By Albert Eisele - 05/04/05 12:00 AM EDT
At least one member of former Rep. Billy Tauzin’s (R-La.) family was not celebrating when Tauzin opted for the pharmaceutical industry instead of the bright lights of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).
When Tauzin’s youngest son, John, a theater graduate from Louisiana State University, heard that his father had passed on the MPAA’s offer, he said, “Are you crazy? This is my career.”
Billy Tauzin, laughing as he recounted the conversation to reporters this week, pointed out that John was in the movie “Ray” — sort of. He ended up on the cutting-room floor but can be seen in the outtakes of the DVD.
Meanwhile, the elder Tauzin, the new head of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, is writing a book about his recent experiences fighting cancer. Sounds like a good movie. Maybe he can pitch it to the guy who took the MPAA job, former Agriculture Secretary and Rep. Dan Glickman (D-Kan.).
Holt, Pallone joined ‘Frist filibuster’ at Princeton
The family of Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) contributed $25 million to build the Frist Campus Center at Princeton University. A lot of good it’s done the Senate majority leader lately, who graduated from Princeton in 1974.
Scores of student protesters, faculty and even local members of Congress for eight days straight now have conducted a protest outside the center in opposition to Frist’s threatened deployment of the “nuclear option” to end filibusters of President Bush’s judicial nominees.
Holding a 24-hour-a-day “filibuster” of their own, protesters have taken to reading the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, poetry and even the Princeton phone book.
This weekend, Reps. Rush Holt (D-N.J.) and Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) joined them. According to an account in the student-run Daily Princetonian, Holt read from Aesop’s fables, which his father, Sen. Rush Holt (D-W.Va.), read to oppose a coal-industry deregulation bill in 1936.
“You might have noticed a theme from the fables: be careful what you wish for,” Rep. Holt said.
Pallone brought his 10-year-old son, Frank, who also contributed by reading from Goosebumps.
Asheesh Siddique, one of the event’s organizers, told The Hill that some 200 to 250 students have participated and they’re “still trying to figure out the demand,” even though final exams are around the corner.
Noting that the protesters have received a permit extension until beyond the end of class, he said, “We aren’t sure when this is going to end yet. … We thought it would only go for four hours on the first Tuesday.”
On Monday, an editorial in the Princetonian opined that, in recent months, “Frist has put forth arguments and undertaken actions contradictory to the values for which the university stands. His behavior has tarnished, rather than polished, Princeton’s reputation.”
Frist is in Israel this week, and his office did not offer a comment.
Acela outage has members making some other plans
A Hill spy spotted Sen. Jon Corzine (D-N.J.) last week on a cell phone at Washington Reagan National Airport as he waited to board the Delta Shuttle to LaGuardia.
Corzine is among Congress’s staunchest defenders of the rail system, one of several members from New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York who use Amtrak to travel home on weekends.
So is he flying more frequently now? Not really, said a spokesman. “Senator Corzine does take the train sometimes, but he usually flies,” said Andrew Coley, Corzine’s press secretary.
Not that the Delta Shuttle is necessarily faster to Gotham: The 6:30 p.m. flight, on which Corzine was booked last week, was delayed an hour, coincidentally taking off in place of the 7:30 flight, which was canceled because of mechanical problems.
Maybe the Amtrak Metroliner isn’t such a bad choice after all. Just ask Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.), who’s taken Amtrak back and forth to Wilmington nearly every day the Senate’s been in session since he was elected.
A spokesman confirmed that even though the faster, more luxurious Acela is out of commission, Biden still rides the rails to D.C.
Researching papers past: Burying the lead
Those journalists in the days of the Federalists sure had a strange news sense.
A group of local businessmen is resurrecting the Alexandria Times newspaper, published from 1797-1802 as the Alexandria Times & Advertiser. While researching the history of the paper, they’ve uncovered at the Library of Congress a page from the Times & Advertiser dated Dec. 16, 1799, which first reported in print the death of Alexandria’s own George Washington — who, incidentally, was a subscriber and advertiser.
“It is our painful duty first to announce to our country and to the world, the death of their illustrious benefactor — GEORGE WASHINGTON,” the story reads, before announcing a day of mourning.
Remarkably, the news of the passing of the nation’s “illustrious benefactor” — even at that time revered as the father of his country — was buried at the bottom of Page 3, beneath an address to Congress by President John Adams.
“Needless to say, we wouldn’t have played the story that way,” said Editor and Publisher John Arundel. “George Washington was the Indispensable Man, and it’s a shame we weren’t the owners 206 years ago to give our most esteemed subscriber and advertiser above-the-fold treatment.”
Montel Williams: Legalize it!
Talk-show host Montel Williams is in town today to push for loosening federal drug laws concerning marijuana.
Williams uses medical marijuana to treat the symptoms of his multiple sclerosis.
At a press conference on the Cannon Terrace at 2 p.m., Williams will join Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.) and Sam Farr (D-Calif.) to introduce legislation that would leave the regulation of medical marijuana to states and protect medical-marijuana users from arrest.
A release issued by the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), which is organizing the event, says that after the press conference a “leading opponent of medical marijuana will be presented with a list of patients who have died in the wake of a federal raid on their medical marijuana garden.”
An MPP source says it would be “reasonable” to assume that leading opponent is Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.), who heads the House Government Reform Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources.
Williams and the members of Congress, as well as Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), are also expected to attend the MPP’s 10th anniversary gala at the Washington Court Hotel tonight.
New House historian Remini to the press: Get lostNote to reporters: Don’t expect Dr. Robert Remini, who was just named historian of the House of Representatives, to be as cooperative and helpful as his Senate counterparts, Richard Baker and Don Ritchie.
The Dome attempted to interview Remini, a University of Chicago author and historian who was appointed by Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) to fill the post that has been vacant for a decade, last weekend during a visit to Remini’s suburban Chicago hometown.
In a phone conversation Saturday, the 83-year-old Remini gruffly refused the Dome’s request to interview him at his home, saying he had a house full of visitors. But he offered to talk by telephone the next day.
When the Dome called him Sunday afternoon, and reminded him of the previous day’s conversation, he responded, “I’m not interested,” and abruptly hung up.
Looks as if the new House historian could use some sensitivity training, or maybe he was just cranky from having his afternoon nap interrupted.