Mid-Day Digest

Sep. 6, 2019


“To cherish and stimulate the activity of the human mind, by multiplying the objects of enterprise, is not among the least considerable of the expedients, by which the wealth of a nation may be promoted.” —Alexander Hamilton (1791)

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Another ‘Weak Month’ of Job Growth?

August jobs numbers came in “less than expected.” While the headline unemployment rate remained at 3.7%, just 130,000 jobs were created last month, and 28,000 of them were temporary government jobs ahead of the 2020 census. Reuters notes, “A broader measure of unemployment, which includes people who want to work but have given up searching and those working part-time because they cannot find full-time employment, rose to 7.2% from a more than 18-year low of 7.0% in July.” It’s pretty tough to improve upon full employment, which even Reuters admitted back in 2017 when the headline unemployment rate was 4.7%.

Manufacturing in particular was weak, adding just 3,000 jobs in August. According to Reuters, “Manufacturing has ironically borne the brunt of the Trump administration’s trade war, which the White House has argued is intended to boost the sector.” That’s not wrong, but context is important.

Fighting the trade war China started is hard; it has economic costs. But which is better? Fighting dishonest and manipulative communists in Beijing, or succumbing to dishonest and manipulative socialists in America who want to fundamentally transform the U.S. economy to fight climate change — while the Chinese, in their pollution-spewing factories, laugh all the way to the bank?

Meanwhile, CNBC reports, “Labor force participation also increased, rising to 63.2% and tying its highest level since August 2013. The total number of Americans considered employed surged by 590,000 to a record 157.9 million.” Wages are up a healthy 3.2% for the year, which continues to drive consumer spending.

A final note of explanation for slower job growth. Small businesses, which account for the vast majority of jobs and economic growth, are still hiring, but they’re having trouble finding workers. William Dunkelberg, chief economist for the National Federation of Independent Business, says of the historically tight job market among small businesses, “If any of the widely discussed ‘slowdown’ occurs, a significant contributor will be the unavailability of labor.” He indicates, “Sixty-four percent [of business owners] reported hiring or trying to hire (up 1 point), but 57 percent (89 percent of those hiring or trying to hire) reported few or no ‘qualified’ applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. A record 27 percent of all owners cited the difficulty of finding qualified workers as their Single Most Important Business Problem, a clear indication that a shortage of qualified workers is slowing growth.”

All in all, says Dunkelberg, it’s “hard to call it a ‘recession’ when job openings still exceed job searchers.” That doesn’t mean Democrats and the Leftmedia won’t keep trying.

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Sanders: Population Control Will Save the Planet

During the Democrats’ marathon town hall on climate change Wednesday, an audience member asked Bernie Sanders if he was “courageous enough” to address the issue of curbing global population and if he would make it a “feature” of his plan for addressing the “climate catastrophe.” This question comes straight out of Paul Ehrlich’s book, The Population Bomb, the 1968 junk-science screed that peddled the global overpopulation myth. Yet this debunked ideology still captivates the minds of many ecofascists.

Sanders responded with an answer that would make Planned Parenthood founder and eugenicist Margaret Sanger proud. “The answer is yes,” he stated. “And the answer has everything to do with the fact that women in the United States of America, by the way, have a right to control their own bodies and make reproductive decisions. The Mexico City agreement, which denies American aid to those organizations around the world that allow women to have abortions or even get involved in birth control, to me is totally absurd. I think especially in poor countries around the world where women do not necessarily want to have large numbers of babies and where they can have the opportunity through birth control to control the number of kids they have, it’s something I very, very strongly support.”

Beyond Sanders affirming the myth of global overpopulation, he plays that old political game of mischaracterization. When Sanders talks of the Mexico City agreement, the 1984 rule that forbids U.S. funding of foreign nongovernmental organizations that “perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning,” he expands this ban against abortion to include all forms birth control, something the agreement does not do. Evidently for Sanders, abortion is the only form of birth control.

Secondly, Sanders exposed himself as a population-control extremist who is literally calling for the killing of preborn babies, especially in poorer countries, because he thinks this will help the climate. This kind of extremist talk coming from one of the leading Democrat presidential candidates should be unnerving to every American.

