John McCaslin

Osama bin Laden's days may be numbered if Rep. Henry J. Hyde (R-Ill.) gets the loot he's after.

Hyde, chairman of the House International Relations Committee, and the committee's ranking Democrat, Rep. Tom Lantos of California, have introduced a bill that would give the secretary of state the option to offer a $50 million reward - double the current $25 million bounty - if it facilitates the terrorist's capture.

"Bin Laden deserves such a high price on his head," says Hyde, "and we would welcome the chance to pay this amount for the capture of this global terrorist."

The Counter-Terrorist and Narco-Terrorist Rewards Program Act would make other major changes to the long-established State Department Rewards Program, particularly as it relates to capturing the al Qaeda leader. The secretary of state, for instance, could grant rewards other than money, such as vehicles, appliances, commodities and other goods and services.

"In places like Afghanistan, a motorcycle or transport vehicle may be just as valuable as cash in gaining cooperation in the fight against terrorists," Hyde says.


John Kerry didn't get one vote in Tuesday's Virginia's Democratic primary: that of a woman who said she "used to go out with him."

Instead, the unidentified woman said she was going to pull the lever for Howard Dean or John Edwards - she wasn't quite sure. But, being a "die-hard Democrat" - and granted the Massachusetts senator eventually wins the nomination - she said she'd vote for Kerry this fall.


President Bush is the new honorary chairman of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, a nonprofit educational organization authorized by Congress to erect a memorial in Washington to the 100 million people killed by communist regimes. Bush is expected to attend the groundbreaking for the memorial this spring.


Saluting a woman who has just completed a "stellar" tour as the U.S. ambassador to Finland, Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.) said of CEO Bonnie McElveen-Hutne of Pace Communications, one of the top female-owned businesses in the country:

"When she was 9 years old, her mother had her write the word 'can't' on a piece of paper and bury it in a shoebox in the back yard of the home. She has not used the word since."


"It was a small delegation. But it was quality." -- Vice President Dick Cheney, referring this week to the 10 years he served as a congressman from Wyoming. Wyoming to this day has only one seat in the House of Representatives, currently filled by five-term Republican Rep. Barbara Cubin.

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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