Inside the Beltway: Zero hour

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“There’s been a lot written about this movie; some of it has popped off the entertainment page to the news page. And from time to time, some of you might have wondered if we would have liked to comment on some of that coverage, and the answer is yes. Let me just say this: There was a very interesting story on the front page of The New York Times today by Scott Shane about a CIA agent who is now facing jail time for talking to a reporter about waterboarding. This gentleman is going to jail for that. And all I can say is that I read that story very closely. It sort of reminds me of what somebody else said when they were running for president, which is, ‘If this [stuff] was happening to somebody else, it would be very interesting. For us, it’s quite serious. But nevertheless, I stand here tonight being extremely proud of the film we made. And in case anyone is asking, we stand by the film.”

So says Mark Boal, writer of “Zero Dark Thirty,” during his acceptance speech for best picture at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards on Monday. Mr. Boal, incidentally, faces a Senate investigation into the sources of his information for the film, which details the killing of Osama bin Laden.

Coin operated

“We should have known a coin was Obama’s solution to everything. It was right there in his slogan: ‘change.’”

(Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert, on this week’s popular notion that a platinum, $1 trillion coin is a way to counter the federal debt crisis.)

Flip the coin

“This scheme to mint trillion-dollar platinum coins is absurd and dangerous, and would be laughable if the proponents weren’t so serious about it as a solution. I’m introducing a bill to stop it in its tracks,” says Rep. Greg Walden, Oregon Republican.

“My wife and I have owned and operated a small business since 1986. When it came time to pay the bills, we couldn’t just mint a coin to create more money out of thin air. We sat down and figured out how to balance the books. That’s what Washington needs to do as well. My bill will take the coin scheme off the table by disallowing the Treasury to mint platinum coins as a way to pay down the debt.”

Reagan moment

“The widow of Medgar Evers is giving the invocation at the Obama inaugural, but her brother-in-law, Charles, endorsed Ronald Reagan in 1980. Both men were civil rights activists. This refutes the idea that Reagan was making a racist appeal in 1980, as some liberals have charged,” Reagan historian Craig Shirley points out to Inside the Beltway, and reported in his book on the 1980 campaign, “Rendezvous With Destiny.”

Beck and call

He once staged a massive “Restoring Honor” rally for traditional values at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial, in shirt sleeves and a bulletproof vest. But Glenn Beck has evolved. The independent media mogul and former Fox News personality is now located in Dallas, and plans to send up President Obama’s big inauguration doings Jan. 20 with Texas-sized high jinks.

“It’s an epic Misfits Ball. While that guy is having his ball, we’re having ours,” Mr. Beck says, noting that the black-tie event is for everyone on Mr. Obama’s D-List and below.

But who’s going?

“It should be everyone who is no longer welcome in Obamaland — whoever’s not allowed in that guy’s America,” Mr. Beck says.

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