The Reliable Source: Obama state dinner, Desiree Rogers, Katie Couric, Nancy Pelosi, David Geffen, White House guest list, Michelle Obama, Adam Lambert, Carl Kasell, more

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Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, November 25, 2009; 12:00 PM

Washington Post columnists Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts were online Wednesday, Nov. 25, at Noon ET to discuss your favorite gossip, recent celebrity sightings and their recent columns.

In recent columns: All about the first Obama state dinner. What a small town!: Michelle Rhee's ex voted "America's Next Top Pundit." Jack Evans looks way too much like his bobblehead. Peggy Cooper Cafritz suffers another fire. Capt. Sully's wife is really enjoying the "hero sex." 50 Cent ends his beef with Taco Bell. Martha Stewart ends her beef with Rachael Ray. Gosselins appear to be wrapping up this marriage. Please remove your tricornered hat before going into any Capitol Hill hearings. Can the health reform movement find its own Shepard Fairey? New baby for Mary Cheney.

E-mail and bookmark Reliable Source Blog.

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Amy Argetsinger: Good morning everyone! SOOO much to discuss. I'm happy to see so many of you taking time away from hearth and home and traffic to spend time with us. Let's get it started...

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Cleveland Park, Washington, D.C.: Rox and Triple-A --

Was your appearance on page C3 today a (welcome) permanent change back, or just a one-time thing?

washingtonpost.com: Reliable Source: State Dinner, more

Amy Argetsinger: Yeah, what was that about? I think that was just a temporary thing. I honestly didn't know we were going on C3 today until I opened the paper this morning -- things were pretty hectic with the state dinner. I think it's a one-time only thing because they wanted to consolidate stories about the state dinner, and have them in color...

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Chevy Chase: Was Desiree Rogers's dress (by Comme des Garcons) gorgeous or hideous? I really wanted to like it, but the pictures make it look pretty hideous.

washingtonpost.com: Photo Gallery: State Dinner

Amy Argetsinger: We'll throw this open to all of you. What do you think? I'd be curious to know how it looked in person, under dim lights, as opposed to the flashbulb effect.

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Cranberry Sauce Poll: Do you prefer cranberry sauce from the can or the real deal?

Amy Argetsinger: I like them all -- and at my house, we usually have both the gel-ish kind and the berry-ish kind.

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Arlington, Va.: In the print version of the Post, they left "and" out of a lot of the couples at the state dinner -- so you can't quite tell that Perlin is with Couric, for instance, though Geffen and Lingvall get an "and" to link them. Previous lists always seemed to link couples. Do you know why this one didn't?

Amy Argetsinger: That's the way the list came across from the White House -- no "and"s, but you could tell by the way people were grouped together (in deviation from the otherwise alphabetical order) that they were the plus-one. I haven't eyeballed the print version of our paper yet (it's been that kind of morning) but it's pretty clear from the spacing in our online list (link to follow).

But yes, Couric brought her young boyfriend. Not bad.

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washingtonpost.com: White House State Dinner Guest List

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Purcellville, Va.: I'm thrilled that a same-sex couple actually got to sit at the president's table, but I've also got to wonder, how did THAT happen?

Amy Argetsinger: Well, it starts with the elder member of that couple, David Geffen, giving a whole lotta money and fundraising support to the president. Beyond that, it's clearly a quiet symbolic gesture -- the White House saying, "yeah, we support these relationships" without making a big deal about it.

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Going solo?: No state dinner dates for two of the young White House hotties, Kalpen Modi and Jon Favreau?

Amy Argetsinger: Neither appear to have brought dates, according to the guest list. Not surprising. We know that some staffers who got coveted invitations to the dinner didn't get plus-ones, which may be the case for these fellows. Or, it's possible that neither wanted the extreme scrutiny that would come with a new young lady on their arm.

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D.C.: I think Desiree Rogers is pretty darn attractive. That dress, however, really was not.

