John McCaslin

Washington, D.C. trial lawyer Jack Olender has issued his annual Top Ten Legal Predictions for 2004, which include his thoughts on dealing with prisoner Saddam Hussein, peace and stability in the world, and the outcome of the 2004 presidential election ("impossible to predict," he says).

Our favorite prediction is his last: "Celebrities will continue to ruin their lives by exposing themselves to criminal prosecution and civil lawsuits for apparent erratic, sensational or illegal behavior. Some of them need 24-7 legal advisors to monitor every activity. But they never learn. There will be plenty of legal business cleaning up the mess."


Just when he thinks he's heard the most outrageous Democratic conspiracy theory, Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay finds himself agog again.

"The Democrats' hateful, moronic comments are beyond the pale - and the Democrats know it - but they don't care, because they have nothing to offer the public debate but rage, resentment and quackery," reacts the Texas Republican, responding this time to Democratic presidential contender Howard Dean's suspicion that President Bush was warned ahead of time about Sept. 11.

"Reading this stuff," he says, "one wonders if the 2004 Democrat Party platform is tentatively titled, 'Dean Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.'"

Among other conspiracies about which DeLay has expressed outrage:

- Sen. Ted Kennedy(D-Mass.) on Operation Iraqi Freedom: "This was made up in Texas, announced in January to the Republican leadership that war was going to take place and was going to be good politically. The whole thing was a fraud."

- Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) on Saddam Hussein's capture: "There's too much by happenstance for it to be just a coincidental thing. I don't know that it was definitely planned on this weekend, but I know they've been in contact with people all along who knew basically where he was."

- Rep. Robert T. Matsui (D-Calif.) on U.S. troops sent to Iraq: "The war was to an extent to take attention from the economy."


Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) is celebrating the capture of Saddam Hussein this week by inserting into the Congressional Record two previously published newspaper op-ed columns from The Washington Post that "received far too little attention."

The first opinion piece was penned by Richard Haass, formerly director of policy planning at the State Department who, as Frank reads it, believes the Iraqi war was motivated not by a fear of weapons of mass destruction or of the need to combat terrorism, but rather as a conscious policy choice in service of the Bush administration's view of the world.

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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