Don't make me come over there


December 02, 2005|By LAURA VOZZELLA

What better way to draw attention to the travails of day care workers than to have a bigwig spend a day in their spit-up-spattered shoes?

That's what the labor union that is trying to organize home day care providers promised with its news release: "Speaker Busch to become home-based child care provider for a day."

Michael Busch, speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates, changing diapers, wiping noses and singing Raffi all day? I'd like to see that!

But I couldn't. That's because contrary to the SEIU Local 500's advance billing, Busch wasn't playing provider for a day yesterday. He was provider for 30 minutes.

Half an hour? Anybody can hack it for half an hour!

Busch clocked in about 5 p.m. - just in time to do some arts and crafts with the six children, ages 1 to 6, at Molly Bagnall's day-care home in Arnold.

Thirty minutes later, he was off to pick up his own kids from gymnastics.

Signing off after 35 years

Reporter Andy Barth leaves WMAR-TV today after 35 years.

The obvious but unstated reason: He's running for Congress, though Barth won't make that official until Monday.

I caught up with Barth, 59, yesterday afternoon by cell phone. He was in a cell phone store, buying one to replace his WMAR phone. He said he'd miss a lot more than the company cell service.

"It's been a wonderful experience, and so I leave with a lot of nostalgia," he said. "It's been 35 years. I've gotten to do every different kind of story there is. I've been to the World Series. I've been to the national political conventions. I've been to presidential inaugurals and governors' inaugurations. And mostly I've just met a lot of nice people."

Barth, a registered Democrat, has previously said he was considering a run in Maryland's 3rd Congressional District race. But he wasn't talking politics yesterday.

"Let's wait for Monday for that," he said. "I am planning an announcement Monday, 11 a.m., at the Rusty Scupper downtown."

Well, if he's not throwing his hat in the ring, maybe Barth will give us an expose on touristy eateries.

The watch is gone; suspense remains

The Bob Ehrlich watch is gone, but in its place is a political-Internet mystery almost as intriguing as the MD4BUSH whodunnit.

The timepiece bearing the gov's mug was purchased for $24.97 in the wee hours of Wednesday morning by eBay buyer jwa17801.

Who's that? Tough to say, because jwa17801 was a brand-new eBay buyer ("Member since: Nov. 30 05," the site says). There's not so much as a record of bid retractions or feedback from eBayers who've done business with the buyer before.

So the secret's pretty safe, until somebody asks jwa17801 for the time.

If the buyer is reading and wants to be outed, I'd be glad to hear from you. Same goes for you, MD4BUSH.

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's (gasp!) an aspiring senator!

Michael Steele calls himself the "bridge of Steele." How about the Man of Steele?

The lieutenant governor's Senate campaign is just begging for a Superman reference, but nobody wants to make it. Not yet anyway.

"He wouldn't make that joke," campaign spokesman Leonardo Alcivar assured me the other day as Steele's big fundraiser with President Bush was wrapping up at the Ravens' stadium.

On Alcivar's lapel was a pin with the letter S. Superhero reference? No, Alcivar explained, it stood for security, signifying to all those guys with earpieces that he was an insider entitled to roam freely around the place.

How about the "Women of Steele" T-shirts sported by some in the crowd? One wearer, Carol Pinto, a 76-year-old Mount Washingtonian, explained her shirt and her support for Steele without making any comparisons with the man from Smallville.

Or did she?

"His mother raised him with character," she said. "And we really think there's a need for a strong leader."

No girlie men in JFK's White House

The college course is titled "What Is America?"

It's taught - where else? - at American University. By - who else? - a guy who'd like to help run America: Professor Allan Lichtman, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate.

The class was created to introduce foreign students to American history. Sometimes they get a sample of campus political correctness, too.

During a discussion of the Cuban missile crisis this semester, Lichtman laid out President John F. Kennedy's options. Responding militarily might have provoked World War III, he said. But diplomacy posed problems, too. Could the class guess why?

"Too girly," answered Aleksandar Stojanovski of Macedonia.

Lichtman agreed that diplomacy might have made Kennedy look weak. But the man who created women's studies at AU could not let the un-PC terminology pass.

"Not sure I would agree with the use of the term," Lichtman said.

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