- The Washington Times - Monday, May 21, 2018

Former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama have been an emphatic public presence since they departed the White House on the afternoon of Jan. 20, 2017. The website BarackObama.com has been rebranded as “The Office of Barack and Michelle Obama,” offering a clear point of contact, a built-in video titled “We Love You Back” and a takeaway message that states “change — big change — takes many years.”

The nonprofit Obama Foundation is busy indeed supporting the Barack Obama Presidential Center, the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance and an international outreach which includes grass-roots training, community organization, fellowships, internships and multiple public programs for assorted demographics.

The Obama’s trajectory has now entered the creative realm. They have founded another organization called Higher Ground Productions — and with good reason. On Monday, the couple signed a multiyear “storytelling” contract with online video giant Netflix to produce original programming for a built-in, loyal audience of 125 million subscribers in 190 countries.

The announcement immediately trended nationally on Twitter, with pro-Obama fans rejoicing and pro-Trump or conservative factions suggesting the public cancel their subscriptions to Netflix.

“It’s must-flee TV,” wrote one critic, while another suggested, “It’s no longer Netflix” and a third declared that the alliance was “the deep state further infiltrating the entertainment industry.” The hashtag #BoycottNetflix also re-entered the fray. It was previously employed in March following the appointment of Susan Rice — former U.N. ambassador and national security adviser to Mr. Obama — to the Netflix board of directors.

Meanwhile, the creative power-couple are emphasizing the noble side of things, with not a mention of politics.

“One of the simple joys of our time in public service was getting to meet so many fascinating people from all walks of life, and to help them share their experiences with a wider audience. That’s why Michelle and I are so excited to partner with Netflix — we hope to cultivate and curate the talented, inspiring, creative voices who are able to promote greater empathy and understanding between peoples, and help them share their stories with the entire world,” Mr. Obama said in a statement.

Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said the globally recognized couple “are uniquely positioned to discover and highlight stories of people who make a difference in their communities and strive to change the world for the better.”

TRUMP‘S DEDICATION TO THE UNBORN

Those who fiercely uphold pro-life beliefs will gather in the nation’s capital Tuesday to celebrate the champions of the cause. President Trump is the keynote speaker at the event, expected to draw 800 people at a historic venue not 10 blocks from the White House.

“President Trump is governing as the most pro-life president in our nation’s history. He has diligently and successfully gone about fulfilling his promises to the pro-life voters who worked so hard to elect him, and it has been a privilege to stand with him to defend the innocent unborn,” says Marjorie Dannenfelser president of the Susan B. Anthony List, the interest group which organized the 11th annual Campaign for Life event — for which this year’s theme is “Worth Fighting For.”

Also on the podium: Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana, longtime pro-life advocate Kathy Ireland, and Kellyanne Conway, the steadfast counselor to Mr. Trump and a mother of four. She will receive a distinguished leader award for “unwavering” support of pro-life causes.

Mrs. Dannenfelser, meanwhile, says the organization’s representatives personally visited over 1 million voters in their homes in 2016 as an ambitious get-out-the-vote campaign. She also deems the upcoming midterms as the most important election for the pro-life movement since Roe v. Wade.

“We have redoubled our efforts. Our team is on track to reach 2 million voters in key Senate battleground states to mobilize the pro-life grass-roots and defeat abortion extremists. We must reclaim the pro-life Senate majority to protect the gains made under President Trump and ensure his pro-life agenda continues unobstructed. Unborn children, their mothers, and pro-life taxpayers could not have a stronger ally in the White House,” Mrs. Dannenfelser notes.

HILLARY SAYS NO TO CYNTHIA

In April, Vanity Fair wondered whether Cynthia Nixon, a progressive actor running for governor of New York, would be the Empire State’s “Clinton Do-Over.” Well, that remains to be seen. One thing is for sure, however. Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton herself has chosen to endorse and support incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo. So has Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

Amused critics are pining out that the two prominent feminists are not offering support for a fellow woman, who has publicly said Mr. Cuomo “governs like a Republican” and is a “bully” politician.

“Dilemmas, dilemmas. Whom to support? The terrible centrist-y incumbent whose father was also governor or the left-wing upstart who, if elected, would be the first woman chief executive of New York?” asks HotAir senior editor Allahpundit.

ONE FOR THE MERCHANT MARINES

Just so you know: President Trump has proclaimed Tuesday as National Maritime Day to honor the critical role the U.S. Merchant Marine plays in bolstering national security and economic growth.

“Merchant mariners are ambassadors of good will, projecting a peaceful United States presence along the sea lanes of the world and into regions of core strategic importance to our Nation. Often risking their lives by sailing into war zones, our merchant mariners continue to support our troops overseas by providing them with needed cargo and logistical support,” Mr. Trump notes in the proclamation.

National Maritime Day was initially recognized in 1933 to commemorate the 1819 voyage of the S.S. Savannah, the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean.

POLL DU JOUR

48 percent of Americans say it is “very likely” they will vote in the 2018 midterm elections; 60 percent of Republicans, 43 percent of independents and 54 percent of Democrats agree.

18 percent overall say it is “somewhat likely” they will vote; 19 percent of Republicans, 17 percent of independents and 20 percent of Democrats agree.

15 percent overall say it is “not very likely” they will vote; 14 percent of Republicans, 17 percent of independents and 14 percent of Democrats agree.

19 percent overall say it is “not at all likely” they will vote; 7 percent of Republicans, 23 percent of independents and 12 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A CBS News Tracker poll of 2,023 U.S. adults conducted May 16-20.

Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin


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