Hotel Washington Reopens as W Hotel After Chic Makeover


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The launch party Thursday night for the renovated Hotel Washington, now called W Hotel by its new owners, was a mix of White House staff, members of Congress, socialites, business executives and athletes.

The famous hotel, built in 1917 at Pennsylvania Avenue and 15th Street NW, has been the site of many political meetings and a residence for lawmakers.

It had become rundown, however, and underwent a two-year renovation after being sold in 2006 to Istithmar Hotels.

The new W Hotel is sleek, modern and chic — in other words, very unlike staid, formal Washington. For those of us who have a soft spot for the history of the building, all the entrances to the hotel
charmingly have “Hotel Washington” on the black overhang signs, with a subtle “W” above the words.

The W Hotel is the closest hotel to the White House — so close, in fact, that an underground tunnel leads from the White House, under the Treasury Department and ends at the front door of the hotel.

The party started on the ground-floor lobby, with models dressed as Marie Antoinette dancing on tables, and extended to the rooftop.

Political types present included White House aide and Obama BFF Reggie Love; Democratic lobbyist Jack Quinn and his wife, writer Susanna; and celebrity stylist
Johnny Wright, who does First Lady Michelle Obama’s hair. Other White House staff at the party insisted I not use their names in this story, so I didn’t investigate further if they had used the underground tunnel to get to the hotel.

Celebrities included actress Emmy Rossum and singer John Legend — who performed in the crowded ballroom. The D.C. social crowd included Winston Lord, Amanda Polk, Liberty Jones (Neiman Marcus) and Jamie Dorros.


The rumored stars of two new D.C. reality shows were comparing notes. “Young Washington” stars Matt Dornic of FishbowlDC, Tommy McFly of MIX107.3 and Kiki Ryan of Politico talked to Johnny Wright and stylist Christopher Johnson about Johnny’s show, which will start production this fall.

The media was out in full force:
Amy
and Bret Baier (Fox News), Amy Argetsinger (Washington Post), Mike Allen (Politico), Steve Chenevey (Fox 5). The Washington business crowd was also there to check out the new hotel, including Marla and Barry Beck (owners of Blue Mercury), Dondi and Mark Schoenfeld (Carlyle Group), Mark Ein (Kastles owner) and Brian Friedman (CFO of Bliss, which has a new spa outpost at the hotel).

Professional athletes from the Capitals, Wizards and Nationals arrived later. As I’m only 5-foot-2, I couldn’t get the attention of any of the extremely tall men, but was told by an adoring female fan that I was riding the elevator with the Wizards’ 7-foot center, Brendan Haywood.

For Washingtonians, the hotel has never gone out of style, thanks to its famous rooftop bar, which offered stunning views of the city. But the old rooftop was shabby (and not “shabby chic”). The open-air bar was also very hot in the summer, and ice in the drinks would melt before being served. Pigeon droppings were common on the chairs because there were no walls or screens.
The renovated bar is covered.

But the views of the Washington Monument (so close it seemed you could touch it), the White House South Lawn (is that where the tennis court is hidden?) the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial are breathtaking, no matter how many times you see them.

W Hotel has been open since the summer and already is the hottest site in town for parties. The waiting list for a rooftop table is weeks long. The first time I visited after the renovations, I walked toward the elevators but was intercepted by a large man wearing a black suit with a Secret Service-style earpiece.

I assumed a Cabinet member or maybe the vice president was eating in the restaurant. Nope, the new hotel is so popular
that if you don’t have a reservation or aren’t on a list for a party, you have to wait in line to take an elevator to the rooftop.

“What is this? New York City? Sheesh,” I said to a friend. Luckily, I was on “the list” then and have been on it other times I have been to gatherings there, so I haven’t had to stand in the line of shamed people begging and pleading to get on the elevators. Once, I saw friends having drinks along the balcony, and they told me it took them three weeks to get a reservation for their table for two.

Over the years, political leaders used the Hotel Washington as their primary residence while in D.C., including Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, Speaker of the House John McCormack, Supreme Court Justice Frank Murphy and FDR’s vice president, John Nance Garner.

The Hotel Washington has been the site of some funny and bizarre political events. Elvis stayed there in 1970 when he penned a letter to President Nixon at the White House, saying in part: “I am staying at the Washington Hotel, Room 505-506-507. . . . I am registered under the name of Jon Burrows. I will be here for as long as long as it takes to get the credentials of a Federal Agent.” Nixon actually agreed to meet with Elvis in the Oval Office, but turned down his offer to be made “a Federal Agent at Large.”

