- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 29, 2016

“Every time another mass murder occurs, the media’s coverage focuses on the memorials — piles of flowers, rows of candles and hand-drawn signs — and the calls for unity and pledges of resolve by national leaders. But all the memorials are totally meaningless. They are merely a stage for politicians to act on, professing emotion, proclaiming unity, and calling for everyone to just keep calm and carry on. Nothing else results from them,” says American Spectator columnist and former Defense Department undersecretary Jeb Babbin.

Mr. Babbin says he is fed up with “politically correct counterterrorism,” and that President Obama’s two-year-old plan to “degrade and eventually destroy” the Islamic State has failed. “Let’s get on with it,” Mr. Babbin concludes.

PJ Media columnist Michael Walsh agrees that the sensitive touch is lacking. He advises those fed up with teddy bears and candles to heed advice from the late Air Force Gen. Curtis LeMay when he said of the enemy, “If you kill enough of them, they stop fighting.”

Mr. Babbin noted in a follow-up message to Inside the Beltway, “For the record, we’re constantly told by the Obama generals and admirals that we can’t kill our way out of this war. As Gen. LeMay might have said, how can we know until we try?”

And who was LeMay? Several sources call him “the Cold War’s fiercest warrior.” The Air Force itself puts it this way about the pilot who ultimately became the fifth chief of staff for the branch:

“The general built, from the remnants of World War II, an all-jet bomber force, manned and supported by professional airmen dedicated to the preservation of peace. The general commanded the Strategic Air Command for nearly 10 years, and under his leadership and supervision, plans were laid for the development and integration of an intercontinental ballistic missile capability.”

CLINTON MUM FOR QUITE SOME TIME

“116. That’s the number of days since Hillary Clinton has held a formal press conference. And since it’s March Madness, here’s your context on just how long 116 days is: You can play the entire NCAA tournament — 68 teams down to one win winner — nearly six times in 116 days. Or one could drive across the United States in 116 days 29 times,” reports Mediaite analyst Joe Concha, who does acknowledge that the Democratic front-runner made a few public remarks at a Michigan coffee shop on March 1.

“The fear of Hillary’s handlers, of course, is that a majority of questions at such a presser will not focus on her plan to fight ISIS, fighting for the middle class or fighting a tireless Bernie Sanders in the primary, but instead on the FBI primary. The L.A. Times reports that the bureau will be questioning Mrs. Clinton soon as sources tell the paper the bureau may be nearing the end of its investigation. Whether this will result in a recommendation for indictment is anyone’s guess,” Mr. Concha adds.

MERRICKMENTUM

The nomination of federal judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court is picking up speed, and the mainstream media is racing right along, proclaiming that President Obama’s pick for the high court has “momentum.”

How do Americans feel about it all? It’s complicated. Here are the numbers according to a new Pew Research Center poll released Monday: 46 percent of Americans say Mr. Garland should be confirmed as a justice; 22 percent of Republicans, 19 percent of conservatives, 45 percent of independents, 70 percent of Democrats and 78 percent of liberals agree.

JERRY BROWN COMES TO TOWN

The Nuclear Security Summit begins Thursday in the nation’s capital, drawing a startling array of world leaders to address nuclear terrorism and other grave matters.

But there’s an anti-nuclear summit on the same day as well. Coming to town: California Gov. Jerry Brown arrives in 24 hours, poised to join forces with former Secretary of Defense William Perry, former Assistant Secretary of Defense Lawrence Korb and Bruce Blair, co-founder of the anti-nuke group Global Zero. Interestingly enough, Mr. Blair is a former Minuteman missile launch-control officer and support man for the old Strategic Air Command’s “Looking Glass” airborne command post.

The quartet will offer a forum to a young audience with a familiar message.

“They will discuss the growing risk of nuclear weapons use, the influential role of young people in eliminating that risk and the urgent need for a national debate on U.S. plans to spend $1 trillion on its bloated nuclear arsenal, including development of a new nuclear cruise missile,” advises a spokesman for event organizer Global Zero, which advocates for total worldwide nuclear disarmament.

“As with the most powerful social movements in history, young people are turning out around the world to fight this fight. And they’re backed by a powerful group of political leaders and security experts who understand that the only way to prevent nuclear terrorism is to eliminate all nuclear weapons,” says former CIA counter-proliferation operative Valerie Plame Wilson, who supports the cause.

FOXIFIED

A historic moment for the news source with audience crossover power: “For the first time ever in Fox News Channel’s history, the network led basic cable in both prime time and total day for the entire first quarter of 2016, according to Nielsen Media Research. FNC outranked all other cable networks for the full quarter, including ESPN, TBS and AMC, and has spent the past 10 consecutive weeks as the No. 1 cable channel in total daytime viewers,” Fox News announced Tuesday.

The network marks the 14th year in a row as the most-watched cable news channel, averaging 1.6 million viewers during daytime hours; in contrast, CNN drew 732,00, MSNBC 502,000. During prime time, the Fox audience numbers 2.4 million; 1.4 million tune into CNN, 888,000 to MSNBC. Meanwhile, Fox News also notched up the top 14 cable news programs among all viewers and nine of the top 10 programs in the all-important 25-to-54-year-old age group.

“The broadcast evening newscasts aren’t seeing the same kind of viewership lift — in fact, no lift at all,” points out TV Newser analyst Chris Ariens, who notes that audience numbers at NBC, CBS and ABC are down by as much as 3 percent. The traditional networks still get hefty audiences though: NBC draws an average 9.2 million nightly, ABC 9 million, CBS 7.7 million.

POLL DU JOUR

63 percent of Americans say it’s better to work with Muslim communities to identify potential terrorists than place them under intense surveillance; 52 percent of Republicans, 59 percent of independents and 73 percent of Democrats agree.

55 percent say there is discrimination against Muslims in the U.S. 28 percent of Republicans, 53 percent of independents and 73 percent of Democrats agree.

51 percent overall agree there should be a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslim entry into the U.S. until the potential threat can be assessed; 62 percent of Republicans, 52 percent of independents and 32 percent of Democrats agree.

45 percent overall agree that law enforcement should patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods “before they become radicalized”; 74 percent of Republicans, 43 percent of independents and 29 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A YouGov poll of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted March 24-25.

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