Recently in U.S. Congress Category

So we've decided to bring back our "O Say Can You Sing" column, where we feature celebrities' and other notables' performances of The Star Spangled Banner.

Up this week is Ayla Brown, daughter of new U.S. Senator Scott Brown, former American Idol contestant, and current b-baller for Boston College. 

Here she sings our National Anthem with the Boston Pops at a 2008 July 4th celebration.

Rate her pipes in the comments.

 

The House said "Oh, hells no" to coughing up $700 billion to bail out Wall Street.  The bill would have given the U.S. Trasury a $700 billion line of credit to buy the bad mortages, securities and financial assets that are undermining the security of the U.S. economy and threatening to send the country into a recession. 

The final vote was 228 to 205 against passing the bill.  Members of both parties voted across parties lines.

When it started looking like the bill wouldn't pass, the Dow fell by as much as 700 points.  If you don't follow the stock market, all you need to know is that's not a good thing.

U.S. Senators better prepare for an avalanche! Oprah Winfrey asked her millions of viewers today to call, write and email their U.S. Senators and tell them to "vote yes on Senate Bill 1738--The PROTECT Our Children Act."  If passed, The PROTECT Our Children Act will fund additional law enforcement support to catch child sexual predators.

"We need to put pressure on our U.S. Senators to bring [the Act] to the floor," Oprah said on her show. "And we don't want them to just bring it to the floor; We want them to pass it."

Oprah has posted the contact information for every U.S. Senator on her website, along with a pre-written letter in support of the bill that viewers can just sign and send to their senators.  You can visit Oprah's web page dedicated to passing the bill right here.

Oprah, known for her philanthropic efforts as well as her media success, is a long-time supporter of child advocacy causes.

 


 

 

 

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Barack Obama and John Kerry in Charleston, SC. Photo credit: AP.

The Dems' 2004 presidential nominee, Sen. John Kerry, endorsed Barack Obama for president today at a rally in Charleston, SC.  Kerry said that "Barack Obama can help our country turn the page and get America moving by uniting and ending the division we have faced."  By endorsing Obama, Kerry dissed John Edwards, who was his running mate in '04.

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Quarterback Tom Brady of the New England Patriots. Photo credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images.

The fact that only 40% of Americans will vote doesn't get that much attention.  But when only 40% of Americans will see the Patriots play the Giants?!  Well, then all hell's gonna break loose.

The drama started when football fans found out that the NFL planned to broadcast the New England/New York game exclusively on the NFL Channel, which is available in only 40% of American homes. This is an important game for football fans because, rivalries aside, this game will determine whether New England will make history as the first team to go 16-0 in the regular season.  Who cares? Yeah, exactly. 

Anyway, the NFL hoped that fan anger would force Time Warner and Comcast to include the NFL Channel in basic cable packages, so all fans could see the games.  The NFL had been in a lengthy catfight with cable companies about this, and hoped that added fan pressure would help them get their way. 

Unfortunately for fans though, just like in the Story of Zax, neither side would budge.  So football fans seriously starting tripping that they might miss the game. Then a whole lot of them who don't even vote found out what a senator was and started calling their's to complain. 

Enter Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT). [Insert Superman theme song here.]

Sen. Kerry pressured the cable companies and the NFL to work things out.  Sen. Specter and Sen Leahy sent the NFL a letter threatening to revisit their anti-trust exception if the game was not more widely broadcast.  Of notable mention is that the good senators worked on this constituent matter through their Christmas vacation.  [Overheard in hell: "Mmm, these frostie pops sure are good!"]

This story has a happy ending: the game will now be simulcast on the NFL Channel, CBS and NBC, and all of the American people can watch on Saturday.  This will be the first 3 network simulcast of a NFL game in history, and the first simulcast of a NFL game since the 1967 inaugural Superbowl following the merger of the National Football League and the American Football League.

Who cares?  Yeah, exactly. 

 

Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) was on The View Tuesday morning to talk about abortion, the economy, immigration, China and his race for the White House.  The highlight of the interview?  When co-host Joy Behar said to him, "Now you're probably not going to win, and you know that, right?"  Yes- she went there.  Watch below in two parts (part 1 top, part 2 bottom).

 

George Clooney insists that he's never getting married.  Whatever. Aren't you the girl who will change his mind and totally sweep him off his feet? Of course you are!  So start planning that wedding, girl!

(And for the record, you are so not a stalker.  This is love.)

Marriage plans create many questions.  Like, who will pay all of the bills? (Duh, him!) Which BFF will be your maid of honor? Can you find white Manolos that don't hurt?  And will anyone snicker or text ROFLMAO to their friends when they see you in white?  These questions are easily answered. But -

To change your name or not change your name, that is the (really tough) question.  

