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Is Doug Jones toast in Alabama? While it’s too early to answer that question affirmatively, it isn’t too early to say that Donald Trump’s statements about Jones didn’t help Jones’ campaign. Specifically, President Trump said “We don’t need a liberal person in there, a Democrat, Jones. I’ve looked at his record. It’s terrible on crime. It’s terrible on the border. It’s terrible on military. I can tell you for a fact we do not need somebody who’s going to be bad on crime, bad on borders, bad for the military, bad for the Second Amendment.”

That’s a pretty good signal to Alabama Republicans to stop thinking about staying home or voting for Doug Jones. That’s a good start but it isn’t enough by itself to defeat Jones. What this represents, though, is a turning point. Moore has to focus his campaign on bread-and-butter conservative issues like the Second Amendment, being pro-life and cutting taxes.

Jones has done better-than-expected thus far because it’s been a personality-driven race. It hasn’t been about Jones’ support for partial-birth abortion and gun control. Jones peddled the notion that he’s a moderate. Appearing on Outnumbered today, Guy Benson blew that storyline to smithereens:

If Moore can convince enough Alabama Republicans to turn out, he’ll defeat Jones. I’ve thought from the start that Jones’ support was more about trying to convince Moore to drop out than it was about supporting Jones. It’ll be interesting to see how Alabama voters react to Trump’s criticism of Jones.
Guy wasn’t finished beating up the Democrats:

Here’s his exchange with Zac Petkanas:

GB: I understand why you’d be on a high horse, morally, about this because sometimes there are very bright distinctions when it comes to politics. But I would challenge you — maybe not directly, but a lot of Democrats — if Bill Clinton were up for election again…let’s say he ran for president and were the nominee in 2020. He was credibly accused of forcible rape. Would they vote for him over a Ted Cruz? I think history shows the answer is ‘yes.’
ZP: Look, I was 15 years old when Bill Clinton left office. That’s the age when Roy Moore goes after most of his girls…
GB: That’s a fair shot…
ZP: So I can’t speak to that, however I…
GB: Would you vote for Bill Clinton if he ran again?
ZP: I think that all of these women need to be believed, and that we need to hold everybody accountable, whether it’s Al Franken or whether it’s John Conyers, or whether it’s Bill Clinton, or whether it’s Donald Trump.
GB: So you wouldn’t vote for Bill Clinton for president against Ted Cruz?
ZP: Would you vote for Donald Trump?
GB: I didn’t. Your question. Back to you.

As you saw in the video, Guy’s final reply all but officially finished that debate.

Sen. Sherrod Brown’s economic illiteracy is frightening at the same time it isn’t surprising. Sen. Brown’s spirited exchange with Sen. Orrin Hatch revealed how little Sen. Brown understands about capitalism. What was particularly illuminating was when Sen. Brown said “I just think it would be nice, just tonight, to just acknowledge, well, this tax cut isn’t really for the middle class. It’s for the rich, and that whole thing about higher wages, well, it’s a good selling point, but we know companies don’t just give away higher wages. They just don’t give away higher wages just ’cause they have more money.”

Sen. Brown is either economically illiterate or he’s dishonest. Either way, it frightens me that he’s on the Finance Committee. It’s disturbing that he doesn’t understand what creates great economies. Brown has voted for some of the most counterproductive economic policies in recent history. Those policies have led to slow economic growth and stagnant wages. During the Obama administration, companies left the United States because of high tax rates and unreasonable regulatory burdens.

This isn’t opinion. Since Trump took office, consumer confidence has surged, unemployment has dropped, companies have started investing again and the workforce participation rate has improved. That’s because Trump has eased the regulatory burdens and promised competitive corporate tax rates.

At no time during the Obama administration did the economy grow at 3% per year for a full year. Right now, we’re on target to exceed 3% economic growth in Trump’s first year in office. If I’m forced to trust Trump’s policies or Obama’s policies, it isn’t much of a fight. This was fun to watch but it wasn’t much of a fight:

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If I had to give this article a title, I’d give the title ‘You can’t beat something with nothing’. Another title I’d consider is ‘Republicans win while Democrats whine’. Katie Packer Beeson’s article is spot on.

