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Washington Whispers

September 2009


Lincoln Was 'The Man' First

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By Nikki Schwab, Washington Whispers

Abraham Lincoln wasn't just honest. He was The Man! long before Shaq and others who claim that title. The recently reopened Ford's Theatre Museum reveals that among the artifacts it may display is a Lincoln inaugural medallion etched with these words: "Thou Art ...

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Lincoln, Abraham

Steven Chu Works to Save Energy

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By Nikki Schwab, Washington Whispers

Just call Steven Chu the Secretary of Saving Energy. The energy boss spent some of his vacation researching ways to conserve electricity. "I spent four or five days on vacation this summer looking into ways to decrease energy use in my home," says Chu. "So far,

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Chu, Steven

CIA Director Panetta Honors Two Spies

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By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers

At the CIA, winning the prized Trailblazer Medal is like getting into the Spook Hall of Fame. And our spies over there tell us that CIA Director Leon Panetta gave out two last Friday, the agency's 62nd birthday. One went to a current secret techie who was ...

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Panetta, Leon
CIA

A New Era of Animal Rights in Washington

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By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers

Furry and feathered creatures are being welcomed back to Washington. Cass Sunstein, just confirmed as an Obama regulatory czar, has argued for more animal rights and new hunting regulations. The president has taken note of farming's impact on animals. And Bruce ...

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Obama administration

Bob Schieffer Votes Ann Curry for NBC Anchor

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By Nikki Schwab, Washington Whispers

NBC News anchor Brian Williams regularly tops the evening news ratings charts and is a young buck to boot. But rival CBS newsman Bob Schieffer can see a day when Williams vacates the seat. And his choice for a replacement: Today's Ann Curry. "I think there's a ...

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ObamaMeter Morphs Into an Obama Report Card

By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers

By now you've noticed that we've made a big change in Whispers. Gone is the ObamaMeter, replaced by John Zogby's weekly report card. This week, Zogby gives the president a solid C for the reasons he spells out below.

We changed the feature to make it easier to ...

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Zogby, John
Obama, Barack

Who Sees Ann Curry Replacing Brian Williams?

By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers

Is Ann Curry taking over for NBC anchor Brian Williams? Which actress does Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia think is a "killer?" And why can't Republican presidential candidates win? These new Washington Whispers—and pollster John Zogby's weekly Obama report ...

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Howard Dean Blasts Baucus Healthcare Bill

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By Nikki Schwab, Washington Whispers

Howard Dean, former Democratic National Committee chairman, minced no words about Sen. Max Baucus's healthcare proposal, unveiled to the public this morning. "The Baucus bill is the worst piece of healthcare legislation I've seen in 30 years," Dean said last ...

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Harry Reid Not Running Scared in Nevada

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By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers

As Republicans drool over new polls that find Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid poised to join former Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle and former House Speaker Tom Foley in the election upset trash heap, the former Nevada boxer isn't even sweating. "The people ...

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Reid, Harry
polls

Michelle Obama's Fall Garden

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By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers

First lady Michelle Obama's spring garden on the South Lawn is, well, pretty wilted. But that doesn't mean she's turning it into mulch. Whispers hears that the staff is planning a fall crop of veggies like cukes and radishes. And it most likely won't end there.

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White House
Obama, Michelle

Joe Biden's Official Picture in Federal Buildings

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By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers

There's been a lot of chatter in federal agencies that the official picture of Vice President Joe Biden has gone AWOL, missing from its place beside President Obama. But there's no conspiracy to hide Joe. It just took a bit longer to get his picture printed, and ...

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Biden, Joe

Fran Drescher in Talks With Fox, MSNBC

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By Nikki Schwab, Washington Whispers

She's a Democrat with snap, but that doesn't mean Hollywood activist Fran Drescher—TV's The Nanny—isn't sweet on Fox News. In giving up her ambition to run for office in New York, she's opened negotiations with Fox for a talk show. And why not? she says with that ...

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AFL-CIO Wants to Fix Labor's Image

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By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers

Richard Trumka, expected to be elected head of the AFL-CIO later this week, knows labor has an image problem. And he's ready to take it on. "Our goal," he says, "is to try to begin to speak again for all workers." Already, he's planning to reach out to blacks,

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AFL-CIO
labor

Twitter Takes Over Capitol Hill Cafeterias

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By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers

They already have a captive audience: the thousands of Capitol Hill staffers who toil in House and Senate offices. But now the congressional cafeterias are doing even more to keep their crowd from stepping outside their workplaces to grab a Hawk 'n' Dove ...

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Twitter

William Rehnquist's Passion for Gambling

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By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers

It was four years ago that former Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist, the court's leading conservative, died of cancer at the age of 80. His obituaries focused on his efforts at achieving unity on court decisions and his role in the 1999 Clinton ...

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Supreme Court

Zogby: Even Democrats Now Down on Obama

Pollster John Zogby regularly updates our ObamaMeter. Each week, Zogby uses his polling, expert analysis, and interaction with major players to come up with a rating of between 1 and 100. The ObamaMeter, however, is not simply a poll-generated job-approval number. Instead, the Washington Whispers ...

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Zogby, John
Obama, Barack

Obama the Subject of History Courses

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By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers

He's been president for only seven months, but Barack Obama is already the subject of college history courses. And there's a common theme on campus. Just like in the election, the nation's first black president is transformational. Take sports: New York ...

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Obama, Barack