Amy Argetsinger: Thanks for your vote...

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State Dinner: I'm such a bad person. I know that I will never be invited to one, but it kills me when someone I know gets an invitation. The parent of a child at my kid's school (a senior person at a famous think tank/policy organization) was there. I can comfort myself only with the fact that based on the guest list, she was there as the guest of someone she knows through her work who is truly a big deal.

Amy Argetsinger: As the great Morrissey put it (and yes, link to follow), We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful.

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Anonymous: How awesome is the new Twilight movie?

Amy Argetsinger: You tell me. I haven't seen it yet. Probably waiting for it to come to the Cinema 'n' Drafthouse, which is where I saw the original...

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No longer stalking Kal Modhi: Respecting your point about Mr. Modhi being a private citizen, I will no longer ask about his sightings (though it was nice to see his photo a few days ago!).

LET'S TALK ABOUT DRESSES!

Katie Couric's - pretty but not so cute on her Eric Holder's Wife - LOVE LOVE LOVE IT. Michelle Obama's dress - Loved it Desiree Roger's. = Meh

I love Sari inspired dresses.

Amy Argetsinger: Thanks for your vote. Anyone else?

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State dinner -- couples at same table?: Re: The state dinner:

Based on the head table lists you posted, it seems that couples, married and partnered, got to sit at the same tables last night! What's that about?

Based on what I read somewhere else, couples aren't supposed to sit together at state dinners or dinner parties, yet the lists you showed had several couples (the Pelosis, the Powells, the Geffens) at both President Obama's and First Lady Obama's table. Explanation? Very curious...

washingtonpost.com: State dinner: Who's at the head tables? (Reliable Source, Nov. 24)

Roxanne Roberts: Yes, that was surprising and a change from the past. Traditionally, couples are separated at a formal dinner: The thinking is that they get to talk to each other all the time, and a dinner gives them an opportunity to meet new people. In past state dinner, a wife and husband were seated at different tables. The only exception to this, (again traditionally) are engaged couples.

What the Obamas did was to allow couples to sit together. Don't know if they were seated right next to each other but they were at the same table. That's new---some people say very thoughtful, others call it a break from previous administrations.

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washingtonpost.com: Morrissey - We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful (YouTube)

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ABC left out?: Saw pix of Couric from CBS and Williams from NBC, but no anchor from ABC? (didn't expect to see anyone from Fox)

Roxanne Roberts: Nope. Robin Roberts from GMA was on the list.

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M. Night Shyamalan?: How'd that guy get into the State Dinner? He makes one great movie and then a decade living off that. Might as well invite John Singleton.

Roxanne Roberts: There aren't that many prominent Indian-Americans in Hollywood. And his one great movie was HUGE. Repeat after me: "I see dead people."

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Bethesda, Md.: Say it ain't so -- Demi Moore being completely photoshopped? I thought she looked great, but a need to be photoshopped just seems like cheating.

washingtonpost.com: Demi Moore's 'photoshopped' W cover: is it really her body? (Telegraph.co.uk, Nov. 25)

Amy Argetsinger: Photoshopping has become such a knee-jerk impulse. That W cover raised everyone's suspicions with a hip outline that is just a physical impossibility (narrower than her thigh?) -- and now think they just pasted her head on someone else's body. Who knows.

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Retirements: First Oprah, now Carl Kasell. The world is being turned upside down! What am I going to do?

Roxanne Roberts: He's only leaving his morning gig. You can still hear his gorgeous voice every week on "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me." Yay!

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Leesburg, Va.: Do you think Adam Lambert's performance at the American Music Awards has a chance of becoming a full-blown case of "fauxrage," or do we still need someone like Sarah Palin to weigh in before it's put over the top?

Amy Argetsinger: I look forward to a long career from Adam Lambert, filled with many brilliantly calculated fauxtrage-provoking moments.

