- The Washington Times - Friday, April 2, 2010

READY TO RUMBLE

They have the endorsement of Sarah Palin and the support of a few fearless Hollywood celebrities. Co-founded by former congressman Barry Goldwater, Combat Veterans for Congress is a feisty political action committee endorsing 23 fiscally conservative, Republican combat veterans running for office in 16 states - from Jesse Kelly in Arizona to Vaughn Ward in Idaho - both former Marines.

“I believe these great veterans will fight for us in D.C. to uphold and defend our Constitution as courageously in the halls of Congress as they did on the field of battle,” Mrs. Palin says of this political platoon, set to expand by another 21 vets in the near future.

About that celebrity support. Actors Connie Stevens, Chad Everett, Wink Martindale, Alex Trebek, Dick Van Patten and Robert Conrad are among those stepping up, along with astronaut Buzz Aldrin and John Philip Sousa IV - great-grandson of the “March King” and an artist in Connecticut.

“These candidates are good fiscal conservatives. They’re constitutionalists. Heaven knows we need more of them in Washington. Does House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have a clue about how to protect our troops or guard national security? We need people in office who’ve been in combat, who understand that dynamic,” Mr. Sousa tells Inside the Beltway. “These politicians in Washington don’t get it, and the arrogance among them can be appalling.”

The particulars can be found here: www.combat veteransforcongress.org.

“It is crucial that we elect candidates who understand the values of honor, integrity, valor, and have protected the Constitution and our country with their very lives,” says chairman Joseph John, a former U.S. Navy captain.

ENDLESS HONEYMOON

The $64,000 question, or maybe it’s now the $64 billion question: Is the White House still on a honeymoon with the press? In a word, yes. The happy couple is still in wedded bliss, despite myriad reports that President Obama was disappointing his progressive fans, not living up to basic campaign promises or, heavens, flirting with military engagement and offshore oil drilling.

But the ongoing amour between Mr. Obama and much of the mainstream media is no longer built around starry-eyed idealization. The relationship is now built around the protective instincts of news organizations determined to ensure that the president’s image, message and mission stays intact. And they are in vilify mode.

“Liberals in the media tend to hate Obama being called a socialist,” Tim Graham, a Media Research Center analyst, tells the Beltway. “The government’s taken over the auto companies, will now decide which health insurance companies will be allowed by the federal government to operate, and nationalized the entire student-loan industry. Even the Democrats think the deficit spending’s so bad they’re accusing Republicans of aspiring to be as fiscally ruined as Greece. And it’s unfair to use the S-word?”

“I think the most bizarre part of this right-wing-hate trend is watching the Ed Schultzes and Dylan Ratigans denounce hate speech as they proclaimed on MSNBC that the Republicans wanted Americans to die. They’ve also brought on left-wing bomb-throwing bloggers like Markos Moulitsas and Jane Hamsher to decry the overzealous speech. They need a laugh track over there,” Mr. Graham adds.

FRIENDS OF iPAD

Many pine to try Apple’s “magical” new iPad, to go on sale Saturday, with possible customer riots at a mall near you. But another race already is on. Apple is naming what sectors are hip to fancy technology - HTML5, CSS3 and Java Script - for picture perfect content delivery. Here they are: The White House, USA Today, New York Times, CNN, CBS, Reuters, Time, People, Sports Illustrated, National Public Radio and Major League Baseball (MLB.com).

BIG HEALTH TIP

“Researchers at Wayne State University examining a database of 230 baseball players found that people who smile in photographs live longer than those who don’t. This is the first study to find a link between smile intensity and a biological outcome. … Previous research has shown that women with more intense smiles were more likely to stay married.”

(A dispatch from the Association for Psychological Science)

HARD NUMBERS

“Registered voters now say they prefer the Republican to the Democratic candidate in their district by 47 percent to 44 percent in the midterm congressional elections, the first time the GOP has led in 2010 election preferences since Gallup began weekly tracking of these in March,” says Gallup pollster Jeffrey M. Jones.

“These results suggest the Republicans would have a strong showing if the midterm elections were held today. Since Republicans usually vote at higher rates than Democrats, the Republicans’ edge in voter preferences would likely exceed what the registered voter results indicate.”

JUST SO YOU KNOW

How handy-dandy of them. Citizens Against Government Waste has launched a jaunty Web site to highlight “outrageous” examples of stimulus spending, with a state-by-state breakdown, not to mention suggestions for concerned citizens who’d like to get involved in exposing and/or sharing examples of their own local spendthrifts.

See it here: www.my wastedtaxdollars.org.

“The stimulus promised jobs and economic revitalization, yet money has been thrown away on backyard gardens and bumble-bee research,” says Tom Schatz, president of the watchdog group.

“When the government spends $977,000, or 19 times the average American household income, to buy one job and a bunch of BlackBerrys for smokers trying to kick the habit, taxpayers need to know and respond,” he adds.

POLL DU JOUR

• 36 percent of Americans have not yet filed their income taxes.

• 67 percent of that group plan to file by April 15,

• 16 percent will get an extension, 17 percent are “not sure” what they will do.

• 51 percent of Americans overall expect to get a refund; 18 percent say they owe money.

• 20 percent will break even, 11 percent are not sure of their status.

Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 adults conducted March 28 and 29.

Murmurs, press releases, Peeps to [email protected]

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