Mid-Day Digest

Sep. 12, 2018

THE FOUNDATION

“Industry is increased, commodities are multiplied, agriculture and manufacturers flourish: and herein consists the true wealth and prosperity of a state.” —Alexander Hamilton (1790)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

  • More businesses are being created than ever, with record job openings.
  • The pope offers thoughts on the sex scandal, but he wasn’t exactly helpful.
  • There are some indications that the higher-education bubble may burst.
  • Peter Strzok’s latest text revelation: a “media leak strategy.”
  • California may enact quotas for females on corporate boards.
  • Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists, and Short Cuts.

IN BRIEF

Trump Economy Spurs Record Entrepreneurship

Thomas Gallatin

The existence of more businesses will result in the creation of more jobs, and that is exactly what has been happening in the now-robust American economy. This past July, the number of job openings hit a record of 6.94 million. This was up from June’s number of 6.82 million. The rate of people quitting their jobs rose to 2.7% among private-sector employees, which is just below the record of 2.9% set in 2001. The voluntary quit rate is indicative of a strong and growing economy because people usually switch to better paying jobs as more become available. Speaking of better pay, middle-class income hit a record high of $61,400 in 2017.

As Market Watch reports, “The U.S. economy is booming. Growth surged in the spring and has carried through summer. Unemployment is uber-low at 3.9%, layoffs are at a 50-year low and small-business owners say they are more optimistic about the economy than ever.”

All this economic growth can rightly be credited to President Donald Trump and the Republicans for their tax-cutting, deregulating, pro-growth agenda as the numbers clearly indicate, despite what Barack Obama and the Democrats claim. Take the quarterly numbers for newly created business as an example. The second quarter of 2018 saw the highest number ever recorded for new business applications at 876,201. In fact, all six quarters of Trump’s presidency have seen higher business-creation totals than any previous quarter since the government began tracking the data in 2004. And the last three quarters have all topped 800,000 new businesses created; prior to Trump no quarter had ever reached 800,000.

In the famous words of Bill Clinton’s former adviser, James Carville, “It’s the economy, stupid.” As the midterm elections near, Republicans need to be preaching this message nonstop through November, noting the fact that the only thing the Democrats are offering is the economically devastating failed ideas of socialism. Trump’s economy or Venezuela’s — the comparison couldn’t be more stark.

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Pope Francis Speaks Against the ‘Great Accuser’

Nate Jackson

Two weeks after the first story of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church broke, Pope Francis was accused of being complicit in the cover-up, and an archbishop called for his resignation. Francis responded only that he would “not say a single word” on the matter. Two more weeks passed and the Vatican announced preparations for a statement, including nine cardinal advisers declaring their “full solidarity” with the pope.

We don’t blame Francis for taking time to say the right thing, but on Tuesday, he finally broke his silence with a bizarre homily referencing the scandal:

In these times, it seems like the “Great Accuser” [Satan] has been unchained and is attacking bishops. True, we are all sinners, we bishops. He tries to uncover the sins, so they are visible in order to scandalize the people. The “Great Accuser,” as he himself says to God in the first chapter of the book of Job, “roams the earth looking for someone to accuse.” A bishop’s strength against the “Great Accuser” is prayer, that of Jesus and his own, and the humility of being chosen and remaining close to the people of God, without seeking an aristocratic life that removes this unction. Let us pray, today, for our bishops: for me, for those who are here, and for all the bishops throughout the world.“

Hoo boy, where to start.

In Job, the titular figure was innocent, and Satan wanted to drum up trouble to hurt him and damage God’s credibility. While most Catholic bishops are indeed innocent, the story here isn’t about them; it’s about the vile homosexual scum who are engaged in evidently widespread pederasty and about the cowardly church hierarchy that covered it up and enabled abusers.

If Francis meant to offer prayerful support for church leadership as a whole during a stressful time, that’s at least understandable if a little tone deaf at the moment. But victims can perhaps be forgiven for interpreting his remarks as casting aspersions on them. Why not offer prayers for the victims?

Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey, a Catholic, writes that Francis "still misses the point.” He explains, “The issue here isn’t so much that the devil is uncovering the sins, but that the Catholic hierarchy has continued to cover them up. That gives ‘the Great Accuser’ a perfect vantage point to attack all bishops with the sins of a few and their participation in preventing them from being aired earlier. And that’s no one’s fault except the Catholic hierarchy’s, which includes Francis at the top.”

