The International Spy Museum in Washington, the only museum in the country dedicated to espionage, will enforce a minimum age of 18 for its July 14 seminar on one of the oldest tricks of the trade: sexpionage.
Those of a mature age will learn that spies, counterspies and even terrorists conduct undercover activities "under the covers," using seduction as a tool to attract and manipulate, coerce and compromise.
Authentic KGB sexual-entrapment videos and newly released technical details of the infamous Russian "honey traps" will be shown. Not that there haven't been similar shapely traps in this country.
Confederate spy Rose O'Neal Greenhow professed during the Civil War: "God gave me both a brain and a body, and I shall use them both."
"My mama always said to me, 'Tell me who you go with, and I'll tell you who you are.'"
- Democratic strategist James Carville, explaining why he is proud to "go with" Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota, whose opponent for re-election - former Republican Rep. John Thune - has received some heavyweight support of late from Vice President Dick Cheney and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee.
Editors at the Weekly Standard in Washington were amused by a phone call they received from liberal activist and Air America radio host Al Franken, relaying that he objected to the magazine's suggestion that he was "gushing" over a recent conversation he'd had with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, New York Democrat.
"I don't think I gushed," Franken said for the record.
Because of overwhelming demand from the public, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Foundation is rushing to produce an official compact disc and digital video disc relating to the funeral and burial of former President Ronald Reagan.
Both the CD and DVD will be produced in conjunction with family friend Merv Griffin. The target date for release is July 1.
Democrats are calling on Americans of all political stripes who cherish the memories of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John Fitzgerald Kennedy to let it be known that they do not want the images of the two American presidents removed from the dime or half-dollar as a tribute to former President Ronald Reagan.
Democrats for America's Future (DAF) is asking the public to issue complaints to four key senators - Republicans Sam Brownback of Kansas, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Ted Stevens of Alaska - and U.S. Mint Director Henrietta Holsman Fore.
The four senators were appointed by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee to report back by mid-July on specific recommendations for a Reagan commemoration.
Calling Roosevelt and Kennedy two of the most revered Democrats of the 20th century, DAF executive director Jennifer Petty says: "It simply isn't necessary to trash the memories of FDR and JFK to honor Ronald Reagan."
Besides Democrats, she says, "no serious Republican or independent who cares about American history can stand by idly and watch this unwarranted and vicious attack on these bona fide American heroes."
NOT BUYING IT
No, I'm not buying Bill Clinton's book
And I won't even give it a look -
Had enough of that hound
The first time around
And have nothing to learn from a crook.
- F. R. Duplantier
A newly declassified document, among hundreds of thousands of pages of FBI, CIA and Army intelligence records, provides the first primary evidence surrounding a bizarre impromptu "tea party" hosted by an enraged Adolf Hitler.
According to the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Working Group in Washington, the tea party took place at Hitler's field headquarters on the heels of an attempted assassination of the fuhrer on July 20, 1944.
The intelligence document quotes SS Col. Eugen Dollmann, a liaison officer to Benito Mussolini's Italian fascist republic, as saying one year after the party:
"The fuhrer leaped up in a fit of frenzy, with foam on his lips, and yelled out that he would be revenged on all traitors, that providence had just shown him once more that he had been chosen to make world history, and shouted about terrible punishments for women and children, all of them would have to be put inside concentration camps. He shouted about an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth for everyone who dared set himself against divine providence."
Dollmann acknowledged: "I thought to myself [Hitler] must be mad. I don't know why I didn't go over to the allies there and then."
It's been a month since Brian J. Kennedy, communications director for the House Resources Committee, suspected that the Democratic Party was nearing completion of a four-part strategy to obfuscate simple supply-and-demand principles and obstruct passage of President Bush's national energy policy.
"Here is how it works," he said:
- Step One: Avoid directly addressing problem at all costs. If confronted on solutions, vote no.
- Step Two: Bloviate about the evils of "Big Oil" and SUVs (Yes, even though [senators and congressmen] drive one, are driven around in one, or have a private Gulfstream jet).
- Step Three: Call for investigations on price gouging, point fingers, and assign blame.
- Step Four: Repeat steps one, two, and three until issue goes away (prices temporarily decline).
The third step was completed the very day Kennedy issued his prophecy. Seven Democratic state attorneys general joined a Democratic senator in asking authorities to investigate whether oil and gas companies have colluded to drive up gasoline prices.
Now, The Beltway Beat has obtained "daily talking points" provided to Democratic congressmen, cheat sheets of sorts instructing them what to tell the public about gas prices. As Kennedy predicted, all 10 points call for probes of gas-price gouging, blame the Bush administration for being "in the pocket" of big oil companies and blame House Republicans for "doing their dirty work."
Sure enough, as gas prices drop nationwide this week, step four is complete.
In convening last week's hearing on the Family Movie Act, Rep. Lamar Smith, Texas Republican and chairman of the House Judiciary subcommittee on courts, the Internet and intellectual property, said the legislation would help ensure that parents can provide a wholesome home environment for their children - arguably more difficult today than when Smith was a lad.
