- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 5, 2010

ASSANGE, CALL HOME

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange threatens to release encrypted “doomsday” files, should he be arrested for releasing classified State Department cables. The situation grows more outrageous and now, surreal. Mr. Assange has disclosed to the Guardian that information on UFOs and extraterrestrials is included in an unreleased cache of stolen diplomatic communiques. That whirring little bombshell sparked some 8,000 mentions in the press, along with intense scrutiny from people like Stephen Bassett, executive director of the Paradigm Research Group and founder of X-PPAC — the Extraterrestrial Phenomena Political Action Committee.

For years, the group has asked the White House to release classified materials about UFOs, alien encounters and otherworldly fare in the name of full transparency. But, uh, not Assange-style.

“The prospect that WikiLeaks may publish UFO/ET-related documents is now in play in the public’s mind. This is notable. While Paradigm Research Group has never encouraged anyone to illegally release classified files, if such documents do turn up in future WikiLeaks releases, UFO/ET researchers will study them carefully for their impact on the disclosure process,” Mr. Bassett tell Inside the Beltway.

CHRISTIE 101

Hmm. Maybe he can see New Jersey from his house. New York Times columnist Frank Rich is no fan of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who looms large, hearty and Republican over the Garden State. But the journalist calls the governor’s unprecedented popularity in the heavily Democratic state “instructive,” now that Mr. Christie has higher approval ratings in the state than President Obama or New Jerseys two senators, both Democrats.

“The core of Christies appeal at home is that he explains passionately held views in concrete, plain-spoken detail. Voters know what he stands for and sometimes respect him for his forthrightness even when they reject the stands themselves,” Mr. Rich says, adding that it’s proof “people want a leader with a strong voice, even if only to argue with it.”

Mr. Rich adds, “No one expects Obama to imitate Christies in-your-face, bull-in-the-china-shop shtick. But they have waited in vain for him to stand firm on what matters to him and to the country rather than forever attempting to turn non-argumentative reasonableness into its own virtuous reward.”

AULD LANG GIPPER

“Shrimp stuffed with crabmeat, carved roast beef tenderloin with zinfandel wine sauce and creamed gorgonzola horseradish sauce, mashed potatoes with caramelized onions and creme fraiche, grilled vegetables with pistachio brown butter, roast chicken breast stuffed with spinach, red pepper and smoked gouda; fresh asparagus with lemon zest and shaved parmesan, handmade petits fours, warm dark chocolate and pear bread pudding, chocolate dipped amaretti, champagne at midnight.”

A sampling from the 30-item “celebration intensive” buffet for New Years Eve at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, staged in the Air Force One Pavilion, “below the wings” of Air Force One 27000 — the aircraft that ferried Mr. Reagan and six other presidents from 1973 to 2001, on loan from the U.S. Air Force.

SHOT IN THE ARM

“Nurses continue to outrank other professions in Gallup’s annual Honesty and Ethics Survey,” says Jeffrey M. Jones, an analyst for the pollster. “Eighty-one percent of Americans say nurses have ‘very high’ or ‘high’ honesty and ethical standards. Americans rate car salespeople, lobbyists and members of Congress as having the lowest honesty and ethics, with the last two getting a majority of ‘low’ or ‘very low’ ratings.”

Sixty-one percent, in fact, give lobbyists lousy ethical ratings, placing the mavens of special interests at the bottom of the list; 57 percent don’t approve of lawmakers’ ethics. Incidentally, an average 28 percent say journalists lack honesty — right between local politicians and bankers.

ARISE, MAMA GRIZZLY

“The liberal feminist movement is dead, or at least transformed into a leftist, abortion rights advocacy group with little interest in any other women’s issues here in America or elsewhere. They simply have no credibility anymore when speaking about equal rights or misogyny in politics or corporate America.

“If you would have told someone 20 years ago that by 2010 the defenders of women’s rights would actually be conservative women, they would have said you were nuts. However, that is indeed the reality. It is now up to conservative women to pick up the sword and fight for equal rights for all women in the world.”

— American Thinker contributor Robert Eugene Simmons Jr.

POLL DU JOUR

- 73 percent of Americans says the public “doesn’t have the right to know some things” about government activities.

- 25 percent say the public has the right to know “everything.”

- 18 percent of Republicans and 30 percent of Democrats agree.

- 60 percent overall say that the WikiLeaks “docu-dump” will harm the U.S. role in global affairs.

- 72 percent of Republicans and 52 percent of Democrats agree.

- 47 percent overall have followed the WikiLeaks story.

- 26 percent say they had not heard or read “much” about WikiLeaks.

- 26 percent had heard or read “nothing” about it.

Source: A CBS News poll of 1,067 adults conducted Nov 29-Dec. 2.

- Whirring, sighs of disgust to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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