John McCaslin

'Sicko' and liar

"Update: Sen. Clinton is now speaking."

Or so the Campaign for America's Future was happy to report yesterday, as its three-day "Take Back America" conference got under way at the Washington Hilton, featuring 3,000 "progressive activists, thinkers, bloggers and elected officials."

These new-age Democrats aim to "chart a course for the nation" by proposing "bold solutions to the big challenges."

Besides New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who speaks first thing tomorrow morning, other presidential wannabes stumping for progressive votes will be Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina and Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich of Ohio.

Lighter moments will be compliments of actor Jason Alexander, who played George Costanza on "Seinfeld"; and liberal activist and filmmaker Michael Moore, who comes to Washington amid new charges of liberal bias. While providing a sneak preview of his new film, "Sicko," over the weekend, Mr. Moore was asked about the film "Manufacturing Dissent," which accuses him of being "dishonest" in his political documentaries.

"Anybody who says that is a [expletive] liar," Mr. Moore told the Associated Press.

'Shrub' and Bubba

That was 2008 Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich of Ohio honoring the late columnist, author and political commentator Molly Ivins for her "love of America."

"She had the guts to speak her mind, no matter the opposition," Mr. Kucinich said in a House speech.

It was Miss Ivins, who died of breast cancer in January, who handed President Bush the nickname "Shrub." And although she labeled former President Clinton "weaker than bus-station chili," she felt him unfairly abused by the press.

Did you know?

An actual volume of President Reagan's handwritten diary has been flown to Washington and is on display in the lobby of the National Archives. It is under a glass case and opened to the day of his famous visit to Normandy on the 40th anniversary of D-Day.

Two Havanas

That was Cuban-born and UCLA-educated filmmaker Vivien Lesnik Weisman — and her new documentary, "The Man of Two Havanas" — being feted last night at a private dinner hosted by Washington publicist Janet Donovan at Teatro Goldoni.

John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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