- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The next 48 hours are a logistical challenge to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign, but one with financial incentives. The Democratic presidential hopeful personally appears in four private fundraisers, some in grass-roots territory. On Wednesday afternoon, Mrs. Clinton journeys to Scranton, Pennsylvania, and Corning, New York, for two events two hours apart. On Thursday, it’s back to the nation’s capital for another, followed by a second one near historic Mount Vernon south of the city. Admission prices range up to $2,700 a person, and all are billed as “conversations with Hillary.”

But that’s only four fundraisers in three states. Next week there are 10 in five states — in cities as varied as Portland, Oregon, McAllen, Texas, and Aspen, Colorado.

Transportation details are unknown. But the Daily Mail reported that Mrs. Clinton had made use of a French-built, Dassault Falcon 900B private jet — a “carbon monster” — on Monday for a trip to Iowa. The aircraft burns 347 gallons of fuel an hour, and costs $5,850 an hour to rent; the news organization also noted that a videographer from the conservative America Rising PAC managed to get footage of the candidate boarding the plane.

“Just hours after Hillary Clinton unveiled her presidential campaign’s push to solve global warming through an aggressive carbon-cutting plan, she sauntered up the steps of a 19-seat private jet in Des Moines,” observed David Martosko, U.S. political editor for the British newspaper.

LIFE MATTERS

Of the 65 public rallies protesting Planned Parenthood on Tuesday, two in particular had singular moments. State Rep. Bill Patmon, a Cleveland Democrat co-sponsoring legislation in Ohio that will cut off all state funding to the organization, reminded protesters outside the statehouse in Columbus that 63 percent of the abortions performed in his own county were among African-American women. He is an African-American himself.

“You hear a lot of demonstrations across the country now about ‘black lives matter.’ Well, they skipped one place. They should be in front of Planned Parenthood,” Mr. Patmon told his audience.

And at a rally outside the U.S. Capitol, Sen. Ted Cruz railed against the press for the failure to offer substantive reporting revelations that Planned Parenthood was selling aborted baby parts.

“The media needs to be asking those questions. They don’t want to, and the reason is virtually every reporter, virtually every editor, virtually every person who makes decisions in the mainstream media is passionately pro-abortion. And they support Planned Parenthood as a political and policy matter. And they know if people actually watch these videos, they would be horrified at what is on them,” the presidential hopeful told Media Research Center analyst Katie Yoder.

‘REVISITING IRS TARGETING’

The aforementioned Sen. Cruz will not be on the Republican presidential campaign trail on Wednesday. He will instead be serving as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts at 2 p.m.; the hearing is titled “Revisiting IRS Targeting: Progress of Agency Reforms and Congressional Options.” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen is on the first witness panel — to be followed by those subject to the federal agency’s scrutiny some three years ago.

Also taking the stand: Toby Marie Walker, president of the Waco Tea Party, Waco, Texas; Jenny Beth Martin, president and co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, Woodstock, Georgia; Edward D. Greim, attorney and partner and Graves Garrett LLC, Kansas City, Missouri. The following witnesses are all based in the nation’s capital: Cleta Mitchell, attorney and partner at Foley & Lardner LLP; Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice; Lawrence Noble, senior counsel at the Campaign Legal Center; Stephen Spaulding, policy counsel for Common Cause; Diana Aviv, president and CEO of the Independent Sector; and Greg Colvin, chairman of the Bright Lines Project.

THE BIG CHEESE

The allure of bodacious food on the campaign trail is often fraught with peril, what with inopportune photo ops and ketchup malfunctions. But not for everybody. Gov. Scott Walker stopped at two rival cheesesteak eateries in South Philadelphia on Tuesday, and being from Wisconsin, Mr. Walker is a cheese guy; he ordered Cheez Whiz on his sandwich at Pat’s King of Steaks and American cheese at Geno’s Steaks. Partisan controversy immediately ensued. Some critics were enraged that the Republican hopeful ordered no onions. Others claimed he did not bus his table, broke into the lunch line and didn’t finish his second sandwich. Some carried signs with toilet-themed mottos. The New York Times initially deemed the visit a “Philly faux pas.”

But Mr. Walker did much better than Secretary of State John F. Kerry, who, as a White House candidate himself in 2003, was mocked for ordering Swiss cheese on his order at Pat’s. The well-prepared and unapologetic Mr. Walker was already privy to such an unwritten rule, even declaring he’d order cheddar if need be.

“Uncowed by protesters, Mr. Walker seemed to enjoy his lunch despite the limelight and had no shame in his choice of cheese,” The New York Times later allowed.

CARLY’S FIRST DAY IN OFFICE

“On my first day in the Oval Office, I will make two phone calls. The first will be to my friend Bibi Netanyahu. I will reassure him that the United States will always stand with the state of Israel. My second call will be to the supreme leader of Iran. He might not take the call, but he will get the message. I will tell him: new deal. Unless and until Iran opens itself to full and unfettered inspections of all nuclear and military facilities, we are going to make it very hard for Iran to move money around the global financial system. U.S. companies should not be profiting off of this murderous regime.

The next president of the United States will have a lot to do with whether Apple and McDonald’s are doing business in Tehran. These two calls are also signals that the United States is back in the leadership business. I will not call Vladimir Putin. We have talked way too much to him. But he too will get the message.”

— From a speech by Republican presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on Monday evening.

SARAH AND DONALD

Kevin Scholla, host of the Internet radio broadcast “The Palin Update,” was curious if his guest Donald Trump would consider including Sarah Palin in his Cabinet. “If there is a Trump administration, could you see maybe picking up the phone and giving the governor a call and picking her brains on some things, or perhaps having her along in some official capacity?” Mr. Scholla asked the Republican hopeful on Tuesday.

“I’d love that,” Mr. Trump replied without hesitation. “She really is somebody who knows what’s happening, and she’s a special person. No matter where I go, everybody loves her. They like the Sarah Palin kind of strength, which is something you just don’t see very much anymore.”

POLL DU JOUR

57 percent of Republicans say Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is a “weak leader”; 43 percent say he is a “strong leader.”

57 percent of Republicans say House Speaker John A. Boehner is a “weak leader”; 42 percent say he is a strong leader.

44 percent have an unfavorable opinion on Mr. Boehner; 35 percent have a favorable impression.

38 percent have an unfavorable opinion on Mr. McConnell; 37 percent have a favorable impression.

38 percent say Mr. McConnell is “not conservative enough; 25 percent say his conservatism is “about right,” and 7 percent say he is “too conservative.”

38 percent say Mr. Boehner is not conservative enough; 24 percent say his conservatism is “about right,” and 10 percent say he is too conservative.

Source: A YouGov poll of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted July 18-20; the sample included 270 Republicans.

Murmurs and asides to [email protected]

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