- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 14, 2019

News organizations have been wringing their hands over the possibility of a “Trump national emergency” over the southern border wall for quite sometime; their angst was fully evident during President Trump’s combined press conference and big announcement on Friday, revealing that he had indeed declared a national emergency over the wall and its funding.

“The current situation at the southern border presents a border security and humanitarian crisis that threatens core national security interests and constitutes a national emergency. The southern border is a major entry point for criminals, gang members, and illicit narcotics. The problem of large-scale unlawful migration through the southern border is long-standing, and despite the executive branch’s exercise of existing statutory authorities, the situation has worsened in certain respects in recent years,” Mr. Trump said in his official proclamation on Friday.

Meanwhile, the press has been fretting over this possibility for many months. Consider this headline: “Trump’s search for a national emergency,” which came from CNN on April 5, 2018. The coverage has intensified since the first of the year, as journalists continued non-stop to weigh in or wage war on the president’s intentions.

His declaration is actually the 32nd of such emergencies declared since Jimmy Carter was president, all of them still active. So let the games begin. Much of the news media has responded by upping the ante, spicing their reports with alarm, speculation, warnings, annoyance. A very, very brief selection of headlines from the past 24 hours:

Trump’s declaring a national emergency to get his wall. He’s forcing a constitutional crisis” (ABC News); “Trump’s national emergency, and its massive unintended consequences” (The Washington Post); “Trump’s emergency declaration could trigger a drawn out legal fight” (USA Today); “Trump’s national emergency is fake and the GOP knows it” (Los Angeles Times); “Nancy Pelosi warns GOP: Democratic president could declare gun violence a national emergency” (CNBC); “Trump said he ‘didn’t need’ to declare an emergency to build the wall and liberal lawyers are thrilled” (BuzzFeed); “Madeleine Albright: If Trump declares national emergency he’s a ‘bully with an army’” (The Hill).

THE TEXAS FACTOR

Amid all the hubbub is a new report from Breitbart, revealing that a pair of Lone Star Republicans have their own plans, national emergency or not. Texas state Reps. Kyle Biedermann and Briscoe Cain are hard at work on legislation to procure $2.5 billion from the state’s Rainy Day Fund to help out the border wall cause.

“I believe that we have a duty to secure our border and ports. Drugs and human trafficking coming through our porous southern border put all Americans at risk. If Congress refuses to keep Americans safe, then Texas must act,” Mr. Cain told Fox News.

THE GOD FACTOR

Is there a God factor involved with President Trump’s appeal to voters? A new poll suggests that a notable amount of Americans think that’s a possibility, though partisan opinions were pronounced.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders recently told the Christian Broadcasting Network that she feels God “wanted Donald Trump to become president” — a moment that has inspired a question in a Fox News poll.

“Do you believe God wanted Donald Trump to become president, or don’t you believe that?” the poll asked.

Overall, a quarter of registered voters said they did believe it, while 62 percent said no and 14 percent didn’t know. The poll itself was wide-ranging, surveying opinions among 36 different demographics.

The strongest affirmative came from white evangelicals: 55 percent agreed that God wanted Mr. Trump in the White House. That view was reflected by evangelist Franklin Graham following Mr. Trump’s victory in 2016. When asked to explain the unexpected win, Mr. Graham said “God showed up.”

Those who voted for Mr. Trump were next with strong positive sentiment, with 46 percent agreeing with the idea — followed by GOP women (49 percent), all Republicans (45 percent), Republican men (42 percent) and conservatives (40 percent). Among Democrats, 9 percent agreed.

The loudest negatives came from those who voted for Hillary Clinton: 87 percent said they did not believe God wanted Mr. Trump to be president, followed by liberals (85 percent) and all Democrats, as well as Democrat men and women at 84 percent.

The Fox News poll of 1,004 registered U.S. voters was conducted Feb. 10-12.

THE ARMED GUARDS OF FLORIDA

All public school in Florida now are required to have armed security personnel on the premises, this following the Parkland high school shooting a year ago. One local charter school in Palmetto with 2,100 students is going the distance here.

“Manatee School for the Arts, which has more leeway than regular public schools, has taken a more aggressive approach to the guardian program, hiring only military veterans with combat experience and arming them with Glock handguns and Kel-Tec RDB 17-inch semi-automatic long guns, both of which they carry at all times. The rifle is a bullpup, a configuration that allows for a shorter firearm with a long barrel, and uses .223 caliber ammunition, same as an AR-15,” reports The Bradenton Herald.

“If someone walks onto this campus, they’re going to be shot and killed. We’re not going to talk with them. We’re not going to negotiate. We are going to put them down, as quickly as possible,” Principal Bill Jones told the newspaper.

The school guardians also wear combat-level body armor.

“The administration was also very particular in the ammunition used with the long guns to avoid over-penetration. Officials selected a shell designed for hunting that can go through basic body armor an intruder might be wearing. But it won’t go through the intruder, lessening the risk to students and staff,” The Bradenton Herald noted.

The school, which has coordinated all the new measures with the Palmetto police department, has added higher perimeter fences, maintains 450 surveillance cameras and plans a more secure main entry as well.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

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POLL DU JOUR

63 percent of U.S. voters say they are optimistic about the U.S. economy; 87 percent of Republicans, 50 percent of independents and 39 percent of Democrats agree.

57 percent have a favorable opinion of capitalism; 72 percent of Republicans, 46 percent of independents and 47 percent of Democrats agree.

40 percent say they are “on the way toward achieving the American dream”; 43 percent of Republicans, 42 percent of independents and 36 percent of Democrats agree.

38 percent say they have achieved the American dream; 46 percent of Republicans, 25 percent of independents and 35 percent of Democrats agree.

25 percent have a favorable opinion of socialism; 6 percent of Republicans, 25 percent of independents and 43 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Fox News poll of 1,004 registered U.S. voters conducted Feb. 10-12.

Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin

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