- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 26, 2009

BELTWAY BOOK CLUB

There are plenty of suggestions for President Obama’s beach reading list beyond the five titles he toted up to Martha’s Vineyard, which incidentally amounted to 2,300 pages worth of fiction and nonfiction. Inside the Beltway readers have their own ideas, however. Many. For the sake of brevity, comments and personal details have been pared down, and we heartily thank our contributors.

Among the suggestions:

“What should President Obama read on his vacation? Duh. His healthcare plan.” - Jim Keenan.

“The Bible, its loaded with quotes to help pass his agenda.” - Kerry Carter.

“President Obama and his entire administration should all read ‘Horse Soldiers,’ by Doug Stanton, to give them an idea of what our troops and CIA went through in Afghanistan in 2002. Anyone who reads this book would never consider prosecuting any of our people for what they did while there. The odds they were up against were amazing, and I doubt anyone in the administration could have done half the job they did.” - Kaylene Morgan

“The U.S. Constitution. Maybe, just maybe, the Constitutional inquiry will teach him something about liberty. Just wishful thinking, I guess.” - Norman Hendrickson.

“The Constitution, and ‘Glenn Beck’s Common Sense,’ by Glenn Beck.” - “Blissful Mom”.

” ‘Justice Older Than the Law; The Life of Dovey Johnson Roundtree,’ University Press of Mississippi, 2009. It is a compelling story of a great lawyer, minister, military pioneer and civil rights champion, who in retirement continues to inspire.” - Jack Olender.

” ‘The Ultimate Man’s Survival Guide: Recovering the Lost Art of Manhood’ by Frank Miniter, and ‘The Battle History of the U.S. Marines: A Fellowship of Valor,’ by Joseph H. Alexander, Don Horan and Norman C. Stahl.” - Fred Niziol.

“Ayn Rand’s ‘Atlas Shrugged.’ It shows what happens when the government makes all of the business decisions and the country slowly grinds to a halt. It’s a long book, but a super-intelligent man like Obama should finish it within two days on the beach.” - Steve Deery.

“I urge the President to read my book ‘Play “Red Wing!” ‘ It’s a story of immigrants, love, war and the roots of American music and dancing.” - Stan Welli .

MYTH AMERICA

The public has some distinct ideas about those 1,018 pages of legislation.

“A surprisingly large proportion of Americans believe what the White House has dubbed ‘myths’ about health care reform,” says Dr. Aaron Carroll, director of health policy research at the University of Indiana, who has a survey to prove it.

New research finds that 60 percent of Americans believe that under Obamacare, taxpayers will be required to pay for abortions, while 46 percent say reforms will entitle all illegal immigrants to health care. Sixty percent say reforms will be too expensive, while 50 percent say the federal government would become directly involved in personal health care decisions. Two thirds said waiting times for health services would increase.

And those death panels? Three-of-10 Americans overall believe the government will require the elderly to make decisions about “how and when they will die.” The number is 53 percent among Republicans, however, and 14 percent among Democrats.

“If the White House hopes to convince the majority of Americans that they are misinformed about health care reform, there is much work to be done,” Dr. Carroll observes.

The survey of 600 people was conducted Aug. 14-18.

PRICE NAMES THE PRICE

Some say that the Obama administration’s decision to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the CIA’s interrogation of captured terrorists is torturous in itself.

It’s a “witch hunt,” says Rep. Tom Price. The Georgia Democrat warns that the decision could demoralize those tasked with protecting the nation from terrorists and foreign agents.

“Rather than focusing on obtaining valuable information from captured terrorists who have often murdered innocents by the hundreds, our intelligence community must now treat terrorists as petty criminals with all the due-process rights of American citizens,” Mr. Price says. “Our national security must not be held hostage to a flawed world view that values the comfort of terrorists over the lives of American citizens. While we now know that these interrogations saved lives, Americans are left to ask why President Obama would put politics before security.”

POLL DU JOUR

62 percent of parents with college-bound children say they’re willing to “stretch themselves financially” for education.

53 percent say college is part of the “American Dream,” 52 percent say college is worth the cost.

51 percent of college students live at home to save money, 48 percent went to a less-expensive school.

40 percent said Congress was “extremely unhelpful” in helping families cope with college expenses.

23 percent said the federal government was “extremely unhelpful.”

Source: A Sallie Mae survey of 804 mothers and fathers and 800 undergraduates conducted March 20-April 17.

Rants, press releases, exaltations to jharper@ washingtontimes.com or 202/636-3085. Follow her at twitter.com/ harperbulletin.

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