- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 29, 2015

TRUMP SUMS UP THE MEDIA IN 55 WORDS

“They’re scum. They’re horrible people. They are so illegitimate, they are just terrible people. Some of the people in the press are honorable. But you’ve got 50 percent who are terrible people.”

— Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, at a recent campaign rally in Atkinson, New Hampshire.

FOR THE LEXICON

“Trumpophrenic”

— New term coined by PJ Media founder Roger L. Simon to identify those who have conflicting feelings on Republican frontrunner Donald Trump.

“I am a Trumpophrenic. Some of the time I really like the guy — especially when he mocks the asinine political correctness that has infected every inch of our nation from the mountaintops to the ships at sea. I’m also with him in a big way when he talks about reviving America and making her great again,” Mr. Simon explains. “Other times, when he acts like a kindergartner throwing mud pies at classmates, I want to bang my forehead on the desk until he goes away or at least retires permanently to one of his golf clubs.”

STILL SOUR ON OBAMACARE

Obamacare is still on the list of public vexations, a full five years after the healthcare program sprang to life, promoted with public outreach that included “Pajama Boy” and attractive models wandering city streets clad only in their underwear, bearing signs that read “Get covered.” Yes, well. Here are the current numbers:

“One of the central tenets of the new national health care law is that every American must have health insurance, but support for that requirement has fallen to its lowest level in Rasmussen Reports’ polling to date,” the pollster of the same name reports. “Our latest national telephone survey finds that just 32 percent of likely U.S. voters believe the government should require every American to buy or obtain health insurance. Most voters — 56 percent — continue to oppose Obamacare’s insurance requirement, but this is the highest level of opposition in nearly two years.”

PAUL RYAN: A VERY YOUNG SPEAKER

The jury is still out of likely House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan. Is he a good conservative, not conservative enough, or Republican in name only? Hatchet man or healer?Whatever the description, there is one reality about Mr. Ryan that can’t be disputed: “The 45-year old Ryan will go down in the books as the youngest Speaker in nearly 150 years — the youngest to hold the position since Maine Republican James Blaine in 1869,” notes the ever-vigilant Eric Ostermeier, a University of Minnesota political professor who doggedly tracks historical trends in politics.

“He would be younger than each of the last 26 speakers, from Democrat Michael Kerr of Indiana in 1875 through John Boehner,” the professor says, who notes that the average age of House speakers has been 62. But Mr. Ryan would not be the youngest of all.

“That title goes to Virginia Whig Robert Hunter, who was elected to the post at the age of 30 years, 7 months, and 25 days in 1839. The oldest in the chamber’s history was Illinois Democrat Henry Rainey in 1933 at 72 years, 6 months, 17 days,” the exacting Mr. Ostermeier says. “In the 18th through the mid-19th Century it was not uncommon for the House to elect Speakers who were shy of the age of 40. Prior to the Civil War, 12 House members in addition to Hunter won the speakership in their 30s.”

NO ‘LEADERSHIP LOVE’

Consider that Russia President Vladimir Putin now enjoys an 90 percent approval rating, this according to the Russian Public Opinion Research Center, which says this is a “historical high.” The pollster cites “Russian air strikes on terrorist positions” in Syria as the primary driver. President Obama’s rating currently lingers around 45 percent, prompting his critics to recommend he no longer “lead from behind” on the world stage. Yes, well. The president’s tepid reviews are fairly cozy compared to national opinion of Congress, however.

Americans are simply “not feeling leadership love. People don’t feel particularly happy with current congressional leadership of either party” reports Emily Swanson, a polling analyst for the Associated Press where a new poll finds that among Republicans, only 22 percent say their leading GOP lawmakers represent them very well, 45 percent characterize it as moderately well, and a third say it’s generally just plain bad. Democrats offer only slightly better reviews: 37 percent say they feel “very well” represented, 47 percent say they’re represented moderately well and 15 percent say they’re not represented well at all.

“Just 16 percent of respondents approve of the job Congress is doing more generally, while 83 percent disapprove,” Ms. Swanson says.

