- The Washington Times - Monday, March 14, 2011


Americans consider their politicians to be behavioral role models. Really. A new Harris Poll finds that 72 percent of the public agrees that “how American politicians treat one another influences how Americans treat one another.” Eighty percent of Democrats and 66 percent of Republicans agree. Needless to say, 87 percent overall say the political discourse is “much too angry and bad-tempered.” Eighty-five percent of Democrats and 87 percent of Republicans agree.

So ladies and gentlemen. Behave. Please.


The prospect of nuclear meltdowns in Japan has yielded radioactive headlines and a confused public. The media offer little credible perspective and reassurance to Americans that U.S. nuclear installations are safe. Logically, Energy Secretary Steven Chu should set them straight. But Mr. Chu, who has supported nuclear energy in recent days, appears absent from the public discourse.

“Either Secretary Chu is so beholden to the ‘green’ movement that he feels he can do nothing without their say so, or this is indeed a symptom of a paralysis syndrome that has infected the entire Obama administration,” Competitive Enterprise Institute energy and environment policy analyst Iain Murray tells Inside the Beltway.

“When faced with an urgent, earth-shattering event, the administration appears incapable of saying or doing anything meaningful,” Mr. Murray says. “The fact is, the administration’s energy policy is dependent on building 100 new reactors. Without that, they have no energy policy beyond a ‘no-energy’ policy. So Chu’s silence literally could be a result of not knowing what to do, conflicted between what the greens, and President Obama, demand.”


When is a budget cut not a budget cut? When it’s a Republican cut. So says the Libertarian Party, which now condemns journalists for equating “deep cuts” with the Grand Old Party.

“I can’t believe the press is saying Republicans are making deep cuts. It’s just false,” says Libertarian Party Chairman Mark Hinkle. “This phrase, ‘deep cuts,’ keeps appearing. But it’s just comical to describe the Republican budget plan as ‘deep cuts.’ It would be more accurate to say ‘microscopic cuts,’ or even ‘no cuts.’ It’s a spending bill that will result in discretionary spending of $1.356 trillion this year. That’s higher than last year’s $1.349 trillion. When did higher spending become a cut?”


One Florida Republican is weary of Democratic indecision and wheel-spinning.

“Running our government on the fumes of borrowed spending is unacceptable, short-sighted and dangerous. I commend the efforts of House and Senate Republican leaders to deal with this, but I did not come to the U.S. Senate to be part of some absurd political theater,” says Sen. Marco Rubio. “I will no longer support short-term budget plans.”


Lawmakers as serious radio talkers? You betcha. Acting as morning-drive co-host on WMAL AM-630 in Washington: That would be Rep. Steve King behind the microphone from 5 to 9 a.m. Among his talking points? The Iowa Republican will remind listeners that a viable strategy to defund Obamacare should remain on track and on schedule, even if continuing resolutions wax and wane.


“As every news report has indicated, the full two-hour video was released at the same time as the 11-minute version, so that every taxpayer and every news media outlet could see for themselves what was said by National Public Radio fundraising executive Ron Schiller,” says conservative videographer James O’Keefe, responding to criticism that the footage of the since-ousted Mr. Schiller that rocked the public broadcaster was selectively edited and misleading - charges brought by the Blaze editor-in-chief Scott Baker and NPR’s media critic David Folkenflik.

“The shorter version indicates the relevant pieces we believed best represented the conversation. All journalists edit, but very few allow the public to see the entire video of an interview. We believe the story speaks for itself, and NPR has not denied any part of the comments made by Mr. Schiller,” Mr. O’Keefe says.


Thought last week was big? Rep. Peter T. King is just getting started. The New York Republican and chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security says that three Republican lawmakers and a host of witnesses will address the realities of terrorism, nuts-and-bolts style.

On Tuesday, Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security chairman Rep. Candice S. Miller of Michigan and U.S. Border Patrol chief Michael J. Fisher examine why we lack “political will” to secure our own borders, Mrs. Miller says. Come Wednesday, the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies is on deck with chairman Rep. Dan Lungren of California. That cyberthreat is, Mr. Lungren says, “both dynamic and fluid.”

And Thursday, Rep. Gus Bilirakis of Florida heads up the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications, which will address “events impacting health security.” Translated: Responding to a chemical or biological attack, Mr. Bilirakis says.


• 52 percent of Americans disapprove of the way President Obama is handling the economy.

• 49 percent of Americans say they are “worse off” now than they were two years ago.

• 39 percent say they are “better off”; 12 percent are not sure.

• 49 percent say an economic recovery is “fragile” and the economy could still fall back into recession.

• 37 percent say the economy is still in recession.

• 14 percent say recovery is “well under way” and the economy is improving.

Source: A Bloomberg News poll of 1,001 adults conducted March 4 to 7.

Shout-outs, bailouts, fallout to jharper@ washingtontimes.com.

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