- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 1, 2010


We pause now for a cultural moment. General Electric has become a “presenting sponsor” of the official Ronald Reagan Centennial celebration on Feb. 6, 2011, which is shaping up to be a doozy. We’re talking a major “Concert for America” at the Hollywood Bowl and a commemorative postage stamp here. Keep in mind that this is the same company that owns MSNBC, the perch for Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann - plus CNBC, home of nearly-a-candidate-for-Senate Larry Kudlow. The massive company recently has become proudly Reagan-centric.

GE has mounted a campaign to remind Americans that the handsome former president hosted the old “GE Theater” for eight years, from 1954 to 1962. And they’re not being subtle.

“Long before he ran for office, Ronald Reagan served as host of ‘General Electric Theater.’ He also spent months each year traveling to GE factories, inspiring employees with his optimism, entrepreneurial spirit and a belief in innovation,” the company says in a promotional video, which includes splendid footage of Mr. Reagan - in suave sport coat mode, as well as film clips of his most brilliant presidential moments.

A slide show reveals a spate of great black-and-white photos, and there is a bank of commentary from, among others, Pat Buchanan and Peggy Noonan. GE has also dedicated a phone line (203/944-3007) for those who would like to record their favorite Reagan memory.

It is a very long way from Mr. Matthews’ territory. And we are grateful to eagle-eyed Washington Times defense reporter and friend-of-Beltway Rowan Scarborough for pointing the phenomenon out. It’s worth a look-see: www.ge.com/reagan.


“Drill, Baby, Drill” (CNN, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Washington Examiner, Seattle Times)

“Drill, Obama, drill”(New York Times, National Review, the Atlantic)

“Drill here, drill now” (Sarah Palin, in a speech before the Tea Party Express on Saturday).


So, is the White House decision to open some coastal areas to oil and gas exploration a humdinger? Competitive Enterprise Institute director of Energy Policy Myron Ebell calls it a “step back” for the nation.

“In 2008, President George W. Bush revoked his father’s executive order barring new offshore-energy development and the Interior Department prepared a five-year offshore-leasing plan. Congress co-operated by dropping the moratorium on offshore oil production everywhere except in the western Gulf of Mexico and the Arctic Ocean. The Obama administration, however, suspended it all and is proposing a new plan that is much more limited,” Mr. Ebell says.

“Anyone who sees this as a step in the right direction should remember that President Obama still supports energy-rationing policies to address global warming that would cause electricity prices to, in his own words, ‘necessarily skyrocket’ and would require gas prices of at least $7 a gallon, according to a recent Harvard study, he adds. “I guess when gas hits $7 as a result of Obama’s policies, Americans can take comfort in the fact that a bit more of it is being produced in the U.S.”


Yes, the regional factions quibble on occasion. Their message is not homogenized. But the “tea party” is milking something promising, according to Lou Harris, the veteran pollster who has plumbed national sentiment about the evolving political movement.

“To sum it all up, the outlook for the ‘tea party’ venture into politics must be viewed as well set up to succeed. Above all else, they can make hay with their denunciation of the Washington crowd. That remains a very substantial target at which to shoot,” Mr. Harris says.

“Very important, they have a highly charismatic possible leader and potential candidate in Sarah Palin. And they have already shown their willingness to trek long distances to rallies and other party gatherings to be an activated movement, and they might just get enough money to finance some strong TV campaigns,” he predicts.


“Change. Enough already.”

Bumper sticker spotted by Beltway reader Toni Allen in Bethesda, Md.


A rising young conservative star? Eagle Publishing has announced the appointment of Jason Mattera as the new editor of Human Events.

“Jason’s ability to understand what is truly important, not just repeat D.C.’s echo chamber, plus his unique ability to put facts into understandable, interesting - and even fun - stories and videos is remarkable. His wisdom and talents are far beyond his years,” says Joe Guerriero, vice president of Eagle’s GeoPolitical division.

Mr. Mattera, only 26, has already authored “Obama Zombies: How the Liberal Machine Brainwashed My Generation” and was spokesman for Young America’s Foundation. He joins Human Events on April 12 and will also contribute to RedState .com, the Newt Gingrich Letter, and Guns & Patriots - all part of the Eagle stable.

“It is utterly refreshing to see a young journalist with Jason’s intellect and feel for the zeitgeist have an opportunity to inject new energy into one of the old stalwart publications of the conservative movement,” says Andrew Breitbart, founder of BigHollywood.com


• 59 percent of Republicans, 36 percent of independents and 9 percent of Democrats support the “tea party movement.”

• 6 percent of Republicans, 41 percent of Democrats and 24 percent of independents oppose the movement.

• 55 percent of Americans overall are familiar with the tea party; 33 percent support it.

• 38 percent of Republicans favor Sarah Palin as the Republican candidate for president in 2012; 34 percent favor Mitt Romney.

• 38 percent of tea party supporters favor Mitt Romney; 36 percent favor Sarah Palin.

Source: A Harris Poll of 2,320 adults conducted March 1 to 8 and released Wednesday.

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