- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 1, 2015

A new Boston Globe profile of Jeb Bush which chronicles his school years has spun off raucous headlines from other news organizations which frame the presidential hopeful as a troubled, pot-smoking bully during his time at Phillips Academy. That was the popular takeaway from the lengthy Globe story, which dwelled on ancient history: Mr. Bush 1967-71 high school career, an era in which Mr. Bush himself already admitted included marijuana use. Former classmates also said the “physically imposing” student — yes, Mr. Bush is 6-foot-4-inches tall — once sewed a smaller student’s pajama pant legs together at the bottom.

“It’s already ‘GOP nominee was a bully in high school’ season,” observes Thomas Lifson, editor of the American Thinker. He adds, “The real story here is that the media have a script for a melodrama in mind. Facts can be massaged to fit the narrative that is already predetermined.”

And it’s happened before.

“This is reminiscent, of course, of the Washington Post’s long story about Mitt Romney’s high school days, featuring a decades-ago incident where Romney and others cut another boy’s hair. It’s remarkable: just when you think investigative reporting is dead, another Republican presidential candidate comes along to get reporters’ juices flowing again,” writes Powerline.com analyst John Hinderaker. “Think what doggedness it requires to go back forty-odd years to research a politician’s high school days.”

But Democrats get a pass, he says.

“Forget about high school; we still don’t know anything about Barack Obama’s college or law school records, which apparently are treated as state secrets. Why? My guess is that he applied to college and/or law school as a foreign student from Kenya and secured preferential treatment or scholarship assistance on that basis,” Mr. Hinderaker continues.


SEE ALSO: Mitt Romney retreat gives Scott Walker a White House advantage


“As for Hillary Clinton, the press is still covering up for her. No need to go back to high school — how about her tenure as Secretary of State? The Libyan adventure was a disaster that appears to be leading to another failed, terrorist-dominated state. Benghazi, bad as it was, is only a part of that story. And how about Elizabeth Warren? For reasons that I find mystifying, she is taken seriously as a presidential candidate. She has run in only one election, and hasn’t been vetted at all,” Mr. Hinderaker notes.

RETIRING RETIREMENT

It is part of reforming the nation’s capital, says Rep. Ron DeSantis. The Florida Republican has introduced the End Pensions in Congress Act, legislation that would end pensions for all future lawmakers and those not yet vested into the congressional retirement plan.

“The Founding Fathers envisioned elected officials as part of a servant class, yet Washington has evolved into a ruling class culture,” says Mr. DeSantis. “Pensions for members of Congress represent an inappropriate use of taxpayer money, especially when the idea of a pension in the private sector is fast becoming a relic from a bygone era.”

According to the Congressional Research Service, lawmakers are eligible for a pension at the age of 62 if they’ve completed at least five years of service, or at age 50 if they have completed 20 years of service, or at any age after completing 25 years of service not to exceed 80 percent of their final salaries, which currently stand at $117,000 a year.

Currently, 617 retired members receive federal pensions with average pensions of anywhere from $42,048 to $71,664, depending on their retirement plan. Reps. Rod Blum of Iowa, Trey Gowdy and Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina, Thomas Massie of Kentucky and Reid Ribble of Wisconsin are original co-sponsors.

“If congressmen want to save for retirement, they should do so with 401k-type plans, rather than rely on taxpayers to take care of them even after leaving Congress. To tackle out-of-control federal spending, Congress must lead by example,” observes Mr. Massie.

“I have said many, many times that members of Congress should be treated more like ordinary American workers when it comes to compensation,” says Mr. Mulvaney.

RUDY ON BIBI

“If I were him, I would make the speech. He is laser focused on Iran as a danger to his country, the region and the world. It seems a perfect time to have him address Congress.”

— Former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani to the Jerusalem Post, on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu giving a speech to Congress at the invitation of House Speaker John A. Boehner.

ONE FROM MR. BOLTON

Ah, the realities of New Hampshire. John Bolton’s political meeting scheduled for Monday morning at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at St. Anselm’s College in Manchester has been postponed due to snow. That’s right, no “Politics and Eggs” for the tenacious Mr. Bolton, who relentlessly supported dozens of “national security” candidates during the midterm elections. Weather notwithstanding, he’s still planning for the future, meanwhile.

“It is crucial that national security policy is at the center of the 2016 presidential debate. If the safety of the country and our interests cannot be guaranteed, the rest of the issues fade,” says Mr. Bolton.

ONE FOR THE MISSING

Of interest to members of Rolling Thunder and other patriotically minded folk who are intensely concerned with Americans still missing in action, or held as prisoners of war.

“There are obviously structural differences and changes with an organization that brings together three different organizations into a solid and integrated organization. There are always challenges with that. With that also comes the opportunity to improve our processes, build upon established strengths that we have, and more importantly, move this mission forward with more effectiveness and more efficiency in how we fulfill this promise,” said Air Force Maj. Gen. Kelly McKeague, interim deputy director, during a ceremony Friday at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam-Hawaii.

POLL DU JOUR

70 percent of U.S. voters say President Obama has “not been tough enough on Iran”; 87 percent of Republicans, 66 percent of independents and 57 percent of Democrats agree.

58 percent of voters overall say closing the Guantanamo Bay detention center was “the wrong thing to do”; 81 percent of Republicans, 55 percent of independents and 38 percent of Democrats agree.

56 percent of Americans say the U.S. is “at war with radical Islam”; 68 percent of Republicans, 55 percent of independents and 43 percent of Democrats agree.

37 percent overall say the U.S. is not at war with radical Islam; 29 percent of Republicans, 37 percent of independents and 47 percent of Democrats agree.

47 percent say Mr. Obama “underemphasizes the threat from Islamic terrorists”; 76 percent of Republicans, 46 percent of independents and 18 percent of Democrats agree.

43 percent overall say Mr. Obama treats the threat “about right”; 17 percent of Republicans, 41 percent of independents and 70 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Fox News poll of 1,009 registered U.S. voters conducted Jan. 25-27.

Arias and soliloquies to [email protected]; follow her @HarperBulletin.


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