John McCaslin

When Vice President Dick Cheney was growing up in Lincoln, Neb., his father toiled for the Department of Agriculture's Soil Conservation Service. Then Dwight D. Eisenhower got elected president, reorganized Agriculture, and Cheney's dad was transferred to windswept Casper, Wyo., where Cheney met his future bride, Lynne.

"We grew up together, went to high school together - and in August of this year, we'll celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary," Cheney recalled this week, noting that were it not for Eisenhower's victory in 1952 he never would have moved to Casper and his wife would have married somebody else.

And when he mentioned this fact to Mrs. Cheney this week, she responded: "Right, and now he'd be vice president of the United States."


Fill out the "dadburn" survey.

Or so wrote Roddy Stinson of the San Antonio Express-News of the "Head Start Survey of Salaries and Other Compensation," which the Health and Human Services Department sent recently to Head Start grantees in light of revelations that some of its executives were receiving remarkably high salaries, perhaps in excess of $200,000 per year.

Understandably, the executives aren't rushing to complete the survey.

As for Stinson's choice of words in his newspaper article, a reporter at this newspaper notes: "They can only write like that in Texas."


Homeland security is too important to politicize, and Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Christopher Cox, R-Calif., isn't pleased with the tone of the political rhetoric in a 17-page memo released by his own committee's minority on Friday.

"Substituting rhetoric for responsible oversight will ultimately harm America's security," warns Cox, who vows to work closely with Democrats and the Department of Homeland Security on solutions to remaining challenges.

"But backsliding from responsible oversight into one-page summaries of major initiatives and a laundry list of homeland security 'gaps' is unacceptable amateurism," scolds the chairman.

He applauds Democrats for recognizing in the memo that "the Bush administration is correct to claim that we are safer now than we were on Sept. 11," but adds that the minority's "pointed criticism of President Bush's leadership is as unnecessary as it is counterproductive."


If it's media attention the health care sector wants, they've found two ways to get it: Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and former Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill.

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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