Is Francis finally taking action? The Vatican announced today that, according to the Associated Press, he “is summoning the presidents of every bishops conference around the world for a February summit to discuss preventing clergy sex abuse and protecting children.” Did you catch that? February.

Given the rampant corruption in this institution, and the fact that popes are very detached and propped up by those in power under them, is this summit about appearances or solutions? This is not a public-relations crisis for the church. It is one of gross sin infecting the highest levels of the church’s leadership. The millions of faithful Catholics in the pews should be outraged not only by the scandal itself but by the tepid response of Pope Francis.

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Top Headlines

  • Mass evacuations as “monster” Hurricane Florence barrels toward U.S. coast (CBS News)
  • Media uses 9/11 to attack Trump (The Daily Wire)
  • Sessions: More than 580 people convicted of terrorism, terrorism-related charges since 9/11 (CNS News)
  • Classy: TSA uses 9/11 anniversary to debut new slogan — “Not on Our Watch” (Reason)
  • Anti-Trump fanatic attempts to stab California Republican congressional candidate (Washington Examiner)
  • Bernie Sanders’s son falls short in New Hampshire primary (The Hill)
  • Trump-backed Eddie Edwards wins NH GOP primary; would be state’s first black congressman (The Washington Times)
  • WaPo fact-checker warns Dems: Don’t keep propagating Kamala Harris’ falsehoods on Kavanaugh (Hot Air)
  • Humor: He’s still got it! Funnyman Jim Carrey jokes Americans should “say yes to socialism” (The Babylon Bee)
  • Policy: Lessons from hurricane response and recovery in 2017 (The Heritage Foundation)
  • Policy: Three major ways tax reform 2.0 would help Americans (The Daily Signal)

For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report.

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TODAY’S MEME

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For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.

TODAY’S CARTOON

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For more of today’s top cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

FEATURED ANALYSIS

Signs College Tuition Bubble Is Ready to Burst

Louis DeBroux

There are signs that the hyper-inflated college bubble is ready to burst. Glassdoor, an online job-recruiting site, recently reported that tech giants Google, Apple, and IBM have joined other major companies like Home Depot, Costco, and Bank of America in dropping their requirements for applicants to have college degrees.

With the Trump economy continuing to heat up, and unemployment at record lows, the job market has tightened for employers. In the moribund Obama economy, which saw high unemployment and the lowest workforce participation rate since the Carter malaise, employers could afford to require college degrees of all new hires. But in an economy with more job openings than workers to fill them, that is a luxury most companies can ill afford.

And that is a very good thing.

In recent years, too many have adopted the mentality that college is a necessity for career success. As Democrats, led by socialist curmudgeon Bernie Sanders, declared “free” college to be a human right, we saw an explosion of federal grants, student aid programs, subsidized college loans, and tax credits. This further expanded the demand bubble, and we saw a correspondingly rapid rise in tuition costs.

From 2001 to 2017, college financial aid rose by an astounding 93%, and as an unsurprising result, college tuition rose by 72% over that same period. Essentially, colleges and universities took the new federal spending and added it to their tuition rates, creating a new baseline. This has created a debt crisis, with 44 million Americans collectively owing a staggering $1.5 trillion in student loans, more than owed on credit cards and car loans, and second only to mortgage debt. This disproportionately affects women, who make up 56% of college students, borrow more for college, and pay higher interest costs due to slower repayment of loans.

To make matters worse, these loans are often held by students who are not prepared to go to college, and/or receive worthless degrees in fields where no one is hiring.

As George Mason University economist Walter Williams points out, only 37% of high school graduates are proficient in reading, and only 25% in math. Yet colleges eagerly lower admissions standards to enroll more than half of these unqualified students and, of course, the fat tuition checks that come with them, despite being fully cognizant that most of these students can’t perform at a college level.

When you start with unprepared students and then have them major in societally worthless subjects like [insert sex/sexual orientation, race, or ethnicity here] Studies or Lesbian Dance Theory, they are bound to fail. After all, there are only so many “associate deans for diversity, inclusion, and belonging” faculty positions (seriously, it’s a thing) to go around at universities and left-leaning tech companies. If you don’t snag one, you’re out of luck with one of these silly degrees.

