Global Rocking. The Capitol grounds could be home to one part of a seven-continent, 24-hour concert event this summer designed to raise awareness of climate change — and that happens to be organized by Vice President-turned-activist Al Gore.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) introduced a concurrent resolution last week that would allow the North American part of the worldwide “Live Earth” concerts to be held at the Capitol. Sponsored by Save Our Selves, a group led by Gore and Kevin Wall, who produced predecessor “Live 8” in 2005, concerts would be held on July 7 at seven spots worldwide and feature more than 100 artists and musicians.[IMGCAP(1)]
According to reports, both Washington, D.C., and New York are lobbying to get the event. A spokesman for Reid declined to comment Monday, and Snowe’s office did not return a phone call seeking comment.
But according to the resolution introduced on Friday, admission to the concert would be free and promoters would have to pick up the cost of all expenses and liabilities for the event.
The Capitol Police Board would be in charge of enforcing any restrictions for the event and would work with Architect of the Capitol officials on other arrangements, including staging, seating, booths, broadcast equipment and other needs.
Live Earth will feature an eclectic mix of musical talent, from the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Foo Fighters to Kelly Clarkson and Faith Hill to John Legend and Akon.
Scheduled to run for 24 hours, concerts will be held in Shanghai, China; Sydney, Australia; Johannesburg, South Africa; London and cities in Brazil and Japan.
“The climate crisis will only be stopped by an unprecedented and sustained global movement,” Gore said at a February press conference announcing the event. “We hope to jump-start that movement right here, right now.”
Blame Them. HOH, not being a morning person even under the best of circumstances, was among those of you greeting the first few days of daylight-saving time with bleary eyes, unprintable epithets for the alarm clock, and a stupor lasting until mid-morning requiring copious amounts of coffee to counteract. Once caffeinated, she thought she’d check in with the masterminds behind this year’s earlier-than-ever “springing forward.”
Turns out, even the engineers of the cruel plot, er, energy-saving scheme might have a few regrets. At a crack-of-dawn meeting Monday morning (OK, it was only 8:15), Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) wasn’t as gung-ho about the change as he was when he shepherded the 2005 law that moved the date up. “When I woke up this morning, I wasn’t that enthusiastic,” Bingaman confessed to the crowd.
And one of the authors of the House amendment moving up daylight-saving time, Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), said he planned to use his extra hour of daylight for a dreary task that could be accomplished just as easily in the after-dark hours. “I’ll be doing my taxes,” he told HOH.
How about this legislative proposal: the Snooze Button Act of 2007?
Betcha Can’t Top This. We know, we’re all a little jaded. I mean how many of those cutesy, produce-from-my-district-versus-produce-from-your-district bets among lawmakers can we stand? Just when the whole thing was feeling a little too cliché, along come a few Members upping the ante on the classic big-game bet — right in time for March Madness season. (Members with teams in contention, take note. And see p. 26 for the full Member bracket.)
Reps. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) are finally getting around to settling their Super Bowl bet, in which Kirk will send 50 DVDs to troops stationed near Baghdad as “penance” for his Chicago Bears’ loss to Burton’s Indianapolis Colts. Burton himself is kicking in 25 DVDs for the troops for good measure.
The movies, destined for Camp Victory, near the Baghdad airport, are a mix of current releases and classics, a Burton spokesman tells HOH. “The Congressman is going to Best Buy to pick out the last ones,” he said on Monday. The trick, he says, is to appeal to both guys and gals of all cinematic tastes, so the selections will include Oscar-winning “The Departed” and sports-themed flicks like “Rocky” and “Hoosiers.”
A sports bet that benefits the troops? Throw in an apple pie somewhere in that mix and you’ve got the perfect all-American storm.
Rose-y Outlook. Here’s an unusual “Help Wanted” ad: Are you of Irish descent? Are you between the ages of 18 and 28 and unmarried with no kids?
There’s an APB out for contestants to be D.C.’s 2007 Rose of Tralee, the Irish-American representative of the D.C. area who wins a trip to the land of Eire.
Hill staffers have a pretty good record in the not-quite beauty contest: Congressional staffers have nabbed the rose title two of the past six years. Is the fix in? No, assures Kate Riley, the 2005 Rose and a staffer for Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.). “It’s just a natural fit — there are lots of young women and lots of Irish people on the Hill,” she says.
There’s no bathing-suit competition — and no drinking contest — but applications, available at www.washingtondcrose.com, are due April 1.
Wonder-ful. Look for plenty of musical A-listers around the Capitol today. Legendary singer/songwriter Stevie Wonder is being fêted tonight in the Cannon Caucus Room by a roster of stars including India.Arie, Chaka Khan, Smokey Robinson and Tony Bennett, in a tribute dinner sponsored by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.
Also on hand — although presumably less musical — will be dozens of Members, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). No word on whether the Speaker will reprise last week’s jitterbug with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), but HOH’s fingers are crossed.
Elizabeth Brotherton contributed to this report.
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