It happens after every speech, tweet or press conference. Critics complain about President Trump, calling him outrageous and unpresidential, apparently vexed that Mr. Trump says what he has to say on his own terms — and when and where he wants to do it. Funny, though — despite all the squawking, the president continues to remain on center stage, the focal point of the news media, the catalyst of endless spirited but often hostile coverage.
There’s a reason for that — and it appears to be part of the president’s intentional plan.
“Trump may be the most masterful media president we’ve had,” talk radio host Rush Limbaugh told his 7 million listeners on Wednesday.
“Now, you might disagree because you think the coverage he gets is negative. But I’m going to ask you something. Every day, is the news ever about anything but him? You go try that. You try to become the sole focus of the entire American journalism profession, 24/7, for seven months in a row. No one else could do this,” Mr. Limbaugh noted.
STILL EATING BURGERS, STILL DRIVING CARS
Climate change comes and goes as the cause of the hour. At the moment, it is in the news. Former Vice President Al Gore has produced a new book and a new movie on the subject. Furious activists continue to sound the global warming alarm, and remain vexed at President Trump for abandoning the Paris Climate Agreement.
But are critics practicing green-minded lifestyles? Maybe not.
“New data suggests that while most Americans are coming to terms with climate change, many aren’t doing much, if anything, about it,” writes Gregory McCarriston, an analyst for YouGov polls, which recently queried a thousand people on their habits.
“We asked respondents about their consumption of fossil fuels and red meat, both of which have been noted for their impact on Earth’s ecosystems. Commercial beef production, for instance, accounts for more greenhouse gas each year than all the cars on the planet. Thirteen percent of climate change believers said they’ve greatly reduced their consumption of red meat, and 17 percent said they’ve reduced a little. Sixty-six percent haven’t changed their habits at all,” Mr. McCarriston says.
“Climate change believers were also asked about how their fossil fuel consumption has changed since hearing about climate change; 9 percent have cut back a lot, while 54 percent haven’t changed their consumption at all,” he notes. “A number of respondents have increased how much they recycle and practice sustainable waste management habits, like composting or reusing, since hearing about climate change. Fifty-three percent have to some degree increased their responsible waste management, while 44 percent have not changed their habits at all.”
Anger is still intact, though.
“Fifty-seven percent of Americans now believe that human activity and natural causes are affecting Earth’s climate. Among them, most oppose President Trump’s pulling the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement and 63 percent think the nations of the world should all work together to improve the global environment. Even so, a majority are not making lifestyle choices that might have an impact,” says Mr. McCarriston.
THIRD PARTY FEVER
The Libertarian Party has joined the political fray, spurred on by the prospect of the 2018 midterm elections. Libertarian National Committee Chairman Nicholas Sarwark reports that his party got “unprecedented traction” at FreedomFest, a recent libertarian and conservative policy gathering in Las Vegas. He also came away with $36,000 in donations.
“I think we are turning a corner in our history,” says Mr. Sarwark in a new outreach. “I have to give thanks to Donald Trump and the Republican Party. Their success in getting control of government and then showing that they can’t do anything once they have that control has been a better argument for joining the Libertarian Party than anything I could say. We have some incredible opportunities ahead of us in 2018 and 2020.”
The chairman plans to put 2,000 candidates on ballots in 2018.
“Wonderful news to hear @SteveScalise is out of the hospital. Continuing to lift him and his family up in prayer!” tweeted Rep. Dave Brat, Virginia Republican following news that the House Majority Whip was going home following a six-week hospital stay after he was wounded in a public attack last month.
Few have addressed what kind of comfort food helps personal political angst. There was a suggestion from Jean Fain, a Harvard Medical School-affiliated psychotherapist who had advice for Democrats suffering from “post-election grief” after President Trump’s election victory. Ms. Fain recommended disappointed Dems go in their kitchen and make muffins — noting that “muffin making as a meditative practice is a reliable source of comfort and hope.”
Meanwhile, psychologist Glenn Livingston has figured out that Americans favor crunchy things rather than sweet things when they must binge. He found more than twice as many people overeat chips, pretzels and salty snacks (35 percent) as compared to sugar (18 percent), and three times as many when compared to chocolate (11 percent), cheese (10 percent), and/or bread and flour products (11 percent).
“People who binge on salty, crunchy snacks tend to be experiencing more stress at work, people who struggle with chocolate are more likely to be feeling lonely and/or heartbroken, and people who overeat bread and pasta can be very stressed at home,” says Mr. Livingston, author of the new book “Never Binge Again.”
He offers free hints, information and other helpful things on the phenomenon at Neverbingeagain.com.
POLL DU JOUR
• 56 percent of U.S. voters say Republicans in Congress do not respect President Trump; 43 percent of Republicans, 57 percent of independents and 68 percent of Democrats agree.
• 46 percent of voters overall say Republicans in Congress do not listen to Mr. Trump; 38 percent of Republicans, 46 percent of independents and 52 percent of Democrats agree.
• 45 percent overall say the Republicans do not want to work with Mr. Trump; 37 percent of Republicans, 47 percent of independents and 51 percent of Democrats agree.
• 43 percent of voters overall say the Republicans do not fear Mr. Trump; 50 percent of Republicans, 40 percent of independents and 39 percent of Democrats agree.
Source: A Morning Consult/Politico poll of 3,981 registered U.S. voters conducted July 20-24.
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