- The Washington Times - Monday, May 23, 2016

The former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee is a busy man these days. Mike Rogers, who spent time as an FBI special agent and a Republican congressman from Michigan, has always been camera-ready. He appeared on more Sunday talk shows than any other elected official in previous years — this according to Mr. Rogers himself. When he exited Capitol Hill in 2015, Mr. Rogers immediately landed a nationally syndicated radio program focused on national security. He is taking it up a notch, and is set to appear as host of a new eight-part CNN series titled “Declassified: Untold Stories of American Spies,” which debuts next month.

“‘Declassified’ will take us beyond the headlines and deep into the exciting and complex true stories of America’s covert operations. The series will highlight some of the country’s biggest unknown successes in the fight to protect our nation,” Mr. Rogers tells Inside the Beltway.

He also serves as the executive producer, and is a regular contributor to the network.

But policy still calls. There is also the Mike Rogers Center for Intelligence and Global Affairs to consider. The new public affairs entity most recently partnered with the Bipartisan Policy Center to produce a well-received event last week featuring Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper — who revealed that hackers are now targeting the three presidential candidates.

TRUMP‘S 96-HOUR GRASS-ROOTS BLITZ

It seems like old times. Beginning Tuesday, Donald Trump embarks on a four-day, four-state tour, hosting the kind of signature jumbo rallies that showcased his call to “make America great again” before huge, enthusiastic audiences around the nation. After he emerged as the presumptive Republican nominee, Mr. Trump took a few short moments off the campaign trail to huddle with new advisers, tinker with the campaign fundraising apparatus and to act both presidential and nonpresidential.

Now it’s back to the grueling schedule that yielded such positive results, and left him the only man standing out of 17 previous GOP hopefuls.

On Tuesday he’s in Albuquerque. On Wednesday, it’s Anaheim, California. Thursday, Mr. Trump journeys to Bismarck, North Dakota, and North Billings, Montana. By Friday he’s back in the Golden State for a rally in San Diego. And there is one important event of note. There will be a private fundraiser for Mr. Trump campaigns on Wednesday in the home of a billionaire Los Angeles real estate investor, hosted by none other than Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus. Yes, the candidate will attend.

BROADCASTERS STAY COZY WITH THE CLINTONS

The Big Three networks are still very much a friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton.

“Despite more evidence that the Clinton Foundation was used as a slush fund to enrich the Clintons and their cronies, the Big Three networks — ABC, CBS, NBC — have all but stopped covering the scandal swirling around the Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton’s charitable organization,” writes Geoffrey Dickens, an analyst for the Media Research Center, a conservative press watchdog.

Mr. Dickens reviewed morning and evening newscasts on the three networks from Jan. 1 through May 20 to find that they spent a total of four minutes and 24 seconds on what the press billed as “charity fraud.” Indeed, a Wall Street Journal story reported the Clinton Global Initiative set up “a financial commitment that benefited a for-profit company part-owned by people with ties to the Clintons.”

The study found that ABC News — which employs former Clinton administration spokesman and actual Clinton Foundation donor George Stephanopoulos — offered no coverage at all of the situation. CBS devoted only one minute and 11 seconds to the Clinton Foundation scandal, while NBC offered the most amount of time — just over three minutes.

“In contrast, a decades-old controversy of Donald Trump pretending to be his own publicist garnered eight times more coverage (38 minutes and 2 seconds) in just four days,” Mr. Dickens says, with more likely to come.

FOR THE LEXICON

“Red Tape Rising”

— Title of new Heritage Foundation study revealing that the federal government has issued 20,642 new federal regulations since President Obama took office in 2009. The cost of complying with those regulations: a minimum of $22 billion a year.

“The unparalleled increase in regulatory burdens spells a decline in economic freedom and individual liberty, with a concomitant increase in political gamesmanship and cronyism — all of which inhibits innovation, investment and job creation, increases prices, and curtails consumer choice,” note study authors James Gattuso and Diane Katz. Find the hefty study at Heritage.org.

LIBERTARIANS EYE THE PRIZE

A new Fox News poll of registered voters found that a hypothetical Libertarian Party candidate would garner 10 percent of the votes in a matchup with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. A Monmouth Poll found that 2012 Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson, the former New Mexico governor, snagged 11 percent in a similar survey last week.

The poll serves to “affirm the likelihood that the Libertarian Party will have a sizable influence in the 2016 election,” says Nicholas Sarwark, chair of the Libertarian National Committee, who also cited a Fox News survey that found voters felt both Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump were “deeply flawed candidates.”

The Libertarians will select their official presidential nominee at their national convention, which begins Thursday in Orlando.

STATS DU JOUR

2.8 trillion minutes — the amount of time Americans spent on their cellphones last year.

2.1 trillion — the number of texts Americans sent in 2015, with usage averaging 4 million every minute.

228 million — the number of smartphones in the U.S.; 70 percent of Americans now own one.

$177 billion — the amount spent by wireless services to improve their services in the last five years.

377.9 million — the number of U.S. subscribers to wireless services in 2015.

Source: A CTIA — The Wireless Association analysis of data from companies serving 97.8 percent of all estimated wireless subscribers. The results were released Monday.

Glorious proclamations and churlish remarks to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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