John McCaslin

"The corruption in Washington has gotten so bad that even Republicans can't stomach Republicans any longer." - Tom McMahon, executive director of the Democratic National Committee

WHO NEEDS FRIENDS?

"Wow, just in time for the movie 'Good Night, and Good Luck.'"

Or so The Beltway Beat is told by Mary Hewitt, a former White House appointee who worked alongside Bruce Bartlett when he was deputy assistant treasury secretary under President George Bush. (He was previously a domestic policy aide for President Reagan).

She was responding to word about Bartlett, who, like other conservatives, has been increasingly critical of President Bush, being ousted this week as a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis after the center read the manuscript of his book, due out in April: "Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy."

FREEH AT LAST

Judging from the "will-attend" list for Thursday night's reception for Louis J. Freeh, not every feather in town has been ruffled by the former FBI director and author of the controversial new book, "My FBI: Bringing Down the Mafia, Investigating Bill Clinton and Fighting the War on Terror."

This isn't to say Bill Clinton, who once called Freeh a "law-enforcement legend," and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, New York Democrat, will be raising their wine glasses to toast the FBI's top G-man from 1993 to 2001 at the Tilden Street home of former Ambassador Dick Carlson and his hostess wife, Patricia.

It's a good thing the Carlsons have a big house. About 250 guests will be on hand, including brothers Bill Bennett and Bob Bennett, the latter a Washington lawyer taking a much-needed breather from the increasingly confusing "CIA leak" probe involving his New York Times client Judith Miller.


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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