John McCaslin

U.S. Archivist Allen Weinstein is "pleased" that President Bush, in his proposed 2009 federal budget sent to Congress, seeks to increase the National Archives' operating expenses by more than $10 million over the 2008 appropriation.

Then again, as Mr. Weinstein points out, a good chunk of the additional funding will pay for staff and resources for the George W. Bush Presidential Library project.


Whether they support him to become president or not, Inside the Beltway readers are intrigued by Barack Obama's name.

Such is our conclusion after we reported that "obama," in its many variations, is the newest word to enter the English language, says the Global Language Monitor (GLM), which tracks the growth and evolution of spoken English around the globe.

GLM pointed out that obama is used as a "root" for an ever-expanding number of words, including obamamentum, obamacize, obamarama, obamanomics, obamican, obamafy, obamamania and obamacam.

Reader Paul Lund now writes: "If Obama presides, we would become an 'obamanation.' Has that one been coined yet?"

"How about 'abomination' for how bad his policies will be for our economy?" says D. Freeman, whose list also includes "obamasaurus," for how our country became extinct under his stewardship, and "obamatastrify," for "the devastating effect an Obama presidency will have when we're attacked again."

T. Jazzy writes: "I prefer my own term 'obamagantry' to describe our latest entry in the 'Savior of America Sweepstakes.' When I have heard him speak, I have envisioned the collection plates going 'round while a choir sings, 'Oh, Happy Day.' I am, however, a former resident of Chicago, born and raised during the [mayoral] reign of Richard J. Daley. My experience there taught me above all else never trust any Chicago politician ... . Be careful what you wish for; you may get it."

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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