NEWS AND OPINION:
On Tuesday, Inside the Beltway reported the existence of some 200 GoFundMe sites dedicated to raising money for the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. One has now hit the jackpot. That would be “The Trump Wall,” a GoFundMe site created on Sunday which charged past $9 million in donations by Thursday, part of a goal of raising $1 billion to fund the barrier. The hashtag #GoFundtheWall is now among the top-10 trending topics on Twitter.
The news comes at a pivotal time when Trump fans ponder the news that Democrats have turned down President Trump’s request for $5 billion to fund the wall — while a $30 billion “investment” is available for recipients in Central America.
All that aside, this successful GoFundMe site is evidence that the grass-roots are still very much engaged on this issue.
The “We the People Will Fund the Wall” outreach was launched by Brian Kolfage, a U.S. Air Force senior airman who was severely wounded on his second Iraq deployment during a rocket attack on Balad Air Base in 2004. His campaign — gofundme.com/thetrumpwall — is percolating with donations and reached $1 million by late Wednesday afternoon.
“The government has accepted large private donations before, most recently a billionaire donated $7.5 million to fund half of the Washington Monument repairs in 2012; this is no different,” Mr. Kolfage writes in his rationale at the site.
“Like a majority of those American citizens who voted to elect President Donald J. Trump, we voted for him to Make America Great Again. President Trump’s main campaign promise was to BUILD THE WALL. And as he’s followed through on just about every promise so far, this wall project needs to be completed still,” he continued.
“As a veteran who has given so much, three limbs, I feel deeply invested to this nation to ensure future generations have everything we have today. Too many Americans have been murdered by illegal aliens and too many illegals are taking advantage of the United States taxpayers with no means of ever contributing to our society,” wrote Mr. Kolfage.
“I have grandparents who immigrated to America legally, they did it the correct way and it’s time we uphold our laws, and get this wall BUILT! It’s up to Americans to help out and pitch in to get this project rolling.”
Indeed, it looks like the determined vet is on his way.
ROSEANNE GETS THE LAST LAUGH
Roseanne Barr and the reboot of her 1990s-era classic sitcom “Roseanne” made a huge debut on American screens earlier this year, with drama to follow. She lost her spot on the new show following an untoward public remark, and the remaining production was rebranded as “The Conners.”
Despite all the drama, Ms. Barr had considerable appeal in her role.
Nielsen Media Research numbers now reveal that “Roseanne” — starring Ms. Barr — was the most-watched series of 2018, besting such powerhouse shows as “The Big Bang Theory,” and “NCIS.” When Roseanne was actually on her namesake program, which included positive mentions of President Trump and conservative values, it pulled in 20 million viewers.
“That’s right, folks! The most watched series in 2018 isn’t even on the air any more. The ‘Roseanne’ revival pulled in huge numbers during its first season back on ABC, and it was well on its way to dominating the broadcast audience,” noted a TV Guide analysis. “Roseanne Barr’s offensive tweet about Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett got her fired from the series and Roseanne was subsequently canceled. A spin-off, ‘The Conners,’ has not been able to pull in the same massive numbers.”
A JUSTICE-MINDED PUBLIC
The word-wizards at Oxford Dictionary chose “toxic” as their official word of the year a few weeks ago, explaining that this special designation reflects the “ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the passing year,” and the word has a future role in cultural significance.
Now Merriam-Webster has revealed its pick.
“Our Word of the Year for 2018 is justice. It was a top lookup throughout the year at Merriam-Webster.com, with the entry being consulted 74 percent more than in 2017,” the dictionary said.
“This year’s news had many stories involving the division within the executive branch of government responsible for the enforcement of laws: the Department of Justice, sometimes referred to simply as ‘Justice.’ Of course, the Mueller investigation itself is constantly in the news, and is being carried out through the Justice Department. Another big news story included yet another meaning of the word justice, as a synonym or title for ‘judge,’ used frequently during the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court,” the dictionary publisher explained.
But wait there’s more. In second place was nationalism, followed by pansexual, lodestar, epiphany, feckless, laurel, pissant, respect, maverick and excelsior — rounding out the top-10 words which received huge spikes in popularity in 2018 for myriad reasons.
ONE FOR THE WARRIOR DOGS
An event of note on Thursday, staged at a splendid hotel on Capitol Hill: It includes holiday cocktails and songs of the season to honor the reassuring presence of service dogs and the influence of such organizations as Pups4Patriots and Warrior Canine Connection — a unique nonprofit which teaches military veterans how to train service dogs for fellow vets.
Anthony Kearns of “Irish Tenors” fame, will be on hand to sing the tunes; there will be a regimental toast by Col. James Tierney, 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment — the “Fighting 69th.” Emcees include Fox News White House Correspondent Kevin Corke. Lawmakers, assorted federal, medical and military officials also will be on hand — along with the guests of honor — a pair of service dog ambassadors from the aforementioned Warrior Canine Connection.
POLL DU JOUR
• 56 percent of Americans say a president can “do a lot” to create new jobs; 79 percent of Republicans, 46 percent of independents and 51 percent of Democrats agree.
• 37 percent overall say President Trump deserves the most credit for recent low unemployment numbers; 81 percent of Republicans, 32 percent of independents and 11 percent of Democrats agree.
• 36 percent overall say former President Barack Obama deserves the most credit for low unemployment numbers; 8 percent of Republicans, 28 percent of independents and 67 percent of Democrats agree.
• 15 percent overall are unsure who gets the credit; 5 percent of Republicans, 25 percent of independents and 9 percent of Democrats agree.
• 12 percent overall says neither president gets the credit; 6 percent of Republicans, 15 percent of independents and 13 percent of Democrats agree.
Source: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted Dec. 16-18.
• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin