Celebrities with John McCain and Democrats Who Don’t Believe in Hell

Tea with Bubba

Congress is recognizing the 100th anniversary of the Congressional Club, created in 1908 to provide a nonpartisan setting for friendships among the spouses of members of the House and Senate.

As one congressman notes, the group was founded as an organization for congressional “wives,” but now includes many husbands as more women get elected to Congress.

An active member today is the spouse of a sitting or former member of Congress, Supreme Court justice, or member of a president’s Cabinet.

This columnist won’t ever forget the words of Sen. Gordon H. Smith, Oregon Republican, when former President Clinton suddenly became “husband” to a sitting U.S. senator, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

“My biggest concern,” confessed Mr. Smith, “is that Bill Clinton will be with my wife in the Senate spouses club.”

Says it all

We got a kick out of the multi-worded title that somehow fits on the cover of best-selling author Peter Schweizer’s new book, “Makers and Takers: Why Conservatives Work Harder, Feel Happier, Have Closer Families, Take Fewer Drugs, Give More Generously, Value Honesty More, Are Less Materialistic and Envious, Whine Less … And Even Hug Their Children More Than Liberals.”

That explains it

Percentage of Republicans and Democrats, respectively, who believe in Hell: 69, 52

— Harper’s Index, June 2008

‘Right thing to do’

Not all of Hollywood is supporting the Democratic Party this November.

Among those opening checkbooks for Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign, according to Federal Election Commission filings, are Wilford Brimley, the mustached actor known for his Quaker Oats commercials and famous line, “It’s the right thing to do.” (Before acting, Mr. Brimley was Howard Hughes’ bodyguard).

Also supporting the Arizona Republican are Dick Van Patten; William Barron Hilton (famous of late for being Paris Hilton’s grandfather); and Rip Torn, who played Artie on HBO’s “The Larry Sanders Show.”

Our Hollywood insider says “this is just the beginning. You can look for other big names to hop on board the StraightTalk Express,” referring to Mr. McCain’s campaign bus. Among the notables she says lean right:

Britney Spears, Drew Carey, Bo Derek, Tom Selleck, Shirley Temple Black, Clint Eastwood, Ben Stein, Kim Alexis, Scott Baio, Adam Baldwin, Robert Conrad, Alice Cooper, Shannen Doherty, Robert Duvall, Jamie Farr, Kelsey Grammer, Dean Jones, Jimmy Dean, Shirley Jones, Don King, Heather Locklear, Chuck Norris, Freddie Prinze Jr., Mickey Rooney, Jessica Simpson, Grace Slick, Tony Danza, Kurt Russell, Pat Sajak, Stephen Baldwin, Rick Schroder, Hilary Duff, Cheryl Ladd, Marilyn Manson, Marie Osmond and Bruce Willis.

‘Skirmish line’

CIA Director Michael V. Hayden told a Business Executives for National Security gathering in downtown Washington that his agency’s network of spies are often out in front of U.S. troops and sometimes are the first to “engage” the enemy.

President Reagan called CIA ‘the tripwire across which the forces of repression and tyranny must stumble.’ The term I like to use is ‘skirmish line.’ We move ahead of the main body of troops; we keep our eyes both on the distant horizon and on the enemy before us; and, at times, we are the first to engage,” Mr. Hayden said in remarks obtained by us.

The press wasn’t on hand to hear the Air Force general, who is closing in on his second anniversary (May 30) as CIA director, stress the importance of “integration” in the intelligence community, identifying as one example “the operation in the summer of 2006 that killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the former head of al Qaeda in Iraq. It was the merging of many sensitive data streams — from human sources, technical ops, intercepts and more — that culminated in two smart bombs gliding toward their target.”

Mr. Hayden said while working “side by side with the troops in western Iraq, CIA analysts picked up insights they otherwise wouldn’t have. That added dimension enabled our officers to play a key role in the engagement of Sunni tribal leaders, which was a real breakthrough in the conflict last year.”

Ally’s birthday

That was Jordanian Ambassador Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein and his Texas-born wife Princess Sarah Zeid hosting a Washington observance for Jordan’s 62nd Independence Day at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

And yes, the ambassador told us, Jordan’s birthday this past Sunday is celebrated in much the same fashion as America’s Independence Day — a national holiday with fireworks, picnics and parades.

For more than six years before coming to Washington, the Johns Hopkins-educated Prince Zeid was Jordan’s ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations, and in 2006 was a candidate for the position of U.N. Secretary-General.

Backing Barack

Playwright and television journalist Janet Langhart Cohen, wife of former Defense Secretary William S. Cohen, confirms that she is endorsing Sen. Barack Obama for president.

As for Mr. Cohen, a former moderate Republican senator from Maine who was appointed by Democratic President Clinton to head the Pentagon, Inside the Beltway is told that he “remains neutral.”

Timely forum

Speaking of William S. Cohen and Janet Langhart Cohen, the interracial couple will host their third Dialogue on Race and Reconciliation in the District in July.

The first such forum on race, religion and tolerance was held in Israel in January, bringing together Israeli and Arab college students, and the second took place last month in Boston after the American premiere of Mrs. Cohen’s one-act play, “Anne and Emmett.”

The performance consists of a fictional conversation between Anne Frank and Emmett Till, teenagers who were murdered, one because she was Jewish, and the other because he was black.

Mrs. Cohen says given the current national political scene, the upcoming forum is both timely and necessary.

“We want to heighten awareness and focus attention on tolerance and reconciliation,” she said. “We as Americans can become the world’s teacher on pluralism, diversity, tolerance and inclusion.”

Decontrol control

Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein yesterday announced the establishment of the Controlled Unclassified Information Office (CUI) within the National Archives and Records Administration, appointing William J. Bosanko, director of the Information Security Oversight Office, to head the newly formed office.

The office was created in response to a May 9 memo from President Bush designating the National Archives to oversee and implement the CUI framework, including approving and maintaining safeguarding standards and dissemination instructions for previously sensitive materials.

Praise for Max

A Who’s Who of Washington VIPs were on hand at the State Department when 87-year-old retired diplomat and Cold War-era arms-control negotiator Max Kampelman was presented with the Democracy Service Medal by the National Endowment for Democracy, headed by former Rep. Vin Weber, Minnesota Republican.

Among those praising Ronald Reagan’s chief arms-control negotiator were former U.S. ambassador to Iraq-turned-deputy secretary of State John D. Negroponte and Sen. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut independent.

Mad yet?

Economy got you down? Gas prices making it difficult to commute? Tired of paying $5 for a box of Fruit Loops?

Perhaps the time has come to take Howard Beale’s advice from the 1976 Oscar-winning movie “Network:”

“I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It’s a depression. Everybody’s out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel’s work, banks are going bust … and there’s no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat … as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be. We know things are bad — worse than bad. They’re crazy. It’s like everything everywhere is going crazy …

“I want you to get mad! I don’t want you to protest. I don’t want you to riot — I don’t want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn’t know what to tell you to write. I don’t know what to do about the depression and the inflation … all I know is that first you’ve got to get mad. You’ve got to say, ‘I’m a human being … My life has value!’

“So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell, ‘I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!’ “


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