- The Washington Times - Monday, October 30, 2006

Waiting to move

Stumping over the weekend, President Bush talked about the pundits and politicians who think the Nov. 7 midterm election “is already over.”

He repeated his press conference line of last week that some Democratic candidates for Congress are already “measuring the drapes for their new offices.”

And now Mr. Bush has brought up his own tight race for re-election in 2004 against Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry, who was all but crowned president in the weeks before the balloting. In fact, just hours before the polls closed, highly regarded pollster John Zogby — who today is warning Democrats not to count their chickens — predicted that Mr. Kerry would take the White House by a margin of 311 electoral votes to 213.

“You might remember back in 2004,” Mr. Bush recalled, “they were picking out new offices in the West Wing. Things turned out a little differently on Election Day. The movers never got the phone call.”

‘Without a doubt’

“After traveling across the country and hearing the hopes and concerns of so many people in so many places, I can say without a doubt that this country is ready for change — and that on Nov. 7, we’re going to win.”

Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, referring over the weekend to the Democrats’ chances of victory a week from Tuesday, saying “People are sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

Football season

The late Redskins coach George Allen would have been proud to see his embattled son, Virginia Republican Sen. George Allen, picking up a football and unwinding, if only for a few minutes before a nail-biter of an Election Day.

“He even threw some footballs,” Barbara Auchter of MerryMead Farm in Washington, Va., tells Inside the Beltway of Saturday’s barbecue and pony ride for the candidate, hosted by Jim and DemarisMiller at the couple’s Persimmon Ridge Farm in Rappahannock County.

Mr. Miller was director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Reagan.

And not to overload the Miller family Web site, but to see an amazing photograph of Virginia’s first-ever miniature black and white “panda cattle” — also named Demaris — born at Persimmon Ridge this past winter, click www.demaris miller.com.

Hat preservation

President Bush “rolled” to Andrews Air Force Base via motorcade Saturday morning, even though he usually flies there aboard the Marine One helicopter.

“A garden tour was under way on the South Lawn,” explains the White House pool report.

Scare the devils

It’s not surprising in these politically correct times that some parents won’t allow their little munchkins to be frightened on Halloween.

(Not only did my late mother enjoy frightening me on Halloween, she went so far as to deliver me on the spooky holiday.)

Appearing over the weekend at a public library in Florida, first lady Laura Bush encouraged parents to read more to their children, and “to remember that you can even read scary books at Halloween, that there are other things you can do besides eat candy with your kids … . ”

Pardon, Mr. Bush?

Our item last Friday headlined “Lead souvenir,” about a pair of U.S. Border Patrol agents — Ignacio Ramos and Juan Compean — being sent to prison after they failed to report that one of them shot a fleeing drug-smuggling suspect in the buttocks, caused considerable outcry among our readers.

“Tell me this isn’t so, please,” writes Roger Ross of Tomahawk, Wis. “What is wrong with our government? Wait, don’t answer that, I don’t have enough time.”

Karen L. Bune, adjunct professor of victimology in the Criminal Justice Department of George Mason University, writes the Beltway that the prosecution, conviction and sentencing of the federal agents “is outrageous.”

“Two law-enforcement professionals who were doing their jobs to enforce border security became victimized by an illegal alien’s criminal behavior and an individual who had no ‘rights’ whatsoever in the United States,” she writes.

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

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