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Winchester, Va.: I thought Charlie Gibson sounded a little snarky on his broadcast last night in the introduction to the state dinner segment. That was before I realized Katie Couric and Brian Williams were on the guest list. Do you know if Gibson was invited?

Roxanne Roberts: We never know who was invited and declined---or just not invited. But as I said, ABC's Robin Roberts got the nod, so the network was represented.

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Jon Grosselin : Do you think Jon will date me? I can't have kids so it would be perfect. Plus I know people -- like the homeless guy lying on the lawn in front of my building and the nurse at the assisted living home around the corner. We could really boost his ratings. Plus I dig men who wear diamond studs in their ears. Or maybe Kate would be interested. I like being yelled at. Can you pass my info along to their reps?

Amy Argetsinger: I admire your flexible outlook, and I have high hopes that you will achieve your romantic goals.

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Do you remember Barney Google?: This may cross the line from cebritology into politics, but what do you think of Google's decision to prominently place a photo of Michelle Obama doctored to make her look like an ape/baboon among its results when someone looks for images of the woman? Regardless of who the person in question is, I find it curious that Google justifies its action by saying it will not exclude images that are offensive, just those that are illegal. It does not mention the fact that the image is faked. While there could be a context in which an image or, say, Hillary Clinton or Sarah Palin or one of you that's altered to look like something else would be exhibited in search results (e.g., searching for a story on a doctored photo), I don't understand Google's logic.

washingtonpost.com: Google apologizes for now removed racially offensive Michelle Obama image (USA Today, Nov. 25)

Amy Argetsinger: Well, you know how Google works -- Google doesn't put this stuff up. It's a search engine, looking for certain key words, etc., within things that everyone in the world has put up on the Internet. Clearly, though, they've got the ability to tinker with their search engines, and flag dubious/hateful stuff, so that it doesn't show up.

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L.A. bureau: I see they're closing your old digs in LaLaLand. That must be kind of sad.

Amy Argetsinger: It is sad...

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Can we talk about Nancy Pelosi's arms?: I would have thought she was a little beyond the appropriate age to go bare-armed, but she looks terrific in the photo I saw.

washingtonpost.com: Photo Gallery: State Dinner

Amy Argetsinger: Not bad, eh?

By the way, Holder and his wife are picture #23, I believe, if you want to see the dress another chatter was raving about...

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washingtonpost.com: Photo Gallery: State Dinner

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Desiree Rogers: I liked the dress; though I agree that it probably looked better in person.

Happy Thanksgiving to you two and all the chatters out there. I'm thankful for your chats -- I look forward to the laughs and general entertainment it offers every week :)

Amy Argetsinger: And we are thankful for you.

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Adam Lambert: Everybody's talking about the outrageous performance, but I don't think I've seen anyone note that the song stinks.

Amy Argetsinger: The performance kind of distracted from that, huh?

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Courage, the pardoned turkey: Having evaded Thanksgiving sacrifice, I would like him to have a role in the sequel to the Hangover movie. He could appear mysteriously in the drunken guys' hotel suite.

Amy Argetsinger: I'm thinking he's more a reality-TV kind of fowl, rather than a Hollywood bird.

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Desiree Dress vote:: Looks like she came out from the kitchen and forgot to leave the dishtowel by the sink.

Roxanne Roberts: Well, other fashion types thought it was exquisite. And it's not cheap: Probably $5,000 or more.

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Kids?: Any thought on what Sasha and Malia were doing during the State Dinner? Were they playing with the other guests' kids, spying on the dinner, etc?

Amy Argetsinger: Good question. Remember when Amy Carter brought a book to a state dinner?

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Evanston, Ill.: I remember that question from last week's chat about Bobby Jindal and him trying to stop a newspaper in New Orleans from publishing a story about his parents' roots.

Just curious, pretty sure they were not there but were Govenor and Mrs. Jindal invited?

Roxanne Roberts: You missed the list! They were invited and attended the dinner (although didn't stop to talk to reporters.)

