- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 17, 2009

SQUAWK PATROL

The caterwaul of criticism will rise to fever pitch against one particular conservative goddess in the next 24 hours.

“We’ve already seen the disdain for Sarah Palin which certainly fulfills Carrie Prejean’s observations about a tougher standard for conservative women. It’s sure to get worse this week as Palin launches her book tour,” the Media Research Center’s Brent Baker tells Inside the Beltway.

“Setting the stage, Sunday on ABC, the New York Times’ putative conservative columnist, David Brooks, derided Palin as ‘a joke’ and a ‘talk show host’ as the rest of the men on the ‘This Week’ roundtable piled on, leaving it to PBS’ Gwen Ifill, hardly a conservative, to point out: ‘As the girl at the table, I feel like I can say you cannot underestimate the degree to which women will be drawn to her story’ ,” Mr. Baker observes.

“Ifill’s realization reflects how liberals, who can see beyond their reflexive revulsion toward Palin, recognize Palin’s no joke and could be a very powerful political force.”

YOU BETCHA

Simple says much at times. Mrs. Palin, by the numbers:

7: Number of bookstore appearances this week.

5: Number of TV appearances.

991,735: Number of Facebook “friends”

17,169: Number of followers at twitter.com/SarahPalin USA

4,331: Number of news stories referencing “Going Rogue” on Monday, according to Google.

LAST LAUGH

Whether the hoity-toity book critics like it or not, Americans like their “righties.” Amazon released its top 10 books for 2009, the list topped by “The Last Symbol,” Dan Brown’s sequel to “The Da Vinci Code”.

In second place: Mark Levin’s “Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto”, and in third place “Glenn Beck’s “Common Sense: The Case Against an Out-of-Control Government.”

Congrats, gents.

“The race was closer than you might think,” Amazon says.

PORKULUS EXTREMUS

Holy drumsticks, Batman. The first “ham hotline” is up and running, just to give all the turkey hotlines (there are four) a run for their money as we scurry toward Thanksgiving. The Kentucky Legend Ham Hotline (866/343-5058) offers culinary wisdom to the ham-inclined through Nov. 27.

Ever-vigilant wags at the Beltway suggest that Congress join in the fray and launch a Pork Hotline. (800/EARMARK ought to do it.)

BOXING WITH BOXER

With friendly support from the American Spectator and Americans for Tax Reform, Carly Fiorina will be in Washington on Monday to strut her stuff at the National Press Club and explain her newly declared run for the Senate seat in California, in an effort to dethrone Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer.

Mrs. Fiorina is ramping up an aggressive campaign, specifically aimed at Mrs. Boxer’s “disastrous” management of cap-and-trade legislation.

“Barbara Boxers genius for bitter partisanship and ineffective leadership has been on full display when it comes to this legislation,” deputy campaign manager Julie Soderland tells the Beltway.

“As unemployment reached its highest level in decades, Boxer has continued to try to force major job-killing legislation quickly through the Senate. In the process, her mismanagement of the legislation has already turned off colleagues on both sides of the aisle and poisoned the legislative process. This is exactly the kind of ineffective leadership that has become the hallmark of Boxer’s nearly 18 years in the Senate,” Ms. Soderland adds.

PSALMS DOWN

A sign of the times, or just plain sinister, perhaps. Behold “The Lloyd’s Prayer” now wending its way among the e-mails of Wall Street insiders:

Our Chairman,

Who Art At Goldman,

Blankfein Be Thy Name.

The Rally’s Come. God’s Work Be Done

On Earth As There’s No Fear Of Correction.

Give Us This Day Our Daily Gains,

And Bankrupt Our Competitors

As You Taught Lehman and Bear Their Lessons.

And Bring Us Not Under Indictment.

For Thine Is The Treasury,

The House And The Senate

Forever and Ever.

Goldman.

JUST SO YOU KNOW

Hm-m-m. Naive or biased? The New Oxford American Dictionary named the Facebook social networking term, “unfriend” as the official 2009 word of the year on Monday, due to its “currency and potential longevity,” says senior lexicographer Christine Lindberg.

But the etymological authority also appears ready to mainstream a dubious political term once confined to a certain sexual realm - and a finalist for the top-word title - providing this handy-dandy definition:

Teabagger - a person who protests President Obama’s tax policies and stimulus package, often through local demonstrations known as “tea party” protests (in allusion to the Boston Tea Party of 1773).

POLL DU JOUR

59 percent of Republican voters say Sarah Palin shares the values of most Republican voters.

21 percent disagree, 20 percent are undecided.

74 percent of Republicans say their party representatives have lost touch with voters.

18 percent of Republicans see Mrs. Palin as a “divisive force” in the party

57 percent say she represents “a new direction.”

41 percent of voters overall agree.

Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted Nov. 13-14.

Squawks, happy sounds, plaintive sighs to jharper@washingtontimes.com or 202/636-3085.

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