Actress brings up non-date with Rep. Davis

It seems actress Kerry Washington may have a thing for Rep. Artur Davis (D-Ala.). In Tuesday morning’s Appropriations subcommittee hearing on funding for the arts, Washington — who looked congressional-chic in a black-and-white-striped pantsuit with a short cap-sleeved blazer — couldn’t stop talking about the “date.”

Washington, who also spoke before Congress last year, opened her remarks by saying, “You know, I like coming here. You know from last year sometimes I even get a date out it.” Her remark occasioned an outpouring of laughter.

She was, in fact, referring to comments made by Davis, who last year had glowing things to say about her appearance.

After Washington completed her statement, she told lawmakers, “I am happy as always to answer your questions — except about my date.”

It turns out, however, there was no date. “It wasn’t a real date,” Washington said after the hearing. “It was a joke. Last year, [Davis] said very flattering things about me before the hearing. I never saw him again.”

Davis concurred.

“Unfortunately, it wasn’t a date,” the Alabama congressman (who is single) said Tuesday afternoon with a huge smile on his face, adding: “She is as beautiful and talented as she was last year.”


Rep. Sherman takes to watching all seasons of ‘Desperate Housewives’

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) admitted this week that he is watching reruns of the hit ABC drama “Desperate Housewives.” Sherman, who said he’s into the second season, claimed it was his wife’s idea to watch, but it’s evident that Sherman is enjoying the sitcom at least somewhat — he does know all the characters.

“They’re all wonderful,” he said when asked to pick his favorite Desperate Housewife. He said his wife’s favorite character was Susan, played by Teri Hatcher, until she paid for the creepy boy down the street on Wisteria Lane to be sent out of state to keep him away from her daughter.

Sherman insisted he’s still the man of the house when it comes to the remote control, saying his wife has not completely taken over this domain. In fact, he noted, he has old tapes of U.S. foreign policy hearings that she occasionally agrees to watch with him.

“When she really loves me, we watch those,” he said.

Folks, it doesn’t get much more wonky than this.
    

Rep. Chandler reveals distant relation to Jane Fonda

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), it has been declared recently, is related to Brad Pitt and Vice President Dick Cheney. But Rep. Ben Chandler (D-Ky.) this week revealed that he, too, has a famous relative: Jane Fonda.

During an Appropriations subcommittee hearing on funding for the National Endowment of the Arts, Chandler explained to the star-studded panel — which included actor Robert Redford, singer John Legend and actress Kerry Washington — that Fonda is a distant cousin to his wife, Jennifer. Chandler noted that the name of the mother of his wife’s grandfather was Jamie Lou Fonda. “They go back to her father, or Fonda’s grandfather, something like that,” he said. (ITK may have to get a genealogical expert on this.)

Chandler has never met Fonda, but he has watched her movies. He swears the resemblance between Jane Fonda and his wife is there.

“You can see the similarities, the facial features, coloring and so forth,” he said.


Speaker Pelosi’s birthday: Part II


Earlier this week, ITK revealed that Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) aides had kept mum about the celebratory details for her 68th birthday last week until the final hour, when they revealed they wished her a happy birthday by giving her dessert on a plane on her way home from India.

But Tuesday afternoon, we went directly to Pelosi at a press conference and asked whether the most powerful woman in Washington did anything exciting for her birthday.

She took a moment before providing this flawless on-message reply: “Raise money for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee,” Pelosi said over her shoulder while her aides rushed her out of the briefing room.


Football turns contentious amongst pols

Lawmakers bickered before the spring recess over trivial matters like ethics reform and the housing crisis while a contentious debate over an extremely important measure on college football attracted little attention.

More than two months after Kansas beat Virginia Tech in the FedEx Orange Bowl, the House voted to congratulate the Jayhawks on their first major bowl victory.

But the resolution rubbed 12 legislators the wrong way, including the entire Missouri delegation.

The dozen rebels voted “present” in yet another sign that nothing in politics escapes controversy.

Rep. Todd Akin’s (R-Mo.) office noted that there is a longtime rivalry between Kansas and Missouri.

Jason Klindt, spokesman for Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), said the congressman “has a hard time agreeing on any bill with the words ‘congratulating’ and ‘Kansas’ in it. He is a Missouri graduate and Missouri had a better season than Kansas.”

But the legislation also did not sit well with members outside of the Show Me State.

Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.), who presumably was pulling for Virginia Tech, voted “present.” As did Rep. Adrian Smith (R-Neb.), who pointed out he graduated from the University of Nebraska. “As a lifelong Cornhusker fan ... I just could not bring myself to vote for the resolution,” he said.


New hamburger joint to hit Capitol Hill

For anyone bemoaning the lack of lunch options on Capitol Hill, come spring there will be a new choice along Pennsylvania Avenue. Hamburger aficionados will delight in welcoming Good Stuff Eatery at Pennsylvania Avenue and 3rd Street SE. The restaurant, opened by 27-year-old Evangelos “Spike” Mendelsohn, of TV’s “Top Chef,” will specialize in hamburgers, french fries and milkshakes.

But don’t think McDonald’s. Ingredients will be organic. Shakes will be made from homemade ice cream and yogurt and will include offbeat flavors such as toasted marshmallow. Expect fries cooked in rosemary, thyme and pepper.

“I want people to come to my place and spend $11 and feel good about it,” Mendelsohn said in a phone interview from Manhattan. “They’re going to feel good after they eat my burger, not greasy. They’re not going to feel like they have to go run a mile.”