Democrats on Wednesday battled to scotch the notion that General David Petraeus's upbeat report on his troop surge strategy had punctured their drive to bring US troops home from Iraq.
Party leaders said they would launch a new attempt in the Senate next week to change the mission of the war, though Petraeus's marathon testimony in Congress appeared to have bought more time for President George W. Bush.
Senate majority leader Harry Reid said Bush's expected announcement in a televised address Thursday that he would reduce US troop levels by 30,000 to pre-surge levels by mid-2008 did not go far enough.
"This is unacceptable to me, this is unacceptable to the American people," Reid said.
A former New Orleans prostitute who will be featured in Larry Flynt's Hustler magazine appeared at his office Tuesday to accuse Sen. David Vitter of having a sexual relationship with her in 1999. Wendy Ellis told reporters that Vitter visited her two to three times a week for sexual relations between July and November 1999.
Flynt produced parts of an Aug. 22 polygraph test that he said confirmed her account, but Ellis could provide no financial records, photographs or other evidence to support her assertion that the Louisiana Republican was a client during that time.
They were the ones who got hurt the most.
They watched admiringly as their hero climbed the political ladder. They gave him pats on the back, hugged him and sent roses to his office in Washington. One group even created a fan club because they believed he could do no wrong.
Now, they refer to Mark Foley in the past tense.
Democrats and moderate Republicans in Congress have tough questions for a top military commander in Iraq who is warning against major changes to President Bush's war strategy.
Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker were scheduled to testify Monday in the first of three hearings this week on the future course of the unpopular 4-year-old war. Officials familiar with their thinking told The Associated Press over the weekend that the advisers will acknowledge disappointing progress in Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's bid to achieve national reconciliation but would urge Congress to maintain the U.S. troop buildup to preserve local security gains.
Rep. Bob Filner stormed into a United Airlines baggage office at Dulles International Airport, barged past other customers, screamed at employees and repeatedly pushed a female baggage worker, according to a criminal complaint.
"You can't stop me!" the California Democrat yelled.
"The police can," replied the baggage worker, Joanne Kay Kunkel.
Filner backed off only when he heard another employee on the phone with airport police, says the complaint, which offers more details on an Aug. 19 incident that resulted in misdemeanor assault and battery charges against Filner.
Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel, a persistent Republican critic of the Iraq war, intends to announce on Monday he will not seek a third term, according to Republican officials.
The officials also said Hagel does not plan to run for the White House in 2008, despite earlier flirting with a candidacy.
The 60-year-old senator arranged a news conference for Monday in Omaha, Neb., to make his formal announcement. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid pre-empting the event.
Coverage by the mainstream media of the Larry Craig scandal confirms again that liberals love the sin and hate the sinner. They've got both the Idaho senator and the conservative values that he has supported in their crosshairs.
Perhaps it's relevant to take a moment and recall that the need for biblical guidance comes from the proclivity to sin. You don't need a map if you're hardwired to know where you're going.
Wedding bells will be ringing for Reps. Connie Mack and Mary Bono, Mack's office confirmed.
Mack, 40, popped the question recently to make their coupledom official, according to staffers in his office.
Mack, R-Fla., and Bono, R-Calif., began their in-house romance in 2005, shortly after both announced their marriages were ending.
Idaho's senior Republican congressman called on Sen. Larry Craig on Thursday to make it clear he will leave his seat by Sept. 30, as GOP leaders sought to remove any doubt that the embattled senator will resign within weeks.
Craig's chief spokesman said his boss had dropped virtually all notions of trying to finish his third term, which ends in early 2009. But prominent Republicans in Washington and Idaho wanted a firm deadline in hopes of putting the controversy behind them.
Most Senate Republicans want their Idaho colleague, Larry Craig, to just go and go soon. They have enough scandals in their ranks without Craig's disagreeable little episode in an airport bathroom.
Privately, Senate Democrats would like to see him stay on to keep the scandal alive and help underline their contention that the GOP is the party of moral hypocrisy when it is not being the party of corruption.