- The Washington Times - Friday, February 2, 2007

While we’re waiting for Al

Al Gore’s former campaign manager, Donna Brazile, speaking at Moravian College in Bethlehem on Tuesday night, hinted that it’s much too early to count her former boss out of the 2008 presidential race.

From the Allentown Morning Call:

‘Wait till Oscar night,’ Brazile told an audience of about 100 people at Haupert Student Union. ‘I tell people: ‘I’m dating. I haven’t fallen in love yet.’ On Oscar night, if Al Gore has slimmed down 25 or 30 pounds, Lord knows.’

‘An Inconvenient Truth,’ a film built around Gore’s presentation on the effects of global warming, is one of the Oscar nominees for best documentary feature.

— David Eldridge, managing editor, washingtontimes.com

You call that a budget?

House Democrats today readied criticism of President Bush’s budget to be released Monday.

They sent an e-mail to reporters, editorial writers and TV news producers demanding a “bipartisan budget” without “fuzzy math” or “rosy” economic forecasts.

“Our country has voiced its desire for a new direction - and the new Democratic Majority is dedicated to giving the American people exactly that,” the note said. “The submission of an honest, credible and responsible budget would be a good start.”

The message was endorsed by House Democratic leaders, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, Majority Whip James E. Clyburn of South Carolina and Budget Committee chairman Rep. John M. Spratt Jr. of South Carolina.

— S.A. Miller, Capitol Hill correspondent, The Washington Times

Warner, Reid now on the outs?

Sen. John W. Warner told fellow Republicans at their closed-door strategy meeting in the Library of Congress this morning that he will vote Monday to block his own resolution condemning President Bush’s Iraq policy.

Sources told The Washington Times that Mr. Warner said he is upset with the way Majority Leader Harry Reid is handling the debate on the resolution he authored.

Republicans, who have felt betrayed by Mr. Warner’s alliance with Democrats on the issue, hope his defection will help them successfully filibuster the measure.

— Charles Hurt, Capitol Hill bureau chief, The Washington Times

Pelosi’s family travel request questioned

House Republicans are riled by Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s pressing the Bush administration for routine use of military aircraft to fly her and her family around the country.

Rep. Patrick T. McHenry said the speaker’s demand to ride aboard U.S. Air Force jets contradicts the Democrat’s much publicized crack down on lawmakers using corporate jets, part of new ethics rules.

“Pelosi’s family and friends love to fly and it shows,” said the North Carolina Republican. “But this time, corporations aren’t picking up the tab — the taxpayers are.”

The Washington Times reported Thursday that Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, is seeking regular flights on military aircraft for herself and family on domestic trips, such as trips back and forth from her San Francisco district.

— S.A. Miller, Capitol Hill correspondent, The Washington Times

The things you hear while waiting for Al Gore’s speech

SAN JOSE - A Google employee announced here that CEO Eric Schmidt is plenty humble. Apparently his office at the now mega-giant’s campus is so small you can touch all four walls while seated at his desk.

“You’ll always see a line of 24-year-old kids standing outside his office waiting in line to get a little bit of career advice,” the employee said. Schmidt is a panelist at the Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network’s “State of the Valley” Conference.

The Google CEO got rousing applause when he told the crowded ballroom: “Silicon Valley delivers hope to the world.” Later, he turned into a comedian. “I’ve always wanted to climb Mt. Everest,” Schmidt said.

Instead, he uses Google Earth to “do it while doing my work. This is my kind of mountain climbing.”

Next up: Al Gore’s keynote luncheon speech.

— Christina Bellantoni, Capitol Hill correspondent, The Washington Times

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