In The Know

Palin to kick off new show with LL Cool J, Toby Keith, Jack Welch

Sarah Palin will kick off her new Fox News series, "Real American Stories," with one of the most diverse guest lineups in recent memory: rapper and actor LL Cool J, country singer Toby Keith, and former GE CEO Jack Welch.

The three very different guests will speak to Palin for her inaugural episode on April 1st. 

According to a press release from Fox News, the show will "focus on a range of such stories including a Marine Medal of Honor recipient who gave his life to save his comrades, and ... a wealthy stock broker who donates much of his fortune to underprivileged students so they can attend college."

There's a patriotic theme to the show, which promises to be a blend of inspiring stories about ordinary people interspersed with plenty of celebrities. 

This is Palin's first television series, but it won't be her last. The former governor (pictured here on the RAS set) inked a deal with TLC last week to develop a wilderness series, "Alaska" in her native state.


LeMieux gets to know his new baby before naming her

Some couples debate the name of their new baby for months before it's born, bandying family names back and forth before finally settling on one or two options. But not Sen. George LeMieux (R-Fla.) and his wife Meike.

They preferred to get to know their baby before naming it.

Madeleine Meike LeMeieux was born Monday afternoon, but had to wait almost 24 hours before getting her moniker. Her dad announced it Tuesday afternoon on his Twitter account.

The reason for the delay?  Her Mom and Dad wanted to spend some time with her before picking a name, a LeMieux spokeswoman told ITK.

This was in part because the couple didn't know whether they were having a boy or a girl, but more so their personal preference.

The spelling of Madeleine Meike is French and the middle name is LeMieux's wife's first name. Bienvenue, mademoiselle.


Rep. Polis reacts to Ricky Martin's coming out

Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) was not surprised at pop star Ricky Martin's decision to admit he is gay.

Monday evening, Polis, who is openly gay, posted on his official Twitter account:

Ricky Martin came out as gay! SHOCKER there. Who will break the girls' hearts nxt, Johnny Weir?

Martin, whose 1999 single "Livin' la Vida Loca," made him a worldwide sensation, ended years of speculation Monday by posting a statement on his website saying, "I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man."

However, some of Polis's followers took offense at what they believed to be a less than professional response to the Puerto Rican singer's announcement.

One follower with the account @RealLifeUnplugd tweeted at Polis: "I would hope a respected man as yourself can see the value in supporting all those that come out and stand up even Ricky Martin."

Polis later clarified to those followers that he was being supportive of Martin by tweeting: "I am proud of him!" and "I think it's great he came out! He wasn't really "in" before."


McCaskill on Colbert Report: Boehner's 'a little orange'

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) appeared on the Colbert Report last night, and used the opportunity to take a few shots at conservatives.

House Minority Leader John Boehner's tan is "a little oranage," for example. McCaskill also teased Missouri native Rush Limbaugh for pledging to leave the country if healthcare reform passed.

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Fashionable French first couple come to dinner, but cameras stay out

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife, model and singer Carla Bruni Sarkozy, will dine with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama on Tuesday night.  But despite the combination of two of the planet's most glamorous couples, the only fashionable photo-op will be for official White House photographer Pete Souza.

The White House closed the dinner to press, and while no official reason was given when the decision was made more than a month ago to host the Sarkozys in low-key style, there was speculation that the transition between former White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers and her successor, Julianna Smoot, was a factor.

Smoot started in her new job at the White House last Monday, and this is her first dinner for a visiting head of state and his wife.

Smoot's first state dinner will be on May 19, for Mexican President Felipe Calderon.


Obama gets prayers on his BlackBerry daily

President Barack Obama said Tuesday that he receives a daily prayer devotional on his BlackBerry.

Obama is the first president to carry one of the mobile devices, and said that he uses it to read prayers sent to him by several pastors from around the country who prayed with him during the 2008 campaign. 

During an interview on NBC's "Today" show taped Monday but aired Tuesday, he called the online prayers a "wonderful thing."

Obama said he also convenes with the circle of pastors periodically at the White House.


Obama hosts aides at the White House for a Passover Seder

President Barack Obama continued a tradition he began two years ago on the campaign trail Monday night when he invited hosted aides at the White House for a Passover Seder.

The meal was closed to press, but the White House released this photo. Seated to the president's right is Lisa Kohnke of the Office of Public Engagement . To his left is Deputy Communications Director Jen Psaki.


Cindy and Meghan McCain screamed at by an angry conservative

Cindy and Meghan McCain were screamed at on Monday afternoon by a man who was angry that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is not more conservative.

Meghan McCain posted a tweet about the incident shortly thereafter, writing, "Out w mom, some a**hole screams "your husband needs to be more conservative" and runs off - like a real man would do."

The McCains' run-in is the latest in a rash of troubling incidents in recent weeks involving the family members of lawmakers on both sides of the ideological spectrum.

Members of Congress have reported incidents ranging from menacing voice mails on their home answering machines to vandalism, and worse.

Earlier on Monday, a man was arrested for threatening GOP House Whip Eric Cantor (Va.) and his wife.


Nightclub patron who billed the RNC was also a Vegas poker player

A GOP consultant who billed the Republican National Committee nearly $2,000 for an evening at a risque Los Angeles nightclub is also a poker player who last year played an all-night tournament at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas.

After Erik Brown came under fire Monday for expensing his visit to the club Voyeur West Hollywood, the marketing executive canceled his Twitter account. But not before a page of his tweets were cached, including this 6:04 a.m. update from Sunday, June 21, 2009:

"Going "Heads Up" at the final table of the Ceasars Palace Poker Tournament #fb."

The term 'heads up' in poker refers to the point during a tournament when there are only two players left. The hashtag #fb means that Brown cross-posted the update to his Facebook page.

As of Monday, Brown's Facebook page appears to have disappeared along with his Twitter account, although it's not clear exactly when the Facebook account was deleted.

Brown's tweet about the all-night poker game appears alongside other Twitter updates in which Brown quotes Pastor Rick Warren, the conservative leader of the Saddleback Church.

Still another profile of Brown on the website of Gen Next, a members-only conservative advocacy group Brown belongs to, states that Brown and his wife Alison are "actively involved" in "the ministries of their local church."


LeMieux and his wife welcome a baby girl

Sen. George LeMieux (R-Fla.) and his wife Meike welcomed a baby girl on Monday afternoon.

And in what may be a first for the upper chamber, LeMieux used Twitter to make the birth announcement, tweeting "It's a Girl!" at approximately 2:45 p.m.

No word yet on what the young Miss LeMieux (shown here) will be named, but a spokeswoman told ITK she weighs 7 lbs., 2 oz., and is 20 inches long. 

This is the first daughter for the couple, who has three boys.

ITK congratulates the LeMieux family on the new addition!