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President Trump joins Border Patrol San Diego sector chief Rodney Scott before a prototype unit of the border wall just outside San Diego. (Associated Press)

It's a crowd: 200 GoFundMe sites trying to raise money for Trump's border wall

- The Washington Times

Building a new border wall between the U.S. and Mexico sparks much argument and analysis. Take, for example, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which compared the total cost of the wall — which the organization placed at $25 billion — to the overall cost of caring for or managing immigrants living in America illegally.

Blaze Media founders Mark Levin and Glenn Beck are flanked by hosts Eric Bolling on the left, and Steve Crowder on the right. (Blaze Media)

Mark Levin, Glenn Beck media merger: Up front and honest

- The Washington Times

The recent media merger between CRTV and TheBlaze - founded by conservative broadcast titans Mark Levin and Glenn Beck, respectively - is fired up, clearly focused on both audience and marketplace, and ready to rumble. The new hybrid is Blaze Media, an appropriate name since the entity drew 2 billion social media views in its first days of existence and is expected to reach 165 million people a month through on-demand broadcast, assorted digital platforms and of course social media itself.

Old social media posts from public figures may not sway the American public, says a new poll. However, there is a divide among the parties. (Associated Press)

What? GOP more tolerant than Democrats

- The Washington Times

Critics of liberals, progressives and Democrats complain that they preach tolerance and acceptance but can still be intolerant and hostile toward those with another political calling — mainly conservatives, fans of President Trump and Republicans. A timely survey now suggests that in reality, the GOP may be more forgiving than their Democratic counterparts.

One political adviser suggests former Vice President Joseph R. Biden and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney run on a "unity" ticket. (Associated Press photographs)

Biden/Romney 2020: It could happen

- The Washington Times

With his instant name recognition, early-bird polls consistently place former Vice President Joseph R. Biden as the top Democratic contender for president in 2020. Now comes a call for Mr. Biden to go rogue - or at least independent.

Fox News prime time host Sean Hannity has been named the No. 1 "most influential person" in the news media, topping a list of 75 journalists that was compiled by Mediaite.com. (Associated Press)

Sean Hannity tops list of 'most influential' in the news media

- The Washington Times

December heralds lots of year-end lists- best and worst, who's up, who's down. Mediaite.com, which monitors the big doings of the restless press - offers its list of 75 people who are the "most influential in news media," and they hail from broadcast, print and online sources.

Journalists had many observations to make about four U.S. presidents and their spouses sitting in the same pew at the funeral of George H.W. Bush. The news coverage of the event quickly drifted into drama. (Associated Press)

Four presidents in the 'awkward pew'

- The Washington Times

Journalists could not stop speculating about the subtle occurrences that transpired in just a few moments during the state funeral service for George H.W. Bush. There in the front row, and very much on-camera was a rare gathering: President Trump was on the aisle seat, with first lady Melania Trump to his left; then came former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton and former President Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter.

As the Mueller probe approaches the 19-month mark, one poll reveals that voters doubt it will succeed in "trapping" President Trump. (Associated Press)

Voters doubt Mueller can 'trap' Trump

- The Washington Times

For those who are keeping count, the proverbial "Mueller investigation" began on May 17, 2017, when Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, "the No. 2 Justice Department official, appoints former FBI director Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia," according to a helpful Reuters timeline of the big doings. If we do all the math, that means that on Dec. 17, the investigation will have gone on for 19 months.

Some claim that then-business tycoon Donald Trump was inspired to run for president after Jesse Ventura's run for Minnesota governor. (Associated Press)

Jesse Ventura mulls a White House run

- The Washington Times

Forty Democrats are mulling a run for the White House according to some counts, many fueled by their disbelief that President Trump not only won the 2016 election, but that he's still in office. Yes, well. It's going to be a noisy lead-up to 2020 — and now we have one more name to add, and he is among the first of the independent hopefuls.

