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Archive: February 2008

D.C. Madam Announces Her Own Trial

The "D.C. Madam" who ensnared Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) in her den of iniquity, so to speak, is finally getting her say in court. Unfortunately for her, a full trial is scheduled for April 7th in U.S. District Court in Washington, according to an email the so-called madam, Deborah Jeane Palfrey, circulated to her email list Thursday. The trial, it should be noted, has nothing...

By Mary Ann Akers | February 28, 2008; 5:39 PM ET | Comments (31)

Democrats to Tell Kids: 'Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah.'

Woops, an errant email advisory sent to House Democratic members by Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office had some unique suggested talking points for the upcoming "Read Across America" day. Basically, it said, just tell the kids and their teachers: blah, blah, blah. In the email, the speaker's press office advised other Democrats to visit an elementary school in their districts on March 3 and talk about...

By Mary Ann Akers | February 28, 2008; 3:23 PM ET | Comments (36)

It's Elementary, My Dear for GOP House Candidate

Wow, the criteria for becoming a member of Congress are getting tougher all the time. A Republican House candidate from Missouri is sounding as if he thinks he'll have a leg up on the competition to replace retiring Rep. Kenny Hulshof (R-Mo.), who's running for governor -- and not just because of his rushing yards record. Brock Olivo, a former star running back for the...

By Mary Ann Akers | February 28, 2008; 9:26 AM ET | Comments (29)

Debbie Dingell: Angst-ridden Superdelegate and Congressional Spouse

If angst of a superdelegate were a portrait, it would look just like Debbie Dingell, the wife of Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Debbie Dingell, Washington insider ... and superdelegate. (Scott Garfield for The Washington Post) Dingell the superdelegate (the blonde one, not the bald one; they're both superdelegates) is losing sleep over the political mess she...

By Mary Ann Akers | February 27, 2008; 6:35 PM ET | Comments (59)

Sen. Warner, 81, Off the DL, But Not 91-year-old Byrd

While octogenarian Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) was released from the hospital Wednesday and immediately went back to work, nonagenarian Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) remains at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington after falling at his home late Monday night. Byrd, 90, the oldest and longest serving member of the Senate -- who, as president pro tempore of the Senate, is third in line of...

By Mary Ann Akers | February 27, 2008; 4:35 PM ET | Comments (108)

Attention, Parents: Larry Craig is Seeking Interns

If you've ever wanted to be a fly on the wall in Sen. Larry Craig's office, now's your chance. The Idaho Republican has just announced he's taking applications for summer internships in his Capitol Hill office, which has been the brunt of gossip and many a colorful "wide stance" joke ever since last summer, when Craig was busted in a Minneapolis-St. Paul airport men's room...

By Mary Ann Akers | February 26, 2008; 6:35 PM ET | Comments (31)

Lobbyist's Condo Community Feels McCain's Pain

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) hasn't been battling the press alone this week. The lobbyist reported to have had a cozy relationship with the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, Vicki Iseman, had hordes of cameras outside both her office and townhouse Thursday. The condo community in Alexandria, Va., where she lives felt the brunt of it all. The condo association's assistant community manager sent an email to...

By Mary Ann Akers | February 22, 2008; 11:54 AM ET | Comments (0)

McCain's Lobbyist Problem Presents Fundraising Tool

Borrowing a page from Hillary Rodham Clinton's playbook, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is using his lobbyist controversy to raise money. Just as the Clinton campaign used last summer's cleavage controversy to rally empathetic supporters to dig in their pockets, the McCain camp is doing the same in its attack against the New York Times, which was first to publish this week's explosive story about McCain's...

By Mary Ann Akers | February 21, 2008; 2:50 PM ET | Comments (43)

No Celebrating For Cuban-Americans in Congress

Far from rejoicing, hard-line Cuban-Americans in Congress say Cuba has replaced one dictator with another. There's no popping of champagne corks over the news that Fidel Castro has stepped aside and will likely be replaced by his brother, Raul Castro. "There's really no reason to celebrate yet," says Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), who represents Miami. "Fidel and Raul are interchangeable thugs." In fact, Castro's...

By Mary Ann Akers | February 20, 2008; 6:05 PM ET | Comments (0)

The New SwiftBoating: Swift Kids for Truth

In the "just because it's funny" category, we thought we'd bring you today's entertainment courtesy of Swift Kids for Truth, whose main target is Hillary Rodham Clinton. A spoof on the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth group that wrecked John Kerry's 2004 presidential quest, Swift Kids for Truth is out to get something far different: laughs. Unlike the bitter old cronies they spoof, the...

By Mary Ann Akers | February 19, 2008; 2:21 PM ET | Comments (51)

Meltdown on House Floor Disrupts Lantos Memorial Service

The House had a meltdown today in the middle of the memorial service for the late Rep. Tom Lantos, a Holocaust survivor who was chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The service, in the Capitol's historic Statuary Hall, was disrupted when a Republican House member unexpectedly called for a procedural vote. And that's when all hell broke loose. House Democrats were furious, charging the...

