- The Washington Times - Monday, October 24, 2011

THAT TOUCH OF SHOWBIZ

Vegas, Hollywood - another day, another White House showbiz moment to promote President Obama’s most public-pleasing policies, not to mention his 2012 re-election campaign. Yes, Mr. Obama was in Las Vegas on Monday before the Republican glow from last week’s debate had even dissipated. Along with attending two private fundraisers in Los Angeles, the president will dally with Jay Leno on NBC’s “Tonight Show” on Tuesday.

The Air Force One tab is still mounting. And for those keeping count, this is Mr. Obama’s fourth appearance on the late night show. Several curtain calls are left, though. After visits to San Francisco and Denver, the president at last returns to the nation’s capital on Wednesday. But, uh, Republican presidential Mitt Romney will be holding down the fort, hosting a power breakfast Wednesday with Republican lawmakers, followed by a pair of his own fundraisers.

Barack Obama is all about campaigning all the time. And since it appears that this trip is primarily a Western fundraising swing, which, by the way, the taxpayers are going to end up paying for. It’s clear that the president is more concerned about saving his own job than the 13.4 percent unemployed in Nevada,” observes Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus.

TRADEMARK OCCUPATION

Democracy for America continues to raise money for the Occupy Wall Street crowd, promoting donations through the Alliance for Global Justice, billed as “the fiscal sponsor for Occupy Wall Street.” The organization has collected $140,000 so far, and offers restaurant suggestions for tenderhearted donors who want to buy a hungry demonstrator something to eat, encouraging “vegan and non-meat pizzas.”

Some people want to make a little cash from the protesters, however. New York entrepreneur Robert Maresca has applied to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to trademark the phrase “Occupy Wall St.” for use on tote bags, gym clothes, bumper stickers, hats and much more, deeming the phrase a “global brand.”

Mr. Maresca is a “relatively conservative person” and a political independent, says the Smoking Gun, the online watchdog that showcases public documents. See Mr. Maresca’s trademark application here: www.thesmokinggun.com. Meanwhile, MTV has already been filming the Wall Streeters for “True Life,” and will air the results Nov. 5. But that’s not enough. The cable network is seeking young, cute protesters to star in its cheeky “The Real World” reality program.

“Are you a part of the Occupy Wall Street movement? If so, please contact Real World casting,” reads the MTV call on Craig’s List, which specifies that the would-be thespians at least “appear to be between the ages of 20-24.”

BULLETED ITEM

A spike in New York City crime during the ongoing Wall Street protests is proof that Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun policies are working “against law-abiding citizens who cannot protect themselves from crimes of opportunity,” says Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, a 650,000-member gun rights group based in Bellevue, Wash.

“While the city is sending its cops down to Wall Street to handle the protests, the neighborhoods are being left vulnerable,” Mr. Gottlieb continues. “It is bad enough when citizens must jump through a lot of hoops and pay exorbitant fees to obtain a gun permit in the Big Apple during normal times, but when police manpower is heavily diverted, those citizens are victimized by the system as much as they are by the criminals.”

FIRST LADY FOOTPRINT

President’s wives have different styles, and that is their prerogative. When comparing current first lady Michelle Obama to former first lady Laura Bush, who got the most press attention? HighBeam Research tracked mentions of the pair during pivotal three-year periods: Nov. 4, 2008-Oct. 20, 2011 for Mrs. Obama and Nov. 7, 2000-Oct. 20, 2003 for Mrs. Bush.

“Michelle Obama came in first with an impressive 29,634 mentions, followed by Laura Bush with 8,707 - 55 percent below Michelle Obama’s lead,” the research group says.

HEELS ON, GLOVES OFF

Conservative feminine firepower is growing. Condoleezza Rice, Ariz. Gov. Jan Brewer, Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, and former Education Secretary Margaret Spellings are among those assembling for next month’s Women Working For Change, organized by GOPink, an activist group intent on mobilizing Republican women to run for office and command public attention in a meaningful way. Their motto: “Heels on, gloves off.”

Joining them: The spouses of Republican presidential hopefuls Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and Jon Huntsman Jr. - namely Callista Gingrich, Anita Perry and Mary Kaye Huntsman leave the campaign trail to share their experiences as “conservative women in the spotlight.” In addition, Caroline Roemer will represent her father, former Louisiana governor Buddy Roemer. Among the topics to be covered: “Media Portrayals of Conservative Women” and “The Voters Who Matter Most: Your Family.”

POLL DU JOUR

• 69 percent of Americans say Congress has “done nothing” to address the nation’s problems.

• 60 percent of Republicans, 66 percent of conservatives and 62 percent of tea party supporters agree.

• 72 percent of independents, 70 percent of Democrats and 75 percent of liberals also agree.

• 28 percent overall say that Congress has done “something” to address the problems.

• 37 percent of Republicans, 31 percent of conservatives and 35 percent of tea partiers agree.

• 25 percent of independents, 26 percent of Democrats and 23 percent of liberals also agree.

• 28 percent of Americans overall blame Republicans for the “do nothing” Congress, 18 percent blame Democrats, 18 percent say both are responsible.

Source; A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll of 1,007 U.S. adults conducted Oct. 14 to 16.

Showbiz, trademarks, caterwaul to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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