Heard on the Hill: Jack’s Back!

Posted September 28, 2010 at 6:30pm

Former lobbyist and convicted felon Jack Abramoff is back in town! On Tuesday, Casino Jack made the trip down from Baltimore ‘ where he is living in a halfway house and working in a pizzeria after spending three and a half years behind bars ‘ to have lunch with friends.

Abramoff was spotted breaking bread at Eli’s, a kosher restaurant in Dupont Circle, with three other men. The group was overheard discussing writing a book. Abramoff was rocking a button-down shirt and a yarmulke, although he looked like he could use a trip to the barber.

‘He was just really scruffy,’ a spy says.

We Interrupt This Proceeding for a Special Report

Jobs weren’t the only thing Senators discussed during Monday night’s rare live quorum ‘ they also kept tabs on the National Football League matchup between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears.

During the Senate’s debate on a bill aimed at halting the outsourcing of American jobs, Sen. Mark Begich interrupted a quorum call to tell Sen. Dick Durbin, who was presiding over the proceedings, the score of the Packers-Bears game.

‘The score is 10-0. I look for an absence of a quorum,’ the Alaska Democrat told the Illinois Democrat.

Laughter erupted in the chamber. Durbin, smirking, then asked for the roll call. We assume Durbin was happy with the outcome of the game because his hometown Bears defeated the Packers, 20-17.

Chris Cooley Is Funny; Ryan Zimmerman Is Hunky

After taking a beating Sunday, Redskins tight end Chris Cooley was relieved to be at a Capitol Hill press conference Tuesday where the chatter wasn’t about his team’s dismal performance.

‘I’m excited that I can talk about something other than the Rams,’ Cooley told the crowd, referring to his team’s embarrassing loss to the low-ranked team from St. Louis.

Cooley helped kick off Coca-Cola’s ‘Live Positively: Get the Ball Rolling’ health and wellness campaign, which aims to reduce child obesity rates.

A slew of other athletes and team owners joined Cooley, including Redskins owner (and Washington public enemy No. 1) Dan Snyder and dreamy Washington Nationals star Ryan Zimmerman, who was celebrating his 26th birthday.

Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom was also on hand, in addition to Wizards player Josh Howard and Mystics forward Crystal Langhorne.

Oh, and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) appeared at the presser, although they were significantly outshined by the athletes.

Meanwhile, in the Senate, four college basketball coaches combined forces to fight cancer. Steve Donahue of Boston College, Bruce Weber of the University of Illinois, Seth Greenberg of Virginia Tech and Brigham Young University coach and cancer survivor Dave Rose joined Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) in the Dirksen Senate Office Building to rally cancer advocates before storming the Hill to ask Members for more money for cancer research.

Slaughter’s Housewarming Present

House Rules Chairwoman Louise Slaughter helped christen the recently revamped House Radio-Television Gallery on Tuesday afternoon, and she brought over a special treat.

The New York Democrat toured the flashy new gallery and stuck around for a few minutes to chat up reporters, bonding with a few of them over stories about the greatness of the supermarket chain Wegmans. Slaughter even brought over two bottles of wine from upstate New York for the journos to toast their new workspace, HOH hears.

Simpson Is the Reason We Can Use ‘T&A’ in This Headline

National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform Co-Chairman Alan Simpson probably isn’t looking forward to receiving this gift.

National Organization for Women President Terry O’Neill plans to personally deliver 1,500 baby bottle nipples to the former Senator during today’s scheduled meeting of the fiscal commission in the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

Calling the gift ‘Tits for an Ass,’ O’Neill is among those calling for Simpson’s resignation from the commission after he sent an e-mail to Older Women’s League Executive Director Ashley Carson saying Social Security is ‘a milk cow with 310 million tits.’

‘It was very verbally abusive,’ O’Neill says of the e-mail.

NOW asked its members to help buy baby bottle nipples to give to Simpson as ‘a going-away gift,’ O’Neill says. NOW and its allies want Simpson to step down for his e-mail, and they also believe he is aiming to undermine Social Security, O’Neill says.

But is O’Neill worried about the reaction that she’ll get from Capitol Police when she brings 1,500 plastic nipples through security? ‘There’s nothing wrong with baby bottle tops,’ she says.

Overheard on the Hill

‘Colbert’s coming to town. Time for payback for making fun of us for not having the vote! See Eleanor on Colbert at www.norton.house.gov.’

‘ D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) in a Monday tweet. The host of the ‘Colbert Report’ will hold the ‘Keep Fear Alive’ rally on the National Mall in October.

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