- The Washington Times - Monday, June 6, 2011


Oh, the spectacle. Rep. Anthony D. Weiner didn’t resign. He launched an apology tour instead, despite the emergence of new images, new women and a demand from BigGovernment.com founder Andrew Breitbart that the lawmaker offer another mea culpa to the press. Well, yeah. The New York Democrat spent many days blaming journalistic messengers for his woes. Meanwhile, Americans are weary of Mr. Weiner’s photo saga and verbose explanations. But this is not quite the finale.

Popular culture and business enterprise have taken over. The New York Democrat’s fellow citizens are capitalizing on the lawmaker’s woes. From Der Kommissar, a Brooklyn sausage and hot dog eaterie: “Anthony’s Weiners” - two beef hot dogs on two slices of French bread brushed with olive oil, plus sauerkraut and a pickle for $6. Among less-raunchy Weiner-themed T-shirt mottos from zazzle.com: “I survived Weinergate 2011,” “Trick or Tweet” and “Got Certitude?”

But there are limits. New Yorkers say that if a “naked photo” of Mr. Weiner surfaces, his political career is kaput. A New York Daily News survey reveals that 76 percent of the respondents say that nudity would “undermine his image and trustworthiness,” thus end Mr. Weiner’s career. Only 8 percent say he’d emerge unscathed.


Attending the CNN/New Hampshire Union Leader’s Republican presidential debate for Republican hopefuls in six days: Reps. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Ron Paul of Texas, businessman Herman Cain, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Govs. Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney, and former Gov. Rick Santorum.

Invited but not attending: Sarah Palin, Rudolph W. Giuliani , Donald Trump, Mitch Daniels, Mike Huckabee and Jon Huntsman Jr.. Not invited, not attending: Gary Johnson. His reaction: “Apparently, the powers-that-be in the mainstream media do not want Americans to hear from the man who has been called ‘the most dangerous politician in America.’ “


A Gallup poll released Monday finds that 92 percent of Americans believe in God; the number is 98 percent among both Republicans and conservatives, 90 percent among Democrats and 85 percent among liberals. The faith factor is not lost on some politicians.

“America is in crisis. We have been besieged by financial debt, terrorism, and a multitude of natural disasters. As a nation, we must come together and call upon Jesus to guide us through unprecedented struggles, and thank Him for the blessings of freedom we so richly enjoy. … There is hope for America, and we will find it on our knees,” says Texas Gov. Rick Perry in a letter inviting the nation’s governors to “The Response,” a public prayer event in Houston on Aug. 6.

And the RSVPs? It’s early yet, but Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback says he’ll attend; Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is seriously thinking about it, says the Dallas Morning News, which already is tracking responses.

Not everyone is thrilled, however.

“The last thing our officials should do in times of national struggle is promote a divisive religious event that proposes no real solutions to our country’s real-world problems,” says Sean Faircloth, executive director of the Secular Coalition for America. “Our nation’s governors represent Americans of all beliefs, not simply Christians. We urge all elected officials to reject Gov. Perry’s invitation.”


Well, oo-la-la. The French government has banned the words Facebook and Twitter on radio or television news by enforcing a 1992 law that forbids broadcasters from promoting commercial enterprises on news programming. Disappointed French news anchors will not even be able to urge the public to “follow” or “friend” them. Aw. C’est dommage.

“Why give preference to Facebook, which is worth billions of dollars, when there are many other social networks struggling for recognition?” asks Christine Kelly, spokeswoman for the Conseil Superieur de l’Audiovisuel, a French regulatory agency. “If we allow Facebook and Twitter to be cited on air, it’s opening a Pandora’s box. Other social networks will complain to us saying, ‘why not us?’ “


Sarah Palin schooled critical press and pundits in the finer points of Paul Revere’s midnight ride: She won, they lost. Now comes more schooling. “The Undefeated,” a feature film about the former Alaska governor’s life debuts later this month in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. Early reviews of the film are most telling:

“When the credits rolled at the end of the pre-screening of ‘The Undefeated’ my first thought was this: Why didn’t Hillary’s advisors think of this? … I am quite certain that a whole lot of reasonable voters in between will be surprised by what they see.” (Amy Siskind, the Huffington Post)

Sarah Palin is either running for President or she should be: That’s the takeaway.” (Jan Crawford, CBS News political correspondent).

“This is a moving documentary about someone who has risen to great heights all on her own merits unlike most politicians, who have family connections in one way or another. Gov. Palin, like her role model, President Reagan, came from humble beginnings.” (LaDonna Hale Curzon, host, Sarah Palin Radio)

“If enough people see the film it could be a real game-changer for Palin’s presidential chances.” (Matt Lewis, columnist, the Daily Caller)


• 49 percent of likely U.S. voters think that Mitt Romney is “qualified” to be president.

• 66 percent of Republicans agree.

• 25 percent of voters overall say Mr. Romney is not qualified.

• 25 percent are unsure.

• 27 percent overall say Tim Pawlenty is qualified to be president; 41 percent of Republicans agree.

• 26 percent overall say Newt Gingrich is qualified; 43 percent of Republicans agree.

• 23 percent overall say Sarah Palin is qualified; 42 percent of Republicans agree.

Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted June 2-3.

Chatter, yelps, statements to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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