- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 5, 2014

“The culture in Washington must change. And if we do the right things in the coming months, conservatives have a real opportunity to start calling the shots. It’s time to go on offense. That is why we created a road map called the Conservative Policy Agenda,” declares Michael Needham, CEO of Heritage Action for America, the feisty grass-roots offshoot of the Heritage Foundation.

The strategically minded Mr. Needham made sure that all 535 members of Congress received a “boarding pass” for the new agenda — a terse summation of workable policy boiled down to a “cheat sheet.” Nine major points emphasize backbone: “a strong economy, a strong society and a strong America.”

Mr. Needham and company hope the motto will resonate in the heartland, and beyond.

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“Free markets and limited government are a natural disinfectant to cronyism and corruption. These principles align us naturally with popular sentiment that government does too much to tip the scales in favor of the powerful and not nearly enough to respond to most people’s everyday concerns,” the boarding pass advises. “Conservative leaders should make clear the principles they hold true and the policies they support. Those who articulate those ideas in clear terms might upset some special interests, but their message would resonate with the American people.”

Mr. Needham wants the public in on it, of course. Read and download the whole 20-page opus here: HeritageAction.com/agenda


Step aside, RickPAC is upon us. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has officially founded a new political action committee, meant to contribute to fellow Republicans and create goodwill along the way. Yes, of course RickPAC is a great presidential accessory, like sporting studious new glasses, displaying business acumen and wielding maps of Iowa and New Hampshire. But Mr. Perry is not a man to dither, in an age of dithering.

He’s a man of action, and part of his appeal is plain old-fashioned vigor. To wrest control of the border crisis, for example, the governor plans to call out the Texas Rangers along with the National Guard, among other law enforcement entities. He’s freeing up $38 million to fund it.

RickPAC has some vigor going for it as well. According to Federal Election Committee documents filed July 31, the new RickPAC treasurer is Stefan Passantino, a looming figure in the political law section of McKenna Long & Aldridge, a law firm in the nation’s capital. As a legal adviser, Mr. Passantino has some cordial ties with Newt Gingrich. Assistant treasurer Corry Bliss is a veteran of several state political campaigns.

“His aggressive, bare-knuckled political style has been compared to Karl Rove,” says Christy Hoppe, a political columnist with the Dallas Morning News.

The brand equation here? Bare knuckles plus studious glasses could equal a compelling candidate for disaffected voters by the time 2016 rolls around.


And now we bring you a communication of note from the U.S. Army Band, a magnificent and talented organization — just like all the military service bands that faithfully serenade America. “Pershing’s Own” plans to conclude its summer concert season with the “1812 Overture” at historic Fort Myer, bordering Arlington National Cemetery.

“The Presidential Salute Battery of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) lends their special talents to the performance with four 5,775-pound WWII-era anti-tank guns,” the band advises. For detail-minded folk, the 3-inch guns are mounted on 105 mm Howitzer chassis; they fire 75 mm blank shells with 1.5 pounds of powder. Visit the band here: USArmyBand.com


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