- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield — founders of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream — have long backed the progressive cause, most recently supporting Sen. Bernard Sanders’ quest for the White House and creating “Bernie’s Yearning,” a special flavor that was heavy on mint and chocolate. Now the Vermont-based ice cream guys are taking on Republican tax reform, working in concert with Our Revolution, a nonprofit that emerged from Mr. Sanders’ 2016 campaign for president.

“The GOP tax plan is a massive payoff to the corporations and special interests that finance campaigns and elections. This plan is another example of systemic corruption and pay-to-play politics that Our Revolution is fighting against. That’s why we support Our Revolution and that’s why we’re teaming up to hack at the root of injustice by stamping big money out of politics,” the pair declare in a public outreach that calls upon the public to stamp dollar bills with terse messages to protest the Republican legislation.

Yes, they are putting their message on paper money.

“Money is the original viral marketing medium. A stamped dollar gets seen 875 times as it gets passed from person to person. And it has staying power. The average bill that gets stamped stays in circulation for 2 years. The numbers are astounding. Just one person stamping three bills a day for a year creates a million impressions,” notes an advisory to prospective activists at StampStampede.org, a nonprofit founded by Mr. Cohen that espouses other causes and has support from MoveOn.org and other groups.

There are multiple stamps with multiple messages, including “Stamp Money Out of Politics” and “Not to be Used to Bribe Politicians.” Each message includes a social media hashtag and website; there are hints on the most effective spot to stamp on the bill itself.

“Many people assume that it’s illegal to stamp or write on paper currency, but they’re wrong!” notes a legal advisory at the site, which parses out defacement of U.S. currency as regulated in the Code of Federal Regulations — pointing out that it is illegal to change the denomination, render the bill unfit for circulation or advertise on it.

“We are putting political messages on the bills, not commercial advertisements. Because we all want these bills to stay in circulation and we’re stamping to send a message about an issue that’s important to us, it’s legal!” the ice cream guys say.

NOT SO KEEN ON DACA

Are we facing a federal government shutdown if Congress doesn’t protect the “Dreamers”? Some 800,000 illegal immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children are sheltered under the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), which President Trump wants to end. Indeed, some Democrats back a shutdown to counter the president’s intent.

And the American people? Not so much. A new Rasmussen Reports survey finds that 61 percent of likely voters think it is more important to secure the U.S. borders against future illegal immigration before addressing DACA and Dreamers.

Heritage Foundation scholar Hans von Spakovsky, meanwhile, offers a reality check, citing multiple sources.

“Only 49 percent of DACA beneficiaries have a high school education — despite the fact that a majority of them are adults. In February 2017, after the arrest of a DACA beneficiary for gang membership, the Department of Homeland Security admitted that at least 1,500 DACA beneficiaries had their eligibility terminated ‘due to a criminal conviction, gang affiliation, or a criminal conviction related to gang affiliation.’ By August 2017, that number had surged to 2,139. The Center for Immigration Studies estimates that ‘perhaps 24 percent of the DACA-eligible population fall into the functionally illiterate category and another 46 percent have only basic English ability,’” Mr. Von Spakovsy writes.

MEANWHILE OVER AT ABC

“I don’t think ever in my career have I felt more rage and disappointment and frustration,” ABC News President James Goldston told network staffers following investigative reporter Brian Ross‘ erroneous report on former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn that aired Friday.

Mr. Goldston was heard on an “editorial call,” a recording that was obtained and analyzed by CNN reporters Oliver Darcy and Brian Stelter.

“If we had corrected ourselves right away, we wouldn’t be in this position. It would have been a very different story. But we ended up in the impossible situation where we had actually conflicting information that we said on air, which conflicted with the information that was online. And then it took us seven hours, eight hours to get our story straight. This is not acceptable. It’s not acceptable. And we will all pay the price for a long time,” said Mr. Goldston.

THE WHITE HOUSE LADIES

A round of applause, please, for first lady Melania Trump and second lady Karen Pence — who journey together to Texas on Wednesday to stand by local citizens still recovering from the devastation inflicted on the region by Hurricane Harvey. The ladies will meet with first responders in Corpus Christie, along with now-homeless families, children and students, plus volunteers at a food bank in Rockport.

“We are with you every step of the way,” Mrs. Trump told Texans via a tweet on Tuesday.

FOXIFIED

The Fox News Channel continues to lead the cable realm, according to Nielsen Media Research. Fox once again has defeated non-news cable competition such as ESPN and the Hallmark Channel, with Fox News shows accounting for 10 of the top 20 programs. As it has for 16 years, Fox News also bested cable news rivals, garnering 2.5 million prime-time viewers compared to 1.9 million for MSNBC and 1 million for CNN. Fox News also has named contributor Gillian Turner as a full-time news correspondent to be based in the Washington, D.C., bureau.

Fox Business Network, meanwhile, continued its 26-week winning streak over CNBC, according to Nielsen, drawing 241,000 total viewers compared to CNBC’s 190,000.

POLL DU JOUR

61 percent of Americans approve of how President Trump supports the U.S. military.

53 percent approve of how Mr. Trump protects the U.S. from terrorism.

51 percent approve of his economic policy.

44 percent support Mr. Trump’s immigration decisions.

41 percent approve his overall job performance.

21 percent approve of his “Twitter messages.”

Source: A Saint Leo University poll of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted Nov. 19-24 and released Tuesday.

• Snappy messages, churlish remarks to [email protected]

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