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Hammer Gets A Shredder

Indicted Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) bid on a wicker basket two weekends ago at the Needville Harvest Festival in Fort Bend County in his home state. And he won not just the basket, but the gadget inside it, too — a paper shredder.

The shredder purchase would have perhaps remained a secret if DeLay’s potential 2006 Democratic opponent, Nick Lampson, hadn’t gleefully spilled the beans at a fundraiser last week. A national political reporter was also on hand at the festival to witness the basket/shredder bid. (So stay tuned for more details, including how much the Hammer paid for the shredder.) [IMGCAP(1)]

A former House Member who was victimized by the redistricting engineered by DeLay, Lampson is having a ball telling the story of DeLay’s rather ironic purchase.

“Nobody needs a paper shredder more than Tom DeLay,” Lampson’s campaign manager, Mike Malaise, told HOH. “This was a very practical purchase, and we’re sure the paper shredder will see a lot of use in the DeLay camp.”

He said Houston may just see its second straight white Christmas “when it starts snowing TRMPAC documents this year.”

At the same auction where DeLay got his paper shredder, Lampson bid on some Houston Astros baseball cards, which he got for $125. For another $100, he bought a pewter tray for his wife.

DeLay’s spokesman, Kevin Madden, wouldn’t confirm whether his boss bought the paper shredder. But at least he took the opportunity to tee off on Lampson: “I’ll bet Nick Lampson needed a map to even find the festival. Word has it he was only there to work a few hours at the petting zoo booth where they took local taxpayers for rides on two donkeys named ‘Tax’ and ‘Spend.’”

Just slightly ticked off, he added, “That’s just like Lampson — always paying attention to the important stuff.”

Lapp It Up. Who has the power to knock Jesus and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi off a “top 50 most powerful young men”-type list? John Lapp, the executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman.

In one of those “Ripley’s Believe it or Not” moments, Lapp made the cut for the November issue of Details magazine’s Power 50 list featuring “the 50 most powerful guys under 39.”

OK, so what if he was No. 50 on the list? At least he made it! The 34-year-old political workhorse beat out the son of God, who ranked No. 21 in last year’s contest, and al-Zarqawi, who came in second last year.(Both Jesus and the alleged terrorist were put in the “power outages” column this year, along with P. Diddy and Lance Armstrong.)

Lapp is pretty pleased with himself. “I’m particularly proud to have knocked P. Diddy off of the list. Watch out, Tom DeLay. You’re next,” he told HOH.

Far ahead of Lapp (and with an accompanying photo to boot) was the GOP’s Mehlman, who barely made the list, being as he’s 39. Though technically he shouldn’t be on there at all, he’s ranked fourth among powerful dudes under 39.

Kick ’Em While They’re Down. Late-night lefty comedian Jon Stewart launched into one of his classic CNN attacks at George Washington University on Friday night, while the host of the show he was lampooning sat in the audience wishing he had brought tomatoes.

First, Stewart boastfully took credit for canceling the now (thankfully) defunct “Crossfire.” (Remember? He went on that show and called host Tucker Carlson a man’s name that also means what men have between their legs.) Then, Stewart lampooned the devil out of its replacement, “The Situation Room,” hosted by Wolf Blitzer, who happens to be an old friend of Stewart’s.

Indeed, the frenetic show does give one a massive Xanax-popping anxiety attack. Stewart was doing a hyperactive “Situation Room” schtick along those lines when a student yelled something like, “Wolf Blitzer is in the audience!” Whoops.

That’s when the spotlight started searching the room for the Most Seen Man on TV.

“At that point I thought I’d better raise my hand,” the affable Blitzer told HOH on the phone Monday, taking a rare 45-second break from the camera. “I smiled, waved to everyone.”

Blitzer said he recalled Stewart, whom he calls “a good friend,” saying something like, “I like Wolf Blitzer. It’s [CNN President] John Klein I don’t like.”

Blitzer said he and Stewart shared a few laughs in the green room later. Stewart even promised to be a guest on “The Situation Room” sometime soon.

Being lampooned by Stewart was not the highlight of Blitzer’s weekend. Though not an alumnus, Blitzer took part in GW’s homecoming activities. The pinnacle for him was serving as a guest conductor at the Boston Symphony pops on Saturday. He conducted John Philip Sousa’s “The Stars and Stripes Forever” at the university’s Smith Center.

Did he know what he was doing? “No. But it was a lot of fun,” Blitzer recalled.

Well, he wasn’t entirely clueless. He did, after all, play the kettle drums in his high school symphony back in Buffalo.

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