- The Washington Times - Friday, August 21, 2009

CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE

A Hollywood conservative has headed East. It’s “Freedom Concert” time for Jon Voight. The Academy Award winner will join Sean Hannity in Cincinnati and Atlanta this weekend to honor fallen soldiers and present college scholarships to surviving children. Mr. Voight — a warrior himself in many ways — has been cogitating about the state of America, meanwhile.

“There’s a real question at stake now. Is President Obama creating a civil war in our own country?” Mr. Voight tells Inside the Beltway.

“We are witnessing a slow, steady takeover of our true freedoms. We are becoming a socialist nation, and whoever can’t see this is probably hoping it isn’t true. If we permit Mr. Obama to take over all our industries, if we permit him to raise our taxes to support unconstitutional causes, then we will be in default. This great America will become a paralyzed nation.”

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Be outraged, Mr. Voight advises.

“Do not let the Obama administration fool you with all their cunning Alinsky methods. And if you don’t know what that method is, I implore you to get the book ‘Rules for Radicals,’ by Saul Alinsky. Mr. Obama is very well trained in these methods,” he continues, citing a television campaign critical of the Republican Party and contentious town-hall meetings about health care reform.

“The real truth is that the Obama administration is professional at bullying, as we have witnessed with ACORN at work during the presidential campaign. It seems to me they are sending down their bullies to create fist fights among average American citizens who don’t want a government-run health care plan forced upon them,” Mr. Voight says. “So I ask again. Is President Obama creating a civil war in our own country?”

MEGALISCIOUS

She’s blonde. She’s the bomb. And she’s got important relatives. Meghan McCain, the woman who brought va-va-voom to the Republican discourse in recent months, will rock ABC’s “The View” Sept. 9 as the first guest co-host for Elisabeth Hasselbeck, now on maternity leave.

Ah, Meghan. She was the one (as ABC reminds everybody) who told Karl Rove, “You had your eight years. Now go away.”

Commentary is running amok online: You go, girl, they say. You’re just a dumb blonde. Take on Joy Behar. Oh, and say “hi” to your dad. Which is, of course, Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, onetime presidential hopeful, war hero.

And what does he say?

“He’s very, very proud of his daughter,” a McCain spokeswoman tells Beltway.

HAIL TO THEE

With cool fanfare, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced Thursday that a whopper, 3.3-inch hailstone fell July 16 in Vermont — deemed an official state record and adding, perhaps, another wrinkle to the global warming argument.

The hailstone conveniently fell in the backyard of one Chuck McGill, a NOAA meteorologist, who whisked it to the office for measurement and photographs. But now what? The hailstone sat for weeks in the NOAA freezer. Is it a has-been?

Not to worry. NOAA’s got it covered.

“Chuck’s taken it home again and put it in his own freezer,” chief meteorologist Andy Nash tells Beltway. “These things can just sublimate to nothing. You know, evaporate. Chuck’s determined to keep that hailstone alive.”

LOCKED AND LOADED

The Second Amendment Foundation has accused MSNBC of “demonizing” gunowners, says Alan Gottlieb, the Bellevue, Wash.-based group’s founder. The segment shows a figure toting an AR-15 rifle outside the national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, where President Obama spoke earlier this week.

“There are Second Amendment rights, for sure, but also there are questions about whether this has a racial overtone. I mean, here you have a man of color in the presidency and white people showing up with guns strapped to their waist,” anchor Contessa Brewer says in the report.

“What MSNBC purposely did not reveal with the deliberately doctored video is that the man carrying that sport-utility rifle was an African-American,” says Mr. Gottlieb. “Yet all they showed in a brief film clip was a close-up of the rifle against the man’s neatly-pressed dress shirt. It was impossible to tell the man’s race. This is a detestable attempt to manipulate public sentiment.”

POLL DU JOUR

• 30 percent of Americans overall say health care reform will create “death panels.”

• 47 percent of Republicans and 45 percent of Fox News viewers agree.

• 20 percent of Democrats and 27 percent of MSNBC viewers agree.

• 28 percent of Americans overall say the press is not critical enough of President Obama.

• 52 percent of Republicans and 8 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism survey of 1,003 adults conducted Aug. 14-17.

Whispers, noise, hailstones to jharper@washingtontimes.com or 202/636-3085. Follow her at twitter.com/harperbulletin