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Inside the Beltway: A whole book on the ‘I word’

- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 11, 2014

A certain book will be published on June 3 that appears to give the Democratic Party pause. That would be "Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama's Impeachment" by former federal prosecutor and conservative commentator Andrew C. McCarthy. Let the grappling begin. The book itself has prompted a voter outreach by the Democratic National Committee, launched Sunday.

"Conservatives are getting excited about a brand new book," the organization says in a mass email. "It comes out next month. The bogus impeachment talk will never stop unless we put an end to it. Help Democrats fight back. Add your name to speak out against impeachment."

In another message, communication director Mo Elleithee advises, "This isn't about just one loony book. They're talking about impeachment on Fox News and other conservative outlets, and Republicans in Congress have been using the 'I-word' for years. (If you can't beat 'em, impeach 'em, I guess?)"

Mr. McCarthy himself rejects the idea that his book is a fancy political stunt.

"'Faithless Execution' argues against partisan hackery. I analyze the legal case for impeachment as a former prosecutor who would not go to court without a sufficient case. And as far as the politics goes, I argue that, despite the sizable majority Republicans hold in the House, articles of impeachment should not be filed unless and until there is a strong public will to remove the president from power — one that transcends party lines," he says in a statement provided by Encounter Books.

Mr. McCarthy also distinguishes between an effort to impeach President Obama and previous campaigns to impeach Richard Nixon and former President Bill Clinton.

"Obama's presidency is a willful, systematic attack on the constitutional system of separation of powers, an enterprise that aims to bring about a new regime of government by executive decree. This is exactly the kind of subversion the Framers designed the impeachment power to address. The Nixon and Clinton episodes involved misconduct that did not aim to undermine our constitutional framework," Mr. McCarthy says.

ADVICE FOR LONGEVITY

"I just keep a-going. I don't stop."

— Comment by Richard Overton on how he reached the age of 108; his birthday was Sunday. Mr. Overton, who has lived in the same Austin, Texas, home for 73 years and has an active driver's license, is the oldest living World War II veteran.

RUBIO CRAFTS A RENAISSANCE

Go to New Hampshire for a grassroots dinner, make a stand on a Sunday talk show and strike a presidential posture, then head to a major venue in the nation's capital for serious policy talk. That is Sen. Marco Rubio's 2016 rebranding strategy of he moment. The Florida Republican was in the Granite State for a GOP fundraiser Friday, then made his case for the White House known on ABC's "This Week" with vigorous intent.

"If I decide to run for president, I will not have some sort of exit strategy to run for the Senate. I believe that if you want to be president of the United States, you run for president. You don't run for president with some eject button in the cockpit that allows you to go on an exit ramp if it doesn't work out," Mr. Rubio said.

He also reframed his stance on immigration, telling the network, "I remain convinced we need to do something serious about our immigration problem in this country. Both parties, I think, have a responsibility. We're not going to grant blanket amnesty to 12 million people. We're also not going to round up and deport 12 million people. So that issue has to be dealt with in a reasonable but responsible way."

But wait, there's more. He'll be at the National Press Club on Tuesday to propose new reforms to make it easier for young Americans to save for retirement, and remove financial penalties on older folks who continue to work — the latest in a series of policy proposals "to reclaim the 21st century American Dream," he says.

BOEHNER EXPLAINS BENGHAZI

The din over the Republican investigation of the Benghazi terrorist attacks is only going to get louder as indignation grows among incensed Democrats and pundits. House Speaker John Boehner appears poised to be the adult in the room.

"This is a serious investigation. I don't want theater. I don't want a sideshow. I want the members of this committee to find the facts for the four families who lost their loved ones, and the facts for the American people," Mr. Boehner told Maria Bartiromo, host of Fox News "Sunday Morning Futures".

The Ohio Republican said the committee will probe requests for security from the Benghazi facility leading up to Sept. 11, 2012; establish a clear timeline of the attack; and examine how the White House framed it all "in a way I believe they knew was false," Mr. Boehner said.

"The American people deserve the truth. The truth is important for this case so we do not ever get into a situation like this again. There are a lot of lessons to be learned here, and that will be one of the charges from me to the committee," the speaker said.

Yes, but will everybody get along when the investigation gets rolling?

"All the committees that have worked on the investigation are going to be required to turn over all of their documents, committee records, notes, work product, to the select committee so all the documents will be in one place. And it will be up to the select committee to review all those documents and to make decisions about how to proceed," Mr. Boehner advised Ms. Bartiromo, who was also curious about the cost of it all.

"Oh, this isn't going to cost any more money. We're going to pay for the cost of this committee out of existing House funds," he replied.

SCIENCE CORNER

Homemade, inexpensive stink bug traps crafted from simple household items outshine pricier models designed to kill the invasive bugs. So says a Virginia Tech research team from the Department of Entomology at the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Here is their advice following a two-year study in 16 homes: "The best way to get rid of the little buggers is to fill a foil roasting pan with water and dish soap and put a light over the pan to attract the bugs in a dark room. The trap eliminated 14 times more stink bugs than store-bought traps that cost up to $50."

The team, who will publish their findings in the Journal of Extension, adds: "Though the solution is not new and has been promoted on YouTube and other websites, this is the first time it was actually tested in a scientific experiment."

POLL DU JOUR

49 percent of Americans say "none or a small portion" of government statistics are reliable and accurate; 69 percent of Republicans, 51 percent of independents and 26 percent of Democrats agree.

26 percent overall say the "about half" the statistics are reliable and accurate; 21 percent of Republicans, 27 percent of independents and 32 percent of Democrats agree.

24 percent overall say "most or all" the statistics are reliable; 11 percent of Republicans, 24 percent of independents and 42 percent of Democrats agree.

29 percent say numbers for those who signed up for Obamacare are accurate; 14 percent of Republicans, 25 percent of independents and 47 percent of Democrats agree.

17 percent overall say the U.S. Census count is accurate; 14 percent of Republicans, 17 percent of independents and 24 percent of Democrats agree.

16 percent overall say U.S. unemployment numbers are accurate; 9 percent of Republicans, 10 percent of independents and 30 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted May 3-5.

Fine whines, obstinate remarks to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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