- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Even the pollsters now wonder if Republican front-runner Donald Trump is made of Kevlar, Teflon or maybe tempered steel. Despite the efforts of an unfriendly news media and hostile political operatives, Mr. Trump continues to best the competition on both sides of the aisle. Trump is Trump; he is a candidate who ignores polls and embraces candor, humor, nerve, verve and occasional bombastic insults. Republican voters stand by him. Why is this?

“Millions of Americans who are currently supporting Donald Trump may not even be too thrilled with him as a person. They are supporting him because they feel he could be a person capable of turning the country around. They are also supporting him because they don’t have confidence in America’s current leadership,” says Frieda Birnbaum, a New York City-based psychologist and author. “Supporting Trump is a means to vent their frustration on the establishment. America appears hungry for strong leadership, and for right now Trump is fulfilling that need.”

He also appears to articulate what big blocs of voters are thinking at any moment. As case in point, here is a sample description of President Obama’s strategy on Islamic State to Fox News:

“He doesn’t know what he’s doing. We have someone who doesn’t know what he’s doing. Every time he sends troops over, even if it’s a small number, like he’s sending another small number. He announced 50 last week. He has a press conference to inform everybody he’s sending troops, and it’s like they have a target on their back. If you do your job, do your job. Don’t talk about it. Too much talk,” Mr. Trump told the network Wednesday.


Following the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, on Wednesday, reactions differed among the presidential hopefuls. The Democrats went for policy; the Republicans for sympathy and prayers — at least on Twitter. A partial review of what was tweeted in the immediate aftermath:

“Horrifying news out of #SanBernardino. Enough is enough: it’s time to stand up to the @NRA and enact meaningful gun safety laws” (Martin O’Malley); “I refuse to accept this as normal. We must take action to stop gun violence now” (Hillary Rodham Clinton); “Mass shootings are becoming an almost-everyday occurrence in this country. This sickening and senseless gun violence must stop” (Sen. Bernard Sanders).

“My thoughts and prayers are with the shooting victims and their families in San Bernardino” (Ben Carson); “California shooting looks very bad. Good luck to law enforcement and God bless. This is when our police are so appreciated!” (Donald Trump); “Praying for the victims, their families & the San Bernardino first responders in the wake of this tragic shooting” (Jeb Bush); “My thoughts & prayers go out to those impacted by the shooting in San Bernardino, especially the first responders” (Gov. John Kasich).


Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton does not have a lock on every poll. Her main rival, Sen. Bernard Sanders, leads the readers’ choice for Time magazine’s “Person of the Year.” The poll closes Friday; the results will be announced Monday. Donald Trump is ranked 16th — while Mrs. Clinton is in 28th place on the list.

The magazine explains itself: “For nearly ninety years, Time has selected the most influential person of the year. From Adolf Hitler and Mahatma Gandhi to The American Soldier and The Protester, the title is given those who have — for good or ill — most influenced the news and our world in the past year.”


A kindhearted joint effort by the Military Order of the Purple Heart Services Foundations and the Washington Redskins has the organizations coordinating a public auction of a truly spectacular ride: a flawless, Redskins-themed 1979 Chevrolet Corvette in the team’s signature burgundy and gold, and personally autographed by every team member. All those authentic interior and exterior details of the era are intact. Very spiffy.

Even more important: 100 percent of the proceeds go directly to help veterans, according to Redskins Vice President Ron Nenner. The auction ends at 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 8. Find the details at this address


Judicial Watch has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court seeking communications between the Treasury Department and then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, seeking access to documents involving a “uranium deal approved by then-Secretary of State Clinton that is tied to major Clinton Foundation donor Frank Giustra and Russian-state issues.”

The lawsuit was filed after the Treasury Department did not respond to the watchdog group’s initial FOIA request in May, seeking emails between key Treasury agencies and Mrs. Clinton’s nongovernmental email accounts. The effort is predictably complicated, with more to come.

“The Office of Foreign Assets Control responded Wednesday that it allegedly had no records,” says Tom Fitton, the group’s president.


53 percent of Americans give Republicans in Congress a negative job review; 13 percent give them a positive review, and 34 percent are “unfamiliar” with them.

47 percent give Democrats in Congress a negative job review; 20 percent give them a positive, and 33 percent are unfamiliar with them.

47 percent give House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, a negative review; 19 percent give her a positive, and 34 percent are unfamiliar with her.

38 percent give Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, a negative review; 7 percent give him a positive, and 55 percent are unfamiliar with him.

37 percent give Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, a negative review; 12 percent give him a positive, and 50 percent are unfamiliar with him.

34 percent give House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican, a negative review; 24 percent give him a positive, and 42 percent are unfamiliar with him.

Source: A Harris Poll of 2,232 U.S. adults conducted Nov. 11-16 and released Tuesday.

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