As The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh notes, “[Sanders] sees a world populated by normal people, on one hand, and surplus people on the other hand. His simple, if genocidal, solution is to throw away the surplus. This raises an obvious question: Why doesn’t Sanders include himself in the surplus? As G.K. Chesterton once observed: ‘The answer to anyone who talks about the surplus population is to ask him whether he is the surplus population, or if he is not, how he knows he is not.’” Walsh also observes, “The funny thing about people who advocate reducing the population to save the planet is that they always want to start by killing babies.” The defenseless make easy targets.

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


HOUSING REFORM: “The Trump administration released a sweeping plan Thursday that could remake the U.S. housing market, starting with ending more than a decade of government control of two massive companies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, that back half of the nation’s mortgages,” according to The Washington Post. Recall that these entities were considered “too big to fail” and were bailed out by the federal government during the Democrat-caused housing meltdown. And even this plan incorporates a taxpayer contingency plan. “Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would pay taxpayers a fee in return for a government guarantee in case they fall into financial trouble again,” the Post adds, meaning a “too big to fail” mindset remains.

DOJ PROPOSITIONS: “The Department of Justice has sent a package of legislative proposals on gun violence to the White House, a person familiar with the matter told Fox News, as the debate rages over how lawmakers and the president should respond to a recent spate of deadly mass shootings. The White House has had the proposals for two weeks, according to the source, but has not yet sent anything along to Capitol Hill. It was not immediately clear what proposals are included in the DOJ package.” (Fox News)

ANTI-OPEN-CARRY BANDWAGON: The Daily Wire reveals that “Wegmans, Walgreens, and CVS all banned open carry in their stores on Thursday, following the same gun policy change from Walmart and Kroger the day before. Unlike the other retailers that only called for a ban on open carry, CVS advised all customers except for authorized law enforcement officers to totally refrain from carrying at all in their stores.” On a related note, according to The Washington Free Beacon, “Walmart clarified its new policy on ammunition sales a day after its CEO announced the retailer would stop selling certain ammunition but didn’t specify exactly which ammunition. … Walmart senior director of communications Delia Garcia … said Walmart would only sell ammunition capable of being used in the remaining firearms they sell.” Tangentially, Tucker Carlson & Neil Patel observe: “Notice that Walmart still plans to sell the remainder of its AR-15 ammunition. This couldn’t really be about saving lives, obviously. It’s about the money.”

TEXAS UPDATES: National Review reports, “Authorities believe the gun used in the drive-by shooting in Midland and Odessa, Texas this past weekend was illegally manufactured and sold by a Lubbock, Texas man… The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is currently investigating a man who they believe illegally manufactured and sold the AR-15-style rifle that [the assailant] used to kill seven people and injure 22 more on Saturday, before he was shot and killed by police.” In related news, National Review also reveals, “Texas governor Greg Abbott on Thursday issued eight executive orders aimed at preventing mass shootings after two massacres last month left the Lone Star State shaken.”

TOWN-HALL LETDOWN: Via The Hill: “CNN’s 7-hour town hall on climate change with 2020 White House contenders finished last among the three cable news networks in terms of average total viewers, according to early numbers from Nielsen Media Research. CNN averaged 1.1 million viewers from 5 p.m. to midnight, the hours devoted to back-to-back town halls by 10 Democratic contenders. MSNBC finished second with 1.7 million total viewers during the time period, with Fox News winning the time period with an average of 2.5 million.” The Hill also notes that “the average 1.4 million tuning in to CNN for the event was well above its average in primetime in 2019.” Yet it still couldn’t match MSNBC or Fox News. For an issue that’s supposedly an “existential crisis,” viewers don’t seem particularly interested in hearing about it.