Be traditional and take his name?  Independent and keep your name? Hyphenate? Pull a Bennifer and create a combo name? 

Hard questions.  Here's how Congresswoman Mary Bono and other women in politics answered them. 

 

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Just like mean girls, members of Congress roll in cliques. Congressional clique members even save seats for each other, eighth grade lunchroom style. 

“It’s like church,” said Rep. James P. McGovern (D-MA). “Everyone sits in the same chairs — and if anyone sits in our chairs, we give them a dirty look and they leave.”  

That's how he acts in church?! So the U.S. Capitol is actually a junior high school, and members of congress think it's okay to give people dirty looks in church. (Is that a new strategy to reach faithful voters? Giving 'em dirty looks?) Good to know that your Congressional representative is not any more mature - or any more well behaved on Sunday - than a very mean girl. Nice.  [Politico]

Video below shows what it's like to be in Congress:

 

According to CBS News, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, is investigating 6 televangelist ministries for financial misconduct.  He reportedly wants to make sure that the ministries are spending their flock's money in compliance with the requirements of their IRS tax exempt status, rather than using it to pay for the evangelists' personal lavish lifestyles. The six ministries under investigation are led by Paula White, Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, Eddie Long, Kenneth Copeland and Benny Hinn.

 

Barack Obama participated in a Saturday Night Live skit this past Saturday to poke fun of rival Hillary Clinton.  Barack and the other Democratic candidates have accused Hillary of being two-faced, and Barack drove this point home during his SNL appearance.

In the skit, a tall, thin man approaches "Hillary" (Amy Poehler) at her Halloween party, wearing a Barack Obama mask.  Hillary wants to see who came to the party as Barack, so he takes the mask off.  And it's... [drumroll please!]... Barack himself!

Hillary: So you came as yourself?

Barack: Well you know, Hillary, I have nothing to hide. I enjoy being myself. I'm not going to change who I am just because it is Halloween.

The audience laughed, but you know Hillary wasn't amused.  She's going to stomp Barack's a**. Not necessarily in the primary, but if she catches his skinny tail alone in the dark halls of Congress.

See also:

Obama's shots go on, a surprise for Clinton on SNL [Baltimore Sun]

Live from New York, it's Sen Barack Obama [Chicago Sun-Times]

Anchor has nothing to fear from SNL gig [Chicago Sun-Times]

Elizabeth Edwards often has made the excuse that her husband, Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, doesn't get as much media attention as rivals Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton because he's not black or a woman.  "We can't make John black, we can't make him a woman," she said. [Mmm... no, but like Obama and Clinton, you could come up with better campaign strategies to get up in the polls, make your campaign more interesting and attract more media attention.]

The Washington Post examines whether John and Elizabeth Edwards are trying to appeal to people who may not want to vote for Barack Obama because he's African American or Hillary Clinton because she's a woman.

 

 

Carla Babb, a journalism student at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, wondered why John Edwards based his poverty focused presidential campaign in an affluent Chapel Hill neighborhood, rather than in a low income community that would better reflect his message about ending poverty.  She videotaped interviews with Chapel Hill residents about the issue (they were split), and the video was later posted on the University's website and YouTube. 


The video got few hits and went virtually unnoticed, until the Edwards campaign tried to get it taken off the web.    Babb said, "I was completely shocked to get a phone call from the Edwards campaign saying that the story was straight from the Republican Party and that we needed to take it down."  The campaign also threatened that leaving the video up would harm the Edwards' relationship with UNC (ie., no more alumni contributions from us, Tar Heels!).  Both John and Elizabeth Edwards attended law school at the University.

See also:

Edwards campaign tried to stop student's TV story, professor says [AP]

Edwards tussles with UNC j-school [The News and Observer]

 

 

Hillary Clinton has earned the support of the majority of African American female voters, but she wants an even bigger piece of that pie.  She sat down with Isabel Wilkerson of Essence, a magazine that targets African American women, for an interview published in the current issue (November 2007).  Here are a few exerpts of what she had to say about her marriage and family:

On her marriage:
“I know the truth of my life and of my marriage, my relationship and partnership, my deep abiding friendship with my husband. It's been enormously supportive to me through most of my life. Now obviously we've had challenges as everybody in the world knows. “But I never doubted that it was a marriage worth investing in even in the midst of those challenges,” she says, “and I'm really happy that I made that decision. Again, not a decision for everybody. And I think it's so important for women to stand up for the right of women to make a decision that is best for them.”

On the most romantic thing her husband has done for her: She hesitates for longer than is comfortable, then she says, “Oh he's so romantic. He's always bringing me back things from his trips. He brought me a giant wooden giraffe from Africa. Oh, he bought me this watch,” she said, holding out her left wrist to show off a Chanel watch, its bracelet made of white cubes shaped like elegant dentures, if you can picture it. “I had dental surgery, and he said it reminded him of teeth.”

