Mid-Day Digest

Mar. 6, 2020

THE FOUNDATION

“Industry is increased, commodities are multiplied, agriculture and manufacturers flourish: and herein consists the true wealth and prosperity of a state.” —Alexander Hamilton (1790)

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IN TODAY’S DIGEST

Editor’s Note: Don’t forget, this weekend is Daylight Saving Time. If you want to chuckle about the annoyance, check out our tongue-in-cheek coverage from two years ago.

FEATURED ANALYSIS

Jobs Report a Shot in the Arm for Economy

Nate Jackson

Amidst the general hysteria over coronavirus, the stock market has experienced wild volatility. That uncertainty didn’t extend to the February jobs market.

The U.S. economy created a remarkable 273,000 jobs in February, vastly surpassing expectations, while the December and January reports were revised upwards by 85,000 for a three-month average of 243,000. The headline unemployment rate dropped one notch to 3.5%, while the fuller U-6 measure edged up to 7%. That’s actually a sign of health, however, as more people are searching for jobs. Wage growth held steady at 3%.

That isn’t to say past performance is any guarantee of future results.

Coronavirus is still interrupting markets all over the world, and it could bring jobs numbers down drastically in coming months. Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank, warned, “This could be the last perfect employment report the market gets for some time.” Mark Hamrick, a senior economic analyst for Bankrate, argued, “The new reality amid tremendous uncertainty is the world has experienced a seismic shift reflected recently in financial markets in anticipation of potentially damaging economic impacts still to come since the February jobs data was collected.”

In other words, stay tuned but don’t panic. The latter is exactly what Democrats want, but it’s not what American families need. The U.S. economy is in a strong position to handle adversity.

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Warren’s Unplanned Exit

Michael Swartz

Elizabeth Warren’s claim to fame is that she has a plan for everything. Alas, both the planning and execution of her presidential campaign were miserable, so the senator from Massachusetts — who came to national prominence when she was tapped by President Barack Obama to set up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2010 — suspended her campaign yesterday. Technically, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and her two hard-won delegates from American Samoa remain in the race, but she’s a non-factor. Thus, Warren’s departure leaves Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders to duke it out, and neither old white guy received Warren’s endorsement.

So, what went wrong for Warren?

After reaching the top of the polls for a brief time last fall, her popularity waned as she failed to win over voters who’d previously backed also-rans such as Kamala Harris and Cory Booker. She placed third in Iowa behind Pete Buttigieg and Sanders, then an awful fourth in New Hampshire, behind Minnesota’s Amy Klobuchar. And even as Klobuchar and Buttigieg left the race and fell in behind Biden, Warren’s paltry pickup of 55 Super Tuesday delegates was barely a third of what Sanders has so far won in California alone. Most telling of all, Warren finished third in her home state of Massachusetts.

Warren’s whoppers — including her bogus claim of Native American ancestry — are well documented, and her failure to drop out at the same time as Klobuchar and Buttigieg certainly harmed Sanders. President Donald Trump noted as much, claiming that she cost the Vermont socialist wins in Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Texas — states where Sanders lost narrowly to Biden. Warren did, however, do the electorate a favor by single-handedly destroying the campaign of billionaire Mike Bloomberg, but even those votes went Biden’s way.

In the end, Warren simply made too many missteps. Tone-deaf to criticism about her plan to forgive student-loan debt, she shamelessly pandered to other groups by promoting a Medicare for All plan full of “unworkable reforms” and vowing to allow a “transgender” child the right of first refusal on her pick to head up the Department of Education.

Warren might well have had a plan for everything, but her schemes were mostly nonstarters to all but the inhabitants of the ivory tower — academics who deal with the theoretical and not the practical.

And while there’s quite a bit of fun to be had at Warren’s expense thanks to the whole “Fauxcahontas” episode, she’s likely to be around for years to come. Her Senate seat is safe until 2024, and her heightened status means her nagging will echo around the Swamp whenever she deigns to be heard.

After all, this is the woman who addressed questions of sexism (among Democrat primary voters) by saying, “That is the trap question for every woman. If you say, ‘Yeah, there was sexism in this race,’ everyone says, ‘Whiner.’ And if you say, ‘No, there was no sexism,’ about a bazillion women think, ‘What planet do you live on?’”

For now, though, she can have herself a beer and ponder what might have been. And given the Democrats’ penchant for septuagenarian presidential candidates, Warren could always launch her 2024 campaign at the ripe young age of 74.

