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Archives: August 2011

National Crisis Averted…

This just in…

NBC and Politico can breathe a sigh of relief. The following are Politico and WaPo news alerts announcing the POTUS will now speak before Congress on Sept. 8, a day later than originally planned on Sept. 7, the night of the GOP presidential debate at the Reagan Library.

POLITICO Breaking News (Approximately 9:31 p.m.)

“President Obama, bowing to the complaints of House Speaker John Boehner and other Republicans, has moved his jobs speech before a joint session of Congress back one day, to Thursday, Sept. 8.”

WaPo News Alert: Obama to address joint session of Congress on Sept. 8
August 31, 2011 9:35:22 PM

“President Obama will address a joint session of Congress on Sept. 8 to lay out his plan for jobs and the economy, the White House announced Wednesday night. The date is one day later than the president requested earlier Wednesday, but that date conflicted with a scheduled debate of Republican presidential candidates, drawing objections from GOP lawmakers. House Speaker John A. Boehner responded by suggesting that Obama come to Capitol Hill on Thursday night, a date that now puts the president up against the first game of the NFL season.”




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Why Washington D.C. Gossip Sucks

Today’s complaint about Washington D.C. gossip involves a lack of originality. If you peruse Politico‘s CLICK and The Hill‘s In the Know, you see virtually the same boring items.

What did we learn today?

1. George Clooney doesn’t want to be President of the United States. (Of course he doesn’t. Moving on.) The Hill reports that Clooney said it at a presser in Italy Wednesday; Politico cites the AP.

2. “Little Miss Sunshine” actor Paul Dano will play a young Karl Rove in a movie. Politico and The Hill both cite TheWrap. (Fine, we probably need to know this. But twice? Zzzzz)

We were obviously intrigued by Judy Kurtz‘s (a.k.a. Howiella in FishbowlDC circles) item on Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.) snagging two fish at once in Alaska earlier this month. This doesn’t seem terribly brave, but at least it offers a degree of ingenuity on her part. Howiella admits her lack of expertise on fish and lets a Seattle Times columnist describe Dicks’ fishing maneuver. He apparently “hooked a pink salmon while mooching a herring.”


Sharpton Butchers Mack in More Ways Than One

Our resident Cabbage Patch doll is a guest on MSNBC’s Al Sharpton show this evening and things are getting dicey. GOP Consultant and blogger Matt Mackowiak (voted FishbowlDC’s Biggest Self Promoter in Summer Superlatives) chuckled as he felt the sting of Sharpton butchering his name and then his thoughts.

Sharpton introduced him and immediately stumbled over his name, calling him “Matt Muhkahviak, Makohviak.”

The topic on the table was POTUS scheduling a joint speech before Congress on the night of the NBC-Politico sponsored GOP presidential debate.

Mackowiak: “Look I worked on Capitol Hill for four years. One of the things that people don’t know is when the President gives a joint address there are tremendous security requirements that require literally shutting down the entire building. …Bottom line, President Obama seemed willing to disrespect former first lady Nancy Reagan, who is hosting a debate that has been scheduled for at least six months.”

Sharpton cut our Self Promoter off and let him have it: “Matt, Matt, wait a minute, Matt, you’re really not going to say this to me, now. You do realize you are on Politics Nation. First of all, that debate has already been changed a few times. Second of all, that debate can start a little later. Third of all, you just heard a member of Congress say that Mr. Boehner could call them back any time he wants that day. So that is patently ridiculous what you just said.”

Ahh, attention at its finest.


Milbank Fears Older Boys With Pot

WaPo Opinion Writer Dana Milbank wrote a story this week on GOP Presidential hopeful Rick Perry and his anti-government sentiments.

But the line that jumped out (at least for our purposes) is when Milbank admits that  he left the Boy Scouts because the older boys were smoking weed. Really, is that all it took for him to flee? This is a reporter who was willing to cover himself in newspaper and don a Burger King crown in daylight at the corner of 17th and K to interview PETA’s lettuce bikini ladies. But he won’t smoke a bowl with older Boy Scouts?

