The DC morning – Aug. 24, 2010

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U.S. government funds mosque renovation and rehabilitation around the world || Palin revs up push to unseat Murkowski, but only to a point || Could mouthy politicians prolong the GM sale if they’re not careful? || 11 more questions for Greg Gutfeld, host of the Fox News show ‘Red Eye’ || Ask Matt Labash Vol XXVI: Dark secrets revealed, the moral failure of fly tying, and travels with the Jo Bros || seeks to combine conservative news and activism

1. U.S. government funds mosque renovation and rehabilitation around the world — While much attention has been focused on questions surrounding the Ground Zero mosque and the appropriateness of the State Department funding Ground Zero mosque imam Feisal Abdul Rauf’s trip to the Middle East, little attention has been given to the fact that U.S. taxpayer money is funding mosque development around the world.  Just a cursory search of the term “mosque” on the State Department’s list of “projects” reveals 26 examples of federal funds going to fund construction, renovation, and rehabilitation of various mosques abroad. The benefiting countries include Bulgaria, Pakistan, Mali, Tunisia, Afghanistan, Benin, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania, Egypt, Tunisia, the Maldives, Yemen, Turkmenistan, Tanzania, Uganda, Azerbaijan, Sudan, Serbia and Montenegro.

2. Palin pushes to unseat Murkowski, but not very hard — Sarah Palin wants you to believe she is not a professional politician. But you wouldn’t know that from the way she has inserted herself into the GOP Senate primary in her home state of Alaska.  Palin’s advocacy on behalf of Joe Miller, an insurgent Republican trying to unseat incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the GOP primary, has been heating up in recent days. It’s something of a risk for Palin at a time when her success rate in endorsements has been falling.  But while Palin has pushed for Miller’s campaign harder in advance of Tuesday’s primary, putting some of her political capital on the line, she has stayed well away from endangering her overall brand. She has not campaigned in person for Miller, who has trailed in most polls by up to 30 points, even though she has campaigned for other candidates she has endorsed, though mostly in the south. Palin went earlier this month to Georgia to campaign for gubernatorial candidate Karen Handel, who lost in the GOP primary.

3. Could mouthy politicians prolong the GM sale?The federal government has taken great pains to tout the benefits of its $50 billion bailout of General Motors, but some officials may need to keep quiet about the company’s future success if they want the Securities and Exchange Commission to approve a sale to new investors any time soon.  GM filed an official prospectus report with the SEC Wednesday, which begins the process of selling the company’s stock, a process known as an initial public offering (IPO). The federal government currently owns 60.8 percent of the company, and the prospective contains all of the relevant information a potential investor needs to know before making a decision about whether they want to take the company off the government’s hands.  Under SEC rules, GM must undergo a “quiet period” in which those with inside knowledge of the sale cannot publicize or promote the company beyond what GM has already filed in the prospectus. The rule is in place to ensure that no one gets special information about the company’s sale beyond what all investors have access to.

4. 11 more questions for Greg GutfeldYesterday, Greg Gutfeld, the host of Fox News’ 3 a.m. show “Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld,” answered 10 questions for The Daily Caller about how his show came to be, his good-natured guests, his new book and the “most offensive” thing he and his panel have ever discussed on air. Now, Gutfeld answers 11 more questions for TheDC about his new book, The Bible of Unspeakable Truths, his high school buddy Barry Bonds, and his plans to build a gay bar next to the Ground Zero mosque. 1.) You recently wrote and published The Bible of Unspeakable Truths. How is it doing? The book is doing really well. I’m surprised and happy and there is nothing better than seeing your ugly face staring back at you in bookstores and airports. The thing that bugs me most about it is people telling me that they enjoy reading it in the bookstore. I just got a letter from somebody today who said how much they loved the book but couldn’t finish it because they were closing the bookstore. I think that is a sign of the recession.

5. Ask Matt Labash Vol XXVIDear Matt: Why are you a more productive writer than Cupp? Does it have something to do with “The Curse,” or too much shopping? – Steve That’s a pretty sexist thing to say. I don’t ordinarily stand up for women, because I figure that when you do, they get all uppity, and next thing you know, they’ll want to vote and drive and such. But I’m going to make an exception on this count.  I can’t speak to S.E. Cupp’s shopping habits or her cursing, but I will say that yours is a grossly unfair and inaccurate charge. In fact, I had the archivist check, and it turns out that since this little Hamas front operation known as the The Daily Caller launched, I have authored precisely 27 Ask Matt Labash columns, (including a special edition – which is why it doesn’t track with the Roman numerals of the title, assuming you can count in Roman numerals – I can’t, the editor does that for me). While Ms. Cupp has written 26 diarist columns, and has additionally chipped in a few non-diarist columns as well. So basically, it’s even- Stephen, productivity-wise. She’s even a little ahead.

6. seeks to promote conservative news and causes — When launches next month, it plans to be a one-stop shop for conservative activists who not only want news, but desire to become a part of the stories they’re reading.  “No one else is doing what we’re doing, which is combining news and activism,” said Yates Walker, a spokesman for the new site that plans to launch Sept. 1. “We’re not covering stories like the AP. We’re covering them from a conservative perspective and keeping our members vigilant and engaged.”  Walker said the website — whose mission statement includes keeping “the right honest, the press nervous and the left unpopular and out of power” — wants to rival the left’s in terms of energizing activists.