Outside of work, what her proudest moment is:
“Chelsea,” she says without hesitation.

Pick up Essence to read the entire interview.

Those who say African Americans base their voting decisions solely on race are totally wrong.

Hillary Clinton has widened her democratic primary lead over rival Barack Obama (who, we all know, happens to be African American), thanks to the support of African American registered democrats.  A recent CNN poll shows that African Americans support Clinton over Obama 57% to 33%.  Clinton takes a greater lead among African American women, who support her over Obama 68% to 25%.  African American men are split betwen the two candidates, with 42% favoring Clinton and 46% favoring Obama.

Clinton has also secured the endorsements of two prominent African American congressmen , Rep. Charles Rangel and Rep. John Lewis.

 

 

 

 

Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS)

According to USA Today, Sen. Sam Brownback (Who?) is expected to drop out of the presidential race tomorrow.  Brownback was running as a conservative Republican and tried unsuccessfully gain the support of the Christian right (Wait! Was he in a movie? Brownback Mountain or something?).  He is dropping out of the race, because he was unable to raise enough money (Well, duh.  Nobody knows who he is.). Brownback represents Kansas in the U.S. Senate.

 

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Family portrait? Vice President Dick Cheney poses with his cousins, the Obamas.  Reuters Photo.

Lynne Cheney told MSNBC today that she discovered that her husband, Dick Cheney, and Barack Obama are 8th cousins

 

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Sen. Larry Craig. AP Photo.

In an interview with Matt Lauer, Sen. Larry Craig called out frienemy Gov. Mitt Romney (MA) for not supporting him after he was arrested in a public men's room for soliciting sex from an undercover cop. Sen. Craig had served as Senate liason for Romney's presidential campaign, but he resigned when the news of his sex scandal broke.  At that time, Romney said that he was disappointed in Craig's "disgusting" behavior

"I was very proud of my association with Mitt Romney," Craig told Lauer. "... And he not only threw me under his campaign bus, he backed up and ran over me again."

Hmm.  We beg to differ.  We would say that Romney threw Craig under his campaign bus, backed up, ran over him again, hopped out of the bus to check to see if Craig was really dead, got in a few licks while Craig lay flattened on the ground, then backed up his bus again a few times just to make extra sure that Craig was super dead. 

Alas, Romney's efforts failed, and Craig lived to file an appeal today to overturn a judge's refusal to allow him to withdraw his guilty plea in the case. And, of course, bring about even more negative publicity to the Republican party by doing an interview with Matt Lauer about the scandal, which will air Tueday night on Matt Lauer Reports and Wednesday morning on Today

 

Viva La Cure!  Sport this fun and foxy Juicy Couture tee to remind everyone you know that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

With more than 217,440 individuals diagnosed with breast cancer each year, it is extremely important that we continue to raise money and awareness.  So call a couple of friends and participate in some National Breast Cancer Awareness Month activities together.  And while you're at it, you might as well remind your congressional representatives to support efforts to find a cure.

Viva La Cure!

This entry was posted in memory of Rep. Jo Ann Davis and in support of Elizabeth Edwards.

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Meghan Will, Cindy McCain, Meghan McCain and La-toria Haven atend a Young Professionals event for Sen. John McCain in Arizona.  Photo from mccainblogette.com.

John McCain's daughter Meghan has a blog called McCain Blogette. [Wonkette.com]

See also:

McCain's Daughter Aims To Be Next Wonkette [The Huffington Post]

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Rep. Jo Ann Davis poses with the American Cancer Society Action Network.

Polichicks, we have lost one of our own.

U.S. Congresswoman Jo Ann Davis (R-VA) died Saturday morning after battling breast cancer.  She became Virginia's first Republican woman elected to Congress in 2000, and she served on the House Armed Services Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee.

President Bush said in a statement, "Her determination to fight the disease is an inspiration to all of us."

 

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AP Photo

Sen. Larry Craig has announced that he has no plans to resign, because he still has some very important work to finish in the senate.  He's probably redecorating the senate men's room right now.

A judge has rejected Sen. Larry Craig's motion to withraw his guilty plea, and he just may have to resign as he said he would.  Sen. Craig (R-ID) was arrested for soliciting sex from an undercover police officer in a Minneapolis public restroom stall and pled guilty to disorderly conduct for the infraction.  Initially, he said that he would resign from the U.S.Senate because of the controversy, but he later changed his mind and said that he would resign only if he was unable to withdraw his guilty plea.

This morning, President Bush vetoed legislation, supported by both parties, that would have provided health insurance for children from low income families.

