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Inside the Beltway: Gun Appreciation Day

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OK, mark the date, for it will surely spark an outcry in the gun-control community. A coalition of gun rights and conservative groups have declared Jan. 19 to be "Gun Appreciation Day" and are urging Americans nationwide to visit local gun ranges and purveyors to show support for the Second Amendment. Yes, the date falls two days before President Obama's second inauguration, and yes, organizers say "Gun Appreciation Day" is expected to rival "Chick-fil-A Day" as a public statement of protest against government policies.

"The Obama administration has shown that it is more than willing to trample the Constitution to impose its dictates upon the American people," says Larry Ward, president of Political Media Inc. and chairman of the event. "If the American people don't fight back now, Obama will do to the Second Amendment what he has already done to the First with Obamacare. Gut it without a moment's thought to our basic constitutional rights."

Mr. Ward has support from Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Second Amendment Foundation, Special Operations Speaks, Revolution PAC, Citizens and Country, Social Security Institute, Committee to Draft Judge Andrew Napolitano, Conservative Action Alerts, Women Warriors PAC and Conservative Action Fund, with more to come.

See their bodacious outreach here: gunappreciationday.com

TOXIC POLITICS

"Seventy-seven percent of Americans say the way politics works in Washington these days is causing serious harm to the United States, providing still another indicator of the low esteem in which Americans hold their elected officials and the way the federal government works," says Gallup director Frank Newport.

Gallup's newest poll reveals a partisan divide in the partisan divide: 87 percent of Republicans agree that politics inflict harm, compared to 68 percent of Democrats. Meanwhile, more than half of the respondents say they are optimistic things will improve in the next decade, with 63 percent of Democrats agreeing. Fifty-six percent of Republicans, however, remain pessimistic.

NIXON'S STILL THE ONE

Richard's Nixon's 100th birthday would have been Wednesday; his centennial is being marked with much affection, and in grand style at a cheerful, sold-out gala in the nation's capitol on Wednesday evening.

Heading to the glittering Grand Ballroom at the Mayflower Hotel — site of both of Mr. Nixon's inaugural celebrations back in the day: Henry Kissinger, former first daughters Tricia Nixon Cox and Julie Nixon Eisenhower, Pat Buchanan, Ben Stein and Fred Malek, a former Nixon administration official.

The event can be viewed live at the Richard Nixon Foundation channel on YouTube beginning at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

PLANNED PARENTHOOD: REAL NUMBERS

$542 million: amount in taxpayer funding the Planned Parenthood Federation of America received as government grants, contracts and Medicaid reimbursements, representing 45 percent of its annual revenue.

$87.4 million: amount the organization retains in excess revenue.

$1.2 billion: amount the group has in net assets.

333,964: Number of abortions performed in 2011.

995,687: Number of abortions performed from 2009-2011.

The source for the numbers is a Susan B. Anthony List analysis of Planned Parenthood's annual report for fiscal 2012.

"As if these numbers weren't already horrifying, Planned Parenthood has upped the ante even further by mandating that all affiliates provide abortions beginning this year. Americans are sick and tired of underwriting the nation's largest abortion business. We call on Congress to immediately investigate and defund Planned Parenthood," says Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the aforementioned List, a pro-life interest group.

THE GATE GAGGLE

Now in production from the Discovery Channel, the network that brought you "Amish Mafia" and "Moonshiners," behold, it's "The President's Gatekeepers," a four-hour documentary showcasing 19 former White House chiefs of staffs, from Donald H. Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney to John Sununu and Mack McLarty.

"Chiefs of staff translate the presidents' policies into reality. Or disaster. They are the inside eyewitnesses to history, and the confidants with whom the president, and the first lady, share their secrets," the network says. "What experience as White House chief of staff does Dick Cheney blame for bringing on his first heart attack? Why was Rahm Emanuel so apprehensive about taking the job?"

Answers revealed when the show airs in July.

TOYLAND

A few journalists have used unmanned, minuscule drones for stealthy news gathering purposes, creating a stir and prompting the new genre of "fly-by media."

Yeah, well. Now comes "The Phantom" from DJI — the industry's first ready-to-fly, satellite-navigated, "consumer quadcopter" with camera mount, auto pilot, "intelligent orientation control," dramatic LED displays and other electronic niceties. It's $679, and ready to go, the maker says, "right out of the box." See it here: dji-innovations.com, under the "flying for fun" section.

POLL DU JOUR

• 57 percent of Americans say President Obama "got what he wanted" out of recent tax legislation to avoid the "fiscal cliff."

• 74 percent of Republicans and 53 percent of Democrats agree.

• 20 percent overall say House Republicans got what they wanted out of the legislation; 11 percent of Republicans and 26 percent of Democrats agree.

• 52 percent overall say the tax legislation will "hurt" people like themselves; 73 percent of Republicans and 36 percent of Democrats agree.

• 46 percent overall say the legislation will hurt the economy; 69 percent of Republicans and 25 percent of Democrats agree.

• 38 percent overall approve of the legislation; 16 percent of Republicans and 58 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Pew Research Center for the People & the Press survey of 1,003 U.S. adults conducted Jan. 3-6.

Buzz, squawks and churlish remarks to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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