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Washington Whispers

April 2007


Setting His Sights on Another Stage

We hear that correspondent Bob Franken wasn't happy when cnn didn't extend his contract. And now insiders aren't happy with his goodbye note. It takes a shot at cable star Wolf Blitzer and ends with a promise to take his show to "another stage." What happened? The star reporter wanted to cover the ...

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TAGS:
CNN
journalism

More Fights about the End of Life

Antiabortion conservatives, burned in the polls when they tried to stop the family of Florida's Terri Schiavo from removing her feeding tube, are planning another assault. But this time it won't be targeted on a single person. Instead, conservative lawmakers and activists say they'll focus on ...

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TAGS:
Brownback, Sam

He's Still Plain Old Howard

Success hasn't gone to Howard Dean's head, despite the fundraising and political victories the Democratic Party chairman has collected in the past year. We hear that he still tries to get home to Vermont every weekend and still lives in a hotel near Democratic Party hq when in town. He likes to eat ...

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TAGS:
Dean, Howard

In Rahm's Gift Bag: Dead Fish and Eli's

When you hail from the town Al Capone made famous and play politics as aggressively as Chicago's old Mayor Richard Daley, then you've got to have a bag of tricks and treats for most every occasion. That's certainly the case of Rep. Rahm Emanuel, the Democratic dynamo who gets lots of credit for ...

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TAGS:
Emanuel, Rahm

Who Says Jewelers Have to Spell?

If there's one Washington-based charity the socialites are flocking to, it's Innocents At Risk, a group that aims to stop the trafficking of women and children for sexual purposes. Just last month, the group held a benefit that drew administration officials and lawmakers who in return were given ...

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Sign of the Times: Bush's Buckler

The opening of the reconstructed Mount Vernon distillery where George Washington first stewed his hooch got us wondering about the history between politicians and their booze. And it seems to be a rich one. With the help of Willard Intercontinental Hotel bar manager Jim Hewes and Ben Jenkins of the ...

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TAGS:
food and drink

Retirement Living, Minus Shuffleboard

JOE CIARDIELLO FOR USN&WRHe was 66 and just plain bored after over 40 years with NBC and the Today Show. "I'd covered four presidents," says John Palmer, "and there's a lot of 'Been there, done that' to it." So in 2002, "I went to [Washington Bureau Chief] Tim Russert and said, 'I just don't want ...

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TAGS:
journalism

Many Pols Ignore 'Click It or Ticket'

New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine isn't the only politician who shuns seat belts. He's just the unlucky one who got caught violating his state's seat belt law when he suffered severe injuries as his SUV crashed while doing 91 MPH. We're told that seat belts aren't a priority even at the top, though

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TAGS:
Corzine, Jon

Just Flapping in the Capitol Breeze

Before forking over the $13 to $22 for one of those U.S. flags ceremoniously flown over the Capitol, consider this: Witnesses say it's being mishandled. House staffers, who can see the operation from their offices, say that the flags are being attached only by the top ring, not properly at the top ...

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TAGS:
House of Representatives

Washington Is Abuzz About Bees

Turns out that Washington isn't faking its concerns about the plight of honey bees, the little pollinators besieged by killer mites and a weird syndrome that has the hives simply vanishing. Leading the charge in Congress is California Rep. Dennis Cardoza, an agriculture subcommittee chairman who ...

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TAGS:
bees

A Box of Thin Mints Plus a New Pen Pal

National Volunteer Week found Labor Secretary Elaine Chao at Baltimore-Washington International Airport helping the USO hand out care packages to troops headed overseas. They were very appreciative, especially when they saw Girl Scout cookies, packs of gum, and playing cards in the bag. Chao, a ...

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Tommy Thompson Joins MySpace

In a sure sign he's serious about running for president, Tommy Thompson has created his MySpace page. It's really not much more, though, than a simple biography and his tiny number of friends–521 and slowly growing–referring to him as "Tommy Gun."

Especially bad: Under his picture there are the ...

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TAGS:
Thompson, Tommy
internet

Not a Bad War Book ... for a Girl

JOE CIARDIELLO FOR USN&WRShe has been to Iraq often—so many times that her observations about the war have been solicited by military leaders. She covers the president, who is also a big fan of her war coverage. And she has reported from some of the world's hottest hot spots. But it wasn't until ...

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TAGS:
journalism
Iraq war (2003-2011)
books

Talk of the Town: Giuliani-Thompson

You've probably seen the "Clinton-Obama '08" bumper sticker proclaiming the Democratic dream team. Now on the GOP side we're hearing lots of buzz in political circles and among Republican congressional leaders of a Rudy Giuliani–Fred Thompson ticket. But Thompson isn't keen on riding shotgun yet.

