Fiscally sensible, check. Limited government, check. Pro-life, check. Leadership qualities, check. Thrilled conservatives and contented Republicans have tweeted their delight over South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley's decision to appoint Rep. Tim Scott to replace Sen. Jim DeMint next month. Mr. Scott's admirer's have organized public congratulations cards signed by thousands. They have pined for his official senatorial Twitter account to go active. They have hip-hip hurrayed and applauded. Among the many, many reviews:
"We are excited and encouraged." (GOPAC Chairman Frank Donatelli).
"Rep. Scott represents a new wave of leadership in the Senate, the Republican Party and in the conservative movement a wise and courageous decision." (Colin Hanna, president of Let Freedom Ring)
"Tim Scott is a passionate, thoughtful and sincere advocate for the people of South Carolina and for limited government principles." (Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican)
"Great news to both the country and the pro-life movement. Congressman Scott has demonstrated compassion and clarity on the abortion issue." (Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List)
"Kudos to Gov. Haley for choosing a proven fiscal conservative to continue the legacy set by Jim DeMint." (FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe)
"Tim Scott has taken our core values seriously in the House and we have every reason to expect similar, principled behavior in the Senate," (Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots)
Outgoing Sen. Jim DeMint already has greeted holiday revelers at the Heritage Foundation, where he takes over as president in April. The South Carolina Republican appeared with much good cheer at the organization's annual Christmas party Monday, an event that is heavy-duty conservative, boasting venerable heroes, contemporaries of Ronald Reagan, fans of Barry Goldwater, eager young turks, gruff but good-humored bloggers, exuberant women in holiday attire, stylish Libertarians, policy prognosticators and journalists who have seen it all. Needless to say, all wanted to shake the hands of Mr. DeMint and outgoing President Ed Feulner.
"The Heritage Foundation is in a position to do more to save our country than any other organization I'm aware of. I believe that we have put together here the power, the muscle, the ideas to turn things around," said Mr. DeMint.
The open bar was busy but not overwhelmed. And the eats? Among the choices: politically incorrect but tasty pigs in a blanket; crab and artichoke dips; an array of American cheese and breads, hummus, pistachio and hazelnut lavash flatbread, plus olives for those in a Mediterranean mood; and, of course, holiday cookies, pastries, chocolate truffles and gourmet coffee with sugar crystals, whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
Proving that the federal agency is truly loaded with generous secret Santas, the CIA recently presented enough playtime goodies to the U.S. Marine Corps' "Toys for Tots" program to fill a hefty panel truck. "The men and women of CIA are all about service," observed Acting Director Michael J. Morell.
But what does the head man give the youngsters? Mr. Morell donated a Lego building set for a transport "chopper." His wife, Mary Beth, offered a snappy "Dora the Explorer" kit.
ETERNAL GAS BAG
What? Their favorite "perennial favorite and eternal gas bag" Chris Matthews did not win the top naughty quote award from the Media Research Center, which cites the most outrageous or biased news reports at year's end. The MSNBC host only warrants a second runner-up from the conservative watchdog group. The Quote of the Year award goes instead to MSNBC correspondent Melissa Harris-Perry, who won for her comment on the Founding Fathers during a Fourth of July broadcast.
"The land on which they formed this union was stolen. The hands with which they built this nation were enslaved. The women who birthed the citizens of the nation are second class. This is the imperfect fabric of our nation, at times we've torn and stained it, and at other moments, we mend and repair it. But it's ours, all of it. The imperialism, the genocide, the slavery, also the liberation and the hope and the deeply American belief that our best days still lie ahead of us," Ms. Harris-Perry said.
But wait, there's more. Yahoo News Washington bureau chief and former ABC News political director David Chalian is first runner-up for a quip he made Aug. 28 about Mitt and Ann Romney during ABC's coverage of the Republican National Convention. This comment also earned him a pink slip from the network: "They are happy to have a party with black people drowning."
And about Mr. Matthews. He got his recognition for a peculiar take on Hurricane Sandy, uttered on Nov. 7: "I am so proud of the country, to re-elect this president. A good day for America. I'm so glad we had that storm last week, because I think the storm was one of those things — no, politically I should say, not in terms of hurting people — the storm brought in possibilities for good politics," Mr. Matthews noted.
"Give the Mayans some credit; 2012 was the end of the world — for serious journalism. So many so-called news reporters eagerly sacrificed their integrity on the altar of Obama to keep their false god in power," said Brent Bozell, director of the center. "It takes true commitment to overlook this administration's disastrous economy and crumbling foreign policy, but they found a way to put lipstick, eyeliner, and a prom dress on that pig."
See winners and runners-up, videos and quotes at www.mrc.org.
Here it comes: Bill Clinton is readying himself for Hollywood. Martin Scorsese will direct and produce a documentary about the former president for HBO, with all the bells and whistles. Mr. Clinton will "fully cooperate," the cable channel says, and "intimate conversations" are in order between director and president. Both are eager.
"A towering figure who remains a major voice in world issues, President Clinton continues to shape the political dialogue both here and around the world. Through intimate conversations, I hope to provide greater insight into this transcendent figure," Mr. Scorsese said.
"I am pleased that legendary director Martin Scorsese and HBO have agreed to do this film," Mr. Clinton said. "I look forward to sharing my perspective on my years as president, and my work in the years since, with HBO's audience."
POLL DU JOUR
• 62 percent of Americans say parents should discuss the Newtown shootings with their children.
• 38 percent say parents should discuss the events "not much" or "not at all."
• 53 percent say parents should restrict children's viewing of the news coverage.
• 47 percent say the Newtown shootings reflect greater "societal problems" in the U.S.
• 45 percent of Republicans, 54 percent of Democrats, 54 percent of women and 39 percent of men agree.
• 44 percent overall say such shootings are the "isolated acts of individuals."
• 49 percent of Republicans, 39 percent of Democrats, 37 percent of women and 51 percent of men agree.
Source: A Pew Research Center survey of 1,006 U.S. adults conducted Dec. 13-16.
• Hip-hip hurrays and guarded responses to firstname.lastname@example.org
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