- The Washington Times - Monday, December 6, 2010

ODD MAN OUT

Elusive WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has attracted pollsters, fawning journalists and now an oddsmaker. YouWager.com, an online sportsbook, has placed odds on what prosecution charges Mr. Assange could face, and whether he’ll become Time magazine’s big-cheese newsmaker of the year. According to the numbers, he’ll skip both of them.

“Odds Julian Assange will be named Time magazine’s Person of the Year 2010? Twenty percent. Odds Julian Assange will be charged under the U.S. Espionage Act? Twenty-five percent,” the group reckons.

WHAT’S BREWING

“Your country needs you as the chairman of the Republican National Committee. We are in a fight for the survival of our country. The Democrats have walked off the socialist cliff and are driving the country headlong into the abyss. Unfortunately, there are many on the Republican side who do not seem to get it. They are the embodiment of the old political joke that says, with the Democrats you get more of the same and with Republicans you get less of the same,” pleads Judson Philips, founder of Tea Party Nation, in an open letter to Sarah Palin.

“If we end up with establishment control of the GOP and their support for an establishment candidate in 2012, Obama and the socialists will have won. An establishment candidate will not work to repeal Obamacare and the other programs Obama, Pelosi and Reid have put in place. We need someone who will put conservatives in control of the party apparatus, not RINOs,” Mr. Philips continues.

But alas. Mrs. Palin politely has declined the role of “fundraiser-in-chief,” advising Mr. Phillips, “There are others who would probably be much more comfortable asking people for money than I would be, and they would definitely enjoy it more.”

A RARE MOMENT

Only in Washington, perhaps. From a discerning source who attended the CIA’s recent holiday soiree: “I was quite taken by the fabulous gingerbread fortress — a mere ‘house’ simply would not do — that anchored the buffet line. Then there was the CIA seal, carved in glistening ice by an agency officer.”

The rapt source continues, “Also spotted: A gracious Leon Panetta hosting several hundred guests, including White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, and former CIA Directors Michael Hayden, James Woolsey, and Stansfield Turner. And former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan and spouse Andrea Mitchell of NBC. In brief code: good time had by all.”

NOW HEAR THIS

Three cheers for “America’s Morning News,” an 18-month talk-radio collaboration between The Washington Times and Talk Radio Network Entertainment, the Oregon-based powerhouse that also syndicates the likes of Laura Ingraham and Michael Savage. Gutsy, cheerful “AMN” is now heard on more than 100 stations nationwide — 34 of them in such top metropolitan markets as Washington, San Francisco, Boston, Dallas and Phoenix.

The show is hosted by ultimate friends-of-Beltway John McCaslin, the intrepid he-man who once penned this column, and Amy Holmes, of mellifluous voice and keen political insight. More stations are signing on, we hear. Hurray. Way to go.

“Informed citizens move America. And it’s reliable talk radio that moves and engages those citizens with insight and passion. That’s the urgent mission of ‘America’s Morning News,’ a compelling mix of insider politics and heartland spirit, broadcast live from Washington,” observes Washington Times President Tom McDevitt. “The time and the mix is right for ‘America’s Morning News,’ and we take that responsibility very, very seriously.”

7DEC41

We pause to remember Pearl Harbor Day on Tuesday, and recall the time, the place and the heroes of that pivotal morning 69 years ago. And for the 70th anniverary? Historian Craig Shirley already is at work on “December 1941: The Month that Changed America and Saved the World,” to be published by Thomas Nelson a year from now. Mr. Shirley is using presidential documents, oral histories, letters, diaries and other primary sources to recall the era when the powerful, patriotic American homefront came into its own.

“The thirty-one days in the last month of 1941 saw dramatic and radical changes in political attitudes, American unity and a call to duty. This is a pivotal time in American history that has never been examined,” Mr. Shirley notes.

BUNCH OF QUACKS

“Congress is in a lame-duck session, but instead of acting like lame ducks, they are acting more like chickens with their heads cut off. Can you imagine firing someone for incompetence and then letting them run your company for another two months? Maybe it’s time to end the lame-duck sessions, send Congress members home immediately after they lose their election and turn lame ducks into dead ducks.”

— Fox News analyst Mike Huckabee, assessing Capitol Hill this week

POLL DU JOUR

• 71 percent of likely voters say it is “likely” the next president will be a Republican.

• 56 percent say politics in Washington will be “more partisan” in the next year.

• 19 percent say politics will be “more cooperative”; 25 percent are not sure.

• 59 percent say congressional Democrats are acting in partisan interests.

• 54 percent say congressional Republicans are acting in partisan interests.

• 53 percent say President Obama is “governing like a partisan Democrat.”

Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted Dec. 1 and 2.

Brief codes, gingerbread, big announcements to jharper.@washingtontimes.com

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