Mid-Day Digest

May 6, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“Harmony, liberal intercourse with all Nations, are recommended by policy, humanity and interest. But even our Commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand: neither seeking nor granting exclusive favours or preferences; consulting the natural course of things; diffusing and diversifying by gentle means the streams of Commerce, but forcing nothing; establishing with Powers so disposed; in order to give trade a stable course.” —George Washington (1796)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

IN BRIEF

Tariff Strategy: A Long-Needed Corrective Measure

On Sunday, President Donald Trump fired a shot across the bow of the ongoing trade negotiations with China, announcing that if no significant progress was made in those negotiations by Friday, he will raise tariffs from 10% to 25% on $200 billion in Chinese imports. The president also declared he will follow that increase by expanding import tariffs on an additional $325 billion “shortly.” Trump briefly explained, “The Trade Deal with China continues, but too slowly, as they attempt to renegotiate. No!”

Chinese officials are reportedly considering pulling out of trade talks that were scheduled to resume in Washington on Wednesday. “China shouldn’t negotiate with a gun pointed to its head,” an individual familiar with the Chinese position stated. However, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow had a different take, arguing, “The president is, I think, issuing a warning here. … [He’s] saying, ‘Guess what? The tariffs will remain’ if China does not agree to trade negotiations.”

As we have previously written, Trump is stepping up to the plate to deal with China’s unfair trade policies, which have threatened and harmed American workers’ jobs and wages. Trump is acting to correct a problem that should have been dealt with 20 or 30 years ago, though politicians on both sides of the aisle failed to do so because of the immediate economic pain it will inflict. Like a cavity in a tooth, however, ignoring it has only made the problem worse.

But there’s another important aspect of Trump’s tariff threat that must not go unnoticed. Over the weekend, North Korea test-launched several short-range missiles, a clear provocation and an apparent backwards step for Trump’s efforts to get Kim Jong-un to give up his nuclear weapons. Trump’s tariff threat is a message to Beijing: Rein in your puppet, Kim. The president won’t be manipulated into allowing China to continue getting away with its abusive trade practices, nor will he give up on his negotiations with North Korea.

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Poynter Pulls List of ‘Unreliable’ News Sites Over Its Unreliability

The Poynter Institute, an outfit that bills itself as a nonprofit journalism organization, created a list of what it identified as “unreliable” news sites, only to pull it a short time later following an outcry. The list of 515 websites included a broad spectrum of mostly right-leaning news outfits — everything from mainstream center-right news to extreme-right conspiracy-theory sites. Conservative news sites such as the Washington Examiner, The Washington Free Beacon, The Daily Signal, and your humble staff here at The Patriot Post were included in this list of “unreliable news websites” and labeled as “biased” or worse. The great irony is that Poynter, a journalism outfit claiming to combat the peddling of fake news, was itself peddling fake news.

While Leftmedia outlets regularly malign conservative news sites as “unreliable” and biased, what caught everyone’s attention was the stated aim of the Poynter list. Barbara Allen, Poynter’s managing editor, explained that the reasons for creating the “unreliable” list were “to provide a useful tool for readers to gauge the legitimacy of the information they were consuming” and to serve as a “blacklist” resource to advertisers for sites to avoid.

The Washington Examiner was quick to report on the story, observing, “The really curious thing here is not that a pro-journalism group’s blacklist would include right-leaning newsrooms, but that such an organization would produce a blacklist at all. There is something discordant about a group whose mission is to champion ‘freedom of expression, civil dialogue and compelling journalism’ simultaneously being in the business of blacklisting real (albeit opinionated) news organizations as ‘unreliable.’”

After removing the dubious list from its site, Allen posted a letter apologizing “for the confusion and agitation” and pledged to hold Poynter to a higher standard. With the group of leftist “fact checkers” that Poynter gathered to produce this initial slanderous list, call us skeptical of the “reliability” of any future lists. How about applying the novel idea of simply reporting the news and letting the American people decide for themselves what they think and whom they will trust? Facebook, take note.