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Morrissey: Great? Really? I always thought he was overrated. He never seemed to gel with the rest of the band -- it was like they were playing their instruments, he was recording his lyrics in another, and they left some recording technician to try to match up lyrics with music and track them together. I often wondered if Morrissey and Marr had ever actually met.

Amy Argetsinger: Isn't that part of the Morrissey charm? That he relates to no one, and that no one truly understands him?

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College Park, Md.: RE: Cranberry sauce

My parents were immigrants so Thanksgiving was felt like as big a deal as it did for my friends.

I mean we did the turkey dinner, but it just me, my parents and my siblings (Catholics so that big enough) but nobody in my family liked cranberry sauce or pumpkin pie so we just never had it.

Amy Argetsinger: HOW CAN YOU NOT LIKE PUMPKIN PIE? I mean, really. That's worth all-caps.

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Gayle King: Is there a picture of her? Why wasn't Oprah inivted?

Roxanne Roberts: I don't think we ran one but she was wearing a black and gold dress with a gold necklace. I bet Oprah WAS but didn't want to/couldn't go for some reason.

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We never know who was invited and declined: I'm guessing that that list is pretty short.

Roxanne Roberts: Me too.

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Thanksgiving: My plans fell through -- can I tag along with either of you? Maybe someone else in chat-land have an empty chair at the holiday dinner table? Otherwise, I'm at home with a BLT.

Amy Argetsinger: I think it's a lot wiser to try to find a Thanksgiving date through this chat, rather than, say, Craigslist.

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Washington, D.C.: I am not a Rachael Ray fan but it seems like when someone slams her, she takes the high road and compliments that person. She doesn't claim to be a Martha Stewart type so I don't even know why Martha needed to trash talk her.

Amy Argetsinger: Rachael Ray handled the situation beautifully, I got to say...

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Does Lisa de Moraes count as a D.C. celebrity?: If so, will our Pookie be returning to D.C. now that the Post is closing its L.A. bureau?

Amy Argetsinger: She's here at least half of the time anyway. So now maybe we'll have her around more. Which is the bright side.

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Charlottesville, Va.: RE: Adam Lambert

62 percent of Kris Allen's American Idol votes came from ACORN. It's a fact.

Amy Argetsinger: Hahaha!

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Remember when Amy Carter brought a book to a state dinner: How would YOU remember that? You were what, 10? How many 10 year olds pay attention to state dinners?

Amy Argetsinger: You know who pays a lot of attention to White House kids? Other kids. That was a big deal at the time. She's just a little bit older than me.

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Where were the celebs?: Ugh, I hit submit too early! I wanted to know what you thought of the celeb star power. I thought the wattage was very low. I love Blair Underwood (seriously, I do -- I loved him on L.A. Law), but when he is the headlining star in the articles, along with Alfre, that is not good.

And where were the professional athletes? Not a single one. So did the Obamas and staff decide purposely to keep the celebs to a minimum? When the CNN scroll has Gayle King and Steven Spielberg as the top celebs...well, I don't think that's what people expected. At least not me!

And speaking of Amy Carter, was there anyone under age 30 at the state dinner (other than Jennifer Hudson performing)? It didn't seem like it.

Amy Argetsinger: The professional athletes got a lot of representation at the state dinners during the Bush years. When it's a Democratic administration, Hollywood sort of comes back into vogue.

Jon Favreau -- still under 30. I think Semonti Stephens, another staffer, is also still under 30. Hey, at least Katie Couric's boyfriend is over 30!

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Downtown D.C.: Desiree's dress: imaginative and beautiful! There is always hostility to an unconventional choice at a conventional occasion...misplaced in this case.

Amy Argetsinger: Thanks for your vote...

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Pelosi: Great arms but the dress seemed a little, well, blah/casual for a state dinner.

Amy Argetsinger: Thanks for your vote...

