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Washington Whispers

January 2007


$1 Million to Ride With Wolf

What does it cost to hang with CNN star Wolf Blitzer and act like a cable newsman? How about a cool $1 million? At least that's what Dave Liniger, chair and cofounder of RE/MAX, paid this month for CNN's "Warrior One," the cable's Iraq war Hummer that Blitzer helped auction off at the famous ...

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TAGS:
Blitzer, Wolf
CNN

And You Thought Katherine Harris Lost

She may have given up her House seat to run a losing campaign for the Senate, but that doesn't mean former Florida Rep. Katherine Harris actually has to leave the House.

See, as a former representative, she keeps floor rights and she used them to the hilt Tuesday night before President Bush's State ...

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War Immersion for New Defense Boss

With a second trip to Iraq under his belt, new Defense Secretary Robert Gates has taken an immersion course in the war. Weeks after touring Iraq, he was in Afghanistan last week securing support for the U.S. mission from the allies he met with. But his was no luxury junket. Sure, he ate five-course ...

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TAGS:
Gates, Robert
Afghanistan

It's Beta Vs. VHS for Homeland Czar

Is it a bad sign that Michael Chertoff, secretary of Homeland Security, chose Beta over VHS way back when? He thinks not and even uses that mistake to explain why it's taken so long for some cities to upgrade their communications equipment. "The investment in communications equipment is a very,

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TAGS:
Chertoff, Michael
technology

Out Loud

"Hi, I'm Art Buchwald, and I just

died."

Art Buchwald, the newsman and humorist who died at 81, in a video made for nytimes.com

"When you're delivering a baby, and the baby's getting in trouble ... you know you've got about three minutes to make a decision. ... And that's exactly where we are in ...

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TAGS:
Coburn, Tom

A New Editor for Human Events

Major magazines and daily newspapers aren't the only ones in the media shaking things up as they head into the digital age.

Human Events, the paper of record for conservatives and home to writers like Ann Coulter, is shaking up its masthead. This week they'll name a new editor for the paper and ...

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TAGS:
media

Less Bickering, More Compassion

After five months on the job, President Bush's new faith-based initiative czar, Jay Hein, is moving to shake things up. This week he hosts a "Compassion in Action" roundtable to promote successful programs targeting youth violence. Insiders say it's Hein's first effort to pull the controversial ...

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A Deadline and a Rare Swiss Miss

He's become such a staple at the annual World Economic Forums in Davos, Switzerland, that some are wondering about Bill Clinton's decision to skip this year's late- January confab. We could guess it's because the man who brought us the Clinton Global Initiative doesn't want to share the do-gooder ...

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TAGS:
Clinton, Bill
books

Marking a Sweet Transfer of Power

Maybe it's the cold New England winters that keep political foes so cozy, but whatever you want to call it, the relationship between the top independent-Democrat and Republican on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee is sweet, indeed. So much so that when the Democrats ...

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TAGS:
Lieberman, Joe
Collins, Susan

MSNBC Host: Now Playing in Congress

If he didn't make so much as host of MSNBC's Countdown, Keith Olbermann might be asking some very prominent lawmakers for speechwriting fees. That's because he's becoming the go-to guy for antiwar rhetoric. And, we're told, Olbermann's show-ending "special comments" have been entered into the

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TAGS:
Olbermann, Keith

'08 Reading Tip: Every Other Page

It's not just the rubber chicken platters at fundraisers and the negative ads that make running for president so tough. Declared Democrat Tom Vilsack, the ex-Iowa guv, says it's also hard to keep up with the needed reading, especially of the books supporters shove into his arms at political events.

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TAGS:
Vilsack, Tom
books

An Old Warhorse on the Auction Block

Wolf Blitzer will be on location January 20, but this time he won't be gathering news. His target: moolah, and lots of it. We hear that he'll be on hand in Scottsdale, Ariz., to help auction off the CNN wartime Hummer dubbed "Warrior One" at the famed Barrett-Jackson auction. The 1993 H1 is a ...

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TAGS:
CNN
Blitzer, Wolf

An Old Way of Thinking

Add the new chairman of the Senate GOP caucus, Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, to the list of Republican lawmakers who think that a 1994-style Contract With America method of political messaging is better than the slash-and-burn midterm 2006 election approach.

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TAGS:
Kyl, Jon
Senate

Is the 'Governator' a 'Senatenator'?

There's growing buzz in Washington and California that just re-elected Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger likes this government stuff so much that he's got his eye on the Senate. Specifically, the seat held by Sen. Barbara Boxer, who's up for re-election in 2010 when the Terminator ends his second term.

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TAGS:
Senate
Schwarzenegger, Arnold

The Speaker Gets the Symbolism

As the first-ever woman speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi understands the importance of symbols. And she was full of her trademark touches of style and substance last week as she took the gavel. Three examples: First, she's on a personal enviro-kick, asking her security detail to drive suvs that ...

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TAGS:
Pelosi, Nancy
House of Representatives

The Collapse of the CIA's 'Berlin Wall'

With the nation's spy agencies in full reform mode, the cia has finally torn down its own version of the Berlin Wall. For years, its 24-hour operations center had a wall running down the middle, separating the agency's analysts from its ultrasecret clandestine spooks. Not only did cia Director Gen.

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TAGS:
CIA

Sen. Gobbledygook vs. Gov. Plain Talk

The new head of the National Governors Association, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, doesn't sound as if she likes either top 2008 presidential contender—Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton or Arizona favorite son John McCain. She clearly leans to those in her line of statehouse politics—the job ...

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TAGS:
Napolitano, Janet

Hardball Loves Rocky's Softball

We shouldn't be surprised that Chris Matthews, the jabbing host of msnbc's Hardball, is a fan of the heroic fighter Rocky series. "I saw the first one; I saw the third one. They were the really great ones," he tells us. So what's he think of the latest, Rocky Balboa? He loved it. "There were some ...

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TAGS:
Matthews, Chris
movies

Out Loud

"They have no answer to deal with how badly they have screwed it up."

Sen. Joe Biden, chairman of the Foreign Senate Committee, on the administration's handling of the war

"One of the biggest acts of political malpractice in the history of American politics."

Terry McAuliffe, former Democratic ...

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TAGS:
Kerry, John
McAuliffe, Terry
Bush, Jeb
Iraq war (2003-2011)

Bush 41 Goes Bionic

Chalk up another new hip for George H.W. Bush, the 41st president and dad of the current prez.

We hear that following the Washington funeral for former President Gerald Ford on Tuesday, Bush flew to Rochester, Minn.'s Mayo Clinic, where he underwent surgery the next morning, wrapping up by 7 a.m.

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TAGS:
Bush, George H.W.

King Karl to Stay On

Maybe it was wishful thinking by his foes or insiders looking to move up to a nicer office in the West Wing, but all those rumors that Karl Rove was planning to exit soon appear to be dead, killed by none other than King Karl himself.

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TAGS:
Rove, Karl

Links of the Week

Here's the quiz of the day: Which presidential kid has done well in Hollywood? Well, it's none other than Steven Ford, son of the late president. He did really well on The Young and the Restless but hasn't broken out on the silver screen yet. Check his career at IMDB. How about a former TV star ...

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TAGS:
Pelosi, Nancy