- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 20, 2011

ARMSTRONG FINDS VIRTUE

“The virtue of the Sabbath, honoring the sanctity of life, reclaiming fatherhood, reclaiming motherhood, marriage and family, physiology of success, truth and its rewards, conscientious objection, the morality of race, the virtue of capitalism, the virtue of saving, moving towards a virtuous civilization.”

Those are, verbatim, the 12 chapters of “Reawakening Virtues: Restoring What Makes America Great,” a book published Thursday by talk radio host and columnist Armstrong Williams, drawing praise for “honesty” by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and for “true representation” by Fox News contributor Juan Williams.

“The work of cleansing our consciences and rekindling virtue is a dynamic and vital process. It requires time, reflection, and an open spirit. But it is well worth it,” the author tells Inside the Beltway.

“And just remember, whatever else the media is selling - whether it’s materialism, idolatry, spending beyond your means, or merely the soft oppression of low expectations - when it comes down to the comedown, they won’t be there. But our virtues, if practiced and refined regularly, will stand us in good stead,” he adds.

PERRY PARRY

“Get out of your comfort zone.” (Anita Perry to husband and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, upon urging him to run for president.)

TWEETBATE

“As conservatives, we know replacing a Dem w/a Repub is not enough to return America back to job creation and balanced budgets,” presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich tweeted during the world’s first presidential debate on Twitter, organized by Teaparty.net on Wednesday.

Reps. Michele Bachmann and Thaddeus Cotter of Minnesota, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and Gary Johnson also tweeted responses to myriad questions. The event paid off: The candidate drew 180 tweets from a curious public a minute, and between retweets and mentions, their brief remarks spun off into 10,000 online citations, according to post-debate statistics.

GANG OF (FILL-IN-THE-BLANK)

“The Reid-Headed League”

(An alternative name for the congressional “Gang of Six,” which has a definite Sherlock Holmes ring to it, with apologies to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Suggested by a Beltway reader wishing to remain nameless.)

LAROUCHE EMERGES

“This webcast could well be the crucial event in determining the survival of the United States, and civilization itself,” says perennial presidential hopeful Lyndon Larouche, who shares his solutions for the world’s woes live at www.larouchepac.com at 1 p.m. Thursday. The webcast - titled “Either Obama Goes or the United States Goes” - will be translated simultaneously into German, French, Spanish and Italian.

First on his list? “Immediate reinstatement of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Glass-Steagall law, to be followed by the establishment of a credit system in the tradition of first Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton,” a spokeswoman says.

MAKE LIKE YOU’RE FRUGAL

Memo to Republicans: opportunistic Democrats can’t wait to frame GOP candidates as fat-cat spenders, awash with big bucks and hypocrisy. Witness Mitt Romney, taken to task by the Boston Herald for $5 million in campaign expenses in the past three months, “including blowing $80,000 on hotel rooms in Las Vegas, $50,000 on a security squad and $125,000 on private jets - despite a pledge to scale back on luxury travel.”

Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul points out that his expenses are down compared with the 2008 race, saying, “We’re running a really lean campaign.”

Herald reporter Dave Wedge pored over campaign reports, checking off Mr. Romney’s $1.6 million for consultants and $79,000 for parties in Beverly Hills and Boston, among other things. New Hampshire and Iowa Democrats, meanwhile, are gleefully circulating the findings, revved up by Iowan annoyance that Mr. Romney opted out of the upcoming Iowa Straw Poll for financial reasons.

“Mitt Romney saying he can’t compete in Iowa because he can’t afford it is about as credible as Mitt Romney saying he’s ‘unemployed.’ The only thing Romney can’t afford is getting hard questions from Iowa voters,” says Megan Jacobs, a spokeswoman for the Iowa Democratic Party.

SCIENCE CORNER

More than half of all Alzheimer’s disease cases could be prevented through lifestyle changes and managing certain chronic medical conditions, says San Francisco VA Medical Center psychiatrist Deborah Barnes, who analyzed global data involving hundreds of thousands of participants.

The biggest “modifiable risk factors” for the disease are physical inactivity, depression, smoking, midlife hypertension, midlife obesity, low education and diabetes, which account for 51 percent of Alzheimer’s cases worldwide and 54 percent in the U.S.

“What’s exciting is that this suggests that some very simple lifestyle changes, such as increasing physical activity and quitting smoking, could have a tremendous impact on preventing Alzheimer’s and other dementias,” Dr. Barnes says.

POLL DU JOUR

• 92 percent of Americans give Congress a negative rating.

• 93 percent of Republicans and 89 percent of Democrats agree.

• 62 percent overall give President Obama a negative job review.

• 92 percent of Republicans and 33 percent of Democrats agree.

• 46 percent overall say it is “likely” they would vote for Mr. Obama if the election were held today.

• 10 percent of Republicans and 74 percent of Democrats agree.

• 35 percent overall think Mr. Obama will be re-elected in 2012.

• 12 percent of Republicans and 59 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Harris Poll of 2,183 adults conducted July 11-18.

Hue and cry, innuendo to jharper@washingtontimes.com.