“Newspapers … serve as chimnies to carry off noxious vapors and smoke.” —Thomas Jefferson (1802)
IN TODAY’S EDITION
- Folks who spend 24/7 in outraged rebuttal aren’t sure they want to give Trump airtime.
- Why is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez getting so much attention? Millennial voters.
- Daily Features: On the Web, Columnists, Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Opinion in Brief, and Short Cuts.
- Featured Analysis: Many signs still point to a healthy economy in 2019.
With the partial government shutdown now 18 days old, President Donald Trump will give his first prime-time Oval Office address at 9:00 p.m. EST tonight on what he calls “the Humanitarian and National Security crisis on our Southern Border.” Indeed, given that he has floated declaring a national emergency so as to facilitate construction of a border barrier without further congressional approval, his brief address could yield big news. Trump will also travel to the border on Thursday to meet with men and women on the front lines of securing that border.
Amidst the debate, remember a key fact: Democrats once supported securing our southern border with a wall but have totally reversed course. For the entirely cynical political calculus of reaping votes from certain constituents, they now vehemently oppose authorizing a dime for its construction.
In another cynical calculation, mainstream media broadcast networks reportedly hotly debated whether to air Trump’s address before eventually granting the White House request for eight minutes of airtime.
CNN’s Brian Stelter relayed a text he says he received from a TV executive: “[Trump] calls us fake news all the time, but needs access to airwaves… If we give him the time, he’ll deliver a fact-free screed without rebuttal. And if we don’t give him the time, he’ll call every network partisan. So we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t.”
Such handwringing is amusingly phony. News networks fill up airtime 24/7 with Democrats, lobbyists, and partisan pundits venting outrage at the president for every policy or social-media post. They’re earning big bucks on one-sided bashing of Trump’s celebrity, yet they balk at giving him eight minutes of airtime to make his case for a significant national policy during a government shutdown triggered by a fight over that policy.
As we argued in 2016, the media was rooting for Trump to win the GOP nomination, giving him (and even his empty podium) what ended up being $5 billion in free (and vastly disproportionate) coverage because they thought him most likely to lose to Hillary Clinton. “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS,” said then-CBS Chairman Les Moonves.
The plan backfired, but media moguls are still heavily invested in their own love-hate relationship with Trump; they hate him even though he’s great for ratings. Ultimately, the almighty dollar led them to open the airwaves tonight. Just expect it to be followed by countless hours of rebuttals — and that doesn’t even include Democrats’ hilarious demand for “equal airtime” to combat his “malice and misinformation.” After all, if anyone knows malice and misinformation, it’s Democrats.
Freshmen Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY) appeared on CBS’s “60 Minutes” Sunday, where the rising Millennial political star sought to promote her “Green New Deal” and other pie-in-the-sky socialist programs such as health care for all, “free” college, and universal income. These extreme socialist programs have an astronomically high cost, and Ocasio-Cortez’s assertions are so grossly inaccurate that even The Washington Post recently called her out with Four Pinocchios and then chastised her for “very bad defense of her falsehoods” in Sunday’s interview.
Anderson Cooper asked Ocasio-Cortez about being called out for presenting false “facts,” to which she offered this little gem: “If people really want to blow up one figure here or one word there, I would argue they’re missing the forest for the trees. I think there’s a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct than about being morally right.” So proposing legislation that would fundamentally and radically change the U.S. both economically and socially and then promoting it as a good idea by using grossly inaccurate claims is okay because you believe that your cause is moral?
The truth is that being concerned about morality includes being factually correct. Peddling misinformation in the name of morality is in fact immoral.
But the bigger question here is why the Leftmedia and Democrats are so eager and willing to give Ocasio-Cortez this much publicity and airtime when she is so obviously and repeatedly inaccurate and flat-out wrong about the facts. The key here for Democrat leadership is less Ocasio-Cortez’s messaging than what she brings to the table: Millennial voters.
Dems are willing to put up with her outlandish, naive, and extremist anti-capitalist political ideals so long as they can use her as a political mascot for “woke” Millennials. In other words, she’s good for attracting the votes of those who “think” with their feelings and equate feelings with morality.
