- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 20, 2011

OPULENT OCCUPIERS

There are limousine liberals, and now limousine Occupiers. Yes, millionaires Alec Baldwin and filmmaker Michael Moore have made cameo appearances at Occupy Wall Street rallies; now we find that organizers of the movement have been retiring to luxury Manhattan hotels after their tough days of protesting.

“A key Occupy Wall Street leader and another protester who leads a double life as a businessman ditched fetid tents and church basements for rooms at a luxurious hotel that promises guests can ‘unleash their inner Gordon Gekko,’ ” explains New York Post reporter Candice M. Giove, who discovered that Occupier official Peter Dutro, financial analyst Brad Spitzer and other organizers snuggle into the $700-per-night W New York-Downtown or the nearby Marriott Hotel at day’s end.

Mr. Spitzer confesses that “tents are not for me,” while Mr. Dutro has a calm rationale for staying in the five-star W, snoozing upon 350-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets, even when New York police closed the movement’s main outpost in Zuccotti Park. “I knew there was a high probability of getting arrested. I wanted a nice room,” he allows.

INDEPENDENTS’ DAY

Hubbub among independents? Andy Martin - a “birther” Republican presidential hopeful who has endlessly challenged President Obama’s citizenship - is now convinced that Rep. Ron Paul will “undermine” the Republicans should he go for a third-party campaign run.

Mr. Martin appreciates the Texan’s fierce supporters and recommends that the Republican Party embrace rather than reject “the Paulists.” But a third party? Mr. Martin is so sour on the idea that he insists the Republican Party create a “loyalty oath” for 2012 hopefuls that guarantees they will not suddenly emerge as third-party candidates.

Republican Party leaders are allowing Ron Paul and the liberal media to combine and create the image of the Republican Party as a toxic combination of extremism and incompetence, all of which is intended by the media to re-elect President Obama and to undermine the eventual Republican presidential nominee. A vote for Ron Paul is a vote to re-elect Barack Obama,” Mr. Martin insists.

“I have previously warned that liberal media are orchestrating the defeat of the Republican Party in 2012 by running endless ‘debates,’ ” he continues.

“Heaven knows my opponents are constantly trying to block my campaign activity. But the Republican Party and state Republican parties can properly insist that presidential candidates afforded the privilege of participating in the presidential debate process agree in writing not to undermine the party by running as independents or by openly opposing the party’s ultimate presidential nominee,” Mr. Martin concludes.

PUSHBACK

“U.S. generals have made it clear in private conversations that they would not allow ‘short-term political requirements’ [to] lead to more soldiers being removed than the 33,000 being withdrawn next year,” notes Daily Telegraph defense analyst Thomas Harding, who says “it is understood” that President Obama is looking to cut the remaining U.S. force of 68,000 earlier than expected.

“Sources in both Kabul and London have suggested that the president wants to announce the withdrawals for ‘political and financial reasons’ - as part of the re-election campaign,” Mr. Harding was told by a British source.

“But American generals have already made it known privately that they ‘do not want electioneering to get in the way of the draw-down. They will not let the mission be [jeopardized] for electoral or political gain,’ ” the source told Mr. Harding.

PERRYFIED

“Replacing one Washington insider with another won’t change a thing. If you want an outsider who’ll overhaul Washington, then I’m your guy” (Texas Gov. Rick Perry in a campaign ad released Sunday).

“Of the GOP candidates, Rick Perry is the only real Washington outsider in the race for the White House. Rick Perry is not the darling of the establishment, has never served in Congress and has never professionally lobbied Congress or the White House,” further explains Perry campaign communications director Ray Sullivan.

INDEFATIGABLE GINGRICH

The campaign never sleeps. Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich continues to set forth his intended policy, even during Thanksgiving week and on the eve of yet another candidate debate, this one a CNN-hosted bout set for Tuesday.

Within 72 hours, Mr. Gingrich berated the Occupy Wall Street crowd, reaffirmed his pro-life credentials and argued the case for American exceptionalism before the Harvard University Institute of Politics. On Monday, it’s back to New Hampshire for Mr. Gingrich, with the economy in mind, says spokesman R.C. Hammond.

“Newt will unveil his plan to reform federal entitlement programs during remarks to students at St. Anselm College. Newt will propose an optional retirement account for younger workers in place of the current Social Security system,” Mr. Hammond notes.

POLL DU JOUR

• 53 percent of Americans say it is “necessary to believe in God” to be moral.

• 66 percent of U.S. conservatives and 26 percent of U.S. liberals agree.

• 20 percent of the British, 33 percent of Germans, 15 percent of French, 19 percent of Spanish also agree.

• 50 percent of Americans say religion is “very important” to them.

• 67 percent of U.S. conservatives and 29 percent of U.S. liberals agree.

• 17 percent of the British, 21 percent of Germans, 13 percent of French, 22 percent of Spanish also agree.

• 46 percent of Americans consider themselves “Christian” before they consider their own nationality.

• 21 percent of the British, 23 percent of Germans, 8 percent of French, 22 percent of Spanish also agree.

Source: The 2011 Pew Global Attitude Survey of 5,006 adults in the U.S., Britain, France, Germany and Spain conducted March 25 to April 14 and released Friday.

Murmurs and asides to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide