- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 13, 2011

RICKEY GOES NATIVE

While lawmakers argue and the White House cringes, consider that the nation’s capital now has an official, “native” cocktail. Oh well, why not? D.C. Council member Jack Evans will issue an official proclamation Thursday, naming the “Rickey” as D.C.’s very own libation, and declaring July to be “Rickey Month.”

Joined by local celebrity bartender and mixologist Derek Brown and Garrett Peck, author of “Prohibition in Washington, D.C.: How Dry We Werent,” Mr. Evans will set forth his proclamation at the J.W. Marriott Hotel, the former site of Shoomakers Bar — home away from home for 19th-century politicians and journalists — and the spot where the Rickey was invented in 1883. Yes, there will be a plaque. Meanwhile, what’s in a Rickey?

“Juice of half a lime, with the lime shell then placed in the glass. Two ounces of gin, or bourbon if you prefer. Fill the glass with ice, top with soda. Very refreshing,” says Marriott spokesman Mark Indre.

UTAH LOVES MITT

“It’s a good thing for Jon Huntsman Jr. that his home state of Utah isn’t a terribly important one to the Republican presidential nomination process. A plurality of GOP primary voters there has an unfavorable opinion of him and he gets absolutely crushed by Mitt Romney in the state,” says Tom Jensen, director of Public Policy Polling.

A new survey from the group reveals that when asked to choose directly between the two, 82 percent of Utah Republicans pick Mr. Romney to 14 percent who side with Mr. Huntsman.

Mr. Romney garners 63 percent of the overall vote, with Mr. Huntsman placing a distant second at 10 percent. Michele Bachmann is in third place at 6 percent, followed by Sarah Palin (5 percent), Herman Cain, Rick Perry, and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas (each at 4 percent; Newt Gingrich (3 percent) and Tim Pawlenty (1 percent).

Meanwhile, 83 percent of Utah primary voters have a positive opinion of Mr. Romney, compared to 43 percent with a favorable view of Mr. Huntsman.

“But with voters who describe themselves as ‘very conservative,’ Huntsman is a pariah. Only 29 percent rate him positively,” Mr. Jensen says. “His work for the Obama administration and centrist stances on some issues have clearly riled up the right wing in the state.”

TEA PARTY WISDOM

The debt ceiling battle is almost as hard to follow as the old health care reform debate. Almost. At least there aren’t 2,100 pages of legislation to consider. Yet. Meanwhile, many Americans pine for public discourse on a more comprehensive level, appropriate for the kitchen table.

“What frustrates Americans everywhere is that both sides of the aisle are avoiding the real problem — government overspending,” says Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder and national coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots, the nation’s largest umbrella organization for the grass-roots patriots.

“The American people are tired of political gimmicks, fuzzy accounting and backroom deals.We want actions that benefit the nation instead of political parties,” she continues. “The federal government has a spending problem. Period. Stop the schemes and enact real reforms to stop government overspending.”

The group is not keen on a certain Kentucky Republican’s remedy for economic woes.

“Sen. Mitch McConnell’s plan shows plainly he wants to abdicate any responsibility for fiscal matters to the president. We send our representatives in Congress like Sen. McConnell to Washington to represent us and pass legislation that responds to the voters — not to pass the buck off to the Executive Branch,” observes the Patriots’ other co-founder, Mark Meckler.

LAURA, WARRIOR GODDESS

Mother of three adopted children under age 6, syndicated radio host, self-described “culture warrior” Laura Ingraham hits the road Thursday to launch her new book “Of Thee I Zing: America’s Cultural Decline from Muffin Tops to Body Shots.”

She’s got eight stops nationwide on what she calls a “patriotic intervention,” punctuated by broadcast appearances with Michael Savage, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly and Fox Business’ Neil Cavuto and Don Imus. She’s already appeared on NBC’s “Today Show” and ABC’s “The View.”

It was a stroll through a local shopping mall that started it all. The author witnessed “signs of impending disaster” — like a man having his eyebrows “threaded” at a kiosk and a weighty 50-something woman in tube top and skinny jeans.

“Is this it? Is this what our forefathers fought for? What my parents struggled for? A menacing force surrounds us. We see it, we feel it, we know it. The country we love is in grave peril. While politicians and ‘experts’ prattle on about the debt crisis at home, and terrorism abroad, a more insidious homegrown threat is emerging,” she continues.

“The uncomfortable truth is: We have become our own worst enemy. The culture we have created is now turning on us. We’re on the verge of drowning in our ignorance, arrogance, gluttony.”

POLL DU JOUR

• 20 percent of Americans say the federal budget deficit should be reduced “only” with spending cuts.

26 percent of Republicans, 23 percent of independents and 10 percent of Democrats agree.

• 30 percent overall say the debt should be reduced “mostly” with spending cuts.

41 percent of Republicans, 28 percent of independents and 23 percent of Democrats agree.

• 32 percent overall say the debt should be reduced with a combination of the two.

24 percent of Republicans, 30 percent of independents and 42 percent of Democrats agree.

• 11 percent overall say the debt should be reduced “only or mostly” with tax increases.

3 percent of Republicans, 11 percent of independents and 20 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Gallup Poll of 1,014 U.S. adults conducted July 7 to 10.

Proclamations, complaints, polite applause to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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