- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 3, 2011


“Am I going to run for office again? Right now, I might say ‘no.’ But I’ve learned after 59 years on this planet that you never say ‘never.’ If Congressman Ron Paul called me, I would consider being on his ticket. Whether I’m in as president or vice president, we’d have to flip a coin,” Jesse Ventura tells Inside the Beltway, brimming with admiration for the Texas Republican.

The former Minnesota governor has much to say. He has a new website (www.weaintgottimetobleed.com) and his new book “63 Documents the Government Doesn’t Want You to Read” hits bookshelves Monday. Mr. Ventura is making appearances in Manhattan all week, having flown in a private jet from his home in a remote area of Mexico.

“I’m suing the Transportation Security Administration on the grounds they violated my rights under the Fourth Amendment, which protects Americans from unreasonable searches and seizures. So I’m not flying commercial,” he says, vexed that even as a former Navy SEAL and state governor, he is still treated as a security risk and sent through airport scanners.

Mr. Ventura, who hosts “Conspiracy Theory” on TruTV, is a big fan of WikiLeaks but dismisses the mainstream media. He blames CBS’ “60 Minutes” for the “downfall” of news after the network discovered it could make big ratings and ad revenue from dramatic coverage. Mr. Ventura also contends that the press has failed in its traditional watchdog role, “creates rather than reports news” and has “dumbed down America” by focusing on celebrities rather than mportant issues.

“And idiots like Bill O’Reilly on Fox News won’t have me on their show. Think about that. Fox News won’t have me on the air, but Al Jazeera will put me on any day. I think that Al Jazeera is a lot more ‘fair and balanced’ than Fox News,” Mr. Ventura says.

“And all these knuckleheads who want to run for president, like Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich. Do we really want stupid people to run?” the former wrestler demands. “The greatest thing Americans can do to save our country is to stop voting for Republicans and Democrats. Both parties have been bought out by corporations. I mean, has anyone ever wondered why every secretary of the Treasury in recent years came out of Goldman Sachs?”


Observers have deduced that President Obama is poised to file his re-election papers with the Federal Election Commission. Like, soon - possibly Monday in a terse little email to followers with hullabaloo to follow. Major fundraising events in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York already are scheduled throughout April; the “Obama 2012 Victory Fund” is being established, says Chicago Sun-Times political writer Lynn Sweet.

And the timing? Not so prudent, perhaps.

“With all of the speculation surrounding the presidents re-election announcement, does the White House believe it is ‘good optics’ to formally kick off the presidents re-election campaign during negotiations to keep the government open, a budget battle for the next fiscal year and unrest in the Middle East?” asks the Republican National Committee.


Uh-oh, the honeymoon apparently has ended.

“The GOP election bounce appears to be over, with more American adults in March identifying themselves as Democrats than Republicans for the first time since October. Now, just 34 percent of adults consider themselves to be Republicans. Thats down three points since December and just over a point lower than a month ago. The number calling themselves Democrats rose to 35.3 percent from 34.3 percent in February.”

(From a Rasmussen Reports tracking survey of 15,000 adults conducted from January to March and released Friday.)


It was inevitable, perhaps. George Washington is getting a $60 million, 45,000-square-foot presidential library to augment Mount Vernon, his bustling old homestead. The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington will house 2,500 rare 18th- and 19th-century books, including 80 owned by Washington, plus 500 letters, ledgers and account books that bear his writing or signature. Groundbreaking on the five-acre facility dedicated to “America’s most famous founding father” is April 14; the anticipated completion date is 2013.


It’s getting dramatic. Fiscally conscientious Republicans are now Snidely Whiplash-style villains as well as “tea party extremists.” Officials in eight progressive groups have called a “fast against budget cuts against America’s needy.” The organizations include MoveOn.org, the Service Employees International Union and the Center for Community Change.

“I am fasting because this budget will leave pregnant women and children hungry, sick people without health care, children without pre-school and students without teachers - while giving tax breaks to those who caused this crisis,” says Justin Ruben, MoveOn’s executive director. “We don’t have a budget crisis in Washington. We have a moral crisis. Those who will go hungry because of these cuts are largely invisible to decision-makers in Congress.”


• 58 percent of U.S. voters disapprove of the way Democrats in Congress are “handling their job.”

• 81 percent of Republicans, 73 percent of conservatives, 34 percent of liberals and 28 percent of Democrats agree.

• 55 percent overall disapprove of the way Republicans in Congress are handling their job.

• 75 percent of liberals, 74 percent of Democrats, 32 percent of Republicans and 42 percent of conservatives agree.

• 40 percent overall would vote for the House Republican candidate if an election were held now; 37 percent would vote for the Democrat.

Source: A Quinnipiac University Poll of 2,069 voters conducted March 22 to 28.

Murmurs and asides, ballyhoo in general to [email protected] washington times.com.

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