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Women Excel in the Trump Era

Brian Mark Weber

President Donald Trump issued a proclamation last week recognizing Women’s History Month in March. “My administration,” he wrote, “is committed to empowering all women across the Nation and around the world to continue pursuing their dreams and lifting humanity to new heights. As president, I have championed policies that create economic prosperity and opportunity, enabling women to thrive as workers, parents, consumers, innovators, entrepreneurs, and investors.”

This sounds like standard presidential lip service, but with one big difference: The Trump administration has real statistics to back up his claims.

For example, during his first year in office, the president directed $200 million in technology education grants to women and minorities in order to promote tech-based careers and resolve the concern over gender inequality in that industry. And let’s not forget this president’s support for the pro-life movement. Trump has a stellar record of appointing pro-life judges, has boldly condemned legislation that allows abortion throughout pregnancy, and earlier this year became the first president to attend the March for Life.

As for those parents already with children, Trump and the Republican Congress expanded the child tax credit in his first year, which doubled the per-child credit for middle-income families.

And with likely Democrat nominee Joe Biden already having pledged to eliminate Trump’s tax cuts for families, we’ll have a clear contrast between a pro-family president and an anti-family challenger.

What else has the Trump administration done for women’s progress?

In 2019, first daughter Ivanka Trump revealed the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative. Joanne Lu writes that the program “aims to get all U.S. foreign assistance agencies — including the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Peace Corps and six others — to give top priority to push for women’s economic development.” In addition, “it sets up a $50 million fund for USAID to invest in new programs that can help make it easier for women to find jobs, start their own businesses and do business.”

Sure, these policies all sound good, but are there real numbers to back up Trump’s efforts?

One of the more noteworthy developments during Trump’s first term is the significant drop in female unemployment. As of this week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the unemployment rate for women is at 3.5%, the lowest number since 1953. The bureau also reports that the U.S. economy has not only added more than four million jobs for women since Trump’s election, but also more than 58% of the 7.1 million jobs added have gone to women.

All this makes for an impressive record to run on in November — especially with suburban women, a constituency that went strongly for Democrats in the 2018 midterms.

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National COVID-19 Need to Know — Update

Mark Alexander

What follows are a couple of snapshots regarding the COVID-19 viral outbreak this week.

First, some reliable medical perspective…

I have several longtime and trusted friends whom I have consulted over the years on potential epidemic issues. They are career disease specialists and former military physicians who understand the government response context, and who have now been in private practice for decades. Collectively, they agree on the following assessment at this point.

The key issues are that COVID-19 is contagious prior to symptoms, the incubation period appears to be longer, and we don’t yet have effective antiviral therapy or a vaccine — hopefully coming soon. These are the obvious reasons why the non-medical impact will be significant, and why it is going to be more difficult to contain.

They note further that mortality rates with past flu epidemics have varied widely, especially with regard to age groups, so it’s difficult to compare overall mortality statistics. We don’t yet have a firm understanding of the mortality implications although it could be as high as 3.4%. For numerous reasons, COVID-19 is not as bad as the 1918 influenza epidemic or, more recently, the SARS outbreak. But it will likely be worse than H1N1 in older adults but not kids.

They note we don’t know the extent of the disease spread because, until the last 10 days, testing protocols have delayed our active surveillance of the spread. Like all virulent seasonal flu outbreaks, it will spread nationwide — and likely already has. The daily “dramatic spread” media reports are because we are only now testing for it. Whether this will cost more lives than the worst year on record in the last decade (63,000 U.S. deaths)? It may.

Second, President Donald Trump canceled his visit to the CDC today after signing the $8.3 billion congressional spending bill.

An unfortunate un-presidential “stream of consciousness” yesterday provided yet another opening for Democrats to politicize the outbreak and condemn Trump. In an interview, Trump stated, “I think the 3.4% [death rate] is a false number. Now, this is just my hunch… If we have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better, just by sitting around and even going to work, some of them go to work, but they get better and then…”

NO! The hard and fast rule in our Patriot Post publishing house is — and should be in any business — if you are sick, STAY HOME.

Mike Pence is handling this well — the president needs to stop talking “hunches” and stop repeating that there are just a few deaths and serious illnesses. The fact is, like most flu outbreaks, there are potentially going to be thousands of deaths and millions of infections. As I noted last week in our “Coronavirus Reality Check,” the current U.S. flu season has already resulted in 29 MILLION diagnosed cases, 280 THOUSAND hospitalizations, and more than 16 THOUSAND deaths. COVID-19 is going to result in many more infections and deaths than it has so far.

For disgraceful Democrat Party leaders to use deaths and illnesses as political fodder should be met with condemnation from ALL quarters.

Third, in a very uniformed analysis in the otherwise-reliable Washington Examiner, Adam Smith Institute Fellow Tim Worstall chastised Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) for his condemnation of Amazon for allowing “price gouging,” rapid price increases of products (10X and more) on the basis of the current pandemic fear. According to Worstall, “The high prices will make sure that those who really want and need the supplies are the ones who get them.”

It is truly mind-numbing, Beltway-detached logic to suggest that $399 for a couple bottles of Purell hand sanitizer ensures that an elderly person with limited income and at greatest risk of death will have access to it.

For the record, 34 states have laws against price gouging in emergencies, and the Supreme Court has rightly upheld those laws once emergencies have been declared. Currently, Washington, California, Maryland, and Florida have declared states of emergency related to coronavirus.

What Worstall should have pointed out is the irony that Demos are complaining about price gouging at the same time they and their Leftmedia outlets are fomenting the panic.

Finally, visit our comprehensive resource page on COVID-19, “The Flu and You,” to be adequately informed and prepared for what will likely be a bad flu year.

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Hillary Clinton’s Unending Effort to Rehab Her Image

Thomas Gallatin

Hillary Clinton is clearly too much of a narcissist to accept the fact that most Americans don’t share her high opinion of Hillary Clinton. After spending the past three years blaming her historic election defeat to President Donald Trump on everyone from the Russians to former FBI Director James Comey to women overly beholden to their husbands or boyfriends, Clinton’s out today with a new Hulu documentary series clearly aimed at rehabilitating her public image.

Simply titled “Hillary,” the hagiography includes Clinton complaining that she is “the most investigated innocent person in America.” Lamenting her supposed mistreatment by the mainstream media — a media machine that clearly favored her over Trump — Clinton complains this goes “all the way back to the Whitewater days.” She insists, “I’ve never understood this and I will got to my grave not understanding it. All these things get disproved, but the press, and I’m talking about the major press, they always bite … and I don’t know why.”

Talk about your textbook example of cognitive dissonance. There is clearly no end to Clinton’s attempt to brand herself as history’s biggest “victim” of bad press.

Honestly, it gets tiresome rehashing the plethora of ways in which Clinton has repeatedly demonstrated her absolute lack of fitness for office, and that’s not including her likely criminal behavior. To put it simply, Clinton’s unlikableness stems in large part from her almost pathological penchant for lying.

Just one example is Clinton’s continuing insistence that her illegal email setup when she served as secretary of state did not break any laws. “When I became secretary of state I decided to use the server that had been set up for Bill and his former president’s office. I did it as a matter of convenience. There was no regulation against it; there was nothing against it. Everybody knew I was doing it because they were all emailing me and I was emailing them and that was hundreds and hundreds of people in government.”

Well, that explanation doesn’t comport with reality, as the FBI not only concluded that Clinton’s home-brew server broke government rules but also determined that her doing so compromised classified information that was subsequently accessed by foreign actors like the Russians and Chinese.

As New York Times chief White House reporter Peter Baker cogently observed, “If [Hillary Clinton] decides it’s an okay thing to do it’s okay. … Anyone who criticizes it must be doing so for illegitimate reasons. They’re partisan. They’re enemies.” And Hillary’s always just minding her own business, being a good girl, when she’s mugged by her political opponents. Right…

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Will Roberts Reverse on Abortion Laws?

Thomas Gallatin

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in June Medical Services v. Russo, a case challenging the 2014 Louisiana law that requires abortion providers to have admittance privileges to nearby hospitals. As The Washington Times put it, “The case is being closely watched as the first major test of abortion law after the departure of Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy. Advocates on both sides of the ideological divide wonder whether the conservative majority will take this chance to give states more room to experiment with restrictions.”

The law was introduced by Louisiana state Sen. Katrina Jackson, who is that rarest of birds — a pro-life Democrat. Jackson responded to those objecting to the law, saying, “When you don’t [have admittance privileges] you have no connection with a hospital within a 30-mile radius, you have absolutely no connection with the hospital that your patient is being transported by emergency services to, so the doctors at the ER have to figure it out; they have to take it from the EMT instead of the physician that performed the procedure. And so I just thought it was a common sense piece of legislation; everyone would understand it regardless of what type of care you were providing to your patient you would have wanted a continuity of care.”

The law is similar to a Texas law that SCOTUS struck down in 2016, but the Court’s makeup has since shifted slightly to the right with originalist Neil Gorsuch having replaced centrist Anthony Kennedy. That shift has some wondering if the Louisiana law will be upheld.

Unfortunately, it appears once again that Chief Justice John Roberts may be leaning leftward based upon some of his questions. Roberts, who voted in favor of upholding the Texas law, seemingly now sees that 2016 ruling as settled precedent. As CNBC reported, Roberts “suggested that he saw that [Texas] decision as binding, which found that the Texas law had no medical benefits and placed an unconstitutional burden on women seeking abortion. Roberts twice said that the medical benefits for the Louisiana law would likely be the same.”