"Today the president showed the nation his true priorities: $700 billion for a war in Iraq, but no health care for low-income kids; $50 billion in subsidies for huge oil companies; but no health care for low-income kids; $8 billion lost to waste, fraud, abuse, and no-bid contracts in Iraq, but no health care for low-income kids," said Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill.

"Millions of American children and their families won't forget that they are on the bottom of the president's priority list," Emanuel said.

 

 

 

 

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Hillary Clinton attends a rally with Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums and his wife, Cynthia Dellums. Photo credit: Paul Sakuma/AP

 

Hillary Clinton whupped some you-know-what in fundraising this past quarter.  She raised $27 million, and for the first time, beat Barack Obama in number of new donors and amount of primary election money raised.

See also:

Clinton Outpaces Obama in Fundraising in Third Quearter [CNN]

Clinton Leads the Field in Campaign Fundraising [The Los Angeles Times]

 

 

 

So if your senator or congressperson takes the wrong position on an issue, or worse, actually decides to vote like they don't have a lick of sense, the usual course of action is to write them a nice letter and politely voice your opinion about their performance.  About.com offers some tips to make your letter more effective:

 

1.       Be courteous and respectful without "gushing."

2.       Clearly and simply state the purpose of your letter. If it's about a certain bill, identify it correctly. If you need help in finding the number of a bill, use the Thomas Legislative Information System.

3.       Say who you are. Anonymous letters go nowhere. Even in email, include your correct name, address, phone number and email address. If you don't include at least your name and address, you will not get a response.

4.       State any professional credentials or personal experience you may have, especially those pertaining to the subject of your letter.

5.       Keep your letter short -- one page is best.

6.       Use specific examples or evidence to support your position.

7.       State what it is you want done or recommend a course of action.

8.       Thank the member for taking the time to read your letter.

 

Yeah, you could do all that... but we say that when your so-called public servant screws up, it's a whole lot faster and more to the point to just send them this:

 

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Nothing says "don't make me send you back to your district for good" like a Hallmark card (or a card from whimsypress.com).

Now, of course, we're kidding.  Write the nice letter.

 

Urbandictionary.com's word of the day:

Wide Stance October 1
A euphemism for a homosexual, especially one who is closeted.

This is coined from the transparent defense of Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho), to charges of disorderly conduct, stemming from his apparent solicitation of an undercover officer, underneath the partition of a restroom stall.

Prior to pleading guilty, Sen. Craig attempted to explain his behavior by claiming that his shoe touched the officer's underneath the partition because he had a "wide stance", when going to the bathroom.
 
Genevieve is really crushing hard on the varsity QB. Someone should tell her that the dude has a wide stance.
 
Read Urban Dictionary's other definistions of "wide stance" here.

 

 

Pelosi at Bayview from Pelosi site.jpgSpeaker Nancy Pelosi speaks with Dr. Nadine Burke about expanding coverage for children under the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Photo credit: Pelosi's official website at www.house.gov/pelosi.

Everybody's sweating the polichicks!  Politicians are doing all they can to book appearances on daytime talk shows to reach us.

So on that note, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will appear on The View tomorrow to discuss her role as the first woman Speaker of the House, children's health insurance (she's fighting for it!), Iraq, and the news of the day.  The interview will air live, and the Speaker will appear as the first guest on the third segment of the show.  The View airs at 11 a.m. EST on ABC.

Be sure to watch!

Tyra asked Barack to send a message to her brother and his fellow troops who are stationed in Afghanistan.  The clip below aired today on the Tyra Show.

When asked who would play him in a movie, Barack Obama said that he would like Denzel Washington to play him but admitted that Will Smith would be better because of the ears.

The clip below aired today on the Tyra Show.

Looking for his future in a crystal ball, Barack Obama exclaimed, "I see the White House right there!" The clip below aired today on the Tyra Show.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (stopchildhoodobesity.org) has produced an ad that parodies Sen. Larry Craig's (R-ID) arrest for soliciting sex from a cop in a public restroom.  The ad takes place in a men's bathroom stall and involves a lot of foot tapping and reaching into neighboring stalls.

What the heck do Larry Craig's stall tactics have to do with childhood obesity?  Watch and see.

 

 

The Dems so want the young 'uns to vote for them.  They're totally sweating them.  This is a much more effective strategy than the Republican plan to ignore large voter populations.

Porn star Jenna Jameson told PR.com that she likes Hillary Clinton for president, even though Hillary's "pretty conservative for a Democrat." 

From Politico's The Crypt:

Minnesota prosecutor responds to Larry Craig

Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) knew what he was doing when he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges stemming from his arrest in a men's room sex sting, said the prosecuting attorney in papers filed Monday in Minnesota.

