Bilbray sends Filner movie on anger management

It was the kind of thing that could be construed as ribbing between old friends or as a knife in the stomach, depending on the motive.

During the recess, Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.) bought a copy of “Anger Management,” starring Jack Nicholson as a psychiatrist and Adam Sandler as his patient, and sent it to Rep. Bob Filner (D-Calif.) as a gift. No doubt the gift had meaning: Filner lost his temper at Dulles International Airport last month following an altercation with a United Airlines employee. The incident resulted in assault and battery charges for Filner. The congressman has an Oct. 2 court date.

The two lawmakers are good friends, Bilbray spokesman Kurt Bardella assured ITK.

“Ahh … you gotta have a little fun sometimes,” Bardella said. “Friends? Absolutely.”

Filner’s press office did not respond to calls on the matter.


Party with the Supreme Court justices

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s new book is set to hit bookstores in early October, and the party to celebrate the publication is shaping up to be one of the year’s best.

Liberal and conservative justices alike are expected to raise a glass in honor of Thomas’s memoir, My Grandfather’s Son.

Political commentator and syndicated radio show host Armstrong Williams, a former Thomas aide who is hosting the Oct. 3 reception at his Washington home, was mostly mum on the VIP invite list.

Rumor is that some of the country’s top political figures will rub elbows with sports stars and entertainment bigwigs. Bush administration officials, members of Congress and media celebrities also will be among the 300 in attendance.

So if you don’t get an invitation soon, start calling in some favors because this could be the fall’s hottest ticket.

Williams, a regular contributor to The Hill’s Pundits Blog, noted that he has held two similar functions for Thomas: one after the justice got married and one when he survived his contentious 1991 Senate confirmation process.


Thomas’s book comes out Oct. 1.

Unlike many well-known authors, Thomas is not planning an extensive book tour. The Williams-hosted event will be the sole book party, and Thomas is expected to do a limited number of press interviews.

Thomas is picking a good time to release a book. A recent poll by Rasmussen Reports shows that Thomas has the highest poll rating of any current justice, registering with 48 percent favorable and 36 percent unfavorable.


Colbert to ‘help’ Blumenauer celebrate 59th birthday

It’s a nice gimmick, yes. But what’s the point of using a funny political talk show host to help hype up your birthday party — especially one who has no intention of showing up?

Last week Rep. Earl Blumenauer’s (D-Ore.) campaign team, “Team Blumenauer,” sent out birthday invitations to the Aug. 26 party with a photo of the congressman posing with — what else? — his bicycle. And Stephen Colbert.

The cost to come to the party: $59 (“because Earl’s turning 59!”). The venue: Rocket Restaurant in Portland. “We hope to see you there,” the invitation reads. “Colbert has no plans to show up, and that means more cake for you.”



Omarosa returns to ‘The Apprentice’

Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, a former aide to Vice President Al Gore, returns to the boardroom for a special version of “The Apprentice” this season.

“I’m in it and I’m in to win,” she said, borrowing a variation of New York Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s line upon entering the presidential race.

Kimora Lee Simmons and former heavyweight champion George Foreman also will be on the show. Manigault-Stallworth, who was known for her villainous on-air persona, could find herself in the mix with Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears.

Celebrities will compete each week to raise money for charities, an aspect of the show that particularly enthuses the Hill underling-turned-reality-TV star.

Manigault-Stallworth said she would never want to be on Donald Trump’s bad side. “Not after seeing what he did to Rosie,” she said, referring to “The View’s” former host, Rosie O’Donnell. “It was a bloodbath.”

Some of Manigault-Stallworth’s charities include the Haitian Support Project and the Power to End Stroke Campaign. She is the “goodwill ambassador” for both groups.


Contest calls for T-shirts of un-dead presidential hopefuls and dead presidents, too

Morbid it may be, boring it isn’t.

ZombiePresidents.com of North Hollywood, Calif., is holding a “Dead Men Running” contest, looking for the best photographs of Zombie President T-shirts at presidential campaign events.

The $15.95 shirts, available at www.WickedCoolStuff.com and www.ZombiePresidents.com, feature illustrations of late Presidents Lincoln, Reagan, Nixon and Kennedy rising from the grave.

Contestants are asked to send in pictures of themselves wearing a T-shirt at campaign events, standing next to candidates, or even a picture of the candidate him- or herself wearing a shirt. Prizes are gift certificates to pop-culture retailer WickedCoolStuff.com, created by Brett Dewey, head writer for the old after-school show “Saved by the Bell” and recipient of fleeting Internet fame.

Rules require the candidate be a “major Democratic or Republican” contender, defined as one who has appeared in the most recent nationally televised debate. “Mike Gravel and Ron Paul count, but your crazy Uncle Lou doesn’t,” shirt designer Michael Tavares said.

“I would certainly prefer an undead Kennedy to a living Republican in 2008,” one Washington-based political strategist, Peter Loge, said, adding that he prefers most of the living Democratic candidates to their flesh-eating alternatives. “But if worse comes to worst, I’ll vote for the zombie,” Loge said.

For more information, visit www.ZombiePresidents.com/deadmenrunning.html .


Announcements

Hunter Thompson’s widow in town for book-signing

Anita Thompson will come to Washington for a book-signing of her just-released first book, The Gonzo Way: A Celebration of Hunter S. Thompson. The signing takes place at Olsson’s Books in Penn Quarter on Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. Olsson’s Books is located at 418 7th St. NW. Phone: 202-638-7610.

Olsson’s will have copies of The Gonzo Way available at $14.95, and Thompson will happily sign “as many as you pony up for,” says a release. She’ll also take questions, “so here’s your chance to ask Hunter S. Thompson’s wife … well, whatever you want to know about life in the Gonzo Realm.”


Happy anniversary to the Roes

Congratulations are in order for Jason and Patty Roe on their wedding anniversary. The couple spent part of August at a resort on a German island.

“It’s terrible. Cold. No one speaks English because no Americans or Brits come here,” Jason Roe complained in an e-mail.

Jason is a managing partner for the Federal Strategy Group; his wife, Patty, is chief of staff to Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.), who recently announced he would not run for reelection. Patty, who learned about her boss’s decision a day before leaving for Europe, plans to remain with her boss for the remainder of his term.

The couple chose Germany because Jason was the best man in his best friend’s wedding there. “So of course I’m pissed at him,” Roe wrote.