In bookstores Monday: Here comes “Trust Betrayed: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and the Selling Out of America’s National Security,” by Scott Taylor, a former Navy SEAL sniper with a visceral point to make.
“Loose lips sink ships. Every American knows the old World War II saying — but Scott Taylor believes today’s leaders have forgotten it. After serving his country for eight years and watching brave comrades die, Taylor came home to a White House that leaks sensitive intelligence information whenever politically expedient. Now, on behalf of all the men and women in uniform whose lives are in jeopardy, Taylor is speaking out,” advises publisher Regnery Books.
“He makes the case for a foreign policy based on U.S. national interests, not grandiose ambitions or wishful thinking. This is an important book,” notes John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
Mr. Taylor enlisted in the Navy at age 19, served in South and Central America and was a sniper during Operation Iraqi Freedom. But he’s very much a political entity. A self-described “Constitutional conservative in the Reagan tradition,” Mr. Taylor is a new member of the Virginia House of Delegates in the state’s 85th District — and is also president of OPSEC, a political action committee centered on national security, formed in 2012.
FROM THE ‘PRE-CPAC’ WORLD
For conservatives this week, there’s the pre-CPAC world, and the post-CPAC world. That’s how much sway the annual Conservative Action Political Conference holds, and it begins in a mere 48 hours.
Pre-CPAC is loaded with analysis, speculation and a few shoving matches over the state of conservatism and the Republican Party. Post-CPAC begins with untrammeled excitement following the appearance of 2016 presidential hopefuls in full wooing mode, followed by political spin and some quiet introspection about what-it-all-means.
William Jacobson, founder of the much visited Legal Insurrection blog, already predicts that Gov. Bobby Jindal “may be auditioning for vice president whether he knows it or not,” that Sen. Ted Cruz will “rock the house” while Gov. Scott Walker must present himself as “the clearest alternative” to Jeb Bush.
Meanwhile, Mr. Jacobson is conducting an unofficial “Pre-CPAC Poll” of his readers, advising them, “Let’s thin the herd.” Ahead so far in the field of 12, from an ongoing poll of 6,000: Mr. Cruz with 26 percent of the vote, followed by Mr. Walker (25 percent) and Sen. Rand Paul (16 percent).
‘TEETERING ON THE EDGE’: DEMOCRATS DISCOVER VALUES
The Democratic National Committee at last has released its official “Victory Task Force” analysis of what went wrong for the party during the midterm elections. The nine-page report is full of vim and vigor and a couple of typos, with this as the prime directive: “Create a values based narrative,” the task force recommends.
“There is no single narrative that unites all of our work and the issues that we care about as a community of Democrats. It is strongly believed that the Democratic Party is loosely understood as a long list of policy statements and not as people with a common set of core values (fairness, equality, opportunity). This lack of cohesive narrative impedes the party’s ability to develop and maintain a lifelong dialogue and partnership with voters,” the analysis states. “The Task Force recommends creating a National Narrative Project to work with party leaders, activists, and messaging and narrative experts to create a strong values-based national narrative that will engage, inspire and motivate voters to identify with and support Democrats.”
The Grand Old Party is looking askance at such revelations.
“The first step toward fixing a problem is admitting that you have one, but it’s clear the Democratic National Committee isn’t willing to come to terms with why their party lost in historic fashion last November. The reality is their divisive message doesn’t resonate and their liberal policies don’t work. And after years of neglect from President Obama, his chosen heir Hillary Clinton will be inheriting a cash-strapped national party teetering on the edge of complete irrelevancy,” says Michael Short, spokesman for the Republican National Committee.
NEWS FROM ELSEWHERE
Not all winter tales have to do with traffic snarls, heating bills and school closures. A young ice fisherman reports that at the height of the frigid weather, he recently pulled in a 53-inch, 40-pound “musky” from a lake in northwestern Pennsylvania.
For the uninitiated, the muskellunge is a freshwater pike with a feisty mindset. Nicholas Colangelo and best bud Luke Wholey had been fishing for 18 hours before the catch; the silvery behemoth fought for a half-hour before being maneuvered through a 10-inch hole in the ice.
Sometimes, ice fishermen are reminded that they may need to cut bigger holes in the ice,” reports Daniel Hu, a correspondent for OutdoorHub.com, a news site.
And yes, the intrepid angler released the fish back into the wild, but not before snapping a picture or two.
RUDY STANDS FAST
The New York City mayor who appeared at the funerals of first responders in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 is standing fast. Rudolph W. Giuliani, 70, “is doubling down,” reports Aaron Short, who covers politics for the New York Post — this after days of controversy following the former mayor’s remarks about President Obama‘s patriotism. Mr. Giuliani got into foreign policy during a local talk radio appearance on Sunday.
“I said it maybe 30 times before but somehow this time it hit a nerve, maybe because the president is on such defense for his unwillingness to face Islamic terrorism,” Mr. Giuliani told host John Catsimatidis. “We need a American president more like Ronald Reagan who gave us a sense of optimism. There’s something about his unwillingness to talk about Islamic extremist Muslims that is not only wrong, it is becoming very dangerous.”
Mr. Giuliani added, “I want a president who is not embarrassed to say America is the strongest power on Earth and we’re going to assert ourselves. And I want our enemies to be afraid of our president. That’s the only way we will defeat these people.”
There has been much media hubbub. But the Brooklyn native has some fans.
“I don’t think Rudy’s ever going to get the dust from ground zero out of his lungs. He was there during the fall of those towers,” Rep. Darrell Issa told CNN on Sunday. The California Republican added, “The reality is that Rudy has taken our debate — and I think we should thank him for this part of it — back to national security, to the key element that the president should be focusing on.”
POLL DU JOUR
• 68 percent of Americans say it is important for the U.S. military to be “No. 1 in the world”; 31 percent say it’s not that important.
• 59 percent of Americans say the U.S. military is “No. 1 in the world”; 38 percent say the U.S. is one of several leading powers.
• 44 percent say the U.S. military is “not strong enough”; 42 percent say the strength is “about right.”
• 34 percent say the U.S. spends “too little” on national defense and the military; 56 percent of Republicans, 33 percent of independents and 17 percent of Democrats agree.
• 32 percent overall say the U.S. spends “too much”; 29 percent say it’s the “right amount.”
Source: A Gallup poll of 837 U.S. adults conducted Feb. 8-11 and released Friday.
• Complaints, fisherman tales to firstname.lastname@example.org.