A paternal interest in the flag debateSen....


A paternal interest in the flag debate

Sen. Frederick C. Malkus knows how to get his colleagues' attention.

In a debate last week on a resolution requesting a U.S. constitutional amendment banning desecration of the flag, the senator from Dorchester County prefaced his defense of the resolution this way:

"We have a courthouse in Cambridge. Recently, I was a defendant in a paternity suit there -- and I lose. Because I disagree with that court's decision, does that mean I have the right to burn the courthouse down?"

Forget the leap of logic -- what was that about the paternity suit?

The 78-year-old senator later explained that he was simply a personal representative in the suit.


The House Environmental Matters Committee had planned to hold a hearing on the controversial "California Cars" emissions bill last Wednesday. But many of the chief critics of the bill, members of the car dealers association, had something better to do: their national convention in Las Vegas.

No problem. Del. Ronald A. Guns, the committee chairman, rescheduled the hearing for tomorrow, after the conventioneers return.


If the workings of Gov. William Donald Schaefer's mind remain a mystery, don't blame the people who bring you the news. They're doing their best.

Consider his rambling answer to this simple question at a news conference last week: "Governor, on the state sport, which do you support: jousting or duckpins?"

Mr. Schaefer's ensuing monologue consumed several minutes and touched on these topics:

* The Christmas cards he sent to some of his critics.

* His ability to make the press look foolish. ("It is so easy.")

* His optimistic outlook on the economy.

* The bad rap politicians get. ("Everybody in public life doesn't hate everyone.")

* The WIC nutrition program for women and children.

* Hypocritical politicians.

* His unsuccessful effort to reorganize the health department last year. ("Got no place.")

* Foreigners who bash U.S. workers and executives.

* A newly unemployed woman who turned to volunteering. ("She was great.")

But no word on the state sport.


Members of the House of Delegates know a golden opportunity when they see one.

During a Friday floor session, one of their number rose to ask if anyone had lost a gold watch -- one had been found recently.

Dozens of men shot up their hands. But Del. Marsha Perry, an Anne Arundel County Democrat, told her colleagues to relax -- it was a ladies' watch.

Today in Annapolis

1 p.m.: Senate Budget and Taxation subcommittee holds budget hearing on Department of Transportation, Room 400, Senate Office Building.

3 p.m.: House Appropriations Committee considers a variety of bills involving employment issues related to state workers, Room 130, House Office Building.

3 p.m.: House Judiciary Committee considers various gun bills, including Schaefer administration proposals to ban assault weapons and to keep loaded firearms away from children, Joint Hearing room, Legislative Services Building.

8 p.m.: House and Senate convene, State House.

There are 57 days remaining in the 1992 General Assembly session.

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