Michigan Leadership Conference a Success: Michigan Republicans from across the state gathered on Mackinac Island to gear up for 2020. Vice President Pence motivated a packed house and went over to the overflow room to thank everyone for participating. Winning Michigan for Trump, picking up a Senate seat and taking back a few congressional seats dominated the buzz amongst participants.
I think it’s safe to say Michigan Republicans are motivated to win in 2020!
The Supreme Court: The Democrats are playing partisan politics at its worst when it comes to the Supreme Court. History will not judge the progressive radicals well as they attempt to discredit the foundations of this republic by constantly attacking and resisting at every level, including the presidency, Congress and the courts. As the WSJ says “This assault on the judiciary is being carried out with conviction and malice, as the character assassination against Justice Kavanaugh shows. One motivation is that everything on the left’s new agenda, from the Green New Deal to a wealth tax, depends on favorable court rulings. The left is used to running the nation’s law schools and controlling the courts.”
Read the articles below.
Free Trade & China Trade War: The last two articles this week take a very different position on Free Trade and the China Trade War. An in-depth discussion on why free trade makes sense is presented in a paper from the Competitive Enterprise Institute. On the other hand, an interesting argument of why we must take into consideration geopolitical realities as we look at China and trade with China long term.
I would encourage you to take the time to read BOTH articles. Great stuff with important policy implications.
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This Week’s News Review Video
Doomsdays that didn’t happen: Think tank compiles decades’ worth of dire climate predictions
The Competitive Enterprise Institute has put together a lengthy compilation of apocalyptic predictions dating back decades that did not come to pass, timed as Democratic presidential candidates and climate activists refocus attention on the issue.
Biden: Child Tax Credit Will ‘Put 720 Million Women Back in the Workforce’
Considering only about 330 million people live in the United States at all, it is obvious he is incorrect. It’s unclear what studies or statistics he may have had in mind.
Ted Cruz Says NY Times Kavanaugh Story Was Not ‘Accidental’ Because ‘They Want to Intimidate the Court’
Senator Cruz went on to say, “If you did this on a high school paper, if you were a freshman in high school and you submitted this story, you’d get an ‘F,’”
Why The Trump Campaign Says It’s Betting on Grassroots Organizing in 2020
Trump’s campaign is betting big on grassroots organizing in 2020, a significant change from his unorthodox and thinly staffed 2016 campaign. They’ve created the Trump Victory Leadership Initiative, a training program for volunteers and organizers modeled on the fellowship program Barack Obama’s campaign pioneered in 2008 and 2012. According to Parscale, the Trump campaign had 700,000 trained volunteers in 2016. This time, they’re aiming for 2 million. In 2016, Trump’s team had 5,000 trained fellows, a more experienced type of volunteer, Parscale says. They’re already at 30,000 for the 2020 election.
The introduction of a new volunteer training program is the clearest sign yet that the Trump campaign is trying to evolve from its bare-bones, rally-and-TV focused 2016 roots to a professional campaign operation that marries big money, a national field program and local coordination. It carries opportunities for Trump’s campaign, which is focused on boosting turnout among the President’s core supporters, and has time and party resources on his side.
“The staff and infrastructure is only going to be larger going into this cycle,” says Chris Carr, the political director for the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee (RNC). “We have a much longer runway to work now. We can actually afford to have a Cadillac operation.”
As they build their program, Parscale and others on the campaign and at the RNC have been studying the book “Groundbreakers: How Obama’s 2.2 Million Volunteers Transformed Campaigning in America,” a senior campaign official told TIME. It’s not the first time Republicans have turned to Obama’s historic campaign for tactical guidance. In 2016, for example, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz gave copies of Obama’s former campaign manager David Plouffe’s book to his senior presidential campaign team, telling them to “nakedly and shamelessly emulate this.”
Why The GOP victory in North Carolina spells disaster for Democrats in 2020
Republicans’ special election victory Tuesday in North Carolina’s 9th District is the latest evidence that 2020 will be a very different election from 2018.
Rep.-elect Dan Bishop didn’t just overcome his Democrat opponent’s two-year head start and millions of dollars in out-of-state money. He also outperformed the GOP candidate’s 2018 efforts by 2 points — quite a different narrative from what the cable news pundits want voters to believe and great news for Republican prospects next year.
