- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A cultural moment of sorts: Americans think al Qaeda is “more scared” of Mitt Romney than President Obama, according to a new poll released by Esquire magazine on Wednesday. According to the numbers, 39 percent cite Mr. Romney as Mr. Scary in Chief; 37 percent cite Mr. Obama. Thirteen percent, incidentally, cite “neither,” while 16 percent had no opinion.

“This, we think, is strange: Isn’t Obama in command of the lethal presidency? Aren’t Obama’s supporters going around using ‘GM is alive and Bin Laden is dead’ as an unofficial campaign slogan? It seems that as effective as Democrats have been in neutralizing the Republicans’ historic advantage in the matter of national security, there remains a core group of Americans who still believe the GOP is the party of big sticks,” the manly magazine says.


We’re entering forecast season, when the learned ones solemnly predict who’s going to win the White House with great portent. Yeah, well. “Prominent political scientists” from the American Political Science Association now predict President Obama will win the election, but not by much — underscoring the consistent fuss on both sides over swing voters and the undecided.

“It will be extremely close with the average of all forecast models predicting Obama will receive 50.2 percent of the two-party popular vote. For comparison, in 2008, Obama received 53.7 percent of the two-party popular vote,” the organization says, citing 13 forecast models based on historic and statistical data.

“Five of the 13 models predict a modest to close popular-vote plurality for Barack Obama, though three of these are on the cusp of predicting a tossup; five predict a modest to close popular-vote victory for Mitt Romney; and three regard the election as a tossup. The forecasts range from predicting a 53.8 percent vote for Obama to a 53.1 percent vote for Romney,” the group says.


“We’ll be like we are in real life. Me very successful, you just hanging on.” (Fox News Channel host Bill O’Reilly to Comedy Central host Jon Stewart, regarding their sold-out “Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium” debate on Oct. 6, which will be held at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium and streamed live online on a pay-per-view basis.)

“When I’m finished with you, when you walk off the stage, you’ll be 5-foot-7 and I’ll be 6-foot-4.” (Mr. Stewart’s impression of the same event, during an exchange between the two on “The O’Reilly Factor.”)


Details, details. No matter how many shirt-sleeve appearances President Obama makes in the heartland, the siren call of glittering celebrity is never far from the campaign trail. Witness the 350-bottle tower of Armand de Brignac champagne that greeted the president and some of his very elite fans during a recent fundraiser at Manhattan’s 40/40 Club — owned by hip-hop kingpin Jay-Z, who co-hosted the event with wife Beyonce. The bottles are embellished with hand-applied, gilded pewter wrapping; they cost $800 each.

Daily Mail political columnist Toby Harnden did the math and points out that the bubbly tower was worth $105,000, more than twice the income of the typical U.S. household.

“The median income for an American family was $51,413 in 2011,” Mr. Harnden observes.


“Champagne wishes and caviar dreams? While it’s easy to fantasize about what one would do with a lottery jackpot, a new CouponCabin.com survey reveals that many U.S. adults would continue to live normally if they won the lottery,” says Jackie Warrick, president of the online coupon distributor, which surveyed some 2,500 Americans about such things.

They found that 64 percent said they would be “extremely or very likely” to continue to live frugally and over half would continue to use their savings coupons, shop at discount stores and buy stuff on sale. Over a third would continue working at their current job.

And most telling about the positive inclinations of the citizenry: a random sampling of respondents revealed that jackpot winners would also use their winnings to build a homeless shelter, donate to their church, open an orphanage, endow a college, establish a charitable foundation or “buy my parents a home closer to me so I can take care of them.”


Civil liberties groups and atheists have targeted veterans memorials that even hint of religion for some time. Here comes another one. The American Humanists Association recently contacted regional park officials in Maryland, calling for removal of the 16-ton, 40-foot Peace Cross in Bladensburg that was dedicated to World War I veterans in 1923, claiming the cross “amounts to an unconstitutional government endorsement of Christianity on public land.” The rugged memorial has new champions, though.

“Surely, the humanists are bluffing. I doubt very seriously this group will even file a lawsuit to disturb the Bladensburg Peace Cross, which has stood for nearly a century as a symbol of the selfless sacrifice and service of 49 soldiers,” said Hiram Sasser, director of litigation for the nonprofit Liberty Institute, which is prepared to take on the atheist group, as it has done for similar cases involving the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial and the Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial, both in California.

“The American Legion strongly opposes any effort seeking removal of this historic veterans memorial, which would dishonor the WWI veterans who fought and died for our nation. We will do what we can to ensure that the Memorial Cross remains where it has stood for decades,” agrees Tom Davis, adjutant of the American Legion in Maryland.


• 47 percent of likely U.S. voters say they will vote for President Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden in November; 46 percent will vote for Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan.

• 95 percent of likely voters are “certain” to vote for their candidate.

• 84 percent said it was “easy to make the decision” on whom to vote for.

• 42 percent of likely voters are conservative, 35 percent moderate and 19 percent are liberal.

• 31 percent of likely voters are Democrat, 30 percent are Republican and 30 percent are independent.

• 8 percent are “none of these.”

Source: An AP/GFK Poll of 807 likely voters conducted Sept. 13-17.

Churlish remarks, earnest quotes to [email protected]



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