NEWS AND OPINION:
Few Americans will forget Alek Skarlatos, the former Oregon National Guard soldier who tackled a terrorist carrying a Draco assault rifle with a 30-round magazine and also armed with eight extra magazines, a 9 mm Luger automatic pistol, a utility knife and gasoline.
Mr. Skarlatos was aboard a Paris-bound train on Aug. 21, 2015. The attacker dropped his weapon, the Oregon soldier retrieved it and “thumped” him, according to records. Two friends and five other passengers joined the fray on the high-speed train, subdued the attacker and essentially saved the lives of 554 fellow passengers.
Mr. Skarlatos, 25, is now pursuing public office in his home state of Oregon, and taking on another kind of foe.
“I’m running for Congress because it’s time we have someone who will stand with Southern Oregon — the loggers, veterans, moms, dads, and families trying to make ends meet. It’s time we have a congressman who will serve them, not the extremists in Washington, D.C.,” he says, citing heavy taxes and regulatory burdens which now plague Oregon.
“Alek Skarlatos is a true hero and the right man to take on Peter DeFazio, a do-nothing Democrat that has lived off the taxpayers’ dime for over 30 years,” says House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, in an endorsement for the candidate, who also has House Minority Whip Steve Scalise in his corner, along with Sens. Tom Cotton and Ted Cruz, plus Reps. Dan Crenshaw, Michael Waltz and Gus Bilirakis.
“Oregon values are my values,” says Mr. Skarlatos, who has focused his campaign on timber and forest mismanagement, Second Amendment rights, strengthening porous borders, upping veteran’s health care and promoting free-market principles. Find his campaign here.
Democrats currently control the Oregon governorship, plus the state’s House and Senate. There are some 2.6 million voters in Oregon; 68% turned out to vote in 2018 midterms, while 80% showed up in 2016 presidential bout. But Oregon has a quirky situation.
Currently, there are 976,000 registered Democrats in his state, 707,000 Republicans — but 952,000 registered “nonaffiliated voters” — a number which has risen 7% since January. These independents back the Pacific Green, Working Families, Constitution and Libertarian parties — among the many choices.
Some analysts credit the state’s new “Motor Voter Act” — which automatically registers people to vote when they renew a driver’s license — with the heavy increase in independents.
KANYE IS STILL ON A QUEST
Independent presidential hopeful, rap star, music producer and billionaire entrepreneur Kanye West is still in White House mode. He has officially filed with the state of New Jersey to appear on the state’s general election ballot as a presidential candidate, having accrued 1,327 petition signatures from local voters.
His party affiliation is listed as “slogan pending.” Mr. West also is on the ballot in Missouri, and plans to be on the New York roster by Thursday.
Mr. West has hinted he may adopt the “Birthday Party” as is official identifier, according to The New York Post. Meanwhile, he has company.
Others seeking the presidency in the Garden State include Bill Hammons, running for president with the Unity Party America, Gloria La Riva (Socialism and Liberation Party); Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian Party); Howie Hawkins (Green Party); Don Blankenship (Constitution Party); and Rocky De La Fuente (Alliance Party.)
IN PRAISE OF KAYLEIGH
She is mighty force to be reckoned with. But a gracious one. That would be White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, a Harvard Law graduate, GOP stalwart and a 32-year-old married mother of one.
“McEnany is not bothered or conflicted about the job demands as press secretary. She has no need to court, coddle or assuage a hostile White House press corps. Her one and only job is to defend President Trump and propound his presidency. And she’s doing a remarkably effective job of playing defense and offense, often both simultaneously. That is not easy,” writes syndicated columnist Andrew Malcolm.
“A few reporters sought — and got — fame or notoriety by virtue-signaling to liberals their opposition to Trump’s presidency through matching the kind of nontraditional, even rude behavior of the president they were allegedly covering. For a time, Trump simply canceled the daily briefings,” he continues.
“Only 112 days into her assignment, McEnany appears eager for the half-hour briefing frays every few days. She’s got a message to deliver, always in control, organized and supportive of Trump, even in the face of contrary facts. And she seems prepared for virtually any query. You never hear, ‘I’ll get back to you on that,’” says Mr. Malcolm.
“It’s a strategic no-nonsense, no-pleases-no-thank-yous communications package that mirrors Trump’s seemingly impromptu approach. In that sense, they are double-teaming the media. It does not satisfy everyone. But these days in this administration, it only needs to satisfy one person.”
Fox News is marking it highest rated July “in history.” The network has remained the most watched outlet in the entire cable kingdom for 49 consecutive months according to Nielsen.
And as it has done for over 18 years, Fox News also remains the most watched cable news network, drawing 3.2 million prime-time viewers per night for the month of July; MSNBC had 2 million and CNN 1.5 million. The network’s prime-time ratings are up by 32% compared to the same time in 2019.
Meanwhile, nightly hosts excelled: Sean Hannity enjoyed 4.1 million viewers nightly, that number up 23% since July 2019; Tucker Carlson had 4 million (up 28%), and Laura Ingraham drew 3.4 million (up 32%).
POLL DU JOUR
• 34% of U.S. adults say they are conservative; 73% of Republicans, 28% of independents and 11% of Democrats agree; 22% of Black Americans, 31% of Hispanic Americans, and 38% of White Americans also agree.
• 36% say they are politically moderate; 20% of Republicans, 49% of independents and 35% of Democrats agree; 47% of Black Americans, 35% of Hispanic Americans, and 34% of White Americans also agree.
• 26% call themselves politically liberal; 5% of Republicans, 20% of independents and 53% of Democrats agree; 28% of Black Americans, 30% of Hispanic Americans, and 25% of White Americans also agree.
Source: A Gallup poll of 3,079 U.S. adults conducted May 1- June 30 and released Monday.
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