- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 3, 2010

BIG PLANS

The “ground zero mosque” has transitioned from a former Burlington Coat Factory to, uh, a space station. Newly released architectural renderings reveal a 16-story, white edifice aglow with “arabesque” hexagrams and stars - some resembling the Star of David - along with otherworldly, pod-like interiors and transparent bridges, kind of like “Superman’s fortress of solitude,” says the Associated Press. Plans include a restaurant, a child care center, “immigration services,” English classes and worship space for 2,000 people on the basement level, said developer Sharif El-Gamal of Soma Architecture. Some 600 people already attend services at the site. See details here: http://blog.park51.org/.

“The ‘ground zero mosque’ will be so hip, everyone will stop fighting,” observes Michael Vilensky of New York magazine, who thinks the project actually resembles Equinox, the uber-moderne sports center chain.

Construction worker Andy Sullivan, who was working at ground zero on Sept. 11, 2001, when the terrorists attacks began, is calling for a reality check and has launched his own petition to that effect.

“That building is being illegally occupied. You cannot issue any type of Certificate of Occupancy either permanent or temporary without an inspection of the premises. Work has been done on that site since 9/11, yet there is no record of inspection. No one can be sure that this building that is illegally being used to hold services is safe,” said Mr. Sullivan, who examined New York City building records and found that no additional work permits were issued since 2000.

“This site would be shut down if it was any other entity in the this city. Tremendous fines would be levied against any other project. I believe that Mayor Michael Bloomberg is in cahoots with the Department of Buildings and figures no one with construction expertise has scrutinized the work permits,” Mr. Sullivan said.

REINVENTED RAHM

Has the proverbial Rahm-bo of yore been replaced? An image change appears to be in the works for Rahm Emanuel as his campaign for the mayor of Chicago gets rolling. Within 48 hours of leaving the nation’s capital, the former White House chief of staff emerged as cool, steel-eyed, dulcet-voiced contender who tells his audience, “I am glad to be home” and that his “tell it like it is tour” will cover the neighborhoods, bowling alleys, hot dog stands and subways stops of Chi-Town.

“I want to hear from you in blunt, Chicago terms,” said Mr. Emanuel, who accrued close to 12,000 Facebook fans within 24 hours.

See Chicago-style Rahm here: www.chicagoforrahm.com/.

THE FINAL SCORE

OK. The Associated Press, McClatchy Newspapers and the Daily Beast were among the news organizations to declare that the progressive “One Nation Working Together” march at the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday was smaller than Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally held in the same spot on Aug. 28. But observers are still sizing up the score.

“News the old media wont tell you: more trash at one sparsely attended left wing rally than at all the tea parties around the country in a year and a half,” said Michael Patrick Leahy, author of “Rules for Conservative Radicals” and a columnist for the site Big Journalism.

“The labor union activists and leftists who attended Saturday’s rally lacked a certain attention to individual responsibility when it came to picking up their trash. In contrast, the joke on just about every tea party rally held in this country is that attendees leave the grounds cleaner after the rally than they were before,” Mr. Leahy said.

TANCREDO’S 3RD PARTY

The outcomes of the midterm elections hinge on myriad local races; voters nationwide now dutifully follow excruciating local campaign details. For Monday’s excruciating fix, we present the latest from the Centennial State:

“Colorado independent voters are leaning right when it comes to choosing a candidate, breaking away in large numbers from the state’s Democratic candidates,” says a 9 News-Denver Post poll conducted Sept. 28-30. In the U.S. Senate race, Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, a Republican, leads incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, 48 percent to 43 percent, with Mr. Buck a favorite among independents, 53 percent to 34 percent.

“In the governor’s race, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, leads, but a majority of voters support the other two major candidates in the race. Hickenlooper has 46 percent, while American Constitution Party candidate Tom Tancredo has 34 percent and Republican Dan Maes has 15 percent.”

“Colorado independents, who in the last few elections have broken overwhelmingly toward Democrats, are steering away from the party in power. Tancredo leads among those voters with 45 percent, while Hickenlooper gathers 38 percent and Maes 10 percent. Tancredo leads Maes among self-described Republican voters, 46 to 32 percent,” the poll says.

POLL DU JOUR

- 52 percent of Americans say Republicans will “win control of the House” in the midterm elections; 32 percent say Democrats will win.

- 83 percent of Republicans and 26 percent of Democrats say Republicans will win control.

- 10 percent of Republicans and 62 percent of Democrats say the Democrats will win.

- 36 percent say the U.S. will be “better off” if Republicans win.

- 75 percent of Republicans and 7 percent of Democrats agree.

- 32 percent overall say it would make “no difference” if Republicans win.

- 21 percent of Republicans and 33 percent of Democrats agree.

- 24 percent overall say the nation will be “worse off” if Republicans win.

- 1 percent of Republicans and 56 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Gallup poll of 1,036 adults conducted Sept. 23-26.

- Ballyhoo and such to jharper@ washingtontimes.com.

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