John McCaslin

Astrologer Dave Bromberg of Chico, Calif., writes to Inside the Beltway to say that the time has come to let the rest of the world in on one of astrology's "juiciest" secrets: that every two years or so Mars and Jupiter are in sign opposition.

"When this happens senators will find themselves in direct contradiction in what they say and what they did; governors will have to disclose hidden sexual trysts; mayors will have their intimate text messages come to light," he reveals. "This is what is happening now that Jupiter is in Capricorn and Mars is in Cancer — and it will continue until the 9th of May of this year."

Streets of Philly

"Want to be in a music video for Hillary?"

That's the question posted on Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign Web site, calling interested volunteers to "the streets of Philadelphia" on the afternoon of Saturday, April 5.

"You don't need to know how to sing at all! Just be enthusiastic, willing and available to be included in video footage," the posting encourages. "If you are of voting age and up, and would love to be a part of a song that mentions issues Hillary stands for, then we'd love to hear from you."

Mother of primaries

The registration deadline was midnight Monday for Pennsylvanians to vote in the pivotal April 22 Democratic primary, and given the unprecedented number of registered voters, expect a high turnout at the polls.

State election officials count a record 4.05 million Democrats who have registered to vote in the primary, the first time the 4 million mark was broken. Polls show Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton with a sizable lead over Sen. Barack Obama, although the latter is counting on the state's young people to come out and support him.

A recent Quinnipiac poll shows 63 percent of likely Democratic voters under age 34 supporting Mr. Obama's candidacy.

Winning Newt

Speaking of Sen. Barack Obama, guess who's accepting "The Obama Challenge" to help all Americans pursue happiness and prosperity?

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, that's who.

"He is right. Americans must demand real change from elected officials," says Mr. Gingrich, who explains he will espouse further on the Obama challenge during a 12:30 p.m. address tomorrow at the American Enterprise Institute.

Patriot games

It all started when Idaho House Speaker Lawerence Denney noticed that some members of the press were not joining with lawmakers and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of House proceedings.

Among them, Heath Druzin of the Idaho Statesman, who later explained that while he does hold his hand over his heart he "internalizes" the Pledge.

Not patriotic enough, replies Mr. Denney, who fired off a letter to the head of the House press corps, Betsy Russell of Spokane's Spokesman-Review.

"Today we had media people on the floor of the House during the Pledge of Allegiance. It was noted by several members of the body and myself that they did not verbally participate in the Pledge," he wrote, suggesting reporters be kept out until the Pledge is recited.

Which prompted defiant responses from reporters like Jill Kuraitis, who admitted she doesn't say "under God" when reciting the Pledge because it mixes church and state.

Hogwash, reacts Bryan Fischer, executive director of the Idaho Values Alliance, who argues that the Founding Fathers "established the political foundation of our form of government on the concept that our rights are an inalienable gift to us from the Creator."

Ask Idaho Statesman editorial page editor Kevin Richert and the entire matter is nothing more than "kerfuffle."

Surely, Mr. Fischer replies, the newspaperman must not be listening to Sen. Barack Obama, "who insists that words do in fact matter."

Which could help explain Mr. Obama's answer last year when he was asked why he stopped wearing a U.S. flag pin on his suit. His excuse was rather than allowing a pin to do his talking he would tell the American people how he feels about patriotism.

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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