- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 28, 2010

‘CRUSHING’

How convenient. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange can count on his media partners “El Pais, Le Monde, Speigel, Guardian & NYT,” he says in a Tweet, to publish his mischief-making stuff no matter what. And he promises to reveal how “other media groups can apply for embargo access to cablegate.” But there is reassuring vigilance and condemnation from lawmakers about the latest WikiLeaks release of 251,000 classified State Department documents — including a little something from Rep. Peter T. King. The New York Republican and ranking member of the Committee on Homeland Security supports any intent by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to file criminal charges against Mr. Assange under the Espionage Act.

“There should be no misconception that Mr. Assange passively operates a forum for others to exploit their misappropriation of classified information. He actively encourages and solicits the leaking of national defense information. He pursues a malicious agenda, for which he remains totally immune to the consequences of his actions,” Mr. King tells Mr. Holder in a letter, recalling that Mr. Assange once said of his activities, “I enjoy crushing bastards. So it is enjoyable work.”

In a separate letter to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Mr. King recommends designating WikiLeaks as a Foreign Terrorist Organization under the Immigration and Nationality Act. He tells Mrs. Clinton: “We know terrorist organizations have been mining the leaked Afghan documents for information to use against us and this Iraq leak is more than four times as large. By disclosing such sensitive information, Wikileaks continues to put at risk the lives of our troops, their coalition partners and those Iraqis and Afghans working with us. Wikileaks presents a clear and present danger to the national security of the United States.”

LIP WATCH

“No sign of damage to POTUS’s lip — no apparent swelling.” — The state of the First Lip, from a precise White House pool report Sunday, detailing the state of President Obama’s injured lip. No flailing elbows for the time being: Mr. Obama played basketball with daughters Sasha and Malia at the Interior Department gym from 10:46 a.m. to 11:49 a.m.

GREETINGS WATCH

Not tired of it, not yielding: 69 percent of Americans prefer that stores use signs proclaiming “Merry Christmas,” 24 percent like “Happy Holidays,” this according to a survey of 1,000 adults conducted Nov. 22 and 23 by Rasmussen Reports. The findings, the pollster says, are consistent with previous years.

OUT OF THEIR CLOSETS

“You KNOW it’s a Myth. This Season celebrate REASON,” says a huge billboard just erected outside the Lincoln Tunnel in North Bergen, N.J., complete with an ironically attractive and peaceful depiction of the three wise men, a nativity scene, a bright star and a heavenly blue background.

“The purpose of the billboard is threefold,” says American Atheists, the activist group founded in 1963 by Madalyn Murray O’Hair. “One, to address those atheists who ‘go along to get along,’ and to encourage them to come out of their closets. Two, to attack the myth that Christianity owns the solstice season and three, to raise the awareness of the organization and the movement.”

MAKIN’ A LIST

National Review editors, correspondents and contributors have compiled a handy-dandy list of their favorite recommendations for Christmas book gifts to make “the shopping season stress-free,” they say — and maybe very informative. Huzzah. Here they are:

Rick Brookhiser: “Breakfast with the Pope” by Susan Vigilante, and “The Art of Tony Millionaire” by Tony Millionaire; John Derbyshire: “The War for Righteousness” by Richard M. Gamble, “Free Trade Doesn’t Work: What Should Replace It and Why” by Ian Fletcher, and “The German Genius” by Peter Watson; Andrew Klavan: the novels “Wolf Hall” by Hilary Mantel, “Prince of Thieves” by Chuck Hogan, and “House of Leaves” by Mark Z. Danielewski.

Also, Kathryn Jean Lopez: “The Pilgrim’s Guide to Rome’s Principal’s Churches” (Angelus Press), “The End and the Beginning: Pope John Paul II - The Victory of Freedom, the Last Years, the Legacy” by George Weigel, “Loser Letters” by Mary Eberstadt, “Rules for Radical Conservatives: Beating the Left at Its Own Game to Take Back America” by David Kahane, and “Athwart History: Half a Century of Polemics, Animadversions, and Illuminations: A William F. Buckley Jr. Omnibus” by William F. Buckley.

Wait, there’s more. John J. Miller: “The Grand Design: Strategy and the U.S. Civil War” by Donald Stoker, “The Beowulf Manuscript” (Harvard University Press), and “Defiance of the Patriots” by Benjamin L. Carp; Michael Novak: “A Severe Mercy” by Sheldon Vanauken, and “A Grief Observed” by C.S. Lewis; Hans Von Spakovsky “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The Complete Series” 41-disc DVD set by Time-Life; and Michael Walsh: “The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull and the Battle of the Little Bighorn” by Nathaniel Philbrick, and “Blood’s a Rover” by James Ellroy.

POLL DU JOUR

- 48 percent of registered voters “definitely” plan to vote against President Obama in the 2012 presidential election.

- 36 percent will “definitely” vote for him, 16 percent are undecided.

- 72 percent of Democrats and 74 percent of liberals will definitely vote for Mr. Obama.

- 5 percent of Republicans and 18 percent of conservatives will vote for Mr. Obama.

- 30 percent of independents and 37 percent of moderates will vote for Mr. Obama.

- 57 percent of “non-white” and 27 percent of “white” voters will vote for Mr. Obama.

Source: A McClatchey/Marist College survey of 1,020 adults conducted Nov. 15 to 18.

- Seasons greetings, outrage to jharper@washingtontimes.com.