Although he's said little in public, President Carter is reportedly steaming about the Penthouse interview in which brother Billy suggested that Jody Powell "would be better off running a farm," dismissed Hamilton Jordan as "a kid" and labeled Atlanta lawyer Charles Kirbo "about the dumbest bastard I ever met in my life." The President, it seems, is especially upset about the reference to old friend Kirbo. "He's got some harsh words ready for Bill," says one of the President's friends. "Running down Kirbo is like running down the Lord."
When in Rome
Actress Claudia Cardinale isn't at all upset that her 20-year-old son Patrick and his pregnant lady friend, Luciana Pollicino, don't plan to marry. After all, Patrick was born out of wedlock. Furthermore, Claudia, 40, just found that she is in the family way herself again and has no plans to formalize matters with her man of four years, director Pasquale Squitieri. "We're perfectly happy as we are," gushes Claudia. "Crazy with joy. Absolutely ecstatic. Life is idyllic. So how could I criticize Patrick when I don't believe in marriage myself?" Come madre, come figlio.
Peripatetic McLean Stevenson, who over the years has shuttle-cocked amongst seven TV shows—including That Was the Week That Was, M*A*S*H and the recently jettisoned In the Beginning—is convinced that his new Norman Lear sitcom, Hello Larry, will be a hit when it premieres on NBC next month. And if not, well, "I stopped looking for security when I got out of the other world, selling insurance, in the '50s," says Stevenson, 48. "I used to wonder about what I'd be doing when I was 65. Now I don't care. I'll either be living at the old folks' home, or with Harvey Korman."
Ordinary citizens aren't the only ones confused about world economics, as an encounter between former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson and ex-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger illustrates. The two, in Israel for Golda Meir's funeral last month, sat discussing their memoirs, which both are writing in longhand. Cost-conscious (heaven knows why) Kissinger revealed that he avoided expensive pens in favor of disposable ballpoints. "I finish one and just throw it away," he confided to Wilson. "They cost only 25 cents." "That's pretty expensive," jibed the Briton, triumphantly brandishing his own stylus. "Mine cost only 15 pence." With that, the two returned, chuckling, to their drinks—neither, apparently, realizing that with the British penny worth about two U.S. cents, the ex-P.M. (never Chancellor of the Exchequer, thank goodness) had routed the former Secretary with a booming non sequitur.
Cruising to Europe aboard the Queen Elizabeth II with her mother not too long ago, Linda Ronstadt hoped to get away from it all—but couldn't, quite. First she grew irate when a reporter learned of her whereabouts and badgered her for a ship-to-shore interview. Upon arrival, when a baggage man asked if she was the American rock star, she straight-faced, "You're talking about somebody else. That's not me." "Lady," said the employee, just as deadpan, "either you're a liar or you're stealing Miss Ronstadt's luggage." Miss Ronstadt fessed up.
•Though Sly Stallone's gone on to other things since Rocky, he's still in fighting shape (and temper). When the Hollywood Reporter hit the streets with a roasting of Sly's Paradise Alley, Stallone was on the phone in a flash, says critic Ron Pennington, author of the pan. Quite simply, says Pennington, "he threatened to bash my head in." Now that the rest of the reviews (mixed to say the least) are in, Sly must have run up quite a phone bill.
•Recalling the farmers' march on Washington last year, Special Assistant to the President Sarah Weddington—Midge Costanza's replacement—told a Chicago audience that the protester who impressed her most carried a placard lamenting: "I'm not Dolly Parton, I'm flat busted."