- The Washington Times
Sunday, March 21, 2021

He was a master of Twitter. That would be former President Donald Trump, who sent out 23,858 tweets after he took office in 2017, setting a record on June 6, 2020, when he tweeted 200 times. Mr. Trump was banned from Twitter on Jan. 8. He had 88.7 million followers.

“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th,” he noted in his final tweet that day.


Mr. Trump was also blocked on Instagram and Facebook, as gleefully reported by the news media. Now the press will have something else to report on, however.

“We’re going to see Trump returning to social media in probably about two or three months, with his own platform,” Trump senior adviser Jason Miller told Fox News on Sunday.

“And this is something that I think will be the hottest ticket in social media, it’s going to completely redefine the game, and everybody is going to be waiting and watching to see what exactly President Trump does,” Mr. Miller advised.

There are no details about what Mr. Trump has in mind. Yet. The former president already has shown his support for independent social media outlets like Gab and Parler. But he’s also foreshadowed his interest in besting the major social media giants at their own game.

“I long predicted this would happen,” Mr. Trump tweeted on the same day of his suspension using @POTUS — the official White House Twitter handle — before that account was also locked, according to a timeline from PCMag.com, an industry source.

“We have been negotiating with various other sites, and will have a big announcement soon, while we also look at the possibilities of building out our own platform in the near future. We will not be silenced!” Mr. Trump said at the time, later advising readers to “stay tuned.”

So it looks like the “stay tuned” part is about to arrive.

NOW THERE’S A THOUGHT

“As metaphors go, it will be hard to top President Biden falling up the steps of Air Force One. He went down not once, not twice, but three times before scrambling to his feet,” wrote New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin, recalling the president’s mishap on Friday.

“That was bad enough, but a silly White House excuse made it worse. Wind gusts knocked him over, an aide claimed, apparently with a straight face. The one hopeful sign is that nobody blamed Donald Trump,” Mr. Goodwin observed.

CARSON’S PRESCRIPTION

“It’s time to send our children back to school,” counsels Ben Carson, a former neurosurgeon who served as the 17th secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has provided guidance for schools to safely reopen, and there is plenty of evidence to rely on from the real world. Four states — Arkansas, Iowa, Florida, and Texas — have ordered their public school systems to return to class and children have been safely learning in class, some since August,” Mr. Carson writes in an essay for The Daily Signal.

“”For those who can afford it, private schools across the country are offering in-person learning for months. Catholic schools in all 50 states safely reopened in August where local officials allowed it,” he continues.

“Internationally, places like Taiwan, Norway, and Italy have minimized school closures, and when utilizing mitigation methods like hygiene, masks, and distancing, found little secondary transmission or contribution to ‘second waves’ of community spread,” Mr. Carson says.

“The cure cannot be worse than the disease. We may have a vaccine for COVID-19, but we don’t have a shot that will take away the lifelong harm of keeping our children out of the classroom,” he counsels.

OPPORTUNITY STILL KNOCKS

It is a noteworthy finding. A national survey conducted by pollster Scott Rasmussen finds that 65% of U.S. voters believe America is “still the land of opportunity.” Another 18% disagree and 17% are not sure.

Among the voters who agree that opportunity still knocks in the U.S.: 68% of Hispanics, 65% of Whites, 62% of Blacks plus 74% of men and 57% of women. Another 71% of Democrats and 65% of Republicans, plus 70% private sector workers and 58% of government workers also agree.

The survey of 1,000 registered U.S. voters was conducted March 17-18.

GETTING IN THE SPIRIT

Carry-out or delivery? The economy continues to benefit.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has just signed off on a bill in his state that will allow cocktails to-go from distilleries, restaurants and bars until July 1, 2022, this to support the state’s hospitality businesses now besieged by the limitations posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over 30 states now allow restaurants and bars to sell to-go cocktails; Iowa, Ohio, Kentucky and the District of Columbia have made this measure permanent. Others are considering the idea, or are receptive to strengthening measures already have in place.

“With the extension of cocktails to-go, Virginia hospitality businesses will continue to have a vital economic lifeline during the pandemic,” notes David Wojnar, senior vice president of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, an industry group.

The trend has already caught the fancy of the news media, now offering intricate reviews of the best carry-out cocktail suppliers from state to state and city to city. Dante’s Bar in New York City, for example, offers take-out martinis, service for 10, while Sweet Polly’s over in Brooklyn sells popular cocktails at the rate of six for $60 — this according to Forbes.com.

POLL DU JOUR

• 47% of registered U.S. voters have an unfavorable opinion of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi; 85% of Republicans, 53% of independents and 16% of Democrats agree.

• 43% have a favorable opinion of the California Democrat; 8% of Republicans, 31% of independents and 73% of Democrats agree.

• 8% overall have no opinion about her; 4% of Republicans, 12% of independents and 9% of Democrats agree.

• 3% overall have never heard of Mrs. Pelosi; 3% of Republicans, 4% of independents and 2% of Democrats agree.

Source: A Politico/Morning Consult poll of 1,993 registered U.S. voters conducted March 12-15.

• Helpful information to jharper@washingtontimes.com.


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