PULLING THE PRESS
The big rally is done, and Glenn Beck is manning the Fox News microphones and testing the reach of theblaze.com, his new website. There is still much hubbub among journalists who faulted the "overwhelming whiteness" of Mr. Beck's event -- then were in turn cited by Nathan Burchfiel, a Culture and Media Institute analyst who revealed the "overwhelming whiteness" of the press corps. The media itself is no showcase for diversity, he says, a fact supported by newsroom demographic surveys.
"The media shouldn't be so quick to point the finger on 'overwhelming whiteness' unless they're willing to call their own credibility into question for the same reason. It's textbook hypocrisy," Mr. Burchfiel tells Inside the Beltway. "If a startling lack of diversity doesn't hurt the media's credibility, how is it fair for journalists to use a similar attack on the 'tea parties' or Beck rally?"
He continues, "The charge is a cheap way to avoid addressing the legitimate concerns being raised at these rallies. It's the latest in a long list of attempts by the left to invalidate the conservative grass roots with personal attacks and character assassination instead of actually debating the issues."
SAY AMEN SOMEBODY
Meanwhile, others have long said there's a gracious, productive place for prayer in politics and national affairs - particularly Charles Stanley, founder of Atlanta-based In Touch Ministries. He offers a straightforward update about 140 Days, his nationwide initiative launched July 4, asking Americans to pledge to pray once a day for the "spiritual well-being" of the nation for 20 weeks.
"I am extremely grateful for nearly 100,000 brothers and sisters in Christ who have joined myself and In Touch Ministries, asking the Father to turn the spiritual tide of our nation and save the people of our great country. Imagine the awesome things God can do through faithful believers whose hearts are set on Him. The possibilities are beyond comprehension," Mr. Stanley tells Inside the Beltway in an e-mail.
Should the U.S. dampen its zeal to welcome one and all? That's what the rest of the world does, apparently.
"Only 30 of the world's 194 countries grant automatic citizenship to children born to illegal aliens. Of advanced economies, Canada and the United States are the only countries that grant automatic citizenship to children born to illegal aliens," says Jon Feere, legal policy analyst for the Center for Immigration Studies.
Not one European country grants automatic citizenship to the infants in question, he says, noting that "the global trend is moving away from automatic birthright citizenship." Mr. Feere also parsed the language of the U.S. Constitution. (See his report at www.cis.org)
"The 14th Amendment history seems to indicate that the Citizenship Clause was never intended to benefit illegal aliens nor legal ... visitors temporarily present in the United States," Mr. Feere says.
The debate over the proposed $100 million "ground-zero mosque" goes on. Coming to a TV screen near you: "9/11 Happened to Us All," a national outreach campaign produced by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) -- specifically, a pair of public-service announcements "featuring Muslim 9/11 first responders and designed to challenge the growing anti-Muslim bigotry sparked by opposition to the planned Park51 project in Manhattan," the group says.
A third spot features interfaith leaders offering an "implicit challenge" to a Florida church that plans to burn copies of the Koran on Sept. 11.
"The stepped-up rhetorical and physical attacks on the American Muslim community and Islam require a positive, proactive response that will help counter the almost hysterical campaign of misinformation by a vocal minority of bigots," said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad.
SIGN O' THE TIMES
Run for the hills. Ew. Ew. The Original Bed Bug Patch goes on sale nationally Wednesday to "combat a rising epidemic." In Al Gore-like terms, the manufacturer says it repels "by reducing and offsetting the levels of CO2 emitted out through your skin. It puts to use Vitamin B1 to mask the bed bug attracting scent."
IT'S ALL LOCAL
Politics is still excruciatingly local as midterm elections loom.
"We'll start rolling out our Ohio poll results Wednesday, but there's one finding on the poll that pretty much sums it up: By a 50-42 margin, voters there say they'd rather have George W. Bush in the White House right now than Barack Obama," says Tom Jensen, director of Public Policy Polling.
"Independents hold that view by a 44-37 margin, and there are more Democrats who would take Bush back (11 percent) than there are Republicans who think Obama's preferable (3 percent)," Mr. Jensen explains. "A couple months ago, I thought the Pennsylvanias and Missouris and Ohios of the world were the biggest battlegrounds for 2010, but when you see numbers like this, it makes you think it's probably actually the Californias and the Wisconsins and the Washingtons."
POLL DU JOUR
- 78 percent of U.S. voters say pay raises for Congress "should be submitted to voters first."
- 75 percent want members of Congress to take a pay cut until the federal budget is balanced.
- 61 percent say proposed tax increases should be submitted to voters before they become law.
- 54 percent say that "most federal workers" are overpaid.
- 24 percent disagree, and 22 percent are not sure.
Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted Aug. 29-30.
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