- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Bone brothers

Given that President Bush and Democratic challenger Sen.John Kerry were both members of Yale’s most secret society, Skull and Bones, author Alexandra Robbins, who wrote the 2002 book “Secrets of the Tomb,” all but ducked inside the mysterious crypt for another look.

“I was surprised that ‘Bones’ actually does have a sexual history ritual, but even more surprised that the recounting of one’s sexual history is supposed to take one to three hours. I can’t fathom how most Yale men come up with that much material,” Miss Robbins, a Yale graduate, writes in next month’s Vanity Fair.

She describes powerful secrets kept to this day by Skull and Bones members, bizarre rituals within the tomb, a CIA link to the society and a roster of elite “bonesmen” dating to 1856 that includes not only Mr. Bush, but his father, former President George Bush.

Our current president felt the unmistakable “tap” on his shoulder to join the society in 1967, one of 15 Yale juniors chosen annually. Had Mr. Kerry of Massachusetts not been two years ahead of Mr. Bush, the two competing politicians might together have accomplished whatever it is bonesmen do behind walls.

“It’s a secret,” Mr. Kerry told Tim Russert on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” eerily echoing Mr. Bush when he told the same interviewer: “It’s so secret we can’t talk about it.”

And they don’t care to be asked again.

“Despite political differences, most [bonesmen] view the upcoming election with a mixture of pride in the society and embarrassment at the increased scrutiny,” writes Miss Robbins. “As they see it, Bones will have a White House connection either way.”

“It’s a win-win situation,” agrees one unnamed bonesman from the 1960s. “If there is a goddess, it looks like she is smiling on them both.”

Kucinich scores

Senators and congressmen alike have RSVP’d for the fifth annual Baseball All Star Party at political pollster Frank Luntz’s home — called “The Smithsonian McLean branch” because of its collection of history, politics and sports memorabilia.

Under Mr. Luntz’s expansive roof, one finds perhaps the most valuable private newspaper collection in Washington, a ticket from every day of Bill Clinton‘simpeachment trial and the Playboy interview with Jimmy Carter.

Then there’s a baseball that Mr. Luntz calls “New York’s Finest,” signed by former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, New York MayorMichael R. Bloomberg, former baseball great Yogi Berra and New York Yankees manager Joe Torre — signatures gathered by the pollster at Mr. Giuliani’s wedding last year.

Items to debut this year: the original “Addams Family” electric chair, “The Terminator” life-size statue of actor turned California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and authentic Sen. John Kerry flip-flop cards.

Attached to the invitation for the July 13 event is a top 10 list of reasons to attend, including: “Dennis Kucinich promises Big Announcement … has RSVP’d ‘plus one.’”

House call

Thousands of Democrats across America will invite Sen.John Kerry and Teresa Heinz Kerry into their homes on June 26 by hosting “Your House to the White House” parties — the obvious aim to reduce President Bush’s $85 million campaign coffer advantage.

If electronic bugs don’t rear their ugly heads, Mr. and Mrs. Kerry will join each house party in a live national conference call from Washington, thanking them for the punch and pittance.

Star search

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has launched a “Create Your Own Ad” contest, with the winning video or flash animation to be shown to millions of television viewers at next month’s Democratic National Convention in Boston.

The DNC asks that each submission be up to 60 seconds in length, telling why you support Sen. John Kerry for president. Former Clinton creator Paul Begala, now a co-host of CNN’s “Crossfire,” will narrow the submissions to 10 finalists, from which a winner will be selected.

Sorry, no pro-George W. Bush ads will be considered.

God wasn’t there

Finally, a June 4 item in this column incorrectly said that the new National World War II Memorial included an inscription of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famous “Date of Infamy” speech with the phrase “so help us God” edited out of the sentence.

The phrase is not in the inscription because it is from an earlier part of the speech, says memorial spokeswoman Betsy Glick.

“The sentence that is inscribed — ‘No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people, in their righteous might, will win through to absolute victory’ — appears much earlier in FDR’s speech and is used in its entirety.”

She explains that the entire speech contains more than 450 words and because of proper letter sizing and the inscription area, “we had to manage between 35 and 40 words in total to achieve both the aesthetic effect and evocation desired.”

John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin@washingtontimes.com.

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