- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 21, 2002

Dead party
The ascension of newly elected House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, was applauded by Bob Weir, formerly of the Grateful Dead, during a Friday concert in Washington.
"I wasn't surprised to hear Nancy Pelosi welcomed [to the House] by Bob Weir," says Washington public relations mogul Adam Dubitsky, who attended the show. "If we need any other indication that the Democrats think Haight-Ashbury is 'Middle America,' that was it.
"You could almost hear an off-camera reporter shouting to her after her election last week, 'Nancy, you just won the minority leader position. What are you going to do now?' To which she might have responded, 'I'm going to go see a Dead show!'"
Actually, you might be right, Mr. Dubitsky.
"She's a big fan" of the Dead, says Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly.
Earlier this year in Washington, Mr. Weir and fellow Grateful Dead band member Mickey Hart joined musician Steve Miller to celebrate "a significant bit of American political history" or so we read in Vol. 9, No. 2 of the Grateful Dead Almanac's "Dead World Roundup."
The trio of musicians performed at a ceremony honoring Mrs. Pelosi after her selection as House Minority Whip, the first time in the 213-year history of Congress that a woman held such a powerful position. Given the San Francisco native has now become the nation's minority leader, one can understand Mr. Weir's excitement.
One last observation from the Dead World Roundup: "Among the songs played at Pelosi's party: Miller's hit 'Take the Money and Run.' Now, we could speculate on whether that choice was intended as a timely comment on the shenanigans of top executives at an embattled energy-trading company. We could. But it would be wrong."

Cold and starved
"Total animal liberation means no beef, poultry, eggs, leather, fur, hunting, fishing, circuses, zoos, pets and no animal research whatsoever for medical cures or treatments."
Mike Burita, spokesman for the Washington-based Center for Consumer Freedom, explaining what would be missing in our lives should the beginning stages of animal-rights ballot initiatives five of which appeared in this month's midterm elections ultimately achieve the national goal of "total animal liberation."

For the birds
Speaking of animals, tempers are flaring on Teddy Kennedy's beloved Massachusetts national seashore of Cape Cod, where anti-hunting groups want to amend their recently filed lawsuit and ban all types of hunting once and for all.
In their original case, only pheasant hunting was targeted. But this week, animal rights groups including the Fund for Animals, Humane Society of the United States, and Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals amended the complaint to include all hunting in the 43,000-acre seashore.
The U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance Foundation, a defendant intervenor in the case, claims a loss of hunting on Cape Cod could affect hunting on federal land across the nation.
Or, warns Wayne MacCallum, director of Massachusetts Fish and Wildlife: "The past has shown us that if they win at places like Cape Cod, they will not stop there."

Future skyline
This newspaper and others reported this week that activist residents citizens of the Washington suburb of Takoma Park were warming up to corn stoves due to climate concerns. A corn silo, built to store cleaner-burning kernels, was even installed last week at the city's Department of Public Works, the first of its kind in so populated an area of the nation.
"I applaud the efforts of citizens of Takoma Park to stop global warming through the pioneering and innovative use of burning corn to heat homes in that fair city," writes Paul Georgia, environmental policy analyst with the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington.
"I realize that this is just the first step and look forward to the day when Takoma Park builds the remaining 599 or so grain silos needed to store enough corn to heat every home in the city."

Shell-shocked
Regarding our item this week that the Department of Health and Human Services announced it will provide up to a quarter of a million dollars to the state of Maryland to provide mental health services for those traumatized by the Beltway sniper, Inside the Beltway reader Donald R. Fox of Saltillo, Miss., observes:
"Concerning the $250,000 for mental health service: What in the world would this generation have done if they were alive during World War II?"


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