Inside the Beltway: Just blame the shutdown on the GOP

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“What we are witnessing is a disturbing violation of the First Amendment rights of our nation’s heroes,” chief counsel Jay Sekulow says. “By spending money to bring in barricades to attempt to shut down an open-air memorial is abhorrent and deeply insulting to World War II vets who defended the very freedoms that are now threatened by the Obama administration’s actions. We are prepared to take legal action if this injustice is not corrected.”

The Republican National Committee has offered to cover the cost of keeping the World War II Memorial open for the next 30 days

“The Obama administration has decided they want to make the government shutdown as painful as possible,” says chairman Reince Priebus, who visited the site Wednesday afternoon. “The committee has put aside enough money to hire five security personnel to keep this memorial open to veterans and visitors. Ideally, I’d hope to hire furloughed employees for this job.”

Mr. Priebus also suggested that the Democratic National Committee join in to help support the memorial. The DNC’s response, from spokesman Mo Elleithee: it’s a “silly stunt.”

FROM ANN’S MENU

Blueberry French toast, tangy pork tenderloin, lasagna noodle bake, quiche Lorraine, lake house enchiladas, barbecue beans, chocolate chiffon pie, Great-Granny’s banana cake, Fluffernutter sandwiches.

— A selection from the 80 recipes included in “The Romney Family Table,” a cookbook published Wednesday by Ann Romney.

She is donating all proceeds from the book to charity.

ONLY OCCASIONALLY

Talk radio kingpin RushLimbaugh often cautions his listeners about “low information voters” who are only inclined to take in the most sweeping of political messages, primarily from liberals, progressives and Democrats. But there’s a new genre to consider.

Meet “occasionally interested people” surely is the bane of every political strategist who ever tried to drum up support for a candidate among those who may be distracted, oblivious, ambivalent. Credit for coining the term goes to Sean Astin, himself the host of Vox Populi, an online radio show soon to reach the regular airwaves.

Mr. Astin is a Democrat and the familiar actor who played the hobbit Sam in the endless “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, among many roles. “We are now ready to launch the show as a viable competitor in the national pundit marketplace,” Mr. Astin declares.

CHINESE HOLLYWOOD

Things change: The Cultural Assets Office of the Beijing Municipal Government reveals that the winner of the 2013 Beijing International Screenwriting Competition will be named later this month in Los Angeles during a monumental event titled “China’s Entertainment Industry: The Next Chapter,” meant to highlight “major opportunities in China’s cultural industry” and future trends.

The competition was open to U.S. citizens only; the winning screenplay, however, will be shot in Beijing. There are some heavy hitters involved. The competition kick-starts “a new era of cross-cultural collaboration and supporting a close and sustained creative dialogue between China and the U.S.,” says three-time Academy Award-winning director James Cameron.

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