- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 7, 2010

MORE OF SAME

David, David, we hardly knew ye. Wait. Maybe we knew too much of ye. MSNBC has “indefinitely” suspended anchorman David Shuster after discovering he videotaped material for a new show at CNN. This is the same Mr. Shuster suspended two years ago for making an untoward remark about Chelsea Clinton, and a provocateur quick to comment on the “tea party” movement (“unhinged”), Sarah Palin (“incites hate”) and Rush Limbaugh (“a picture of fascism”).

“As evidenced by how MSNBC has already ‘temporarily’ moved Ed Schultz into Shuster’s 3 p.m. slot, MSNBC is sure to just replace Shuster with another opinionated liberal,” Media Research Center research director Brent Baker tells Inside the Beltway.

“It’s important to note that MSNBC suspended him for bad employee behavior for doing a tryout for CNN, not for his unprofessional journalistic behavior in regularly smearing conservatives and tea party activists,” Mr. Baker continues.

“If MSNBC were to hold Shuster to a standard of fairness and balance, they’d have to get rid of all their stars: Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews and Ed Schultz. If CNN creates a show around Shuster, it would spell the end of anyone buying CNN’s ‘the Most Trusted Name in News’ moniker,” he adds.

COLD CALCULATIONS

Well, why not? Perhaps the Republican Party should try something similar. Dairy Queen plans to “symbolically” park their storied red, white and blue Blizzardmobile outside the Internal Revenue Service on April 15 from noon to 1 p.m. to cheer up morose taxpayers with a vehicle emblazoned with giant spoons, lips, whipped cream and other tokens of the good life.

“We’re offering free, new mini-Blizzard sundaes to all taxpayers and accountants toiling at the tax deadline,” advises spokesman Chris Feeley.

But things aren’t free in the nation’s capital, even for those doling out free ice cream for an hour.

“We pulled a paid permit with the city to use public, street-access parking,” Mr. Feeley tells the Beltway.

COLDER CALCULATIONS

Forty-seven countries go nuclear in a convention center? Let’s hope they don’t go ballistic when President Obama hosts the Nuclear Security Summit at the Washington Convention Center early next week. It all sounds too cozy for those who recall certain historic precedents of the Cold War and other eras.

“The foreign-policy approach that went a long way to establish the U.S. as a military superpower in the world dates all the way back to President Teddy Roosevelt who issued the famous doctrine: ‘Speak softly and carry a big stick,’ ” says former Colorado congressman Bob Beauprez, who frets that the White House’s recent commitment not to “nuke” non-nuclear states in compliance with the nuclear nonproliferation treaty is, uh-h-h, not prudent.

“Not exactly ‘peace through strength.’ It’s quite one thing to have your own personal, private, confidential limits on what you will or won’t do, but clearly, one of the best deterrents of an aggressive act by an enemy is the expectation that retaliation may be swift, complete and absolute,” Mr. Beauprez says. “President Obama has unilaterally taken that threat off the table and, in so doing, he has demonstrated weakness and exposed America to those who hate us.”

SICK MOMENT

“The call center had been inundated by uninsured consumers who were hoping that the overhaul would translate into instant, affordable coverage.”

California health insurance agent Carrie McLean on the aftermath of heath care reform, to McClatchy Newspapers.

JUST SO YOU KNOW

“Rooted in the urban middle class, the coasts and the blue states in the last three presidential elections, the Blue Family Paradigm emphasizes the importance of women’s as well as men’s work force participation, egalitarian gender roles and the delay of family formation until both parents are emotionally and financially ready,” say family law scholars Naomi Cahn of George Washington University and June Carbone of the University of Missouri.

“The Red Family Paradigm - associated with the Bible Belt, the mountain West and rural America - rejects these new family norms, viewing the change in moral and sexual values as a crisis. In this world, the prospect of teen childbirth is the necessary deterrent to premarital sex, marriage is a sacred undertaking between a man and a woman, and divorce is society’s greatest moral challenge.”

“Yet, the changing economy is rapidly eliminating the stable, blue-collar jobs that have historically supported young families. In addition, early marriage and childbearing often derail the education needed to prosper. As a result, red states have the highest divorce and teen-pregnancy rates, which fuels a movement to reintroduce traditional values.”

Wait. What? The professors present their case in the new book “Red Families v. Blue Families: Legal Polarization and the Creation of Culture.”

POLL DU JOUR

• 75 percent of U.S. voters say candidates’ “political positions” are more important than the money they spend campaigning.

• 54 percent plan to contribute directly to an individual candidate, rather than a political party.

• 38 percent of voters say they are more likely to contribute to a political campaign this year than in previous years.

• 42 percent of Republicans and 39 percent of Democrats agree.

• 34 percent of voters overall say they are less likely to contribute.

• 30 percent of Republicans and 35 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted April 4 and 5.

Cold facts, collateral damage, fallout to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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