John McCaslin
JOB TOO WELL DONE The Democratic National Committee's campaign coffers are apparently so full the DNC is laying people off. So claims one former DNC staffer who, when handed a pink slip, was told the Democratic Party now wishes "to conserve" some of the money it's raised. Meanwhile, one of the DNC's top fund-raisers, former DNC Finance Director Brian Hardwick, is said to have one foot out of party headquarters. Hardwick's preparing to rejoin former Vice President Al Gore as Gore campaigns extensively this fall for Democratic congressional candidates and weighs his own political entry in the 2004 presidential sweepstakes. COOL IT One Washington D.C.-area motorist, sporting the bumper sticker, "Stop Global Whining," has obviously had his fill of melting glaciers, global warming and the Kyoto Protocol. RABID REPORTERS The U.S. Postal Service says it's been bitten by the press. "When it rains, it pours," says the USPS, denying it's up to its knees in "waste, fraud and abuse" to the tune of $1.4 billion -- as has been widely reported recently by the media. So where, then, did the widely circulated figure come from? The USPS guesses that a careless reporter or two misunderstood a statement by the USPS Office of Inspector General, which identified potential savings and cost avoidances of -- you guessed it -- $1.4 billion. BITING THE HAND How are you planning to spend your tax-rebate check? How about spending it to "fight back" against the guy who made it happen? That's what one Marxist group is asking its supporters to do. "President Bush is bribing us with his new $300-plus tax return," declares the International Action Center (IAC), a Marxist protest organization associated with the Workers World Party. "However, this will not fool us. Let's use this money instead to fight back." The IAC is "asking our friends to donate their tax return and use that money to bring an end to the Bush program" by joining the "Committee of 200," which will fund the September protests in Washington, D.C. against the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The IAC wants its supporters to send contributions to pay for a "week of teach-ins, direct action, and rallies," to say nothing of massive traffic tie-ups for Washington commuters. In case you were wondering, the IAC makes clear that these contributions are -- what else -- "completely tax-deductible." BRIDGE FOR SALE Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle is certainly in the minority. If not alone. "As I travel around, and I travel a lot, I have yet to have somebody raise it with me," says the South Dakota Democrat. "Not one person has raised it with me in all these weeks. What they have raised is the patients' bill of rights. They've raised campaign finance reform. They've raised prescription-drug benefits, they've raised an array of issues having to do with education, Social Security and Medicare, but not Gary Condit." ADVANCING BLACKS Black Republicans from across the country, meeting in Washington, have formed a new national organization COBRA, the Coalition of Black Republican Advocates. Among the objectives of COBRA, whose members include former Nixon, Reagan and George Bush appointees, is to recommend black Republicans to President Bush and his administration, as well as to advise Bush and Republican congressional leaders on critical policy issues. At the same time, COBRA will work to expand black voter support for Republican candidates in the 2002 and 2004 elections, while formulating an action plan mobilizing black Republicans around an agenda that advances the growth of black America. At the meeting, longtime Republican activist Renee Amoore, of Philadelphia, who served as assistant secretary to the 2000 Republican National Convention, was chosen interim chairman of COBRA, while Asa T. Spaulding Jr., chairman of the Durham County (N.C.) Republican Party, is COBRA's national spokesman. POCKET DUBYA A full-color, seven-inch-tall cardboard likeness of President Bush is the latest craze to hit Washington. But isn't he kind of short? He's supposed to be short, explains Washington-based WitCity Studios President Bill Shein, creator of "The Pocket President." "Just slip the pocket president into your shirt pocket," says Shein, "and you'll instantly take your place among America's rich and powerful, knowing that the president is totally in your pocket." Five pocket presidents sell for $15.

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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