John McCaslin

"Here we go again," reacts the Project on Government Oversight to the new Senate report on fraudulent use of government-issued credit cards by federal employees, which POGO first investigated in 2002.

"Over the years, purchase card holders have bought Atlanta Braves tickets, Victoria's Secret merchandise, jewelry, cell phones, tires, escort services, and in one instance we found an inventive federal employee who purchased breast enhancement surgery for his girlfriend."

Delivery rate

More incentive perhaps for U.S. government gals to get pregnant.

We see that a bill was forwarded to several House committees this week that would provide that eight of the 12 weeks of parental leave made available to a federal employee shall be "paid leave."

It's McCain, stupid

It's been one month since Sen. Bill Nelson, Florida Democrat, wrote a letter to Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean warning that the party faced the "biggest train wreck you've ever seen" because of the unresolved issue of seating Florida and Michigan delegates to the national convention.

Now Mr. Nelson has told colleagues that the DNC "has completely rejected all the attempts" he has made to seat the delegates, and as a result the party is now living the "drama we see playing out in front of our eyes."

Still, the senior senator from Florida, who wound up suing Mr. Dean and the DNC over the slight — the lawsuit was eventually dismissed by a federal court judge on constitutional grounds — is now predicting this week that "reason" eventually will prevail and the delegation "will be seated. Because at some point, the party chieftains are going to understand that if you want to win the election in November, you can't 'dis' the delegations from Florida and Michigan."

Bunching Muslims

Speaking of Howard Dean, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee says presumptive Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain should be held accountable for his latest "gaffe" on Iraq.

When Mr. McCain questioned a testifying Army Gen. David H. Petraeus on Capitol Hill this week "he again confused the difference between Shi'ite and Sunni Muslims," Mr. Dean noted yesterday.

"At least five times as a candidate John McCain has stated that Iran — a Shi'ite nation — is supporting al Qaeda — a Sunni group — in Iraq. This is not some minor mistake, but a significant gaffe," says the chairman.

Ouch!

We'll have you know that Rep. James P. Moran of Virginia this week labeled the U.S.-led war in Iraq "the worst military fiasco in American history."

"This is a disgrace," the Democrat commented on the House floor. "This policy has never been worthy of the sacrifice of our military families, let alone their loved ones in uniform."

Good old days

"If any of your readers are emotional about the price of gasoline, this story will bring tears to their eyes," writes Inside the Beltway reader Wendel Allen.

"In the 1920s there was a Sinclair gasoline station in the small Missouri town where I lived. They had gasoline that was one grade cheaper than regular. Sinclair decided to discontinue the low grade gasoline. At that time [my] family had two Model T Fords. When my dad learned the news, he told me to go get both cars and fill them up.

"The price is still implanted in my memory. It was 6 cents a gallon."


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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