Inside the Beltway

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Question of the Day

Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

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And the bums all thrown out!

How we wish we were voting today!”

- Limerick by Politickles editor and friend-of-Inside-the-Beltway F.R. Duplantier.

SARTORIAL DEMEANOR

Well, OK. ABC has released its official portrait of Bristol Palin and her dance partner, Mark Ballas, posing, tango-like, before the couple debuts Sept. 20 on “Dancing With the Stars.” Miss Palin said only three days ago that she hoped to dress “modestly” on the reality show, but hey, show biz prevailed and she’s in black lace. And fringe. And gold shoes. Well, whatever.

If she wins, it means prize money for the single mother and her toddler son, Tripp, and lots of it — about $350,000, according to recent calculations from Gawker.com. So dance away, honey.

AXIS REDUX

Drama is already percolating around the National Tea Party Unity Convention, set for mid-October in Las Vegas with a lineup of speakers that includes pollster Frank Luntz, embattled Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton and talk radio host Neal Boortz, among many. Workshops include such topics as “A Tea Partier’s Guide to Saul Alinsky’s ‘Rules for Radicals’ ” and “Fighting Obama Secrecy: How to Get Records the Government Is Hiding.”

This breed of “tea partiers” seeks unity. But they’re also ready to rumble.

“The timing is crucial,” says organizer Judson Phillips. “As we head into the fall elections, we must be united in our opposition to the Obama/Pelosi/Reid axis of fiscal evil.”

JUST SO YOU KNOW

Big thinking, deep concepts? Apparently so. The Defense Department recently announced that it will dole out $227 million to finance 32 projects conducted by assorted academic institutions.

Among the winners: “Neuro-Inspired Adaptive Perception and Control for Agile Mobility of Autonomous Vehicles in Uncertain and Hostile Environments” (Georgia Institute of Technology); “Animal Inspired Robust Flight with Outer and Inner Loop Strategies” (University of Washington); “Knowledge Representation, Reasoning and Learning for Understanding Scenes and Events” (University of California, Los Angeles); and “An Omnivorous Framework for Translation and Analysis of Low Density Languages” (Carnegie Mellon University).

POLL DU JOUR

- 56 percent of U.S. voters favor a repeal of the recently enacted national health care law.

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