- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 27, 2006

Fan of filibuster

“One of those ‘only in Washington’ stories,” Federal Election Commission Commissioner Hans A. von Spakovsky writes to Inside the Beltway.

“My wife Susan and I took our three children out to dinner on Friday night, ages 8 (Anna), 10 (Christopher) and 12 (Elisabeth). My youngest daughter, Anna, likes to talk and spent the entire first hour of dinner telling us all about what had happened to her in school that day.

“I finally told her that we should enter her in a talking contest because she would probably win. Without missing a beat, Anna promptly told us that she might not win a talking contest, but that she could win a ‘filibuster.’ How many elementary kids outside of Washington even know what a filibuster is? So look out Senate class of 2028!”

Celebrity watch

Hollywood on the Potomac is overflowing in advance of tomorrow night’s annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner.

Washington Life Magazine publishers Nancy Bagley and her husband, Soroush Shehabi, today will host a celebrity luncheon for 50 guests at Teatro Goldoni honoring the Creative Coalition — the entertainment industry’s political advocacy wing — founded by actors Alec Baldwin, Ron Silver, Christopher Reeve and Susan Sarandon.

Placemats are set for Joey “Pants” Pantoliano of “Sopranos” fame; Hill Harper of “CSI: New York”; Kerry Washington of “NYPD Blue,” “Law & Order,” and “Boston Legal”; and Lisa Ling, host of “National Geographic Ultimate Explorer.” (No word on George Clooney, although he’s rumored to be at Newsweek’s table for the dinner.)

Meanwhile, veteran TV show creator and producer Tammy Haddad (CNN’s “Larry King Live”, NBC’s “The Today Show,” and MSNBC’s “Hardball,” with Chris Matthews) and her “special counsel” husband, Ted Greenberg, once again will welcome guests to their garden for a pre-dinner brunch.

Finally, to help partygoers wipe away the cobwebs Sunday morning, TV talkmeister John McLaughlin and wife Cristina will host their annual brunch on the roof terrace of the Hay-Adams Hotel overlooking the White House.

Neighborly knock

If you live in North Carolina, don’t be surprised tomorrow to discover 2004 presidential candidate Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, standing on your doorstep.

“Governor Dean will be knocking on doors with a local county party [official],” says the DNC’s Tom McMahon. The pair will be joining local officials and candidates across the country who are “reaching out to have a conversation about the future of our country with their neighbors.”

No cable guy

Obviously, that was actor Clark Gable who flew B-17s during World War II — not “Cable,” as one finger carelessly typed yesterday. Reader reaction to our lengthy item on Hollywood’s wartime service will appear in Monday’s column.

Stage stars

The Young Playwrights’ Theater (YPT), winner of the 2005 Mayor’s Arts Award for Outstanding Contribution in Arts Education, celebrates 10 years of nurturing imaginations and literacy skills of Washington children with a benefit performance at 7:30 Monday evening at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.

The six featured plays of “YPT Turns Ten! A Celebration of Young Playwrights,” are written by students from Bell Multicultural High School, Fillmore Arts Center and School Without Walls, as well as by residents of Oak Hill Juvenile Detention Center.

And yes, that is Joan Almedilla of Les Misérables’ national tour fame on the host committee.

“She and three other Les Miz cast members visited a Bell Multicultural class when YPT was working with the students in December,” publicist Deb Fiscella tells us. “As it turns out, one of the plays by a student in that class will be performed at the benefit (‘Once Upon a Time in China,’ by Joel Sanchez.)”

Tickets are $75 each, available online at www.yptdc.org, or by contacting YPT at (202) 387-9173.

John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin@washingtontimes.com.

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