- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 5, 2014

An interesting strategic alliance yields a noteworthy policy event next week. The Washington Times, the American Civil Liberties Union and Microsoft Corp. have combined forces to produce “Privacy in America: The NSA, the Constitution and the USA Freedom Act,” which has drawn some heavyweight thinkers with institutional knowledge, wisdom and streets smarts.

On hand to have their say: Sen. Mike Lee, Utah Republican; Michael V. Hayden, former director of both the CIA and the NSA; Susan Herman, ACLU president; David Medine, chairman of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board; and Laura Murphy, director of the ACLU’s legislative office.

None other than David A. Keene, opinion editor of The Washington Times, will moderate the three-hour event. Organizers promise “in-depth discussion that impacts the lives of all Americans.” And as the sages say, more on this later.


Why, it’s as cozy as can be. The National Republican Senatorial Committee has launched a “Grab a Bite With Mitt” contest for those who would relish a future meal with Mitt Romney at a Boston restaurant. Indeed, the committee covers lodging, air fare and, of course, the eats. Would it be a turkey club sandwich? Sliders? Pate de foie gras? The restaurant in question has not been revealed.

“We’re confident that Republicans across the country will be eager to take the chance to meet him,” the committee notes.

One person who will not be vying for the honor is Richard Viguerie, the longtime conservative maven and author who is vexed with the committee for declaring it was “all in” for Sen. Thad Cochran in the Mississippi Republican primary. Mr. Viguerie is now calling on Republicans to boycott the organization.

“Conservatives should not give a dime to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, or the Republican National Committee for that matter, until they stop running an incumbent-protection racket that supports big-government candidates like Thad Cochran against the clear preference of the GOP’s grass-roots voters,” a vigorous Mr. Viguerie says.

“Thad Cochran is one of the Senate’s least-distinguished members. He has spent 42 years in Washington grasping after pork, not leading on the conservative agenda,” he continues. “If Thad Cochran is the Republican nominee in November, he will be virtually indistinguishable from the Democrats’ Senate nominee, former congressman Travis Childers.”


The date: June 6, 1984; the place: Normandy, France. The speaker was Ronald Reagan, addressing former U.S. Army Rangers assembled to remember their role in D-Day decades before.

“Forty summers have passed since the battle that you fought here. You were young the day you took these cliffs; some of you were hardly more than boys, with the deepest joys of life before you. Yet, you risked everything here. Why? Why did you do it? What impelled you to put aside the instinct for self-preservation and risk your lives to take these cliffs? What inspired all the men of the armies that met here? We look at you, and somehow we know the answer. It was faith and belief; it was loyalty and love,” Reagan told his audience.

“The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge — and pray God we have not lost it — that there is a profound, moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt.”

Reagan later added, “Something else helped the men of D-Day: their rock-hard belief that Providence would have a great hand in the events that would unfold here; that God was an ally in this great cause.”


Let’s see. Hillary Rodham Clinton has a 656-page memoir that will go public Tuesday. But wait. Bill Clinton has 2,000 pages of his own that becomes available Friday. New book? Well, not exactly. The National Archives releases 2,000 pages of documents from the former president’s administration that includes insight into then-Vice President Al Gore’s 2000 campaign, the Clinton’s administration’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gays in the military, and its response to terrorism.

When they are released, the “previously restricted documents” will be available through the Clinton Presidential Library. Will they affect Mrs. Clinton’s potential presidential bid? The papers will appear here: Clintonlibrary.gov


The Republican Party offers a delicate reality check to those who get jubilant over the U.S. Senate confirmation of Sylvia Mathews Burwell to head up the Department of Health and Human Services.

“With President Obama in legacy mode, we hope Sylvia Mathews Burwell does her best at reminding Americans that due to Obamacare, Americans are losing their jobs, losing their doctors and seeing their health care premiums skyrocket,” observes Republican National Committee spokesman Jahan Wilcox.


The nation is not particularly keen on redistribution of wealth through what was cleverly deemed a “Robin Hood” tax by progressive Democrats following the economic upheavals of 2008.

“Most Americans — 57 percent — say that, today, any would-be Robin Hood would be in the wrong if they began robbing the rich to give to the poor, while only 28 percent think that it would be justified,” says Peter Moore, an analyst with YouGov Polls, which queried the public on such things.

“There is a major partisan split on this issue,” he notes, advising that 82 percent of Republicans, 53 percent of independents and 45 percent of Democrats think “robbing the rich isn’t justified in this day and age.”


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59 percent of registered U.S. voters disapprove of the how the Obama administration is dealing with problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs; 77 percent of Republicans, 43 percent of Democrats and 58 percent of independents also disapprove.

55 percent of voters overall say the government will not do any better with Obamacare than it has with the veterans’ health care system; 83 percent of Republicans, 27 percent of Democrats and 58 percent of independents agree.

50 percent overall think that terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, receive better care than U.S. military veterans do; 57 percent of Republicans, 38 percent of Democrats and 58 percent of independents agree.

31 percent overall say the American vets get better care; 31 percent of Republicans, 36 percent of Democrats and 24 percent of independents agree

23 percent overall rate the vets’ care as “good or excellent”; 23 percent of Republicans, 26 percent of Democrats and 21 percent of independents agree.

Source: A Fox News poll of 1,006 registered U.S. voters conducted June 1-3.

Hoots, hollers, learned prattle to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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