- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Voters appear to have a message for Scott Brown. So, run already, OK? The fickle former Massachusetts senator has carried on a serious flirtation with New Hampshire in recent months, prompting speculation that the pickup-driving, former Cosmopolitan centerfold would run for the U.S. Senate seat in the Granite State against incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.

Mr. Brown now has a permanent address in a seaside New Hampshire town and recently hosted the state Republican Party’s holiday gala, but not before donating $10,000 to the organization from his own political action committee fund. Chairman Jennifer Horn, meanwhile, describes him as “an outstanding leader and a strong voice for fiscally responsible policies.”

Yes, well. Though undeclared, Mr. Brown currently leads all GOP hopefuls in a primary match-up, garnering the support of 42 percent of likely GOP primary voters. His nearest competitors got 11 percent of the support, according to a Public Policy Polling survey of 1,315 New Hampshire voters released Wednesday. Of note: Mrs. Shaheen leads Mr. Brown among voters overall by a mere 3 percentage points, 46 percent to 43 percent, respectively.

And favorability ratings? Mr. Brown gets a positive nod from 34 percent of voters overall, plus 55 percent of Republicans and a somewhat astonishing 97 percent of conservatives.

“The intrigue in New Hampshire this year really comes down to whether Scott Brown runs or not. The Senate race could be pretty close if he survived the Republican primary,” notes Dean Debnam, president of the polling group.

Mr. Brown, meanwhile, is still being coy. Though it’s not up and running just yet, he has a personal website complete with a rugged portrait, and a telling motto: “Scott Brown: Giving Power Back to the People.”



Notions about big spending could start quite early in Democratic households. And here’s why. A new Harris Poll has asked American parents to name an “appropriate” amount for a weekly allowance in three age groups of children. Republican parents display some fiscal conservatism even when it comes to their children’s spare change. Here’s what the poll of 2,311 U.S. adults had to say.

Overall, respondents say children ages 4-9 should receive an average of $4.10 a week; Republicans say the amount should be $3.60, Democrats say it’s $4.50.

In the 10-13 year old set, parents overall say $8.70 is the proper weekly allowance. Republicans say the amount should be $7.60, Democrats say $9.50.

Last but not least, older children from 14-17 years should get $16 per week, according to all Americans. Republicans say the amount should be $14.10, Democrats $17.50.

“Republicans may not live up to the ‘Party of “No!”’ title their political rivals have been pushing, but they do have lower ‘appropriate’ allowance thresholds than Democrats,” the pollster says.


“The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, penned by Thomas Jefferson, declared religious liberty a natural right and any attempt to subvert it ‘a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion, who being Lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either.’ The statute inspired religious liberty protections in the First Amendment, which has stood for almost two and a quarter centuries.”

“Today, America embraces people of all faiths and of no faith. We are Christians and Jews, Muslims and Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs, atheists and agnostics. Our religious diversity enriches our cultural fabric and reminds us that what binds us as one is not the tenets of our faiths, the colors of our skin, or the origins of our names. What makes us American is our adherence to shared ideals — freedom, equality, justice, and our right as a people to set our own course.”

President Obama‘s proclamation recognizing Religious Freedom Day, which is Thursday.


Yes, yes — the House passed the trillion dollar spending bill by a vote count of 359-67. And so?

“I would rather the Republican leadership come clean and admit that they have surrendered the fight for spending reform. The claims of victory coming out of some of these House offices are insulting to the intelligence of the fiscally conservative grass roots. House Republicans who caved and voted for the deal may hype that discretionary spending — only one third of the budget — is lower than 2008 levels, but they are conveniently leaving out it’s higher than the 2013 levels,” says Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks.

“Let’s bring the rhetoric back down to Earth, where the math doesn’t lie. Republicans gave up the sequester cuts, the only modest spending reductions achieved since taking back the House, for a bill that actually increases spending by a total of $63 billion. In the words of Speaker John Boehner himself, ‘Are you kidding me?’” Mr. Kibbe adds.


President Obama steps forward on Friday to make his recommendations about national security and potential NSA reform after consulting with his own five-man review group and others about a very tricky landscape. Collecting intelligence while preserving constitutionally protected privacy rights is a complex business, indeed.

On Thursday, however, the Center for Security Policy assembles a noteworthy group of, well, national security experts who have their own message. “The world is too dangerous for American intelligence capabilities — already damaged by Edward Snowden‘s treachery — to be further degraded,” they say.

Rep. Peter Hoekstra, Michigan Republican; Frank Gaffney, president of the center; plus former CIA officers-turned researchers Clare Lopez and Fred Fleitz appear at the National Press Club with a letter for Mr. Obama, plus their recommendations for the White House and everyone else. There could be some differences of opinion here.

“Mr. Fleitz and Ms. Lopez conclude that most of the review group’s recommendations for adjustments to NSA intelligence-gathering protocols would be highly detrimental to national security,” the organizers say.


58 percent of all U.S. voters cite the economy and jobs as their primary concern this year; 56 percent of Republicans and 62 percent of Democrats agree.

46 percent overall cite health care; 53 percent of Republicans and 44 percent of Democrats agree.

33 percent overall cite government spending; 48 percent of Republicans and 17 percent of Democrats agree.

14 percent overall cite education; 5 percent of Republicans and 20 percent of Democrats agree.

13 percent overall cite social issues; 9 percent of Republicans and 17 percent of Democrats agree.

8 percent overall cite foreign affairs; 6 percent of Republicans and 10 percent of Democrats agree.

8 percent overall cite immigration; 8 percent of Republicans and 6 percent of Democrats agree.

7 percent overall cite their concern for another government shutdown; 2 percent of Republicans and 12 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: FreedomWork/Woman Trend poll of 1,000 registered U.S. voters conducted Dec. 15-18 and released Wednesday.

Snippy remarks and learned observations to jharper@washingtontimes. Follow her at twitter.com/harperbulletin.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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