- The Washington Times - Monday, June 3, 2013

Among the 140 participants at the Bilderberg Conference that begins Thursday in the spectacular Grove Hotel, some 20 miles northwest of London: American Enterprise Institute fellow Richard Perle, former CIA Director David H. Petraeus, former World Bank President James Wolfensohn, former Treasury secretaries Timothy F. Geithner and Robert Rubin, Washington Post CEO Donald Graham, Stratfor geopolitical analyst Robert Kaplan, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and The Economist Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait.

The event is deemed “a forum for informal, off-the-record discussions about megatrends and the major issues facing the world.” So many journalists, bloggers and activists plan to show up at the intensely private event, which will for the first time will offer a very low-key press liaison.

Then there’s the Bilderberg Fringe Festival. A motley uninvited crowd is negotiating a space with local police for a noisy, three-day rally near or within the hotel’s 300-acre grounds; they envision it bustling with speakers, street performers, comedians, healers, filmmakers and musicians.

“We are expressing our outrage at this travesty of democracy the only way we know how, by Hula-hooping in the sunshine and dancing barefoot in the grass. Except where cows have been,” organizers declare in their invitation. “Where Bilderberg is closed, dark and joyless, we are open, happy and free. They may have better spa facilities, but we have better chai.”


“Which president would you most like to see on a new currency bill?” asks a “60 Minutes”/Vanity Fair poll released Monday.

Ronald Reagan has the most currency with 38 percent,” the waggish pollsters declare. “Nineteen percent would put Barack Obama in the money, 15 percent think that a Bill Clinton would fit the bill, 11 percent think Jimmy Carter is the one, and the two George Bush’s finished out of the money losing a twin bill.”

That would be George W. Bush with 4 percent and papa George H.W. Bush with 2 percent. See more survey results in today’s Poll du Jour at column’s end.


Montana may be due for specific political change.

“Career politician and Obamacare architect Max Baucus has decided to not seek re-election. Montana is traditionally a red state that Mitt Romney won by 14 points. The time is now to draft a real leader and take away Harry Reid’s liberal majority,” says Kieran Michael Lalor, founder of Afghanistan and Iraq Vets for Congress, a political action committee that supports Republican veterans seeking public office.

“Democrats are trying to draft former governor Brian Schweitzer. While campaigning for President Obama in Ohio, the governor called Montanans ‘white, racist rednecks.’ This is not the kind of leadership we need in the U.S. Senate,” says Mr. Lalor, a Marine Corps vet and New York assemblyman.

He’s backing retired Navy SEAL Cmdr. Ryan K. Zinke, a third-generation Montanan who lives in Whitefish.

“We believe he could become the first Afghanistan or Iraq veteran in the U.S. Senate,” Mr. Lalor says. “Our nation needs tried and tested veteran leadership in the Senate, not another career politician.”


“I’m not going to get into a back-and-forth with Chairman Issa.”

“I would simply say that I am not interested in having a back-and-forth with Chairman Issa.”

“Again, I don’t want to get into a back-and-forth.”

“I’m not interested in that back-and-forth, or having a back-and-forth with the chairman.”

“I don’t want to get into a back-and-forth.”

— White House press secretary Jay Carney’s responses to five questions posed by reporters Monday regarding Rep. Darrell E. Issa’s observation that Mr. Carney was a “paid liar” for the Obama administration. The California Republican and chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee made the remark during a CNN interview Sunday.


Bacon-tinctured cocktails, bacon-and-bourbon popsicles — the bacon cuisine list goes on. Inside the Beltway must therefore note that Dunkin’ Donuts will unveil the Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich on Friday for National Donut Day, an occasion certainly not hailed by White House proclamation. The sandwich consists of a fried egg and cherrywood-smoked bacon inside a split donut, weighing in at 360 calories.

“The glazed donut is light and fluffy and gives you just the right amount of sweetness. Combined with the lightly salted, smoked bacon, the texture and flavors marry together in a wonderful way. It’s a delicious bite of the perfect harmonization of sweet and savory flavors,” points out Stan Frankenthaler, the company’s executive chef.


Oh, woe is MSNBC, where rating have dropped 20 percent in the past year, placing it behind Fox News, CNN and CNN’s “Headline News.” The explanation, in the network’s own analysis, comes down to this: MSNBC is not the spot for breaking news.

“We’re not the place for that. Our brand is not that,” Phil Griffin, the network’s president, tells The New York Times.


92 percent of Americans would not marry someone they did not love to make them a U.S. citizen; 96 percent of Republicans and 92 percent of Democrats agree.

79 percent of Americans overall say it makes “no difference” to them if a politicians wear an American flag pin or not; 64 percent of Republicans and 86 percent of Democrats agree.

71 percent overall say the “Star-Spangled Banner” should be the national anthem; 77 percent of conservatives and 63 percent of liberals agree.

70 percent overall say there has never been a moment when they wish they were not Americans; 78 percent of Republicans and 71 percent of Democrats agree.

61 percent overall say it is “very important” that children recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of each school day; 79 percent of Republicans and 57 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A “60 Minutes”/Vanity Fair poll of 1,072 U.S. adults conducted April 18 to 21 and released Monday.

Earnest proclamations, weary observance to [email protected]

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