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Mid-Day Digest

May 13, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“It is a principle incorporated into the settled policy of America, that as peace is better than war, war is better than tribute.” —James Madison (1816)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

IN BRIEF

The Long-Running Trade War With China

While much of the mainstream media wring their collective hands over President Donald Trump “igniting a trade war” by raising new tariffs against $200 billion in Chinese goods, the reality is the U.S. has been in a long-running economic war with Beijing. The only difference is that Trump has decided to lead the U.S. on the offensive.

As Mark Alexander notes, “In the three-decades-old trade cold war with Red China, Donald Trump is the first president to exercise the political courage to fight back.” He notes further, “One BIG advantage they have is the relentless Leftmedia opposition to Trump. Thus, the Chinese are able to target tariff countermeasures to do the most political damage to Republicans with the support of the Demo/MSM.”

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) praised Trump’s actions, stating, “This is the first administration ever, in certainly modern history, that’s actually taken these guys on.” Even Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) agreed with the president, arguing, “We have to be strong with [China]. … We ought to hang tough.”

Predictably, China has responded in a tit-for-tat manner by raising tariffs on an additional $60 billion in various U.S. imports, effective June 1. In other words, it doesn’t look like either side will back down anytime soon. Even so, Beijing is feeling more of the immediate economic pressure — its economy continues to slow as various companies look to relocate their manufacturing outside of China.

Hopefully, Trump’s actions will press China into ending its abusive trade practices and in turn usher in a fair and balanced trade agreement between the world’s two largest economies.

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New Judges Confirmed at Record Pace

The Senate last week confirmed the 39th circuit-court judge under President Donald Trump. Judge Michael Park will join five other Republican-appointed active judges on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. The Washington Times reports, “Trump flipped the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this year, taking it from a 7-4 Democratic edge in judicial appointees in 2017 to a 7-6 Republican edge among active judges.”

In fact, Trump is on a record pace that is transforming the judicial landscape. Prior to taking office, Democrat-appointed active judges held a 90-71 advantage over Republican-appointed ones across all the circuits. Now that advantage has been reversed with the number of Republican-appointed judges outnumbering Democrat appointments 90-83.

We have repeatedly noted through Trump’s first two years how Democrats actively sought to obstruct and slow down the confirmation process of his judicial nominees. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) finally had enough of Democrat delay tactics and instigated the so-called “nuclear option” a second time, changing the rules to lower the threshold for overcoming a filibuster.

Following the Senate’s 54-42 confirmation of Judge Joseph Bianco to the Second Circuit earlier this week, McConnell explained the reason he initiated the rule changes. He pointed out that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who had just voted against Bianco, was singing an entirely different tune 13 years ago when he said the ABA-approved judge was “outstandingly qualified and well respected.” Funny how a political agenda aimed at obstructing Trump will change a person’s opinion.

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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

  • RUMBLINGS IN THE GULF: “Saudi Arabia said Monday two of its oil tankers were damaged in ‘sabotage attacks’ in the Gulf as tensions soared in a region already shaken by a standoff between the United States and Iran.” (Agence France-Presse)
  • BARRIER REINFORCEMENTS: “The Pentagon has approved a plan to spend an additional $1.5 billion to build 80 more miles of wall along the U.S.-Mexico border… Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan approved the re-allocation of funds, which were originally earmarked for support of Afghan security forces and other projects, to help pay for the wall along the southern border.” (Fox News)
  • GOOGLE PROPELS LEFTMEDIA: “A new study from the Computational Journalism Lab at Northwestern found that many of Google’s top hits for news searches came from just a handful of left-leaning sources. … Their data showed that 86% of Google’s Top Stories came from only 20 news sources. Just three dominated the coverage, with 23% of all impressions counted — CNN with 10.9%, The New York Times with 6.5% and The Washington Post with 5.6%.” (The Washington Times)
  • BROWARD REMAINS DEFIANT: “Broward County, Fla., where 17 people were killed last year in a shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School, will not allow its public schools to arm their teachers despite a law signed by Governor Ron DeSantis this week that allows teachers trained to carry firearms to do so.” (National Review)
  • BIOLOGY PREVAILS: “Male-to-female transgender powerlifter Mary Gregory has been stripped of several women’s championship titles after the Powerlifting Federation determined that Gregory was not eligible to compete as a female.” (The Daily Wire)
  • USPS RED INK: “The U.S. Postal Service lost more than $2 billion during the second quarter of the fiscal year, putting it on track to finish the current year more than $7 billion in the red — way worse than the nearly $4 billion in losses it posted last year.” (Reason)
  • STATES CONTEST BRIGHT DEREGULATORY IDEA: “The Department of Energy has proposed new regulations for lightbulbs that would eliminate efficiency standards for half the bulbs on the market. … Washington and Colorado passed bills this month designed to backstop the Obama-era standards if the Energy Department proceeds to roll them back, and half a dozen other states are considering similar legislation. Vermont passed such a law as soon as President Trump was elected.” (The Hill)
  • VA’S ONGOING WATERLOO: “After two years in the White House, the Trump administration has decided to execute a plan to purge 200,000 applications for VA healthcare caused by known administrative errors within VA’s enrollment process and enrollment system — problems that had already been documented by the Office of the Inspector General in 2015 and 2017.” (Washington Examiner)
  • PRO-LIFE MOMENTUM: “State governments are on a course to virtually eliminate abortion access in large chunks of the Deep South and Midwest. Ohio and Kentucky also have passed heartbeat laws; Missouri’s Republican-controlled legislature is considering one. Their hope is that a more conservative U.S. Supreme Court will approve, spelling the end of the constitutional right to abortion.” (NBC San Diego)
  • HUMOR: Liberals clarify: ‘Alt right’ means everyone to the right of Stalin (The Babylon Bee)
  • POLICY: Why aren’t automation and Baby Boomer retirements driving consumer prices down? (Foundation for Economic Education)
  • POLICY: How to fix student debt without raiding taxpayers (The Daily Signal)