"A generation ago, there was not near the amount of sex, violence and profanity on television and in movies that there is today," he said. "But I still remember how my parents dealt with it. . . . They would get up and turn the television off
"As the Nation celebrates Pride Month, I am excited to join the LGBT community in fighting for equal rights for gay Americans," Sen. John Kerry said in a recent proclamation, using a politically correct acronym to refer to the "lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender" community.
"I am committed to using the power of the White House to advance equal rights for all Americans, including gay Americans," the Democratic presidential candidate proclaimed.
Robert H. Knight of Concerned Women for America was amused by this remark in Kerry's proclamation: "We need to reject hate and embrace acceptance."
Says Knight: "Translation: and we will pass laws to persecute you if you don't."
No sooner did we write in a recent column that presidential wannabe and confirmed bachelor Dennis J. Kucinich has lined himself up a date, we read the following letter that Margie of Milton, Wis., submitted to a national "Liberal Hearts" contest seeking a wife for the Democratic congressman from Ohio:
"Dennis, there are thousands of us that are in love with you and would give our left arm to have a few moments alone with you. That's our fantasy! In Madison I heard you . . . and then at the Democratic Convention in Milwaukee, where I was able to shake your hand. It was cold, which seemed impossible after such a fiery speech!"
"Seconds it took a Maryland consultant . . . to pick a Diebold voting machine's lock and remove its memory card: 10."
- Harper's Index, July 2004
LOST HER BET
Up to the lectern stepped Rep. John Conyers Jr., Michigan Democrat: "I am here to announce the celebration of the Detroit Pistons in their sweep last night [of the Los Angeles Lakers] and offer my condolences to those members of the House, in particular from the Los Angeles area. I will not mention any names, but one, M.W., comes to mind."
Los Angeles is the district of Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters.
"Please be seated, unless, of course, you don't have a seat."
- President Bush, speaking at a campaign rally Saturday in Reno, Nev.
PASSING THE BATON
He has performed with "The President's Own" for 36 years, including a decade at its helm. But Col. Timothy W. Foley's relationship with America's oldest music organization actually began as a young boy watching the band play for the 1955 National Christmas Tree lighting in Washington.
"[A]nd there was the Marine Band all bundled up in these big blue coats," said the 58-year-old colonel, who started playing the clarinet at age 9. "I remember hearing the band and thinking, 'They've got to be cold, but wow, what a beautiful sound.'"
Founded in 1798, The President's Own has performed for every U.S. president since John Adams. It got its title from Thomas Jefferson.
"It is tremendously challenging and very important to be the 'keeper of the flame' - to carry on the music of our predecessors, most importantly John Philip Sousa and the traditions he helped to create," Foley said.
Now there will be a new keeper of the flame as of July 17, when Foley passes the Sousa baton to Maj. Michael J. Colburn, who becomes its 27th director. Foley said he takes with him myriad musical memories, such as the evening President Clinton and his wife hosted a dinner for Russian President Boris Yeltsin.
"For the occasion, I had prepared a little-known piece by Russian composer Anton Arensky," he said. "My back was to the East Room entrance as I conducted the chamber orchestra that night, and as we were playing the piece, I noticed the orchestra becoming slightly distracted."
When they finished the piece, the colonel heard someone applauding behind him. It was Yeltsin.
"He was standing there alone, listening to our performance," he said. "He gave a thumbs-up, then was whisked off to join the rest of the guests at dinner."
On September 11, 2002, the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks, the Marine Band was setting up to play at Ground Zero, "the bottom of the massive chasm where the World Trade Center once stood - I had never seen anything quite like it - and a relentless swirling wind ... was so great we had to bring in sandbags to anchor our music stands.
"As the dirt and dust blew in our eyes and ears, we could barely communicate with each other, or hold on to anything before the wind carried it off," Foley recalled. "How those musicians performed, I will never know. But they sat there and played as if they were sitting in Carnegie Hall, with the most extraordinary refinement and musical sensitivity, under conditions that were indescribably difficult and emotional."
Asked about life after the Marine Band, the colonel said: "I don't know how I could do this anywhere else. But I know for sure - there is no life without music."
The news isn't good from the Leon & Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy, where a poll conducted on college campuses reveals that only 35 percent of students think voting can bring about substantial change.
Only 19 percent of American college students think politics is very relevant to their lives, and fewer than one in 10 say they have or will volunteer for a political campaign during the 2004 elections.
"Obviously, candidates, educators and all the rest of us need to do a better job of promoting political and civic involvement if we hope to restore our trust in our democracy," says Leon Panetta, who served President Clinton as White House chief of staff.
In a trial run of the upcoming presidential election, the survey of 800 students showed Sen. John Kerry leading President Bush by 42 percent to 30 percent. But will the underclassmen bother to vote?
HALF A STAR
"Flight back was uneventful, although the movie, 'House of Sand and Fog,' was awful. Beef fajitas for dinner."
- White House pool report covering the June 19 Air Force One journey from Reno, Nev., to Andrews Air Force Base.