- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Behold, here’s a canny observation following President Trump’s fast-food party for visiting athletes — a supreme cultural moment that vexed the news media and fascinated the public earlier this week. It’s worth a revisit, providing insight into master strategy on a complicated battlefield.

“Trump’s burger fete was great theater. It was a magnanimous thing to do. It was a politically savvy thing to do. The president not only ate a bunch of burgers, he just ate the Left’s lunch, again,” writes Spectator USA columnist Roger Kimball, referring, of course, to Mr. Trump’s convivial event for the champion Clemson University football team, who came to the White House on Monday and dined upon fine fast food, served upon silver platters.

Democrats, progressives and assorted Trump rivals took offense and deemed the event inappropriate, even though former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama both enjoyed burgers and fries at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. during their time in office.

“This heart-warming (though possibly indigestion causing) episode demonstrates once again how nimble the President is on his feet. He thinks quickly. The White House cooks are unavailable. He wants to do something for a great college football team. He improvises, brilliantly,” says Mr. Kimball, who is also editor and publisher of The New Criterion and the publisher of Encounter Books.

“The second fact is that the Left’s yapping, hysterical reaction to the event — ‘Sexist!’ ‘Unpresidential!’ ‘Unhealthy!’ — reminds most of America just how out of touch with most of America they are. There is a menopause of the spirit as well as of the body, and the Left is deep into heat-flash and night-sweats territory,” Mr. Kimball observes.

THE GREAT DIVIDE

Republicans and Democrats have completely different visions on the nature of immigration.

“About two-thirds of Democrat voters want the U.S. to open its borders to ‘anyone who wants to come here’ — as long as that person isn’t either a criminal or terrorist,” writes CNSNews.com analyst Craig Bannister, citing new numbers from a Rasmussen Reports poll.

“In the national survey of 1,000 likely voters, conducted January 10-13, 2019, 65% of those identifying as Democrats said it is in America’s best interest ‘To open our borders to anyone who wants to come here as long as they are not a terrorist or a criminal.’ Only about a quarter (26 percent) of Democrats said the U.S. should ‘tightly control who come into the country,’” he says.

“In contrast, 80 percent of Republican voters said the U.S. should tightly control who enters the country, as did 56 percent of all likely voters surveyed. Only a third (34 percent) of all voters said the U.S. should welcome ‘anyone’ in who isn’t a terrorist or criminal,” Mr. Bannister notes.

ONE FOR THE GREATEST OF THE GREAT

President Trump has signed into law the 75th Anniversary of World War II Commemoration Act, which essentially directs acting Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan to recognize this significant occasion, honor the nation’s precious WWII veterans, educate the public about historical aspects and pay tribute to Americans who manned the home front, as well as the sacrifices of U.S. allies.

“We owe it to the veterans of WWII to recognize their service to this great nation, and I applaud the president for doing exactly that by signing this bill,” says Sen. James Inhofe, Oklahoma Republican, who with Rep. Sam Graves, Missouri Republican, saw the legislation through, start to finish.

“The 75th anniversary of World War II is the last chance on a large scale to thank and honor WWII veterans for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the United States and to thank and honor the families of those veterans,” notes Thalia Ertman, a public education officer for Friends of the National World War II Memorial, an active and meticulous nonprofit that has and will continue to host events marking the anniversary.

OUR BUSY WORLD

It was once considered one of the unique and most remote spots on the entire planet. It is now among the most crowded.

“Machu Picchu changes ticketing policy to counter overtourism,” reports Travel and Tour World, an industry publication.

Indeed, the UNESCO World Heritage site has introduced strict time slots for throngs of tourists who arrive at the rate of 5,000 a day and pay about $70 each for tickets to visit Machu Picchu, a 15th-century Inca citadel some 8,000 feet above sea level.

“Visitors are asked to follow defined routes around the site rather than have a freewheeling experience,” says the publication, which advises that tickets are available through travel agents or the official Machu Picchu website.

BLAZE TV KEEPS EXPANDING

Media fare for conservatives is about to get larger — and louder. BlazeTV, the independent company launched in December by conservative titans Mark Levin and Glenn Beck, has expanded its programming to include libertarian content and humor, featuring longtime grass-roots activist Matt Kibbe and comedian Chad Prather.

“As a libertarian, I’m proud to be joining BlazeTV. I’m going to put some new ideas forward, have thoughtful conversations with smart people from different perspectives and reach for new audiences outside of the usual silos,” said Mr. Kibbe, who founded the grass-roots groups FreedomWorks and will anchor a new offering called “Kibbe on Liberty.”

It showcases his basic guiding principle — “Don’t hurt people and don’t take their stuff” — and is set to debut Feb. 18.

“As supposedly public social media platforms censor certain voices to shelter their ideological biases, BlazeTV will be a vital platform where speech is truly free,” Mr. Kibbe noted.

Mr. Prather, meanwhile, will introduce “Humor Me with Chad Prather” on Jan 30.

“There’s no better combination in media than humor and thought,” he says.

POLL DU JOUR

51 percent of Americans oppose “substantially expanding” the southern U.S. border wall; 16 percent of Republicans and 93 percent of Democrats agree.

40 percent approve of expanding the wall; 82 percent of Republicans and 6 percent of Democrats agree.

44 percent say expanding the wall would “not have much impact” in reducing illegal immigration; 12 percent of Republicans and 70 percent of Democrats agree.

34 percent say expanding the wall would prompt a “major reduction” in illegal immigration; 69 percent of Republicans and 7 percent of Democrats agree.

20 percent say expanding the wall would prompt a “minor reduction” in illegal immigration; 18 percent of Republicans and 22 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Pew Research Center poll os 1,505 U.S. adults conducted Jan. 9-14.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on twitter @HarperBulletin.

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