- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 14, 2016

HILLARY: 28 FUNDRAISERS IN A WEEK

There are two reasons why Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton raises mighty amounts of money for her campaign: Relentless volume and star power — both the Hollywood and political variety. Consider that there were 28 recent  campaign fundraisers in one week alone for the Mrs. Clinton in nine states, the District of Columbia and China. Yes, China. There are two events, one in Beijing, the other in Hong Kong. The real eye opener was in San Francisco, however. Hosted by actor George Clooney and wife Amal, the tickets for the fundraiser were $353,400 a couple.

Mrs. Clinton herself appears at a number of the events, as does former President Bill Clinton and the expecting Chelsea Clinton, who advises her audiences that her obstetrician has cleared her to participate. Also playing host for the Clinton campaign this week: longtime adviser John Podesta, former CIA operative Valerie Plame, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, former ambassador to the Bahamas and philanthropist Arthur Schechter, plus billionaire entrepreneur and environmentalist Kimbal Musk.


TAXPAYERS: $116 MILLION TO SEND ILLEGALS HOME

Welcome aboard? “American taxpayers are forking out more than $300,000 every day to deport illegal immigrants on commercial flights and even on private jets. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spent $116 million in 2015 to transport 235,413 people in the United States illegally back to their home countries,” reports Wills Robinson, a Daily Mail reporter who obtained the numbers through a Freedom of Information request. “More than 40 per cent of those who had violated visa restrictions were convicted criminals while more than 1,000 were identified as gang members,” he notes.



In addition, Mr. Robinson found the average cost of every immigrant in 2015 was $12,213, which includes apprehension, detention, court appearances and deportation. “To remove an illegal immigrant costs an average of $1,962,” he says. The cost includes both ground and air fares via commercial flights or private hired jets — including a fancy Gulfstream IV.

”This is insane,” David Williams, president of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, told The Mail.

TRUST IN THE CRUST

Excruciating details are a mainstay in modern politics, something that Republican hopeful John Kasich discovered when he dined not too long ago at Gino’s Pizza in Queens, New York and proceeded to eat his pepper-embellished pie with a knife and fork. “Using a fork just makes you look like a nerd. A guy who eats pizza with a fork is the guy at the accounting firm that the other accountants make fun of,” noted GQ Magazine writer Jack Moore in the aftermath.

But it looks like New York voters don’t really care.

John Kasich may get clobbered in New York next week, but it won’t be because of pizza. 55 percent of voters in the state say they think it’s acceptable to eat pizza with a fork, to only 33 percent who think it’s unacceptable,” says Tom Jensen, director of Public Policy Polling, which surveyed 1,403 New York voters to find this out.

WHAT REAGAN KNEW

Republican front-runner Donald Trump has dominated the campaign trail in terms of spectacle and good feelings; his jumbo rallies pulsate with excitement and immediacy. The press follows every moment and the candidate himself seems indefatigable. But alas. Mr. Trump has had recent setbacks in the polls and the primaries, and must now grapple with the very real challenge of wooing delegates and adjusting to local voting protocols. That is the nature of the beast. Annoying, yes. Mr. Trump told Fox News on Monday, “The system is rigged. It’s crooked.”

But that’s the battlefield.

“I think Trump bought into his own new way of doing politics when in fact, there is nothing new under the sun. My guess is he was on a roll and simply thought he’d get the Republican nomination through speeches and rallies. The worst thing you can do in politics is believe your own newspaper clippings,” presidential historian Craig Shirley tells Inside the Beltway.

Mr. Shirley wrote an entire book on the robust and precisely organized tactics of Ronald Reagan when he challenged Gerald Ford in 1976. In the aftermath, Reagan himself declared that the race had turned the Grand Old Party of “pale pastels” into a national party of “bold colors.” Mr. Trump, perhaps, has some work to do.

