John McCaslin

Despite overwhelming odds against his candidacy, consumer advocate Ralph Nader has decided once again to run for the presidency, this time as an independent. He argues that the policies and beliefs of Democrats and Republicans are far too similar - "a two-party duopoly."

Of course, the closest Nader has ever come to being picked as president was during the contested 2000 election. On that now-historic December day outside the U.S. Supreme Court, or so this columnist observed, a lone man stood silently yet directly between warring sides for Vice President Al Gore and Texas Gov. George W. Bush, clutching his homemade sign: "Give it to Nader."

RADLIBS AND RADCONS

"Radcons" is the nickname Clinton Labor Secretary Robert B. Reich gives "radical conservatives who have taken over the public agenda."

"There is no 'vast right-wing conspiracy,'" Reich will acknowledge in his upcoming book, "Reason: Why Liberals Will Win the Battle for America."

Rather, Radcons "have risen by means of a highly efficient, self-reinforcement system designed to shape public opinion and politics."

Reich obviously mailed his publisher his book manuscript before liberals in recent days unleashed their own "public agenda" designed to shape opinion and politics, not the least being legalized same-sex "marriages."

Henceforth, "Radlibs."

OFFICIAL RATS

Federal bureaucrats are complaining that "an army of rats" has invaded a U.S. government office complex in revitalized Silver Spring, Md.

"For the last two months, rats have chewed through electrical cables, phone cords, speaker wires, LAN cables - even phone books," says one Department of Commerce insider. "The only safe place for (official correspondence) are metal filing cabinets."

Uncle Sam in recent years has also dealt with "Pentagon pests" - hundreds of "rats that roam the basement" of the Pentagon - and when President Clinton occupied the White House, rodent experts had to be called in to "assess the (unpleasant) rat situation."

THUMBS UP

Before they rush out to see Mel Gibson's movie "The Passion of the Christ," President Bush Monday encouraged the nation's governors to see another timely movie about persecution.

"You ought to see the movie 'Osama,'" Bush told governors during a White House meeting. "It talks about what it was like to be a woman in Afghanistan during the Taliban era. ... (T)hat movie will bring home what it means to be liberated from the clutches of barbarism."


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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