- The Washington Times - Monday, September 14, 2015

It would certainly rev up a sagging campaign, that’s for sure. Some wonder if Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton would pick her own husband as her running mate in a relentless quest for the White House. Well, let’s see here. If Mrs. Clinton was the ultimate victor in 2016, that would make her Madame President, and Bill Clinton would be known as former president Vice President Clinton, or words to that effect — as opposed to the first gentleman, if he was a mere spouse. The candidate herself admits mulling the possibilities of husband Bill on the ticket.

“He would be good, but he’s not eligible. Under the Constitution he has served his two terms and I think the argument would be as vice president it would not be possible for him to ever succeed to the position — at least that’s what I’ve been told,” Mrs. Clinton told Extra TV’s Mario Lopez.

“It has crossed my mind,” she added.

Constitutional scholars have been arguing about this possibility since roughly 2006, when talk of the former first lady’s bid for the presidency became serious. Language contained in the 12th and 22nd Amendments that parses the eligibility for persons seeking the presidency or vice presidency is subject to interpretation. It is complicated, and it’s a cliffhanger.

“Could former President Bill Clinton be vice president?” asks FactCheck, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center which delved into the many possibilities.

“Probably not, but it’s an untested constitutional conundrum,” the organization concludes.


SEE ALSO: Donald Trump losing evangelical support to Ben Carson amid questions about faith


HOLA AMERICA

“About 295,000 babies were born to unauthorized-immigrant parents in 2013, making up 8 percent of the 3.9 million U.S. births that year,” says a new Pew Research Center estimate based on the latest available U.S. Census data. This was a decline from a peak of 370,000 in 2007, when the births constituted 9 percent of the total.

“There were an estimated 11.3 million unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S. in March 2013, according to a preliminary Pew Research estimate. They make up 4 percent of the population, but their share of births is higher because the immigrants include a higher share of women in their childbearing years and have higher birthrates than the U.S. population overall,” say Jeffrey S. Passel and D’Vera Cohn, who pored over the numbers.

STILL CENSORING THOSE VIDEOS

Those damning undercover Planned Parenthood videos have just about disappeared from the mainstream media. Another report from Katie Yoder, an exacting analyst from the conservative watchdog Newsbusters.org, finds that the broadcast networks continued to ignore the videos in major morning and evening newscasts.

Since July 14, the Center for Medical Progress has released 16 hours, 11 minutes and 35 seconds of footage exposing Planned Parenthood’s practice of harvesting aborted baby parts,” Ms. Yoder says. “In those past two months, ABC, NBC and CBS have only aired one minute and 13 seconds of these videos with audio during their news shows. In other words, the broadcast networks have played 0.125 percent of the total footage. In that mere one minute and 13 seconds, the news shows didn’t include the most graphic parts of the videos — not even blurred or pixilated images of babies’ hands and legs picked apart.”

MEDALS FOR THE HEROIC THREE

Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone will receive the Purple Heart following his heroic actions on August 21 when he helped foil a terrorist attack on a Paris-bound train. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James revealed the news Monday during a speech before the Air Force Association, adding that Airman Stone was “extremely heroic” and personified Air Force values.

The airman, whose thumb was virtually severed in his struggle with the gunman, will receive the Purple Heart and Airman’s Medal from Defense Secretary Ashton Carter during an award ceremony at the Pentagon on Thursday. Eligibility for the Purple Heart was expanded after Congress added language to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015 to include soldiers killed or wounded in attacks by foreign terrorist organizations.

The two friends who were with Airman Stone will also be recognized. National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos will receive the Soldiers Medal, the U.S. Army’s highest non-combat medal, while Anthony Sadler will receive the Secretary of Defense Medal for Valor, awarded to civilians.

VAPORIZED

It’s not burning — but it’s not welcome. National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis issued a policy memorandum Monday prohibiting the use of electronic smoking devices in national parks, effective immediately at all government-owned or leased parks and facilities, including concession stands.

“Protecting the health and safety of our visitors and employees is one of the most critical duties of the National Park Service. We are therefore extending the restrictions currently in place protecting visitors and employees from exposure to tobacco smoke to include exposure to vapor from electronic smoking devices,” Mr. Jarvis said.

The Department of Health and Human Services has already noted in a public advisory, “With e-cigarettes there are many unknowns, including the unknown health effects of long-term use.”

Meanwhile, e-cigarettes are estimated to be a $1.5 billion industry, according to Fortune magazine, with sales predicted to rise by 24 percent through 2018. Some states are considering taxing the devices. A potential class-action lawsuit was filed Sept. 8 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against a subsidiary of Reynolds American Inc., claiming that use of top-selling Vuse e-cigarette exposes its users to “significant amounts of harmful carcinogens.”

FOSSILIZED

Among the many events in the nation’s capital on Tuesday morning: Keep it in the Ground, a coalition of environmental, faith, labor and advocacy groups stage a press conference in front of the White House, asking President Obama to take executive action to “stop new federal fossil fuel drilling on public lands and oceans,” they say.

On hand: Community leaders from Alaska, Florida, New Mexico, Utah and the Gulf of Mexico region, plus Climate activist Tim DeChristopher, the Center for Biological Diversity, Earthworks, Friends of the Earth, Rainforest Action Network, Sierra Club and WildEarth Guardians. Will Mr. Obama be home at the time? Actually, yes. He’ll be hosting the 2015 NCAA Women’s Basketball champion Huskies, and in the afternoon, meeting with King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain.

POLL DU JOUR

76 percent of American hope the next president will fix the current political system; 77 percent of Republicans, 74 percent of independents and 78 percent of Democrats agree.

72 percent of Americans overall think “most people in politics” can’t be trusted; 75 percent of Republicans, 72 percent of independents and 69 percent of Democrats agree.

64 percent overall think the current U.S. political system is dysfunctional; 66 percent of Republicans, 67 percent of independents and 59 percent of Democrats agree.

56 percent overall want the next president to have experience in the political system; 36 percent of Republicans, 53 percent of independents and 73 percent of Democrats agree.

40 percent overall want the next president to have experience outside the political system; 58 percent of Republicans, 43 percent of independents and 24 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Washington Post/ABC News poll of 1,003 U.S. adults conducted Sept. 7-10.

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