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Inside the Beltway

- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 8, 2011

CONSERVATIVE REVELS

The Media Research Center's 2011 "Dishonors Awards" for the most liberally biased news reporting drew so many guests on Saturday evening that it was staged in the mammoth National Building Museum. The 1,000-plus revelers feasted upon beef tenderloin, chicken medallions filled with ham and decadent chocolate mousse on a nougatine crust. They watched the likes of Ann Coulter, G. Gordon Liddy and American Spectator editor R. Emmett Tyrrell stroll through the crowd. Guests also had a goody bag full of noisemakers — slide whistles, tiny tambourines, bird tweeters — to augment the proceedings, if they felt the need. They did.

There were awards, of course, the winners determined by a panel of judges that included talk-radio gods Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin. Accolades such as the "Damn Those Conservatives Award" singled out journalists and pundits known for their vigorous critiques of conservatives, tea party supporters and Republicans — and their adoration of the White House.

"Yes, the press drools over President Obama like a Burmese mountain dog," said radio host Neal Boortz, who was presenting the, uh "Obamagasm Awards" for those nominees who are particularly protective of the White House.

"Yeah, these journalists are obsessed with a president who brought us change we can step in," Mr. Boortz observed.

OSAMA THE GAME

Politicians continue to weigh in on President Obama's decision not to release the post-mortem photos of Osama bin Laden. There is still much back-and-forth about which president deserves more credit for the defeat of the terrorist leader — Mr. Obama or former President George W. Bush. The bin Laden home videos released by federal officials are a hit on YouTube and beyond. Little boys in Pakistan are now re-enacting the event with toy guns, according to local press reports. And now, an inevitable culture moment arrives.

The brand new "Kill bin Laden" video game is ready for public consumption, categorized by its makers as a "squad-based first-person shooter" mission. "Osama 2011" from Kuma Games allows players to either join up with Navy SEAL Team 6 to pursue bin Laden from room to room of his hide-out, or team up with bin Laden defenders. PC Magazine, a trade publication, is predicting a public relations nightmare for the manufacturer.

CEO Keith Halper, however, contends the game helps Americans understand what the U.S. military faces in combat and could help the nation find "closure" to the 10-year effort to find the terrorist.

"Bin Laden was a bad man, and people feel relieved that he is gone. To be able to recreate his death is just an added bonus," Mr. Halper says, noting that the game can be downloaded for free at the company's website (www.kumagames.com).

BUMPER PATROL

"The Hermanator"

"A Pizza in Every Oven: Herman Cain for President"

"Citizen Cain: The All-American"

— New bumper stickers for presidential hopeful Herman Cain at Zazzle.com

STEP RIGHT UP

The Democratic Party is intent on discovering just whom they can count on these days as the 2012 presidential campaign looms.

"We're building the Democratic Party from the bottom up because it's how we believe we can be competitive in all 50 states," says Patrick Gaspard, executive director of the Democratic National Committee.

The organization has confabulated an intricate but strategic survey for Democrats, gauging how far they lean to the liberal or conservative sides, their feelings about the party itself, and the importance of assorted issues, from energy to immigration. The Democrats are also intent on defining who might populate their proverbial "big tent." Lots of folks, apparently.

"Do you identify with any of the following groups?" the survey asks, offering the following category choices: "African Americans, Americans abroad, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, business owners and entrepreneurs, environmentalists, health care professionals, labor, Latinos/Hispanics, LGBT, Native Americans, people of faith, people with disabilities, seniors, students, veterans, young professionals."

HEROIC DeMINT

A grass-roots rally is building among those who insist that Sen. Jim DeMint deserves a seat on the Senate Finance Committee.

"At the height of the struggle in the U.S. Senate to prevent President Obama from ramming Obamacare down America's throat, Republicans sounded the retreat. They withdrew to the backrooms to cut a deal with the Democrats," says Lawrence A. Hunter, director of the Social Security Institute.

The interest group calls the South Carolina Republican "heroic, principled and relentless," among other things, particularly in his fight against health-care reform legislation.

"Sen. Jim DeMint would have no part of it. DeMint stood alone on the Senate floor in an effort to rally the Republican troops to make a stand. He was cajoled and threatened by Republican leaders to give up his effort but he persisted," Mr. Hunter continues.

He's asking conservatives to contact Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and "demand" that Mr. DeMint be given that single open seat on the Finance Committee, which controls legislation on Social Security, Medicare and other retirement programs.

"He is a forceful and dependable voice of conservatism in the Senate," Mr. Hunter says.

POLL DU JOUR

• 84 percent of Americans say the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack "changed America forever."

• 11 percent are undecided; 5 percent disagree.

• 57 percent say "America has changed for the worse."

• 21 percent think the nation has changed for the better.

• 11 percent say there has been no change, with another 11 percent unsure.

• 57 percent said America "changed for the better" in a similar poll conducted in October 2001.

• 51 percent say the U.S. is safer today than it was before the attacks.

Source: A Rasmussen reports survey of 1,000 adults conducted May 2 and 3.

Revels, reviews, rumpus to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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