- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 30, 2010

BUY GEORGE

For those with BP fatigue or a case of contemporary melancholy, we bring spirited news.

For the first time since George Washington’s personal distillery burned down in 1814, the public can buy his very own rye whiskey, bottled at a reconstructed site near Mount Vernon. The “extremely limited edition” whiskey uses the General’s own recipe, discovered by historians in the mansion’s deep records. By the way, Washington produced 11,000 gallons of the spirit back in the day, and the distillery is the “gateway of the American Whiskey Trail.” Wait. Who knew? The 375 ml bottles are $85; proceeds benefit Mount Vernon’s education programs (www.mountvernon .org).

“One could either sip it or make it into an authentic pre-Prohibition Manhattan or Old Fashioned,” an informed source tells Inside the Beltway, adding that Virginia state Sen. Linda Puller;Peter Cressy, president of the Distilled Spirits Council; Jim Rees, president of Historic Mount Vernon, and snappy Washington re-enactor Dean Malissa will be on hand for the inaugural tasting.

CURTAIN CALL

Behold the sideshows inspired by Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s confirmation hearings, now in finale stage. The most daring of the pundit wags have declared that Ms. Kagan reminds them of either Rosie O’Donnell or Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. Meanwhile, Sen. Al Franken was doodling during the proceedings; the Minnesota Democrat’s sketch of Sen. Jeff Sessions in No. 2 pencil on white paper ain’t half bad, in fact. The Alabama Republican’s spectacles are shown precisely at the right angle, and midway down his nose.

There has not been a vuvuzela problem. Vampires were another matter.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, another Minnesota Democrat, asked Ms. Kagan to weigh in on the ongoing “Twilight Saga” debate, rating vampires over wolfmen; she declined to answer. Maybe the question should have been framed as Bela Lugosi vs. Lon Chaney Jr.? Among press descriptors of the hearings: “artful dodge,” “typical non-answers,” “charm offensive,” “cruising.” Of note: The Washington Times’ online reader poll finds that 87 percent of the respondents are not impressed by Ms. Kagan’s demeanor during the hearings. They are not alone.

“What have you been doing during Elena Kagan’s confirmation hearings? If you are like most of America, you have been dutifully ignoring them,” observes Gawker.com’s Max Read.

HEAPING SPOONFUL

The White House “pool report” - this detail observed by Politico’s Kendra Marr - reveals that President Obama insisted on paying for his own giant “Kringle” pastry during his visit to a Danish bakery in Wisconsin on Wednesday. Mr. Obama paid cash. On the spot. A good habit, Mr. President. Some Republicans, however, are not happy with other sweetening that took place, however.

“The White Houses ‘Recovery Summer’ sales pitch is completely out of touch with reality,” says Rep. Tom Price of Georgia. “With millions struggling to find work and make ends meet, this is no time for a victory lap. I hope the president and his Democrat colleagues will finally stop sugarcoating the facts and level with the American people.”

COLLATERAL DAMAGE

Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas was upfront about publishing faulty poll numbers at his website over the last 18 months. What about everybody else?

“Will those figures in the media who’ve advanced Daily Kos poll results, like MSNBC’s ‘Hardball’ host Chris Matthews, let their viewers know of the suspect data?” asks Geoffrey Dickens, an analyst at Newsbusters.com.

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