It starts by saying “The Democrats seem to enjoy gloating about the hot mess that is the Republican Party these days. Former GOP presidents warning the president about the people he surrounds himself with; sitting Republican U.S. senators calling the president unstable and unqualified; and a former GOP speaker of the house saying “there is no Republican Party. The president isn’t a Republican.” And Democrats’ friends in the mainstream media have kindly created an echo chamber that makes them think that they are always right and the Republicans are a bunch of sexist, racist, whack jobs. So why aren’t they winning?”

It continued, saying “So when they lost the election, there was a reckoning. The leadership of the Democratic Party was drummed up and new, forward-looking leaders took the reins and offered an alternative to what they saw as the disaster of Donald Trump. Wait, no. That isn’t what happened. Instead, they re-elected Nancy Pelosi as speaker of the house. They elected Chuck Schumer as Senate majority [editor’s note: Schumer is minority leader] leader and completely sold out to the New York and California wings of the Democratic Party.”

Then there’s this:

Instead of talking about middle-class tax cuts, they talked about transgender bathroom access. Instead of talking about fixing Obamacare, which was crushing many in the middle class with high premiums and complicated doctor selections, they walked right into the trap of the alt-right and began tearing down Civil War statues.

Democrats still haven’t figured out how to talk to blue collar America. They’re experts at talking to college professors and progressive activists but they’re worthless at talking with factory workers, small businesses and tradesmen. It’s like those people are from another planet. (Perhaps, it’s the Democrats that are from a different planet?)

Look how paralyzed Hillary looks when confronted by a coal miner:

Hillary looked positively petrified. She looked like she would’ve rather been anywhere else in the world than at that roundtable.

What [Democrats] don’t seem to understand is that you can point out your opponent’s weaknesses all day long, but if you don’t provide an alternative, then people will stick with the status quo. I’ve spoken to dozens of Republican women in recent months who have grown disillusioned with the Republican Party, and when I ask why they don’t defect, the answer is always the same: “It’s no better over there.”

Until Democrats learn what animates blue collar workers, they should expect to lose lots of races, at least enough to keep them in the minority for a decade or more.

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Based on the number of refugees admitted into the country, there’s no mistaking the fact that there’s a new administration in charge. These statistics don’t tap-dance around the differences between the Obama administration and the Trump administration.

For instance, “In October 2017, the first month of FY 2018, only 275 refugees from … Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen were admitted to the United States under the Refugee Admissions Program. In contrast, in October 2016, the first month of FY 2017, a total of 4,581 refugees from these seven countries were admitted into the United States under the Refugee Admissions Program (1,352 from Somalia, 1,323 from Iraq, 1,297 from Syria, 414 from Iran, and none from either Libya or Yemen.)”

That’s what I like seeing! If people want to call me Islamophobic, that’s fine. It isn’t true but I won’t shrivel if I’m called that. I won’t worry if Gov. Dayton says I need to find another state, either:

These refugees cost communities tons of money. It costs schools lots of extra money to get refugees up to speed in speaking English. It costs workers tons of money in lower wages, too. Then there’s this:

Refugee Council USA, the “trade organization” of the refugee resettlement industry, issued a statement last week that it “is appalled by the Administration’s proposed changes to refugee processing. These changes enact another ban on refugee admissions and are driven by ideology rather than necessity.”

TRANSLATION: Our clients need the cheap labor provided by these refugees. Trump is spoiling that for our clients.

If you think I’m being sarcastic about what RCUSA is complaining about, I’m not. I wrote about the refugee resettlement racket in this post. It’s another of DC’s cottage industries.

This USA Today Our View editorial is biased and unworthy of serious consideration. That said, it’s instructive of what Republicans will have to fight.

