John McCaslin

Anybody who's ever bumped into 60 Plus Association President Jim Martin, a longtime Republican activist and personal friend of George W. Bush, knows he bears a striking resemblance to CNN founder Ted Turner.

Even a reporter or two over the years mistakenly has written that the left-leaning Turner, for whatever odd reason this time, was spotted among a crowd of GOP bigwigs.

The other day, Martin showed up at the White House for a briefing with senior Bush aide Karl Rove. As sometimes happens, guards minding the gate didn't get advance notice of Martin's impending arrival. It was while he was standing off to the side awaiting access that an unidentified woman politely approached Martin and asked perchance if he was the real Ted Turner.

Without missing a beat, Martin replied: "Yeah, lady, why do you think I can't get into this joint."

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"The reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated. I'm still very much alive." - Embattled former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas, addressing a friendly crowd over the weekend in Washington.

ROOM FOR IRAN

On second thought, says U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John R. Bolton, there is room in the world for Iran's nuclear-weapons program - albeit it's where Libya has agreed to store its secret nuclear materials: the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

The Y-12 National Security Complex at Oak Ridge is mainly off-limits, although President Bush once toured the storage facility to inspect its large stash of deadly material - including uranium surrendered by Libya two years ago.

KEENE ON ALGERIA

David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, will manage a $300,000 contract to improve the image of the North Africa Muslim state of Algeria.

A one-time adviser to Republican presidential campaigns, Keene is managing associate of the Carmen Group, which got the contract. He's also a contributing writer to the Hill newspaper, which covers congressional proceedings.

The contract states that Keene will work with Congress to create an "Algerian Caucus," asks him to be available for "regular telephone consultation" with Algeria's ambassador to the U.S., and has him traveling to Algeria when requested - "business class," of course, with hotel accommodations fitting for "high government officials and dignitaries."

BOOMER ITCH


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 .

Be the first to read John McCaslin's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com delivered each morning to your inbox.