The Political Grapevine - April 9, 2001

And now the most captivating two minutes television, the latest from "The Political Grapevine."

Jackson changes his mind about Busch

The Reverend Jesse Jackson, who once mounted a boycott of the Anheuser-Busch brewery during the 1980's, denies he had any role in getting a lucrative Chicago Budweiser distributorship for two of his sons. "The Chicago Tribune" reports that Jackson did too have something to do with it. The paper reports that he asked supermarket tycoon and Jackson friend Ron Burkle to, quote, "look out for Jackson's children," and that Burkle in turn influenced his best friend August Busch IV to hand pick 28-year-old Yusef Jackson to be the majority owner of the Bud distributorship on Chicago's North Side. Yusef and brother Jonathan now own the distributorship.

Gay Republican To Head AIDS Office

The White House has announced that its Office of National AIDS Policy will be run by the first openly gay man ever to head that office. He is 38-year-old Scott Evertz, a Milwaukee fund raising executive for a faith-based senior citizen's initiative. Evertz is also president of the Wisconsin chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans, a national gay GOP group. You may recall that during the presidential campaign, then-Governor Bush declined at first meet with the Log Cabin Republicans, who now tell "The Washington Post" they are, quote, "thrilled" with the Evertz appointment.

It's Not Just an Egg Roll, It's Forced Labor

A group called United Poultry Concerns is planning to protest next Monday's Easter egg roll, demanding that people not buy or eat hen's eggs. The group claims that hens used for egg production are kept in tiny wire cages in filthy hen houses where it says they're sometimes starved for up to two weeks to manipulate egg production.

Dead Cow Flying

I wonder what that group would make of what's happening to cows in Austria these day. Under Austrian law, farmers are supposed to dispose of dead cattle, and the army, which used to helicopter dead cows away for free, is now charging about $300 per carcass.

So, farmers have taken to blowing up the dead cows with dynamite. Said the vice president of one rural province, who found body parts strewn around a meadow in village, quote: "It was disgusting. Visitors like to think the Austrian hills are alive with the sound of music, not exploding cows. It must be stopped."

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