- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 7, 2020

The liberal news media and the Democratic Party have been pushing a convenient theme for years: The election of President Trump caused a rift in the Republican Party, pitting establishment GOPers against grassroots folks who raced to the polls in 2016 and voted for Mr. Trump. That convenient and melodramatic theme just keeps resurfacing among journalists convinced that the Grand Old Party is no longer grand.

The theme has heritage. Consider that The Atlantic predicted on Dec. 11, 2015, that the GOP soon would “disintegrate” or “split in two” — and that it would no longer function as a credible national party if Mr. Trump was even nominated for president.

Other news organizations painted similar pictures at the time — and some still peddle such scenarios. But wait. Some simple, clear numbers reveal startling unity among Republicans who are neither tiring of their president or the vision of America he fosters.

“President Trump’s approval rating has hit a record high among his supporters,” reports a new Hill-HarrisX poll released Monday.

“Of those surveyed, 90% of Republicans said they approve of Trump’s job performance, compared to just 10% who did not have a favorable view of the president. That is the highest favorable rating among Republicans in the Hill-HarrisX poll since it began asking the question in 2018,” the Hill reports.



The president garners 40% favorability among those much coveted independent voters, and even 16% among Democrats. So don’t fret.

The poll of 1,001 registered U.S. voters was conducted Jan. 2-3.

WHERE THE SUPPORT COMES FROM

Eagle-eyed CNS.com editor Craig Bannister points out that comedian Ricky Gervais gained 300,000 new Twitter followers after blasting Hollywood for its hypocritical ways.

Mr. Gervais was hosting the Golden Globe Awards at the time, and now has proof that there are indeed large numbers of the American population who do not agree with liberal politics and progressive notions.

“If you do win an award tonight, don’t use it as a platform to make a political speech, right? You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world,” Mr. Gervais told his audience. “If you win, come up, accept your little award, thank your agent and your god, and [expletive] off.”

WHERE THE MEDICAL MONEY GOES

Yes, there are many, many forms, bills and pieces of paperwork at the doctor’s office — and the public is paying for them.

The Annals of Internal Medicine now reports that insurance companies and medical providers spent more than $800 billion in 2017 on administration costs and billing time — which amounts to 34.2% of all health care costs in the U.S. To the north, the paper chase makes up 17% of the medical costs in Canada.

In terms of dollars, Americans shell out about $2,500 a year to cover all this administration while Canadians pay $550 each. The research stresses that if the U.S. would reduce the cost to this level, the nation would save over $600 billion.

“The average American is paying more than $2,000 a year for useless bureaucracy,” lead author Dr. David Himmelstein, a professor of public health and policy with the City University of New York at Hunter College — tells Reuters Health.

A REAL CULTURE WAR

There’s always been talk of a culture wars. Now we have a real one. A national security issue has become a cultural issue after President Trump suggested that sites of importance to Iranian culture could be on the list of 52 potential U.S. targets as tension between the two nations continue. Mr. Trump’s suggestion has already sparked criticism from those who questioned the legality of the idea, or its strategic effectiveness.

The 70-year-old National Trust for Historic Preservation — a nonprofit organization which works to preserve America’s historic sites and buildings — has launched a public petition to protect such locales in Iran.

“The intentional destruction of cultural sites is a blemish on all humankind — a principle now enshrined in international law,” the National Trust said in a statement, citing historic precedents set by those which worked to protect European cultural treasures from the Nazi regime.

“Historic places around the world are part of the cultural heritage that belongs to all of us. We suffer a collective loss when places of cultural significance are destroyed in times of conflict or other disasters,” the organization said.

“When we destroy culture anywhere, we destroy culture everywhere,” the new petition states, urging signers to “take action.”

Museums also joined the fray.

“We must remind ourselves of the global importance of protecting cultural sites — the objects and places by which individuals, communities, and nations connect to their history and heritage,” said the Metropolitan Museum of Art in a statement.

“Today’s leaders and citizens have many profound responsibilities — protecting lives, and also protecting the precious legacy of generations before us, as it is from these shared places of cultural heritage that we gain the wisdom to secure safe and better futures.”

The idea of targeting Iran’s historic sites “must be condemned,” noted the Victoria and Albert Museum in London while the Association of Art Museum Directors declared that it “deplores the tactic of targeting or demolishing cultural sites as part of any war or armed conflict.”

FOXIFIED

Fox News trounced the competition last week, continuing its reign as the most-watched cable network of all throughout the day according to Nielsen Media Research. Fox garnered 1.4 million viewers — more than the total of CNN and MSNBC combined.

In the prime-time arena, Fox News drew 2.2 million viewers, compared to 1.1 million who favored MSNBC and 976,000 who tuned in to CNN. Fox News prime-time host Sean Hannity remains the ratings king, drawing 3.5 million viewers each night.

POLL DU JOUR

• 39% of Americans expect political discussion to get “more negative” in the next 10 years; 46% of Republicans, 37% of independents and 37% of Democrats agree.

• 33% say the tone of political discussion will remain “about the same”; 35% of Republicans, 30% of independents, and 36% of Democrats agree.

• 10% say political discussion will become “less negative” in the next decade; 9% of Republicans, 8% of independents, and 14% of Democrats agree.

• 17% are not sure what will happen; 10% of Republicans, 25% of independents, and 14% of Democrats agree.

Source: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted Dec. 28-31.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

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