Tea with Bubba

John McCaslin

5/23/2008 10:15:33 AM - John McCaslin

Congress this week recognized the 100th anniversary of the Congressional Club, created in 1908 to provide a nonpartisan setting for friendships among the spouses of members of the House and Senate.

As one congressman noted this week, the group was founded as an organization for congressional "wives," but now includes many husbands as more women get elected to Congress.

An active member today is the spouse of a sitting or former member of Congress, Supreme Court justice, or member of a president's Cabinet.

This columnist won't ever forget the words of Sen. Gordon H. Smith, Oregon Republican, when former President Clinton suddenly became "husband" to a sitting U.S. senator, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

"My biggest concern," confessed Mr. Smith, "is that Bill Clinton will be with my wife in the Senate spouses club."

Says it all

We got a kick out of the multi-worded title that somehow fits on the cover of best-selling author Peter Schweizer's new book, "Makers and Takers: Why Conservatives Work Harder, Feel Happier, Have Closer Families, Take Fewer Drugs, Give More Generously, Value Honesty More, Are Less Materialistic and Envious, Whine Less ... And Even Hug Their Children More Than Liberals."

Harley mama

Sen. Elizabeth Dole, North Carolina Republican, will be the honorary race director of this weekend's Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR race in Charlotte, N.C.

Last year, readers might recall, Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, kicked off his presidential campaign when he served as honorary starter of the Coca-Cola 600.

"As an official of the race, Senator Dole will be honored at a VIP dinner Saturday night, tour the garage at the track on Sunday, address the drivers meeting, be introduced on the stage prior to the race, address the crowd of 180,000 race fans, then ride in the official pace car to start the race," Lauren Steele, vice president of corporate affairs for Coca-Cola Consolidated in Charlotte, tells Inside the Beltway.

"In addition, Senator Dole will be riding around the track on the back of one of the Coca-Cola Harley-Davidson motorcycles."

Downtown shark

There's been an "extreme makeover" of the National Aquarium in Washington, located in the U.S. Commerce Building at 14th Street and Constitution Avenue Northwest.

"Following months of renovations to both exhibits and appearance, [the aquarium] is now a first-class Washington tourism spot that has recently affiliated with the National Aquarium in Baltimore," spokesman Mike Burita told us yesterday.

Established in 1873, the Washington aquarium is home to more than 200 species, including piranha, shark, eel, a new baby loggerhead turtle, and even the dreaded invasive snakehead fish recently found swimming in the Potomac River.

Decontrol control

Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein yesterday announced the establishment of the Controlled Unclassified Information Office (CUI) within the National Archives and Records Administration, appointing William J. Bosanko, director of the Information Security Oversight Office, to head the newly formed office.

The office was created in response to a May 9 memo from President Bush designating the National Archives to oversee and implement the CUI framework, including approving and maintaining safeguarding standards and dissemination instructions for previously sensitive materials.