When former Rep. Allen B. West left office five years ago, the Florida Republican had a final message for his constituents.
“This is my final weekly update from our congressional office, but it is by no means my final weekly update. When one door closes, another opens and we shall continue to advocate for truth, the restoration of this Republic, and promote constitutional conservative principles in the new year. The fight for our Constitutional Republic has truly begun and I will be on the frontline,” Mr. West said.
He wasn’t kidding.
Since then, the retired Army colonel and combat veteran has been an indefatigable political commentator and columnist, written a well-received book titled “Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Family, Faith and Freedom,” and been a stalwart presence at CPAC and Faith and Freedom Coalition events. He has campaigned for plenty of Republicans and inspired military veteran and students; he calls himself an “old school patriot.”
Mr. West, now a Texas resident, has always been on message.
“How will the GOP win the White House? We must show the nation that Republicans have the capacity to lead and to govern. And we must say it clearly. And we must outlast, and outrun any messages sent to voters by liberals and progressives,” he told Inside the Beltway during a short walk near the Capitol six years ago.
Among many other thoughtful comments to Beltway over the years, Mr. West also observed: “There is one thing I want Americans to know. They must know and understand that the America that was founded for us is the America we must guard, and the one we must pass on to subsequent generations.”
Things very well could change for Mr. West, who in 45 words revealed his future plans during an appearance on Fox News Radio on Tuesday afternoon.
“We miss you so much in Congress, Allen. Are you ever going to run again?” asked guest host Monica Crowley.
“Yes, Monica. You’re probably going to see me get back in there after this election cycle. So a lot of people are pressuring me to do that, a lot of folks in Texas encouraging me to do that so we will probably make that happen,” Mr. West replied.
NYT MAGAZINE: WOE IS US, ALL IS LOST
The New York Times Magazine is about to predict that the whole planet is lost. Or something. Someone notify former Vice President Al Gore.
“Thirty years ago we had a chance to save the planet. We could have fixed climate change. We failed to act. Our next issue tells the story: Losing Earth,” the magazine noted in a tweet on Tuesday, preparing its readership for dire news to arrive within 24 hours.
It is, The Times said, a “story that will change the way you think about global warming. Knowing that we could have avoided this, it is a tragedy that we didn’t.”
And speaking of Mr. Gore, he remains on climate change patrol, recently deeming the summer heat as “ominous” and advising a group of young activists in New Orleans, “I’m not here to just give you information. I’m here to recruit you. We need your help to win this struggle. We need your help to solve the climate crisis.”
ONE FOR ROUTE 66
It’s more than a funky, picturesque roadway. Along with dozens of state and local interest groups, the National Trust for Historic Preservation is on a quest to preserve Route 66 and have the iconic highway formally designated by Congress as a “national historic trail.”
Should the effort succeed, Route 66 would join 19 other historic trails that include the Santa Fe and Lewis & Clark trails and the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail.
Established in 1926, the famous road originally stretched 2,448 miles through eight states, from Chicago to Santa Monica, California, — and inspired one famous song and a TV series along the way. It was removed from the nation’s interstate highway system in 1985.
“There’s nothing quite like Route 66. It’s the most culturally celebrated and internationally recognized stretch of highway in America,” notes an active National Trust public petition, adding that the roadway was America’s first, all-paved U.S. highway system, which was a significant connector during the Great Depression, and World War II.
“By the 1960s, many communities and businesses along the route fell into deep decay — or disappeared entirely,” the petition states.
The effort to preserve Route 66 has considerable support. The Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership — which includes a “vintage hotel task force” — was established three years ago with support from the National Park Service and the World Monuments Fund.
There’s also help on Capitol Hill. In mid-July, the House passed a bill to establish a “federal level” commission to mark the upcoming 100th anniversary of Route 66. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Rodney Davis, Illinois Republican, some 18 months ago. Two states also have produced similar bills, with more on the way.
In the meantime, the National Trust is just finishing a five-week epic road trip along Route 66 to draw attention to the efforts, The journey ends Wednesday.
The Road Ahead Partnership, meanwhile, has set a goal of Senate approval of the new legislation and a signature from President Trump by or before the end of the year.
Audiences still crave Fox News Channel, which now marks 25 consecutive months as the most-watched basic cable network of all, besting ESPN, HGTV and other non-news outlets, according to Nielsen Media Research. Fox News reigns as the most-watched cable news channel, as it has for the last 199 months. That 16 years. In July, Fox drew 2.4 million prime-time viewers, MSNBC 1.6 million and CNN 891,000.
“Hannity” was the top-rated program in all of basic cable in total viewers for regularly scheduled programming in July, even defeating Discovery’s “Shark Week” programming. “Hannity” averaged 3.4 million viewers, Shark Week 1.7 million.
Fox Business Network, meanwhile, is enjoying its 14th consecutive month as the leader in business news, with a 38 percent ratings advantage over rival CNBC in July. Additionally, Fox Business also scored the top seven rated news programs on business television.
POLL DU JOUR
• 87 percent of young U.S. adults have “rarely or never” volunteered for a political candidate or campaign during midterm elections.
• 86 percent have rarely or never attended a candidate forum or rally.
• 63 percent say voting in midterms will give their generation “some say about how the government runs things.”
• 47 percent rarely or never read or watch news about candidates or issues during midterms.
• 41 percent are “not very or not at all” confident they have enough information to choose between political candidates.
Source: AN AP/MTV/NORC poll of “1,030 young people age 15-34 conducted June 21-July 9 and released Tuesday.
• Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.
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