- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The calendar doesn’t lie. The House of Representatives was in session for only 13 days in March, and it plans to be on the job another dozen days in April and again in May. The rest of their time is devoted to “district work periods,” federal holidays and free weekends according to a monthly online calendar. It’s complicated.

Voters, however, remain convinced that they work harder than lawmakers on Capitol Hill: 70 percent, in fact, say they are more industrious on the job than their elected representatives — so says a new Rasmussen Reports poll of 1,000 likely voters conducted March 29-April 1. Only 15 percent say Congress works harder than they do.

Congress has attracted criticism for a while, though. Gallup has tracked the public’s disapproval rating of lawmakers since 1974, when only a third of the public disapproved of the job Congress was doing. The disapproval number rose and fell over the decades — it stood at 68 percent in 1990, 73 percent in 1994, then understandably fell to 10 percent shortly after the 9/11 attacks in 2001. It rocketed to 80 percent disapproval in 2010, and hit an all-time high of 86 percent on four occasions since then. And now? In February, the disapproval rate stood at 81 percent.


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THE LINDELL PRESS

MyPillow inventor and heartland hero Mike Lindell has been seen by the American public for quite sometime, offering a cheerful, hearty pitch for his unique pillows on a variety of networks around the nation. Now he is known for something else. Mr. Lindell refused to pull his commercials from Fox News host Laura Ingraham’s prime-time show, despite a call for an advertiser boycott from anti-gun violence activist David Hogg. Social media immediately erupted over the situation. Mr. Lindell, however, is picking up a few news headlines of his own, reflecting an emerging status as a political force:



“MyPillow founder: Hell no, we won’t drop our ads from Laura Ingraham’s show” (HotAir.com); “Trump’s new best friend is MyPillow founder Mike Lindell” (New York Daily News); “Ingraham Angle loses more advertisers (but MyPillow stands firm)” (Ad Age); “MyPillow ignores liberal outrage, refuses to pull ads from Laura” (Breitbart.com); “My Pillow CEO bucks Hogg boycott, stands with Laura Ingraham” (The Daily Caller).

‘S–HOLE COVERAGE’ DRAWS COMPLAINTS

More than one viewer was disturbed by the carefree way some networks bandied about President Trump’s reported use of the word “s–hole” during a White House meeting a few months ago. Remember that coverage? Politico tech reporter John Hendel has discovered that the Federal Communications Commission fielded complaints from 162 people about the uncensored, bleep-free coverage of the word by certain broadcasters.

“Many of the viewer complaints over the controversy implored the FCC to take action against one of Trump’s favorite targets: CNN, which as a cable network does not fall under the FCC’s indecency rules. Only the agency’s power to keep obscenity — that is, hardcore pornography — off the air applies to cable and satellite stations,” writes Mr. Hendel, who found that CNN was mentioned 249 times throughout the collection of complaints which the federal agency had shared with him.

“Although CNN received the lion’s share of complaints stemming from coverage of Trump’s comments, other outlets were mentioned as well, including NBC News, NPR and MSNBC,” Mr. Hendel said, also noting that Mr. Trump’s unsavory remarks about women on an old “Access Hollywood” tape that surfaced during the 2016 presidential campaign drew less than two-dozen complaints, while Madonna’s public use of the f-bomb during the 2017 Women’s March garnered more than 100.

TRADE WAR? ‘ABSOLUTELY NOT’

The media continues to suggest that President Trump has started a “trade war” with China. So here’s the trillion-dollar question: Is a trade war going on between the U.S. and China at the moment?

“Absolutely not. And let me just say right at the top, No. 1, blame China, not President Trump. Because they’ve been going on for many years. Trump is really the first president to fight back and to put a shot across the bow. Stealing intellectual property rights, technology transfers, high barriers, investment limitations, high tariffs — this stuff really is not just unfair, it’s unlawful. It’s outside the boundaries of the World Trade Organization. Every country in the world knows this. Every analyst knows this is the case,” Larry Kudlow, director of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, told Fox Business Network host Stuart Varney on Wednesday.

“Somebody’s got to deal with it. President Trump is going to deal with it. There’s no trade war here. What you’ve got is the early stages of a process which will include tariffs, comments on the tariffs, then ultimate decisions and negotiations. There’s already back-channel talks going on. So look, I understand the stock market’s anxiety. I get that. But on the other hand, don’t over react. We’ll see how this works out,” Mr. Kudlow advised.

MR. CRUZ HAS A MOTTO

Sen. Ted Cruz has a new motto for his re-election campaign: “Tough as Texas,” revealed when the Lone Star Republican launched his campaign 72 hours ago.

“Texas is strong, Texas is independent, Texas is fearless, Texas is free, Texas loves freedom and Texas is tough,” Mr. Cruz told a campaign kick-off gathering in Houston — even as his Democratic challenger, Rep. Beto O’Rourke, was basking in the knowledge that his campaign raised $6.7 million in the past three months.

Mr. Cruz, however, is pushing back.

“Hollywood elites and liberal megadonors like the Soros family have put a target on my back. I need the grass-roots to make sure I can win this election,” he advises in a tough new campaign message to potential donors.

POLL DU JOUR

• 54 percent of U.S. voters blame illegal gun dealers “a lot” for mass shootings in the U.S., 24 percent blame them “some,” 6 percent “not much,” 9 percent “not at all,” 7 percent have no opinion.

• 54 percent blame mental illness “a lot” for the shootings, 29 percent blame it “some,” 6 percent “not much,” 5 percent “not at all,” 6 percent have no opinion.

• 52 percent blame a lack of access to treatment for mental illness “a lot,” 29 percent “some,” 6 percent “not much,” 5 percent “not at all,” 6 percent have no opinion.

• 27 percent blame the National Rifle Association “a lot,” 16 percent “some,” 11 percent “not much,” 38 percent “not at all,” 8 percent have no opinion.

• 13 percent blame legal gun dealers “a lot,” 24 percent “some,” 19 percent “not much,” 36 percent “not at all,” 8 percent have no opinion.

Source: A Morning Consult/Politico poll of 1,997 registered U.S. voters conducted March 29-April 1.

Murmurs and asides to [email protected]

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