John McCaslin

Flights into the already congested airport along the banks of the Potomac River, practically a stone's throw away from the dome of the U.S. Capitol, are restricted by a “perimeter rule” that limits nonstop flights from cities located more than 1,250 miles from the nation's capital.

Rep. Harry E. Mitchell - the Arizona Democrat who, with other Western lawmakers, has just introduced the legislation - argues that the rule was originally created to encourage passenger use at Washington Dulles International Airport after it opened in the distant Virginia suburbs.

Congress has relaxed some flight restrictions into Reagan Airport, allowing a few nonstop flights from Western cities, such as Los Angeles.

SHORT WALK

”Pigfoot will be on hand to entertain, along with porcine pals Winnie and Dudley” says Citizens Against Government Waste, referring to mascots that will appear at the National Press Club for the April 14 release of the annual pink book that makes politicians squirm.

The 2009 Congressional Pig Book will highlight the most egregious examples of pork-barrel spending in the federal budget. Last year's book identified 11,610 projects at a cost of $17.2 billion, a 337 percent increase over 2007.

Our favorite from 2008: $98,000 to develop a walking tour of rural Boydton, Va., population 474 and 0.82 square miles in size. In 1977, U.S. News & World Report called it “The Little Town That Refuses to Die.”


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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