- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 24, 2010

TREASURY TROVE

It is the stuff of reality TV. Maybe the Bravo Network. We’re talking about public auctions of seized and forfeited assets by the U.S. Treasury, that is. Secretary Timothy F. Geithner’s agency will stage its final auction of the year in a New Jersey warehouse next week, featuring an astonishing assortment of gold jewelry - some carefully labeled “oversized hip-hop rapper style” - plus gold nuggets and bars, an airplane, expensive cosmetics, fancy shoes, tons of exercise equipment and oddities like gardening stuff and door handles. There’s considerable loot; the agency stages 300 auctions a year.

“We’ve auctioned of a horse in Arizona, 54,000 frozen scallops in Baltimore, 605 loose diamonds in Manhattan - I’m not surprised by anything I see anymore,” Rick Levin, who conducts auctions as a subcontractor for the agency, tells Inside the Beltway. “We get several hundred people usually, private buyers and dealers - and more, if we’ve got things like Ferraris or Rolexes on the list.”

The Chicago-based auctioneer says his contract covers U.S. law enforcement agencies participating in the Treasury Forfeiture Fund, including the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Secret Service, and the Internal Revenue Service, among others. See the details here about the upcoming event: www.treas.gov/auctions/treasury/gp.

HEADLINE OF NOTE



John Boehner (Replacing Pelosi soon) says if anyone should be out of a job it should be all of Obama’s economic team.”

Snappy synopsis at Fark.com.

MOVING THE MOSQUE

Inquiring minds want to know. Will the organizers of the Cordoba House Initiative - AKA the “ground zero mosque” - proceed with the project or back down? One observer parses players and landscape:

“Given the fact that important Democrats like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and former Democratic Party Chair Howard Dean, as well as organizations like the Zionist Organization of America, Anti-Defamation League and Simon Wiesenthal Center have called for moving the mosque elsewhere; that numerous Republican leaders have called for the same; that even President Obama strongly suggested it was not wise to build a Muslim center adjacent to ground zero; that New York Gov. David Paterson is meeting with mosque leaders to request moving the mosque; and given that anti-American, pro-terror statements from Iman Feisal Abdul Rauf, spiritual leader of this Muslim center, have been exposed; I believe that the mosque leaders will succumb to the dramatically increasing pressure to move the Islamic center elsewhere,” Morton A. Klein, president of the aforementioned Zionist Organization of America, tells the Beltway.

MIKE MALLOY ET AL

Among other things, liberal pundits have called conservatives “terrorists” without having to answer for their vicious language - until now. The Media Research Center has tracked the trends and offered an array of on-the-record incidents where left-leaners have struck at conservative rivals early and often.

“We now have proof that the real hate is being spread by liberal talk-show hosts with no repercussion from the media. Wishing for the death of Michele Bachmann and Rush Limbaugh goes ignored by the so-called ‘news’ media. Accusing conservatives of wishing to kill President Obama goes ignored as well,” says the center’s founder Brent Bozell. “Look. We have the proof. We have their words on record. The media must tell the truth about these vile offenders, else they participate in outright hypocrisy.”

See the report here: www.mrc.org.

FEEDBACK LOOP

“Beckapalooza.”

Politico’s nickname for Fox News host Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally at the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday.

SCRATCH 2012

The nation is in such chaos that some already have suggested that President Obama is comfortable serving only a single term in office.

“Maybe Michelle and Barack just assume the president is not going to be re-elected, so why bother to keep up pretenses?” says Pajamas Media founder Roger Simon.

“Everyone into politics is really focused on this November. I’m focused on the two Novembers after that, because I am now convinced more than ever that President Obama won’t be running. Polls won’t take him out. I think Barack Obama will take himself out. I don’t think he wants it and, increasingly, I don’t think he’s remotely enthralled by the trappings of power that come of it,” suggests Fox News business anchor Neil Cavuto.

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure he loves Air Force One and Marine One. But this is more about being one-and-done. Because beating traffic is nice, but beating a path to sure history is even nicer,” Mr. Cavuto says. “What could be more historic than a president who willingly walks away from the most powerful job on Earth? Especially one who shattered precedent becoming president and all but shattered the Constitution itself being president.”

POLL DU JOUR

- 54 percent of Republicans and 27 percent of Democrats have an “unfavorable” view of Islam.

- 38 percent of Americans overall agree.

- 21 percent of Republicans and 41 percent of Democrats have a “favorable” view of Islam.

- 30 percent overall agree.

- 74 percent of Republicans and 39 percent of Democrats object to the “mosque near the World Trade Center.”

- 51 percent overall agree.

Source: A Pew Research Center survey of 1,003 adults conducted Aug. 19 to 22.

Sprightly observations, press releases to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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