- The Washington Times
Tuesday, January 8, 2019

On Jan. 2, the Democratic-controlled House in the state of New Hampshire voted to ban all firearms and “deadly weapons” from the premises of their 200-year-old statehouse in a move now known as “Rule 63.” State lawmakers now must surrender their weapons to security personnel — or risk ejection and even arrest. Eight Republicans who say they have received death threats are vowing to disobey the rule, and have denounced it as unconstitutional and illegitimate in an open letter published by The Concord Monitor.

“Contrary to popular belief, the New Hampshire House will not be a gun-free zone. Any violent extremist who thinks that we’ve become a soft target needs to reassess the situation,” writes state Rep. Jess Edwards, a Republican from Auburn, on behalf of seven GOP peers.


“Our right to self-defense cannot be infringed by any government body. Due to our willingness to exercise our constitutional rights and because any attempt to disarm House members is foolish public policy, we reserve the right to refuse to comply. We are not talking about an imaginary threat,” he continued, citing the grave wounding of House Minority Whip Steve Scalise and adding that terrorists “seek out high-value, soft targets to achieve maximum political effect.”

Mr. Edwards also cited the “civil disobedience” of Henry David Thoreau as a rationale, among other historical moments.

“We view Rule 63 as illegitimate. We view Rule 63 as having the perverse effect of increasing the risk to everyone in the House gallery and chambers. To make this point of view more approachable for our progressive friends, we are morally obligated to ‘resist.’ To any violent extremist with intent to do harm, know that the N.H. House will not be a soft target,” Mr. Edwards warns.

‘MORE LIKE TRUMP THAN ROMNEY’

Mitt Romney may have pleased Democrats and the media with his recent op-ed criticizing President Trump, but Republican voters by a better than two-to-one margin line up with the president,” says a new Rasmussen Reports poll of 1,000 likely voters.

It reveals that 63 percent of likely Republican voters think the Republican Party should be “more like Trump than like Romney.” Twenty-nine percent say the GOP should be more like Mr. Romney, who the pollster bills as “the party’s failed 2012 presidential candidate, now a freshman U.S. senator from Utah.”

BETTER THINGS TO DO

Trump administration officials are foregoing the grand Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas, which opened Tuesday.

“Sources are telling me that Trump administration officials are canceling across the board. Nearly every administration official will not be coming,” reports Fox Business Network anchor Liz Claman.

“We’re talking Elaine Chao, secretary of Transportation. She has been a real supporter of autonomous vehicles, self-driving vehicles. Sources even told me that the Secret Service had done their sweeps here. She is not coming. She has pulled out because of the optics. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross as well. He was due to attend a dinner tomorrow night for Waymo — which is, of course, the Google division that’s now been spun off of autonomous ride sharing. He will not be coming,” Ms. Claman says.

KAMALA’S DEBUT

Sen. Kamala D. Harris has written a new memoir, and as far as the news media is concerned, it signals the start of her presidential campaign.

Published by Penguin Press, “The Truths We Hold: An American Journey” begins with a description of the California Democrat’s reaction to the 2016 election — revealing that it caused her to eat an entire family-sized bag of Doritos.

“Didn’t share a single chip. But I did know this: one campaign was over, but another was about to begin, a campaign that called on us all to enlist. This time, a battle for the soul of our nation,” writes the author, who begins a national book tour this week.

Multiple news organizations have declared this is the “soft launch” for Ms. Harris and her 2020 candidacy.

In an appearance Tuesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Ms. Harris also had some choice words for the nation’s capital, quoting the opinion of her own mother on Washington.

“I think she would say, ‘What’s going on down there? It’s a hot mess,’” Ms. Harris told host George Stephanopoulos.

“And Kamala has to fix it?” he asked.

“Well, yeah,” replied Ms. Harris.

GO AHEAD AND PROSPER

The Competitive Enterprise Institute has released a handy guide for lawmakers, and the title explains all: “Free to Prosper: A Pro-Growth Agenda for the 116th Congress.” The advice from the nonprofit group is straightforward: Reduce federal regulations and prosperity will follow.

“The governance of American life has been handed over to an operating system that subtly and perversely drives individuals’ behavior away from their own decisions. Unaccountable regulatory agencies dominate how we live, work, play, build, travel, prepare food, and heal one another,” notes CEI President Kent Lassman, who adds that overregulation discourages common sense decisions.

The free, 177-page advisory is available at CEI.org.

FOXIFIED

Fox News Channel was the most-watched cable news network for the week of Dec. 31-Jan. 6, drawing 1.6 million prime-time viewers, compared to 1.5 million for MSNBC and 994,000 for CNN, according to Nielsen Media Research. Fox News also was the second highest-rated network across the entire cable realm, bested only by ESPN, which aired a spate of very popular football games.

Chief political anchor Bret Baier, incidentally, has signed a multiyear deal with Fox News that will take him through 2020 — and was praised as a providing the “gold standard” for journalism by network President Jay Wallace.

“Being at Fox News for more than two decades, there is no group of people I would rather be working with,” says Mr. Baier.

POLL DU JOUR

35 percent of Americans say they are conservative, 35 percent are moderate and 26 percent are liberal.

73 percent of Republicans say they are conservative, 22 percent are moderate and 4 percent are liberal.

28 percent of independents say they are conservative, 45 percent are moderate and 22 percent are liberal.

13 percent of Democrats say they are conservative, 34 percent are moderate and 51 percent are liberal.

Source: Gallup Social Series of 12 polls of 13,000 U.S. adults conducted in 2018; aggregate figures were released Tuesday.

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