- The Washington Times
Monday, August 10, 2015

NEWS AND OPINION:

Where’s presidential hopeful Donald Trump in the chaotic postdebate world? Why, giving a major speech, of course. After appearing on both Fox News and CNN on Tuesday, Mr. Trump is bound for the Michigan heartland and the Saginaw Republican Party Lincoln Day gathering for 2,000.

The guests, in fact, will outnumber the locals. The billionaire will be appearing in the village of Birch Run, population 1,555 — his speech to begin at 7 p.m., and the din of a thousand commentators and analysts at 7:01. “Come see who everyone is talking about,” the organizers advise attendees.


But that’s not all, folks. Local Democrats and Mexican-Americans also plan a major protest outside the expo center for the unapologetic and undaunted candidate’s arrival.

Mr. Trump “continues to defy the laws of political gravity” says a brand-new Reuters/Ipsos poll released Monday that found Mr. Trump with a wide lead following his much-storied performance at the first official GOP debate. “Trump led the party’s 17-strong 2016 presidential field with the backing of 24 percent of Republican voters, unchanged from before Thursday’s televised debate,” the poll said.

His closest rival, Jeb Bush, trails at 12 percent, down from 17 percent before the debate. “No other candidate earned more than 8 percent in the online poll, conducted between the end of the debate and Sunday,” Reuters advises.

Meanwhile, Mr. Trump’s campaign has a new Jeb-bashing campaign ad out that features his father, George H.W. Bush, brother George W. Bush and, of course, Jeb, himself — plus the motto “Third time won’t be the charm.”

MAKING MONEY ON CLIMATE ALARMISM

The plaintive calls about global warming and polar bear habitats, the stern warnings about rising seas and flooded coastlines — this is what the public hears about. Then there’s this pesky, inconvenient truth they don’t hear about: $1.5 trillion.

“Interest in climate change is becoming an increasingly powerful economic driver, so much so that some see it as an industry in itself whose growth is driven in large part by policymaking,” notes Don Jergler, an analyst for Insurance Journal, an industry publication.

“The $1.5 trillion global ‘climate change industry’ grew at between 17 and 24 percent annually from 2005-2008, slowing to between 4 and 6 percent following the recession with the exception of 2011’s inexplicable 15 percent growth, according to Climate Change Business Journal,” he writes. “The San Diego, Calif.-based publication includes within that industry nine segments and 38 subsegments. This encompasses sectors like renewables, green building and hybrid vehicles.”

And the talkers and handlers.

“That also includes the climate change consulting market, which a recent report by the journal estimates at $1.9 billion worldwide and $890 million in the U.S.,” Mr. Jergler says.

A NASA MOMENT

” That’s one small bite for a man, one giant leaf for mankind.”

— Dispatch from NASA on Monday, announcing that International Space Station astronauts Scott Kelly, Kjell Lindgren and Kimiya Yui had harvested and dined upon a crop of red romaine lettuce grown on the spacecraft, in orbit 220 miles above Earth. The seeds were planted July 8 on “root pillows” beneath red, blue and green LED lights. This is a first, and one that NASA itself describes as “the first step to Mars.” The lettuce was cleaned with a citric-acid based sanitizing wipe and served with a dressing of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

“That’s awesome. Tastes good,” noted Mr. Lindgren to an audience of many, many curious Earthlings tuned in for the live video feed of the thermospheric culinary moment.

MR. CARSON AND MR. LAXALT

Republican hopeful Ben Carson amps up his campaign with eight events in three states beginning Wednesday, with a visit to Sylvia’s Queen of Soul Food Restaurant on Malcolm X Boulevard in Harlem — followed by a visit to the Queens County GOP in Forest Hills outside New York City. He spends Thursday in New Hampshire for four events, including Old Home Day in Londonderry.

Then it’s off to Nevada at week’s end, first for a fundraiser for local Republicans in Las Vegas, followed by a sold-out Inaugural Basque Fry at the Corley Ranch in Gardnerville — where he will be joined by fellow GOPers Carly Fiorina, Sen. Ted Cruz, George Pataki and John R. Bolton.

Basque fry? Organizers are emulating a tradition established by former Nevada Sen. Paul Laxalt, who hosted such affairs in both the Silver State and the nation’s capital in the mid-1980s — where the guest list included Ronald Reagan. This particular version will be hosted by Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt — grandson of the aforementioned lawmaker.

TEXTBOOK CLINTON

A dream come true? Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton wants the nation’s youth to go to college at a reasonable price, though her idea to reform the student loan program comes with a $350 billion price tag.

“The rising cost of education is a serious challenge for hardworking families all across the country, but Clinton’s plan is ripped from the pages of an out-of-date textbook. It relies on hopeful rhetoric and wishful thinking,” says Michael Needham, CEO of Heritage Action, the grass-roots arm of The Heritage Foundation.

“Declaring something ‘debt-free’ doesn’t make it so, and it won’t prepare future generations for our ever-changing economy. Real reform is possible, but it requires a willingness to combat the higher education accreditation cartel and the acceptance of nontraditional programs,” Mr. Needham says, advising voters to consult the Higher Education Reform and Opportunity introduced in March by Republican Sen. Mike Lee and Rep. Ron DeSantis. The legislation would empower states to develop their own systems to accredit colleges, individual courses within colleges, apprenticeship programs and curricula.

THE GOP ARSENAL

This got a very laudatory review from Forbes magazine, which calls it “game changing” in a field that has been dominated by Democrats. Step aside, folks, here comes the new and improved Republican National Committee, which has completely revamped its all-important campaign data center.

The newly launched Data Center 2016 interfaces with over 300 terabytes of pertinent GOP data. Keep in mind that one terabyte contains a trillion bits of information. The center also provides on-demand access to over 20 years of voter contact data for campaigns and organizers. We’re talking 305 million phone numbers and 32 million email addresses, among many other things.

“Data Center 2016 is the centerpiece of the RNC’s new data-driven political ground game,” say committee Chairman Reince Priebus. “The user-friendly interface, revamped reporting tools and live support will give Republican campaigns across the country a state-of-the-art program to match our state-of-the-art data, and it will only continue to evolve with each upgrade.”

POLL DU JOUR

73 percent of Americans say immigration has been a “good thing” for the nation today.

40 percent overall say immigration should be kept at its present level.

34 percent overall say the level of immigration should be decreased.

25 percent say the level should be increased.

24 percent say immigration has been a “bad thing” for the nation today.

Source: A Gallup Poll of 2,296 U.S. adults conducted June 15-July 10 and released Monday.

Cranky outbursts, helpful hints to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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


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