- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 3, 2013

It is a new book with a monumental title from Newt Gingrich, and it arrives Monday. “Breakout: Pioneers of the Future, Prison Guards of the Past, and the Epic Battle That Will Decide America’s Fate” singles out enemies and rallies the troops, grass-roots and otherwise. Mr. Gingrich is firm: the culprits are special-interest groups, powerful lobbyists, big government and the extreme thinkers who are determined to control or inhibit innovations that are a boon to the future of the nation.

“Ever-expanding and unaccountable bureaucracy, conspicuous waste of taxpayers’ money, and widespread corruption are a fundamentally wrong model,” Mr. Gingrich says. “That’s how old European monarchies treated their subjects, not how the self-governing citizens of the American republic should be treated.”

He appears to be a determined futurist at heart: Mr. Gingrich is a great believer in technology as a countermeasure to all this unhappiness. He also calls on all citizens to support pioneering “breakout champions” willing to put politics aside and challenge the “prison guards of the past,” he says.

“Americans don’t have to settle for a shrunken future. We can escape from the prison of the past into a future of undreamed opportunity and abundance. All we need is the courage to break out,” Mr. Gingrich adds.

BOOK BUZZ BOMB

Another book looms. Coming Tuesday, it’s “Double Down: Game Change 2012” by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, who hope to provide “an explosive account of the 2012 presidential election, pulling back the curtain to reveal the exhilarating, newsbreaking story behind the headlines for the first time,” says Penguin Press, the publisher. But so far, the biggest buzz in conservative media and elsewhere is erupting over something President Obama reportedly said that has little to do with the campaign.

It’s “click-bait aplenty,” wrote Washington Post political analyst Peter Hamby in a review, referring to all the online clicking that folks do over such fare. “Obama meditating on drone strikes and telling his aides that he’s ‘really good at killing people.’”

FOIA WORLD

Ironically enough, the Obama administration plans to “modernize the administration” of the Freedom of Information Act — FOIA for short — as part of the Open Government National Action Plan, a program that has been in place since 2011 to increase citizen participation and transparency in government. Who knew?

Ironically enough, official FOIA requests to obtain information about the faulty implementation of Obamacare are accelerating. The Republican National Committee wants the exact enrollment numbers. The advocacy group ProEnglish is interested in the use of government funds to translate the health care law into 150 languages. Judicial Watch has filed five requests related to taxpayer funds used to promote Obamacare, those pesky coverage waivers and records of Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan’s role in the health care law while she served as President Obama’s solicitor general.

Now the media’s FOIA machine has rumbled to life. On the list of news organizations seeking information: CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, ABC, the Huffington Post, Reuters, Politico, National Journal and Time magazine. And most delicious of all the requests, perhaps, comes from The Hill, which is tracking the media push:

“The Hill obtained the Health and Human Services FOIA log through a FOIA request,” note Hill health care analysts Patrick Mortiere and Bob Cusack. “Will the media organizations gain this data by mid-November? Highly unlikely,” Mr. Cusack says.

CUCCINELLI NUMBERS: IT’S COMPLICATED

Last-minute poll numbers in the Virginia governor’s race from Christopher Newport University reveals complex dynamics. The survey of 1,185 registered Virginia voters gives Democratic hopeful Terry McAuliffe 43 percent of the vote, Republican Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II 36 percent and Libertarian Robert Sarvis 10 percent.

Numbers to ponder: 11 percent are still undecided. Asked who they would vote for if Mr. Sarvis were not a candidate: 37 percent would support Mr. Cuccinelli and 17 percent Mr. McAuliffe. Thirty-eight percent would not vote. Meanwhile, 33 percent of the respondents are independent, 31 percent Republican, 30 percent Democrats. And 51 percent say they are conservative while 41 percent are liberal.

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