- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 22, 2005

Fear Maximus

In the tranquil absence of former outspoken Democratic Rep. James A. Traficant Jr., of Ohio (reportedly he has been transferred from a federal prison in New York to a federal medical center near Rochester, Minn.), Republican Rep. Tom Price of Georgia has been crowned “Gold Minuteman” for his knack for delivering the party’s message of the day “in 60 seconds or less” on the House floor.

Mr. Price, who before arriving on Capitol Hill in 2004 was the first Republican majority leader in the history of Georgia, has given more than 70 minute-long addresses.

As for the imprisoned Traficant, he warns on the “Free Traficant” Web site: “When I get out I will grab a sword like Maximus Meridius Demidius and as a gladiator I will stab people in the crotch.”

Pass the spuds

General managers of three Washington-area Morton’s were kept busy this week satisfying the appetites of three visiting sports celebrities, each in town for different reasons.

With a group that included his agent, David Falk, basketball star Michael Jordan took over the private boardroom of the Morton’s in Tysons Corner, GM Margaret Elkins says.

Meanwhile, at the Morton’s in Crystal City, GM Matt Haley reveals that San Francisco slugger Barry Bonds, when not pounding home runs against our beloved Washington Nationals, dropped by the steakhouse for needed nourishment.

Finally, Danny Festa tells us that boxing promoter Don King had a “35-minute” lunch at the downtown Morton’s and still managed to consume every potato course on the menu — four of them — plus the bone-in rib-eye.

A registered Democrat, Mr. King rocked the political world last year when he threw his support behind the re-election of President Bush. Not only did Mr. King actively support Mr. Bush’s campaign, he showed up at the 2004 Republican National Convention.

Good vibrations

Former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry and mobster Carlo Gambino we can understand. But Inside the Beltway is intrigued to be reminded that the FBI kept a muckracking file on the Beach Boys at its Washington headquarters.

I recall a hot summer day in 1986 when I was one of the few outsiders invited by FBI Director William H. Webster into the heavily secured courtyard of the bureau’s headquarters on Pennsylvania Avenue, where I soon found myself singing along with necktied G-men — “Well East Coast girls are hip, I really dig those styles they wear” — at a private outdoor concert starring, you guessed it, the Beach Boys.

This particular FBI file came to light this week in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by the Associated Press for every FBI “High Visibility Memorandum” filed from 1974 to 2005. The FBI kept an eye on the Beach Boys, the wire service explains, because of the group members’ “penchant for psychedelic drugs.”

Worth repeating

Leading congressional Republicans, huddling yesterday in a room adjacent to House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert’s office, were so impressed, if not astounded, by a recent Washington Post op-ed written by Al Gore’s former presidential campaign manager Donna Brazile that they reprinted it and passed it around the conference table, under their own headline “Did She Really Say That?”

Take their word for it, Miss Brazile wrote: “I am not a Republican. I did not vote for George W. Bush — in fact, I worked pretty hard against him in 2000 and 2004. But … I could not have been prouder of the president and the plan he outlined to empower those who lost everything” to Hurricane Katrina.

Martian exhaust

“How long before Al Gore blames global warming on Mars on American industry and the U.S. refusal to adopt the Kyoto treaty?” wonders Keith Appell, a conservative publicist with Creative Response Concepts.

He points to a NASA press release issued this week about the surprising discovery that “for three Mars summers in a row, deposits of frozen carbon dioxide near Mars’ south pole have shrunk from the previous year’s size, suggesting a climate change in progress.”

Lawyer evolution

One of the most widely read magazines in this law capital of the world is the Corporate Legal Times, a monthly magazine for general counsel and in-house legal executives.

Now, we’ve learned, the magazine will be relaunched — and completely redesigned — under the name Inside Counsel, starting with the January issue.

“The role of in-house counsel has evolved significantly since we first started publishing the magazine,” explains publisher Nat Slavin. “Fifteen years ago our readers were viewed as just corporate lawyers. Today they are much more than lawyers. They are among the most important members of the CEO’s executive team. They are corporate insiders. The new name recognizes that evolution.”

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

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