UPI's Capital Comment for March 22, 2002

By United Press International   |   March 22, 2002 at 11:12 AM   |   0 comments

WASHINGTON, March 22 (UPI) -- Capital Comment -- Daily news notes, political rumors and important events that shape politics and public policy in Washington and the world from United Press International.

It's el-E-mentoring, my dear Watson -- U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao meets with girls, mentors and partner organizations participating in a program called Girls' E-Mentoring in Science, Engineering and Technology at Loyola University in Chicago Friday.

GEMSET is a one-year demonstration project that connects 13-to-18-year-old girls by e-mail with women mentors in science, engineering and technology. The project, administered by the Labor Department's Women's Bureau, links girls and women in five regions, including 29 states and the District of Columbia. The partner organizations in the Chicago area include Loyola, the Girl Scouts and several public and private schools.

After the meeting, Chao is scheduled to present awards to program participants and mentors.


Anything is possible -- Highly regarded by friends and opponents alike, the late Julian Simon was honored at a luncheon Thursday at the Heritage Foundation in Washington. The event was held to mark the posthumous publication of his memoir, "A Life Against the Grain: The Autobiography of an Unconventional Economist."

In his long and distinguished career as a writer and scholar, Simon became known as one of the leading authorities on population economics. Driven by the basic core belief that intellect and ingenuity are ever-renewable resources in the use and preservation of natural resources, he published many books and articles celebrating human freedom.

Stephen Moore, a former protege of Simon's, describes the book as "A combination of personal memoir and history of Julian Simon's contributions to important ideas in economics, research methods, and demography."


Is there a clinical pharmacologist in the house? -- The American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics will take up bio-terrorism and AIDS at its annual meeting March 24 to 27 in Atlanta.

The group says that among the items for discussion will be "an update on the current state of bio-terrorism preparedness" given by U.S. Air Force doctors and a discussion of the "identified protein responsible for AIDS treament side effects."

The ASCPT is an organization of over 2,200 professionals whose primary interest is to promote and advance the science of human pharmacology and therapeutics.


Making homes hate free -- The Anti-Defamation League has released ADL HateFilter(r) 2.0, which it calls "A completely redesigned version of (our) league's unique software that blocks access to hundreds of hate sites on the Web."

"The explosion of growth in Internet use over the last few years has brought with it an increasing number of anti-Semitic and racist Web sites operated by hate groups," Abraham H. Foxman, the group's national director, said in a release. "ADL HateFilter(r) 2.0 is a free software tool that can be used by parents to ensure that their children do not stumble into a hate zone," he added. The program is available for free on the Internet at ADL.org/hatefilter.


Mapmaker, mapmaker, make me a map -- Every 10 years, the 42 states with more than one congressional district are required to redraw the boundary lines. It is often a contentious process as the new lines can and usually do determine which party will win the seat in the fall.

Both Republicans and Democrats currently claim the process has given them an overall edge in the battle for control of the House, at least as far as the states that have finished the process are concerned. That said, there are a few states where the redistricting is still being figured out and upon which control of the House may rest: Florida, Kansas, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin. Additionally, pending legal issues may throw several states back into the mix including North Carolina and Utah. What was it Yogi Berra said about it not being over 'til it was over? It could be a long summer.


Say that again please -- In his Wednesday interview with Telemundo, a major Spanish-language news organization, President George W. Bush moved from English to Spanish and back again as he answered question posed on the eve of his trip to Mexico.

"Well, it's the first to recognize that there are people who come to our country para trabajar," the president said when asked about the potential conflicts between immigration and homeland security.

"They love freedom, they want to work, they want to feed their families.

Those family values -- values de la familia -- no pare en la Rio Bravo. They've got moms and dads in Mexico who want to work," he said.


Confession may be good for the soul but what about the pocketbook? -- The problem of sexual abuse committed by members of the Catholic priesthood has dominated media coverage over the past few months. Now, the complaints are ratcheting higher. Attorney Jeff Anderson has announced plans to file a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act suit against Bishop Anthony O'Connell and the Catholic dioceses of Jefferson City, Mo., Knoxville, Tenn., and West Palm Beach, Fla. The suit is to be announced at simultaneous press conferences in St. Paul, Minn. and St. Louis, Mo., Friday morning.

Anderson, who is bringing the suit on behalf of the victims, has "filed 475 clergy abuse cases" and has been a pioneer in the field of clergy sex abuse cases, according to a release.


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