- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 21, 2011

DEFENDING TRIG

Yes, there are limits, even in the blogosphere. The satirical political blog Wonkette.com has offered a formal apology from writer Jack Stuef and deleted his recent posting about Trig Palin. The entry referred to Sarah Palin’s son, born with Down syndrome, as “retarded” and “somewhat alive” while accusing the former Alaska governor of using her son as a “political prop” - all this published on the little boy’s third birthday. Mr. Stuef’s opinions unleashed the grizzly in Mrs. Palin’s many fans, who were not shy about expressing their outrage to Wonkette advertisers.

“More companies have joined Papa John’s, Huggies and Vanguard in dropping ads from the liberal, pro-abortion blog Wonkette,” says Steven Ertelt, a correspondent with LifeNews. “The post prompted a conservative backlash on Twitter, with hundreds of people writing to companies that had engaged in advertising on the popular blog site.”

Mr. Ertelt is tracking those that dropped out, which so far include J. Jill, Holland America cruise line, Nordstrom, Reliant Energy, Bob Evans and Coldwell Banker. The companies have not been shy, either: “The ads have been removed. We’re sorry to disappoint you,” Nordstrom officials said in a Twitter reply to Palin protectors. “Trig is a cutie pie. Thank you for alerting us. We weren’t aware our ads were running alongside a blog post like that. Ads have been pulled,” noted DealSwarm in its tweet response.

“Big thanks from the Palin family to folks on Twitter today who took a stand for children w/special needs. Happy Easter! Thank you,” Mrs. Palin observed in her own tweet.

TRUMP WATCH

He’s making his big debut in the Granite State: The nation’s most recognizable Republican presidential hopeful arrives in New Hampshire to meet with strategists, GOP officials and local business leaders on Wednesday, and he’ll repeat his performance on May 11.

“If you had any doubt about billionaire businessman Donald Trump being serious about being a contender for president, consider that he’s booked two visits - that we know of - to New Hampshire within a two-week period,” observes John DiStaso, senior political reporter for the New Hampshire Union Leader.

BOEHNER-RYAN EFFECT

“John Boehner is an exceptional leader, a true man of the House, whose respect for the institution extends to each of its members. Moreover, John’s guiding principles include a healthy regard for those whose principles might differ from his own. The most successful members of Congress are, paradoxically, those who never forget where they came from, who cling to values bred into them by family, faith and community. Being one of 12 children, you learn early what it means to seek common ground.

“John has already made good on promises of greater transparency, while effectively putting an end to congressional earmarks. Neither flashy nor flamboyant, he brings to work qualities that are infinitely more useful: integrity, decency, vast experience, a feel for how people outside the Beltway live and struggle and the deserved trust of his colleagues. John loves his country, and it shows.”

(Former Sen. Robert Dole, describing House Speaker Boehner, named to Time Magazine’s list of the 100 “most influential people” in the world)

“Paul Ryan came of age down the road from me. Although we didn’t know each other at the time, it’s clear now that growing up in south-central Wisconsin during the Reagan years had a lasting impact on both our political philosophies. Like our 40th President, Paul has always stuck to his core beliefs: in limited, effective government; individual liberty and making hard decisions so our children will inherit a country at least as great as the one we did. Overnight, his economic plan has redefined the nation’s conversation about public spending.”

“It has been said that there are two types of people in politics: those who want to be somebody great and those who want to do something great. Paul Ryan is the latter, and our country is better off because of that.”

(Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, describing House Budget Committee Chairman Ryan, also named to the list)

BUMPER PATROL

“Ninety percent of politics is deciding who to blame.”

- Bumper sticker spotted in Warrenton, Va.

WEDDING? WHAT WEDDING?

The upcoming British royal nuptials have journalists and marketers in an uproar. Americans, however, remain tepid about it all even as they brace for breathless coverage and opportunistic retailing.

Dunkin’ Donuts, for example, has rolled out the “Royal Wedding Donut.” Paddy Power and Bodog both online betting concerns are taking wagers as to whether bride-to-be Kate Middleton will be late to the church, if she’ll say “obey” while exchanging vows with Prince William and what color hat Queen Elizabeth II will wear. iPhone, meanwhile, is peddling “The Royal Wedding: Your Personal Guide,” an app that tracks the whereabouts of the couple with GPS.

But alas. Eight out of 10 Americans say they’re not paying attention to the wedding, says a Harris Poll of 2,400 U.S. adults. Just 2 percent have been monitoring the story “very closely.” Another two-thirds say they don’t plan to watch live coverage of the wedding next Friday.

POLL DU JOUR

• 72 percent of Americans say Donald Trump is not a “serious” presidential candidate.

• 57 percent of Republicans and 55 percent of tea-party supporters agree.

• 57 percent overall say President Obama was born in the U.S.

• 33 percent of Republicans and 34 percent of tea-party supporters agree.

• 25 percent overall say Mr. Obama was not born in the U.S.

• 45 percent of Republicans and 45 percent of tea-party supporters agree.

• 18 percent overall “don’t know” if the president was born in another country.

• 22 percent of Republicans and 21 percent of tea-party supporters agree.

Source: A CBS/New York Times poll of 1,224 U.S. adults conducted April 15-20.

Happy Easter, everybody. Tip line always open at jharper@ washingtontimes.com. Follow the column at twitter.com/harperbulletin

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