- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 17, 2016

U.S. TROOPS BACK ‘OUTSIDER’ TRUMP

“Outsider candidates’ messages are resonating with individuals in uniform,” concludes an exclusive and unique new survey of 931 active-duty troops, reservists and National Guard members conducted by the Military Times. Republican front-runner Donald Trump and Democratic hopeful Sen. Bernard Sanders have emerged as the top choices to become the next commander in chief according to those who have the most at stake here.

Trump was the most popular candidate in a subscriber poll that closed Sunday, with 27 percent saying they would back the business mogul if the election were held tomorrow. Sanders, the independent Vermont senator, was a close second at 22 percent,” write Leo Shane III and George R. Altmen, Capitol Hill bureau chief and senior writer for the publication.

“The data suggest that military personnel have not been dissuaded by political rivals who contend Trump and Sanders have weak foreign policy credentials and don’t have recognized experts as national security advisers. Nearly half of the service members surveyed also said they were unhappy with the discussion of national security issues in the presidential race so far,” the pair note.

Find the survey — which breaks down responses by branch of service — in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.

ONE FOR THE GHOST ARMY

Seventy years ago, they were masters at mystery and tactical deception. Bipartisan legislation has been introduced to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the Ghost Army, the World War II unit that created intricate battlefield deceptions using hundreds of inflatable tanks, sound effects, phony radio transmissions and illusion near the front lines from Normandy to the Rhine River. It was meant to fool the Germans, and fool them it did. The elite group risked its members’ lives but drew fire away from their fellow GIs.
Reps. Annie Kuster, New Hampshire Democrat, and Peter King, New York Republican, introduced the bill, which has already picked up over 30 co-sponsors; similar legislation will be introduced soon in the Senate.

“It is finally time that the American people recognize their ingenuity and selflessness, which saved countless American and Allied lives,” Mr. King says. “The Ghost Army deserve their due.”

The Congressional Gold Medal has been awarded to other unsung WWII units including the Doolittle Raiders, the Monuments Men, the Women Air Service Pilots and the Native American Code Talkers. Legislation to award the medal to the OSS — the predecessor of the CIA — was introduced this year, and is picking up speed.

AND IN SUMMATION

“May God strengthen our people. May God strengthen our nation. May God strengthen the conservative movement. May God strengthen the Republican Party. May God strengthen our eventual nominee. And may God always bless and strengthen this great nation, the United States of America.”

— The last words of former Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Marco Rubio to his followers before he dropped out of the race.

THE MOST POWERFUL, SORT OF

“Is the president of the United States the most powerful person in the world?” So asks a Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 likely voters, released Tuesday.
Well? Here are the numbers: 47 percent agree “the American president” is the most powerful person on the planet. Forty percent disagree, while 13 percent are undecided.

A FUTURE LIBERTARIAN DEBATE

They have been left out of the official presidential debate circuit. But that has not stopped the Libertarians from entering the fray.

“A nationally televised debate of Libertarian presidential candidates is long overdue, and we are delighted that it is finally happening,” says Nicholas Sarwark, chairman of the Libertarian Party, which previously sued the Commission on Presidential Debates for equal access to the nationally televised bouts, to no avail.

Stepping up to the plate instead is Fox Business Network as the broadcaster, veteran host John Stossel will serve as moderator. The network will tape the debate March 29, to air three days later. The candidates: former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, software entrepreneur John McAfee, and Libertarian Republic founder Austin Petersen.

“We urge all Americans to tell their friends, co-workers, and family to watch this important debate and see they have a choice,” advises Mr. Sarwark. “They do not have to settle for candidates who are bigoted and insulting, who curry favor with the titans of Wall Street, who put our troops in harm’s way, who have no intention of stopping runaway government spending, and who force Americans to buy lousy yet unaffordable medical insurance plans.”

Mr. Johnson, who ran as the Libertarian candidate in 2012 and managed to snag 1.2 million votes, is the likely candidate once again — though the party will formally reveal the ticket at its national convention in May.

BROADCAST BIAS: BLAME TRUMP

Their bias is showing. All three major broadcast networks homed in on the violence during Republican front-runner Donald Trump’s campaign rallies last weekend. A follow-up analysis by the Media Research Center detects agenda: “ABC, CBS and NBC news coverage found that the left-wing protesters who forced the cancellation of a presidential campaign event escaped nearly all blame, as reporters dumped 94 percent of the blame on Trump and his campaign,” the conservative watchdog reports.

Analysts Mike Ciandella, Scott Whitlock and Kyle Drennen painstakingly pored over morning and evening coverage from Saturday through Monday — almost 85 minutes of airtime. Here is what they found: Reporters criticized Mr. Trump’s campaign over the incidents 46 times. They blamed the protesters only three times.

