- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 22, 2019

It’s MAGA mania. One Boston merchandiser has discovered that selling positive Trump-themed items is good business. Very good business, in fact. Keith Lambert — who founded the pro-Trump interest group New England for Trump in 2015 — has opened five pop-up stores in the Boston area. Sales are very brisk on items emblazoned with the all-time favorites slogans: “Make America Great Again,” “Keep America Great” and now, “Make America Greater.”

That is only the beginning, however. Mottoes in Mr. Lambert’s shop also include “God, guts and guns made America — let’s keep all three,” “Re-elect Trump and make liberals cry again,” “Trump Girl,” “God bless Trump and Pence 2020,” “If you don’t like Trump you probably won’t like me,” and “My rights don’t end where your feelings begin.”

Just to name a few.

“People come up, they shake our hand, they thank us so much for being here. Some people say we’re doing God’s work. It’s just amazing. I am providing people with products which are hard to get,” Mr. Lambert tells WBTS, the local NBC affiliate.

Trump-themed winter hats, Christmas ornaments, blankets with built-in hoods and cheerful coffee cups bearing a full-color portrait of the president are all top sellers.



“My mom woke me up this morning said we were going on political mission,” notes customer Derek Schumaker, a military veteran. “I love my president. I think he’s the greatest guy. He paid me real good in the Army, and I wanted to support him.”

Similar Trump shops that are unaffiliated with the campaign are popping up around the nation in states “as diverse as Louisiana and South Dakota,” the Deseret News reported in November.

Then there are the official versions to consider: The White House Gift Shop, established in 1950 by then-President Harry Truman and found at WhiteHouseGiftShop.com; TrumpStore.com, the official retail website of The Trump Organization; and the official Trump campaign store, found at DonaldJTrump.com. The Trump campaign, incidentally, has sold over $45 million worth of classic red MAGA hats this year.

COURTING FAVOR

Here’s a terse little reminder as the impeachment melodrama continues.

“After three years in office, President Trump has remade the federal judiciary, ensuring a conservative tilt for decades and cementing his legacy no matter the outcome of November’s election. Trump nominees make up 1 in 4 U.S. circuit court judges. Two of his picks sit on the Supreme Court. And this past week, as the House voted to impeach the president, the Republican-led Senate confirmed another 13 district court judges, writes Washington Post political analyst Colby Itkowitz.

“In total, Trump has installed 187 judges to the federal bench,” she notes.

“Trump’s imprint on this country will be felt for decades through his courts,” Chris Kang — chief counsel of Demand Justice, a group that supports liberal judicial nominees — tells the Post.

COURTING CIVILITY

Once upon a time, Congress would go on “civility retreats” to ensure that lawmakers remembered how to talk to one another. This has not happened lately.

Nevertheless, a group of ideologically contrasting interest groups have banded together to show how its done. The Cato Institute and the Brookings Institution have launched Sphere — described as an online site “to discuss contentious public policy issues in a civil and engaging manner.”

So far, scholars from the host organizations, the Heritage Foundation, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the Constitutional Accountability Center have chatted up drug prohibition, the use of military force and the scope of the Supreme Court.

“Sphere has been developed in response to the current tone of public discourse, the assaults on our institutions of government and civil society, and the need to secure the future of our constitutional democracy and the rule of law,” the organizers explain. “The objective of Sphere is to create the gold standard for civil discussions on leading public policy issues — to lower the temperature, without abandoning our deeply held ideas and principles.”

Well, good luck with that. See their efforts at ProjectSphere.org.

SNERDLEY’S PAC MAKES FIRST ENDORSEMENT

Bo Snerdley,” the well-known producer of Rush Limbaugh’s daily talk show, recently founded New Journey PAC, a political action committee which supports black conservatives seeking office. Mr. Snerdley — his real name is James Golden — has now endorsed the first of such candidates.

That would be Carla Spalding, running for Congress in Florida’s 23rd Congressional District. She is a legal immigrant, a Navy veteran, a registered nurse with a master’s degree in nursing, a working mother, college professor and a former council secretary for the Salvation Army — among many things.

“Carla Spalding is the voice black Americans have so desperately needed in Florida. She not only highlights the American dream and the path forward for black Americans, but also shows us just how ineffective liberal policies have been at uplifting the black community. Carla will make an excellent member of Congress,” advises Autry Pruitt, CEO of the new PAC.

Ms. Spalding has an observation about another congresswoman in the Sunshine State.

“Socialist Democrats like Debbie Wasserman Schultz have forsaken black voters and pursued policies designed to keep down black Americans. I am living proof that black Americans can live the American dream if they start supporting policies and politicians to help them get there. I will stand with President Trump in saving this country,” says Ms. Spalding, who kicks off her campaign Jan. 3.

POLL DU JOUR

93% of Americans celebrate Christmas; 94% of conservatives, 94% of moderates and 92% of liberals agree.

35% of Americans overall say they personally celebrate Christmas as a “strongly religious” holiday; 47% of conservatives, 31% of moderates and 16% of liberals agree.

32% overall say they celebrate it as a “somewhat religious” holiday; 33% of conservatives, 33% of moderates and 31% of liberals agree.

26% overall say their Christmas is “not too religious”; 13% of conservatives, 29% of moderates and 45% of liberals agree.

7% overall say they do not celebrate Christmas; 6% of conservatives, 6% of moderates and 8% of liberals agree.

Source: A Gallup poll of 1,025 U.S. adults conducted Dec. 2-15 and released Friday.

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