Cake and Make Up?

Posted June 15, 2005 at 6:57pm

Either House Judiciary Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) was trying to apologize Wednesday, or he was trying to further stoke the flames with Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.). As the old cliché goes, only time will tell.

Nadler and other Democrats on the Judiciary Committee are still outraged that Sensenbrenner gaveled last Friday’s hearing to an abrupt close and shut off the microphones, all because the witnesses chosen by Democrats denounced President Bush’s war on terrorism. But maybe Sensenbrenner, fueled by the introspection of turning a year older, is now trying to make up.

[IMGCAP(1)]The chairman, who celebrated his 62nd birthday on Tuesday, sent a piece of birthday cake over to Nadler’s office on Wednesday. “First, we thought it was an olive branch,” Nadler spokesman Reid Cherlin told HOH. “Then we thought it was a horse head. But upon very, very close inspection it turned out to be a delicious piece of chocolate cake.”

Indeed, the square slice of chocolate cake with white frosting even had a little icing rose in the corner. Perhaps it is love after all.

Sensenbrenner’s spokesman Jeff Lungren said the cake was a “gesture of good will from the chairman,” adding, “I would hope that relations on our committee haven’t deteriorated to the point that we can’t share a little birthday cake.”

So it would seem the chairman was, indeed, extending a “cake leaf” to Nadler.

Porn to Be Wild. Plenty of Republican boys (and men) were ooh-ing and aah-ing at porn star Mary Carey during the big Republican Party gala Tuesday night. But GOP officials told Members to stay away from the X-rated “actor”-turned-political aspirant — for fear, no doubt, that cameras (or maybe gossip writers?) would record the moment for posterity.

Republican National Committee officials put out the word to Members not to speak to Carey, according to sources. The fact that she was dressed was news enough. But by all accounts, Carey was well behaved in her conservative floor-length black dress at the National Republican Congressional Committee fundraiser, where President Bush was the keynote speaker.

NRCC officials were tightlipped about which Members Carey may have chatted with, danced with or did God-knows-what with, referring HOH instead to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which, like a hot potato, referred HOH to the RNC.

At the party, NRSC, NRCC and RNC officials kept reporters on a leash worthy of a dominatrix. They tried to stop CNN from doing a televised interview with Carey, but they couldn’t stop the camera-crazed porn star from giving the network a 20-minute-long interview in the hallway at the gala.

A source said she was “a nightmare” for the poor NRCC staffer who was assigned to “babysit” the porn star for the night. She “had a fit,” the source said, when the staffer took her back to her hotel and dropped her off.

House GOP Conference Vice Chairman Jack Kingston didn’t acknowledge the porn star in his speech at the dinner. Instead, he focused on rebutting Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean’s assertion that Republicans are all a bunch of white Christians. Not true, Kingston said.

In an attempt at levity, Kingston also noted that House Republicans “have authors — Emerson, Poe and Miller,” referring to Reps. Jo Ann Emerson (Mo.), Ted Poe (Texas), and Reps. Gary Miller (Calif.), Jeff Miller (Fla.) and Candice Miller (Mich.). And, of course, they have nationalities, too: “English and Cubin” — Reps. Phil English (R-Pa.) and Barbara Cubin (Wyo.). “And we even have a Kennedy who votes the right way!” Kingston said to howling laughter. (That would be Rep. Mark Kennedy of Minnesota.)

Har-de-har.

Downing Street Smarting. Democrats finally found a room — if you can call it that — to hold a hearing today on leaked British secret memos that suggest that pre-Iraq war intelligence was, to quote former top British intelligence official Sir Richard Dearlove, “fixed around the policy.”

Mainstream American news organizations, including NBC and the Los Angeles Times, started reporting on the Downing Street memos after left-leaning Web logs, including Raw Story, reported on the document, posting the leaked memos in their entirety online. The memos were originally reported by London’s Daily Telegraph and Sunday Times newspapers.

Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), the ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee, has been trying in vain for weeks to secure a hearing room to hold an official hearing on the subject, which became a bit of a scandal during British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s re-election campaign. GOP leaders wouldn’t give Conyers a room to hold a hearing. But House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) kindly turned over her reserved Capitol room, HC-9, which, as Conyers’ spokeswoman put it, is “like a closet.”

But just in case a crowd turns out to learn more about the memos and how British and American officials colluded to attack Iraq, the Democratic National Committee is providing an “overflow” room today at its South Capitol Street location.

Mr. Washington Goes to Hollywood. Others in the Washington state delegation already endearingly call him “Hollywood” for his love of the cameras. But now, Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) has truly lived up to the nickname. He’ll be appearing on the silver screen this Friday when the movie “The Deal” premieres at Loews Dupont Circle.

Inslee has a bit part at the end of the movie starring actor Christian Slater. “We worked together for about an hour,” Inslee told HOH. “He was very understanding of the amateur. I was frankly a little concerned about the pros thinking, ‘What’s this amateur doing in the picture?’”

Yeah — what was that amateur doing in the picture? Well, the film’s director, Harvey Kahn, is a friend and former neighbor of the Congressman. Inslee plays a Senator in the movie who gets caught up in some nefarious oil dealings. The movie, as actor Inslee sees it, is about America’s “corrosive addiction” to Middle Eastern oil.

Inslee doesn’t want to give too much away, so we’ll go see the flick this weekend, but he says the Senator in the film “made a decision I would not have made in real life.” But he joked that he was “willing to take a demotion just to have that role in the movie.”