John McCaslin

Roger Clinton?

The White House pool report surrounding President Bush's departure by helicopter from the White House South Lawn shortly after 9 a.m. yesterday: "Also watching was one unidentified man wearing shorts and standing alone on the Truman Balcony. One presumes he was a family guest."

Still breathing

"Elvis lives on at number 761."

So reveals Social Security Administration Commissioner Michael J. Astrue, who in conjunction with Mother's Day yesterday, announced the annual list of top baby names in the United States.

Jacob is the favorite boy's name, and has been since 1999, and Emily has been the most popular girl's name since 1996.

Wise counsel

Conservative commentator Pat Buchanan, founding editor of the American Conservative, says President Bush's doctrine of "world democratic revolution" and "ending tyranny on earth" is unconstitutional, and when "Bush goes, it goes."

Mr. Buchanan recalls the late Jeane Kirkpatrick, President Reagan's ambassador to the United Nations, launching "a frontal assault on today's neoconservative dogmas about America having an historic mission to democratize mankind."

Though her specialty was foreign policy, Mr. Buchanan notes, Mrs. Kirkpatrick declared later in life that "America's purposes are mainly domestic," and that a "good society is defined not by its foreign policy, but by its internal qualities."

Of independent initiatives like undertaking the war in Iraq, Mrs. Kirkpatrick said "there is no mystical American 'mission,' or purpose to be 'found' independently of the U.S. Constitution," or for that matter, "no inherent or historical 'imperative' for the U.S. government to seek to achieve any other goal -- however great -- except as it is mandated by the Constitution or adopted by the people through elected officials."

Mr. Buchanan said if Mr. Bush had only heeded Mrs. Kirkpatrick's "wise counsel, America would not be in the hellish mess it is in today." The ambassador died in December at age 80.

Party time?

"These numbers should serve as a warning," says former Clinton White House chief of staff Leon Panetta, not only to President Bush, but leaders of both major political parties.

He's referring to his new Panetta Institute study, finding that a growing percentage of U.S. college students thinks the nation is headed in the wrong direction, while others express deep dissatisfaction with the quality of the country's political leadership and nearly half favor the creation of a new independent political party.

Lumped with Lawyers

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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