You are currently viewing the printable version of this article, to return to the normal page, please click here.

Inside the Beltway

- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 26, 2010

BECK AND CALL

Electric, patriotic, historic, maybe a little psychic, too: There's a certain spiritual charge in the air around Washington this weekend as thousands arrive for Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally on Saturday - intended, the Fox News host says, as a celebration of military honor, faith and American values, rather than political ballyhoo. Attendees, in fact, have been instructed to leave partisan signs at home. The politics have been left to FreedomWorks, the grass-roots group founded by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, which is poised to deliver a call to arms to those who crave lower taxes and less government.

"Oh, yes, we're very political. Our convention at DAR Constitution Hall on Friday night, plus other future gatherings are all about the elections and the candidates who share our values. When we say 'take America back,' we mean starting on Nov. 2, and continuing on Nov. 3 - and all the way through to 2012 and beyond. This is bigger than one election," campaign director Brendan Steinhauser tells Inside the Beltway.

"So we say, bring those signs, bring those banners. We've got a place for them," he adds. "And we're expecting a fair amount of people for events this weekend. At the very low estimate, it would be 100,000. But half a million people could also show up."

BUMPER PATROL

"Warning: Constitutional watchdog on duty."

- Bumper sticker called in by a Beltway reader in Keene, N.H.

CONTACT SPORTS

Midterm elections ain't what they used to be. 2010 is no mere "off-year" event, nor is it quiet, inconsequential or dull. Canny candidates are on message and ready to rumble, particularly conservative Marco Rubio, who already has signed on for seven aggressive, debates in his quest for the U.S. Senate seat in Florida. Match one is scheduled for NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sept. 5.

"I am the only candidate for Senate who has outlined specific ideas and proposals as a clear alternative to the wrong direction that Washington politicians are taking our country," Mr. Rubio says with a gladiator's relish. "I enthusiastically accept these opportunities to debate my opponents and present Floridians with the clear choice they have between a faithful loyalist of Washington's agenda, a say-and-do anything opportunist who only cares about winning, and the clear, idea-based alternative I am offering."

No word yet from his opponents Gov. Charlie Crist and Rep. Kendrick B. Meek, independent and Democrat, respectively.

IF YOU KEEP TRACK

Yes, Levi Johnston filed his papers to run for the mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, this week. But Bristol Palin - mother of his toddler son and daughter of Sarah Palin - has waltzed way ahead of him on the publicity meter. Miss Palin is expected to make her debut on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" on the season premiere Sept. 20. Would the Beltway Terpsichore Desk be surprised if Mr. Johnston also appears as a contestant? In a word, no.

THE BUSY BORDER

"Statistics show that human smuggling continues to be a crisis on the nation's southern border. And the problem is only going to get worse as a result of the Obama administration's hostility to the strong enforcement of our nation's immigration laws, especially in Arizona," says Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, who has reason to fret.

His watchdog group has obtained documents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection detailing numbers from Arizona's "Tucson Sector" that covers 262 miles of the U.S. border with Mexico.

Last year, 70,328 persons were "smuggled and apprehended" in this area alone; 963 smugglers were identified, while 599 were deported. More than 17,000 immigration infractions were referred to the U.S. Attorney's Office for prosecution.

But the documents also revealed that the apprehended population known as "other than Mexicans" caught in the area is rising, with a fivefold increase in those from the People's Republic of China - from 15 in 2008 to 79 last year - plus "significant increases" in Romanians, as well.

JUST SO YOU KNOW

Asked if they could be younger, smarter, thinner or richer, the "large plurality" of Americans favor the ka-ching factor, says researcher SamanthaBraverman of the Harris Poll, which recently plumbed the sentiments of 2,163 Americans. The new survey found that 43 percent wanted to be richer, 21 percent thinner, 14 percent smarter and 12 percent younger. A curious 9 percent said "none of these."

Well, OK.

"The largest percentages of American desires represent changes that are more or less achievable, through smart choices, hard work and dedication," Ms. Braverman observes. "On the other hand, the Americans who want to be younger should just keep dreaming."

POLL DU JOUR

  • 52 percent of U.S. voters trust Republicans to handle tax issues, 36 percent trust Democrats.
  • 49 percent trust Republicans to handle national security, 37 percent trust Democrats.
  • 48 percent trust Republicans to handle health care, 40 percent trust Democrats.
  • 47 percent trust Republicans to handle the economy, 39 percent trust Democrats.
  • 49 percent trust Republicans to handle national security, 37 percent trust Democrats.
  • 44 percent trust Republicans to handle immigration, 35 percent trust Democrats.

Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted Aug. 19,20, 23 and 24.

Tip line always open at jharper@washington times.com. Follow her at twitter.com/harper bulletin.

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.