Also, the Hotel Washington is where the annual White House turkey spends the night before it is — so far at least — pardoned by the president to live out its natural life. Now that the W is so modern and upscale, it is unclear if the 2009 Thanksgiving turkey will be allowed to stay in a fancy room or cluck through the lobby.

And I wonder how the elevator guards will check to see if the turkey is on “the list”? Would it be under “T” for turkey “P” for poultry?

Click below to watch a slideshow of photos (full-screen version here) that Emily Miller took at the W Hotel’s opening night party.

Follow Miller on Twitter @EmilyMillerDC

 

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McDonnell, Christie Reject Campaign Help From Sarah Palin


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Sarah Palin is ready to jump into close gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey, but Politico reports that Republican candidates do not seem to want her help. Both Bob McDonnell in Virginia and Chris Christie in New Jersey have politely declined or ignored Palin’s offer of her star power and crowd-drawing presence, which would almost certainly raise the stakes in their tight races.

Palin has the highest profile of the potential 2012 Republican candidates but has not campaigned in the two states. Mitt Romney and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty have appeared in both states; Mike Huckabee and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal have stumped in Virginia.

“The governor offered her assistance with both races,” Palin spokeswoman Meg Stapleton said. “The ball is in their court.”

McDonnell’s campaign offered a conciliatory statement explaining why he did not accept Palin’s offer. A spokesperson for Christie’s campaign, asked if the former Alaska governor had been invited to stump, flatly said “no.” Privately, GOP staffers and strategists in both states worry that Palin could polarize the electorate ahead of the elections and associate McDonnell and Christie with unpopular perceptions of Republican politics.

 

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Inconvenient Truths on Health Care Reform


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There’s an elephant in the health care debate room.

 

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Washington in 60 Seconds: N.Y. Times Hammers Rangel; Corzine Starts Food Fight


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Good morning, Capitolists! If you’re awake, you probably already know that the Postal Service is considering cutting mail delivery to five days a week from six. Oh, and President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Beyond those eyeball poppers, here’s what else is making news today:

* President Obama will respond to the Nobel announcement at 11 this morning in the Rose Garden.

* Later, he’ll meet with his war advisers in the Situation Room to discuss America’s military options in Afghanistan.

* Speaking of Afghanistan, the Wall Street Journal reports that although the McChrystal troop-increase request has been bandied as 40,000, another scenario floated by the Pentagon could sent 60,000 additional combat troops to the country.

* This weekend, Obama speaks to top gay-rights activists from the Human Rights Campaign. But The Hill writes that after an election campaign full of promises to the gay community, Obama will meet a skeptical group looking for less talk and more action. The Advocate also reports thousands of activists will march in Washington on Saturday “in order to register their discontent with the administration.”

* The New York Times hammers Harlem Congressman Charlie Rangel and his ally, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in an editorial this morning. “It is time for Democrats in Congress — who once justifiably complained about the corruption of the Republican majority — to demonstrate to Americans that someone in that august body has ethical standards.”

* The New York Post takes a swipe at the Senate Finance Committee’s version of health care reform two days before the committee votes on it, saying the bill may be deficit-neutral, but “the numbers come from books so well-cooked they’d make Julia Child blush.”

* And finally, does this campaign make Chris Christie look fat? The generously proportioned Republican challenger to New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine has been the subject of negative ads accusing him of “throwing his weight around” the Garden State. He tells the New York Times he’s “numb” to whacks on his weight, but NBC New York reports that when pollsters asked voters for the first thing that came to mind about Christie, “fat” was one of the most frequent responses.

 

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Despite What Cheney Says, Is Obama Scoring Wins Against al-Qaida?


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On Tuesday, President Obama visited the National Counterterrorism Center outside Washington and declared that “because of our efforts” al-Qaida and its allies have “lost operational capacity.” He cited recent arrests of terrorist suspects in Colorado, New York, Illinois, and Texas, asserting that these actions have made the nation safer. Afterward, his critics responded with . . . silence. Since Obama was sworn in, conservative hawks, led by former Vice President Dick Cheney, have been pounding the president for being weak on national security, accusing him of leaving the country vulnerable to another catastrophic attack. But this chorus of scaremongers tends to go mute when the Obama administration scores apparent counterterrorism successes. Cheney, for instance, hasn’t said anything publicly about the arrest last month of Najibullah Zazi, the Denver airport shuttle driver, and others accused of planning an al-Qaida bombing operation.

