John McCaslin

Former White House press secretary Tony Snow told graduating students of Old Dominion University in Norfolk on Saturday that in "many ways, this may be our finest hour."

"It's not apparent now, but think of all this country has achieved," said President Bush's former spokesman, who has been battling cancer that is now in remission. He encouraged the students and their parents to keep faith in "God and country."

Mr. Snow wasn't nearly as outspoken as he was days earlier when addressing students and faculty of the Academy of Leadership & Liberty at Oklahoma Christian University: "The average Iranian is more pro-American than virtually any college faculty in this country," he opined.

He added how refreshing it was to be on a stage where he could say the word "God," according to Nichols Hills Publishing in Oklahoma City, which covered Mr. Snow's visit.

Time for football

We see that former Virginia Sen. George Allen, son of the late Washington Redskins coach George Allen, has more time on his hands to follow professional football.

A look at his Web site,, lists "George Allen's Picks" for both "The John Riggins Show" and "The Tony Mercurio Show" on ESPN Radio.

A former Virginia governor, Mr. Allen lives near Mount Vernon in Fairfax County. As he continues to eye a return to politics, he serves as the Ronald Reagan Ranch Presidential Scholar for the Young America's Foundation.

Fear the asparagus

"Where I live in upstate New York, I've recently seen robins and bluebirds show up in the middle of winter. And this past January, a friend of mine ate asparagus he harvested in the Catskills, which are normally frozen this time of year."

So writes Robert F. Kennedy Jr., in a dispatch sent over the weekend to Inside the Beltway, concluding that "global warming is no longer a distant threat. It's happening now."

Fortunately, since Mr. Kennedy sat down to write, upstate New York has been buried in snow measuring in the "feet," signaling an end to the state's bumper asparagus crop.

Basement poem

Trees are trimmed, wreaths are hung, which means it's time for the annual White House "basement poem," written and recited with limited fanfare each yuletide season by one of the correspondents confined to the basement press room of the White House.

This year, Greg Clugston of the Salem Radio Network did the honors (and yes, we can confirm that White House spokeswoman Dana Perino ducked downstairs for the reading). Here's a shortened version:

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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