- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The press has wondered what to call the war against the Islamic State since August. Now they can relax. The Pentagon has at long last given the operation a name, and that name is “Inherent Resolve.” Not bad. That’ll do. Thank you, Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The Pentagon had previously acknowledged and dismissed the nameless state almost two months ago after journalists questioned a Defense Department spokesman.  The omission did not go unnoticed. Critics suggested that the anonymous approach to the conflict could be a political ploy to ease the White House through complicated and dangerous events until the midterms are over and done with. Those who track the usage of words, phrases and mottoes in popular culture have also taken note.

“Nature abhors a vacuum, and this is even more true when it comes to the Internet,” Paul JJ Payack tells Inside the Beltway. He is president of the Texas-based Global Language Monitor, which uses software to track buzzwords and language patterns in 50,000 media sources.

“No name from the side of the coalition forces simply means that the enemy will define the nature of the conflict, which we now see happening. With the Islamic State’s dramatic imagery of caliphates and crusades, they have apparently seized the imagination of disaffected youth, even in the West,” he says.

But not anymore. “Inherent Resolve” will now become part of history, and play a role in military designations, awards and battle ribbons.

Mr. Payack, meanwhile, had a few suggestions of his own for naming the war: “Operation Levant Relief, Operation Desert Redux, Operation Middle East Rescue, Operation Kurdish Relief, Operation Iraqi Relief — or combinations thereof. And note there’s no mention of ISIS or ISIL,” he says.

MICHELE BACHMANN REINVENTS THE TEA PARTY

The news media continues to either mock the tea party or declare that it is dead and gone. Members of the grass-roots movement know that as long as Americans believe in fiscal conservatism, personal liberty and founding values, the tea party remains a potent brew with a lot of potential. One lawmaker in particular is also convinced of this - Rep. Michele Bachmann, who took her case to the public Wednesday morning in an event to be aired live by C-SPAN.

The retiring Minnesota Republican will appear at the Heritage Foundation to deliver a speech titled “The Tea Party: Continuing the Revolution in American Thought.” She founded the House Tea Party Caucus in 2010 and has never backed down on her faith in the spontaneous phenomenon that emerged five years ago and has rattled opponents and critics ever since.

“The tea party movement focuses on principles before politics and defending the Constitution rather than defending political parties. The media would have you believe that the tea party is a group of old white racists bought and paid for by Republicans. The Democrats shrugged off the massive crowds as fringe and unworthy of notice. It’s only AstroTurf, they said. They were wrong,” Mrs. Bachmann noted earlier this year.

In her speech, she will trace the rise of the modern tea party, its ongoing impact and implications for the midterms. More important, perhaps, the lawmaker will outline a “unifying agenda” to restore American greatness and opportunity.

HILLARY’S PREMIERE PARTY

There are fundraisers, and then there are significant fundraisers. Check out the upcoming, ultra-exclusive West Coast event with Hillary Clinton in the starring role, “considered a coming out of sorts for Clinton’s possible run for president,” says Tina Daunt, a correspondent for The Hollywood Reporter. Silver screen elites are falling all over themselves to be included in the Oct. 20 event, which already counts uber-producers Jeffrey Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg plus Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer and Michael F. Bennet on the guest list.

Tickets are $32,400 each, which includes reception, a photo op and dinner at Tavern, a Brentwood eatery where the fancy but rustic menu includes such dainties as grilled pork chops with cornbread chorizo stuffing and Swiss chard and mussels with garlic sausage, shelling beans, rapini and yellow tomato confit. The event, incidentally, benefits “grass-roots” Democrats in Alaska, Iowa, West Virginia, Colorado and other states. Interesting to note that Mrs. Clinton will be at a historic San Francisco hotel earlier in the day, hosting the “Ultimate Women’s Power Luncheon” with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

THEY’RE IN THE MONEY

Deep pockets in the age of anemic economies? A few annual salaries in the broadcast realm, these from the annual TV Guide review of such things:

Judy Sheindlin (“Judge Judy”), $47 million; Jon Stewart (Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show”), $25 million; Matt Lauer (NBC’S “Today” Show), $22 million; Shepard Smith (Fox News), $10 million; Scott Pelley (CBS News), $7 million; Whoopi Goldberg and Rosie O’Donnell (ABC’s “The View”), $5 million each; David Muir (ABC News), $5 million; Ronan Farrow (MSNBC), $650,000.

BOLTON GOES TO NEW HAMPSHIRE

Sen. Rand Paul is in New Hampshire in midweek. But then, so is George W. Bush administration arms control chief John Bolton, a man who has raised $6.5 million for 76 national security-minded candidates around the nation, and who advises Americans to “vote as if their life depended upon it.” Two news organizations — Politico and Newsmax — now wonder if there’s a tinge of presidential aura about Mr. Bolton, who indeed considered a White House run in 2012. But like a good security-minded candidate himself, he reveals little and stays on message.

“Our national interests are now compromised as a result of strategy-deficient leadership in Washington that has failed to promote adequate global stability,” he says. “Now, more than ever, it is imperative for the American people to seek out and support candidates for office who have the fortitude, leadership and vision to secure America’s leadership through policies at home and action overseas.”

PERRY GOES GLOBAL

Well, let’s see. Texas Gov. Rick Perry is methodically making sure that the voting public is aware of his presidential prowess in business matters, the southern border, immigration, terrorism and Ebola. Now Mr. Perry is on the international stage to show some diplomatic acumen. He is on a four-nation trip to England, Germany, Poland and Ukraine this week, with an eye on expanding exports of Texan liquefied natural gas — and deftly pitching American energy as a “tool for job creation at home and diplomacy abroad.”

And the global version of Mr. Perry had this to say to a London audience on Tuesday: “I realize that even a proud, patriotic Texan has got nothing to teach the British people about defending freedom. Sometimes it takes a friendly outsider to come by and point out the obvious. In the case of your country, you might not always appreciate something. When we in America think of enduring Western values — when we think of so many qualities that we admire and love in our culture — we think of you, the people of this island.”

POLL DU JOUR

• 91 percent of Americans support stricter health screenings of people who have been in Ebola-affected African nations.

• 67 percent support restricting entry to the U.S. by people who been in affected nations.

• 65 percent are concerned about a widespread Ebola epidemic in the U.S.

• 63 percent have confidence in local hospital and health agencies to respond to an Ebola outbreak.

• 62 percent have confidence in the U.S. government’s ability to respond to an outbreak.

• 41 percent approve of the way President Obama is coordinating the Ebola threat.

Source: A Washington Post/ABC News poll of 1,006 U.S. adults conducted Oct. 9-12.

Big pronouncements, churlish remarks to [email protected]

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