- The Washington Times - Monday, July 28, 2014

When Republicans talk about “43” on Tuesday, they won’t be referring to George W. Bush. They will be referring instead to the 43 bills passed by the House that are languishing on the hallowed — or hollow — desk of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Now it’s pushback time.

Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus has declared his intent to “fire” the Nevada Democrat and will take his case right to U.S. Capitol shortly after high noon to make his point. Joining him on the Senate steps for a rally, and to make some noise: Republican Reps. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Rodney Davis of Illinois and Bill Johnson of Ohio, plus Penny Nance, CEO of Concerned Women for America.

Mr. Priebus asks the public to keep the midterms in mind.

“A vote for a Democrat is a vote for Harry Reid, and further gridlock in Washington”, the chairman advises.

‘EAT YOUR HEART OUT, TINA FEY’

A media maverick, a broadcast rogue? Indeed, Sarah Palin is following in the footsteps of independent news maven Glenn Beck, and fierce Libertarian Ron Paul, who have both ignited their own online TV channels with much ado, and some noteworthy success. Forty eight hours ago, the former Alaska governor launched, quite naturally, the Sarah Palin Channel — a subscription based online project which bears the unapologetic, clear Palin imprint. The new site is bright with patriotic colors, and a precisely calibrated prime directive.


SEE ALSO: International crises be damned, Obama’s fundraising trip must go on


“Let’s live life vibrantly, purposefully and boldly,” Mrs. Palin says in an introductory video.

“This is a news channel that really is a lot more than news. This is a community, where we are going to be able to share ideas, discuss the issues of the day, and were going to find solutions. Are you tired of the media filters? Well, I am,” Mrs. Palin says. “We’re going to do something about it. I will talk to you on my channel, on our channel — and we don’t have to please the powers that be.”

There’s two blinking clocks, one that tallies the national debt, the other tracks the time President Obama has left in office, this down to the minutes, and even seconds. On the new channel, which went live on Sunday are multiple video reports, multiple blogs, hard news, soft news, interviews, behind-the-scenes fare and editorials with titles like “Obama’s addiction: OPM (Other people’s money).

Mrs. Palin plans to answer direct questions from viewers via live video chats.

Will the channel work? Both Mssrs. Beck and Paul are sustaining, and even expanding their presence, which bypass traditional broadcast delivery. Mrs. Palin’s effort is bolstered by her role as a regular Fox News contributor, along with her forays into reality TV; her personal channel will reveal life in the Palin household as well. The subscription price is not bad either: $100 for a year.

The buzz is healthy too. The launch has been covered by Variety and other industry publications, along with over 200 mainstream news accounts probing the strategic alliances behind the channel. Mrs. Palin’s fans were out in force, meanwhile.

“Eat your heart out, Tina Fey,”advised a reader of TheBlaze.com, Mr. Beck’s news site, recalling the actress’s Palin impersonation of yore, which has since been retired to the broadcast artifacts shelf.

AND THE AUTOMATIC PALIN BACKLASH

But of course. The social media realm erupted Monday with both applause and righteous indignation against the launch of the Sarah Palin Channel, gathered under the hashtag #PalinTVshow. Here is but a minuscule sampling, which included suggested alternative names for channel, and plenty of fare unsuitable for polite company:

“Northern Over-Exposure”, “In the Shrill of the Night”. “The Real Housewives of Wasilla”, and for balance, there’s this: “Why are Liberals whining about @SarahPalinUSA? I seem to recall Liberals being on a hit show … Romper Room.”

SENATOR INGRAHAM

“I’m keeping an open mind about running for office in the future.”

— Talk radio host Laura Ingraham, to The Sunday Times of London.

INTERPRETING MIDDLE EAST BLAME

Who’s to blame for setting off the Gaza conflict? The political interpretations differ. While 40 percent of Americans blame Hamas for the current violence, the number rises to 60 percent among Republicans, but falls to 29 percent among Democrats. Nineteen percent overall cite Israel as the aggressor, compared to 13 percent of Republicans and 26 percent of Democrats.

There also are rifts over Israel’s response to the conflict. Thirty five percent of Americans say that response is “about right”. Among Republicans it is about half, among Democrats 31 percent. Has it been excessive? A quarter of Americans say yes, compared to 16 percent of the GOP and 35 percent of the Dems.

Some lawmakers have very clear views on the issue, with a bipartisan touch.

“Hamas is undoubtedly guilty of violating international humanitarian law through its deliberate, repeated, and consistent use of civilians as human shields,” says Sen. Ted Cruz. “Hamas is engaged in a campaign of death that knows no boundaries or morals.”

The Texas Republican joined forces Monday with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, New York Democrat, to introduce a resolution before their peers that condemns the practice and call upon the global community to recognize that it is a “grave breech” of international law.

“The use of human shields by Hamas is deplorable,” says Mrs. Gillibrand. “The international community must stand up against this terrorist organization that is putting the people it claims to defend in harm’s way and support Israel’s right to defend its citizens.”

A similar resolution is sponsored in the House by a pair of Florida lawmakers: Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, and Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch.

LEAVE A MESSAGE

“You’ve reached the Oval Office. I’m at another political fundraiser right now and can’t come to the phone right now.”

— Suggested message for President Obama’s direct phone line, from Gary Varvel, editorial cartoonist for The Indianapolis Star. “The President has been more interested in political fundraising and golf than the crisis on the border, the fighting in the Middle East, the Russian aggression in the Ukraine, the new terrorist group [ISIS] invading Iraq, the nuclear ambition of Iran ” the artist notes.

Mr. Obama has attended 398 Democratic fundraisers since taking office.

POLL DU JOUR

53 percent of Americans say a U.S. president should not be allowed to run for a third term of office; 69 percent of Republicans, 61 percent of independents and 35 percent of Democrats agree.

38 percent of Americans overall say a president should be able to run for a third term; 21 percent of Republicans, 32 percent of independents and 59 percent of Democrats agree.

42 percent overall “wish” that Ronald Reagan could have had a third term; 77 percent of Republicans, 41 percent of independents and 18 percent of Democrats agree.

42 percent overall “wish” that Bill Clinton could have had a third term; 14 percent of Republicans, 41 percent of independents and 68 percent of Democrats agree.

16 percent overall would like to see President Obama have a third term; 2 percent of Republicans, 36 percent of independents and 9 percent of Democrats agree.

15 percent wish George W. Bush had a third term; 32 percent of Republicans, 12 percent of independents and 6 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Harris Poll of 2,306 U.S. adults conducted July 16-21 and released Friday.

Hand wringing, bell ringing to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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