By Albert Eisele - 06/30/05 12:00 AM EDT
You think Deep Throat was a closely held secret? Then you haven’t tried to convince Tommy Jacomo, manager of Washington’s Palm restaurant, to reveal the name of the person who dined at the Palm 88 times over 57 days during a recent promotion for its frequent-diner program, the 837 Club.
The anonymous diner, whose identity is known only to Jacomo, missed eating at the Palm only four days out of the 60-day promotion period while piling up thousands of points that can be redeemed for gifts ranging from The Palm Restaurant Cookbook (500 points) to a seven-day, six-night trip for two to any of the 29 Palms in the United States, Puerto Rico and Mexico (30,000 points).
“I can’t tell you who it was,” a tight-lipped Jacomo said Tuesday. “But I can tell you about our 5-pound lobster special for two. It’s $80, and they come from Nova Scotia.”
However, Jacomo did confirm that Washington’s Deep Mouth is not William Schulz, the former Washington editor of Reader’s Digest, who is one of the restaurant’s most faithful customers.
Members of the 837 Club racked up points exponentially during the promotion period, earning one point for every dollar spent on food and drinks on a first visit, double points on a second visit and triple points for every visit thereafter. One member in Mexico City earned the most points: 49,949.
Frist’s Harvard nostalgia
Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) must have cracked the books occasionally while he attended Harvard Medical School. After all, the Senate majority leader graduated with honors and did his residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, later becoming one of the nation’s premier heart-transplant surgeons.
But when Frist was back in Cambridge to deliver a speech recently, it wasn’t the library he wanted to see. He asked university aides to show him two old haunts: his dorm, which happened to be named “Vanderbilt,” and the gym. But we hear Frist, an avid runner, didn’t have enough time to shoot hoops or take a run along the Charles River.
Now Davis gets it from the sports media
First, it was left-of-center commentators and bloggers who jumped on House Government Reform Committee Chairman Tom Davis (R-Va.) for suggesting that Congress might be less than helpful to the Washington Nationals if liberal billionaire George Soros becomes a part owner.
Now, the sports press is piling on as well. In a widely circulated column yesterday, The Washington Post’s Sally Jenkins wrote that there “may be a very simple and primal partisan reason why Republicans are so opposed to a Soros ownership of the Nats. If Soros is an owner of the club, does that mean the R’s get really lousy seats and the D’s get all the good ones?”
Her colleague Tony Kornheiser, on his syndicated radio show, chimed in that Davis is “an intolerant human being,” adding, “I can’t stand the man.”
Fortunately for Kornheiser, he doesn’t live in Davis’s district.
Davis, through spokesmen, has since scaled back his rhetoric, saying that he would not try to impede a sale to Soros. Maybe he’s still sore that the Nationals didn’t decide to locate in his Northern Virginia district.
Carter Center auction raises cash for a cause
Would you pay $200,000 for a painting by former President Jimmy Carter of the grounds and buildings of the Carter Center in Atlanta? Or $75,000 for a photograph of Carter and three other former presidents, signed by each? Or $40,000 for a diamond and platinum pendant given to Rosalyn Carter by a close friend? Or $5,000 for a behind-the-scenes tour of MSNBC’s “Hardball” program, conducted by host Chris Matthews? Or a Guinea worm encased in acrylic for $4,500, commemorating the center’s efforts to eradicate Guinea worm disease in Africa?
Maybe not, but that’s what a group of well-heeled friends and supporters of Carter shelled out at an auction of Carter memorabilia that raised $875,000 for the center’s programs to promote peacekeeping and fight disease around the world.
Surprisingly, the signed photograph of Carter, Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton fetched far more than the $22,000 paid for one signed by five former presidents — Carter, Ford, Bush, Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon.
Maybe it was because there were only five copies of the former and 100 of the latter. Or maybe it was because Nixon was on the latter.
And just who were those generous souls who bid on these items?
The Carter Center isn’t ready to identify them, even though the winning bids and descriptions of the various items are listed on its website www.cartercenter.org.
“We will protect the confidentiality of our donors’ identities,” Jon D. Moor, a center spokesman, told The Hill in an e-mail yesterday. However, he did thank us for our interest and wish us “the best in all your endeavors.”
Stevens is pork king again, says CAGW
In its “Pork Alert” sent out this week in honor of the Senate vote on the interior appropriations bill, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) said “once again, Senate Interior Appropriations subcommittee member Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) brought home the most amount of pork, a total of $68.5 million.”
Alaska’s projects in the bill include $1.8 million for the Alaska SeaLife Center for eider and sea-otter recovery, $790,000 for the Bering Sea Fisherman’s Association, $150,000 for the Alaska Whaling Commission and $98,000 for the Alaska Sea Otter Commission (those otters again).
Courtney Schikora Boone, the senator’s spokeswoman, responded, “Senator Stevens does not view money that is secured for the state of Alaska as pork, but as money that is essential for building infrastructure in a young state that is primarily owned by the federal government, that has one-half the country’s coastline and one-fifth the landmass.”
CAGW also singled out subcommittee Chairman Conrad Burns (R-Mont.), whose earmarks include a $400,000 bear DNA sampling study; ranking member Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), who won $100,000 for the National Coal Heritage Area; and Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), whose earmarks include $350,000 for leafy-spurge eradication efforts and $200,000 for the International Peace Gardens.
Staffer happy hour for troops happens tonight
A charity founded by staffers last year to assist wounded troops will hold its first Hill fundraiser tonight at Bullfeathers.
The nonprofit Helping Our Heroes Foundation assists injured soldiers, ships morale gifts to hospitals in Baghdad and Afghanistan and facilitates air travel to reunite families and loved ones of injured military members. Since the foundation’s inception on Oct. 22, 2004, it has taken in more than $100,000 of unsolicited donations that have been passed on to soldiers and troops.
Tonight from 6 to 9, organizers will be taking donations at the door, and Bullfeathers is chipping in with specials of $2.50 Corona and Yuengling beer and $2.25 margaritas.
“We’re trying to get a young-professionals component to this organization,” said Emily Cochran, a former staffer to Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) and now a consultant at Creative Response Concepts. “We’re going to host one of these events per month, and this is the first.”
Cochran started the charity with Rebecca Rudman, press secretary for Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.); Solara Linehan, scheduler for Rep. Butch Otter (R-Idaho); and Brigitte Donner, who works for the Washington office of the University of California.
They hope to raise $4,000 tonight.
Wanted: An ‘inside-the-Beltway army of young activists’
Attention interns! Do something besides answer phones and drink beer this summer!
That’s the message coming from the Coalition to Modernize and Protect America’s Social Security (CoMPASS), a meta-organization of trade associations and advocacy groups. In a recent email, Jade West of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors alerted other CoMPASS members to the presence of the leadership team of Students for Saving Social Security (SSSS) in Washington this summer.
“Washington is teeming with college interns this summer, and SSSS needs our assistance in spreading the word to these interns so they can consider joining,” writes West. “This recruitment initiative will help build an inside-the-beltway army of young activists.”
The e-mail then goes on to suggest e-mail text that CoMPASS member associations can send to their own interns.
It reads, in part, “You’ll have the opportunity to present your views on the Hill, appear in the media, raise a ruckus at major events, and be in the heart of a historic movement to create a secure future for all Americans.”
Stay tuned for news of any ruckuses caused by young personal-account advocates as they take to the barricades to agitate for mutual funds.