- The Washington Times - Monday, January 18, 2010

Past is prologue

Seems like deja vu all over again: A pro-America essay written by Canadian journalist Gordon Sinclair 37 years ago is being recalled in some circles as the U.S. takes the lead in Haiti earthquake relief, despite the challenges of multiple overseas battlefronts, stateside domestic woes and an ever-hostile press.

“It is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least-appreciated people in all the earth. When distant cities are hit by earthquakes, it is the United States that hurries in to help,” Mr. Sinclair intoned in “The Americans,” a 1973 CFBR radio broadcast that was later retooled with patriotic music into a one-hit wonder by producer Byron MacGregor.

The Canada Free Press and other publications are revisiting the essay; it has been resurrected on YouTube.com. See Mr. MacGregor’s version here.

Town Hall columnist Doug Giles says he’s mightily moved by Haiti rescue efforts of “our magnificent military and a stack of high-quality Christian organizations,” and dismayed that old criticisms that the U.S. is “an evil, bigoted, greedy, capitalistic, militarily-oppressive regime” persist.

“At the end of the day, countries and people who need true aid and who long for authentic liberty always look to the massive helping hands of the Judeo-Christian rooted, God-blessed American men, women and military — and not to secularists, atheists, Islamists and grimy hippies who regularly blather about how bad America is,” Mr. Giles adds.

A day away

Martha, we hardly knew ye.

Just 24 hours remain in the clash of the titans: Martha Coakley vs. Scott Brown vying to win the Senate seat left vacant by the death of Sen.Edward M. Kennedy. Polls and pundits say it’s neck-and-neck and a high-stakes referendum on both the Democratic Party and President Obama’s health-care reform as he nears the first anniversary of his inauguration.

Voila: The Democrats are dithering.

Previously, the domain of Republicans in search of their identity, the handwringing dither dance has taken hold of the Democrats as they confront flagging favorability ratings and the hair-raising possibility that Mr. Brown - a he-man Republican who once campaigned through Massachusetts in a pickup truck — could threaten the Kennedy legacy.

Mistakes were made by Ms. Coakley.

“She let it become a personality contest, and that was a mistake,” Rep. Barney Frank told Fox News, though the Massachusetts Democrat was quick to qualify the statement, saying that the situation was being “turned around.”

Yet the Democratic strategy to win the election has devolved into personality alone: The Kennedy personality — ramped up in emotional fundraising pleas from the party’s major players in the final hours:

“We owe it to Ted to keep this seat blue … . Let’s do it for Ted.” (Sen.Robert Menendez of New Jersey)

“Health care was the cause of my friend Ted Kennedy’s life. So it sickens me that the Republican running to take Ted’s place is vowing to be the 41st vote to kill health care reform … . Ted was my best friend in the Senate. (Sen.Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut).

“The far-right wing — the out-of-state tea-bagger crowd — has invaded Massachusetts. … Electing Martha means even more than giving Massachusetts a capable leader to carry on the fights that meant everything to Sen. Kennedy. (Sen.John Kerry of Massachusetts)

A new bias

The press is increasingly shrill, combative and frantic? Yes, explains New Yorker media critic Ken Auletta, and technology is prompting it.

“The news cycle is getting shorter — to the point that there is no pause, only the constancy of the Web and the endless argument of cable. This creates pressure to entertain or perish, which has fed the press’s dominant bias: not pro-liberal or pro-conservative, but pro-conflict.”

The TPS blues

The Obama administration’s decision to grant blanket Temporary Protected Status to Haitian nationals “is arbitrary, chaotic, political and is likely to touch off a mass exodus from that country,” says the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

The group warns that there is no protocol in place to handle large-scale arrivals, or facilities to accommodate them.

“The administration continues once again to engage in reckless and irresponsible decision-making to satisfy narrow constituencies at the expense of public welfare and national security,” said Dan Stein, the group’s president. “The primary objective must be to help as many people as possible, not precipitate the transfer of Haiti’s population to the United States in an uncontrolled, costly and dangerous flight to Florida.”

Now hear this

Who helped Sarah Palin get through the last tumultuous 18 months?

It’s “God and Todd,” according to a grass-roots news operation that is determined to be heard.

Ever the canny populist, Mrs. Palin granted a 30-minute interview to an Internet-based radio show that is simply entitled “Sarah Palin Radio.” The former Alaska governor indeed credited the proverbial Big Man Upstairs and her husband Todd Palin as the primary sources of her support.

Mrs. Palin also revealed in the interview that NBC has not contacted her to make another appearance on “Saturday Night Live.”

Grass roots or not, Sarah Palin Radio — run by LaDonna Hale Curzon from her home in Northern Virginia — still threatens the mainstream news media.

“The very next day after I started Sarah Palin Radio in 2008, Keith Olbermann named me the ‘Worst Person in the World’ on his MSNBC show. I was in total shock,” Mrs. Curzon says. “I was a stay-at-home mom one day, and the next day I’m the worst person in the world, according to this guy on national television. It was weird.”

Poll du jour

• 78 percent of Americans are closely following Haiti emergency relief efforts.

• 74 percent say the U.S. government is “good or excellent.”

• 67 percent are praying for the people of Haiti.

• 37 percent are sending financial contributions.

• 14 percent say the U.S. should lead rescue and rebuilding operations.

• 54 percent say United Nations should take the lead.

• 8 percent say they’re “more likely to contribute” if a celebrity is behind the relief effort.

Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 adults conducted Friday and Saturday.

Dithers, quivers,arrows to jharperwashingtontimes.com

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