The Limbaugh Name, Immortalized in Mo.

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By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Thursday, March 22, 2007

Check it out, Dittoheads! Yesterday, President Bush signed into law H.R. 342, which designates the new $50 million federal building in Cape Girardeau, Mo., as the Rush Hudson Limbaugh Sr. United States Courthouse.

Calm down, lefties. It's not that Rush Limbaugh -- it's his grandfather, a distinguished lawyer who practiced for more than seven decades before his death at age 104.

Turns out that the conservative radio host comes from a family of legal eagles: Granddad Limbaugh was a Cape Girardeau native, state representative, president of the Missouri Bar, Sunday school teacher, and dubbed the "oldest working lawyer in the country" because he was still going to the office twice a week when he died in 1996. Rush Limbaugh's late father was a lawyer, uncle Stephen Limbaugh Sr. is a U.S. district judge in Missouri, and cousin Stephen Limbaugh Jr. sits on the state's Supreme Court.

Rush III (known as "Rusty" in his home town) skipped the whole college/law school thing and started his career as a Top 40 disc jockey. Guess whose mug is on the city's postcards and souvenirs?

Time to give his elder his due. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, a Republican who represents Cape Girardeau, introduced the bill last fall (Limbaugh's brother, David, is her campaign treasurer) and it passed in February on a voice vote, then sailed through the Senate, sponsored by Sen. Kit Bond. Any outcry from the Democrats? "None that I've heard of," said Emerson's spokesman. Maybe this is why Al Franken is running for the Senate!

If You Don't Find Him Amusing, Blame Canada

Our neighbors to the north hosted a big Capitol Hill shindig on Tuesday, officially to salute the 110th Congress but mostly, it seemed, to surround us with all things Canadian: Molson, a band called Emerson Drive, the Stanley Cup -- plus a special guest appearance by . . . Leslie Nielsen!

Canadian Leslie Nielsen of
Canadian Leslie Nielsen of "Airplane!" fame, with his wife and a fan at the Canada Rocks event Tuesday on Capitol Hill.(Amy Argetsinger - The Washington Post)
Did you know that the star of "Airplane!" and "The Naked Gun" is Canadian? It's true -- son of a Mountie out of Saskatchewan, though he now keeps homes in sunnier Phoenix and Fort Lauderdale, Fla. As the white-haired comedian, 81, was mobbed by young Hill staffers with digicams, we found ourselves thinking -- surely, he must get tired of geeky fans shouting all of his classic one-liners at him. (All together now: Don't call me Shirley!)

So, Mr. Nielsen -- which lines do people quote back to you most often?

He gave a dryly amused glance. "You want me to say my famous lines?"

No, no, we're just wondering which ones you hear most often.

One-beat pause. "So, you want me to say my famous lines."

Uh, didn't mean it that way, but . . . well, guess so . . .

The faintest flicker of a smile across that deadpan face: "Don't call me Shirley."

HEY, ISN'T THAT . . . ?

Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton, after her massive fundraiser at the Marriott Wardman Park, heading into a private dinner at Lebanese Taverna Tuesday night with about 50 California assembly members (new state primary date -- Feb. 5!). Instead of walking, the former first couple took a motorcade across Connecticut Avenue to the restaurant. Passing Ellie Smeal and a Feminist Majority Foundation group that had been waiting 20 minutes for a table, HRC made brief friendly hellos before beelining to the back room. Her husband, trailing behind, glad-handed on the sidewalk; then shook every hand at the bar (even those that weren't offered); schmoozed Smeal's group; started into the main room but turned back with an "Oh, that reminds me of a story!"; returned to Smeal's group, more ha-ha-ha-has; then shook hands through the dining room before finally disappearing into the back.

THIS JUST IN . . .

Britney Spears left rehab Tuesday night after a month-long stint at the Promises Malibu Treatment Center. Manager Larry Rudolph said the pop star "successfully" completed the program, although the typical stay is two weeks longer. Soon-to-be-ex-husband Kevin Federline canceled plans for a party last night -- his 29th birthday -- but no word if he planned to meet with Spears.

QUOTE

"My son was born in Walnut Creek, California. I'm very excited. . . . I was talking a little trash to him already. . . . I told him he needs to watch the movie '300,' because he needs to be a Spartan type of man."

-- Gilbert Arenas, writing on his blog this week about the birth of his second son, Alijah Amani Arenas


© 2007 The Washington Post Company

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