John McCaslin

He's not really the president, he just sometimes pretends to be.

And that's reason enough for talkingpresidents.com to create the first-ever talking Donald H. Rumsfeld doll.

The "Talking Rummy" doll speaks 26 sound bites, and sports a realistic face, right down to its stylish eyeglasses.

Here's a sample of what Rummy says:

"I'm working my way over to figuring out how I won't answer that."

"You just don't like one-word answers."

"The statement made is sound as a rock - I didn't say Iraq."

Rummy will begin shipping in November.

RUBIN RISES

Clinton Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin is the new vice chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, a Washington think tank charged with increasing America's understanding of the world and foreign policy.

Most notably, the council publishes Foreign Affairs, considered the leading journal on global issues.

Rubin, who departed the Clinton White House in 1999, serves as chairman of the board of the Local Initiatives Support Corp., a leading community development group, as well as on the board of the Ford Motor Co.

We're awaiting his Random House book due for release next month, "In an Uncertain World: Tough Choices From Wall Street to Washington."

GAS GOUGING

One congressmen is so fed up with unforeseen spikes in gasoline prices he's calling on President Bush and the Justice Department "to prosecute all wrongdoing to the fullest extent of the law."

Rep. Steven R. Rothman (D-N.J.) says he was stunned to see gas prices rise in his state by more than 30 cents per gallon in the space of one recent week.

Besides cash-strapped consumers, he points out that municipalities budget more than a year in advance for gasoline purchases for police cars, public works trucks and heating oil for public buildings.

And while he still wants the feds to target companies that deliberately gouge consumers, the congressman says local governments are sick of waiting.

New Jersey Mayors David L. Ganz of Fair Lawn and Jim Carroll of Demerest, he says, persuaded the state Legislature to consider an investigation of suspect oil companies.

The congressman, meanwhile, wants Bush to consider releasing oil from the 22-billion-barrel strategic petroleum reserve, so as to provide consumers immediate relief.

LEISURE SUITS

Bernard Goldberg, who spent 28 years as a CBS newsman, only to rock his employer and the entire media establishment with his best seller "Bias," is preparing to publish again.


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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