Nor have Cheney and his amen corner acknowledged other gains in the fight against al-Qaida. Instead, it’s been a fusillade of potshots. Let’s roll the tape.

 

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Obama Won the What?


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When the morning editor called to alert me to the “Whaaaa?” news that Barack Obama had won the Nobel Peace Prize, my first thought was, “Tom, you kidder. Why are you really calling?” It’s not exactly like giving an Academy Award to a Vince Vaughn movie, but “surprising” doesn’t begin to cover it. No word yet on whether Glenn Beck’s head has exploded.
But just as our president ponders doubling down on his Bush-like “surge” in Afghanistan, Oslo rewards him . . . for not being George Bush?
Just yesterday, I heard Kenyan environmental activist and 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Muta Maathai on NPR, describing meeting the president this week as “the moment of a lifetime,” and giggling — no kidding — that she sure hoped the picture she’d had taken of that moment would come out OK. (Sheesh, you’re a Nobel laureate; woman up!) Today, she called the move “extraordinary. It will be even greater inspiration for the world. He has shown how we can probably come together, work together in a cooperative way.”
Though we can probably come together, it hasn’t happened yet, as even the Nobel Committee tacitly acknowledged, so isn’t this a little like giving your kid his graduation present when he’s still in seventh grade? The citation issued this morning said that the committee chose Obama “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” It went on to say, “Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future.”
Then again, after the hopelessness felt around the world at the lack of interest in and attention to diplomacy under the Bush administration, maybe we still underestimate what a little hope feels like. And if receiving this award encourages Obama to live up to his campaign promises in Iraq, and persuades him not to repeat the mistakes of Vietnam in Afghanistan, then my hat will be off to the forward-thinking Nobel committee.

 

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Chaos Theory – Obama Seeks War Advice


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Michelle Obama’s All-American Story


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It’s not that a story in The New York Times about the all-American roots of First Lady Michelle Obama isn’t fascinating, even heart-breaking. Viewing the slave trade through the eyes of one of Obama’s ancestors, “negro girl Melvinia,” a 6-year-old child valued at $475, speaks to the cruel inhumanity of this American institution.
The trail that leads from slavery has been so neglected and grown so cold, solving just one genealogical mystery is quite an accomplishment. Anything that transforms historical fact into emotional, human drama and reaches all the way into the White House is an essential addition to the tangled, yet ultimately triumphant, American tale. Who would have thought it?
It’s the presentation of the Times story — all breathless naiveté — that took me by surprise. In that, I agree with my colleague Helena Andrews. Michelle Obama has white ancestors. Well, yes, so do most black folks in the United States. Look at the variations in skin color and features. Many white folks are hardly one race either. Edward Ball, who is quoted in the story, has written about his black relatives — descendants of his white slave-owning ancestors — in his memoir, “Slaves in the Family.”
The wall-to-wall coverage reminds me of the stunned reaction when DNA evidence revealed that Thomas Jefferson fathered at least one child with Sally Hemings, his slave. The passed-down stories by those red-haired black folks named Jefferson had to wait for validation from the science. The stalwarts who always insisted our complicated third president – who wrote the Declaration of Independence while owning human beings — would never have sex with one still are not convinced. Annette Gordon-Reed won a Pulitzer Prize for writing about the other side of the family in “The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family.”
Another open secret, the story of Essie Mae Washington-Williams, fathered by Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond with a teenage servant, returned to the news with South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson. He had attacked the character of the elderly woman when she finally claimed Thurmond, Wilson’s mentor, as her father.
For many, it’s the idea of rape, coercion and sexual exploitation at the heart of the intermingled history that repels and titillates. The Times story soft-pedals with hedge language more at home in a romance novel: “While she was still a teenager, a white man would father her first-born son under circumstances lost in the passage of time.” This isn’t David Letterman and a personal assistant we’re talking about. It’s slave and owner.
My story isn’t so different from Michelle Obama’s. My great-great-grandmother was the daughter of the slave master and a slave he raped. When she fell in love with a freed black man doing skilled work, he tried to buy her. But the master (her dad) found out she was pregnant and decided he wasn’t going to give up his new “property,” his grandchild. He ran the man off. That “property” was my great-grandmother Addie Price, who was a child when the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. After the Civil War, by the time they reunited, the man had married. He did take care of Addie.
They made it work and carried on the best they could; most of the next generations did somehow. That a woman who lives in the White House shares this history is interesting, but not startling. It’s all very American.

