- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 24, 2011


In their quest to prevail, politicians spar with strategic sound bites, then pray for good press. But what about their sartorial demeanor? Canny politicos should also be aware that a power suit renaissance is under way. The inspiration? We’re talking old school suits with vests, pleated pants, substantial tie and wide lapels once sported by the likes of Michael Douglas as he portrayed Gordon Gekko in the original “Wall Street,” movie. Yes, in 1987.

“Today’s power suits have some semblance to those of Gekko’s, the wide lapels, the pinstripes, the generous ties are all present. The glaring difference is the fit,” explains Forbes columnist Blue Carreon.

“Today’s suits are cut closer to the body to better flatter a gym-toned physique. They also favor two buttons on the jackets over three. The pants have a flat front and, if on the occasion they come with pleats, its a single pinch pleat. By combining conservative and modern elements, designers like Tom Ford and Ralph Lauren and houses like Kiton, Rake, Ermenegildo Zegna, Canali and Pal Zileri are giving power suits a contemporary aesthetic.”


“With lawmakers haggling over government debt and consumer confidence at a two-year low, voter confidence in Republicans to handle the economy is growing. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of likely voters shows that 45 percent trust Republicans more when it comes to handling economic issues, while 35 percent put more trust in Democrats. Nineteen percent are undecided,” the pollster says.

According to new findings released Sunday, the Grand Old Party has the upper hand in 10 gargantuan issues - the economy, health care, taxes, government ethics, Social Security, education, immigration, national security, Afghanistan and the war in Iraq.

“Voters now trust Republicans more than Democrats on nine of those 10 issues. In May, Republicans led on just six issues after being trusted more on all 10 in early January. Two years ago, Democrats were trusted more than Republicans on most issues,” Rasmussen says.


The Minnesotan clash continues. Rep. Michele Bachmann is determined to give rival Tim Pawlenty his own headache, framing him as a career politician, and fan of intrusive government.

“Gov. Pawlenty said in 2006, ‘The era of small government is over … the government has to be more proactive and more aggressive.’ That’s the same philosophy that, under President Obama, has brought us record deficits, massive unemployment, and an unconstitutional health care plan,” observes Mrs. Bachmann:

“Actions speak louder than words. When I was fighting against the unconstitutional individual mandate in health care, Gov. Pawlenty was praising it,” she continues, adding that Mr. Pawlenty also backed cap-and-trade, the multistate Midwest Greenhouse Gas Reduction and TARP - while she fought against such policy.

“I have demonstrated leadership and the courage of my convictions to change Washington, stop wasteful spending, lower taxes, put Americans back to work and turn our economy around. I’m a hard worker who exhibits that courage in the halls of Congress and will take that same conviction to the White House,” Mrs. Bachmann says.


The debt-ceiling discussion already is contentious. Then along comes Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who proclaims that “Cut, Cap, & Balance” was “the worst legislation in the history of this country.” The worst? That remark did not sit well with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which has launched a public quest to determine “the worst bill introduced in Congress.” Ever.

Citizens have responded. Here are a few of their suggestions, cited verbatim from the online repository:

“Obamacare, the Dodd-Frank bill, the Revenue Act of 1861, NAFTA, all the New Deal legislation, the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, the Embargo Act of 1807, the Amnesty Act of 1986, the Wagner Act, the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, the Volstead Act of 1919, the 16th Amendment, the Federal Reserve Act, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930.”

See the rest, or suggest one here: www.openmarket.org. The quest closes Thursday, and the best entry wins a nifty “Enjoy Capitalism” t-shirt.


It’s official: conservatives Twitter better than Democratic rivals according to a University of Michigan analysis of 460,000 Tweets related to the 2010 midterm elections season, and the campaigns of 687 candidates.

“The conservative candidates - Republicans and tea party members - definitely used Twitter more visibly and showed a more coherent set of messages and topics,” says Eytan Adar, assistant professor in the School of Information and the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

“They also followed each other much more closely. I think it’s fair to say they were much more cohesive in a lot of ways and at the end of the day that makes for a stronger campaign,” he adds.


• 45 percent of Americans approve of the way President Obama is handling his job.

• 6 percent of Republicans, 19 percent of conservatives, 11 percent of tea party supporters, 80 percent of Democrats and 71 percent of liberals agree.

• 38 percent overall disapprove of the president’s job performance because Mr. Obama is “too liberal.”

• 82 percent of Republicans, 68 percent of conservatives, 73 percent of tea partyers, 5 percent of Democrats and 10 percent of liberals agree.

• 13 percent overall disapprove of Mr. Obama’s job performance because he is “not liberal enough.”

• 9 percent of Republicans, 9 percent of conservatives, 11 percent of tea partyers, 11 percent of Democrats and 16 percent of liberals agree.

Source: A CNN/Opinion Research Center poll of 1,009 U.S. Americans conducted July 18 to 20.

Impatient commentary, accolades, sighs of boredom to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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