John McCaslin

Unlike the bound encyclopedias of the past, it took only seconds Tuesday for the Internet's wealth of online encyclopedias to update their Nancy Drew pages to show the fictional girl detective's influence on a number of prominent American women, including Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, former first lady Laura Bush, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, and now President Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Judge Sonia Sotomayor.


Delivering the recent commencement address at the University of Maryland, CIA Director Leon E. Panetta told a story "of the rabbi and the priest who decided they would get to know each other a little better. So one evening, they went to a boxing match and thought that if they went to those kind of events, they could learn a little bit more about each other's religion. And just before the bell rang, one of the boxers made the sign of the cross. The rabbi nudged the priest and said, 'What does that mean?' The priest said, 'It doesn't mean a ... thing if he can't fight.' "

Mr. Panetta told the graduates that "we bless ourselves with the hope that this country will be OK, but frankly, it doesn't mean a ... thing unless you're willing to fight for it."


Talk about a star-studded list of U.S. leaders, past and present, that the Aspen Institute has lined up for its 2009 Aspen Ideas Festival this summer in Colorado. Our program reveals, among others, Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer, former Supreme Court Justice andra Day O'Connor, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and former secretaries of state Condoleezza Rice, Madeleine Albright and James A. Baker III.


At a recent meeting of the embattled and understaffed U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC Chairman Mary L. Schapiro drew attention to a statement issued by the SEC that, at first blush, appears triggered by this past year's market crisis and resulting fragility of investor confidence.

Think again. The SEC issued the statement on April 28, 1977. It reads:

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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