“By 15-to-1 margin, the networks blame Trump, not lefties, for campaign violence,” research director Rich Noyes summarizes in his analysis of the findings.

FOR THE LEXICON

“The winter White House”

— Description by New York Times writer Jason Horowitz for Mar-a-Lago, the 110,000 square-foot Florida estate of Republican front-runner Donald Trump — “a 118-room snowbird’s paradise that will become a winter White House if he is elected president.” With 58 bedrooms, 33 bathrooms and three bomb shelters, this domestic landmark could fit the bill, and then some. The White House is 54,900 square feet. But the historic structure also boasts 132 rooms, including a splendid array of ceremonial spaces, 16 family-guest rooms, three kitchens, 35 bathrooms and a remarkable underground bunker.

NOT ON THEIR WATCH

Conservatives are shoving back at White House plans to nominate a Supreme Court justice to replace the late Antonin Scalia.

“President Obama wants to deny the American people that choice. And no wonder. He has already made two extreme liberal appointments to the Court and if given a third he will have succeeded in decisively changing the current balance of the Court,” warns the Conservative Action Project, coalition of over 100 high-profile conservatives who include Herman Cain, Gary Bauer, Brent Bozell, Ed Meese, Tony Perkins and Grover Norquist.

“Let there be no mistake about it: President Obama will nominate a liberal to this vacancy. Press leaks about potential ‘moderate’ candidates should be interpreted as simply misdirection from the White House. The president and his liberal allies know what is at stake and so do we,“ the group noted in an open letter released Tuesday. “We are facing a national constitutional crisis. Senate Republicans have recognized the stakes and have acted accordingly. We are all too aware of the negative assault that is coming against the Republican senators as the national media throws its collective liberal weight against GOP efforts to allow the American people to play their rightful role in the nomination.”

NIP TUCK BUCKS

For the first time on record, Americans spent over $13.5 billion dollars last year on improving their appearance plus facial and body rejuvenation, reports the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, with liposuction leading the way, followed by breast augmentation, tummy tuck, eyelid surgery and breast lifts.

“I personally believe the motivating factors for that are varied, but remaining competitive in the workforce is certainly a common factor. Youth is a commodity, and people are investing in themselves to maintain a younger, healthier appearance,” said Dr. James C. Grotting, president of the medical organization.

Women account for 90 percent of the customers: 11.5 million had cosmetic procedures in 2015, an increase of 538 percent since 1997, when the group first started tracking the trends. Men had 1.5 million procedures — up by 325 percent in the same time period. People between 30 and 50 years old had the most surgery, accounting for 40 percent of the total.

TAXPAYER HEROES

Yes, there are lawmakers who consistently turn thumbs down on big government agenda and fiscal irresponsibility. Based on roll call votes, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste has revealed who actually defends taxpayer interests. This year, 15 senators and two representatives — all Republicans — earned a 100 percent score. And yes, the two presidential hopefuls are on the list.

“The actions of these members are refreshing in the current fiscal climate,” says Tom Schatz, president of the nonprofit watchdog. “On the other hand, far too many members of Congress in 2015 continued to support a further expansion of the federal bureaucratic behemoth.”

The “Taxpayer Super Heroes,” meanwhile, are Sens. John Barrasso, John Boozman, Bill Cassidy, Tom Cotton, Mike Crapo, Ted Cruz, Steve Daines, James Inhofe, Mitch McConnell, David Perdue, James Risch, Marco Rubio, Ben Sasse, Thom Tillis, and David Vitte, plus Reps. Barry Loudermilk and Tom McClintock.

POLL DU JOUR

27 percent of U.S. military troops back Donald Trump for president; 31 percent of Army respondents, 24 percent of Navy, 31 percent of Marine Corps and 22 percent of Air Force respondents agree.

22 percent overall favor Sen. Bernard Sanders; 17 percent of Army, 30 percent of Navy, 16 percent of Marine, 25 percent of Air Force also agree.

18 percent overall favor Sen. Ted Cruz; 16 percent Army, 13 percent Navy, 16 percent Marine, 21 percent Air Force agree.

11 percent overall favor Hillary Clinton; 13 percent Army, 13 percent Navy, 7 percent Marine, 10 percent Air Force agree.

9 percent overall favor Sen. Marco Rubio; 10 percent Army, 8 percent Navy, 11 percent Marine, 9 percent Air Force agree.

Source: A Military Times survey of 931 active-duty, National Guard and reserve members conducted March 9-14.

Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin

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