Inside the Beltway - Jennifer Harper - Washington Times
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President Trump reviews prototypes for his proposed border wall constructed outside San Diego, California, shown here earlier this month with Rodney Scott, the Border Patrol's San Diego sector chief. (Associated Press)

Trump's reasonably attractive border wall

- The Washington Times

Yes, the 2,232-page, $1.3 trillion "omnibus" spending bill is as big as a bus. It is not the first jumbo-sized bill to roll through Capitol Hill and it won't be the last. Meanwhile, the jury is still out on whether President Trump got his wish for a "big, beautiful wall" on the southwestern U.S. border, the details of which begin on page 673 of the legislation.

"These days, there's no such thing as a blue dog Democrat, a red state Democrat, or a conservative Democrat," said President Trump. (Associated Press)

Trump's master plan in 136 words

- The Washington Times

President Trump's art of making a deal includes the art of cutting to the chase, boldly spelling out the goals, sizing up the competition, mapping out the landscape and articulating the strategy with candor and clarity. Mr. Trump did just that before a large, enthusiastic crowd attending the National Republican Congressional Committee dinner Wednesday evening.

Pastor Robert Jeffress appears with then-candidate Donald Trump at a presidential event. He's behind the March For Our Eternal life rally. (Associated Press)

Christians rally around 'March for Eternal Life'

- The Washington Times

A half-million people are expected to descend on the nation's capital Saturday for the March For Our Lives against gun violence. There also will be 650 "sibling" marches in all 50 states, many underwritten by $5,000 grants from Everytown for Gun Safety. Meanwhile, a very sizable group in the Lone Star State is looking beyond Saturday to Sunday. March For Our Lives, meet March for Eternal Life.

About 74 percent of Americans believe in the existence of a "deep state" that opposes President Trump and his administration. (Associated Press)

74% of Americans say the 'deep state' exists

- The Washington Times

There's been talk of a "deep state" or "shadow government" at work against the administration since President Trump was elected, echoed in breathless news reports and mysterious op-eds. The "Deep State" lives, however. It is a real phenomenon to Americans, according to a new Monmouth University poll.

Former FBI director James B. Comey's status as a best-selling author has already been set, along with a high-profile national book tour. (Associated Press)

James Comey's book 'A Higher Loyalty' a bestseller a month before publication, 10-city tour planned

- The Washington Times

In four weeks and one day, James B. Comey's forthcoming book "A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership" will be published. It might as well be published now. The is book already No. 1 on Amazon among all books 29 days before its formal publication on April 17 - besting such offerings as "Russian Roulette" by Michael Isikoff and David Corn and "12 Rules for Life" by Jordan B. Peterson. Mr. Comey's work is also No. 1 in Amazon law, history and political sciences categories - and in one respect, he appears to have eclipsed the previous performance of another high-profile political writer.

Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak is formally asking his fellow celebrities and performers to mind their own business when it comes to politics. (Wheel of Fortune)

Pat Sajak to celebrities: MYOB

- The Washington Times

It happens like clockwork. Most every day, some celebrity uses the soapbox of their fame to rant about politics and policy, most of their ire directed at the Trump administration and the Republican Party. Polls over the years reveal this practice is not all that popular with the public. A Fox News survey found that more than two-thirds of Americans would prefer the famous remain silent about their political opinions — and that was all the way back in 2003. Other surveys have had similar findings since then, and multiple political scientists and news organizations have studied the phenomenon. Following the 2016 election, even Vanity Fair asked this question: "Did celebrity endorsements contribute to Hillary Clinton's presidential upset?"

Pennsylvania Democrat Conor Lamb shows his prowess with an AR-15 in a campaign ad released in January. He won the special election. (Conor Lamb)

Democrats on the verge of identity crisis

- The Washington Times

Jubilant Democrats and much of the news media have proclaimed that Democrat Conor Lamb's microscopic victory over Republican Rick Saccone is a glorious symbol. Though Mr. Lamb received a mere 641 votes more than his opponent in the Pennsylvania race, his fans insist it is an automatic bellwether signaling the inevitable defeat of the GOP in the midterms and beyond — a predictable narrative.