If that’s the case, SCOTUS will rule in the abortion lobby’s favor — unless Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s outrageous threat to Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh backfires. In that case, Roberts might amplify his clear message to Schumer and his ilk that the Court will not be intimidated by ruling for life and Liberty. We can hope.

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NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Jordan Candler

RELENTLESS: Economy defied early coronavirus fears in February with 273,000 new jobs, unemployment at 3.5% (Washington Examiner)

“IT’S AN UNFORESEEN PROBLEM”: Trump signs $8.3 billion coronavirus spending bill (Fox News)

“THE APPEARANCE IS NOT GOOD”: Romney could block Republican subpoena attempt aimed at the Bidens (Fox News)

POLICY VIOLATION: Facebook removes Trump campaign ads over census confusion (Politico)

“DO NOT PROTECT CRIMINALS! Trump moves forward with cutting off funds to sanctuary cities (Fox News)

FOR THE RECORD: More than 300 illegal aliens from China have been caught at the U.S. border since coronavirus outbreak (MRCTV)

LIKELY ISLAMIST TERRORISM: Explosion near U.S. embassy in Tunis, Tunisia, prompts emergency response (Fox News)

EMBEZZLING AND RACKETEERING: Ex-UAW president Gary Jones charged in corruption probe (Detroit Free Press)

IDIOCRACY: Police arrest and charge two 10-year-old Colorado boys for playing with toy guns (MRCTV)

POLICY: Let’s not emulate the British with limits on Internet free speech (Hudson Institute)

HUMOR: Miracle: Coronavirus passes over houses with Chick-fil-A sauce smeared on door posts (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

Video: Schumer Threatens Gorsuch and Kavanaugh — Schumer’s wish will likely not come to pass. But the threat is duly noted and taken seriously.

Video: Five Reasons Latinos Support Trump — The reasons include coming to the U.S. the right way and their inclination toward social conservatism.

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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

SHORT CUTS

Insight: "If it was necessary to tolerate in other people everything that one permits oneself, life would be unbearable.” —French dramatist Georges Courteline (1858-1929)

Upright: “If you have a young child who is actually worried about things like climate change, sexism, Donald Trump, politics, then you are a crappy parent. Why are you foisting those kinds of concerns onto a child? They can’t do anything with it or about it. Let them be children.” —The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh

Surreal: “MSNBC’s Brian Williams reads a tweet [on-air]: ‘Bloomberg spent $500 million on ads. U.S. Population, 327 million. He could have given each American $1 million.’ NYT Editorial Board Member Mara Gay: ‘It’s an incredible way of putting it. It’s true. It’s disturbing.’ It’s $1.53 per person.” —The Daily Wire’s Ryan Saavedra

For the record: “For Bloomberg to give $1 million to each American, he would have to be worth $327 trillion (in cash), which, for context, is around 17 times American GDP and about five-and-a-half thousand times what he’s actually worth. The scale of the error here is galactic. It’s also extremely telling. This, right here, is why so many left-leaning Americans think that ‘the billionaires’ can pay for everything.” —National Review’s Charles C.W. Cooke

Complaints, she’s got a few: “I do think that there is a certain element of misogyny that is there.” —House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on why Elizabeth Warren dropped out, though she seems to have unintentionally indicted Democrat voters

Unlikely: “All the people crying sexism over Warren dropping out are going to rally to Gabbard now, right?” —talk-radio host Dana Loesch

Non sequitur: “It’s easy to mock Medicare for All until there’s a pandemic.” —Rep. Ilhan Omar (“Narrator’s voice: ‘China has universal healthcare.’” —S.E. Cupp)

Braying jenny: “We have the most dangerous person in the history of our country sitting in the White House.” —House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Non compos mentis: “I did [things like have extramarital sex] to manage my anxieties for years. I’m a different, totally different person than I was, a lot of that stuff 20 years ago. … I feel terrible about the fact that Monica Lewinsky’s life was defined by it, unfairly I think. Over the years I’ve watched her trying to get a normal life back again but you’ve got to decide how to define normal.” —Bill Clinton

The BIG Lie: “I am the most investigated innocent person in America.” —Hillary Clinton

And last… “Chuck Schumer just tried to excuse his heinous threats against Brett Kavanaugh & Neil Gorsuch by saying: ‘I’m from Brooklyn, I use strong language.’ Okay — by that standard, Chuck Schumer can never criticize New York native Donald Trump’s language again, right?” —TPUSA’s 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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