NEWS AND OPINION:
“While the punditocracy bloviates endlessly about the rise of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, branding this the year of the outsider, the ultimate outsider is quietly sneaking up along the outside, Ben Carson. He’s already running second to The Donald in Iowa, and a not very distant second at that, in the latest poll of the early caucus state,” observes PJ Media founder Roger L. Simon. “His performance at the first big debate won plaudits, especially his witty final speech making fun of his background as the only neurosurgeon running for president. He came in second in Google searches during the debate.”
Mr. Simon is mulling the potential of a Trump/Carson presidential ticket, and is convinced that Mr. Trump could very well leave the physician off his attack list.
“There’s one thing I can predict. Ben Carson is one person Donald Trump will not come after, even if Carson continues to rise in the polls. You don’t attack soulful pediatric neurosurgeons raised by single mothers without risking substantial blowback. Now, a Trump-Carson ticket. That’s another matter. There’s something to contemplate. Whoever would have dreamed that one up even a year ago?” Mr. Simon said.
Something could be percolating. Breitbart News now says that GOP “outsiders” are surging, and other news organizations seem to agree. A new CNN/ORC poll finds Mr. Trump in the lead among those always-discerning Iowa Republican voters, with Mr. Carson in second place. When voters were asked which of the 17 Republican candidates represented their values, the doctor was in first place, followed by the billionaire.
Some change to the Golden State: California Gov. Jerry Brown approved legislation this week that bans the word “alien” from California’s entire labor code, a move that “recognizes and respects the diversity and contributions of all Californians,” according to Mr. Brown’s office. “Alien” is derogatory, according to state Sen. Tony Mendoza, who introduced the bill.
But wait — “alien” is still used in federal immigration law. Will it be purged there also? There is growing national sentiment that it is “inappropriate,” said Kevin R. Johnson, dean of public interest law and professor of Chicana/Chicano Studies at the University of California, Davis. “The concern is that the use of the word ‘alien’ would dehumanize the people affected” and lead to “lack of protections under the law,” he told the Los Angeles Times.
A WORD FROM THE WOODS
The press is full of dire coverage of Hillary Rodham Clinton‘s mounting challenges as the investigation of her use of a private email system as secretary of state picks up speed. “Here’s who Hillary is taking down with her,” reports the National Review, this amid suggestions from OPSEC, an advocacy group representing former special operations intelligence personnel, that Mrs. Clinton’s prior security clearances be revoked.
“Hillary’s handling of classified material would cause a normal person to lose security clearance or not get it at all. Her presidency would be interesting if she were not eligible for security clearance. Just saying,” notes an Inside the Beltway source who favors life in the deep Northeastern woods.
FETAL TISSUE: STORY NOT OVER
There is one more chapter to write about Planned Parenthood and the series of unsettling undercover videos from the Center for Medical Progress that revealed, according to critics, that the organization was harvesting aborted fetal tissue and profiting from it. Katie Yoder, an analyst for NewsBusters.org, has tracked coverage of the findings on ABC, NBC and CBS to find that, in a total of 244 hours of morning and evening news shows since the story broke in mid-July, NBC and CBS aired a total of 1 minute and 13 seconds of the actual sting footage, which includes Planned Parenthood officials. ABC aired none. More telling: The exacting Ms. Yoder also found that the networks omitted any shocking images from the videos, such as lab containers of baby parts.
“It’s not like the networks have anything against undercover videos, if they fit in the media’s liberal agenda. In Sept. 2012, the networks spent 88 minutes in three days covering the Mitt Romney “47 percent” undercover video. When former NBC team owner Don Sterling made racist comments, the networks spent 146 minutes over 3.5 days covering the secret audio tapes,” Ms. Yoder says. The investigators at the Center for Medical Progress, meanwhile, have another six videos to release.
MEGYN’S SUDDEN SABBATICAL
“Its been an interesting week, and a long six months without a vacation for yours truly. So I’ll be taking the next week and a half off, spending some time off with my husband and my kids and trying to relax. The big challenge is trying to put down the electronica, and unplug it. You know? Can you do it?” Fox News host Megyn Kelly told her audience while waving her phone at the camera, this following a week of controversy after she moderated the first GOP presidential debate, punctuated by a public pushing match with Donald Trump.
“When I see you back here on the 24th, we’ll pick it all up again,” Ms. Kelly concluded, and signed off.
FRIENDS OF THE NRA
In a survey plumbing public sentiment about current gun laws, the Pew Research Center questioned respondents about a related organization. “Overall, public views of the political influence of the National Rifle Association have not changed much in recent years. But they have become more politically and ideologically polarized,” the pollster notes.
“Currently, 40 percent say the NRA has too much influence over gun control laws in this country, 17 percent say it has too little influence, while 36 percent say it has the right amount of influence. This balance of opinion is virtually unchanged from May 2013. In fact, it is also comparable to opinion about the NRA’s influence in 2000,” Pew Research continues.
“However, there are wider differences in how conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats see the NRA’s influence. Among Republicans and Republican leaners, just 13 percent of conservatives say the NRA has too much influence, down from 32 percent in 2000. By contrast, 68 percent of liberal Democrats and Democratic leaners say the organization has too much influence, compared with 57 percent who said this in 2000.”
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POLL DU JOUR
• 72 percent of Americans say they are confident in social situations; 75 percent of Republicans, 70 percent of independents and 73 percent of Democrats agree.
• 69 percent overall say they would be nervous going on a first date; 68 percent of Republicans, 68 percent of independents and 72 percent of Democrats agree.
• 60 percent overall say they would be nervous making a public speech; 50 percent of Republicans, 58 percent of independents and 69 percent of Democrats agree.
• 55 percent overall say they would be nervous dancing at a party; 52 percent of Republicans, 60 percent of independents and 51 percent of Democrats agree.
• 47 percent overall say they would be nervous introducing themselves at a gathering; 42 percent of Republicans, 46 percent of independents and 50 percent of Democrats agree.
Source: A Yougov poll of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted July 30 to Aug. 2 and released Thursday.
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