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Inside the Beltway: Jeb Bush-mania

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 5, 2013

His book is out, buzz is shrill. The press is aflap over Jeb Bush, otherwise known as son-of-president, brother-of-president and spouse-of-Latina. Will Jeb run in 2016? Will we have Bush No. 3 in the White House? Among the headlines:

"Can Jeb Bush save the GOP and end its emerging civil war?" (Daily Beast), "Jeb Bush 'not saying no' to 2016" (MSNBC), "Is Jeb Bush the Republicans' Hillary Clinton?" (Christian Science Monitor), "What's Jeb Bush up to?" (Washington Post), "Will Jeb Bush's immigration flip-flop hurt him?" (U.S. News & World Report), "Jeb Bush's immigration comments spark uproar" (Politico).

Indeed. Mr. Bush's new book "Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution" may not be of keen interest to conservatives who are knee-deep in identity crisis. But the new Bush opus, published Tuesday, is packed with policy suggestions that critics say undermine the delicately crafted ideas of Republicans anxious to woo 32 million Hispanic voters with "reasonable" proposals.

"It is absolutely vital to the integrity of our immigration system that actions have consequences — in this case, that those who have violated the laws can remain but cannot obtain the cherished fruits of citizenship," Mr. Bush insists in the book.

He also suggested that the nation jettison cumbersome existing laws and build "a demand-driven immigration system," offer states immigration autonomy, and decrease the hazards of illegal immigration. Mr. Bush blends in some higher callings, however. The book says American ideals are "enriched and reinvigorated by immigrants, most of whom fervently embrace our core values — family, faith, hard work, education, and patriotism."

While the media din continues, Mr. Bush will continue promoting his work, most notably at the National Press Club on Wednesday and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on Friday. The din will die down, then re-emerge when the author appears at CPAC on March 15, the keynote speaker for the Ronald Reagan Dinner.

'WASHINGTON MONUMENT PLOY'

"During my 9 years in Washington, from 1988 to 1997, I witnessed firsthand the problems of Washington, D.C. Each time Congress would reduce the budget of the District of Columbia, the liberals would resort to Washington Monument syndrome. Instead of reducing the redundant overhead positions, they would close the Smithsonian museums and the Washington Monument," points out Jim Adams, who served as chief of staff to three postmasters general before returning to the Granite State, where he now contributes to the New Hampshire Journal.

"Their purpose was to hurt the hard-working men and women who had saved up all year to take the family to Washington to see the museums and tour the monument. Their method worked and after a short period it was back to business as usual with unchecked spending, redundant unnecessary jobs, and growing debt," Mr. Adams writes.

Then there's the sequester.

"The Obama administration is once again returning to the old Washington Monument ploy, by releasing illegal immigrants from prison, cutting air traffic controllers, TSA agents, Department of Agriculture examiners and every other agency that would directly hurt the working men and women and their families of this nation," he continues.

Along with this is the White House public tour program, to be shuttered effective Saturday.

"This is President Obama's leadership. Hurt the working folks and make the Republicans look bad," Mr. Adams concludes.

SARTORIAL EXPRESSION

"President Obama sequestered my uniform and all I got was this lousy T-shirt"

"Furlough this!"

"Ozombiecrat: It came from the sequester"

"Obama was the sequester requester"

(New T-shirt mottos from Zazzle.com)

PARROTS OF THE MEDIA

The broadcast networks were only too happy to amplify the "dishonest, over-the-top fear-mongering perpetrated by the Obama administration" as the federal spending cuts eased into effect. The Media Research Center reviewed all 88 sequestration stories that ran on ABC, CBS and NBC during the two-week period from Feb. 14 to March 1 (the day of the dreaded cuts) to find that 66 percent of them "advanced the most hysterical Obama administration talking points without any hint of skepticism."

Yes, well.

"There is a reason that public confidence in the news media is down to 6 percent," observes L. Brent Bozell III, director of the watchdog group. "Like squawking parrots, ABC, CBS, and NBC mindlessly repeated the administration's phony, over-hyped doomsday talking points during the two weeks leading up to sequestration. They are beyond shame and are fully devoted to pushing Obama's message no matter how preposterous it is."

VIEWER TESTAMENT

The History channel has announced that the premiere of "The Bible" drew more than 13.1 million viewers Sunday, a near-record audience for the cable network. The 10-hour series concludes Easter Sunday.

"The world is watching right now and we are incredibly humbled," says producer Mark Burnett.

POLL DU JOUR

71 percent of Americans say Michelle Obama was a positive factor in President Obama's re-election; 54 percent of Republicans and 89 percent of Democrats agree.

70 percent of Americans overall say Mrs. Obama has a positive influence on the president's decisions; 39 percent of Republicans and 95 percent of Democrats agree.

65 percent overall give Mrs. Obama a positive review on "the job she is doing as first lady"; 33 percent of Republicans and 88 percent of Democrats agree.

47 percent overall say she is "the best dressed first lady"; 24 percent of Republicans and 67 percent of Democrats agree.

46 percent overall say she is "more popular than her husband"; 44 percent of Republicans and 48 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Harris Poll of 2,166 U.S. adults conducted Jan. 7 to 9 and released Tuesday.

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