- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 3, 2011

THE SHEEN EFFECT

Once, it was mere adultery or clueless gaffes that gauged the shortcomings of politicians. The stakes have gone up. The extreme bombast and ballyhoo of one Carlos Irwin Estevez — aka Charlie Sheen — have become a political barometer of sorts.

Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips, who staged the first national convention for the movement last year, has declared that Mr. Sheen now “makes more sense” than House Speaker John A. Boehner. Mr Phillips is vexed that the plain-spoken Ohio Republican has not moved faster on his vows to restore fiscal sanity to Congress.

Meanwhile, Mr. Sheen and Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi are “ravers at arms,” says Britains Guardian newspaper, which offers a global quiz to gauge whether humanity can distinguish between the commentaries of the pair. Yes, well. One of them, for declared, “I am like the Queen of England.” New York Magazine offers a similar quiz featuring the quotes of Mssrs. Sheen and Gaddafi, along with Fox News host Glenn Beck — who has his own insight.

“His latest high is to be everywhere in the media,” Mr. Beck says of Mr. Sheen, who has signed a hefty contract to endorse products via Twitter, where he has accrued 1.5 million followers for “Team Sheen,” his new moniker.

“Sooner or later, America is going to say, ‘I’ve had enough of Charlie Sheen,’” Mr. Beck observes, adding that such a devastating plummet in popularity ultimately could contribute to the actor’s demise.

GAS ATTACK

The “drill, baby, drill” demographic is getting huge, and with good reason. Consider that gas prices jumped 22 cents per gallon since last weekend, the second-largest one-week increase in fuel prices since 1990, says the U.S. Energy Information Agency. We’re now paying anywhere from $3.42 to $3.65 a gallon for regular gas, deemed “sticker shock at the psychic level” by the American Automobile Association.

“The world has turned upside down since the winds of change swept through North Africa and the Middle East. Pump prices are changing at warp speed. Service station owners and distributors are panicking about what the next tank wagon will cost them and are passing that cost to us in advance of the next shipment,” says John Townsend, a spokesman for the group.

A resolute nation is bracing for the worst. A Rasmussen Reports survey finds that six out of 10 Americans expect the price of gas to top $5 a gallon by July 1. And most now agree with Sarah Palin that the U.S. is being held hostage by the oil-rich Middle East: 76 percent now believe the U.S. “does not do enough to develop its own gas and oil resources.”

The industry doesn’t believe it either.

“There is nothing ‘robust’ about the Obamatorium,” said Jim Adams, president and CEO of the Offshore Marine Service Association, reacting to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s claim that the White House has a “robust” plan for Gulf Coast oil and gas production.

ALL BETS OFF

“Hey Republicans. Want to make a wager? I bet you one unplanned pregnancy that you are secretly pro-choice.”

(Motto from a new electronic card promoted by MoveOn.org.)

Story Continues →