Mid-Day Digest

Feb. 18, 2020

THE FOUNDATION

“There exists in the economy and course of nature, an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness; between duty and advantage; between the genuine maxims of an honest and magnanimous policy, and the solid rewards of public prosperity and felicity.” —George Washington (1789)

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IN TODAY’S DIGEST

FEATURED ANALYSIS

Obama on Trump Economy: ‘You Didn’t Build That’

Nate Jackson

Remember when Barack Obama used to blame George W. Bush for the bad economy that persisted years into his presidency? Neither does Obama. Now he’s trying to take credit for Donald Trump’s economy.

“Eleven years ago today, near the bottom of the worst recession in generations, I signed the Recovery Act, paving the way for more than a decade of economic growth and the longest streak of job creation in American history,” Obama boasted on “Presidents’ Day.”

First, we’ll stipulate something that isn’t said often enough: In America’s free-market economy, presidents have less impact on the economy than they take credit or receive blame for. Presidents are not kings or central-planning despots, even if, like Obama, they try to be. It’s also true that every president claims credit for the good and blames the other guy for the bad. That’s politics.

But let’s also set the record straight — again.

The “Great Recession” of 2008-2009 was seeded in the 1990s with Democrat policies regarding mortgage lending. The bubble that created took more than a decade to burst, but when it did, the crisis of confidence yielded the worst recession since the Great Depression.

It’s also arguable that, unpopular and controversial as it was, Bush prevented a worse catastrophe by working with the Democrat Congress to bail out major banks. That decision certainly remains open for criticism, but Obama, to coin a phrase, didn’t build that.

What Obama did build was the slowest recovery in U.S. history. When the economy is, as he said, “near the bottom,” the only place to go is up. But it took a long time to move up because Obama increased federal spending dramatically, passing out “stimulus” cash to his favored constituency groups while promising “shovel-ready jobs” that never really materialized. Where the economy did grow, such as the energy sector, it was despite Obama’s best efforts to stifle that growth with draconian regulations and higher taxes. Obama oversaw two terms without a single year exceeding 3% economic growth — the average was just 2.1%. That was unprecedented, and it was appallingly bad for a recovery.

It is true that since Obama signed the Recovery Act America has seen uninterrupted job and economic growth. Even Leftmedia “fact-checkers” would rake him over the coals if that weren’t the case.

Yet in 2016, there were persistent rumblings of another recession as the economy slowed to a crawl. The likely reason that didn’t come to pass is Trump’s election. As his campaign press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, rightly argued, “President Trump reversed every single failed Obama-era economic policy, and with it, reversed the floundering Obama/Biden economy.”

Trump grossly overstates the case when he claims, as he did in his State of the Union Address, that “our economy is the best it has ever been.” But his policies of reducing taxes and regulation removed significant obstacles to economic growth and ensured that we are, to coin another phrase, better off today than we were four years ago.

That’s really the point of Obama’s empty boast. He knows Democrats are in trouble this year, so, without a Democrat-induced recession in sight to derail Trump’s momentum, the best Obama can do is claim credit where it isn’t due.

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Bloomberg’s Record of Demeaning and Disrespecting Women

Thomas Gallatin

“Michael Bloomberg’s History of Demeaning Comments About Women” was the title of a story published in The New York Times last November as he was preparing to enter the Democrat presidential primary. The article noted a booklet Bloomberg was presented by members of his company in 1990 at his 48th birthday celebration. The booklet was entitled The Portable Bloomberg: The Wit and Wisdom of Michael Bloomberg, and it contained several sexist quotes attributed to Bloomberg, such as: “If women wanted to be appreciated for their brains, they’d go to the library instead of to Bloomingdale’s.”

In another quote, Bloomberg made a sales pitch for his computer terminal that “will do everything, including give you [oral sex],” to which he added, “I guess that puts a lot of you girls out of business.”

The Washington Post also ran a story highlighting Bloomberg’s sexist history entitled, “Mike Bloomberg for years has battled women’s allegations of profane, sexist comments.” The Post’s article was even more hard-hitting than the Times, noting criticism that Bloomberg’s company was “considered to be a hostile environment, artifacts of a workplace employees said was saturated with degrading comments.” The Post reported a history of lawsuits that women employees raised against Bloomberg for discrimination, sexual harassment, and degradation.

One case over workplace discrimination appears to sum up the many accusations of Bloomberg’s history of sexist and demeaning comments:

On April 11, 1995 at approximately 11:20 a.m., Bloomberg was having a photograph taken with two female Company salespeople and a group of N.Y.U. Business School students, in the company snack area. When Bloomberg noticed Garrison standing nearby, he asked, “Why didn’t they ask you to be in the picture? I guess they saw your face.”