“You have to run the outside game and the inside game equally well. One won’t do it and in fact, they are closely intertwined. Some primary voters are motivated by message and others by access — but all are motivated by winning,” Mr. Shirley says. “In the end though, if Trump wins because he has to work the uncommitted delegates, he will be a better candidate for it.”

FOR THE LEXICON

Trump bro”

— Explanation from CBS News reporter Jacqueline Alemany: “A common sight at Trump rallies around the country: Mostly white, they travel in packs and frequently wear Trump’s signature ‘Make America Great Again’ hats, pumping their fists and cheering loudly as protesters get hauled out by security. They document their political activity like any good millennial would, recording their outings on Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter. They are dudes, jocks, preps and just-your-average college and high school kids. But on the campaign trail, they’ve come to be known simply as Trump bros.”

THE GRASS GROWS GREENER

The ancient hippies of yore would be speechless over new statistics from New Frontier, an analytics authority that tracks and produces “cannabis market research.” Headquartered in the nation’s capital, the organization deems legal marijuana “one of the fastest growing industries in America with a compound annual growth rate of 31 percent.” Sales are projected to reach $7.1 billion this year.

“By 2020, legal market sales are expected to surpass $22 billion,” says Giadha DeCarcer, CEO of the organization.

THEY RULE TALK RADIO

Talker’s Magazine, the premier publication of the political talk radio realm, each year identified the “Heavy Hundred” — the top 100 talk radio hosts who are judged by their “courage, effort, impact, longevity, potential, ratings, recognition, revenue, service, talent and uniqueness.” The magazine released its 2016 choices on Monday. Without further static, here are the top 10, and their network or syndicator of origin:

At No. 1, it’s Rush Limbaugh (Premiere Networks), followed by Sean Hannity (Premiere Networks), Dave Ramsey (The Dave Ramsey Show), Mark Levin (Westwood One), Glenn Beck (Premiere Networks), Howard Stern (Sirius XM), Michael Savage (Westwood One), Joe Madison (Sirius XM), Thom Hartmann (WYD Media), Mike Gallagher (Salem Radio Network). Find the rest of the top talkers here: Talkers.com

THE VICE PRESIDENTIAL EQUATION

Will formal GOP rivals turn into a viable 2016 ticket? Consider such combinations as Trump/Cruz, Cruz/Rubio, Cruz/Kasich and so on and so forth. Recent history indicates this may not be the most likely scenario for the GOP. A meticulous study by Minnesota University political professor Eric Ostermeier reveals that Republicans have selected a vice presidential candidate who was also a failed candidate for president only once since 1952 — and that was George H.W. Bush in 1980.

“Meanwhile, during this 16-cycle span, Democrats have selected five vice presidential nominees who came up short in their bids for the White House: Estes Kefauver in 1956, Lyndon Johnson in 1960, Walter Mondale in 1976, John Edwards in 2004 and Joe Biden in 2008,” says Mr. Ostermeier.

RON PAUL, PART TWO

The legions of young fans who supported former Texas representative Ron Paul’s quest for the White House in 2012 have reorganized into a 257,000-member activist group called Young Americans for Liberty. They are still ready to rumble, this time to push back against political correctness on the nation’s campuses.

The organization has launched the Fight for Free Speech campaign to end “unconstitutional speech codes” that have prompted discord between students for months, staging 340 events in all 50 states, including sneak peek showings of “Can We Take a Joke?,” an upcoming film featuring such comedians as Gilbert Gottfried and Penn Jillette that faults the nation’s “addiction to outrage” and its effect on the creative world.”The group may face hostility when they arrive on campuses, which include Clemson University, University of California at Berkeley and American University, among many.

Hypersensitive students have their own ideas. A recent Gallup poll found that 69 percent of U.S. college students say campuses should be able to restrict language offensive to “certain groups.” Another 63 percent say campuses should be able to ban the wearing of costumes that stereotype racial or ethnic groups. An earlier Pew Research Center poll also revealed that 40 percent of the age group say “speech offensive to minorities” should be censored by the federal government.

