- The Washington Times
Thursday, May 27, 2021

Several Inside the Beltway readers have wondered how Artie Muller is doing.

Mr. Muller is the Vietnam War veteran who co-founded the original Rolling Thunder demonstration in 1988 to draw attention to the needs of military veterans, their families, POWs, and those still missing in action. The event eventually drew some 500,000 motorcyclists to the nation’s capital for many decades.


And Mr. Muller is doing very well, thank you.

Briefly said, he made a practical decision two years ago to recalibrate the event. Production costs soared and logistical challenges multiplied for the all-volunteer staff, prompting the leader to shift the event to a more localized level. The organization — which boasts some 90 chapters nationwide — aspires to bring the “Ride for Freedom” experience to a personal, local level.

Welcome to Rolling Thunder XXXIII. Chapters in Florida, multiple New England states, Ohio, North Carolina and New Jersey are among those which will stage their own rides Sunday — complete with candlelight vigils and patriotic moments. And Mr. Muller?

On Sunday, he’ll lead a veritable battalion of motorcyclists on a ride in his home state of New Jersey.

“Let’s show everyone in 2021 we are there for our brothers and sisters who served our country, and those left behind as POWs or missing in action,” Mr. Muller advises in a memo to his national membership.

“This is not about Republicans and Democrats,” he notes, urging politicians to put their differences aside to simply get to work on the critical issues.

“The media distorts the true news,” he adds. “We are all Americans, and we should not let the media separate us.”

‘POLITICAL DIVISION’ BIGGEST THREAT TO THE U.S.

We live in a wary nation, and our concerns are many. A new Fox News poll has delved into the intensity of those concerns, which span a variety of civic, social and political issues. This includes problems like lousy infrastructure and the persistent presence of socialism in the U.S.

One worrisome concern, however, has emerged as the biggest threat of all — and it’s one that all three political persuasions can actually agree on.

The new poll found that 64% of all U.S. adults say “political division” is a major threat to the nation’s stability — and on the worry scale, it outranks a dozen other challenges to a stable U.S. society. That response includes 67% of Republicans, 58% of independents and 65% of Democrats who agree that partisan discord is destructive. Another 26% overall consider political division to be a minor threat; that includes 26% of Republicans, 25% of independents and 28% of Democrats, the poll noted.

Former President Donald Trump and many Republicans are concerned about the stability of the nation’s voting system. So are many of their fellow Americans. The poll also revealed that 51% of the respondents agree that “People voting illegally” is also a major threat — while 22% deem it a minor threat and 25% say illegal voting is “not a threat at all.”

The wide-ranging poll found similar concerns among the respondents — majorities felt that socialism, illegal immigration, racism, decaying infrastructure, gun violence, unemployment and big government were also major threats — with sizable numbers also deeming these issues as a minor threat.

The Fox News survey of 1,003 registered U.S. voters was conducted May 22-25.

DEAD ON ARRIVAL, OR MAYBE NOT

Multiple news organizations report two items of note, which both contain many zeroes. The looming White House budget will ask for $6 trillion in 2022 — and annual deficits will exceed $1.3 trillion for a decade.

So now what?

“The Biden administration is expected to release the President’s FY2022 budget and Treasury’s Green Book on Friday. This is a day later than previously expected. The budget is chock full of details regarding policy proposals — from defense spending to infrastructure to agriculture to health care and housing,” says Brian Gardner, chief Washington policy strategist for Stifel, a Missouri-based financial services company.

“Investors should remember that the budget is merely a proposal and, in most instances, Congress will need to pass legislation to make the Biden proposals a reality. In today’s political environment that will be difficult,” Mr. Gardner says.

“Most presidential budgets are declared dead on arrival,” he continues, adding that he expects Mr. Biden’s budget will be no different unless the Senate changes its filibuster rules.

FOXIFIED

Fox News Media offers some appropriate fare for the upcoming weekend, beginning Friday. For the eight year in a row, the network will offer its “Proud American” programming which celebrates active duty U.S. armed forces and veterans and highlights American heroism — seen and heard on Fox News Channel, Fox News Audio and Fox News Digital.

Familiar hosts will broadcast live from such iconic spots as the U.S. Marine Corps Memorial in Washington, D.C. and the Intrepid Air, Sea & Space Museum, anchored on Pier 86 in New York City.

“Uplifting and powerful stories” are the focus here. Additionally, Fox News Media also will donate $25,000 to the Navy Seal Foundation and $15,000 to the USO effort to deliver meals to service members supporting COVID-19 vaccine missions.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

For sale: “The Lindens,” a classic and classy Tudor home, built in 1912 on one acre near Rydal, Pennsylvania. Six bedrooms, four baths, grand foyer, multiple formal gathering rooms, living room with stone fireplace, gourmet kitchen, sunroom, original woodwork and crystal doorknobs, grand staircase; 3,679 square feet. Formal gardens, two-car garage, gazebo, circular driveway. Priced at $625,000 through Classic-Neighborhoods.com.

POLL DU JOUR

47% of U.S. adults say President Biden is “proposing too much of an increase in government spending”; 79% of Republicans, 42% of independents and 18% of Democrats agree.

47% say the proposals are “intended to transform the country with liberal social policies”; 79% of Republicans, 44% of independents and 17% of Democrats agree.

44% say the proposals are “intended to jump-start the economy”; 13% of Republicans, 44% of independents and 74% of Democrats agree.

5% the proposals are intended to do both; 4% of Republicans, 5% of independents and 6% of Democrats agree.

Source: A Fox News poll of 1,003 registered U.S. voters conducted May 22-25.

• Helpful information to jharper@washingtontimes.com


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