 

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Humbled Obama Says Nobel Peace Prize Is ‘Call to Action’


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In a unanimous — and surprising — decision, the Nobel Committee has voted to award President Barack Obama the Nobel Peace Prize.

The citation read in Oslo on Friday morning said that the committee chose Obama “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” It went on to say, “Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future.”

Obama seemed humbled by the award as he responded to the news in the White House Rose Garden this morning. “To be honest, I do not feel I deserve to be in the company of the figures who have been honored by this prize,” he said. “I do not view this as a recognition of my own accomplishments, but rather as an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people in all nations.”

He continued, saying that the Nobel Prize has often been awarded to give momentum to particular issues and causes. “That is why I will accept this award as a call to action, a call for all nations to confront the common challenges of the 21st century,” he said.

CNN reports that Thorbjorn Jagland, chairman of the committee, dismissed the notion that Obama had been recognized too soon for his efforts. Jagland said the award was given to promote the president in the same way it that recognized Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990 for his efforts to open up the Soviet Union. Nominations for the prize closed in early February, just two weeks after President Obama took office.

In an interview with NBC News on Friday morning, senior White House adviser David Axelrod said, “It’s an honor. It’s nothing anyone expected. It’s nothing the president sought. He is less interested in individual honors — and this certainly is one — than pursing the causes cited by the Nobel Committee. I think it’s an affirmation that the things he’s been working on for nine months and before are important.”

Axelrod listed the president’s priorities as rebuilding international relations, dealing with nuclear proliferation and climate change. “These are the causes to which he is devoted and to which the world wants to be devoted.”

American media responded with some confusion early Friday morning, noting that Obama has not completed the first year in office and had not been considered a front-runner for the award. Speaking on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” NBC White House Correspondent Chuck Todd said, “My response is, for what?”

CNN quoted former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, last year’s Peace Prize laureate, as saying the Nobel voters wanted to encourage Obama on the issues he has brought to the world stage.

It also cited Wangari Muta Maathai, the Kenyan who won the 2004 Peace Prize, who called the move “extraordinary. It will be even greater inspiration for the world. He has shown how we can probably come together, work together in a cooperative way.”

Past Peace Prize winners in the award’s 108-year history include Nelson Mandela, former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and dissident Aung San Suu Kyi. Former Vice President Al Gore won the prize in 2007 for his efforts on climate change. Five years earlier, former President Jimmy Carter “for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts.”

Woodrow Wilson (1919) and Theodore Roosevelt (1906) are the only other sitting U.S. presidents to win the Peace Prize.

Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, a Colombian senator, a Chinese dissident and an Afghan woman’s rights activist were thought to be in contention for the award. There were 205 nominees.

According to the Associated Press, nominators include former laureates; current and former members of the committee and their staff; members of national governments and legislatures; university professors of law, theology, social sciences, history and philosophy; leaders of peace research and foreign affairs institutes; and members of international courts of law.

The Peace Prize was created by Swedish chemist and arms manufacturer Alfred Nobel, whose 1895 will stipulated that it be awarded to “the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations and the abolition or reduction of standing armies and the formation and spreading of peace congresses.”

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Why (Some of) You Changed Your Minds About Abortion


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Earlier this week, I posted about the results of a recent poll by the Pew Forum. It found that public opinion about abortion had shifted several points since last year.

I allowed as how that makes no sense to me. Surely, whether I believe that abortion should be illegal has nothing to do with who sits in the Oval Office or controls Congress that year. The Pew folks asked their poll participants to tell them why they’d changed their minds, but got very few takers. So I asked you if you had shifted positions lately. And if so, to share the reasons. I even created a special e-mail address for people who didn’t want to monkey with our comments system.

 

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Matthew Shepard’s Mom and the Push for Gay Rights


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Martyrs often die twice. First when the body is killed and a second time when their memory is venerated — or denigrated — beyond any connection to real life.

