Hopped up pine cones decorate the White House this holiday season, Miss Beazley is lonely, Barney is packing on the holiday pounds and who knew attending church is so expensive?
“The president, accompanied by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson, stood in front of the fireplace. The mantle was festooned with greenery, gold ornaments, and gigantic pine cones that looked like they had been on steroids.” — Dave Cook, Christian Science Monitor
“After his meeting, Bush allowed the pool in at the bottom. When we arrived, he was sitting at the head of a U-shaped table. You will have the transcript shortly; the only unscripted moment came at the end when Bush ignored a shouted question about Iran’s demand for an apology but grinned broadly. ‘You can mark down I chuckled,’ he said.” — Michael Abramowitz, Washington Post
“First honoree was Scorsese. Kind words offered by Cameron Diaz, Francis Ford Coppola and Robert DeNiro. Ms. Diaz said Scorsese’s genius lies in his ‘understanding of the depth and disturbance of people’s ambitions.’ Said DeNiro to Scorsese: ‘If you were directing me tonight I would have already whacked Steve Martin.’” — Ken Herman, Cox Newspapers
“Rev. Leon also reminded all that it’s budget time at Saint John’s and pledge cards conveniently were placed in the programs. For the math challenged, the card includes a handy by-income annual gift chart. For example, if your annual household income is $150,000, your ‘approximate annual gift’ would be $4,500 if you opt for 3 percent and $15,000 if you opt for 10 percent. Please submit your cards ‘as soon as possible,’ says Rev. Leon, ‘so we can prepare a sober budget for our parish.’ Which brings us back to today’s attempted pool-report theme, which is sobriety and why it’s good for you. By way of theme development, we note these schedule items in the church program. On Wednesday, there is an AA meeting at noon and, at 7 p.m., a champagne tasting. Ideally, nobody will be at both events.” — Herman
“While all of you were still sound asleep (you missed a spectacular sunrise, plus a wicked cool pattern of vapor trails in the cold blue sky over the White House), your pool was herded into press vans on the South Lawn. Your commander in chief, unlike you, was not abed (no visions of sugarplums dancing in his head). He was in the Sit Room at 7:30 a.m. (not clear if there was a ‘situation,’ or whether he was there in a suit, his biking outfit, or a bathrobe). No word if he talked on the Maxwell Smart Code of Silence phone there, either.” — Joseph Curl, Washington Times
Two Marine One choppers flew the river as the motorcade crossed the bridge, fueling speculation that the President would, as rumored, head off to catch the noon Army-Navy game in Baltimore. But as The Most Powerful Man in the World waited at the light at 14th and C Street, press wrangler Chris Byrne said nuh uh, full lid coming. As the stream of suspicious black vehicles turned onto Pennsylvania Avenue, the standers on the sidewalks figured out who was behind the tinted windows of the SUV loaded with Trek bikes, and waved. It was noted in the Press One van that every one of them waved with all five fingers. Back at the White House, Miss Beazley sat alone in the sun on the South Lawn next to a soccer ball, and got quite yappy as passersby petted the portly Barney.” — Curl