- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 19, 2020

One thing to remember about President Trump: He is a canny, savvy showman, with unparalleled media and entertainment experience. That is an asset which could help Mr. Trump pick up the support of undecided, independent or disinterested voters when election day comes. Democratic hopeful Joseph R. Biden and his campaign, however, appear to lack that factor. So far, the Democratic National Convention has been described as a listless infomercial, among other things. The heavily prepackaged event has not warranted many sparkling reviews, and suffered a drop in ratings.

A memorable impression, an emotional effect on voters — a political brand — has gone missing.

“Old and young, progressive and super progressive, left and far left, black, white, Asian, Latino, Native American — they all had something to say. But if there was a theme running through the night, I couldn’t find it. Oh, yes, Donald Trump bad, got that. Really, really bad. OK, got that, too. Then what? What do Democrats stand for and, more to the point, what are they promising voters if they gain the White House? I honestly don’t know,” wrote New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin.

“Surely, someone, somewhere, among the Democratic Party’s many Hollywood connections could have helped them avoid this,” observed Kaylee McGhee, a commentary writer for The Washington Examiner.

Instead, the Democratic creative team seems to be wooing those who already support Mr. Biden.

“The way you win elections is in six states: Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan. You have to appeal to independent voters, to undecided voters, and right now we don’t hear a message from the Democratic Party on how they will make the American people’s lives better,” Joe Concha, media analyst for The Hill, tells Fox News.

That proverbial “optimistic message” is missing, he says, and the same script — “Rip Trump, slam Trump, roast Trump” — repeats time and again.

“I don’t hear anything outside of, ‘Joe Biden is decent and he’s normal and he’s a good man’ and that isn’t exactly going to cut it in terms of putting together a bumper sticker,” Mr. Concha said.


It’s not all bad. The Democratic Party did do something right in their convention — and it’s something of which Republican planners should take note, advises Tristan Justice, a staff writer for The Federalist.

“If Republicans weren’t planning on it already, they would be wise to adopt the Democratic Party’s method of officially declaring delegates to their elected nominee,” Mr. Justice writes.

“Democrats stumbled upon an effective method to make their online convention come to life: they taped party leaders formally pledging delegates from their own states and territories in front of signature landmarks showcasing the nation’s diverse landscape in an Olympic parade-style tribute,” he says.

Republicans should follow suit, Mr. Justice advises.

“They should showcase the beauty of the country as party leaders call in and pledge their votes for President Trump with signature landmarks representing their states and territories in the backdrop,” he writes. “The practice could even prove effective enough to become a permanent fixture in political conventions.”


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is offering a sensible solution to those cities or towns in the Lone Star State that hope to defund their police departments. Those which do make the move will have their property tax revenue permanently frozen.

Money — and the lack of it — talks.

“Defunding the police puts the residents in danger and it invites lawlessness into our communities. This will be an effective tool that will prevent cities from being able to reduce funding support for law enforcement agencies,” Mr. Abbott said, upon introducing the idea in a public announcement Tuesday.

“The way this proposal works is this. Any city that defunds police departments will have its property tax revenue frozen at the current level. They will never be able to increase property tax revenue again if they defund police. Cities that endanger residents by reducing law enforcement should not then be able to turn around and go back and get more property tax dollars from those same residents whose lives the city just endangered,” Mr. Abbott said.

He could be just in time with the proposal. The Austin City Council has already unanimously approved a plan to redirect $150 million away from the local police department, to be redistributed to local social services.


Perseverance, the new Mars Rover spacecraft, is in flight and due to reach the Red Planet on Feb. 18, 2021. It also carrying a little four-pound helicopter named Ingenuity destined to make the first experimental flight across the Martian countryside. Like any vehicle, it requires maintenance.

NASA reveals that it has successfully charged up the copter’s six lithium-ion batteries from its on-ton, 10-foot host vehicle.

“This was a big milestone, as it was our first opportunity to turn on Ingenuity and give its electronics a test drive, says Tim Canham, who leads the operation for the little copter at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Santa Clarita, California.

The batteries get a charge every two weeks until touchdown, when ingenuity will be charged by a solar panel. The whole drill in intended to enable future Mars astronauts to add an “aerial dimension” to the explorations.


33% of U.S. adults currently say, based on what they know about the coronavirus, that are “much more likely” to vote in a political election; 38% of Republicans, 20% of independents and 40% of Democrats agree.

10% overall are “somewhat more likely” to vote; 9% of Republicans, 9% of independents and 11% of Democrats agree.

32% overall are “neither more nor less likely” to vote; 34% of Republicans, 36% of independents and 27% of Democrats agree.

4% are “somewhat less likely”; 3% of Republicans, 4% of independents and 4% of Democrats agree.

12% are “much less likely”; 7% of Republicans, 17% of independents and 12% of Democrats agree.

Source: A Morning Consult poll of 2,200 U.S. adults conducted Aug. 14-17.

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