celebrities

‘Fire Drill Friday’ finale: Jane Fonda goes back to Cali
The 82-year-old concludes her Washington residency with one last climate rally

Martin Sheen is seen outside the Capitol while being arrested during a weekly rally with Jane Fonda to call for action on climate change on Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Corrected 7:11 p.m. | The season finale of Jane Fonda’s weekly Fire Drill Fridays saw some passionate speeches, a mass arrest and her most star-studded lineup yet.

The Hollywood veteran turned out hundreds for her final rally, including celebrity pals such as former “West Wing” actor Martin Sheen, Joaquin Phoenix and Susan Sarandon.

President Jed Bartlet could be arrested in front of the Capitol
Martin Sheen to join Jane Fonda at weekly climate change protest Friday

Actor Martin Sheen plans to join Jane Fonda’s weekly climate protest on Capitol Hill on Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former “West Wing” star Martin Sheen is planning to join actress and activist Jane Fonda at a climate change protest Friday on the southeast lawn of the Capitol.

The event is part of Fonda’s weekly “Fire Drill Friday” demonstrations in support of the Green New Deal climate legislation sponsored by progressive lawmakers such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Bernie Sanders. Fonda and friends are calling on Congress to create high-paying jobs in the renewable energy sector and end all new fossil fuel exploration and extraction.

John Lewis faces hard fight against pancreatic cancer
Georgia Democrat hopeful medical advances in past 15 years will help him defeat disease

Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., announced Sunday he will undergo treatment for stage 4 pancreatic cancer. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. John Lewis was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer over the weekend. Just a decade ago, that most likely meant a death sentence.

But now, with rapid advances in modern medicine and higher degrees of success among patients receiving experimental treatment for the disease, the 79-year-old civil rights icon and longtime Georgia Democrat may have more time than many expect to put a capstone on his political legacy.

The year in Political Theater: Our favorite 2019 podcasts

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One has not quite lived until Werner Herzog tells you on your own podcast: “No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no ... You are wrong.” Lesson learned: Don’t argue with headstrong German filmmakers about 19th Century Russian poets. 

That was just one of the many highlights of 2019’s Political Theater podcast. Of course we also examined the world of politics, what it means to be a member of Congress, the effect of President Donald Trump on the journalism, and the advice a respected and garrulous former member of Congress for the newly elected.

‘MY GUY’: Ariana Grande joins list of Bernie Sanders supporters
‘thank u, next’ takes on a new meaning

Ariana Grande tweeted her support for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

We haven’t seen Bernie Sanders smile quite as big as when he’s standing next to Ariana Grande.

The global pop star posted her support for the 2020 presidential hopeful on Twitter and Instagram on Wednesday afternoon.

Rep. Lance Gooden’s phone password (used to be) 777777
‘Just another thing Kanye West and I have in common,’ tweeted the Texas Republican

Rep. Lance Gooden, R-Texas, was caught on tape entering his smartphone’s passcode.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The internet has caught another person of interest in a highly sensitive act once more.

A video shows Rep. Lance Gooden unlocking his iPhone during (what was likely) Wednesday’s House Financial Services hearing where Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg answered questions about the company's mishandling of user data and privacy concerns.

Marilyn Monroe, Ritchie Valens highlight post office namings
1950s star power on display, along with regular cast featuring war heroes, political titans

California Rep. Tony Cárdenas sponsored measures to rename post offices after Marilyn Monroe and Ritchie Valens. (Tom William/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Wednesday was a good day for post office namings, with references to some 1950s pop glitz gracing the House floor alongside the more typical war heroes and political titans. 

Sure, it’s not unusual to see your occasional celebrity post office designation. But when both Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe and crooner Ritchie Valens are in a vote series along with the late lawmakers Jeannette Rankin of Montana — the first woman elected to the House — and Sen. Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, well, HOH likes to make note of it.

When celebrity luster gives cover to how America judges its own
Jessye Norman and Diahann Carroll remind us of the unfair burden placed on icons of color

People who hold up the late Jessye Norman, left, or Diahann Carroll as exemplifying America’s promise, that hard work will inevitably lead to reward, ignore the women’s own struggles , Curtis writes. (Gregg DeGuire/WireImage/Getty Images file photos)

OPINION — I am not one of those folks who see celebrities as larger-than-life icons to be worshipped and admired. Usually. But the recent deaths of Jessye Norman and Diahann Carroll hit me in the gut because those two amazing women were at once larger than life and so very real. The reactions to their accomplishments also illustrate an American or perhaps universal trait — the ability to compartmentalize, to place certain citizens of color or underrepresented citizens on a pedestal, at once a part of and apart from others of their race or gender or religion or orientation.

It allows negative judgment of entire groups to exist alongside denials of any racist or discriminatory intent. There are a lot of problems with that way of thinking. It places an unfair burden on the icons, a need to be less a human being than a flawless symbol. And it uses them as a rebuke to others who never managed to overcome society’s obstacles.

#MAGAWood comes to Trump’s defense as impeachment talk ramps up
Randy Quaid has some thoughts on Adam Schiff

Actor Randy Quaid having a great time (Courtesy @RandyRRQuaid/Twitter)

As impeachment talk accelerates in Washington, it should be no surprise that some Hollywood celebrities are weighing in as well. The entertainment capital of the world sometimes gets a rap as liberal and anti-Trump, but there’s still love for the president in Tinseltown.

President Donald Trump is facing mounting scrutiny from congressional Democrats, including House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, who Trump said should be “questioned at the highest level for Fraud and Treason.”

It’s almost time for The Jacket to invade Capitol Hill
How the Barbour jacket took over Capitol Hill and D.C.

Kate Middleton is the latest British royal to rock the Barbour jacket, which has now become a signature look on Capitol Hill too. (Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images file photo)

Between late October and early May you can’t swing a dead cat in this city without hitting a Capitol Hill bro decked out in The Jacket.

You know the one I’m talking about.