For instance, the editorial says “The measure’s cut in the corporate income tax rate from 35% to 20%, for example, could boost the economy. And its limit on the interest deduction for new mortgages has angered the powerful homebuilding and Realtor lobbies, which suggests that its drafters might be doing something right. But by the standards of President Reagan’s landmark 1986 tax reform, this plan is a major disappointment. It lacks fiscal discipline, is needlessly indulgent of the wealthy, and is purposely punitive to universities, college students and people who live in high-tax states. Taken as a whole, this plan is partisan, even petty.”

Let’s examine that. It isn’t that cutting “the corporate income tax rate from 35% to 20%” might boost the economy. Cutting that tax rate will boost the economy. The DJIA is chomping at the bit waiting for that tax rate cut. If it becomes reality, expect companies to invest that extra capital into hiring extra R & D personnel. Expect small businesses to buy new equipment, which, in turn, will strengthen the manufacturing sector and durable goods orders.

With consumer confidence shooting through the roof, it likely wouldn’t take much to get the economy roaring. It’s disappointing, though predictable, for the editorial to say that the tax plan “is needlessly indulgent of the wealthy.” President Reagan was fond of saying that it’s impossible to be pro-jobs and anti-employer. The first Reagan tax cuts were on capital gains with the intent on getting Detroit back on its feet. It worked magnificently. Then there’s this:

Preliminary estimates are that it would increase deficits by $1.5 trillion over 10 years. To put that in perspective, an only slightly different cast of GOP lawmakers screamed bloody murder in 2009 over an Obama economic stimulus plan half that size. Republicans were deficit hawks then. Now, not so much.

I wrote about the stimulus back in the day. It just threw money at people. Republicans predicted that it wouldn’t spur the economy. The Republicans’ predictions were right. Further, Republicans argued that the Obama stimulus was nothing but pork. They were right. It’s foolish to argue that the Republicans’ Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is nothing but pork and special favors. Predictably, though, that’s what the Democrats are doing.

Finally, saying that “an only slightly different cast of GOP lawmakers screamed bloody murder in 2009 over an Obama economic stimulus” is mathematically insulting. There were 178 Republicans in the House in 2009. There are 239 Republicans in the House as of Oct. 21. That’s a difference of 61 Republicans in the House. I wouldn’t call that a “slightly different cast of GOP lawmakers.”

Then there’s this BS:

The biggest flaw in the GOP plan is that, for all the rhetoric about helping the middle class, it is tilted toward the wealthy. Benefits for the rich include:

Termination of the tax on inherited wealth, a priority of wealthy GOP donors but not many other Americans. Immediately upon passage, estates of up to $22 million could be passed on to heirs tax-free. After six years, estates of any size could be passed on tax-free. Over a decade, this change alone would drain $172 billion from the Treasury.

The wealth that’s been accumulated in these estates has been taxed already. It’s been taxed at a high rate, too. There’s nothing moral about the government taxing estates twice.

Further, this doesn’t benefit the wealthy. People like the Gates family, the Clinton family or the Dayton family create foundations to shelter their wealth. Family farmers would benefit from this. Small business owners would benefit, too.

If President Trump is looking for good news, this article should help put a smile on his face. Let’s dig into what the experts are predicting for this morning’s jobs report.

The article starts by saying “Economists expect job growth of 310,000 in October, a rebound after the impact of hurricanes Harvey and Irma resulted in a 33,000 decline in September.” If 310,000 jobs are created in October, President Trump’s critics will be crushed. President Trump will have notched another victory that will improve his job approval rating, too. Most importantly, 310,000 new jobs would be welcome news to people after 8 years of lackluster economic growth.

President Trump still has to wait for the official report to be published but getting anywhere close to that would be a victory. Seth Carpenter, the chief U.S. economist at UBS, said “Our forecast is for 325,000. It’s going to be a big number. You’re going to get a kind of soft average for those two months.”

Thus far, we’ve had 2 straight quarters of 3% economic growth. The jobs reports have been decent, not spectacular. If these predictions are right, though, then that’s just another sign that this economy is primed to take a big step forward. If that happens, the Trump bandwagon will get a lot fuller. It’ll certainly give him the type of momentum that’s needed to push through tax reform.

