- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 25, 2016

It is a teachable moment: The U.S. military is fierce and protective about its heritage. Three months ago the Navy announced it would jettison 21 long-standing “ratings” titles in the name of gender-neutral modernity. Such traditional names as “fireman,” “corpsman” and even “seaman” were about to disappear until a whole fleet of authentic sailors sounded the alarm.

The politically correct change did not sit well with active-duty personnel and veterans alike, who petitioned the White House to protect the old titles. They advised that “being known by your job title” was a source of pride, and that the sudden cultural shift had sparked “disgust and outrage” among many seagoing stalwarts. Over 100,000 quickly signed the proclamation.

There’s been a change of heart, and a major course correction.

In a terse announcement made public shortly before Christmas, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson revealed that Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and other officials had heard from thousands of disgruntled folk about the new directive.

“The feedback from current and former sailors has been consistent that there is wide support for the flexibility that the plan offers, but the removal of rating titles detracted from accomplishing our major goals. Furthermore, there has been a solid body of thoughtful input that pointed out that there is a way to have the benefits of the rating modernization program without removing rating titles,” the admiral noted.

“I have been adamant that our Navy needs to be a fast-learning organization — that includes our leadership. The Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority states that our most junior teammate may have the best idea, and that we must be open to capturing that idea. We have learned from you, and so, effective immediately, all rating names are restored.”

But there’s one more name up for consideration. A new public petition has surfaced over at the White House “We the People” website, designated as a place to air public grievances. It’s a short missive, only 28 words: “The next major U.S. Navy Ship should be named ‘USS The Deplorables’ — to honor those citizens who rose up to defend America and The Constitution from the globalists.”

WHAT MICHAEL SAVAGE EXPECTS

Talk-radio host Michael Savage was among the few broadcasters who stood by President-elect Donald Trump during his fight for the White House, offering the then-nominee a forum before 10 million listeners on a regular basis during the 2016 campaign. Now Mr. Savage has high hopes for what’s to come.

“We have a new America. Just give it a few years. You’re not going to believe the country we’re living in. It will be safe for your mother to walk to the corner again. We will have law and order in America and around the world,” says Mr. Savage. “That is my hope. That is what I think will happen.”

WHAT KELLYANNE CONWAY EXPECTS

A certain incoming senior counselor and mother of four has great expectations for a TrumpWhite House. Kellyanne Conway — the adviser to President-elect Donald Trump who stood fast and held the line during the campaign — is clear about what’s to come.

“I know this will be a very family-friendly West Wing and White House. I’ve seen the president-elect with his own children and grandchildren. I know many of his female employees over a number of decades and years at the Trump corporation. So I’m fine,” she told Fox News.

“The gravity and the responsibility of serving at a senior level for the president of the United States — it’s difficult to pass that up. I know I’ve got his ear and his trust. I think those are the two main criteria. And I very much respect the rest of the senior team.”

A LONG WAY FROM THE BREAK-IN

Who remembers that the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee were once located on the sixth floor of the Watergate Hotel and office complex? Decades ago it was the epicenter of a political earthquake, as the site of the clandestine events that ultimately led to President Richard Nixon’s resignation two years later.

This year? That same hotel is about to host its first New Year’s Eve celebration. Fresh from a $125 million renovation, the Watergate Hotel reopened earlier this year and has embraced and even capitalized on its mysterious past.

“The newly opened Watergate Hotel will be celebrating its first New Years in scandalous style with a range of experiences for residents and visitors alike, including an intimate and lavish dinner, and one of the hottest New Year’s Eve parties around,” a spokeswoman advises.

The hotel will be cracking open a 15-liter bottle of ritzy Champagne Bollinger Special Cuvee for guests, served with such appetizers as lobster rolls and pate de foie gras “S’mores.” The hotel’s “decadent culinary experience” also includes a five-course plated dinner featuring tuna crudo with chamomile plus black ravioli — that’s pasta, tinted ebony with squid ink — shortribs and “cap of rib-eye,” some fancy beef from Snake River Farms in Boise, Idaho.

Gee, will the guests get some New Year’s Eve hats to wear and some noisemakers? Uh, that’s unknown, but the night’s festivities include a DJ, and prices start at around $120 per person.

POLL DU JOUR

66 percent of Democrats say “someone entirely new” from their party should run for president in 2020.

62 percent say Hillary Clinton should not run for president again.

61 percent say that first lady Michelle Obama should run for elective office in the future.

44 percent say they would be “excited” if Sen. Bernard Sanders decided to run again for the White House; 43 percent say the same if Vice President Joseph R. Biden should run.

34 percent would be excited if Sen. Elizabeth Warren would run.

Source: a Suffolk University, USA Today poll of 626 Democrats and independents conducted Dec. 14-18.

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