Doug Gamble, director of the Washington-based White House Writers Group, can't help but get caught up in the controversy swirling around Trent Lott.
Rather than writing his thoughts down in a story, however, Gamble has penned the "Trent Lott Song Parody," sung to the tune of Rick Nelson's "Garden Party." Unfortunately, this column doesn't have space for the entire parody, but here are a few lyrics:
"I went to a birthday party, to reminisce with my friend Strom,/but when I said he should have been president, I really dropped a bomb.
"When I got to the birthday party, I was a political star of the South,/but I got carried away on Strom's big day, put my dang foot in my mouth.
"But it's all right now, I learned my lesson well.
"You see, you can't save everyone, so I have to save myself."
WHO ISN'T RACIST?
"Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Maxine Waters and the Congressional Black Caucus are hypocrites and they are the real racists. Jackson has not apologized for his 'Hymietown' comments, Sharpton has never apologized for his role in the Tawana Brawley disgrace, members of the Congressional Black Caucus have never asked fellow Democrat Sen. Robert Byrd to step down for using the word 'nigger' twice on national television." -- The Rev. Jesse Peterson, head of the black organization BOND (Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny), referring to the furor swirling around Senate Republican leader Trent Lott's remark that Sen. Strom Thurmond would have made a great president when he ran in 1948.
I HEREBY RESOLVE
'Tis the season for New Year's resolutions, and as we usher in 2003, we thought we'd give readers the opportunity to tell politicians in Washington what you'd like to see them resolve to do in the coming year.
Perhaps you'd be happy if a certain senator or congressman pledged to quit bickering with members of the opposite party. Maybe there's a stalled bill on Capitol Hill you'd like to see passed. Or perhaps you know of a judicial nominee who, solely for political reasons, has waited too long to assume the bench.
Is there a New Year's resolution you'd like President Bush to make?
This column will get the ball rolling with a resolution befitting Trent Lott: "I resolve never to stick my foot in my mouth again."
See how easy that was?
So put on your thinking caps and send your, um, their New Year's resolutions, either by snail mail to John McCaslin, c/o The Washington Times, 3600 New York Ave. NE, Washington, D.C. 20002, or by e-mail to jmccaslin(at)washingtontimes.com.
Please include the name of the politician(s) and the suggested resolution(s), along with your name (if preferred, initials will suffice) and hometown. We will publish as many resolutions as will fit into this space.
FILE A THANK YOU
As an alternative to regular holiday-season mail programs suspended because of the anthrax mail attacks on Capitol Hill, Rep. Robin Hayes (R-N.C.) is urging Americans to remember the thousands of active military personnel stationed overseas by sending encouraging messages via the Web site: http://anyservicemember.navy.mil.
Our nation was attacked as never before on Sept. 11, 2001, and once again we find ourselves at war," says Hayes, a member of the House Armed Services military personnel subcommittee. "And as we have all seen with the recent terror attacks around the world, the scourge of terrorism is still hard at work targeting innocent civilians.
"Because of this threat, U.S. service personnel are separated from their families and in harm's way to defend our freedom. As we remember their sacrifices, I am asking everyone to take just a moment to remember these brave soldiers who are presently fighting for freedom."
By the way, federal employees in Washington have been told to expect delays in mail delivery at least through May.
The White House has appointed former Rep. John R. Miller, Washington Republican and chairman of the Discovery Institute in Seattle, to lead the new Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.
The State Department office was created just more than a year ago and deals with problems of slavery and forced servitude worldwide, including sex slavery rackets, the selling of servants and child labor.
Slavery as a modern global phenomenon has received more attention in recent years with authenticated reports of the capture of slaves in Africa and a large international sex trade in women, girls and boys.
Some cases have involved domestic locations in the United States. Worldwide, however, the State Department estimates that more than 700,000 sex slaves were trafficked last year.
A moderate Republican who retired from Congress in 1992, Miller was known on Capitol Hill for his advocacy of human rights around the world. He served on the House Committee on International Relations and was active in the Congressional Human Rights Caucus. He also helped nurture the struggle for democracy in Eastern Europe at the end of the Soviet Union era.
Who in the United States isn't a pollster?
We draw your attention to a new national survey on President Bush and Iraq, conducted by none other than rap star Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, formerly known as Puff Daddy.
Combs, a Harlem native, is chief executive officer of Blue Flame Marketing and Advertising, which polled 956 "urban" Americans about a potential U.S. war with Iraq. And if Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein ever thought he had the support of urban Americans, he can think again.
Just over 34 percent of respondents believe Saddam poses an "extreme danger" to the United States, 38 percent believe he poses "serious danger," more than 23 percent say he poses "moderate danger," while just over 4 percent believe Saddam poses "minimal to no danger" to Americans.
And the majority of those polled also believe that President Bush's motivations for any war is "to prevent Iraq from developing weapons of mass destruction."
However, only 13 percent of those polled "strongly support a U.S. invasion of Iraq," despite the fact that more than 95 percent believe Saddam poses a danger to this country.
"It is interesting to note that while the youth of today recognize the danger of Iraq, many of them oppose a U.S. invasion," says Jameel Spencer, president of Blue Flame Marketing.
So what are "urban" Americans?
Spencer says the urban term describes the "attitudinal/psychographic force behind trends that arise in inner-city areas," and counts 45 million Americans in the category, 60 percent of them non-minorities.
As for Puff Daddy-turned-P. Diddy, we recall that Combs actually attended Howard University in Washington, and later landed an internship at Uptown Entertainment. It wasn't too much longer before he started Bad Boy Entertainment, among his other companies. The rapper also has his own successful clothing line, Sean John.