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INSIDE POLITICS

The Washington Times' political blog.

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How bad it almost was

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday put a figure on how bad the economy would have been without Democrats in control — 16 percent unemployment.

The anti-Pelosi vote

When Rep. Nancy Pelosi lost 19 Democrats on Wednesday's vote to be House speaker, it marked the worst showing for a party's nominee in more than 80 years.

Rendell: 'Nation of wusses'

Count Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell among those who were surprised -- even disgusted -- by the National Football League's decision to cancel Sunday night's game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Minnesota Vikings due to inclement weather.

Rep. Towns declines committee leadership spot

Outgoing House Oversight Committee Chairman Edolphus Towns doesn't want to serve as the panel's top Democrat when Republicans take control of the House next month, said his office Tuesday. "After much thought, Chairman Towns today made the decision not to seek the ranking member position on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee," said a statement released by a spokesman of the New York Democrat.

Romney straddles the tax cut deal

Bloggers, pundits and others in the political chattering class have referred to Mitt Romney's anti-tax deal op-ed in USA Today as evidence that the former Massachusetts governor is staking out a tea-party-friendly stand. On his own website, the presumed contender for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination recycles the USA Today column under the declarative headline, "Why Tax Cut is a Bad Deal." But a closer read of the article reveals Romney hedging his bets.

Jim Webb holds early poll lead over Allen

A new poll shows Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, Democrat, with a one-point lead over potential challenger and former GOP Sen. George Allen in a 2012 rematch of their 2006 Senate race. The Calrus Research Group poll shows Mr. Webb, a first-term senator, leading 41 percent to 40 percent, with the remain 18 percent of potential voters undecided.

'No Labels' pushes nonpartisan approach

The kickoff for the nonpartisan, "No Labels" political movement Monday morning drew roughly 1,000 people — including marquee politicians from across the political spectrum — to Columbia University but lost some wattage when hip-hop star Akon missed the gig and couldn't perform his "No Labels Anthem."

House poised to spend more time at home in 2011

House Republicans promise to work hard — but spend few weeks on Capitol Hill — when they take control of the chamber next year. Incoming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia on Wednesday released the 2011 House legislative calendar for the 112th Congress, which contains 123 work days during 32 weeks. While the number of days is consistent with first sessions in years past, the number of weeks in the session is an 11 percent drop. The Republican lawmaker says the schedule will result in less travel for members and potential savings to their congressional allowances.

Obama muffed U.S. motto

Members of Congress on Monday called on President Obama to issue a public correction after he incorrectly labeled E pluribus unum the U.S.'s motto in a speech last month, rather than "In God We Trust." The lawmakers, members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, also said the president was making "a pattern" of dropping the word "Creator" when he recites the self-evident truths of the Declaration of Independence. "By misrepresenting things as foundational as the Declaration of Independence and our national motto, you are not only doing a disservice to the people you represent you are casting aside an integral part of American society," the representatives said in a stern letter asking for him to correct the speech.

Bush has a fist-bump sit down with Zuckerberg

A relaxed, wisecracking George W. Bush sat down Monday for a wide-ranging interview with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, defending the Wall Street bailout, telling an off-color (and very funny) joke about Vladimir Putin and teasing his hoodie-wearing host -- even fist-bumping the young billionaire at one point.