- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 24, 2010

EYE OF THE BEHOLDER

Mike Huckabee was a conspicuous no-show at CPAC, proclaiming that the conservative confab had lost its muscle and gotten just a little too “libertarian” for him, an observation that perplexed and disappointed American Conservative Union President David Keene. Libertarians themselves have little regard for such excruciating details, however.

“If I had a nickel every time a conservative said ‘limited government’ and didn’t mean it, I’d be a very rich man,” says Libertarian Party Executive Director Wes Benedict.

“Unlike libertarians, most conservatives simply don’t want small government. They want their own version of big government. Of course, they have done a pretty good job of fooling American voters for decades by repeating the phrases ‘limited government’ and ‘small government’ like a hypnotic chant,” Mr. Benedict says.

Oh dear. He also contends conservatives only cry “big government” at their political rivals.

“Conservatives like Rush Limbaugh can’t ever be satisfied with enough military spending and foreign wars. Conservatives like Mitt Romney want to force everyone to buy health insurance,” proclaims Mr. Benedict, also lashing out at former Presidents George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan.

“The fact is, liberals and conservatives both want gigantic government. Their visions sometimes look different from each other, but both are huge. The only Americans who truly want small government are libertarians,” Mr. Benedict concludes.

UH-OH

“We can see that our entire society is in the middle of a revolution - a revolution in the ways people get their news and information. The digital age makes our business more competitive than ever before. It also presents us with opportunities we couldn’t have imagined to gather, produce and distribute the news. We can have great success in the new world - but only if we embrace what is new, rather than being overwhelmed by it. The time has come to anticipate change, rather than respond to it.”

ABC News President David Westin, on the company’s decision to downsize its staff by 20 percent, in an in-house e-mail to employees on Tuesday.

BRISTOL CLEAR

Her pregnancy was showcased during the 2008 presidential race. She has since given birth to a baby boy, founded a public relations company, withstood the rigors of a broken engagement, taken a public abstinence pledge and defended her baby brother from an attack on a popular cartoon show. But at 19, Bristol Palin is just getting started. She will play herself on the ABC Family drama “The Secret Life of an American Teenager,” to be broadcast this summer, the network has announced.

“Bristol Palin is the most famous teenage mother in America. We’re thrilled to have her join us, and I think she will bring additional attention to the issues facing teen parents that we’ve been exploring for a couple of seasons now,” says executive producer Brenda Hampton.

“I am thrilled to be on this show and to be a part of a program that educates teens and young adults about the consequences of teen pregnancy,” Miss Palin agrees.

Critics sprang to instant attack mode over the news.

“If Sarah Palin tries to say Hollywood’s exploitation and the culture’s celebration of teen pregnancy and parenting are a good thing, then Sarah Palin is a hypocrite. I can’t wait to hear Palin’s verbal jujitsu in trying to explain this one to Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity,” says David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun.

Bristol may not need her mother’s help, though.

Oprah Winfrey already has grilled Miss Palin on her lifestyle choices. Mother and daughter recently appeared together on the daytime TV talk diva’s show; Miss Winfrey questioned Miss Palin’s public pledge that she would “not have sex again” until she was married.

“Why set yourself up that way?…I’m just wondering if that’s a realistic goal,” Miss Winfrey suggested.

“It’s a realistic goal for myself,” Miss Palin replied.

JUST SO YOU KNOW

An item of note from the Associated Press’ Washington Daybook:

“Post-Valentine’s Day speed-dating event for Obama supporters. Generation Obama-Washington, DC chapter will host a speed dating/ networking event to help young Obama supporters make new friends and hopefully find romance. Ages 22-35. Location: Laughing Man Tavern 1306 G Street NW.”

WARM THOUGHTS

“Will 2010 be the warmest year on record? How do the recent U.S. ‘Snowmageddon’ winter storms and record low temperatures in Europe fit into the bigger picture of long-term global warming? NASA has launched a new Web page to help people better understand the causes and effects of Earth’s changing climate,” the federal space agency says, announcing the launch of A Warming World on Tuesday.

Hm. Look out. Asteroids ahead. Such prose might appeal to Al Gore, but them thar’s fightin’ words to “Climate-gate” watchdogs.

“The lead on today’s advisory focused on what is in the news right now and what scientists are thinking about. The lead wasn’t meant to antagonize anyone. We’re just putting the science out there for people to see and think about for themselves,” NASA spokesman Steve Cole tells the Beltway.

“NASA data and scientists have always been very open. That’s how we, as a publicly funded research agency, do our business,” continues Mr. Cole, adding that the aim is to ensure “those in the policy arena are in a better position to make more informed decisions.”

See NASA’s baby here: https://climate.nasa.gov/ warmingworld.

POLL DU JOUR

• Among Americans born between 1928 and 1945: 15 percent are liberal, 45 percent are conservative, 35 percent are moderate.

• Among those born between 1946 and 1964: 18 percent are liberal, 43 percent conservative, 36 percent moderate.

• Among those born between 1965 and 1980: 20 percent are liberal, 38 percent conservative, 38 percent moderate.

• Among those born after 1981: 29 percent are liberal, 28 percent conservative, 40 percent moderate.

Source: A Pew Research Center survey of 2,020 adults conducted Jan. 14 to 27 and released Wednesday.

Lukewarm testimony, hot air, cold shoulders to jharper@ washingtontimes.com.


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