- The Washington Times - Monday, November 23, 2009

SIGN OF THE TIMES

The partisan billboard wars continue. The city of San Carlos, Calif. is still blocking eager locals who want to install an 15-foot-by-48-foot sign emblazoned with “Sarah Palin for President 2012” over a local roadway, blocking their efforts with emergency bans on outdoor signage.

Now another billboard battle rages in Wheat Ridge, Colo., where the Wolf Automotive car dealership has added a terse voice to the national political discourse.

“President or jihad?” demands the big new orange, red and yellow sign near Interstate 70. It also include the phrases “Birth Certificate” and “Prove It,” along with “Wake up, America! Remember Ft. Hood!” There are two caricatures of President Obama, one wearing a turban.

In the last 48 hours, dealership owner Phil Wolf has drawn condemnation, praise, threats and protests, from the Anti-Defamation League and the Council on American-Islamic Relations, among others. He is not apologetic and does not plan to take the billboard down anytime soon.

“Just show a piece of paper, like the rest of us have to,” Mr. Wolf says, referring to Mr. Obama’s birth certificate, a source of controversy among so-called “birthers,” who contend that the president has yet to produce a legitimate document proving he was born in the U.S.

Mr. Wolf denies he is a racist, according to a report from the CBS News affiliate in Denver.

“My write-in candidate was Alan Keyes, and I married an Hispanic woman, so don’t come to me with racism,” Mr. Wolf says.

NOT ONE OF THEM

“In his capacity as Disaster & Preventive Psychiatry Fellow at the Uniformed Services University School of Medicine, Nidal Hasan registered (RSVP’d) to attend as an audience member a number of Homeland Security Policy Institute (HSPI) events in the period June 2008 to February 2009. All of these events were open to the public,” George Washington University’s Homeland Security Policy Institute (HSPI) tells Inside the Beltway.

On Friday, a Beltway item titled “In their midst” reported that Fort Hood shooting suspect Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan had been listed as a participant in events sponsored by the nonpartisan think tank, as recently as January.

“Our Presidential Transition Task Force Events are open to the public and invitations were shared with numerous government departments and agencies, including senior officials at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS). These senior leaders at USUHS in turn shared the invitation with their subordinates, including Hasan. At no time has Nidal Hasan been affiliated with HSPI or the George Washington University. He has never served as an HSPI Task Force Member, briefer, or featured speaker at an HSPI event.”

The organization adds: “HSPI’s Presidential Transition Task Force is not and was not affiliated with any Administration; and was created prior to the election.”

BUMP IN THE NIGHT

Yikes. Sounds like the Senate vote on health care reform is more appropriate for Halloween than Thanksgiving. The moment is still haunting some people.

President Obama, Harry Reid and their liberal Senate allies will surely gloat and pat themselves on the back for winning tonights vote in the dark of night during a rare Saturday session, while Americans were home with their families. But as they do, those moderate Democrats who voted for Harry Reids bill will have to answer to their constituents,” say Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele.

THE NEIGHBORHOOD

Chicago real estate broker Matt Garrison reports that the property right next to the ChiTown White House is still for sale. And it is a doozy.

“5040 South Greenwood Avenue is one of the most prestigious addresses in the United States. This gracious, turn-of-the-century home sits on an oversized lot in the historic Kenwood/Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. The home is situated directly next to 5046 South Greenwood, President Obamas Chicago residence. This historic pocket of Kenwood has long been home to Chicagos business, political and intellectual elite, boasting some of the largest and most ornate residences in the City of Chicago.”

The asking price on the 17-room, 6,000-square-foot property is $1.85 million; see it here: www.5040greenwood.com. Not in the listing: the omnipresent Secret Service team monitoring the Obama residence. Nevertheless, the home was named one of the nation’s “No. 1 real estate deals” on Sunday by Top 10 Real Estate Deals, an industry group that tracks such phenomena.

DO THE MATH

Just how much is $12 trillion? You remember $12 trillion - the looming federal debt?

“Twelve trillion is twelve followed by 12 zeros: 12,000,000,000,000 - or 12 times 10 to the twelfth power” says LeeDeCovnick on the American Thinker Web site. “Twelve trillion gallons of milk could easily fill Lake Superior almost four times over.”

The amount is equal to the combined gross domestic product of China, Japan and Britain combined; the sum is also 1,000 times greater then the distance from Earth to Jupiter in miles.

“Twelve trillion is so vast a super number that only astrophysicists and molecular geneticistsshould be allowed to calculate with it, not the bureaucrats in Washington,” Mr. DeCovnick adds.

POLL DU JOUR

• 8 percent of American voters say President Obama will “likely” cut the federal deficit in half during his term of office.

• 35 percent say Mr. Obama will succeed in health care reform.

• 17 percent say his policies will develop new sources of energy.

• 27 percent say he will ensure all children get a complete education.

• 23 percent are unsure if he will accomplish any of these initiatives.

Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted November 17-18.

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