- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Atlantic magazine is on to a trend: People around the world have been debating how to cook lobsters humanely since scientists have discovered that shellfish can feel pain.

New Zealand includes shellfish in its animal rights laws, and at least one Italian town bans throwing live lobsters into a pot of boiling water.

And Brits electrocute their lobsters — but, shockingly, not their mobsters.

It seems to me that if you’re worried about hurting the lobster you’re planning to eat, you’re not really that hungry.

Of course, if you’re really squeamish about killing a lobster, you could wait for it to die a natural death — between 80 to 150 years. While you’re waiting, try the veal.

With all this debate over how to kill a lobster, I’m glad that I don’t have to resolve any ethical concerns about my favorite food — bacon.

•••


The long wait is over. A Gallup poll of Republican voters shows that Mitt Romney is the front-runner for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

About 26 percent of GOP voters picked Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, to head the ticket, and 21 percent picked Sarah Palin, the soon-to-be former governor of Alaska.

About 19 percent preferred Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas, and 14 percent opted for Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Who says there’s nothing for an out-of-work politician to do? There’s hope for you, Rod Blagojevich!

I’d been having trouble sleeping, and I just realized it’s because there wasn’t a front-runner for the Republican nomination — three years from now. I should sleep much better tonight. Thanks, Gallup.

Sarah Palin received the highest favorability rating among Republicans taking the poll — 71 percent. So she might not have to go maverick or rogue to get her message out, as long as she doesn’t let the RNC pick her wardrobe.

•••


NASA officials admitted that their original recordings of the 1969 moon landing have been erased accidentally.

However, officials have begun combining the best television footage with “enhancements” from Hollywood to create a nearly identical video record.

NASA didn’t erase the moon-landing tapes, but recorded over them, officials said. Some of the events NASA recorded over the historic tapes:

• “Battlestar Galactica, Season 1” (not the new one, but the original with Lorne Greene)

• Prince Charles’ and Lady Di’s wedding (It was a fairy tale moment!)

• The 2005 National Spelling Bee (Riveting. R-I-V-E-T-I-N-G. Riveting.)

• Porn

But not to worry, NASA has some great Hollywood types working on reshooting — er, reconstructing the footage. They’re going to use some outtakes from the ‘70s flick “Capricorn One.”

And Steven Spielberg is heading the project. He has some good ideas for including E.T. Think “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Part 2.”

Unfortunately the role of Buzz Aldrin will be played by Buzz Lightyear.

•••


The House recently voted to reopen hundreds of Chrysler dealerships and prevent the closing of more than 2,000 General Motors dealerships.

The White House has opposed the House bill.

Man, I’m glad the government isn’t getting into the car business because, with the way things run in Washington, they would bring back the Pinto.

But it’s not surprising that the House voted to save car dealerships. Used-car dealers are more popular than Washington politicians, and members of Congress need a good fall-back job for when they leave office.

•••


The New York Post had a brief item about President Obama throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at the All-Star Game.

The Post noted that Obama threw lefty and didn’t have much “heat” on the ball.

However, in throwing lefty, the president reiterated that his pitch was not an endorsement of socialism.

What’s more, Obama’s lack of “heat” was intentional because he didn’t want to contribute to global warming.

Before the president’s toss could hit the dirt, Albert Pujols stepped up and caught the ball and Obama gave a fist pump to celebrate.

I think the president said afterward that Pujols’s save is further evidence that the stimulus is working.

•••


Defense Secretary Robert Gates will not ban smoking among U.S. troops in war zones but is considering other recommendations for a tobacco-free military.

“We are fighting two wars right now, using a force that we are demanding more of than we ever have before,” a spokesman for Gates said. “They are under enormous stress and strain. The secretary does not want to compound that stress by taking away from them one of the few outlets they have to relieve that stress.”

This means that U.S. troops in Afghanistan can smoke Camels without endangering the local livestock.

Sherman said, “War is hell.” But without a cigarette, it can be rather uncomfortable, too.

The Pentagon recommendations cite concerns for troop health. But if troop health were really important, they wouldn’t be in a war zone.

You can reach Carleton Bryant at 202/636-3218 and cbryant@washingtontimes.com — but only in his brand new used car.

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