Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
When Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recently called on Russia to "act responsibly" in a dispute with Ukraine and continue supplying it with natural gas, it brought out the worst in a notorious Russian politician. The leader of Russia's Liberal and Democratic Party, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, dismissed and explained Rice's comment by saying she is "a single woman who has no children."
Zhirinovsky told a Russian paper that Rice is "a very cruel, offended woman who lacks men's attention," and said she's worse than "malicious mothers-in-law, women that evoke hatred and irritation with everyone." The New York Daily News reports that Zhirinovsky has created controversy in the past... praising Hitler, encouraging the use of Nuclear weapons, and advocating Russia's invasion and "reacquisition" of Alaska. Meanwhile, the State Department says Rice will not "dignify" his comments with a response.
Former Representative Jim Traficant was once known for his hairpiece and his flamboyant exclamations on the House floor. But the Ohio Democrat, now in prison for bribery and tax evasion, is becoming known for something else — his art.
Traficant, who is serving an 8-year term, passes the time by painting images of the horses and barns he remembers, and no doubt misses, from his Ohio farm. What's more, many of the acrylic-on-cardboard paintings are for sale on the Internet with the proceeds going toward Traficant's art supplies.
One art critic tells the Cleveland Plain Dealer that Traficant isn't overly talented, but notes that the man with no hair who wore an outlandish wig draws his horses with flowing hair. And he said Traficant's "emphasis on manes and tails" is almost a fetish.
Washington is abuzz over its beloved Redskins football team taking on the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL playoffs this weekend, but the game is creating headaches for some Seattle media. The Seattle Times has banned the name "Redskins" from headlines and captions — to avoid offending Native Americans, which makes talking about the game a little tricky.
Reporters can use "Redskins" only on first reference after which they have to refer to the team only as "Washington."
While some politicians might consider declaring their candidacy on Friday the 13th unlucky, Jonathan Sharkey has a good reason for choosing that date. The Minnesota gubernatorial candidate, also known as "The Impaler," is the leader of the "Vampyres, Witches and Pagans Party." The 41-year-old Army vet, who paid the $300 filing fee required to get on Minnesota's ballot, calls politics a "cut-throat business,” adding, "Unlike other candidates, I'm not going to hide my evil side."
Sharkey's platform includes an emphasis on education, tax breaks for farmers, and better benefits for veterans, along with a rather unique plan to personally impale terrorists, rapists, and drug dealers on the state Capitol grounds.
— FOX News' Aaron Bruns contributed to this report