- The Washington Times
Monday, February 4, 2019

The news media has been hard at work offering caustic commentary and dire predictions about an event that hasn’t even happened yet. That, of course, is President Trump’s State of the Union address, which nevertheless commands wall-to-wall coverage and an intense audience. A new Rasmussen Reports poll reveals that 72 percent of all likely U.S. votes plan to watch. It might come as a relief to weary America if Mr. Trump could deliver his speech on Tuesday night amid the decorum of some previous era — back when political provocateurs and the hostile press stepped quietly aside for a few moments.

But that is not the case anymore. Mr. Trump, however, is fully capable of dealing with it, and for the most part bests his rivals. But they have been very busy in the lead-up.


“The state of the union is petrified. One should never feel sorry for anyone working in President Trump’s White House. They volunteered for this dreadful and chaotic administration. But it’s hard to envy those tasked with writing drafts of his State of the Union address,” writes Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne.

“Trump’s State of the Union theme: Democrats please don’t hurt me,” noted The Daily Beast, while The Associated Press advised, “Some lofty goals from 2018 State of Union speech still unmet.” The New Yorker simply declared the event was “Trump’s state of disunion,” and The Los Angeles Times asked, “Think Trump’s State of the Union will move public opinion? Don’t count on it.”

Every broadcast and cable news channel will be on hand for hours on end, with predictable commentary and on-screen frills to match. Those who want unembellished coverage should look to C-SPAN — which typically includes fascinating, often telling live sound rather than anchor chatter as the president enters and leaves the House chamber. Their coverage begins at 8 p.m. EST.

MR. ROBERTSON HAS A SAY

The power of “Duck Dynasty” continues. Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the popular A&E reality show, has a new book arriving Tuesday titled “The Theft of America’s Soul: Blowing the Lid Off the Lies That Are Destroying Our Country.” The plainspoken father of four, grandfather of 16 and great-grandfather of seven, is candid about what he believes to be at stake these days.

“The book is an exposure of the devil and his impact on the culture, and a prophetic wake-up call for all who desire to see our nation thrive. And it is also an invitation to experience the life-giving, peace-filling, wholly-transforming love of God,” advises Christian publishing firm Thomas Nelson.

“The last time I checked, God ain’t dead. He is very much alive. It’s a fact. What’s more, the latest polls I’ve seen indicate that the vast majority of Americans know this is true,” writes the author, who offers 10 points for folks to keep in mind in troubled times.

“If there’s one thing I know, it’s this: An encounter with the living God is the only hope for mankind. It’s the only hope for President Trump, for me, for America. It’s the only hope for true freedom and lasting peace. And the God of the universe has made a way for us to have this kind of encounter. That way is Jesus, the very personification of God, the very hope of the world,” says Mr. Robertson.

NOW THAT’S HELPFUL

Donald J. Trump for President Inc. raised more than $21 million in the final quarter of 2018, this through direct contributions those raised through a joint fundraising committees with the Republican National Committee, according to the U.S. Federal Election Commission. The “vast majority” of the donations were $200 or less.

“Low-dollar contributions represented 98.5 percent of the total funds raised in the quarter, which is consistent with the trend throughout 2018,” the campaign said.

“Grass-roots support for the president has remained both steady and historic,” says campaign CEO Michael Glassner. “This is a true testament to President Trump’s fulfillment of his promises made to the forgotten men and women of America. We’re grateful for their generous support of the Trump campaign.”

A SCHOLARSHIP TO BE RECKONED WITH

The Pat Tillman Foundation advises that the application process for its annual scholarship program for active-duty service members, veterans and military spouses is now underway. Some 60 scholars are chosen who reflect the legacy of the late Tillman, who put his NFL career on hold to join the Army after 9/11, serving in Iraq and Afghanistan with the 75th Ranger Regiment. He was killed during an ambush in 2004. Service, scholarship, “humble leadership” and impact are part of the thinking here.

Tillman scholars receive an average of $10,000 each for academic tuition, or $1,000 for professional development. Fifteen university partners are involved, including Columbia, Syracuse, Indiana, Ohio State and George Washington universities. But don’t dilly-dally. The application period ends Feb. 28. Find everything at PatTillmanFoundation.org, under the “Scholars” heading.

SOTU FOXIFIED

The byword at Fox News for State of the Union coverage on Tuesday is “live.”

The nation’s most popular cable news channel will feature its most high-profile talent reporting live from the nation’s capital, including Dana Perino, Bret Baier, Martha MacCallum, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, Shannon Bream, Chris Wallace, Brit Hume, John Roberts and Mike Emanuel. Mr. Baier and Ms. MacCullum will anchor the big doings from 8:55 p.m. to 11 p.m., with analysis continuing until 2 a.m. EST. Shepard Smith will anchor separate Fox Broadcast programming beginning at 9 p.m. with input from RealClearPolitics’ analyst A.B. Stoddard, and Fox News correspondent Kristin Fisher.

FoxNews.com also has a designated page for the State of the Union with a live blog, plus a live video stream from outside the House of Representatives, where interesting things can happen. Fox Business Network also offers live coverage featuring Lou Dobbs, Neil Cavuto and Trish Regan with a focus on the economic impacts of the address.

POLL DU JOUR

• 75 percent of the world population are “optimistic that 2019 will be a better year for me than it was in 2018.”

• 55 percent are concerned about public unrest in their country.

• 53 percent predict the global economy will be stronger in 2019 than last year.

• 50 percent worry their personal data will be leaked on the internet.

• 31 percent say they “feel lonely most of the time.”

• 28 percent say they will “use social media less.”

Source: An IPSOS Global Advisor Wave survey of 21,141 adults in 31 nations conducted Dec. 21, 2018-Jan. 9 and released Friday. The survey nations include Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the U.S.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin


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