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Mid-Day Digest

Oct. 4, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“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; but on the idle Days they were mutinous and quarrelsome, finding fault with their Pork, the Bread, and in continual ill-humour.” —Benjamin Franklin (1771)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

IN BRIEF

The Power of Economic Pollaganda

The Leftmedia’s harping on the economy has yielded the desired pollaganda result. “Americans’ attitudes toward the economy took a sharp turn downward in the third quarter,” CNBC reports, reaching “the lowest level of optimism in three years.” Moreover, “With only 23% expecting the economy to improve and 32% believing it will get worse, the poll marks the first time in the Trump presidency that economic pessimism outstrips optimism.” Even worse for President Donald Trump, “50% now disapprov[e] of his handling of the economy, the worst of his presidency.”

Mission accomplished? In order to win in 2020, Democrats are hoping for a recession they can blame on Trump. The way to achieve that is through media reports of a weak economy, followed by polls to gauge how well Americans have digested that incessant reporting. Then media outlets report on the polls to convince even more consumers that the economy is weak because their fellow Americans think so. And so the churn goes.

Frankly, though, Trump’s economic approval rating has as much to do with the Democrats’ impeachment charade as Leftmedia economic pollaganda.

How is the economy actually doing? Reasonably well. It’s true that GDP growth is only around 2% in 2019 after hitting 3% during 2018 for the first time in a decade. It’s also true that Trump’s tariffs are a burden on the economy (albeit a means to a desirable end). Yet consumer spending remains healthy, leading to a higher trade deficit in August.

Meanwhile, September jobs numbers weren’t exactly eye-catching at only 136,000. For perspective, however, headline unemployment is at just 3.5%, the lowest since December 1969. The fuller measure of unemployment fell from 7.2% in August to 6.9% in September. (The all-time low is 6.8%.) National Review adds, “Hispanic unemployment fell to 3.9 percent, setting a record low, while black unemployment remained at a record-low 5.5 percent.” Those rates aren’t dropping because people are leaving the workforce, either, which is what happened during the Barack Obama years. It’s somewhat tough to add jobs when most everyone who wants one has one. The slowdown in hiring likely has a cooling effect on GDP as well, but that doesn’t mean neither are healthy.

Much of the economy is built on consumer confidence. That’s why Democrats and their Leftmedia super PAC want Americans to see not a solid economy but one teetering on the brink of recession. If that pans out, it will be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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Trump Calls Dems’ Ukraine Bluff, Raises Biden/China

If Washington politics is likened to a game of high-stakes poker, then President Donald Trump just called the House Democrats’ bluff and then raised the ante. At a press conference Thursday, Trump was asked what Ukraine should do regarding Hunter Biden’s business dealings. He answered, “I would recommend that they start an investigation into the Bidens.” But Trump didn’t stop there, adding, “Likewise, China should start an investigation into the Bidens.”

This is reminiscent of 2016 when Trump, referencing Hillary Clinton’s conveniently “lost” emails, joked, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think that you’ll probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” Now, as then, Democrats and the Leftmedia cried foul, alleging that Trump is openly engaging in election meddling.

Clearly, from Trump’s perspective, if Democrats are free to engage foreign nationals to dig up dirt on him, then he’s free to publicly call on foreign countries to investigate those efforts. Furthermore, Trump’s questions regarding Joe and Hunter Biden are not merely politically expedient, as much of the Leftmedia asserts. There are serious questions as to whether Joe Biden used his position as vice president to benefit his son financially. By calling on China to investigate Biden, Trump has effectively expanded the air of suspicion surrounding Biden, communicating over the heads of the media to the wider American public that something stinks.

Trump also knows that Biden is his most significant political rival, and by publicly pressing the question of Biden’s potentially corrupt behavior, Trump forces both the mainstream media, which has largely ignored the story, and Biden to at the very least address it. So every time Democrats and the MSM raise questions over Ukraine, Trump will ask about Biden. As political strategies go, it’s pretty brilliant, as it puts Biden continually on the defensive.

While many conservatives have questioned why Trump would dare raise the specter of election meddling following the whole Russia-collusion fiasco, they seem to have missed the fact that irrespective of anything Trump says or does, Democrats and their Leftmedia cohorts will condemn him as they press on in their crusade to see him impeached. Trump knows there’s no level playing field in Washington, so why should he act as if there is one?

