John McCaslin

It's soup

On the heels of all the stories last week about "Democrat fatigue" in Congress, the publishers of the popular book series "Chicken Soup for the Soul" announced their newest proposed title: "Chicken Soup for the Democrat's Soul."

"We are in immediate need of funny and inspirational stories," write Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. "The firm submission deadline is September 30,2007. Publication is June 2008."

Among the eight proposed chapter titles: "Donkeys and Elephants in Love: Stories about dating, love, and marriage with someone in the other political party"; "Political Funnies and Faux Pas: Funny stories about politics that make you laugh out loud"; and our favorite, "On the Fence: What happens when you can't decide which side of the fence to dangle your feet? Stories about 'doing the right thing,' even when the right thing is something the 'other' party is promoting and yours isn't."

The publishers will not include essays or stories "that primarily 'bash' the Republican Party."

"We want to know how you as a Democrat have helped make the United States a better place to live, and humor certainly helps."

Stories must be nonfiction, written in first person, 1,000 words or less, and "make readers laugh, cry or sigh."

Meanwhile, we confirmed late yesterday that an additional book, "Chicken Soup for the Republican's Soul," will be published at the same time. Identicalrules and deadlines apply.

Dick's back

Welcome former President Richard M. Nixon back into the federal fold. On July 11, control of the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace in California will legally transfer from private foundation to the National Archives, and join the existing 11 presidential libraries within the federal system: Herbert Hoover through Bill Clinton.

Coinciding with the federal transfer, 78,000 pages of previously withheld materials will be made public, including 58,000 from the "Special Files" created by the Nixon White House to segregate the most sensitive information from the "Central Files." They include Mr. Nixon's personal files, his office files,and files of his closest aides: John Dean, H.R. Haldeman, Charles Colson and John Ehrlichman.

Other newly released materials will include the late president's correspondence with former President George Bush, the Rev. Billy Graham, and politicalconsultant-turned-broadcaster Roger Ailes.

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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