Heard on the Hill: Handyman Turner?

Posted October 5, 2010 at 6:22pm

Sure, Rep. Michael Turner can legislate, but don’t look to him to actually build anything.

The Ohio Republican helped salute President Jimmy Carter during Monday night’s Habitat for Humanity ‘Thanks a Million!’ gala at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium.

Turner tells HOH that he has helped out with Habitat for Humanity projects over the years but is usually assigned a specific duty at the job site.

‘They only let me paint ‘ they won’t trust me with a hammer,’ Turner jokes.

Turner joined Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan to honor Carter and his wife, Rosalynn Carter, for their years of service with Habitat for Humanity.

President Carter, released from a Cleveland hospital Thursday after suffering from a viral infection, seemed in especially good spirits, greeting guests before dinner and cracking jokes during his acceptance speech.

Carter told one story about a trip that he and his wife took to the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. Around the same time, the president ‘ whose specific identity Carter declined to name ‘ made a big deal about visiting the zone, which he labeled as one of the world’s most dangerous places.

‘I said, ‘Rosalynn, that’s where we were building homes last week,” Carter recalled.

Norton’s Social Network

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton has been having some technical difficulties.

According to her office, the D.C. Democrat was locked out of her Facebook page for several weeks because of ‘suspicious activity.’ We hear Norton, who logs in almost daily, was lost without access to her friends’ vacation pictures and status updates. So Norton turned to Twitter to fill her social needs.

‘Thank goodness for twitter! My facebook account has been down for weeks,’ Norton tweeted Monday.

Looks like Eduardo Saverin isn’t the only one who has beef with Mark Zuckerberg, eh?

Lucky for Norton, the Facebook issue was resolved. Her office reports Norton is again able to log in and stalk her friends.

Congress Honors the Troops

Members, musicians and a few out-of-work TV actors are putting on their formalwear and heading to Woodley Park this week to honor members of the armed services at the annual USO gala. The black-tie event, set for Thursday at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, will be emceed by comedian Bill Engvall and features a performance by country music star Trisha Yearwood.

A dozen Members of Congress are scheduled to take a break from campaigning to honor the troops. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) is slated to attend, as are Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) and Buck McKeon (R-Calif.).

Elected officials aren’t the only ones getting in on the fun. A handful of actors are also planning to attend, including ex-‘Heroes’ star Milo Ventimiglia and former ‘Charmed’ star Rose McGowan.

Members Warm to Reading During a Snowy Day

The Capitol is about to be hit with another Snowmageddon.

The Capitol Visitor Center will be transformed into a winter wonderland Thursday for Jumpstart’s annual Read for the Record Day, which will see Members of Congress read to preschool kids to promote literacy efforts.

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Democratic Reps. Mike Capuano (Mass.), Joe Courtney (Conn.), James Langevin (R.I.), Dave Loebsack (Iowa), Donna Edwards (Md.) and Earl Blumenauer (Ore.) are among those reading Ezra Jack Keats’ ‘The Snowy Day.’

Organizers will re-create the children’s classic, including a play area where kids can dress in snowsuits, hats and mittens, with mounds of fake snow.

The event is one of hundreds taking place Thursday, with organizers aiming to break the world record for the largest shared reading experience in one day. Last year, 2 million people participated, setting a new record. The goal this year is to get 2.5 million to take part.

Actor by Day, Activist by Night

Now that former ‘Law & Order’ actor Sam Waterston is out of a job ‘ the series was canceled after last season ‘ HOH expects to see a lot more of the politically active actor.

Waterston will be in town this week to accept an award for his work with nonprofit group Common Cause. Waterston is being honored at a dinner at the Mayflower Hotel on Wednesday for his efforts toward reducing special interest money in Congressional elections.

The newly unemployed actor has plenty more time to lobby Congress in favor of the super-wonky Fair Elections Now Act, which would create a Congressional public finance system. The star visited the Hill to lobby for the bill in July, when he broke bread in the Members’ dining room with Democratic Reps. Chellie Pingree (Maine), Martin Heinrich (N.M.) and Donna Edwards (Md.).

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