- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 13, 2010

VA-VA-VA-VOOM BOOM

Memo to Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa P. Jackson, others. Some 15,000 Hooters waitresses in 44 states are “voluntarily donating their torn pantyhose in an effort to help absorb the oil spilled in the Gulf of Mexico. The laundered pantyhose are used to make containment booms which are stuffed with hair, fur and fleece to absorb the oil. Hooters expects to collect over 100,000 pairs of pantyhose through this effort, which could ultimately absorb 1 million gallons of oil in the Gulf, if the booms are reused 8 times, the average life of a boom.”

Well, OK. Uh, that’s nice. The pantyhose in question “will be shipped to environmental agencies and nonprofit organizations,” Hooters spokesman Mike McNeil advises.

THEN AND NOW

“The truth is that right after 9/11, I had a pin. Shortly after 9/11, particularly because as we’re talking about the Iraq war, that became a substitute for I think true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security, I decided I won’t wear that pin on my chest. Instead, I’m going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great, and hopefully that will be a testimony to my patriotism.”

President Obama, on why he did not wear an American flag pin, to KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Oct. 3, 2007.

“Although the configuration of stars and stripes has changed over the years it has been flown, its significance and symbolism have not wavered. The flag that once helped unite a new nation to confront tyranny and oppression still flies today as an unequivocal emblem of freedom and liberty. The same flag that has been raised on beaches and battlefields still adorns the uniforms of our heroic sons and daughters serving in America’s armed forces, including our troops serving in harm’s way in Iraq and Afghanistan. … I urge all Americans to observe Flag Day and National Flag Week by displaying the flag.”

— Mr. Obama, proclaiming Flag Day and Flag Week, which begins Monday.

FLAGGED INFORMATION

The U.S. imported $3 million worth of foreign-manufactured American flags last year, and “the vast majority of this amount ($2.5 million) was for U.S. flags made in China,” says the U.S. Census Bureau. Such stats are not overlooked by the Flag Manufacturers Association of America, a trade group that says this trend “defeats the purpose of being a true symbol of patriotism.” The group has established a certification process for “homegrown” American flags made from domestic materials, and in U.S. facilities.

So far, four manufacturers meet the criteria. They are: Annin & Co., founded in 1847; C.F. Flag, founded in 1898; J.C. Schultz Enterprises Inc./The Flag Source, founded in 1920; and Valley Forge Flags, founded in 1882.

DOCTORED INFORMATION

Doctors are rallying around their lab coats. Physicians are “so outraged” about the impact of recent Medicare cuts that they’re sending white lab coats to Capitol Hill, signed Sunday during the annual meeting of the American Medical Association (AMA) in Chicago.

“AMA physicians are sending signed white lab coats to their members of Congress as a symbolic, visible reminder that action is desperately needed to avert a Medicare meltdown,” says AMA president Dr. James Rohack.

“The Senates failure to act before June 1 made the 21 percent cut the law of the land, and this week Medicares temporary hold on claims expires. Physicians will start seeing a 21 percent cut in Medicare payments this week that will hurt seniors’ health care as physicians are forced to make practice changes to keep their practice doors open,” Dr. Rohack cautions.

LOLLAR WATCH

The intrepid Charles Lollar just got a step closer in his bid to unseat House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer. Mr. Lollar, an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, conservative Republican and primary candidate for Marylands 5th District congressional seat — has garnered the endorsement of Fox News host Sean Hannity.

Mr. Lollar, who has chalked up active duty combat experience and is hailed by local “tea party” groups as “the Maryland miracle,” has advice to the White House.

“Even when bullets are whistling overhead, you must have a plan,” he says.

DOUBLE TROUBLE

The BP oil is spewing. But the Gulf region should brace for churning, too. Forecasters have predicted there could be 18 “named” hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean this season — more than double from 2009. But retired Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, a Katrina veteran, is optimistic about things.

“Our government is much better prepared now to deal with potential hurricanes than it was prior to Katrina. Not only is FEMA much more proactive today, they have transformed themselves into an organization with more of a push capability then a pull system. Prior to Katrina, nothing really started until a governor requested Presidential Disaster Declaration. As a result of the Stafford Act, when hurricanes approach FEMA and NORTHCOM are able to start putting assets in place to respond,” Gen. Honore tells Inside the Beltway.

The former commander of Katrina Task Force during the George W. Bush administration, Gen. Honore hopes to foster a “culture of preparedness” in the U.S. and has even gone commercial with it as an adviser to 1800prepare.com, an online survival kit supplier.

POLL DU JOUR

*67 percent of U.S. voters say Republicans in Congress have “lost touch” with Republican voters, 52 percent say Democrats have lost touch with their voters.

*65 percent say “it would be better for the country” if most incumbents were defeated in November.

*60 percent say it is likely Republicans will regain control of Congress.

*42 percent say such a win would cause “noticeable change” in the lives of most Americans.

*32 percent disagree, 25 percent are not sure.

Source: A Rasmussen reports survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted June 9 and 10.

Quips, tips, press releases to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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