- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 26, 2016

For the 45th year in a row, the American Conservative Union has ranked the voting records of every single member of Congress according to their support of ideals found in the Constitution: limited and transparent government, individual rights, personal responsibility. Applause, please, for this gargantuan effort, a helpful undertaking in a tumultuous presidential year.

At a cordial event on Tuesday night in the Capitol, the organization honored 157 members of Congress who scored 80 percent or above, reflecting a strongly conservative voting record. The average rating in the U.S. Senate overall was 44 percent, in the House 45 percent. The four presidential hopefuls who served at one time or another on Capitol Hill were not overlooked. Sen. Ted Cruz got an impeccable score of 100 percent, ranking No. 1 among his peers. Gov. John Kasich landed an 88 percent, Sen. Bernard Sanders 6 percent and Hillary Clinton 8 percent.

The two Democrats were not at the very rock bottom of the heap, however. The analysis gave “0” scores to 104 lawmakers, a list that included Sens. Charles E. Schumer and Harry Reid, along with Reps. Nancy Pelosi and Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

“Our mission is to educate voters about the important ideas and ideals of our nation’s founding and what is going on in D.C. This scorecard is part of our mission,” says Matt Schlapp, the indefatigable chairman of The American Conservative Union, who casts a practical eye on the particulars and on the organization’s annual get-together next year.

“Go to Conservative.org and check out where your favorite or least favorite [lawmaker] came out. And make sure you sign up for CPAC in 2017, from February 22 through 25,” advises Mr. Schlapp, always the good host. Yes, the countdown for the big conference has already begun.

BRACE FOR THE WHCD

Soon, very soon, the noise about the White House Correspondents’ Dinner will turn into din — dinner din. But that’s OK. The annual rite for a motley crowd of 3,000 or so formally dressed media and political types is Saturday. As a preliminary though, let us consider Fox News, always an emphatic presence at the WHCD. The network will send 26 of its luminaries to the feast, from Megyn Kelly and Bret Baier to Chris Wallace and Greta Van Susteren. Then there are the 14 guests that Fox News will host.

Among them: actors Vivica A. Fox, Sela Ward, Ryan Kwanten, Jeff Goldblum and Cheryl Ladd; iconic singer Gladys Knight; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and his wife Candice Crawford; WWE superstar John Cena and his wife Nikki Bella; Fox Sports anchor Howie Long; and N’Sync singer JC Chasez.

TRUMPTOPIA

Do not overlook Republican front-runner Donald Trump’s foreign policy speech on Wednesday, delivered at high noon before a select audience at a historic hotel a few blocks north of the White House. The big doings will be presided over by Zalmay Khalilzad, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Afghanistan and Iraq. Many critics have demanded Mr. Trump reveal his policy prowess; here’s an apt beginning and one that will be closely parsed by the press.

But Mr. Trump is Mr. Trump. Before the microphone even cools off, he will be jetting to the Hoosier State for a jumbo rally at the Indiana Farmer’s Coliseum in Indianapolis, which begins as dusk falls — accompanied by former Indiana University basketball coach Bobby Knight. The Indiana state primary, by the way, is Tuesday, May 3.

KUDOS FOR A SCHOLAR

Very nice news for social scientist and author Charles Murray, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation has given Mr. Murray one of the four prizes the organization awards each year to those who support limited, competent government, a vigorous defense and an enlightened citizenry, among other things.

“For several decades Charles Murray has been an intellectual giant,” said Michael W. Grebe, president and CEO of The Bradley Foundation. “His groundbreaking research has sparked debate and launched reform in a number of fields, including welfare reform.”

The award carries a $250,000 stipend. Mr. Murray will be honored in a June ceremony at The Kennedy Center.

KUDOS FOR A SPEECHWRITER

Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper reveals that the work of Trey Brown, his speechwriter of the last five years, has won top recognition in three categories of Vital Speeches of the Day, a preeminent international speechwriting competition. Mr. Brown took the top prize in “Controversial or Highly Politicized Topics” for a speech he wrote for his boss on intelligence, North Korea and cybersecurity. Surely no easy task.

Mr. Brown, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and a former Navy pilot, noted that intelligence leadership “[doesn’t] leave unsaid the things that need to be said.”

Surely no easy task either.

FOXIFIED

Following the latest round of Nielsen Media Research ratings numbers, Fox News is ranked second in prime time and total day viewers in the entire cable TV realm, with TBS in first place. The network still rules news.

“April marks the network’s 172nd month as the most-watched cable news channel in total viewers,” the network notes. This means that Fox News has led the field for over 14 years. But one prime-time host can best that.

“‘The O’Reilly Factor’ remains the dominant ratings force in cable news, delivering its 185th month as the highest-rated cable news program,” according to Fox. Host Bill O’Reilly averages 2.8 million viewers every night.

POLL DU JOUR

91 percent of Americans aged 18-29 say they have not been involved in a political organization or activity.

71 percent say they personally are not politically engaged.

61 percent want a Democrat to win the 2016 presidential election.

57 percent say they “support” patriotism, 49 percent support feminism. 48 percent support “social justice activism,” 44 percent support progressivism, 42 percent support capitalism; 33 percent support socialism.

Source: A Harvard University Institute of Politics survey of 3,183 Americans aged 18-29 conducted March 18-April 3 and released Tuesday.

Subtle asides, rude outbursts to [email protected]


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