- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 8, 2009

STOSSEL VS. GORE

Look for investigative ace John Stossel to resurface on the public radar in a big way Thursday, when “Stossel,” his one-hour weekly foray into economic issues, debuts on the Fox Business channel at 8 p.m.

“I plan to explain what true economic liberty means to my viewers,” Mr. Stossel tells Inside the Beltway. “I want to talk about things like Ayn Rand and ‘Atlas Shrugged,’ and the true costs of global warming.”

The former ABC veteran has signed on for 44 episodes.

“And about that global warming, in heading up the news this week. It really has become a kind of secular religion,” Mr. Stossel says. “And a lot of the faith is fueled by people with a distinct hatred of capitalism. It’s religious zealotry, and anyone who disagrees with these people about climate issues is chastised and dismissed.”

He has his keen eye fixed upon one person in particular, though.

Al Gore says the debate about global warming is over. But he won’t debate anyone about it,” Mr. Stossel observes. “And for the record, I’d debate Al Gore anytime.”

BUMPER PATROL

“Excommunicated by the Church of Global Warming” - bumper sticker spotted in Fairfax.

PALIN PILE-ON

Could this ambitious effort indicate that some folks are, uh, nervous about Sarah Palin’s political prowess? Maybe.

“Going Rouge: Sarah Palin, An American Nightmare” was released smack in the middle of the former Alaska governor’s book tour showcasing her best-selling autobiography, “Going Rogue: An American Story.”

Richard Kim and Betsy Reed, senior editors at The Nation magazine, edited this clone book loaded with liberal counterpoint against Mrs. Palin, including a cover nearly identical to the original. They call her “an American obsession that just won’t go away.”

But is it all that clever? This marks the fourth time in recent weeks that the waggish “Going Rouge” has been used in a new book title about Mrs. Palin - and one of those titles is a coloring book.

The newest “Rouge” volume includes observations by Joe Conason, Mark Hertsgaard, Naomi Klein, Frank Rich, Hanna Rosin, Katrina vanden Heuvel and others of the liberal and progressive persuasions. Curiously, the book is distributed by Health Communication Inc., publishers of the best-selling “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series.

“There’s a book line I’m now going to boycott,” observes one annoyed Palin fan.

PARTY POOPERS

“Running under the ‘tea party’ brand may be better in congressional races than being a Republican,” notes a Rasmussen Reports survey of voter preferences released Monday.

It found Democrats picked up 36 percent of the vote while the ‘tea party’ candidate garnered 23 percent. Republicans finish third at 18 percent; 22 percent are undecided. Even among Republican voters, 39 percent said they’d vote Republican, but 33 percent favored the ‘tea party’ option.

What does it mean? Shame on the Grand Old Party, perhaps.

“The Republican Party is still suffering from the hangover of an eight years of grotesque spending, access selling and corruption. In righteous indignation, the decent men and women of America are standing up to the powers in Washington. New York’s 23rd Congressional District was a wakeup call to a GOP that has been asleep at the populist switch for too long. Either they embrace the ‘new populism’ or suffer in the minority for a generation to come,” longtime political strategist Craig Shirley tells Inside the Beltway.

HARSH BARGING

The “independent” report issued Monday by former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger assessing the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) is not exactly garnering rave reviews in some sectors.

“Long story short, the Harshbarger report solves nothing and is not worth the paper it is written on,” says Republican National Lawyers Association Chairman David A. Norcross.

“Instead of taking ACORN to task for breaking the law, Harshbarger offers recommendations ACORN itself has received in the past from its lawyer, Elizabeth Kingsley, and failed to meet. The reality is this: The report issued today by ACORN and about ACORN is absolutely no substitute for a real and meaningful congressional inquiry into the practices of an organization that has routinely broken the law and misused taxpayer dollars.”

POLL DU JOUR

• 64 percent of Americans say the safety and security of the U.S. is at stake in Afghanistan.

• 63 percent say U.S. military action in Afghanistan is “morally justified.”

• 58 percent say a victory is possible for the U.S. in Afghanistan.

• 41 percent say victory is not possible.

• 57 percent say it will be a “stalemate”; 12 percent think the U.S. will be defeated.

• 58 percent did not watch President Obama’s speech on Afghanistan.

Source: A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey of 1,041 adults conducted Dec. 2-3.

Cryptic messages, peculiar asides, humdingers to [email protected] washingtontimes.com.

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