- The Washington Times - Monday, November 16, 2015

The money trail beckons more than the campaign trail this week for Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton. Beginning Tuesday, the campaign has 10 fundraisers scheduled in New York, Wisconsin, Kentucky, South Carolina, Texas and Ohio — and yes, some of these “conversations with Hillary” events have single ticket prices of $27,000 and up.

But this is also a family affair. Former President Bill Clinton makes some cameo appearances, appearing solo in four of the fundraisers.

Friday appears to be the biggest day for his spouse. Mrs. Clinton will appear at three fundraisers in Louisville, Memphis and Nashville at week’s end, arriving in the Palmetto State on Saturday for a fundraiser in Charleston. There’s still money out there. The Clinton campaign raised $29.9 million in the third quarter of the year alone, according to their Federal Election Commission filings.

In the meantime, Peter Corbett, a 57-year-old psychotherapist, is currently riding a unicycle from Burlington, Vermont, to the nation’s capital to raise money for the campaign of Sen. Bernard Sanders. He expects to complete the 550-mile ride by Dec. 5 — and has already raised $1,350 for his “1 Wheel, 1 Nation” project.

“I can’t not do this,” Mr. Corbett observes.


SEE ALSO: Bernie Sanders: Terrorist attacks linked to climate change

President Obama’s press conference from Turkey three days after the Paris terrorist attacks set some analysts to wondering whether the normally protective news media was turning on their favorite politician. Both journalists and president were peevish during the encounter; there were murky moments and repetition — not helpful in an atmosphere charged with war and rumors of war.

“President Obama has a talent for speaking as if he is just an observer or analyst of foreign affairs,” Eli Lake, a Bloomberg columnist, noted in a tweet in the aftermath while Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer told his audience, “If you were waiting to hear a U.S. president say ‘I feel your pain,’ or if you were waiting to hear a U.S. president say, ‘It’s them or us’ — that is not what you just heard.”

Emerging headlines also lent insight into Mr. Obama’s hour with journalists: “Obama takes on a newly hawkish press” (Daily Beast); “Paris and the press put Obama on the defensive” (National Journal); “Obama doubles down on ISIS strategy after Paris attacks” (NBC News); “Degrading and ultimately dishonest: Obama changes nothing after Paris” (Washington Free Beacon); and “Obama slams GOP for idea of religious test for refugees” (CNN).


It’s not the noisy cable and broadcast networks who get the really big audiences in the world. One federal agency eclipses them all: The Broadcasting Board of Governors — the BBG, the official supervisory organization which oversees U.S. government-supported media such as Voice of America and Radio Free Europe.

The agency reports its programming now reaches 226 million viewers and listeners in more than 100 countries, and in 61 languages. That’s up from 215 million in 2014.

The largest audiences are in Indonesia, where 31.4 million take in the American-made programming a week, followed by Mexico, Nigeria, Iran, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Pakistan and Bangladesh

“This audience increase — while it is just one of many impact measurements — shows the hunger for accurate and reliable information around the world,” says John Lansing, director and CEO of the agency. “As propaganda and misinformation continue to saturate media markets globally, more and more people are turning to the networks of the BBG for trusted, fact-based reporting.”


“The ‘freedom fries’ Republicans.”

That was Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’s characterization of presidential hopefuls Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee following their reactions to the Paris terrorist attacks.

“The presidential candidates of the party that tried to rename ‘French fries’ as ‘freedom fries’ is now trying to make political hay out of the deaths of innocents,” declares Mrs. Wasserman-Schultz, who says the candidates favor “a go-it-alone foreign policy, just like the one George W. Bush and Dick Cheney pursued.”


“The time has come to stop terrorists from walking in our front door. My bill will press pause on new refugee entrants from high-risk countries until stringent new screening procedures are in place,” says Sen. Rand Paul.

The presidential hopeful plans to introduce legislation that would suspend issuance of visas to nationals of countries with a high terrorism risk until specific protocols are approved by Congress.

They would guarantee that “aliens already admitted from high-risk countries have been fingerprinted and screened, pose no terrorist risk, and are being monitored for terrorist activity,” and that “enhanced security measures are in place to screen future applicants and prevent terrorists from entering the country.”


Planned for Wednesday: “The rise of radicalism: Growing terrorist sanctuaries and the threat to the U.S. homeland,” called by House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul of Texas and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce of California. Among the witnesses: Matthew Olsen, former director of the National Counterterrorism Center, and retired Gen. Jack Keane, former U.S. Army Vice Chief of Staff.

“We are witnessing the most rapid spread of Islamist terror sanctuaries in history, but still have no viable strategy to combat this national security threat,” says Mr. McCaul.


75 percent of Americans oppose sending U.S. ground troops to Iraq or Syria.

63 percent of Americans are concerned that a “Paris-style attack” could happen near them.

60 percent say the U.S. should be “doing more” to oppose the Islamic State.

52 percent say nations which accept refugees fleeing the Syria are “less safe.”

41 percent say nations should stop accepting Syrian refugees.

40 percent say nations should continue to accept the refugees.

Source: A Reuters/Ipsos poll of 1,483 U.S. adults conducted Nov. 14-15.

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