- The Washington Times
Monday, April 3, 2017

It is a happy finding for the GOP: A new Gallup poll reveals that 92 percent of Republicans are “extremely” or “very” proud to be an American. Things are not so fervent among Democrats on the patriotic meter: 67 percent said they were proud, along with 73 percent of independents. Among all Americans, the number was 75 percent.

“The percentage of Democrats saying they are proud is the lowest Gallup has measured to date, falling below the previous low of 74 percent recorded in January 2007,” writes Gallup analyst Jeffrey Jones, who blames the decline in Democratic pride to the election of President Trump.


“Historically, Democrats’ patriotism appears to have been susceptible to considerations such as which party occupies the White House and how the U.S. is faring internationally, while Republicans’ patriotism has been more consistent over time. Therefore, for U.S. pride to bounce back to where it has been in the past, renewed feelings of patriotism among Democrats will be necessary,” Mr. Jones notes in the survey analysis.

THE SHOW MUST GO ON

President Trump will not be attending the White House Correspondents Dinner on April 29. That we know. There has been some chatter that Alec Baldwin could show up and reprise his oft-repeated impersonation of Mr. Trump. There’s also been speculation that Hillary Clinton and even former President Barack Obama could appear.

Whatever the case, C-SPAN announced Tuesday that it would cover the mammoth event as usual, and that’s that. The organizers of the fete — which features a red-carpet walk, 3,000 guests, a sumptuous meal and a dozen after-parties — insist the dinner will “continue to be a celebration of the First Amendment and the important role played by an independent news media in a healthy republic.”

Mr. Trump, meanwhile, has won accolades for skipping the event. Powerline.com analyst Steven Hayward called it “Trump’s best decision yet,” while John Hinderaker, a fellow analyst, said: “Couldn’t agree more. This is a stupid event, and Trump is a serious president. There is no reason why he should indulge his enemies.”

A LOVELY FIRST LADY

She wears a simple black blazer and matching neck scarf, her arms are crossed, her gaze steady. The White House released the first official portrait of first lady Melania Trump on Monday — and it is very nice indeed. Mrs. Trump, who spent years as a high-fashion model, looks both dignified and beautiful, standing before one of the arch-topped lunette windows located in the private residence of the White House.

“I am honored to serve in the role of first lady, and look forward to working on behalf of the American people over the coming years,” Mrs. Trump said in a statement issued by the White House.

Global media coverage was instant, and most of it was neutral — the image appears to speak for itself. But of course, there was a predictable gaggle of critical scribes who descended to various social media sites to wonder if the photo had been airbrushed, or if Mrs. Trump should have worn her diamond engagement ring. Vogue magazine offered an interesting take — equating both the camera pose and the backdrop to Nancy Reagan’s in a previous era.

Mrs. Trump’s many fans were there for her, however. Among the many positive reactions on Twitter: “I am so proud of her,” “absolutely stunning” and “what a beautiful first lady we have.”

THE D.C. BASEBALL MENU

Baseball season brings out the devoted fans, along with the culinary taste-meisters who judge how good the food is in the nation’s major league stadiums. Such is the case with Eater.com — a foodie’s dream news site — which has reviewed the menus in nine stadiums. The nation’s baseball fans will be well-fed this season.

But what about the lawmakers, politicos and other heavy hitters? What will they encounter should they make a visit to Washington’s splendid Nationals Park, just a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol itself? Here’s a sampling of the fare beyond the tasty but typical burgers and hot dogs, compiled by Warren Rojas, who covers food trends in the nation’s capital for the food site:

Chicken fried steak sandwiches with country sausage gravy, marinated chicken kabobs with rice, open-face chicken and waffles with bacon, pork belly bao buns, Belgian-style french fries, crab-topped tater tots, Old Bay chicken wings, Italian sausage burgers with caramelized onions, peppers and provolone cheese, hickory smoked baked potatoes plus ice cream flavored with bourbon, cinnamon and bits of babka bread — or crumbled black-and-white cookies.

THEY JUST WON’T DO IT

Analysts continue to ponder what has gotten into the mainstream news media as they flail against the Trump administration and abandon basic journalism tenets in many cases. The cause may be simple. Dan Gainor, vice president of business and culture at the Media Research Center, has a straightforward theory.

“The media has to be more honest — and they don’t want to be. And they don’t really want to be honest about how upset they are. What we’re undergoing is what I’ve been calling in my column each week a national tantrum. The leftist media doesn’t want to wake up, doesn’t want to calm down. They want to celebrate the most radical factions,” Mr. Gainor told Breitbart News radio host Alex Marlow on Monday.

Americans, incidentally, have an increasing appetite for all-news cable channels. These numbers are fresh from Nielsen Media Research: U.S. adults collectively watched 27.1 billion minutes of cable news last year, up 44 percent from 2015. On another level, that breaks down to 6.5 hours a week spent watching cable news in 2016 — up 90 minutes from 2015, and up 105 minutes from the 2012 presidential election cycle.

POLL DU JOUR

58 percent of all Americans say the current economic situation in the U.S. is good.

69 percent of college grads, 67 percent of those who make more than $75,000 a year, 61 percent of men and 61 percent of those age 30-49 agree.

61 percent of Republicans, 60 percent of Democrats, 59 percent of those over 50, 55 percent of women and 55 percent of those with a high school diploma also agree.

54 percent of those with salaries $30,000 to $75,000 think the U.S. economy is good; 52 percent of those with some college training, 51 percent of those who make less than $30,000 a year and 49 percent of those ages 18-29 also agree.

44 percent of Americans said the economy was good at this time in 2016.

Source: A Pew Research Center poll of 1,003 U.S. adults conducted Feb. 16 to March 15 and released Monday, plus historical data.

• Cheers and jeers to jharper@washingtontimes.com


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