- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 17, 2014

It is an odd juxtaposition. News coverage now includes such alarming headlines as “The Battle of Baghdad” and “Will ISIS plan a 9/11-style terror plot against the US?” — even as the press scrambles to follow a restless White House and a president engaged in fundraisers, photo-ops and, to date, 176 golfing expeditions. Now, this business-as-usual stuff could be a deliberate tactic. No, really. Perhaps President Obama, leery of drawing an untenable red line, has already assembled all the logistical options for an aggressive Iraq intervention and is now just easing on down the road, ready to strike if it’s warranted.

Perhaps.

“Rehearsal’s over,” suggests Investor’s Business Daily columnist Andrew Malcolm. “Time for Obama to be president.”

But which president — fearless leader, canny diplomat, isolationist, revisionist? The role appears to be subject to interpretation. Maybe it has always been that way. Mr. Malcolm is not convinced, though.

“President Obama does like to see himself as a cool guy, calm, observant, thoughtful. But there’s cool. And then there’s blase. And Americans, watching in shock as the awful sacrifices of lives, limbs and American treasure flood down the drain of futility in Iraq, would much rather have a national leader who at least acts like he cares about this crisis,” he says.

“Has anyone in the White House told Obama what’s happening yet?,” Mr. Malcolm asks. “Fanatic ISIL troops crucifying Iraqis, beheading them, loading trucks with hundreds of bound men driven into the countryside for mass machine-gunnings. If Obama dithers long enough, maybe it’ll all be over and Bush’s fault.”

RAHMTOPIA

There are some in Chicago who still entertain the notion that Mayor Rahm Emanuel will somehow end up in the 2016 presidential race, either in the lead role himself, or as a vice presidential running mate of Hillary Rodham Clinton. She was in the town to visit him only last week.

This week, however, Mr. Emanuel’s thoughts are with Bill Clinton. The Windy City is about to get windier. The former president will journey to Chicago on Friday to headline a fundraiser for his former senior adviser. The details: “An Evening with President Clinton and Mayor Emanuel” will be staged at a nightclub called Studio Paris, with ticket prices that can loom large.

“For $250, you’ll get in the door; for $1,000, you’ll get a seat; for $5,300, you’ll get sponsor status and access to a VIP reception; for $10,600, you’ll get host credentials plus the chance to rub shoulders with two Democratic big dogs; for $25,000, you’ll get a “chair” title and greater odds of receiving a friendly F-bomb from Emanuel, or a wink courtesy of Clinton,” notes Erin Carlson, a reporter for Chicago’s NBC TV affiliate.

“Think of all the name-dropping and humble-bragging you’ll do later. If you want to keep your friends, however, it is best not to open any sentence with ‘Bill told me’” Ms. Carlson adds.

THE DREAMER AGENDA

Not everyone is charmed by the White House decision to honor young illegal immigrants with a ceremony and the title “Champions of Change” even as U.S. Border Patrol agents struggle to care for thousands of youngsters who have surged over the nation’s Southwestern boundaries seeking a new life in America.

“Instead of sending a message that people cannot break the law to enter the United States, President Obama is sending a message that if you work for the same political agenda as the President, you can be honored at the White House regardless of whether or not you broke the law to get here,” points out Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots.

“It is beyond comprehension. Instead of honoring the millions of immigrants who played by the rules to legally earn their U.S. citizenship, the President is disrespecting them, just as he disrespects our laws and seeks to rule by executive fiat,” she adds.

FOR THE LEXICON

“National Day of Making”

Wednesday is now the National Day of Making, meant to honor inventors and technology-enabled do-it-yourselfers, as per a presidential proclamation released Tuesday. And here it is: “I Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 18, 2014, as National Day of Making. I call upon all Americans to observe this day with programs, ceremonies, and activities that encourage a new generation of makers and manufacturers to share their talents and hone their skills.”

ON DASHER

Zach Dasher has a brand new campaign website showcasing his appealing family, plus a Twitter account that describes him as “a Christian, conservative businessman, a father and candidate for Congress in Louisiana’s Fifth District.” A nephew to the Phil Robertson of “Duck Dynasty” fame, Mr. Dasher is cheerfully easing into the role of political candidate, and one hoping to win the seat soon to be vacated by Rep. Vance McAllister.

“It is time for ordinary citizens to get off of the sidelines and get involved in the political system,” Mr. Dasher said upon announcing his intent to run, adding, “Our rights do not come from a bunch of elite politicians in Washington, DC. They come from almighty God.”

He’s already accrued close to 500 followers on Twitter. But inquiring minds want to know: who does he follow for political wisdom? An interesting mix. Among them: Matt Drudge, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Sen. Ted Cruz, Rep. Paul Ryan, Jim DeMint, Ron Paul, FreedomWorks, Heritage Foundation, Acton Institute, Cato Institute and C.S. Lewis Daily, which offers daily quotes from the author and Christian theologian.

AN APPRECIATION FOR MR. HENTOFF

A recent interview declares that “Nat Hentoff is wide awake at 88.” The civil liberty-minded journalist — and a long time editorial contributor to The Washington Times — has inspired a documentary titled “The Pleasure of Being Out of Step.” The independent film distributed by First Run Features is slowly making it’s way from one venue to the next around the nation, chock full of the jazz the man in question adores, plus archival footage, interviews and photography.

The film’s writer and director David L. Lewis and his masterful team of creatives emphatically note: “We are losing a generation of our greatest journalists who built their legacy on the printed word. Their stories deserve to be told as powerfully as they have told so many to us. Hentoff’s story can inspire future generations to dig deeper, ask harder questions, and reject the facile or superficial discourse that so often passes for reasoning in our public life.”

Find a trailer and other information here: PleasuresTheMovie.com.

POLL DU JOUR

74 percent of U.S. voters oppose sending ground troops to Iraq; 57 percent of Republicans, 86 percent of independents and 82 percent of Democrats agree.

67 percent of voters overall say the U.S. should provide supplies and intelligence to Iraq, but no ground troops; 52 percent of Republicans, 72 percent of independents and 79 percent of Democrats agree.

56 percent overall support supplying intelligence to Iraq; 55 percent of Republicans, 55 percent of independents and 59 percent of Democrats agree.

52 percent overall support a U.S. diplomatic initiative in Iraq; 48 percent of Republicans, 55 percent of independents and 55 percent of Democrats agree.

20 percent overall say the U.S. should “provide whatever help is necessary” to Iraq, including sending troops; 52 percent of Republicans, 72 percent of independents and 79 percent of Democrats agree.

Source” A Public Policy Polling survey of 790 registered U.S. voters conducted June 14-15.

Curt comments and prattle to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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