John McCaslin

”Reminds me of Jimmy Carter turning off the lights at the White House,” says our insider at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), who forwards a memo he and his colleagues were sent by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

Among nearly two dozen “major” cost-saving steps Ms. Napolitano announced she will implement over the next 120 days: consolidating subscriptions to publications and newspapers to avoid duplication, eliminating printing and distribution of all reports and documents that can be sent electronically or posted online, maximizing use of conference calls and Web-based meetings and using purchasing agreements to save on office supplies.

“Finally,” the secretary writes to the myriad agencies that now fall beneath the DHS umbrella, “in the interest of cost containment and unifying the department, I enacted a moratorium on all external contracts for the design and production of new seals and logos. Let me be clear - many DHS components have long histories that are linked to their seals. We are proud of this heritage and thankful for their service. But we're also stewards of taxpayer dollars and we're not spending any more money to develop new logos.”


A North Carolina congresswoman is accusing the Democratic leadership of “living the book '1984' by George Orwell,” published in 1949 and famous for its portrayal of government encroachment and control over the citizenry.

”I want to say that if there is anybody out there who hasn't read '1984,' ” begins Republican Rep. Virginia Foxx, “or hasn't read it in a long time, I strongly urge you to do so because we are obviously living through what Orwell predicted. We are just a few years later than he suggested it would be.”

Twenty-five years, to be exact.


”GM: Government Motors.”

That's how Republicans on Capitol Hill are now referring to General Motors, after the Obama administration's virtual takeover of the once-mighty Detroit automaker.


So how popular is President Obama after 70 days in the Oval Office?

The latest Rasmussen Reports daily presidential tracking poll, issued Wednesday, finds 37 percent of the nation's voters “strongly approve” of his performance, while 29 percent “strongly disapprove.”

Overall, 57 percent “somewhat approve” of Mr. Obama's performance, while 41 percent “disapprove.”

Mr. Obama's biggest group of supporters: 84 percent of African-Americans “strongly approve” of the president's performance.


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 .

Be the first to read John McCaslin's column. Sign up today and receive delivered each morning to your inbox.