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Inside the Beltway

- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 14, 2011


The trio are out and about this weekend. Sarah Palin will rally with an Americans for Prosperity "Tea Party Tax Day" event in Madison, Wis., on Saturday at high noon. Donald Trump joins Rep. Allen B. West, Florida Republican, for a South Florida Tea Party rally in Boca Raton, also on Saturday afternoon.

Mr. Trump, incidentally, denies "exclusive" reports he'll announce his candidacy for president on the May 22 season finale of NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice." Instead, he "may" reveal the date of a press conference to clarify his future political plans.And while Palin/Trump fans don't necessarily see eye-to-eye all the time, a "Palin-West 2012" fansite has already drawn more than 800 followers on Facebook.


Talk of "trillions" was once rare, except among astrophysicists, maybe. The White House, however, has become cavalier about bandying about "trillions" in fiscal talk; the term has entered the public vernacular and likely taken a toll on American optimism. Only 9 percent of voters now say a balanced federal budget is "very likely" in their lifetimes. Yes, that is "lifetimes." So says a Rasmussen Reports survey, which also notes that 18-to-29-year-olds - who will be around a lot longer than many politicians - are "even more skeptical."


So many fundraisers, so little time. President Obama has already completed the Chicago leg of his potential $1 billion re-election enterprise. Now here come the rest: San Francisco fundraisers follow on Wednesday, and as the big finale, much hoopla at the Sony Studios in Los Angeles on Thursday, with a reported "high-dollar dinner" for Hollywood elite to follow. The grass-roots appeal to voters put some ticket prices as low as $100 in the three cities. But the cost per plate at several private soirees: $38,500.


The tea party has gotten a big boost from a major publisher. HarperCollins, through its "pioneering" new conservative nonfiction imprint Broadside Books, will publish a series of "Voices of the Tea Party" pamphlets, all in the 5,000-to-7,000-word range and very Thomas Paine-like, indeed. Except they're electronic, quill-free "e-books" - priced well at $2.

The intent is "to democratize conservative publishing ... the idea is to challenge the conservative intellectual establishment," the publisher says. Patrick Henry descendent Mark Kevin Lloyd and Dr. Milton R. Wolf - none other than President Obama's cousin - are among the first of the featured citizen authors. Dr. Wolf has penned "First, Do No Harm," a critique of "Obamacare" twinned with suggestions for free-market health care reforms.

"You can't choose your family, but you can choose to stand up and try to prevent them from transforming America into a second-class, European-style social welfare state," says Dr. Wolf, a board-certified physician and director of a private radiology practice.

"Barack Obama is a smart man, a caring man, and as a member of his family, I would even say that he's a man of impeccable genetics. But as a doctor, I'm compelled to say that he profoundly misunderstands the greatness of the American health care system and by extension, the greatness of the American free-market model," Dr. Wolf adds.

The "Voices of the Tea Party" e-book series launches Tuesday at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other online retailers; new books will be released every six weeks. See much information - including how to submit a pamphlet proposal - at


Michelle Obama and Jill Biden are making frequent public appearances together, the phenomenon quickly has emerged in acronym form. And that would be the "FLOTUS SLOTUS Pool Report" issued almost daily by the White House press office.

FLOTUS as in 'first lady of the U.S." and SLOTUS as in "second lady of the U.S." Though efficient, there is something ungainly and industrial about those monickers, but what with POTUS, VPOTUS, SECDEF, JCS and SECSTATE, we can all just LOL.

Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Biden join the real gaggle on Monday, though. Both FLOTUS and SLOTUS will appear on ABC's "The View" to discuss their new national campaign to support military families.


Wikipedia is no longer a "playground for Capitol Hill staffers to game the system and make the boss look better and the opponent look ridiculous." says Brigham Young University political scientist Adam Brown, who analyzed the online repository and pronounces it "a reliable place to get a political education."

He fact-checked Wikipedia entries for 230 "major" political candidates to find that every one of the accounts was accurate. Ditto for entries covering election statistics and voter behaviors.

"My finding is optimistic for the health of our country," adds Mr. Brown.


• 62 percent favor "cutting government services" over "increasing taxes" to balance the federal budget.

• 54 percent say the amount of tax they personally pay is "fair."

• 51 percent expect to receive a tax refund; 28 percent expect to make a tax payment.

• 47 percent will pay off bills with their refund.

• 45 percent will invest it; 44 percent will pay down their debt or loans.

• 27 percent will spend their refund.

Of that percentage, 60 percent will use it for "everyday needs" and 26 percent will take a vacation.

• 10 percent will go on a "spending spree."

Source: An AP/GFK survey of 1,001 adults conducted March 24-28 and released Thursday.

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