- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 26, 2010

PIN DOWN

Uh-oh. Vanity Fair has unleashed a sophomoric salvo with a last-minute, midterm election edition of Republican bashing — the “Official Republican Beefcake Calendar,” featuring questionable, faked images of Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele, Fox News host Glenn Beck and nine more. Yes, their heads have been Photoshopped on pinup male bodies. Look if you dare at www.vanityfair.com.

“It’s safe to say Vanity Fair was outright attacking the GOP heavy-hitters. For one, there appears to be no wimpy, ‘Men of the Left Aisle’ calendar. But it is par for the course for Vanity Fair to tow the lefty line,” said Erin Brown, an analyst with the Culture and Media Institute, who postulates that the calendar is meant to derail talk of a “Republican tidal wave” at the polls and amuse seriously depressed Democrats.

MARCH WATCH

There’s still no “final permit.” So will the much-ballyhooed “Rally to Restore Sanity” staged by Comedy Central’s fake newsman Jon Stewart take place on the Mall come Saturday? As of 12:40 p.m. on Tuesday, the legal and creative entities representing his interests had not received a final permit for the event, according to a National Park Service spokeswoman. There’s only preliminary paperwork, she said, so the possibility exists that the march is a cunning prank meant to create buzz for the comedians, not to mention the Democratic Party.

We’ll see. Mr. Stewart is in the nation’s capital taping episodes of “The Daily Show” that include an appearance by President Obama; maybe there will be a meeting with the federal agency. “Check back Wednesday,” the National Park Service spokeswoman advises Inside the Beltway. Will do.

STILL SINKING

“The number of voters who view Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid ‘very unfavorably’ have reached their highest levels yet,” says a Rasmussen Reports survey revealing that 60 percent of likely voters have an unfavorable impression of Mrs. Pelosi, including 52 percent who hold a “very unfavorable” opinion of her — her worst ratings since February 2009. A third of the survey respondents have a favorable impression of the San Francisco Democrat.

Things are lousy for the Nevada Democrat as well: “Fifty-four percent view Reid unfavorably, including 41 percent with a ‘very unfavorable opinion’, also the highest finding since February of last year. Twenty-nine percent hold a favorable view of Reid. That includes just 7 percent with a ‘very favorable’ regard for him.” The survey of 1,000 likely voters was conducted Oct. 20-21.

HANDY EXCUSES

Behold, a convenient overview of popular Democratic rationales, courtesy of the Republican National Committee and ideal for watercooler, cocktail hour or church coffee use. “The Top 10 Democrat Excuses: President Obama and Democrats go to great lengths to blame a tough election on anything but their failed policies.” And the excuses are (drum roll please):

“Blame Bush; voters are dumb; outside groups are influencing the election; voter apathy; simple communication problems; Republicans are obstructionists; the destructive media promotes their point of view; the ‘tea party’; expectations were always too high; [and] we’re incompetent.”

Of that last one, the Republicans say, “OK, [Democrats] didn’t say that, but the rejection of their failed policies is why they are having problems with voters.”

TIME FLIES

6 — Number of days until Election day.

29 — Number of days until Thanksgiving.

36 — Number of days until Hanukkah begins.

59 — Number of days until Christmas.

60 — Number of days until Kwanzaa.

65 — Number of days until New Year’s Eve.

66 — Number of days until Jan. 1, 2011.

431 — Number of days until 2012 begins.

816 — Number of days until Inauguration Day, 2013.

SCREEN GEMS

No, it’s not “Diplomacy with Hillary.” Nevertheless, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will lead a cast of thousands — literally — in “Inside the State Department,” a National Geographic Channel special that appears to cast Mrs. Clinton, her $16 billion agency and her 60,000 employees in heroic proportions:

“International diplomacy knows no rest, so they are in constant motion. The State Department’s role on the world stage has never been more important and the stakes have never been higher. Its leader is arguably the most famous woman in the world, with a traveling staff providing 24/7 support,” the cable network says.

“Cameras capture the moments behind closed doors with world leaders and top officials as Secretary Clinton and other key U.S. diplomats juggle pressing global issues facing the United States, pressuring and persuading allies and adversaries alike.”

Well, OK. Look for all that pressuring and persuading on Nov. 9, five days before “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” — the former governor’s eight-part reality series — premieres on TLC.

POLL DU JOUR

- 47 percent of Americans say President Obama should run for re-election in 2012.

- 44 percent said President Clinton should run for re-election in December 1994.

- 53 percent said President George H.W. Bush should run for re-election in November 1990.

- 36 percent said President Reagan should run for re-election in August 1982.

- 47 percent said President Carter should run for re-election in December 1978.

- 65 percent said Dwight D. Eisenhower should run for re-election in December 1955.

- 24 percent said Harry S. Truman should run for re-election in September 1951.

Source: A Pew Research Center survey of 1,006 adults conducted Oct. 21-24; the report included historic records.

- Cantankerous comments, press releases to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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