You are currently viewing the printable version of this article, to return to the normal page, please click here.

Inside the Beltway

- The Washington Times - Monday, November 7, 2011

EYE OF THE BEHOLDER

The "Cain media" was essentially all over the map following the press conference of Sharon Bialek, presidential hopeful Herman Cain's blonde accuser, and her attorney Gloria Allred. A sampling of headlines from the 2,000-plus stories and mentions that erupted in the print and broadcast media within an hour of the pair's appearance:

"Woman says Cain put hand up her skirt" (USA Today); "Woman accuses Cain of bold sexual advance" (Associated Press); "Sharon Bialek: Herman Cain tried to grab my junk!" (Hollywood Gossip); "Accuser details lewd behavior by Cain" (New York Times); "Conservatives divided on Sharon Bialek accusations" (The Washington Post); "Do Sharon Bialek's charges against Cain amount to sexual harassment?" (CBS News); "How credible in Sharon Bialek?" (Christian Science Monitor); "Georgia Republicans not swayed by Cain allegations" (Atlanta Journal-Constitution); and "You want a job, right?" (The New Yorker).

YULE RULE

"I am excited to announce that the Christmas tree displayed in our state capitol will have homemade ornaments created by Wisconsin's youth."

-Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, clarifying the exact, official designation of a 30-foot pine, previously known as a "holiday tree," to be set up in the public rotunda in late November.

VAPID, CONDESCENDING

"We demand a vapid, condescending, meaningless, politically safe response to this petition. Since these petitions are ignored apart from an occasional patronizing and inane political statement amounting to nothing more than a condescending pat on the head, we the signers would enjoy having the illusion of success. Since no other outcome to this process seems possible, we demand that the White House immediately assign a junior staffer to compose a tame and vapid response to this petition, and never attempt to take any meaningful action on this or any other issue. We would also like a cookie."

- A We the People petition posted Friday at the White House website (www.whitehouse.gov); it has since been signed by 5,380 supporters.

SMARTER THAN A POLLSTER?

Oh, why not? Go ahead and take the Pew Research Center's News IQ quiz that offers 13 questions about current events, a map or two, newsmaker photos. Only 8 percent of the nation got all the questions right; try it here: http://pewresearch.org/politicalquiz

CHEERIOS, CLOROX

Well, at least they share Cheerios. For better or worse, the YouGov BrandIndex, a global pollster, tracked the favorite "red and blue" brands of Republicans and Democrats out of 1,100 major U.S. brand names, the partisan preferences based on such factors as reputation and "willingness to recommend."

Among Republicans, the top brands are the Fox News Channel, followed by the Fox entertainment network, the History Channel, Craftsman tools, Johnson & Johnson products, Lowe's home centers, Cheerios, Clorox, the Discovery Channel and M&Ms.

Among Democrats, Google is No. 1, followed by Amazon, the Discovery Channel, Sony, Johnson & Johnson, Cheerios, PBS, the History Channel, Levi's and Clorox.

MITT'S HEALTH

Mitt Romney has earned the support of Hudson Institute scholar Tevi Troy, who served as deputy health and human services secretary during the George W. Bush administration. Mr. Troy has signed as a special policy adviser to Mr. Romney's presidential campaign, revealing in a recent McClatchy op-ed that his candidate "recognizes that states are laboratories of democracy, and that the federal government cannot impose its health care will on all 50 states."

Mr. Troy tells Inside the Beltway, "I'm excited to help Mitt Romney bring conservative leadership back to the White House."

Mr. Romney, meanwhile, has adopted the motto, "Believe in America," and now offers his own "Has he lost hope?" petition to rally voters against President Obama, urging them to "sign the petition if you think it's time to send a conservative businessman to the White House."

SCIENCE CORNER

OK, now for pertinent asteroid factoids. The asteroid "YU55" passes between Earth and moon on Tuesday, and will be closest to us at 6:28 p.m. ET, about 201,700 miles away. The "darker than charcoal" space rock measures 1,300 feet across, rotates every 18 hours and has created a ripple of Armageddon talk among those who fear that the end is near. NASA assures earthlings that all is well, however, and that the asteroid is only visible with a telescope that is at least 6 inches wide.

Still, the space agency also quietly says it follows YU55 through the Near-Earth Object Observations Program, otherwise known as, uh, "Spaceguard."

POLL DU JOUR

• 89 percent of Americans say the economy is in bad shape.

• 80 percent of Americans are "angry at the way the federal government works."

• 74 percent say the U.S. is "seriously" off on the wrong track.

• 67 percent are worried they will not be able to maintain their current standard of living.

• 63 percent say the economy "has not even begun to recover."

• 44 percent approve of the overall job President Obama is doing; 38 percent approve of how he handles the economy.

• 42 percent trust Mr. Obama to do the best job with the economy; 42 percent trust Republicans in Congress.

• 13 percent say they are "better off" financially since Mr. Obama became president.

Source: An ABC News/Washington Post poll of 1,004 U.S. adults conducted Oct. 31 to Nov. 4.

Caterwauls, doggerel, neighs and nays to jharper@washingtontimes.com

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.