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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

IRS WHISTLEBLOWER: The Washington Post claims, “An Internal Revenue Service official has filed a whistleblower complaint reporting that he was told that at least one Treasury Department political appointee attempted to improperly interfere with the annual audit of the president’s or vice president’s tax returns.”

MCCARTHY COUNTERATTACKS: “Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) on Thursday called for Speaker Nancy Pelosi to halt the House’s impeachment inquiry into President Trump ‘until transparent and equitable rules and procedures are established to govern the inquiry, as is customary,’” National Review reports, while Trump is issuing his own floor-vote dare.

SAN FRAN ADMONISHED: “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday sent a notice that San Francisco is violating the federal Clean Water Act.” (NBC Los Angeles)

THANKS, OBAMA: Survey: Family health insurance now averages more than $20,000 a year (The Federalist)

NARRATIVE BUSTER: North Carolina energy company finds solar power actually increases pollution (The Federalist)

VEGAS SETTLEMENT: Las Vegas massacre shooting victims, family members to get up to $800 million to settle lawsuits (Fox News)

FACEBOOK LEGAL BLOW: “Facebook on Wednesday was dealt a major blow in the EU’s top court, which ruled that national courts in Europe can order online platforms to remove defamatory content worldwide.” (Agence France-Presse)

MIGRANT TSUNAMI: More than 500,000 Central Americans illegally enter Mexico in first half of 2019 on their way to the U.S. (The Daily Caller)

FRANCE JIHAD: Paris knife attacker who killed four law-enforcement colleagues converted to Islam 18 months ago (National Review)

POLICY: The little-known reform that could improve states’ fiscal health (E21)

POLICY: Why there’s no better system than the Electoral College (Foundation for Economic Education)

HUMOR: Media warns excessive forgiveness could set back outrage narrative hundreds of years (The Babylon Bee)

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

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Erick Erickson: “I do not see an impeachable offense. If I saw one, I would not support the President. What I see are a bunch of people who have long despised the President, have never come to terms with him and are still angry. I am unaware of any person on the national stage right now tweeting ‘I cannot believe you could support him’ who was not thinking the same thing in 2016. What I see is a group of people who have interpreted every single thing the President has done in the worst possible light and are continuing to do so. What I see are the people who were wrong about Hillary Clinton winning, wrong about Russia working with Trump to steal the election and wrong about so many other things now doubling down in self-righteousness with very little humility and absolutely no charity. A lot of people outraged at evangelicals sticking with Trump are modeling a graceless hypocrisy and a sinful impatience. What I also see is a Democratic Party and a media operation that started saying we were at a turning point in February 2017 suddenly start talking about impeachment, which they have actually been doing consistently since 2017. They have wanted this moment all along. We have reached so many turning points, breaking points, tipping points, bombshells and surprises that Washington should resemble Beirut circa 1988.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “Congress is continually appointing fact-finding committees, when what we really need are some fact-facing committees.” —Roger Allen

Limited candle power: “Let me make something clear to Mr. Trump and his hatchet men, and the special interests funding attacks against me — I’m not going anywhere. You’re not going to destroy me. You’re not going to destroy my family.” —Joe Biden, who is destroying himself

Grand delusions: “You know, I’m a serious person but I’m also a fun person but I think I probably came across as too serious.” —Hillary Clinton with yet another excuse for losing in 2016

Verbal gymnastics: “Let me just tell you all, so we can be really clear, because I don’t want to leave you with any misimpressions [sic]. I am not a socialist. I believe in the virtues of capitalism, if capitalism is actually working.” —Sen. Kamala Harris

Gun-grabber: “We have to have a buyback program. And I support a mandatory buyback program. It’s got to be smart. We’ve got to do it the right way. But there are five million [‘assault’ weapons] at least, some estimate as many as 10 million. And we’re going to have to have smart public policy that’s about taking those off the streets, but doing it in the right way.” —Kamala Harris

Non compos mentis: “Police violence is gun violence also.” —Julian Castro

And last… “How is Donald Trump asking countries to stop interfering in our elections ‘impeachable election interference’ [b]ut Democrats saying they have to impeach Trump so he doesn’t win the next election isn’t?” —Charlie Kirk

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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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