- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 12, 2015

It’s not all about Iowa and New Hampshire. An event of note Saturday: The daylong South Carolina National Security Action Summit has drawn Republican presidential contenders and wise folk with much institutional knowledge — all with a mission on their minds.

They gather to talk of global jihad, a dwindling U.S. military, porous borders and threats to critical infrastructure — and plan “to educate local law enforcement, local and state leaders and citizen activists on steps we can take at the state level to protect ourselves on these issues.” So say the organizers.

The speakers roster bristles. Sen. Ted Cruz, Gov. Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum, John Bolton, Phyllis Schlafly and Frank Gaffney are among the many at the podium. Also among them: Original Delta Force member and retired Army Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin and Hank Cooper — director of the Strategic Defense Initiative during the George H.W. Bush administration.


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The aforementioned Mr. Bolton — the man who endorsed 87 “national security” candidates and donated close to $500,000 during the 2014 midterms — is back in action.

He’s announced his endorsement of Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana in his gubernatorial quest in the state; of Rep. Ron DeSantis, the incumbent congressman from Florida’s 6th District; and of Paul Chabot, candidate for Congress in California’s 31st District. Mr. Bolton’s political action committee will donate $10,000 each to Mr. Vitter and Mr. DeSantis, while Mr. Chabot will receive $5,000. All three are military veterans.



This is the first time Mr. Bolton has endorsed hopefuls in primary elections. They also are his first endorsements of the year, and not likely his last.


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He knows what he’s looking for: “Candidates who are committed to restoring strong American economic and national security through independent expenditures and campaigns and issue-oriented education,” Mr. Bolton says. “We want leaders who believe that America’s continuing presence in the world is good for America, good for our freedoms, good for our economy, and good for our future. We believe that it is not American strength that is provocative, but American weakness, as the Obama administration has unfortunately proven again and again.”

FOR THE LEXICON

“Former President Hillary Clinton

— Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart, describing the former first lady/U.S. senator/secretary of state.

FEY, MILLER AND STEWART

What with all his clever wiles, who should replace the aforementioned Jon Stewart when he exits his fake-newsman anchor chair on “The Daily Show” later this year? There’s a poll for everything. Tina Fey leads the list according to a new Quinnipiac University survey. She garners 19 percent of the vote — followed by Dennis Miller in second place with 16 percent.

“Two comedians, both former Saturday Night Live mock news readers, lead the pack to fill Jon Stewart’s chair,” says Tim Malloy, assistant director for the survey. “Dennis Miller is the favorite of 24 percent of Republicans. Tina Fey, with her dead-on take on Sarah Palin, is the darling of 26 percent of Democrats.”

And the rest: John Oliver was ranked third, followed by Craig Ferguson and Brian Williams — yes, the NBC anchorman — tied for fourth, with Chelsea Handler in last place.

THE GRANITE STATE MAGNET

It’s wall-to-wall GOP presidential hopefuls in New Hampshire this weekend. As departing Rick Perry exits the Granite State on Friday, along comes four more. Well, the eats will be good for Sen. Ted Cruz, anyway. He’s New Hampshire bound, beginning with a “Chili and Chat” with locals in the wee town of Barrington, followed by the Grafton County Republicans’ Lincoln-Reagan Dinner in the town of Lincoln. That’s followed by — of course — the required appearance at the “Politics and Eggs” breakfast at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics in Manchester.

Mr. Cruz might run into Gov. Scott Walker somewhere along the line. He’ll be there to attend the New Hampshire Republicans “Grassroots Training and Rally” in the state capital of Concord, plus multiple meetings with Scott Brown, John H. Sununu and local Republicans and business leaders. His finale is with the Liberty Republicans of Portsmouth

But wait there’s more. Jeb Bush will display his business acumen with a flourish this weekend before the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce, appear at local GOP fundraisers in Manchester and Bedford, plus showcase his Right to Rise political action committee in Dover at the home of former New Hampshire GOP chair Fergus Cullen. And for his part, Jim Gilmore meets and greets the locals for breakfast at Lamies Old Salt, an eatery in Hampton.

The Democratic National Committee, in the meantime, was waiting for the moment. Committee Chair Deborah Wasserman-Schultz staged a conference call with the press Thursday to herald the arrival of the rival hopefuls. Unimpressed, she declared them to be pretenders, adding, “All they’re really trying to do is distance themselves from either a previous failed campaign — oops — or their failed record.”

CULTURAL MOMENT

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reports that more men are turning to aesthetic cosmetic procedures, with “dramatic increases seen in both surgical and nonsurgical options over the past 5 years and a 43 percent increase overall.” There were over 10 million cosmetic procedures overall performed in 2014 — at a cost of $12 billion.

Men have their favorites. Blepharoplasty — an eyelid lift, essentially — plus male breast reduction and facelifts are the top three procedures. Since the organization began collecting statistical data in 1997, there has been a 273 percent increase in the number of procedures performed on men.

“This is not a trend we expect to see wane anytime soon. Facing a challenging and sometimes ageist job market, men, like women, are starting to consider their options to maintain a youthful appearance that exudes exuberance and energy and the full spectrum of care offered by board-certified plastic surgeons caters to their individual needs,” says Dr. James Grotting, president-elect of the group.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

For sale: The Albert H. Sears House; National Register of Historic Places “Queen Anne” mansion, built in 1881 in Plano, Illinois. Five bedrooms, two baths on two acres; 3,700 square feet of living space includes dining room, sitting room, drawing room. Details include pocket doors, oak woodwork and flooring, Murphy bed, custom cabinets, leaded and stained glass. Professionally decorated, period wallpapers, murals and faux painting. Exterior includes shingles, cedar roof, fretwork, historic detailing, sun porches, verandas, turret, multi-gabled roofs; circular driveway, extensive landscaping, mature trees. Completely updated, includes open floor plan. Daily train to Chicago, 58 miles west.

Priced at $425,000 through ExperienceIllinois.com

POLL DU JOUR

80 percent of Americans want to improve their “digital literacy” online.

71 percent fear computer viruses, 68 percent are afraid of online identity theft.

68 percent also say they “can’t live without the Internet.”

59 percent say the Internet is “overwhelming.”

40 percent say both that they can’t live without it and that it’s overwhelming.

26 percent use the same password for multiple online accounts; 11 percent are “embarrassed” by their lack of online skills.

Source: A Rasmussen survey of 2,000 U.S. adults conducted throughout January and released Thursday.

Annoyances, cheers to [email protected]; follow her @HarperBulletin.

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