Such was the case with Matthew Shepard, the young gay man who was beaten to a pulp and left to die, tied to a fence on a Wyoming prairie 11 years ago this month. Matthew Shepard immediately become an icon, figuratively and literally. Reports of how he was hoisted on a fence, crucified like Jesus, flashed around the world and still persist, even though it didn’t quite happen that way. No matter, gay rights activists saw in Matthew a saint and a rallying cry.

Gay rights opponents, meanwhile, persistently tried to undermine the story — confirmed in the trials that convicted Shepard’s two killers — that he was targeted because he was gay, and that his death had more to do with drugs and alcohol, or because Shepard provoked his attackers by putting moves on them.

Now Shepard’s mother, Judy, is back in the spotlight with a new book about her son that tries to set the record straight, while at the same time pushing the country to embrace gays rights.

The time certainly seems right. A hate crimes bill named after Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, the black man dragged to his death behind a pickup truck by a gang of white men in Texas a few months before Shepard’s 1998 killing, passed the House on Thursday (over many Republican objections). Passage is expected in the Senate next week, perhaps by the 11th anniversary of Shepard’s death on Monday.

 

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Ain’t it Rich: Bloomberg’s Costly Coast to a 3rd Term


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NEW YORK – Standing in front of a statue of liberal patron saint Eleanor Roosevelt on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Mike Bloomberg fielded a reporter’s question about his crusade against obesity. New York’s two-term mayor – who recently even banned fund-raising bake sales in the schools – described his activist philosophy as he strives to create a city that never sleeps, but also never noshes on anything sinful. “This is America,” Bloomberg declared in the nasal tone that launched a thousand re-election commercials. “You have a right to eat what you want to eat. And it’s the government’s responsibility to tell you if it’s dangerous.”

 

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Robert Gates: Solidly in the Middle of the Afghan Strategy Storm


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President Obama’s war minister, the man responsible for the day-to-day oversight of fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq and dozens of other current and future hotspots, would much rather be somewhere else than D.C. and doesn’t mind who knows it. In fact, Robert M. Gates blurts it out at every opportunity, as he did this summer during a town hall meeting with 10th Mountain Division troopers at Fort Drum, N.Y. A staff sergeant was the defense secretary’s straight man, prefacing a question with, “How are you doing this morning, sir?” Gates interrupted. “How’m I doing? Let me tell you! Any time I am outside Washington, D.C., I’m doing great!” Laughter and cheers ensued as Gates grinned self-consciously.

 

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Michelle Obama’s Family History: Slave and White Ancestors


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First Lady Michelle Obama grew up knowing she had ancestors who were slaves. But until the New York Times put together her detailed family tree — and collected the stories and documents relating to her forebears — she had no idea who these people really were or their personal stories.

 

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McDonnell Leading by Nine Over Deeds in Virginia


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Republican Bob McDonnell leads Democrat Creigh Deeds in the Virginia governor’s race by 53 percent to 44 percent among likely voters with 2 percent expressing no opinion, according to a Washington Post poll conducted Oct. 4-7. The margin of error is 3 points. McDonnell’s lead in the Post’s poll last month was 51 percent to 47 percent.

 

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Mary Cheney Confirms Pregnancy with Second Child


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Mary Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, is expecting her second child with her partner, Heather Poe, The Washington Post confirmed Thursday. The news was first reported a day earlier by True/Slant. Cheney first informed her close friends of her pregnancy about four months ago, and the couple says that she is due in mid-November. Cheney said she would taking maternity leave from her position at the communications firm Navigators Global, and a family spokesperson confirmed she will start her own consulting firm.

Friends have said the new firm will involve her sister Liz, who has also been making headlines lately as a rising conservative figure who might be considering a run for office. The spokesperson for the Cheney family, however, denied that anyone but Mary will be involved in the new business.

Mary Cheney’s first child, Samuel David Cheney, was born in 2007 while she was an executive at AOL. The pregnancy drew national attention and political tension, since she had served as a campaign official for President George W. Bush, who opposed gay marriage and adoption. Cheney, who had been openly gay since age 16, said in 2006 that she almost left the 2004 Bush/Cheney re-election campaign over its support for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. She stayed after realizing that she lived in dangerous times and “didn’t have the luxury of being a single-issue voter on same-sex marriage.”

