- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 1, 2011

THE T-WORD

“I’ll be darned if I’m going to set that aside now because a few teabaggers want to somehow muzzle my voice. We don’t have to sit back and allow a minority in the Congress, known as the tea party, to dominate the discussion in our households,” Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis recently told an enthusiastic audience at the Florida Democratic convention, citing federal assistance that once helped her family.

“Teabagger is a pejorative term used to refer to a certain sexual act. Liberal talk show hosts such as Rachel Maddow brought the phrase into the mainstream in 2009, using it as a tongue-in-cheek insult,” recalls F. Vincent Vernuccio, a labor policy counsel at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and BigGovernment.com contributor.

“The tea party versus unions and Democrats divide will become even more striking as the 2012 election heats up. However, insults such as the ones used by Secretary Solis have no place in civil political discourse.”

GLORIA, GRETA

Memo to the crabby liberal press: Grit your teeth, gird your loins and tune into Fox News. That’s sound advice, perhaps, to gleeful journalists critical of presidential hopeful Herman Cain, who is still fending off claims he sexually harassed two unnamed women more than a decade ago. He’ll have stalwart help now. Mr. Cain’s wife, Gloria, is set to appear with her husband on “On the Record With Greta Van Susteren” for a rare interview Friday night.

“You will meet my wife publicly in an exclusive interview that we are currently planning,” Mr. Cain says. “She will be introduced in terms of some limited exposure, but it’s not her style for her to be with me on every campaign stop.”

And of the spate of instant Cain polls: 85 percent of Washington Times readers say his campaign will withstand the accusations, while 91 percent of National Review readers agree that they will continue to support Mr Cain “the same” or even “more.”

A DEBATE NUDGE

How crowded is the Republican presidential debate schedule? Fifteen are wedged into the next 12 weeks. But there’s got to be a little give here and there. The Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute and CNN have decided to move an upcoming debate on foreign policy and national security from Nov. 15 to Nov. 22 “to accommodate this season’s crowded debating schedule.”

Organizers remain cheerful.

“The timing couldn’t be better. We’re setting the table for some lively family discussions at Thanksgiving. Nothing is more important to the future of our nation than how we approach national security and foreign policy,” says Heritage President Edwin J. Feulner.

UNIFORM REACTION

Sure to be a photo op for the Occupy Wall Street crowd: “Veterans of the 99%” will march Wednesday - in uniform - from Vietnam Veterans Plaza to Zuccotti Park in Manhattan, the veritable heart of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Their mission, organizers from the Iraq Veterans Against the War say, is to draw public attention to the plight of veterans re-entering civilian life after combat and during economic recession, plus cuts to veterans’ health care and other services.

MICHAEL MOORE’S MATH

Filmmaker and progressive gadfly Michael Moore chafes at the idea of capitalism and denies he’s part of the dreaded, well-heeled “1 percent” of the population. This is what he told CNN host Piers Morgan, anyway.

“The top 1 percent means you’re a person with an adjusted gross income of roughly $380,000. Michael Moore’s net worth is estimated to be around $50 million. Which means he’s closer to being in the top one-tenth of 1 percent of earners in America,” observes Peter Wehner, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and a contributor to Commentary magazine.

“Michael Moore, icon of the left, established beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is both a hypocrite and a liar, though not a terribly good one. He’s clearly not Clintonesque when it comes to delivering repeated lies. Being a left-wing ideologue is bad enough. Being an unprincipled one is worse.”

RATING THE SOLICITORS

America is teeming with lawyers, and engaging one is, well, a complex decision. To help the curious: U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers - a peer review publication - have released their second annual “Best Law Firms” rankings of nearly 10,000 firms, with a handy-dandy online tool to explore the findings. Find it all at BestLawFirms.USNews.com; the national “first-tier rankings” will be featured in the Nov. 15 issue of the U.S. News and World Report.

ON THE RADAR

The National Center for Policy Analysis’ first-of-its-kind conference Wednesday will explore the direct link between the U.S. supply of rare-earth minerals and the nation’s safety. Canny mineral experts have long warned that those nations with ample supplies of such critical metals could one day hold the U.S. hostage because of our paltry supply. Among the many luminaries in attendance: Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Alaska Republican.

POLL DU JOUR

• 44 percent of U.S. voters say they “would like to see a Republican elected to the White House.”

• 49 percent of whites and 30 percent of “non-whites” agree.

• 42 percent overall want President Obama re-elected.

• 38 percent of whites and 79 percent of “non-whites” agree.

• 43 percent would like Democrats to regain control of the House.

• 38 percent of whites, 56 percent of “non-whites” and 34 percent of independents agree.

• 41 percent would like Republicans to remain in control of the House.

• 46 percent of whites, 28 percent of “non-whites” and 39 percent of independents agree.

Source: A United Technologies/National Journal poll of 1,002 adults conducted Oct. 27 to Oct. 30; “non-whites” includes Hispanics.

Ballyhoo, injustices, tidy observations to jharper@washingtontimes .com.