Inside the Beltway: Media takes pot shots at Trump's 'Truth'

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The news media has long expected that former President Donald Trump would create his own media outreach, become a direct rival and then bypass the existing social media giants. That time has arrived.

Mr. Trump revealed Wednesday that he has founded the Trump Media & Technology Group, and with it “Truth Social” — an independent social media network for the millions who still support him.

The press has offered a cranky reaction. Here’s just a few headlines from the last 48 hours:

“3 Reasons why Donald Trump’s new social media company is doomed to fail” (CNN); “Trump’s new free speech network has already banned any criticism of itself” (Daily Beast); “Trump’s new social media network Truth Social already defaced by pranksters” (The Washington Post); “Twitter users took just two hours to get into Truth Social and create dummy accounts” (Yahoo News); “‘You can’t make this stuff up’: Reaction to Trump’s Truth Social is mixed” (USA Today).

THINGS CHANGE

Feeling nostalgia for the phrase “Make America Great Again” — the classic theme of former President Donald Trump and his administration? You are not alone amid current food shortages, inflation, supply-chain challenges and other disturbing factors of President Biden’s 10 months in office.

“Try to lower your expectations” is becoming the theme of Joe Biden’s America,” tweeted Mark Meadows on Thursday, in response to the public challenges that keep surfacing.

As a White House chief of staff during the Trump administration, he is an apt judge of what has changed with the advent of the 46th president.

PROFESSOR STREISAND

Could this be Barbra 101?

The world of entertainment icon Barbra Streisand has just expanded. She has funded a major academic center at the University of California at Los Angeles.

“Building upon her decades of work as an artist and activist, Barbra Streisand’s visionary act of generosity will enable UCLA scholars from many different fields to collaborate on research that will move society forward,” Chancellor Gene Block said on announcing the new endeavor.

The new institute will feature “four research centers that address her concerns,” the university said. They are the Center for Truth in the Public Sphere, the Center for the Impact of Climate Change, the Center for the Dynamics of Intimacy & Power Between Women & Men, and the Center for the Impact of Art on the Culture.

“This will be a place where future scholars can discuss, engage and argue about the most important issues of the day,” Ms. Streisand said in a statement.

‘ABSURDLY WASTEFUL’

The title says it all: “10 absurdly wasteful items tucked into Democrats’ $3.5 trillion tax-and-spend monstrosity.”

That is the name of an in-depth analysis of the 2,465-page bill, which is the length of two King James Bibles, according to David Ditch, a keen-eyed policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation. He has shared 10 of the most glaring expenditures, as published in the DailySignal.com, the conservative organization’s nifty news site featuring investigative efforts plus political news and commentary.

Here’s his top-10, complete with some of Mr. Ditch’s descriptions:

There’s $25 million for “anti-discrimination and bias training” at the Department of Health and Human Services; $200 million for the San Francisco scenic site Presidio Trust, aka “Pelosi’s Park”; a “welfare for journalists” plan which gives future tax credits to local reporters; “$1.25 billion to help “activists and bureaucrats to go after landlords”; and $4.5 billion to impose a federal takeover of housing policy.

Also in the bill are $26.5 billion for “left-wing transportation programs”; “$13.3 million to fund for bureaucrats and their federal ad campaigns; $197 million to subsidize hiring local teachers; $7.5 billion for a “community restoration and revitalization” slush fund; and finally, $2.35 billion for the Federal Citizen Services Fund — which deals with government websites and information technology for the executive branch.

CHIEF SCOTT’S NEW DESTINY

Rodney Scott recently retired as U.S. Border Patrol chief and has joined the Texas Public Policy Foundation — an influential think tank — and will provide analysis and recommendations for federal and state border-security efforts.

“With nearly two-thirds of America’s southwestern border, Texas has a huge stake, as does the entire nation, in getting border security right. It is foundational to an immigration system that puts America’s interests first, including upholding national sovereignty and ensuring public safety,” Mr. Scott says of his new calling.

Mr. Scott joined  the Border Patrol in 1992. His assignments included serving as chief patrol agent of the El Centro, California, sector; assistant chief in U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Anti-Terrorism; and director of the Incident Management and Operations Coordination Division at the agency’s headquarters in Washington.

Mark Morgan, former acting commissioner at the agency, had his own description of Mr. Scott when he became chief of the Border Patrol in 2020.

“He is the absolute embodiment of the U.S. Border Patrol’s motto, ‘Honor First,’” Mr. Morgan said at the time.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

For sale: Poplar Hall, a Georgia brick estate home built in 1822 on 28 acres near Cynthiana, Kentucky. Six bedrooms, three baths, multiple gathering rooms, state-of-the art kitchen, original built-ins and floors, four fireplaces, sweeping staircase, two guest wings; 4,780 square feet. Large barn, two ponds, two-car garage, ample fencing, registered historic home. Priced at $1.2 million through Kirkfarms.com/property/poplar-hall.

POLL DU JOUR

52% of U.S. adults think the U.S. is “worse off” now than it was a year ago; 94% of Republicans, 56% of independents and 14% of Democrats agree.

56% of men and 48% of women also agree.

41% overall say the nation is “better off”; 5% of Republicans, 38% of independents and 76% of Democrats agree.

37% of men and 45% of women also agree.

5% overall say the nation is “the same” as last year; 1% of Republicans, 4% of independents and 7% of Democrats agree.

4% of men and 5% of women also agree.

3% overall don’t know; 0% of Republicans, 2% of independents and 2% of Democrats agree.

3% of men and 2% of women also agree.

SOURCE: A Quinnipiac University poll of 1,342 U.S. adults conducted Oct. 15-18.

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