Craig's plea was "accurate, voluntary and intelligent," prosecutor Christopher Renz wrote in a motion opposing Craig's request to withdraw his guilty plea. "The real basis for the defendent's motion -- his displeasure with the outcome -- is not an appropriate basis for relief sought. The court should also deny the defendent's motion as untimely because it was sought only as a political reaction."

The hearing is scheduled for Wednesday in Minnesota.

Check out the docs here and here.

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Sunday's Washington Post profiled Hillary Clinton's mom, Dorothy Emma Howell Rodham.  Hillary has said before that her mom is the inspiration behind her success: "...I owe it to my mother, who never got a chance to go to college, who had a very difficult childhood, but who gave me a belief that I could do whatever I set my mind."  As for whether Hillary gets the "mom endorsement" for her presidential candidacy, Mrs. Rodham told a 2004 Oprah audience that if Hillary ran for president, "She would do great.  I have to say that."

Photo at left of Dorothy Rodham by Rich Lipski of TWP (2000).

Wendy Cortez, Sen. David Vitter's (R-LA) paid friend with benefits, tells all about her sexual encounters with him (he likes it missionary) in a video put out by Hustler magazine.  She says that Vitter told her (at the time of their relationship) that he came to her for sex because he knew he could trust her.  He's probably re-thinking that about now.

Wendy also said that she was on drugs during the time period that she was sexually involved with Vitter. Well, duh. We've seen the guy. You'd have to be.

By the way, don't confuse this Wendy with Vitter's wife who is also named Wendy. (Creepy!)  The man seems to have some kind of freaky Wendy fetish.

 

Politico reports that Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) will endorse Sen. Hillary Clinton for president on Monday.  Bayh's endorsement is quite the feather in Clinton's cap, because as a moderate Democrat representing an overwhelmingly Republican state, he is expected to help Clinton win votes in Republican states. Bayh, who once hoped to win the Democratic nomination himself, serves with Clinton on the Armed Forces Committee and is a former chairman of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council.

Clinton has also been endorsed by a former rival for the Democratic nomination, former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, and retired four star General Wesley Clark, who sought the Democratic nomination in 2004.

 

Hillary on Advocate Lg A994x300.jpgWhen asked by an editor at the gay publication The Advocate how she responds to the lesbian rumors about her, Hillary Clinton said, "People say a lot of things about me, so I don't pay any attention to it."

"It's not true, but it is something that I have no control over. People will say what they want to say."

Sean Kennedy, The Advocate editor who interviewed Clinton told the NY Daily News, "I 100% believe she's a straight, heterosexual woman."

 

See also:

Hillary Clinton: I'm Not A Lesbian [NY Daily News]

An email from Barack Obama on the anniversary of September 11th:

 

Six years ago, on a bright and beautiful Tuesday morning, a new kind of enemy came to America's shores.

We will never forget the images of that terrible day -- the planes vanishing into buildings, the thick black clouds of smoke, and the haunting pictures of the missing.

On this anniversary, we pause to remember each and every victim of those attacks.

We celebrate the lives that were tragically cut short. We grieve with the families and friends who lost loved ones. We honor the service and sacrifice of the emergency responders who set an example to the whole world that in America we are our brother's keeper and our sister's keeper.

And we pause to honor the brave men and women of the United States military -- and their families -- who have borne such a heavy burden for the last six years.

We also remember how Americans were stirred to a common purpose. On the lines to donate blood or the candlelight vigils that stretched across our country, there was no red America and there was no blue America. We were united in our grief for our fellow citizens. We were united in our resolve to stand with one another and to stand up to terror. We were united as Americans.

Six years later, the threat to America has only grown. Al Qaeda has reconstituted a new safe-haven where it trains recruits and plots attacks. Al Qaeda's top two leaders, Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, continue to disseminate their hate-filled propaganda and inspire legions of followers. Like-minded extremists have struck in scores of countries. The war in Iraq continues to fuel terror and extremism. A Taliban insurgency rages on in Afghanistan. In too many disconnected corners of the world, hate is casting a shadow over hope.

Our calling today remains the same as it was on 9/11. We must write a new chapter in American history. We must bring justice to the terrorists who killed on our shores. We must devise new strategies, develop new capabilities, and build new alliances to defeat the threats of the 21st century. We must extend hope to the hopeless corners of the world and reaffirm our core values to counter the hateful message of the extremists. And we must secure a more resilient homeland.

To write that new American story, we must recapture that sense of common purpose that we had on September 11, 2001.

America is bigger than the challenge that came to our shores. Let us honor the legacy of those we lost by coming together anew. Let us always mark this day by affirming that hope will triumph over fear, and that a new generation of Americans will seek a safer, freer, and more perfect union.

