There Goes the Neighborhood

Posted October 9, 2007 at 6:33pm

One might think it would be great to have Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as a neighbor (imagine the block parties!). But the Speaker apparently is not making herself popular in her high-dollar ’hood, telling reporters on Tuesday that protesters have taken up residence outside her house and are driving the natives wild. [IMGCAP(1)]

“I’ve had four or five months of people sitting outside my home, going into my garden in San Francisco and angering my neighbors,” Pelosi said at a gathering sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor.

Pelosi added that the squatters have engaged in decidedly non-neighborly behavior like hanging their clothes from the trees; moving in sofas, chairs and other “permanent living facilities”; and, oddly, building a large Buddha on the sidewalk in front of her home. “You can just imagine my neighbors’ reactions to all of this,” she said. “And if they were poor, and they were sleeping on my sidewalk, they’d be arrested for loitering, but because they have ‘impeach Bush’ across their chest, it’s the First Amendment.”

The Boren Identity. Part of the wonder of a newborn baby is the sense that the little blob could grow up to be anything he or she wants to be — an astronaut, maybe, or a ballerina, or even president. But every now and then a kid is born whose destiny seems pretty well fixed. That’s why we’re sure someone already is planning the campaign buttons for Janna Lou Boren, born on Tuesday to Rep. Dan Boren (D-Okla.) and his wife, Andrea.

The littlest Boren is part of a dynasty that goes well beyond dear old Dad. Janna’s grandfather, David Boren (D), was a former U.S. Senator and the former governor of Oklahoma. Her great-grandfather was Lyle Boren (D), who served in the House from 1937 to 1947.

The proud dad says in a statement that he’s “overjoyed” and plans to bring Janna, who was named for the Congressman’s late mother, home soon.

Nealon Flacks for Veggies. HOH hears that actor and “Saturday Night Live” alum Kevin Nealon is doing some lobbying for farm-bill reform, leaving us wondering what could be the connection between the funnyman and the labyrinthine piece of legislation. Let’s try this theory: Nealon currently is starring in the show “Weeds.” And weeds grow on farms, which are, of course, the subject of said bill. Sounds plausible, right?

Jeanne McVey of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, with whom Nealon is teaming up, sets us straight. Nealon, she tells HOH, is a new parent and that role has him concerned about issues such as childhood obesity and school lunches, which the farm bill tackles. Oh, and the physician group’s “celebrity liaison” asked him to lend a hand.

So that explains the letter Nealon wrote to Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), in which he beseeches the Senator to support cuts in subsidies to unhealthy foods and promote production of fruits and vegetables.

Nealon might just turn out to be a formidable lobbyist — that is, if he reprises his role as the persuasive “Subliminal Message Man” from his SNL days.

You Like Me, You Really Like Me. It looks like Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) finally is embracing the spotlight he’s so studiously been avoiding since his bust in a sex sting this summer. The Idaho Republican proudly is planning to attend his Oct. 13 induction into the Idaho Hall of Fame Association, a spokesman tells HOH.

The nonprofit group decided back in March, long before the scandal happened, to honor Craig, along with other Idaho GOP luminaries such as Gov. Butch Otter and Lt. Gov. Jim Risch.

So far, the association has held firm on its picks, despite complaints from Craig critics. While Craig has bowed out of several Washington engagements, including a Hurricane Katrina benefit, since the embarrassing incident became public, this is one event he isn’t shying away from. “He’s pleased the people of Idaho haven’t forgotten his three decades of public service,” his spokesman Dan Whiting said of the award.

Bring in ’Da Funk. It seems these days you can’t throw a BlackBerry in the Capitol without hitting a celebrity. Now that cause celebs are a dime a dozen, performers’ rights organization BMI decided to riff on the first annual Copyright Alliance’s EXPOnential on Thursday on Capitol Hill by actually putting some music legends to work.

Isaac Hayes, who is probably better known among the intern set as the former voice of “Chef” on Comedy Central’s “South Park,” songwriter and singer David Porter, and the “Godfather of Go-Go” Chuck Brown will be on hand for the event, taking place at 11 a.m. in the Cannon Caucus Room. But don’t get your hopes up for a chance to see Members awkwardly jiving to Hayes and Porter favorites like “Soul Man.” The musical greats are being relegated to “Booth #10” where they’ll be signing autographs and discussing their music and its place in the copyright debate.

Jillian Bandes contributed to this report.

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