Mid-Day Digest

Dec. 7, 2018

THE FOUNDATION

“When Men are employ’d they are best contented. For on the Days they work’d they were good-natur’d and chearful; and with the consciousness of having done a good Days work they spent the Evenings jollily; but on the idle Days they were mutinous and quarrelsome, finding fault with their Pork, the Bread, and in continual ill-humour.” —Benjamin Franklin (1771)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

IN BRIEF

Main Street vs. Wall Street

Nate Jackson

One of the reasons Donald Trump was elected president was because Barack Obama stewarded eight years of economic stagnation and Americans needed a change. True, Obama was not president when the financial crisis caused the Great Recession, but his policies ensured it was the weakest recovery on record. On the other hand, the Trump administration’s extraordinary record has the economy growing at a healthy pace.

Growth doesn’t come without growing pains, however.

The presidential contrast comes to mind with this week’s economic news. Today’s job numbers were underwhelming, with only 155,000 jobs created in November. In context, though, the headline unemployment rate can’t go much lower than its current 3.7%, so a slowdown in job creation is to be expected. Still, there’s a bright side. As The Washington Post reports, “Heightened competition [for employees] seems to be driving up wages after years of lagging since the Great Recession.”

GDP is expected to exceed 3% growth for the year — something not seen in any of Obama’s eight years. According to economic analyst Mark Hamrick, “Most measures of the U.S. economy have been holding up quite nicely.”

That doesn’t mean all is well. The stock market has endured volatile swings lately as uncertainty about global trade and Trump’s tariffs rattle investors. Now, we’re not part of the investor class and we don’t read market tea leaves, but that too brings a contrast with Obama. He talked about being “for the little guy,” yet during his tenure only Wall Street “fat cats” made bank. The market soared on his watch — Wall Street did better than fine — while Main Street suffered an economic malaise brought about by higher taxes, onerous regulation, and income redistribution galore. Millions of Americans are invested for retirement, so what happens on Wall Street certainly does affect Main Street. But by contrast, Trump, who’s supposedly only “for the fat cats,” is overseeing an economy that truly is helping Main Street even if Wall Street has to sort through some uncertainty.

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Immigration Is a Job for the Feds, Not America’s Employers

Thomas Gallatin

The New York Times splashed a story on Thursday obviously designed as yet another attack on President Donald Trump. The Times claims that Trump’s golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey, employs illegal aliens. The paper notes, “There is no evidence that Mr. Trump or Trump Organization executives knew of [the employees’] immigration status. But at least two supervisors at the club were aware of it, the women said, and took steps to help workers evade detection and keep their jobs.”

On Friday, a spokesman for the Trump Organization refuted the story, stating, “We have tens of thousands of employees across our properties and have very strict hiring practices. If any employee submitted false documentation in an attempt to circumvent the law, they will be terminated immediately.”

Clearly, the Times is attempting to paint Trump as a massive hypocrite for allegedly employing illegals when one of his biggest policy agendas is stemming the tide of illegal immigration. Questions regarding the extent of his actual knowledge of the immigration status of thousands of workers employed by his business empire are sure to be brought up, but this affords an opportunity to explore an important point regarding the responsibility of the government versus employers.

Whose job is it to deal with illegal immigration? Answer: the federal government. The Washington Times reports that “just five of the 565 companies in President Trump’s business empire are signed up to use E-Verify” before questionably asserting it’s “the government’s best tool to weed illegal immigrants out of the workforce.” E-Verify may be the most useful tool for U.S. businesses to check on the immigration status of prospective employees — and we’d be glad if more used it — but the government’s best tool for weeding illegal aliens out of the workforce is deportation. Keeping illegal aliens out of the country is not the job of American businesses.

Blame for illegal aliens living and working in the country should not be leveled primarily at businesses but at politicians, particularly Democrats, who have long impeded the ability of U.S. border officials to more effectively do their jobs.

