John McCaslin

Secret access

He's a Democratic congressman indicted on 16 federal counts of bribery. He was videotaped by the FBI accepting $100,000 from an investor wearing a wire. His home was raided by federal agents who discovered $90,000 wrapped in aluminum foil in the freezer. Most recently, his congressional office was searched.

Now, last Friday, on the same day he argued in court papers that he did nothing illegal, Inside the Beltway has discovered that Louisiana Rep. William J. Jefferson joined other congressmen and executed the "oath for access to classified information."

Then again, in this country one is innocent until proven guilty.

Showcasing policy

Make way for another Washington museum,provided enough private donations are raised by former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger, Alexander Haig, George Schultz, James A. Baker III, Lawrence Eagleburger, Warren Christopher, Madeleine K. Albright and Colin L. Powell.

All of the above are honorary directors of the charitable Foreign Affairs Museum Council, which seeks to build a Museum of the History of American Diplomacy. So far, the council has raised $1.3 million, with $300,000 already spent on an initial concept design for the museum.

Given no taxpayer funds will be provided, the Senate has given its blessing to the museum, saying in writing that the role of diplomacy in the foreign policy of the United States "deserves recognition." The State Department began exploring the feasibility of establishing a diplomatic museum in 1998.

Needing God

Saying America is "moving in a very, very wrong direction," Indiana Rep. Dan Burton says he will introduce legislation mandating that "In God We Trust" be retained in a prominent place on U.S. currency and coinage.

"Recently, there were thousands of coins minted without 'In God We Trust' on them, and now they're talking about putting 'In God We Trust' in an obscure place on coins so that people can't read it, right on the edge of the coin," the Republican complains.

Practically preaching from the pulpit, the congressman warns that "once you start turning your back on the good Lord, I think you are going to reap the whirlwind, and this is something this nation cannot afford to do right now."

Endangered peacock

We've written of late about the increasing popularity of the Spanish-language television network Univision, including its entry into the 2008 presidential campaign.

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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