John McCaslin

"They have shamelessly served as cheerleaders for Mrs. Clinton from the moment she emerged on the national scene in 1992 ... consistently hail[ing] her as a trailblazing pioneer, a feminist role model, a brilliant intellect, a politician of striking compassion, and inspiring leader, and more."

Strike or spare?

We had heard yesterday that Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich, Ohio Democrat and 2008 presidential candidate, wants Congress to "take back its exclusive authority to 'declare war' from the Bush administration."

The congressman is concerned by tough language of late toward Iran exuded by President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, which he says collectively hints of a U.S. military attack if new sanctions against the Middle Eastern nation fail.

Fortunately, some things never change. While visiting Mr. Kucinich's official congressional Web site to get his exact statement, we found prominently displayed above all other issues: "Polka, Bowling and Kielbasa."

"Learn why Cleveland is the capital of Polka, Bowling and Kielbasa," it reads, with the Iran issue posted further below.

Dropped the ball

It's not just Republicans who are critical of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California.

Sacramento Bee reporter John Hill writes that Mrs. Pelosi's "own party is turning on her, apparently because of a perception among California Democrats that she has not done enough to shake up the status quo in Washington, D.C."

Mark DiCamillo, polling director of a new Field Poll, is quoted as explaining that Mrs. Pelosi and Congress as a whole have fallen short of voter expectations since taking over both chambers.

"For Pelosi, it was the first time the poll showed more people disapproving than approving of her performance — 40 percent to 35 percent, with 25 percent having no opinion," he says.

Weaker minds

Percentage of Americans who have not read a book in the past year: 27

— Harper's Index, November 2007

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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