- The Washington Times - Monday, June 15, 2009

Government officials and Washington think-tankers duked it out Sunday for bragging rights in the Budgetball on the Mall tournament. Teams from the U.S. Treasury, the Office of Management and Budget, the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute took on college students from the University of Miami and Philander Smith College in Arkansas.

Similar to Ultimate Frisbee, Budgetball is a team sport intended to build awareness — especially among America’s youth — about the nation’s growing financial challenges and possible solutions. The event was hosted by the National Academy of Public Administration, which helped design the game, and by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, which supported its development. The National Journal Group was the media cosponsor of the event.

Although the team from Miami prevailed, our policy-wonk friends should get a shout-out from G2 for their creative team names.

(Corrected paragraph:) The U.S. Treasury team was known as the “Stress Tested.” The OMB group called itself the “Budget Hawks.” And our personal favorite had to be the “Fiscal Fanatics” from Brookings.

Players included David Walker, chief executive officer of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and former U.S. comptroller general, and Robert D. Reischauer, president of the Urban Institute and former director of the Congressional Budget Office.

However, the real “team players” were no-shows. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner skipped the game but sent a statement, as did Rep. Paul D. Ryan Jr., Wisconsin Republican and the ranking member of the House Budget Committee.

“Recent events remind us of how important it is for people to be informed about matters related to their financial well-being,” Mr. Geithner said in a statement.

“Budgetball is an innovative way to teach students about saving, investing, taxes and debt in a fun, accessible way,” Mr. Ryan’s statement read.

Perhaps the two couldn’t participate because they were too “stress-tested” while thinking of ways to improve the nation’s economy.

‘Wonder’-ful

“I’d give the judiciary the lasso of truth,” said Lynda Carter — singer, former Maybelline “spokesmodel” and star of TV’s “Wonder Woman” — in reference to the magical weapon used by her famous character to fight the bad guys.

Miss Carter, who has lived in Potomac, Md., with hubby Robert A. Altman (chairman and CEO of ZeniMax Media) for more than 20 years, still gets the star treatment as we witnessed Saturday night at the Kennedy Center when she introduced “At Last,” her new CD featuring covers of jazz and pop standards. (Spotted in the KenCen crowd: William S. Cohen, former secretary of defense under President Bill Clinton, and his wife, author (and former model and TV journalist) Janet Langhart Cohen.

During the concert, Miss Carter dedicated the Rosa Henderson blues classic “Woman be Wise (Don’t advertise your man)” — written by Sippie Wallace and performed by Rosa Henderson — to Mrs. Cohen.

We later asked Miss Carter, a longtime friend of the Cohens, why she chose Mrs. Cohen and why she selected that particular song.

“Because he’s so sexy,” she said, referring to the dashing former U.S. senator and Cabinet official, who now heads the Cohen Group, a business consulting firm.

Speaking of sexy, Miss Carter, 57, is still sporting the curves, raven mane and crystal-blue eyes that made her a household name in the late 1970s.

“I still wear Maybelline,” she said of the tried-and-true cosmetic brand. “They still have the best mascara, but I wear false eye lashes too.”

The actress, who told us her husband is a big fan of the Obama administration, also said, “I don’t like to get on a soap box.” Still, that didn’t stop her from venturing into political chatter aside from her golden-lasso joke.

Yet, despite her own views, the after-party crowd was a bipartisan mix. Guests from both sides of the aisle included Republican power players Fred V. Malek, former deputy undersecretary for the Department of Health, Education and Welfare and his wife, Marlene; and Rep. John Dingell, Michigan Democrat, and his lobbyist wife, Deborah.

To contact Stephanie Green and Elizabeth Glover, e-mail [email protected]

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