Hollywood on the Potomac

All About TECH

May 22, 2018

“Well, I have to say it is with some trepidation that I accepted this invitation and that I take the stand before you because I think it is safe to say, there are few things more dangerous than being introduced by somebody who knows you,” said Ajit Pai, FCC Chairman at the residence of The Ambassador of France in partnership with The Institute for Education and Coach Kathy Kemper for a public policy round-table and dinner.  “I think you’ve seen why that is the case. I fully will own everything about Judge Judy and Tony Kornheiser. I deny all the rest,” he said after his introduction by his wife, Dr. Jannie Van Lancker.

The intro went like this: “He and his mother actually made the pilgrimage to Los Angeles to meet Judge Judy and her bailiff. He got to meet her and the entire crew. That absolutely made his year, ’cause he likes to say he got to visit the highest court in the land. Another favorite pastime of his is listening to podcasts. Now, in fairness, he does say it’s a great way to learn when you don’t have a lot of time. So some of his recent favorites have been The History of Rome or The Tony Kornheiser Show. Now, this seems innocuous enough, but he loves to listen to them at the most inopportune times. For example, try taking a long road trip with him. He is a bad road trip buddy. Maybe it’s just an excuse not to talk; I don’t ask him. My personal least favorite time is when he’s getting ready in the morning and showering. Do you know what it’s like waking up hearing Tony Kornheiser’s coarse voice first thing in the morning every morning?  When I think about Ajit, the qualities that I most want people to know that I don’t think are ever truly portrayed in the media is his kindness and his genuine interest in other people and their stories and situations. I used to be his handler at many social events because we would never leave. Lastly, what I admire most about Ajit is his humor, grace, and bravery, particularly when faced with adversity.”

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'First Reformed'

May 20, 2018

“This is going out to the audience: Questions for Paul,” MPAA CEO Ambassador Charles Rivkin asked the audience after the screening of Paul Schrader’s First Reformed at The National Archives. “Are you in despair?” “Uh, technically yes,” answered Schrader. If that seems like a strange question and even stranger answer, it is……unless you have seen the movie.  So, let’s back up a bit!

First Reformed is a 2017 American drama film written and directed by Paul Schrader starring Ethan Hawke, Amanda Seyfried and Cedric Kyles.  The premise: Toller (played brilliantly by Hawke) is a former military chaplain struggling with the death of his son who he encouraged to enlist in the armed forces. He meets Mary (Amanda Seyfried), seeking counseling for her radical environmentalist husband which further challenges his beliefs.

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'Three Days in Moscow'

May 17, 2018

“The question of Reagan’s age and stamina, frequently raised, was often deftly shut down by the man himself.  Sure, he might have dozed off on occasion during long meetings, but he was hardly alone in that; younger heads had nodded at the endless drone of economic figures or national security details. More impactful were his presence of mind, his calm demeanor and his near serenity, even in crises.” Three Days in Moscow: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of the Soviet Empire.

Not even a looming derecho could keep guests from attending the book launch for Bret Baier at the Marriott Marquis in downtown Washington, DC hosted by Carrie & David Marriott;  Mae & Ande Grennan. “In Bret’s opening chapter of Three Days in Moscow, [he notes] that Reagan kept on his desk in the oval office a [slogan] which read: ‘There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can do it if he doesn’t care who gets the credit.’  Bret I think, is much like Reagan in this sense,” said David Marriott while introducing his friend, “in his humility, his lack of ego and his ability to not only listen to people, but really want to hear what they have to say. And it’s always amazed Cary and me how Bret is able to weave a story told by a guest or a friend during an evening and bring that back into the conversation hours later. His genuine interest and care for others is evidence in his personal and professional life. He will outwork anybody but he isn’t seeking the accolades and I’ve always been impressed by this. He is truly always fair and balanced.”

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