John McCaslin

Outspoken former Rep. Dick Armey, Texas Republican, will be back in Washington this week to urge a new crop of "young Turks" in the Republican Party to challenge the "old bulls" and win back control of Capitol Hill.

"When Dick Armey talks about what went into building the Contract [with America] and a winning coalition, he mentions three parts: an unpopular president Bill Clinton, an unpopular plan [health care], and a positive alternative policy agenda. Armey often mentions how it was up to the 'young Turks' in the party to challenge the 'old bulls' to build the legislative agenda to regain the majority," Adam Brandon, press secretary of FreedomWorks, explains to Inside the Beltway.

So this Wednesday and Thursday, the popular Mr. Armey and former Republican presidential candidate and publisher Steve Forbes, a member of the FreedomWorks board, will gather with what are being described to us as the "current crop of young Turks" — Sens. Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Tom Coburn and James M. Inhofe, both of Oklahoma, and Reps. Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, Mike Pence of Indiana, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Jeb Hensarling of Texas, John Campbell of California, Paul C. Broun of Georgia, Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, Jeff Flake and John Shadegg of Arizona, and Patrick T. McHenry, Robin Hayes and Virginia Foxx of North Carolina.

The young Turks — former and current — will discuss policy positions like health care, entitlement reform, taxes and spending, earmark reform and energy, "and tactics to rebuild the conservative brand," Mr. Brandon says of the Omni Shoreham gaggle. "Armey expects that the next limited-government majority will come from this group."

Fighting words

There's nothing Rush Limbaugh relishes more than getting into the middle of a good verbal brawl, and he's found one with Sen. John Kerry's spokesman, David Wade.

It all began when Mr. Limbaugh announced last week on his radio show that the Swift Boat Veterans for President Bush who challenged the Vietnam-era recollections of the Massachusetts Democrat in the 2004 presidential campaign "were right on the money, and nobody has disproven anything they claimed in any of their ads, statements, written commentaries or anything of the sort."

Mr. Wade?

"At first I thought, that's not Rush, that's just the OxyContin talking. Nonetheless, this is a despicable but unsurprising new lie from a man whose closest brush with combat came when customs officials tried to take away his Viagra."

Wow!

"This portly peddler of hate is once again wrong on the facts," Mr. Wade continued.

Ouch!

"Rush Limbaugh's ignorance and determination to divide Americans is just another reminder that you can't spell 'Rush Limbaugh' without the letters L-I-A-R."

Stay tuned, obviously, for round three.

Belt-tightening

Under the category of "way too much information," we turn to a weekend White House pool report covering the arrival of German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Crawford, Texas, for meetings with President Bush:

"As they drove off, the president waved to the pool. He and the chancellor were wearing seat belts; I couldn't tell whether the back-seat passengers were belted in."

Two-fer typo

"You're invited to 'A Salute of Arts and Culture to Diplomacy' with the American-Russian Cultural Cooperation Foundation on Thursday, November 15th ... celebrating 200 years of Russian-American diplomacy. Opportunities to interview key movers and shakers including Dr. Hendry Kissenger [sic] are available during the hour prior to the event."

Constant vigil

Number of times individuals were positively matched to the FBI's watch list of known or suspected terrorists during various screenings in the U.S. from December 2003 to May 2007: 53,000.

So the House Committee on Homeland Security learned during testimony in recent days by Eileen R. Larence, director of Homeland Security and Justice Issues at the Government Accountability Office.


John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on Townhall.com and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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