Buzz everywhere is about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina along the Gulf Coast and the tempest on the Supreme Court right here in D.C. Hurricane Katrina was the impetus for Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., to introduce legislation to split the Federal Emergency Management Agency out of the Department of Homeland Security and have it headed by a Cabinet-level director as it was in her husband’s administration.
Elsewhere during August
What did they do during their August vacations? Former GOP presidential candidate and Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan., visited his “friend,” jailed New York Times reporter Judith Miller, several times in prison in Alexandria. He called it an “honor.” â€- Uma Thurman, with kid in tow, was spotted looking very sexy in jeans and a hat while shopping in Nantucket; Washingtonians Max and Heidi Berry were also “on island,” as was toppled Tyco International head Dennis Kozlowski.
Dr. Phil’s son finds his playmate
While TV shrink Dr. Phil was at the Houston Astrodome talking to hurricane refugees, his son, Jay McGraw, and Playboy Playmate Erica Dahm got engaged last week in Dallas. The younger McGraw is a best-selling author of self-help books, including “Closing the Gap” and “The Ultimate Weight Solution for Teens.” His fiancee is one of the Dahm triplets, all of who graced the centerfold in the December 1998 issue of Playboy magazine.
Change afoot at St. Albans
Members of the prestigious St. Albans Tennis Club marked the retirement of Allie Ritzenberg, the popular and colorful longtime pro, earlier this summer. Karim H. Najdi has been appointed his successor. Najdi studied at the Russian State Academy in Moscow and has a master’s degree in business administration from Marymount University in Arlington. His tennis-teaching resume includes stints at Hopman Tennis Academy in Florida and Nick Bollettieri Camp in Massachusetts. No decision has been made yet as to the surface of the new courts. Longtime St. Albans members, many of them aging traditionalists who are part of the nation’s power structure – Sen. John Warner, R-Va.; the film industry’s Jack Valenti; the Washington Post’s Bo Jones – have lobbied hard for slower soft courts, but the students, who have younger and more intact knees and hips, want hard courts for a faster game.
Time after time
’80s pop-rocker Cyndi Lauper will be making her presence known in D.C. this fall, even before her new CD marking her 25th anniversary in the biz hits shelves on Nov. 8. Lauper receives an award for her support for gay and lesbian causes from the Human Rights Campaign on Oct. 1. Past recipients include Steven Spielberg, Bill Clinton and Desmond Tutu. Then Lauper will perform at another must-go fundraising event on Oct. 15: the 17th annual Best Buddies Ball at Sargent and Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s home in Potomac. This year, it will feature a formal gourmet dinner, unique auction – which includes spending a day at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing as the guest of gold medal-winning track star Carl Lewis – and Asian-inspired decor. Best Buddies provides friends and jobs to people with intellectual disabilities.
Top talk on terrorism
The New America Foundation is holding a huge terrorism national policy forum at the Capital Hilton today and tomorrow, and what a list of speakers on that roster: novelist Tom Clancy, former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski; Gen. Wesley Clark; George Soros; President John Kennedy’s former counsel Ted Sorensen; former Attorney General John Ashcroft; Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del.; former Sen. Warren Rudman, R-N.H.; former Rep. Lee Hamilton, D-Ind.; Juan Zarate, the deputy national security adviser for combating terrorism; and on and on.
More on Michael Tuohey
Many of you e-mailed me in response to my column of Aug. 17 about Michael Tuohey, the US Airways agent who checked in two of the Sept. 11 terrorists in Portland, Maine. I’ve forwarded many of your sensitive e-mails and thoughtful responses on to Tuohey. He is booked on Oprah on Sept. 12 and the Jim Bohannon radio show later that same evening to share his story.
Stein, CQ’s resident homeland security expert
Jeff Stein, who was the founding editor of the CQ Homeland Security newsletter, just back from vacation in Cape Cod, has been named national security editor of Congressional Quarterly. He’ll write a weekly column called “Spytalk” and produce a daily radio feature for Fox Radio Network with the same name.