- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 16, 2018

Fox Sports Radio host Clay Travis has much to say in a forthcoming book titled “Republicans Buy Sneakers Too: How the Left is Ruining Sports with Politics.” Mr. Travis is intent on saving sports, he says, from “social justice warriors seeking to turn them into another political battleground.” Mr. Travis is naming names and supplying anecdotes; he refers to ESPN as “MSESPN” and insists that politicized sports could sully national unity.

“In a time and era when everything in the media is about turning us into tribal communities warring with each other over politics, sports stood against the tide, offering an opportunity to unite us,” the author writes, making the case that this unifying calling is fading away, undermined by social media, marketing and other factors.

Most telling is the final chapter in the book — “How to make sports great again.” It is intended as a plea to return sports to a previous historical role as “a unifying and not a divisive force in American life,” writes Mr. Travis, who last year considered a run for the Senate seat in his home state of Tennessee.

“The way Clay Travis sees it, sports are barely about sports anymore. Whether it’s in the stadium or the studio, the conversation isn’t about who’s talented and who stinks. It’s about who said the right or wrong thing from the sidelines or on social media. And we know which side is playing referee in that game. Having ruined journalism and Hollywood, far left-wing activists have now turned to sports. Travis argues it’s time for right-thinking fans everywhere to put down their beers and reclaim their teams and their traditions,” advises publisher Broadside Books in advance notes.

“Travis hopes that if we can stop sports from being just another political battlefield, and return it to our common ground, we can come together as a country again.”

This Mr. Travis’ third book; it is due out Sept. 25. Broadside Books is the conservative imprint of Harper Collins Books — which also publishers such authors as Gregg Jarrett, Derek Hunter, Dennis Prager and Donald Rumsfeld.

REMINDER: IT’S CONSTITUTION DAY

Everyone argues about the Constitution. Not so many sit down and read it, or honor its existence. Now is your big chance. Monday is Constitution Day, a fact not lost on President Trump.

“We recognize the Constitution’s role in securing for our country the blessings of liberty; we salute the service members, statesmen, and citizens who have defended it; and we commit ourselves to the active citizenship that self-government requires,” Mr. Trump says in his official proclamation for Constitution Day.

“In my Inaugural Address, I promised to return power to the American people. As President, I have instructed my Cabinet and all agency officials to regulate only when, and how, authorized by duly enacted statute. I have also instructed agencies to eliminate regulations that are ineffective, that fail to address real-world problems, that are needlessly burdensome, and that prevent Americans from designing their own innovative solutions. I call on Federal agencies to make room for states and local communities, for religious and civic organizations, and for individual Americans to address problems with the ingenuity and determination that make our country great,” Mr. Trump later added.

FREE ENTERPRISE TO THE RESCUE

The nation’s billion dollar home-maintenance retailers have stepped up to the plate to help those affected by Hurricane Florence.

“Before and after a hurricane, Ace is the place. And Home Depot and Lowe’s. And many other hardware and building supply outlets. Not surprisingly, these companies plan for storms such as Hurricane Florence all year. Much like the Federal Emergency Management Agency, supplies are pre-positioned and trucks loaded and ready to go with everything from batteries to gas cans to tarps to chainsaws,” writes Curt Anderson, who covers legal affair for The Associated Press in South Florida.

“Here’s the thing: the government can only do so much. Most people must fend for themselves at some point, and the local hardware or building supply store is where they go. Not everything is available easily online. Try to buy some drywall that way,” he noted.

“It’s a year-round thing for us. When it’s hurricane season, we are operating 24 hours a day,” Home Depot spokeswoman Margaret Smith told Mr. Anderson.

Home Depot and Lowe’s are proactive.

“Both activated sophisticated emergency command centers that bring together various divisions to work on everything from shipping logistics to ensuring employees in hurricane zones get back on their feet. They have their own meteorologists on duty and are in contact with government agencies,” said Mr. Anderson, who noted that in 2017, Home Depot had revenue of $100 billion, Lowe’s $68 billion.

The retailers focus on vigorous efficiency — and more.

“At the end of the day, it’s about the community, it’s about the stores,” Jennifer Thayer, Lowe’s vice president for store operations in North and South Carolina, told AP.

YAY: SOMETHING GOT DONE

Is Congress trying to lessen its image as a “do nothing” group? Well, maybe.

“A batch of three spending bills is on its way to President Trump’s desk following a 377-20 House vote Thursday, marking the first on-time delivery of a quarter of the annual appropriations measures in a decade,” writes Roll Call budget reporter Jennifer Shutt, who calls the event a watershed moment.

“The $147.5 billion package — which funds the departments of Energy and Veterans Affairs, the Army Corps of Engineers and the operations of Congress — is the first installment of what lawmakers hope will be nine bills becoming law before the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.”

POLL DU JOUR

54 percent say a U.S. president can “do a lot” to increase the number of available jobs; 73 percent of Republicans, 47 percent of independents and 47 percent of Democrats agree.

39 percent overall say President Trump deserves the credit for low employment numbers; 77 percent of Republicans, 36 percent of independents and 12 percent of Democrats agree.

32 percent overall say former President Barack Obama deserves the credit; 9 percent of Republicans, 25 percent of independents and 63 percent of Democrats agree.

16 percent overall are not sure who deserves credit; 8 percent of Republicans, 23 percent of independents and 12 percent of Democrats agree.

13 percent overall say neither president deserves credit; 6 percent of Republicans, 16 percent of independents and 12 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted Sept. 9-11.

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