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Inside the Beltway: Still occupied

"May Day, 2012. Take to the streets! Wherever you are, whoever you are: no work, no chores, no banking, no shopping, no school. Block the flows, be the crisis," proclaims the official Occupy Wall Street motto for Tuesday, which is, the group says, "a day without the 99 percent, a general strike, and more."

Yes, lots more. Many of the activities scheduled in 125 cities around the nation are framed as workers' events, general strikes and creative disruption, some deemed "permitted" or "unpermitted" by organizers. In Manhattan, for instance, the "May Pole Dance with Movement for Change and the Puppet Guild" in Union Square, the solidarity march and the Occupy after-party are permitted. The "Pop -Up Occupation" and "Wildcat March" are not.

Much of the righteous indignation from the Occupiers is still directed toward corporate entities, big banks, Big Oil and wealthy politicians. But the White House is not exempt from the collective ire of those who march.

"Have you seen me?" asks a mock lost-and-found poster bearing a likeness of President Obama, produced by Occupy Los Angeles. "Beloved Democratic candidate missing. Last sighted running on a populist platform. He abruptly vanished sometime after November 2008. Answers to 'banks,' 'insurance companies' and 'Wall Street.' ... We love him unconditionally. No matter how many times he abandons us! If you have any information, please contact the 66,882,230 suckers who voted for him."

Meanwhile, the movement appears to be seeking a less combative image these days. Olivia O'Brien, a New York-based organizer who baked enough cornbread, carrot cake and oatmeal cookies to serve several hundred fellow Occupiers, sums up the day's mission.

"It's about family, community and humanism," she tells Inside the Beltway. "People don't understand the actual history of May 1. It's a worker holiday in many countries. We're not out to be aggressive. We're out to ask this question: What kind of world do we want? We want to prove we're not rioting in the streets. We have capable people, and it's wrong of the mainstream press to put us on defense all the time."

ROMNEYFIED

There's lots of new campaign talk about President Obama as both "warrior" and gutsy hero on the one-year anniversary of the demise of Osama bin Laden, which is Wednesday. There are also those who wonder if presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney could, in theory, be warrior and gutsy hero as well.

The pollsters are just getting starting. "Would Romney have ordered the bin Laden raid?" asks a new National Review.com reader poll. Mr. Romney already has a he-man reputation, perhaps. The results from of 12,000 votes: 97 percent said, yes, indeed, Mr. Romney would have ordered the U.S. special operations raid in question.

AND IN SUMMATION

"Obama is relying on the simple human drama of his decision to order the raid against the worlds most notorious terrorist. Clearly, thats a political plus — for now. The danger is whether bin Laden, through the hand of his successors, may yet strike back from beyond the grave, and tear the core of Obamas national security narrative to shreds."

(Time magazine senior correspondent Michael Crowley on the "hidden danger" of hyping the death of Osama bin Laden.)

GOP-ALOOZA

Just how big will the 2012 Republican National Convention be? Organizers have released a few logistical details revealing that the three-day event in Tampa, Fla., is shaping up to be a whopper. The convention will require 16,000 rooms just to house the GOP delegations alone.

Convention CEO William Harris also says he has chartered 300 buses to shuttle delegates, alternate delegates, the media and other guests from hotels to the Tampa Bay Times Forum, where the convention will take place, and to the Tampa Convention Center, which will serve as the workspace for the 15,000 journalists expected to descend upon the event. A grand total of 50,000 people are expected for the political festivities, which begin Aug. 27.

GETTING FORWARD

Well, forget "hope and change" and its Republican version "hopey-changey." The official theme of President Obama's re-election campaign is simply: "Forward," a slogan made clear in a new video released Monday, and just in time for the president's first official campaign events in Ohio and Virginia on Saturday.

Skeptics already claim that White House strategists borrowed the one-word motto from MSNBCs ongoing "Lean Forward" public service campaign that showcases the network's most high-profile talent reassuring the public that things are going to be fine, just fine. But others have been "forward" thinking as well. Like Chairman Mao Zedong, the leader of the Chinese Revolution who launched his "Great Leap Forward" campaign in 1958, points out the Daily Mail, the British newspaper.

"He aimed to create a communist society through collectivization and industrialization. The disastrous campaign resulted in the deaths of millions of civilians and is known to be one of the most deadly of mass killings in history. The campaign also witnessed economic regression," the paper notes.

POLL DU JOUR

• 82 percent of U.S. voters say "major changes" are needed in the public education system so American can compete with other countries.

• 81 percent say the quality of public education would improve if bureaucracy in school systems was lessened and staff given more "flexibility."

• 84 percent of Republicans and 78 percent of Democrats agree.

• 78 percent of voters overall say fear of the "legal process" prevents teachers and principals from disciplining disruptive students.

• 65 percent say classroom discipline is a "big problem" in public schools.

• 53 percent say disputes involving teachers and student discipline should be resolved by committees of parents and teachers who are not involved.

• 47 percent say giving principals more authority to make decisions would improve the quality of schools.

Source: A Common Good/Clarus Research poll of 1,000 registered U.S. voters conducted April 25 and 26.

Balderdash and ballyhoo to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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