Check back later to find out what the report actually said.

UPDATE: Another positive report is in the books:

  1. Payrolls rose 261k (est. 313k) after 18k advance; revisions added 90k to Aug.-Sept. figures, including turning Sept. drop into a gain
  2. Unemployment rate, derived from a separate Labor Department survey of households, fell to 4.1% (est. 4.2%) from 4.2%

Those aren’t fantastic jobs numbers but the unemployment rate is pretty eye-catching.

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Saying that Newt Gingrich took so-called experts to the proverbial woodshed is understatement. Gingrich started his op-ed by saying “The left-wing media and the elites never seem to tire of being wrong. Remember in May when President Trump said his policies would spur the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) to grow at a rate of 3 percent or higher? The so-called experts insisted that it was unrealistic, highly unlikely, and probably impossible.”

Newt continued, saying “Some of these experts suggested 3 percent growth could only happen if our immigrant population doubled over a decade or the nation went to a six-day work week. They said even if unemployment fell to zero, we still wouldn’t get close. Imagine their surprise then when the Commerce Department announced on Friday that the GDP has grown at 3 percent – for the second quarter in a row.”

Though it’s unrealistic to think there’s nothing but smooth sailing ahead for the economy, it’s totally realistic to think Trump’s policies are working. Democrats are fond of saying that President Trump hasn’t achieved any major policy accomplishments. What they aren’t saying, though, is that the unpublicized legislative accomplishments concerning regulatory relief have helped unleash economic growth.

Then Newt throws this information into the public’s eye:

A recent report by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation estimated the GOP plan, “would boost long-run GDP by 9.1 percent. The larger economy would translate into 7.7 percent higher wages and result in 1.7 million more full-time equivalent jobs.”

At the end of this interview, Newt offers his advice to Congress and to the American people:

This has been Newt’s philosophy since before he became speaker. Pass the biggest tax cuts you can pass. If you don’t get everything you want, still pass the biggest tax cuts that can get 218 votes in the House, 50 votes in the Senate (and the Vice President’s tie-breaking vote) and President Trump’s signature. If economic growth continues, Republicans will have a great year at the ballot box in 2018. If that happens, then they can revisit the tax cuts and pass bigger, more permanent, tax cuts in 2019.

The Democrats and the liberal media will no doubt continue to try to find so-called experts who oppose the Republican tax cut plan. Americans should consider how often these supposed experts have been wrong about President Trump and his policies.

Conservative activists should remind people that a) Republican policies are working and b) the Democrats’ predictions are wildly inaccurate. People already think we’re heading in the right direction. That’s why consumer confidence is soaring.

This article is just what the Trump administration wanted to hear. I’d have to think that the Trump administration started smiling when they read “Consumers were even more optimistic in October than economists polled by Reuters expected. Consumer confidence rose to 125.9 in October, according to the Conference Board. The index ‘increased to its highest level in almost 17 years,’ Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board, said in a statement. That was in December 2000, when the index hit 128.6.” Franco added the “high level of confidence suggests the economy will continue to expand ‘at a solid pace’ for the rest of 2017.”

This article is sure to add to the Trump administration’s positive attitude. According to the article, “President Donald Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers on Friday released the second in a series of reports on how proposed changes to the tax code could influence economic growth. The CEA predicted that corporate tax cuts alone would produce GDP growth of between 3 and 5 percent in as little as three years. The cuts are part of the tax reform package currently being finalized in Congress and expected to be unveiled as a bill next week.”

Here in Minnesota, though, Gov. Dayton sounded like Mr. Pessimism:

“One of the most offensive proposals would eliminate the deductibility of Minnesota’s state income and sales taxes and local property taxes from our citizens’ federal tax liabilities,” Dayton said. “It would completely remove these important tax deductions which total over $12.3 billion per year for 900,000 Minnesota families.”

