- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Republican Reps. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, Mike McCaul of Texas and Darrell Issa of California are among lawmakers congregating in the Rio Grande Valley to bear practical witness to the ongoing surge of illegal immigrants — particularly unaccompanied minors under the impression that a future home is guaranteed. President Obama is also journeying down that way in a few days. To Texas, to be exact. But a visit to the border?

Not on the agenda.

Fire up Air Force One, folks, it’s fundraising time once again, complete with those $32,400 tickets. In less than a week, Mr. Obama will be in Denver for a lunchtime event to benefit Colorado Democrats, then it’s on to Dallas later that afternoon for a private Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee barbecue at the home of a prominent local attorney. The president then heads to Austin for a Democratic National Committee fundraiser at the home of filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, complete with Hollywood stars Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, Demi Lovato and Danny Trejo.

But wait. Doesn’t Gov. Rick Perry live there too? Why, he does. And it was the very same governor who asked Mr. Obama in a personal tweet: “While in TX next week, I invite you to tour the border with me to see firsthand what is happening there.”

There was no reply. Mr. Perry himself testifies Thursday before members of the House Homeland Security Committee on the crisis, in a field hearing five miles from the Mexico border.

“With every day of inaction by the federal government to secure our southern border, the crisis of illegal immigration and the threat to national security from criminal elements grow worse,” Mr. Perry says.

But Mr. Obama won’t be there.

“There is no plan to visit the border while he’s in Texas,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest confirmed to reporters, adding “This president is obviously very attuned to what’s happening at the border. The president is getting regular updates on the situation.”


Regarding the aforementioned field hearing. It’s titled “Crisis on the Texas Border: Surge of Unaccompanied Minors” and is scheduled in McAllen, Texas, at high noon. Along with Mr. Perry, the witness list also includes Kevin W. Oaks, Chief U.S. Border Patrol Agent, Rio Grande Valley sector; Steve C. McCraw, director of Texas Department of Public Safety; and Bishop Mark J. Seitz of the Catholic Diocese of El Paso.

“State and local officials have been left to fill a void left by the federal government,” says Rep. Mike McCaul, Texas Republican and Homeland Security Committee chairman, who says that all the testimony will be incorporated into the findings of the Congressional working group established to address this problem.


“The Obama Scandal Bracket”

— Fill-in-the-blank bracket based on the basketball version that includes such listings as “Border? What border?” and “If you like your healthcare plan you can keep it,” now posted at Powerline.com. The bracket was designed by reader Brian Mirakian, who advises, “Let’s play Obama scandal madness!”


“The total number of people that came through Ellis Island seeking citizenship, seeking entrance into the United States, was 12 million people,” Rush Limbaugh told his audience Wednesday. “I thought it’d be much, much higher. The reason I thought it would be much higher is because of all the things I’ve seen about Ellis Island, all the movies and all the talk about ‘we are a nation of immigrants.’”

He figured that was 193,548 people, on average, per year.

“Do any of you know, off the top of your heads, how many immigrants are permitted into the country per year under current immigration law? Seven hundred thousand. That is three times the number of people who were coming through Ellis Island,” Mr. Limbaugh noted, adding “But now we have, what, 12 million illegals in the country now — if we are to believe that number.”


As her presidential moment of truth edges closer, the magnifying glass is zooming in even closer on Hillary Rodham Clinton. What is she doing on July 4th, for example? PJ Media columnist Bryan Preston wishes that the potential 2016 candidate would perhaps grasp a sparkler and watch the local fireworks, perhaps.

But she’s not.

“How tone-deaf is Hillary Clinton? On Independence Day 2014, Clinton prefers the company of the British. She’s sitting for an interview with the Guardian — one of Britain’s largest and most unabashedly leftwing, and more than occasional America-bashing — newspapers,” Mr. Preston declares.

The Guardian’s jaunty pitch to readers: “What one thing should we ask Hillary Clinton? Ahead of an exclusive video interview with former U.S. secretary of state, Guardian readers have the opportunity to get involved. The former first lady won’t speculate on whether she will run for president in 2016, but maybe you want to know more about her position on the situation in Iraq? Or the US military’s use of drone strikes?”

Yes, the interview is scheduled for July 4.

“Hillary couldn’t sit for the interview on the 3rd? Or the 5th? Any other day? She just had to talk to the bloody British on the Fourth of July?” demands Mr. Preston.

Guess so.


Nothing like a political theater in New Hampshire. It emerged Wednesday when Mitt Romney, who appears textbook presidential no matter what he does, strolled out before 500 fans at a scenic farm to endorse U.S. Senate hopeful Scott Brown.

Mr. Romney had this to say about Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, Mr. Brown’s Democratic rival.

“She’s not an independent thinker when it comes to her votes. She just goes along with whatever President Obama tells her to do. Washington is not a place where New Hampshire wants to play a game of ‘Simon Says.’ She’s the ‘Simon says’ senator,” Mr. Romney declared.

“The Obama/Shaheen agenda ends right here, right now,” Mr. Brown later agreed.

The senator in question would not comment. Local Democrats were happy to chime in on her behalf, however.

“When you get down to it, Scott Brown and Mitt Romney are really just both a couple of failed Massachusetts politicians who own summer homes in New Hampshire,” observed Massachusetts Democratic Party chairman Thomas McGee.


57 percent of Americans say religion “can still answer today’s problems”; 72 percent of conservatives, 58 percent of moderates and 36 percent of liberals agree.

84 percent of weekly churchgoers, 62 percent of women and 52 percent of men also agree.

30 percent overall say religion is “old fashioned and out of date”; 16 percent of conservatives, 31 percent of moderates and 49 percent of liberals agree.

11 percent of weekly churchgoers, 26 percent of women and 34 percent of men also agree.

13 percent overall are undecided about the role of religion; 12 percent of conservatives, 11 percent of moderates and 15 percent of liberals agree.

4 percent of weekly churchgoers, 13 percent of women and 14 percent of men also agree.

Source: A Gallup poll of 1,028 U.S. adults conducted May 8-11 and released Sunday.

Barking and neighing to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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