- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hours after South Carolina Republican Rep. Joe Wilson was formally rebuked by his colleagues in the House for screaming “You lie!” at the president during a joint session of Congress last week, G2 was on Capitol Hill for a reception for the Entertainment Industries Council’s Prism Awards, which honor entertainers who destigmatize mental illness and substance abuse recovery.

We ran into Rep. Howard Coble, North Carolina Republican, dressed in his “Tar Heel blue” suit, who expressed consternation over the vote. “What [Mr. Wilson] did was inappropriate, but he apologized, and the President and Speaker Pelosi accepted his apology,” he said, adding, “We had several Democrats that voted with us.”

Speaking of Dems, on the way out of the Congressional Visitor’s Center, we ran smack into former House Majority (and, later, Minority) leader Richard A. “Dick” Gephardt, flanked by a large entourage.

What did he think of the news of the hour? “I don’t want to get into that,” he politely explained.

But Robert Duvall did.

The Oscar-winning actor was taking in a performance of “Cavalia,” the horse spectacular from the creators of Cirque du Soleil, at Pentagon City on Tuesday night, along with Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall and Washington Capitals players Matt Bradley, Chris Clark and David Steckel.

Mr. Duvall, one of the few big name entertainers who openly supported John McCain in the 2008 presidential contest, at first demurred when asked for comment, but in the end couldn’t resist. “It’s a matter of freedom of speech,” he declared. “What [Mr. Wilson’s critics] said about President Bush is ten times worse than what he said. If only I could tell you my stories about Obama at Harvard.”

On that tantalizing note, Mr. Duvall was gently led away by his wife.

Think Fresh

Proving that she likes to go green, First Lady Michelle Obama attended the opening of FreshFarm market’s new farmers market located a few blocks away from the White House yesterday with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty.

The market will provide plenty of veggies and locally raised meats “to the people in the neighborhood, including many federal employees from the White House, Veterans Affairs, GSA, the Export-Import Bank and the Treasury Department,” explained Mrs. Obama’s spokesperson Semonti Mustaphi in an e-mail. “The White House is eager to encourage farmers’ markets and other efforts to help achieve a healthier work force.”

It will save on those pesky health care costs, too!

Can’t buy me votes

Veteran pollster John Zogby has some fascinating new poll results. Rather than measuring American opinion on the health care debate, they reveal far more relevant information about our favorite Beatles! Most intriguing, the numbers seemed to be split along political, cultural and generational lines.

“When it comes to picking their favorite lad from Liverpool, Americans say Paul McCartney (27 percent) is their favorite Beatle, with John Lennon taking a distant second at 16 percent, and far fewer choosing George Harrison (10 percent) or Ringo Starr (9 percent),” Mr. Zogby reported in a press release.

The poll of 4,837 adults was conducted Sept. 10 through Sept. 14 and carries a margin of error of +/- 1.4 percentage points.

“Americans over 30 and those over 65 love Paul. It must be the crazy love songs and ‘Yesterday,’ ” the pollster surmised. “Interestingly, John is the main answer for people who never go to church.”

In contrast, those who identify themselves as “born again Christians” were three times as likely to pick Mr. McCartney (25 percent) over Mr. Lennon (8 percent) as their favorite Beatle.

As for the partisan breakdown: “Democrats (25 percent) are far more likely than Republicans (6 percent) and independents (15 percent) to say John is their favorite Beatle, while moderates (32 percent) are far more likely to prefer Paul. Liberals (14 percent) are more than twice as likely as moderates (7 percent) and conservatives (9 percent) to pick George as their favorite. Conservatives (30 percent) are the most likely ideology to say they don’t like the Beatles, followed by moderates (19 percent) and liberals (9 percent) who say the same.”

SneakerBall

“Well, I have to say Kanye got up there on an impulse and he shouldn’t have done it at all, but I’m going to tell you I saw him on ‘Jay Leno’ last night and my heart went out to him,” Washington Mystics owner Sheila Johnson confided to us Tuesday night at the SneakerBall at the National Building Museum.

“You people don’t understand these rappers. These musicians are so young - they’re really just young developing adults, and I’m going to tell you I cried with him, especially when Jay Leno said to him, ‘What would your mother think?’ It really hit my heart. I think people really need to start cutting him just a little slack and to understand he’s a young, young person.”

Other guests at the fundraiser for the Great Washington Sports Alliance included Capitals superstar Alexander Ovechkin and Redskins Fred Smoot and Chris Cooley.

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

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