“This gave me occasion to observe, that 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.” —Benjamin Franklin (1771)
IN TODAY’S EDITION
- The economy continues roaring, as the latest jobs report shows.
- The Facebook censors have come for several prominent individuals.
- Daily Features: More Analysis, Columnists, Headlines, Opinion in Brief, Short Cuts, Memes, and Cartoons.
The jobs numbers for April are out and it’s more good news, as 263,000 jobs were added, surpassing Wall Street expectations of 190,000. With the economy continuing its steady upward trajectory, a milestone was reached that has not been seen since 1969 — the headline unemployment rate fell to 3.6%. Meanwhile, the more complete U6 unemployment measure held steady at 7.3%.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported, “Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates declined in April for adult men (3.4 percent), adult women (3.1 percent), Whites (3.1 percent), Asians (2.2 percent), and Hispanics (4.2 percent). The jobless rates for teenagers (13.0 percent) and Blacks (6.7 percent) showed little or no change.”
CNBC notes, “GDP increased 3.2% during the first quarter, far exceeding expectations, while productivity during the quarter jumped 3.6% for its best gain in five years. Pending home sales rose 3.8% in March, providing some hope in the real estate market so long as rates are held in check.”
This is more good news for all Americans and for President Donald Trump. Clearly, his commitment to deregulation coupled with the Republican tax cut is paying off, and an increasing percentage of the country is seeing this. Even anti-Trump CNN’s own poll found that 56% of Americans view Trump favorably on the economy. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for Democrat presidential candidates to spin this booming economy as somehow bad for Americans.
Facebook is at it again, de-platforming several people the social-media thought police have dubbed “dangerous individuals and organizations.” And the Leftmedia is at it again, too, conflating bigotry, racism, and conspiracy theories with the Right.
First, the main story. Mark Zuckerberg and his censors, in their infinite and benevolent wisdom, have decided that certain voices have no place on Facebook or Instagram. Infowars founder Alex Jones and personality Paul Joseph Watson, provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, self-described investigative journalist Laura Loomer, and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan have been banned. Facebook insists it has “always banned individuals or organizations that promote or engage in violence and hate, regardless of ideology.”
Regardless of what he espouses on a regular basis, Watson was exactly right when he said, “In an authoritarian society controlled by a handful of Silicon Valley giants, all dissent must be purged.” Indeed, Jones was already purged from Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo, Spotify, Apple, and Twitter last year. To be sure, as we noted at the time, while Jones’s audience in particular tends to fall on the conservative end of the spectrum, Jones himself is a performance artist who’s closer to an anarchist. “He is NOT a Patriot of any order,” says Mark Alexander. “He is a con man who preys on insecurities of vulnerable people in the name of ‘patriotism.’”
That said, Facebook has no business banning him. Just because his speech isn’t worth much doesn’t mean he should be silenced as “hate speech.”
Which brings us to the almost comical media coverage of this ban. Numerous Leftmedia outlets — The New York Times, The Washington Post, Politico, The Atlantic, and BuzzFeed, to name a few — initially reported this as an action against “far-right leaders.” The Post’s original headline began, “Facebook bans far-right leaders including Louis Farrakhan…” until blowback forced editors to fix it. Each publication made minor edits, but The Atlantic and BuzzFeed still infer the “right wing” connection.
But to state the obvious, Farrakhan is anything but “far right.” In fact, he’s a leftist friend of dictators, a noxious anti-Semite, and a cult leader. No wonder Barack Obama and a litany of other Democrats would rather hide their associations with him.
Frankly, we think Jones is onto something when he says of Facebook, “They’re trying to hide their censorship of conservatives by mixing in Louis Farrakhan.” In other words, the only reason Farrakhan was banned is to serve as a fig leaf of objectivity for banning the others.
The real danger here is to free speech. Governments around the world are using terrorist attacks as a pretext for cracking down on speech. American leftists know it’s much harder to make the case for our government to silence people, so they’ve created a faux “moral” case for businesses to do their dirty work for them. Whether it’s social media, news “evaluation” organizations, or credit-card companies, leftists are finding creative ways to dismantle our constitutional rights by using private businesses as the enforcers.
