John McCaslin

Trick or Treat

It's nothing to brag about, but we see that our proud city has earned a mention in the prestigious "Harper's Index." The magazine's October index reads:

"Number of escort services and McDonald's restaurants, respectively, in Washington, D.C.: 26, 23"

Live to eat

Liberal activist and documentary filmmaker Michael Moore draws the line on political correctness when it comes to nourishing his soul.

The rather rotund Academy Award winner and frequent critic of everybody from President Bush to corporate board members is under attack by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals "for defending meat-eating and hunting and saying that the animals rights movement 'makes me want to kick my dog.'

"He once sent a crew of people to protest outside PETA's headquarters," PETA notes, "complete with signs reading, 'You are wasting your lives' and unforgivably dragged a group of hot, miserable animals along with them."

Baghdad stroll

"Unusually Stupid Politicians" is the catchy if not rude title of a hilarious book due out later this month by Kathryn and Ross Petras, who expose mind-boggling but true mishaps, missteps and miscues of our elected representatives.

Take Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. John P. Murtha, who has certainly made it obvious that he doesn't want any more taxpayer money spent on fighting in Iraq. But that didn't stop him from spending taxpayer funds on an absolutely essential $6,000 plasma screen television.

In the chapter on large "egos," we find senior Democratic Sen. Robert C. Byrd, who despite a West Virginia law that prohibits statues of government officials until they have been dead for 50 years, convinced the state Legislature to fund and erect a statue of himself in the state Capitol.

"In a similar spirit, the self-effacing senator has allowed a few buildings, etc., to be named for him here and there," add the authors, presenting a long list of adorations covering three pages, including highways and byways ranging from the "Robert C. Byrd Expressway" and the "Robert C. Byrd Freeway," to the "Robert C. Byrd Bridge" and "Robert C. Byrd Drive."

As for a Republican worthy of the book's title, who will forget 2008 presidential candidate and Arizona Sen. John McCain insisting of late that Americans aren't "getting the full picture" on Iraq, going so far as to claim that there "are neighborhoods in Baghdad where you and I could walk through today" without concern for life and limb.

"Never mind that with him he had 100 American soldiers, three Black Hawk helicopters, and two Apache gunships," the authors point out of Mr. McCain's stroll through Baghdad.


Newly resigned White House press secretary Tony Snow gets top billing in the latest list of "notable quotes" compiled each week by the Media Research Center.

CNN's Suzanne Malveaux: "How does the president regain the credibility that he needs to convince the American people that that's true [that the Iraq surge is working], Tony?"

Mr. Snow: "Well, you know what Suzanne, your credibility rating — journalists' credibility ratings — are lower than the president's."

Escaping fear

It so happens that "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" was a favorite film of President Franklin D. Roosevelt — or so reveals the record keepers at the National Archives, where the 1937 animated feature will soon be screened as part of its Presidential Film Favorites series.

The G-rated movie, which captured an Academy Award, was Walt Disney's first full-length animated feature in color, and tells the story of a beautiful princess who finds friendship with seven dwarfs and love with a prince, but only after fleeing from her wicked stepmother.

As Roosevelt would have told the princess, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

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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