- The Washington Times
Thursday, July 27, 2017

“Americans have given the military the highest confidence rating of any institution in American society for nearly two decades,” writes Frank Newport, director of the Gallup poll, which finds that the public continues to revere the traditional, old-school values of our fighting forces.

Numbers-wise, 93 percent call the military “personally courageous,” 91 percent say our troops are professional, 82 percent call them honest and ethical, 80 percent say they are innovative. Another 78 percent have “a great deal or quite a bit” of confidence in the military.


Lawmakers can learn a thing or two from those in uniform.

“What could members of Congress who are worried about their low standing in the public’s eye learn from the military? One insight simply comes down to competence — that is getting the job done well — obviously a trait many Americans ascribe to the military, but few to Congress, with the latter’s current 20 percent job approval rating,” writes Mr. Newport.

“Another insight comes from the public’s view of members of the military as being courageous, selfless and being willing to sacrifice themselves for the greater good. Previous research shows that Americans, in contrast, view members of Congress as being responsive not to the collective will of the people, but to special interests, lobbyists and partisan leaders. There are other lessons to be learned, but the bottom line is the real value of perceived competency and professionalism for any institution that seeks to establish legitimacy and to better its standing in the eyes of the people it serves,” Mr. Newport advises.

HAPPENSTANCE

Yes, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton really is writing a 512-page book titled “What Happened.” Not “What Happened?” or “What Happened!” or “What? Happened!” It’s just plain “What Happened.”

Simon & Schuster has issued a strategically crafted press release about Mrs. Clinton’s project, which includes this key phrase: “She lays out how the 2016 election was marked by an unprecedented assault on our democracy by a foreign adversary.”

The author will be “analyzing the evidence and connecting the dots,” says the publisher. “For the first time, Hillary Rodham Clinton reveals what she was thinking and feeling during one of the most controversial and unpredictable presidential elections in history. Now free from the constraints of running, Hillary takes you inside the intense personal experience of becoming the first woman nominated for president by a major party in an election marked by rage, sexism, exhilarating highs and infuriating lows, stranger-than-fiction twists, Russian interference, and an opponent who broke all the rules.”

But wait. A top-trending Twitter hashtag in the last 24 hours has been #BetterNamesforHillarysBook, which drew hundreds of gleeful parodies and memes. While most of the fare was sarcastic, several surges from pro-Hillary factions also surfaced.  But such is publishing these days. Mrs. Clinton’s book already has hit the top 20 on Amazon, and No. 1 in several political categories — just hours after news of her upcoming work went public.

A NEW WRINKLE IN THE MEDIA MESS

The majority of Americans — 51 percent — now disapprove of the news media’s treatment of President Trump, a sentiment shared by 77 percent of Republicans, 51 percent of independents and even 26 percent of Democrats. So says an Economist/YouGov poll, which also asked respondents if U.S. courts should fine or even shut down a news outlets which pushed biased or inaccurate stories.

“A third of the public are willing to have courts fine the news media for biased or inaccurate reporting; somewhat fewer would let the courts shut down media outlets. Republicans are more likely than the public overall to favor such options. More than half of Republicans are in favor of fining news outlets for biased or wrong reporting, and 45 percent approve of allowing them to be shut down. But there is a general sense that doing either of these things — especially shutting down a news media outlet — would be a violation of the First Amendment,” noted analyst Kathy Frankovic.

KID ROCK FOR SENATE: ‘GAME ON’

“We have over a year left until an actual election, so my first order of business is to get people engaged and registered to vote while continuing to put out my ideas on ways to help working class people in Michigan and America, all while still calling out these jackass lawyers who call themselves politicians,” bodacious performer Kid Rock notes in an initial statement about his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat in Michigan, challenging incumbent Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow.

He’s already formed a nonprofit group, and there’s a new, noble portrait of the artist in trademark fedora hat and aviator sunglasses, sitting in a star-spangled chair and flanked by a stuffed deer and a portrait of George Washington.

“We will be scheduling a press conference in the next six weeks or so to address this issue amongst others, and if I decide to throw my hat in the ring for U.S. Senate, believe me — it’s game on, mthrfkers,” Mr. Rock advises.

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POLL DU JOUR

44 percent of Americans say the national press has been unfair to President Trump; 79 percent of Republicans, 45 percent of independents and 12 percent of Democrats agree.

34 percent would favor courts fining news outlets for biased or inaccurate stories; 55 percent of Republicans, 30 percent of independents and 23 percent of Democrats agree.

30 percent say the press has been fair to Mr. Trump; 8 percent of Republicans, 24 percent of independents and 58 percent of Democrats agree.

28 percent would favor courts shutting down news outlets for biased or inaccurate stories; 45 percent of Republicans, 25 percent of independents and 18 percent of Democrats agree.

26 percent overall say the press has given both fair and unfair treatment to Mr. Trump; 13 percent of Republicans, 31 percent of independents and 31 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted July 23-25.

• Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin


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