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The Sleuth: February 22, 2009 - February 28, 2009

Memo to Former Rep. Goode: Election's Over, You Lost

Anyone who has served six terms in the House of Representatives can take credit for bringing home the bacon to his or constituents. And that's exactly what Republican Virgil Goode - after twelve years in Congress - did this week. Goode has been going around his district, in the Roanoke area of Virginia, touting the hard work he did to win $1.5 million worth of...

By Mary Ann Akers  |  February 27, 2009; 3:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
 
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White House Social Secretary Rogers, On Race and Society

The Washington Post's Lois Romano interviewed White House social secretary Desiree Rogers for a "Voices of Power" video series. The interview will appear in Friday's paper and you can catch the video online. Among the many topics touched upon in the interview was race relations. Romano asked Rogers whether she agreed with Attorney General Eric Holder's "nation of cowards" comment last week in which he...

By Mary Ann Akers  |  February 26, 2009; 9:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Obama Catches Grief for Spending Bill Earmark

UPDATE, 4:45 p.m.: The earmark in question with President Obama's name on it in the omnibus spending bill will no longer bear his name, the White House tells us. Moreover, the president's original request for funding for the educational program - which was made last year when Obama was still a senator - was never intended to be a request for an earmark, a White...

By Mary Ann Akers  |  February 26, 2009; 1:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
 
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Help Choose the Obamas Pooch

As you may have heard, the Obamas have narrowed their dog search. First lady Michelle Obama tells People magazine the new first pooch could be a rescue Portuguese Water Dog, and not necessarily a puppy. "Temperamentally they're supposed to be pretty good," she says. (That information came, no doubt, from Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), who has two Portuguese Water Dogs and has lobbied the Obamas...

By Mary Ann Akers  |  February 25, 2009; 4:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
 
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Behind the Scenes, Obama's Bipartisan Kiss-and-Hug-a-thon

The scene at President Obama's address to Congress Tuesday night was one of kisses, handshakes, hugs and standing bipartisan ovations. Obama shook hands with scores of members of Congress, and kissed and hugged and backslapped others. He kissed Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, hugged Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), laughed with Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), kissed Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and had words with Sen....

By Mary Ann Akers  |  February 25, 2009; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
 
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Obama Makes Rep. Engel 21 for 21 on Handshakes

He did it - again. For the 21st year in a row, Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) shook the president's hand. Only this year, it was a president whose policies he supports for a change. Engel has staked out an aisle seat hours in advance each year since President George H.W. Bush's address to a joint session of Congress in 1989. This morning, he snagged an...

By Mary Ann Akers  |  February 24, 2009; 10:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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Obama and Hillary Bury the Snub Once and For All

There was no snub this year, now that he is president and she is secretary of state. President Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton greeted each other with open arms and kisses at the president's first formal address to Congress tonight. The scene was a world away from that of last year's State of the Union address, where Obama's and Clinton's icy interaction on the floor...

By Mary Ann Akers  |  February 24, 2009; 10:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Rahm's Breaking Bread With GOP Senator Riles Nerves

The bipartisan spirit is really taking hold. Just last night, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel was spotted at Michel Richard's Central restaurant having dinner with Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), one of three Republicans who voted for President Obama's economic stimulus plan. One source called to tell us Collins and Emanuel were having dinner with a third man who decidedly wasn't Sen. Ben Nelson,...

By Mary Ann Akers  |  February 24, 2009; 6:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Ben Bernanke's Stress Test

See how relaxed Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke looks as he testifies before the Senate Banking Committee? (Evan Vucci/Associated Press) If Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke seemed particularly relaxed during his testimony before Congress today, there's a good reason. The Fed chief got an hour-long massage last evening from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Results Gym on Capitol Hill, after stock markets...

By Mary Ann Akers  |  February 24, 2009; 3:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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House Handshakers Already Lined Up for Obama

President Obama's speech to a joint session of Congress tonight won't be an official State of the Union address, but everyone is treating it that way. Including the annual handshake hogs. Those are the members of Congress who, every year, no matter whether they like the president in office or not, stake out aisle seats many hours in advance of the speech so they can...

By Mary Ann Akers  |  February 24, 2009; 11:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Rahm Emanuel Goes to Movies, Picks Bad Seat

White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel's attempt to be somewhat normal and go to the movies this past Saturday turned into a real drama. As Politico's Ben Smith just posted, Rahm picked the worst seat in the house for an evening showing of "The Wrestler" at the E Street Cinema downtown. "The guy sitting next to Rahm -- literally sharing an armrest with him...

By Mary Ann Akers  |  February 23, 2009; 2:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
 
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Jackson Browne v. John McCain - Heading to Trial?

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is not out of the woods on one pending legal matter involving his presidential campaign. A federal district court in Los Angeles over the weekend declined to dismiss singer Jackson Browne's lawsuit against the senator and the Republican National Committee for the unauthorized use of his song "Running On Empty" in a political Web video. Browne, an outspoken liberal, sued McCain,...

By Mary Ann Akers  |  February 23, 2009; 12:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
 
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Obamas Woo Governors With Spinach and Soul

By all accounts, the first state dinner for the new first couple was a feast of favorites. He got his beloved scallops; she got her creamed spinach without the cream - and, more importantly, her Earth, Wind & Fire. "The president loves scallops," divulged first lady Michelle Obama during a pre-dinner tour of the White House kitchen yesterday afternoon. The scallops were served with Wagyu...

By Mary Ann Akers  |  February 23, 2009; 5:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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