- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 6, 2014

“If you get tired of mudslinging in the pigpens and fast-talking from the carnival barkers at the Iowa State Fair, you’ll have plenty of chances this month to take refuge with the politicians,” advises The Des Moines Register, which has drawn two dozen politicos to grab a microphone, jump upon a straw-strewn stage at the fair and speechify for 20 minutes or so. Things get underway Thursday, and among the big names who will show up for some old-timey campaigning: Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad; Texas Gov. Rick Perry; Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida; Rep. Steve King, Iowa Republican; and GOP Senate hopeful Joni Ernst, also of Iowa. The organizers predict that luminaries from the presidential-hopeful crowd will surface shortly.

Democrats are already in fighting form and in hot pursuit of Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, who spent a few days in the Hawkeye State this week.

“In laying the groundwork for a presidential bid, Paul says he’s a ‘new’ Republican who can reach out to diverse groups and people of different backgrounds — in short, the very groups who have been alienated by the GOP’s rhetoric and agenda in recent years,” says DNC press secretary Michael Czin. “But that’s not what we saw over the last few days in Iowa.”

On a happier note, one can’t mention the Iowa State Fair without addressing its infamous cuisine. After all, this is the home of the famous Butter Cow, an 8-foot-long, 600-pound sculpture unapologetically made of butter. Yes, the fair still serves deep-fried prairie oysters; there is deep-fried everything, actually. New this year: Caprese Salad On-a-Stick, Maple Bacon Jumbo Toasted Marshmallow On-a-Stick and the Deep-Fried Sweet Corn Corndog, to name a few. And not everything’s fried. The Twinkie Log features a frozen Twinkie dipped in white chocolate and rolled in cashews.

CARBON-NEUTRAL BACON

Speaking of bacon, switch grass now has competition in the biofuels department. The Hormel Co. has concocted a motorcycle that runs on organic biodiesel fuel made from converted bacon grease, trailing lusciously scented exhaust fumes. Pork torque, they say. The “Driven by Bacon” project is rolling, literally. The tricked-out bike is bound for Sturgis, South Dakota — site of the annual giant gathering of motorcycles now underway. Then it’s on to the San Diego Bacon Fest in late August. A film crew is following, of course, chronicling the exploits of a bike that gets up to 70 miles a gallon.

“The exhaust smells like bacon. So when we cruise past you, you’ll thank us,” the project organizers say, virtuously adding, “If there were a bacon biodiesel tanker spill in the ocean, the fuel would be safe and mouth-watering fish food. This bacon biodiesel is nearly carbon-neutral, meaning it contributes almost-zero emissions to global warming.”

But wait. The motorcycle will be then be displayed at the Spam Museum in Austin, Minnesota. And at least bikers and eco-conscious folk can agree upon something.

THEORIES ON LOS NINOS

Republicans and Democrats have differing perceptions when it comes to the surge of unaccompanied minors along the Southern border. While 51 percent of Americans overall say the distressed Central American youngsters should be “immediately” returned to their homelands — 69 percent among Republicans and 33 percent among Democrats. So says a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released Wednesday.

“People who wanted the children sent home agreed with the statement, ‘Allowing them to stay will be a signal that will encourage thousands more to try and come here, placing an even greater burden on limited public services such as hospitals and schools,’” says Janet Hook, a Journal political analyst.

Meanwhile, 43 percent of Americans overall say the U.S. has a responsibility to allow kids who are in danger to stay. Twenty-five percent of Republicans and 61 percent of Democrats agree.

“Those who saw a U.S. responsibility to help children fleeing violence agreed with the statement that ‘These children need a process to determine whose life is in danger if they are sent back — and those children should be allowed to stay here,’” Ms. Hook reports.

THE APPEAL OF AN EMPHATIC AMERICA

The idea that America is a source of pride on the global stage and “the hope of the world” appears to have a very broad appeal. Consider that “America: Imagine the World Without Her’ is now No. 1 on The New York Times best-seller list, suggesting author Dinesh D’Souza is a must-read by his fellow citizens. This is quite the feat, seeing that the book was boycotted by a major retailer for a while.

But who else is on the coveted roster of the nation’s top reads? Ed Klein’s “Blood Feud” is No. 3, Ben S. Carson’s “One Nation” is No. 4. In sixth place is Hillary Clinton’s “Hard Choices,” with Daniel Halper’s “Clinton, Inc.” in 10th place. Half of the top 10 are political books — including three that are Clinton-based. Three are business-related, one concerns a famous author and one deals with a famous prisoner of war.

Meanwhile, those who seek to write a best-seller should simply write about the Clintons, for better or worse.

“By my count, the Clintons have featured in more than 60 best-sellers since entering the national stage in 1992,” points out Gregory Cowles, a columnist with The New York Times Book Review.

A LAURA BUSH MOMENT

“We do need to make sure worldwide that all humans are valued — that women and men are valued, that girls and boys are valued, and that human life is valued. I think that’s really the most important thing we can do, all of us can do, is try to increase that knowledge worldwide that every life is precious.”

Laura Bush, to a gathering that included first lady Michelle Obama and the first ladies of multiple African nations on Wednesday.

VOTE FOR UBER

“Our country was built on the entrepreneurial spirit. Our cities deserve innovative and effective solutions without government getting in the way. That’s what innovative businesses like Uber provide. And that’s why our cities need Uber. But across the country, taxi unions and liberal government bureaucrats are setting up roadblocks, issuing strangling regulations and implementing unnecessary red tape to block Uber from doing business in their cities. We must stand up for our free-market principles, entrepreneurial spirit and economic freedom.”

— From a new Republican National Committee public petition to support the embattled transport group.

POLL DU JOUR

51 percent of Americans say President Obama is a foreign-policy “dove;” 75 percent of Republicans, 46 percent of independents and 41 percent of Democrats agree.

31 percent are not sure if Mr. Obama is a hawk or a dove; 13 percent of Republicans, 36 percent of independents and 36 percent of Democrats agree.

18 percent say Mr. Obama is a hawk; 12 percent of Republicans, 18 percent of independents and 23 percent of Democrats agree.

47 percent of Americans overall are not sure whether they themselves are a policy hawk or dove; 36 percent of Republicans, 52 percent of independents and 44 percent of Democrats agree.

30 percent overall say they are a dove; 20 percent of Republicans, 24 percent of independents and 46 percent of Democrats agree.

24 percent overall say they are a hawk; 44 percent of Republicans, 23 percent of independents and 10 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A YouGov poll of 993 U.S. adults conducted July 22-23 and released Monday.

Slim possibilities, fat chances to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

blog comments powered by Disqus

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide