- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 2, 2001

Screen gems
Now that the Supreme Court has put a potential crimp in his legal prowess, former President Bill Clinton may be open to new venues. Hollywood has indeed come a-callin': Producer and actor Gianni Russo is working on a $75 million mobster movie and hopes to persuade Mr. Clinton to play himself in it.
"We are in the process right now," a spokeswoman for Mr. Russo told MSNBC. "We should have the answer soon."
The film, to be written and produced by Mr. Russo, is tentatively titled "Godfathers, Popes and Presidents." Mr. Russo, who played Carlo Rizzi in the 1972 classic "The Godfather," would also star in the new tale.
Mr. Clinton's possible stardom had its beginnings down under, however.
The film is being financed by Australian businessmen Karl Suleman and Nati Stolier, who first approached Mr. Clinton when they hosted the ex-president at a September fund-raiser in Australia. "Clinton was impressed and excited" about the prospect of appearing in the film, Mr. Stolier noted.

The long watch
One veteran of the courts, meanwhile, has snapped to attention after yesterday's Supreme Court disbarment decision against Bill Clinton.
Judicial Watch, which is still pursuing more than 80 cases against the former president and his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, New York Democrat, "saluted" the high court. The law firm has already filed an ethics case before the Arkansas state bar against Mr. Clinton.
Chairman Larry Klayman plans to file an amicus curiae brief with the Supreme Court, which he says "will argue, based on the totality of Clinton misconduct in numerous scandals over the years, that he be permanently disbarred."
"The former president should be held to the same standards as other legal practitioners, because no one is above the law," Mr. Klayman said.

The Sheen scene
And on to another screen president. NBC producer Dick Wolf once called the network's much ballyhooed "West Wing" dramatic series "Kennedy liberalism on prime time." Those who agree should brace themselves tomorrow when the show debuts with a hastily updated script.
Martin Sheen, who plays President Bartlet, and his co-stars will talk right to the audience to "prepare" them for an overhauled episode based on the terrorist attacks.
According to NBC Entertainment President Jeff Zucker, producer Aaron Sorkin "thought it would be important in the history of 'The West Wing' to address the events. We did not want to make any decisions in the emotion of the moment, in the heat of the first week."
Mr. Sorkin readied a script titled "Isaac and Ishmael" that Mr. Zucker described as "moving and engaging." Television critics are already wondering if the series will push public tolerance for repackaging news as entertainment.
"I think in a way that people will gravitate toward 'The West Wing,' because more than ever they're interested in what's really going on at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue," Mr. Zucker said.

Dollars and sense
So the government isn't minding its purse again? Never fear. Sen. Fred Thompson is snarling on the heels of 19 federal agencies with inadequate financial management an annoying trend revealed by a new General Accounting Office report.
The Tennessee Republican, who is ranking member on the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, said, "The agencies simply aren't able to tell us on a regular basis where taxpayer dollars are going. At a time like this, where every dollar, every asset, every resource counts, sound financial management is more important than ever."
The GAO report indicated weaknesses in security at the Department of Treasury and Department of Defense financial systems, among other findings.
Mr. Thompson remains on vigil. The agencies need to know "how much money they have, where their assets are and whether they're getting what they paid for. The vulnerabilities cited in the report make it imperative that we redouble our efforts to shore up the government's financial management."

Sore at Gore
The Boston Herald's Joe Sciacca found reason to celebrate yesterday.
"Not that people need anything else to be frightened about, but imagine this: Al Gore could be president," he wrote. "It makes you want to go out and find those 537 voters in Florida and buy them some propane for their trailer park or something.
"Gore surfaced in Iowa over the weekend to give the first speech since his concession last year. I liked his concession better, but seeing him back on the stump 'Restore Gore in 2004' was quite something. New beard, same baloney.
"Gore on the U.S. response to terrorism: 'Our response to this has to be in keeping with the scale of the kind of response that will be effective.' Bush on the U.S. response to terrorism: Bin Laden, wanted dead or alive. We're gonna smoke them out of their caves. We're in hot pursuit. Dead or alive. Rootin' em out.
"There are presidents for wartime and there are presidents for peacetime. And Al Gore is right where he should be: Nowhere near the White House."

Match in Minnesota
Some 28,000 Minnesota state security guards, highway workers, tax collectors, clerical workers and parole and probation officers walked off the job yesterday, prompting Gov. Jesse Ventura to call out the National Guard and nonstriking managers to take their places.
"Be assured, we will not let this strike get in the way of doing what is necessary to see our way through these very difficult times," Mr. Ventura said.
Carol Williams, a member of the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees, said that was an unfair shot.
"I think the state used the fact that they didn't think the public would be behind us," she said. "President Bush said, 'Let's get on with it.' And that's what we're doing."

Another strategy
The same group that created World War II's sweet-faced Rosie the Riveter and the slogan "Loose lips sink ships" is back in action for the war on terrorism.
The Advertising Council, formed after the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack, is searching for an "elite" group of creative talent to work on a national war ad campaign in conjunction with the White House, the council reports.
The plan is to form a group similar to the Tuesday Team, which pulled agency executives together to promote Ronald Reagan's 1984 presidential bid.
The group will design a strategy for several public service announcement campaigns that respond to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, said Peggy Conlon, Ad Council president.
At least a dozen major ad agencies are expected to participate in the pro bono project.

Democrats resume fund raising
Complaining that the moratorium on political fund raising in the wake of the Sept 11. terrorist attacks has hurt its finances, the Democratic National Committee has resumed its money-raising activities.
"We are continuing to move forward with a couple of fund-raising events that we put together for the chairman on the West Coast," DNC spokesman Maria Cardona said in an interview last night.
DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe was scheduled to appear at fund-raisers yesterday and today with plans to do many more fund-raising events in the days to come, she said.
"We'll continue to do this next week as well. We've started. We've resumed, though obviously in a nonpartisan way," she said.

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