- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 30, 2015

So the nation’s birthday is coming up. What better time than to raise a cool million or two in the name of 2016? That appears to be the plan for Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign this week, which features five major fundraisers in four states in the days leading up to July 4.

The Founding Fathers might have puzzled over the wealth and scope of Hillary for America events in New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and finally New Hampshire on Friday, the eve of the patriotic holiday. The events follow the “conversation with Hillary” template — $2,700 per person as a base price, with admission sometimes soaring to $50,000 each among those who aspire to be cast in the role of “host.”

The final week of June and the first three days of July could spell bonanza for Mrs. Clinton’s campaign. When Independence Day actually dawns, she will have attended 26 fundraisers in that brief period, on her way to raising a reported $100 million by year’s end, for a potential $1 billion bid for the presidency.

TED CRUZ AND THE TRUTH

Sen. Ted Cruz has a distinctive, resolute focus and candor that does not waver much, whether he’s addressing a mammoth crowd at a live event or simply making small talk. Now comes his memoir, “A Time for Truth: Reigniting the Miracle of America,” which does not hold back on his dissatisfaction with the status quo in the nation’s capital.



“Sometimes, people ask me, ‘When you have a room full of Republican senators yelling at you to back down and compromise your principles, why don’t you just give in?’ The answer is simple. I just remember all those men and women who pleaded with me, ‘Don’t become one of them,’” Mr. Cruz writes.


SEE ALSO: Hillary Clinton scrambles for big donations despite lead


Broadside Books — which also publishes such authors as Dennis Prager and Monica Crowley — has full confidence in Mr. Cruz, saying he represents Americans frustrated with governmental corruption and gridlock.

“Telling the truth is a radical act in our nation’s capital — a city dominated by empty promises, meaningless show votes, and a self-protection racket designed to get politicians re-elected rather than heeding the demands of the American people. Cruz has told the truth — about Washington collusion, a corrupted political process, and the institutional barriers to actually fixing the enormous challenges we face,” the publisher notes.

Mr. Cruz is in public-minded mode though, combining a book tour with a presidential campaign, appearing at several bookstores in Georgia before swinging over to South Carolina for July 4.

OBAMACARE OVERLOAD IN TENNESSEE

Rev up Air Force One: President Obama is off to Tennessee on Wednesday to discuss “how we can move forward building on the progress made under the Affordable Care Act,” this according to a White House official. Well, OK. But one Tennessee Republican doesn’t see it that way.

“If Obamacare was the success this president claims it is, it would not have landed at the Supreme Court on three separate occasions to begin with and he would not be traveling cross country to rally support for the failing law five years after it was enacted,” says Rep. Diane Black.

“During his visit to Tennessee, perhaps President Obama will explain why Obamacare customers in our state have been told to expect a 36 percent premium increase next year, despite the President’s promise that his law would save families an average of $2,500 per year. Or maybe he will address the 28,000 Tennesseans who lost their insurance coverage in a single day despite his pledge that ‘If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.’ Whatever the case, the President has picked the wrong location to take a victory lap on the Supreme Court’s irresponsible,” the lawmaker adds.

MAYBE JUST A SIDE PART

“I would probably comb my hair back. Why? Because this thing is too hard to comb. I wouldn’t have time, because if I were in the White House, I’d be working my ass off.”

Donald Trump, responding to a question about how he’d wear his hair as president; at a recent press conference in Iowa.

SIGN OF THE TIMES

A canny observer in the nation’s capital reminds Inside the Beltway of a little-noticed but significant amendment to a spending bill that has liberated churches from a certain pesky federal regulation.

Earlier this month, the House accepted an amendment by Rep. Markwayne Mullin, Oklahoma Republican, that blocks the U.S. Department of Transportation from enforcing a long-standing federal regulation that limits the size of church signs to eight square feet; Oklahoma law allows such signs to be 32 square feet.

The Federal Highway Administration had pressured Oklahoma’s transportation authority to order churches to remove signs that did not conform to the size limit. Mr. Mullin’s church was among those which received a notice to comply with the rule within 90 days. His amendment now allows existing signs to remain in the state without risking the loss of federal highway funds; it was attached to the appropriations bill and signifies an initial victory for freedom of expression.

“My amendment would allow churches and civic organizations to keep their signs that are larger than 8 square feet,” Mr. Mullin said on the House floor. “This is a reasonable amendment. It would be beneficial to the safety of the traveling public and allow our federal government to focus its resources on more critical infrastructure uses. We need to be focusing on repairing our roads and bridges, not tearing down church signs.”

Mr. Mullin added: “Our churches and our civic organizations have better ways to spend their limited resources than tearing down signs. Our states would have more time on their hands to be looking at our roads and bridges if they didn’t have to go out and enforce a law that our state doesn’t even want.”

FOX NEWS ON HOME BASE

Sure, why not cast a Las Vegas real estate attorney and legal analyst as the host of a new weekend real estate series. But that’s exactly what CEO Roger Ailes has done. Starting July 11 at high noon: “Bob Massi is the Property Man” will feature insider fare on property trends and challenges — “invaluable insight,” as the ever practical Mr. Ailes says.

The first episode naturally centers on the Vegas market. Mr. Massi, incidentally, has his own law firm, hosts a one-hour syndicated radio talk show and is the author of “People Get Screwed All the Time: Protecting Yourself from Scams, Fraud, Identity Theft, Fine Print and More.”

POLL DU JOUR

65 percent of Americans plan to celebrate July 4 with a barbecue.

63 percent own an American flag; 49 percent will wear patriotic T-shirts or other apparel.

44 percent anticipate that the price of gas will affect their holiday.

43 percent will watch fireworks or go to a community event on July 4.

36 percent will display patriotic decorations.

24 percent will play patriotic music, 12 percent will attend a parade.

12 percent will not celebrate the Fourth.

Source: A National Retail Federation survey of 6,400 U.S. adults conducted June 2-9 and released Monday.

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