- The Washington Times - Monday, May 21, 2012

“If indeed this story is true, it’s a craven act and we will use every legal means to stop its sale or purchase. We’ve spoken to George Washington University Hospital and are assured an investigation as to how something like this could possibly happen is under way. Any individual, including a President of the United States, should feel confident that once they enter into the care of a medical system their privacy and rights are held inviolable.”

So says John Heubusch, executive director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, regarding the public auction of a glass vial that contained Ronald Reagan’s blood, drawn at the aforementioned hospital after the 1981 assassination attempt on the president by John Hinckley. The auction was first reported in Inside the Beltway on Monday

The highest bid for the “Ronald Reagan blood vial” is now $9,922, according to Britain-based PFC Auctions, which closes bids Thursday. Other fans and admirers of Mr. Reagan share Mr. Heubusch sentiments; one calling the auction “sordid.”


“Now available by popular demand — or perhaps better stated, individual request — the official ‘Who is John Galt?’ T-shirt,” say the tenacious producers of “Atlas Shrugged Part II,” who finished shooting the second installment of this ambitious project and plan a nationwide commercial release a few weeks before Election Day. John Galt, incidentally, is the iconic protagonist of Ayn Rand’s original 1,100-page novel “Atlas Shrugged.” The shirt is $20 and can be seen here: www.atlasshruggedpart1.com/t-shirt-who-is-john-galt

“Part I” of the movie version was released nationally in some 400 theaters more than a year ago, showcasing a dystopian America where innovators and industrialists are mysteriously missing in action and the very “motor” of the world is paused. The author warned of the dangers of crony capitalism and socialism upon the rights of the world’s smallest minority — the individual. The filmmakers say they remain true to that intent.

The nation’s capital will soon come into play, though. Producers John Aglialoro and Harmon Kaslow and screenwriter Duncan Scott journey to Washington next month for an Atlas Society summit from June 28 to July 1 to share behind-the-scenes footage, among other things. The sparkling spectrum of speakers includes include Fox Business Network gadfly and host John Stossel, Americans for Tax Reform founder Grover Norquist, Rep. Allen West, Florida Republican, and Atlas Society founder and CEO David Kelley. See their big doings here: www.atlassociety.org/as


“Liberals are the people who you can least count upon for personal support when the chips are down. To them, it’s ‘What have you done for me lately?’ Conservatives take a longer view.”

- Edward I. Koch, then in his second term as New York City mayor, in his 1981 book, “How’m I Doing?”1981.


Just how big is the Republican National Convention? It’s so big that officials have assembled a fleet of 300 full-size buses — each with an armed security officer — from as far away as Georgia to ferry 50,000 guests around Tampa, Fla. They need 100 hotels to put them up. The convention is so big that the three-day event will occupy more than 1 million square feet of commercial space.

“Between the Tampa Bay Times Forum and the Tampa Convention Center, we’ll use 1 million square feet, give or take a Wal-Mart,” quipped convention CEO William Harris, who adds that the combined space is equivalent to 17 football fields,

The GOP gathering is so big that management now expects 15,000 members of the media — more than would cover a Super Bowl, most Olympic Games and the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. The journalists and their technical entourages will require 34 media “sky suites” complete with anchor desks, 50 TV stand-up locations and facilities for 100 talk-radio shows — not to mention workspace for several thousand print and online journalists.

So that’s how big it is. At least for now.


“Confidence in Congress stays at lowest point in almost fifty years,” reports a new Harris Poll revealing that only 6 percent of Americans have a great deal of confidence in their lawmakers. Wall Street is almost as bad at 7 percent, while only 1 in 10 Americans — 11 percent — have confidence in the press.

“The American public continues to be disgusted with the shenanigans of Congress and Wall Street,” says Robert Fronk, executive vice president for “reputation management” at Harris. “Forgiveness and respect will not return easily for these two entities.”

Who’s at the top of the list of major public institutions we trust? The U.S. military, followed by small businesses, “medicine,” colleges and universities, the U.S. Supreme Court, organized religion, the White House, public schools, the justice system, TV news, organized labor, major companies and law firms. The poll of 2,040 adults was conducted April 9 to 17 and released Monday.


• 51 percent of Americans say President Obama is better able to handle the cost of health care; 44 percent cite Mitt Romney.

• 48 percent say Mr. Obama is better able to handle unemployment; 47 percent cite Mr. Romney.

• 39 percent say Mr. Obama is better able to handle the federal budget deficit; 54 percent cite Mr. Romney.

• 42 percent say Mr. Obama is better able to handle weak economic growth; 52 percent cite Mr. Romney.

• 54 percent say Mr. Obama is better able to handle rising college costs; 39 percent cite Mr. Romney.

• 48 percent say Mr. Obama is better able to handle savings and retirement investments; 53 percent cite Mr. Romney.

• 46 percent say Mr. Obama is better able to handle home values and foreclosures; 48 percent cite Mr. Romney.

• 62 percent say Mr. Obama is better able to handle living standards for poor Americans; 34 percent cite Mr. Romney.

Source: A Gallup Poll of 1,012 U.S. adults conducted May 10 to 13.

Ballyhoo, droning complaints and recitation of facts to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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