Inside the Beltway

SAVAGE FURY

Talk radio host Michael Savage has waged a vigorous fight against the British government, hoping to have his name scrubbed from a list of 16 “undesirables” banned from the country, compiled 14 months ago by British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith. The list included Islamic terrorists, neo-Nazis and Russian gang members. There’s a new version, and Mr. Savage says he’s still on it, despite his efforts to convince British officials that he doesn’t belong there.

“All governments are essentially amoral. I had hopes but did not expect this ‘new’ U.K. government to restore sanity to Britain. They are still pandering to the Muslim masses. To continue to martyr me by including me on a list of known murderers and terrorists is bad enough. For the U.S. and Western media which considers itself ‘progressive’ to continue to ignore this outrage against freedom of speech is indicative that the media and governments are one and the same,” Mr. Savage tells Inside the Beltway.

“This includes so-called conservatives. Has freedom of the press become ‘greed-om’ of the press?” he asks.

The British government described Mr. Savage as “unacceptable” and guilty of “fostering hatred.” Prime Minister David Cameron has informed him that he’ll remain on the list until he “repudiates” currently unspecified statements that officials deemed “a threat to public security.”

Mr. Savage, heard by about 8 million listeners a week, already has sued the Home Office for defamation, sought the help of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in clearing his name and pondered the “arbitrary and capricious” nature of the list itself. His 2009 book, “Banned in Britain: Beating the Liberal Blacklist,” presents the case that he was included in order to “balance” the official roster, which was composed primarily of Muslims.

The talk radio host is also irked, he says, by the fact that Britain has recommended its officials not use such words as “Islamist,” “jihadi” and “fundamentalist,” and avoid making “explicit” links between Muslims and terrorism.

BREWER/JINDAL 2012

Conservative columnist Doug Patton wonders whether Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal might make a viable team to run in the 2012 presidential race, on a “pro-life, pro-family, pro-2nd Amendment, pro-free enterprise, pro-energy production and pro-legal immigration” ticket.

Mr. Patton tells the Beltway, “Right now I do believe they both have the staying power. Both are quality individuals with a depth of experience President Obama will never understand. We also have to ask ourselves if either of them want to run.”

Mr. Patton recalls that Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey was asked recently about a White House run in 2012, and declined, saying he was happy to be governor.

“He also said he was not ready. How refreshing. And he has more executive experience right now than Obama did before entering the White House,” he adds. “One thing of which I am absolutely convinced: Obama cannot be allowed to win a second term. I do not believe the Republic as we know it can survive.”

DEPT. OF OBFUSCATION

“Gallup polling reveals widespread public uncertainty about the ‘progressive’ political label - a label recently embraced by no less than Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan,” says Gallup analyst Lydia Saad. “While Kagan described her political views as ‘generally progressive’ during her Senate confirmation hearings, fewer than half of Americans can say whether ‘progressive’ does (12 percent) or does not (31 percent) describe their own views. The majority - 54 percent - are unsure.”

Still, use of the “p-word” is a strategy, perhaps, among those engaging in fancy footwork.

“The progressive label seems to be gaining popularity in American politics, with numerous high-profile political players and groups using it either as a substitute for ‘liberal’ or as a nuanced alternative to it,” Ms. Saad notes. “Given the high degree of public uncertainty about what the term means - as well as the lack of opposition to it from the political center - that could be a successful strategy, at least if the goal is to avoid being pigeonholed.”

OIL SLICK

Tracking former President George W. Bush’s visits to the golf course was sport for some journalists, until Mr. Bush simply put a stop to it all, because of the grave nature of White House business during his presidency. Not so President Obama, who has golfed, or gone fundraising or socializing during tense moments stateside, overseas and particularly in the Gulf, where the BP oil spill continues.

To keep up with it all, the Republican National Committee has launched a snappy new interactive website to highlight Mr. Obama’s penchant for “golf over Gulf.” See it here: actnow.gop.com/ golforgulf/.

“President Obama’s frustrating tendency to hit the links rather than devote his undivided attention to providing a solution to the worst ecological disaster in American history represents an unacceptable lack of seriousness and focus,” says RNC Chairman Michael S. Steele. “How much further out of touch can President Obama get?”

Not to be outdone, the Democratic National Committee has created a website to track “BP Republicans” who they say are defending the oil company. See their offering here: www.bprepublicans.com.

POLL DU JOUR

c 72 percent of federal employees are “satisfied or very satisfied” with their jobs.

c 68 percent say their personal appraisals on the job were “fair.”

c 59 percent describe their workload as “reasonable.”

c 55 percent are satisfied with “senior leaders” on the job.

c 51 percent are “comfortable” disclosing rule violations on the job.

c 50 percent say they have enough people, materials and budget to get the job done.

c 31 percent said “steps are taken” to deal with poor performers on the job.

Source: An Office of Personnel Management survey of 263,000 federal employees conducted in February and March and released Monday.

c Tip line always open at jharper@washingtontimes .com.

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