- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 7, 2010

AFFLUENZA

Campaign strategists should rethink their pitches to the very rich, who appear just as disillusioned by politics as the rest of America. The uber-wealthy believe more in “true love” and a “higher power” than they do in the proverbial “honest politician,” according to the “Survey of Affluence and Wealth in America,” which plumbed the sentiments of more than 800 people with salaries averaging $500,000. More believe in UFOs, ghosts, angels, karma and “one God” than believe in trustworthy politicians. Really. Their “political leanings are shifting in favor of Republicans,” the survey says.

Over two-thirds see themselves as independent voters; 54 percent say the president and Congress should belong to different political parties. Amazingly, 43 percent said they’ll give serious consideration to “tea party” candidates while 41 percent are ready to vote out incumbents. Thirty-seven percent say their political beliefs are becoming more conservative, while 18 percent say they lean more liberal. The survey was conducted by American Express Publishing Corp. and Harrison Group from Sept. 16 to 23.

In all, a mere 32 percent of the prosperous believe politicians are honest. The number was 43 percent among Democrats and 28 percent among Republicans. But 34 percent believe in UFOs and aliens, 37 percent in ghosts, 53 percent in angels, 58 percent in karma, 64 percent in “one God,” 71 percent in a higher power and 88 percent in true love. Alas, honest politicians only outrank the lost isle of Atlantis, the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot on the list.

TYRRELL-ACIZED

Rahm Emanuel’s instant campaign for the mayor of Chicago has the former White House chief of staff facing powerful competition that includes a sheriff, a clergyman and critics who claim he does not meet local residency requirements. Now Mr. Emanuel has another foe: R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. - the ebullient founder of the American Spectator - has joined the race. The Chicago native already has garnered support of the New York Sun and Fox News host Sean Hannity and penned a mighty editorial about his intentions.

“I have the support of a major newspaper. That’s more than Rahm’s got at this point, and I have encouragement from some very distinguished people. The way I see it, Rahmbo and I should immediately step up to the plate and debate the issues. Now I ask you. Who has the greater claim to the citizen of Chicago? Me with four generations who have lived in this city, or him? I am ready, willing and able to debate him,” Mr. Tyrrell tells Inside the Beltway.

“A lot of Chicagoans do not like him. He has a reputation for yelling at underlings and for profanity. As for me, I am free of any hint of Chicago corruption, certainly no hint of a connection to ex-Governor Rod Blagojevich. Frankly, I could not pick him out of a police lineup - at least a police lineup of gaudily dressed gigolos.”

AT THE CROSS ROAD

Many have not forgotten that a seven-foot cross was stolen from the U.S. World War I memorial in the Mojave Desert in May - a federal crime under the Veterans Memorial Preservation and Recognition Act - with no reaction from the White House.

“We ask for your immediate intervention to defend the integrity of federal war memorials against those who would desecrate them by directing the National Park Service to allow a replacement cross to be erected,” says a letter drafted by Carol A. Taber, president of FamilySecurityMatters.org, signed by Newt Gingrich, Jed Babbin, Rick Santorum, retired Army Generals David E. Bonner and William G. Boykin - among 40 other officers, lawmakers and other luminaries.

Their letter continues, “If we are not allowed to replace memorial crosses that are stolen or destroyed, then your administration will rightly be seen as openly encouraging attacks on religious symbols.”

Observes a source, “It’s interesting that President Obama embraced the ground zero mosque based on religious freedom - but hasn’t spoken about this cross.”

BY GEORGE

Happy anniversary and a snappy salute on Saturday to the Washington Monument, built between 1848 and 1884 as a tribute to George Washington’s military leadership during the American Revolution. The obelisk is built of white marble from Maryland and Massachusetts, underlain by Maryland blue gneiss and Maine granite. It weighs 81,120 tons, stands 555-feet and 5- 1/8-inches tall, has 896 steps, walls up to 15-feet thick and contains 193 interior memorial stones. It opened to the public Oct. 9, 1888.

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