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TAGS:
Giuliani, Rudolph
Thompson, Fred

Are We Already Operating in Iran?

He says he was only citing press reports, but Jimmy Carter's former national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, is drawing attention to claims that American military commandos are operating in Iran, possibly as terrorists targeting buses. "There are some legitimate questions that [Iran] may be ...

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TAGS:
Iran
Brzezinski, Zbigniew

Arnold as the Future Henry K?

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's play to push up the state's presidential primary to give it a bigger say in the 2008 race, coupled with his aggressive moves to build a strong legacy, has Washington wondering about his next act. Constitutionally barred from being president, the Austrian-born ...

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TAGS:
Schwarzenegger, Arnold

Only in Arkansas: Lawyer McDougal

Hollywood might have to delay work on that movie bio we recently noted on Whitewater figure Susan McDougal. She's trying to change the ending. We've confirmed that the former jailbird wants to be a lawyer. She's applied to the University of Arkansas–Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law.

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No Sissy Sauce for Pentagon's Gates

Defense Secretary Bob Gates reveals that he's a strict traditionalist when it comes to barbecue. "I'm pork ribs, period," he tells radio's Laura Ingraham. Gates also says that he hasn't found any barbecue he likes in Washington, certainly nothing like that served in his old haunt, Rudy's, near ...

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TAGS:
Gates, Robert

Even Ambassadors Get Ticketed

There were Cherry Blossom princesses and tables full of sushi and tempura. But when the ambassador of Japan hosted a reception celebrating Washington's Cherry Blossom Festival, he had something else on his mind: dollars and yen. "Let's talk about money," opened Ambassador Ryozo Kato with a joke.

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TAGS:
Washington, DC

Out Loud

"These bastards went after me. They got me."

Don Imus, the radio personality dumped from CBS Radio and MSNBC after foes called for his dismissal for slurring the Rutgers University women's basketball team

"Arnold to Michigan: Get off your butts and join us."

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, in a ...

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TAGS:
Imus, Don
Schwarzenegger, Arnold
Pelosi, Nancy

Hagel: Writing, Running, or Both

In other book news, Nebraska senator and Iraq war foe Chuck Hagel doesn't know whether he's running for president yet, but the Republican's current literary project certainly points in that direction. We've learned that Hagel is hard at work on America: The Next Chapter, a collection of ...

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TAGS:
Hagel, Chuck
books

Who Was First to Broach This Bridge?

Did Sen. Barack Obama überstrategist David Axelrod coin Bill Clinton's famous phrase "bridge to the 21st century"? A recent Axelrod profile in the New York Times Magazine credits him with introducing it "into the political vernacular" while advising President Clinton's 1996 campaign, but a clip ...

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TAGS:
Axelrod, David
Clinton, Bill

The Chairman Does Tae Kwon Do

Some friendly advice for those called to testify before the House Armed Services Committee: Don't get surly with Chairman Ike Skelton. The gentlemanly and seemingly mild-mannered Missouri Democrat is a tae kwon do aficionado who can break three boards with one side kick.

By Dan Gilgoff With Suzi ...

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TAGS:
Skelton, Ike

More Turnover at a Big Donor Shop

The Democracy Alliance, a cadre of superwealthy Democratic fundraisers that bankrolls such major beltway groups as the Center for American Progress, is doing a fine job maintaining its very low profile, but we've learned that it's experiencing another in a series of shake-ups at the top. Founded ...

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TAGS:
campaigns

Spinning for a Tough New Crowd

Former White House Press Secretary Joe Lockhart is telling stories again, but this time it's not to the press corps. Lockhart, who flacked for President Clinton, will deliver his true-life tale "Impeachment Day" next week at Washington's historic Lincoln Theatre as part of a night of storytelling ...

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On Location With Politics on His Mind

In D.C. to shoot a sequel to National Treasure, actor Jon Voight says politics are very much on his mind at the moment, particularly after wrapping up work on the forthcoming flick September Dawn. It's the true story of an 1857 massacre of California-bound pioneers by a group of Mormon zealots.

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In Arkansas, Earth Day With a Twist

We were somewhat puzzled by a recent invitation from the William J. Clinton Foundation for an Earth Day coffee at the University of Arkansas's Clinton School of Public Service, which advertises that coffee would be followed by a mysterious "special announcement." But we've cracked some of the ...

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TAGS:
Clinton, Bill
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