By Mary Ann Akers | February 14, 2008; 5:25 PM ET | Comments (59)

John Shadegg Retiring to Find Better Coffee

As the Sleuth and her colleague Paul Kane reported in today's Washington Post, Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.) gave us the inside skinny on why he announced his retirement this week: it's the coffee. Shadegg is bummed out that the House-side cafeteria where he has routinely gotten his afternoon coffee for 14 years no longer sells Starbucks. "I can take a lot in the minority: losing...

By Mary Ann Akers | February 14, 2008; 3:52 PM ET | Comments (0)

Rahm Emanuel Cleans Up His Act

Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) stole the show at last night's annual congressional dinner, where lawmakers and the ink-stained wretches and fake-bake tanned TV reporters who cover them make nice for a night. Known for cursing about as freely as one breathes, Emanuel refrained from dropping his signature F bombs during his comedy performance. (Though he was overheard telling one reporter at a reception before the...

By Mary Ann Akers | February 14, 2008; 9:51 AM ET | Comments (39)

Jewish Rep. Cohen Battles Antisemitism and Racism In Re-Election

If you thought race was an uncomfortable issue in the Democratic presidential primary, wait 'til you get a load of what's going on in the Democratic primary in the Memphis area's 9th District of Tennessee, where a shockingly worded flier paints Jewish Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) as a Jesus hater. "Memphis Congressman Steve Cohen and the JEWS HATE Jesus," blares the flier, which Cohen himself...

By Mary Ann Akers | February 13, 2008; 2:07 PM ET | Comments (120)

Tom Cole's Downsizing of Obama

It's no secret that Republicans feel they'd have a better shot of taking out the baggage-laden Hillary Rodham Clinton in the general presidential election than her fresh-faced primary opponent, Barack Obama. But the spin is getting more interesting all the time, especially as one new poll shows Obama -- who fares better among independent voters than Clinton -- with a stronger chance to defeat John...

By Mary Ann Akers | February 12, 2008; 2:15 PM ET | Comments (132)

John Kerry's SUV Hybrid Sitting On Used Car Lot

If you're in the market for a hybrid SUV once owned by a famous, environmentally friendly politician, Sen. John Kerry's (D-Mass.) 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid is for sale for about $26,000. Catholic University graduate student Julie Egermayer found out about Kerry's SUV when she called Koons Ford auto dealership in Falls Church, VA., over the weekend. Egermayer's car was totaled recently in a fire in...

By Mary Ann Akers | February 11, 2008; 6:51 PM ET | Comments (0)

Roger Clemens, To Be Or Not to B12

Roger Clemens still has a thing for vitamin B12. The legendary (and embattled) pitcher loaded up on B12 -- in the form of a big beef sandwich -- the night before his first day of meetings this week with members of Congress who are investigating drug use in Major League Baseball. On Tuesday night, Clemens and his legal and public relations team headed to the...

By Mary Ann Akers | February 8, 2008; 5:03 PM ET | Comments (14)

Harry Reid, Living in Orwell's 1984

He may officially be the Senate majority leader, but Harry Reid (D-Nev.) feels like a powerless rebel trapped in Big Brother's totalitarian world. At least that's the way he portrays himself this week. And in Reid's dark world, Big Brother, the supreme ruler of George Orwell's novel "1984," is President Bush. "The Bush administration is Orwellian. Orwellian," Reid ranted on the Senate floor Tuesday, accusing...

By Mary Ann Akers | February 6, 2008; 7:00 PM ET | Comments (104)

Rep. Lowey Votes From Her Hospital Bed

Super Tuesday turned out to be the most heart-racing presidential primary of Rep. Nita Lowey's (D-N.Y.) career. But even a "minor coronary incident," as her office describes it, didn't prevent the congresswoman from casting a vote for her gal Hillary Rodham Clinton. Lowey, 70, was released this morning from a Manhattan hospital where she was treated after collapsing at a rally for Clinton in White...

By Eric Pianin | February 6, 2008; 4:47 PM ET | Comments (3)

Pelosi Skips Calif. Primary to Work the NASCAR Vote

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has remained neutral in the Democratic presidential primary. So much so that instead of spending Super Tuesday getting out the vote in her state's crucial primary contest or capitalizing off all the press attention -- she stayed in Washington to schmooze with a NASCAR driver. Pelosi, who voted on an absentee ballot last week (for whom, we know not), hosted...

By Mary Ann Akers | February 5, 2008; 5:08 PM ET | Comments (207)

A Clue to How Hillary Clinton Found Her Voice

After her big upset in New Hampshire last month, Hillary Rodham Clinton famously declared, "I found my own voice." What she also found was her own voice coach. According to Clinton campaign's latest federal campaign disclosure report, the Democratic presidential candidate paid $7,500 to voice and drama coach extraordinaire Michael Sheehan in October. Sheehan, a graduate of the Yale School of Drama who once was...

By Mary Ann Akers | February 4, 2008; 5:38 PM ET | Comments (66)

No Mea Culpa From Bill Clinton

UPDATE, 4:30 p.m. ET: It looks like former president Bill Clinton will not have to make an apology to the congregations of black churches in South Central Los Angeles after all. At least not in writing. Our posting on Bill Clinton's "mea culpa" tour (as we worded it) to African Americans in L.A. this weekend (ahead of Tuesday's hotly contested California primary) apparently caused much...

By Mary Ann Akers | February 2, 2008; 4:40 PM ET | Comments (501)

 

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