John McCaslin

The Democratic National Committee was quick to jump on the Monday morning bandwagon of Richard A. Clarke, a former top terrorism official in the past four administrations who now charges that President Bush ignored his urgent warnings from early 2001 that the U.S. faced imminent terrorist threats from al Qaeda.

Albeit, the DNC acknowledges, "threats that developed over the previous eight years" during the watch of President Clinton.

Still, the Democratic Party has now decided to circulate a petition to congressional leaders - Republicans, mind you - "urging a full investigation into President Bush's national security record before and after the attacks of Sept. 11."


First came calls from Democrats in Congress that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who was nominated by President Reagan, recuse himself (he refused) from an appeals case involving Vice President Dick Cheney because the two men hunted Louisiana ducks together.

Now, Republicans in Congress are calling on Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, nominated by President Clinton, to disqualify herself from abortion-related cases because of her suspected ties to the pro-choice NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund.

"We find ... they call into question your ability to judge fairly in cases that the NOW Legal Defense Fund regularly involves itself," 13 members of Congress have written to the associate justice. "It is well known that NOW Legal Defense engages in active lobbying on behalf of pro-abortion activists and regularly submits briefs to the Supreme Court in a variety of cases."

For that matter, the NOW Legal Defense Web site home page highlights Justice Ginsburg's speaking engagements and even pictures her next to the organization's president, Kathy Rodgers.

Federal law requires that a justice or judge "disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned."


Conspiracy theorists will delight in the latest Harper's Index, which calls attention to the percentage of U.S. voters whose 2004 vote will be cast via a computer system producing no paper record: 29.


Rep. Michael C. Burgess (R-Texas) wasn't "quick enough" to the TV dial Sunday night (March 21) at the conclusion of the NCAA basketball game and "was exposed to a 20-minute infomercial that was passed off as a news interview."

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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