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The Waitress, the Maid and the Candidate

From Up There, People Look Like Peaceful Ants

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had a little free time Wednesday for an interview with a Kern News/Talk Radio show.

"Welcome back. My name is Inga," the segment began. "This is 'The Inga Barks Show' broadcasting live from the White House. Thank you, Oreck Clean Homes Center, for sending me here and giving me the opportunity to meet Donald Rumsfeld . . ."

Barks asked Rumsfeld about all the negative press about Iraq.

The media is omnipresent, reporting the violence, he said. "I mean, I fly over Baghdad frequently, and it's where -- within 30 miles of Baghdad is about 90 percent of the violence in the country. And you fly over it and there are people waiting at gas stations, there are people out eating and doing things. The place is not in flames." Granted, "there are a lot of people being killed," he said.

Guess people on the ground simply lack the perspective.

Secretary Staying off the Stump

Speaking of Rumsfeld, another radio interviewer asked him whether he "worried" that the Democrats would get control of Congress and whether he should be out campaigning for the cause -- something defense secretaries traditionally do not do.

"I've been asked by the president to not get involved in politics," Rumsfeld said. "He wants the Department of Defense to stay separate from politics. I've discussed it with him on several occasions, and he has specifically asked that I do my job and that he'll go out and carry that message to the American people on that subject of politics."

From the EPA to Rudy's Firm

The door revolves. Jeff Holmstead , former assistant administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency for air and radiation, has joined the Washington office of Bracewell & Giuliani. Partner Rudy Giuliani praised his "familiarity with the compliance challenges facing the private sector." Holmstead was much criticized by enviros as point man for what they said were administration efforts to weaken air-quality regulations.

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