- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Bill Maher still lobs insults, though he’s now a leading figure in the controversy over Rush Limbaugh’s untoward comments about Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke, for which he apologized. Twice. Mr. Maher, a $1 million donor to President Obama’s re-election campaign and host of his own HBO talk show, symbolizes a double standard among conservatives who wonder why press and punditry don’t demand that Mr. Maher apologize for comments he made about Sarah Palin and Rep. Michelle Bachmann in recent days.

Limbaugh has been singled out and condemned across the national media — ABC, CBS, NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, NPR, PBS, Associated Press, the New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. How many of these outlets have condemned Bill Maher with equal vigor for his attacks on Palin?” asks Media Research Center founder Brent Bozell, in a letter to CNN host Piers Morgan.

“How many of these outlets condemned him at all? Ed Schultz called Laura Ingraham a ‘slut’ on his radio show. MSNBC suspended him for a week, but none of Schultz’s advertisers dropped his show under media pressure. There was no pressure.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Maher is still, uh, quipping. For the curious: a catalog of barbs from his latest opening monologue:

“I thought the election was gonna be all about the economy. But the economy started doing better. So Republicans went to plan b: calling women whores.

Sandra Fluke got a call today from the president. President Obama called her to thank her for her testimony. And then President Clinton called Obama to get her number.

Rush Limbaugh: Four wives, he’s had — no children. Dude, you are birth control.”

AND IN SUMMATION

“President Obama says he called Sandra Fluke because of his daughters. For the sake of everyone’s daughter, why doesn’t his super PAC return the $1 million he got from a rabid misogynist?”

(Sarah Palin in a Facebook post Tuesday; the misogynist in question is the aforementioned Mr. Maher.)

BUST A MOVE

“It’s not the Hall of Universally Loved Missourians. It’s the Hall of Famous Missourians.”

And so goes the simple rationale of Missouri state Rep. Steve Tilley, a Republican, who commissioned a privately funded, sculptural bust of Rush Limbaugh, to stand in his state’s capitol rotunda with Harry Truman, Walt Disney and baseball great Stan Musial, among other noteworthy native Missourians. Mr. Limbaugh was born in Cape Girardeau.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, Missouri Democrat, is among those who have already complained about Mr. Tilley’s project.

A MONITOR MOMENT

Behold, a historic story amid endless political caterwaul, and this from a federal agency that seeks the public’s help in identifying a pair of sailors who went down with their ship 150 years ago. The National Oceanic and Atmosphere Agency (NOAA) continues to honor the lost crew of the USS Monitor, a Civil War-era Union ironclad warship that took on the Confederate ironclad, CSS Virginia, in ocean waters off Hampton Roads, Va., on March 9, 1862.

Less than a year later, the Monitor capsized and sank off Cape Hatteras, N.C., sending 16 crew members to their deaths.

A decade ago, the wreck was discovered and the Monitor raised from the ocean floor; the skeletal remains of two sailors were found in the ship’s gun turret, the fate of the other 14 remains unknown.

NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries has released images of the faces of the lost men, based on forensic reconstructions by anthropologists at Louisiana State University. The agency is now in search mode.

“These are the faces of men who gave their lives for their country at a pivotal moment in American history,” says David Alberg, superintendent of Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, established by Congress in 1975. “The best-case scenario is that someone will emerge, perhaps a descendent, who can give these faces a name.”

The scientists estimated one man to be between 17 to 24 years old and about 5 feet 7 inches tall, the other man was an inch shorter, between 30 to 40 years old, and probably smoked a pipe. See details here: http://monitor.noaa.gov/150th/

“When Navy divers discovered the human remains in Monitor’s turret, they immediately began referring to them as ‘our shipmates.’ Looking into these two faces is very moving for me and, I’m certain, for everyone involved in the Monitor recovery operations,” says retired NOAA archeologist John Broadwater.

NIXON’S TAKE

“Looking to the future, China, not because of communism but in spite of it, will be an economic and military superpower. Do we want to run the risk of being an adversary rather than an ally of China in the next century?”

President Richard Nixon, in a 1989 confidential memo to then Sen. Robert Dole and other lawmakers, predicting the future of U.S.-China relations. The document was released by the Richard Nixon Foundation, which presents an all-day conference Wednesday commemorating the 40th anniversary of Mr. Nixon’s historic visit to China.

POLL DU JOUR

• 57 percent of Americans say the war in Afghanistan against the Taliban and al Qaeda has been successful.

• 41 percent say the effort has been unsuccessful.

• 52 percent say the U.S. should initiate military action if Iran is close to developing a nuclear weapon.

• 40 percent say the U.S. should not initiate military action; 8 percent are unsure.

• 48 percent say the U.S. should provide only humanitarian assistance to citizens affected by unrest and violence in Syria.

• 25 percent say there should be “no action.”

• 13 percent say the U.S. should take military action in Syria.

• 11 percent say the U.S. should provide weapons to forces inside Syria opposing the government.

Source; A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll of 800 U.S. adults conducted Feb. 29-March 3.

Innuendo, grousing, press releases to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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