John McCaslin

Washington Post media writer Howard Kurtz, host of the CNN program "Reliable Sources," appears in this week's Congressional Record attacking the "liberal" media.

For his fellow lawmakers who didn't see last Sunday's show, Rep. Lamar Smith, Texas Republican, informed them that Mr. Kurtz "strongly criticized the media's coverage of Sen. Barack Obama's breaking his promise that he would accept public campaign funds.

"Last Sunday, Kurtz argued: 'All of these liberal commentators who have always supported campaign finance reform, getting big money out of politics, many of them are defending Obama. And I have to think the press is cutting him a break here.'

"Kurtz concluded the segment by saying, 'If George W. Bush had done this, blown off public financing as he considered doing during the 2004 campaign, there would be howls in the media about one candidate trying to buy an election.'"

The congressman also called attention to a recent poll showing by more than a 3-to-1 margin that voters believe the media favors Mr. Obama over expected Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain.

'Stuff of legend'

It was only a matter of time before somebody created the Obama Action Figure.

"Like countless others out there, we've been inspired by the meteoric rise of Barack Obama and his campaign," says an obviously impressed doll maker, Jailbreak Toys, which manufactures similar 6-inch-high dolls of world leaders ranging from Mahatma Gandhi to Vladimir Lenin.

"In a time when America so desperately needed a hero, along came a man to show us a brand new version of what America and the world could be in the 21st century. In many ways, Obama is the closest thing we've ever seen to a superhero, someone who has literally inspired millions of people simultaneously to step past fear, to be brave enough to hope and to go past cynicism and imagine what we could be if we were at our best. That's the stuff of legend! And we wanted to pitch in."

Barack's babies

A smart-aleck character named Menelaus Forthwright has created a "Send Barack Your Baby" Internet site that on first glance resembles the official 2008 presidential campaign Web site of the presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama.

"Barack Obama travels a lot, but many babies live in places he hasn't been," the site states. "That's why he's now accepting babies by mail. Send him your baby, and he'll kiss it and send it back to you.

"Step 1. Package and ship your baby in a well-padded box.

"Step 2. When your baby arrives, Barack will give it your choice of a kiss, a hug, or hope.

"Step 3. Your happy baby returns in about 14 business days."

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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