- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 1, 2009

ALAPALOOZA

“Meet Al Gore in Copenhagen.” The official announcement from this fair Danish city says it all. The former vice president is getting star treatment when he arrives with an entire swarm of green-minded gadflies for the United Nations’ global warming extravaganza, which begins on Dec. 7.

“Have you ever shaken hands with an American vice president? If not, now is your chance. Meet Al Gore in Copenhagen during the UN Climate Change Conference,” notes the Danish tourism commission, which is helping Mr. Gore promote “Our Choice,” his newest book about global warming in all its alarming modalities.

“Tickets are available in different price ranges for the event. If you want it all, you can purchase a VIP ticket, where you get a chance to shake hands with Al Gore, get a copy of Our Choice and have your picture taken with him. The VIP event costs DKK 5,999 and includes drinks and a light snack.”

Wait, what? How much is that in American dollars? The currency conversion says it all, too: 5,999 Danish kroners is equivalent to $1,209.

“If you do not want to spend that much money, but still want to hear Al Gore speak about his latest book about climate challenges, you can purchase general tickets, ranging in price from DKK 199-1,499 depending on where in the room you want to sit,” the practical Danes advise. “There will be large screens, so that everyone will get a good view.”

RUSH TO JUDGMENT

“And this is news?” - Rush Limbaugh, on learning he was named “the nation’s most influential conservative voice” in a CBS “60 Minutes”/Vanity Fair magazine survey.

OBAMARAMA

Television is sure to be a dither-free zone at 8 p.m. Tuesday night. President Obama will have a monumental stage at West Point and exquisitely selective words at the ready when he delivers his long-awaited Afghanistan policy speech, aka “the Obama off-ramp” in select circles. The “big three” broadcast networks are not their usual compliant selves, however.

CBS has set aside just 30 minutes for the speech, to be followed by re-runs and their annual offering, “The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show,” where models wander the runway in angel wings and high-priced undergarments. ABC is giving the speech an hour, bumping “A Charlie Brown Christmas” while NBC will broadcast the speech, followed by two hours of “The Biggest Loser.”

It’s a bonanza for cable news channels. CNN’s “Decision Afghanistan” offers almost 12 hours of material - the live speech followed by analysis by Wolf Blitzer, John King, Anderson Cooper and others.

“We’re harnessing out global resources,” Mr. Blitzer says.

MSNBC offers the live speech followed by specials showcasing Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews.Fox News will offer similar fare with the speech, followed by six hours of special analysis anchored by Bill O’Reilly and Greta Van Susteren.

GIPPEROPOLIS

Publisher Al Regnery, Heritage Foundation president Edwin J. Feulner and former attorney general Ed Meese are among an armada of conservative heavyweights who will fete author and ace political strategist Craig Shirley Tuesday, on the release of his new book “Rendezvous with Destiny: Ronald Reagan and the Campaign that Changed America.”

The 600-page volume is a definitive insider examination of Mr. Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign; the book won praise from Newt Gingrich and Mark Levin.

“I hope that readers will come away with a greater appreciation for practical idealism and that while political consultants can help a candidate, they can also do great harm,” Mr. Shirley tells Inside the Beltway. “Also, I hope readers will learn never to edit a word document inside an e-mail. It could cause them to lose a month’s worth of work which could cause them to cry and then cause them to get drunk.”

Well, OK.

“There is no truth to the rumor that the White House dinner crashers will show up,” adds a waggish source who will be in attendance.

HEATED DISCUSSION

Climategate critics continue to assail British and American scientists who manipulated global warming statistics to sway the global agenda.

“They ‘let the polar bear out of the bag’ on their questionable tactics used in gathering and analyzing the data,” says Matt Harrison, founder of the Prometheus Institute, a California-based public policy think tank.

“While the global warming science was already cloaked in uncertainty, the current controversy only further undermines the authority of the scientific ‘consensus’ that dominates the debate,” Mr. Harrison tells the Beltway.

“We’re about to turn our nation’s economy and world’s economy upside down based upon faulty and questionable science with the cap-and-trade bill now before Congress and measures to be debated in Copenhagen next week,” Mr. Harrison continues, fretting that one particular demographic group will bear the weight of the legislation.

“It’s a thinly-disguised tax on young Americans who’ll spend the rest their lives struggling under oppressive taxes thrust upon them by unscrupulously opportunistic scientists and their unthinking supporters,” he adds.

POLL DU JOUR

• 42 percent of Americans would advise their members of Congress to oppose heath care reform legislation.

• 35 percent want them to support the legislation; 22 percent are undecided.

• 86 percent of Republicans would advise lawmakers to oppose the legislation.

• 12 percent want them to support the legislation.

• 17 percent of Democrats would advise lawmakers to vote against heath care reform.

• 76 percent want them to support the legislation.

Source: A Gallup poll of 1,017 adults conducted Nov. 20-22.

Accolades, seasonal merriment, just plain noise to jharper@washingtontimes.com. Follow her at twitter.com/harperbulletin.

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