- The Washington Times - Monday, July 27, 2015

Grappling between the GOP establishment and irked conservatives continues as lawmakers scramble to tidy up the loose ends before departing on their August recess at week’s end. Critics are particularly vexed with House Speaker John A. Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and they have some ultimatums.

“It is time for Mitch McConnell and John Boehner to resign for the good of the nation and the Republican Party. The nation and GOP are both suffering as a result of the unwillingness or inability of McConnell and Boehner to effectively defend either,” talk radio host Mark Levin declared in a Facebook post Monday.

“Time and again they have delivered victory after victory for Obama and his radical agenda — from spending, borrowing, and Obamacare to illegal immigration, Iran and trade power. Never before has a Congress controlled by one party been so thoroughly impotent,” Mr. Levin continued, calling for the leadership of younger “constitutional conservatives who understand the role of a statesman in perilous times,” he says.

“Mitch McConnell had a choice. McConnell could have forced a vote on an amendment to defund Planned Parenthood. Instead, he did the bidding of well-connected special interests and forced a vote to save the now-defunct Export-Import Bank. Enough is enough. The American people didn’t give Republicans a majority in the Senate just to have them act like Democrats,” says Michael Needham, CEO of Heritage Action for America, the grass-roots arm of The Heritage Foundation.

Ditto, more or less, from Brent Bozell, chairman of ForAmerica, another conservative grass-roots group, who summarizes, “By prioritizing the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank over defunding Planned Parenthood, defunding ObamaCare, and defunding sanctuary cities, the GOP leadership has broken every promise it made to voters in 2014, the very voters who put them in power. If there is any hope for the Republican Party to advance a single piece of conservative legislation or to win the White House in 2016, then McConnell and Boehner must resign now.”

YET ANOTHER ONE FOR TRUMP

“Riding a wave of non-stop publicity, a new poll this past week shows mogul Donald Trump solidly in first place among 256 likely Republican primary and caucus voters nationwide,” says pollster John Zogby, who reveals that the billionaire is in the lead with support from 20 percent of likely primary voters.

Jeb Bush is in second place with 16 percent, followed by Gov. Scott Walker, Sen. Rand Paul, Ben Carson, Sen. Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee, Sen. Ted Cruz, and Govs. Chris Christie, John Kasich and Bobby Jindal.

Mr. Bush bests Mr. Trump among all Republicans and among male voters. Mr. Trump, however, triumphs among conservatives, independents and female voters. He has a “huge lead” among women, Mr. Zogby said — 26 percent to Mr. Bush’s 10 percent.

“With a campaign and persona hardly known for its moderation, Mr. Trump holds an eight-point margin over Mr. Bush among moderates at 28 percent to 20 percent, with 12 percent for Mr. Rubio,” the pollster notes.

CHAIN SAWS, MEAT CLEAVERS

“Like a personality strain of Ebola, everybody’s catching Trump-itis for fear they’ll fade like yesterday’s Santorum. And that’s ‘The Trump Show,’ where suddenly everyone is brash and raw. You get chainsaws, fire, meat cleavers and name-calling. It’s no campaign, it’s the ‘Real Housewives of the RNC.’”

— Fox News late-night host Greg Gutfeld, describing Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the status of rival candidate Rick Santorum.

RED-MEAT POLITICS

About the whereabouts of Gov. Scott Walker on Tuesday: The Republican presidential hopeful will be in South Philadelphia for politics of the delicious kind.

He meets with voters, activists, and local leaders at Pat’s King of Steaks, the legendary eatery where the Philly cheesesteak sandwich was invented in 1933. Then it’s a brief walk across Passyunk Avenue over to Geno’s Steaks, also a beefeater’s paradise, which offers seven varieties of the sandwich and still lists “Freedom Fries” on its menu, recognizing a popular deep-fried-potato side dish popular among patriots shortly after 9/11.

THE STUDENTS UP THE ANTE

The numbers of student-organized “Women Betrayed” rallies at high noon Tuesday against Planned Parenthood and reports that the organization profited from the sale of aborted baby parts have increased: 60 events are now planned in cities nationwide, according to Students for Life President Kristan Watkins.

The Virginia-based interest group launched an aggressive social media campaign only 72 hours ago featuring such attention-getting Twitter hashtags as “#HandsUpDontCrush.”

The speakers list at a major rally planned for the east side of the U.S. Capitol has also grown: Ben Carson, Sens. Rand Paul and James Lankford, Reps. Marsha Blackburn, Andy Harris, Tim Huelskamp and Chris Smith will be on the speaker’s podium — along with Marilyn Musgrave, Susan B. Anthony List; Penny Nance, Concerned Women for America; Jeanneane Maxon, Americans United for Life; and Arina Grossu, Family Research Council.

MR. KERRY ON THE HOT SEAT

On hand on Capitol Hill tomorrow for a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing titled “Iran Nuclear Agreement: The Administration’s Case,” it’s none other than Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew, and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz. Yes, C-SPAN will be there at 10 a.m. ET.

“This Iran deal is one of the most important in decades. It reverses decades of bipartisan nonproliferation and regional policy, has several shortcomings, and demands the closest scrutiny. Secretary Kerry and the other Administration officials will face tough questions before the Committee, as we continue our comprehensive review of the Iran deal and the administration’s overall regional policy,” says committee Chairman Ed Royce, California Republican.

And from ranking member Eliot Engel, New York Democrat: “I have serious questions and concerns about this deal, and input from the administration will be critical as Congress reviews the proposal.”

POLL DU JOUR

44 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of Hillary Rodham Clinton; 14 percent of Republicans, 37 percent of independents and 81 percent of Democrats agree.

33 percent overall have a favorable opinion of Jeb Bush; 58 percent of Republicans, 30 percent of independents and 20 percent of Democrats agree.

33 percent overall have a favorable opinion of Donald Trump; 50 percent of Republicans, 36 percent of independents and 15 percent of Democrats agree.

30 percent overall have a favorable opinion of Mike Huckabee; 59 percent of Republicans, 29 percent of independents and 10 percent of Democrats agree.

28 percent overall have a favorable opinion of Sen. Rand Paul; 40 percent of Republicans, 33 percent of independents and 10 percent of Democrats agree.

34 percent overall have a favorable opinion of Sen. Marco Rubio; 53 percent of Republicans, 20 percent of independents and 9 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A CNN/ORC poll of 1,017 U.S. adults conducted July 22-25

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