- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 15, 2010

CAUTIONARY TALE

More than 700 “tea party” rallies are scheduled around the nation on Thursday, according to the Tea Party Patriots, a grass-roots group that has tracked the activities of community groups for the last year. Yet there also is talk of tea party “crashers” on the prowl - agitators, operatives and pranksters bent on infiltrating the rallies with less than honorable intentions. Those with experience have advice for the boots-on-the-ground set, whether they are standing outside the White House, or on the village green.

“Last year, we were warned this would happen and for the most part it did not. Since these ‘crashers’ are wanting a confrontation or something embarrassing, I would say the best thing to do is to use humor. Saul Alinsky said ridicule was the most powerful weapon,” Judson Phillips - who organized the National Tea Party Convention in March and has another in the works for July - tells Inside the Beltway.

“The tea partiers should also remember that the media is going to call them racist, no matter what. The ‘spitgate’ incident is proof of that. Nothing happened and the story could not be verified, yet, the media picked that story up and ran with it,” Mr. Phillips continues. “I would also tell people to carry video cameras, and videotape everything. We have a number of online outlets including teapartynation.com and Andrew Breitbart’s sites, where we can get the message out.”

MISS ME YET?

“Americans are now pretty evenly divided about whether they would rather have Barack Obama or George W. Bush in the White House,” says Tom Jensen of the Public Polling Institute. “Forty-eight percent prefer Obama while 46 percent say they would rather have the old president back.”

The survey of 622 registered voters was conducted April 9 to 11.

“George W. Bushs approval ratings were horrid his final few years in office because even a decent number of Republicans and conservative-leaning independents were unhappy with him. Now those folks wish they could have him back over Obama,” says Dean Debnam, president of the North Carolina-based polling group.

Oh, and here’s Part 2:

“Pit maverick Republican Congressman Ron Paul against President Obama in a hypothetical 2012 election match-up, and the race is virtually dead even,” says a new Rasmussen Reports survey which finds Mr. Obama with 42 percent of the support, and Mr. Paul with 41 percent. Eleven percent prefer some other candidate, and 6 percent are undecided, the poll found. The survey of 1,000 likely voters was conducted April 12 and 13.

BUMPER PATROL

“Let’s tax the government.”

Bumper sticker spotted in Burke, Va.

PARSING PALIN

Dumpster-diving students at California State University unearthed the shards of Sarah Palin’s speaking contract with the campus that called for unopened bottles of water and bendable straws on the lectern, along with a Lear jet. The revelations became yet another set of talking points for critical pundits who cast it as “star treatment” and “trashy” behavior, among other things.

“Governor Palin could sneeze and they’d make a federal case out of it,” LaDonna Hale Curzon, creator of Sarah Palin Radio, tells the Beltway. “Their only motive is to destroy her good reputation. I’m not an agent, but her speaking contract sure doesn’t sound out of the ordinary to me.”

She adds, “I was recently at the Palins’ home for daughter Piper’s birthday party. It wasn’t any different than the birthday parties I use to throw for my own two daughters. Governor Palin lit the birthday candles, spun the girls around before they attempted to smash open a pinata with a baseball bat and served pizza and birthday cake to everyone, like moms everywhere do. It’s really pathetic that some people refuse to believe that Governor Palin is as real in private as she is in public.”

OUTFOXING THE REST

He’s numero uno: Fox News CEO Roger Ailes tops the annual list of TV Week’s “Top 10 Most Powerful in TV News,” trumping the competition at other networks - even Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart

“Last year, there were plenty of pundits willing to speculate that Fox News was going to have a hard time thriving in a world where Barack Obama was president and a new spirit of bipartisanship had arrived. But that feel-good moment was fleeting as partisanship is more intense than ever. And Fox? It just had a record year,” says TV Week scribe Elizabeth Jensen, noting that the network’s total viewership is up 13 percent.

TRESSED OUT

Rod Blagojevich may be washed up, but his luxurious hair is still going strong, according to Dennis Fath of Delta Laboratories in Elk Grove Village, Ill. The chemist has created volumizing “Blago” shampoo and conditioner, each infused with silk protein, rosemary and orchid - sold in manly, bold black and gold bottles and sold online (www.blagohair.com).

“So far, customers, including many women, have been happy with the results,” Mr. Fath says. “Even those who buy the shampoo as a joke end up actually liking it.”

Has the former Illinois governor endorsed his namesake shampoo? Uh, they’re working on it.

“It would only make sense to have him officially endorse the product,” Mr. Fath says.

POLL DU JOUR

• 63 percent of Americans expect their taxes to be higher in the next year.

• 74 percent of Republicans, 64 percent of independents and 49 percent of Democrats agree.

• 30 percent of Americans overall expect no change in their taxes.

• 20 percent of Republicans, 30 percent of independents and 41 percent of Democrats agree.

• 4 percent of Americans overall expect lower taxes in the next year.

• 4 percent of Republicans, 3 percent of independents and 6 percent of Democrats agree,.

Source: A Gallup poll of 1,020 adults conducted April 7 and 8.

Murmurs, asides and styling tips to [email protected]

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