- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 30, 2015

It will be an intense weekend for a trio of powerful Republicans: Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina and Mike Huckabee all are scheduled to make their presidential intentions known within 72 hours, give or take an hour or two.

Here is how it shakes out: Mr. Carson will reveal if he’s feeling presidential Monday morning at a very public event in his hometown of Detroit, staged at the Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts. “I will announce my decision on whether or not I become a candidate for President,” the retired neurosurgeon told his 1 million Facebook fans. But he’s certainly acting like a hopeful. By nightfall, Mr. Carson will be in Des Moines, Iowa, to be followed by visits to Cedar Rapids and Davenport.

Ms. Fiorina is also revealing her White House plans on Monday, to be made public online, followed by a press call. She immediately goes into public mode, however. On Tuesday, her new book, “Rising to the Challenges: My Leadership Journey,” will be published. It has much to say: “Everyone has potential,” Ms. Fiorina writes. “The right to fulfill your potential — to use your God-given gifts — is a right that comes from God and cannot be taken away by government.” She will be in Des Moines by Thursday.

Which brings us to Mr. Huckabee. He will journey to his hometown of Hope, Arkansas, to make his formal announcement. “I hope people will come to Hope, Arkansas, and not just to tour the Bill Clinton birthplace, but there’s going to be an announcement that day and everybody will know then for sure whether Mike Huckabee is in the race or not,” the potential candidate recently told Fox News. Yes, well. He’ll be in Iowa himself Wednesday, meeting with local workers in Oskaloosa; appearing at a Factories, Farms and Freedom rally in Urbandale; followed by appearances in Sioux City and Cedar Rapids.


A journalist barrels toward politics: Mike Flynn — a former policy director for the American Legislative Exchange Council who founded BigGovernment.com with the late media maven Andrew Breitbart — now plans to run as a conservative candidate for Congress in the special election for Illinois’ 18th Congressional District, after the resignation of Aaron Schock.

Mr. Flynn is a sixth-generation native of central Illinois.

“The political party bosses in Washington and Springfield, and the special interests that they represent, wanted a coronation for their hand-picked candidate. Yet another go-along-to-get-along seat warmer who won’t challenge the status quo. Central Illinois deserves a choice, and as a lifelong conservative reformer, I plan to give them one,” Mr. Flynn declares. “The issues we face are far too serious to simply anoint another party soldier.”


Not the best news for NBC’s “Meet the Press,” the longest-running broadcast show in American history, on the air for 68 years. Despite such heritage, it languishes in third place among Sunday talk shows, according to the Pew Research Center’s massive “State of the News Media 2015” report.

“The combined average audience for the Sunday political talk shows on ABC, CBS and NBC in 2014 was 8.6 million people, trailing the weekly morning news audience by about 5 million. CBS’ Face the Nation remained at the top, attracting more than 3 million viewers on average, up 2 percent from the year before. ABC’s This Week came in second with 2.8 million viewers, up 7 percent from 2013,” the report states.

NBC’s venerable show has had 12 moderators since going on the air in 1947, but has struggled since the passing of Tim Russert, who sat in the anchor chair from 1991 to 2008 and died suddenly of a heart attack while recording voice-overs for the show. Substitute moderators included Tom Brokaw and Brian Williams, with David Gregory taking over in late 2008. Things have been tough, despite new sets and a switch to more “coffeehouse conversations” in recent days.

“NBC’s Meet the Press continued to lose viewers in 2014. After a 6 percent decline in 2013, the show lost another 4 percent in 2014, to an average of 2.7 million people. And that decline cut across the entire year, even after the network in September replaced David Gregory with Chuck Todd (down 5 percent between September and December 2014, compared with the same period in 2013),” the Pew report notes.


Forthcoming from talk radio kingpin Michael Savage: “Countdown to Mecca” — a novel, due from St. Martin’s Press on May 12 but available to preorder now on Amazon.

“A plane bound for Amman, Jordan, goes down in the Caspian Sea. The crash yields no survivors — save the Russian mercenary who hijacked the flight — and a cask containing an agent of unprecedented destructive potential is missing from the wreckage,” the publisher noted. “A carefully plotted terrorist attack has been put into motion, and the resulting chaos might be enough to push America toward another costly war. The one man who might be able to stop the attack is Jack Hatfield, a freelance reporter who has never shied away from controversy.”


“In Flanders fields the poppies blow, between the crosses, row on row, that mark our place; and in the sky the larks, still bravely singing, fly scarce heard amid the guns below.” And so wrote Lt. Col. John McCrae, a soldier and physician with the Canadian Expeditionary Force, on May 3, 1915, after the death and burial of a friend in the second battle of Ypres, in the Flanders region of Belgium during World War I. The poem — titled “In Flanders Fields” — was republished worldwide. And it still resonates.

On the 100th anniversary of its writing, a group will gather at the DC War Memorial on the National Mall to recognize the work and its author, support the tradition of soldiers in the arts, and remember lives lost and all military veterans. Things get underway at high noon with a ceremonial remembrance by the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission, to conclude an hour later with retired Rear Adm. James J. Carey reading the poem.

“Our wish is to continue McCrae’s dream of the creation of beauty in any and all situations, no matter how dire they appear,” the organizers say. Find them here: Inflandersfields.org.


For sale: The Printup Home, brick Colonial built in 1830 in Fultonville, New York; five bedrooms, three baths on 1.6 acres, 24-inch thick brick walls, 4,300 square feet. “Lovingly restored” former hotel and tavern near the Erie Canal with 95 percent of original woodwork remaining; pumpkin pine and red fir floors, cherrywood banisters, curved and leaded original transom window, oval attic windows, faux painted woodwork. Gourmet kitchen, custom Amish-made hickory cabinetry, ceramic tile, all new wiring and plumbing, ceiling fans, seamless rain gutters, additional insulation, ceramic tile kitchen floor and countertops. 1.6 mostly shaded acres with rich garden soils.

Priced at $199,000 through VinyardsChoice.com; check under VC-Owned Property heading.


91 percent of Americans give a negative review of the “overall job Congress is doing”; 91 percent of Republicans, 93 percent of independents and 89 percent of Democrats agree.

67 percent overall say the nation is “on the wrong track”; 87 percent of Republicans, 74 percent of independents and 42 percent of Democrats agree.

63 percent overall give their local members of Congress a negative job review; 56 percent of Republicans, 67 percent of independents and 63 percent of Democrats agree.

62 percent give President Obama a negative job review; 89 percent of Republicans, 70 percent of independents and 31 percent of Democrats agree.

26 percent overall expect the economy to improve in the next year; 13 percent of Republicans, 21 percent of independents and 42 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Harris Poll of 2,215 U.S. adults conducted April 15-20 and released Thursday.

Ballyhoo and hubbub to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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