- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 2, 2005

Bully Bush

The opening question President Bush was asked by a reporter in the middle of his Oval Office meeting with South African President Thabo Mbeki was this: “What are your thoughts about the fact that ‘Deep Throat’ has been outed?”

“I knew it wasn’t you,” Mr. Bush replied. “You weren’t even born during that period.”

“I was, I was born. I was old enough,” the reporter countered.

“Barely,” Mr. Bush said.

Plunging in

Congratulations to Steven A. McNamara, who after almost four decades of toiling for Uncle Sam has stepped down this week as inspector general for the U.S. House of Representatives.

In a final letter to House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Mr. McNamara writes: “My goal, and that of my staff, has been to help the House achieve the best use of all the dollars it spends, increase efficiencies, and ensure the health, safety, and security of members, staff, and visitors …

“Now, after slightly more than 35 years of federal service, I look forward to a new chapter in my life: the pursuit of … kayak instructor and kayaking guide.”

Still a bargain

“DCist,” a popular Web site (www.dcist.com) about everyday life in the nation’s capital, has posted a photograph from a faithful D.C. tipster who happened into a Barnes & Noble bookstore while visiting Billings, Mont.

“While no other national newspapers aside from USA Today and the Wall Street Journal have seemed to have made their way to south-central Montana, just below Shotgun News [on the newspaper rack] is The Washington Times,” the posting notes.

We see by the photograph that a single copy of our newspaper sells for a rather hefty $2.50 in Billings. Here in Washington, where Pony Express charges aren’t tacked on, the paper still costs a quarter.

More than Mexicans

Introducing legislation to build better intelligence and communication between the U.S. and Mexican governments on border security, Rep. Katherine Harris, Florida Republican, provides these eye-opening figures from the Homeland Security Department:

Approximately 100,000 of those arrested of late along this country’s 2,000-mile southern border were of non-Hispanic descent. As many as 4,000 were from “countries of interest,” such as Somalia, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia — countries that have been associated with or produce terrorist and/or al Qaeda cells.

The number of illegal aliens from “countries of interest” who are not caught crossing the border is anybody’s guess — and everybody’s concern.

Cemetery memorials

We see that Memorial Day isn’t quite over at Arlington National Cemetery, as the Confederate Memorial Committee of the District of Columbia will host its annual ceremony Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Confederate Monument.

“It is fitting that the site of the burial of Confederate soldiers gathered from plots around Washington is on the estate once owned by Robert E. Lee,” committee Chairman Vicki Heilig notes.

Meanwhile, she says, the committee is gearing up to celebrate Lee’s 200th birthday. Born Jan. 19, 1807, at Stratford Hall in Virginia, Lee married Mary Custis, who inherited an Arlington estate — now Arlington National Cemetery — from her father, George Washington Custis, grandson of Martha Washington.

It was after she sent wartime property payment to Washington, rather than appearing in person as required, that the U.S. government confiscated the property and used it as a burial ground for Union soldiers.

Eyer’s secret

As expected, Inside the Beltway readers were humored if not intrigued by our item this week from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which had quoted a doctor as saying that, for men and women alike, “the kind of gradual, sustained exercise a day of hunting offers is far more beneficial than a half-hour in the gym.”

“Hunting is a good idea,” agrees one such reader, Olen Eyer. “I started hunting in 1942 when I was seven and have never been overweight.”

John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin@washingtontimes.com.

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