- The Washington Times - Monday, November 20, 2017

They are heading for the global stage: The American Conservative Union will host a first-of-its kind “Asian CPAC” in Tokyo next month, with the help of a very supportive partner: the Japanese Conservative Union. For the uninitiated, CPAC stands for “Conservative Political Action Conference” — a doozy of a public event that draws 12,000 jubilant attendees each year to reaffirm values and evaluate emerging trends, among many things. The inaugural Asian version — dubbed “J-CPAC” — will feature hearty discussion on economic and military security as it plays out in the Indo-Pacific region, including Chinese expansionism, North Korea’s nuclear threat, the development and regulation of the cryptocurrency market, and the state of conservatism as a political philosophy in Asia.

“Thanks to President Trump’s bold leadership, there’s a shift taking place right now in the Indo-Pacific and in the United States’ approach to the region,” says American Conservative Union Foundation Chairman Matt Schlapp. “The time is right to explore how conservative principles and policies can counterbalance the aggression of China and North Korea. The Japanese Conservative Union and its chairman, Jay Aeba, have put together a timely and interesting program for this first international C-PAC, and I look forward to co-hosting this exciting event.”

Asian CPAC as “a momentous event at a pivotal point in history,” according to Mr. Aeba.

“President Trump’s successful visit to Japan makes it clear that we are beginning a new era of cooperation between our two countries. We must work together to preserve the security and prosperity of the many nations in the Indo-Pacific region. The role of government is to reflect the will of the people. The Japanese people are calling for a stronger Japan in global economic and diplomatic affairs,” notes a cordial Mr. Aeba.

The speakers list already include Messrs. Schlapp and Aeba, along with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Commissioner Michael S. Piwowar, Breitbart News Network executive chairman and author Steve Bannon, the very canny analyst Gordon Chang and Korean Americans for Trump activist Lisa Shin, along with regional journalists, assorted officials, executives and academics.

TUESDAY’S BIG MEDIA EVENT

Will the press behave better than the turkeys? Maybe. Maybe not. President Trump and first lady Melania Trump will be on hand for the National Thanksgiving Turkey Pardoning Ceremony on Tuesday, staged at precisely 1 p.m. in the Rose Garden of the White House.

The birds in question are Drumstick and Wishbone, a pair of handsome gobblers who hail from Minnesota. The burly Drumstick weighs in at 47 pounds, the more svelte Wishbone at 36 pounds. So far, Drumstick appears to be the bird of choice when it comes to acting out the lead role of the turkey to be pardoned, this according to a public White House poll that has drawn 14,000 votes.

Meanwhile, the birds have been whiling away their time at the nearby historic Willard Hotel since arriving in the nation’s capital Sunday. But never fear, the National Turkey Federation is graciously footing the bill for the two, who ultimately will retire to “Gobblers Rest,” a turkey sanctuary at Virginia Tech University.

Mr. Trump will depart shortly thereafter for Palm, Beach, Florida, where he and his family will spend Thanksgiving.

PERSISTENT INTEREST IN ‘PRESIDENT’ BIDEN

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden still has much appeal for Democrats, who continue to eye him as a potential presidential contender in 2020.

“As Joe Biden travels the country to promote his new book, voters — especially Democrats — have renewed enthusiasm about the possibility of a 2020 presidential run for the former vice president, even though he has not yet committed to entering the race,” notes a new Rasmussen reports survey, which found that 41 percent of likely Democratic voters think Mr. Biden would make the best candidate to face President Trump if he runs for reelection in 2020.

In February, only 15 percent of the Democrats felt that way about Mr. Biden, who if elected in 2020, would be inaugurated at age of 78, the same age as Ronald Reagan when he left office.

A CHEERFUL INVITATION FROM THE SBA

“Are you a small business owner with an amazing success story to tell?” the Small Business Administration says in a public message. “If so, submit your nomination today for the 2018 National Small Business Week Awards.”

The recognition highlights the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and community members from all 50 states and U.S. territories. But don’t dilly-dally. The nomination deadline is January 9, 2018; consult SBA.gov/nsbw/awards for more information.

REASSURANCE ON GOP TAX REFORM

“To hear some political pundits speak, you’d think that tax cuts now being proposed in both the House and the Senate will only benefit ‘the rich.’ In fact, the economic benefits will be broad and deep. The proposed Tax Cut and Jobs Act now making its way through both houses of Congress will slash taxes by some $1.5 trillion over 10 years,” says a new Investor’s Business Daily editorial.

The publication cites a new report from The Heritage Foundation that says the tax reform legislation would lower the cost of capital and increase after-tax wages, which in turn would increase the capital stock and number of hours worked — ultimately causing an increase in GDP.

“Capital investment in structures — factory buildings, mini-malls, homes, warehouses and the like — would rise 9.1 percent (House bill) to 10.9 percent (Senate bill). Hours worked, a key component of GDP, grows by 0.7 percent under either plan,” the editorial noted. “Actual GDP will by permanently higher by anywhere from 2.6 percent (House) to 2.8 percent (Senate). The point is, both bills, though widely criticized and certainly not perfect, are economic-growth bills. They will expand the economy, and make a big difference for average households.”

POLL DU JOUR

73 percent of shoppers who shop for gifts on Thanksgiving Day do so because they don’t want to miss “the best deals.”

37 percent go to the stores on Thanksgiving Day because they enjoy shopping with family and friends.

35 percent say shopping is part of their “Thanksgiving ritual.”

29 percent say shopping is “something to do” after Thanksgiving dinner.

26 percent shop on Thanksgiving to avoid “the experience of Black Friday.”

Source: A Deloitte Survey of 1,224 U.S. adults conducted Nov. 8-10 and released Monday.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin

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