- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 1, 2011

PLAN 9, 10, 11

Plans for jobs creation are a dime a dozen. The White House has one. Congress has one. Assorted politicians are flirting with a fiscal opus of some sort. Maybe Lady Gaga should come up with something. She’s rich. She employs people. She must know something. And there’s always “Plan 9 From Outer Space,” just in case people run out of ideas.

Meanwhile, the presidential hopefuls are vying with one another to be the first to issue wisdom and bask in the results. Herman Cain has been talking jobs for months. So has Newt Gingrich. Nimble but unpopular presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman already issued his “common-sense” plan in New Hampshire. Buddy Roemer unveiled his ideas outside the Chinese Embassy with a flourish. Mitt Romney has scheduled his big reveal over Labor Day. And President Obama prestidigitates his job-creation proposals Thursday.

“If the past nearly 32 months are any indication, none of them will pass, work or matter,” observes Los Angeles Times political writer Andrew Malcolm. “Unemployment, which was supposed to stay beneath 8 percent if we threw $787 billion in stimulus money at it, is now 9.1 percent. Consumer confidence has tanked. Economic growth is virtually stagnant. Except for jobs plan speechwriters. They are in huge demand.”

Those speechwriters had better be good, too. According to a new Fox News poll, 6 out of 10 Americans disapprove of the way Mr. Obama has handled the jobs-creation challenge - 86 percent among both Republicans and tea partyers, 67 percent among independents and 37 percent among loyal Democrats. And some heavyweights are simply weary of White House theatrics.

“Frankly, we’ve had enough speeches from the president. If he has a jobs proposal, put it in writing, give us a cost estimate, and send it over. I want to read the bill, not listen to talking points off a teleprompter,” says Sen. Jim DeMint, South Carolina Republican.

W AND 9/11

It took 10 years. There has been much criticism. But former President George W. Bush has won the public-opinion wars for the way he handled the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, one of the most trying, hair-raising, menacing situations ever to surface at the White House. A decade after the attacks, 56 percent of Americans approve of the way Mr. Bush specifically “dealt with the situation,” says a new Pew Research Center Poll. Among Republicans, 84 percent give him a positive review; among independents, the figure is 55 percent.

But alas, Democrats will be Democrats: 39 percent approve of Mr. Bush’s actions after 9/11, the survey found. See more numbers gauging the public’s lingering sentiments about it all in today’s Poll du Jour.

CANDIDATE TRACKER

Where, oh where are the presidential hopefuls? It’s getting complicated. Tracking and extrapolating upon the appearances and/or big announcements of Sarah Palin has become a favorite press parlor game. Protests of Mitt Romney as he seeks to hone his tea-party appeal has surfaced: FreedomWorks will rally against Mr. Romney during his very first tea-party event in Concord, N.H. on Sunday.

Meanwhile, here’s where White House hopefuls will be over the long weekend and Labor Day:

Florida: Mr. Romney, Herman Cain

Iowa: Mrs. Palin

New Hampshire: Jon Huntsman, Mr. Romney, Mrs. Palin

South Carolina: Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Mr. Romney.

WEEKEND VIEWING

Good news: The American Principles Project presidential debate on Monday - moderated by two lawmakers and a jurisprudence maven rather than a talking head - will air live from South Carolina on CNN at 3 p.m. Eastern time.

Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain will stride onto the stage one at a time for a question-and-answer session with three panelists: Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, Rep. Steve King of Iowa and Robert P. George, professor of jurisprudence at Princeton University.

No sound bytes allowed, organizers say.

The website www.Townhall.com will also live-stream the gathering, plus a round-table discussion afterward.

OLFACTORY FACTOR

Sooner or later, fragrance makers will develop strategic scents for political parties and high-profile politicians urging voters to vote with their nose. Frankly, it’s surprising that Eau de White House isn’t on the shelves down at the Rite Aid yet. But one cultural moment to notice as the weekend looms: Primal Mist has arrived in the fragrance marketplace.

The very pricey scents ($300 an ounce) are based, the creators say, “on the linguistic analysis” of cuneiform tablets excavated from Mesopotamia, dating from 3,300 years ago and containing “a detailed process of making perfume written by a woman named Tapputi.”

Well, OK. Free samples of the first pair of perfumes - Alpha and Beta - are available for a limited time, though a $5 shipping fee applies. The scents lean to sandalwood, “cashmere musk” and amber; men’s scents are on the way. Check things out here: www.primalmist.com

POLL DU JOUR

• 97 percent of Americans remember exactly where they were when they first heard news of the Sept. 11 attacks.

• 76 percent rate the overall government response to the attacks positively.

• 75 percent say the attacks have affected them “a great deal.”

• 67 percent are concerned about the “rise of Islamic extremism” within the U.S.

• 83 percent of Republicans and 59 percent of Democrats agree.

• 43 percent overall say there have been no major attacks on the U.S. because of government efforts to protect the country.

• 35 percent say it is because “America has been lucky,” 16 percent because the “U.S. is a difficult target.”

Source: A Pew Research Center poll of 1,509 adults conducted Aug. 17-21

• Tipline always open at jharper@washingtontimes.com. Follow the column at twitter.com/harperbulletin

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