Something about the economy brings out a signature brand of presumptuous incivility in the White House. Recall that during a major fiscal policy speech before members of Congress and administration officials in April, President Obama essentially deemed Rep. Paul Ryan's "Path to Prosperity" plan un-American, saying that it "paints a vision of our future that is deeply pessimistic." Later, the president, during an off-mike remark at a Democratic fundraiser, referred to the Wisconsin Republican as "America's accountant" who voted for two "unpaid" wars.
And now, with a flourish, the White House roars into gauche mode once again, demanding a juicy prime-time spot to showcase Mr. Obama's ideas about job creation before a congressional audience, scheduled to air at the same hour as a major Republican presidential debate. Just a coincidence? No, it's his "campaigner-in-chief" instinct kicking in, says Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.
"The president has had months to get to work on the economy, but instead he chose to take a taxpayer-funded campaign trip and a cushy Martha's Vineyard vacation. If the president were serious about putting 'country before politics,' he wouldn't be caught in such a thinly-veiled political ploy," Mr. Priebus continues. "This is yet another reminder that President Obama is out of touch and out of ideas. The only job he seems to care about is his own."
ROEMER'S CHINESE THEATER
Republican presidential hopeful Buddy Roemer - who still vows not to take campaign donations exceeding $100 - takes a gutsy stand against overseas business competition on Thursday. The former Louisiana governor will stand outside the Chinese Embassy in Washington to unveil his own job plans for fellow citizens, and condemn unfair trade practices that export U.S. jobs overseas. Like, to China. "One key element to creating jobs is to level the playing field so U.S. small businesses can complete," Mr. Roemer observes.
HURRAY FOR HOLLYWOOD
Dancing, financing with the stars: Invitations go out this week to the sparkling glitterati of Tinseltown to garner support for President Obama's re-election campaign. Yep, it's serious Left Coast fundraising. Again. The big date is Sept. 26, when Mr. Obama arrives at the House of Blues on Sunset Boulevard for the event No. 1 where $250 gets one through the door, while $10,000 gets a personal photo with the president.
Mr. Obama later journeys to the chichi Fig & Olive restaurant on Melrose Place. Entrance for one: $17,900. Entrance for one, plus date: $35,000. And in one fabulous faux Hollywood moment, select guests can participate in a question-and-answer session with the president, just like a press gaggle.
"Entertainment industry donors are expected to figure prominently in the Democrats' fundraising plans. Show biz figures contributed about $40 million to the Democrats during the last presidential election cycle," says Hollywood Reporter correspondent Tina Daunt, who says such forays provide "an interesting gauge" of movie star enthusiasm for the president. The Center for Responsive Politics reports that the entertainment industry contributed $2.5 million to Mr. Obama in the first half of 2011 alone.
Yes, "Uncle Omar" is still in the news. But there are other First Relatives around the globe: Mark Obama Ndesandjo, half-brother to President Obama, recently attended a Shanghai book fair to promote "Nairobi to Shenzhen," his semi-autobiographical novel based on personal experiences: "Born in Kenya, working in the United States and moving to Asia after his American dream was smashed by 9/11," reports Xinhua, the official news agency of China.
Mr. Ndesandjo moved to Shenzhen in south China's Guangdong Province in 2001 to teach English, do charitable work, help orphans and practice Chinese calligraphy. "Ndesandjo said he loves China and its traditional culture. He has passed advanced Chinese tests and published three albums of his piano performances," Xinhua says.
In a sixth major poll, Texas Gov. Rick Perry once again lassos and hogties his declared presidential rivals in the public opinion arena. Mr. Perry would garner 41 percent of the vote among likely GOP primary voters if the 2012 election were held today, says a Zogby Poll released Wednesday. In second place, Mitt Romney trails his rival at a dismal 12 percent.
"Regardless of whom you intend to vote for, who do you think will get the nomination?" Zogby asked the 1,200 Republican respondents.
Hm. Well, maybe we'll end up with "Perry/Romney 2012" here. 52 percent say Mr. Perry will win the nomination, followed by Mr. Romney with 23 percent.
Remember the nasal swabs, the tainted envelopes.?
Former senator Tom Daschle and National Institutes of Health infectious disease guru Anthony Fauci are among 30 contributors to "Remembering 9/11 and Anthrax," a firsthand, on-the-ground account of the response of public health officials to 9/11 and the anthrax attacks that followed.
The report, released Thursday by the Trust for Americas Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, can be seen here: www.healthyamericans.org.
POLL DU JOUR
• 38 percent of likely U.S. voters "consider it a positive" when a political candidate is described as "conservative," 27 percent say it's a negative.
• 37 percent say "moderate" is a positive label, 13 percent say it's a negative.
• 32 percent say "tea party" is a positive label.
• 56 percent of Republican voters agree.
• 38 percent of voters overall say the tea party label is a negative.
• 70 percent of Democrats agree.
• 31 percent of voters overall say "progressive" is a positive label, 26 percent say its negative.
• 21 percent say "liberal" is a positive label, 38 percent say it's a negative.
Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted Aug. 25 and 26.
• Neighs, nays, yeas and yays to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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