House Republicans are now 3-0 in special elections this cycle and, in all three races, the GOP nominee outperformed the 2018 result. In Pennsylvania’s 12th and North Carolina’s 3rd districts, Republicans even outperformed President Donald Trump’s 2016 numbers.
Our current GOP strategy is focused on two truths that spell disaster for Democratic prospects in 2020. First, House Democrats’ socialist agenda is wildly unpopular with voters and will be an anchor around the necks of their candidates in swing districts. Second, President Trump is the single most effective surrogate and turnout machine for the Republican Party.
President Trump’s Approval Rating is Higher Than Obama’s At Same Time In Presidency
President Donald Trump now has a higher approval rating than former president Barack Obama had during the same time in his presidency.
“Trump’s approval rating on Wednesday was 44.3 percent, according to a Real Clear Politics average of more than a half-dozen major polls, as reported by Newsweek. That is higher than Obama’s average approval rating of 43.9 percent on September 18, 2011, by the same measure.”
Trump’s approval rating has bounced around over his presidency, with some polls placing his lows in the high 30 percent range, and others placing his high marks as high as the 50 percent range.
This is How Democrats will ensure Trumps’s reelection
The Democratic Party has mounted a concerted, years-long crusade to close the gender wage “gap.” In much the same vein, many Democrats have embraced “identity” politics. Further prioritizing these two issues, however, will all but usher in Donald Trump’s re-election.
The existence of a gender wage gap in the United States – amounting to roughly 80 cents on the dollar – is beyond dispute. The rub, however, lies in the details. Too many prominent Democrats would have voters believe that the gender wage gap is due to widespread, systemic discrimination against women in the workplace. But the data do not back up such assertions. Perhaps more importantly, the right-wing media machine feasts on this misguided discrimination message, all to the GOP’s electoral advantage.
For starters, young, childless women, on average, earn more than their male counterparts. Full stop. That young women earn higher salaries should hardly be surprising; education is the key to a bigger paycheck and women significantly outnumber men on U.S. college campuses.
Democrats will not beat Trump without moderate policy ideas
The contentious Democratic debate last week further exposed the deep divisions within the party over critical issues such as health care, immigration, and trade. Sharing the stage for the first time, frontrunners former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Elizabeth Warren opposed one another on policy, rhetorical style, and vision for the party.
While Biden presents a moderate, traditional, and pragmatic direction for the party, Warren is focused on the far left, bold ideas, and systemic changes. To be sure, candidates at this point in the primary season can and should embrace slightly different policy stances. However, as the field begins to narrow and the early primary state elections grow nearer, Democrats must work to bridge the gap between the progressive and moderate factions of the party and unite behind a center of left narrative.
The party must first and foremost unite itself. Besides the progressive tag team of Senator Bernie Sanders and Warren, who ideologically align and hence refrain from attacking one another, there has infrequently been any display of unity between the candidates, particularly on health care.
Heart and Head on the Democratic Campaign Trail
Beto is ardent and passionate; Mayor Pete is calm and conciliatory.
Beto O’Rourke and Pete Buttigieg at first glance might seem to appeal to the same type of voter. A congressman and a mayor — younger, energetic men who aren’t longtime political insiders. But it has been interesting to watch them embody their distinctive personas.
Beto is the socially conscious, big-hearted former punk-rocker. He wants to lead with emotion. He’s willing to test the patience of the squares in order to find his breakthrough. Mayor Pete is the apex predator meritocrat, a veteran and a management consultant who took a mayoral position — which, however small, requires real executive decision-making. Wining skeptics over means being sensitive to all the stakeholders and striking savvy deals. One man aims for the heart, the other for our head.
We’ve seen these two approaches play out over the last week on the issue of gun control, after Beto announced to the world, “Hell yes, we are going to take your AR-15” on the debate stage. In the days that followed, CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Buttigieg whether O’Rourke was “playing into the hands of Republicans.” Presumably a simple question asking him to distinguish his own views from O’Rourke’s was too jejune; everything is really about Republican political traps. In any case, O’Rourke responded that “yes,” Beto was. Buttigieg continued as if he were closing the sale at the end of a presentation between his old consulting firm and a new corporate client. This was a “golden moment,” he said, one in which the Republicans are “open to reforms.” So let’s work with the Republicans and “get these things done.” Most Americans “come to an agreement” or “have an agreement” — but when you’re trying to get the corporate fountain pens wet, and you’re a McKinsey man, you announce that you “have agreement.”
