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Inside the Beltway

- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 25, 2011

CHENEY'S BEST-SELLER

Dick Cheney is already ruling the popular book sale lists, just days before the release of his 576-page book "In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir." The former vice president's attentive reception among American readers is bound to frustrate those journalists who have long been at war with Mr. Cheney. Here are the numbers:

At Amazon, Mr. Cheney's book is No. 3 on the top-100 list of all books. It is No. 1 on the Amazon's political books roster, as well as sales lists for U.S. history and biographies. The substantial book is also No. 2 in all book sales at Barnes & Noble. Incidentally, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is soon to offer her personal story as well: "No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington" is expected on book shelves Nov. 1, described as "surprisingly candid" by publisher Crown Books.

MOTHER NATURE

"1 Earthquake, 1 Hurricane, 2 days off. East Coast Disaster Week, 2011." (T-shirt already for sale at Zazzle.com)

ENRAGING THE LEFT

"Dick Cheney is not only a strong conservative, but he's one of those rare politicians who doesn't give a fig what the liberal media say about him. So Cheney is much more willing to dispute the liberal orthodoxy, which he especially did on national security. He did not see the war on terror as primarily a law enforcement issue, for example," Media Research Center research director Rich Noyes tells Inside the Beltway.

"This approach seems to have enraged the Left, and earned him the enmity of a lot of liberal journalists - like Chris Matthews, Ed Schultz, Tina Brown, etc. - and they have responded with the most acrimonious coverage ever doled out to a vice president in modern times."

What are we talking about here? Indeed, Mr. Cheney historically brings out the overwrought poesy among many journalists. Some samples of Cheney coverage, from a close analysis by Mr. Noyes:

"Dick Cheney projects the bleakness of a Wyoming winter, while John Edwards always appears to be strolling in the Carolina sunshine." (Newsweek writers Evan Thomas, Susannah Meadows and Arian Campo-Flores, in 2004)

"The day I say Dick Cheney is going to run for president, Ill kill myself. All we need is one more liar." (Hearst White House columnist Helen Thomas, 2005)

"We have to remember that Dick Cheney was wrong in a way that was lethal. ... He does seem like a character out of 'Dr. Strangelove.' " (MSNBCs Chris Matthews, 2009).

Mr. Cheney, you terrified more Americans than did any terrorist in the last seven years, and now it is time for you to desist, or to be made to desist." (MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, 2009)

SEETHING AMERICANS

"When asked to describe their feelings about the federal government, 86 percent say either that they are frustrated (60 percent) or angry (26 percent). Just 11 percent say they are basically content with the federal government, by far the lowest percentage in a measure that dates to 1997," says new findings from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.

"The share of Americans who describe themselves as angry with the federal government has nearly doubled since March, from 14 percent to 26 percent, while those who say they are basically content has fallen by half, from 22 percent to 11 percent," the center notes.

CANDIDATE TRACKER

Of course, the path of Hurricane Irene may alter some of these plans. But here's where the Republican hopefuls are popping up this weekend, at assorted town halls, meet-and-greets and fundraisers:

New Hampshire: Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, Mitt Romney, Gary Johnson.

Florida: Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota.

Iowa: Rep. Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan, Mr. Paul.

South Carolina: Rick Santorum.

Georgia: Newt Gingrich

New York: Mr. Romney.

THE BABY CORNER

When serious academes say that people get "gaga for goo-goo," we pay attention. That is the conclusion of Kansas State University associate psychology professor Gary Brase, who says that "baby fever" - the physical and emotional desire to have a baby - is very much a real phenomenon. More important, baby fever occurs in both sexes when they see cute infants and adorable little clothes, heed societal expectations and biological clocks, or are in touch with their squishy nurturing feelings. Some differences, though.

"How frequently a desire for a baby occurred varied according to gender. Women more frequently desired having a child than having sex. Men were the opposite and more frequently desired sex than having a child," says the research, which was conducted over a 10-year period.

"We found this kind of ironic because sex and having a baby are causally related," Mr. Brase explains.

POLL DU JOUR

c 49 percent of Americans overall disapprove of President Obama's job performance.

c 93 percent of conservative Republicans disapprove of Mr. Obama's job performance.

c 87 percent of rank-and-file Republicans and 73 percent of moderate or liberal Republicans also disapprove.

c 57 percent of whites, 41 percent of Hispanics and 11 percent of blacks disapprove of the president's job performance.

c 57 percent of people over 65 years old, 55 percent of those 50-64 years old, 51 percent of those 30-49 and 35 percent of those 18-29 disapprove.

c 52 percent of independents and 17 percent of Democrats disapprove of Mr. Obama's job performance.

c 21 percent of conservative or moderate Democrats and 10 percent of liberal Democrats also disapprove.

Source: A Pew Research Center for the People and the Press poll of 1,509 U.S. adults conducted Aug. 17-21.

c Tipline always open at jharper@washingtontimes.com. Follow the column at twitter.com/harperbulletin.

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