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Inside the Beltway
Question of the Day
LEST WE FORGET
“It is not our weapons or our technology that make us the most advanced military in the world; it is the unparalleled spirit, skill and devotion of our troops. As we honor our veterans with ceremonies on this day, let our actions strengthen the bond between a Nation and her warriors.
“In an unbroken line of valor stretching across more than two centuries, our veterans have charged into harm’s way, sometimes making the ultimate sacrifice, to protect the freedoms that have blessed America. Whether active duty, Reserve or National Guard, they are our nation’s finest citizens, and they have shown the heights to which Americans can rise when asked and inspired to do so.”
- From President Obama’s official proclamation recognizing Veterans Day, 2010.
“I have talked to our security folks about the security that’s involved in my new role. But over the last 20 years, I have flown back and forth to my district on commercial aircraft, and I’m going to continue to do that,” says presumptive House Speaker John A. Boehner on his decision to continue flying commercially when he assumes his new duties in January.
Mr. Boehner’s appealing frugality contrasts with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s style. Since taking her post in 2007, the California Democrat has logged many miles at taxpayer expense aboard a 42-seat Air Force C-32 — the size of a Boeing 757 — on her trips home and elsewhere. According to Air Force documents obtained recently by Judicial Watch, Mrs. Pelosi made 85 flights on the military aircraft from March 2009 to June 2010 alone, covering 206,264 miles at a cost of $2,100,745, the watchdog group found.
Former President George W. Bush first offered the use of military aircraft to then-House Speaker Dennis Hastert for security reasons after Sept. 11, 2001. The Illinois Republican made use of a 12-seat Gulfstream III passenger jet.
Yes, President Obama’s journey to the East is a behemoth production full of goodwill, speeches and benign media coverage — plus high hopes that the U.S. can snag trade deals and make nice with the locals. But wait. Because Mr. Obama was in the neighborhood, some say he should have paid a call on China for obvious reasons.
“In my book ‘The Imperial Cruise,’ I documented how Theodore Roosevelt totally misread Asia in 1905, with some disastrous aftereffects for America. I voted for Barack Obama. But I am shocked to see that he is repeating Roosevelt’s mistake and ignoring the country that is the future of Asia,” James Bradley, also author of the 2006 best-seller “Flags of Our Fathers,” tells Inside the Beltway.
“Mr. Obama said this is an economic trip. The president is a good diplomat, but he needs to be a better salesman. He is essentially poking his biggest customer in the eye. He’s not calling on China, not stopping off,” Mr. Bradley continues. “Now, Korea is a very nice country of about 49 million people. But we have to remember, China is creating a ‘new Korea’ every year. About 50 million people emerge into the middle class there annually. That’s a lot of customers.”
Bristol Palin has charm and cheerful tenacity on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” right through to the semifinals — wearing orange fringe and, occasionally, a blue jacket emblazoned with the motto “Party like it’s 1773,” a favorite sentiment of her mama, Sarah Palin. But there’s also talk that the “tea party” is swaying the outcome of the competition as activists rally to cast their popular votes for Miss Palin. It’s just the beginning, says one observer, who insists that tea partiers’ traditional values and patriotic zeal will soon influence Hollywood.
“Could this be the start of an enduring conservative trend for Tinseltown?” asks TedBaehr, founder of conservative-leaning Movieguide.org. “The recent midterm elections revealed the surge in a new breed of conservative activist voters across the country. Now Hollywood has a simple choice. Moviemakers can cater to these disenfranchised voters — millions of potential moviegoers. Or they can take an arrogant stand against their ‘constituents’ and continue to ignore them, following in the footsteps of their recently ousted liberal counterparts in D.C.”
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