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Mid-Day Digest

Oct. 31, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” —James Madison (1788)

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

IN BRIEF

‘Whistleblower’ Unmasked?

Evidently within the Washington Beltway the identity of the anti-Trump “whistleblower” — the hack who submitted a complaint over President Donald Trump’s July 25 phone call with the president of Ukraine — has been an open secret for some time. However, due to House Democrat demands that the whistleblower remain anonymous in order to “protect” him from Trump, the mainstream media has dutifully complied. And House Republicans’ hands have largely been tied by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who has forbidden public comments on the specifics of the closed-door hearings.

Thanks to reporting from RealClearInvestigations, however, the secret is out: The anonymous “whistleblower” is likely a 33-year-old government official named Eric Ciaramella. When the Washington Examiner sought to verify the “whistleblower’s” identity with House Republicans, none were willing to give a straightforward confirmation, but several did offer tacit approval.

Tellingly, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) stated, “Well, as far as that particular person, regardless of whether or not he’s a whistleblower, he apparently worked for [former CIA Director John] Brennan. He worked for H.R. McMaster. He worked for [Joe] Biden. He was tasked to the National Security Council on Ukraine.” Gohmert then added, “And, gee, sounds like he’s got bigger problems than being a whistleblower, regardless of whether he is or not.”

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) suggested that reporters should ask Schiff. “I can’t tell you what happens in the depositions,” he said, “but I can tell you there’s one person in one’s group of staff members who know who the whistleblower is and that is Adam Schiff, and so you need to ask him whether this guy is the real deal.” Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) echoed Meadows, stating, “Hey, you need to ask Adam Schiff. Don’t ask me.” And Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) made it clear that while many Republicans strongly suspect that Ciaramella is the whistleblower, only Schiff can confirm it.

With the revelation that Ciaramella is most likely the “whistleblower,” the evidence of this being another deep-state coup attempt is strengthened. Ciaramella, says RealClearInvestigations, is “a registered Democrat held over from the Obama White House, previously worked with former Vice President Joe Biden and former CIA Director John Brennan, [and is] a vocal critic of Trump who helped initiate the Russia ‘collusion’ investigation of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.” He also worked with a DNC “operative who dug up dirt on the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.”

Ciaramella worked in the Trump White House until June 2017, when he left and returned to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, after “he was accused of working against Trump and leaking against Trump,” a former NSC official claimed. Another NCS official said that Ciaramella “didn’t exactly hide his passion with respect to what he thought was the right thing to do with Ukraine and Russia, and his views were at odds with the president’s policies.”

Furthermore, Schiff is more deeply tied to the plot than was previously known. Indeed, RealClearInvestigations reports, “Earlier this year, Schiff recruited two of Ciaramella’s closest allies at the NSC — both whom were also Obama holdovers — to join his committee staff. He hired one, Sean Misko, in August — the same month the whistleblower complaint was filed.” Is it any wonder Democrats have been so adamant over keeping the identity of the “whistleblower” secret?

Again, House Democrats, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA) and Schiff, have orchestrated this impeachment charade in a secretive manner in order to control the political narrative surrounding it. Their vote to approve a resolution this morning does little to change that.

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Why the Economic Slowdown?

The economy may be slowing a bit, according to the latest GDP numbers showing growth of just 1.9% in the third quarter. Yesterday’s White House announcement says it’s good news, though notably without using the number 1.9: “The current economic expansion, which began roughly a decade ago, became the longest in U.S. history on July 1, 2019, beating the previous record that lasted from March 1991 through March 2001. As today’s advance Gross Domestic Product (GDP) release confirms, economic growth continued in the third quarter of 2019, beating market expectations and adding to the expansion’s record length. The release also confirms that the Trump Administration’s policies support sustained economic growth and lead to higher incomes for American families. … Furthermore, under President Obama’s expansion period, real GDP grew at only a 2.2 percent annual rate compared to the Trump Administration’s 2.6 percent rate.”

There’s a lot to unpack in that statement. While it’s important to note that no president truly controls the economy or is solely responsible for its growth or stagnation, Barack Obama oversaw the slowest recovery in history. It was slow because of his Big Government “stimulus” and massive regulation, all of which very nearly brought another recession in 2015 and 2016. By the way, the whole reason for the recession that began under George W. Bush was Democrat housing policies put it place a decade prior.

Candidate Trump talked a big game about the economy, and as president he has in many ways delivered. Record-low unemployment and solid wage gains for workers are in part spurred by his significant deregulation and across-the-board tax cuts, as is GDP that finally reached 3% for the first time in a decade.

So, why the lackluster GDP growth lately? For one thing, full employment is great for workers, but it’s harder to grow a business when there aren’t many workers to add and retaining the ones you have costs more money. (Tomorrow’s unemployment report will reveal more.)

