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Inside the Beltway

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Silver screen conservatives -- those rare pro-America stalwarts standing fast in glittering Hollywood -- have taken notice of Rep. Allen West, the Florida Republican who recently rocked CPAC 2011 with his rousing, reasoned patriotism and straightforward demeanor. Big Hollywood founder Andrew Breitbart has already declared his "dream team" ticket for the 2012 presidential bout: Mr. West and Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota. And now Mr. West himself has alluded to a "a very famous and popular Hollywood conservative actor" who has taken a strong interest in him; a personal phone call from this luminary, Mr. West says, was the "surprise of his day." Let the guessing commence: West fans wonder whether it was Clint Eastwood, Jon Voight, Gary Sinise, James Woods, Bo Derek or even Pat Boone who was on the line. The lawmaker, ever wise and classy, has declined to reveal the superstar's identity.


"New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a man who says he has no plans to run in 2012, leads a field of hypothetical Republican presidential nominees, and is thought to have the best chance of knocking off President Obama," says a Zogby Interactive survey of 2,168 likely Republican voters (

"Of 11 possible Republican candidates being discussed for a 2012 presidential run, Christie takes 19 percent of the vote and 19 percent also think he is the most capable of a victory over Obama," the survey finds, with Sarah Palin in second place with 13 percent, and Donald Trump and Mitt Romney tying for third with 9 percent.


Observant analysts at Americans for Tax Reformhave found that the term "tax" is used 255 times, "taxable" is used 208 times, and "excise tax" 17 times in the text of health-care reform law, now one year and one day old.

"There are 21 new or higher taxes in Obamacare, seven of which break Obamas 'firm pledge' not to raise 'any form' of taxes on families making less than $250,000 per year," spokesman John Kartch tells Inside the Beltway.

"These tax hikes kick in at different times and are unpleasant surprises to many people. For example, the Medicine Cabinet Tax kicked in on Jan. 1 of this year, meaning Americans are no longer allowed to use their flex accounts or Health Savings Accounts to purchase over-the-counter medicines."


Wait. Seems like old times: the Tea Party Patriots will stage a "Continuing Revolution Rally" at high noon on March 31 on the East Side of the U.S. Capitol -- protesting Congress and its "business-as-usual" short-term continuing resolutions.

"We will be there to continue our tea party revolution and demand they make the tough decisions we sent them there to make," says Mark Meckler, co-founder of the group, which claims 15 million supporters.


"Despite what the mainstream media suggest, we did not invent our brand of investigative journalism," says conservative undercover videographer James O'Keefe, who recently created a ruckus at National Public Radio with damning footage of a former executive that sparked the resignation of NPR CEO Vivian Schiller and a House bill to defund the public broadcaster.

"Shows like '60 Minutes' on CBS used to use our tactics all the time. All we're doing is reviving this effective brand of journalism -- and we're being attacked for it," Mr. O'Keefe says of his Project Veritas (, billed as a forum for "muckrakers."

The 26-year-old needs money, though -- about $50,000 to cover the costs of the NPR video. Says Mr. O'Keefe in his fundraising outreach: "We know what we're doing. We've had amazing success where the 'pros' in the mainstream media have failed for years."


• 79 percent of Americans say the Japanese government "is not telling everything" about the dangers from its damaged nuclear power plants.

• 77 percent of Republicans, 75 percent of Democrats and 83 percent of independents agree.

• 69 percent overall say U.S. nuclear power plants are "safe"; 86 percent of Republicans and 60 percent of Democrats agree.

• 49 percent overall are concerned that Japanese radiation could harm people living in the U.S.; 37 percent of Republicans and 54 percent of Democrats agree.

• 44 percent overall say damaged Japanese nuclear plants make them "more fearful"; 34 percent of Republicans and 51 percent of Democrats agree.

• 35 percent say the federal government is prepared to deal with a major nuclear accident in the U.S.; 42 percent of Republicans and 33 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A CBS News poll of 1,022 adults, conducted March 18-21. The main error margin is three percentage points.

Yelps, squeaks, hurrahs to

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