- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A thousand National Guard troops were called to deploy to the Texas-Mexico border to wrest control of the immigration crisis — but over twice that number have shown up to volunteer for the mission. “I called for a thousand soldiers. Twenty-two hundred of you have already said, ‘Here am I. Send me.’ I also tell people, this is Texas, what do you expect? It’s a place where you give back to your community,” Gov. Rick Perry said in a straightforward speech during a visit to the Camp Swift Army National Guard training facility Wednesday. Flanked by flags, the governor stood in his shirtsleeves before camouflage netting and quoted Ronald Reagan’s advice that “preparedness” deters aggression, while weakness encourages it.

“Your mission is clear — to be a visible presence to deter criminal activity — and contribute additional eyes and ears to assist law enforcement and Border Patrol agents along the border. Washington’s continued neglect of our southern border is allowing aggressive criminals to use that border to penetrate the state. And they don’t just stop in Texas,” the governor continued, calling those criminals “narcoterrorists,” and the troops the “tip of the spear.”

His words drew considerable reaction from the assembly, and beyond. “Thousands of veterans nationwide would like to be part of this mission. If you need more personnel, shoot me an email,” one visitor wrote to Mr. Perry’s Facebook site.

“We can make the cartels’ lives miserable,” said Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw. “You’ll find your partners down there are Texas Rangers, Texas state troopers, criminal agents, and local law enforcement — sheriffs constables, police officers. We look forward to working with you. And God bless you.”


Hillary Clinton is currently enjoying much dramatic media attention, with the emphasis on dramatic, with journalists suggesting that the likely presidential hopeful is getting reckless, and that American voters either have a case of Clinton fatigue or are working on one. In quick review, headlines from the last 24 hours:

“Hillary Clinton doesn’t know when to stop” (New York Times), “Hillary Clinton: Expert shape-shifter” (The Washington Post), “Hillary not comfortable in her own skin” (Politico), “Hillary Clinton has made her first major blunder of the 2016 campaign” (The New Republic), “An awkward party with President Obama is the least of Hillary Clinton’s problems” (The Wire), “David Axelrod smack-tweets Hillary Clinton” (CNN), “Hillary Clinton’s high wire act” (PowerLine.com), “Hillary Clinton is paining progressives” (MarketWatch).


“Memo to President Obama: You should have made Hillary your vice president back in 2008. She was the obvious choice. But you believed you were strong enough without her, and worried that Bill would be impossible to control. Big mistake,” points out John Podhoretz, commentary editor and a New York Post columnist.

“If Hillary were veep, she’d be inside the tent even now, biting her lip. Instead, she took her leave, wrote her book and is now taking aim — at you. Hillary Clinton was and is your enemy,” he says.


An ongoing cultural grapple over Ronald Reagan continues. Consider that conservative historian Craig Shirley wrote a book titled “Reagan’s Revolution: The Untold Story of the Campaign That Started It All,” published a decade ago. Now he is suing megapublisher Simon & Schuster, claiming that their author Rick Perlstein, who penned “The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan,” lifted language and facts directly from his original work without direct attribution. The dispute has gotten coverage by multiple news organizations, most recently a New York Times account that incurred the wrath of high-profile Times readers annoyed that the paper would even cover Mr. Shirley’s claims. The hubbub prompted public editor Margaret Sullivan to write her own story.

New Yorker writer Jeffrey Toobin told the editor that accusations of plagiarism were “flimsy” and that Mr. Shirley’s charge was “a political attack on Perlstein dressed up as a journalistic ethics controversy.” Media analyst Felix Salmon called the matter “an entirely fake ‘controversy,’ ginned up wholly by wing nuts who think that Reagan is God and that any left-wing criticism of him, no matter how scholarly and intelligent, is tantamount to blasphemy.”

Mr. Salmon also said, “The New York Times is basically a co-conspirator here, in a concerted Swift-boating of Rick Perlstein. For shame.”

Assorted editors at The Times, meanwhile, told Ms. Sullivan they felt the paper had acted responsibly and that the offending article was newsworthy. All that said, she ultimately sided with Mr. Shirley’s critics in her account, concluding, “The Times article amplified a damaging accusation of plagiarism without establishing its validity and doing so in a way that is transparent to the reader. The standard has to be higher.”


And in response, here’s what Craig Shirley tells Inside the Beltway about the matter:

“Mr. Perlstein’s enablers keep trying to make this about ideology when it is in fact about plagiarism and shoddy writing and ‘invisible’ citations. Note his defenders keep desperately flailing, and since they can’t defend the indefensible, they engage is smears and falsehoods,” Mr. Shirley says.

“As for me, I just finished two more books on Reagan, just spoke at the Reagan Library on the 10th anniversary of his passing, have been invited to Regent University to give a talk about Reagan and have just been invited to become a Trustee at Eureka College, the Gipper’s alma mater,” the author concludes.


There are already online instapolls; can things gets faster? Why, sure. Just in time for the 2014 midterms, Qorvis MSLGROUP, a public relations and polling concern, has launched the Real-Time SentiMeter that lets people use their mobile devices to track opinions and reactions “moment to moment.” The developers call it the “next generation of audience measurement,” noting that “anyone, anywhere, at any time can weigh in on speeches, presentations, videos and more.”

Let us hope everyone stays civil.

“In our business, measuring the impact of messaging and delivery is critical,” explains spokesman Michael Petruzzello. “The Real-Time SentiMeter is an innovative and customizable tool that will provide our clients with swift and actionable feedback to shape how they present their communications.”


43 percent of U.S. voters would vote for a Republican if the midterm elections were held today: 92 percent of Republicans, 4 percent of Democrats and 40 percent of independents agree.

38 percent overall would vote for a Democrat; 3 percent of Republicans, 91 percent of Democrats and 26 percent of independents agree.

42 percent overall say their “impression of President Obama” makes them more likely to vote for a Republican in November; 81 percent of Republicans, 7 percent of Democrats and 41 percent of independents agree.

32 percent overall say their impression of Mr. Obama makes them more likely to vote for a Democrat; 2 percent of Republicans, 77 percent of Democrats and 22 percent of independents agree.

20 percent say their impression of the president makes “no difference” in their vote; 15 percent of Republicans, 13 percent of Democrats and 26 percent of independents agree.

Source: A McClatchy/Marist poll of 806 registered U.S. voters conducted Aug. 4-7 and released Wednesday.

Quibbles, favorite Reagan quotes to [email protected]

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