The good news is that a Republican governor, working with Republican majorities in the House and Senate, will fix Minnesota’s anti-growth tax and regulatory system. Why the DFL hasn’t figured out that people really want to keep the money they’ve earned is baffling. The good news is that the next Republican governor will get things straightened out.

Rick Santelli is back and he’s excited:

It isn’t surprising that Nancy Pelosi is calling for an independent investigation to prevent Russian meddling in US elections.

In her statement, Ms. Pelosi said “Even with an accelerating Special Counsel investigation inside the Justice Department, and investigations inside the Republican Congress, we still need an outside, fully independent investigation to expose Russia’s meddling in our election and the involvement of Trump officials,” Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement Monday. “Defending the integrity of our democracy demands that Congress look forward to counter Russian aggression and prevent future meddling with our elections.”

This seems like stupid messaging. This morning, it was announced that Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates had been indicted. According to the indictment, some of the alleged illegal activity happened before Barack announced his candidacy for president.

Ms. Pelosi decision to call for this independent investigation steps all over the message that Manafort has been indicted. When there’s bad news coming out about your political adversary, exit the stage and let them endure the spotlight. Ms. Pelosi apparently didn’t figure it out that she should leave the stage.

Erick Erickson’s op-ed on the Manafort indictment is worth reading. In his op-ed, Erickson wrote “The Mueller team looked into the campaign, went down various rabbit holes, and wound up in Manafort’s tax returns circa 2012, well before Trump considered running for office. Therefore, they can claim, there is nothing there with the campaign.”

Judge Napolitano’s explanation might help shed light on the importance of the Manafort indictment:

At this point, there’s nothing found thus far that hints the Trump campaign worked with Putin’s administration to win the election. The thought that Putin tried meddling with the election is something that the overwhelming majority of Americans have already accepted. In terms of momentum, this isn’t a game-changer.

Of all the idiotic things I’ve heard Rep. Adam Schiff, (D-Calif.), say this takes the cake. According to the article, “Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat in the House Intelligence Committee, floated the possibility of a new investigation in response to news that President Trump actively pursued lifting a gag order on an undercover FBI informant so he could testify to Congress about the Russian nuclear industry’s bribery and money laundering during the time of the Obama administration.”

Schiff is the worst salesman of conspiracy theories I’ve ever witnessed. This morning, Schiff tweeted “If President personally intervened with DOJ to advance case against political opponent it’s beyond disturbing; I intend to pursue in new probe.” WOW! It’s absurdity on steroids to think that insisting on transparency would create howls of partisanship.

Yes, Congressman Schiff, it’s ok to investigate a political opponent if that’s where the evidence takes you. It’s only wrong if there’s nothing pointing to a person’s political opponents. In this case, the political opponent is Hillary Clinton, the personification of political corruption. She’s a corruption magnet.

Is. Rep Schiff suggesting that people engaging in corrupt acts be spared if they’re someone’s political opponent? That’s what it appears he’s suggesting in this interview:

What’s frightening is that Congressman Schiff hasn’t hesitated in engaging in a baseless witch hunt against President Trump while trying his best to discourage the testimony of a whistleblower who can provide information on the Russians’ operations:

On Wednesday, it was revealed the FBI informant can now testify to Congress after being released from a confidentiality agreement by the Justice Department. The informant’s identity has not been publicly disclosed because he was undercover for almost five years. During that time, he provided agents information about Russia’s atomic energy business in the U.S.

A report from The Hill last week said the FBI has evidence dating as far back as 2009 that nuclear industry officials from Russia had been involved in bribery, kickbacks, extortion, and money laundering that benefited Russian President Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy project expansion with the U.S.

As long as the administration isn’t engaging in a fishing expedition, I don’t see what the problem is. The minute it becomes a fishing expedition, though, that’s a problem.

President Trump’s hands are clean on this because he’s insisting on more information and transparency rather than secrecy. If Congressman Schiff has a problem with transparency, then he’s got a problem with the American people. I can’t imagine that’s a battlefield Schiff wants to fight on because it’s all downside for him.

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