- The Washington Times
Sunday, June 3, 2012

Why yes, President Obama has three private fundraisers in New York City on Monday alone, but perhaps none can compare to the most hoity-toity of all his Manhattan money moments, this one scheduled June 14, which is Flag Day, incidentally. From our la-di-da desk comes news of Mr. Obama’s big “Night in New York,” a soiree to be hosted by first lady Michele Obama and staged in the West Village home of Sarah Jessica Parker and her husband, Matthew Broderick. Also in attendance: Vogue’s editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, and presumably, a veritable flotilla of fashionistas. But there’s room for two extras.

Swathed in an Obama campaign collectible scarf, Miss Wintour herself stars in a new video promoting a dinner lottery for a pair of the president’s fans. At the ready: “two of the best seats in the house … just don’t be late,” she advises in an English accent as exquisitely chilled as a martini.

“It’s yet another of these sweepstakes to pull some commoner out of the masses to dine with the high and mighty. Wintour’s delivery here isn’t going to dispel any myths about her,” observes Ken Wheaton, managing editor of Advertising Age. “And while some people may be fascinated with Wintour, they’re fascinated in the way one is fascinated by a leopard or cheetah — you’d like to get close to it, but you know it probably won’t end well.”

Mr. Wheaton’s readers have their own opinions.

The dinner is “Michelle’s idea of a ‘Happy Meal,’ ” comments an Ad Age reader from Key West at the publication’s website. “Does it come with a tax payer funded trip to Spain, too?”


Critics may mock creationists as antiquated dullards, but their belief remains constant among nearly half the population.

“Forty-six percent of Americans believe in the creationist view that God created humans in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years. The prevalence of this creationist view of the origin of humans is essentially unchanged from 30 years ago, when Gallup first asked the question,” says director Frank Newport, who offers a new round of numbers on the subject.

Meanwhile, there’s the inevitable partisan divide. Among Republicans, 58 agree with creationism; among Democrats, it’s 41 percent, among independents 39 percent.

“About a third of Americans believe that humans evolved, but with God’s guidance; 15 percent say humans evolved, but that God had no part in the process,” Mr. Newport says.

He adds, “Despite the many changes that have taken place in American society and culture over the past 30 years, including new discoveries in biological and social science, there has been virtually no sustained change in Americans’ views of the origin of the human species since 1982.”

The USA Today/Gallup poll of 1,012 U.S. adults was conducted May 10-13; see complete numbers here: www.gallup.com


“Bill Clinton’s foreign policy experience is pretty much confined to having had breakfast once at the International House of Pancakes.”

Then Republican presidential hopeful Patrick Buchanan on then Democratic presidential hopeful Bill Clinton, Aug. 17, 1992.


“President Obama has been in office, flying around the country and the world, without anything to show for it in the way of improving American lives or building confidence in this economy.

“Any way you look at it, we are suffering though the weakest recovery since the Great Depression. The following figures demonstrate — regardless of what the unemployment rate might be — that the President’s agenda is detrimental for the economy as a whole and especially for the nation’s most vulnerable citizens.”

(Rep. Allan B. West, Florida Republican, in a message to his constituents released Saturday).


“Three and a half years, nearly 100 rounds of golf. Barack Obama has exploded the debt in this country. He has passed a stimulus program that grew government and not the economy. He socialized health care and he armed Mexican drug cartels… Admit it America, 2008 was our national ‘oops’ moment.”

(Texas Gov. Rick Perry, to the North Carolina Republican Convention on Saturday).


Three cheers: Child actress makes good. Melissa Francis once starred on “Little House on the Prairie,” appeared in 100 TV commercials, earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard University, then served as a reporter for five local TV stations before becoming a financial analyst for CNBC. The next chapter? Miss Francis debuts Monday at 5 p.m. ET as a newly minted anchor on the Fox Business Network.

“Money With Melissa Francis” focuses on the travails of the American taxpayer plus key policy issues that affect citizens for better or worse. The network advises their evening lineup will shift as well. Look for “The Willis Report” at 6 p.m., “Lou Dobbs Tonight” at 7 p.m. Neil Cavuto will take over at 8 p.m.; “Stossel,” hosted by John Stossel will continue on Thursday night at 9 p.m.


• 67 percent of Americans plan summer vacation travel.

• 66 percent do not plan to travel on popular holiday weekends such as July Fourth or Labor Day.

• 54 percent will spend from $500 to $2,000 on their “getaway”; 18 percent will spend $2,001 to $3,000.

• 52 percent plan to cash in on credit card rewards to help with vacation expenses.

• 58 percent will use their reward points on airfare, 42 percent on hotel costs, 18 percent on gas.

• 41 percent favor cash as the top redemption award, 29 percent favor airline tickets, 28 percent gift cards.

• 19 percent would trade in $200 worth of reward for an extra vacation day if it were an option.

Source: A Capital One Financial Corp. survey of 1,045 U.S. adults conducted May 1-4 and released May 21.

Applause, crabby reviews to jharper@washingtontimes.com