NEWS AND OPINION:
In the middle of chronic political hubbub and media caterwaul comes this refreshing question from David Brody, chief political correspondent for the CBN News and the co-author of the recent book “The Faith of Donald J. Trump,” published three months go by Broadside Books. Mr. Brody has new insight on President Trump from an eyewitness.
“Is prayer alive and well in the White House?” Mr. Brody asked Vice President Mike Pence, in an interview with “The 700 Club.”
“There’s prayer going on a regular basis in this White House. And it’s one of the most meaningful things to me, whether it’s public meetings or not, I’ve lost count of the number of times that the president has nudged me, or nudged another member of the Cabinet and said let’s start this meeting with prayer. He’s someone who really believes in the power of prayer and the importance of faith in American life.” Mr. Pence replied.
The vice president offered Mr. Brody another update about the White House.
“I’m pro-life and I don’t apologize for it. And I couldn’t be more honored to serve shoulder-to-shoulder with the most pro-life president in my lifetime. President Donald Trump has taken one step after another to affirm this administration’s commitment to the sanctity of life,” Mr. Pence said.
THE NRA’S OTHER VISITORS
Some 80,000 people — men, women, kids, families, friends, veterans, experts, grannies, champions — are attending the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in Dallas this weekend. And the anti-gun and anti-gun violence protesters are waiting for them.
“Your time signing checks in our blood is up,” says an open letter from NoRA — the “No Rifle Association” — an organization founded last month to counter the NRA’s political influence, and one affiliated with 21 other activist groups, including Rock the Vote.org and the Women’s March.
“We are a diverse, nonpartisan coalition of activists, artists, celebrities, writers, gun violence survivors, and policy experts. We’re going to shine a bright light on what you and your organization to do America,” the letter said. “We’re coming for your money. We’re coming for your puppets. And we’re going to win.”
Membership includes actors Alec Baldwin, Ashley Judd and Julianne Moore, filmmaker Michael Moore, late night host Jimmy Kimmel and Parkland activist David Hogg — to name a few. NoRa, meanwhile, has organized a major rally on Main Street in Dallas featuring actor Alyssa Milano, to be followed by an art show and an evening gala as well.
That’s just the beginning, though. Local groups have planned not one but two rallies outside Dallas City Hall. Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action — both initially funded by Michael Bloomberg — also will sponsor a rally plus voter outreach and other activities “to train new activists and survivors to engage in the fight for gun safety ahead of the 2018 midterm elections and take on the NRA’s dangerous ‘guns everywhere’ agenda.”
Chances are good, however, that the NRA convention guests will be too busy to pay them heed. There’s much to look forward to during the four-day event — including 800 friendly dealers and purveyors across acres of exhibit space, plus live entertainment, seminars, demonstrations, raffles, book signings, workshops, a national membership meeting, a ladies luncheon and a prayer breakfast.
Country music greats will gather on Saturday night to honor the patriotism and charitable heart of Charlie Daniels. On hand for what will surely prove a cheerful, humdinger of a concert: Mr. Daniels of course, plus Travis Tritt and Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers.
This is, incidentally, the biggest NRA meeting yet, say those who know.
POLL FINDINGS OF NOTE
What’s the climate out there? The NRA meeting is occurring in the wake of a recent NBC News poll which found that 6-out-of-10 Americans say that gun ownership “does more to increase safety” by allowing law-abiding citizens to protect themselves.
“These findings represent a reversal from 1999, when a majority — 52 percent — said gun ownership reduces safety. And they come at a time when 47 percent of American adults say they have a firearm in the household, up from 44 percent in 1999,” the network noted in its analysis.
Meanwhile, a Zogby Analytics poll also found that 56 percent of voters agree that they want to support their constitutional right to bear arms “when they hear Hollywood actors and actresses speak out about gun control.”
TRUMP’S VERY OWN POLL
Even before he was elected, President Trump bypassed traditional pollsters in favor of his own surveys, all meant to gauge the sentiments of his fans on a variety of fronts. Mr. Trump has circulated at least a dozen polls over time, the results carefully tabulated. This week, the president is offering a 25-question poll on the media — with some succinct questions. A small sampling:
“Do you feel that the media is too eager to slur conservatives with baseless accusations of racism and sexism?”
“Do you believe the media fails to report on Democrats’ scandals?”
“Do you believe that the media purposely tries to divide Republicans in order to help elect Democrats?”
“Do you agree with the president’s decision to break with tradition by giving lesser known reporters and bloggers the chance to ask the press secretary questions?”
“You’ve seen first-hand how the media belittles and sneers at the hard-working, patriotic Americans who simply wanted a new future for our great country. Well today we’re turning off the TV and letting the American people speak for themselves,” the poll advisory notes.
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POLL DU JOUR
• 96 percent of Americans own a TV; 31 percent would find it “very hard” to give it up.
• 95 percent have a cellphone, 52 percent would find it very hard to give up their phone.
• 89 percent use the internet; 50 percent would find it very hard to give up the internet.
• 69 percent use social media; 14 percent would find it very hard to give it up.
Source: A Pew Research Center survey of 2,002 U.S. adults conducted Jan. 3-10 and released Thursday.
• Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.