- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Coakley comedy

Forget the Redskins vs. the Cowboys, paper vs. plastic and even Frankenstein vs. the Wolfman. The Scott Brown vs. Martha Coakley bout is being treated like the proverbial clash of the titans by Republicans and Democrats who have ramped up the significance of the Massachusetts special election to fever pitch. And what melodrama.

“It’s Ted Kennedy’s seat,” both sides whisper, either out of breathless awe or unbridled disgust, depending on the party.

And oh, the humanity.

ObamaCare could very well hinge on a Coakley victory, say handwringing Democrats. Emboldened Republicans ponder the possibility that Edward M. Kennedy’s historic post could at last be their own. Dueling polls say the rivals are neck-and-neck. Mudslinging and caterwaul has ensued, and will likely escalate for the next six days. At least there’s some comedic relief.

Yes, Inside the Beltway herewith acknowledges Mr. Brown’s hirsute and pantless presence in a Cosmopolitan magazine 27 years ago, which inspired CNN’s Wolf Blitzer to wonder how the phenomenon would have played, say, if Mr. Brown had been a woman posing nude for Playboy. Well, whatever. He was 22. Ancient history.

What’s funnier is the Coakley camp’s gaffes of the past 24 hours. The campaign’s fancy new attack ad misspells “Massachusetts” right there onscreen, for one thing. It’s got a whole bunch of “s’s” and “t’s,” but only one “e,” folks. Meanwhile, Mrs. Coakley appears to be revising history, not to mention White House foreign policy.

There are no “terrorists” in Afghanistan, she told Mr. Brown during a public debate Monday.

“They’re gone. They’re not there anymore,” she said.

Just a little faux pas, perhaps?

“Martha Coakley is not just wrong on the terror war. She’s dangerous,” says blogger Jim Hoft, of Firstthings.com, published by the Institute on Religion and Public Life.

See the boo-boos via video footage here: http://gatewaypundit.firstthings.com.

Coakley numbers

Americans for Tax Reform did all the dizzying math and figured out that Martha Coakley’s support for the Senate health care bill will cost her state an annual $760 million in taxes, and then some.

“Martha Coakley has already been quoted as saying that taxes need to go up,” says the group’s president Grover Norquist. “Raising taxes is not free. It will cost jobs. People need to ask her why she wants to be the deciding vote on a government health care and taxes bill which will endanger 22,000 high-paying jobs in Massachusetts.”

Coming home

It has been almost 43 years since U.S. Air Force Maj. Russell C. Goodman took off in an F-4B Phantom from the deck of the USS Enterprise on a bombing run over Thanh Hoa Province, North Vietnam. His aircraft was struck by enemy fire and exploded, ending the life of Maj. Goodman, who had been assigned to the Thunderbirds precision air team and was flying with the U.S. Navy on an exchange program. He was listed as missing in action.

His “back seat” co-pilot Navy Lt. Gary L. Thornton ejected at 250 feet off the ground, but was taken prisoner and held until 1973.

No one forgot the missing pilot, however. After 15 years of search attempts, the Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced Tuesday that the pilot’s remains have been identified, and he is being returned to his family for burial in Alaska. The Thunderbirds have not forgotten him either.

“Major Goodman will receive a full military funeral at the Thunderbirds hangar on Nellis Air Force Base [in Nevada] on Thursday. It is an honor for us to do so. It is humbling. Our mission at the Air Force, and for the Department of Defense includes an obligation to account for those heroes who sacrifice, and that includes bringing our own home — even if it takes decades,” spokesman Capt. Jason McCree tells Inside the Beltway.

Brew ha-ha

The “tea party” is alive and well, and rallying in Annapolis on Wednesday evening. Weary of Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s projected $2 billion deficit and tax hikes, 11 local and regional groups have organized the event, which features keynote speaker Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity.

“The mission is simple, We’re sending a message to state, local and federal officials that these tea parties are not going away. We’re active, and we’re loud,” Charles Lollar tells The Beltway.

A former Charles County Republican Party chairman and former Marine, Mr. Lollar is running against House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer this fall.

“We’re not letting this go. Our tax dollars are at stake. We demand a balanced budget, realistic expenses, better revenues and no more spending,” Mr. Lollar adds. “And believe me, Annapolis will hear from us in November.”

Coming back

“Peace Mom” Cindy Sheehan — who has protested U.S. military policy since her son Army Spc. Casey Sheehan was killed in Iraq six years ago — is in town to promote her newest idea. She aspires to stage a “citizen’s arrest” of former Vice President Dick Cheney. Like, herself.

With the help of former Green Party presidential hopeful Cynthia McKinney and others, Ms. Sheehan will march on CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., on Saturday to voice her disapproval of “murderous CIA drone-bombing,” then will attempt to arrest Mr. Cheney at his home.

Yeah. Good luck with that one.

Ms. Sheehan also will set up a permanent base of operation for her protests on the grounds of the Washington Monument in March.

Good luck on that, too.

“Camping on the lawn of the Washington Monument has ‘questionable’ legality but our actions have absolute moral authority,” she says.

Poll du jour

34 percent of black Americans say President Obama is “mixed race,” 55 percent say he is “black.”

53 percent of white Americans say Mr. Obama is mixed race, 27 percent say he is black.

95 percent of blacks and 56 percent of whites have a favorable opinion of the president.

73 percent of blacks and 50 percent of whites say those who oppose Mr. Obama’s policies are “racially motivated.”

85 percent of whites and 84 percent of blacks are “extremely” or “very” proud to be an American.

Source: A Pew Research Center poll of 2,884 adults conducted Oct. 28-Nov. 30 and released Tuesday.

Complaints, feints, press releases to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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