- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 24, 2016

Not everyone is happy with President-elect Donald Trump‘s victory and his inauguration ceremony on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, where a sweeping, near-finished podium has already taken shape. Longtime civil rights activist Al Sharpton has been planning a major protest on the grounds of the nearby Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial since mid-November.

“We’re ready,” Mr. Sharpton says in a public notice to the incoming president. “We may have lost, but we have not lost the ethics and commitment America has to the principles of civil and human rights for all.”

Officials from MoveOn.org are predicting that “hundreds of thousands” of protestors will descend on the nation’s capital in mid-January according to the New Yorker, which deemed the trend “a gathering storm.” The publication also raised the prospect that Mr. Trump’s loyal fans could also show up. “If anti-Trump protests continue to gain steam, it’s likely that pro-Trump groups will begin to demonstrate as well, raising the prospect of dueling public actions,” writes correspondent Evan Osnos.

The Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER) Coalition hopes to persuade deciding officials at the National Park Service to let the organization use prime locations along the presidential inaugural parade route, including the sidewalk in front of Mr. Trump’s spectacular new hotel, just three blocks from the White House. No word on the federal agency’s decision.

Meanwhile, the Women’s March on Washington is planned for the day following the inauguration and includes a major rally at the Lincoln Memorial and a long march down Pennsylvania Avenue.

“We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families — recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country,” the organizers say. “The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us.”


The election is in the rearview mirror for many Americans. An inauguration of spectacular dimensions looms large on the horizon, fast emerging as a symbol of President-elect Donald Trump, the man who has long aspired to “make American great again.” His celebration will likely reflect that heartfelt but monumental sentiment.

Thomas J. Barrack, chairman of the 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee, suggests the tone of the jumbo main event and its many symbolic moments is intended as “a uniting and exciting inaugural celebrating freedom and democracy.”

That’s good. That’s noble. But it also will mirror the style and energy of Mr. Trump, who typically drew 15,000 people to his rallies, offering one and all a larger-than-life experience. There is much curiosity from press and public, and rumors. What constitutes a Trump inauguration, and what’s happening backstage?

“The committee is hard at work arranging world-class entertainment for the inaugural celebrations. At this early date, no offers have been extended, no specifics are in place, and any speculation otherwise is simply untrue,” says Mr. Barrack. “All confirmed information will be made available to the public by release from the committee.”

Certain press accounts have reported rumors and innuendo about who could be appearing at the inaugural events. Meanwhile, Mr. Trump has already set the pace.

“This historic political campaign is now over. Now begins a great national campaign to rebuild our country and to restore the full promise of America for all of our people. It is time to restore the bonds of trust between citizens, because when America is unified, there is nothing beyond our reach, and I mean absolutely nothing,” Mr. Trump said in a proclamation for Thanksgiving Day.


Shopping obsession has descended on the nation. But alas, shoplifting and employee theft are now underway.

“Americans tend to get sticky fingers around holiday time,” notes Catey Hill, editor of Market Watch, who pored over a theft forecast from Checkpoint Systems, a security specialist, and assembled a list of the 10 most stolen items during this bustling portion of the year.

In first place: Electronic accessories like cellphone cases, followed by leather clothing, electronics, fashion accessories, winter clothing, meat and seafood, liquor, perfume, children’s toys and gourmet chocolate.

“The National Association of Shoplifting Prevention estimates that only about 1 in 11 people shoplift, and many of them didn’t plan on doing it ahead of time. They also don’t typically steal expensive things,” says Ms. Hill. “Shoplifters commonly steal from $2 to $200 per incident.”


Behold. The National Park Service reveals that the nation’s vast system of parklands, forests, mountains and meadows are home “to a whopping 53 unique species of bats,” the federal agency says. This is promising news. In recent years, the little airborne critters have been in decline due to disease and habitat loss. But things could be looking up for the likes of the Hawaiian hoary bat, the ghost-faced bat and the Mexican free-tailed bat — all on the species list.

“This is the first time we’ve had a complete view of all the bats in parks across the country. It’s really exciting because we have so many bats to celebrate. But it’s also sobering because of the huge responsibility we have to try and keep all those bats in parks safe,” said Tom Rodhouse, the ecologist who led the study and urges “strategic bat conservation” to keep ‘em all flying.


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• 73 percent of U.S. voters say President-elect Donald Trump should try to work with Democrats to get things done; 55 percent of voters who supported Mr. Trump and 90 percent of voters who supported Hillary Clinton agree.

• 59 percent of voters overall say Democrats should work with Mr. Trump to get things done; 83 percent of Trump voters and 35 percent of Clinton voters agree.

• 52 percent of voters overall are “happy” that Congress is controlled by the GOP; 94 percent of Trump voters and 10 percent of Clinton voters agree.

• 39 percent of voters overall want Democrats to “stand up” to Mr. Trump; 15 percent of Trump voters and 63 percent of Clinton voters agree.

• 22 percent of voters overall say Mr. Trump should stand up against the Democrats; 37 percent of Trump voters and 9 percent of Clinton voters agree.

Source: A Pew Research Center survey of 1,254 registered U.S. voters conducted Nov. 10-14.

Murmurs and asides to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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