‘ILLIBERAL LIBERALISM’

New from Encounter Books: ”The Closing of the Liberal Mind: How Groupthink and Intolerance Define the Left” by historian and former Assistant Secretary of State Kim R. Holmes. Liberals, the author points out, were once open-minded. That zeal appears to have evaporated with the rise of “the New Left in the 1960s,” Mr. Holmes writes. The post-modern Left followed, and with it, “a cornucopia of identity theories promising perfect diversity,” and later “the political activism of the universities, including shaming rituals,” Mr. Holmes noted in the book.

“There is in our culture today a general eagerness to demonize political opponents, but what makes it particularly dangerous is that so much intolerance is practiced by liberals who otherwise claim to be fair and open-minded. This liberal version of intolerance, which I call illiberal liberalism, occupies the commanding heights of American culture and its institutions — the media, our schools and colleges, the entertainment industry, the leadership of American corporations, the establishment political class and even many mainstream churches — threatening the foundations of American governance,” says Mr. Holmes.

THE OPTIMISM OF TED CRUZ

Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz has surveyed the campaign of rival Donald Trump, weighed the equities of a contested GOP convention in July and established his takeaway message.

“I believe we will have an enormous advantage. One of the ways to understand is the simple question: Where do the Marco Rubio and John Kasich delegates go? I think they naturally come to us,” Mr. Cruz recently told Glenn Beck during a recent visit to the independent media maven’s studio in Dallas, Texas.

“They’re not going to go to Donald, particularly when he’s threatening violence and abuse the system. And the amazing thing, you know, there’s a lot of focus on our ground game, and I’m proud of the job our team has done organizing. But it’s important to understand, our staffers couldn’t do this if there was not a grassroots tsunami,” Mr. Cruz noted.

THINKING AHEAD

A large, feisty group of conservatives are advising Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speak Paul Ryan to forego a lame duck session at the end of this year. The 75-member group warns that voters are wary of sly, last minute deals, advising in an open letter, “At a time when the American people’s trust in their government is near an all-time low, the Republican-led Congress should demonstrate exemplary behavior by completing its work before the November elections so that voters can judge all the legislators on the basis of the votes they have cast.”

The signers to the lengthy letter include Reagan stalwart Ed Meese, media watchdog Brent Bozell, Citizens United president David Bossie and American Values president Gary Bauer, among many. They have one other point.

“The Republican-led Congress must not provide President Obama with an additional opportunity to enact his agenda of progressive social engineering programs and job-killing economic policies before he leaves office,” they write. “A lame duck session would be his swan song: he can be expected to leave no arm untwisted, no threat unmade, no quid un-quod, to get his dream-policies enacted, his liberal judges confirmed, and his international agreements approved.”

POLL DU JOUR

45 percent of Americans say the nation is now “so off track” it needs a leader willing to break rules; 65 percent of Donald Trump supporters, 40 percent of Sen. Ted Cruz supporters and 43 percent of Gov. John Kasich supporters agree.

42 percent overall say “society has become too soft and feminine”; 68 percent of Trump supporters, 57 percent of Cruz supporters and 52 percent of Kasich supporters agree.

34 percent overall say they are bothered when they meet immigrants who speak no English; 64 percent of Trump supporters, 46 percent of Cruz supporters and 38 percent of Kasich supporters agree.

32 percent overall say the government has paid too much attention to minorities in the past few decades; 55 percent of Trump supporters, 38 percent of Cruz supporters and 29 percent of Kasich supporters agree.

24 percent overall say the government should ban Muslims from entering the U.S.; 49 percent of Trump supporters, 36 percent of Cruz supporters and 26 percent of Kasich supporters agree.

Source: A PRRI/The Atlantic survey of 2,033 U.S. adults conducted March 30-April 3.

Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter at @HarperBulletin

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