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Ally's Birthday

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

That was Jordanian Ambassador Prince Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein and his Texas-born wife Princess Sarah Zeid hosting a Washington observance for Jordan's 62nd Independence Day at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel yesterday.


And yes, the ambassador told Inside the Beltway, Jordan's birthday (actually this Sunday) is celebrated in much the same fashion as America's Independence Day — a national holiday with fireworks, picnics and parades.

For more than six years before coming to Washington, the Johns Hopkins-educated Prince Zeid was Jordan's ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations, and in 2006 was a candidate for the position of U.N. Secretary-General.

'Right thing to do'

Not all of Hollywood is supporting the Democratic Party this November.

Among those opening checkbooks for Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign, according to Federal Election Commission filings, are Wilford Brimley, the mustached actor known for his Quaker Oats commercials and famous line, "It's the right thing to do." (Before acting, Mr. Brimley was Howard Hughes' bodyguard).

Also supporting the Arizona Republican are Dick Van Patten; William Barron Hilton (famous of late for being Paris Hilton's grandfather); and Rip Torn, who played Artie on HBO's "The Larry Sanders Show."

Our Hollywood insider says "this is just the beginning. You can look for other big names to hop on board the StraightTalk Express," referring to Mr. McCain's campaign bus. Among the notables she says lean right:

Britney Spears, Drew Carey, Bo Derek, Tom Selleck, Shirley Temple Black, Clint Eastwood, Ben Stein, Kim Alexis, Scott Baio, Adam Baldwin, Robert Conrad, Alice Cooper, Shannen Doherty, Robert Duvall, Jamie Farr, Kelsey Grammer, Dean Jones, Jimmy Dean, Shirley Jones, Don King, Heather Locklear, Chuck Norris, Freddie Prinze Jr., Mickey Rooney, Jessica Simpson, Grace Slick, Tony Danza, Kurt Russell, Pat Sajak, Stephen Baldwin, Rick Schroder, Hilary Duff, Cheryl Ladd, Marilyn Manson, Marie Osmond and Bruce Willis.


Lobbying lob

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean is calling on Sen. John McCain to fire his campaign manager, Rick Davis and his chief political adviser, Charlie Black, over what he calls "conflicts."

Mr. Dean pointed out yesterday that it was Mr. Davis last week who sent a memo to McCain campaign staff about a new "conflicts policy" when it comes to outside lobbying, yet the campaign manager reportedly earned almost $3 million lobbying Congress over the past decade.

The DNC head charged that Mr. Black similarly "used his connections with George Bush and Dick Cheney to lobby administration officials for dozens of wealthy clients," including while riding aboard Mr. McCain's campaign bus.

Mr. Black has countered that his lobbying days are over, while Mr. Davis said he hasn't lobbied since 2006.

That explains it

Percentage of Republicans and Democrats, respectively, who believe in Hell: 69, 52

— Harper's Index, June 2008

Mad yet?

Economy got you down? Gas prices making it difficult to commute? Tired of paying $5 for a box of Fruit Loops?

Perhaps the time has come to take Howard Beale's advice from the 1976 Oscar-winning movie "Network:"

"I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It's a depression. Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's work, banks are going bust ... and there's no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat ... as if that's the way it's supposed to be. We know things are bad — worse than bad. They're crazy. It's like everything everywhere is going crazy ...


"I want you to get mad! I don't want you to protest. I don't want you to riot — I don't want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn't know what to tell you to write. I don't know what to do about the depression and the inflation ... all I know is that first you've got to get mad. You've got to say, 'I'm a human being ... My life has value!'

"So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell, 'I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!' "

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