Continuing his penchant for ridiculing recently married women in his employ, Bloomberg asked plaintiff, “How’s married life? You married?” Plaintiff responded that her marriage was great and was going to get better in a few months: that she was pregnant, and the baby was due the following September.

He responded to her “Kill it!” Plaintiff asked Bloomberg to repeat himself, and again he said, “Kill it!” and muttered, “Great! Number 16!” suggesting to plaintiff his unhappiness that sixteen women in the Company had maternity-related status. Then he walked away.

Bloomberg’s former employee, David Zielenziger, claimed to have witnessed the conversation and called Bloomberg’s comment “outrageous.” He said, “I understood why she took offense.” Bloomberg continues to deny that he made the comment, and the lawsuit was eventually confidentially settled.

Bloomberg apparently has a history of berating female employees who became pregnant. On one occasion, upon hearing of an employee’s recent pregnancy, Bloomberg allegedly asked, “What the hell did you do a thing like that for?” On another occasion, when he learned that a female employee was having difficulty finding a nanny for her newborn child, Bloomberg blasted, “It’s a f—ing baby! All it does is eat and s—! It doesn’t know the difference between you and anyone else! All you need is some black who doesn’t have to speak English to rescue it from a burning building.”

With his clearly negative attitude toward women and pregnancy, it comes as no surprise that Bloomberg is a big proponent of abortion. As the Times reports, “Mr. Bloomberg has donated tens of millions of dollars to support reproductive rights and women’s health causes around the world, his aides said.” The former national chairwoman of Planned Parenthood spoke glowingly of Bloomberg, calling him “one of the biggest champions for women in the country and all over the world.” She touted a $250,000 donation he gave to the abortion mill in 2012 after a major donor had pulled funding.

However, no matter how much Bloomberg works to ingratiate himself to leftist feminists, the Post cogently observes, “The allegations that he tolerated a hostile office culture could undercut his ability to criticize President Trump’s alleged sexual misconduct and efforts to keep such claims private.”

These allegations appear to be just the tip of the iceberg as the white-hot spotlight focused by both political opponents and media outlets begins to expose Bloomberg’s record for the entire country. It will be interesting to see if Bloomberg is able to survive this scrutiny and win the support of female voters, which is essential if he has any hope of defeating Trump, let alone his Democrat opponents.

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The Moral Bankruptcy of the BSA’s National Board

Mark Alexander

“A good moral character is the first essential in a man, and that the habits contracted at your age are generally indelible, and your conduct here may stamp your character through life. It is therefore highly important that you should endeavor not only to be learned but virtuous.” —George Washington (1790)

“On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.” —Oath, Boy Scouts of America

As a former Scout, a Scout leader, the father of two Eagle Scouts, and a BSA Executive Council member, it grieves me to report that the national BSA board has, as I estimated it would a year ago, declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The declaration was the result of lawsuits brought by the victims of sexual predators, who concealed their predatory behavior in decades past in order to access a virtually unlimited field of young boys. According to The Washington Times, this “could be one of the biggest, most complex bankruptcies” ever. A lawyer for more than 300 victim plaintiffs, Michael Pfau, asserts, “You’re talking about tens of thousands of victims. This will be the largest bankruptcy the country has ever seen.”

For clarity, there is a significant distinction between the national BSA board and local Scouting councils — the latter effectively operate as autonomous, setting their own standards for leadership and membership. As the national board has made clear, the local councils “are legally separate, distinct and financially independent from the national organization.” Most councils, as is the case with the one I serve, have very high standards for troop and pack leadership and membership.

On the other hand, the national BSA board sold out in 2015 when, against all reason and logic, it voted to allow local councils to admit adult homosexual leaders. That was an apparent appeasement by wealthy national BSA board corporate types, who did not want their own companies boycotted by leftist “heterophobic gender deniers” accusing the BSA of being “homophobic” because the organization did not allow homosexual leaders. And in leftist-controlled states, there were legal actions against this once-highly esteemed private organization for not allowing gender disoriented leaders.

So, today the Boy Scouts of America national board is declaring bankruptcy because of homosexual predation on boys by Scout leaders over the last 40 years — and at the same time revelations about this history of abuse were surfacing five years ago, the BSA board, in its detached and warped sense of obligatory social justice, opened its doors to homosexual leaders. What could go wrong?

No organization can fully protect itself from pedophile predators, but inviting those with deviant sexual predilections into the ranks of Scouting was a grossly negligent decision. While the Boy Scouts oath is still the standard by which Scouts are held, the national BSA board abandoned its “morally straight” mandate and will pay the price well into the future.

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History: 1776 vs. 1619

Lewis Morris

A wide-ranging group of writers from ideologically diverse backgrounds has come together to challenge leftist assertions in the New York Times’s 1619 Project that the United States was built on slavery. In response, the educational series 1776 was recently launched by the Woodson Center under the guidance of longtime activist and scholar Robert Woodson.

The Woodson Center was founded in 1981 to raise awareness and funding for neighborhoods seeking to solve critical community problems through innovative initiatives. Robert Woodson began 1776 as a direct response to the misguided and harmful history put forth by the Times.

Woodson described the 1619 Project as a “lethal” narrative that perpetuates a culture of victimhood in the African American community by claiming that life for blacks in America has been predetermined by slavery and Jim Crow.

“This garbage that is coming down from the scholars and writers from 1619 is most hypocritical because they don’t live in communities [that are] suffering,” said Woodson. “They are advocating something they don’t have to pay the penalty for.”

Glenn Loury, economics professor at Brown University and 1776 contributor, added, “The idea that the specter of slavery still determines the character of life among African Americans is an affront to me. I believe in America, and I believe in black people. Something tells me … the 1619 Project authors don’t. They don’t believe in America … and I’m sorry to have to report, I get the impression they don’t believe in black people.”

Since its launch last year, the 1619 Project has been widely criticized by numerous academics and journalists. It pushes glaring historical inaccuracies through a leftist-driven narrative about slavery in America and the supposed lack of progress of black people since 1865.

Despite the criticism The New York Times has faced, the rag continues to push the 1619 Project, which, unfortunately, has been embraced countrywide by thousands of schools. When Pulitzer Prize-winning historian James McPherson called upon the Times to issue a correction regarding its claim that the Revolutionary War was fought to maintain slavery, New York Times Magazine editor Jake Silverstein refused. He responded, “Historical understanding is not fixed; it is constantly being adjusted by new scholarship and new voices.” Spoken like a true leftist.

By comparison, the 1776 initiative seeks to tell a more balanced story about African American history. Contributors include academics, journalists, and activists across the political spectrum. Among the topics addressed in several essays are the moral meaning of America; what the new morality of “stain” and “purity” seeks to accomplish; Black America’s algorithm for entrepreneurship and success; critical race theory’s toxic impact on America; acknowledging slavery’s limits in defining America; and several others.

These essays, according to Woodson, “counter the false history that the 1619 Project espouses and has disseminated as a school curriculum. Our focus will be to identify and highlight solutions, models of success in reviving our streets and communities, and actionable goals that should be pursued.”

1776 will not refute every ugly anti-American lie that the 1619 Project has perpetuated. That would take too long. Instead, 1776 offers an inspirational alternative that encourages people about the history of the greatest country on earth.

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There Is No Bending of Gender

Robin Smith

“The Dangerous Denial of Sex: Transgender ideology harms women, gays — and especially feminine boys and masculine girls.” This recent Wall Street Journal headline for a column co-written by a Penn State evolutionary biologist and a University of Manchester developmental biologist serves as additional information in the battle to protect children from adults.

Brutal, you say?

Some suggest kids know they’re born in the wrong body or that their behavior demonstrates a mistake of their God-given biology. But the growing demand for sex-change efforts for minors, even young children, is a result only of the warped adults in the lives of these children, not independent decisions by children themselves.

NBC is following the “courageous” story of one family with a nine-year-old girl now taking puberty blockers to help fight off nature and science. The one identifying as the father claims, “He’s [sic] becoming educated on what future choices he’ll [sic] need to make” knowing that the next step is surgery. The family insists that the girl has known since she was a toddler that she is really a boy. Hogwash. Mom has books to sell — that’s why this is happening.

Meanwhile in South Dakota, courage was being sought in a recent state government attempt to protect children from the irreversible impact of sex-change surgery. The Vulnerable Child Protection Act would have prohibited chemical hormone interference or surgical removal of a child’s body parts because of how their behavior, tendencies, or whims can be supported through the swarm of social media. The proposal passed the South Dakota House 47-23 but failed to exit a Senate committee despite shocking testimony from actual patients who regret surgical and chemical reversals.

Among those testifying was Scott Newgent, a 47-year-old “transgender” man-born-female who pursued complete chemical and surgical transition. Newgent’s testimony before the South Dakota Senate was that, after $1 million for operations and care, the result is to be “dependent on drugs and doctors for the rest of my life.” That is clearly not something a child can consent to. Newgent declared, “A hundred medically transitioned adults [are] standing behind me with a signed petition that they are also against medically transitioning children.”

