- The Washington Times - Monday, April 17, 2017

Half the nation’s voters now approve of President Trump according to a new Rasmussen Reports poll which finds that, indeed, 50 percent of likely U.S. voters applaud his job performance. It is the first time Mr. Trump’s ratings have been in the 50s in almost a month, the pollster says, noting that his positive numbers have ranged as high as 59 percent since Inauguration Day. This new bump in approval follows Mr. Trump’s steadfast, steel-clad appearances on the global stage as he dealt with both Syria and North Korea in recent days. He made his point without chatty media appearances and carefully worded talking points.

Mr. Trump still favors no-frills tactics.

Will there be a U.S. military strike against North Korea? That is what Fox News correspondent Ainsley Earhardt asks Mr. Trump in an interview which airs on “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday.

“I don’t want to telegraph what I’m doing or what I’m thinking. I’m not like other administrations, where they say, ‘We’re going to do this in four weeks.’ It doesn’t work that way,” Mr. Trump replied. “We’ll see what happens. I hope things work out well. I hope there’s going to be peace. But they’ve been talking with this gentleman for a long time.”

They? Mr. Trump was referring to both the Clinton and Obama administrations.

“Everybody has been outplayed. They’ve all been outplayed by this gentleman, and we’ll see what happens. I just don’t telegraph my moves,” the president advised.

Mr. Trump does offer terse insight when necessary, however. Asked by CNN’s Jim Acosta on Monday if he had a message for North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un, the president simply replied, “He’s gotta behave.”

HILLARY’S ‘DOOMED CAMPAIGN’ ARRIVES

The latest Hillary-themed book hits the shelves Tuesday and could well to blaze a path to the most-read roster. “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign” by Jonathan Allen and Amie Banes has been rated No. 1 in several politics and government categories on Amazon well before its publication.

“No explanation of defeat can begin with anything other than the core problem of Hillary’s campaign — the candidate herself. ‘Shattered’ will offer an object lesson in how Hillary herself made victory an uphill battle, how her difficulty articulating a vision irreparably hobbled her impact with voters, and how the campaign failed to internalize the lessons of populist fury from the hard-fought primary against Bernie Sanders,” publisher Crown Books advises in advance notes.

The new book will face political competition on The New York Times Bestseller List when the time comes. Currently No. 1 in the non-fiction realm: “Old School: Life in the Sane Lane” by Bill O’Reilly and Bruce Feirstein, described as a defense of old school traditional values versus those of the ultra-sensitive “snowflakes” generation. Also in the top-10 is “Nevertheless” by actor and frequent Trump impersonator Alec Baldwin.

Another book is making some headway through the treacherous publishing seas. “Drain the Swamp: How Washington Corruption is Worse then You Think,” by Rep. Ken Buck is also appearing in the top political categories at Amazon, complete with a cover than includes the U.S. Capitol and an alligator.

“It is an insular process directed by power-hungry party elites who live like kings and govern like bullies,” the Colorado Republican writes.

REPEATING THE MAMMO-MYTH

“Two years ago, the Washington Post ‘Fact Checker’ declared it was a ‘Three Pinocchios’ lie to claim (or imply) Planned Parenthood offers mammograms. Boss Cecile Richards admitted they while they do breast exams, they have no mammogram machines. They said ‘supporters should drop this talking point.’ But the most liberal news outlets still spread this untruth,” writes Tim Graham, executive editor of NewsBusters, the conservative press watchdog.

He cites a new National Public Radio report on Planned Parenthood which listed mammograms among Planned Parenthood’s services, also referring to President Trump’s efforts to defund the organization.

The report, Mr. Graham says, ultimately supported a persistent, politicized narrative.

“This is part of an overall trend among Republican legislators and President Trump who’ve been showing a lot of hostility towards women’s reproductive health,” NPR’s health policy correspondent Alison Kodjak noted on the air.

NPR spreads the old lie that Planned Parenthood offers mammograms. There was no balance in this report,” Mr. Graham said, equating the correspondent with “a publicist for Planned Parenthood.”

THE HALLS OF IVY

A group of Arizona State University recently opted to organize a protest against President Trump instead of taking their final exam. They marched around with signs and formed a nifty “human wall,” eventually attracting bystanders interested in speaking out against sexism and the prison system, among other social issues.

The students had the blessing of their professor Angeles Maldonado, whose class is titled “Global Politics of Human Rights.”

She views the demonstration as a “group protest,” according to the Arizona Republic, which covered the event.

“This is better than a final,” one student advised the news organization.

“It’s Trump bashing for credit,” observes Lukas Mikelionis, who covers culture for Heat Street.

POLL DU JOUR

• 57 percent of Americans say Democrats in Congress are doing “too little” to work with the Trump administration; 84 percent of Republicans and 38 percent of Democrats agree.

• 34 percent overall say the Democrats outreach is “about right”; 11 percent of Republicans and 52 percent of Democrats agree.

• 5 percent overall say the Democrats have done “too much” outreach; 2 percent of Republicans and 6 percent of Democrats agree.

• 53 percent of Americans overall say the Trump administration is doing too little to work with Democrats in Congress; 20 percent of Republicans and 84 percent of Democrats agree.

• 36 percent overall say the administration’s outreach is about right; 64 percent of Republicans and 12 percent of Democrats agree.

• 7 percent overall say its outreach is too much; 12 percent of Republicans and 3 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Pew Research Center poll of 1,501 U.S. adults conducted April 5-11 and released Monday.

• Murmurs and asides to [email protected]

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