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Inside the Beltway: Go West
Question of the Day
Those who recall the Air Force's Strategic Air Command and the intense days of the Cold War will be pleased to know that "peace through strength," the motto of the aforementioned command, is still alive and well, adopted as the philosophy behind the Center for Security Policy. "SAC" was home to a host of formidable bombers and intercontinental ballistic missiles from 1946 to 1992.
The public policy nonprofit is quick to point out that its version of the phrase "is not a slogan for military might but a belief that America's national power must be preserved and properly used, for it holds a unique global role in maintaining peace and stability." The organization was founded a quarter-century ago by former Reagan administration defense official, author and talk radio guy Frank Gaffney.
All that said, the group can still party. And party they will Thursday at a black-tie event in New York City, set to offer the 25th Freedom Flame Award, "which recognizes those who exemplify ideals of freedom, democracy, economic opportunity and international strength," the organizers say. And the winner: that would be former Florida congressman Allen B. West. Financier Richard Scaife, incidentally, will receive the Terry Elkes Sacred Honor Award, given to those who have offered "moral or philanthropic support."
"Allen West's service to our country — past, present and continuing — is an example of the courageous and visionary leadership so needed in America at the moment and in such short supply," Mr. Gaffney says.
And about that party. Suffice it to say that the event is being staged at the very opulent Union Club, the oldest private social club in Manhattan.
Score one for the heartland.
"Your town exemplifies what makes this country great. I am here to thank you for it. This town might be small, but it is big on the values that built this great country," Sarah Palin told the 26 graduates of Republic High School in Republic, Wash., during a commencement speech Saturday that was picked up by, among others, NBC's "Today" show.
The former Alaska governor paid her own way to the town of 1,000 following an invitation to appear from class president Tyler Werner. She also gave each graduate a gift.
"These students and this town represent what is good and right about America and the small towns where most of us grew our own roots and values," Mrs. Palin further explained in a Facebook post. The graduates, she said, "will grow to defend our country, manage our economy, build our families, and work to achieve each of their own personal dreams."
Bob Dole can bask in the knowledge that the Republicans still heed their elders. The former senator's recent advice that the Grand Old Party needed to close down for repairs has registered.
"If we're being honest about it, we haven't decisively won a presidential race in 24 years. This is not something that suddenly happened, but it is something that the national party and Republican Party et al. have to address, which we did," Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus told "Fox News Sunday," the same spot where Mr. Dole made his pronouncements the previous week.
"[We] basically went around the country, we talked to 52,000 people, we have a serious project that we're working on, we unveiled it. And I would say we're not closed for repairs, but open for repairs. And that's the Republican Party that needs to grow, that needs to win presidential elections, and needs to be a year-round permanent operation, which is what we're building," Mr. Priebus observed.
"Maple syrup, applewood smoked bacon, Woodford Reserve bourbon, organic Uganda gold vanilla bean, organic cane sugar, organic milk, cream."
— The official ingredients in the Maple Bacon with Bourbon Popsicle served at Steel City Pops in Birmingham, Ala., praised Sunday by Patricia Heaton. The actress tweeted, " Amazing."
And another cultural moment: that was the unusual meeting between Dennis Rodman and North Korea leader Kim Jong-un, a hybrid diplomacy praised and condemned by assorted friends and critics. The half-hour HBO documentary that came out of that encounter will have its spotlight, however, airing on the cable channel with much ado June 14. Mr. Rodman himself is getting back to, uh, normal life in the meantime; he'll appear with fellow athletic heroes Joe Montana, Dwight Clark and Oscar Robertson at a California autograph festival this weekend. And that's that.
North Korea is another matter. Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, South Korea Minister of National Defense Kim Kwan-jin, and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel met Saturday in Singapore and "expressed their common view that North Korea's nuclear and missile program and continued acts of provocation, including a long-range ballistic missile launch in December 2012 and a nuclear test in February 2013, are serious threats that undermine not only the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula but also those of Northeast Asia and around the world."
The grim little summary is from a Defense Department dispatch. The trio of officials also "affirmed that they will continue their collaboration to deter North Korean threats of nuclear and missile development and further provocative acts."
POLL DU JOUR
• 68 percent of Americans say the U.S. should not use military action in Syria to end the civil war there if diplomatic and economic efforts fail; 64 percent of Republicans and 72 percent of Democrats agree.
• 24 percent overall say the U.S. should not use military force to end the Syrian civil war; 31 percent of Republicans and 20 percent of Democrats agree.
• 58 percent overall say that economic and diplomatic efforts cannot end the Syrian conflict; 71 percent of Republicans and 47 percent of Democrats agree.
• 27 percent overall say those efforts could resolve the conflict; 16 percent of Republicans and 37 percent of Democrats agree.
Source: A Gallup poll of 1,011 U.S. adults conducted May 28 and 29.
•Caterwaul and doggerel to email@example.com.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
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