Donald Trump believes that the federal deficit and the turmoil it engenders is no mere quagmire, it is an abyss. So says Michael Cohen, special counsel to the billionaire real estate tycoon who still appears to have a calling to re-join the 2012 presidential race.
"Mr. Trump is truly concerned that the nation will go deeper into the abyss, with no possibility of a recovery. He is also concerned the field of Republican candidates is very weak," Mr. Cohen tells Inside the Beltway.
"Mr. Trump has made it clear he would enter the race as an independent, and if he chose to re-enter the race, it would be after the finale of 'Celebrity Apprentice,' which is May 15, 2012. Remember, time moves very quickly these days," Mr. Cohen adds.
He still maintains the ShouldTrumpRun.com campaign site, and continues to rigorously emphasize — most recently to ABC News — that the "Ten Principles of Trump" are still very relevant. The No. 1 alpha principle? It still remains "We must always put America first," Mr. Cohen says.
HUNTSMAN HUNTS CONSERVATIVES
Conservatives are cool to Jon Huntsman Jr. because of his take on some policy issues, not to mention his diplomatic service in the Obama administration. But Mr. Huntsman is out to reassure and eventually woo conservative critics with some newfound hardball tactics.
His campaign has launched an instant website to recruit "5,000 conservative leaders from across the nation who are 100 percent committed to supporting Governor Huntsman in his campaign to defeat President Obama," according to Susie Wiles, his campaign manager.
"Get ready for an amazing ride," the new site advises. Find it at http://conservativesforhuntsman.com.
ANTI-FOX WHITE HOUSE
From our Uh-Oh Desk, news from Judicial Watch. The watchdog group has uncovered documents "showing that the Obama administration, contrary to its repeated denials, attempted to exclude the Fox News Channel from TARP-related interviews with Treasury's 'Executive Pay Czar' Kenneth Feinberg."
Included: A White House staff email that quips, "I am putting some dead fish in the fox cubby." Another calls Fox News anchor Bret Baier "a lunatic." The documents were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.
"These documents show there is a pervasive anti-Fox bias in the Obama White House," says Tom Fitton, president of the investigating group. "The juvenile Mafioso-talk in these emails has no place in any White House. For the Obama administration to purposely exclude a major news organization from access to information has troubling First Amendment implications."
"Births have overtaken immigration as the main driver of the dynamic growth in the U.S. Hispanic population. This new trend is especially evident among the largest of all Hispanic groups — Mexican-Americans," says a new analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data by the Pew Hispanic Center.
"In the decade from 2000 to 2010, the Mexican-American population grew by 7.2 million as a result of births and 4.2 million as a result of new immigrant arrivals.," the analysis says.
THE PEA FACTOR
Once it was just "Give peas a chance," "Visualize whirled peas" and "Peas out." But thanks to President Obama's recent suggestion that we must all "eat our peas" or presumably get no ice cream, American entrepreneurs have again elevated the humble pea to cultural status.
"The American public took the 'peas' comment and ran with it," says the online emporium Cafe Press, where citizen designers have created a spate of "eat your own peas"-themed designs to choose from, including one for the dog. See the selection at http://shop.cafepress.com/eat-your-own-peas.
REAL HEALTH CARE
"Hospitalized patients who had conversations about religion and spirituality with their health care team were the most satisfied with their overall care" says a new University of Chicago study, based on more than 3,100 patient responses.
"Our findings suggest that physicians, nurses, health care organizations and pastoral care departments may address an unmet need and simultaneously improve patient satisfaction by talking to patients about religious and spiritual concerns in the inpatient setting." says lead researcher Joshua Williams, whose research was published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
One Texas Republican is disturbed that the U.S. Senate is already flirting with an appropriations bill with no budget in place. He also has much to say about President Obama's "scare tactics" when it comes to the unresolved debt ceiling debate.
"We all know that even if the Aug. 2 deadline passes without a deal, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center, the U.S. Treasury will still have enough revenue — about $172 billion — to pay for Social Security benefits, to pay for Medicaid and Medicare, to pay active duty military and other national priorities," advises Sen. John Cornyn.
"The only reason seniors and our troops will see their checks stop coming is if the Obama administration decides to make other spending a priority," he adds.
POLL DU JOUR
• 55 percent of likely U.S. voters say a tax hike should not be included in legislation to raise the debt ceiling; 34 percent disagree.
• 82 percent of Republicans agree.
• 34 percent overall say a tax hike should be included in the legislation.
• 58 percent of Democrats agree.
• 41 percent overall say President Obama has done a poor job "handling the debt ceiling."
• 71 percent of Republicans agree.
• 38 percent say the president has done a good or excellent job with the debt ceiling.
• 74 percent of Democrats agree.
Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted July 12-13.
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