Mid-Day Digest

Nov. 29, 2018

THE FOUNDATION

“If duties are too high, they lessen the consumption; the collection is eluded; and the product to the treasury is not so great as when they are confined within proper and moderate bounds. This forms a complete barrier against any material oppression of the citizens by taxes of this class, and is itself a natural limitation of the power of imposing them.” —Alexander Hamilton (1787)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

IN BRIEF

Actually, the Tax Cuts ARE Working

Nate Jackson

When GM announced major layoffs and plant closures earlier this week, Democrats immediately blamed GOP corporate tax cuts. We argued GM’s problem is far more complicated than that; other factors include its bailout 10 years ago, Big Labor, and a poor and unpopular product lineup. Not only that, but Democrats were missing the forest for one tree.

The Wall Street Journal’s James Freeman agrees. Noting yesterday’s updated but largely unrevised report of third-quarter GDP growth of 3.5%, Freeman wrote, “Despite concerns over trade disputes and a slowing global economy, the corporate tax rate cut enacted in December of 2017 continues to encourage the business investment that leads to higher productivity and higher wages for American workers. Today the government reported that such investment was higher than it initially reported for the third quarter of the year.”

In other words, the significant revision to the GDP report was that American companies invested substantially more than initially reported. Freeman explains, “The Commerce Department has reported that non-residential fixed investment rose 2.5% at an annual rate in the three months ending in September, up from 0.8% in the earlier estimate. Within this overall category of business investment, spending on equipment was revised to estimated growth of 3.5%, up sharply from an earlier 0.4% estimate.”

How did companies have that money to invest in growth? Their taxes were substantially lower. If Democrats blaming Republicans for GM had their way, the U.S. would still have the highest corporate tax rate in the world. Lower tax rates obviously don’t fix every ill in the economy, but leaving businesses — and by extension consumers — with more of their own money means there will be more jobs, higher wages, and overall economic growth that would be hampered by Democrat policies.

That’s why it’s so laughably absurd for Barack Obama to keep taking credit for Donald Trump’s economy. Let’s hope House Democrats don’t, as they like to say, turn back the clock.

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White Leftists Dumb Down Language for Minorities

A recently released study conducted by one researcher from Yale University and another from Princeton found that white Democrat politicians dumb down their speech when addressing minorities — specifically blacks. On the other hand, the study found no language change when white Republicans spoke to minorities. Study authors Cydney Dupree and Susan Fiske were surprised by the results, noting, “It was really surprising to see that for nearly three decades, Democratic presidential candidates have been engaging in this predicted behavior.”

The researchers further studied the speech of white liberals and conservatives when addressing minority individuals. Again, the researchers found that white liberals engage in a “competence downshift” in their language, whereas white conservatives did not. Dupree noted the uncomfortable irony, stating, “It was kind of an unpleasant surprise to see this subtle but persistent effect. Even if it’s ultimately well-intentioned, it could be seen as patronizing.” It most certainly could.

Brandon Morse of RedState observed, “We often hear from social justice adherents that we carry an implicit bias toward people of other races, and then immediately point to anyone other than themselves. Now we see why. On average, the white left is guilty of believing minority individuals are of lower intelligence than they are and dumb down their speech in order to feel like they’re being kinder to them by doing so.”

The Left’s insistence of playing identity politics leads to the inevitable classification of everyone by some basic shared group dynamics, including and especially race. Conservatives, by contrast, elevate the individual over the collective group dynamic and therefore are less inclined to judge others simply by group identity. Without even realizing it, “woke” leftists are the ones most guilty of perpetrating the very racial stereotypes they so vehemently condemn.

As a final thought: To the extent that minorities do lag behind whites in education, leftists can look in the mirror there too. Democrats running the nation’s cities keep blacks in failing schools for a reason.

