- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 13, 2017

President Trump celebrates his 71st birthday Wednesday — an occasion that is subject to interpretation among his fans and foes alike. Those around the nation who continue to back the president are celebrating the day with affection for Mr. Trump, a collective motto that reads “We have got your back” and a practical eye on the fast-approaching 2018 midterm elections. Some local Republicans are using the birthday moment for grass-roots voter outreach and to reaffirm their support for the president. Wednesday also happens to be Flag Day, so the patriotic factor is much in evidence.

Case in point: Lake County Republicans of Tavares, Florida, plan to celebrate both occasions by rolling out the locally famous, 29-foot TrumpMobile, which has been fashioned out of two Mercedes Benz station wagons and a 1962 Chrysler Imperial. The custom silver vehicle weighs in at 7,500 pounds and is topped off by an emphatic “Make America Great Again” sign.

The Florida Republicans are also featuring a mobile Trump Jumbotron to bear the happy tidings of the day, plus a few choice political messages as well. On hand for the celebration: Tavares Mayor Lori Pfister, Lake County Sheriff Peyton Grinnell, multiple GOP candidates running for state offices, plus Blacks for Trump 2020 and Hispanics for Trump. Voter registration and a solemn flag-folding ceremony will also be on the agenda — along with food and music,

In Chicago, the Northwest Side GOP Club is also staging a public birthday party, complete with a raffle, voter registration, free appetizers, a cash bar, plus Todd and the Ten Pins, a local band. In the meantime, the Salem Radio Network — home to such syndicated hosts as Hugh Hewitt and Michael Medved — has collected recorded birthday greetings for Mr. Trump from listeners around the nation.

“It is a welcome break from the partisan bickering which has dominated national headlines in recent weeks,” says Tom Tradup, vice president for programming for the Texas-based network.

But peace is brief. Needless to say, multiple groups who oppose Mr. Trump also will be marking the day in a less-friendly manner, including “artist” marches in six cities, live performances and assorted “resistance” activities. Rise and Resist, an activist group, plans to protest outside Trump Tower in New York City, bearing a gift: a plane ticket to Russia.

“Bring your anger for the administration. Bring your megaphone. This is the perfect day to ruin for him. Let’s show Trump what NYC can do,” the group advises, noting they are there to support feminism, environmentalism, LGBTQ rights and other causes. The group also plans rallies in Boston, Miami, Palm Beach and San Francisco.

THE PUBLIC WEIGHS ON THE CONFEDERACY

A new Public Policy Polling survey mostly has bad news for President Trump and Republicans in general — no earthshaking news since the polling firm is known to be Democrat-friendly. But the survey also had an interesting finding tucked into it, revealing that 42 percent of voters “support public memorials to the Confederacy”; 64 percent of Republicans and 25 percent of Democrats agree, along with 70 percent of voters who supported Mr. Trump in 2016, and 20 percent of those who supported Hillary Clinton.

Another 35 percent oppose the memorials; 14 percent of Republicans, 51 percent of Democrats, 15 percent of Trump voters and 56 percent of Clinton voters agree.

And lastly, 23 percent of the respondents overall were unsure about the matter. There the breakdown was 21 percent of Republicans, 23 percent of Democrats, 15 percent of Trump voters and 25 percent of Clinton voters.

BARRON’S GOOD FOR BUSINESS

When he arrived with first lady Melania Trump at the White House earlier this week, first son Barron Trump — age 11 — wore a simple pale-gray T-shirt emblazoned with the motto “The Expert” in royal blue.

J. Crew, which sells the simple cotton T-shirt, publicly released this message 24 hours later: “We’re sorry. This item has been so popular it has sold out.”

FOXIFIED

Go ahead and continue to overlook all those headlines that suggest Fox News Channel has dwindling ratings.

Fox News has dominated basic cable for 23 consecutive weeks as the most-watched cable network, according to Nielsen Media Research reports released Tuesday.

In addition, the network’s programs made up 15 of the top 30 telecasts in total viewers, including presentations of “America’s Newsroom,” “Special Report with Bret Baier,” “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” “The Five” and “Hannity.”

And yes, Fox continues to dominate CNN and MSNBC, and is still ranked the No. 1 news channel throughout the day, and in the prime-time hours, as well as among all viewers and the much-coveted 25- to 54-year-old category.

THE 278 MILLION-MEMBER AUDIENCE

The Broadcasting Board of Governors meets Wednesday in the nation’s capital to review upcoming programming, among other things. Unfamiliar with the “BBG”? This low-key federal office oversees the 75-year-old Voice of America and four other major broadcast entities that feature outreaches in 47 languages — and in nations where censorship is a given and freedom of the press is not.

The size of the audience here is stunning. Consider that U.S. broadcasters get excited when their programming attracts, say, 20 or 30 million viewers. The typical audience for these media organizations is 278 million.

Those are serious numbers. Meanwhile, the formal calling here is this: “The mission of the BBG is to inform, engage and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy.”

The BBG meets at a historic hotel not far from the White House to review board business, as well as new programming for overseas audiences that include “voices from rural and small-town America,” and a series on Islamic State fighters who escaped the terrorist group.

Curious? The meeting will be livestreamed at noon EDT at bbg.gov.

POLL DU JOUR

84 percent of Americans have personally experienced incivility.

75 percent say incivility in the U.S. has risen to “crisis levels.”

75 percent blame politicians for incivility; 69 percent blame social media, and 59 percent blame the press.

63 percent say people are more civil in the workplace.

56 percent expect civility “to further erode.”

55 percent say incivility in the workplace hurt employee morale.

Source: A Civility in America poll of 1,126 U.S. adults conducted by Weber Shandwick/Powell Tate throughout December 2016 and released Tuesday.

• Murmurs and asides to [email protected]

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