And then there’s the elephant in the room. As National Review notes, “The lackluster numbers come amid concerns that the economy is slowing down as trade battles with China and other countries continue to burden American companies and consumers.”

The Wall Street Journal also blames the slowdown on Trump’s tariffs. “The strong evidence is that trade policy is the main growth culprit. U.S. manufacturing has slumped, which is related to slowing exports. Slower growth in China from the trade war has reduced the exports of U.S. farm, industrial and construction equipment,” says the Journal. (Manufacturing is now the smallest share of the economy in 72 years.) “A study by Federal Reserve economists this year looked at two waves of trade policy ‘shock,’ first in 2018 and then in the first half of 2019, and estimated the impact reduced GDP growth by about one percentage point.”

While not arguing for Trump’s tariffs, we have endeavored to explain his strategy in a trade war that he did not start. In short, he’s using a strong economy as leverage to correct a lot of long-term trade abuse by other nations, and we think Rust Belt voters are among those who are grateful that someone is finally fighting for the U.S. instead of for the globalists. Whether Trump’s strategy pays off is yet to be determined.

Are there economic warning signs? Yes, but caveat emptor: Democrats and the Leftmedia would love to undermine consumer confidence by playing up those signs. Maintaining perspective is incredibly important.

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ON OUR WEBSITE TODAY

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BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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

TOP NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

RULES APPROVED: Democrats push impeachment rules package through House (Associated Press)

BOLTON SUMMONED: Former national security advisor John Bolton summoned to testify in House impeachment inquiry (Associated Press)

“WEAPONIZED IMPEACHMENT”: Nancy Pelosi targeted in ethics complaint filed by 40 conservative groups (Fox News)

MYSTERY SOLVED: “The co-chairman of a Turkish-American advocacy group with close ties to Ankara contributed $1,500 last month to the campaign for Rep. Ilhan Omar, who is under fire this week over votes she cast supporting Turkish government positions.” (The Daily Caller)

NO MORE ADS: Twitter bans political ads ahead of 2020 election (Associated Press)

SHOT DOWN: Pennsylvania judge throws out Pittsburgh gun-control measures (The Washington Free Beacon)

MIND-BOGGLING: Police blew up an innocent man’s house in search of an armed shoplifter. Too bad, court rules. (The Washington Post)

RAID TAPE: U.S. releases Baghdadi raid video, warns of likely retribution attack (Reuters)

POLICY: The Supreme Court should end DACA (National Review)

POLICY: How micro-school networks expand learning options (Foundation for Economic Education)

HUMOR: Ocasio-Cortez applauds California for using natural light from wildfires instead of electric lighting from fossil fuels (Genesius Times)

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

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Cal Thomas: “The unfairness of it all is what strikes many people. Polls are fluid; some indicating a majority favor the investigation, but oppose impeachment and the president’s removal from office, especially this close to the next election. Let the people decide is the mantra one hears in some voter interviews. President Trump’s greatest weapon, other than truth, is what he has done for the economy, judges, and the pro-life movement. Perhaps no Republican could have done it better. These are winning issues. The establishment knows it and that’s why this horror movie continues to play out. Call it trick or trick.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “Socialism proposes no adequate substitute for the motive of enlightened selfishness that today is at the basis of all human labor and effort, enterprise and new activity.” —William Howard Taft (1857-1930)

Political futures: “If the reports about the whistleblower’s identity are true, it raises grave, fundamental concerns about the basis of this Ukraine investigation — and explains why Washington Democrats continue making every effort to hide information from Americans.” —Rep. Mark Meadows

Bluster: “I do not take any pleasure in the need for this [impeachment] resolution. We are not here in some partisan exercise. We are here because the facts compel us to be here. There is serious evidence that President Trump may have violated the Constitution.” —Rep. James McGovern

You’ve been warned: “Our campaign is not only about changing the system politically and economically. We will change the value system of this country.” —Bernie Sanders

Non compos mentis: “All speech is not equal. And where truth cannot drive out lies, we must add new guardrails. I’m all for protecting ‘thought that we hate,’ but not speech that incites hate. It undermines the very values of a fair marketplace of ideas that the First Amendment is designed to protect.” —former Time editor Richard Stengel

Demo-gogues: “I’ve mostly been flying commercial, um, but we’ve been trying to look at other ways that we can reduce our carbon footprint and it’s everything from the kind of car we drive … to … do we purchase offsets? Can we make that work as a way to try to reduce the footprint?” —Sen. Elizabeth Warren

And last… “There was more coverage of Trump posting a meme of a dog getting a fake medal than there was of Trump giving an actual war hero the Medal of Honor… That tells you everything you need to know about the Mainstream Media. They hate Trump more than they love America.” —Charlie Kirk

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TODAY’S MEME

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TODAY’S CARTOON

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