It was a near quiet end of 2005/beginning of 2006 weekend in D.C. They’ll be no more steaks at Blackie’s – the legendary family-owned restaurant has shut its doors. On the political front, rumors are flying about our plans to attack Iran. And many members of Congress are nervous that their careers may be damaged by the Jack Abramoff scandal, expected to be the most widespread in congressional history.
Switching seats in Congress?
There’s already midterm election talk. As we start the new year, the Senate still looks safe for the Republicans, but the Democrats could take the House in November. That means we could see Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as speaker of the house, second in line for the presidency. And there could be a change in the Senate leadership as well: Former Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., may be drafted to replace Bill Frist, R-Tenn.
Red-hot Skins are back
As for the talk of the town this week, the red-hot Redskins have brought smiles to everyone’s faces with a playoff berth not seen since the 20th century. Some of our friends said they were partying like it’s 1999 – the last time the Skins were in the playoffs.
Team Jolie-Pitt expecting
We hear that Angelina Jolie is expecting Brad Pitt‘s child. The couple has decided not to marry until after the birth. Pitt has filed papers to adopt Jolie’s two adopted children, Maddox, 4, from Cambodia, and Zahara, 10 months, from Ethiopia. All of the kids will use Jolie-Pitt as their surname. As we told you, they’ve rented a house in Georgetown and are spending time at local haunts.
Go, Texas! without pretzels
President Bush will miss rooting for the Texas Longhorns in person this year at the Rose Bowl on Wednesday, but one certainty is that he’ll be cheering for University of Texas team when they meet the University of Southern California. We just hope he munches on grits instead of pretzels this year.
No kidding: Who can follow Laura?
Who will entertain at the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner on April 29?
It’s a question being asked almost as much as who will host this year’s Oscars. The president’s popularity in the entertainment industry hasn’t made a comeback, and first choice comedian Jerry Seinfeld turned the gig down. Insiders tell me he’s just not a Bush fan and didn’t want to sit on the dais with the president and roast him in front of the press corps. David Letterman and “The Daily Show’s” Jon Stewart have also sent regrets this year. Jay Leno would be pleased to do it for a third time if asked, but the WHCA hasn’t decided whether to go that route again. Whoever accepts the disputable honor may have to follow first lady Laura Bush, a tougher act than her husband. Regardless of the entertainment, the dinner at the Washington Hilton where pressies compete for top sources and celebrities as guests is still the hottest ticket in town – sort of the Super Bowl of schmoozing.
Betty, ready to duck
Betty, the talented rock group originally from Fairfax, appearing at Theater J in their autobiographical rock musical “Betty Rules” through January, will kick off Showtime’s “The L-Word” third-season premiere Sunday with the Human Rights Campaign at H2O in Southwest D.C. on the waterfront. The nightclub is near where rap star Cameron “Cam’ron” Giles was shot in his Lamborghini last October.
Enjoy every day of 2006!
I welcomed the new year at the home of a dear friend in Los Angeles, where a bubbly Sally Struthers was talking about how much fun it is to do “Gilmore Girls” and to still have time to tour. Patricia Morison, looking elegant at 90 and sharp as ever, talked about when she was Helen Hayes‘ understudy in “Victoria Regina” at the National Theatre in Washington in 1936 but never got to go on. Broadway buffs will always remember her piercing blue eyes and remarkable talent in the original productions of “Kismet” and “Kiss Me, Kate.” Morison told me that she’s still painting and enjoying every day. Now that’s an inspiration for the new year.