A fresh assassination of Brett Kavanaugh’s character
I guess that The New York Times didn’t get the memo. Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court last fall. He is sitting there (officially, I mean) right now, as I write. Despite the most disgusting, ad hominem, evidence-free effort at character assassination of a Supreme Court nominee in history, the combined forces of The New York Times and other cesspool media organs like The New Yorker, bottom-feeding Senate Democrats, feminazis of various stripes, and other woke constituencies on the left, Kavanaugh made it. One of the most ostentatiously qualified candidates for the Supreme Court in recent memory managed — just barely — to slip through the gauntlet of baseless accusation, wild fantasy, and prurient hysteria and ascend to the country’s highest court. Hurrah.
But in today’s Sunday Review, the country’s fishwrap of record publishes an excerpt from The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation by two Times reporters, Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly.
The excerpt is written in the Times’s high emetic style: every phrase infused with the new status anxiety of universal accusation and class-sex-and-race-based innuendo. The star of the article is Deborah ‘significant gaps in my memory’ Ramirez. Have the dramamine at hand?
The Assault on the Supreme Court
Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh will apparently receive continuing education in the politics of personal destruction, and this weekend came another round of rumor-mill accusations over his conduct in college. It’s important to understand that this assault on the Justice is part of the left’s larger campaign against the legitimacy of the current Supreme Court and an independent judiciary.
By now readers have seen Democrats running for President calling for Justice Kavanaugh to be impeached, including Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Beto O’Rourke. These Democrats know there is zero chance of a Republican Senate voting to remove Mr. Kavanaugh from office.
The attacks on Justice Kavanaugh are an attempt at intimidation to influence his opinions. But if Democrats fail in that, they want to portray conservative opinions of the current Court as illegitimate. Even Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota now says the Judiciary confirmation of Justice Kavanaugh was “a sham.” She knows better but so much for her self-styling as a “moderate.”
The United States of America and Asia
It is almost 75 years since the end of the Second World War. After the end of its titanic struggle with the Imperial Japanese Empire, and with the rise of an authoritarian and expansionist China, it is time for the United States to establish a more permanent presence in the Pacific. Prior to the rise of the People’s Republic of China, the Pacific area was calm, and the dominance of the United States was never questioned. But with the passage of time, and with the changing circumstances of the balance of power in the Indo-Pacific region, it is time for the U.S. to consolidate its position in the Pacific. To make its position unassailable both economically and politically, the United States should offer entrance into the Union of the United States, to the three countries that have been in a Trusteeship or a Compact of Free Association (COFA) with the United States since the end of Second World War.
The reasons for this are several-fold.
With China’s debt trap policies to small and mostly impoverished nations in the mid-Pacific, the balance of power in the Indo-Pacific region is in flux. While Australia has increased its attention to this growing geopolitical threat, Australia’s largest trading partner is China, and Australia ranks as the number 6 trading partner for China. While political relations between Australia and China could change again, tensions between Canberra and Beijing have been on the rise recently with 72% of Australians saying that the Australian government has allowed too much Chinese investment into Australia. Since Australia is an independent nation, and with there being a sizable minority of Australians with Chinese ancestry, 1.2 million out of a population of 25.2 million, it is not inconceivable that the political relations between the two countries could reverse course with Australia choosing China over the United States in any military confrontation between the two countries.
Russia hacked the FBI to prevent the bureau from being able to track Russian spies in the US
Russia hacked the FBI to prevent the bureau from being able to track Russian spies in the US
- Russian operatives hacked into the FBI’s communication systems beginning in 2010 as part of a broad effort to monitor and cripple the bureau’s surveillance of Russian spies in the US, Yahoo News reported on Monday.
- The move enabled the Russians to evade surveillance and communicate with human sources, gave them the opportunity to collect information about their pursuers, and prompted concerns among officials that there was a Russian asset within the US intelligence community, the report said.
- Yahoo News reported that Russia’s hack of the FBI’s communication systems was a key reason the Obama administration kicked out 35 Russian diplomats and closed two Russian diplomatic facilities in December 2016.
- Russia and the US have ramped up their counterintelligence and cybersecurity operations against each other in recent years as tensions between them mount.
The Environmental Costs of Renewable Energy Are Staggering
The Limits of Clean Energy” is the title of an article by Jason Hickel in Foreign Policy, with the sub-title “If the world isn’t careful, renewable energy could become as destructive as fossil fuels.” Here’s the opening:
The conversation about climate change has been blazing ahead in recent months. Propelled by the school climate strikes and social movements like Extinction Rebellion, a number of governments have declared a climate emergency, and progressive political parties are making plans—at last—for a rapid transition to clean energy under the banner of the Green New Deal.
