From Havana to Paris

Posted: Jun 11, 2007 9:53 AM
From Havana to Paris

Extra butter?

Inside the Beltway had occasion to speak with Motion Picture Association of America Chairman and CEO Dan Glickman, who you will recall was agriculture secretary from 1995 until 2001, and prior to that served for 18 years as a Kansas congressman.

During his time in Congress, the Wichita native not only was a member of the House Agriculture Committee, he was chairman of the subcommittee overseeing a majority of the federal farm-policy issues.

Discussing his unlikely jump from agriculture to becoming the voice of the American motion-picture industry, whose members include Paramount Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox, Mr. Glickman reasoned: "I used to grow popcorn, and now I sell it."

There is hope

Don't ever accuse Wolf Blitzer, anchor of CNN's "The Situation Room," of being ensnared in the paparazzi-fed hype and infatuation over Paris Hilton.

During his daily production meeting on Friday -- the same day that the young California socialite was "taken handcuffed and crying from her home," "escorted into court disheveled, without makeup, hair askew and face red with tears," "crying out for her mother when she was ordered back to jail," a "little girl lost in a merciless legal system" -- Mr. Blitzer vowed that during that afternoon's entire news program, he would not bring himself to utter two words: Paris Hilton.

"And he didn't," a CNN producer tells Inside the Beltway.

You heard him

"We'll win the division this year."

Or so pledged Dan Snyder, owner of the Washington Redskins, during his remarks Saturday night at the Larry King Cardiac Foundation annual dinner and auction at the Ritz-Carlton Washington.

Switching gears

Saying presidential debates have been "geared" in the past to black Americans, Sen. Mel Martinez, Florida Republican, argues that a U.S. presidential debate in Spanish would only help educate "what has become the largest minority group in our country."

One day after voting to make English the official language of the country, the former Housing and Urban Development secretary who in 2005 became the first Cuban-American in the Senate, was asked on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" program for his thoughts on such a debate, proposed last week by the Spanish-language media giant Univision.

"I think it's a great thing," Mr. Martinez said. "When I came to this country, I didn't speak [English] but learned it, and I think it's important immigrants to this country learn the language of this country, which is English.

"However, having said that, I think it's a way of allowing people to know that the issues that they care about are being highlighted. We've had presidential debates geared to the African-American community of our country. I think one could be geared to the Spanish-Americans of our country."

As for the presidential candidates who don't speak Spanish, Mr. Martinez suggested "interpreters" and "technology" could play roles in any debate.

Mr. Martinez arrived in Florida at age 15 as part of a humanitarian lift of Cuban children whose parents wished them to escape communism. He lived with a foster family until being reunited with his family four years later.

Normal again

So, former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee, who as of January has returned to the field of medicine, tell Inside the Beltway how much you miss Washington?

"I love being outside the Beltway," he assured us.

Lost in space

"I'm waiting to find the space aliens that kidnapped the president that I grew to admire after September 11 and left this tool behind."

--Talk-radio host Tammy Bruce, appearing last week on Fox News Channel.