- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 16, 2015

“When politicians talk about ‘immigration reform’ they mean amnesty, cheap labor and open borders. The Schumer-Rubio immigration bill was nothing more than a giveaway to the corporate patrons who run both parties. Real immigration reform puts the needs of working people first — not wealthy globe-trotting donors,” Donald Trump states in his formal immigration policy, released Sunday. “We are the only country in the world whose immigration system puts the needs of other nations ahead of our own. That must change. Here are the three core principles of real immigration reform:

“1. A nation without borders is not a nation. There must be a wall across the southern border.

“2. A nation without laws is not a nation. Laws passed in accordance with our constitutional system of government must be enforced.

“3. A nation that does not serve its own citizens is not a nation. Any immigration plan must improve jobs, wages and security for all Americans.”

And, oh yes, Mr. Trump is still at the top of the 17 Republican hopefuls, with 25 percent of support among likely Republican primary voters in a new Fox News poll. To round out the top 5: Ben Carson is in second place with 12 percent, followed by Sen. Ted Cruz (10 percent), Jeb Bush (9 percent), with Mike Huckabee and Gov. Scott Walker tied for fifth place at 6 percent each.



BIG TENT: DIVERSITY EMERGES AMONG NASCAR FANS

Veteran pollster John Zogby says he began to track the voting power of “blue-collar Americans” when the sizable demographic embraced conservatism, Second Amendment rights and traditional values — and voted for George W. Bush.

“That is when I first began to notice NASCAR fans — lower-middle income, white, manly, conservative and ready to display manly values,” Mr. Zogby notes.

Among those who described themselves as “NASCAR fans” in his 2006 poll of 3,351 likely voters, 58 percent said they were conservative, 25 percent moderate and 12 percent liberal. Another 54 percent were Republicans and 20 percent Democrats, while 82 percent were white, 7 percent were black, 7 percent Hispanic, and 56 percent were gun owners.

Mr. Zogby has repeated the questions among 1,653 NASCAR fans this week, and here’s the evolving numbers: Thirty-seven percent now say they are conservative, 30 percent moderate and 33 percent liberal. Now, 36 percent identify themselves as Republicans and 39 percent Democrat; 63 percent are white, 11 percent black, 22 percent Hispanic; and 50 percent own guns. The pollster began tracking NASCAR fans who identified themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender two years ago; it was 6 percent then, and 11 percent this time around.

“This change did not happen overnight. It has been a steady progression,” Mr. Zogby says, who nonetheless deems it a “dramatic transformation.”

WHO’S ON THAT SOAPBOX?

Donald Trump and Hillary Rodham Clinton may have already come and gone from the deep-fried and much-storied Iowa State Fair now underway in Des Moines, but five Republican hopefuls will appear at the candidates’ “soapbox” in the next 48 hours. On Monday, the mandatory political event will showcase Gov. Scott Walker, Carly Fiorina and Sen. Lindsey Graham. On Tuesday, it’s Sen. Marco Rubio and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who’s also doing a turn as “guest chef” in the Iowa Pork Producers tent.

THE ‘RECKLESS’ CLOSING OF GITMO

The Obama administration is now beginning site assessment plans for domestic alternatives to the Guantanamo Bay prison — such as the Naval Brig in Hanahan, South Carolina, and Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.

One South Carolina Republican is not so thrilled.

“It is unbelievable that the president believes they need to assess whether the Naval Brig, which is right next to an elementary school and a residential neighborhood, as well as just a short drive from one of the biggest tourist destinations in the world, is a better option for housing dangerous terrorists than Guantanamo Bay,” says Sen. Tim Scott.

“These detainees are the worst of the worst, including planners of the Sept. 11 attacks and the attack on the USS Cole. They should stay right where they are — in cells at the prison on Guantanamo Bay,” the lawmaker continues. “Congress passed a bipartisan bill barring the transfer of detainees to the United States for a reason. Changing this policy is simply an awful strategy, and there are a variety of legislative options I will assess in order to fight these plans for as long as it takes.”

One Kansas Republican is not thrilled either.

“Terrorists should not be living down the road from Ft. Leavenworth — home to thousands of Army soldiers and their families, as well as military personnel from across the globe who study at the Intellectual Center of the Army,” notes Sen. Jerry Moran. “I will continue to push to prohibit the transfer of prisoners to Kansas or anywhere else in the United States. This administration’s last-ditch effort to carry out President Obama’s reckless national security decision before he leaves office is disingenuous and flawed.”

FATHER AND SON

Sen. Rand Paul appears to have one persistent stalwart on his side in his quest for the White House: his father.

“If you want to know what I really think about my son, Rand, then don’t listen to our national media,” says former Rep. Ron Paul, also a former presidential hopeful himself.

“Don’t listen to the big government Washington insiders who’d love nothing more than another Bush/Clinton showdown in November of 2016,” Mr. Paul says of his son in a lengthy and strongly worded public campaign message.

“There is not one candidate who has run for president in my lifetime who can say they fully share my commitment to liberty, Austrian economics, small government and following the Constitution than my son, Rand Paul. That’s why I have wholeheartedly endorsed him.”

The elder Mr. Paul also has organized a public pledge of support for the candidate and has launched a fundraising effort. He says any rumors that father and son are at odds are manufactured “storylines” from the press.

“They fear Rand more than any other candidate. They know he is our best hope to restore liberty, limited government and the Bill of Rights and finally end the big spending status quo in Washington, D.C.,” the father says, citing his son’s opposition to the NSA metadata collection, Obamacare, “war fever,” the dangers of drones and the Federal Reserve.

“He’s proven he’s unafraid to stand up to anyone in Washington when the times call for it — even the leadership of his own party,” Mr. Paul says, later adding, “I’m proud to say I stand with Rand.”

POLL DU JOUR

62 percent of U.S. voters say Hillary Rodham Clinton is “qualified” to be president of the U.S.; 32 percent of Republicans, 61 percent of independents and 91 percent of Democrats agree.

58 percent overall say Mrs. Clinton “knowingly lied” about whether there was classified information on private emails while she was secretary of state; 87 percent of Republicans, 67 percent of independents and 27 percent of Democrats agree.

33 percent overall say there’s “another explanation”; 9 percent of Republicans, 23 percent of independents and 60 percent of Democrats agree.

54 percent overall say Mrs. Clinton put national security at risk by “mishandling” her classified emails; 81 percent of Republicans, 54 percent of independents and 29 percent of Democrats agree.

37 percent overall say Mrs. Clinton did not put national security at risk; 12 percent of Republicans, 36 percent of independents and 61 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Fox News poll of 1,008 registered U.S. voters conducted Aug. 11-13.

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