- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 11, 2017

President Trump has vowed to build a “big, beautiful wall” between the U.S. and Mexico to curtail illegal immigration. His fans love this campaign promise — his critics tear it to pieces. Practical penny-counters shudder over the idea — diplomats shrug. Talk radio host Rush Limbaugh still believes the border wall is a possibility, and now adds an interesting dimension to it, based on Mr. Trump’s capacity for surprise and innovation.

“I think the wall is going get built, somehow, some way,” Mr. Limbaugh told his 10 million listeners on Tuesday. Then he began to riff on the idea.

“There will be a structure that goes up, and it will have an observation deck, and it will have a sauna, and it will have hot tubs and stuff. It’ll be a tourist attraction. It might even have exclusive Trump hotel suites. You can stay at the wall, you can vacation at the wall. Wouldn’t that be cool if that kind of structure went up? Those are the kinds of things Trump’s known for,” the host continued, then paused to imagine how a combination adventure hotel and border wall would affect the president’s many foes.

“That would really frost them,” Mr. Limbaugh noted.

NOW THERE’S A THOUGHT

“For those that continue to seek improper and illegal entry into this country, be forewarned: This is a new era. This is the Trump era,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions told an audience of Customs and Border Protection agents in Nogales, Arizona, on Tuesday.

He had a special message for those who are the true boots-on-the-ground in the region: “We hear you. And we have your back.”

The Trump administration has authorized an additional $374 million in funding for the federal agency, which has operated with 1,700 agents below the congressionally mandated minimum of 21,370 agents, this according to the National Border Patrol Council.

JOURNALISTS EXPLORE THE WORLD

Americans are vexed with the news media for myriad reasons. There’s some insight to be had on the press mindset Wednesday, however. The Newseum — just a few blocks from the White House itself — will stage a half-day event titled “The President and the Press,” which appears to include a cast of thousands.

Well, there are 19 journalists on stage, anyway, all intent on exploring President Trump’s relationship during his first 100 days in office and what the future may hold.

On hand to parse out the possibilities before a capacity live audience: White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, Fox News anchor Bret Baier, Breitbart White House correspondent Charlie Spiering, and White House counselor Kellyanne Conway — all friendlies.

The other 15 high-profile cast members hail from Politico, The Washington Post, The New York Times, MSNBC, CNN and other news organizations, and they are likely in a challenging mood. The topics include “The press as watchdog,” “Covering the Trump White House,” and “The future of news in a divided and connected world.”

Things get underway at 8 a.m. EDT. C-SPAN will cover the event live, and it will be livestreamed from Newseum.org.

MCCAUL’S REMINDER

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul notes that the sixth anniversary of the Syrian civil war came and went in late March and that ISIS remains entrenched in that nation, clinging to its “self-declared caliphate.”

Things are jittery stateside as well. The Texas Republican also says there is a persistent terrorist threat to America, citing 34 “homegrown jihadist” events in 18 states in the last year which have included public attacks, weapons charges, lying to authorities and financial support for terrorist causes. Find the terror report for April here

“We must remain clear-eyed about the threats we face,” says Mr. McCaul. “Islamist terror has been franchised to followers not only in strongholds like Iraq and Syria, but in all corners of the world, and they are using everything from sophisticated explosives to their own vehicles to kill innocent people. We must intensify our efforts to deny these terrorists safe havens abroad, while more aggressively countering jihadist radicalization efforts here in the United States.”

A LIBERTY RESOURCE

Of interest to the faith-minded: the nonprofit, public interest law firm Becket has launched a helpful new website which features a comprehensive database for all facets of liberty, including free speech, education, cultural battles on the public square and more.

Supreme Court victories and precedent-setting cases are also featured, including the legal travails faced by the Little Sisters of the Poor and Hobby Lobby. Find the new site at Becketlaw.org.

FOXIFIED

The Fox News Channel continues to do things right. For the 14th consecutive week, the network is dominating the entire cable realm, drawing the largest audiences and besting such competition as ESPN and HGTV. Fox News programs also claim 20 of the Top 30 telecasts in the last week. All five telecasts of “The O’Reilly Factor” last week ranked in the top 10 programs according to Nielsen Media Research.

Fox News also outperformed CNN and MSNBC through both day and night; MSNBC, incidentally, is marking the 11th week in a row beating CNN in the crucial prime time hours.

POLL DU JOUR

57 percent of Americans approve of U.S. airstrikes against Syrian military targets; 84 percent of Republicans, 52 percent of independents and 40 percent of Democrats agree.

45 percent say Syrian use of chemical weapons was “immoral and a direct threat to the U.S.”; 61 percent of Republicans, 41 percent of independents and 39 percent of Democrats agree.

30 percent would back more airstrikes on Syria, but no U.S. ground troops; 37 percent of Republicans, 30 percent of independents and 25 percent of Democrats agree.

27 percent want diplomatic talks, and no further U.S. military action; 12 percent of Republicans, 26 percent of independents and 40 percent of Democrats agree.

18 percent want full U.S. military involvement in Syria; 34 percent of Republicans, 14 percent of independents and 11 percent of Democrats agree.

15 percent want no U.S. involvement at all; 8 percent of Republicans, 17 percent of independents and 18 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A CBS News poll of 1,006 U.S. adults conducted April 7-9.

• Chatter and proclamations to [email protected]

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