- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 17, 2016

Some of the indignant squawking is dying down out there. The nation appears comfortable with President-elect Donald Trump, and is eyeing his agenda with much interest. Here are the numbers from a Reuters poll released Thursday, plain and simple.

“Americans have mostly accepted the result of the Nov. 8 election, after one of the most divisive campaigns in memory. Some 85 percent said they accept the results as legitimate, and 63 percent said they would support the new president,” says Reuters analyst Chris Kahn.

“Health care is the top issue Americans want Donald Trump to address during his first 100 days in the White House, an apparent rebuke of outgoing President Obama’s signature reform, Obamacare,” Mr. Kahn notes, adding that the nation next wants to see Trump tackle jobs, immigration and race relations.

Voters may be realizing they have something in common with one another.

“Trump’s victory was buoyed by a broad-based, nearly universal crisis of confidence in how the federal government makes decisions. The central critique voters express is not about policy or ideology: it is that government ignores the people — both their interests and their views — in favor of special interests, campaign donors, and their parties,” says a hefty voter poll conducted by the University of Maryland’s Program for Public Consultation. “A remarkable nine-in-10 voters agreed that elected officials think more about the interests of their campaign donors than the common good of the people.”

“Trump effectively mirrored back to voters what they have been saying for years: that they feel like they are being ignored in a system dominated by special interests,” says Steven Kull, who directed the poll. “That he said he was self-financing and was denounced by leaders in his own party strengthened his claim that he was independent and capable of shaking up the system.”

WEEKEND WHITE HOUSE WATCH

Yes, President Obama has been overseas all week, but he still has a pen and a phone. In his absence, his administration managed to add 572 new regulation pages in one day to the Federal Register, the keeper of pesky rules. The grand total now stands at a record-breaking 81,640 pages for 2016, according to the Competitive Enterprise Institute. In contrast, Ronald Reagan added 57,736 in 1981.

But back to the presidential travels. Mr. Obama was in Greece on Monday and arrived in Berlin on Wednesday. On Friday he meets up with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, Spanish President Mariano Rajoy of Spain, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Prime Minister Theresa May of the United Kingdom. Then he flies off to Lima, Peru, for the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Summit, a town hall and a meeting with President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.

“Afterward, the President will attend a gala dinner. The President will remain overnight in Lima,” the White House notes in an official dispatch. “On Sunday, the President will attend meetings and then hold a press conference. Later, the President will depart Lima en route Washington, DC. The President will remain overnight aboard Air Force One.”

ISSA’S GOOD TIMING

Behold, the “Midnight Rules Relief Act” has passed in the House. Introduced by Rep. Darrell E. Issa, the muscular legislation offers a means to monitor those overreaching regulations often issued during the final months of a president’s term as the clock winds down.

“This bipartisan bill is about reviving the separation of powers to ensure our laws are written by the representatives we actually vote for — not unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats who are on their way out the door,” the California Republican explains. “Presidents of both parties have made habit of enacting scores of last-minute regulations, with little oversight, to sneak in as much of their agenda as possible before the clock runs out on their time in office. The bill helps ensure this president, and any future president, will be held in check and that their policies have the proper level of scrutiny by both Congress and the American people.”

POST-TRUTH AND ALT-RIGHT

The most important word of the year has gotten a quick and bumpy ride through politics and the news media this year. But it won. The Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2016 is “post-truth” — an adjective defined as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Post-truth has become “a mainstay in political commentary,” now bandied about by major publications and a favorite in headlines.

“Fueled by the rise of social media as a news source and a growing distrust of facts offered up by the establishment, post-truth as a concept has been finding its linguistic footing for some time,” said Casper Grathwohl, president of Oxford Dictionaries. “I wouldn’t be surprised if post-truth becomes one of the defining words of our time.”

“Alt-right,” another hyphenated political term, was a runner-up in the word derby — defined as “an ideological grouping associated with extreme conservative or reactionary viewpoints, characterized by a rejection of mainstream politics and by the use of online media to disseminate deliberately controversial content.”

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

Historic homestead, established in 1850 near Dover, Kentucky; active cattle, hay and tobacco farm on 140 acres of pasture and hardwood forest. Restored traditional farmhouse includes four bedrooms, two baths, formal living and dining rooms, 1,773-square-feet. Country kitchen, covered front porch, original woodworking and architectural details, staircase. Two tobacco barns, outbuildings, marketable timber and mineral rights; 15,000 feet of fencing. Priced at $465,000 through MarketPropertiesKy.com; found here.

POLL DU JOUR

75 percent of Americans favor “immediately” deporting undocumented immigrants convicted of a criminal offense.

67 percent approve fining U.S. employers who hire undocumented immigrants.

62 percent favor immediately detaining or deporting all people who enter the U.S. illegally.

59 percent favor suspending visas from any country with “ongoing terror problems or civil wars.”

57 percent favor changing the system to limit legal immigration.

53 percent favor ending all federal funds to any city that offers support or benefits to undocumented immigrants.

Source: An Ipsos Public Affairs poll of 1,005 U.S. adults conducted Sept. 1-2 and released Thursday.

• Caterwaul and doggerel to [email protected]

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