Ocasio-Cortez claims socialism is moral when in reality it is a system predicated upon the false assumption that any inequity is fundamentally immoral and therefore justifies forced wealth redistribution, irrespective of how legitimately an individual may have acquired wealth. Socialism promotes a lie.
ON OUR WEBSITE TODAY
- ‘Medicare for All’ Would Exacerbate a Leading Cause of Death — “People assume universal health insurance would equal better health outcomes. This isn’t true.”
- Did Bolton Really Contradict Trump About Syria? — It does seems so, but both men conditioned withdrawal on results, not a timeline.
- Video: What Does Diversity Have to Do With Science? — Heather Mac Donald explains where these destructive ideas are coming from.
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
- White House orders IRS to pay income tax refunds despite government shutdown (ABC News)
- Trump aides lay foundation for emergency order to build wall, saying border is in “crisis” (The Washington Post)
- Despite media claims, immigration remains among top concerns for voters (Hot Air)
- Democrats prep gun-control vote in the House (Washington Examiner)
- Military approves “conditions-based” Syria withdrawal plan (The Hill)
- U.S. carbon emissions see largest yearly gain in eight years, data show (CNBC)
- Los Angeles County agrees to purge voter rolls in Judicial Watch settlement (The Washington Times)
- Study: Men face more discrimination than women (The Daily Wire)
- American Psychological Association labels “traditional masculinity” as “harmful” (Townhall)
- Humor: Scandal after high school video of Mike Pence dancing surfaces (The Babylon Bee)
- Policy: Trump’s calculated “emergency” plan to build a wall (Washington Examiner)
- Policy: Why 70% tax rates cannot finance socialism (National Review)
For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report.
“It was just another Thursday afternoon when Steve Shepherd went to grab some tacos at Anita’s Mexican Grill in suburban West Palm Beach. Shepherd, 68, had recently pulled a muscle in his leg and was walking with a limp to his car. … He seemed like the perfect target for the man who was seen by surveillance cameras pacing back and forth in a nearby alleyway for a few hours, apparently waiting to mug someone.
"Little did the assailant know that Shepherd is a five-time, world-champion kickboxer. ‘He picked the wrong guy,’ Shepherd said.”
For more, visit The Palm Beach Post.
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
For more of today’s top cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.
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Leftists will tell you that 2018 was the worst year ever if for no other reason than Donald Trump is still president. They will also tell you that the economy is tanking because of a bad December in the stock market. Some media voices reported, with a bit of schadenfreude no doubt, that it was the worst year for stocks in a decade, and the worst December for the market since the Great Depression.
If that sounds dramatic and a bit of a stretch, it’s supposed to. To Democrats, any sign of a troubled economy is one more negative thing that can be pinned to Trump. So, when the markets hiccuped last month, we were treated to a deluge of doom and gloom.
There were some notable points missing in all this reporting and the endless speculation in which TV economists and pundits love to engage.
One reason the markets may have dropped is investor fear of Democrats taking over Congress. Democrats in power means reckless spending (though, unfortunately, Republicans weren’t enough different in that regard), burdensome regulations, and policies that stifle innovation and crush small-business investment and growth. Investors know this to be the case, and not because they are Republicans. When it comes to money, a good investor is dispassionate about politics. He calls it as he sees it, and many seasoned investors see a shaky economy when Democrats are in charge.
Thankfully, Dems only took control of the House, but they can still do plenty of damage. That is one reason why we witnessed a stock market course correction in December, some sell-offs and repositioning to prepare for what lies ahead.
Has the market hit bottom yet? It depends on who you listen to. Democrats certainly hope not. They’ll have a much stronger case against Trump in 2020 if the economy tanks. But there is more to the economy than just the stock market. After all, Barack Obama loved to tout the roaring markets during his second term, but working people everywhere knew that those gains weren’t making one wit of difference in their wallets and weren’t creating jobs.
A big indicator of a healthy economy is jobs and wages. The country added 312,000 jobs in December, far more than expected. November and October’s jobs numbers were amended to show greater gains as well. And 2018 as a whole turned out to be strong year with 2.6 million jobs added.
