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BUMPER PATROL

“I started out with nothing and still have most of it left.”

Bumper sticker spotted in Gaithersburg, Md.

A LITTLE ADVANCE

The release of former President George W. Bush’s 548-page autobiography “Decision Points” is impeccably timed. It will hit book shelves on Nov. 9, just 48 hours before the midterm elections begin, providing a distraction to the Democratic campaign dance and a boon to Republicans intent on retooling their party’s image.

Crown Books describes the book as a “groundbreaking new brand of memoir” that will “shatter the conventions of political autobiography - also promising it will “captivate supporters, surprise critics and change perspectives on one of the most consequential eras in American history - and the man at the center of events.”

Crown also says Mr. Bush “writes honestly and directly about his flaws and mistakes,” adding, “he also offers intimate new details on his decision to quit drinking, discovery of faith, and his relationship with his family.”

RING-A-DING-DING

It’s political theater of the best. Or worst, maybe. Now available: Nine free phone ringtones in the real voice of Rod R. Blagojevich, gleaned from FBI recordings and complete with expletives and brusque Chicago style. Oddly enough, the ringtones are being offered by the State Journal Register, the oldest newspaper in Illinois. Hear the paper’s sonic cavalcade of Rod at www.sj-r.com.

To the paper’s credit, there is courtesy bleep whenever Mr. Blagojevich drops the proverbial f-bomb. Incidentally, this is the second round of Blago-style ringtones; the first were offered in 2008 by FunMo and Entertonement, a pair of online electronic companies.

POLL DU JOUR

68 percent say the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is a “major disaster.”

65 percent of Americans give BP negative ratings in their response to the Gulf oil spill.

65 percent also disapprove of the federal government’s response.

56 percent approve of criminal charges against oil companies involved in the spill.

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