Mid-Day Digest

Sep. 4, 2017


  • The scenes of people helping people have even the Beltway media taking notice.
  • It’s Labor Day, so here’s a quick look at several labor-related topics.
  • Despite its self-congratulatory assertions of tolerance and diversity, Google is a fraud.
  • Daily Features: Top Headlines, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.


“The ingredients which constitute safety in the republican sense are, first, a due dependence on the people, secondly, a due responsibility.” —Alexander Hamilton (1788)


The Texas Model of Disaster Recovery

More than a week after Hurricane Harvey made landfall, there are still many storylines from Houston and the surrounding area. The enormous economic cost is certainly one of the most dominant, as is the human toll — 45 confirmed deaths, a number that will likely grow. And as we warned a week ago, the mainstream media has tried to politicize the hurricane to make Donald Trump look bad, though they’ve been largely unsuccessful. We also relayed early on the heartwarming stories of people helping people through the torrential rain and resulting catastrophic flooding.

As the water recedes, that story hasn’t changed. Even Beltway media establishments like The Washington Post can’t help but take note. The Post reports about one woman who began using social media to coordinate response efforts, saying, “[She] was part of an unprecedented do-it-yourself relief effort that came to define Hurricane Harvey. After the storm blew into Houston, a remarkable network of boat owners with smartphones, worried neighbors with laptops and digital wizards with mapping software popped up to summon and support an army of Good Samaritans who motored, rowed and waded into dangerous waters to save family, friends and total strangers.” In fact, the Post notes, “The ‘We the People’ response seemed distinctly Texan, an outgrowth of the state’s almost genetic disinclination to rely on the government for anything — and in some cases, resolute willingness to defy it.”

And then in a line almost guaranteed to make a reader spew coffee, the Post — The Washington Post — says “no government response could ever have been enough.”

Now that’s not in any way to diminish the valiant rescue and recovery efforts of local law enforcement, National Guard, Coast Guard, FEMA or any other government agency, but it is to say government is government, and that means sometimes slow and bloated. Citizens working on their own behalf are always more agile, and helping your neighbor will always be more personal than processing applicant number 8,042 in a government wait line.

Case in point: the argument in Washington about how to fund relief efforts. Funding anything at the federal level is always an exercise in partisan posturing, and this is no different. Should the billions in Harvey relief be a clean bill, or should it be tied to the upcoming debt ceiling hike? Republicans disagree on that question, never mind Democrats. There will be much theater on that subject in the coming days and weeks, but in the meantime, Texans are pulling up their own bootstraps.

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A Labor Day Look at Labor

Labor Day is upon us, a day set aside to celebrate the American worker. In this vein, here’s a quick look at several labor-related topics.

One: Over the years, labor unions have become increasingly politically partisan, essentially morphing into PACs for Democrats. Unions’ original cause of representing worker rights and interests has become one of propping up union bosses. With union memberships steadily dwindling to only 11% of the U.S. workforce and only 6% of current union members having ever voted for unionization, it’s time for reform. Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN) has introduced the Employee Rights Act, which would protect secret balloting, prevent members dues from being spent on anything except for collective-bargaining without a vote and provide for periodic recertification of union elections so that every employee has an opportunity to vote on whether they wish to be represented by a union.

Two: As the economy steadily picks up steam, a problem has begun to emerge across the country: More and more employers are having difficulty finding workers. There are several factors that have contributed to this problem, including a lack of skilled workers, coupled with an unemployment rate sitting at 4.4% — very close to “full” employment. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) recently introduced a bill that would help alleviate this problem by increasing the number of visas for foreign guest workers. The State-Sponsored Visa Pilot Act would allow for up to 500,000 visas to be divvied up across all 50 states. Keeping jobs and job growth in the U.S. verses companies shipping jobs overseas will benefit the economy and American workers. The issue also pits two big Democrat constituencies against each other — Big Labor and immigrants.

Three: Unfortunately, when a tragedy happens there are those who, rather than working to help those in need, look to take advantage of the crisis. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Big Labor decided to exploit the disaster by conducting a fundraiser with the aim of supporting … unionization efforts. Texas Organizing Project Education Fund, a pro-labor union group, launched the Hurricane Harvey Community Relief Fund, stating, “Your donation is vital to ensuring that we have the resources we need to organize and fight for Texans devastated by Hurricane Harvey.”

