NEWS AND OPINION:
Thursday marks the beginning of a pivotal 72 hours in the nation’s capital for the Faith & Freedom Coalition, the 1.8 million-member grass-roots nonprofit that will stage its annual “Road to Majority” gathering. The three-day event features a startling number of lawmakers and power players, including coalition chairman Ralph Reed and Vice President Mike Pence — the keynote speaker for a Saturday night “Patriot’s Gala” at a historic hotel north of the White House.
The organization will make a joyful noise, and talk serious policy, strategy and outreach. There are names, many names.
The big doings get under way at high noon Thursday with a convivial legislative luncheon with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Republicans Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. A Capitol Hill town-hall meeting follows with Sens. Chuck Grassley, Orrin Hatch and John Cornyn plus Republican Reps. Ann Wagner, Doug Collins, Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Mark Walker.
But wait there’s more. Much more. Friday showcases another parade of stars, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Sen. David Perdue, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, Reps. Kevin McCarthy, Marsha Blackburn, Kevin Brady and Karen Handel.
Also appearing: EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer, broadcast hosts Rabbi Daniel Lapin and Michael Medved, and Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist.
An evening session continues at the Museum of the Bible, some three blocks from the Capitol. Then there’s Saturday, which has a particularly muscular schedule that includes appearances by author-filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza, activist Joy Villa and Rep. Louie Gohmert.
“We believe that the greatness of America lies not in the federal government but in the character of our people — the simple virtues of faith, hard work, marriage, family, personal responsibility, and helping the least among us. If we lose sight of these values, America will cease to be great. Never before has it been more critical for us to speak out for these values,” the Georgia-based coalition notes in a mission statement.
MEDIA OVERLOOKS ‘THE BOND’
President Trump has dismissed the idea that a Democratic blue wave will dominate the midterm elections. Meanwhile, a few senior Democratic lawmakers and blue-minded strategists now caution their party not to build campaigns around anti-Trump rhetoric alone. But the media? They still remain infatuated with negative coverage of Mr. Trump and his administration, and do not seem aware that Republican Party grows more robust by the day.
“There is lots of Republican enthusiasm. The Republicans are not staying home. This is what the media and the Democrats are going to miss,” talk radio host Rush Limbaugh told his 14 million listeners Wednesday. “They have yet to try to find out exactly why this bond that Trump has with his voters exists. All they do is impugn it, make fun of it, laugh at it. They disregard it. If they were seasoned political professionals, they would want to know why. They wouldn’t just sit there and arrogantly condemn it all as beneath them. They’d want to find out why.”
Mr. Limbaugh blames a certain journalistic attitude for ignoring the loyalty of Trump voters.
“If you really want to bust this bond, bust this connection — you’ve got to find out why it exists. And the media is not spending any time doing that because their arrogance doesn’t permit them to. They don’t think. They think they’re so much smarter than the average Trump voter that it wouldn’t take much to get the average Trump voter to abandon Trump. They lie to themselves,” Mr. Limbaugh noted.
The narrative that the “bond” will weaken and Trump voters elect Democrats en masse, he says, “just isn’t true.”
A BEE UPDATE
“Samantha Bee to get more oversight after Ivanka Trump slur,” reports The Hollywood Reporter, this following the exit of advertisers and negative press about “Full Frontal,” the TBS comedy show hosted by Ms. Bee and the setting for her insults against the president’s elder daughter.
“Following the backlash, network management will have more scrutiny over Bee’s show,” a source told The Reporter.
“The plan is for management to work with the show to prevent another incident that could potentially scare advertisers and draw condemnation from both sides of the political aisle. The network had previously given Bee essentially full creative license,” the industry publication said.
TOGETHER: BILL AND W
An unusual event is in the making. “Two Presidents, One Unprecedented Evening,” features former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, together on stage in the heart of New York City to talk over the issues of the day. The evening event will be staged this fall at the Streiker Center at Temple Emanu-el, to be moderated by historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.
Tickets? They are priced at $250 and available to the public as of Thursday; the event is already headed for a sell-out. The organization will also pair up former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Vice President Dick Cheney for a chat as well. Information is at Emanuelstreickernyc.org.
FOX NEWS OFF TO SINGAPORE
This network moves very quickly. Fox News Channel will present coverage of the U.S. summit with North Korea in Singapore on Tuesday, with special on-site programming throughout the weekend leading up to the event.
Correspondent John Roberts and Rich Edson begin reporting live from Singapore beginning Saturday. “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace” also airs from the city featuring interviews with Robert Gallucci, the chief negotiator during the North Korean nuclear crisis of 1994, and astute analyst Gordon Chang. Sean Hannity will host “Hannity” program live from Singapore from Monday to Wednesday. Bret Baier, Shannon Bream and Ed Henry also anchor special late-night news presentations beginning Sunday.
POLL DU JOUR
• 72 percent of Americans say it is essential the U.S. continue to be a leader in space exploration.
• 65 percent say it is essential NASA continue to be involved in space exploration.
• 58 percent say human astronauts are vital to the future of the U.S. space program.
• 33 percent say private companies in space will ensure U.S. progress in the field.
• 32 percent say colonies on other planets will be developed in the next 50 years.
Source: A Pew Research Center American trends poll of 2,541 U.S. adults conducted March 27-April 9 and released Wednesday.
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