- The Washington Times - Monday, July 27, 2009

‘Generation O’

Cara and Jamie Vernon have begun the “Obama baby boom ” - a phenomenon the press predicted would begin nine months after President Obama was elected.

It’s a girl.

Mia Nicole Vernon was born eight weeks premature June 6 in Austin, Texas, weighing 3 pounds and 4 ounces. She is in fine fettle these days, home and happy. Mia’s arrival gave her parents more than a pregnant pause.

“We did not choose to be a part of the ‘Obama Baby Boom’. Shortly after her birth, I began to wonder if Mia would still be considered a part of the Obama baby boom, and it hit me: She may have started the ‘Obama Baby Boom’ - perhaps Mia is the first ‘Obama Baby Boom’ baby. We can leave the official determination to others, but until it is shown otherwise, Mia is the first, to us,” Mr. Vernon told Inside the Beltway.

“The new ‘Generation O’ will forever be associated with this historic period of American societal change. The entire Obama campaign represented hope and optimism for us, and that is why we were comfortable bringing new life into this world at this time,” he said.

Just finishing his graduate studies in molecular biology at the University of Texas, Mr. Vernon volunteered for the Obama campaign in 2008 and has since started a local chapter of Scientists and Engineers for America, a nonprofit dedicated to increasing the impact of “innovative” science in politics.

“We are in the middle of a political battle over health care, and my baby daughter was born eight weeks early. This means that we were heavily dependent upon our health care coverage, and thankfully, it was good. However, if Mia was born a year later, it might be a much different story,” Mr. Vernon says. “After finishing graduate school, I will be facing the possibility that I will not be able to find a job or that I will have a job that doesn’t provide quality health care. We just received a bill for Mia’s time in the neonatal intensive care unit, and if we didn’t have health insurance, we would be bankrupted.”

The family anticipates moving to Washington; Mr. Vernon intends to seek policy-related fellowships.

“I believe a world that embraces science will be a better world for my daughter,” he said, musing that someday, perhaps, there will be a “Million Baby March” on Washington.

Savage suspicion

The Daily Mail of London filed the British equivalent of a Freedom of Information Act request with the British government and discovered that the decision to include talk-radio host Michael Savage on a list of violent “undesirables” was approved by the Prime Minister’s Office and was an effort to “to ensure that the names disclosed reflect the broad range of cases and are not all Islamic extremists.”

Mr. Savage is Jewish and now suing the British government for defamation. He is also convinced the worst of the situation remains submerged.

“Have you seen this story in any U.S. newspaper, covered on any of the cable channels, discussed by any of the so-called ‘conservatives?’ We are living in a dangerous world of the government-media complex,” Mr. Savage told Inside the Beltway. “Stories are not covered to retain access, to squash media competition. Where is the free press we boast of? And why was Savage targeted and not Rush Limbaugh?”

There are worrisome underpinnings, Mr. Savage said.

“Only my continuing legal battle will produce answers. At which point will Limbaugh, et al., thank me? My listeners and defense fund contributors are the last hope I - or we - have to discover who in the American government ordered this strike against my freedom of speech.”

Palin as phoenix

Mudslingers were at work even as former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin bid farewell to her office on Sunday. There is a reason for that.

“She’s the real deal. I believe the ongoing personal attacks on both Mrs. Palin and her family indicate that she remains a real threat to the liberal feminist political establishment,” said Jane Abraham, co-founder of Team Sarah, a 70,000-member grass-roots support group.

“She has provided women with a new political role model,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, the other co-founder of the group. “Her entrance onto the public stage has attracted massive numbers of Americans new to the political process. We have every confidence she will have an equal and profound impact in whatever she undertakes as a private citizen.”

Poll du jour

71 percent of blacks and 22 percent of whites say President Obama’s response to the Henry Louis Gates Jr. matter was “good” or “excellent.”

• Fifty percent of Democrats gave Mr. Obama’s response a positive review.

• Seventy-seven percent of Republicans gave him a negative review.

• Seventy-three percent of blacks and 21 percent of whites said blacks get unfair treatment from the police.

The Rasmussen Reports poll surveyed 1,000 likely voters July 24 to 25 and has an error margin of three percentage points.

Tips, rants and grunts to jharper@washingtontimes.com or 202/636-3085.

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