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ON THE WEB TODAY

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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

TOP HEADLINES

  • Some migrant caravan members are self-deporting as frustration grows in Tijuana (Fox News)
  • Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee delays vote on Trump pick to lead ICE (The Washington Post)
  • Republicans block second attempt by Jeff Flake and Chris Coons to protect Robert Mueller (Washington Examiner)
  • Judiciary Committee cancels votes on nearly two dozen Trump judicial nominees due to standoff with Flake, who demands Mueller be protected (The Washington Times)
  • Michael Cohen pleads guilty to lying to Congress about Moscow building project (National Review)
  • Senate defies Trump with vote to rein in Saudis (The Washington Times)
  • Most G-20 countries that criticize the U.S. aren’t meeting their own climate goals (Hot Air)
  • Suicides and drug overdoses last year drove a continuing decline in life expectancy (Associated Press)
  • Chinese scientist condemned for gene-editing human embryos; China halts work (World)
  • Humor: Christian women now in favor of invading Middle East after Pentagon claims it has essential oil (The Babylon Bee)
  • Policy: The right way to cut college costs (National Review)
  • Policy: How to get 4% annual GDP growth again (Foundation for Economic Education)

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

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GOOD NEWS

Good Samaritan Folds, Returns American Flag Blown Off Pole

A man’s patriotic act of kindness was caught on surveillance video outside a home in Tennessee. Erin Fezell shared the video on Facebook, stating that her American flag had blown off its flagpole.

“He folded it correctly then placed it on a chair as to not allow it to lay on the ground. I’m so honored,” she wrote. “It’s not often that the current generation gets recognized for doing something so patriotic. I appreciate and applaud you, sir!”

Read more at Fox News.

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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.

Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column

Read An ‘Independent Judiciary’ Reality Check. Chief Justice John Roberts’s assertion that we have an “independent judiciary” lacks credibility.

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FEATURED ANALYSIS

Ukraine: Red Storm Rising … Again

John J. Bastiat

You would think Russian President Vladimir Putin would get tired of his reputation as the world’s most powerful thug. Indeed, he’s doing everything he can to return Russia to its former Soviet “grandeur” of most-hated nation. But no, invading sovereign nations and violating international law never gets old for our bare-chested, bareback-riding “friend.”

We’ve described Putin’s abuses of international law and peace for a number of years now, including his annexation of the Crimean Peninsula (there is of course no “Crimea” or “Georgia” anymore, from a practical standpoint), extorting Ukraine and Europe with threats of cutting off gas supplies, invading major parts of Ukraine, shooting down a Boeing 777 airliner, and a host of other here’s-blood-in-your-eye moves that leave no doubt about Russia’s ill intent. As for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s “reset” button, Putin told Obama where to stick that button, then started resetting a few buttons of his own, making Obama look like the weakling he was and humiliating America in the process.

Fast-forward to today. What’s changed? Well, in one sense nothing: Russia is still as belligerent as ever — not its people, that is, but its bull-in-a-china-shop government and military. That’s evidenced by the Kremlin’s latest violation of international law, in which the Russian Navy fired on three Ukrainian naval ships in the Azov Sea, wounding six and capturing ship-and-crew. The Azov is a major trade conduit for Ukraine, which shares the shallow sea as co-territorial water with Russia under a 2003 treaty between the two nations. Russia’s blatant act of war prompted Ukraine to impose martial law on a sizable portion of its territory in anticipation of imminent conflict with Russia. But what else has changed? A lot.

For one thing, we no longer have feckless, impotent leadership atop a listing U.S. Ship of State. As if to accent the contrast, President Donald Trump stated flatly, “I don’t like [Russia’s] aggression. I don’t want that aggression at all.” He also threatened to cancel his upcoming meeting with Putin during the G20 summit in Buenos Aires. This threat may not sound like strong action at first blush, but it would lessen Putin’s esteem in the international community and further isolate him from the rest of the civilized world. The move would also put pressure on him at home, where his popularity continues to slide. Presumably, however, Trump received some assurances, because the two have set a meeting for Saturday at noon.

Nor do we have feckless U.S. leadership at the UN. Our favorite United Nations ambassador, Nikki Haley, echoed President Trump’s strong words through an even more blunt condemnation of Russia’s actions at an emergency assembly of the UN Security Council: “Sunday’s outrageous violation of sovereign Ukrainian territory is part of a pattern of Russian behavior. As President Trump has said many times, the United States would welcome a normal relationship with Russia. But outlaw actions like this one continue to make that impossible.” Ambassador Haley also noted that Russian-instigated attacks against Ukraine in recent years have left more than 100,000 Ukrainians dead.

What else has changed? Other nations have started to wake up to the fact that the U.S. is not as easily rolled as it was only a few years ago. The sea-change in this international leadership was readily apparent not only in Ambassador Haley’s unvarnished but accurate characterization of Russian aggression, but also in Trump’s rebuke to Europe for not ponying up its fair share of support for NATO. Punctuating Europe’s “skin in the game” against Russian belligerence, the president dropped this gem off the top turnbuckle: “And by the way, Europe shouldn’t like that aggression. And Germany shouldn’t like that aggression. They’re absolutely not doing enough — Germany. … Many of those countries are not doing enough toward NATO. They should be spending much more money.” Perhaps for starters they could FedEx a few hundred antiship missiles to the Ukrainian Navy, which would take care of any unlawful-boarding problems toot-sweet.