This week provides yet another example, as for the second time Trump offered a deal to Democrats on legal status for “Dreamers” in exchange for funding the border wall, only to once again be rejected by Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

Democrats and their Leftmedia cohorts don’t want to stop illegal border crossings, so why complain about American businesses employing illegal aliens? Where is the complaining from Democrats and the Left over the massive burden illegal immigration foists onto America’s welfare programs? It’s absent because Democrats believe illegals should be entitled to benefits and then vote for their benefactors. Trump may operate his business on the existing playing field, but he’s advocating and implementing policies that will correct some wrongs.

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ON THE WEB TODAY

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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

TOP HEADLINES

  • In major shift, U.S. now exports more oil than it ships in (Reuters)
  • Monthly border arrests reach new high for Trump presidency (San Francisco Chronicle)
  • Pelosi takes hard line on paying for Trump’s border wall (Associated Press)
  • Trump will nominate William Barr for attorney general (NBC News)
  • Heather Nauert selected as UN ambassador (Fox News)
  • Jeff Flake has destroyed his party’s agenda confirming judges (Townhall)
  • Clinton Foundation whistleblowers have come forward with hundreds of pages of evidence (Fox News)
  • Mueller to give details on Russia probe with filings on former Trump aides (Reuters)
  • Study: Trump’s tariffs are a $42 million regressive tax increase (Reason)
  • Humor: Ocasio-Cortez desperately trying to make math on universal health care add up while punching numbers into a potato (The Babylon Bee)
  • Policy: Risk is building in the housing market (American Banker)
  • Policy: Macron’s waning star is bad news for France and the EU (The Hill)

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.

FEATURED ANALYSIS

Black Males Twice as Likely to Murder Black Males

Brian Mark Weber

After one of his many campaign rallies across the country, candidate Donald Trump was resoundingly criticized for asking what black Americans have to lose by voting Republican. But his question makes sense. Democrats have controlled most of our major cities for decades, and what do we have to show for it? Violence, homelessness, rampant drug use, failing schools, and gutted buildings. Throw in a complete disintegration of the black family, and we’ve got a powerful prescription for hopelessness.

Of course, merely voting Republican won’t suddenly turn black neighborhoods around. These communities are plagued by factors too complex and deep-rooted for any politician to solve overnight. After all, many of the problems were caused by decades of Democrat leadership and the paralysis caused be ever-increasing government dependency.

The cycle is self-sustaining. But don’t dare discuss the culture. When liberal law professors Amy Wax of the University of Pennsylvania and Larry Alexander of the University of San Diego wrote an opinion piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer lamenting the rejection of concepts such as two-parent homes and obedience to the law, they were denounced as white supremacists for suggesting that black Americans embrace a social and cultural structure created by whites.

One of the primary consequences of the social breakdown in the black community, or any community for that matter, is violence. A young black man growing up without the influence of good parents, without a basic education, and without an opportunity for viable employment is likelier to turn to crime and drugs — and likelier to help perpetuate the awful cycle of black-on-black violence.

In a UPI story entitled, “Study: Black males twice as likely to die, mainly from gun violence,” the news agency focuses on a report from the Centers for Disease Control. “Gun violence-related deaths were the biggest firearm-related reason for declining life expectancy for black males, with 16 out of 100,000 deaths attributed to it,” UPI says. “Black males face a total life expectancy loss of 4.14 years for any type of firearm-related death, according to the data. Life expectancy for black males begins to pick up again after age 20.”

That framing is far too passive, as if guns are targeting black men. But despite race-hustlers like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Marc Lamont Hill blaming racism for the plight of black communities, the facts show that young black men have little to fear … except from other young black men. In 2016, the FBI reported that 90% of murdered blacks were killed by other blacks.

Bindu Kalesan, a clinical epidemiologist at Boston University, believes we need more social programs to combat violence in inner cities.

Really? As recently as 2014, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that we’ve already spent more than $22 trillion to fight poverty since the implementation of President Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” programs. That is, according to The Heritage Foundation, “three times the cost of all military wars in U.S. history since the American Revolution.”

