Inside the Beltway: Upping the Ante: RNC trolls the DNC

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First, there was fake news. Now, there are fake press releases. The Republican National Committee has issued a parody press release on behalf of the Democratic National Committee, adding a whole new dimension to the battle between the two parties.

“MEDIA ADVISORY: Updated schedule of events open to the press. The Democratic National Committee today announced major changes to the schedule for its upcoming DNC Fall Meeting,” reads the official looking missive, complete with live links and hourly breakdowns.

Indeed, the aforementioned DNC fall meeting gets under way in Las Vegas on Wednesday. The membership will elect caucus and council leaders, conduct training sessions “to win every ZIP code across the country,” discuss the party’s ground game and even volunteer to help those recovering from the recent mass shooting. Speakers include Democratic officials, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and other lawmakers, along with former Attorney General Eric Holder.

The Republicans have supplied another agenda, however.

Their faux DNC press release includes such agenda items as “Weinstein Shopping Spree: How to spend the $300,000 in money we won’t return from Harvey Weinstein“; “Should She Stay or Should She Go Now: A roundtable discussion of the future of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi moderated by Rep. Linda Sanchez” and “OK, but really — ‘What Happened’: A continuing conversation about who to blame for Hillary Clinton’s loss.”

Wait, there’s more. According to the GOP, the Democrats will also be offering workshops in “Where is Michigan? A geographical presentation of what exists between New York and Los Angeles,” and the “Single Payer Shuffle,” described as “a master class in how to dance around specifics, like how to pay for a $32 trillion government takeover of health care.”

The faux advisory appears to be the work of Michael Ahrens, the nimble rapid-response director for the Republican Party, and his staff. The fake advisory has won amused accolades from a number of media folk. There have been so many that Twitchy — which showcases the snappiest tweets on a daily basis — reserved an entire section for the reviews.

Among the fans of the RNC effort: syndicated columnist Ben Shapiro, Business Insider political columnist Joe Perticone and Republican strategist Liz Mair. No word from the Democrats. Yet.

A JANE FONDA MOMENT

“Are you proud of America today?” the BBC recently asked actress Jane Fonda, now 79 but plenty active in Hollywood.

“No,” she answered. “But, I’m proud of the resistance. I’m proud of the people who are turning out in unprecedented numbers and continue and continue over and over and over again to protest what Trump is doing. I’m very proud of them.”

She was proud of one other thing as well.

“I don’t regret going to Vietnam. The United States was bombing the dikes in North Vietnam — earthen dikes in the Red River Delta. If the dikes had given way, according to Henry Kissinger, somewhere around 2 million people could have died of famine and drowning. And we were bombing, and it wasn’t being talked about. And I thought, I’m a celebrity. Maybe if I go, and I bring back evidence. And it did stop two months after I got back, so I’m proud that I went. It changed my life all for the good.”

She did regret posing with a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun at the height of that conflict, according to the interview, transcribed by Breitbart political analyst Jeff Poor.

“There was a ceremony. I was asked to sing, and people were laughing and so forth and I sat down. And then I got up and as I walked away, I realized, ‘Oh my gosh. It’s going to look like I am against my own country’s soldiers and siding with the enemy,’ which is the last thing in the world that was true,” Ms. Fonda observed.

ECONOMIC REPORT OF NOTE

“The Dow Jones Industrial Average passed another milestone, topping 23,000 for the first time, as strong earnings from UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Johnson & Johnson helped push the more than century-old gauge to a record. It’s the sixth 1,000-point milestone reached in the past 12 months and the fifth since Donald Trump was elected president in November,” writes Bloomberg economic analyst Sarah Ponczek.

THANKSGIVING WARS ALREADY UNDERWAY

The retail realm often reflects politics and culture in very clear ways, whether it’s a matter of consumer boycotts or which stores will stay closed on Thanksgiving Day as a corporate gesture to family togetherness.

CBL Properties, which owns some 60 malls around the nation, has announced all of its mall properties will close on Thanksgiving — “pushing back on Black Friday creep across America,” according to CNBC. Owner Stephen Lebovitz told the network that he had received overwhelming support from shoppers for his decision.

“Despite the fact that many Black Friday sales now begin on Thanksgiving Day, numerous stores remain reluctant to open their doors. Thanksgiving Day is on Thursday, November 23, 2017, this year, and over 75 well-known retailers are expected to be closed. Additionally, some stores will even be closed on Black Friday,” writes Phil Dengler, co-founder of BestBlackFriday.com, which tracks the business aspects of the day.

The faith-conscious Hobby Lobby is closed on Thanksgiving — as are Home Depot, Costco, Ikea, Nordstrom and Staples. Among those who so far have confirmed they will stay open: Macy’s, Big Lots and Game Stop.

FOXIFIED

Fox News Channel continues to dominate the entire cable TV realm, the most watched network of all, according to Nielsen Media Research numbers released Tuesday. Fox News remains No. 1, besting such rivals as TBS and ESPN.

As usual, Fox News wins the cable news derby, averaging 1.4 million viewers throughout the day, compared to 877,000 for MSNBC and 670,000 for CNN. Fox has been first among the three all-news networks for the last 16 years.

POLL DU JOUR

67 percent of Americans said they were fans of professional football in 2012.

75 percent of men, 60 percent of women, 70 percent of Republicans, 65 percent of independents and 69 percent of Democrats agreed at that time.

57 percent of Americans overall say they are fans of professional football in 2017.

62 percent of men, 52 percent of women, 55 percent of Republicans, 53 percent of independents and 66 percent of Democrats agree they are fans in 2017.

Source: A Gallup poll of 1,012 U.S. adults conducted Oct. 10-11, plus historic data from a similar poll conducted Dec. 19-22, 2012,

• Complaints, grudging accolades to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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