- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 27, 2010

WE’RE A COURT LOW

As the great Supreme Court replacement derby gets fired up, John Shu reminds the American public that liberals relish the chance to perpetuate the stereotype that virtuous “liberal” judges rule in favor of minorities, the poor and the little guy while those shameful “conservative” judges rule in favor of evil corporations, police departments and white males.

Mr. Shu is a Supreme Court confirmation specialist who served as an adviser in both Bush White Houses.

“This stereotype been around for a very long time. The White House and its allies are already starting to try and take advantage of it, and politically, that’s not a bad strategy. But it’s not an accurate strategy. It’s not based on fact, ” Mr. Shu tells Inside the Beltway.

“The public should pay attention to the arguments that surround a particular nominee. If the arguments say this person is qualified through education and experience, well, that’s rational. If the arguments cite the fact that they have empathy for the poor and the little guy, or are not in favor of evil corporations and the white male, then you have to wonder what’s going on,” he says. “It’s important. Pay attention. These appointments are for life.”

BORDER WARS

Not everyone is squawking about Arizona’s new immigration law.

“The ‘open borders’ Obama administration has postured itself in favor of amnesty over the rule of law. Now states like Arizona are being forced to step up and fill the void left by the Department of Homeland Security and the Obama administration,” says Rep. Steve King, Iowa Republican.

“I commend Arizona for standing up for the rule of law and protecting American workers. This is the time for the Obama administration to accelerate enforcement of immigration laws to make room for unemployed Americans, not grant amnesty.”

WOO WORTHY

Decisions, decisions. To oppose financial regulation or embrace it? That is the question among politicians in full woo mode, eager to appease their base support and fickle independents alike with just the right set of alliances.

It is a tricky business, with an unpredictable trajectory.

“With independent voters distrustful of both government and Wall Street bankers, Republicans would appear to be at risk of losing some of their current advantage with independents should they oppose financial-regulation legislation,” says pollster John Zogby, who gauges such sentiments in today’s “Poll du Jour.”

“Supporting the Democrats’ bill won’t be appreciated by a majority of Republican voters, but this should be the issue where GOP lawmakers abandon the strategy of appealing to the base so as not to lose unaffiliated voters. As for Democrats, being strongly anti-Wall Street could be effective in countering their burden of being seen as the party of big government,” Mr. Zogby concludes.

BUTTON PATROL

“Annoy a liberal. Work hard, be happy.”

Lapel button for sale at the Republican National Committee’s online store.

FUN WITH SCIENCE

Quick, somebody call Al Gore.

“Purple pokeberries - the weeds that children smash to stain their cheeks purple-red and that Civil War soldiers used to write letters home - could be the key to spreading solar power across the globe,” say researchers at Wake Forest University’s Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials.

They have used the crimson pokeberry dye to coat inexpensive fiber-based solar cells that produce twice the power of the flat plastic variety. The dye acts as an absorber, boosting the fibrous cell’s output even more.

“Pokeberries proliferate even during drought and in rocky, infertile soil. That means residents of rural Africa, for instance, could raise the plants for pennies. Then they could make the dye absorber for the extremely efficient fiber cells and provide energy where power lines don’t run,” notes center director David Carroll.

“They’re weeds. They grow on every continent but Antarctica,” he adds.

THE RACKET

There’s the regular back and forth of tennis, pingpong, squash, badminton, jai alai, and Senate Democrats during financial-regulatory reform legislation, some observers say. Republicans raise legitimate concerns about the various provisions in the bill that allow bailouts, and ka-blam. Democrats dismiss it as mere “talking points.”

Republicans earnestly point out that the real-world consequences of the Democrats’ legislation will be more bailouts, and whap. Democrats are calling “talking points” once again.

Now why is this? Why won’t the learned Democrats give a substantive answer to critiques that their bill perpetuates taxpayer bailouts of private companies?

“Because they can’t. When shouting ‘talking points’ is your only rebuttal, you have no rebuttal,” says the Republican Study Committee. “Will the Democrats’ inability to defend their permanent-bailout bill finally be revealed as too-ridiculous-to-succeed?”

POLL DU JOUR

• 46 percent of U.S. voters would favor a political party that was “anti-Wall Street.”

• 9 percent of Republicans and 78 percent of Democrats agree.

• 44 percent of voters overall would favor a party that was “anti-government.”

• 84 percent of Republicans and 10 percent of Democrats agree.

• 56 percent of voters overall support Wall Street financial regulations.

• 16 percent of Republicans and 86 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Zogby International survey of 1,993 likely voters conducted April 23-25.

Tips, quips and fairly well-worded press releases to [email protected].

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