Inside the Beltway: A Ron Paul narrative

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“Like sharks smelling blood in the water, the establishment is looking for any excuse to close in, declare this race over, and Mitt Romney the winner.” (Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky describing certain Republicans in a fundraising message on behalf of “my dad,” Republican hopeful Rep. Ron Paul).

“There’s no way I’m going to give up on the effort to get the Republicans back to their roots. The truth is, I’m trying to save the Republican Party from themselves.” (Mr. Paul’s latest mission statement, as told to CBS News on Sunday).

“Cameras are welcome, and you can dress as comfortably as you like for this outdoor event. Come out and show your support for Ron Paul’s message of peace, prosperity, and individual liberty! And bring any undecided voters you know with you, too!” (exuberant advisory for students prior to Mr. Paul’s campaign appearance Tuesday at the University of California in Chico).

TRILLION KABILLION JILLION

It’s like learning that 1 trillion seconds equals 38,688 years, while the average human life spans 2.4 billion seconds — among analogies compiled by the Heritage Foundation to help explain the gravity of the national debt. Well, here’s another one, this inspired by the Mega Millions jackpot, a mere $6560 million.

“The largest jackpot ever would be spent by the federal government in 80 minutes,” reads a caption by Indianapolis Star editorial cartoonist Gary Varvel in his newest offering.

“To see how fast the federal government is spending money, divide the budget for 2011 by 8,760 hours in a year you get over $400 million per hour,” Mr. Varvel explains. “If you spent $1 million every day since the time Christ was born until now, you will have spent approximately $735 billion. Think about that. $1 million every day for 2012 years and you still will not have spent $1 trillion. And we’re $15.5 trillion in debt. Where will it end?”

OLBERMANN’S INSIDE BASEBALL

Baseball, indeed. That is what occupies Keith Olbermann following his indecorous dismissal from Current TV some 72 hours ago, supposedly for taking Super Tuesday as a vacation day. A self-described “baseball nerd” and former ESPN, Fox Sports and MSNBC host, Mr. Olbermann is already blogging and tweeting vigorously about his beloved sport, after lambasting Current TV founder Al Gore — who in turn fondly describes the replacement host Eliot Spitzer as “a veteran public servant and an astute observer.”

Mr. Olbermann’s fans, meanwhile, counsel him to become his own boss through online videos and podcast, and have choice words for Mr. Spitzer, as well as the Rev. Al Sharpton, now a host at MSNBC, another network that cut ties with Mr. Olbermann. Still at bat apparently, he plans to reveal all during a visit Tuesday with CBS late night host David Letterman.

PALINTOLOGY

Sarah Palin could become a billionaire as a red state Oprah and do shows that are similar to the template of Oprah for the same audience — but instead of the victim template, use the hero template,” Andrew Breitbart told Right Wing News on April 18, 2011.

That interview has been revisited by “Instapundit” Glenn Reynolds and other observers now that Mrs. Palin will guest host NBC’s “Today Show” on Tuesday, directly competing against Katie Couric, guest host this week on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Mr. Breitbart, who died March 1, was on to something.

“I see this as a good opportunity to bring an independent, common-sense conservative perspective to NBC. We’re ‘going rogue’ and infiltrating some turf for a day,” Mrs. Palin advised Breitbart News on Sunday.

OF STRONG CONSTITUTION

The amicable guests dallied before tables bearing fresh American fare: oysters on the half shell, strawberry shortcake, fresh farm cheeses. They sat at tables done up in red and blue checked cloths, contemplated a panoramic view of the nation’s capital and then applauded David Keene, longtime chairman of the American Conservative Union, now president of the National Rifle Association.

Mr. Keene recently was named a “champion” of the U.S. Constitution by the Constitution Project, a group that unites “unlikely allies” from across the political spectrum who pine to safeguard the nation’s founding charter.

“At his core, he’s a constitutionalist,” Al Hunt, executive editor of Bloomberg News, said of Mr. Keene, his friend of 36 years, later adding, “He knows that it’s character over ideology.”

Mr. Keene also won praise from another old pal: Morton Halperin, a veteran of the Johnson, Nixon and Clinton administrations, the American Civil Liberties Union and many other organizations.

“Despite his conservative credentials, David is still prepared to work with liberals and lefties,” Mr. Halperin said.

“We hear all too often that in this troubled city conservatives, liberals, Democrats and Republicans are incapable of, or unwilling to work together. We’re here tonight to say that it just ain’t so. Mort and I disagree and have fought over many things over the years, but have never tried to silence each other,” Mr. Keene observed.

“In a democracy, it is vital that all who believe in the safeguards so vital to the preservation of liberty stand up even when it is difficult to do so,” Mr. Keene said. “The guarantees in the constitution and the Bill of Rights do not constitute a buffet from which we can pick and choose.”

POLL DU JOUR

• 61 percent of Americans think global warming will not pose a threat to them during their lifetime.

• 76 percent of Republicans, 72 percent of conservatives, 45 percent of Democrats and 44 percent of liberals agree.

• 55 percent of Americans overall worry “a great deal” or “a fair amount” about global warming.

• 34 percent of Republicans, 37 percent of conservatives, 74 percent of Democrats and 72 percent of liberals agree.

• 42 percent of Americans overall worry “only a little” or “not at all” about global warming.

• 66 percent of Republicans, 63 percent of conservatives, 27 percent of Democrats and 27 percent of liberals agree.

Source: A Gallup poll of 1,024 U.S. adults conducted March 8 to 11 and released Friday.

Narratives, notes, nonsense to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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