Barack

Barack Obama

Sen. Larry Craig filed papers Monday to withdraw his guilty plea in hennepin County, Minnesota.  He pled guilty to disorderly conduct after he allegedly solicited an undercover police officer for sex in a public restroom.  Craig had announced that he would resign from the U.S. Senate on September 30, but now he says that he will resign only if he is unable to withraw his guilty plea.

 

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AP Photo/Ada County Sheriff's Dept/ABC

Turns out that Sen Craig's "character witnesses," his children Michael Craig and Shea Howell, have a few character issues themselves.  Here's the rundown.

Sen. Craig was arrested in a public restroom for soliciting sex from a cop (he says it was a "misunderstanding"). Michael and Shea appeared on Good Morning America last week to clarify that "misunderstanding" on behalf of their father. 

At the time of their appearance, there was an arrest warrant out for Shea because she failed to make a criminal court appearance. The initial charges against her were "unlawful entry" and "malicius destruction of property".

Not to be outdone, Michael has a history of battery and sexual abuse of women. In 2003, he pled guilty to a charge of battering his wife and a restraining order was placed against him.  His wife sought shelter at St. Mark's Crisis Action Center in Boise, an intervention services center for families in crisis. In 1993, a Michael's girlfriend got a restraining order against him for battering her and breaking her nose. He pled guilty to the charge.   In 1988, Michael was charged with the felony statutory rape of a 16 year old girl.  The charges were later dropped.

With real life stories like this, who needs cable?

 

Sen. Craig wasn't the first "Tapping Tom" to tap dance for a tryst.  Word of men having anonymous sex with other men in restrooms and other public places is the oldest of old news. The Austin-American Statesman published an article about a 1970s study of the practice.

Back in the 1960s, "naughty" behavior in public restrooms was called the "Tearoom Trade."   A young graduate student from Washington University in St. Louis, Laud Humphreys, wanted to know what compelled men to have random, anonymous sexual encounters in public places. So he started hanging out in public restrooms to peep the behavior and find out.  The result of his voyeurism and 100 interviews with men involved in the "tearoom trade" was his doctoral dissertion: "Trearoom Trade: Impersonal Sex in Personal Places."

Humphreys observed that "the men [interested in bathroom sex] would use silent signals - call and response foot-tapping and finger-pointing - to seek willing partners.... 54 percent of the men were married and living with their wives; 38 percent considered themselves neither bisexual nor homosexual. The men wanted a sexual release that was quick and would not endanger their standing with their family or society. Just 14 percent of the men identified themselves as living-in-the-open homosexuals."

The results of the study - that men engaging in homosexual sex in the bathrooms were heterosexual (or at least living as such) and not gay - were very controversial at the time. So controversial, that Humphreys lost his job over the study.  Many people wanted to know why Humphreys, who was a married fether of two, was so interested watching other men get it on in the bathroom.  Years later, the truth came out, and so did he. He's gay.

 

 

Here's an AP video about Oprah's Saturday fundraiser for Barack Obama.  Stevie Wonder performed and Hollywood's biggest stars were in attendance. 

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Although Democratic presidential cadidate Barack Obama didn't mention rival candidate Hillary Clinton by name, he asked women to vote for him instead of her.  We like it when candidates specifically ask for our vote.  Read the AP account here.

Way too much information.

Michelle Obama, wife of presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, revealed in a recent interview with Glamour magazine that her husband is too "snore-y and stinky" to be in her bed and that she has morning chats about mentruation with her (adorable) little daughters. She has also snitched in the past that that her husband puts his smelly socks everywhere but in the laundry hamper.

Yes, we need more information about Sen. Obama so that we can make an informed decision in the voting booth, but do we really need to know all that?  Just where he stands on the issues is enough info for us, thank you.

Read more here.

 

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama introduced legislation  yesterday that would require federal campaigns to disclose the identities of their "bundlers."  Bundlers are people with extensive professional and social networks who raise lots of money (or "bundle" contributions) from their friends and professional colleagues for campaigns.  Since an individual can only contribute a maximum of $4,600 to a federal campaign under federal law ($2,300 for the primary election and $2,300 for the general election), campaigns often rely heavily on bundlers for bigger (bundled) donations.

Hat Tip: Baltimore Sun

 

Shea%20%20Howell-larry craigs daughter.jpgThe Boise Guardian reports that Sen. Larry Craig's "character witness," his daughter Suzanne Shae Howell who spoke out for him on Good Morning America yesterday, has an outstanding arrest warrant for missing a court appearance. According to the Boise Guardian, her original offenses were unlawful entry and malicious injury to property. 

If you've been under a rock (or, um, preoccupied in a bathroom stall) for the past few days, Craig is the U.S. Senator who was arrested in a public men's room for soliciting an undercover male cop for sex. Craig has not resigned, resigned, not resigned again and then resigned again in the past 5 days because of the controversy surrounding his frisky business. 

