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Mid-Day Digest

Oct. 14, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“No nation was ever ruined by trade, even seemingly the most disadvantageous.” —Benjamin Franklin and George Whaley (1774)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

IN BRIEF

U.S. and China Push Pause on Trade War

President Donald Trump announced Friday that the U.S. and China had agreed to a partial trade deal, which Trump referred to as “phase one” of ongoing negotiations. One of Trump’s biggest presidential efforts has been to level the trade playing field with China, and a deal is in the interests of both the president and the entire country.

National Review reports, “The provisions include China purchasing $40 billion to $50 billion worth of American agricultural products, along with agreeing to guidelines on how it manages its currency, and policies with intellectual property, including forced technology transfer.” On America’s part, Trump has agreed to suspend the implementation of another round of tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods that had been scheduled to go into effect on Oct. 15. Trump heralded the deal as “very substantial” while at the same time noting that this was merely the first step in negotiating a broader and more comprehensive deal.

News of the deal sent the markets climbing — the Dow closed nearly 320 points higher Friday. The deal is likely to temporarily settle economic concerns, especially with the possibility of a more comprehensive agreement coming as soon as December. However, this long-running trade war is far from over, as China has yet to agree to make any substantive changes to its abusive trade practices.

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The Big Picture of Trump’s Rallies

“Watching the President in [his rallies], I can’t help but think he needs to do a lot more of these,” says Erick Erickson. “Get him out of the White House, away from the TV, and with the crowds that love him. He feeds off their energy. He is deeply entertaining and funny on the stage. He drives the media crazy. … He needs to do more of these.”

Erickson has a good point. President Donald Trump is a crowd pleaser and a man who loves connecting with people from the stage. His television persona gave Americans a familiarity with him long before he ran for president that made voters amenable to his brand of populism, and he played to that strength in “yuge” rallies across the nation in 2016. It will be a necessary part of his 2020 campaign, too.

He doesn’t speak like a polished politician, rattling off the same old list of policy proposals. Instead, he hits his opponents with broadsides that connect with supporters. For instance, in a Louisiana rally Friday, he declared, “[Democrats have been] trying to stop us for more than three years with a lot of crap. They know they can’t win on Election Day so they’re pursuing an illegal, invalid, and unconstitutional bulls—t impeachment.” That’s salty language, but somehow it works for Trump — because he’s right on the merits.

Not only do Trump’s rallies inspire his supporters, they infuriate his detractors. Gary Bauer writes of last Thursday’s rally in Minneapolis, “Sadly, there was violence after the rally ended. MAGA hats were burned. Trump supporters were assaulted. Leftists waved the flag of communist China. Police officers had to create a path for cars to leave because demonstrators were attacking vehicles in the parking garage. It was a striking contrast. Inside the Target Center, Trump praised our brave men and women in uniform, our soldiers, and police officers. He defended our flag and our country. Outside, the left-wing radicals, the activist base of the Democrat Party, were attacking cops, burning flags, yelling their hatred for America, and assaulting conservatives.”

Furthermore, for those paying attention, that highlights the gross double standard of the mainstream media. Bauer notes, “If, after any speech by a leading Democrat, a mob formed outside and began punching people and attacking cars, every network would be running the footage non-stop. Every Republican would be forced to condemn it on the record. But no elected Democrat … will be asked to condemn what happened on the streets of Minneapolis.”

The more Americans are exposed to the radicalism of the Left, the more Trump’s quirks and idiosyncrasies seem like the sane choice in 2020.

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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

“PUBLIC CHARGE” RULE BLOCKED: “Under the rule,” The Hill reports, “any immigrant who receives at least one designated public benefit — including Medicaid, food stamps, welfare or public housing vouchers — for more than 12 months within any three-year period will be considered a ‘public charge’ and will be more likely to be denied a green card by immigration officials.” Federal Judge George Daniels “said the Trump administration likely exceeded its authority.”

ACTING DHS SECRETARY OUT: “Kevin McAleenan,” Trump said Friday, “has done an outstanding job as Acting Secretary of Homeland Security. We have worked well together with Border Crossings being way down. Kevin now, after many years in Government, wants to spend more time with his family and go to the private sector. … I will be announcing the new Acting Secretary [this] week.”

GOWDY PRECLUDED: As a corollary of lobbying rules, “a deal that [Trump’s legal team] had reached with former South Carolina Republican Representative Trey Gowdy fell through,” The Daily Wire reports.

DUBIOUS TIMING: Hunter Biden stepping down from Chinese firm, vows no foreign work if father wins in 2020 (The Hill)

SYRIA UPDATE: “Defense Secretary Mark Esper confirmed Sunday that President Trump has ordered a larger withdrawal of U.S. forces from northeastern Syria than was previously indicated,” according to The Hill. Meanwhile, Fox News says, “Fresh airstrikes from Turkey reportedly targeted civilians and a group of foreign reporters in the Syrian border town of Ras al-Ayn.”

