John McCaslin

A classic Monty Python skit about a woman ordering breakfast at a restaurant was performed by Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) just before the Senate unanimously passed a bill designed to crack down on Internet spam.

"She wanted to order a Spam-free breakfast at a restaurant," Leahy began. "Try as she might, she cannot get the waitress to bring her the meal she wants. Every dish in the restaurant comes with Spam; it is just a matter of how much. There is eggs, bacon and Spam; eggs, bacon, sausage and Spam; Spam, bacon, sausage and Spam; Spam, egg, Spam, Spam, bacon and Spam; Spam, sausage, Spam, Spam, Spam, bacon, Spam, tomato and Spam, and so on."

Leahy wasn't trying to be funny. In fact, because of the large quantity of pornographic spam, the senator now logs onto the computer for his grandson, cleans out the egregious material, and only then will let loose of the mouse.

"It is something he could do himself, but we don't let him log on himself because of the problems with some sites that appear to be for children, and are anything but," Leahy notes. "So I log on for him, and he climbs up on my lap, takes the mouse out of my hand and says, 'I better take over now because it gets very complicated.'"


A popular green-camouflage button reads: "Support the military, vote Republican in 2004."

Yet on the flip side, one wonders now if armed forces stationed in Iraq could be the next swing voters.

Some pundits say yes - President Bush will certainly lose military support at the polls - while the White House maintains military morale overall remains high to finish the Iraqi mission.

Meanwhile, a panel discussion to be held Nov. 5, sponsored in part by the New America Foundation, will address whether the Republican Party as a whole could lose the military vote in 2004.

Given the significance of military votes during the 2000 presidential election, the 107th Congress directed the Pentagon to ensure that absentee military ballots are processed quickly come 2004.


Ironically, the same day the Bush administration announced a record $374.2 billion deficit for fiscal 2003, the House went on a 24-hour spending spree - authorizing $3.6 billion in spending.

Worse yet, taxpayers got stuck with the bill by voice vote, meaning members never voted on record.

Instead of the old adage "another day, another dollar," Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) provides an updated version: "Another day, another $3.6 billion."


John McCaslin

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

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