NEWS AND OPINION:
Building a new border wall between the U.S. and Mexico sparks much argument and analysis. Take, for example, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which compared the total cost of the wall — which the organization placed at $25 billion — to the overall cost of caring for or managing immigrants living in America illegally.
“Securing the southern border is a sound fiscal investment. The overall construction and annual maintenance costs pale when compared to the $113 billion FAIR estimates illegal immigration costs American taxpayers. In fact, if the project only results in a 5 percent reduction in the annual cost of illegal immigration to American taxpayers, and construction and maintenance costs reach the most expensive estimates, it would pay for itself after only six years,” the organization said in its comprehensive study.
President Trump has proposed that federal agencies kick in some money for the wall; maybe there are Defense Department funds around. But a cultural force also could be building.
“One-in-five voters are willing to dig into their own pockets to privately fund the barrier on the U.S.-Mexico border,” said a new Rasmussen Reports survey released that found that 21 percent of likely U.S. voters would contribute money to a private fund such as GoFundMe, set up to build the wall should Congress refuse to fund it.
Interesting. There are almost 200 crowdfunding proposals on GoFundMe.com already up and running to raise money for the border wall, the sites vowing “If Congress won’t do it, we will,” among the many mottoes. Activity at the moment, however, is not brisk.
Meanwhile, the poll also found that a third of Republicans — 34 percent — would contribute to a private funding cause for the wall, along with 21 percent of independents, 10 percent of Democrats and 50 percent of those who are staunch Trump fans.
“Voters continue to believe illegal immigration is a major problem, and few feel the government is doing enough to handle it,” the poll said, though it also reveals that 69 percent would not contribute to the fund and 10 percent are undecided.
STAY ON TASK
Ceaseless turmoil and attacks on President Trump by the hostile press or rivals can command a great deal of attention and energy. Distractions are many. One person who closely follows the president has strategic advice — which appears to be between the president — and himself.
“Success could be with Trump saying to himself, not anybody else, ‘You know what? I’m one term. I’m going to get everything done in one term and I’m out of here. Meaning, I’m not going to worry about election. I’m not going to worry about showing the Democrats this or that. I’m just going to get this stuff done, and if kills my re-election effort, then so be it. But I’m going to get it done,’” talk radio kingpin Rush Limbaugh suggested Tuesday to his 14 million listeners.
“That attitude. Forget re-election, forget thinking about positioning for re-election, forget about donations, forget about all the things that accompany a presidential run and focus on the agenda and get it done as though you’re one term. You just don’t announce it. I’m just talking about adopting a mental attitude.”
SULLY’S STILL WORKING
A brief update on a canine which recently charmed the world for a while. That would be Sully, the service dog who accompanied the late George H.W. Bush during his final days. A photo of the yellow Labrador retriever at vigil before the 41st president’s casket, was seen by millions of people around the planet.
But Sully isn’t done yet. The Defense Department has announced that the worthy pup has a new assignment.
“Already famous in his own right — his Instagram account, @sullyhwbush, has more than 260,000 followers — Sully will go on to join the therapeutic dog team at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, after the holidays, where he will provide stress relief and comfort to service members going through physical and occupational,” the department said.
Chick-fil-A — which unapologetically embraces Christian values — could take over the hungry universe.
“Chick-fil-A is on track to become the third-largest chain in America — and McDonald’s and Wendy’s should be terrified,” said Business Insider, noting that sales at the chicken-centric eateries have increased by 15 percent over the last year.
“If it clinches the No. 3 spot, Chick-fil-A will beat out Subway and Taco Bell, lagging behind only Starbucks and McDonald’s,” the publication said.
“Privately held Chick-fil-A is not just growing fast, it’s becoming a growing threat to a number of large publicly held chains, including the biggest of them all, McDonald’s Corp.,” agreed Market Watch, which predicts Chic-fil-A sales could hit $10.4 billion by year’s end.
Chick-fil-A also ranked fourth this year on The Harris Poll Reputation Quotient list of the nation’s 100 most visible companies, a ranking which measures social responsibility, vision and leadership and other factors.
Fox News Channel is the most popular network in the cable realm, marking three consecutive weeks in the top spot, according to Nielsen Media Research. Fox News also aired 15 of the top 40 cable telecasts. As it has for almost 17 years, Fox News remains top dog in cable news, drawing 2.1 million prime-time viewers, compared to 1.9 million for MSNBC and 1 million for CNN.
In the meantime, Fox Business Network continues to best rival CNBC, according to Nielsen, led by “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” the No. 1 show in business television, and “Varney & Co.,” which now marks 82 consecutive weeks as the most watched market program across the entire TV landscape.
POLL DU JOUR
• 53 percent of U.S. voters say 2018 has been a “good year” for them and their families; 75 percent of Republicans, 51 percent of independents and 35 percent of Democrats agree.
• 28 percent say 2018 has been a “bad year”; 11 percent of Republicans, 24 percent of independents and 44 percent of Democrats agree.
• 16 percent say 2018 has been a “mixed year”; 14 percent of Republicans, 17 percent of independents and 17 percent of Democrats agree.
• 40 percent say 2018 has been a good year for the country; 72 percent of Republicans, 31 percent of independents and 15 percent of Democrats agree.
• 43 percent say it’s been a bad year; 12 percent of Republicans, 42 percent of independents and 70 percent of Democrats agree.
• 13 percent say it’s been a mixed year; 15 percent of Republicans, 17 percent of independents and 10 percent of Democrats agree.
Source: A Fox News poll of 1,006 registered U.S. voters conducted Dec. 9-11.
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