- The Washington Times - Monday, April 27, 2009

Playing Abramoff

Two-time Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey has accepted a role to play disgraced fundraiser Jack Abramoff in a film called “Casino Jack,” directed by George Hickenlooper.

The blog Deadline Hollywood Daily reported Mr. Spacey visited Abramoff in prison to research the role and plans to meet with Abramoff’s old lobbyist friends in Washington.

Hayden Christensen will play Abramoff’s business partner Michael Scanlon and Spencer Garrett will play former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, Texas Republican.

Hope and jewels

President Obama is everywhere.

Mass retailer JCPenney is selling four different necklaces that look remarkably similar to his well-known “O” campaign logo.

The pieces are merchandised as “hope” pendants and feature a striped foreground against a rising sun. Sale prices range from $49.99 for a silver medallion pendant to $99.99 for styles with diamond accents.

Equal time

A historically black national fraternity is asking that President Obama match his executive order that created a White House Council on Women and Girls, focused on matters such as equal pay and expanded family leave, with a new order for a similar men and boys council.

“Mr. President, we are keenly aware of the challenges that face women and girls,” Herman “Skip” Mason Jr., general president of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, wrote in a letter to the president. “However, we believe a focus must also be placed on men and boys.”

Mr. Herman cited a 2006 report by the Schott Foundation for Public Education that states only 35 percent of black males graduated from high school in Chicago and only 26 percent in New York City. The report also noted that “only a few black boys who finish high school actually attend college, and of those who enter college, nationally, only 22 percent finish with a degree.”

Alpha Phi Alpha is the oldest black Greek-lettered organization of collegiate men.

Charity waterboard

A cadre of liberal personalities and bloggers are urging Fox News Channel and radio host Sean Hannity to follow through on his offer to be waterboarded for charity.

During an on-air disagreement over torture with actor Charles Grodin, in which Mr. Grodin accused Mr. Hannity of wearing too much mascara and asked whether he was dating Ann Coulter, Mr. Hannity said he’d allow himself to be waterboarded to raise money for the troops.

MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann followed by telling his audience he would pay $1,000 to charity for “every second Hannity is waterboarded.”

Several Web sites, promoted by liberal bloggers, have been constructed to coordinate donations if Mr. Hannity does agree to be waterboarded. A Facebook group supporting the cause has 720 members. There’s no word, however, if Mr. Hannity has scheduled a session at this time.

Liz defends Dad

Elizabeth “Liz” Cheney, former deputy assistant secretary of state and daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, is vehemently defending the Bush administration’s decision to use waterboarding as an interrogation tactic.

In a recent appearance on MSNBC with anchor Norah O’Donnell, Ms. Cheney reminded her: “If al Qaeda captures an American, they cut his head off.”

Conservative bloggers celebrated Ms. Cheney’s cool demeanor despite Ms. O’Donnell’s frequent interruptions, while liberals tagged her for “defending her father’s torture legacy.”

Ms. Cheney is now helping her father write a memoir that will reportedly rely on documents from the National Archives that show waterboarding was an effective tactic.

Career-ender

House of Commons Shadow Leader Alan Duncan recently made a chilling remark about Miss California, Carrie Prejean, on a British comedy show.

The topic of gay marriage and Miss Prejean’s widely publicized opposition to it came up on the BBC’s “Have I Got News for You.” There Mr. Duncan called the young beauty a “silly [expletive]” and ominously said, “If you read that Miss California is murdered, you will know it was me.”

Mr. Duncan, who is gay, has not apologized, but later told the Sun newspaper, “I’d love to invite her over and take her around the House of Commons. Even though it’s me, it will still make [members of Parliament] jealous.”

• Amanda Carpenter can be reached at acarpenter@ washingtontimes.com.

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