- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 24, 2010

FROM THE OMG DESK

Uh-oh. How much do Americans hate their own Congress? Let us count the ways. Between March 10th and 14th, the Pew Research Center asked 1,500 adults to tell it: “What one word best describes your impression of Congress these days? Just the first word that comes to mind?” Only one positive review and two political references emerged among the dozens of negative, emotionally charged responses - all volunteered. The most oft-cited word leads the pack:

Dysfunctional, corrupt, self-serving, self-centered, selfish, self-absorbed, inept, confused, incompetent, ineffective, lazy, bad, suck(s), poor, crook(s), crooked, disappointing, gridlock, deadlock, idiots, idiotic, slow, mess, messed up, messy, lousy, terrible, disorganized, unorganized, divided, good, stupid, children, childish, child-like, dissatisfied, do nothing, failing, failure, inadequate, greedy, joke, jokers, not good, partisan, socialist, useless, worthless, bull(expletive), chaos, clowns, frustrating, frustrated, horrible, inefficient, liberal, liars, money-hungry.

YOUR BIDEN STATS

Indeed, the ever-enthusiastic Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. muttered a choice cuss word near an open White House mike before his boss took over to bask in health care reform glory Tuesday. The moment is already immortalized on YouTube and emblazoned upon an instant T-shirt priced at $23.50, courtesy of the wags at Zazzle.com. Mr. Biden, meanwhile, presented the press with a political moment, not to mention a gleeful journalistic challenge. Here’s what they did with it:

370 - The number of stories the moment generated within 60 minutes of its occurrence.

“F—ing”: Term preferred by The Washington Times, Associated Press, CBS News, Times of London, Huffington Post, New York Daily News, Seattle Post Intelligencer, Entertainment Weekly.

“F-Bomb”: Term preferred by the Wall Street Journal, Fox News, CNN, New York Post, Politico, USA Today, Kansas City Star, Newsday, Russia Television, National Public Radio.

[fracking]: Used only by The Washington Post

The real expletive: Britain’s Guardian newspaper, Reason, Rolling Stone.

THAT WAS QUICK

In less than 48 hours, the Republican National Committee (RNC) has already raised more than $1 million for its “Fire Nancy Pelosi” campaign, a grass-roots outreach that appeals to dissatisfied folks to, uh, vote certain members of Congress out of office, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The burgeoning funds are a symbol of sorts.

“Crossing the $1 million threshold so quickly demonstrates the frustration voters feel at being neglected throughout the health care reform legislative process - the meetings behind closed doors, the sweetheart deals, the lack of input,” RNC spokesman Doug Heye tells Inside the Beltway. “This will allow us to retire Nancy Pelosi by also retiring Democrats in Congress who supported ObamaCare.”

JUST SO YOU KNOW

“Special Agents from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) are warning the American public to be vigilant of Internet scams and Impersonation Fraud - especially those promising true love, but only end up breaking hearts and bank accounts. According to Army agents, CID is receiving frequent reports of various scams involving persons pretending to be U.S. soldiers, who get romantically involved on the Internet with female victims and prey on their emotions and patriotism.

“The criminals are pretending to be U.S. servicemen, routinely serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. The perpetrators will often take the true rank and name of a U.S. soldier who is honorably serving his country somewhere in the world, marry that up with some photographs of a soldier off of the Internet, and then build a false identity to begin prowling the internet for victims.

“The scams often involve requests for money from the victim to purchase ‘special laptop computers,’ international telephones and transportation fees to be used by the ‘deployed Soldier’ so their fictitious relationship can continue.”

- From an alert circulated by the U.S. Army’s Criminal Investigation Command

BO’S TERRITORY

It may scare Republicans, but it is a beautiful, lush place. The White House will open its gardens and grounds to visitors Saturday, April 17, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Sunday, April 18, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, Rose Garden, Children’s Garden, South Lawn and Kitchen Garden will be “viewable,” the White House advises.

The National Park Service will distribute free, timed tickets at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion, at 15th and E streets Northwest on each tour day beginning at 8 a.m. Call 202/456-7041 for more information.

TAX ATTACK

Some may still be having vapors over health care reform, others continue to organize. Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), now joins radio hosts Michael Reagan, Neal Boortz and Martha Zoller, conservative strategist Richard Viguerie, Joe “The Plumber” Wurzelbacher, 60 Plus Association President Jim Martin and some 200,000 Americansto demand tax reform.

The “Online Tax Revolt” is under way, organizing those who are disenchanted enough to march on Washington - boots on the ground style - come April 15. See the effort here: www.onlinetaxrevolt.com.

“ATR is happy to join. Last April 15th, the tea party movement kicked off in a big way. That movement is all about a government, which taxes too much, spends too much and borrows too much,” Mr. Norquist tells Inside the Beltway. “President Obama just signed into law a $500 billion new tax hike which spends over $1 trillion on a new health care entitlement. This April 15th, Americans once again need to make their voices heard in Washington.”

POLL DU JOUR

• 29 percent of Democrats and 4 percent of Republicans are “enthusiastic” over the passing of the health care bill.

• 53 percent of Democrats and 12 percent of Republicans are “pleased” by the bill’s passage.

• 9 percent of Democrats and 38 percent of Republicans are “disappointed” by its passage.

• 2 percent of Democrats and 41 percent of Republicans are “angry.”

• 6 percent of Democrats and 6 percent of Republicans have “no opinion.”

Source: A Gallup Poll of 1,005 adults conducted Monday.

Cat calls, bird calls, close calls to jharper@washington times.com

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