- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Four lawmakers will stand by the massive March for Life when it gets underway at high noon on Thursday in and around the National Mall. There to lend wisdom and support will be Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington and Chris Smith of New Jersey, plus Rep. Daniel Lipinski, Illinois Democrat. News reports reveal that the anti-abortion march typically draws hundreds of thousands people — stalwarts who show up despite challenging weather and scanty media coverage. But wait. C-SPAN will be there to cover both the speeches and the march itself, however, offering live coverage from noon to 3 p.m.

The marchers will be only yards from the U.S. Capitol where the significant “Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” has rattled the rafters. Introduced by House Republicans, the legislation has already drawn a veto threat from the White House and outcry from Planned Parenthood, but a promise from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring a version before the Senate.

“Will Republicans — so gifted over the decades by pro-life money, votes and other support — pull out all the stops in getting these votes?” asks Charles C. Camosy, an associate professor of theological and social ethics at Fordham University, and a contributor to The Federalist. He notes that the bill’s 20-week restriction on abortion has much mainstream support and suggested that lawmakers could attract pro-choice votes by attaching “the right carrots” to the legislation itself.

“What about adding mandatory paid maternity leave? How about pre-K or child-care subsidies? Or increased legal protections for women and mothers in the workplace? These are also pro-life measures that would lead to more women choosing to keep their children, but they would also give moderate Democrats the cover they need to resist pressure from Emily’s List and other enforcers of pro-choice orthodoxy,” Mr. Camosy says. “In addition to being politically expedient, these measures are also simply the right thing to do for women and their prenatal children.”

A PRAYER FOR THE PRE-BORN

Before they embark, the aforementioned marchers will pray for the “pre-born and their mothers and fathers” — and their ranks include a dozen denominations, from Catholics to evangelicals and Anglicans.


SEE ALSO: Obama calls for civility, then immediately taunts Republicans


“We want to fill Constitution Hall with thousands of believers, and show the nation and the media that will cover the event that pro-life people are not going away, no matter how long the battle or how powerful the enemy. The prayers and message of this service will certainly convey that, and you won’t want to miss out on the inspiration,” say the organizers of a national prayer service before the March for Life. Among those in attendance: Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life; Gary Bauer, former presidential hopeful and president of Americans Values; and Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life.

AL GORE’S REALLY BIG SHOW

Expected: Al Gore gave a big speech in front of a giant screen full of sky and planets, offering many dire warnings about global warming and fossil fuels for his audience at the World Economic Summit in Davos, Switzerland. But Mr. Gore also revealed he’s still in touch with his inner Woodstock. Or something like that. With superstar vocalist Pharrell Williams, the former vice president also revealed he is now organizing “Live Earth: Road to Paris,” a music event scheduled for June 18 meant to draw attention to a United Nations meeting on climate change scheduled in France for December.

Mr. Gore told his audience: “We are going to have one event all over the world, on all seven continents. We had said six continents, but we’ve since organized a band in Antarctica. There will be an audience of two billion, on the largest TV, digital, radio network ever created.”

No mention, though, of any carbon footprints involved here — a factor among critics of the Davos meeting, which drew 1,200 private gas-guzzling jets to the pristine setting.

“The purpose is to have a billion voices with one message, to demand climate action now,” Mr. Gore observed.

WHEREFORE ART THE ELUSIVE VIEWERS?

Oh, well. Nielsen has revealed the preliminary news about President Obama’s prime-time State of the Union address on Tuesday night: It garnered an estimated audience of 31.7 million people across 13 cable and broadcast networks — making it the least watched address in the last 15 years. By comparison, President Bill Clinton’s podium finale drew 31.4 million viewers in 2000.

There were winners and losers on Tuesday night, however. Fox News was king in the cable realm. During the same time period, Fox News had 3.5 million viewers, CNN drew 2.4 million and MSNBC just under 2 million. Fox News coverage afterwards that featured analysis by Bill O’Reilly and Megyn Kelly also led the numbers, garnering 3.5 million viewers, Nielsen said. CNN did enjoy a victory among the key 25-to-54-year-old set, pulling in a million from the demographic, compared to 934,168 of the age group who preferred Fox. Among the Big Three networks, CBS trumped its rivals, drawing an initial 7.3 million viewers at the start, compared to NBC with 5.2 million, and ABC’s 4.6 million.

Twitter, meanwhile, reveals that some 2.6 million tweets cascaded across its platform during the speech. Vocativ, a technology driven research and media group, also analyzed Mr. Obama’s address using standard readability tests to discover the speech was written “on a 10th grade level.”

HARMONY AS A TACTIC

Despite continual mainstream media claims that the tea party is irrelevant and the GOP a mess, an interesting phenomenon is underway. There’s emerging unity between tea party and establishment Republicans, says Taylor Budowich, executive director of the Tea Party Express. The national political action committee organized an official grass-roots response to the State of the Union address on Tuesday by Rep. Curt Clawson, a Florida Republican who won his office in a special election by 40 percentage points last year thanks to conservative support.

“The selection of Senator Joni Ernst by the Republicans and Curt Clawson by the tea party suggests that Republicans are coming together with a united, conservative agenda — an agenda that will actually work in contrast to the failed policies President Obama is clinging to,” says Mr. Budowich.

Well, he could be right. Mr. Clawson, meanwhile, suggests that civility is a viable tactic — not a bad idea when multiple polls reveal the public’s distaste for political discord between and within the major parties.

“We want opportunity for all, but favoritism for none. As Americans — we celebrate our diversity. We don’t always see things the same way. But we can and must respect and listen to each other. And when we disagree — we’ve got to do this without insulting each other,” he says.

POLL DU JOUR

• 68 percent of Americans oppose the use of tax dollars to provide abortions.

• 64 percent say there are more abortions in the U.S. “than there should be.”

• 59 percent say having an abortion does more harm than good in a woman’s life “in the long run.”

• 58 percent support “greater legal restrictions” on abortion.

• 57 percent say organizations who oppose abortion should not be required to supply insurance that covers the procedure.

• 60 percent say abortions is “morally wrong” regardless of its legality.

• 49 percent say they are “pro-choice,” 47 percent say they are “pro-life.”

Source: A Knights of Columbus/Marist College poll of 2,079 U.S. adults conducted Jan 7-13.

Tepid praise, a few quiet asides to jharperwashingtontimes.com.

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