Finally: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has been a staunch advocate for school choice, something the Left and teachers unions hate. DeVos has a long history of working for school choice via a voucher system in her home state of Michigan. Her early efforts there failed, but support for school choice has grown, specifically among the poor. DeVos said, “Times have continued to change and move more in favor of giving parents and students more choices, because we’ve seen consistently that too many kids are not being served in the schools to which they’ve been assigned.” And what has been the biggest obstacle to school choice? Teachers unions. Thankfully, DeVos is committed to advocating for greater freedom for students and parents.

In any case, a happy Labor Day to those Americans taking a break from laboring today!

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Top Headlines

  • In latest test, North Korea detonates its most powerful nuclear device yet — a hydrogen bomb. (The Washington Post)

  • Mnuchin: Congress must tie Harvey aid to raising debt limit. (CBS News)

  • Left-wing outlets spread false story claiming GOP official turned down disaster aid. (The Washington Free Beacon)

  • Trump to scrap protection for “Dreamers,” give Congress six months to fix. (Reuters)

  • Obama’s 2018 expenses will cost U.S. taxpayers $1.1M. (Fox News)

  • Manufacturing jobs up 36,000 in August; 155,000 since Trump’s election. (CNS News)

  • Federal gov’t jobs down 11,000 in 2017; State gov’t jobs down 2,000; Local gov’t jobs up 12,000. (CNS News)

  • IRS won’t warn a half-million victims about illegal workers stealing their Social Security numbers. (NBC WTHR)

  • Civil rights activist argues to keep Confederate monuments. (NPR)

  • Humor: Former conservative recalls belittling tirade from college student that brought him over to the Left. (The Onion)

  • Policy: Union bosses have too much control. It’s time to protect the rights of American workers. (The Daily Signal)

  • Policy: The Millennial success sequence. (American Enterprise Institute and the Institute for Family Studies)

For more, visit Patriot Headline Report.

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Competition Trumps Government Regulation

By Arnold Ahlert

Despite its self-congratulatory assertions of tolerance and diversity, Google is a fraud. Moreover, many of its progressive supporters are hypocrites.

“Wasn’t it just a few weeks ago that the left was cheering Google for firing an employee who dared to question the company’s liberal orthodoxy?” asks Investor’s Business Daily. “Now the company is getting battered by the same crowd for allegedly causing a critic to be fired from a think tank.”

The fired employee was engineer James Damore, whose two-pronged dissent was more than the politically correct crowd could endure. In a 10-page memo entitled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” he first asserted that Google’s culture was one “which constrains discourse and is complacent to the extremely sensitive PC-authoritarians that use violence and shaming to advance their cause.” Then he committed the ultimate “sin,” suggesting it’s possible the gender gap in certain workplace positions may have to do with the difference between men and women themselves, rather than some sort of implicit bias.

That was a bridge too far. “To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK,” explained Google CEO Sundar Pichai in a staff memo, even as an updated memo stated “that we strongly support the right of Googlers to express themselves” — unless they “cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.”

Progressive reaction? “Even if it creates an anti-PC martyr, firing an employee who was comfortable airing his harmful bigotry is a laudable stand,” asserted Slate columnist April Glaser. “It should have been a no-brainer.”

Unfortunately for the self-righteous social justice set, Google’s disdain for dissent snared one of its own. Shortly after Washington think tank New America Foundation posted a piece on its website praising the $2.7 billion fine levied by European antitrust regulators against Google, company chairman Eric Schmidt made his displeasure known to New America president Anne-Marie Slaughter.

Barry Lynn, director of New America’s Open Markets program, wrote the “offensive” post, asserting the EU “is protecting the free flow of information and commerce upon which all democracies depend.” He also urged “US enforcers” to “build upon this important precedent, both in respect to Google and to other dominant platform monopolists including Amazon,” explaining the “traditional American approach to network monopoly … is to cleanly separate ownership of the network from ownership of the products and services sold on that network.”

Lynn’s post was taken down and then reposted hours later. But as The New York Times reported, “word of Mr. Schmidt’s displeasure rippled through New America,” leaving some people “concerned that Google intended to discontinue funding, while others worried whether the think tank could truly be independent if it had to worry about offending its donors.”

They were right to worry. Last Wednesday, Slaughter informed Lynn “the time has come for Open Markets and New America to part ways,” according to an email that simultaneously asserted the firing was “in no way based on the content of your work,” while accusing Lynn of “imperiling the institution as a whole.”

Lynn’s 10-member team initially stuck around trying to negotiate with Slaughter, but eventually got the axe as well. In a public statement disputing the Times’ story, Slaughter insisted Google did not lobby New America to expel Open Markets. Instead, she asserted, Lynn “repeatedly refused to adhere to New America’s standards of openness and institutional collegiality,” while offering no explanation for his team’s firing.