As Mark Alexander concludes, “These emerging self-appointed media-rating organizations, promoting themselves as the guardians and arbiters of truth, pose a perilous hazard to free speech, the foundation for discernment of the truth. The hypocritical irony is that their ‘rating’ of news bias is irrevocably shaped by their own bias. Consequently, the media blacklists created by these ‘truth arbiters’ pose a greater threat to freedom of speech and the truth than the ‘fake news’ they claim they are trying to eradicate.”

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ON OUR WEBSITE TODAY

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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

TOP NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

  • IRAN SABER-RATTLING ELICITS RESPONSE: “The United States is deploying an aircraft carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Middle East on short notice in response to ‘clear indications’ Iran and Iranian proxies were planning an attack on U.S. forces in the region, a U.S. official said. Late Sunday night, the White House made a surprise announcement that the USS Abraham Lincoln and a bomber task force were being deployed in response to unspecified ‘troubling and escalatory indications and warnings.’” (ABC News)
  • BORDER CHIEF GEARS UP FOR SECOND TENURE: “President Donald Trump announced Sunday that former Obama-era border chief Mark Morgan will lead U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, filling an important role in the Trump administration as it seeks to curb immigration at the Southern border and tighten border security. … Morgan has publicly supported Trump’s border wall, and has been critical of Congress’ progress on the issues of immigration and border security. A former FBI agent, Morgan led Border Patrol during the final months of the Obama administration.” (ABC News)
  • TRUMP’S APPROVAL RATING ON PAR WITH OBAMA’S: “A new Gallup poll shows Donald Trump’s presidential job-approval rating hitting a new high of 46 percent. The survey was conducted from April 17 to April 30, almost entirely following the public release of the Mueller report on April 18. … On one hand, polling below 50 percent still isn’t a good place to be for an incumbent, especially given the strong economy, and the president currently trails Joe Biden by 7 points and Bernie Sanders by 3 points in the RealClearPolitics average of polls. On the other hand, Barack Obama’s job-approval rating was 44 percent in Gallup polling at the same point in his presidency (April 2011), and he still managed to find a way to win re-election in 2012.” (National Review)
  • PELOSI’S SMOKE AND MIRRORS: “Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said in a new interview she fears President Donald Trump won’t accept an electoral defeat in 2020 unless it’s overwhelming. In a discussion with the New York Times … Pelosi said she worried that unless Democrats win a ‘big’ victory against Trump, he will challenge its legitimacy. ‘We have to inoculate against that, we have to be prepared for that,’ she said.” (The Washington Free Beacon)
  • GRAHAM’S STRATEGIC PLAY: “Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham sent a letter to Special Counsel Robert Mueller Friday afternoon. In it, Graham invited Mueller to testify in front of the Committee if he believes Attorney General William Barr has somehow misrepresented his investigation.” (Townhall)
  • MUELLER’S LEFTMEDIA COUNCIL: “Special counsel Robert Mueller relied on the media to feed his Russian election interference report, citing scores of stories mostly from news outlets that promoted the debunked Trump-Kremlin election conspiracy. Mr. Mueller’s staff of Democrat-aligned prosecutors favored The New York Times over other publications. The 448-page report cited The Times more than 60 times, mostly in footnotes for articles that weave through the report’s main narrative. The report refers to The Washington Post, another Trump-critic news site, at least 40 times. CNN, principally an anti-Trump network, has about a dozen citations. NBC News has about 10 story mentions, and its anchor, Lester Holt, is the lone journalist to appear in the report’s personalties glossary for his May 2017 interview with President Trump.” (The Washington Times)
  • BOEING MUM ON SAFETY ISSUE: “Boeing said Sunday that it discovered after airlines had been flying its 737 Max plane for several months that a safety alert in the cockpit was not working as intended, yet it didn’t disclose that fact to airlines or federal regulators until after one of the planes crashed. The feature was designed to warn pilots when a key sensor might be providing incorrect information about the pitch of the plane’s nose. But within months of the plane’s debut in 2017, Boeing said, its engineers realized that the sensor warning light only worked when airlines also bought a separate, optional feature.” (Associated Press)
  • ISRAEL-PALESTINIAN CEASE-FIRE: “Israeli and Palestinian militant groups in Gaza reached a cease-fire on Monday, according to multiple reports, following a burst of violence over the weekend that left close to two dozen Palestinians and four Israeli civilians dead. The New York Times reported that Arab news reports said Egypt and the United Nations helped broker a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas and Islamic Jihad, two Palestinian groups that fired hundreds of projectiles over the weekend. … Militants had fired about 600 rockets toward Israel as of Sunday, with Israel launching 260 airstrikes in response, according to the Israeli Defense Forces.” (The Hill)
  • MEMBERSHIP OF RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS IN FREE FALL: “A new survey shows that the percentage of Americans who belong to a church, synagogue, or mosque has fallen 20 points since 1999 to an average of 50%. In addition, among Millennials, only 42% say they belong to a church. In the survey, Gallup asked, ‘Do you happen to be a member of a church, synagogue or mosque?’ Fifty percent of Americans answered yes. Back in 1999 that percentage was 70%.” (CNSNews.com)
  • HUMOR: Democrat candidates promise relief to Americans sick and tired of working all these plentiful jobs (The Babylon Bee)
  • POLICY: The Trump economy continues to defy the “experts” (Issues & Insights)
  • POLICY: Why billionaires are good for us (Foundation for Economic Education)

For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Gary Bauer: “The Trump economy is chugging along — 263,000 new jobs were created last month, well above economists’ expectations of 190,000 new jobs. The unemployment rate fell to 3.6%, a 49-year low! But wait… There’s more! Job growth for March and February was revised upward by an additional 17,000 new jobs, and wages also continue to grow. In fact, wages in the manufacturing sector are growing at their fastest rate in ten years. Trump’s stewardship of the economy may have something to do with a sudden burst of optimism among the American people. A Rasmussen poll finds that 54% of Americans believe America’s best days are still ahead of us. That is the first time a majority has expressed optimism about the future since 2006!”

SHORT CUTS

The Gipper: “I have wondered at times about what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress.” —Ronald Reagan

For the record: “It is not fair to accuse [Rep. Rashida Tlaib] of dual loyalty just because she defended terrorists and referred to ‘our Palestinian people.’ Let’s be clear about this: there is no evidence that she’s loyal to the United States at all.” —Matt Walsh

Oh the sarcasm: “I love that Trump is taking credit for a recovery that started under Obama.” —Sen. Cory Booker

Braying Jackass: “Ask people if the numbers that Donald Trump touts are really making a difference in their lives… Americans are struggling. Their wages are low, or decades low. For the last 4 decades, I don’t think they’ve budged that much.” —Cory Booker

Credit where it isn’t due: “We have had policies in place starting with President Obama that have aided [the economic] recovery.” —Sen. Amy Klobuchar (If Democrats don’t get the recession they want, they will divert to “Obama deserves credit.”)

Non sequitur: “A lot of people aren’t sharing in this prosperity because of the cost — the cost of college, the cost of health care, the fact that the president had promised he would bring down the prices of their prescription drugs and that just hasn’t happened.” —Amy Klobuchar, who supported ObamaCare, which significantly inflated the cost of health care

Braying Jenny: “This president isn’t trying to make America great. He’s trying to make America hate.” —Sen. Kamala Harris

Race bait: “We have Jim Crow sneaking back in.” —Joe Biden

Intraparty fighting: “Joe [Biden] voted for the war in Iraq. I led the effort against it… Joe voted for the deregulation of Wall Street, I voted against that… I don’t think there’s much question about who’s more progressive.” —Sen. Bernie Sanders

And last… “Stupid is like the plague inside the Beltway — one person catches it and next thing you know there’s an outbreak at MSNBC and the speaker of the House is showing symptoms while her delirious minions tote ceramic chickens around Capitol Hill.” —Andrew McCarthy

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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 cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.


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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher

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