LIGHTBULB DEREGULATION: “The Department of Energy announced this week that it’s withdrawing the Obama administration’s energy-rationing mandate for certain lightbulbs. Opponents criticized the rule change, arguing that the move would be bad for consumers and the climate. The reality, however, is that families and businesses will be better off, and the change will have a negligible impact on the environment.” (The Daily Signal)

MSU FINED: “The U.S. Department of Education has levied a $4.5 million fine against Michigan State University for its ‘systemic failure’ to address the sexual abuse committed by Larry Nassar, the MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor who admitted to sexually assaulting his patients for decades.” (NPR)

GOOD RIDDANCE TO A THUG: “Robert Mugabe, the controversial president of Zimbabwe who was forced to resign in 2017 after decades in power, has died at age 95. … Mugabe took power in Zimbabwe after white minority rule ended in 1980. He blamed Zimbabwe’s economic problems on international sanctions and once said he wanted to rule for life. … Despite Zimbabwe’s decline during his rule, Mugabe remained defiant, railing against the West for what he called its neo-colonialist attitude and urging Africans to take control of their resources.” (Fox News)

POLICY: Why the right to bear arms is an individual right (The Daily Signal)

POLICY: Five surprising scientific facts about Earth’s climate (Foundation for Economic Education)

HUMOR: Trump holds up map suggesting hurricane may hit coast of Middle Earth (The Babylon Bee)

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

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Jonah Goldberg: “Both [Bernie] Sanders and [Elizabeth] Warren (and others) are against using nuclear power to reduce carbon emissions. … It’s an odd argument. Sanders says we must ‘listen to the scientists,’ but there are scads of scientists who think nuclear waste storage is eminently manageable, including the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. They report that the ‘consensus’ is that safe geological storage is entirely feasible. More importantly, if you honestly believe that climate change is an existential threat, akin to an impending asteroid strike, why would you rule out one of the only proven tools to combat it? It’s a bit like refusing to use a firehose on a burning orphanage because you’re afraid of the subsequent water damage.”


Political futures: “The 2020 election is going to be a referendum on President Trump. People who do not like him will either vote Democrat or stay home. Either helps the Democratic candidates. They can be as outlandish as they want and are gambling that the President’s behavior will be more outlandish and the election will be about the President. Then, should they win, they can say they made no secret of their radicalism and clearly the American people are okay with it.” —Erick Erickson

For the record: “[The Democrats’] answer to everything is more government control. We want to control what you eat, we want to control whether you can fly, we want to control how you eat, what utensils you use. Everything is more government control and limiting freedoms, and they also want to limit the economy of the United States of America. There is no way our country can lead on any issue if we are going through a recession, if we don’t have high wages and great jobs.” —GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel

Friendly fire: “Experts say Democrats’ assertions are accurate, to a point. Fighting climate change will create jobs. Yet the rosy net numbers, some warned, don’t tell the far more complicated story of what that green growth could look like.” —The New York Times’s Lisa Friedman in her piece, “Democrats Say Their Climate Plans Will Create Jobs. It’s Not So Simple.”

Friendly fire II: “I know this sounds naive. I didn’t think the left was so mean. I didn’t think the left lied like this.” —Marianne Williamson

Alpha jackass: “What Osama bin Laden did to us was terrible but he doesn’t hold a candle to Mitch McConnell.” —Jim Carrey

Double standards: “We’ve learned over the last few years from trying to govern the country by executive order that there’s a lot that can be done legally with executive order. Only the Democratic president can get that done.” —former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

Non compos mentis: “Millions of us seeing [Hurricane] Dorian turn away from land is not a wacky idea; it is a creative use of the power of the mind.” —Marianne Williamson

How ‘bout no: “The UN just released a study that said we’re going to be OK if the vast majority of the world goes vegetarian immediately. … So, I think it would be healthy on both an individual and societal level for us to move in that direction.” —Andrew Yang

The BIG lie: “[Mitigating climate change] is the hardest thing we will have done — certainly in my lifetime as a country. This is on par with winning WWII — perhaps even more challenging than that.” —Pete Buttigieg

Pipe dream: “In my administration, we won’t be building new nuclear plants. We will start weaning ourselves off nuclear and replace it with renewables.” —Sen. Elizabeth Warren

And last… “Climate change is a bunch of rich people telling poor people how they have to make their lives worse so the rich people’s beachfront property doesn’t get messed up.” —Frank J. Fleming

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For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.



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