John Roberts and the Lines of Fire

Who says there were no smoking guns in the John Roberts White House papers?

While other reporters at the Reagan Library jostled for the boxes labeled "abortion" or "civil rights," we got stuck with presidential proclamations from 1983. But looky here . . .

First page: A man gets his legs machine-gunned out from under him.

Next-to-last page: A Czech cop stands over the dead body of a KGB agent, "his gun smoking."

In between: explosions, detainee abuse, premarital nooky.

Ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, as you vote Thursday, we ask you to consider what the chief justice nominee apparently spent some of his time working on: "The Killing Zone," a screenplay treatment for a Cold War thriller never filmed.

The author, we hasten to add, was not Roberts but one Dana Rohrabacher, then a little-known surfer dude turned presidential speechwriter with Hollywood dreams. What on earth was his work doing in the Roberts files?

Rohrabacher, now the nine-term Republican congressman from Orange County, Calif., laughed when asked. He remembers telling his White House colleague about his screenplay, and Roberts wanted to see it.

"There were a lot of people in the White House who felt threatened by the input of the writers," recalled Rohrabacher, who has written other screenplays and last year got $23,000 for the rights to "Baja," the story of an Iraq war veteran and a liberal doctoral student on a Mexican road trip. "But John was someone who appreciated the creative element."

"The Killing Zone" tells the story of hard-bitten American journalist "Bob Turner," who learns the value of freedom and democracy after falling in love with beautiful Czech actress "Andrea Veritas" and (spoiler alert!) deciding to help her flee the communists. Sample dialogue:

Andrea: Why can't you just leave us alone? . . .

Zilovich: If you didn't want to be left alone and went along with the program, we could leave you alone. But because you insist on being individuals instead of part of the collective, that is precisely why we are forced to act.

Bob: [under his breath] Horse manure.

History does not record what Roberts made of "The Killing Zone."

(To read the full screenplay, go to

Show Us the Numbers! How Well Can Pols Predict the Skins' Record?

Still surfing the euphoria wave of last week's Redskins win in Dallas, we dropped by a football party Monday night. After our fourth chicken-on-a-stick, we amused ourselves by asking VIPs to predict the season record.

Maryland Lt. Gov. (and undeclared Senate candidate) Michael Steele paused. "In my business, we don't like to give numbers." He pondered. "10-6. It's a playoff number."

Monica Turner, Steele's sister and Mike Tyson's ex, went whole hog: "We're going to the Super Bowl."

"Let's go 12-4," said cornerback Shawn Springs, the host. He invited 130 pals to the Reserve in McLean to celebrate the relocation of his Springs for Life foundation for underprivileged kids.

Presidential sis Doro Koch fled in the opposite direction when we tried to ask the innocuous question. Must be in the genes.

This gives us an idea. We'll accost more Bush kin and other unsuspecting luminaries for their predictions in the next few weeks. At season's end, the winner gets whatever we can afford after parking at FedEx Field.

Surreal Estate

Sellers: Democratic strategist Bob Shrum and author Marylouise Oates.

Buyers: Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte and Diana Negroponte.

Price: $2.2 million.

Details: In December 2003, Shrum and his wife paid $1.2 million for a four-bedroom in the Massachusetts Avenue Heights neighborhood of Northwest Washington, and Oates began renovating to make it a social center for the upcoming Kerry-Edwards administration. Alas, the best-laid plans went astray somewhere in Ohio, and they sold the place to the Negropontes in May, just after he returned to Washington from Iraq. Shrum and Oates pocketed a cool million, which will come in handy in New York -- Shrum is a senior fellow at NYU.

Love, Etc.

* Donald Trump and his third wife, Melania Knauss, have a new task for those butt-kissing apprentices: diaper changing. The couple, who married eight months ago, are expecting a baby mogul next spring. This is the fifth child for the 59-year-old developer and the first for the 35-year-old model. Trump has three grown children from his marriage to Ivana Trump and an 11-year-old daughter from his brief union with Marla Maples.

End Note

Lock up your men! Oh, heck, lock up any easily mesmerized loved ones of either sex: Hurricane Angelina hits town today for the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS. Look, we'll try to get close enough to ask about Brad Pitt or world peace, but we can't promise.

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