ON OUR WEBSITE TODAY
- Featured Analysis: The Great Infrastructure Boondoggle of 2019 — With a bipartisan $2 trillion plan to fix all the things, what could go wrong?
- Potholes on the Road to ‘Medicare for All’? — CBO: A single-payer system “could be complicated, challenging, and potentially disruptive.”
- Gillibrand Plan: A Voter Slush Fund — The Democrat’s plan to have the wealthy pay toward the campaigns of candidates they may oppose.
- Grassroots Perspective: The Death of Patriotism — Patriotism: “The quality of being patriotic, devotion to and vigorous support for one’s country.”
- Video: Why Do We Have the Second Amendment? — The people of Venezuela were once able to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
- Video: The Unexpected Power Behind the U.S. Military — Land. Sea. Air. Space. Cyber. These Multi-Domain Operations are the battlefields of the future.
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
TOP NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
- EMBATTLED BALTIMORE MAYOR CALLS IT QUITS: “Baltimore mayor Catherine Pugh resigned Thursday amid a mushrooming corruption scandal. Pugh’s resignation is effective immediately, her attorney Steve Silverman said at a press conference that she herself did not attend. … Pugh, 69, came under fire for selling $500,000 in copies of her ‘Healthy Holly’ children’s books to the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) while serving on its board. She also sold 20,000 copies of the books to Kaiser Permanente for $114,000 from 2015 to 2018, and 10,000 copies to Associated Black Charities for nearly $80,000 from 2011 and 2016.” (National Review)
- JUDICIAL PROGRESS: “President Trump hit another milestone in his efforts to reshape the federal judiciary, with the Senate clearing his 100th judicial nominee Thursday. The president and Republican-controlled Senate have made judicial nominations a top priority, and the confirmation of Rodolfo Ruiz to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida brought the number of Trump’s judicial appointments into triple digits. In addition to confirming Ruiz, the Senate is also set to clear two more nominees to federal district courts in Puerto Rico and Pennsylvania. If those two nominations win approval, Trump will have tapped 102 judges to the federal bench.” (Washington Examiner)
- PELOSI IMPLIES BARR IS A CRIMINAL: Yesterday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi inveighed, “What is deadly serious … is the attorney general of the United States of America is not telling the truth to the Congress of the United States. That’s a crime.” But even CNN isn’t buying it.
- TRUMP SAFEGUARDS RELIGIOUS LIBERTY: “President Donald Trump spoke out on religious freedom Thursday, as he vowed to protect conscience rights and to combat anti-Semitism. ‘Just today, we finalized new protections of conscience rights for physicians, pharmacists, nurses, teachers, students, and faith-based charities,’ Trump said at a White House Rose Garden event with faith leaders from across the country on hand for the National Day of Prayer. … The Department of Health and Human Services’ final rule protects both employers and employees. The rule protects providers, individuals, and other health care entities from having to provide, participate in, pay for, pay for coverage of, or refer for, services such as abortion, sterilization, or assisted suicide to which they might have religious objections.” (The Daily Signal)
- UN AMBASSADOR POST GETS A NOMINEE: “President Donald Trump has officially nominated Kelly Knight Craft as the new United States ambassador to the United Nations. If confirmed by the Senate, Craft would be filling a role formerly held by Nikki Haley. The position has not been filled since Haley’s resignation in the end of 2018.” (ABC News)
- MOORE BAILS: “A week after Herman Cain withdrew his name from consideration from the Federal Reserve board, Stephen Moore has done the same. His announcement comes amidst a brewing storm over his past comments on gender roles. … There’s no ill will on the side of the president either. Trump praised Moore’s character and wished him well.” (Townhall)
- BIDEN SCOFFS AT CHINA: “Former Vice President Joe Biden expressed his lack of concern over China as a global competitor to the U.S. at a rally on Wednesday,” Fox News reports, “prompting a grim response from Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah. … ‘This will not age well,’ Romney predicted.” As pointed out by Erick Erickson, “Perhaps he said something so ludicrous to distract from his own Russia scandal: His son sat on the board of a Ukrainian company with ties to the Russians and only resigned once his dad decided to run for President. Some allege that Biden previously helped pressure Ukraine into firing a prosecutor looking into that company.”
- FBI’S CURIOUS RUSSIA-PROBE TACTICS: Fox News reports: “An informant working for U.S. intelligence posed as a Cambridge University research assistant in September 2016 to try to probe George Papadopoulos, then a Trump foreign policy adviser, on the campaign’s possible ties to Russia, according to a new report. And, Papadopoulos told Fox News on Thursday, the informant tried to ‘seduce’ him as part of the ‘bizarre’ episode. … The FBI sent a woman using the alias Azra Turk to meet Papadopoulos at a London bar, where she asked, conspicuously and directly, whether the Trump team was working with Russia.” On a related note, The Hill’s John Solomon reveals that “the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington says a Democratic National Committee (DNC) insider during the 2016 election solicited dirt on Donald Trump’s campaign chairman and even tried to enlist the country’s president to help.” Collusion?
- POLICY: A real plan to end the war in Yemen (Foreign Affairs)
- POLICY: To fix the student-loan crisis, teach kids about finances (Washington Examiner)
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.
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OPINION IN BRIEF
David Limbaugh: “[Robert] Mueller got in a snit over [William] Barr’s four-page summary, and Democrats brayed that Barr was misrepresenting Mueller’s 19-page summary and the full report. But when Barr followed up with Mueller on his quibbles, Mueller assured him he was emphatically not suggesting that Barr had misrepresented his findings. He just didn’t like the contextual presentation, which he thought led to an unflattering media narrative against him and his work. Herein lies the rub. The pristine and unflappable Mueller turns out not to be so unflappable after all. He just couldn’t abide the media blowback after enjoying two years of high praise as the Saint of Pre-Impeachment. Mueller’s apparently thin skin might give us insight into why he didn’t have the courage to issue a concrete finding that there was no actionable obstruction claim. Barr was obviously surprised and disappointed with the fecklessness of his lukewarm old friend. Probably fearful that he would go from hero to villain overnight upon the release of his lackluster report, Mueller hedged on the obstruction charge, which is appalling, especially considering that the chief executive has every right to cashier his FBI chief for any reason.”
Insight: “We shall soon be in a world in which a man may be howled down for saying that two and two make four, in which people will persecute the heresy of calling a triangle a three-sided figure, and hang a man for maddening a mob with the news that grass is green.” —G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936)
Food for thought: “Mueller’s first indictments of Russians for interference in the 2016 elections came in February 2018. I believe Mueller likely knew then that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Yet he let the investigation drag on rather than release that fact in order to increase the left’s chances of victory in the 2018 elections. Perhaps we need another investigation of election interference.” —Gary Bauer
Demo-gogues: “It’s simply another step in the administration’s growing attack on American democracy … a great danger for American democracy … and it is part of the attack on American democracy.” —House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler on Bill Barr’s refusal to play along and the danger that poses to our Republic, er, “democracy”
Braying Jenny: “I think that the Democrats on the committee did a good job … in exposing that … [William Barr] is the president’s defense lawyer. He is not the attorney general of the United States in the way that he has conducted himself. Now, calling for his resignation makes perfect sense, because he’s not discharging the duties of the office.” —Hillary Clinton
Still tone-deaf: “Through a program we had through community colleges, we can teach people how to code. We went out, literally into the hood, and they found, turns out, 54 [people]. They happened to be all women. The vast majority were women of color, no more than a high-school degree, aged 25-54, and a third of them only had GEDs.” —Joe Biden
Alpha Jackass: “[Donald Trump Jr. is] the first proof I’ve got that a mother ought to have the right to have an abortion. They made the decision to have him, didn’t they? They could have aborted him. But they made the decision to keep him. He’s evidently retarded or crazy. Donald Trump’s son, I know he’s — something wrong with that boy. I look at him and tell something wrong with him. That’s the best defense I got right there for abortion, looking at him.” —Alabama State Rep. John Rogers (D), who earlier unconscionably remarked, “Some kids are unwanted, so you kill them now or you kill them later.”
And last… “The fact that Facebook banned these high profile accounts all at once just proves that this is not a fair and objective enforcement of the rules. Did they all violate the rules at the exact same time? Or was this a PR stunt? Seems obvious that it’s the latter. And if Facebook wanted to ban Alex Jones for the Sandy Hook conspiracy stuff (which was truly insane and morally debased), why didn’t they do it 5 years ago?” —Matt Walsh
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.
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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher