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Inside the Beltway

- The Washington Times - Monday, December 5, 2011

THUMP THAT TRUMP

One spectacle ends, another always follows on the Republican campaign trail: now let the Trump-bashing begin. Billionaire, reality-TV star, talking head and perennial presidential candidate Donald Trump continues to vex those who say his persistent presence in serious politics could gum up the Grand Old Party. The National Review, for instance, praises White House hopefuls Rep. Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman Jr. for declining to appear at Mr. Trump's much-ballyhooed presidential debate in Iowa at month's end.

"Paul deserves credit for declining to step into the clown car - as does Jon Huntsman. But Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich can, at least in this instance, be said to lack the good sense of Paul and Huntsman, as the three have RSVPed in the affirmative," the publication says in an editorial, insisting that Mr. Gingrich and archrival Mitt Romney risk their reputations "by association with this consummately unserious man."

The National Review editors continue, "Trump is a tax-hike-supporting, missile-defense-opposing, universal-health-care-advocating, eminent-domain abusing, Schumer-Weiner-Rangel-Reid-donating, long-time-pro-choice economic protectionist who in 2008 called George W. Bush 'evil' and lauded president-elect Barack Obama as a potentially 'great president' who would 'lead by consensus.' The Trump debate is a sideshow."

Mr. Trump's new book "Time to Get Tough: Making America #1 Again" from Regnery Publishing has arrived on bookshelves, revealing an undaunted Donald Trump, in full plumage.

"The Republican field has several good candidates in the race - most of whom have come to see me at my office in Trump Tower. The reason they come to see me isn't just because I am a nice person, but because millions of people listen to what I say and know I 'get it.' " the author observes.

WHAT WOULD BUDDY DO?

"If Buddy Roemer were to get an invitation to attend the Trump debate this month, I believe his reply would be a positive. There's a lot that Gov. Roemer and Donald Trump are aligned on - particularly China. Both say fair trade, but not free trade," Chris Buck, spokesman for the Republican presidential hopeful, tells Inside the Beltway.

WHAT WOULD GARY DO?

"If Gary Johnson gets an invitation to Donald Trump's debate, he'd go. Yes, he would," Joe Hunter, communications director for the Republican presidential candidate, tells Beltway.

POMPEO AND CIRCUMSTANCE

"Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer and I have repeatedly asked the president to come to Kansas to see the world's best aviation workforce. It is disappointing, but unsurprising, to see the president come to Kansas only to campaign, ignoring the devastating impact of his relentless attacks against 'corporate fat cat jet owners' on the jobs of the finest aircraft manufacturing workers in the world. Mr. President, it's only a 30-minute flight in a Wichita-built airplane to come visit the Air Capital of the World."

Rep. Mike Pompeo, Kansas Republican, on President Obama's visit to Osawatomie, Kan., on Tuesday to deliver a speech on the economy.

OCCUPADO

They're not done yet. Multiple hybrids are emerging from the Occupy Wall Street crowd, which has now expanded its repertoire from occupying tent cities and odd wooden structures to sit-down strikes in foreclosed homes. Now begins a classic maneuver: Organizers have begun a hunger strike in Manhattan "to demand outdoor space for a new occupation."

Maybe they should try a boat, but no matter.

"Should we be arrested, we will continue the strike in jail. We are calling on Occupiers across the nation to join us," they say. "This is a call for escalation in response to the escalated levels of government-enacted violence and repression."

Meanwhile, activists from Progressive Maryland, Occupy Wall Street, "community and labor allies" and a dozen other groups begin a three-day "Take Back the Capitol" and Occupy Congress rally near the U.S. Capitol with all the bells and whistles. Yes, they plan to visit lawmakers. In their offices.

"Spirited actions, speak-outs, protests and entertainment will shine a light on corporate greed and the human suffering it has caused, and demand justice for the 99 percent," explains spokesman Elbridge James.

WORD POLICE

Well, guess somebody has to do it. The Associated Press has issued its official style guide for 30 seasonal words, just in case journalists get nervous about correctness, political and otherwise. Among the directive, verbatim from the wire service:

Christmas Eve, Christmas Day: capitalize Dec. 24 and Dec. 25. Christian feast marking the birth of Jesus.

Christmastime: One word

Jesus, Jesus Christ: pronouns referring to him are lowercase, as is savior

Messiah: Capitalized in references to Jesus or to the promised deliverer in Judaism.

Xmas: Don't use this abbreviation for Christmas.

PALIN MOMENT

"You can disagree about politics without being disagreeable. We talked about our kids ... nice lady."

Actress Valerie Bertinelli in a tweet on Monday, regarding a recent social visit she had with Sarah Palin.

POLL DU JOUR

• 57 percent of the "1 percent" - those in households earning more than $500,000 annually - are Republican or lean Republican.

• 36 percent are Democrats or lean Democratic; 8 percent are independents.

• 39 percent are conservative, 20 percent liberal and 41 percent moderate.

• 44 percent of the "bottom 99 percent" are Republican or lean Republican.

• 47 percent are Democrats or lean Democratic; 9 percent are independents.

• 40 percent are conservative, 21 percent liberal and 37 percent moderate.

Source: A Gallup Poll analysis of 61 national Gallup polls of 65,662 U.S. adults conducted from Jan. 2009 to Nov. 2011.

• Ruminations, crabby outbursts, reassurances to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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