- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Embrace the throne

Before we close the lid on dry toilets, Falcon Waterfree Technologies, now happy to have Al Gore on board, has kindly written to Inside the Beltway to “clear up a common misconception.”

Paul Macchia, the company’s New York representative, says that the term used “for urinals that do not need water to operate is ‘waterfree’ as opposed to waterless. The other aspect is they are entirely different from ‘dry toilets’ — something that Falcon Waterfree is not in the business of making. Urinals are for urine while toilets are for both.

“Mr. Gore takes his role of advisory board member to Falcon Waterfree very seriously,” Mr. Macchia adds. “Water waste from urinals is extremely high. One urinal can be responsible for 40,000 gallons of water per year. And waterfree technology is even more hygienic than that of flush toilets (the water is the catalyst for bacteria according to numerous, validated scientific tests).

“Mr. Gore’s vision of making the environment a better place is one that we all must embrace — regardless of political affiliation or geographic location.”

We’ll be the first to report when Mr. Gore installs waterfree urinals in his house.

Mint Gipper

We’re told legislation will be introduced before the House adjourns for Thanksgiving to place the image of former President Ronald Reagan on the dime in place of the current image of Franklin Roosevelt.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Mark Souder, Indiana Republican, says Hollywood is going to “great lengths” even now to distort Mr. Reagan’s legacy and rewrite history. The dime bearing his image, the congressman says, would help ensure that “the Reagan legacy of expanding freedom could not be distorted by his enemies.”

Lugging husbands

Is that the smiling mug of President Bush on first lady Laura Bush’s purse?

“Proudly made in Texas,” say makers of “President C-Box Purses” — classic shiny wooden cigar boxes, handles hand-crafted with vintage-style beads, corners accented with brass, the inside lined in plush black velvet.

C-Box purses sell at upscale boutiques for at least $200, said to be popular to carry to political events. Besides Mrs. Bush, C-Box carriers include National Federation of Republican Women President Heidi Smith; jewelry magnate Joan Castle Joseff of Joseff Jewelry of Hollywood fame (she reportedly has three); Susan Allen, wife of Virginia Sen. George Allen (the senator adorns Mrs. Allen’s C-Box); and former first lady Nancy Reagan, whose purse features former President Ronald Reagan.

A first in a line-for-men C-Box was presented recently to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, complete with a cigar tucked inside. The “governator” is known to enjoy a good cigar now and then.

Fried caviar

The Russian Cultural Centre (RCC) in Washington, an agency of the Russian government, opened its doors in December 1999 pursuant to a bilateral agreement signed by the United States and Russia providing for cultural centers in both countries.

One can read the charter, policy and mission of the RCC, which is stated in gold leaf on the mahogany walls of the center’s Russian-American Room and on the bronze plaque at the building’s entrance: “That Our Two Nations Never Again Polarize.”

Given Russia is the caviar capital of the world, the RCC is educating of late on the history of the country’s rebounding caviar industry. It’s worth noting that until about 225 years ago, Russians considered eating roe somewhat vulgar. But that changed after Catherine the Great served it at a state dinner in 1778.

True Russian caviar comes from the sturgeon, a prehistoric fish with many relatives. The best Russian caviar, labeled “Malossol” (little salt), isn’t salty; rather, its taste is described as a breath of clean ocean air.

The mythological lore of caviar, says the RCC, includes a self-important Washington politico who took his much younger office assistant to the old Mayflower Presidential Dining Room. To impress her, he asked the waiter:

“What is the most expensive item on the menu?”

“Caviar, sir.”

“What is that?”

“Fish eggs, sir.”

“Good, the lady and I will each have one, fried sunny side up.”

Honoring Hillary

Pundit Michelle Malkin, whose syndicated column appears regularly in the commentary pages of The Washington Times, sends announcement of “the latest addition to the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.”

Julian Daniel Malkin joined “the newborn chapter of the VRWC” Nov. 14, his mother writes. He weighed in at 6 pounds, 9 ounces, and was 19 inches long.

John McCaslin, a nationally syndicated columnist, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin@washingtontimes.com.

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