- The Washington Times - Monday, March 20, 2006

In both clubs

Unlike Jessica Simpson, the “huge fan” of President Bush who made headlines for snubbing Thursday’s gala fundraiser for the National Republican Congressional Committee, Hollywood actress Janine Turner not only attended the Washington event, she also sang.

“I’m not ashamed to be a Republican and supporter of this president,” says Miss Turner, who apart from her many movie roles (“Cliffhanger,” “Steel Magnolias”) starred in the CBS series “Northern Exposure.” “Part of being an American is to take a stand, stand up for your beliefs. But people today are so afraid of being excluded from the club if they admit to being a Republican.”

So Miss Turner, who grew up in Texas (word is she’s related to Anson Jones, the last president of the Republic of Texas) and today owns a ranch outside of Dallas, not only appeared at the Republican dinner, she kicked off the festivities.

“I sang the national anthem, which I’ve never sung before,” she told Inside the Beltway over the weekend while touring the Jefferson Memorial with her 8-year-old daughter, Juliette. “I got to meet the president; Juliette got to meet the president. It was a real honor.”

Besides “still doing movies,” Miss Turner says she is writing a book, among other personal and professional endeavors.

Daily torment

No doubt conservative columnist and pundit Cal Thomas will be on hand this evening at Politics and Prose bookstore in Washington, where TV colleague Eric Burns will be signing copies of his intriguing new (and frequently hilarious) book, “Infamous Scribblers: The Founding Fathers and the Rowdy Beginnings of American Journalism.”

A former NBC News correspondent, Mr. Burns hosts “Fox News Watch” on the Fox News Channel. And while Mr. Thomas appears on the program as a panelist, that hasn’t stopped him from writing his own rave review.

Noting that “Infamous Scribblers” is a line taken from the pen of George Washington, Mr. Thomas recalls that schoolchildren over the years were taught many things about the Founding Fathers, but little about what their journalistic tormentors said about them. (Certainly, schoolchildren today have no shortage of such editorial and partisan opinion.)

That’s where Mr. Burns’ book “completes the record,” he says.

The National Gazette, he points out, was so concerned that George Washington would become a monarch that on the president’s 61st birthday, editor Philip Freneau warned: “Who will deny that the celebrating of birth days is not a striking feature of royalty? We hear of no such thing during the republic of Rome.”

Get the skinny

As Washington restaurant publicist Simone Rathle puts it, the prominent position (behind the stove) of Jeff Tunks, executive chef of DC Coast, TenPenh, Ceiba and Acadiana restaurants, led not only to culinary success and accolades, but also weight gain.

In fact, this column first revealed 18 months ago, while diners of the popular Washington restaurants were soaking up Mr. Tunks’ caloric creations, the 6-foot-3-inch chef was quietly ducking into a Subway sandwich shop next door to DC Coast and ordering a 12-inch turkey, lettuce and tomato sub on whole-wheat bread — hold the cheese.

Now, Mrs. Rathle tells us, having mastered the concepts of portion control, healthy eating and daily exercise, Mr. Tunks has shed more than 125 pounds over the course of three years.

His secret: load up on fresh fruits and vegetables, avoid processed or refined foods (yes, Mr. Tunks serves healthy entrees at all four of his restaurants) and make exercise a part of your daily routine. His biggest tip: no carbs after 2 p.m.

Secure future

We told you last week about a National Rifle Association lawsuit filed against New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin, aimed at forcing his honor to return all firearms confiscated from lawful residents of the hurricane-battered city.

Now, the NRA informs us that lawyers for both sides have told the court of a negotiated agreement regarding the seized firearms.

“After months of stonewalling, the city of New Orleans has now admitted that it holds a number of firearms,” says the NRA, which is now taking the next step of assisting residents in retrieving their guns.

S&L; scandal

There is something that bothers my brain

When I scan John McCaslin’s name;

I delete ‘s’ and ‘l’

And the remnants repel:

John McCaslin is now John McCain!

F.R. Duplantier

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


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