(Milbank graduated from high school in Merrick, N.Y. The name of the small town with a population of about 22,000 happens to mean peaceful. Ironically, Amy Fischer lived there. Yes, that Amy Fischer, the one dubbed “Long Island Lolita” who slept with Joey Buttafuoco and then shot his wife, Mary Jo, in the face. Fischer was a journalist before she entered the porn industry.)

The Boy Scout memories came up while Milbank was reading Perry’s 2008 memoir, On My Honor, in which he denounces gay scoutmasters and compares homosexuality to alcoholism.

Milbank writes, “So it all comes back to the Boy Scouts. I have no beef with the Scouts. (I quit my troop when I was 12, not because of excessive godliness but because the older boys kept getting high.)”

We’ve requested comment from Milbank about his Boy Scout days.

Read the full piece here.

(A thank you to Politico’s Byron Tau for highlighting the pot line.)

UPDATE: Dear Readers. It turns out Milbank’s Boy Scout troop was not getting “high” on pot, as previous interpreted by us and other journalists and readers. It was more along the lines of “cough syrup” and “solvents.” Milbank wrote tonight to explain: “If marijuana had been the troop’s drug of choice they would have named me an honorary Eagle Scout in high school.  This was more like solvents and cough syrup.” We apologize for leading anyone to believe that Milbank walked away from a childhood pot smoking ring when, in fact, he at least jokes he would have gladly participated.

Today’s Most Popular Stories 8.31.11

Politico Wants to Wipe Out Nutjobs

If you click onto Politico‘s blogs these days, you can no longer freely comment on their items in the usual manner. Instead, they’re trying out a new method in which the reader must sign in through Facebook. This “beta test” has been going on since Aug. 20. They say it will last “several weeks.”

Among the purposes of trying such a test is to wipe out the more nutty commenters. In this new arrangement, it appears that site moderators will have more control over what is visible.

This is what you see…

Reader Comments (0)

We’re currently testing the Facebook commenting system on our blogs. To find out more, please visit our FAQ. If you’d like to report spam or abuse, click the X in the upper right hand corner of the offending post. Remember, you must be logged into Facebook to comment.

Something you’ll learn in FAQ:

You must be signed on to Facebook to leave a comment. Moderators will monitor for abusive commenters or spammers. Readers can report online abusers to the moderators.

Something the FAQ won’t address:

What, if any, are the advantages for readers?


POTUS Screws NBC and Politico

POTUS has now scheduled to give a jobs speech before a joint session of Congress on Sept. 7, thereby potentially screwing over the NBC-Politico sponsored GOP presidential debate scheduled for that same evening at the Reagan Library.

Who will you watch — President Obama or NBC’s Brian Williams and Politico Editor-in-Chief John Harris?

Politico has to be burning up that they have to place a bright red banner announcing POTUS’s speech just under their own debate advertisement.

We’ve requested comments from both NBC and Politico.

AP‘s Phil Elliott reports: “The @presssec Carney says timing of Obama jobs address and GOP debate: ‘It is coincidental.’”

Washingtonian‘s Whine Writer Needs a Muscle Relaxer

We didn’t realize SNL’s Doug and Wendy Whiner had Washington relatives. But we’ve found one in Todd Kliman, Washingtonian‘s food and whine editor and restaurant critic who hosts a weekly Tuesday 11 a.m. chat.

During this week’s chat all we wanted to learn was where we could get three star cuisine at one star prices, as promised. But Kliman was busy complaining about his back. Would Kliman like some whine with his back pain?

We would privately sympathize with him. But why do we care about his back pain when we’re talking food and a potential incredible meal for peanuts?

“Good morning, everyone. Before we get too far into things … You usually come to me with the questions — today I’m coming to you with one: I threw out my back on Sunday, and am sort of cramped over typing this today. It’s not fun. Anyone have any suggestions for me?” Kliman asked readers. He annoyingly continued, “Any specific stretching exercises? A massage specialist or chiropractor you think is excellent? Over-the-counter drugs that provide some relief?” More…“It’s not that it’s painful so much as that I can’t fully extend, and so walking is a chore, and then of course everything else suffers because I’m sort of hunched as I go …Whatever you’ve got for me, I’d appreciate.”

