- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Tell it like it is. Thursday is National Whistleblower Day, and time to party — or at least pause to celebrate those conscientious folk who have stepped forward to report waste, fraud and abuse. And what better way than at the first-ever National Whistleblower Day Lunch? Indeed, there is a noteworthy noontime meal for 200 on Capitol Hill that has attracted a spate of powerful folk. The keynote speakers for the event are Senators Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Ron Wyden of Oregon, who serve as the chairman and vice chairman of the Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus, respectively. Also at the dais: Senators Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Mark Kirk of Illinois, and Tom Carper of Delaware, also members of the aforementioned caucus. The celebration is hosted — naturally — by the National Whistleblower Center, a nonprofit, non-partisan organization based in Washington and dedicated to protecting employees’ lawful disclosure of waste, fraud and abuse.

“We’re hoping this becomes an annual event,” Stephen M. Kohn, executive director and author of the “Whistleblower’s Handbook, tells Inside the Beltway.

There’s classy history to consider as well. National Whistleblower Day itself marks the moment when the Founding Fathers unanimously passed the first whistleblower law on July 30, 1778.

“Resolved, that it is the duty of all persons in the service of the United States, as well as all other inhabitants thereof, to give the earliest information of wrongdoing to Congress or other proper authority of any misconduct, frauds or misdemeanors committed by any officers or persons in the service of these states, which may come to their knowledge,” the esteemed gentlemen noted at the time.

The lunch itself has also drawn 40 whistleblowers; the big convivial group will feast upon four different kinds of sandwiches, salads and chocolate cookies.

THE LION AND THE VIDEOS


SEE ALSO: Democratic Rep. Chaka Fattah, associates indicted in racketeering case


“Look at all this outrage over a dead lion, but where is all the outrage over the planned parenthood dead babies?” Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted Wednesday, comparing public reactions to the death of a popular African lion at the hands of an American dentist, and the continuing controversy over Planned Parenthood.

This was a complex cultural moment. Similar sentiments were voiced by, among many others, Rush Limbaugh — who asked his audience, “How in the world can you get teary-eyed and misty-eyed and sad over Cecil and, at the same time, participate in burying what’s happening at Planned Parenthood? Can somebody explain that to me?”

The public will be reminded about Planned Parenthood for quite some time, however. Three undercover videos of the organization’s medical officials referring to the harvesting and sale of aborted baby body parts for profit have been released. There are nine more to come says David Daleiden, founder of the Center for Medical Progress, the nonprofit that produced the videos. Are they warranting significant coverage from the mainstream press?

Maybe not. The “Big Three” broadcast networks — NBC, CBS and ABC — have given 14 minutes of coverage of the lion’s passing in the past 48 hours — and 11 minutes of coverage to the Planned Parenthood scandal in the last two weeks, this according to Media Research Center analyst Katie Yoder, who did the counting.

THE ‘BEAUTIFUL’ MR. RUBIO

Well, at least one of the presidential hopefuls made it to The Hill’s annual list of the most beautiful people who frequent the hallowed halls on Capitol Hill. That would be Sen. Marco Rubio.

“Besides jamming to Tupac Shakur, Eminem or any of the other rappers he’s expressed a fondness for, the dad of four and former college football player is used to breaking a sweat before the sun’s up,” writes Hill columnist Judy Kurtz in a biographical blurb about the Miami native.

“The early morning workouts might help Rubio, who first made The Hill’s 50 Most Beautiful list in 2011, indulge in some of his guilty pleasures. When asked recently if the Florida senator was joining fellow White House hopeful Jeb Bush in adhering to a Paleo diet, which eschews dairy and refined sugar, Rubio replied, ‘No, I’m not. I had a key lime pie yesterday — not the whole pie.’”

FOR THE LEXICON

“The Daily Trump”

— New feature column by PJ Media founder Roger L. Simon which debuted Wednesday: The author advises, “Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the first issue of your new web home for All Things Trump because, as we say in our slogan, “If Donald’s Not In It, It Never Happened!” (Sort of like that tree falling in the wilderness thing.) We follow the Trump news, so you don’t have to.”

ONE FOR MR. WARNER

The U.S. Navy will commission its newest fast attack submarine, the future USS John Warner on Saturday in Norfolk, Virginia. This is a most appropriate vessel to honor the Virginia Republican: it weighs 7,800 tons; is 377 feet long with a beam of 34 feet — and can operate at more than 25 knots submerged. Among other things, it will carry a dozen Tomahawk cruise missiles and a crew of 134. Other missions include anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare; mine delivery and minefield mapping. It is also designed for “Special Forces delivery and support,” something Mr. Warner worked on throughout his career in the Senate.

“The commissioning of USS John Warner marks the beginning of what is expected to be 33 years of distinguished service for this great submarine — a fitting tribute to a man who served his nation for so long as a sailor, a Marine, a United States Senator and, as one of my most esteemed predecessors as Secretary of the Navy,” says Navy Secretary Ray Mabus.

Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert, will have his say on Saturday; Jeanne Warner, wife of Sen. Warner, is serving as the ship’s sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, she will give the order to “man our ship and bring her to life.”

NOT COURTING FAVOR

“Following major, end-of-term rulings on the Affordable Care Act and same-sex marriage, unfavorable opinions of the Supreme Court have reached a 30-year high. And opinions about the court and its ideology have never been more politically divided,” reports the Pew Research Center in a survey released Wednesday that reveals 48 percent of Americans have a favorable impression of the court, while 43 percent view the court unfavorably — the highest percentage recorded in 30 years.

And the inevitable partisan divide: a third of Republicans have a favorable opinion of the court, compared to 62 percent of Democrats.

POLL DU JOUR

56 percent of Americans say Supreme Court justices should “consider what most Americans think” when making decisions; 56 percent of conservative Republicans and 50 percent of liberal Democrats agree.

54 percent of Americans say the Supreme Court has the “right amount of power”; 43 percent of conservative Republicans and 71 percent of liberal Democrats agree.

36 percent overall say the court has too much power; 49 percent of conservative Republicans and 19 percent of liberal Democrats agree.

39 percent overall say the Supreme Court is “middle of the road; 24 percent of conservative Republicans and 49 percent of liberal Democrats agree.

36 percent say the court is liberal; 68 percent of conservative Republicans and 17 percent of liberal Democrats agree.

18 percent say the court is conservative; 5 percent of conservative Republicans and 30 percent of liberal Democrats agree.

Source: A Pew Research Center poll of 2,002 U.S. adults conducted July 14-20 and released Wednesday.

Careful declarations, caterwaul to [email protected]

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