- The Washington Times - Monday, December 14, 2009

IT’S GETTIN’ PERSONAL

“You can stop Harry Reid,” they say. Write, call, Tweet. Wear red, wave a sign, shout a slogan, ride a bus.

In about 24 hours, what’s billed as “Code Red” will take over some rarefied acreage inside the Beltway: In yet another testimony to the nimble vigilance of those opposed to Democrats’ health care reform, a coalition of 26 activist organizations, select lawmakers and celebrities will descend upon Capitol Hill for an “emergency rally” on Tuesday to remind Americans that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is lacking only three votes before Obamacare is a reality.

The event has “tea party” trimmings and plenty of muscle, including grass-roots support from six states.

“Lawmakers are working furiously to pass a health care reform package with no input from the American people,” organizer Colin Hanna, president of Let Freedom Ring, tells Inside the Beltway.

The American Conservative Union, the Susan B. Anthony List, 60 Plus and Americans for Prosperity are among the groups that will stage the early afternoon event in Upper Senate Park. Buses are rolling in from as far away as New York and North Carolina, organizers say. Republican Sens. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Jim DeMint of South Carolina will speak, along with talk radio goddess Laura Ingraham and Rick Scott, chairman of Conservatives for Patients Rights.

“We can expose them and confront them in the classic American spirit - a public gathering on their doorstep,” says Ms. Ingraham. “We will put every politician who supports this travesty on notice. Enjoy your remaining time in the U.S. Capitol because we’re coming for your seat.”

CHEZ PALIN

Sarah Palin’s national book promotion tour finally ended Sunday night: The former Alaska governor was signing copies of her autobiography “Going Rogue” all the way up until 9:30 p.m. at Eielson Air Force Base exchange outside of Fairbanks.

But just like everyone else - a trait that underscores her growing cachet - Mrs. Palin is hearing the call of her children’s upcoming school activities, she says, including a basketball game and a music recital. Then there’s Christmas.

“Thinking of obligatory Christmas prep still undone, desiring less materialistic/ more meaningful season,” she wrote in a Twitter missive.

And moments later, in Tweet shortspeak:

“this yr; wanting kids (especially!) 2 remember true Reason 4 the Season. This is most beautiful time of yr n Alaska & reminds how blessed we r.”

TIGER BITE

In all its baroque detail, can the Tiger Woods saga get any more complex? Yes. It can be politicized.

“If only Tiger were a socialist,” ponders Daily Beast columnist Lee Siegel. “When someone hoards hundreds of millions of dollars paid to him for selling shoes and watches, while at the same time legislators are tearing their hair out over how to find money to make healthcare universally affordable, it’s not a question of Tiger’s fidelity. It’s a matter of our national sanity. Maybe when Tiger’s good socialist wife allegedly sent him to the hospital, she was trying to tell us something.”

LAKE WOE IS US

Yes, he has a mellifluous voice and applauds the charm of small-town diners and community suppers. But Garrison Keillor, the pontiff of NPR’s “Prairie Home Companion” variety hour, is not so friendly when it comes to certain ideological persuasion.

What is the function of public radio in America today?

“Its role is to talk to people who are stuck in traffic. And conservatives become incensed enough listening to public radio that it keeps them awake so they don’t drive into a fire hydrant. That’s what we do: we save the lives of thousands of right-wingers every year. And they never thank us for it,” Mr. Keiller tells Time magazine.

Oh. So that’s it.

Mr. Keiller’s reasoning is just another case of “liberal pomposity,” says Tim Graham of the Media Research Center.

SWISS WATCH

Daniel Pipes, director of the Philadelphia-based Middle East Forum, continues to mull over the recent Swiss referendum that bans minarets - the architecturally distinguished spires next to mosques - within the quaint historical towns of the region.

“I see the referendum as consequential, and well so beyond Swiss borders,” Mr. Pipes says. “It raises delicate issues of reciprocity in Muslim-Christian relations. A few examples: When Our Lady of the Rosary, Qatar’s first-ever church, opened in 2008, it did so minus cross, bell, dome, steeple, or signboard.”

Father Tom Veneracion explained that his church intended “to be discreet because we don’t want to inflame any sensitivities.”

Mr. Pipes also cited Christians in the Egyptian town of Nazlet al-Badraman, who won permission in October to restore the Mar-Girgis Church and were later attacked by local Muslims.

“The situation for Copts is so bad, they have reverted to building secret churches,” he says of the Christians in Egypt. “Why, the Catholic Church and others are asking, should Christian suffer such indignities while Muslims enjoy full rights in historically Christian countries? The Swiss vote fits into this new spirit.”

POLL DU JOUR

• 55 percent of Americans overall consider the holiday season “joyous.”

• 62 percent of Republicans and 50 percent of Democrats agree.

• 86 percent of Americans will celebrate Christmas.

• 4 percent will observe Hanukkah; 3 percent will celebrate winter solstice; 1 percent will celebrate an “other” holiday.

• 65 percent overall will decorate their houses.

• 45 percent plan to give a homemade gift to friends or family.

Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 adults conducted Dec. 5-6.

Big noise, small remarks, whistleblowing to jharper@ washingtontimes.com.

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