- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The din of Democrats has gotten loud as the party seeks to recapture its fan base, confront the Trump administration and deliver strategic narratives to an ever-interested news media. “Chaos and confusion” are still the operative terms in this effort, meant to keep the nation in a state of alarm and doubt, despite the fact that President Trump is moving steadily forward to make America great again — or words to that effect. The Democrats, however, are in full-blown theatrical mode.

“What we’ve got to do is fight in Congress, fight in the courts, fight in the streets, fight online, fight at the ballot box,” Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, former vice presidential hopeful, told MSNBC on Tuesday.

Hmm, wait a minute. That sounds a little like Winston Churchill’s famous speech before the House of Commons in 1940, when he vowed to take on the German foes, promising, “We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”

Mr. Churchill was facing World War II rather than a new White House administration, but no matter.

“Now there’s the momentum to be able to do this. And we’re not afraid of the popular outcry; we’re energized by it, and that’s going to help us do our job and do it better,” Mr. Kaine continued, part of a whole chorus against Mr. Trump.

“Donald and his Republican pals in Congress are holding true to their campaign promise to undo all of the progress we achieved under President Obama, and then some. So we are going to have to make sure that we are doing everything we can to fight back as hard as possible. And the way that this administration is going, it’ll take each of us being all-in,” advises the Democratic Party in a new voter outreach, calling Mr. Trump and his new force “the most dangerous administration in history.”

BORDER WALL COULD PROVE A BARGAIN

President Trump is eager to build a “big, beautiful wall” on the southern border, one that stretches 1,900 miles through four states. Here’s a few facts about this undertaking, courtesy of the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

“Costs for the border barrier range from $8 billion to $40 billion for the project. Most construction experts peg the cost at $15 billion to $25 billion. But that’s just a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of doing nothing. Illegal immigration currently costs American taxpayers $113 billion annually. These are recurring costs, compared with the one-time cost of constructing secure fencing,” says the organization, noting that the costs include $1 billion in federal funds spent in 2016 to simply fly illegal immigrants home again.

Meanwhile, 700 miles of “reinforced fencing” was authorized by Congress in 2006. The effort remains incomplete. So far 353 miles of primary pedestrian fencing has been completed, along with 36 miles of secondary fencing that provides road access for border agents. Any other barriers “hardly qualify as secure fencing and wouldn’t slow down foot traffic at all,” the organization says.

SUPREME CONSERVATIVE PUSHBACK

The Democrats are noisy, that’s for sure. And President Trump’s pick of Neil Gorsuch for Supreme Court justice is sure to inspire them to up the volume.

The Judicial Crisis Network is ready, launching a $10 million effort to support the nominee Tuesday, a hefty expenditure that includes ad buys targeting audiences in Missouri, Indiana, North Dakota, Montana and the nation’s capital. A companion website is also in the works, part of a joint effort by 50 center-right organizations that includes economic, social and legal conservatives, Second Amendment fans, pro-lifers and the tea party.

“Some Senate Democrats are already pushing an obstructionist strategy. This is the type of partisan politics the American people just rejected in November,” says Carrie Severino, chief counsel for the aforementioned network. “Our campaign will be holding the Senate Democrats up for election in 2018 accountable.”

ALE TO THE CHIEF

Everyone else is squawking, but at least the Beer Institute is happy. The national trade association that represents brewers, importers and industry suppliers is now applauding the bipartisan Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, meant to reduce federal excise taxes on the brews, and lessens the impact of regulations when they are created.

The act is “common-sense legislation that will keep America’s beer industry dynamic and growing,” says Jim McGreevy, CEO of the aforementioned institute. The beer industry, he says, generates 1.75 million jobs in the U.S. and generates $253 billion in economic activity — equal to about 1.5 percent of the U.S. GDP.

A few of the point-men in the cheerful legislation: Republican Sen. Roy Blunt and Rep. Erik Paulsen; and Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Ron Kind.

FOXIFIED: 15 YEARS AS TOP DOG

A moment with the Fox News Channel: It has now marked an unprecedented ratings milestone in cable news by notching 15 consecutive years as the most-watched news channel, according to Nielsen Media Research. The network continues to dominate the genre with a record ratings streak since overtaking then-category leader CNN in January 2002. Additionally, for the month of January, FNC topped basic cable as the highest-rated network in total day viewers, ranking ahead of ESPN.

Fox News also had 14 of the top 15 programs in cable news in total viewers, with “The O’Reilly Factor” in the lead with an average 4 million viewers each night.

POLL DU JOUR

⦁ 55 percent of active NFL fans have a favorable opinion of the Atlanta Falcons; 54 percent of Republicans, 51 percent of independents and 60 percent of Democrats agree.

⦁ 53 percent want the Falcons to win the Super Bowl; 58 percent of Republicans; 47 percent of independents and 54 percent of Democrats agree.

⦁ 43 percent have a favorable opinion of the New England Patriots; 34 percent of Republicans, 49 percent of independents and 46 percent of Democrats agree.

⦁ 27 percent want the Patriots to win the Super Bowl; 23 percent of Republicans, 31 percent of independents and 27 percent of Democrats agree.

⦁ 20 percent are not sure who they want to win; 20 percent of Republicans, 23 percent of independents and 18 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Public Policy Polling survey of 378 NFL fans in the U.S. conducted Jan. 23-24.

⦁ Sound advice, jaunty speculation to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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