- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 1, 2004

Mud man?

James Carville will be delighted to know that Inside the Beltway was inundated with reader response after our glowing review this week of his first-ever children’s book, “Lu and the Swamp Ghost.”

We’d written that Mr. Carville’s book was inspired by an episode in the Louisiana childhood of his mother, Lucille (known as “Miz Nippy”). And to make sure children hear the story with the correct inflections, the book comes packaged with a CD read by Mr. Carville in his distinctive voice.

To tell a bit of the ghostly tale, we wrote that Miz Nippy grew up in southern Louisiana during the Great Depression. One day she was out checking her papa’s turkey traps in the cypress woods and comes across someone — or something — covered head to toe in mud. She heard about the swamp ghost who gobbles up nosy little girls, but this was the first time she came face-to-face with one of the creatures.

That’s as much of the tale as we told — which unbeknownst to us, would leave column readers crying for more. Like John Tutini of Argyle, Texas:

“Without giving away the ending, did at any time she say if the muddy creature was bald and spoke with a Cajun twang when cleaned up?”

Unintended theme

Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry was hoping his Democratic National Convention opening sound bite “reporting for duty” would resonate with voters and become the theme of his 2004 campaign going into November.

No such luck.

“‘Swift Boats’ swamp all other Kerry messages,” according to the latest Global Language Monitor’s (www.LanguageMonitor.com) PQ (Political-sensitivity Quotient) Tracking Index.

“In fact, [Swift Boat] is up over 850 percent in the last several weeks as tracked in the media and on the Internet, according to PQ Index,” says Paul Payack, president of the Global Language Monitor.

Manly meal

“The food’s terrible on Air Force One.”

Or so Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, explained as he grabbed a “smokie” (smoked sausage) off the grill and lathered it in mustard and onions during a campaign stop with President Bush in Pennsylvania this week.

Thanks, Jack

It took more than three decades, but Congress honors Jack Yanosov.


He began his career on the RCA assembly line. Years later, he rose to become lead engineer of the Apollo spacecraft communications project. And it was on a transmitter built by Mr. Yanosov — put into use 35 years ago this summer — that humans heard the first words ever spoken on a planetary body other than Earth.

Thanks to Mr. Yanosov, the famous and inspiring words uttered on the moon and into our living rooms in 1969 by Neil Armstrong came through loud and clear: “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Four-day holiday

Figuring the homosexual population in this country spends an average of $1.4 billion each day, the group Boycott For Equality has organized a one-day nationwide employment “walkout” on October 8.

“We want to remind those in our nation who don’t always see the impact of our community in terms of dollars and cents that we do have real market power,” says group co-founder Dale Duncan. “We were inspired by Don’t Amend founder Robin Tyler’s famous quip, ‘If being gay is a disease, let’s all call in sick to work.’”

Why October 8?

It falls on a Friday, he says, and the following Monday is “National Coming Out Day.”

John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or [email protected]

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