Inside the Beltway: Enchanted by political image alone

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On hand Wednesday evening for a pre-tournament reception: Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham, Richard Burr, Saxby Chambliss, Johnny Isakson plus Rep. Mick Mulvaney and the aforementioned Mr. Gowdy.

And among Democrats, it’s Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, Mark Udall and Mark Warner, plus Reps. Jim Clyburn, Mike Doyle, and Cedric Richmond.

Former Sens. Chris Dodd and Don Nickles, plus Fox News anchor Brett Baier, will also attend.

The big tournament itself is June 23 at the spectacular Trump National Golf Club in Potomac Falls, Virginia featuring 20 fivesomes composed of lawmakers, VIPs, celebrities and wounded veterans. The charities that will benefit: NGS — No Greater Sacrifice, devoted to the children of fallen or wounded service members; the PGA Foundation; Children’s National Medical Center; Armed Services YMCA; Helping A Hero.org; the Dixon Center; and Thanks USA. See their big doings here: NGSshootout.org. And see Mr. Trump’s 600 acres of riverside golfing at Trumpnationaldc.com.

WHERE’S THAT ALASKAN AMMO?

Is there still an ammunition shortage in Alaska? You betcha. Up in Sarah Palin country, .22-caliber ammunition is an increasingly rare thing. There are daily lines at sporting goods stores, customer sprints to the gun counter. The stuff disappears from shelves the moment it appears, apparently.

“If you aren’t at the sporting goods store or gun shop when it opens in the morning, you might have a better chance of encountering Bigfoot roaming the aisles than of finding ammunition for your .22-caliber weapon,” says Sean Doogan, a reporter for the Alaska Dispatch.

The shortage is now about three years old, but its origins are still somewhat mysterious. The National Shooting Sports Foundation says that manufacturers can’t keep up with the demand, gun enthusiasts are hoarding their hard-won rounds. Gun sales are also up.

“There are a lot of wild stories,” Foundation spokesman Mike Bazinet told the Dispatch. “One story we’ve heard anecdotally is that the government is buying up all the ammo. That is not true. Government purchases have gone down over last three years.”

He says the .22-caliber shortage is easing in the Lower 48. But not in Alaska.

“The .22-caliber cartridges are popular among people who want to teach their children how to shoot. It is small and has little kick when fired. It’s also popular for targeting small game like snowshoe hares, grouse and ptarmigan,” Mr. Doogan says. “But .22-caliber is also the round of choice for shooting competitions, including the biathlon — a combination of Nordic skiing and shooting.”

SANITY CORNER

Researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center and Carleton University pored over self-reported data from 6,000 people about the directions and decisions of their lives during a 14-year period and here’s what they found: “Feeling that you have a sense of purpose in life may help you live longer, no matter what your age,” they conclude in research published in Psychological Science, an academic journal.

“Our findings point to the fact that finding a direction for life, and setting overarching goals for what you want to achieve can help you actually live longer, regardless of when you find your purpose,” says lead researcher Patrick Hill. “So the earlier someone comes to a direction for life, the earlier these protective effects may be able to occur.”

POLL DU JOUR

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