- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Yale’s loss

Delivering the commencement address to the 2005 class of Auburn University in Alabama, Vice President Dick Cheney revealed he wasn’t the sharpest tool in the college shed.

Mr. Cheney earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Wyoming.

“My college experience, though, began at a place called Yale,” the vice president informed graduates. “Actually, instead, I dropped out after a few semesters. Actually, dropped out isn’t quite accurate — was ‘asked to leave’ would be more like it. Twice. And the second time around, they said, ‘Don’t come back.’”

Costly shoes

Last Friday wasn’t the most comfortable of days for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee, who picked the wrong street to park his sport utility vehicle and the wrong store to buy his shoes — just below the offices of Americans United to Protect Social Security.

Brad Woodhouse, the group’s communications director, says that while the Republican leader was sizing up his shoes at Allen-Edmonds (he purchased two pairs for $530), as many as 50 protesters opposing President Bush’s plan to partially privatize Social Security quickly organized outside.

“Senator Frist, don’t privatize,” they chanted on the sidewalk for 40 minutes while Mr. Frist tried on various shoes.

To make matters worse, the District of Columbia’s most efficient government agency — its parking-enforcement bureau — soon arrived and slapped a pink ticket on Mr. Frist’s windshield for parking his SUV illegally and blocking traffic.

“I hope his shoes fit comfortably,” Mr. Woodhouse told Inside the Beltway yesterday.

Flag waver

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist will wave the green flag to start the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race May 29 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C.

Coca-Cola Consolidated spokesman Lauren Steele tells us the Memorial Day weekend classic — NASCAR’s longest race, and one of the largest sporting events in the world with a crowd of nearly 200,000 — will pay special tribute to America’s military, “who are serving to protect our freedoms in Iraq, Afghanistan and throughout the world.”

Not so stupid

The Watergate was the venue last evening for a book party in honor of nationally syndicated radio host Herman Cain, author of “They Think You’re Stupid: Why Democrats Lost Your Vote and What Republicans Must Do to Keep It.”

Among the more notable names on the RSVP list: Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston, vice chairman of the House Republican Conference.

It was in Georgia last year that Mr. Cain, who is black and never before sought public office, entered the U.S. Senate primary, surprising everybody by finishing a close second in the three-way race.

Otherwise, Mr. Cain is best known for the successful turnaround of Godfather’s Pizza when serving as president and chairman of the restaurant chain.

Hill makeover

One perk of the Professional Beauty Federation’s educational evening for Congress in the Cannon House Office Building this Thursday is free haircuts for lawmakers and their staffs.

The federation expects a crowd of 800 to “receive services” while learning about issues affecting the $60 billion professional beauty industry.

Among members the visiting beauticians expect to clip and coif: Sen. Rick Santorum, Pennsylvania Republican; Republican Reps. Mary Bono of California and Thelma Drake of Virginia; and Democratic Reps. Shelley Berkley of Nevada, Donald M. Payne of New Jersey and Grace F. Napolitano of California.

More importantly, the federation is highlighting several cosmetology bills before Congress, including one to amend the Internal Revenue Code to expand the tip tax credit to employers of cosmetologists and to promote tax compliance in the cosmetology sector.

One team

In rallying Republicans on Capitol Hill, Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana, chairman of the House Republican Study Committee, recalls the words of baseball great Babe Ruth:

“The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.”

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

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