- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 26, 2010

HOPEY-CHANGEY

The progressives are coming, the progressives are coming - so light the lantern in the old tower. Or something. Massive “tea party” rallies have been a frequent fixture on the Mall. But come Saturday, tea partiers must cede their familiar turf to “One Nation Working Together,” a rally to be staged on steps of the Lincoln Memorial, organized by 300 civil rights, union, peace and environmentalist groups. Tea party imitation may be flattering, but the footprint of the upcoming rally could be vast, thanks to a friendly press.

“The leftists are trying to emulate both Glenn Beck and the tea party movement by having their own march on D.C.,” said Warner Todd Huston, editor of Publius Forum. “Surely this will be a test of the left’s strength just ahead of this midterm election. Will they be able to get the ‘hundreds of thousands’ they are claiming? Or will it be little else but thousands of union members bused to the site and paid to be there?”

Mr. Huston adds, “More interesting will be to see how the ‘old media’ establishment cover this thing. We’ll see inflated numbers and all sorts of happy-talk coverage, for sure.”

Organizers include the AFL-CIO, the Service Employees International Union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Democracy for America and Code Pink - all aspiring to “seize back the debate from Sarah Palin and the right wing, who have dominated the political conversation in this country as though they won the election in 2008,” said J.A. Myerson, a political blogger with thebusysignal.com.

“The coalition it is made up almost entirely of groups that endorsed Barack Obama for president and provided electoral foot-soldiers and field organizers for his campaign two years ago,” Mr. Meyerson said.

FOR THE LEXICON

“Twenty seven percent of self-identified gay and lesbian voters chose JohnMcCain and Sarah Palin in 2008. That’s a figure that translates to roughly 1.7 million gay votes for McCain/Palin. If gay conservatives are unicorns, our herd is huge.”

- Christopher Barron, president of the gay conservative group GOProud, writing in the Daily Caller

FAMOUS HAT TRICK

“The United States will do our part. But we all must do everything we can so that when those brave men and women wearing those blue, wonderful-looking - what are they called?” (Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton)

“Helmets.” (unnamed participant)

“Helmets, those blue helmets. I was thinking of the soft one that I like.” (Mrs. Clinton)

“Berets.” (participant)

“Oh, berets, that’s right. … I knew it was a French term, of course.” (Mrs. Clinton)

- From a State Department transcript of Mrs. Clinton’s appearance Thursday before the United Nations Security Council Summit on Peacekeeping

BOP THE GOP

“Instead of a ‘Pledge to America,’ the Republicans should have written an ‘Apology to America,’ ” advises Wes Benedict, director of the Libertarian Party, which has 21 candidates for Senate and 170 candidates for House in the midterm elections.

“The best way to restore American prosperity would be to implement the straightforward 28 planks of the Libertarian Party platform, or even just follow the Constitution. I mean the actual Constitution, not the Republican re-write that allows for every federal government program imaginable,” Mr. Benedict said, noting that those tenets can be found at the group’s website (www.lp.org)

JUST SO YOU KNOW

Texas Fried Frito Pie - chili, cheddar cheese and Fritos, battered and deep-fried - has been proclaimed “best taste” winner at the Texas State Fair’s midway foods competition, while Fried Beer - a beer-filled pretzel pocket - won “most creative.” Of note: the respective winners, Bert’s Burgers and Fries and Belgian Waffles, have already trademarked their entries’ names.

The huge fair, open until Oct. 17, also boasts Deep Fried S’mores Pop-Tarts, Deep Fried Frozen Margaritas, Fried Lemonade and Fried Club Salad, among other things.

“No one goes to the fair to eat carrot sticks,” reasons nutritionist Dawn Peoples. “But you don’t have to consume 7,000 calories of deep-fried fat on a stick either.”

POLL DU JOUR

- 75 percent of Americans overall had trust and confidence in the judicial branch of the government in 2000.

- 66 percent now trust the judicial branch.

- 65 percent of Americans had trust in the executive branch of government in 2000.

- 49 percent now trust the executive branch.

- 19 percent of Republicans and 88 percent of Democrats trust the executive branch.

- 68 percent of Americans trusted the U.S. House and Senate in 2000.

- 36 percent now trust the Senate and House.

- 29 percent of Republicans and 51 percent of Democrats trust the legislative branch.

Source: A Gallup Poll of 1,019 adults conducted Sept. 13-16.

c Press releases, commentary, recipes to jharper@washingtontimes .com.

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