- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 3, 2009

POTUS CHRISTMAS

OK. Here’s the stats about the White House Christmas from first lady Michelle Obama’s official preview of same:

- 50,000: Number of visitors to the White House in the next three weeks.

- 3,400: Number of hours it took to decorate the White House.

- 92: Number of decorating volunteers.

- 28: Number of scheduled parties.

- “Reflect, rejoice, renew”: theme of the White House Christmas

- 1: Number of Bo Obama replicas among the White House decorations.

- 1: Number of times Mrs. Obama said “Christmas” during her speech.

Beltway’s speculative extras:

- 0 percent: The chance that Tareq and Michaele Salahi will be on the invitation list.

- 75 percent: Number of readers who probably know that POTUS stands for “president of the United States.”

MUTE BUTTON

Almost two weeks have elapsed since “Climategate” erupted; news that British and American scientists manipulated global warming statistics to suit their global warming agenda was scandalous - and ignored by the mainstream press, according to the Media Research Center (MRC).

Not one broadcast network mentioned Phil Jones‘ hastily announced leave of absence; he is director of the University of East Anglias Climatic Research Unit whose e-mails originally fueled the controversy.

“The networks’ silence on ‘Climategate’ is deafening. Scandal, cover-ups and conspiracy are the bread and butter of the media. Yet they have selectively and deliberately decided not to report this bombshell - or any of the incriminating details surrounding the scandal - because it goes against their left-wing agenda,” says MRC President Brent Bozell.

“To pretend this story simply doesnt exist is damning to journalism. The so-called news media are protecting scientists because it exposes their underbelly. Thats not journalism. Thats a cover-up. And we will continue to call them out for ignoring these allegations and the mounting, inconvenient evidence against them,” Mr. Bozell adds.

YANKEE DO LITTLE

Who cares about the American Revolution? Visions of brave colonists resonate with the public, but that doesn’t mean people know their history: Eight out of 10 Americans don’t understand the beliefs, freedoms and liberties of the founding fathers.

“The American Revolution defined what it means to be an American. It forged those principles that unite us as a nation. Unfortunately, those principles are fading from memory,” says Bruce Cole, president of the American Revolution Center.

The nonprofit group crafted a 27-question history test for a well-meaning but clueless public: 83 percent failed it, revealing a “stunning knowledge void,” Mr. Cole says.

The quiz found 80 percent of Americans can name Michael Jackson’s biggest hits. But more than one-third do not even know the century in which the American Revolution took place, while half think the Civil War came before the revolution. And another 50 percent wrongly attributed a quote from Karl Marx to several American presidents, including President Obama.

But Mr. Cole is not without hope. Ninety percent of the 1,001 adults who took the test during the month of July said they thought American history was “important,” he adds.

LIBERLISCIOUS

It’s not exactly party time among Libertarians in the wake of President Obama’s big Afghanistan reveal Tuesday night.

Rush Limbaugh should buy Obama a nice cigar. The liberal president has done exactly what the conservative leader wanted: escalate the war,” says Wes Benedict, executive director of the Libertarian Party.

“This is further evidence that the differences between Republicans and Democrats are, at most, rhetorical,” adds William Redpath, chairman of the Libertarian National Committee. “This president, whose votes made him the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate, has just announced an escalation of a foreign war. His campaign promise of ‘change’ now sounds a lot more hollow.”

Mr. Redpath adds, “Congress should re-assert its authority in matters of war, by passing legislation that terminates the president’s authorization to make war in Afghanistan, and that calls for an orderly withdrawal from Afghanistan. If the president vetoes it, Congress should override the veto.”

HIT THE BOTTLE

One for the cultural lexicon: “Pre-polluted babies.”

It’s sure to become common as the House and Senate consider bills to ban bisphenol A, or BPA, in food and beverage containers and baby bottles; the substance is indeed the toxin du jour now that a study by Environmental Working Group found BPA in nine of the 10 umbilical cord blood samples tested.

“This is not surprising, but it’s alarming,” observes Janet Gray, director of the Environmental Risks and Breast Cancer project at Vassar College. “We already knew over 90 percent of American adults and children over the age of 6 have BPA in their bodies. Now we know babies in the U.S. are born pre-polluted with BPA. What more evidence do we need to act?”

POLL DU JOUR

- 79 percent of voters say “getting re-elected” is the biggest motivation for lawmakers.

- 12 percent say they are motivated by “what’s right.”

- 3 percent say they are motivated by their religious faith.

- 76 percent say lawmakers care most about their careers.

- 15 percent say they want to “help people.”

- 9 percent are unsure.

Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted Nov. 29.

Warning flares, emergency notices, cautious commentary to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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