- The Washington Times - Monday, March 23, 2015

A heads-up for those who fret about the border wars: A pair of heavyweights will duke out the finer points of immigration. Grover Norquist, founder of Americans for Tax Reform, and Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, encounter one another on Thursday, each bolstered with distinct ideas and much mettle. The contenders are an interesting match; perhaps they will articulate a few good talking points for a Republican Party in search of productive immigration policy. Well, maybe. Mr. Norquist says more immigration and a viable pathway for illegals will boost the economy, and makes for good politics. Mr. Stein supports limits on immigration and amnesty to protect American jobs and tax payer burdens.

“Flooding the labor market with millions of low-skilled, government dependent workers is the antithesis of economic growth and a recipe for the erosion of the middle class,” he says.

“Norquist and Stein are the two intellectual heavyweights at the epicenter of the immigration debate,” says John Solomon, editor and vice president for content and business development for The Times, which is jointly presenting the event with the two interest groups. “This debate promises conflict and common ground and will be illuminating to all who follow the issue.”

Things could get fierce. Stephen Dinan — Washington Times political editor, and a reporter with keen insight into immigration — will moderate what’s now billed as an “unprecedented” forum at the august Capitol Hill Club, in the very shadow of the U.S. Capitol. More to come, folks.

MR. LAUDER COMES TO CALL

The World Jewish Congress will be in the nation’s capitol this week — and there will be a meeting of two congresses. On hand: Ronald S. Lauder, president of the 79-year-old nonpartisan organization which represents Jewish communities in a 100 nations. Mr. Lauder testifies Tuesday before the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights regarding rising anti-Semitism in Europe, and quite possibly, the Obama administration’s response to it. Attacks on Mideast Christians will also be part of the discussion. Accompanying Mr. Lauder: Roger Cukierman, president of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions of France, and Dan Rosenberg Asmussen, president of the Danish Jewish community. See a live video broadcast at 2:30 p.m. ET here: ForeignAffairs.house.gov.


SEE ALSO: Obamacare repeal debate stalls budget talks in Congress


Mr. Lauder, who served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Affairs and U.S. Ambassador to Austria during the Reagan administration, will also address an audience at Georgetown University on Wednesday, again to draw attention to persistent anti-Semitism.

THE CRUZ EFFECT

A seismic shift? Things will change now that Sen. Ted Cruz has entered the White House race, some say.

“Every Republican candidate for president will have to move significantly to the right, starting with Jeb Bush and Scott Walker. They’ll have to define their position on amnesty for illegal aliens, on fighting and winning the war radical Islam has declared on America, on spending, the deficit and the debt, and on repealing Obamacare — against the positions Ted Cruz will talk about and campaign on in the coming months,” predict longtime conservative maven Richard Viguerie.

“They will all have to move right to respond to Cruz, or be left behind by a grassroots conservative electorate fed-up with Republican candidates who are merely principle-free messengers for an out of touch Washington elite,” he adds, noting that the Texas Republican is “the first top-tier movement conservative candidate since Ronald Reagan.”

HIGHLIGHTS AND LOWLIGHTS

The political landscape grows more toxic. Case in point: the official Democratic Party reaction to a speech from the aforementioned Sen. Ted Cruz confirming that he would run for president in 2016.

“God’s blessing has been on America from the very beginning of this nation, and I believe God isn’t done with America,” Mr. Cruz told a vast audience at Liberty University on Monday. “I believe in the power of millions of courageous conservatives rising up to reignite the promise of America. It is a time for truth, it is a time for liberty, it is a time to reclaim the constitution of the United States.”

Well, that’s pretty noble. But here is a reaction from the other side of the aisle.

“Cruz’s determination to oppose and obstruct any and all attempts to help the middle class is the embodiment of what’s wrong with the Republican Party. His reckless approach to governing would make life worse, not better for Americans,” says Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, who blames Mr. Cruz for the 2013 government shutdown which some analyst said cost the economy $24 billion.

But wait. The Party sent out an email blast featuring a snappy $24 billion graphic with the lawmaker’s photo and the statement, “You already know a lot about Ted Cruz. You know about what a divisive politician he is, about the extreme positions he has, and how committed he is to breaking Washington even more.”

ALL IN THE TIMING

“Servergate doesn’t matter: Hillary was never going to be president anyway,” writes Lisa Schiffren, a senior fellow for the Independent Women’s Forum, in an op-ed for the Observer.

“Hillary Rodham Clinton will not be elected President of the United States. Never. Not if Hell freezes over. In the binary gut calculation as to whether a candidate is electable or not, she is not. This is true even apart from the likelihood of a swing to the GOP after the disastrous past six years,” Ms. Schiffren observes. “If Ms. Clinton were electable, she would have been elected in 2008. That was her year. She looked good. She was solid and energetic. She had become her own person. She hadn’t actually accomplished anything as New York’s junior senator. But she had made friends and allies, and cast votes that made her palatable to centrist voters.”

THE PATRIOT’S DEBATE

Here’s the cascade of logic: Officials at Lexington High School, located in the same historic Massachusetts town associated with “Lexington and Concord” canceled their “American Pride” dance next month “because it excluded other nationalities,” they said — though the theme got the most votes from the student dance committee.

There was much discussion and much media coverage, including input from the Boston Globe pointing out that of the 1,991 students enrolled at Lexington, 59 percent were white, 29 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander, 5 percent were African-American, 4 percent Hispanic, and under 1 percent were American Indian/Alaskan. Three percent of students were listed as “two or more races.” The outcome: officials changed the name of the event to the “National Pride Dance”, advising student they “can wear red, white and blue if they choose to.”

POLL DU JOUR

72 percent of Americans think Hillary Clinton will run for president in 2016; 69 percent of Republicans, 70 percent of independents and 79 percent of Democrats agree.

53 percent overall think Mrs. Clinton “says what she thinks people want to hear”; 85 percent of Republicans, 57 percent of independents and 26 percent of Democrats agree.

49 percent overall say she has “qualifications to be president”; 14 percent of Republicans, 44 percent of independents and 81 percent of Democrats agree.

42 percent overall want Mrs. Clinton to run for president; 13 percent of Republicans, 39 percent of independents and 68 percent of Democrats agree.

36 percent overall think she “says what she believes”; 8 percent of Republicans, 31 percent of independents and 63 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: An Economist/YouGov poll of 988 U.S. adults conducted March 14-16.

Brazen chatter, sly asides to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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