Paper and Ink

John McCaslin

10/18/2007 10:16:56 AM - 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.

We did some checking yesterday, and by the time the 2006 midterm elections rolled around, the CVP's campaign contributions totaled a mere $3,100, which went to the coffers of four Republican congressional candidates.

Worth repeating

That was Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao wrapping up a three-day Job Corps summit in Washington late yesterday, endorsing the program that gives promising youth the skills and education needed to succeed in the 21st-century economy.

But it was an inspirational message from one former Job Corps student — David Bol of Seattle, once known as one of "the Lost Boys of Sudan" — that spoke volumes about the federal program.

"Come with me, for a moment, to a faraway place, one so very unimaginable, but one that has had a significant impact on my life. Imagine being 8 years old," Mr. Bol said, "running barefoot day after day under the hot sun to escape your own government as well as militants who used bullets and bombs to kill your family and destroy your village."

He, too, had been shot, but unlike his family he would live, undergoing extensive surgery and skin graphs at a Kenyan refugee camp. He remained there for years, until one day he was given the opportunity to apply for admission to the United States.

"After a four-year process my moment finally came, and the day when I looked up and saw that my name was amongst those being sent to America, it became one of the most joyful days of my life. We jumped around for joy, hugging each other and even crying. It was a dream come true," he told the audience.

Days later he arrived in Seattle, enrolling in a Job Corps program where he "quickly made new friends, tasted new foods and became accustomed to a new lifestyle." Studying long hours, he successfully completed pharmaceutical studies, and today he said he is pleased to be "giving back" to Job Corps, teaching new pharmacy students everything he has learned.

But his proudest moment, he concluded, came last month. On Sept. 7, 2007, "in a magnificent courtroom in Spokane, I participated in one of the most thrilling moments of my life. I was sworn in as a citizen of the United States of America."