NEWS AND OPINION:
Arriving at week’s end: “Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words,” a significant and finely tuned documentary that accomplishes much in the era of biased media, shrill commentary and aberrant Hollywood. Michael Pack — the independent film and TV producer behind the project — has done a wise and compelling thing. He and his crew stepped back and allowed Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to have a say about his life and the times we live in.
“With unprecedented access, the producers interviewed Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife, Virginia Thomas, for over 30 hours of interview time, over many months. Justice Thomas tells his entire life’s story, looking directly at the camera, speaking frankly to the audience,” say advance notes from Mr. Pack.
“After a brief introduction, the documentary proceeds chronologically, combining Justice Thomas’ first person account with a rich array of historical archive material, period and original music, personal photos, and evocative recreations. Unscripted and without narration, the documentary takes the viewer through this complex and often painful life, dealing with race, faith, power, jurisprudence, and personal resilience.”
Mr. Pack will be in the nation’s capital this week to host a showing of the two-hour film, which has already been called “a marvel of filmmaking” by The Washington Post, which noted that many in earlier screenings were brought to tears. Time magazine cited the documentary’s “rare insight.” The film will debut Friday nationwide in major cities, including Los Angeles. New York City and Chicago. Find everything you need at JusticeThomasmovie.com.
As for Justice Thomas, he joins Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for an upcoming astute and convivial event hosted by the Federalist Society’s Florida State Conference. The society itself, by the way, is an organization of 60,000 lawyers, law students, scholars, and other individuals who believe and trust that “individual citizens can make the best choices for themselves and society.”
Political disagreements and other concerns may not have as much cultural influence on the overall public as we think.
“Forty-one percent of Americans are satisfied with the way things are going in the U.S., a level not seen in nearly 15 years,” said a new Gallup poll released Tuesday.
The benchmark level of satisfaction has occurred at a time when the public also has the most positive feelings about the economy in two decades, the pollster found.
“Since Gallup began measuring national satisfaction in 1979, 37% of Americans, on average, have been satisfied,” wrote analyst Jeffrey M. Jones.
There is a predictable partisan divide, however. The survey found that 72% of Republicans are happy with the current state of the nation compared to 37% of independents and 14% of Democrats.
The old phrase “feel the Bern” is reaching the scalding stage. One party in particular is getting uneasy about the direction of the 2020 presidential race. Sen. Bernard Sanders — White House hopeful, Vermont independent and self-described Democratic socialist — is leading a spate of primary polls, and causing angst among establishment Democrats now negotiating tricky territory.
“Bernie is frightening the Democrats,” writes National Review columnist Jim Geraghty, who describes the phenomenon as a “sudden Democratic panic” now that Mr. Sanders is having a serious impact on the race, with complimentary press to match.
For one thing, Mr. Sanders has already taken the lead over his rivals in California, propelled by voters who are “very liberal,” plus some strong backing by Hispanics and young voters according to The Los Angeles Times, why should Republicans pay attention to all this?
“We issued a warning a year ago that Sanders could win the nomination and would likely lose to President Trump. And we’ve been the only ones really taking the fight to him,” Matt Bennett — vice president of the centrist Democratic think tank Third Way — tells ABC News.
So a Sanders victory is also a victory for the Trump camp, some say.
“One week before the Iowa caucuses, with Bernie Sanders leading most polls in that state and in New Hampshire, the rest of the Democratic Party is suddenly realizing that the Vermont senator could well win the nomination. At NBC News, Politico, and ABC News, the big story is that the Democratic establishment has been caught asleep at the wheel for a second straight cycle,” says Mr. Geraghty.
The Democrats are not too keen on publicly criticizing Mr. Sanders at this point. The Republicans, however, are quite ready to lash out against Mr. Sanders.
“The Trump campaign will not steer clear. It will hit him with everything its got,” predicts David Frum, a columnist for the Atlantic.
“A lot of stuff that was either no big deal or dismissed as ‘just Bernie being Bernie’ in Vermont will look really bad in GOP attack ads in all of those swing states,” predicts Mr. Geraghty.
U.S. CENSUS IS STILL HIRING
They still need people. Lots of people.
The U.S. Census has put out another call to hire Census takers to assist with the massive 2020 population count. The temporary jobs both in the field or in Census department offices are available in all 50 states, with flexible hours, weekly wages with reimbursement for car mileage of other expenses.
Veterans preference applies; and the agency notes that there is no cap on the age for employment, though applicants must be at least 18 years old.
Curious? Visit 2020Census.gov, under the heading “Work with us.”
POLL DU JOUR
• 82% of Democratic primary voters would vote for “whoever is the Democratic nominee” if their preferred candidate does not win the presidential nomination.
• 9% don’t know who they would vote for, or say it “depends on who wins the nomination.”
• 4% would vote for a third-party candidate
• 3% would vote for President Trump.
• 3% would not vote at all.
Source: A Fox News poll of 495 registered Democratic primary voters conducted Jan. 19-22.
• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.