- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Rev. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, hopes that Hillary Clinton and Sen. Tim Kaine, a Catholic, can offer some candor on abortion. Their narrative, the priest suggests, is lacking.

Consider that the pro-life public — including politicians and clergy — have often questioned why the visceral realities of the abortion procedure have been overlooked or omitted from media coverage. They also wonder how the expanding “abortion industry” continues to be bolstered by taxpayer funds and categorized by some elected officials under the generic, sanitized term “women’s health.” Like millions of Americans, Father Pavone watched the vice presidential debate, and it got him thinking.

“Gov. Mike Pence called out the extremism of the Democratic Party by pointing out that they support abortions even at the latest stages of pregnancy and are unwilling to protect children from being killed even in the process of delivery,” he says. “Sen. Tim Kaine did not dispute this. Naturally, he did not want to pursue that line of argument, because the more people hear about the killing of healthy babies of healthy mothers in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, the more they realize how out of touch the Democratic political leaders are with the majority of Americans.”

The priest wants some clarification.

“Here is my challenge to Sen. Kaine, to Hillary Clinton, and to the entire Democratic Party. Describe what you are defending. Tell the American people exactly what an abortion is, and how it is performed. You aren’t ashamed to say that this activity should continue to be legal, and that taxpayer money should fund it. So why are you ashamed to describe the activity you support and fund?” asks Father Pavone. “Quote the medical texts and the court testimonies about how abortion dismembers and decapitates babies. And if you can’t describe it, why should you tolerate it?”

VEEP BOUT: THE AFTERMATH


SEE ALSO: ‘Bill Clinton is a rapist’ heckler derails Ohio speech for Hillary


If anything, the vice presidential debate Tuesday was a lesson in the value of civility. The aforementioned Tim Kaine interrupted rival Mike Pence 72 times, a phenomenon which drew more news coverage than his campaign message — not helpful in an election where every last vote will count.

It did give the press something to do, however; pundits and anchors squawked and clucked and crowed over the event for hours. But alas. This debate drew the fewest viewers of any vice presidential debate in 16 years — about 36 million, according to preliminary Nielsen numbers. The debate between then-Sen. Joe Biden and Sarah Palin garnered 70 million viewers in 2008, which is only eight years ago but seems like a hundred.

The networks also duked it out as well. The debate winners for Tuesday night: NBC led broadcast channels with 7 million viewers; while on cable, Fox News Channel had 6.1 million viewers.

GORE-TOPIA

Well, now we know that Al Gore has been drafted to help Hillary Clinton’s campaign, joining a huge flock of surrogates already trudging the trail. The breathless press hints he’ll be deployed to attract the elusive millennial vote and talk about global warming or other alarming topics. Well, OK. Some telling headlines have followed, though. A sampling:

“Hillary’s new millennial whisperer is 68-year-old venture capitalist Al Gore” (Vanity Fair); “Hillary, please keep Al Gore off the campaign trail!” (New York Daily News); “Hillary Clinton’s plan to use Al Gore to win over young voters doesn’t really make sense” (Vox); “Gore seeks happy ending in strained Clinton relationship” (Washington Free Beacon); “Al Gore may campaign for Hillary, finally get his revenge on third-party candidates” (New York magazine)

‘SHALL WE WAKE THE PRESIDENT?’

Nationally syndicated columnist Jonah Goldberg is among the luminaries assembling Thursday for a gathering in the nation’s capital to salute author and former George W. Bush administration official Tevi Troy, who has penned an intriguing new book. The title says all: “Shall We Wake the President: Two Centuries of Disaster Management from the Oval Office.”

The author, a meticulous researcher, has peered into the worst of the worst White House challenges here, including terror attacks, economic collapse, pandemics, bioterror attacks and acts of God — including hurricanes.

“If presidents follow the advice laid out in these pages, the federal government will be more prepared and more capable of dealing with disaster. If, however, our president fails us, you can and must prepare yourself and your family in case disaster does strike,” writes Mr. Troy, a father of four.

He also points out that Hollywood has produced 85 apocalyptic-themed disaster movies in the last 15 years, according to an industry tally. “Given that the average cost of a Hollywood movie is around $100 million, this means that Hollywood has spent over $8.5 billion bringing visions of the apocalypse to the American people,” Mr. Troy notes.

VENDETTA

Ah, regulatory culture. A well-known strategist and friend of Inside the Beltway points out a recent Federal Register, the official daily journal of the U.S. federal government which offers public notices and other fare. Our eagle-eyed source noted that the Federal Highway Administration is currently seeking public input on “the law surrounding commercial activities in rest areas.”

Well, OK. That’s reasonable. States receive federal aid for their roadside facilities. But there are excruciating details to consider, like this one: In the age of electronic payments and fancy self-serve kiosks, when is a vending machine not a vending machine?

“There is currently no definition of vending machine either in the statute at 23 U.S.C. 111 or the regulation at 23 CFR 752.5. The current regulation and law have remained substantially the same and have not defined the term ‘vending machine’ for more than 30 years,” notes the federal highway agency, adding, “Considering advances in technology, what defines a vending machine in today’s world?”

POLL DU JOUR

77 percent of Chinese say their nation’s lifestyle “needs to be protected from foreign influence.”

75 percent say China plays a more important global role than 10 years ago.

60 percent say China’s involvement in the global economy is “a good thing.”

52 percent say the U.S. is “trying to prevent China from becoming powerful; 50 percent have a favorable view of the U.S.

Source: A Pew Research Center Global Attitudes survey of 3,154 Chinese adults conducted April 6 to May 8 and released Wednesday.

Squawks, clucks and coos to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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