- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 20, 2010

DISHING THE DIRT

Run for the hills. Earth Day is only 48 hours away. Alas, it’s become a mawkish event, and a profitable one, too. Consider that 40 years ago, or maybe it was 400 years ago, Earth Day was a relatively simple affair. Neighborhood hippies would clean up a vacant lot, plant begonias, throw a ceremonial Frisbee and then wander off to explore weed of another sort.

Earth Day has become a $1.4 billion business, says Freedom Action, a political action committee that has tracked the revenues of Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection (where the annual take is over $88 million), the Environmental Defense Fund and six other groups. The committee has crafted an advocacy ad to share its findings.

“The leaders of these big environmental pressure groups are as out of touch with the concerns of average working Americans as the chairman of Goldman Sachs. The eight environmental pressure groups we highlight in our ad now largely serve as fronts for big corporations. They have worked closely together to write the [House and Senate] cap-and-trade bills,” Freedom Action Director Myron Ebell tells Inside the Beltway.

“Enactment of either bill would provide hundreds of billions of dollars in windfall profits to big companies like GE, Duke Energy and Exelon,” he adds. “Freedom Action’s ad shows that Al Gore is not the only person doing well from promoting global warming alarmism.”

AY-YI-YI

It’s pronounced “AY-uh-fyat-luh-YOE-kuutl-uh,” according to the British Broadcasting Corp., and “ay-yah-FYAH’-plah-yer-kuh-duhl,” according to the Associated Press. Still, scores of earnest journalists mispronounce Eyjafjallajokull, the excitable Iceland volcano that has disrupted air traffic, commerce and politics since Thursday. Though the dust is settling, journalists continue to mangle the name, or just shorten it to the jaunty “Ey-ja.” Meanwhile, a “best of” the bungles is already circulating on YouTube, which thanks reporters “for giving the nation of Iceland a good laugh.”

TAKING AIM

“Which part of ‘shall not be infringed’ confuses you?”

“Guns save lives.”

“My rights come from God, not the government.”

“Gun control is not about guns, it’s about control.”

“Armed gays don’t get bashed.”

- Protest signs from Patriot’s Day gun rights rallies on Monday

ALSO TAKING AIM

MSNBC repeatedly touted President Obama as a pro-Second Amendment president and chastised gun rights activists for “worrying” over this issue, says Scott Whitlock, an analyst with Newsbusters.org. He observes that Mr. Obama appointed “the extremely anti-gun” Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Mr. Whitlock also has a long memory.

“Recall that candidate Obama famously chastised ‘bitter’ Americans for ‘clinging’ to their guns,” he says.

THE CHUBBY BOMB

First lady Michelle Obama has a new ally in her war on youthful obesity: Sen. Richard G. Lugar. The Indiana Republican joins Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and much military brass Tuesday at the Capitol with this startling message: “Childhood obesity endangers national security.”

The group - which includes retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Norman R. Seip, retired Rear Adm. James A Barnett Jr. and retired Army Brig. Gen. Clara L. Adams-Ender - will release findings on the “dramatic increase” of obesity among young adults and the toll it takes on military recruiting. They want Congress to enact legislation that, among other things, removes junk food from schools. See the inside skinny at www.missionreadiness.org.

DON’T ASK, DO TELL

“To say the obvious about Elena Kagan: It’s the hair. Let the opprobrium begin, but who isn’t, in their own mind, putting it exactly so: She sure looks gay,” says Newser.com founder Michael Wolff, sizing up a potential White House pick for the Supreme Court.

“Among professional right-wingers, with their own gay mafia, there is a kind of breathlessness and, even, obvious titillation, about the subject. Lesbianism seems, to them, not just an ultimate misogynistic target, but the zenith of the left wing. Your can’t get more left than a lesbian, even though the left seems down on Kagan because she’s too moderate,” Mr. Wolff notes.

“The left, in a triumph of intellect and bureaucracy, takes the view that there is or should be no sexuality, that sexuality is just gutter innuendo of the right. … Everybody else tries gamely to believe sexual situation* shouldn’t add to the story, but secretly suspects it might. For one thing, it makes these dull figures more interesting. For another, such issues now infuse all aspects of American life, … so why should politics be exempted?”

POLL DU JOUR

• 56 percent of voters favor a repeal of health care reform.

• 87 percent of Republicans and 55 percent of unaffiliated voters agree.

• 62 percent of Democrats are opposed to repeal.

• 52 percent of voters overall say the health care plan is “bad” for the country.

• 40 percent say it is likely the bill will be repealed; 49 percent say it is unlikely.

Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted April 16 to 17.

Dirt, mud, loam to [email protected]

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