John McCaslin
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"I probably didn't help today when I rode over in a 20-car motorcade."

Or so President Bush observed yesterday in his opening line to the Washington International Renewable Energy Conference, which convened just a few blocks from the White House at the Washington Convention Center.

As it was, it took the lengthy motorcade seven minutes to travel six or so blocks. Back in the day when he was jogging instead of biking, Mr. Bush ran a seven-minute mile.

Meanwhile, on the subject of energy, Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, the most senior woman in Congress, began one of her speeches this week by recalling Mr. Bush's response to the question of gasoline price rising to $4 a gallon: "That's interesting. I hadn't heard that."

When Mr. Bush took office, she pointed out, a gallon of gasoline cost $1.45. Today, it averages $3.17 — an increase of 218 percent.

Saw the punch

Sen. Patty Murray, Washington Democrat, says she happened to be standing on the floor of Boeing Co.'s 767 assembly line in Everett, Wash., this week when its workers learned that the U.S. Air Force had awarded a massive $40 billion contract for new refueling tankers to the French company Airbus.

"I saw the dismay in their eyes," she said.

Popcorn and risotto

Teatro Goldoni this evening is hosting a private screening of "Kicking it," a locally produced film that won rave reviews at the recent Sundance Film Festival.

Addressing the state of homelessness through the appeal of soccer, the movie's major players are mostly Washingtonians: screenwriter and producer Susan Koch; producer Ted Leonsis; and executive producers Jack Davies, Mark Ein, Sheila Johnson and Soroush Shehabi.

The guest list we saw similarly includes local notables: Steve Case, Beth Dozoretz, Jack Evans and Calvin Cafritz.

Patriotic touch

Hats off to Sen. Sam Brownback, Kansas Republican, for introducing legislation this week to authorize the placement of an American Braille tactile flag at Arlington National Cemetery, both to honor and benefit blind members and veterans of the armed forces.

Sports nut

That's Washington lawyer Peter Zern of Covington & Burling LLP among SportsBusiness Journal's "Forty under 40" Class of 2008, which honors the best and brightest executives in the sports business industry under the age of 40.

In its March 3 cover story, the magazine recognizes Mr. Zern, 34, for playing a key role in everything from financing National Football League stadiums to representing professional sports leagues in some of the largest television contracts ever signed.

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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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