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Inside the Beltway: Espy and Hyde-Smith: Never a dull moment

November 26, 2018

President Trump departs for Mississippi on Monday, bound for a jumbo campaign rally for Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith in an election run-off against Democrat Mike Espy, a former representative U.S. representative and Clinton-era agriculture secretary.

Protesters, however, will be waiting. A group called Mississippi Rising Coalition has planned the “Battle of Biloxi Protest” in the town of the same name, and not far from the local airport and the coliseum where Mr. Trump will appear.

“Bring your banners, signs and voice,” the organizers say. “We can not and will not let Hyde-Smith and Trump’s racist rhetoric go unanswered directly by the people, and we must not allow Hyde-Smith to represent our state any longer.”

The group which has previous protested the Confederate battle flag in their state’s banner, immigration crackdowns, voting rights and other causes also advised that “legal observers will be present to document the action” during their rally.

According to the group’s mission statement, they “mobilize people and resources to improve the well-being, quality of life and political power of marginalized Mississippians” and also practice “the indicators of social progress” as developed by the Social Progress Imperative.

Curious? This global nonprofit is based in the nation’s capital and measures quality of life in ways independent of economic indicators. It is supported by, among others, the Ford Foundation and the Jennifer and Jonathan Allan Soros Foundation.

Meanwhile, a classic Trump signature rally quickly has taken shape.

“The Coliseum is preparing for an overflow crowd. The venue had standing-room only for Trump’s previous visit in January 2016, with around 13,000 attending,” the arena’s executive director Matt McDonnell told The Clarion Ledger.

“He expects people to be lined up on the sidewalk and on U.S. 90 when gates open at 8 a.m. Monday,” the Jackson-based newspaper wrote.

MEANWHILE, A POLL

Things could be promising for one of the aforementioned candidates. A new survey from RRH Elections, an independent GOP political and elections blog, finds that the aforementioned Ms. Hyde-Smith leads Mr. Espy by a margin of 54 percent to 44 percent, with 1 percent still undecided. The survey of 684 likely Mississippi voters was conducted Nov. 19-21 by Bold Blue Campaigns and JMC Analytics, and released Sunday.

President Trump noted in a tweet Sunday that Ms. Hyde-Smith is “an outstanding person who is strong on the Border, Crime, Military, our great Vets, Healthcare the 2nd A. Needed in D.C.”

HEADLINE OF NOTE

“Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski tie the knot in a secret Washington D.C. ceremony. The ‘Morning Joe’ co-hosts made it official during an intimate Saturday ceremony at the National Archives, in front of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, officiated by Rep. Elijah Cummings.”

This report comes from Vanity Fair. This is the first time anyone has been married in the U.S. National Archives, which were closed to the public Saturday night. Five cameras were present to document the event.

The longtime MSNBC colleagues tied the knot in front of the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and Bill of Rights, the publication said, and with some 60 guests, later enjoyed “Caesar salads, acorn squash velout, and red wine poached eggs, followed by joue de boeuf, sauted trout, roasted chicken breast, and gnocchi Parisienne” and a French crepe wedding cake.

“In the age of Trump, news anchors are a new sort of rock star and cable news is must-see TV. It is a world that the Scarboroughs not only sit atop, but they also helped create over the last several years,” Vanity Fair said in the story.

ELSEWHERE IN THE ‘RESISTANCE’

Progressive fervor is still percolating. Sen. Bernard Sanders, Vermont independent and self-described Democratic socialist, has a new book arriving titled “Where We Go from Here: Two Years in the Resistance,” which will be in stores Tuesday, published by Thomas Dunne Books.

“Sanders’ presidential campaign was a beginning, not an end. In his new book, America’s most popular political figure speaks about what he’s been doing to oppose the Trump agenda and strengthen the progressive movement and how we go forward as a nation,” the publisher advises.

ROOSEVELT GETS A LIFT

Washington, D.C. is not all bluster.

Residents and visitors in the nation’s capital are often astonished to discover that there is a forested 88-acre island on the Potomac River, located just opposite the Kennedy Center and the Lincoln Memorial, right in the middle of things. That would be Theodore Roosevelt Island, named for the 26th president, a consummate outdoorsman and birdwatcher. There are, in fact, 200 species of birds on the island, along with a 17-foot bronze statue of its namesake.

The National Park Service, which manages the site, is now seeking funding to upgrade the unique spot and improve its boardwalk bridge and intriguing trails and construct a “soft water landing” for kayaks and other small, non-motorized watercraft.

Visitors have been marveling over this island since the 1700s, the federal parks agency says. It is now seeking some public feedback for the island, along with 27 other parks sites around the nation, including an improved breakwater for the Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina, and a 138-foot cellphone tower for Sequoia National Park, “potentially constructed to simulate a pine tree.”

An interesting business. Check out the intriguing proposals at parkplanning.nps.gov.

POLL DU JOUR

69 percent of Americans say spending time with family provides them with “a great deal of meaning and fulfillment”; 73 percent of conservatives, 69 percent of moderate and 64 percent of liberals agree.

47 percent overall say spending time with friends provides them with a great deal of meaning and fulfillment; 42 percent of conservatives, 47 percent of moderates and 51 percent of liberals agree.

45 percent overall say caring for pets or animals provides them with a great deal of meaning and fulfillment; 40 percent of conservatives, 48 percent of moderates and 47 percent of liberals agree.

36 percent overall say their religious faith provides them with a great deal of meaning and fulfillment; 53 percent of conservatives, 31 percent of moderates and 23 percent of liberals agree.

34 percent overall say their career or job provides them with a great deal of meaning and fulfillment; 32 percent of conservatives, 34 percent of moderates and 35 percent of liberals agree.

12 percent overall say “supporting a social or political cause” provides them with a great deal of meaning and fulfillment; 10 percent of conservatives, 9 percent of moderates and 19 percent of liberals agree.

Source: A Pew Research Center American trends survey of 4,729 U.S. adults conducted Dec. 4-18; the analysis was released Saturday.

Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin

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