- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 10, 2009

STILL BREWING

“Tea party” organizers are not taking a Christmas vacation. Feisty plans for a cross-country “Tea Party Express III” have taken shape, accompanied by vows that grassroots folks are emerging with newfound, serious intent to promote conservative ideals and frugal government. Things get under way with a “mega rally” on March 27, staged right in Searchlight, Nev. - hometown of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

“We’re returning with the slogan ‘just vote them out’ to spotlight the need for conservative values in this country, and call for an end to the cavalier spending and headlong rush towards socialism by the current administration,” spokesman Levi Russell tells Inside the Beltway.

“We’re bringing all the conservative Senate candidates there to send a clear message that Harry is on his way out. Our final stop will be on Tax Day - April 15 - in Washington,” Mr. Russell says.

“In 2010, I think we are going to see the tea party movement mature into a very relevant and very effective force that will be instrumental in overturning Congress,” Mr. Russell adds. “Energy and enthusiasm among the many tea party groups is very high. Next year we’ll definitely see increasing unity and purpose.”

OSLO STATS

24: Number of hours President Obama will spend in Norway to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

0: Number of press conferences Mr. Obama will give.

0: Number of concerts he will attend.

0: Number of meals he will share with Norwegian royalty.

9: Number of days that have passed since he ordered a military escalation in Afghanistan.

44 percent: Number of Norwegians who think Mr. Obama is “impolite.”(Verduns Gang poll conducted Dec. 8).

67 percent: Number of Americans who say Mr. Obama did not “accomplish” enough to warrant the award. (CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll conducted Dec. 2-3).

70 percent: Number who say he should go to anyway. (Ibid)

ROLL OUT THE BARREL

Woe is us. The most notorious congressional pork barrel projects of the year will be named Thursday on Capitol Hill, and they are all doozies. Among the “Top 11” honorees:

$380,350 to encourage West Virginians to grow ginseng and shiitake mushrooms; $500,000 for “fish food” - a program to help Missouri fish farmers; $578,000 to combat homelessness in a New York town that reported no homeless problem; a $1.5 million “bet” on renovating the streetscape outside a Detroit casino; and $3.8 million for an urban art trail in upstate New York.

“Last year, Congress approved more than 10,000 earmarks, exceeding $19.6 billion in taxpayer dollars,” notes Rep. Tom Price.

The Georgia Republican presents the dishonors, along with Rep. Mark Steven Kirk, Illinois Republican, and Tom Schatz, president of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste.

CULTURAL MOMENT

“May your family have a joyous holiday season and a new year blessed with hope and happiness.” -Motto inside the 2009 White House Christmas card.

RANT A CLAUS

Affection lingers for the old “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” letter that appeared in the New York Sun in 1897. The American Spectator columnist Lisa Fabrizio ponders how that letter would have read, penned by a member of the mainstream media more than a century later. And this is how she envisions it:

“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as the right to abortion in the Constitution and conservative bias in the media. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were only Fox News and no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no viable windmill energy! There would be no blind faith in the New York Times then, no Dan Rather to make tolerable this bourgeois existence. We should have no reliability in science, except for dull facts and figures. The utopian light with which liberalism fills the world would be extinguished.”

“Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in Al Gore! You might get a few thousand scientists to suggest that bogus data was invented to support the claims of global warmists, but even if it could not show that temperatures are rising, what would that prove? It’s the same with Santa! Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus.”

“Our most important policy goals are based on things in the world that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn or Barack Obama’s birth certificate? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there! None but cold-hearted conservatives demand this kind of verification of that which we hold sacred.”

POLL DU JOUR

55 percent of Americans rate the honesty and ethics of members of Congress as “low or very low.”

63 percent of Republicans and 43 percent of Democrats agree.

49 percent of Americans rate their senators honesty and ethics as low or very low.

35 percent rate the honesty and ethics of state governors as low or very low.

40 percent say the same about lawyers; 31 percent say the same of journalists.

Source: A Gallup Poll of 1,017 adults conducted Nov. 20-22.

Handouts, sympathy cards, lengthy press releases to jharper@washingtontimes.com


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