2.16.19 Trump May Be Taking a Risk on the Wall

Trump May Be Taking a Risk on the Wall

“President Trump’s announcement on Thursday that he will likely declare a national emergency to get the money to build his wall along the U.S.-Mexico border is a huge gamble. It will surely delight his base, but risks reinforcing negative views of him among the voters he needs to win reelection,” writes Henry Olsen in The Washington Post. There may be some political reasons behind the president’s decision, according to Olsen—one is to appeal to his base. Olsen cites a PRRI survey reinforcing that point: “According to the 2017 American Values Survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), 55 percent of Republicans agree that ‘we need a leader who is willing to break some rules if that is what is needed to set things right.’ That total rises to 66 percent among Republicans who have always backed Trump.” The problem, Olsen continues, is that while this group might be key in a Republican primary battle, it’s not big enough to win the 2020 election for Trump. “The dealing and the game goes on through November 2020, and if that battle is fought over the emergency order and the wall, Trump’s pair of treys aren’t likely to win the pot,” Olsen writes. 
NBC News: Almost Half of Republican Voters Believe God Wanted Trump Presidency

After comments made by White House press secretary Sara Huckabee Sanders, NBC News provides additional context. In a previous interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Sanders claimed that God “wanted Donald Trump to become president.” NBC News provides information about how widespread these views are by citing a recent Fox News poll. “Forty-five percent of Republicans agree with the sentiment…Overall, one-quarter of registered voters share that view while 62 percent said they do not believe God wanted Trump to be commander-in-chief. That number represents a plurality, as 37 percent of Republicans disagree,” writes Ben Kamisar. NBC News also cites PRRI research on this topic, writing: “That number—one quarter of a sample—is consistent with other polls on God’s influence in events. The Public Religion Research Institute’s January 2017 poll found that 25 percent of Americans ‘completely agree’ or ‘mostly agree’ with the idea that ‘God plays a role in determining which team wins a sporting event.’”
Howard Schultz Inadvertently Assisting Trump?

In a new piece for The Atlantic, Ronald Brownstein argues that former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has already started to help Trump’s re-election campaign. Brownstein argues that it would be difficult for Schultz to draw votes away from Trump and that it is more likely he would pull from those already “discontented with Trump.”Brownstein also examines how Schultz’s opinions on crucial immigration issues compare with the views of people in Trump’s coalition. He writes, “Polling by the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute has found a larger share of Republicans supporting ideas such as a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers. But nonetheless, only a minority of Republicans accept those ideas; they attract much broader backing from Democratic-leaning voters.” PRRI data show that a plurality (42 percent) of Republicans believe that the immigration system should identify and deport those immigrations living here illegally, though nearly as many (39 percent) prefer a path to citizenship. About one in five (19 percent) Republicans say the immigration system should allow those living in the U.S. illegally to become permanent legal residents, but not citizens. Support for deportation is up 14 points among Republicans over the last two years; in 2016, only 28 percent said identifying and deporting immigrants in the country illegally was their preferred policy. Similarly, Republican support for a path to citizenship is down from 2016, when a majority (55 percent) said that the immigration system should allow those living in the U.S. illegally a way to become citizens if they met certain requirements.
Producer Swizz Beatz Bridges Hip-Hop and Contemporary Art

“While amassing his own collection, [Swizz Beatz] became a crucial connector, and an important advocate for artists of color,” writes M.H. Miller in The New York Times. The piece examines the active role of artists like Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, and others in collecting art and speaking about their experiences as art collectors recently. But while music producer Swizz Beatz (Kasseem Dean) has a large art collection and has became an art enthusiast as well, it is his advocacy for art buyers and artists of color that may be most important. Miller writes, “Visiting a 2015 retrospective of Kehinde Wiley at the Brooklyn Museum, where Dean is a member of the board, he looked at the names on the wall labels of who had lent works to the show and found no black collectors. And yet the media continued to anoint black artists as the future of the art world. ‘If they’re saying we’re the culture, how are we gonna be the culture if we don’t own nothing from the culture?’ he asks.” On the artists’ side, Dean has fought for resale royalties, a move that likely stems from his background in music and knowledge of that industry. “I think the answer is: Doing good for the artists should be a lifestyle,” Dean is quoted as saying in the article. “It should be the thing to do. Not a charity. People feel like when they’re doing things for artists, it’s like a charity. The artists don’t need no charity from you! The artists just need respect. You should do it just because.”