So Sen. Craig is resigning afterall. For real this time.  We think.

Read it here.

 

halleberryforobama.jpgAfter months of press and blogger speculation, actress and Obama fan Halle Berry has confirmed that she and her model boyfriend Gabriel Aubrey are expecting: "Yes, I am three months pregnant! Gabriel and I are beyond excited, and I've waited a long time for this moment in life. Now the next seven months will be the longest of my life!"

Q is a Hill Fan.  So here's his endorsement video.  Right here.

 

George Clooney beard.jpgGeorge Clooney is the hottest political commentator we know!  Read his "analysis" of the Demoratic primary below.

From the Associated Press (as published in The Chicago Tribune):

Obama's Lika A Rockstar

Barack Obama has the aura of a rock star, says George Clooney, who also had some kind words for other Democratic presidential candidates.

"You've been in a room once in a while with a rock star. He walks into the world, and he takes your breath away. I'd love him to be president, quite honestly," the actor told reporters Friday at the Venice Film Festival, where his legal thriller "Michael Clayton" was premiering.

Clooney, who banked a check for Obama at a private $1.3 million fundraiser in Beverly Hills last February, praised the U.S. senator for speaking out early against the Iraq war.

But with more than a year until the election, Clooney also said he liked Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and former Sen. John Edwards -- and pondered whether former Vice President Al Gore might vie for the presidency again.

"It could be interesting," he said.

The politics of war was in the air at Venice, with two U.S. films competing for the Golden Lion dealing with the impact of the Iraq conflict.

Clooney -- who said he made "Syriana" and "Good Night, and Good Luck," out of anger that he was labeled a traitor for questioning the decision to go to war -- told reporters he thinks change is coming.

He said he believes Americans are now in the process of fixing the mistakes of the last few years.

Fixing things, "that's what Americans have been really good at," he said.

 




Hillary Clinton was quite the comedian on Letterman last night.  Watch her "Top Ten Campaign Promises" here and see her confront David Letterman for making fun of her pantsuits here.
Slate.com did a piece explaining the cruising signals that Sen. Craig used to solicit sex from an undercover cop in a Minneapolis-St. Paul airport restroom.  You can read it here.

The military mom is the new swing voter.  Traditionally, she would support the Republicans, but dissatisfaction with the way the war has been handled by Repblicans has got her eyeing the Dems.  Which way will she swing?  The Washington Post reports.

Campaigning Kids

Watch MSNBC video on the role of candidates' kids on the campaign trail here.

TMZ is reporting that Oprah wants out-of-town guests for her Barack Obama fundraiser to stay at the San Ysidro Ranch.  One little snafu... there's a wedding there the day of her fundraiser, and many of the guest rooms are already booked. 

Oprah's people have tried to get the bride to move her wedding, but she won't budge.  Well, of course not.  It's her wedding! You know, that (hopefully) once-in-a-lifetime event that little girls dream of (and sometimes plan) from birth?

All sentiments aside, Oprah got her way. "The wedding party did cancel a few rooms -- but we didn't charge a cancellation fee because there was such a demand for rooms that weekend," said the hotel manager.

If you're one of the lucky 1500 of O's closest friends who will be at the fundraiser, you'll be kicking it with Beyonce, Jamie Foxx, and [insert deep, wishful sigh here] George Clooney.  All are expected to attend.

 

Sen. Barack Obama Barackstar was on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart last night.  You can watch it here.
Word is that former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-IL) will resign on November 6th of this year.  If that happens, he will be replaced in a special election.  This would slightly benefit Democrats who want a shot at his seat, since Barack Obama's (D-IL) participation in the presidential primary is expected to bring out a higher than usual number of Democratic voters.  The current Speaker of the House is California Democrat Nancy Pelosi, who was elected the first woman speaker shortly after Democrats gained the majority in Congress after the 2006 mid-term election.

Presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama Barackstar says that he is not feeling Obama Girl.  Obama Girl is actress Amber Lee Ottinger, who appears in a saucy you tube video singing and dancing about her lust for Barackstar.  Barackstar gets that the video was made in jest, but he expresses concern about the effect that it will have on his young daughters.

"Sasha asked Mommy about it. She said, 'Daddy already has a wife' or something like that," Barackstar told the Associated Press. "I guess it's too much to ask, but you do wish people would think about what impact their actions have on kids and families. This is part of the process of politics that can be difficult, (that) is making sure that your kids and your wife and your family are insulated from both things like this and what I suspect will be at some point some negative campaigning."

Hmmm.  Looks to us like the Barackstar camp is about to make family an issue in this campaign.  Barackstar's  suggestion that people should "think about what impact their actions have on kids and families" could be intended to remind voters of the Clintons' marital difficulties and their inability to protect Chelsea (and your kids) from Bill's no-no activities.

