- The Washington Times - Monday, June 19, 2017

“If there’s one thing Democrats and Republicans can agree on, it’s that there’s a greater danger of political violence these days,” says a new Rasmussen Reports survey, which finds that 76 percent of likely U.S. voters believe this unique, disturbing threat has definitely increased in recent days.

Among both Republicans and conservatives, 74 percent agree that “political violence” is on the rise; so do 81 percent of Democrats and 83 percent of liberals, the poll found. Among the three dozen separate demographics listed in the survey, Democrats and liberals were among the most fearful — along with federal employees (81 percent), retirees (82 percent), people over 65 years old (83 percent), and those who “strongly disapprove of President Trump” (86 percent).

“It is clear that we have a divide, a major divide in America that does not seem surmountable. It does not seem reparable. It does not seem like it is possible or even likely to find any common ground, when many Americans think that their No. 1 enemy is the other political party, which is a fact on the left. Scary times,” talk radio host Rush Limbaugh told his audience Monday.

The survey also found that only 6 percent of voters overall feel there is less of a danger of political violence; Republicans and Democrats essentially agreed on that one. Another 16 percent say the potential for violence is about the same; 18 percent of the Republicans and 11 percent of the Democrats agreed.

Meanwhile, a new Gallup poll has some promising news for the Trump administration about a different type of violence: 70 percent of the public have confidence in the U.S. government to protect its citizens from future acts of terrorism.

“This reflects a recovery of confidence from the last time the question was asked, immediately after a terrorist shooting in San Bernardino, California, when 14 people were killed,” the Gallup analysis said, noting that the confidence measure fell to 55 percent in 2015 following that attack.

The June 7-11 poll is Gallup’s first measurement of Americans’ trust in the federal government to protect its citizens since Mr. Trump took office. The time period has been marked by two major terrorist attacks occurred in Britain during May and June.

HANDEL’S SIMPLE TRUTH

“The press really wants to make this nationalized. But when all is said and done, it is all about the people of the 6th District.”

Karen Handel, Republican candidate in Georgia’s 6th District, at a campaign stop Monday, the day before polls open in the most expensive U.S. House election in history.

MR. CLINTON IS IN TOWN

For those who track such things, former President Bill Clinton is still making speeches. He’ll be in the nation’s capital on Tuesday to deliver the keynote address for the InterAction Forum 2017 — described by organizers as “the first major meeting of U.S.-based international aid groups since President Trump proposed major cuts to U.S. foreign assistance in his FY 2018 budget.”

Also on hand to have their say: Joyce Banda, former president of the Republic of Malawi; Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland; and Kristalina Georgieva, CEO of the World Bank.

THE SEKULOW FACTOR

Hollywood has taken note of veteran attorney Jay Sekulow, who joined President Trump’s legal team earlier this month.

“Will Lawyer Jay Sekulow Be Trump’s New Favorite TV Surrogate?” asks Hollywood Reporter media analyst Jeremy Barr, who described Mr. Sekulow as “a longtime lawyer for the Christian right.”

Among other things, Mr. Sekulow was chief counsel for the American Center for Law & Justice and has argued cases before the Supreme Court 10 times.

“Sekulow appeared on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press,’ CBS News’ ‘Face the Nation,’ CNN’s ‘State of the Union’ and Fox News Sunday. On Monday morning, the blitz continued, as he appeared on CNN’s ‘New Day’ and Fox News’ ‘Fox & Friends’,” Mr. Barr writes.

In the aftermath, Mr. Sekulow earned considerable coverage for his appearances — as well as much media curiosity — including The Washington Post, Newsweek, Salon, CNN, Axios, The New York Times, Sky News, Real Clear Politics and several dozen other news organizations.

MR. BUSH UPS THE ANTE

No, we’re not talking about former Presidents George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush or former presidential hopeful Jeb Bush. We’re talking about George P. Bush, son of Jeb, and current commissioner of the Texas General Land Office, a surprisingly powerful position in the Lone Star State.

There has been persistent chatter that the younger Mr. Bush, 41, the new custodian of the Bush family’s political dynasty, boasting both a sturdy resume and track record. He is also an attorney, a Naval Reserve officer, real estate investor, energy consultant — and has announced he will seek re-election to his office, continuing his mission, he says, “to turn a bold, conservative agenda for Texas into concrete conservative results.”

Among other things, Mr. Bush says he has fought off big government and radical environmentalists, he advises, and stood up for pro-life values, military veterans, education and the preservation of the Alamo.

A BLANKLEY MOMENT

The Colorado-based Steamboat Institute sends a reminder that applications are open for the Tony Blankley Chair for Public Policy and American Exceptionalism — named for the journalist and gentleman scholar, Tony Blankley, a former editorial-page editor for The Washington Times.

“Young journalists and emerging conservative thought leaders” are encouraged to apply the group advises, noting that the fellowship recipient receives a $10,000 stipend, travel expenses, speaking engagements, public relations and social media support, and extensive networking opportunities.

Hurry, though. The deadline is June 30; the application can be found at Steamboatinstitute.org.

POLL DU JOUR

55 percent of Americans say law enforcement officials should be able to access location data from a person’s cellphone as part of an ongoing investigation.

54 percent say law enforcement should be able to access GPS data

53 percent say they should have access to call history.

49 percent say they should have access to text messages or chat histories

48 percent say they should have access to internet browsing history

45 percent say they should have access to photos or videos.

Source: A Morning Consult poll of 2,200 U.S. adults conducted June 8-12.

• Murmurs and asides to [email protected]

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