- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 1, 2016

An actual military draft has been out of commission for 43 years. But draft registration is still a stark reality for American men, who must sign up with the federal government like clockwork.

“The draft itself may never be reinstated, but men are still required to register for its possible use when they turn 18. Americans think women should do that too. By 50 percent to 35 percent they agree that women should also be required to register with the Selective Service System,” says Kathy Frankovic, an analyst for YouGov, which queried some 2,000 people on the issue.

Women, however, are not so keen on the idea. The survey found only 40 percent agreed they should be in the national pool for potential troops. Some demographics were all for it: 64 percent of Democratic voters who plan to vote for Sen. Bernie Sanders approve, along with 61 percent of men, 58 percent of liberals, 53 percent of Democrats in general and 52 percent of voters who favor Hillary Clinton. Fifty-two percent of Republican voters who prefer Donald Trump, 48 percent of Republicans and 45 percent of conservatives also agree.

The Selective Service is very upfront about the issue, stating online, “While there has been talk recently about women in combat, there has been NO decision to require females to register with Selective Service, or be subject to a future military draft.”

And about registering for that draft. “It’s what a man’s got to do. It’s quick, it’s easy, it’s the law,” says the federal agency, which currently has the names and addresses of 16 million men ages 18 to 25.

Meanwhile, the poll found that 60 percent of Americans say women should be allowed in combat units directly involved in ground fighting. The ban on the practice was lifted by the Defense Department in January. Again, Mr. Sanders’ fans top the list of those who favor the idea. Among those who agree with women in combat: Sanders voters (78 percent), liberals (74 percent), Clinton voters (71 percent), Democrats (66 percent), men (60 percent), women (59 percent) and Republicans (52 percent). Among conservatives, it was 49 percent.

CALIFORNIA: P-MINUS 120 HOURS

OK, it’s P-minus 120 hours, give or take an hour or two. P as in “primary.” The California primary is a mere five days off, prompting the trio of remaining presidential hopefuls to scurry around in California for the duration. But let us look at Thursday alone.

Sen. Bernie Sanders continues his “California Swing” and will preside over rallies in Chico and Modesto; actress Susan Sarandon will be at his side. Hillary Clinton arrives in Los Angeles after campaigning in New Jersey; she’ll make multiple stops and likely receive some personal assistance from Gov. Jerry Brown, who has endorsed her. She plans a major address outlining her vision for the nation’s safety in San Diego on Thursday, complete with criticism directed at Donald Trump and the “threat he would pose to national security.”

Never to be outdone, Mr. Trump himself will be in Sacramento and San Jose on Thursday. Both cities will feature “Donald J. Trump for President” rallies — a significant name departure from the “Make America Great Again” gatherings, which have been his signature events for many months.

C-SPANARAMA

Three cheers for the nation’s most honorable and tenacious media asset: On Thursday, C-SPAN celebrates its 30th anniversary of providing live, gavel-to-gavel coverage from the U.S. Senate. Three decades later, this straightforward and important broadcast can be seen in 95 million households and live at C-SPAN.org.

The diplomacy, foresight and persistence of C-SPAN founder Brian Lamb is behind much of this; hurray for him as well. Well done, sir. C-SPAN will review key moments from the past 30 years at 8 p.m. EDT with historian Don Ritchie, former Parliamentarian Alan Frumin and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The Capitol Hill equation changed on June 2, 1986, when TV cameras arrived. The Senate opened that day with Sen. Strom Thurmond presiding, followed by floor remarks by Sens. Bob Dole, Robert Byrd, John Glenn and many more — all agreeing it was a historic moment. See more here: C-span.org/senate30years.

 

INVITATION OF THE DAY

“Of all the dinners, by all the think tanks, you could walk into ours.”

And so says the opening line to “A Night in Casablanca,” an annual dinner Thursday night organized by the Competitive Enterprise Institute at a sprawling hotel not too far from the White House.

The speaker of note is Steve Forbes, chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media; the master of ceremonies is the charming and astute Mary Katharine Ham, CNN political commentator and senior writer at The Federalist.

A spokesman tells Inside the Beltway that 850 guests are due; the menu includes Moroccan-themed cuisine, with an “exceptionally delicious” baklava. The evening’s swag bag for guests includes Moroccan spices and a recipe card. A short Casablanca-themed video featuring authentic 1940s-era costumery and employee talent will also be shown. A clever link here

FOXIFIED

Fox News Channel CEO Roger Ailes continues to do things right. The network is ranked No. 1 across all basic cable channels in their total daytime viewers — 1.2 million; though their viewership is up in recent days, rivals CNN garnered 584,000, MSNBC 481,000.

This is the 173rd month in row (more than 14 years) that Fox News has been first among the news channels.

During the crucial prime-time evening hours, Fox News is No. 3, bested only by NBA-playoff-dominated coverage on TNT and ESPN. In the meantime, CNN ranked No. 13 and MSNBC No. 15 in the prime-time derby. At the top of the heap is the “The O’Reilly Factor,” with 3 million nightly viewers, and “Hannity,” with 2 million.

POLL DU JOUR

82 percent of U.S. voters “definitely” plan to vote in the presidential election if the candidates are Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

49 percent say Mr. Trump is a “strong leader”; 45 percent cite Mrs. Clinton.

48 percent say Mr. Trump is “inspiring”; 39 percent cite Mrs. Clinton.

46 percent say Mrs. Clinton will win in November, 43 percent cite Mr. Trump.

44 percent would rather watch Mr. Trump on TV for the next four years; 41 percent cite Mrs. Clinton.

Source: A Quinnipiac University poll of 1,561 registered U.S. voters conducted May 24-30.

Churlish remarks, marginal opinions to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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