TODAY IS D-DAY for William Donald Schaefer....


TODAY IS D-DAY for William Donald Schaefer. It's the day that will determine just how good a mover-and-shaker he is. He's never faced a bigger challenge in his long and illustrious career.

Sure, Don Schaefer has had his setbacks as Baltimore's mayor for 15 years and Maryland's governor the past 7 years. But he's never gone 0-6, or been outscored 108-7 on consecutive weekends, or given up 500 yards a game, or ranked dead last in the country. The University of Maryland football team has, though.

So this past week, the governor decided to give the Terps a stern lecture. One thing he's famous for is motivating his minions. He surprised the players with his appearance, then surprised them again with his spirited talk.

"Don't get used to losing," he said. "The worst thing you can do in the world is accept defeat. The most important thing is to have faith in yourself."

Let's hope the Terps take this message to heart today and give "Coach" Schaefer a 1-0 record. Even it the team loses, though, the players ought to tape their coach's words to their lockers and memorize them. They embody a sure-fire way to succeed in life, as the coach himself has proved so admirably.

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THERE'S A NEW acronym floating around the federal bureaucracy these days.

At least it was new-sounding to a Baltimore journalist, who encountered it recently: ConCosPotus.

Yup, it's a mouthful.

It sounds more than a bit militaristic. It's the kind of gobbledygook heard at the Pentagon.

What's it stand for? Even an educated guess probably wouldn't come close to unraveling the secrets of this nominclature.

Ready? Counselor (Con) to the Chief of Staff (Cos) to the President of the United States (Potus).

Now the acronym is bad enough, but what's worse is the suggestion that the president's top staff aide actually needs his own counselor.

Couldn't Bill Clinton and Thomas F. "Mack" McLarty share a single counselor?

Isn't the idea to keep the management staff at the White House lean and trim?

Next we'll probably learn that the ConCosPotus has hired a DepConCosPotus, who has in turn hired an AssDepConCosPotus.

Pretty silly, isn't it?

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FIDEL CASTRO is practicing his own brand of preventive medicine.

In Cuba, a country with 10 million people, there are less than 1,000 reported AIDS cases and the count is going down. How does Castro do it? It seems that people infected with the AIDS virus are immediately quarantined and isolated.

That may be great for the Ultimate Leader, but what about the patients?

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