COLUMNS

Honoring achievers who learn differently

  • The Washington Examiner
  • |
  • November 15, 2005

by Karen Feld

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Are you one of those who still hopes to get a glimpse of the oh-so-powerful Karl Rove? Well, a good bet is the Lab School’s 21st annual gala honoring learning disabled achievers this evening. Rove, the father of a senior student at the Lab School, has attended this very worthwhile event in the past.Tonight at the Washington Hilton, the Lab School honors an inspiring foursome who in spite of their learning disabilities have achieved great success: Discount brokerage pioneer Charles Schwab; actor Danny Glover (“Lethal Weapon”); Dr. Mark Batshaw, chief academic officer of the Children’s National Medical Center in D.C., who says he couldn’t read until the third grade; and U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, D-Fla. Meek’s mother, former U.S. Rep. Carrie Meek, who fought for her son’s rights as a learning-disabled student, will be there as well. It’s dynamo Sally Smith, the founder and executive director of the Lab School, who makes this all happen.

Mason packs Strathmore

And the never politically correct Jackie Mason performed at The Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda on Saturday evening with his usual routine of politically incorrect humor, including some new Middle Eastern and Israeli jokes. And on the subject of President George W. Bush: “It so happens he’s a great speaker â€- it so happens, English isn’t his field.” Even conservative attorney/pundit power couple Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing, who attended as Mason’s guests, laughed. (She did Mason’s radio show recently on the CIA leak.) “No law was broken. The CIA was doing the Bush White House in,” Toensing told me. “The CIA is dirty.” I guess we know where she stands.

Mason made fun of the president’s teleprompter disability, but the audience was making fun of the backstage manager shining a flashlight in the comedian’s face to get his attention when he rambled on too long. Seems the theater wanted the concession stands to roll at intermission and producers didn’t want to pay the union help overtime. And any of you who have ever seen Jackie Mason know he goes on and on and on. After several flashes of light, Mason got the hint and pranced off stage doing his signature Ed Sullivan impersonation.

Reunion: Radio reporter and his mohel

It was old home week at WMAL Radio on Veterans Day. Mason did three hours on the local ABC station when reporter Steven Portnoy disclosed during a break that Mason’s brother was his mohel. And for those of you who don’t know what a mohel is, we won’t get graphic here, but you probably won’t want front-row seats for that show. By the way, Mason had studied to be a cantor.

Thesis as therapy?

Monica Lewinsky, now a student at the London School of Economics, is working diligently on her thesis, which is due by the end of the first term. The former White House intern has announced her subject: A study of what happens to people when they drink too much. We’re not sure how autobiographic her research gets, but she did admit: “I’ve done some pretty stupid things myself under the influence.”

Gores go west

Former Vice President Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, have purchased a condo at the St. Regis in San Francisco, and are using the talents of California interior designer Jonathan Straley. Gore will live closer to his new cable TV network, Current, aimed for the younger set. No word yet as to whether he has political ambitions in that part of the country. But this just might be the time to get established.

Terminating the ‘Terminator’

The West Coast word is that the “Terminator” may be forced to end his political career and return to the screen. Although California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger denies he’s resuming his acting career, his poor poll ratings and the defeat of all four of his proposition referendums in last week’s special election leave many wondering about his political future. Then at the end of the week, an expansion of his old “Terminator” franchise was announced, further feeding the speculation that his political career may be short-lived. “The Terminator” producers Andy Vajna and Mario Kassar announced a new Fox TV series – tentatively titled “The Sarah Connor Chronicles” – focusing on Connor and her savior son, John, picking up where “T2” left off. Schwarzenegger won’t star in the series, but a recurring role is always a possibility.

Unhappy first traveler

We hear President Bush took it personally that the starting time for the recent State Dinner in Argentina for the Summit of the Americas wasn’t until 10 p.m. That’s past POTUS’ bedtime, and it was a difficult trip for him anyway since his trade proposals ran into opposition. He left the dinner early – at midnight – but wasn’t a happy camper to be short on zzz’s.

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