Cheney’s lesbianism and pregnancies have also raised the profile of her father’s stance on gay issues. Dick and Lynne Cheney always spoke positively about being grandparents, and President Bush even said he was “happy” for Mary. As far back as the 2000 campaign, Dick Cheney drew fire from social conservatives for saying he believed “people should be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want.” That split with Bush on the issue drew much attention, but Cheney did not seem to push the issue in an administration that took a consistent position against gay marriage. Earlier this year, he reiterated his belief that gay marriage should be handled by the states.

“As many of you know, one of my daughters is gay and it is something we have lived with for a long time in our family,” Cheney said in a June appearance at the National Press Club. “I think people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish, any kind of arrangement they wish. The question of whether or not there ought to be a federal statute to protect this, I don’t support. I do believe that the historically the way marriage has been regulated is at the state level. It has always been a state issue, and I think that is the way it ought to be handled, on a state-by-state basis. … But I don’t have any problem with that. People ought to get a shot at that.”

 

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Ethics Panel Widens Investigation of Charlie Rangel


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The House investigation into Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) took a major step forward Thursday as the House Ethics Committee announced it had broadened its inquiry into new information about the congressman’s financial disclosure forms.

Rangel chairs the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, but has admitted to failing to report up to $600,000 in income from rental properties. He is also a close ally of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has been steadfast in her public support of Rangel, although Democrats privately lament the political water they’re taking on as the Rangel matter takes on a higher profile at the same time as his committee considers health care reform.

Wednesday, House Republicans introduced a measure to strip Rangel of his chairmanship until the Committee of Standards and Official Conduct (formerly the Ethics Committee) completed its investigation into irregularities in his disclosure reports. Republicans see the growing Rangel scandal as a prime opportunity to turn the tables on Speaker Pelosi, who repeatedly accused them of engendering a “culture of corruption” during the 2006 and 2008 elections.

House Democrats defeated the measure and sent the matter back to the Ethics Committee, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus sent a letter to the speaker stating: “(Rangel) has our full support as the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee while this bi-partisan ethics review is pending.”

The chairs of the Ethics Committee, Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Joe Bonner (R-Ala.) said that the bi-partisan panel had voted unanimously Thursday to expand its inquiry into the congressman. The investigation has already racked up 150 subpoenas, 34 witness interviews and 30 investigative subcommittee meetings.

Rangel’s office issued a statement: “Today’s action by the committee is a technicality, as everything they referenced in today’s announcement has already been subject to ongoing review by the ethics committee and its staff. It is clear that the committee is being very thorough and deliberative in their process, hence today’s announcement.”

But House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) countered, “The American people won’t stand for having a chairman of the House’s tax-writing committee who is under investigation for not paying his taxes. What more has to happen before Speaker Pelosi does the right thing?”

 

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Brown Is Strongest Governor Prospect in California Field


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California Attorney General Jerry Brown leads San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom by a commanding 47 percent to 27 percent with 26 percent undecided in a match-up for the Democratic nomination for governor, but the picture is cloudier on the Republican side where 49 percent of voters are undecided, according to a Field poll conducted Sept. 18 – Oct. 5.

 

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Burr Looking Stronger for Re-Election in North Carolina


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First-term Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina continues to suffer from tepid job approval numbers, but apparently whatever reservations voters have about Burr go double for what they think of the Democrats, since Burr wins match-ups against a generic Democratic candidate as well as specific potential challengers, according to a Public Policy Polling survey conducted Oct. 2-4.

 

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News Biz Alive and Well at Online Conference


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Hundreds of thousands of people descended upon San Francisco last weekend to “spread the love” and admire Steve Martin’s remarkable banjo-pluckin’. At the same time, 700 tech-savvy news junkies were busy discussing – and Twittering about – the future of journalism in the labyrinthine hallways and cavernous ballrooms of the San Francisco Hilton.

A diverse set of reporters, editors, multimedia experts and tech gurus participated in the 10th annual Online News Association (ONA) Conference. The mission of the sold-out conference? “Inspiring innovation and excellence among digital journalists to better serve the public.”

Optimism and progressive thinking dominated the atmosphere at the three-day conference. The notion that “print is dead — news isn’t” seemed to be the unofficial theme. The question of “What comes next?” was met with resounding confidence in the age-old values of journalism and the ways that their practice can be amplified and supported by digital media.

 

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