John McCaslin

Wake-up call

During emotional debate last week on the since-defeated immigration bill supported by President Bush, opponents of the measure rudely posted senators' personal telephone numbers — home and cell — on various Web sites.

One caller, Inside the Beltway is told, awakened Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican, from a sound sleep to complain about the bill.

"Not only jammin' up phone lines, but getting senators up in their jammies," says our Capitol Hill source.

Slow down, sir

The White House hasn't forgotten the uproar in 2005 when President Bush wasn't told of a major terrorism scare in Washington — one that scrambled military fighter jets and sent first lady Laura Bush, former first lady Nancy Reagan and Vice President Dick Cheney scrambling from the White House to secure bunkers — until the end of his Maryland bike ride, or 40 minutes after the "all clear" was sounded.

Yesterday, after a similar presidential bike trek through the Maine woods, White House press secretary Tony Snow assured reporters that "the president was briefed before and after — before, during and after — the bike ride on ongoing [terrorism] developments in London, and continues to be briefed during the day, regardless of where he may be."

Think Condi?

The group "Think Condi" won't give up, even though Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says the last place she intends to be in 2008 is on the presidential ballot.

The group says it will descend on downtown Chicago this week, releasing polling data showing Miss Rice's political popularity, as well as primary ballots bearing her name.

Power eggs

The Four Seasons hotel in Georgetown lived up to its reputation yesterday as home of the Sunday power brunch.

In one corner, we spotted Alabama Sen. Richard C. Shelby and his family enjoying the popular buffet, while huddled in deep conversation in another corner were PBS (and presidential debate) host Tavis Smiley and Washington pollster (and post-debate focus group moderator) Frank Luntz.

Refresher course

Like some fellow native Washingtonians, about the only time this columnist pays due respect to our city's wealth of museums, monuments and memorials is when out-of-town relatives and friends arrive for a visit.

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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