Inside the Beltway: Coast Guard’s grim reminder


It is that time of year. The U.S. Coast Guard has released its 2020 Recreational Boating Statistics Report, revealing that there were 767 boating fatalities nationwide in 2020, a 25.1% increase from 2019.

From 2019 to 2020, the total number of accidents increased 26% (4,168 to 5,265), and the number of nonfatal injured victims increased 24% (2,559 to 3,191).

Alcohol continued to be the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents in 2020, accounting for over 100 deaths, or 18% of the total fatalities.

Wearing a life jacket is crucial, according to Capt. Scott Johnson, chief of the Office of Auxiliary and Boating Safety at Coast Guard Headquarters. He noted that where the cause of death was known, 75% of fatal boating accident victims drowned 86% were not wearing a life jacket.

Operator inattention, operator inexperience, improper lookout, excessive speed and machinery failure ranked as the top five primary contributing factors in mishaps.

The most common vessel types involved in reported accidents were open motorboats, personal watercraft, and cabin motorboats. Where vessel type was known, the highest percentage of deaths occurred in open motorboats (50%), kayaks (15%), and pontoons (9%).

Then there is news you can use.

“Wear a life jacket, take a boating safety course, attach the engine cut-off switch, get a free vessel safety check, and boat sober,” noted a stern summary.

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“Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance’s quest for the U.S. Senate seat in Ohio is “the one race to watch,” according to Axios.

“Vance, 36, last week joined a crowded GOP primary field to succeed retiring Sen. Rob Portman. If Vance won the primary (no sure thing), he’d be the favorite to win the seat — and instantly would be talked about as a presidential possibility,” writes columnist Mike Allen.

Mr. Vance said cancel culture was weighing on the minds of conservatives he had met on the campaign trail. The author also is discovering the differences between a book tour and serious political campaigning.

“It’s different to sell a set of problems than it is to sell a set of solutions,” he said. “In a book, you can just talk about the problems. That’s much easier,” Mr. Vance said.


Old habits are hard to break, perhaps.

When he was in office, former President Barack Obama often shared his favorite books and music, a habit that became a “tradition,” Mr. Obama noted in a new statement. The tradition continues. Mr. Obama is still sharing news of his personal lists of reading and listening fare.


A sampling of the 11 books on his 2021 summer reading list include: “At Night All Blood Is Black” by David Diop, “Leave the World Behind” by Rumaan Alam, “Project Hail Mary” by Andy Weir, “The Sweetness of Water” by Nathan Harris, and “When We Cease to Understand the World” by Benjamin Labatut.

Mr. Obama also cited 37 favorite tunes. Among them: “Everything is Never Quite Enough” by Wasis Diop, “I’ll Take You There” by The Staple Singers, “Switch It Up” by Protoje ft. Koffee, “Lush Life” by Ella Fitzgerald, “Tumbling Dice” by The Rolling Stones, “Desperado” by Rihanna, and “Frozen” by Sabrina Claudio.


Who gets canceled and why?

Fox Nation will debut a new series on Monday hosted by Dan Bongino titled “Canceled in the USA.” It’s deemed a “deep dive” into cancel culture, featuring comedians, professors, business professionals and everyday Americans who have fallen victim to this unhappy movement which instantly vilifies people for one thing or another.

“Bongino will provide them a platform to share their perspective on why they were canceled,” the network says.

The debut program features comedians Gilbert Gottfried and Adam Corolla and parents from Loudoun County, Virginia who have taken on the local public school system over critical race theory.


“My son adopted a male dog, neutered him, but that didn’t change his gender. Weird … ” noted conservative actor Kevin Sorbo in a tweet on Sunday.


Calls for unity within the Grand Old Party come and go. Some now say that this call should be heeded now by GOP lawmakers — or else.

“Now is the time for conservatives and Republicans to unite and do everything possible to win a governing majority in the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate. The only way to stop the reckless left-wing and progressive policies in the Biden administration is to win back a Republican majority in Congress,” declares Saul Anuzis, former chairman of the Michigan Republican Party and now president of 60Plus, a nonpartisan organization addressing concerns of senior citizens.

Tax policy, successful border strategy and tactics, personal liberty, privacy and founding American values are all on the line as the midterm elections approach, he said in a statement.

“Now is not the time to attack Republicans who you disagree with on one specific vote or another. We need a center-right coalition that can win a majority. Choose your battles wisely. Pick your fights, focus your efforts, and don’t force wasteful misadventures that will take away time and resources from races we need to win against liberal Democrats,” Mr. Anuzis cautioned.

He has one final bit of advice.

“Keep your eye on the ball — which is a conservative Republican majority in 2022,” he noted.


42% of U.S. adults say Democrats are to blame “for Congress achieving less than usual”; 73% of Republicans, 36% of independents and 9% of Democrats agree.

23% overall say Republicans in Congress are to blame; 1% of Republicans, 15% of independents and 70% of Democrats agree.

31% blame both equally;  25 % of Republicans, 42% of independents and 18% of Democrats agree.

2% say neither party is to blame; 0% of Republicans,4% of independents and 2% of Democrats agree.

2% are not sure; 1% of Republicans, 2% of independents and 1% of Democrats agree.

Source: YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted July 3-6.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper @HarperBulletin.

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