"We have a straightforward mission, and we have only one reason to exist. And that is to make sure that Hillary Clinton never becomes president of the United States," Garrett Marquis, spokesman for Stop Hillary PAC, tells Inside the Beltway.
"If she goes somewhere to support a candidate, we'll be there, too. If she makes a speech on global warming or unions, we'll be there to hold her accountable," he says, noting that the newly launched political action committee will release its first critical video on Wednesday.
Of course, Matt Rhoades, former pointman for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, has already created StopHillary2016.org, which went active in June and has spiffy bumper stickers and one splashy fundraising "stop Hillary" luncheon to its credit.
"There are some differences between us," Mr. Marquis says. "We are a truly grass-roots effort, and we're looking for a million members. We're not looking to resurrect Mitt Romney's campaign. We're looking to hit the ground running. When Hillary goes active, we go active. When she moves, we move."
Colorado state Sen. Ted Harvey serves as the honorary chairman of Stop Hillary PAC. Son of a Vietnam-era fighter pilot and a former Reagan administration appointee, he says he has "an undying passion to preserve the freedoms and liberties that generations of men and women have sacrificially secured for this nation." Find it all here: StopHillaryPAC.org.
One group won't be villifying the tea party any time soon. Conservative clergy have a "sweet spot" for the grass-roots groups, according to a new survey of 413 theologically conservative Protestant pastors by the nonpartisan Center for the Study of American Culture and Faith. It found that 50 percent agree with the tea party, 8 percent disagree and a "surprising" 42 percent have no opinion.
"There is significant growth potential for their movement," predicts Bill Dallas, the executive director of the research center. "How such growth is pursued over the next three years could well determine the ultimate staying power of the movement."
Stay put. That is the dream of Rep. E.Scott Rigell, who is calling on Congress to skip its customary August recess and stay in the nation's capital to finish up on a dozen appropriations bills to fund the government and avoid another dreaded continuing resolution. It's the only way, he says.
"We've only passed three of the 12 appropriations bills," the Virginia Republican observes. "Congress should be in session six days a week, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., just like we would in the private sector if we were behind in our work."
Candied bacon cannoli, deep-fried bread pudding, deep-fried meatloaf on a stick with wine glaze, deep-fried pickles with chocolate sauce, grilled glazed doughnuts with strawberry mint dipping sauce, roast pork shanks, bourbon-infused knockwurst, craft beer-battered onion rings, "comet corn" (caramel popcorn frozen with liquid nitrogen).
— From the midway menu of the Minnesota State Fair, which begins Aug. 22.
AL JAZEERA AMERICA APPROACHES
They have jobs, and they're quickly filling them with veterans from five other networks. That would be Al Jazeera America, which is hiring folks from ABC, CNN, NBC, CBS and MSNBC in time for its rapidly approaching debut. The aggressive cable news network meant for U.S. audiences launches Aug. 20, ready to occupy the spot on the cable landscape once occupied by Al Gore's Current TV.
The Qatar-based parent company announced Monday that Kate O'Brian has been named president; she is former senior vice president for news at ABC. "Al Jazeera America will demonstrate that quality journalism is alive and well in the United States," she says.
Among the hires: David Doss, a former CNN senior executive producer, has been named a senior vice president. Another new senior vice president: Marcy McGinnis, former associate dean of Stony Brook University's School of Journalism who headed CBS newsgathering operation during coverage of 9/11, the war in Afghanistan, and Hurricane Katrina. Shannon High-Bassalik also was named a senior vice president, and hails from CNN, and before that both MSNBC and NBC.
All will answer to Ehab Al Shihabi, executive director for international operations, now interim chief executive officer for Al Jazeera America.
There are circus trains, steam-powered excursion trains and "quiet" cars. So why not a pet train — or at least a pet car? That what "The Pets on Trains Act of 2013" proposes. The bipartisan bill introduced by Republicans Reps. Jeff Denham of California and Michael G. Grimm of New York plus Rep. Steve Cohen, Tennessee Democrat, would compel Amtrak to lift its ban on nonservice dogs and allow train travelers, with certain restrictions, to bring their dog and/or kitty along for the trip.
The legislation has support from the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council. "For many of us, our animals are family," says Mike Canning, president and CEO of the industry group. "Airlines have been permitting pets on flights for years. Fares for pets vary from airline to airline, as do regulations, but at least air travel has given pet owners an option."
Among other things, the bill proposes a designated "pet car" on each train for trips 750 miles or less.
POLL DU JOUR
• 57 percent of all registered Hispanic voters are Democrats, 14 percent are Republicans.
• 54 percent of foreign-born Hispanics who are U.S. citizens are Democrats, 11 percent are Republicans.
• 53 percent of native-born Hispanics are Democrats, 12 percent are Republicans.
• 49 percent of Hispanics who are legal permanent U.S. residents are Democrats, 8 percent are Republicans.
• 33 percent of the 11.1 million "unauthorized" Hispanics are political independents, 31 percent are Democrats.
• 27 percent don't identify with, or lean toward, either major party; 4 percent are Republicans.
Source: A Pew analysis of the Pew Research Center National Survey of Latinos released Monday.
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