This is a welcome shift, and we need more of it.
But a new problem is beginning to emerge that warrants our attention. Some proponents of the Green New Deal seem to believe that it will pave the way to a utopia of “green growth.” Once we trade dirty fossil fuels for clean energy, there’s no reason we can’t keep expanding the economy forever.
This narrative may seem reasonable enough at first glance, but there are good reasons to think twice about it. One of them has to do with clean energy itself. The phrase “clean energy” normally conjures up happy, innocent images of warm sunshine and fresh wind. But while sunshine and wind is obviously clean, the infrastructure we need to capture it is not. Far from it.
The transition to renewables is going to require a dramatic increase in the extraction of metals and rare-earth minerals, with real ecological and social costs.
In 2017, the World Bank released a little-noticed report that offered the first comprehensive look at this question. It models the increase in material extraction that would be required to build enough solar and wind utilities to produce an annual output of about 7 terawatts of electricity by 2050. That’s enough to power roughly half of the global economy. By doubling the World Bank figures, we can estimate what it will take to get all the way to zero emissions—and the results are staggering: 34 million metric tons of copper, 40 million tons of lead, 50 million tons of zinc, 162 million tons of aluminum, and no less than 4.8 billion tons of iron.
Traders of the Lost Ark
The basic principles of a free society are timeless, but they need to be relearned every generation. One of those principles is the freedom for people to trade freely with one another—both within nations and across borders. The case in favor of free trade has been uncontroversial among economists since the time of Adam Smith, but support among policy makers and the public has ebbed and flowed with the political winds. Now, with the Trump administration raising tariffs and other trade barriers against Canada, Mexico, the European Union, and China, the ongoing liberalization process that began in the aftermath of World War II is experiencing the greatest threat it has yet faced.
As of this writing, it is too early to tell if the administration’s actions are a blip in a longer trend or mark the start of a full-on reversal. Either way, the time has come to restate the economic and moral case for free trade for the current generation of policy makers and the interested public. With that as its aim, this paper provides a comprehensive case for the free exchange of goods and services without government restraint. It makes the case that people should be free to trade with whomever they want, whenever they want, and however they want, without government interference. In addition, it offers a general explanation of how global trading works, places that discussion in historical context, provides a taxonomy of the different types of trade barriers, and outlines the arguments for and against particular trade policies. Most importantly, it makes the case for free trade as a policy that is inherently moral, in addition to being economically sound…
In an ideal world, governments would impose no trade barriers of any kind. Willing buyers and willing sellers would be free to produce and exchange as they see fit, on terms they mutually agree upon. But as legendary football coach Vince Lombardi said: “Complete victory can never be won,” though “it must be pursued, it must be wooed with all of one’s might. Each week there is a new encounter, each year there is a new challenge.”114 So while the world may never know perfect free trade, it is worth fighting for every possible victory toward that end.
Protectionism is a persistent problem with persistent appeal. Two centuries of economic theory and empirical fact are apparently not enough to persuade advocates of protectionist policies that tariffs and other trade barriers pave the road to poverty, not plenty. The current administration’s seeming predilection for such policies poses a serious threat to decades of ongoing trade liberalization. But it is important to fight back, regardless of the current political situation. Enlightenment values such as openness, growth, dynamism, and progress are eternal. They have already enabled billions of people to rise out of poverty. Billions more can be empowered to join them if free trade and its associated values continue to spread.
The Trade War Is Smart Geopolitics
It never fails. A split-second after a mass shooting occurs, grandstanders and ideologues issue statements demanding new gun controls—even if the laws already on the books failed or the laws they want would have made no difference. Case in point: the tragic incidents in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, in early August 2019.
The message is clear: Guns cause violence. Tax them, take them, ban them, regulate them. Do something, maybe anything! Such knee-jerk, emotional responses are dangerous, writes Charles W. Cooke in National Review, “for when a nation sets up a direct pipeline between its emotions and its laws, it does not keep its liberty for long.”
Guns Don’t Kill People, They Save Them
Liberty isn’t the only thing likely to be lost when gun laws are passed to appease emotions over reason, evidence, logic, and rights. Lives will most assuredly be lost, too. Lots of them.