John McCaslin

Will King George retain his White House throne, or might we have King John?

While there are plenty of primaries left, odds are the president of the United States between 2005 and 2009 will be either George Walker Bush or John Forbes Kerry, both of whom have considerable "royal descents," according to Gary Boyd Roberts' new book, "Royal Descents of 600 Immigrants" (Genealogical Publishing Company of Baltimore).

Three of Bush's royal forebears were Robert Livingston the Elder of New York, first lord of Livingston Manor; George Elkington of New Jersey; and Col. Walter Ashton of Virginia.

As for Kerry, his mother was a Forbes whose ancestor, the Rev. John Forbes (died 1783), was a noted Anglican clergyman and magistrate in east Florida. Forbes' wife was Dorothy Murray, daughter of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's matrilineal immigrant ancestors, James Murray of North Carolina and Massachusetts and Barbara Bennet of North Carolina. Thus, Kerry and Roosevelt are fourth cousins twice removed.

Kerry's mother's mother was Margaret Pyndal Winthrop, of the family that founded Massachusetts Bay, a granddaughter of Robert Charles Winthrop, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and a great-grandson himself of Revolutionary statesman James Bowdoin, for whom the college is named.

FRESHMAN LETTUCE

More proof the recession is over: Three "green" congressmen, all Republicans, have broken the all-time freshman fund-raising record.

In 2003, Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia raised more than $1.5 million, Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama raised more than $1.1 million and Rep. Bob Beauprez of Colorado more than $1 million. The previous record of slightly more than $1 million was set in 2001 by then-freshman Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.).

In addition, according to National Republican Congressional Committee figures obtained yesterday,. Gingrey set the new cash-on-hand mark for a first-year man - $941,000 - while also paying off $125,000 in debt.

AMISH PRESERVATION

After years of trying to win protection for preserving the way of life of his Amish constituents, a Republican congressman from Pennsylvania has finally succeeded.

Rep. Joe Pitts, whose 16th District encompasses Amish-rich Lancaster, has been pushing the Amish Labor bill ever since he first came to Congress eight years ago. Now, President Bush has signed the bill into law.

It allows Amish teenagers to enter apprenticeships after they complete their formal schooling, which is equivalent to eighth grade, exempting them from federal child labor laws that ban anyone under 18 from operating heavy machinery, such as saws used in furniture making.


John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on Townhall.com and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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