- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 3, 2006

Hound Dog Day

From the parched hills of Purcellville, Va., Jesse B. Wilson III relays word to Inside the Beltway that Lady Agatha has chosen not to drink. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is welcome news.

As legend holds, if the hound dog comes out from under the porch and drinks from the water bowl, there will be an additional six long weeks of hot summer weather. If the hound refuses to drink, then autumn will come early.

Yesterday morning, even as the temperature approached 100 degrees, Lady Agatha, the Duchess of Woodford, a classic English saddleback standard beagle, turned her cheek to the water bowl. Obviously, she was too hot to even bother to drink.

To celebrate Lady Agatha’s choice, Virginians and residents of Washington are encouraged to enjoy the “official beverage” of Hound Dog Day — the “Elvis,” a delicate blend of Southern Comfort and cream.

Harry and Harry

“Very difficult thing to get anything out of this Congress. They don’t want to do anything for the people. They are awful anxious to do things to the people, and they have done a lot of things to the people and it’s beginning to hurt.”

So Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid declared this week — quoting the words of President Truman in 1948 when he criticized the 80th Congress — remarks “directly in tune with the 109th Congress,” the Nevada Democrat suggests.

There are fewer than 14 legislative days remaining this year (granted this Congress continues its tradition of not voting on Mondays and Fridays) — one day this week (today) and 12 days when Congress returns from its lengthy end-of-the-summer recess.

Even CNN’s Lou Dobbs, one news anchor who doesn’t mind expressing his opinion, observed in a written commentary yesterday that the current Congress — “Republican-led with complicit Democrats” — is on its way home for a “five-week vacation.”

“I’m sure while there, they’ll be glad to explain to their constituents why they need so much rest in a year in which they will work fewer than 80 days,” he states.

Do-Nothing sequel

Total number of days the 2005-06 House is scheduled to have met by the end of its term: 241

Number of days that 1947-48’s famous “Do Nothing Congress” met: 254

— Harper’s Index, August 2006

Coming clean

A nicely bound book has arrived in our mailbox, titled “Everything You Wanted to Know About North Korea But Were Afraid to Ask,” by Kim Jong-il.

We opened up the book to find its 200 or so pages blank.

Spotlight owner

No sooner did we write yesterday about Rep. Charles B. Rangel’s congressional salute to Harry Belafonte — on the heels of the entertainer proclaiming PresidentBush the leading “terrorist” in the world — then we opened up an invitation from Hollywood’s Creative Coalition to a VIP dinner and gala Sept. 6 honoring the New York Democrat with the 2006 Capitol Hill Spotlight Award.

Come to think of it, nobody is more deserving of the “Spotlight” award than Mr. Rangel, who like Mr. Belafonte regularly feels the need to speak the truth as he sees it.

The dinner and gala, hosted by the likes of Woody Allen, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Cosby, Billy Crystal, Kirk Douglas, Michael Jordan, and even our own local Washington pundit Eleanor Clift of Newsweek, will take place through the midnight hour at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Tickets: $1,000 each.

She’s got a point

A “traveling road show.”

That’s how Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, Texas Democrat, refers to immigration and border security field hearings now being held across the country — including one in San Diego she participated in yesterday.

The outspoken congresswoman says the costly and time-consuming hearings are a waste of time because it’s already obvious the nation requires immigration reform and tightening its borders so “terrorists do not simply walk into this country and lurk in the shadows of our society until they attack our people.”

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

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