We'll see where this goes...  but in the meantime, you can see the Obama Girl video (if you're not one of the 3 million Americans who already has) here.

 

 

Common, Mos Def and Talib Kweli have all given shoutouts to Barack Obama.  Get the rundown here.

Hat Tip: hiphopx.com

 

FoxNews.com posted an article by demcratic strategist Susan Estrich titled The Dog Days of Politics Become Campaign Prime Time.  In the article, Estrich notes how early we are paying attention to our presidential primary candidates this cycle. She also makes (again) the case for Hillary Clinton.

Estrich published a book actually titled The Case for Hillary Clinton about two years ago, which I thought made some valid points about Clinton's viability as a candidate when I read it back then.  My colleagues, on the other hand, thought I was a nutcase for even beginning to think that Clinton had a shot. "She might have a chance in the primary... might," they said, "but even then she'll never get far in the general election." We'll see.

Susan Estrich is a Fox News commentator and (excellent) law professor at the University of Southern California Law School (I took her class on criminal law).  She attended Harvard Law School, where she was the first woman editor of the Harvard Law Review (Barack Obama was the first African American editor).  She also became the first woman to head up a presidential campaign when 1988 democratic candidate Michael Dukakis appointed her his campaign manager.

Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain was on Jon Stewart last night to promote his new book, Hard Call.  As always, McCain's performance was personable and funny.  Not to be outdone, Stewart couldn't resist teasing the senator about his falling-apart-at-the-seams presidential campaign. 

 

Hillary Clinton addresses whether she's "black enough" to represent African Americans as president. Donna Brazile (Democratic commentator) and Terry Jeffrey (Republican commentator) say that African Americans vote based on a candidate's position on the issues, rather than the candidate's race.  They also discuss immigration and Elizabeth Edward's role as attack dog in the Edwards campaign.  Watch it here.

Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain has a new book out called Hard Call.  Here is a video interview with him discussing the book.  The video was produced by his campaign.

 

Barack%20Hillary.jpg
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama at the 2006 NAACP Convention (AP)

There's a short Obama interview in today's Washington Post in which Obama emphasizes the differences between himself and Clinton. Read it here.

 

Magic Johnson.jpgEarvin "Magic" Johnson will team up with co-hosts Quincy Jones and Berry Gordy to host a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton on September 14 in Los Angeles.  In a statement, Johnson said Clinton "has the experience and knowledge to help lead our country."

 Just days earlier on September 8, Oprah Winfrey will host a fundraiser for Barack Obama at her Montecito estate.

 

Obama GQ Cover.jpgSen. Barack Obama Barackstar is on the cover of GQ Magazine (September 2007).  View GQ's Barackstar slideshow here.

 

unhcr_jolie.jpgAngelina Jolie is so over the press spreading rumors about her.  Sure, she's used to the press accusing her of drinking blood, being a homewrecker, engaging in wild and freaky sexual activity, and well, frankly being a wierdo...  but when the press reports that she supports John Edwards for president, well, that's where she has to draw the line!  In defense of her reputation, Jolie released the following statement:

''There are many false stories that circulate about me, but the one I feel I need to address, because it is about such an important topic, is that I have not decided to endorse John Edwards, or any other presidential candidate. Like many Americans, I am learning more about the candidates' records and positions but at this time I have not yet made an endorsement."

Do. Not. Say. Angie. Likes. John. Edwards.

 

 

 

Barack Vibe Covers.jpgBarack Obama will be on the cover of Vibe Magazine's "Juice" issue (September 2007).  He will be the first politician ever to grace it's cover.  It's Obama time.

 

  oprah-xm-satellite-radio.jpg Oprah Winfrey, who has called presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama "my favorite guy" and "my choice," will host a swank fundraiser for him at her Montecito estate.  This is sure to be among the most talked-about events of the election season.  Who wouldn't want to kick it with Oprah, Barack and a bunch of A-list celebrities in Oprah's posh mansion?!  We are so there!

Tickets are $2,300 per person, which is the maximum amount that an individual can contribute to a primary election.  An individual can give a federal candidate up to a total of $4,600 in an election cycle, $2,300 for the primary election and $2,300 for the general election.  There are also perks for guests who raise money for the event in addition to writing their own check. Guests who raise $25,000 will get into a VIP reception, and those who raise $50,000 will get into a VIP dinner.

This is the first time that Oprah has officially endorsed an White House candidate. As Oprah is one of the most influential celebrities with a fan base of millions who trust her opinion and watch her show everyday (us included), her endorsement of Obama is likely to be worth far more to the campaign in exposure than any amount of money raised.

 

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