- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 3, 2017

“The share of U.S. adults who describe themselves as Christians has been declining for decades, but the U.S. Congress is about as Christian today as it was in the early 1960s. Among members of the new 115th Congress, 91 percent describe themselves as Christians,” reports the Pew Research Center in an analysis that compares today’s lawmakers to 1961-62, when 95 percent of the House and the Senate were Christian.

On Capitol Hill, the GOP is heavily Christian, researchers found. Among the 293 Republicans, all but two identify as Christians; they are both Jewish. Eighty percent of the 242 Democrats are Christian; that side of the aisle also includes 28 Jews, three Buddhists, three Hindus, two Muslims, one Unitarian Universalist and one who is religiously unaffiliated.

A single lawmaker has no religious affiliation.

“The group that is most notably underrepresented is the religiously unaffiliated. This group — also known as religious ‘nones’ — now accounts for 23 percent of the general public but just 0.2 percent of Congress,” the study reports.

QUELLING A PRESIDENTIAL TANTRUM

“End your Trump temper tantrum and show some dignity,” says Piers Morgan, offering some cautionary advice to President Obama during a transitional period from one administration to the next, which has not been without bumps. Mr. Morgan has a role model in mind.

“President George W. Bush, for all his many faults, was extraordinarily magnanimous towards Obama himself during their transition period. In fact, he is widely regarded as having been the most generous and solicitous outgoing president in history,” the broadcast personality notes in a column for The Daily Mail.

“And he’s continued to be so ever since, never popping up above the ex-president parapet to berate, rebuke or attack his successor. Instead, Dubya sensibly retreated into the sidelines, understanding that the job is difficult enough without the previous incumbent making it even harder. Obama, by contrast, seems intent on making the transition to a Trump administration as poisonous and unhelpful as he possibly can,” Mr. Morgan continues.

“Why? Obama hates Trump and everything he stands for, and knows that Trump will get rid of, or radically change, most of his signature policies — from Obamacare to the Iran nuclear deal. That will potentially wreck his legacy. So the stakes for Obama personally are very high right now.”

THE MEGYN EXODUS

Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly became a news story herself on Tuesday after revealing she was leaving the nation’s leading cable news network on Friday for NBC, prompting such headlines as “Megyn Kelly’s move likely will make her the world’s highest paid female news anchor” from Forbes, and “Hiring Megyn Kelly is a winning move by NBC” from The Baltimore Sun.

But the move could come with some built-in challenges, some say.

“NBC’s big bet on Megyn Kelly comes with big risks,” writes Brian Steinberg, senior TV editor for Variety, who points out that Ms. Kelly does not have much experience in daytime talk shows or Sunday newsmagazines — both among her new responsibilities at NBC.

“Kelly’s current halo does not necessarily mean she can also triumph over splintered broadcast-TV audiences and tired formats. Those are hurdles she and NBC will have to leap over in the months to come.” Mr. Steinberg adds.

Ms. Kelly could also “lose” by leaving Fox News, points out Daniel D’Addario, TV critic for Time Magazine.

“She became one of TV’s defining personalities on Fox. But at NBC, Kelly will no longer be the most aggressive interviewer in the room,” he says.

SMALL WORLD

Six bedrooms, gracious details, classic design, luxury upgrades and a $5.5 million price tag. That is the future home in the nation’s capital for Ivanka Trump, husband Jared Kushner and their three small children, located in the sedate and verdant Kalorama neighborhood in the Northwest quadrant of the city. The daughter of President-elect Donald Trump will play an as-yet-undisclosed advisory role in the new administration.

The family soon will have notable neighbors, however. Once they leave the White House, President Obama and family will move close by. Very, very close by.

The Obamas will live in a nine-bedroom, $6 million home less than two blocks away, according to Marisa M. Kashino, a senior editor for The Washingtonian, which tracks the town’s most elite real estate, among many things.

THE GRASS GROWS GREENER

It is a long way from the old groovy hippie days of yore. Annual North American marijuana sales are expected to top $20 billion in four years, says Arcview Market Research, which tracks the “cannabis industry” and its retailers.

The group’s forthcoming 200-page “State of Legal Marijuana Markets Report” finds that regulated marijuana sales in North America totaled $6.7 billion in 2016, a 30 percent increase from 2015. Sales are projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 25 percent, from $6.7 billion in 2016 to an estimated $20.2 billion by 2021, they note.

IT COULD COME TO THIS

“I don’t care what they say, no computer is safe. If you have something really important, write it out and have it delivered by courier, the old-fashioned way. Because, I’ll tell you what, no computer is safe,” President-elect Donald Trump told a gaggle of reporters during his recent stop in Florida for New Year’s Eve.

“If you want something to really go without detection, write it out and have it sent by courier,” Mr. Trump advised.

POLL DU JOUR

97 percent of U.S. small business owners plan to increase investment in their companies in 2017.

91 percent encourage their children to consider starting their own businesses.

85 percent are optimistic about the small business climate in the upcoming years.

72 percent plan to increase staff compensation in 2017; 67 percent plan more hires.

67 percent think business tax reform should be the top policy priority for 2017.

Source: A Staples National Small Business Survey of 502 small business owners in the U.S. conducted Dec. 14-21 and released Tuesday.

Yays, yeas, nays and neighs to jharper@washingtontimes.com

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide