“A wise and frugal government … shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.” —Thomas Jefferson (1801)
IN TODAY’S EDITION
- Even The Washington Post doesn’t buy negative economic spin.
- Should we name mass murderers?
- Daily Features: More Analysis, Columnists, Headlines, Opinion in Brief, Short Cuts, Memes, and Cartoons.
In a surprising bit of actual journalism, The Washington Post published an article today calling out Democrats for their fallacious attempts to spin good economic news as somehow bad. While the Post pulled away from its usual practice of awarding “Pinocchios” to establish the degree of a falsehood uttered by a politician — maybe in an effort to soften the criticism — the article was critical of three leading Democrat presidential candidates and their fallacious statements on the economy.
The particular economic talking point several Democrats have recently and regularly asserted — and that has the Post crying foul — is the claim that the historically low unemployment numbers are hiding a nasty reality. And what is this nasty reality? Well, according to Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, and Beto O'Rourke, the number of Americans forced to work two or three jobs just to make ends meet has increased under President Donald Trump.
Harris uses personal anecdotes in spinning her yarn, as she carefully seeks to avoid making any direct assertions. Sanders works his spin by removing context that would otherwise undermine his entire argument. O'Rourke sites a notoriously unreliable data type, the self-selected survey, as the basis for his claim that “half” of teachers work “a second or third job just to put food on the table.” In fact, the U.S. Education Department’s most recent nationally representative sample survey finds that only 17% of teachers in the South and 18% across the rest of the nation work a second job. They do, after all, have summers off of school.
The fact is that the number of Americans working two or more jobs has actually decreased under Trump. The Post reports, “There are almost 156 million people with jobs. But only 251,000 people had two full-time jobs in February , compared with 343,000 in February 2018, according to BLS. That’s a decline of more than 25 percent. Another 4.5 million had both a full-time job and a part-time job, while nearly 2 million were juggling part-time jobs.” In total, there are approximately 7.8 million Americans working more than one job. Sanders is technically correct when he references millions of Americans working multiple jobs, but he fails to note that this represents only 5% of Americans.
Furthermore, who’s to say why they are working multiple jobs? It was under Barack Obama that many Americans were forced into working multiple jobs due to ObamaCare, which mandated employers provide medical insurance to employees who worked 30 or more hours a week. As a result, many Americans found their hours cut below the ObamaCare threshold because employers couldn’t afford that massive new expense. Thus, workers were often forced to get a second job. (Thanks Obama.) Trump, on the other hand, has worked to cut back on government regulations, which in turn has freed up employers and boosted the American economy. Spinning Trump’s economic record as bad is simply dishonest. And even the Post admits it.
There is great power in names. In the book of Genesis, God the Creator names the first man, Adam, and then empowers Adam to name not only every living creature but his wife as well. God changed Abram’s name to Abraham and Saul’s name to Paul when those changes reflected a new relationship. The power of names works the other way, too, even in fiction. It’s why in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, the primary villain is regularly referred to as “He Who Shall Not Be Named.”
So what do we make of the ubiquity of the names (and faces) of mass murderers?
Such was the question when New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern asserted Tuesday that notoriety was a primary motivator for the fascist psychopath who attacked two mosques last week. “He obviously had a range of reasons for committing this atrocious terrorist attack,” Ardern said. “Lifting his profile was one of them. And that’s something that we can absolutely deny him.” She added, “He is a terrorist. He is a criminal. He is an extremist. But he will, when I speak, be nameless.” She continued, “And to others, I implore you, speak the names of those who were lost, rather than name of the man who took them. He may have sought notoriety, but we in New Zealand will give him nothing. Not even his name.”
It’s a thoughtful sentiment and approach borne of research into the profiles of these types of assailants. “They want attention,” says Mary Muscari, a forensic nurse at Binghamton University in New York. After studying numerous such mass shootings, she concluded, “That’s why you see them wanting to have a bigger head count, a bigger body count, to try to outdo the last one or to do something that is going to cause more of a rise.”
American media outlets that depend on eyeballs for advertising revenue dutifully comply, plastering the names and faces of assailants across our TV screens 24/7. Socially awkward and ignored young men commit atrocities and suddenly find the fame they desired. The New Zealand attacker went so far as to broadcast his murderous rampage on Facebook live. According to the Associated Press, “Facebook said it removed 1.5 million versions of the video during the first 24 hours.” That’s an astounding level of success for a man who craved attention.
On the other hand, in order for justice to be done and even for the public to be informed, names must at times be given. That balance is something we in our humble shop have strived to maintain when covering such events. Name to inform when necessary, but deny notoriety. Unfortunately, the tide is against us.
ON OUR WEBSITE TODAY
- Featured Analysis: Warren: Who’s Up for Trust-Busting Big Tech? — After a dust-up with Facebook, the Democrat floats getting the government more involved.
- Senate Gets It Wrong on Yemen — Withdrawing support for Saudi actions against Houthi rebels would be a big mistake.
- Deflating College Degrees — The value of a college degree decreased considerably as academic merit became secondary.
- Video: DivestU — Many college campuses today are nothing more than leftist indoctrination camps.
“On Monday, students at Northridge High School were informed they would be listening to a guest speaker. But, moments later, Andrew Olson, a captain in the Army National Guard and football and basketball coach at the school, burst into the room. He was instantly swarmed by a group of teenage boys, at least one of whom jumped over a table to embrace Olson. ‘He loves them. They’re like his little brothers or kids,’ Olson’s wife, Tina [said].”
“‘He’s a tough coach, very stern and expects a lot but I think it helps the kids respect him because they know he does it from love,’ she added.”
“Aaron Tanner, one of the boys in the video, told the news station Olson ‘set a great example by committing to serve our country.’”
Read more at Fox News.
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
TOP NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
- “Whether or not to expand the Supreme Court is emerging as a key litmus test in the crowded 2020 Democratic primary field,” declares The Hill. “Once dismissed as a fringe idea, reforming the nation’s highest court is gaining traction with a growing number of Democratic 2020 candidates as progressive outside groups and high profile officials … have vaulted the idea into the national spotlight.” There is no constitutional proscription on expanding (or shrinking) the Supreme Court, but the Democrats’ timely political play is solely for the purpose of further empowering the rule of men.
- And while we’re on the subject of litmus tests: “Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Monday called for abolishing the Electoral College and moving to a national popular vote for presidential elections. … South Bend, Indiana Mayor and fellow Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg has also called for getting rid of the Electoral College, saying earlier this year that it has made the U.S. ‘less and less democratic.’ Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) … in 2016 called for a ‘reassessment’ of the Electoral College.” (The Hill) Many Democrat-controlled states are already subverting it.
- According to Fox News, “California GOP Rep. Devin Nunes filed a major lawsuit seeking $250 million in compensatory damages and $350,000 in punitive damages against Twitter and a handful of its users on Monday, accusing the social media site of ‘shadow-banning conservatives’ to secretly hide their posts, systematically censoring opposing viewpoints, and totally ‘ignoring’ lawful complaints of repeated abusive behavior.” Furthermore, “Although federal law ordinarily exempts services like Twitter from defamation liability at all levels, Nunes’ suit said the platform has taken such an active role in curating and banning content — as opposed to merely hosting it — that it should face liability like any other organization that defames.” Shadow-banning is of course disgraceful, but a court will have to determine the merits of Nunes’ argument.
- “Undocumented [read: illegal] immigrants who use false Social Security numbers to get jobs would be easier to prosecute under a case the Supreme Court agreed to hear Monday,” USA Today reports. “The justices will hear Kansas’ appeal of a lower court’s decision that the federal government has exclusive jurisdiction over such cases — a ruling the Trump administration agrees should be overturned.” Kansas Solicitor General Stephen McAllister stated, “The victims of identity theft can face devastating consequences. This nationwide, indeed worldwide, problem and its consequences are more than the federal government alone can address.”
- #MeToo II: “A second top adviser to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who has made advocacy for women and the #MeToo movement central to her 2020 Democratic presidential campaign, departed over an allegation of sexual harassment,” according to the Washington Examiner, which adds that the pervert, who stepped down in 2017, “continued to be paid despite his misconduct. He was not dismissed and was kept on Gillibrand’s staff. He remained on the senator’s payroll ‘for about three months after the incident, even though he didn’t do any work,’ one former aide said. Details of the exit … emerged after Gillibrand’s military adviser was fired for sexually harassing a junior female aide in July 2018.”
- More fallout from SCOTUS’s narrow ruling in the Jack Phillips case: “On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from a Christian bed and breakfast owner who was found at a lower court to have violated an anti-discrimination law by turning away a lesbian couple from her establishment. … Phyllis Young, owner of Aloha Bed & Breakfast in Honolulu, Hawaii, refused to rent a room to Diane Cervilli and Taeko Bufford in 2007 due to her Christian beliefs with regard to sexuality. While Young pointed to the First Amendment to evidence her protection in practicing her religion without government prohibition, a state court found the business owner in violation of Hawaii’s Civil Rights Commissions’ public accommodation law.” (The Daily Wire)
- Anti-vaxxers — not just an American problem: “Eleven people have died and more than 30,000 have been infected this year in a major measles outbreak in Ukraine, the European country worst hit by the disease, Kiev said Monday. … Some 30,500 people, including 17,000 children, have been infected so far this year. Authorities said shortages of vaccine in previous years and anti-vaccination sentiment, often driven by online campaigns spreading false information about the alleged risks, were the main reasons behind the outbreak.” (Agence France-Presse)
- Dark humor: Pelosi: “Any child who somehow escaped both abortion and infanticide has earned the right to vote” (The Babylon Bee)
- Policy: Should teenagers be allowed to vote? No, says The Daily Signal’s Jarrett Stepman, and the reason is simple: “The fact is, socialism attracts widespread support from millennials and members of Generation Z who at the same time are ignorant about socialism.”
- Policy: “The latest fashion that’s captured the political left is Modern Monetary Theory (MMT),” writes economist David Youngberg, adding: “MMT extrapolates from a series of accounting identities with reckless abandon. By leveraging America’s infinite ability to print its own currency, MMTers think they can sidestep the need to balance budgets. They are wrong.” Read more at the Foundation for Economic Education.
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Rich Lowry: “The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated itself an organization hostile to women and people of color. It fired its co-founder Morris Dees for unexplained reasons and removed his bio from its website at the same time it pledged to train its management in ‘racial equity, inclusion and results.’ … Originally founded as a civil-rights group in 1971 and gaining fame for its campaign to bankrupt the Ku Klux Klan, the SPLC shifted to a catchall ‘anti-hate’ group that widened its definition of hate to encompass more and more people as the Klan faded as a threat. It used the complicity or credulousness of the media in repeating its designations to punish its ideological enemies and engage in prodigious fundraising. … Imagine a left-wing outfit with the same shoddy standards as Joe McCarthy, but with a better business sense. … Many of the groups the SPLC smears have never had its employees complain about its hostile workplace culture. If the SPLC is going to engage in a period of self-reflection, it should think about what it’s become — and recoil in shame.”
Braying jackass: “I think what we have to do, and I will be doing it, is to do a better job maybe in explaining what we mean by socialism — democratic socialism. Obviously, my right-wing colleagues here want to paint that as authoritarianism and communism and Venezuela, and that’s nonsense.” —Sen. Bernie Sanders
Alpha Jackass: “Words have consequences, like saying we have an invasion on our border and talking about people as though they were different in some fatal way. I think that the public discourse from the president on down is a factor in some of these actions [such as the New Zealand shooting].” —Sen. Richard Blumenthal
Oops: “I’m told I get criticized by the new left. I have the most progressive record for anybody running for the — of anybody who would run. … I didn’t mean it.” —Joe Biden
Braying Jenny: “I disagree with most of what the vice president stands for, when he makes decisions about our LGBTQ community in a way that doesn’t understand that they should be entitled to full equality and all rights under the law as any other American. I disagree with him when he suggests it’s not possible to have meetings with women alone by himself. I think that’s ridiculous — the idea that you would deny a professional woman the opportunity to have a meeting with the vice president of the United States is outrageous.” —Sen. Kamala Harris
Non Compos Mentis: “Islamophobia is real. White supremacy is real. Hatred is real. From New Zealand to the U.S. or no matter where you live, we deserve better — we all deserve to live free from fear and violence.” —Planned Parenthood Action (Genocide of the unborn is real.)
Come again? “Of course [illegal immigrants] do reside in the United States. They reside in my district. They’re my constituents.” —Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Belly laugh of the week: “When you’re out there on the world stage and dealing with people like Vladimir Putin, yeah, you want someone who’s tough.” —Sen. Amy Klobuchar seriously spinning her temperamental issues
And last… “In response to the university admissions scandal, AOC now supports abolishing the Electoral College.” —Twitter satirist @hale_razor
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Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher