NEWS AND OPINION:
Senate Democrats are now resorting to “petty” but historically unprecedented methods to obstruct President Trump‘s efforts to run the nation and take America forward. There are some annoying numbers to consider from studies compiled by the White House and the Republican National Committee, based on multiple sources from the press, pollsters and researchers.
And here we go: Consider that of Mr. Trump’s 197 nominations to federal agencies, only 48 have been confirmed. Only two of his 23 judicial nominations have the green light. In total, less than a quarter of the president’s nominations _ 23 percent — are a go, this almost six months after he was inaugurated. By comparison, at this point during President Barack Obama‘s tenure, 69 percent of his nominations had been confirmed.
“Senate Democrats have delayed and stalled on confirming crucial appointments and nominations made by President Trump by putting nominees through time-consuming parliamentary procedures not seen by past administrations,” the GOP notes in its analyses, which gets into the nitty-gritty of the process.
“Democrats in the Senate have allowed only 10 percent of President Trump’s confirmations to happen by voice vote, while more than 90 percent of President Obama’s were confirmed by a simple voice vote by this point in 2009. The average time it takes for the Senate to confirm a Trump nominee compared to past administrations is the highest in recent history, at 43 days,” the analysis said.
The president’s nominees have faced the “burdensome hurdle of a cloture vote 30 times so far” compared to Mr. Obama’s nominees. Only eight of them encountered cloture motions by the August recess. Fourteen of Mr. Trump’s Cabinet nominees faced a cloture vote, compared to 11 for all previous presidents combined, the GOP said.
“Democrats have tried to slow the process, invoking arcane parliamentary procedure to force delays and boycotting committee meetings to prevent votes. Some Democrats have even admitted they are doing so for political revenge,” the GOP noted.
In addition, the White House points out that the obstruction is “damaging the government” and could compromise national security, particularly since just six of Mr. Trump’s 22 nominations for the Defense Department have been confirmed.
HERE COMES THE MONEY
Meanwhile, it’s already 2018 as far as the Democratic National Committee is concerned. The organization has announced it will make “unprecedented investments” to state parties. Republicans, take note.
Every state party will receive a monthly $10,000 “investment” beginning in October — a 33 percent increase over base funding levels in 2016 and a 100 percent increase over 2015. The national committee also has established a $10 million State Party Innovation Fund, again billed as the “largest ever” investment on the grass-roots level.
“For too long, we poured our resources into races at the top of the ticket instead of organizing at the grass roots and building a deep bench of talent,” said committee Chairman Tom Perez. “This unprecedented investment in our state parties is the first major step in our effort to get back to basics and rebuild the Democratic Party from the ground up.”
85% OF REPUBLICANS SNARL AT THE MEDIA
Yet another major poll reveals that the news media continues to accumulate negative reviews. A wide-ranging survey from the Pew Research Center finds that two-thirds of Americans say the news media has had a “negative impact on the U.S.” — rating the press at the bottom of a list of national institutions that includes churches, colleges and labor unions.
“The national survey found that 63 percent of the respondents gave a thumbs down on the media and its influence on the nation. It also revealed a stark and unprecedented partisan difference,” the poll analysis says.
“Partisan differences in views of the national news media, already wide, have grown even wider. Democrats’ views of the effect of the national news media have grown more positive over the past year, while Republicans remain overwhelmingly negative,” the analysis reads.
“About as many Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents think the news media has a positive (44 percent) as negative (46 percent) impact on the way things are going in the country. The share of Democrats holding a positive view of the news media’s impact has increased 11 percentage points since last August (33 percent),” the research notes.
“Republicans, by about eight-to-one (85 percent to 10 percent), say the news media has a negative effect. These views have changed little in the past few years.”
Churches rate at the top of the list, incidentally, followed by colleges and universities, labor unions, banks and financial institutions.
A PRESS SECRETARY TO FOX NEWS
The man who was White House press secretary during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, two wars and an anthrax attack on U.S. soil is now a Fox News Channel contributor. That would be Ari Fleischer, spokesman for President George W. Bush during a particularly trying period.
Mr. Fleischer, who in recent years has been a communications consultant focused on sports organizations, is returning to the political realm. He now will offer “strategic communications and political analysis” on Fox News and Fox Business Network for daytime and prime-time programming.
Everyone is happy.
“Ari’s decades of experience in political communication and immense knowledge of the White House and its interactions with the press will add valuable insight to our programming,” says Jay Wallace, president of news for the network.
“Fox has a powerful and important voice, and I’m proud to join them,” says Mr. Fleischer.
POLL DU JOUR
• 60 percent of U.S. employers plan to hire full-time permanent workers, up from 50 percent at this time last year.
• 53 percent plan to offer higher starting salaries for new employees over the next six months, up from 39 percent last year.
• 46 percent plan to hire temporary or contract workers, up from 32 percent last year.
• 36 percent plan to hire part-time permanent workers, up from 29 percent last year.
Source: A CareerBuilder/Harris Poll survey of 2,369 U.S. human resource managers conducted May 24-June 16 and released Monday.
• Chatter and ballyhoo to firstname.lastname@example.org; follow her on Twitter at @HarperBulletin
• Jennifer Harper can be reached at email@example.com.
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