Kalesan adds, “Victims of gun violence are victims not criminals. So increasing policing alone may not be the answer. Building social capital, education, reducing housing instability, etc. may also be answers. As of now, the focus on ameliorating firearm violence has been solely rooted in policies.”

Actually, black victims of other black victims — not “gun violence” — often are criminals. Violence among drug-dealing gang-bangers accounts for a lot of urban murders. And Kalesan isn’t going to see more capital, better education, improved housing, or any other positive change in Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit, or Baltimore as long as the same Democrat politicians support the same failed leftist policies.

Simply pouring more money into black communities isn’t the answer, and neither is gun control. Prof. Jeremy Levitt writes in the Orlando Sentinel, “Further restrictions on black ownership of guns and racial conflict in the late 19th and early 20th centuries set the stage for the massacre and destruction of entire black communities.” That’s right — gun control started out as a racist proposition, and now Democrats are using violence among blacks to justify more gun control.

It’s no wonder that gun ownership among black Americans is rising, with the National African American Gun Association boasting more than 20,000 members. They, too, realize that self defense is an essential right.

The cycle of violence within these same communities will most certainly continue until black civic leaders reject the worn and tired approaches of the Democrat Party. Unfortunately, what took decades to create is going to take decades to fix.

Real solutions are on the table, including a president whose leadership has already resulted in greater economic opportunities for blacks. But until black Americans themselves realize that Democrats are using them as political pawns, their communities will, sadly, continue to suffer.

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Rich Lowry: “Maybe ballot security isn’t such a bad thing after all. Democrats, who the day before yesterday were insisting that voter fraud didn’t exist, now believe that it was used to steal a North Carolina congressional seat from them — and they may well be right. Republican Mark Harris has a 905-vote lead over Democrat Dan McCready in the state’s 9th Congressional District, a slender victory that the State Board of Elections has refused to certify given credible allegations of cheating. … Republicans won’t like it, but they should probably want to start over, for the sake of the integrity of their own nominating process, if nothing else. … The larger lesson here is that people will exploit vulnerabilities in the election system, and it should be as secure as possible. Absentee voting is a particular soft spot. … The North Carolina race demonstrates how even relatively small-scale cheating — no one will ever mistake McCrae Dowless for a major player — can undermine faith in our system. And how, if anyone doubted it, voter fraud is real.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “To educate a man in mind, and not in morals, is to educate a menace to society.” —Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)

For the record: “It has been obvious from the beginning of the Russia collusion witch hunt that this was an investigation in search of a crime rather than an investigation of a suspected crime.” —Roger Kimball

Non Compos Mentis: “The virgin birth story is about an all-knowing, all-powerful deity impregnating a human teen. There is no definition of consent that would include that scenario. Happy Holidays.” —Dr. Eric Sprankle of Minnesota State University-Mankato

Demo-gogues: “We are in a battle for the soul of this nation. We have to recognize that trend lines are moving in the wrong direction.” —Joe Biden (Under Obama and Biden, America lost a big chunk of its soul.)

Alpha Jackass: “I had someone in northwestern Wisconsin tell me, ‘You know what, for most of the people I know, their principle sources of information are Fox News, their NRA newsletter, and the pulpit on Sunday.’ And it should come as a surprise to no one that our message doesn’t penetrate. It should come as a surprise to no one that that person has elevated the issue [of abortion], of course, to the top, because that person on the pulpit is saying, ‘Ignore everything else that this person has done and is doing. We have to focus on one issue of Roe vs. Wade.’ And people buy it because that’s their only source.” —DNC chairman Tom Perez

Village Idiots: “The U.S. president has given [rogue] regimes a green light and labeled the press in this country the ‘enemy of the people.’” —Amal Clooney

And last… “Comey and Mueller are extremely close, which obviously poses a conflict of interest for a real investigation. Mueller hired quite a few Democrat partisans. You may not like Trump, but these things are legitimate concerns. People should not be afraid to admit that.” —Mollie Hemingway

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher

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