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Inside the Beltway
Question of the Day
VOIGHT CHALLENGES BLOOMBERG
Academy Award-winning actor and silver-screen conservative Jon Voight shares his reaction to news that New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg will include President Obama and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo at the solemn remembrance of the 9/11 attacks at ground zero on Sunday. But no clergy. And no prayers.
"My dear fellow Americans: There is a great injustice that is about take place in New York City on September 11 of this year, that must be brought to everyone's mind and heart. The good citizens of New York City elected Mayor Bloomberg into office, believing his oath to be responsible for truth, fairness and love of freedom and patriotism. What has Mayor Bloomberg done? He has decided to make a pretty picture of whomever he thinks is worthy of, in his opinion, to be honored on this sacred day," Mr. Voight says in an open letter shared with Inside the Beltway during a phone interview.
"During this horrific attack, when the Twin Towers were burning and crumbling and people were jumping out of windows, it was the most unthinkable sight that we would witness in our lifetime on American soil. Every American will never forget it. The firemen and police of New York City became a force and energy of God's love and power, making a decision to give up their own lives to go into these smoke-filled, burning falling buildings, to rescue these unfortunate victims. Many lost their lives trying this unbelievable rescue."
"The ones that survived became our martyrs and heroes. They'd be left with many scars and memories of that horrible day. Now what does Mayor Bloomberg do? He decides there is no room for these heroes, or any time to hear spiritual words from our clergymen. What would be greater to heal the scars and memories of these families and heroic men — the political rhetoric and talk, or to hear the spiritual words and wisdom of our clergymen, who understand how to heal hearts of pain? I say make room, no matter how it's done. Make room for them to be part of a spiritual event, not a political event."
"Every American should voice their outrage. May God have mercy on all our lost souls, and may God give us all the strength to look truth in the eye. Let us not be bullied by elected officials whose pockets become heavier with greed and their own egos," Mr. Voight concludes.
WOULD REAGAN TWEET?
The Republican debate Wednesday night is such a big deal that the entire Ronald Reagan Presidential Library complex in Simi Valley, Calif., is closed to the public for the duration. The eight presidential hopefuls will strut their political stuff in the dramatic Air Force One Pavilion, which features the Gipper's flying White House, on loan from the Air Force, in all its glory. The site also houses an entire presidential motorcade — two cars, one bullet-proof limo and a police motorcycle — plus Ballyporeen, an Irish pub the president visited in 1984. Yes, the real pub. Like, the whole thing.
The "Reagan Centennial" debate hosts at Politico and NBC are frantic with social media outreach, taking questions for the candidates via Twitter, posting live updates on Facebook. Would Reagan have approved of tweeting? Chances are he would have grinned, and quickly learned the ways and means of it all. Meanwhile, the Reagan Presidential Foundation is fully engaged: "Preparing for the media onslaught," they note in a tweet, advising the Twitter-centric public to "keep up" via #ReaganDebate.
"The liberal double standards on civility were on full display," says Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips, recalling Teamster Union president Jimmy Hoffa's cuss-charged challenge to an audience assembled to hear President Obama's Labor Day speech in Detroit.
"We know what he means by 'take those SOBs out.' The Teamsters Union has a long and storied history, punctuated with frequent violence and ties to organized crime. It means use violence against the tea party," Mr. Phillips continues, agreeing with Tea Party Express chairman Amy Kremner that the White House — not to mention the Democratic National Committee — was wrong to overlook Mr. Hoffa's vigorous call to arms.
"It is time for President Obama to live up to his words. Either he means what he said in January after Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot, or he does not. Either he believes in civility or he does not. If he does, he must repudiate these statements today and ask for Hoffas resignation," Mr. Phillips says.
But Mr. Hoffa's defenders have taken up his cause, accusing Fox News and other news organizations of selectively showcasing the SOB oath for dramatic effect.
"Though Hoffas hateful rhetoric does open a window for Americans into the true nature of extremist left-wing labor bosses, it does not engage thoughtful discussion on how to create jobs and get our economy moving again," says Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity. "The president should call out Hoffa and other union leaders for attacking their fellow Americans in this way, regardless of disagreements on how best to help our great nation."
"It's not right or left. It's right or wrong."
- Bumper sticker sold by the Republican National Committee online store
POLL DU JOUR
• 53 percent of Americans disapprove of President Obama's job performance, 68 percent disapprove of the job done by Republicans in Congress.
• 42 percent say they trust Mr. Obama "to do a better job" handling the economy; 39 percent trust Republicans.
• 40 percent trust the president to create jobs, 40 percent trust Republicans.
• 39 percent trust Mr. Obama to handle the federal budget deficit; 42 percent trust Republicans.
• 34 percent say Mr. Obama's economic programs make the economy "worse," 17 percent say they make the economy "better," 47 percent say the programs have "no effect."
• 15 percent say they are "better off financially" since Mr. Obama became president.
Source: An ABC News/Washington Post poll of 1,001 adults conducted Aug. 29 to Sept. 1.
• Revelations, hue and cry, chatter to email@example.com.
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