John McCaslin
SCRATCHING BUBBA One Supreme Court justice was dropped after one too many marriages. Others have been nixed for messy divorces and other shenanigans. The big question, as we look forward to this autumn's publication of the "Green Book," the Social List of Washington, D.C., for 2002, is whether former President and Mrs. Clinton's names will be erased for garnering "notoriously bad press." "There's no decision yet," David Howe, general manager of the Green Book, tells this column. "The board of governors will be making that decision, and won't consider any deletions until June." Yet, suffice it to say, Howe adds, attracting bad press "is one of our standards." As longtime Washington social observer Garnett Stackelberg wrote of the 70-year-old Green Book for the Palm Beach, Fla., Daily News: "It is important for hostesses or officials to refer to the book to know who outranks whom and to be able to seat guests properly." CUT-RATE RENO Former Attorney General Janet Reno, no doubt relieved to be back home in South Florida, is keeping busy on the lecture circuit. The former Clinton Cabinet member's speaking fees are "steep" for everybody but nonprofits, we're told. However, last week, the former Dade County state's attorney and first-ever woman to head the Justice Department agreed to address students of the University of Miami School of Law "free of charge," a member of Miami Law Women tells this column. Miss Reno has been a strong proponent of law students' setting the right moral course from the start, suggesting they enter the legal field "so I can protect people, so I can secure justice, so I can make a difference in the lives of people in America." She's long argued that newly graduated lawyers should bypass big paychecks and serve the legal system instead as prosecutors. BELTWAY SPIES The espionage threat to the United States remains so "real" the Defense Intelligence Agency handed participants at a national security symposium outside Washington a list of the more "spectacular" espionage cases of the past 10 years: 1991 - Jeffrey Carney, U.S. Air Force, passed secrets to East Germany. 1993 - Frederick Hamilton, Defense Intelligence Agency, passed secrets to Ecuador. 1994 - Aldrich Ames, Central Intelligence Agency, and his wife, Maria Del Rosario Casas Ames, provided secrets to the Soviet Union and later Russia. 1995 - Michael Schwartz, U.S. Navy, passed intelligence to Saudi Arabia. 1996 - Kurt Lessenthien, U.S. Navy, offered nuclear submarine technology to Russia. 1996 - Philip Seldon, U.S. Army, passed secrets to El Salvador. 1996 - Robert Lipka, National Security Agency, was arrested for espionage. 1996 - Harold Nicholson, CIA, spied for Russia. 1996 - Earl Pitts, FBI agent, spied for Russia. 1996 - Robert Kim, U.S. Navy, passed secrets to a foreign country. 1997 - Peter H. Lee, U.S. nuclear physicist, passed secrets to a foreign government. 1997 - Kelly Therese Warren, U.S. Army, passed secrets to Hungary and Czechoslovakia. 1997 - Kurt Stand and his wife, Therese Marie Squillacote, a senior Pentagon lawyer, spied for East Germany and Russia. 1998 - David Boone, National Security Agency, sold secrets to the former Soviet Union. 1998 - Douglas Groat, CIA, passed secrets to two foreign governments. 2001 - Robert Hanssen, FBI agent, was arrested for spying for the Soviet Union and later Russia. SIT BACK AND LISTEN Congress, when it reconvenes next week, will resume consideration of a long list of nominees for posts in the Bush administration, a process that can be painstakingly slow for everybody involved. "The overwhelming majority of nominees make it through the Senate without any problems," according to "A Survivor´s Guide for Presidential Nominees," a project of the Brookings Institution´s Presidential Appointee Initiative. However, nominees are reminded that "it's hard to predict which nominations will run into trouble, so you must prepare yourself for possible opposition." Although chances of opposition are far greater when the Senate is controlled by one party and the White House another, that's not the case this political season as Republicans oversee both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. Still, the guide recommends that nominees, once their names are sent to Capitol Hill, meet with every senator of the committee considering the nomination. And most of all, when the big day of laundry-airing arrives, don't be too worried. "It's normal to be nervous before your confirmation hearing," the guide notes. "Most hearings, however, turn out to be painless events in which senators, rather than the nominee, do most of the talking." WANTS RELIEF Americans everywhere, Washingtonians by the hundreds, waited for the midnight deadline Monday pay their federal income taxes, an hour House Republican Conference Chairman J.C. Watts Jr. (R-OK) couldn't let pass unnoticed: "The government taxes you when you bring home a paycheck. It taxes you when you die. It taxes you when you make a phone call. It taxes you when you turn on a light. It taxes you when you sell a stock. It taxes you when you fill your car with gas. It taxes you when you ride a plane. It taxes you when you get married. Then it taxes you when you die. This is taxual insanity and it must end."

John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on Townhall.com and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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