THE DEBATES PILE UP

Yet another Republican debate already looms: The organizational honors go to the Fox Business Network and The Wall Street Journal, which have joined forces to present a prime time debate in Milwaukee on Nov. 10. The moderators include the very apt Fox Business News anchors Neil Cavuto and Maria Bartiromo, and Wall Street Journal editor-in-chief Gerard Baker for the main event. The “undercard” bout features Fox business correspondents Sandra Smith, Trish Regan plus Gerald Seib, Washington bureau chief will moderate the undercard event.

“Both debates will focus on jobs, taxes, and the general health of the economy, as well as domestic and international policy issues, organizers say. The primetime debate will be followed by a one-hour special edition of “Cavuto” while John Stossel will host a live midnight show featuring the Libertarian reaction to the debate with a studio audience.

The Libertarians may not be too happy.

“No wonder the two old parties’ approval ratings are at an all-time low, Democratic and Republican politicians in Washington, D.C. are lavishing taxpayer money on their K Street pals while raising taxes and printing money to pay for it, devaluing the dollar, and selling the rest of the country down the river,” declares,” Libertarian National Committee chairman Nicholas Sarwark.

FEARLESSLY MANLY

Let’s hear a hearty huzzah for “Heavy Lifting: Grow Up, Get a Job, Raise a Family, and Other Manly Advice,” by National Review columnist Jim Geraghty and Cam Edwards, columnist and radio host for the National Rifle Association.

“What has happened to men in America? Once upon a time, men in their twenties looked forward to settling down and having children. Today, most young men seem infected by a widespread Peter Pan syndrome,” the astute authors observe. “Unwilling to give up the freedom to sleep late, play video games, dress like a slob, and play the field, today’s men wallow in an extended adolescence, ostensibly unaware that they’re setting themselves up for a depressing, lonely existence.”

Mssrs. Geraghty and Edwards are happily married, 40-year-olds, incidentally; the books is from Regnery Publishing. The gents may be amused to know it is currently rated the No. 1 book in “gender studies” by Amazon.

THE REAGAN LEGACY WARS CONTINUE

Historian Craig Shirley had already written four books on Ronald Reagan when “Last Act: The Final Years and Emerging Legacy of Ronald Reagan” was published two weeks ago - an unprecedented look at the 40th president’s years after he left the White House. Mr. Shirley has shared the details of his book in interviews with Fox News, MSNBC, Laura Ingraham and Mark Levin among many others; he’s appeared at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and enjoyed a book party at the home of Georgette Mosbacher.

He also joined three other historian in a tangle with Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, author of “Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault that Changed a Presidency,” which suggested that the 1981 attempt on Reagan’s life seriously compromised his ability to lead America. Mr. O’Reilly, who deems himself an “investigative historian,” has previously written the bestsellers ‘Killing Lincoln,” ‘Killing Kennedy,” “Killing Jesus,” and “Killing Patton.” The Reagan version is currently No.2 on The New York Times bestseller list.

Mr. Shirley and his fellow historians — who have written a total of 19 books on Reagan between them — penned a commentary for The Washington Post countering that Mr. O’Reilly’s book “restates old claims and rumors, virtually all of which have been discredited by the historical record.” The host dismissed the commentary as a “hit piece” and stood by his claims about Reagan.

“The struggle goes on over the meaning and the legacy of Ronald Reagan. Some push an agenda because they represent the establishment, or they want to kiss up to liberal society, and they figure the best way to do this is to unfairly trash the legacy of Ronald Reagan, with innuendo and half truths. But Shakespeare was right. Truth will come to light,” Mr. Shirley tells Inside the Beltway.

POLL DU JOUR

88 percent of Americans say they are Christian; 31 percent are evangelicals, 26 percent Protestant, 23 percent Catholic.

55 percent would prefer a president “who has experience in private sector leadership, but no experience holding elected office.”

44 percent say they are moderates, 35 percent conservative, 18 percent liberal.

41 percent prefer a president “with experience holding elected office, but no experience in private sector leadership.

37 percent have a gun in the household.

30 percent self identify as Democrats, 26 percent as independents, 23 percent as Republican, 18 percent as “none of these.”

Source: An AP/GFK poll of 1,027 U.S. adults conducted Oct. 15-19.

Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin

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