The broader danger posed by Russia’s leader is analogous to a dying star, which makes a spectacular showing — then the lights go out. In this analogy, Ukraine is simply the canary in the coal mine, signaling the impending supernova. Putin senses that his control and popularity, once very strong, are slipping — fast. In the wake of his exceedingly unpopular pension reforms earlier this year, for instance, his approval rating plummeted to its lowest point ever. In the past, when his ratings tanked he boosted them by “defending” Russia through strong military actions that demonstrated Russian primacy and strength to its people. Those people have since become inoculated to this ploy, especially in light of the widespread economic poverty affecting all but society’s wealthiest — like Putin, for instance.

Facing this growing unrest, Putin is once again showing he is willing to take any action available to him to regain his stature and to turn Russia’s sorry ship around. Desperate or not, however, unless Putin’s hostile acts are met by an effective response he will continue to stir turmoil around the planet, in vain hopes of regaining former glory.

Less than a century ago, Stalin wiped out anywhere from seven to 12 million Ukrainians through his genocidal, engineered famine — exact figures are impossible to render, owing to the sheer magnitude of the famine. But the more Putin continues to evolve into the image of his brutal predecessor, the closer those deaths will move to the forefront of Ukrainians’ minds. Meanwhile, maybe this time the U.S. will act decisively so the world does not have to relive such horrors.

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Ed Feulner: “Supporters of socialism like to point to Norway and other prosperous Scandinavian countries to make their case. But these countries are ‘operating generous welfare states programs propped up by underlying vibrant capitalism,’ as columnist David Harsanyi has written, so it’s disingenuous to use them as case studies. Undiluted socialism produces quite a different result. Consider Cuba, a vibrant and modern island nation before Fidel Castro and his cronies ran it into the ground. Or take Venezuela with its empty food shelves. It was once one of the wealthiest nations in South America. Today it’s a wreck. The Atlantic explains why: ‘The experiment with "21st-century socialism” as introduced by the late President Hugo Chavez, a self-described champion of the poor who vowed to distribute the country’s wealth among the masses, and instead steered the nation toward the catastrophe the world is witnessing under his handpicked successor [Nicolas] Maduro, has been a cruel failure.’ … Americans have an ‘impulse,’ all right, but it’s not toward socialism. It’s toward liberty. Power-hungry politicians may not like that, but they thwart it at their peril.“

SHORT CUTS

Upright: "We were told that we simply must bail out General Motors during the financial crisis because if we failed to, that would lead to a bloodbath of job losses and cascading business failures. But the job losses were always going to come: Paying people to build things that consumers don’t really want isn’t a sustainable business model. That’s a reality you cannot bail your way out of.” —Kevin Williamson

Race bait: “I think it’s important to remember that identity politics doesn’t just apply when it’s black people or gay people or women. The folks who really originated identity politics were the folks who said Three-Fifths Clause and all that stuff. That was identity politics.” —Barack Obama

Globalist fantasies: “The Washington consensus, whatever you want to call it, got a little too comfortable. … They’re only looking at GDP numbers and they’re looking at the Internet, and everything’s looking pretty great, particularly after the Cold War. After what you guys engineered, you had this period of great smugness on the part of America and American elites, thinking we got this all figured out.” —Barack Obama

Hot air: “I just want to ask the question for folks at home, folks like us. We got kids. We don’t want to be slowly burned to death on our own planet here. Is the human race running — in the simplest terms — running out of time to take the measures necessary to rein in this rise in global temperatures?” —CNN’s Jim Sciutto

Non Compos Mentis: “I don’t care what Obama did. I care what Trump is doing right here right now!” —"The View’s" Sunny Hostin displaying Trump Derangement Syndrome over the border-crisis response

And last… “The teachers union has a stranglehold on many of the politicians in this country, both at the federal level and at the state level, and they are very resistant to the kind of changes that need to happen. They are very protective of what they know, and they’re protective, really protective of adult jobs and not really focused on what’s right for individual students.” —Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos

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Nate Jackson
Managing Editor at The Patriot Post


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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher

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