President Trump's rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday marked the debut of "MAGA Direct," a live video feed delivered via social media and designated websites which bypasses traditional broadcast outlets. (Associated Press)

MAGA Direct: Trump trumps the media again

- The Washington Times

MAGA lives on. President Trump has dropped "Make America Great Again" — aka MAGA — as a campaign motto, opting instead for "Keep America Great." The ever canny president, however, has reinvented "MAGA" with a greater purpose. That would be "MAGA Direct," another slap at the hostile press from Mr. Trump.

Independent presidential hopeful Vermin Supreme whoops it up on the 2016 campaign trail in New Hampshire, standing before a wall of campaign signs from his rivals. (AP Photo)

My son the president -- or maybe not

- The Washington Times

That big group included one Vermin Supreme -- who wore a trademark boot on his head and promised each voter a cute pony -- plus representatives of the Bull Moose, Mother Earth and Anti-Hypocrisy Parties.

Besides the mega-march against gun violence in the nation's capital on March 24, some 500 "sibling marches" are planned in all 50 states, and several nations overseas. (Everytown for Gun Safety)

500 gun control marches to get a $5,000 boost -- each -- to cover expenses

- The Washington Times

Gone are the often spontaneous political rallies of yore, when hippies and their ilk simply hit the streets for a cause. The upcoming March For Our Lives rallies planned around the nation in response to the Parkland school shooting last month are meticulously organized, bear carefully calibrated messages and boast vigorous social media.

At the polling place in the Lone Star State: voters leave the town courthouse after casting their ballot in Blanco, Texas. (Associated Press)

Texas test case: Democrats gallop to the polls

- The Washington Times

Midterm fever has appeared out of nowhere. The Texas primaries are Tuesday, and analysts are already reading the proverbial tea leaves to determine the implications for the rest of the nation. The possible take away message: as Democrats fantasize of "flipping" seats in GOP strongholds in Texas and elsewhere, Republicans must light a fire under their own voters, or else.

President Trump has a new and comprehensive voter survey that's being circulated by his 2020 reelection campaign. It has 32 questions. (Associated Press)

The president wants to know: Do you 'publicly admit' support for Trump?

- The Washington Times

President Trump's fans have long been subject to hostility, contempt and personal attacks from the news media, assorted Democrats, entertainers and political rivals. It's almost unprecedented. Mr. Trump himself is addressing that phenomenon in "Listening to America," a comprehensive, 32-question voter survey being circulated by his 2020 reelection campaign.

The Adam Schiff Strategy: the power of 227 TV appearances

- The Washington Times

"Rep. Adam Schiff has used the House's Russia investigation as his big break, becoming a near-constant presence on cable TV to raise his profile," reports a Republican National Committee analysis, which based this conclusion on news coverage from Politico, CNN, C-SPAN, and other sources, including Nexis. Here is what they found.

Survivors of shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School rally for gun control on the steps of the state capitol, in Tallahassee, Florida. (Associated Press)

45% of Americans approve of arming teachers

- The Washington Times

President Trump consistently offers staunch support for arming teachers or other school personnel to protect the young people under their charge. One major poll has found that while the majority of Americans are uncomfortable with the idea, a "sizable minority" approves of it. is one of several new activist groups which support a "boycott" of the National Rifle Association. Several have websites, too. (

Aggressive 'NRA boycott' expands and organizes

- The Washington Times

Boycott NRA, a newly formed activist group, has launched a public petition calling for commercial concerns to cut ties with the National Rifle Association. The cause already has topped 30,000 signatures, and it is one of about a dozen similar petitions launched on, which provides a free online platform for public pleas and causes — to the tune of 1,000 petitions a day.