Inside the Beltway

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MARCHING ORDERS

Ah, the coziness of the liberal media: In 16 days, brazen Comedy Central hosts Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert insist they’ll stage their dueling “tea party” parody rallies on the Mall. The network plans to broadcast it all live, with Mr. Stewart warning potential hordes, “No nudity, no throwing stuff and no totalitarian fascism.” Mistress of online news Arianna Huffington herself donated $250,000 for 100 buses to transport the presumably non-nude participants. BigHollywood.com’s John Nolte bills the hoopla as part of the same canny “Obama television” mindset that prompted MTV to cast professional actors for a town-hall meeting with President Obama, to be broadcast live on Thursday afternoon. Then there is comic relief from a pair of illuminating memos:

“This will be a day when — no matter what transpires from Jon, Stephen and their special guests — our brothers and sisters at Comedy Central will own the cultural conversation, without question. Who would want to miss that one? On the morning of October 30th, we’re loading up a fleet of buses here at 1515 Broadway and sending as many of you as we can down to DC for a free one-day, round-trip journey to join in the ‘Rally to Restore Sanity’ and ‘March to Keep Fear Alive.’ ” (Memo from Comedy Central to its employees)

“NPR journalists may not participate in marches and rallies involving causes or issues that NPR covers, nor should they sign petitions or otherwise lend their name to such causes, or contribute money to them. This restriction applies to the upcoming Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert rallies.” (Memo to staffers from National Public Radio Vice President for News Ellen Weiss)

NOT YOUR IMAGINATION

“Record- or near-record-high percentages of Americans are critical of the size and scope of government….This sentiment stretches to 59 percent of Americans now believing the federal government has too much power, up eight percentage points from a year ago,” says Gallup Poll analyst Lydia Saad.

The survey of 1,019 adults about big fat government revealed that clear majorities found the government too powerful and too intrusive. Just a third called the level of power “about right,” while 8 percent said the government had “too little” power. Needless to say, there’s a big fat partisan divide: 79 percent of Republicans say the government is too overwhelming, compared to 27 percent of Democrats. While half of Americans overall said the government “did too much,” the breakdown was 77 percent among Republicans and 33 percent among the Dems. Independents “largely side with Republicans in denouncing big government,” the survey says. So at least you know whom to blame.

A GIPPERNIAN SCHOLAR

The first “visiting” Ronald Reagan scholar at the 40th president’s alma mater has been named. Craig Shirley, who authored two books on Mr. Reagan and has three more in the works, will teach a Survey of American Presidential Campaigns at Eureka College next year.

“What has been lost in the current national debate, and indeed for the past ten years, is the centrality of the individual and the worthiness and dignity of the private self. What Reagan acutely understood and what Obama will never comprehend — and indeed too few Republicans grasp — is the state exists to serve the individual and not the other way around,” Mr. Shirley tells Inside the Beltway.

ALL POINTS BULLETIN

All hail the true heroes: More than 700 uniformed police and law enforcement officials celebrate a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday for the 55,000-square-foot National Law Enforcement Museum, followed by an evening gala at the National Building Museum. Among the luminaries: Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano; Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan; U.S. Park Police Chief Salvatore R. Lauro; U.S. Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terrance W. Gainer; FBI Cybercrime Chief Shawn Henry; INTERPOL-Washington director Timothy A. WIlliams; “Law & Order” stars Richard Belzer and Vincent D’Onofrio; and A&E “Cold Case Files” host Bill Kurtis. Honorary committee members include everyone from celebrities William Shatner and Jay Leno to former Attorneys General John Ashcroft and Janet Reno.

The museum opens in 2013 and will boast artifacts from former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover’s estate; fundraising for the site is under way. See the details at www.nleomf.org.

But hey, this is a party. A source tells the Beltway that the color themes are red and blue, there will be a sneak peek of artifacts, a light show and bagpipers. On the menu: autumn greens salad, harvest breads, red-wine beef noisettes, grilled tarragon chicken, corn souffle timbales, baby vegetables and stars-and-stripes chocolate fondant cake — which includes a “square chocolate logo wafer of the shield.”

FOR THE LEXICON

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