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Inside the Beltway

- The Washington Times - Monday, December 17, 2007

God and Iranians

Former White House press secretary Tony Snow told graduating students of Old Dominion University in Norfolk on Saturday that in "many ways, this may be our finest hour."

"It's not apparent now, but think of all this country has achieved," said PresidentBush's former spokesman, who has been battling cancer that is now in remission. He encouraged the students and their parents to keep faith in "God and country."

Mr. Snow wasn't nearly as outspoken as he was days earlier when addressing students and faculty of the Academy of Leadership & Liberty at Oklahoma Christian University: "The average Iranian is more pro-American than virtually any college faculty in this country," he opined.

He added how refreshing it was to be on a stage where he could say the word "God," according to Nichols Hills Publishing in Oklahoma City, which covered Mr. Snow's visit.

Time for football

We see that former Virginia Sen. George Allen, son of the late Washington Redskins coach George Allen, has more time on his hands to follow professional football.

A look at his Web site, www.georgeallen.com, lists "George Allen's Picks" for both "The John Riggins Show" and "The Tony Mercurio Show" on ESPN Radio. A former Virginia governor, Mr. Allen lives near Mount Vernon in Fairfax County. As he continues to eye a return to politics, he serves as the Ronald Reagan Ranch Presidential Scholar for the Young America's Foundation.

Fear the asparagus

"Where I live in upstate New York, I've recently seen robins and bluebirds show up in the middle of winter. And this past January, a friend of mine ate asparagus he harvested in the Catskills, which are normally frozen this time of year."

So writes Robert F. Kennedy Jr., in a dispatch sent over the weekend to Inside the Beltway, concluding that "global warming is no longer a distant threat. It's happening now."

Fortunately, since Mr. Kennedy sat down to write, upstate New York has been buried in snow measuring in the "feet," signaling an end to the state's asparagus crop.

Basement poem

Trees are trimmed, wreaths are hung, which means it's time for the annual White House "basement poem," written and recited with limited fanfare each yuletide season by one of the correspondents confined to the basement press room of the White House.

This year, Greg Clugston of the Salem Radio Network did the honors (and yes, we can confirm that White House spokeswoman Dana Perino ducked downstairs for the reading). Here's a shortened version:

'Twas the night before Christmas and in the White House,

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

Stockings were hung in the West Wing with care,

In hopes a war supplemental soon would be there.

The president was asleep, all snug in his bed,

While visions of vetoes danced in his head.

Clashes with Democrats he won again and again,

Squashing their bills with a stroke of his pen.

S-CHIP and stem cells were both turned away,

And Bush rejected timetables for troops in harm's way.

The president "surged" more troops into Iraq,

Helping lower violence and suicide attacks.

He lobbied for FISA to connect terrorist dots,

Tying Speaker Pelosi and Reid up in knots.

Bush's low approval numbers remained a bitter pill,

Except when comparing them to leaders on the Hill.

All of a sudden there arose such a clatter,

Dubya jumped up to see what was the matter.

And what to wondering eyes did appear?

A man wearing nothing but holiday cheer.

There stood Musharraf, risking laughter and scorn,

Making good on a pledge to take off his uniform.

Next, Santa arrived on his toy-laden sleigh,

With a top-secret document from the C I of A.

Bush read the intel: no nukes in Iran,

So much for launching a military plan.

And I heard him exclaim after reading the NIE:

"Merry Christmas to all, forget World War Three!"

John McCaslin can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin@washington times.com.