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

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Hans von Spakovsky: “The New York Times no doubt considers it quite a coup to have obtained and published President Trump’s tax return information from 1985 to 1994. But doing so violated Trump’s right under federal law to the confidentiality of his tax returns. The Times — which reported that Trump’s businesses lost $1.17 billion during the 10-year period — has no more right to Trump’s tax returns than it has to mine or those of any of you reading these words. Confidentiality, as the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held in 1991 in U.S. v. Richey, is essential to ‘maintaining a workable tax system.’ … The IRS and the U.S. Justice Department should investigate how this disclosure happened, find out who did it, and prosecute anyone who violated the law.”

SHORT CUTS

Friendly fire: “It was important that [the Peter Strzok-Lisa Page affair] be investigated and important that there be discipline that follows it, but, yeah, it made us all look bad. Peter Strzok is a very talented agent. It’s a personal tragedy for him. But as much as I care about individuals, I care about the institution more. It hurt the institution.” —James Comey

Friendly fire II: “I don’t know that we need to take the additional step of licensing every single firearm to every single owner. I think that may be too far.” —Beto O'Rourke

Hot air: “There were 400,000 apprehensions at our border with Mexico last year. As you know, many of them were kids — kids who, if they were lucky, showed up with their parents. But increasingly, we are finding that those who are arriving are farmers from Honduras who are trying to plant what used to grow but does not any longer because they, too, are in historic droughts and cannot feed themselves. If you think 400,000 is bad, wait until some countries in the Western Hemisphere can no longer support human life, because that is the direction we are headed.” —Beto O'Rourke

Tone-deaf: “The wall I worry about the most is not the president’s fantasy wall on the Mexican border that’s never going to get built anyway. What I worry about are the very real walls being put up between us as we get divided and carved up.” —Pete Buttigieg, who has no qualms about putting up a wall by vilifying Mike Pence for his Biblical views on same-sex marriage

The BIG Lie: “In their lifetime, one in five women go [to Planned Parenthood]. And most of them are going there for contraception, birth control. They’re going there for mammograms.” —Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Mammograms are not a Planned Parenthood service.)

Delusions: “If we do not secure our democracy and ensure that every vote counts in 2020, we will be having a very different conversation, possibly in Russian, in 2030.” —Stacey Abrams

Non compos mentis: “There’s a kind of a calming feeling, I always tell folks, when I think of the Holocaust and the tragedy of the Holocaust, and the fact that it was my ancestors — Palestinians — who lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence, in many ways, had been wiped out… I mean, just all of it was in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post-the Holocaust, post-the tragedy and the horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time. I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that [safe haven], in many ways. But they did it in a way that took their human dignity away, right? And it was forced on them.” —Rep. Rashida Tlaib

And last… “[Her claim] ignores the Jewish presence in the region and efforts to establish a Jewish state that predated the Holocaust, ignores that her ancestors allied with Hitler at the time of the Holocaust, and ignores decades of violence and terrorism directed at Israel both before, during, and after the Holocaust.” —Philip Klein

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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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