One might be forgiven for wondering if Slaughter was influenced by the $21 million Google has bestowed on the think tank since 1999, or the fact that New America’s main conference room is called the “Eric Schmidt Ideas Lab.”

Regardless, leftists were suddenly aghast that some of their fellow travelers could be treated like Damore and that Google’s “monopoly” should be broken up. Ultra-leftist Zephyr Teachout, who is chairing Open Markets reincarnation as an independent entity, believes Google “has established a pattern of lobbying and threatening to acquire power,” reaching a “dangerous point … where it no longer wants to allow dissent.” The New York Times followed up its original story with one entitled “Google’s Disturbing Influence Over Think Tanks,” and the Huffington Post huffed that “Google Just Proved That Monopolies Imperil Democracy, Not Just The Economy.”

Should Google be subjected to antitrust statutes? The company controls 80% of the online search market and 54% of the U.S. browser market. Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon are similar behemoths, and all have made efforts to control and influence the flow of information, tilting overwhelmingly left in that regard.

But does that make any of them monopolies? Teachout insists Google “is forming into a government of itself,” while admitting it couldn’t succeed in “entirely” silencing New Markets. The New York Post refers to “monopolists who dominate the internet” and The Week’s Ryan Cooper refers to both Google and Facebook as “platform monopolists.”

Perhaps. Or perhaps they provide goods and services millions of people want. And for those that don’t, perhaps there’s a gargantuan opportunity for non-progressive entrepreneurs to set up alternative platforms. Better that than giving government another opportunity to put its regulatory thumb on the scale.

Are the aforementioned corporations run by largely obnoxious, self-aggrandizing leftists? You betcha. But a free society is about competition, not censorship. Leftists would prefer the latter, now that the Wrath of Google has touched one of theirs.

Conservatives? Censorship is easy. Free-market principles are hard.

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For more, visit Right Opinion.


Andrew C. McCarthy: “The commentariat is in full-throttle outrage over the revelation that former FBI Director Comey began drafting his statement exonerating Hillary Clinton in April 2016 — more than two months before he delivered the statement at his now famous July 5 press conference. … It shows, they cry, that the fix was in! News Flash: This is not news. … Obama’s April statements are the significant ones. They told us how this was going to go. The rest is just details. In his April 10 comments, Obama made the obvious explicit: He did not want the certain Democratic nominee, the candidate he was backing to succeed him, to be indicted. … As we also now know — but as Obama knew at the time — the president himself had communicated with Clinton over her non-secure, private communications system, using an alias. … It would not have been possible to prosecute Mrs. Clinton for mishandling classified information without its being clear that President Obama had engaged in the same conduct. The administration was never, ever going to allow that to happen. … The decision not to indict Hillary Clinton was not made by then-FBI Director Comey. It was made by President Obama and his Justice Department — Comey’s superiors.”


The Gipper responding to student protests on college campuses during his tenure as California governor: “The state of California has no business subsidizing intellectual curiosity.”

Upright: “In 1986, President Ronald Reagan led the effort to make America the most competitive nation in the world by cutting our business tax rate to 34%, well below the average rate of other developed nations at the time. It worked. Our economy boomed, the middle class thrived and median family income increased. But our economic competitors did not sit still. They saw what we did and started lowering their business tax rates, too. Over the past 30 years, the average business tax rate among developed nations in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) fell from 45% to less than 24%. Instead of remaining competitive over the same period, we actually raised our rate to 35%. … We owe it to the American people to fix this broken system.” —Donald Trump

Fair warning: “Any threat to the United States or its territories, including Guam, or our allies will be met with a massive military response, a response both effective and overwhelming. Kim Jong Un should take heed of the United Nations Security Council’s unified voice. All members unanimously agreed on the threat North Korea poses and remain unanimous in their commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” —Defense Secretary Jim Mattis

Never let a good crisis go to waste: “A lot of people are going to need a lot of construction workers in Texas. … So, maybe this isn’t the time to crack down on immigration.” —New York Times’ David Brooks

Non Compos Mentis: “In the wake of Harvey, it’s time to treat science denial as gross negligence — and hold those who do the denying accountable.” —Motherboard editor Brian Merchant in his piece, “Climate Change Denial Should Be a Crime”

And last… “As I see it, the Left is trying to destroy our past by toppling statues, trying to destroy our future with abortions on demand, and they’re pretty much stinking up our present.” —Burt Prelutsky

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.