- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A MATTER OF TRUST

We are still a common-sense nation. When it comes to key national issues, 73 percent of likely voters nationwide trust the judgment of the American people more than their political leaders, says a Rasmussen Reports survey released Wednesday. The partisan divide: 83 percent of Republicans and conservatives trust the wisdom of their fellow citizens more than politicians, compared to 62 percent of Democrats and 60 percent of liberals.

“The American people don’t want to be governed from the left, the right or the center. The American people want to govern themselves,” says pollster Scott Rasmussen. “American attachment to self-governance runs deep. It is one of our nation’s cherished core values and an important part of our cultural DNA.”

SPEECHES, MORE SPEECHES

“America needs jobs, not speeches,” says Sen. Jim DeMint even as President Obama prepares to step before a joint session of Congress on Thursday night, brimming with job-creation proposals. Expensive ones.

Meanwhile, the South Carolina Republican has a point. Mr. Obama is a man of many speeches: He’s made 1,000 since taking office, this according to the American Future Fund, which laboriously tallied the number of those multiple heartfelt proclamations. Enough, already, the advocacy group says. It has created a petition for weary citizens; yes, it asks Mr. Obama to cool down the speeches and heat up workable policy. Find the petition here: www.nomorespeeches.com

EMBLEM OF STRENGTH

It is a ride of a lifetime, perhaps: 170 members of the 9/11 Families Association, which includes surviving relatives of 9/11 attack victims and first responders, have embarked upon the mighty, 684-foot USS New York in Norfolk, Va., bound for New York Harbor to observe the 10th anniversary of the attacks.

The amphibious transport dock ship has more than 7 tons of steel recovered from the World Trade Center built into its bow; its crest depicts the twin towers and the motto “Never forget.” The vessel, which was commissioned in 2009, is scheduled to be pier-side in Manhattan on Thursday to anchor within sight of the World Trade Center site on Sept. 11.

“Every member of the crew has a tremendous sense of mission and appreciation of the unique role their ship plays for the citizens of New York. She is an emblem of the strength and renewed spirit of a city that was damaged but never defeated,” says Navy Secretary Ray Mabus.

AMEN TO 9/11 PRAYER

Public dismay is building over New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s decision to ban both prayer and clergy from the ground zero remembrance on Sunday. The American Center for Law and Justice - along with 35,000 disgusted citizens - urges Mr. Bloomberg to reverse his edict, citing Supreme Court precedents that establish the “appropriateness” of prayer for a 9/11 observance - including one made by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in 2004:

“For centuries, we have marked important occasions or pronouncements with references to God and invocations of divine assistance. Such references can serve to solemnize an occasion instead of to invoke divine provenance,” Justice O’Connor said. “The reasonable observer … would not perceive these acknowledgments as signifying a government endorsement of any specific religion, or even of religion over non-religion.”

Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the legal group, calls Mr. Bloomberg’s decision “offensive” and has fired off a lengthy letter to Hizzoner. See it here: http://aclj.org

“Not only is prayer appropriate for this ceremony, it is indeed necessary to adequately commemorate the tragic events of a decade ago. For many, 9/11 is not a distant memory. It’s still very real. Many face day-to-day struggles to cope with the loss of loved ones. Prayer brings many comfort and solace,” Mr. Sekulow says.

COLD ON BALDWIN

“Schweddy Balls.”

Yeah, well. That’s the name of Ben & Jerry’s newest limited-batch ice cream flavor, inspired by Alec Baldwin’s comedic Christmastime performance as “Pete Schweddy” on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” years ago. Mr. Baldwin, who is seriously mulling a run for mayor of New York City in 2013, say he’s delighted to be “immortalized” in the flavor, which consists of vanilla ice cream with a tad of rum and “loaded with fudge-covered rum balls and milk-chocolate malt balls.”

POLL DU JOUR

• 36 percent of Americans say additional spending on roads and public works will help jobs creation “a lot.”

• 24 percent of Republicans and 48 percent of Democrats agree.

• 31 percent overall say budget cuts to reduce the deficit will help improve jobs creation “a lot.”

• 47 percent of Republicans and 23 percent of Democrats agree.

• 31 percent overall say cutting taxes on business will help jobs creation “a lot.”

• 43 percent of Republicans and 23 percent of Democrats agree.

• 24 percent overall say cutting personal income taxes will help jobs creation “a lot.”

• 37 percent of Republicans and 17 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Pew Research Center for the People & the Press/Washington Post survey of 1,001 U.S. adults conducted Sept. 1 to 4.

Caterwaul, doggerel, squeaks to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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