Major Garrett has a book out: "Mr. Trump's Wild Ride: The Thrills, Chills, Screams, and Occasional Blackouts of an Extraordinary Presidency." (Associated Press)

Trump, 'master of the medium of his time'

- The Washington Times

Major Garrett, chief White House correspondent for CBS, has a new book out, and the title tells all: "Mr. Trump's Wild Ride: The Thrills, Chills, Screams, and Occasional Blackouts of an Extraordinary Presidency."

Host Rush Limbaugh says the media has destroyed the conservative "brand" and offers a way to neutralize the negative effects. (Rush Limbaugh)

Critics out to destroy the conservative 'brand'

- The Washington Times

Like President Trump, the conservative brand - the identity, traits and causes of those who espouse this ideology - has been under attack by the news media, along with liberal pundits and educators, Hollywood, progressive strategists and PR shops. This relentless team has created a negative shorthand about conservatives that suggests they are heartless, archaic, racist, etc. - and it has reinforced the rigid polarization between Americans.

President Trump's approval ratings are inching up. A poll finds his favorability at 48 percent among all voters, and higher among fans. (Associated Press)

Warmer still: Trump favorability at 48%

- The Washington Times

President Trump's tenacity in the political and policy arena appears to be paying off. A new American Barometer survey from The Hill released Wednesday finds that 48 percent of American voters now approve of Mr. Trump. The approval is highest among rural voters: 66 percent give the president a cordial nod. Also among the higher numbers: 53 percent of men and Midwestern voters approve, along with 51 percent of baby boomers and 50 percent of Gen X-ers, those over 65 and those who are 35 to 49 years old, respectively.

Jesse Kelly, Twitter and a conservative revolt

- The Washington Times

"Conservatives can't even sneeze without lefties accusing them of fomenting violence. But when lefties do it? It's just speaking truth to power or something. Take Rob Reiner, for instance. He doesn't seem to be at risk of any pushback from liberals for a tweet about Donald Trump," notes Twitchy.com, which monitors the Twitter realm for signs of liberal bias, outrage and other matters.

A media-savvy President Trump has suggested in a pair of tweets Monday that the U.S. form a "Worldwide Network" to counter negative coverage of America by such cable news providers as CNN. (Associated Press)

Trump TV: The president suggests U.S. launch a 'Worldwide Network' to counter CNN

- The Washington Times

President Trump can be very canny when dealing with a hostile news media or opinion-mongers, and often wins skirmishes with just a provocative tweet or two. Mr. Trump's campaign, meanwhile, continues to conduct its own opinion polls, and the White House regularly vets news coverage, clearly citing beneficial stories, information and helpful data. It could go a step further, though.

Democrat Mike Espy challenges an answer from rival appointed Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith during a recent debate. President Trump will be in Mississippi on Monday to support Ms. Hyde-Smith's campaign. (Associated Press)

Espy and Hyde-Smith: Never a dull moment

- The Washington Times

President Trump departs for Mississippi on Monday, bound for a jumbo campaign rally for Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith in an election run-off against Democrat Mike Espy, a former representative U.S. representative and Clinton-era agriculture secretary.

Trump Bump? Americans are predicted to spend $1 trillion on holiday shopping during the 2018 holiday season, says a Forbes analyst. (Associated Press)

Trump bump: $1 trillion in holiday shopping

- The Washington Times

There may be lingering annoyance over the midterm elections, and much of the news media remains at war with President Trump. But one force continues to put Americans in a buoyant mood — and that's the economy at year's end.

President Reagan meets the official White House turkey on Nov. 21, 1981. As is tradition, the bird was pardoned shortly thereafter. (National Archives)

Historic eats: White House Thanksgivings of yore

- The Washington Times

What have presidents dined on over the years at Thanksgiving? The White House Historical Society has traced the menus back to Nov. 26, 1789, when George Washington issued a proclamation for a "public thanksgiving," then dined upon turkey, Chesapeake Bay oysters, Potomac rockfish and assorted pies. From that auspicious beginning comes many a menu, and a few interesting moments. A brief selection from the society's records: