Lawyers Can’t Jump?

Posted April 11, 2008 at 6:17pm

Whether they’re passing bills or basketballs, lawmakers never take kindly to losing. And that’s why the trash talk has already begun over the 21st Annual Home Court Charity Basketball Game, which raises money for the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless.

The “Hill’s Angels” are vowing to avenge their loss last year to the Georgetown Law faculty and staff’s “Hoyas Lawyas.” The lawmakers’ head coach, Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Ohio), promises to field a strong team. “We have the largest roster of Members we have ever had, plus a few secret weapons,” said Jones, consoling the lawyers on their loss, even before the first quarter. “I hope that the Hoya Lawyas don’t take this loss too seriously. Besides, it’s all in fun and for a worthy cause,” she says.

[IMGCAP(1)]With opening tipoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the Gonzaga College High school, the lawmakers say they’re ready. Democratic Reps. Gene Green (Texas), Kendrick Meek (Fla.), Tim Ryan (Ohio), Michael Arcuri (N.Y.) and Christopher Murphy (Conn.), and Republican Reps. Jeff Flake (Ariz.) and Cliff Stearns (Fla.) will be suiting up against Georgetown Law faculty and staff. And HOH might be giving away the lawmakers’ secret weapons here: The Hill’s Angels may have an advantage with the addition of two of Missouri Democratic Rep. Emanuel Cleaver’s sons — Emiel and Evan Cleaver — giving the team some youthful legs.

Right Cause, Wrong Drinks. The Media Research Center hardly needs to prove its conservative chops. When the group hosted its gala dinner Thursday night to award its media dis-honors — prizes bestowed on the “most outrageously biased liberal reporting of the year” — there was plenty of bashing of liberals and their pals in the mainstream media, the right celebs on hand (think Ann Coulter and Larry Kudlow), plus a ballroomful of righty partiers.

But HOH couldn’t help but notice that the swanky dinner, held at the downtown Grand Hyatt, featured a few off-message touches. The open bar at the cocktail party preceding the dinner included Absolut Vodka.

And the after-dinner drink was Starbucks coffee.

Both brands are reviled on the right. Starbucks has become the target of right-wing criticism over its “The Way I See It” campaign; conservatives say the quotes from environmentalists and activists, among others, printed on the company’s coffee cups, amount to liberal propaganda.

And Absolut lit up the right-leaning blogosphere with a recent ad featuring a fantasy map labeled “In An Absolut World” in which the U.S.-Mexico borders look the way they did before the Mexican-American war of 1848. Blogger Michelle Malkin has made the ad a pet issue, opining that it promotes lefty politics, and the company eventually pulled it and apologized.

One partygoer was defensive when HOH asked if the libations belied the sponsor’s conservative stance. “We might occasionally drink liberally,” the attendee said. “But we always think conservative.”

Martha Knows Best. Quick! Get out the nice coffee mugs — Martha Stewart is set to pay a lovely and genteel (we’re sure) visit to the Hill. She’s slated to testify before the Senate aging committee, and a spokeswoman for the panel says staffers are stepping up their game in anticipation of their domestic-goddess visitor. “The committee clerk is sprucing up the place,” she tells HOH. “We have several subscribers [to Stewart’s magazine, Living] on staff, so we know the standards are high!”

Stewart will talk about her own experiences as a caregiver — she cared for her mother until she died last year at the age of 93 — and her $5 million gift to Mount Sinai Hospital to establish the “Martha Stewart Center for Living,” which caters to older patients.

From napkin folding to turkey brining to running a multimillion-dollar empire to geriatric policy — is there anything on which Martha’s not an expert?

The Rock Vote. If elections were decided by hipness alone, it seems Oregonian Steve Novick would easily trounce GOP Sen. Gordon Smith in the November elections. Novick’s campaign got a boost with an endorsement last week from a list of musicians that reads like a rock geek’s dream lineup at the 9:30 Club. While endorsements from musicians are a staple of political campaigns, this group stood out for its sheer indie credibility — no small distinction, when a candidate is running in a state that gave birth to grunge.

On the list of artists backing Novick: Colin Meloy of the Decemberists and Thomas Lauderdale of Pink Martini (both of Portland), Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam, Michael Stipe of R.E.M., Britt Daniel of Spoon, Chris Walla of Death Cab for Cutie, Krist Novoselic of Nirvana and Flipper, Dave Dederer of the Presidents of the United States of America, Corin Tucker of Sleater-Kinney, and Rufus Wainwright.

Sounds like Novick will have a veritable jukebox of options for picking a campaign song.

Rockefeller’s Cancer Battle. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) is sporting a large bandage on his face, but don’t look to political enemies for the cause. Rockefeller had “early skin cancer” surgically removed from his cheek April 4, his spokeswoman tells HOH. The surgery was successful, spokeswoman Wendy Morigi says, and no further treatment is needed.

This isn’t Rockefeller’s first bout with skin cancer; he has previously undergone a similar surgery, she says.

Briefly Quoted. “An ARM reset — that’s too personal for me.”

— Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) during a Thursday hearing on the mortgage crisis. Bond, who was discussing options for adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMs, wears his arm in a sling as a result of shoulder surgery in February to repair the damage from being hit by a car last year.

Vicki Needham of CongressNow and Julie Restivo of GalleryWatch contributed to this report.

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