NEWS AND OPINION:
Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz and Glenn Beck. The star power of two presidential hopefuls and an independent media maven alone will draw major news coverage at the increasingly noisy and potentially massive “Stop the Iran Deal Rally” on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. All three are now on the growing speaker’s roster for the September 9 event now being hammered into shape by the Tea Party Patriots, the Center for Security Policy and the Zionist Organization of America. Imagine Mr. Trump speaking to a giant crowd in front of the Capitol. What a backdrop. The press will go crazy.
Organizers predict the evolving event could be a historic humdinger — “a true citizen-led bipartisan event like America hasn’t seen in years,” they say. Strong emotions are already in play. “Our national security is at stake. President Obama is trying to sell us out to the Iranians, and we have a legitimate chance of stopping his plan dead in its tracks,” proclaims the outreach materials.
Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of the Patriots, advises, “Every day, more Americans are learning this deal ignores our Constitution by avoiding the treaty process and makes the world a more dangerous place by undermining both our national security and the security of our allies in the Middle East. The rally will ensure those millions of voices are heard by everyone inside the U.S. Capitol.”
A TERSE REMINDER
“For the better part of a century, security and freedom for millions of people around the globe have depended on America’s military, economic, political and diplomatic might. For the most part, until the administration of Barack Obama, we delivered. Our children need to know they are citizens of the most powerful, good and honorable nation in the history of mankind — the exceptional nation. Ordinary Americans have done heroic things to guarantee her survival. American’s future, and the future of freedom for all the world now depends on us. Speaking at Omaha Beach on the fortieth anniversary of the D-Day landing, President Reagan put it this way: ‘We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we may always be free.”
— Authors Dick Cheney and daughter Lynne Cheney, in the prologue for their new book “Exceptional: Why the World Needs a Powerful America,” published Tuesday by Simon & Schuster’s Threshold Editions.
THE RARITY OF A PRESIDENT TRUMP
“President Trump will join a very small group. If Donald Trump wins the Republican presidential nomination and then the general election in 14 months, he would join a very select band of the nation’s leaders. So would President Carly Fiorina. Or President Ben Carson. They would be Americans whose very first elected office was the presidency,” declares Andrew Malcolm, a columnist for Investor’s Business Daily.
“Americans through the generations have clearly preferred leaders with political experience to head the country, predominantly governors. But political office experience hasn’t always been necessary. Only five men out of the 44 presidents so far have accomplished that in the country’s 239-year history. All were Republicans or Whigs and three of them were generals,” Mr. Malcolm says. “None of today’s candidate crop has accomplished anything like those political predecessors.”
The columnist did not including the one and only George Washington in the mix, reasoning that he had “no party affiliation.” The five presidents in question: Dwight Eisenhower, Herbert Hoover, Howard Taft, Ulysses S. Grant and Zachary Taylor.
Spanish-language cable network Telemundo has set forth a new hashtag: #YoDecido. Yes, that’s “I decide.” The role of Latinos in the 2016 presidential elections is taking on some serious dimensions here: The network will present “The Latino Vote: Myth vs. Reality” on September 30, complete with new poll data, a voter registration campaign and details about election coverage. It is a voting bloc to be reckoned with. The Pew Hispanic Center predicts that Hispanics will account for 40 percent of the growth in the eligible electorate in the U.S. between now and 2030, at which time 40 million Hispanics will be eligible to vote, up from 23.7 million now.
A division of NBC Universal, Telemundo is the second-largest Spanish-language in the world, incidentally.
MR. PAUL’S GRASS-ROOTS UNIVERSE
Though presidential candidates are predicted to spend a minimum of $4 billion on ultrasophisticated, technology-enhanced election efforts, there is also this constant reality check: Even jumbo-size politics is still local. A small vignette for evidence comes in the form of where Sen. Rand Paul will be appearing on Tuesday and Wednesday during his campaign visit to New Hampshire:
The Water Wheel Breakfast & Gift Shop in Jefferson, Northland Restaurant and Dairy Bar in Berlin, Zeb’s Country Store in North Conway, Freedom Village Store in Freedom, Jo Green’s Garden Cafe in Wolfeboro, Gilford Mobil Mart in Laconia and the Airport Diner in Manchester. The Republican hopeful will also sneak over the border into Maine for a few hours to visit Linda Bean’s Perfect Maine Kitchen & Topside Tavern in Freeport. And, for no particular reason, we note that their appetizers include Woo-Woo Lobster Legs (cooked lobster legs “entwining and enfolding” mashed potatoes topped with bacon and sour cream) plus Lobsicles (grilled lobster tails on a stick.)
NOT HAPPY WITH BEN
Republican hopeful Ben Carson recently suggested that the Department of Veterans Affairs be eliminated, with its operations moved to the Department of Defense and vets granted health savings accounts. VA facilities would be used for research or for specialized care like traumatic brain injuries.
“I could not disagree more,” says John A. Biedrzycki Jr., national commander of the 1.7 million-member Veterans of Foreign Wars. “The Defense Department’s focus in the personnel realm is on recruiting and retention. Taking care of veterans is a mission they gladly cede to the VA, which provides a continuum and continuity of care that is unmatched anywhere.”
He advises that civilian health care has waiting lists, adding that “private practices often limit the number of government plan patients they accept due to low reimbursement rates, and presupposes that civilian doctors have the same skillsets as VA doctors. The VFW is 100 percent against any effort to privatize or diminish the effectiveness of the VA.”
POLL DU JOUR
• 71 percent of American voters are dissatisfied with the direction of the nation; 90 percent of Republicans, 80 percent of independents and 58 percent of Democrats agree.
• 48 percent overall would like to see a “Washington outsider” as a presidential candidate; 73 percent of Republicans, 55 percent of independents and 18 percent of Democrats agree.
• 44 percent overall would like to see the Republican Party win control of the U.S.; 93 percent of Republicans, 45 percent of independents and 5 percent of Democrats agree.
• 44 percent overall would like to see the Democratic Party win control of the U.S.; 4 percent of Republicans, 36 percent of independents and 90 percent of Democrats agree.
• 34 percent overall say they “hardly ever” trust the federal government to “do what is right”; 41 percent of Republicans, 44 percent of independents and 15 percent of Democrats agree.
Source: A Quinnipiac University Poll of 1,563 registered U.S. voters conducted Aug. 20-25.
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• Jennifer Harper can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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