NEWS AND OPINION:
It is of note that most news organizations appear to favor the traditional term “UFO” (unidentified flying object) as opposed to “UAP” (unidentified aerial phenomenon).
Whatever initials it prefers, the press is always eager to cover this topic. Coverage has been brisk as the mystery of spy balloons, advanced weaponry, foreign intrigue and spectacular aircraft continues.
A few sample headlines from the last 48 hours: “UFO Mania: US shoots down objects over Lake Huron and Alaska, Uruguay Investigating ‘Flashing Lights,’ China Prepares to Shoot Down UFO” (Vice); “Ruling out aliens? Senior U.S. general says not ruling out anything yet” (Reuters); “How the U.S. government made pilots too embarrassed to admit they’d seen UFOs” (Slate.com); “A timeline of UFOs that were shot down this weekend” (New York Times); “Marco Rubio claims UFOs have been flying over the U.S. ‘for years’” (Daily Beast); “New UFO docuseries seeks to shed light on flying saucer folklore” (Space.com); “Why the Pentagon is investigating UFOs” (National Geographic); and “UAP shot down over Alaska ‘interfered’ With F-22 sensors” (Business Insider).
And one more: “Americans don’t ‘need to worry about aliens,’ White House says after shooting down three unidentified objects” (National Review).
THE SWEET ECONOMY
“In a clear sign of continued enthusiasm for seasonal celebrations, 92% of Americans plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day with chocolate and candy,” reports the National Confectioners Association.
“The Valentine’s Day season represents about $4 billion in confectionery sales each year,” the group says, projecting 5% growth in sales for the 2023 Valentine’s Day season.
The first written reference to romance and St. Valentine’s Day was provided by poet Geoffrey Chaucer in 1382, the organization notes in a brief online history.
Americans began exchanging valentines in the early 1700s — small, handmade cards sometimes accompanied by hard, often heart-shaped sugar, maple or honey candies. The first mass-produced Valentine’s Day cards were introduced in 1847.
“In the 1800s, physicians commonly advised their lovelorn patients to eat chocolate to calm themselves and mend their broken hearts,” the group noted.
The Republican Party, by the way, has organized a small “Valentine’s Day Collection” of gifts, complete with little snappy phrases like “My heart is as open as Biden’s border” and “You’re the speaker of my house.”
Find them at Shop.GOP.com.
ROMANCE CONSERVATIVE STYLE
So how do young conservatives feel about Valentine’s Day these days?
“This week’s activism theme: Love liberty!” advises Turning Point USA, a nonprofit, conservative grassroots activist network for college students that has released “The College Conservative Guide to Valentine’s Day.”
There’s some rare patriotism here, that’s for sure.
“Nothing screams I love America like red, white and you, a college conservative. Take the liberty to celebrate Valentine’s Day any way you want!” the guide advises.
The recommendations include an organized “game night with friends” with a focus on old-school card or board games; a day volunteering at a local charity; karaoke night; a movie marathon’ a “foodie adventure” at home or in a restaurant; or time spent outdoors, with an emphasis on hiking, golfing or picnicking.
“No matter how you celebrate, Valentine’s Day is a great way to celebrate your liberties as an American, so have fun and make memories!” says the guide, which comes complete with some “talking points” for the celebrants.
“Liberty is precious, rare, never guaranteed, and always threatened. It can be lost in a single generation if it’s not advanced and defended,” advises one point in the advisory.
“The real meaning of liberty: the power to do as one pleases, the positive enjoyment of various social, political, or economic rights and privileges, it’s the power of choice,” notes another.
And by the way, the National Retail Federation has issued this statement: “Love is in the air and consumers are spending big to show it this Valentine’s Day. Total spending is expected to hit $25.9 billion — the second-highest year on record.”
Former President Donald Trump still taps into the public sentiments that won him many fans during his 2016 campaign — along with previous eras.
Curious? Here’s just one example which surfaced Monday in an emailed message from Mr. Trump’s campaign that certainly singled out President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
“Make America win again. We’re sick of seeing our country lose under Biden and Kamala. It’s time for America to win again. 2024 is our Hail Mary chance to save America,” the message advises.
It was accompanied by a historic video clip featuring Mr. Trump tossing a football through a designated skill target in 1992 with perfect aim, to the delight of a roaring crowd.
“This is from back when the Fake News Media didn’t hate me!” he said in the campaign message.
POLL DU JOUR
• 30% of U.S. adults say President Biden’s ideology is “very liberal”; 63% of conservatives, 16% of moderates and 15% of liberals agree.
• 20% say he is “liberal”; 16% of conservatives, 18% of moderates and 35% of liberals agree.
• 23% say Mr. Biden is “moderate”; 5% of conservatives, 43% of moderates and 33% of liberals agree.
• 7% say he is “conservative”; 6% of conservatives, 7% of moderates and 12% of liberals agree.
• 4% say he is “very conservative” 5% of conservatives, 4% of moderates and 2% of liberals agree.
• 16% are not sure what Mr. Biden’s ideology is; 4% of conservatives, 11% of moderates and 3% of liberals agree.
SOURCE: AN ECONOMIST/YOUGOV POLL OF 1,500 U.S. ADULTS CONDUCTED FEB. 4-7.
• Happy Valentine’s Day and thank you for reading Inside the Beltway.
• Jennifer Harper can be reached at email@example.com.
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