TALIBAN PEACE TALKS: “U.S. officials and representatives of the Afghan Taliban have begun discussing ways to revive a peace process after talks fell apart last month.” (The Wall Street Journal)

GETTING ITS ACT TOGETHER: Mexico halts caravan of 2,000 migrants bound for U.S. (Fox News)

STOMACH-CHURNING: Master Sgt. Mark Allen dies 10 years after being shot while searching for deserter Bowe Bergdahl (Fox News)

POWER RESTORED: “PG&E Corp. crews have restored power to more than 700,000 homes and businesses in California that had been subjected to a deliberate blackout,” The Sacramento Bee reports. Ironically, many Californians are discovering that solar panels don’t work in blackouts.

VILLAGE ACADEMIC CURRICULUM: Pointing a finger gun lands bullied 12-year-old student in handcuffs (The Kansas City Star)

POLICY: A new dark age: California’s blackouts are self-inflicted (The Daily Signal)

POLICY: Why price transparency can revolutionize healthcare (Tom Coburn)

HUMOR: Elizabeth Warren recalls how she lost her teaching job when her fake mustache fell off revealing she’s a woman (The Babylon Bee)

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

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Jarrett Stepman: “A few historians and activists began to attack [Christopher] Columbus’ legacy in the late 20th century. They concocted a new narrative of Columbus as a rapacious pillager and a genocidal maniac. … The truth is that Columbus set out for the New World thinking he would spread Christianity to regions where it didn’t exist. While Columbus, and certainly his Spanish benefactors, had an interest in the goods and gold he could return from what they thought would be Asia, the explorer’s primary motivation was religious. … Columbus critics don’t just stop at accusing him of greed. One of the biggest allegations against him is that he waged a genocidal war and engaged in acts of cruelty against indigenous people in the Americas. But historians … have debunked these claims. Rather than cruel, Columbus was mostly benign in his interaction with native populations. While deprivations did occur, Columbus was quick to punish those under his command who committed unjust acts against local populations. … Columbus certainly wasn’t a man without flaws or attitudes that would be unacceptable today. But even as a man of an earlier age in which violence and cruelty were often the norm between different cultures and people, Columbus did not engage in the savage acts that have been pinned on him.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “We need true tax reform that will at least make a start toward restoring for our children the American Dream that wealth is denied to no one, that each individual has the right to fly as high as his strength and ability will take him. … But we cannot have such reform while our tax policy is engineered by people who view the tax as a means of achieving changes in our social structure.” —Ronald Reagan

Observations: “At least half the American people understand the Hunter Biden story as a story of the swamp. The elite buddy-buddy-ism. Using your family influence to do well in life. The American people don’t like it.” —Peggy Noonan

Upright: “Americans need to take a strong stand against Chinese censorship and totalitarianism. The American people will have to take the lead. American companies are signaling they like communist money more than American freedom.” —Erick Erickson

For the record: “Godlessness and socialism, godlessness and totalitarianism, godlessness and big government always go hand in hand.” —Allie Beth Stuckey

Political futures: “Here are two very basic questions … that [should] be asked of every [Democrat] candidate: 1) If you now believe that sex is not determined by biology, when did you come to that conclusion? What made you change your mind? Was there any scientific discovery or breakthrough that caused you to believe that men can have vaginas? If not, how did you arrive at your current position? 2) Please define the words ‘woman’ and ‘man.’” —Matt Walsh

On cross-examination: “I used to think she loved the country. She hates the country. Because she wouldn’t be doing this to the country if she didn’t. She hates the country. Nancy Pelosi hates the United States of America. Because she wouldn’t be doing this.” —Donald Trump on impeachment

Broken clock: “I don’t think [Trump’s], intellectually, a powerhouse, but he is basically a very, very smart man. No matter what the subject, any argument he involves himself in, it’s on his terms. You’re always arguing against him. He never, never, is willing to debate an issue on terms that aren’t his. … Anyone that thinks Trump’s going to be beaten easily should have another think coming.” —former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

Friendly fire: “Going after the tax exemption of churches, Islamic centers, or other religious facilities in this country, I think that’s just going to deepen the divisions that we’re already experiencing.” —Pete Buttigieg berating Beto O'Rourke for his stance on taxes and same-sex marriage

The BIG Lie: “No one has asserted my son did a single thing wrong. No one has asserted that I have done anything wrong, except a lying president.” —Joe Biden

Braying jackass: “[Republicans] want to return this country to the white Christian country that they believe it should be again. They don’t want the diversity, and they follow him for this, but they’re not the country. We are a diverse people, we are good and strong because of that, and we’re going to come back to that, I assure you.” —former news anchor Sam Donaldson

Non compos mentis: “If we win in 2020, [Republicans are] done forever. But it’s scary for us, too, because if they win, literally it could be the end of the world.” —Tom Steyer

And last… “Marriage is a religious ceremony. That it’s between one man and one woman is [a] religious view. That it could be with a different number or different genders are other religious views. The government would be taking a religious stance to treat one view as superior to the others.” —Frank J. Fleming

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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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