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Cleveland Park, Washington, D.C.: Why are so many couples photographed with one person draggging the other along? It's not very flattering for either of them. Don't they know this?

Amy Argetsinger: Ha. I don't know. I suppose that most of the folks who go to a state dinner aren't used to the whole red carpet thing and the dynamics of how to pose.

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A moment of silence for Abe Pollin please: I am not a sports fan, but I love D.C. Think about what the neighborhood was like around Chinatown just 10 years ago. Now it is full of terrific restaurants. People actually live there. I am still amazed ....

Amy Argetsinger: The guy really transformed the town...

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Nashville, Tenn.: @Charlottesville, Va.

That's so funny about ACORN. I actually teared up laughing at it.

Amy Argetsinger: Good times!

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Amherst, Mass.: Actually I've never been a fan of pumpkin pie that much either. Mostly because I prefer other kinds.

One year the pumpkin pie got ruined and we had a blueberry pie and we just kept that tradition for going...

Amy Argetsinger: There is nothing wrong with blueberry pie.

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New Baby for Mary Cheney: I see this mentioned in your intro but I missed the piece. Which one is Mary? And this prompted the question: where do the parents live now? Did Dick and Lynne leave D.C.?

Amy Argetsinger: Mary Cheney is the lesbian daughter of the Cheneys. It's her second baby. Link to the item to follow.

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Blacksburg, Va.: Box Office

That tears it. I'm becoming a sparkly vampire.

Amy Argetsinger: Your skin is like diamonds!

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Cranberry Sauce: We came to the U.S. as refugees and I remember that we, as a family, added an American dish every year to our normal spread of food. Cranberry sauce made no sense to us and I remember people asking, "What this go on? The ice cream?" I love Thanksgiving.

Amy Argetsinger: Cranberry sauce on ice cream -- oh, you poor thing. Or is that good?

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Reston, Va.: Are either of you cooking tomorrow? I am and am trying some new recipes. Freaking out a little bit that it's a terrible mistake to experiment for Thanksgiving dinner.

Amy Argetsinger: I intend to volunteer my help in the kitchen...

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Washington, D.C.: Is Michelle Obama the tallest woman in the world or does she just look like that in all the photos?

Amy Argetsinger: I think she just looks that way in photos. However: She is tall.

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washingtonpost.com: Love, etc.: New baby for Mary Cheney, Heather Poe (Post, Nov. 18)

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Fairfax, Va.: I enjoyed the column in Sunday's paper that talked about how your favorite food critic writes his reviews. Was wondering -- will there be a similar one upcoming on how you ladies get your news?

Amy Argetsinger: I don't know. You could ask the ombudsman that. But I don't think the answer is very interesting. The way a food critic does his job IS kind of unique, and Sietsema's technique is more rigorous than most. For us, shucks, we're just reporting like any other reporter.

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So now maybe we'll have her around more. Which is the bright side. : So you like Lisa de Moraes, who is funny and snarky (and sometimes seems kind of mean), but you don't like Tom Sietsema, who seems sweet and earnest. What does that say about you? What do you think of Gene W? Or Carolyn Hax?

Amy Argetsinger: I like Tom a lot. I just hate the fact that you all love him so much more than us!

Seriously, this is a great place to work, and to be in the same room with these byline behemoths is about as cool as you suspect it would be.

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Chicago, Ill.: RE: Twilight

Quote from my kid the other day, "Just realize how sad that I'm going to be part the generation that's remembered for going crazy over sparkly vampires."

Amy Argetsinger: HAHAHAHA. yeah, not the same as being the Woodstock generation, is it?

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Walmart: I am late because I was Thanksgiving shopping. Wanted to wish you both a Happy Thanksgiving! Always look forward to chatting with you on Wednesday! Have a great holiday!

Amy Argetsinger: Back at you!

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Sietsema's technique is more rigorous than most.: That must be what makes him so special and why people love him so much and want to be in on his chat.

