Besides baseball, one of Washington's favorite summer pastimes is opening the invitation to political pollster Frank Luntz's annual Major League Baseball "All-Star Party" at his McLean home and reading the Top Ten Reasons to Attend.
Our favorite pair of reasons: "See this year's baseball All Stars before they become next year's congressional witnesses" and "For kicks, let's see if an ice sculpture of Al Gore can survive nine innings."
A well-known collector of virtually every form of memorabilia, Mr. Luntz also shows off his latest acquisitions to his VIP guests. Among this year's stash is a shirt worn by John Wayne in "The Green Berets" and an original costume from the Civil War movie classic "Gone With The Wind."
Lou seeks legacy
No better place for Lou Cannon to lecture on his latest book, "Reagan's Disciple: George W. Bush's Troubled Quest for a Presidential Legacy," than at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif.
The library staff touts Mr. Cannon as "the most prolific biographer" of the nation's 40th president, with five books about the Gipper under his belt. The longtime newspaperman spent 26 years with The Washington Post, covering Mr. Reagan during his terms as governor of California and president.
The lecture is Friday at 1 p.m.
Nutty Professor II?
Tulane University spokesman Michael Strecker is quoted by the New Orleans Times-Picayune as saying, "We are in discussions with James Carville about the possibility of his joining the Tulane community."
As of this summer, Mr. Carville and his wife, Mary Matalin, are keeping homes in both New Orleans and Alexandria.
When it comes to opening up their wallets, Democrats would appear to be more excited than Republicans about this November's presidential election. Or are they?
The Federal Election Commission says thus far in the 2008 election cycle contributions to the Democratic Party have increased significantly: $247 million, a jump of 45 percent compared with the 2004 cycle. Republican receipts, on the other hand, declined 19 percent when compared to 2004.
Nevertheless, Republicans somehow have still managed to raise more money than Democrats during this 2008 election cycle, or just over $260 million as of April 30.
The FEC's figures also reveal that individuals are by far the largest source of federal funds for each party: 86 percent for Republicans, 77 percent for Democrats. Both sides can thank the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act for that spike, which increased the limit individuals can give to $25,000 - adjusted for inflation, mind you.
In other words, the inflation-adjusted limit for the current election cycle is $28,500, according the FEC.
Burr heads north
That's the health-care-minded Sen. Richard M. Burr of North Carolina tapped to serve as co-chairman of the 2008 Republican Platform Committee, joining California Rep. Kevin McCarthy in helping outline the GOP's key positions and core values at this summer's Republican National Convention in Minneapolis.
The platform committee is composed of one man and one woman from each state and territory.
The country's economic crisis has surpassed political bickering and reached a point where Rep. Tom Feeney, Florida Republican, says everybody is to blame: "Both parties need to pull their heads out of the sand ... ."
That was the trade and investment section of the Embassy of Poland gathering at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel Tuesday evening to launch a 14th-century Polish premium vodka - ZU - for distribution in the United States.
It's full name Zubrowka, the vodka has a unique flavor of bison grass, which grows abundantly in northeastern Poland, a region famous for its bison herds.