There is more good news to be found by diving deeper into the jobs data. The labor participation rate was at 63.1% for December. This means that people who had left the job market during the Great Recession and the Obama “recovery” are getting back in the game. So, remember, if unemployment rises in the near term, it’s most likely because of the greater number of workers in the market for a job, not because companies are laying off workers.
Job gains were particularly strong last year among small businesses, according to a recent survey by the National Federation of Independent Business. And virtually every sector of the economy gained jobs, including health care, construction, manufacturing, retail, and professional services.
Wages were also strong in 2018. Average hourly earnings grew by 3.2%, the fastest growth since 2008. This is a trend that may continue for the time being since there are still more jobs than workers, which gives workers leverage in negotiating salaries.
We should hold the applause, though, and temper expectations. Reduced taxes and deregulation under Trump have given this country the robust economic rebound we’ve needed for years. Fortunately, Republicans still hold the Senate, but the incoming Democrat House majority will be pushing an agenda that could send the economy into a tailspin. Get ready for “Medicare for All,” the “Green New Deal,” “free” college, “living” wages, and all sorts of snake oil that leftists try to sell.
Minimum-wage hikes are also a favorite for leftists on the state and municipal level, with scores of states and cities raising — in some cases doubling — their minimum wage. This will not put more money in workers’ pockets, but it will put more low-income people out of work as businesses can’t afford to hire as many people or even shutter entirely.
The full impact of the trade war with China has also yet to reach its conclusion. While it seems that Trump currently has the edge in this fight, the cost to American business is real. No one ever really wins a trade war; they just lose less than their opponent.
The economy is subject to a variety of factors, some of which are beyond our control or ability to predict. Right now, the generally pro-business, pro-worker policies of the Trump administration are paying off. It will be important to make sure we stay the course. There are those who would like to see America fail, and unfortunately, many of them are inside our own country. Let’s disappoint them in 2019.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Stephen Moore: “If it ever came to this, I suspect that conservatives would not have a big problem with blue states legally separating from red states. Liberals would greatly resist red states from separating from blue states. That is true because a) liberals believe in big centralized government having authority over the citizenry (they are more elitist and authoritarian), and b) they know that the low-tax, less-regulation, right-to-work, economic-freedom model of the red states would economically crush a nation with socialist impulses ruled by Bernie Sanders or another Barack Obama.”
Facts are stubborn things: “I think that there’s a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct than about being morally right.” —Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Or, as The Babylon Bee put it, “‘It Is More Important To Be Morally Right Than Factually Correct,’ Says Woman Who Is Neither.”)
Good advice: “Sit still for a minute and learn the job … before you start pooping on people.” —Whoopi Goldberg to fellow socialist Ocasio-Cortez
Non Compos Mentis: “Now that we’re all on the same page that capitalism is designed to emotionally destroy us with burnout — let’s all take heart that capitalism is also incompatible with a living planet. The problem has been capitalism all along. A better world is possible. We need a Green New Deal.” —Eric Holthaus
The BIG Lie: “I think people now are looking to blame somebody because of the terrible things that happened, but [the killing of Cpl. Ronil Singh] had nothing to do with the law of California.” —former California Gov. Jerry Brown
Braying Jenny: “The impression you get from the president is that he would like to … abolish Congress, so the only voice that mattered was his own.” —Nancy Pelosi, who never seemed to mind when the president was Barack Obama
Belly laugh of the year: “Democrats will restore budget rules to ensure that Congress returns to fiscal sanity.” —Pelosi and Jim McGovern in a joint op-ed
Non sequitur: “We want the symbol of America to stay as the Statue of Liberty, not a big concrete wall.” —Chuck Schumer (Last we checked, the Statue of Liberty was a symbol for legal immigration.)
Delusions of grandeur: “A wall is a colossal waste of money for a crisis that doesn’t exist.” —Rep. Adam Smith
And last… “The debate over the ‘wall’ shows how the immigration debate has moved to the left, not the right. More physical structure at the border used to be what both parties agreed on while pushing ‘comprehensive immigration reform’ bills.” —Rich Lowry
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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher