I'm not sure whether tongues are wagging at the Sons of Norway or Ingebretsen's just yet, but the New York Times' expose on foreign influence in Washington shined a bright light on the Norwegians. If anyone doubted it, this story proves that in the pay-to-play Washington of 2014, everybody has their price, even the think tanks that claim to be above it all.
Still, the headline (Foreign powers buy influence at think tanks) evoked a country more obviously sinister than Norway, with its fjords and fish and 5 million residents. The Scandinavian countries have always fought above their weight when it comes to international affairs, but typically by leading the United Nations and other multilateral diplomacy and development.
The Times' story asserts undue Norwegian influence through its funding of the Center for Global Development "to persuade the United States government to spend more money on combating global warming by slowing the clearing of forests in countries like Indonesia..." While an environmental group claims Norway is merely trying to distract the world from its own oil drilling ambitions, I'm personally not worried about any foreign government using back channels to save rainforests. If that's the biggest threat posed by a flood of kroner into the pockets of Washington policy wonks, the bachelor farmers and I say: Gi meg mer!