- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 27, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump became famous for staging spectacular campaign rallies that drew thousands of fans around the nation for months on end. Now Mr. Trump is famous for a different kind of rally — one that bolsters the economy, Wall Street and American morale. The man is simply good for business.

“Optimism about the end of a tumultuous election year and record highs on Wall Street — a run-up that’s been dubbed the ‘Trump rally’ — have helped prime Main Street America’s pocketbooks for more robust levels of holiday spending. The National Retail Federation estimates holiday sales will grow 3.7 percent from last year as shoppers dole out $630.05 billion,” says Fox Business Network analyst Victoria Craig, who also notes that online spending is expected to increase 8 percent over last year.

USA Today is now dubbing the trend “Trumphoria,” particularly after the Dow roared upward for the third week in a row, topping a record-breaking 19,000 and adding 4.5 percent in value since the election. University of Michigan researchers also found that consumer confidence across multiple age and income groups jumped over 8 points following the election.

“The upsurge in favorable economic prospects is not surprising given Trump’s populist policy views,” says economist Richard Curtin, who also cited the effects of the nominee’s “surprise victory” and public relief that the seemingly endless election has actually ended.

GOP SURGE STILL IN EFFECT

Despite pesky challenges to the final election results from both the Green Party and Hillary Clinton’s campaign, telling data continue to roll in for the Republican Party, and it’s all good.

“Numbers showing President-elect Trump’s commanding victory are coming more fully into focus. He won 306 electoral votes, the most for a Republican since George H.W. Bush in 1988. He carried nine of 13 battleground states,” says Reince Priebus, the outgoing chairman of the Republican National Committee, who cites a steady “groundswell” of popular support.

“Donald Trump won over 2,600 counties nationwide, the most since President Reagan in 1984. Additionally, he won over 62 million votes in the popular vote, the highest [of] all time for a Republican nominee,” continues Mr. Priebus. “He also won over 200 counties nationwide that President Obama previously won in 2012.”

Mr. Trump’s message resonated with voters in historically blue states, the chairman says. The election marks the first time a Republican has won Wisconsin and Iowa since 1984, while wins in Pennsylvania and Michigan were the first GOP victories in those states in 28 years.

“Millions of new Republicans trusted Mr. Trump with their vote because of his focus on delivering prosperity for all and, as a result, there were healthy margins of victory in newly red areas. It’s clear the Trump win was one that brought Americans of all backgrounds together,” concludes Mr. Priebus.

THE WARRIOR’S BOOK SHELF

Three new books have arrived, ideal for those still intrigued by the Cold War in all its permutations. For detail-minded readers, “Soviet and Mujahideen Uniforms, Clothing, and Equipment in the Soviet-Afghan War, 1979-1989” by Zammis Schein is the first illustrated guide to what was worn and used in Afghanistan from December 1979 to February 1989.

For aircraft lovers, there’s “Tupolev Tu160: Soviet Strike Force Spearhead” by Yefim Gordon and Dmitriy Komissarov. The authors offer the inside track on the Soviet Union’s most potent strategic bomber. And finally, “Soviet Combat Divers in World War II” by Pavel Borovikov features rare insight on a rare breed, including their feats in diving reconnaissance, sabotage, underwater exploration, mine clearance and emergency rescue.

The three new titles are from Schiffer Publishing, a family-owned, independent publisher based in Pennsylvania; find them at Schifferbooks.com.

THE ONGOING SANDERS EFFECT

Former presidential hopeful Sen. Bernard Sanders had exquisite timing when he released his hefty memoir “Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In” one week after the election. Now the author is enjoying the results. His book is No. 3 on The New York Times best-seller list, right behind “Killing Japan,” Bill O’Reilly’s latest historical extravaganza, and “Settle for More,” Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly’s memoir, now No. 1.

Mr. Sanders has not abandoned his role as plainspoken outsider, however.

“The Democratic Party has got to very fundamentally rethink who it is and where it goes. It has to shed the current situation where it’s a party of the liberal elite, a party of wealthy people,” the Vermont independent wrote in a Facebook post on Saturday. It’s “working people” who matter now, he says.

“The Democratic Party has got to say we are on the side of the 99 percent. Our party is not about having fancy fundraisers, it’s about going into union halls, veterans’ halls, farm communities, the inner cities. It has to bring people together around the progressive agenda and make government work for all of us and not the 1 percent,” says Mr. Sanders.

Democratic voters may agree, according to a new Rasmussen Reports survey: 57 percent say their party should be “more like Bernie Sanders,” while 26 percent think the party should stay “more like Hillary Clinton.

POLL DU JOUR

53 percent of U.S. employees spend some of their work time shopping online.

43 percent of this group typically spends an hour or more doing so.

35 percent of U.S. employers monitor the websites that employees visit during the work day.

33 percent of employers say they “care” if employees spend time at nonwork-related websites.

11 percent of employers have fired someone for shopping online at work.

Source: A CareerBuilder/Harris Poll of 3,133 full-time U.S. workers and 2,379 human resources managers conducted Aug. 11-Sept. 7 and released Sunday.

Jubilant chitchat, weary sighs to [email protected]

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