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Abramoff’s Pet Names

Hollywood Fred? Is conservative talking head Fred Barnes angling for a role in “CSI: N.Y.?” Barnes had a two-hour lunch Monday at the Monocle with actor Gary Sinise, who was in town participating in an event at the White House promoting a group he co-founded called the Iraqi Children Fund.

A mutual friend in Hollywood arranged the lunch. Barnes told HOH that Sinise kept his political opinions to himself. “He’s certainly pro-military,” Barnes said. But he said Sinise told him he “wants to keep his group apolitical to make sure he doesn’t scare off any supporters.”

Sinise has been to Iraq and Afghanistan. He told his new pal Fred that he and his business partner, Laura Hillebrand, author of the best-selling book and box-office hit “Seabiscuit,” arranged to have the book translated into Arabic for schoolchildren in Iraq. “I was impressed with how much Gary Sinise has done. ... [He] is a real patriot,” Barnes said.

Somebody who spotted the duo called HOH and said she’d just seen Barnes having lunch with “Lt. Dan.” Sinise even told Barnes that he’s still recognized as Lt. Dan Taylor, the character he played in “Forrest Gump.” In fact, Sinise’s band, the “Lt. Dan Band,” performs regularly for U.S. troops.

Bree Hocking contributed to this report.

Please send your hot tips, juicy gossip or comments to hoh@rollcall.com.

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