- The Washington Times - Monday, June 11, 2018

Some journalists remain saturated in anti-Trump innuendo no matter what. Despite the historic nature of the one-on-one meeting of President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, anchor Stephanie Ruhle called the summit “a brilliant PR stunt that doesn’t get us anywhere,” while Washington Post opinion writer Paul Waldman said the president was “ignorant and impulsive,” and titled his op-ed “Trump doesn’t want to look weak in front of Kim Jong-un. Too late.”

Yes, well. Such reactions have been a fixture of the Mr. Trump’s campaign and presidency. He swats back.

“The fact that I am having a meeting is a major loss for the U.S., say the haters & losers. We have our hostages, testing, research and all missile  launches have stopped, and these pundits, who have called me wrong from the beginning, have nothing else they can say! We will be fine!” Mr. Trump tweeted late Monday.

Meanwhile, news overage of Mr. Kim has been neutral and diplomatic for the most part, focusing on such details such as his aircraft, limousine, hotel and the fleet-footed, “running body guards” who accompany him.

“The North Koreans — and specifically Kim Jong-un — are becoming masters at managing the media, and I suspect will do just fine with all of the intense coverage,” Harry J. Kazianis, director of Defense Studies at the Center for the National Interest and executive editor of The National Interest Magazine, tells Inside the Beltway.

“In fact, I suspect they love it. For with the ultimate prize — a picture with President Trump and Kim shaking hands — they will have completed an image makeover they have been working toward since January. For North Korea, the media is a great way to showcase their nation as not the pariah state or rogue nation they are, but a potential partner that seeks detente — and that would be very dangerous,” Mr. Kazianis observes.

SCALISE TELLS HIS STORY

Arriving later this year: “Back in the Game” by House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, detailing his moment-to-moment fight for his life after being gunned down at a congressional softball game in June 2017.

“This tight, inspirational narrative includes a dramatic retelling of the shooting and the heroism of Rep. Brad Wenstrup — an Army Reserve officer and combat medic, along with the Capital Police, the first responders and trauma team who saved Scalise’s life,” notes Center Street Books, the publisher. “He believes that his faith, the grace of God and the power of prayer had a great deal to do with his recovery, and he will share stories and experiences that illustrate the many miracles that occurred to keep him alive.”

DEMOCRATS STILL STUCK ON ‘RESISTANCE’

Observers continue to caution the Democratic Party that the fabled “blue wave” is subsiding into a ripple as the midterms approach. National Review columnist John Fund points to veteran political analyst Larry Sabato, who now says that 211 House seats lean to the Republicans, 198 to the Democrats with 26 tossups. If the tossups break evenly, Democrats would gain 17 seats, but the GOP would still have a 224-to-211 House majority.

“Republicans can look forward to a climate in which the economy continues to pick up steam and the public is increasingly bored or unaffected by the Mueller probe. Democrats have put all of their chips on mounting ‘resistance’ to President Trump. They may find, however, that they should have spent the months after their stunning 2016 election loss in retooling their party so that it offered an updated, positive message rather than merely the sour rhetoric of an angry #Resistance movement,” writes Mr. Fund.

“By responding to Trump’s provocations and baiting with overheated anger and epithets of their own, Democrats may have turned off just enough voters to keep Republicans in control of both houses of Congress.”

SO MUCH FOR THE GIG ECONOMY

“For decades experts proclaimed that technology was reshaping the workplace, and a ‘gig economy’ was taking over. But a funny thing happened in the years since. Nothing,” notes an Investors Business Daily editorial, citing some telling statistics.

“Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that, contrary to all those predictions, the gig economy shrank in size over the past two decades. In 1995, there were 6 million ‘contingent workers’ — those with short term or temporary jobs — representing 4.9 percent of the workforce. Last year, there were 5.8 million, or 3.8 percent of the workforce. The share of the workforce made up of independent contractors barely budged in all those years, going from 6.7 percent in 1995 to 6.9 percent in 2017. Overall, the share of workers in ‘traditional arrangements’ has remained exactly the same as it was 23 years ago — at 90 percent,” the editorial said. “The lesson here: Take predictions about future ‘transformational’ trends with a grain of salt. Most things in the marketplace — including the labor market — are the way they are because they are time tested and work.”

A TONY BLANKLEY REMINDER

The Colorado-based Steamboat Institute is seeking applicants for its annual Tony Blankley Chair for Public Policy and American Exceptionalism — a fellowship which honors the late conservative journalist and gentleman scholar and provides a nifty $10,000 stipend plus travel expenses and speaking engagements for emerging young conservative thinkers. Time is of the essence. The application deadline is June 29, the winner to be announced at the 10th Annual Freedom Conference and Festival in August.

Keynote speakers at the August event are Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Fox News anchor Shannon Bream. Also among the 18 other speakers: Heritage Foundation President Kay Coles James, Fox News contributor Sebastian Gorka, Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Riley, Turning Point founder Charlie Kirk, and Hollywood conservative power couple Kevin and Sam Sorbo.

Find the details on the Blankley fellowship and the event at SteamboatInstitute.org.

POLL DU JOUR

• 59 percent of U.S. voters feel optimistic about the U.S. economy; 90 percent of Republicans, 62 percent of independents and 33 percent of Democrats agree.

• 52 percent overall approve of the way President Trump is handling the economy; 88 percent of Republicans, 57 percent of independents and 20 percent of Democrats agree.

• 41 percent overall disapprove of the way President Trump is handling the economy; 8 percent of Republicans, 29 percent of independents and 72 percent of Democrats agree.

• 35 percent overall feel pessimistic about the economy; 7 percent of Republicans, 29 percent of independents and 59 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Fox News poll of 1,001 registered U.S. voters conducted June 3-6.

Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin


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