- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 30, 2017

“Disliking Trump is getting very boring,” writes Kathleen Parker, a Washington Post columnist. “Disliking Trump, even for all the right reasons, is exhausting and unsustainable. It’s also boring.”

Funny she should mention that. Weary Democratic voters may agree as they witness a strident new culture within their party which calls upon them to “resist” President Trump and his administration — and includes strong language, ramped-up drama and a new “war room” mentality. The strategy may be losing its charm, however.

“Few Democrats are pleased with their own party’s attempts to oppose Donald Trump in his first 100 days as president,” reports a new Rasmussen Reports survey. The poll provides a teachable moment, revealing that just 11 percent of likely Democratic voters believe their party’s efforts to oppose Mr. Trump during his first 100 days in office were successful. A quarter of the respondents say all opposition efforts were a failure while almost two thirds — 63 percent said the strategy was so-so, or just partially effective.

Americans are getting wary of media shenanigans, meanwhile. While the popularity of the press has lagged in multiple polls for years, a new Morning Consult poll provides a cautionary tale.

“Roughly half (51 percent) of Americans said the national political media ‘is out of touch with everyday Americans,’ compared with 28 percent who said it ‘understand the issues everyday Americans are facing,’” writes analyst Cameron Easley.

Mr. Trump is also perceived as more trustworthy, according to a plurality of respondents: 37 percent of Americans said they trusted Trump’s White House to tell the truth, while 29 percent opted for the media. Another 52 percent said they did not trust the media to cover Mr. Trump and his administration fairly — while 48 percent said the press “had been harder on Trump than other past presidential administrations.”

REMINDER: BE LOYAL ON MONDAY

Monday is Loyalty Day. President Trump explains all in this official proclamation:

“On Loyalty Day, we recognize and reaffirm our allegiance to the principles upon which our nation is built. We pledge our dedication to the United States of America and honor its unique heritage, reminding ourselves that we are one nation, under God, made possible by those who have sacrificed to defend our liberty. We honor our Republic and acknowledge the great responsibility that self-governance demands of each of us.” Mr. Trump said.

“To express our country’s loyalty to individual liberties, to limited government, and to the inherent dignity of every human being, the Congress, by Public Law 85-529 as amended, has designated May 1 of each year as ‘Loyalty Day.’ On this day, we honor the United States of America and those who uphold its values, particularly those who have fought and continue to fight to defend the freedom it affords us,” the president noted.

REAGAN AND THE POPE

Arriving Monday: “A Pope and a President: John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Extraordinary Untold Story of the 20th Century,” by Paul Kengor. The author recounts a singular bond between pontiff and Gipper — this included a spiritual connection, which prompted them to take on “the great evil” of the 20th century: Soviet communism.

“Make no mistake: Pope John Paul II and President Ronald Reagan scared the Kremlin,” the author writes. “And with good reason. The pope implored people to choose God’s side over what the Protestant Reagan and the Roman Catholic Church both called ‘godless communism.’ The Soviets dubbed Reagan ‘The Crusader.’”

Reagan and John Paul II were shot by would-be assassins just six weeks apart in the spring of 1981 — experiences which brought them closer together — “to Moscow’s dismay.” The author also says the pair privately spoke of the “DP — a Divine Plan to take down communism.”

The late Nancy Reagan herself called Pope John Paul II her husband’s “closest friend.” The book furthers the idea they were kindred spirits on a supreme mission too change history. The hefty book — weighing in at 648 pages — is published by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. Mr. Kengor, a professor of political science at Grove City College, is also the author of “God and Ronald Reagan: A Spiritual Life,” “The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism,” and other books.

RETURN OF GRILLED CHEESE?

A handy term for our ever-growing lexicon: “regulatory flexibility.” It is now in use at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which will ease up on the school lunch regulations that were a mainstay of the previous administration.

He has been in office less than a week, but Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Monday already is preparing to debut a new interim rule to provide “regulatory flexibility” on the lunch question. He will do so at a Virginia elementary school, accompanied by Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, Kansas Republican.

Maybe the flexibility will allow those grilled cheese sandwiches once again. And pizza. We shall see.

ONE WAY TO SAVE $12 BILLION

People for Ethical Treatment of Animals — PETA — has a suggestion for President Trump. The animal-rights organization is urging Mr. Trump and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price to eliminate funding for research that uses animal testing. It amounts to $12 billion, PETA says, and involves addicting monkeys to alcohol and “giving hamsters cocaine and forcing them to fight.”

Whatever the practices, PETA has sent a formal letter to Mr. Price outlining reasons for eliminating animal studies — and the savings in taxpayer dollars which could result.

The National Institutes of Health “squanders millions of dollars from the taxpayer’s purse on mind-bogglingly wasteful experiments that have led to nothing but animal suffering,” says senior researcher Alka Chandna. “PETA is calling on President Trump to drain the NIH swamp of these wasteful tests, leaving only funds to conduct superior, non-animal tests instead.”

POLL DU JOUR

48 percent of Americans believe there is a “deep state” in the U.S. government that is secretly manipulating policy.

46 percent of Republicans, 51 percent of independents and 45 percent of Democrats agree.

48 percent of conservatives, 52 percent of moderates and 47 percent of liberals also agree.

58 percent of all those who believe there’s a deep state say it is a “major problem;” 29 percent say it is a “minor problem;” and 11 percent say it is not a problem.

Source: An ABC News/Langer Research poll of 1,004 U.S. adults conducted April 17-20 and released Friday.

 ⦁  Cheerful chatter, petty annoyances to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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