The heartbreaking comments from Elaine Davidson, an Oregon mother whose daughter had both breasts surgical removed and a complete hysterectomy at age 17, point the finger of blame at therapists who steered her child toward sex transition rather than address the mother’s concerns about autism. She learned of her child’s surgeries via social media, as her estranged daughter could obtain life-altering interventions in Oregon as young as age 14 without parental consent.

Face it: There are activists, therapists, “healthcare” providers, and opportunists who contribute to the deception of some spectrum of sex or gender. Biologically, there are two sexes.

There is a spectrum of behavior that uses stereotypical actions to fuel the deception of this social construct of gender identity, rather than a binary sex determined at birth by the presence of either the XX or XY chromosomes along with corresponding sex hormones matching the reproductive anatomy.

Behavior is not biology as it relates to sex determination. Some men enjoy what could be argued are more feminine activities. Similarly, some women enjoy activities more traditionally performed by men. It doesn’t matter to biology: Men are still men, and women are still women.

As for the biologists writing in the WSJ, their words demonstrate the simple fact that it is our culture that has created gender confusion: “The evolutionary function of these two anatomies is to aid in reproduction via the fusion of sperm and ova. No third type of sex cell exists in humans, and therefore there is no sex ‘spectrum’ or additional sexes beyond male and female. Sex is binary.”

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NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Jordan Candler

GRAB THE POPCORN: Racially insensitive elitist Michael Bloomberg makes debate stage, facing bellicose Democrat rivals for first time (AP)

SHADY: Bloomberg funding network of climate lawyers inside state AG offices (Fox News)

MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE: Reporter who caught Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch in their tarmac meeting says, “There’s so much that doesn’t add up” (RedState)

FOREIGN COLLUSION: Democrat senators reportedly held secret meeting in Munich with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif (The Federalist)

VIRTUE SIGNALING: Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion to fight climate change climate alarmists (The Washington Post)

SHRINKING DEMAND: Apple says coronavirus will stunt its quarterly earnings (National Review)

UAE GOES NUCLEAR: First nuclear reactor in Arab nation cleared to begin operation (Washington Examiner)

POLICY: Social Security is a terrible “investment” (Mises Institute)

POLICY: How to rein in China? The Middle East offers clues (American Enterprise Institute)

HUMOR: Bloomberg stops by Daytona 500 to hand out speeding tickets (The Babylon Bee)

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

The Patriot Post is a certified ad-free news service, unlike third-party commercial news sites linked on this page, which may also require a paid subscription.

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VIDEOS

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow.” —Aesop (c. 620–564 BC)

Braying jenny: “You can’t have an acquittal unless you have a trial, and you can’t have a trial unless you have witnesses and documents — so he can say he’s acquitted, and the headlines can say ‘acquitted,’ but he’s impeached forever: branded with that, and not vindicated.” —House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

The BIG Lie: “Eleven years ago … near the bottom of the worst recession in generations, I signed the Recovery Act, paving the way for more than a decade of economic growth and the longest streak of job creation in American history.” —Barack Obama

Political futures: “I would be honored to run for vice president with the nominee. … Of course I want to serve America. Of course I want to be a patriot and do this work, and so I’d say yes.” —failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams

Tone deaf: “[The Roger Stone issue] has been … the greatest abuse of power I have ever seen at the hands of this president who has no sense of decency or understanding of the Constitution, and [Attorney General William] Barr facilitating it is beyond my comprehension. No president, no president, no president has ever intimidated an attorney general into abusing power as much as this man has.” —Joe Biden, who knows a thing or two about abuse of power

Grand delusions: “Every single solitary person that [Trump is] firing now testified under oath that … I did my job perfectly … I was honorable. Everything I did was by the numbers. And that prosecutor we fired should have been fired, period. And there was no investigation going on in Burisma.” —Joe Biden

Alpha jackass: “Legalize all the DACA students. These DACA students are more American than most Americans are.” —Joe Biden

Non compos mentis: “There’s a Yale study just out that shows that our current system, if we move to Medicare for All, we would save 68,000 lives a year. That makes the private insurance in America the eighth leading cause of death in the country.” —former Bernie Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver

Parroting American Democrat talking points: “In some countries, the laws do not allow for the existence of democracy in the true sense of the word, including the United States itself! In the U.S., which is supposedly the center of democracy … their [Electoral College system] has been shaped in a way that a person who has won fewer popular votes than another becomes the president! … Is this democracy? Is this rule of the popular vote? This is not how it works in our country.” —Iran Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei

And last… “Barack Obama said it would take a ‘magic wand’ to create the type of economy [Donald Trump] has. Now he wants to take credit for 7 million new jobs, lowest ever black unemployment, and record wage growth? In the words of the 44th president himself — you didn’t build that, Barack.” —Charlie Kirk

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