Yes, and what we’d appreciate is to have that online food chat the magazine promised. Hey Editor Garrett Graff, here’s an idea: Spring for muscle relaxers so we can proceed with the food chat?

Most readers ignored Kliman’s request to find a solution to his back pain, but a few humored him. NoLo, DC: What, the Washingtonian doesn’t provide medical insurance?! Or is there some other excuse for suffering with your back for two days without plans to see a doctor?

Todd Kliman: To me, a doctor is always a last resort. For everything. I also never take a pill if I can help it. Now, if I hadn’t seen improvement since Sunday, then I’d probably start thinking today about making a call. Not making a call, but thinking about making a call. But I’m definitely better than I was.

(There’s a great message to Washingtonian readers: Avoid doctors.)

Silver Spring: I found the article below anti-inflammatory for over-the-counter med but you may want to make an appointment with your physician to have a prescription for muscle relaxant. [Read here.]

Our favorite came from a reader who wasn’t afraid to tell Kliman how “messed up” he is.

Arlington, VA: To your question: Find a Chiropractor. Massage is good when you aren’t completely messed up already but it sounds like you are. You need two things 1) Electro-stimulation which will help to release the muscles; and 2) adjustment to put you back in line. When I really screwed up my back a few years ago, it was the only thing that worked. I was a skeptic to start but the immediate relief from the electro-stym and the fact that the before and after x-rays showed that my spine was back where it belonged (and the long term relief it provided) totally changed my mind.


NYT’s David Leonhardt: ‘On a Big Story You Want Carl By Your Side’

From NYT Washington Bureau Chief David Leonhardt

To the Newsroom:

Carl Hulse has long been part of the nerve center of The New York Times. As our chief Congressional correspondent, he’s been a leading player on most big Washington stories, and he has written some of the most insightful pieces of the Obama/Tea Party years. Carl is also a wise and generous colleague who is an enormous help to other reporters, editors and (believe me) columnists.

I am thrilled to announce that he will now become deputy Washington bureau chief, joining Rebecca Corbett in that role. Carl will have primary responsibility for running the bureau day to day, helping to oversee every aspect of our coverage. Those who know Carl as an editor — from his years as the bureau’s night editor, alongside a former bureau chief named Abramson — praise his deft hands and unerring judgment. And the truth is that Carl has remained an editor in many ways, running our Capitol Hill coverage and mentoring reporters like David Herszenhorn, Ashley Parker, Sheryl Stolberg and Jeff Zeleny. On a big story, you want Carl by your side, because he’ll make you smarter and he’ll make you laugh.

Carl’s first Times-related job was a Washington correspondent for the regional papers, starting in 1986. (His first desk in the old bureau was literally in a closet.) He joined The Times as night editor in 2001, began covering Congress in 2002 and became chief Congressional correspondent in 2006. An Illinois native, he’s a former construction worker, a member of the Illinois State University college-newspaper Hall of Fame and the drummer for the Capitol Hill garage band, the Nativemakers. He lives on the Hill with his family. Lest Carl’s followers worry, he promises to keep tweeting from @hillhulse.

I feel just as fortunate that Rebecca will continue in her role, overseeing our enterprise and investigative work — on domestic policy, foreign policy and the 2012 campaign — and helping shape everything else the bureau does as well. Rebecca’s hit parade, be it wiretapping, WikiLeaks or the series of 2008 candidate profiles, confirms what reporters eagerly say about her: there may be no better story conceiver, counselor and wordsmith at the newspaper. Along with Dick Stevenson, our invaluable political editor, Carl and Rebecca will lead a desk that’s well suited for these never-dull times.

Carl starts his new job on transition Tuesday — Sept. 6. If you’re interested in applying for one of the two openings on Capitol Hill, please contact Carl, Rebecca or me. We welcome internal and external candidates for these Guild positions.


White House Soup of the Day

Today’s White House Soup of the Day is…

Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato.

“It’s tomato soup day,” reports MSNBC “Daily Rundown” host Chuck Todd. “But we like to call it Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato so then it’s not just tomato soup with croutons on top.”