John McCaslin

Washington insiders can look forward to a new book due early next year by Robert S. Bennett, President Clinton's personal attorney in the Paula Jones case, who more recently represented Judith Miller in the CIA-leak investigation.

We're told that Mr. Bennett, a former federal prosecutor who is with the Washington office of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and who last year was selected by the National Law Journal as one of the "100 Most Influential Lawyers in America," actually wrote the book in longhand, recording his thoughts and recollections in a journal presented to him by one of his daughters.

Polecat swinging

Our "Only in Arkansas" column item this week generated considerable response, but not the complaints we expected.

President Bush, we pointed out, toured the Arkansas town of Rogers, spending an hour inside the barbecue-smoke-filled Whole Hog Cafe, located in a strip mall right next to the Honeybaked Ham store and a stone's throw from the Krispy Kreme.

"Are you kidding?" writes Ray Jenkins of Knoxville, Tenn. "You must not have spent much time in Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky. ... You can't swing a dead polecat without hitting a barbecue joint, Honeybaked Ham store and a Krispy Kreme store — in one try."

Patsy plaque

The Center for Military Readiness (CMR) says the purpose of its annual "Patsy Award" — by dictionary definition, a patsy is "one who is easily taken advantage of" — is to draw attention to problems in the U.S. military ignored by the White House and Congress.

"When officials fail to use their power to do the right thing, others use their power to do the wrong thing," CMR President Elaine Donnelly explains.

This year, the surprisingly handsome Patsy plaque goes to Gene Gritton of the Rand Corporation "for approving the disingenuous 'Rubber Stamp Rand Report' on women in combat."

"As I wrote in a letter to Mr. Gritton, whether intended or not, the report gives a considerable boost to the agenda of feminists who do not understand military realities," Mrs. Donnelly says.

Out of commission We see that the Christian Voter Project (CVP), or what's left of it, has agreed to pay a $38,000 civil penalty for failing to comply with multiple reporting provisions of the Federal Election Campaign Act.

The Federal Election Commission says the CVP failed to file required 24-hour and 48-hour notices related to 2004 independent expenditures totaling $294,136. The committee also failed to disclose additional independent expenditures totaling $125,022 and operating expenses totaling $58,656.

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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