- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 19, 2002

Spontaneous pledge

In order to register and activate student voters for the fall election, the Democratic National Committee hosted 200 rallies across the country on Tuesday featuring top Democratic leaders. Apparently, things didn't go as planned.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe was the star attraction at one such rally at the University of Maryland. There he discovered College Democrats outflanked by youthful College Republicans 67-21.

To make matters worse for the Clinton-picked DNC honcho, he entered the rally's outdoor amphitheater to chants of "Come clean, Terry."

Mr. McAuliffe began his remarks by thanking the College Republicans for coming. Then the assembled students broke into the Pledge of Allegiance, and the DNC had no choice but to stop his remarks and join them.

At the end of the event, the College Republicans boasted 23 newly registered voters and 71 new College Republicans. No word from College Democrats on their success.

Surrender Martha

So what's the biggest-selling Halloween costume this year now that the scary mugs of Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky are no longer around to frighten our children?

Costume creator Gary Mitten tells Inside the Beltway to look for "Martha Stewart" to be knocking on our doors Oct. 31. In fact, Mr. Mitten has developed an entire Web business www.surrendermartha.com around the production of his "Martha" costumes and masks.

"Sales for Halloween are going well," he said yesterday. Our favorites are the "Department of Correction" orange jumpsuit, which "everyone is wearing this season."

And just in time for Halloween, there's a "Martha mask" and black "Surrender Martha" top, featuring a wicked witch riding a broom.

NPR search

Matthew Koehler, a member of the grass-roots activist group Wild Rockies, wrote this correspondence to his organization (leaked to Inside the Beltway) on Tuesday:

"Folks: A correspondent with NPR [National Public Radio] is looking for a 'thinning' project that clearly illustrates why we are distrustful of the USFS [U.S. Forest Service]/timber industry. Ideally, this bad 'thinning' project needs to have already been completed as the correspondent wants to visit the site and talk with folks on the ground.

"I spoke with a few people yesterday and the general impression that I got was that a lot of the bad 'thinning' projects have either been successfully appealed/litigated or are tied up in the appeals/litigation. I've also heard that lots of bad 'thinning' projects are coming down the pipeline. So, if anyone has a bad 'thinning' project that has already been logged, please get in contact with me so we can get you in contact with NPR ASAP. Thanks.

"This is what the [NPR] correspondent wrote: 'Hey there. Put on your thinking cap and give me your best example of a 'thinning project' where they went in and did the opposite. I'm working on a story about trust, which is at the heart of all this, and I want to use just one example of where the FS [Forest Service] and the industry flagrantly abused the public's trust on a thinning project. In short, concrete evidence as to why the environmental community is distrustful of the FS and industry's so-called thinning projects.'"

Scottish stand

Sen. John W. Warner, who isn't shy of wearing a kilt on the floor of the U.S. Senate along with Trent Lott is certainly proud of his Scottish heritage.

Still, the Virginia Republican was skeptical after reading that his ancestor claimed to have built the famous Scottish country estate of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.

"A politician can get in an awful lot of trouble by making claims that aren't true," he told the St. Andrew's Society of Washington this week. So Mr. Warner decided to write to Buckingham Palace for some verification.

Now, after extensive research, palace historians have written back to confirm that the Virginia gentleman's great-great-grandfather Alexander Stewart did indeed build Balmoral Castle in the Scottish Highlands. The castle has been royal property since Prince Albert purchased it in 1852 for Queen Victoria.

In his speech to the Scottish-American charitable society, Mr. Warner noted that he skipped a vote in the Senate on Tuesday night so he could join the group at the Army-Navy Country Club in Arlington.

"I said to myself, 'The Senate be damned. I'm coming,'" he said. Mr. Warner had to cancel a speech to the society last year, just two days after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Mr. Warner recalled the words of George Washington when he was facing the cruel winter at Valley Forge: "If all else fails, I will plant my flag on the Blue Ridge and make my stand among the Scotch-Irish of Virginia."

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