- The Washington Times - Friday, April 16, 2010

BLESSED TEA PARTY?

The “tea party” is not composed of impatient rabble or sly political operatives. it’s friends and neighbors who may just have a little help from the proverbial big man upstairs, says Richard Viguerie, chairman of ConservativeHQ.com.

“The tea parties are an unfettered new force of the middle class tapping into the anger and disappointment felt not only toward Republicans and Democrats, but most major American institutions such as Wall Street, education, Hollywood, the media, big labor and others who have betrayed their public trust,” he says.

“This new force - unlike most conservative leaders - is unfettered by old relationships and ties. For 35 years, the conservative movement has made do with three legs - foreign policy, social conservatism and fiscal conservatism,” Mr. Viguerie continues. “It may take ten years, but this revolt of the middle class is the fourth leg the conservative movement has been waiting for.”

He adds, “God may have given America one last chance to restore the vision of our Founding Fathers and empower citizens over their government.”

READ ‘EM AND WEEP

The taxing part of tax time is not quite over. The National Taxpayers Union has calculated the long-term costs of the pesky U.S. tax system to find that, ultimately, American families and businesses spend 7.5 billion hours complying with federal tax requirements - the equivalent of $100 billion in man-hours.

“How much more complexity can elected officials keep inflicting on the tax system before it collapses under its own weight?” asks David Keating, who conducted the research. “Our economy and civil liberties would be better off with a simpler system.”

Indeed. His study reveals that the 1040 form’s instruction book alone is 174 pages long, while the 1040A “short” form, at 49 lines, has double the number of lines of the 1945 version. See the whole thing here: www.ntu.org.

Not to be outdone, the Competitive Enterprise Institute offers “Ten Thousand Commandments,” its annual review of federal regulations: 3,503 new ones cost Americans $1.2 trillion in “compliance burdens” that often escape congressional scrutiny.

“Rolling back regulations would constitute the deregulatory stimulus that the U.S. economy needs,” notes author Clyde Wayne Crews Jr.

See the 56-page report at https://cei.org/10kc

THE ISRAEL BLUES

Collateral damage continues to accumulate as relations between Israel and the White House cool.

“The administration’s troubling policy of manufacturing fights with Israel to ingratiate itself with some in the Arab world is no way to advance the cause of Mideast peace. What kind of message is sent to the world when our country appears to turn its back on key strategic allies who share our values?” observes House Republican Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia.

AH-NAWLD EXPOSED

Leave it to a comic book to address the big questions. Is California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger the embodiment of the American dream, or is he simply a man lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time?

That’s the concern of Bluewater Productions, which has produced a biography comic about the Governator, part of a Political Power series that already has presented cartoon versions of President Obama and former presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Al Gore - and soon will include Rush Limbaugh.

“The crazy thing is, as something of an action-movie buff, I probably tended to dismiss Arnold’s accomplishments more than I should have,” says Justin Peniston, who wrote the text. “I knew he was a self-made man, but I didn’t know what that really meant until I took on this project.”

CULTURAL MOMENT

A source close to the State Department forwards this in-house memo from the Foreign Service Institute (FSI), the federal government’s primary training institution for American diplomats.

“FSI announces: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered Community in Foreign Affairs Agencies Workshop. This Transition Center workshop will highlight the unique situations that affect LGBT employees and their families overseas and help them understand and work with relevant USG policies. It will help participants identify the unique security challenges and safety issues that may arise overseas, gain familiarity with USG policies as they apply to same sex domestic partners and members of household, learn how to engage with post to gain assistance and understand the challenges of having foreign national partners both overseas and in the U.S.”

POLL DU JOUR

• 44 percent of Americans would like to see Republicans “win control of Congress”; 41 percent prefer Democrats.

• 12 percent “don’t care,” and 2 percent “don’t know.”

• 43 percent would like to see their “own member of Congress” win again.

• 51 percent would like to see “someone else” win.

• 44 percent consider themselves to be conservative, 20 percent say they are liberal, 32 percent say they are moderate.

Source: Associated Press/GfK Roper poll of 1,001 adults conducted April 7 to 12.

History, mystery and press releases to [email protected] washingtontimes.com.

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