Amy Argetsinger: Is that it? Or is it just that he's nicer and handsomer and funnier and talenteder?

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Michelle Fenty: Wow. Her dress was incredible!

Amy Argetsinger: Thanks for your vote...

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Washington, D.C.: Uncool mom question.

How is Leighton Meester?

Amy Argetsinger: I don't know, haven't talked to her lately, anyone else?

Or wait -- are you asking "Who is Leighton Meester?" She's the dark-haired lead on "Gossip Girl."

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New Orleans, La.: @Nashville and Charlottesville

Totally concur. I did a split take when I read that. Never thought you could combine American Idol's Adam Lambert with the ACORN story, but I've been proven wrong.

Amy Argetsinger: It's mashup day, here at the Reliable Source chat.

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President toasted with water: If you look at picture #26 from WaPo's gallery, it seems as though The President is toasting with water which according to an old U.S. Navy tradition that "the person so honored will be doomed to a watery grave." Many people simply regard it as bad luck. Oops.

Amy Argetsinger: Hmmmm.

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Stylists?: When Hollywood folk glam it up for award ceremonies there are usually stylists involved. How many of the guests at last night's state dinner would have called upon the services of a stylist? (IMNO, the first picture in the Washington Post slide show of the President and First Lady looking at each other was so charming; you could see the genuine affection there.)

washingtonpost.com: Photo Gallery: State Dinner

Amy Argetsinger: That's a good question, actually. I suspect that these days we're probably seeing more non-Hollywood people tap into the services of professionals to help with their overall look on big occasions where they know they'll be photographed.

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Washington, D.C.: I kinda loved Desiree Roger's dress -- pretty or not, it's nice to see a woman of her stature take a fashion risk! Although there was no way to upstage Michelle in THAT gorgeous gown.

Hilarious that Nancy Pelosi was so prickly. It's not like you asked her who does her Botox. Do you guys have some past beef with her? Or was she just embarrassed to be wearing Armani?

Roxanne Roberts: The Speaker is saying that she was not angry, just puzzled because she didn't know the name of the dress designer.

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Curious, D.C.: I posed this question to friends yesterday and haven't gleaned any real insight into the matter.

Q: The White House State Dinner. Guest list is 350+. I'll assume it's a multi-hour affair (guessing 3+). It's in a big, fabulous tent on the grounds. All well and good, but what do you think they have set up for bathroom facilities? Port-a-Johns? Was there a Design Star(tm) quick-fire challenge to erect a public bathroom?

I need to know!

Roxanne Roberts: From what I could tell, guests went back into the White House and used the public bathrooms there. I didn't see any Porta-Johns.

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New York, N.Y.: While the her sari itself was quite lovely, Sanjay Gupta's wife looked extremely uncomfortable last night. My guess is that she was used to having someone help her drape it and had to go it alone this time.

There's nothing worse that being terrified that your sari will unravel in public. I know this from experience.

Roxanne Roberts: Ewww. Sounds dicey at best.

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Guest chef: Did anyone see Larry King last night? A former White House pastry chef (first name was Roland) called out the White House for having a guest chef. He said it was a slap in the the face to Christa Comeferd and the staff that serve the family every day. He said when it came time to shine, they got left out. He was pretty mad about it. But I thought it was odd, too. First they bring in Sam Kass, now a guest chef. Wonder if there will be a permanent chef change in the next year or so.

Roxanne Roberts: Hate to say it, but it looks that way, doesn't it?

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Washington, D.C. : Whatever happened to Amy Carter, anyway?

Amy Argetsinger: Married. Has a 10-year-old son. Illustrated a children's book her father wrote, but otherwise keeps a very low profile.

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Cranberry sauce on ice cream: YES: Absolutely yes. In our family, we make quarts of cranberry sauce (although we halve the sugar the recipe calls for on the cranberry bag). We eat it (as well as cranberry-orange relish) with the turkey dinner, and then afterwards we have enough not just for leftovers but to eat on ice cream (preferably vanilla). Awfully, awfully good.

