- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 30, 2013

Donald Trump may glitter, but he’s also evergreen. The billionaire’s appeal to press and public knows no season, whether he’s pondering President Obama’s birth certificate or revealing he’d spent $1 million on electoral research for a White House run. Like he did this week.

“People in this country are just desperate for leadership. Somebody has to come along and straighten out this country or we’re in trouble,” Mr. Trump told Fox News, adding, “I want this country to be great again.”

And such is the cachet of a guy worth $3.2 billion who articulates the sentiments of everyday folk with brash assurance.

“He’s straightforward, he’s a practical thinker and he relates to people. I’ve seen him make hundreds of speeches, and it’s obvious that he understands the problems America faces,” Michael Cohen — a Trump adviser and special counsel — tells Inside the Beltway. “Look at the White House, Congress. It’s as if both are detached from reality, whether it’s addressing unemployment, the deficit, health care, our trade deficit and our trade imbalances.”

A certain Trump effect appears to take over his audiences.

Donald Trump asks why 80 percent of the stuff on people’s desk is manufactured in China, coming into the U.S. untaxed. He asks why we protect South Korea from North Korea or remain in Iraq, adding to the $16 trillion federal debt. Trump wants to know when America became the police department for the whole world,” Mr. Cohen points out.

“You look in the audience during these speeches and you’ll see the people nodding their heads, up and down. ‘Yeah, why is that?’ they ask. Trump says it, they agree. It happens over and over.”

RIDING SHOTGUN

He has not faded off to the post-campaign pastures. Former Libertarian presidential hopeful Gary Johnson has entered the gun rights arena, taking on a new Colorado law that places strict limits on the size of ammunition magazines. He is now honorary chairman of Save Our Shotguns, a nonpartisan group circulating a referendum petition to place Colorado’s HB 1224 on the statewide ballot in 2014.

“Despite what some, including the Colorado legislature and Gov. John Hickenlooper would have us believe, the Second Amendment is crystal clear. Placing an arbitrary limit on the capacity of a gun magazine is an unacceptable restriction on the rights of gun owners, manufacturers and sellers,” Mr. Johnson says.

“I am confident that the wisdom of the people will ultimately overturn an action by the legislature that might be well-intentioned, but which was ill-advised,” he adds. “Restricting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens does not make anyone safer. It simply empowers those who have no regard for the law and who wish to do us harm.”

A BUNCH OF TOOLS

There’s tool kit which likely has a hammer in it. And maybe a gavel. Certainly it needs some duct tape. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has sent out an “Affordable Care Act Toolkit” to multiple Democratic lawmakers in hopes that they will be properly equipped to go home and explain Obamacare to constituents.

Like the health care reform legislation itself, the tool kit is lengthy, running 78 pages and chock full of talking points, timelines and other helpful hints.

“Pelosi’s Obamacare ‘tool kit’ even includes a section highlighting uninsured Americans by state, something Obamacare will fail to fix,” points out Andrea Bozek, communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

“Despite promises and assertions from President Obama and Nancy Pelosi, 30 million Americans will continue to be uninsured after Obamacare is fully implemented,” she adds, citing an analysis released in May by the Congressional Budget Office.

STUNNING NEWS

Things are complicated for everyone at the White House, including executive chef Cristeta Comerford, who has received a plea from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to pity the lobsters she serves at the presidential domicile.

“There is a new device available called the Crustastun that eliminates the questionable practice of boiling lobsters alive, thereby preventing their suffering. We hope that the White House will start using it immediately,” says David Byer, manager of the group’s corporate affairs, in a letter to the chef obtained by Inside the Beltway.

The device is essentially a lobster stun gun that kills them instantly.

“The Crustastun is now being used by a range of businesses, from Michelin-starred restaurants such as Le Manoir and Locanda Locatelli to Whole Foods Market. We respectfully ask that the White House join them,” Mr. Boyer adds.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

Coming to auction: Brandon Plantation, Spring Grove, Va. Seven bedrooms, 6.5 baths, this 7,773-square foot, Paladian-style manor was designed by Thomas Jefferson and built in 1765. The mansion — which has Revolutionary War cannonball scars — includes 4,487 acres plus 11 residential structures and 14 farm buildings, plus 3.5 miles of James River frontage. The auction is June 26; details here: Premiereestates.com

POLL DU JOUR

76 percent of U.S. voters say an independent special prosecutor should be appointed to examine IRS targeting of conservative groups over their tax status; 88 percent of Republicans and 63 percent of Democrats agree.

66 percent of voters overall disapprove of the way the IRS is “handling its job”; 80 percent of Republicans and 42 percent of Democrats agree.

53 percent overall say the IRS matter is a “scandal”; 74 percent of Republicans and 29 percent of Democrats agree.

45 percent overall say IRS civil-service employees decided to investigate the groups, not the Obama administration; 24 percent of Republicans and 68 percent of Democrats agree.

40 percent overall say the Obama administration “deliberately misled” people on the IRS matter; 68 percent of Republicans and 10 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Quinnipiac University poll of 1,419 U.S. voters conducted May 22 to 28.

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