celebrities

Honoring Eisenhower at Long Last
Memorial to 34th president broke ground Nov. 2

An artist’s rendering of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, scheduled to be completed by 2020. (Courtesy Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission)

Its critics have called it a “monstrosity,” an “exercise in postmodern grandiosity,” and a “textbook example of the Washington swamp Donald Trump vowed to drain.”

Now, though, a memorial to former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, mired in controversy for more than 17 years, is the newest monument under construction on the National Mall.

Word on the Hill: Hobbit in Congress?
AUMF play, McCain’s had it with his boot, and Scott hosts Carson in South Carolina

Sean Astin, who played Samwise Gamgee in J. R. R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, is looking to throw his hat into the ... Ring. (New Line Cinema)

Is there another celebrity waiting in the wings to join those who have thrown their names in the ring to run for public office?

As if Congress wasn’t nerdy enough, J. R. R. Tolkien’s famous hobbit of the Shire, Samwise Gamgee, tweeted at a fan that being a member of Congress would be a “dream come true.”

Word on the Hill: Republicans Tour Jordan Airport
Pingree awarded, Veterans History Project discussion, and ‘The Long Road’

New York Rep. John Katko meets refugees at Zaatri refugee camp in northern Jordan. (Courtesy House Homeland Security Committee)

A delegation led by Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., over last week’s recess included a stop in Jordan. The group toured Queen Alia International Airport, the largest airport in the country, to observe aviation security procedures and employee screening.

The U.S. donated passenger screening equipment to Jordan and other countries in 2016 under the FAA Extension, Safety and Security Act.

Word on the Hill: No More Recess
Your social calendar for the week

Both chambers are in this week. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., rides the Senate subway to the Capitol for a vote on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Both chambers are in session with the House back this week.

Aside from policy news, keep up to date with the controversy over Cups. The beloved food and coffee joint in the Russell Senate Office Building is competing with other companies to keep its contract.

Opinion: The Short Life Span of the Trump-McConnell Buddy Movie
Quest for lower taxes brings unlikely pair together

President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talk to reporters in the Rose Garden following a lunch meeting at the White House on Monday. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Dating back to the days of Walter Winchell, there was a standard photo display that newspapers used when celebrity couples headed to Splitsville. Tabloids would feature an earlier picture of the couple frolicking on a beach or walking down the aisle with the caption, “In Happier Days.”

The odds are high that Monday’s buddy-movie Rose Garden press conference with the odd couple of Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell will soon invite similar “In Happier Days” nostalgia. For did anyone believe Trump’s hyperbolic claims that the two men are “closer than ever” and that “the Republican Party is very, very unified”?

Peyton Manning, Former NFL Players Back Gonzalez in Ohio
Ex-Indianapolis Colts wideout Anthony Gonzalez works NFL connections for big donations

Former Ohio State University football standout and NFL wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez has earned the support of NFL friends and some experienced GOP operatives. (Courtesy Anthony Gonzalez for Congress/Facebook)

Former NFL wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez stopped collecting passes from Peyton Manning when Manning left for the Denver Broncos in 2011.

Now Gonzalez is collecting campaign money from his former quarterback.

With One Now in the White House, Celebrities Crowd the Political Stage
It doesn’t end with Kid Rock; actors, a former Olympian and one of the ”sexiest men alive” plan to run

Kid Rock may have been among the first celebrities to emerge as a potential candidate in 2018, but he wasn’t the last. (Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

That led to chatter that Peyton Manning, the legendary NFL and University of Tennessee quarterback, could take the Republican senator’s Tennessee seat. But with Manning quickly quashing speculation he would make the race, Kid Rock was back on top.

“We will be scheduling a press conference in the next 6 weeks or so to address this issue amongst others, and if I decide to throw my hat in the ring for US Senate, believe me …  it’s game on mthrfkers,” his campaign website states.

Graham Doubles Down on Trump’s Golf Game
Says ‘Not one mulligan. Not one’

Donald Trump tees off at the opening of the Trump International Golf Links in Scotland in 2012. Sen Lindsey Graham praised Trump’s golf game this week. (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images File Photo)

Sen. Lindsey Graham defended President Donald Trump’s golf game after being pressed on an earlier assessment of his round with the president Monday.

In an interview with Golf Magazine, the South Carolina Republican reiterated his claims that Trump shot a 73 in windy and wet weather.

What Happens When Corker Lays Down His Foreign Relations Gavel?
Tennessee Republican leaves a committee far from what it used to be

Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker is the first senator to announce his retirement this Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Neither Peyton Manning nor Reese Witherspoon is going to become chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee next year. Not Charlie Daniels, Dolly Parton or Samuel L. Jackson, either.

The most clear-cut reason is that none of those celebrity Tennesseans is likely to end up running to become a senator, much to the disappointment of Beltway insiders starved for glitzy, if harmless, political distractions in the Trump era and already enthralled by Kid Rock’s flirtation with a Senate run in Michigan.

Opinion: When Silence Says Everything
Elected officials are not about to take a stand

Americans are becoming used to abhorrent events, such as the Las Vegas shooting, and wonder if anything can be done to make things better, Curtis writes. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The parable of the frog being boiled alive — with the poor creature jumping out immediately if the water is red hot, but, if the heat is cranked up slowly, not realizing its plight until it’s too late — may not be based on science (so don’t try this on little Croaky). But in politics, sweating officials are still doing the backstroke.

Americans are becoming used to abhorrent events, shocked, and wondering if anything can be done to make things better. After every man-made or natural disaster, or every statement from a leader that crosses the line, we wonder if the water will ever be hot enough to get a rise out of those in charge. So we do the best we can.