- The Washington Times
Tuesday, December 14, 2021

NEWS AND OPINION:

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is determined to bring prayer back to her state’s schools, and has taken the first steps to do just that.

On Monday, she released the text of forthcoming legislation titled “A Moment of Silence” which will restore protections for prayer in schools, and guarantee that students would have an opportunity for serious reflection at the start of every school day.


“Every student deserves the opportunity to begin their day with a calm, silent moment. I hope students will take this opportunity to say a quick prayer or reflect on their upcoming day. However they choose to take advantage of this time, it will be beneficial to students and teachers alike,” the governor said in a statement.

She previewed this legislation in June during a speech before the Family Leadership Summit on July 16, an annual conservative event staged in Des Moines, Iowa.

“I don’t recognize the country I had the opportunity to grow up in. When I grew up, people were proud to have a job. They weren’t confused about the difference between boys and girls. We prayed in schools,” she told her audience.

“By the way, in South Dakota, I’m putting prayer back in our schools. We once stood for the National Anthem. We honored our flag, and we were a country that was proud of our history. And that is not President Joe Biden’s America. His America is built on hate and division, on pitting people against each other. And it is a shame to watch the violence and the crime and the lack of unity that America sees today,” Ms. Noem said at the time.

AN UNEXPECTED HEADLINE

A certain cable news network has always backed President Biden, right? Well, maybe the ardor is cooling.

Here are “11 Democrats who could replace Joe Biden in 2024,” advised a CNN headline Tuesday, heralding a column by editor-at-large Chris Cillizza.

“Combine President Biden’s age (he’ll be 82 shortly after the 2024 election) and his ongoing political struggles (he’s mired in the low 40s in job approval) and you get this: a series of stories examining whether Biden runs again and, if not, who might take his place,” Mr. Cillizza wrote.

He supplied his own list of potential hopefuls, which included Vice President Kamala Harris, of course — along with such names as Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy.

“The point: If Biden decides not to run, chances are we would be looking at a very crowded field of Democrats seeking to replace him,” Mr. Cillizza concluded.

And it’s complicated.

Only 22% of U.S. voters want Mr. Biden to pursue reelection in 2024. So says an Issues & Answers poll of 1,013 registered U.S. voters conducted Dec. 1-4. And oh yes — a White House run by Ms. Harris drew just 12% support.

THE GRASS GROWS GREENER

The old hippies of yore — who could go to jail for possessing a small amount of marijuana back in the day — would be amazed. Things change. The 7th Annual Cannabis Business Summit & Expo opens at the grand Moscone Center in San Francisco on Wednesday.

The three-day event, organizers say, is “for everyone and anyone who is passionate about the legal cannabis industry.”

It is a sizable exposition. There are roundtable discussions, keynote speakers, educational sessions, cocktail receptions, interactive workshops on marketing, cultivation, medical use — plus over 400 vendors who will exhibit their wares at the event site.

“Learn something new while having an unforgettable experience,” notes a public guide to the event.

“Browse 120,000 feet of expo floor, where 300-plus brands will exhibit world-class products and services designed to help your business succeed — all while networking with thousands of like-minded industry professionals from across the country,” the guide says.

The summit itself was organized by the Cannabis Industry Association, which maintains an office on Capitol Hill and advocates on behalf of “the responsible cannabis industry.”

The organization also follows pertinent federal legislation and is currently tracking nine bills which “align federal marijuana policies with the successful programs regulating cannabis in the majority of U.S. states,” according to a mission statement from the group.

That includes the “States Reform Act” which counts Rep. Nancy Mace, South Carolina Republican, as its lead sponsor. The legislation removes marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and regulates it like alcohol — “with deference to state programs or prohibition.”

Curious? Check CannabisBusinessSummit.com or TheCannabisIndustry.org.

FOXIFIED

Fox News Channel emerged as the No. 1 network in the entire cable realm for the 43rd straight week with 2.3 million viewers according to Nielsen Media Research. It also marks the 17th consecutive week that Fox News Channel defeated MSNBC (1.1 million viewers) and CNN (585,000 viewers) combined.

Fox News also aired 68 of the top 100 cable telecasts, and the top 14 cable news telecasts. “The Five” dominated the field, drawing an average audience of 3.9 million, followed by “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (3.1 million) and “Hannity” (2.7 million).

Late-night host Greg Gutfeld, meanwhile, continues to defeat his broadcast rivals with an average 1.8 million viewers.

One show in particular offered a unique victory. On Friday night, Mr. Gutfeld had an audience of 2 million, besting “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” even though President Biden appeared as a guest that night and drew 1.9 million viewers.

POLL DU JOUR

60% of U.S. adults “strongly” or “somewhat” disapprove of the job the U.S. Congress is doing; 77% of Republicans, 73% of independents and 37% of Democrats agree.

15% overall strongly or somewhat approve of the job Congress is doing; 5% of Republicans, 9% of independents and 31% of Democrats agree.

15% overall neither approve or disapprove of Congress; 11% of Republicans, 11% of independents and 22% of Democrats agree.

11% are not sure about the issue; 7% of Republicans, 8% of independents and 10% of Democrats agree.

SOURCE: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted Dec. 4-7.

• Helpful information to jharper@washingtontimes.com

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.


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