- The Washington Times
Wednesday, December 23, 2020

He has earned some time in sunny places with agreeable people. President Trump and family will spend the next 10 days in Palm Springs, Florida, at Mar-a-Lago, his golf resort and primary residence. Hurray for that. It’s about time that Mr. Trump was on his own turf — though no particular news organization appears privy to the exact details of its duration or the particulars.

If past tradition holds, Mr. Trump and first lady Melania Trump will attend a Christmas Eve church service, either in-person or in virtual mode. The Palm Beach Post advises that the president likely will spend part of his Christmas Day in video conference with U.S. troops stationed overseas. There will be some golf games, of course — and Mr. Trump will likely tweet as usual. There is some speculation he could receive a COVID-19 vaccination.


The aforementioned newspaper also predicts that Southern Boulevard — a roadway running southwest of Mar-a-Lago — will be home to Trump supporters and protesters alike for the duration. That will at least give the querulous networks something to immortalize on video. Meanwhile, a New Year’s Eve red carpet gala is still planned at this time, the Post advised.

Lots more could go on, though.

“Something always goes down while the president is at the Southern White House for the holidays. In 2016, when he was president-elect, the Russia investigation was born. A year later, a tweet on the border wall and immigration set the tone for what arguably became the most volatile issue in 2018 and in 2019 the president concluded his visit with a missile drone strike that killed a top Iranian military official. Stay tuned,” The Post said.

Some observers are looking to the future.

People magazine reports that Mr. Trump’s private residence at Mar-a-Lago is being “expanded and spruced up,” and that Mrs. Trump is looking into suitable schools for son Barron Trump.

Inside the Beltway wishes the president and his family convivial, productive times and some happy, carefree moments.

DIFFERENCES OF OPINION

Americans have a so-so opinion about the news media. Only a quarter of the public say they laud “journalists” for their ethics and honesty these days. So says a new Gallup poll.

There is a sizable partisan divide, though.

Gallup also found that only 5% of Republicans agreed with that idea, compared to 48% of Democrats. See more details about overall public opinion of assorted professions in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.

‘SWAMPIEST THING EVER’

Onlookers are still trying to figure out the $2.3 trillion “Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021” legislative package — wondering how much actual “coronavirus relief” money for Americans is found amid the foreign aid and the pork-barrel, special interest funding.

“Uncle Sam is about to play Santa for America — and the world. Congress passed a $2.3 trillion COVID-19 relief and government funding bill that gives just $600 to most Americans struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic — while doling out gifts to foreign countries and powerful lawmakers,” writes Steven Nelson, who covers national politics for The New York Post.

“The $900 billion stimulus package COVID-19 ‘relief’ bill is exactly what one would expect from a dysfunctional, tone-deaf Congress: a pork-filled cluster filled with anything and everything that has nothing to do with the coronavirus pandemic or relief,” observes Joe Concha, media columnist for The Hill.

“And in the swampiest thing ever, the bill, which is combined with a $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill, is 5,593 pages long, or 5,583 pages too many, was given to lawmakers six hours before a vote to review what exactly is in it (hint: more pork than a Tyson Foods plant),” he says.

NEVER A DULL MOMENT

Though Christmas looms and President Trump‘s time in the White House grows short, the “Big Three” broadcast networks — ABC, CBS and NBC — did not overlook an opportunity to criticize Mr. Trump and his reaction to the aforementioned stimulus and spending bill.

“President Trump rebuked Congress for packing their COVID-relief and government funding package with an outrageous amount of pork funding, in a video posted to Twitter last night, before demanding they deliver him a bill which gave much more substantial relief to American families. Predictably all three morning networks Wednesday took this rebuke of Congress to blame President Trump for holding up stimulus relief checks, arguing that something was better than nothing,” writes Kristine Marsh, an analyst for Newsbusters.org.

“Both ABC and NBC completely omitted the president’s reason for rejecting this package: The insane amount of pork stuffed into it, which includes hundreds of millions of dollars of aid to other countries, $40 million to the closed Kennedy Center, $1 billion to the closed Smithsonian, among other things, instead of back to Americans who are struggling,” Ms. Marsh says.

THE FARMERS HAVE A SAY

DTN — a Minneapolis-based research and marketing firm specializing in agriculture, livestock, crops and other related fields — reveals that the nation’s farmers are fairly content at the moment.

The organization’s new Agriculture Confidence Index — which asks farmers to rate the farming outlook — reveals farmers are “three times more optimistic about their present situation than just four months ago” according to a DTN analysis.

“This can likely be attributed to what is estimated to be the best year for farm incomes since 2013, as reported by the USDA, buoyed by a good harvest, rising commodity prices and government payouts” the analysis said.

“High voter turnout continues in rural America. With more than 92% voter turnout among farmers polled; 62% of those voted for President Trump, 12% for Joe Biden and 26% declined to answer,” DTN noted in an accompanying poll of 500 farm and ranch operators, conducted Nov. 17-30 and released Wednesday.

POLL DU JOUR

• 89% of U.S. adults say they applaud nurses for their “honesty and ethics.”

• 77% say the same of medical doctors, 75% cite grade-school teachers, 71% cite pharmacists.

• 52% applaud police officers for honesty and ethics; 43% cite judges, 39% cite clergy.

• 28% cite journalists, 21% lawyers, 17% cite business executives.

• 10% applaud advertising practitioners, 8% cite car salespeople, 8% members of Congress.

Source: A Gallup poll of 1,018 U.S. adults conducted Dec. 1-17 and released Wednesday.

• Helpful information to jharper@washingtontimes.com.


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