- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 14, 2018

The good, the bad and the ugly collide nonstop in news coverage. So do the confusing and the ridiculous. But on occasion, the rare survey emerges with a reassuring finding: Americans are still proud of America no matter what the media, cultural gurus or the naysayers believe. No, really.

“Americans overwhelmingly are proud of their nation and its past,” says a new Rasmussen reports poll, revealing that 85 percent of U.S. adults take fierce pride in their nation, a finding that has remained the same for years.

This pride, or a form of it, has been a constant. A comprehensive American Enterprise Institute analysis of “self-professed patriotism” reflected in nearly 40 years of polling says the same thing. The source of those polls include Gallup, The Associated Press, Pew Research Center, a multitude of news organizations and other sources.

“Most Americans describe themselves as patriotic. Eighty-seven percent in 2001 said they were extremely or very proud to be American in a Gallup trend that began that year. A collection of other questions asked around the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, show it to be a time when Americans rallied to their country and patriotic sentiments were very high. Sixteen years later, in March 2017, a still robust 75 percent described themselves that way,” the study said. “Other pollsters find similarly high levels of patriotism.”

The analysis delved into surveys that pinpointed the exact sources of pride — with pride in U.S. armed forces leading the way, followed by scientific and technological achievements.

“While Americans are patriotic, they also have criticisms and concerns about the country today. We are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the country and dissatisfied with the position of the U.S. in the world. Still, we see our country as one of the greatest in the world, and believe it has a unique character,” said the analyses, written by Karlyn Bowman and Eleanor O’Neil and released last year.

FBI, DOJ AND OTHER MATTERS

It will take a while to sort out the Department of Justice IG report on Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state, and all of its myriad implications. The headlines are out there, though. Here’s brief selection from dozens that emerged:

“Comey was ‘insubordinate’ in Clinton probe, Inspector General finds” (Bloomberg); “Comey cited as ‘Insubordinate,’ but report finds no bias in FBI” (The New York Times); “Rep. Pete King: FBI disclosures in IG deport ‘disgraceful’” (Newsmax); “FBI’s Peter Strzok told Lisa Page ‘we’ll stop’ Trump from being president” (Newsweek); “Texts reveal disgraced FBI agent told lover ‘we’ll stop’ Trump” (New York Post); “Strzok attorney pushes back against ‘critically flawed’ IG report” (The Hill); “How 7 words in the 500-page IG report gave Donald Trump all the deep-state ammo he wanted” (CNN).

Meanwhile, a reminder that the endless mission of the FBI and Justice Department is ongoing and can be reviewed at FBI.gov and Justice.gov. From an FBI notice released this week:

“Federal authorities — including the Department of Justice and the FBI — announced a major coordinated law enforcement effort to disrupt international business email compromise — schemes that are designed to intercept and hijack wire transfers from businesses and individuals. Operation WireWire — which also included the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of the Treasury, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service — involved a six-month sweep that culminated in over two weeks of intensified law enforcement activity resulting in 74 arrests in the U.S. and overseas, including 42 in the U.S., 29 in Nigeria, and three in Canada, Mauritius, and Poland. The operation also resulted in the seizure of nearly $2.4 million and the disruption and recovery of approximately $14 million in fraudulent wire transfers.”

THE WISDOM OF SARAH

“Sarah, Sarah, don’t you have any empathy? Come on, Sarah. You’re a parent. Don’t you have any empathy for what these people are going through? They have less than you do. Sarah, come on, seriously,” CNN contributor and Playboy White House reporter Brian Karem yelled to White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Thursday, prompted by his concern for U.S. immigration policy that separates immigrant children from their parents at the border.

“Brian. Guys. Settle down,” she replied.

“Sarah, come on. Seriously. Seriously,” the reporter persisted, getting louder by the second.

“I’m trying to be serious, but I’m not going to have you yell out of turn,” Mrs. Sanders advised.

“But you’re sitting there telling us it’s a law. And they have — these people have nothing. They come over here with nothing,” Mr. Karem said.

“Hey, Brian, I know you want to get some more TV time, but that’s not what this is about,” Mrs. Sanders said, and turned to another reporter.

TRUMP-BASHING FATIGUE

“Saturday Night Live” has been the bastion of anti-Trump jokes for about three years now, offering Trump impersonator Alec Baldwin a showcase for his, uh, craft. Republicans also don’t fare well on the NBC late-night mainstay, now marking its 43rd year on the air.

The appeal could be fading.

“I hope next year we can do more, funnier stuff instead of a lot of political stuff this year, which we had to,” says Leslie Jones, a writer and cast member who has been on the show for fours years and feels the cast has had a “responsibility” to feature such material.

“But I do hope that next year will be a lot more funny-funny-based stuff, more comedy-based stuff, instead of a lot of political stuff,” Ms. Jones tells The Wrap.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

For sale: Santerella: the Fairy Tale Estate, whimsical family compound built from structures dating from 1750 to 1910 on four acres in Tyringham, Massachusetts. Seven bedrooms, six baths, banquet hall, artist studio, “gingerbread details,” massive stone fireplace; 7,330 square feet. Multiple eccentric thatched and shingled roofs, ornate wood and stone work, vaulted and cathedral beamed ceilings, medieval-style doors, multi-paned windows. Lily ponds, lush shrubbery. Priced at $1.9 million through Sothebysrealty.com. Find this unusual home here.

POLL DU JOUR

63 percent of American fathers say they spend too little time with their kids.

57 percent say parenting is extremely important to their identity.

54 percent say parenting is rewarding all of the time.

52 percent say it’s hard to balance work and family life.

46 percent say parenting is enjoyable all of the time.

44 percent of childless men hope to become fathers at some point.

Source: A Pew Research Center analysis of three surveys of approximately 3,000 U.S. adult men conducted in 2015-17; the analysis was released Thursday.

Happy Father’s Day to one and all, and thank you for reading Inside the Beltway.


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