- Obama military downsizing leaves U.S. too weak to counter global threats, panel finds
- Sen. Tom Coburn vows to slow down budget-busting bills ahead of recess
- Obama fantasizes about more executive power, signs new order on federal contractors
- Clintons call Klein, Halper, Kessler ‘a Hat Trick of despicable actors’: report
- Boehner accuses Obama of ‘legacy of lawlessness’
- Pro-marijuana group claims responsibility for Brooklyn Bridge flag swap
- Young adults shun Obamacare mostly due to cost: survey
- Stabbing attack on transgender girl, 15, was ‘bias motivated,’ police say
- LGBT adults still lean overwhelmingly toward Democratic Party
- Lawmakers rattled by Syria genocide horrors, call on Obama to act
Inside the Beltway: Glenn Beck goes to Washington
Question of the Day
It portends to be a fierce demonstration, as in days of yore: The Tea Party Patriots will assemble at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday for an “Audit the IRS” rally in support of conservative groups that were subject to some uncomfortable scrutiny by the federal agency in recent years. The tea partyers will have some high profile company. Independent media maven Glenn Beck plans to be there, despite his own misgivings about visiting the veritable heart of big government.
“There are many things I don’t believe in anymore, and Washington is one of them. And I despise that city now. Because it has just become a symbol of corruption to me, a symbol of grotesque growth, where the rest of us are suffering in the rest of the country,” Mr. Beck told his radio audience, upon announcing that he was going anyway, and would speak at high noon.
“I will go and stand,” Mr. Beck declared.
The aforementioned Patriots — which represent some 3,400 local groups — say participants will be primed upon arrival. The many buses en route to the event in the next 24 hours will screen “Hating Breitbart” as they roll; the documentary recounts the spirited life of the late provocateur Andrew Breitbart.
“Andrew would have been outraged, as we all are, in light of recent scandals at the IRS, Justice Department and other government agencies — but he wouldn’t have been surprised,” observes Andrew Marcus, the film’s director.
“Hillary 2016: it’s George Bush’s fault!”
— Bumper sticker spotted in Arlington by Inside the Beltway reader Jonathan Deutsch.
“It should have read ‘Hillary 2016: what difference does it make?’ ” Mr. Deutsch observes.
BLOOMBERG’S COMPOST HEAP
Wilted lettuce, egg shells, potato parings: New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg hopes local city folk will compost their kitchen scraps in the name of green-minded citizenship, or, uh, incur a fine.
“This is a rotten idea for the Big Apple,” says Jeff Stier, the New York City-based director of risk analysis for the National Center for Public Policy Research. He’s quick to point out that his group supports voluntary composting. “In fact, we already have voluntary composting where residents can send kitchen scraps to gardens around the five boroughs,” Mr. Stier notes.
“But we live in a big city, not on a farm, and while composting is a great idea in certain circumstances, it doesn’t make sense to mandate that all New York residents save their rotting food,” he says. “Consider the increased risks from disease-carrying vermin, a problem the city still hasn’t conquered, from all of the pre-compost material sitting around our dense living spaces.”
And what about greenhouse gas emissions from extra “compost trucks”? “Perhaps they’ll be carrot-peel powered,” Mr. Stier says.
BUTT OUT OF SYRIA
Stay out of it, please. That is the public reaction to the White House vow to arm opposition rebels in Syria.
“Broad majorities continue to oppose the U.S. and its allies sending arms and military supplies to anti-government groups in Syria,” says a Pew Research Center poll released Monday, which revealed that 70 percent of Americans oppose aiding the rebels in the war-torn nation. There’s a modest partisan divide: 71 percent of Republicans and 66 percent of Democrats agree.
More than two-thirds overall say our troops are “already stretched thin” while 60 percent feel the rebels “may be no better than the current government.” More than half agree, however, that it is important for the U.S. to support people who oppose authoritarian regimes. The public is divided on whether the U.S. has a moral obligation to stop violence in Syria: 49 percent agree, 46 percent disagree.
And from a Gallup poll, also released Monday: 54 percent of Americans disapprove of the Obama administration’s decision to send direct military aid to Syrian rebels; 63 percent of Republicans also disapprove. But Democrats appear loyal to President Obama; 42 percent disapprove, while a majority — 51 percent — approve of the idea.
COMPETITION FOR SEAN, PIERS, RACHEL
There are more programming details from Al-Jazeera America, the English-language news channel that will launch later this year. “America Tonight,” a one-hour prime-time centerpiece, will air at 9 p.m., set to rival the established work of Fox News’ Sean Hannity, CNN’s Piers Morgan and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, all broadcast in the same hour.
The current-affairs program will originate from a slick new studio in the Newseum, just blocks from the U.S. Capitol. Former CNN executive producer Kim Bondy is senior executive producer; content will come from Al-Jazeera’s 12 news bureaus in the U.S., plus 70 overseas. The network itself is based in Qatar.
“America Tonight will be typical of what viewers will see on Al-Jazeera America,” says Ehab Al Shihabi, executive director of international operations, adding that programming “will explain what the news really means to the daily lives of our viewers.”
POLL DU JOUR
• 66 percent of Americans say it is “right” for the Obama administration to monitor Internet data to locate suspected terrorists; 67 percent of Republicans and 76 percent of Democrats agree.
• 62 percent of Americans think the federal government has become big enough to threaten rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens; 79 percent of Republicans and 37 percent of Democrats agree.
• 54 percent of Americans say the federal government should prosecute NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden; 56 percent of Republicans and 71 percent of Democrats agree.
• 52 percent overall disapprove of Mr. Snowden’s actions; 54 percent of Republicans and 66 percent of Democrats agree.
• 62 percent overall say the U.S. government has “collected” data about their personal phone and Internet usage; 62 percent of Republicans and 57 percent of Democrats agree.
Source: A CNN/ORC poll of 1,014 U.S. adults conducted June 11 to 13.
• Catcalls, doggerel to firstname.lastname@example.org.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- Inside the Beltway: The Ben Carson surge continues
- An exercise in journalism: Climate change, a tempest, and one F-bomb
- Paying attention: 85 percent of wary Americans take immigration 'personally'
- Ron Paul giving away a Colt AR-15 in the name of 'freedom'
- John Bolton endorses Scott Brown, the newest 'national security candidate'
Latest Blog Entries
- A startling 20 percent of Democratic lawmakers already endorse Hillary Clinton for president
- Hey food police: calling obesity a 'disease' is actually a health risk
- Cheese and an 'enhanced experience': White House goes showbiz on the State of the Union address
- Cruz calls it a 'circus': the State of the Union spectacle begins
- Half of American fans say God and 'supernatural' forces are in play during sports events
TWT Video Picks
Both parties recognize the Democrats' scam
- Inside the Ring: Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- Army's 3-D printed bombs to create 'a whole new universe' of lethal capabilities
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- GOP leaders delay border bill, leave Obama in control
- Report: 40% of weapons sent to Afghanistan are unaccounted for
- CIA admits improperly hacking Senate computers in search of Bush-era information
- Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- Colorado poll shows women tuning out Democrats' 'war on women' strategy
- 3 African leaders cancel trip to U.S. over Ebola outbreak; Obama still plans summit
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world