That said, I think it would not work with the canned stuff. yeeachh. Would have to be the home-made cranberry sauce.

Amy Argetsinger: Huh. Okay. Will try.

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Venue: How do they decide to use tents on the South Lawn versus one of the (many) dining rooms? Size of guest list? Is it chancy to use tents in late November in Washington?

Roxanne Roberts: It was dictated by the guest list. The maximum number that can comfortably fit in the East Room---the largest inside the White House---is about 260 guests. Last night's dinner had about 350 guests.

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Washington, D.C.: Thank you for answering. Wondering what the fuss was...

Yes, I meant to type who is Leighton Meester.

Honestly sounded like a law firm to me.

Amy Argetsinger: Doesn't it? Sort of like Woodard Underwood.

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D.C.: Dinner couples: I thought this was kind of funny.

Ms. Alfre Woodard Mr. Blair E. Underwood

I don't know, maybe it is just the Wood thing.

Amy Argetsinger: Oh, whoops, thought I'd put this out already. That's what I was referring to just now.

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David Geffen's partner: I finally made it through the state dinner photos. Wow, Geffen's partner is young. Almost boy-toyish. Are they a long term thing?

Amy Argetsinger: I couldn't find much written about him. Looks young, but maybe he's just well-kept.

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Omaha, Neb.: Okay, I feel a little silly asking this...but what makes a "State Dinner?" Other foreign heads of state have already visited the Obamas, and I believe they had fancy dinners (with entertainment and speeches, etc.) for those individuals...so what makes this dinner a State Dinner, and why have it now, for the Indian Prime Minister as opposed to any other dignitary? (And, while I hate this abbreviation, OMG Michelle Obama looked beautiful!)

Roxanne Roberts: Don't feel silly: it's pretty confusing.

Technically, a state dinner is held only for a head of state on an official visit to this country. Last night's dinner was called a state dinner but really wasn't: the head of state in India is the president (who has no real power); the dinner was for the prime minister, who actually heads the government. (Example: In Britain, the Queen is the head of state, the prime minister head of government.)Last night's dinner was an "official" dinner---but the Obama's called it a "state." No difference in the pomp and such.

And yes---the first lady looked smashing.

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White House Chef: When Michelle Obama staffed the WH way back when, it was clear that there would be a team of WH chefs. The family has its own chef, the same one they had in Chicago, and the regular staff has plenty to do besides feed people at State Dinners. It's not unusual to have guest chefs or supplemental chefs for big occasions. Michelle Obama specifically stated that she liked Christeta Comerford in part because she is a working mother of smallish kids.

Roxanne Roberts: May be true---but every head chef wants to be part of a state dinner, especially the first one.

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Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.: I thought this chat would be overrun with people talking about how AMAZING Michelle Obama looked in that gold gown... but no. So, I feel the need to stick up for her. She looked absolutely phenomenal

Roxanne Roberts: Ditto. Except it was white and silver, not gold.

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Appalachian foothills: Whew! At least Carl Kasell isn't leaving "Wait! Wait!" Although I can't exactly blame him for not wanting to get up at 1 a.m. the rest of the week in order to do the news on NPR. Any word on who'll take his place (maybe on-the-half-hour news-reader Jean Cochrane, or West Virginian Giles Snyder?)

Roxanne Roberts: No word yet. Someone awesome: they have big shoes to fill.

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I-95: While I am thrilled there is a chat going on today, I hope that means you guys are not hitting the road for the holiday. Because leaving anytime after right about now would be a nightmare.

Roxanne Roberts: We're busy writing tomorrow's column--then I get my 20-minute drive home and no cooking! Heaven.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving. If you see or hear anything dishy (besides the pumpkin pie) write us at reliablesource@washpost.com.

Cheers!

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