- The Washington Times - Monday, July 14, 2014

“A country’s brand is a valued commodity, especially when that nation is the world’s largest economic and strategic power. And, in 2014, America’s image remains strong in much of the world,” states a surprisingly forthright, massive analysis of “global attitudes” from the Pew Research Center which found, essentially, that much of the planet still likes America. The conclusion is based on face-to-face interviews with some 45,000 respondents in 43 nations.

“Despite anger with Washington over U.S. spying on both foreign leaders and foreign nationals, widespread opposition to U.S. drone strikes, disagreements about what to do in the Middle East and other recurring tensions, most surveyed publics around the world still hold a favorable view of the United States,” the survey says. “A global median of 65 percent voice an affirmative opinion about America. This includes a median of 74 percent in Africa, 66 percent in Western Europe, 66 percent in Asia, 65 percent in Latin America — but just 30 percent in the Middle East.”

Yeah, well. On the flip side comes these findings:

“The Middle East is the sole region where anti-Americanism is both deep and widespread. Eighty-five percent of Egyptians and Jordanians and 73 percent of Turks voice a negative opinion of the United States. Only 10 percent of Egyptians, 12 percent of Jordanians and 19 percent of Turks have a favorable view,” the study says. “Israelis are the only public in the region where a majority (84 percent) holds a favorable opinion of America. And they are the second-biggest U.S. fans among the nations surveyed, trailing only the Filipinos.”


John Ladd and Fred Davis, a pair of no-nonsense Arizona ranchers, have asked House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to visit their lands to witness the border crisis for herself.

“Come see why your $2 million-a-mile fence is trashed. We will send a plane for you. We will make arrangements for you to stay here. It’s an invitation,” Mr. Ladd advised Mrs. Pelosi in a recent video invitation that the two sent to the California lawmaker.

They have heard nothing — not an RSVP, not a phone call. Not a peep. So they took their case to cable news to dispel any claims from the White House that the southwestern border is safe and secure.

“My south fence is the international border,” Mr. Ladd told Fox News on Monday, estimating that some 2 million people have crossed over into his ranch illegally in the last 25 years.

Mr. Davis, meanwhile, attests to the fact that while the besieged U.S. Border Patrol is busy caring for the many unaccompanied and distressed minor children in their care, the drug cartels are taking full advantage and “playing on America’s humanitarianism.” The rancher recommends sealing the border first and arguing about immigration reform later.

“The border is on fire, and Washington is sending us gasoline,” Mr. Davis said.


Is every female news anchor on Fox News blond? The notion troubles the network’s critics.

PunditFact, a fact-checking research project of the Tampa Bay Times, took on the daunting task of sorting out all 26 of the accomplished Fox News ladies to discover that yes, 14 of them were indeed blond. But another dozen were brunettes. The revelation prompted the analysts to declare the myth that Fox News “lacked diversity” because blondes ruled its broadcasts to be “mostly false,” according to the study.

“Maybe I should get some highlights,” mused Howard Kurtz, the veteran media analyst who has become a fixture on Fox News himself and is a brunette.


Well, you never know what could come out of it all. Hillary Clinton will make her third appearance on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” on Tuesday night, poised to discuss her new memoir “Hard Choices” and maybe a few other things.

Mrs. Clinton’s last appearance on the cheeky, occasionally ribald but well-informed late night program was in 2008, when she was a presidential hopeful and in the middle of the campaign trail.


And now, some advice for our golfing president, this time from Maryland congressional candidate Dan Bongino, a 12-year decorated Secret Service officer who also served on the elite presidential protective detail. At this point, President Obama has played around 180 rounds of golf, the most recent at a private country club in Mr. Bongino’s state. The candidate has some diplomatic counsel in the aftermath.

“Play nine holes or less in time of crisis,” Mr. Bongino says. “The president could have played nine holes and used the remainder of that time to do his job.”


It must be an election year, and possibly a worrisome one for a certain political party. Vice President Joseph R. Biden himself is among the Democratic heavyweights who will attend Netroots Nation, which begins on Thursday in Detroit, billed as “the largest gathering of progressives and the Democratic activist base” by organizers. They expect at least 3,000 eager attendees at the three-day event.

“It makes perfect sense that Vice President Biden would address the folks who will knock on doors, make phone calls and raise awareness for the issues that are most important to our country,” declares Raven Brooks, executive director of the organization.

Also on the speakers podium: Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a potential presidential hopeful; Charles E. Schumer of New York; Debbie Stabenow of Michigan; and Sen. Christopher Murphy of Connecticut.

And from the House side: Reps. Gary C. Peters, John Conyers Jr. and Daniel T. Kildee of Michigan, Keith Ellison of Minnesota, Raul M. Grijalva of Arizona, Alan S. Lowenthal and Mark Takano of California, plus the one, the only Howard Dean.

Eighty speakers panels and 40 training sessions are planned around an “ignite” theme — which translates as “fast-paced talks from movement leaders.” Sponsors include MoveOn.org, the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, Democracy for America, the Ready for Hillary political action committee, Daily Kos, Facebook, Google, Emily’s List, Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America, multiple trade associations and activist groups, along with several major labor unions.


49 percent of Americans say President Obama has “exceeded the limits” of his authority; 89 percent of Republicans, 52 percent of independents and 16 percent of Democrats agree.

44 percent say there is not justification for Congress to begin “impeachment proceedings against Mr. Obama at this time”; 14 percent of Republicans, 37 percent of independents and 77 percent of Democrats agree.

35 percent say there is justification to begin the proceedings; 68 percent of Republicans, 37 percent of independents and 8 percent of Democrats agree.

34 percent say Mr. Obama has not exceeded his presidential authority; 6 percent of Republicans, 25 percent of independents and 67 percent of Democrats agree.

21 percent are not sure if there is justification for impeachment proceedings; 18 percent of Republicans, 26 percent of independents and 15 percent of Democrats agree.

17 percent are not sure if Mr. Obama has exceeded his authority; 5 percent of Republicans, 22 percent of independents and 18 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A YouGov survey of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted July 9-11.

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