watt in a skirt? I hope she is James Watt in a skirt! I felt it was a compliment. And I hope she felt it was a compliment."
Or so former Interior Secretary James Watt tells Outside magazine, referring to Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton and the not-so-glamorous nickname (have you seen Mr. Watts' bony legs?) that environmentalists have given her.
Mr. Watt, who served in the beginning of the Reagan administration, happens to be Mrs. Norton's old boss and mentor, the two working together at the Coors-funded Mountain States Legal Foundation during the late 1970s.
Mrs. Norton later joined the Interior Department, working under Mr. Watt's successor, Donald Hodel.

Part deux
Speaking of shapely legs, actress Jamie Lee Curtis will be on Capitol Hill today to help start the second year of the National Campaign to Protect Kids. A child advocate and author, she also is taking part in the seventh annual Congressional Breakfast and National Missing and Exploited Children's Awards ceremony, just two days before National Missing Children's Day on Saturday.
More than 3,000 children were reported missing last year in the District, and a total of 725,000 nationwide. The majority of those missing were taken unlawfully by a parent or other family member.

All but sunk
The congressman whose district borders the Venice, Fla., flight school that helped train the September 11 terrorist hijackers says Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle is "obstructing" the dismantling of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
Rep. Mark Foley, Florida Republican, along with a long list of other congressmen, are calling on Mr. Daschle to move on House legislation that immediately would begin disassembling the INS.
"There's a time to obstruct and a time to lead," says Mr. Foley. "Maybe Senator Daschle should buy a new watch if he can't figure out what time it is."
The House request, in writing, comes one day after an internal INS report said the agency routinely allowed foreign students into the country with little to no scrutiny, including Mohamed Atta, who came to America at least three times and trained at the Venice flight school.
"This report simply confirms what I've been saying for years the INS is about as salvageable as the Titanic," says Mr. Foley.

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