Unless you are majoring in the hard sciences, college is a very expensive, increasingly risky gamble. At the same time student loan debt is at record levels, an increasing number of students are dropping out (which does not, by the way, make their loans go away). According to an analysis by the American Enterprise Institute, less than half of all students who started a four-year college program in 2010 had earned their degree by 2016. This means students are racking up massive debt while not acquiring the knowledge, skills, or credentials necessary to earn sufficient wages to pay off their debts.

Skilled tradesmen like plumbers, electricians, HVAC techs, ironworkers, and pipe welders can make from $60,000 to $90,000/year and pay a fraction in education costs compared to those getting college degrees. However, when factoring in the serious and growing shortage of skilled laborers, those wages will continue to rise accordingly.

In a society that is increasingly focused on getting in touch with your inner self and chasing your dreams (even if your dream is doing Shakespeare in the Park), George Mason University economics professor Bryan Caplan warns of the dangers and pitfalls of such a mindset.

In his book The Case Against Education, Caplan argues college has become a giant scam, and students would be much better served in the long run to major in fields where jobs are being created, rather than chasing dream careers that won’t pay the bills.

Or, as Mike Rowe of the show “Dirty Jobs” points out, the “dirty truth” is that “Just because you’re passionate about something doesn’t mean you won’t suck at it.” Rowe notes that “dream jobs are usually just that — dreams.” He tells of all of the skilled tradesmen he’s met who “followed opportunity, not passion, and prospered as a result.”

With most colleges and universities today having become little more than centers for leftist propaganda and progressive indoctrination, a bursting of this bubble would be a welcomed occurrence, forcing institutions of higher education to turn out graduates with skills society needs, rather than hordes of unemployable left-wing philosophers.

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MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST

OPINION IN BRIEF

Marc A. Thiessen: “Under Trump, the economy is finally improving for many of these forgotten Americans. Wages are rising at the fastest pace in nine years. Consumer confidence is at the highest level since 2000. Manufacturing jobs are growing at the fastest pace in 14 years. Job layoffs are at a half-century low. Since Trump took office, the number of Americans working part-time because they could not find full-time work has dropped by nearly 700,000, and the number of Americans working full-time jobs has increased by 3 million. And what is Obama’s message? ‘When you hear how great the economy is doing right now,’ Obama said, ‘let’s just remember when this recovery started.’ Ironically, that was precisely the message that drove Obama voters to Trump in 2016. Polls show that in 2016, half of Obama-Trump voters said their incomes were falling behind the cost of living, while another 31 percent said their incomes were merely keeping pace. Yet during the election, they kept hearing from Democrats how well the economy was doing and that they should be grateful for eight years of Obama. Well, now their lives are finally improving — and they are grateful to Trump. Democrats like to talk about all the hallowed presidential norms that Trump is breaking. But now it is Obama who is breaking presidential norms with his self-serving foray into partisan demagoguery.”

SHORT CUTS

Upright: “The president whose reign included an attorney general who was held in contempt of Congress, an administration that refused to enforce federal law, and misled Congress and the American public with meaningless executive orders wants to lecture evangelicals on lawfulness? That’s like Judas lecturing Matthew on proper accounting principles.” —Tony Perkins

It’ll never happen: “If [Jim] Carrey and company are so devoted and so enthralled to the greatness and grandeur of socialism, why don’t they model it for us? Carrey’s yearly profits could be redistributed to provide … every other struggling actor in Hollywood far more than a living wage.” —Peter Heck

Alpha Jackass: “The gravest threat Trump poses to our national security is the damage done daily to America’s image. … Osama bin Laden was killed by SEAL Team 6 before he accomplished that goal. Other tyrants who tried to do the same were consigned to the ash heap of history. The question for voters this fall is whether their country will move beyond this troubled chapter in history or whether they will continue supporting a politician who has done more damage to the dream of America than any foreign adversary ever could.” —Joe Scarborough

Braying Jackass: “How dangerous is Trump? It’s not the time for [Defense Secretary James] Mattis to tell Trump that he’s taking the nuclear codes away from him. It’s time for Mattis to give him the wrong codes.” —ex-Sen. Al Franken

Misdirected blame: “Chicago has lost far too many aspiring young people to senseless gun violence. When will Republicans in Congress finally decide to act?” —Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)

And last… “The most impressive feat the Left has accomplished is convincing millions of people that decapitating a child inside the womb is worthy of celebration. That alone should teach us to never underestimate the power of a lie and the willingness of ignorant people to believe it.” —Allie Beth Stuckey

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher