HILLARY, THE ‘E.T. CANDIDATE’ REVISITED
Two months ago, a spate of major news organizations crowned Hillary Clinton the “E.T. Candidate.” The likely Democratic nominee, her husband Bill Clinton, longtime adviser John Podesta and even President Obama have recently alluded to UFOs and extraterrestrials in a series of public appearances. Mrs. Clinton herself publicly vowed to investigate such things. Her promise drew global coverage from the New York Times, NBC News, The Washington Post and The Times of London, among many.
The interest is still percolating, even as the 2016 presidential election and assorted political controversies charge on. Just to add a little otherworldly flavor to it all, a new book titled “The Clinton UFO Storybook: ET Politics in the White House” by Canadian researcher Grant Robert Cameron has just been published; the author describes it as “a historical look at the Clinton’s UFO story.” Those who follow such fare insist Mrs. Clinton’s interest in unexplained airborne phenomena and even Area 51 extends back to the 1990s.
And yes, there are some who even like to wager about the possibilities. This week, William Hill, a British online betting concern, cut the odds of a UK prime minister or U.S. president “announcing aliens are visiting the planet” from 1000/1 to 25/1.
Stephen Bassett, a registered lobbyist in the nation’s capital and a longtime advocate of government transparency about these mysterious matters, does not expect press or public interest to wane. He predicts continued attention “will force the White House and the Pentagon to finally reach an understanding permitting the President — Obama — to disclose the ET presence.”
It’s a complicated business. Mr. Bassett has catalogued the broadcast appearances and other communication of the Clintons, Mr. Obama and others here. There is a rundown of references, documents and news coverage from the 1990s here. He also successfully petitioned the White House about ETs in 2011 through the “We the People” public outreach, drew the required number of signatures and warranted a formal reply from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Find that exchange here.
Mr. Bassett points out that Friday just happened to be World Disclosure Day, founded by activists five years ago to mark the anniversary of a U.S. Army Air Force press conference on July 8, 1947, that revealed a “flying disc” had been recovered near Roswell, New Mexico, by intelligence officers. The military later claimed the object was a weather balloon.
“Disclosure refers to the formal acknowledgement by world governments of an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race,” Mr. Bassett explains. “The purpose of World Disclosure Day is to provide a focal point for people and organizations to come together to assert their right to know, and demand cosmic truths being withheld from them by their governments.”
VEXED AND OBSESSED WITH 2016
Americans can’t take their eyes off of the 2016 presidential election. But they are not happy with what they see. “Satisfaction with the choice of candidates is at its lowest point in two decades. Currently, fewer than half of registered voters in both parties — 43 percent of Democrats and 40 percent of Republicans — say they are satisfied with their choices for president,” says a new Pew Research Center poll.
Another 41 percent of voters overall say neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump would make a good president; only 27 percent say the campaign is focusing on important policy debates. But oh, the spectacle, the political theater. The two candidates have a devoted audience.
“Dissatisfaction with the campaign and the candidates has done nothing to dampen voter interest in the 2016 election. Fully 80 percent of registered voters say they have given quite a lot of thought to the election, the highest share at this point in any campaign since 1992,” the poll noted. “Moreover, most voters simply find the campaign interesting. Currently, 77 percent say the campaign has been interesting, while just 17 percent describe it as dull.”
Well, at least there’s voter engagement through entertainment, anyway. The Pew researchers say the share of respondents who deem the campaign interesting is double the percentage it was during the 2012 election.
SUMMING UP THE EMAIL MATTER
“I don’t think Comey wanted to be the guy known for torpedoing the candidacy of the first woman nominated by her party to seek the presidency of the United States.”
— Talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, explaining to his audience why FBI director James Comey did not seek to try Hillary Clinton‘s use of a private email server while secretary of state as a criminal offense.
THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL QUIET
Both candidates cancelled their scheduled campaign appearances following the sniper attack in Dallas. Look for Hillary Clinton to head for New Hampshire on Tuesday; insiders say she will be joined by Sen. Bernard Sanders, who is bracing for the moment when he must finally endorse his former rival.
THE GOP PUSHES BACK
“Demand the FBI release evidence. The American people deserve to be made fully aware of the contents of the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton‘s secret server. Letting Hillary Clinton off the hook for publicly lying to the American people and jeopardizing our national security would threaten our rule of law and deal a severe blow to the integrity of our democracy. When government fails to stand up for the people, it is the duty of the PEOPLE to rise up and hold our government accountable.”
— Text from a new public petition launched by the Republican National Committee on Thursday.
WEEKEND REAL ESTATE
For sale: The Jones-Bruton House, built in 1909 in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The historic cottage features Queen Anne and Colonial Revival detailing; 1,380 square feet; wrap-around porch with Doric columns, gable-in-hip roof, twin chimneys. Interior features original wood floors and wainscoting, four fireplaces with intact mantles, located six blocks from the Cape Fear River. Priced at $41,000 through Preservation North Carolina. Consult Presnc.org here
The historically minded organization, incidentally, looks after dozens of properties.
POLL DU JOUR
• 64 percent of Americans say major campaign donors have “a lot of influence” over members of Congress; 67 percent of Republicans, 63 percent of independents and 62 percent of Democrats agree.
• 55 percent overall say lobbyists have a lot of influence; 59 percent of Republicans, 55 percent of independents and 53 percent of Democrats agree.
• 45 percent overall say party leaders in Congress have a lot of influence; 46 percent of Republicans, 45 percent of independents and 45 percent of Democrats agree.
• 14 percent overall say local people represented by lawmakers have a lot of influence; 14 percent of Republicans, 14 percent of independents and 14 percent of Democrats agree.
Source: A Gallup poll of 1,027 U.S. adults conducted June 1 to 5 and released Thursday.
• Calm observations, provocative theories to email@example.com.