NEWS AND OPINION:
LARRY KLAYMAN’S SPIRITUAL CALLING
There is a noteworthy dimension to Larry Klayman‘s zeal to be a vigilant government watchdog. The Creator is a presence for the conservative attorney who is ever ready to file a lawsuit to underscore the presence of corruption or ethical lapses within federal agencies.
“I have become much more spiritual through all these experiences. I believe I have a destiny, and without sounding like a megalomaniac, I believe God has a role for me,” Mr. Klayman tells Inside the Beltway.
He has come into sharp public focus following a decision in federal court Monday ruling that, yes, National Security Agency collection of American phone records and “metadata” could be unconstitutional. Mr. Klayman filed that lawsuit against the clandestine agency in June, it was heard in November, and the decision instantly placed him on public radar. Democrats are now questioning the ruling; some predict the case will go to the Supreme Court. The White House, meanwhile, has released a 300-page internal review offering details and recommendations about public surveillance.
But the veteran attorney says such circumstances are what they are, and that his faith is always a factor. He is unapologetic about it.
“There’s a spiritual connection, absolutely. Listen, Jesus came to me and said, ‘Larry, you’re working for me now.’ This happened not once, but twice,” Mr. Klayman recalls.
“And one more thing: I remain one of those who’s inspired by Founding Fathers like Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, who risked everything they had because they believed in a principle,” he adds. “And yes, I’m also inspired by Ronald Reagan. He connected with people, he took a stand, he took risks, and he was prepared for consequences. That’s what you have to do.”
SCOTT BROWN’S GRANITE STATE DEBUT
His big announcement could be imminent, insiders say. Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown is the celebrity host on Thursday for the New Hampshire Republican State Committee’s annual Christmas party, to be staged at a picturesque Victorian-era library in Nashua bedecked with glittering, old-fashioned Christmas trees. The he-man, pickup-driving politician is expected to announce his intention to run for a Senate seat in the Granite State.
This is no backcountry affair. Ticket prices range as high as $2,500, with guests toting an unwrapped toy for local families in need. There will be some strife, though. Members of four local Second Amendment support groups also plan to gather near the event to draw attention to Mr. Brown’s previous support of both an assault-weapons ban and New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg‘s activist organization Mayors Against Illegal Guns. The gun-rights groups have deemed Mr. Brown a RINO, or Republican in name only.
Still, his pending switch from one state to another has drawn much speculation.
“Politically, the move certainly makes sense for the 54-year-old Republican. President Obama won only 52 percent of New Hampshire’s vote in 2012 vs. the 61 percent he got in Massachusetts. New Hampshire is much friendlier political terrain to run from,” points out John Fund, a National Review contributor.
“Democrats are already attacking Brown for ‘carpetbagging,’ but it’s not likely that charge will carry much weight. Brown has publicly listed a house he owns in New Hampshire, as his second home for decades and his new state of residence is chock full of former Massachusetts residents who fled the Bay State’s urban headaches and high taxes,” Mr. Fund adds.
MITT MOVIE MOMENTUM
Voters could find themselves pining for the straightforward polish of Mitt Romney after viewing the much publicized two-minute trailer for “Mitt”, a Netflix documentary produced by Romney family acquaintance Greg Whitely. “I couldn’t believe I was filming inside rooms and situations I had no business being in,” the filmmaker said.
The entire painstaking project, which follows the Republican presidential hopeful from nomination to concession speech, debuts Jan. 17 at the Sundance Film Festival. It airs on Netflix publicly a week later to audiences in the U.S., Canada, Britain, Ireland, Latin America, and the Netherlands, among other locations. The company, incidentally, has 40 million subscribers.
There already a Romney renaissance of sorts underway, however.
Voters appear to miss Mr. Romney — or perhaps, they miss the president he could have been. Already on record is a recent wide-ranging Washington Post-ABC News survey with some startling findings. Among registered voters, Mr. Romney actually bests President Obama in a theoretical rematch, 49 percent to 47 percent.
MR. CHRISTIE’S ADVICE
“Get out of your pajamas. Put on an apron. Get volunteering.”
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie‘s parody reply to a new Obamacare outreach from Organizing for Action, urging the public to “Wear pajamas. Drink hot chocolate. Talk about health insurance.”
THE YEAR’S MOST QUESTIONABLE QUOTES
We already know the “2013 Lie of the Year” as determined by PolitiFact, the fact-checking watchdog: “If you like your healthcare plan then you can keep it,” uttered by President Obama on numerous occasions in the selling of Obamacare. Now we must address who’s behind the “2013 Worst Quotes of the Year,” as determined by the intrepid press monitors at the conservative Media Research Center.
And the grand prize winner is (drumroll please): MSNBC host Martin Bashir, who resigned from the network after his very questionable on-camera rant aimed at former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
The runner-up is also an MSNBC host. That would be Ed Schultz, who extolled the virtues of the Obamacare sign-up website even when it was in tumbling into failure.
“This is a great guide, if I may say, for any of you out there who feel so confused by all of these right-wing commercials that are just permeating through your television screen,” Mr. Schultz told his audience.
In third place is New York Times columnist Tom Friedman, who made “a baffling claim that the Boston Marathon bombing could have been prevented with the carbon tax”, the center says.
“After whistling past the IRS, Benghazi and NSA scandals, President Obama‘s press corps of cultlike devotees marched face first into the rancid mess of Obamacare — a rat’s nest of lies and incompetence so big and so rank that even the president’s loyal media cheer squad couldn’t hide its cloud of toxic stink,” declared director Brent Bozell.
Among the 42 judges behind the determinations: columnist Cal Thomas, Wall Street Journal editorial board member James Taranto, talk radio host Mark Levin and Fox News analyst Monica Crowley.
POLL DU JOUR
• 72 percent of Americans say “big government” is the biggest threat to the U.S. in the future; 92 percent of Republicans, 71 percent of independents and 56 percent of Democrats agree.
• 35 percent of Americans overall felt that way in 1965, the first year Gallup asked this question.
• 21 percent say “big business” is the biggest future threat to the U.S., including 4 percent of Republicans, 20 percent of independents and 36 percent of Democrats.
• 5 percent say “big labor” is the biggest future threat, compared to 29 percent in 1965.
• 3 percent of Republicans, 5 percent of independents and 6 percent of Democrats agree.
Source: A Gallup poll of 1,031 U.S. adults conducted Dec. 5-8, plus historic Gallup records.
• Murmurs and asides to email@example.com. Follow her at harperbulletin on Twitter.