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Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

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WEATHER OR NOT

Snowprah Winfrey, Snoverkill, SnOMG, Snonami, Commutegeddon, Getagripia, Snowball Warming, Oblizzeration, Snowtorious B.I.G., Shovelmania, the Blizzard of Oz, the Fast and Flurrious, Thunderslush, Snowjam, Snowtopia, Snowzilla.

The nation has moved far beyond mere Snowpocalypse. Though Al Gore has predictably blamed the Blizzard o’ 2011 on “man-made global warming,” these are a just few names for this week’s 2,100-mile snowstorm, as suggested by those caught up in it. They are gleaned from a veritable squall of blogs, the National Post, National Public Radio and other sources. And what to do in the interim?

“If you find yourself snowed in, or it’s just too cold and miserable to be outside, make good use of your time indoors and start working on your 2010 tax return. You’ll be glad you did when it’s a beautiful day in early April,” advises the Illinois CPA Society.

THE BIG REVEAL

X-rated airport scanners? What X-rated airport scanners? The Transportation Security Administration has new software for its advanced imaging technology machines that automatically detects “threat items,” then indicates them on a generic “person” outline. Does this mean no more underwear pictures? Maybe.

The new software is now being tested at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport, and soon, at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

“We are always looking for new technology and procedures that will both enhance security while strengthening privacy protections,” sighs John Pistole, the agency’s formerly embattled administrator.

OINK

Despite happy Democratic talk of ending earmarks, Sen. Ben Nelson, Nebraska Democrat, and Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski are among six finalistsfor 2010 Porker of the Year, says Citizens Against Government Waste. The watchdog group tracks spendthrift habits on Capitol Hill and beyond, and invites citizens to vote on their favorite porker here: www.cagw.org. The winner(s) will be announced in mid-February.

ORIGINAL SIN

Former George W. Bush adviser and Hudson Institute senior fellow Tevi Troy points out that along with a wealth of constitutional references, U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson’s ruling against the heath care overhaul law also refers to a 2002 article on the scope of congressional power by Robert Bork and his own brother, Daniel E. Troy, former chief counsel of the Food and Drug Administration.

“In contrast to previous domestic-policy changes like Social Security, Medicare, and welfare reform, all of which had substantial bipartisan support, the one-party imposition of the health care law has ensured that will always be seen as a partisan endeavor. As a result, it will never be able to overcome the original sin that governed its birth, and this will ultimately be its undoing,” Mr. Troy observes.

“Judge Vinsons ruling, along with the fact that a majority of states have joined the lawsuit against the bill, the recent House repeal vote, and the bills consistent unpopularity, remind us that there are many avenues available in a free society for challenging questionable legislative actions, and the anti-Obamacare movement is serious about exploring all of them.”

SCIENCE CORNER

Yes, there are “Super Bowl Sunday injuries” during the big game, insists Dr. Jeff Kalina, associate medical director of emergency medicine at the Methodist Hospital in Houston. Among typical problems: stomach ailments, injuries from tossed projectiles and broken teeth among those who try to open beer bottles the hard way. And domestic violence?

“There is a lot of testosterone flying around during the Super Bowl. You mix that with alcohol and underlying relationship problems and you have a recipe for disaster,” Dr. Kalina says. “If a woman is in a relationship where this is happening, it might be best to stay away from the house or party on Sunday.”

Some consider such claims to be suspect.

“For years, the domestic-violence industry has used taxpayer money to scare American women into believing they are safer on the streets than at home,” says Phyllis Schlafly of the Eagle Forum. “That’s ridiculous, of course. The safest place for women is in an intact, married relationship.”

ON THE MARCH

“How ironic is it that the media proudly reports that President Obama — ever the eternal community organizer — is speaking out on behalf of those in Egypt and elsewhere who are ‘protesting,’ even if some may not just be protesting but inciting or participating in violence?” asks Nicholas Thimmesch II, a media strategist and American Spectator contributor who admits to strolling in a few Vietnam-era peace marches himself once upon a time.

“Much of the televised coverage I have seen has shown both the police and the ‘protesters’ engaging in violence, yet the same media depicts the past year of tea party protests as some kind of anarchist, ruthless, violence-inspiring gathering of uniformed thugs,” Mr. Thimmesch observes.

“Whether or not the ‘protests’ that have taken place in Egypt will satisfy the bloodthirsty American media’s litmus test for legendary violence and brutality,” he says, adding, ” I just know that what is going on now has far surpassed “protest”: it has become armed rebellion. The real question is who will be providing the means toward armed revolution and for what purpose. Will it be the Muslim Brotherhood, Iran’s secret police, or a truly democratic, peace-loving group of patriots.”

POLL DU JOUR

• 64 percent of likely voters say it’s likely the next U.S. president will be a Republican.

• 51 percent expect politics in Washington to become more partisan over the next year.

• 23 percent say politics will grow “more cooperative”; 26 percent are not sure.

• 60 percent say congressional Democrats are governing like partisan Democrats; 21 percent say the Democrats are bipartisan.

• 54 percent say congressional Republicans are governing like partisan Republicans; 22 percent say the Republicans are bipartisan.

• 50 percent say President Obama is governing like a partisan Democrat; 32 percent say he is bipartisan.

Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted Jan. 27-28.

Big winds, cold commentary to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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