- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 1, 2011

REAGAN BASEBALL

And now, a break from the partisan noise: a series of Major League Baseball tributes to the Ronald Reagan centennial begins Monday night when the San Diego Padres face the Pittsburgh Pirates in San Diego. NASCAR driver Austin Dillon, co-chairman of the Reagan Centennial National Youth Committee, throws out the first pitch; country recording artist Tim Dugger, a member of the same committee, will sing the national anthem.

A video tribute to Reagan — baseball enthusiast and a onetime radio sportscaster — will also be shown, narrated by MLB Network and Fox Sports announcer Chris Rose. See it here: www.youtube.com/reaganfoundation. Incidentally, the Gipper once filled in for announcer Harry Caray during a 1988 Chicago Cubs game, advising his audience, “You know in a few months Im going to be out of work and I thought I might as well audition.”

Nine of the 30 Major League Baseball teams have chosen to honor Reagan in similar ways, proof that “his legacy is as alive and well today,” says Stewart McLaurin, executive director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundations centennial celebration, who notes that the Washington Nationals stage their own Reagan tribute June 23.

TRUMPED OUT

Don’t fret. Media overkill on the White House Correspondents Dinner will die down any second now, save perhaps for a few scant editorials questioning the excess of the event. Meanwhile, the press wallowed in endless insults heaped on Donald Trump by President Obama and comedian Seth Meyers. Journalists reveled as Mr. Trump was booed when he walked the red carpet with his wife Melania and was later mocked by Vanity Fair for his seeming lack of reaction to it all.

“Trump had to be smirking at the attention, but it’s a pathetic commentary that the allegedly independent White House press corps served as a vehicle for an incumbent president to bash his most vocal challenger. I mean, I know that theyre a bunch of partisan sycophants, but do they have to be so obvious about it?” observes Pajamas Media contributor and longtime “Instapundit” Glenn Reynolds.

DADT EXPLAINED

“Does a straight Marine have to live with a gay Marine? Can a Marine with a same-sex partner receive housing allowance? Will being openly gay affect recruitment, assignments or promotion?” Those were the repeat questions posed to Marine Corps instructor Maj. Daryl DeSimone during recent Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal training at Camp Pendleton, Calif., according to an official account. The hour-long class was meant to educate the Leathernecks on what would change after the repeal of the 17-year-old DADT policy.

Maj. DeSimone answered several versions of the question, “Will I have to live with a gay Marine?”After the repeal, billeting assignments will made without regard to sexual orientation.

“You can live with somebody in the barracks. You don’t have to be their friend,” the officer told the class, adding that commanders may elect to reassign roommates on a case-by-case basis if it poses “too much of a disruption for the unit.”

Meanwhile, Marines with religious concerns about their gay comrades were told that they “retain the right to their religious beliefs, but their conduct must remain professional and they must treat fellow Marines with dignity and respect.”

BUMPER PATROL

“TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT: We Shall Overcomb.”

- Bumper sticker spotted in San Francisco

HOLA AMERICA

“It is clear violent actions taken by the Mexican drug cartels have evolved and are acts of terrorism. These cartels should be classified as terrorist organizations … Historically, Mexican drug cartels have been considered criminal organizations, the purpose of which has been financial gain. But with increased brutality targeted toward government officials, law enforcement officers, and civilians, the cartels motivated goals have evolved beyond just monetary gain, and now include more violent activities to achieve political, economic and geographic influence.”

“By placing the Mexican drug cartels on the Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) list our law enforcement officers would have additional authorities to limit the cartels financial, property, and travel operations. Additionally, such a designation would apply to an entire organization, not only its leaders. It is in the interest of the United States and Mexico to prosecute individuals conducting such brutal acts of terror occurring almost daily across our border.”

- A letter to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton from Republican Reps. Peter T. King of New York, chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security; Michael T. McCaul of Texas, Mike Rogers of Alabama, Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, Dan Burton of Indiana, Sue Wilkins Myrick of North Carolina, and Brian Bilbray of California.

Copies also went to Homeland Security Secretary Janet A. Napolitano and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr..

POLL DU JOUR

• 73 percent of Americans blame the federal budget deficit on “spending too much on federal programs.”

• 91 percent of Republicans and 56 percent of Democrats agree.

• 22 percent overall say “not raising enough money in taxes” is the cause of the deficit.

• 7 percent of Republicans and 38 percent of Democrats agree.

• 48 percent overall say the deficit should be remedied “only” or “mostly” with spending cuts.

• 72 percent of Republicans and 28 percent of Democrats agree.

• 37 percent overall say the deficit should be remedied with equal spending cuts and tax increases.

• 22 percent of Republicans and 50 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Gallup poll of 1,001 U.S. adults conducted April 20-23.

Calm commentary, reassurances, murmurs to jharper@washingtontimes.com