McCaslin's Beltway Beat: Swelling the ranks

Posted: Jan 25, 2002 12:00 AM
"I'm going to ask all of you to work hard this year to bring more people into the Democratic Party. But I wouldn't ask any of you to do something I wouldn't gladly do myself. I want you to know that Dorothy (McAuliffe) and I have done our part, five times now. We're expecting a son in May." -- Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe, addressing party faithful at the DNC's winter meeting in Washington. OSAMA YO' MAMA Thanks to terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden, Ray Stevens, the Grammy Award-winner who with each generational trend brought us "The Streak," "Gitarzan," "Would Jesus Wear a Rolex?" and "Ahab the Arab," has his first release since re-signing with Curb Records: "Osama - Yo' Mama." In short, "Osama Yo' Mama" says what most Americans feel: "You in a heap a trouble boy," and "W's gonna gitcha." The song begins: "Osama - yo' mama didn't raise you right When you were young she must have wrapped yo' turban too tight She should have kept you home on those Arabian nights It's plain to see - you need some therapy" (Artist and record company royalties are being donated to the United Way relief fund for children of the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.) HIS HAIRDRESSER KNOWS "Have you noticed recently that Bill Clinton is getting blonder than his wife?" reader Mike Bates of Tinley Park, Ill., writes. "Does he or doesn't he?" GIVING US HILL Who these days isn't talking about bias in the press? The trend has been spurred on by public enthusiasm surrounding two new best-selling books on journalism ethics, "Coloring the News," by William McGowan, and "Bias," by former CBS News' reporter Bernard Goldberg. Goldberg, a 28-year-veteran of CBS until being forced off the air, charges that bias at the big-three network is so obvious and comes so naturally to media luminaries like Dan Rather that "it's hardly worth discussing anymore." This column might point out that at the ABC News bureau in Washington, it wasn't terribly long ago that a jumbo photograph of Bill Clinton stared down from a window overlooking DeSales Street and the posh Mayflower Hotel. The giant Clinton photo faded away with the embattled commander in chief. But not to worry. Now in its place, prominently displayed just above the ABC News sign, is one of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's more popular campaign placards: "Give 'em Hill" ANCHORS AWAY "Poor old Peter, Tom, and Dan, Hanging on as long as they can. Replace those fossils With three John Stossels. Topple TV's Taliban." -- F.R. Duplantier CHAIRMAN REYNOLDS We've heard that a leading contender for the chairmanship of the National Republican Congressional Committee, now that Virginia Rep. Thomas M. Davis III is wrapping up his second successful term at the post, is House Deputy Whip Thomas M. Reynolds of New York. "He is already working in the field," our source says of the rising two-term congressman. "He was in Bradenton, Fla., this past Friday at a large fund-raiser for Florida Secretary of State (turned-Republican congressional candidate) Katherine Harris in her soon-to-be district. Mrs. Harris not only raises money for Republican candidates around the country, she also attracts the attention of leadership." TAKE YOUR PILLS A sign posted on the back door of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America office on 16th Street NW in Washington ironically reads: "No Deliveries." CLINTON LEFTOVERS The National Right to Work Committee is calling on President Bush to withdraw the pending nomination of Dennis Walsh, a Clinton recess appointee whose term expired last month, to sit on the National Labor Relations Board. Mark Mix, senior vice president of the NRWC, says he is pleased that Bush, through his recent recess appointments, "is beginning to rein in the union-partisan NLRB. However, much more needs to be done to help employees who labor under forced unionism established by federal law." Walsh's record advocating more compulsory unionism, Mix says, "flies in the face of the president's professed support for right to work." The NRWC says Walsh "took the lead" in a number of key NLRB rulings that undermine the right of employees to refrain from supporting a union; among them, supporting a decision that non-union employees can be fired for refusing to wear union buttons or t-shirts at work and arguing that unions should be allowed to videotape workers' vehicles and license plates - "a tactic used to identify and potentially target non-striking workers for retaliation," the NRWC charges.