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“Sen. Thune is understandably embarrassed after promising during his Senate campaign that if he won, the White House would not close bases in South Dakota,” CAGW states. “But BRAC is designed to exclude such political favoritism, and taxpayers should not be forced to fund unnecessary bases just to satisfy one senator’s campaign promise.”

In light of Mr. Thune’s threats, and considering this latest round of base closures would save taxpayers almost $50 billion over the next 20 years, CAGW has crowned him its “Porker of the Month.”

Blue vs. olive

Air Force officers, past and present, have replied in force to our item last week about being mistaken for mailmen and bus drivers because of the similarity of their blue uniforms.

“Let it be known that as a retired member of the USAF (1983-2004), we are still not happy about our uniforms,” writes William Mayes. “At least they did get rid of the bus driver hat.”

The Air Force blues could be worse, said John Rieman, considering what the other branches of the military sport.

“OK, here’s a choice of going-to-work military clothes: olive-ugly drab, don’t-sit-on-a-dirty-chair white, or my-favorite-color blue. Throw in fatigues. Blue is the winner. I never got the chance to knock around an old lady buying stamps, but I was kiddingly accused of driving a bus. Back then bus drivers were OK guys.”

And they still are, of course.

Another Air Force insider, who asks not to be identified, took the opportunity to poke fun at the Army — not their uniforms, but what’s upstairs. He recalls his Air Force JAG (Judge Advocate General) division sharing building space in Washington with several Army units.

“One Air Force captain (who you know, but should remain nameless) and his crazy boss (who will remain nameless) made a habit of picking on some of the Army guys who were, to be kind, a little slow on the uptake,” he tells Inside the Beltway.

“On one memorable day, said captain and his boss, the major, were followed into an elevator car by an Army colonel. We tapped ‘7’ to head for our office. The Army guy tapped ‘8.’ The light on the button didn’t come on, so he kept tapping the ‘8.’

“Again, again, and again, he tapped the button, and it didn’t light up. Someone, who shall remain unidentified, leaned over and said, ‘Hit 5 and 3, sir.’ And he did.” When the Army colonel realized he’d been had, his reply was unprintable.

John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or