An OMB official is said to have briefed agency budget officers in mid-July on how to handle their submissions, but told them not to expect lots of information on paper. The reason, apparently, would be to prevent leaks to the media that could be used against President Bush.
An OMB spokesman said yesterday that Bolten's new version was "just a useful reminder" and that prior administrations had had similar language. "And, if our strategy was to prevent anything from getting out, we obviously failed."
_____In the Loop_____
How to Sweep an Accusation Under the Rug (The Washington Post, Aug 16, 2004)
Enter and Win: What Makes Alan Run? (The Washington Post, Aug 11, 2004)
A Nomination on Hold (The Washington Post, Aug 9, 2004)
English, a Battleground State (The Washington Post, Aug 6, 2004)
Capitol Hell (The Washington Post, Aug 4, 2004)
More In the Loop
There are rumblings that, in keeping with OMB's spirit of vaguery, some agencies are mulling whether to even send a budget request to OMB. However, some of the grousing may be a reflection of the oddity of working on a budget when there's at least a possibility of substantial rework if the White House changes hands.
We urge agency officials to submit on time. After all, whatever they say will "not represent the administration's policy."
Moscow Cracks Down on Gum Chewing
The anti-gum chewing lobbying appears to be gaining worldwide support. First, a U.S. embassy official in Sarajevo recently advised high school students there that Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, who was coming by for a chat, did not like kids chewing in class. So, just before Powell showed, the official said anyone chewing gum should swallow it.
Next thing you know, the Russian media is reporting that our pal, former KGB thug Vladimir Putin, is also anti-gum.
"Putin Warns Athletes Against Chewing During National Anthem," one headline read. The story was that President Putin recently told his National Olympic Committee chief, Leonid Tyagachov, that he wants the Russian athletes to sing the national anthem without chewing gum or smiling stupidly, Russian press accounts report. Tyagachev apparently passed the word to the Olympic soccer team coach, who is said to have told his players to be more serious when the national anthem is being played.
Does the gum lobby have a Moscow branch?