USC Says 'Et Tu, Bush!' Over Julius Award Fee

George Bush took home more than just the annual Julius Award when he was honored earlier this month at USC School of Public Administration's Ides of March dinner.

The former President was also the black-tie dinner's hired speaker.

Bush spokesman Jim McGrath said, "He was paid for the appearance. I don't know how much." Regarding whether or how much, he was paid, a USC spokesman would only say, "The university doesn't release any of that information."

Published amounts for speaking fees the former President has received go as high as $100,000.

Icy Logic: In a brief dialogue that might speak volumes about cultural differences, Sean Dash, the producer/director of "Breakthrough," was recently in discussion with a German buyer over territorial sales.

The European wasn't sure who the film's star, Tonya Harding, was. Dash explained, and then added, "In my country, Tonya Harding is a celebrity."

His Olympic memory refreshed, the German responded, "In my country, Tonya Harding is a criminal."

Dash's rebuttal: "Well, in my country, criminals are celebrities."

Despite this piercing logic, the German skated past the deal.

Stogie Heaven: Remi is taking to the high seas to parry the state's ban on restaurant smoking.

For its annual black-tie cigar aficionados dinner, the Santa Monica restaurant will charter a yacht at Marina del Rey.

This is a partial fix for the smoker's dilemma. Guests can't smoke indoors on the ship, because the smoking ban extends into California's territorial waters, but the ship's outdoor decks present a more convivial atmosphere for lighting up than the restaurant's courtyard.

Owner Jivan Tabibian, who called the dinner "an opportunity and a pretext to have a good time," said the event brings him into solidarity with his fellow cigar smokers.

"We share the same pleasures," said Tabibian, "and are hounded by the same zealots."


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