David French of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud the Washington Post for assigning “Four Pinocchios” to Florida Sen. Bill Nelson’s claim that the Russians had already infiltrated his state’s election systems, even though every relevant office in federal and state government had no idea what he was talking about. They also hammer Republican senators for wasting their time in session this month because seven GOP members failed to show up this week, handing Democrats a functional majority while critical votes are supposed to be happening. And they scratch their heads over a new rationale among some Republicans that Democrats winning control of the House in the midterm elections would actually be a very good thing for President Trump’s re-election prospects in 2020.

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David French of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America react to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo slamming President Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ slogan by saying, “It was never that great.” So what do most on the left really believe? They also shudder at Elizabeth Warren’s plan to make any company earning more than a billion dollars in revenue each year to get permission to operate from the federal government and allow the government to dictate compensation, personnel policies, and who can be on the board of directors. And while David remembers his own consideration of a 2016 presidential run, they marvel that people like California Rep. Eric Swalwell are seriously considering a 2020 bid.

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David French of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America take on three heavy topics, starting with Colorado baker Jack Phillips now having a powerful case of discrimination against the Colorado Civil Rights Commission after the commission ruled Phillips had violated the rights of a transgender lawyer for not customizing a cake for their gender transition or one depicting Satan engaged in a sex act. They also hammer the Catholic church in Pennsylvania over the new grand jury report that reveals more than 3oo priests horrifically abusing more than a thousand children over the decades and the despicable lengths officials in the church went to in order to silence accusers and keep the priests in active ministry. And they shred Chelsea Clinton’s absurd contention that abortion has been great for the economy because it allows more women to stay in the workforce.

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David French of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud the West Virginia legislature for impeaching four of the state’s five state supreme court justices for gross mismanagement of taxpayer dollars. They also roll their eyes as the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholds a California law requiring any guns subsequently purchased in the state must include features that don’t actually exist. And they unload on “conservatives” from Michael Gerson to Steve Schmidt, who contend that conservatives need to vote for Democrats because supposedly the only way to save the Republican Party is to burn it to the ground.

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The US Upper Middle Class Hasn’t Vanished: Another Economics Chart for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

 

On a recent podcast, New York congressional candidate and democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez complained about the outdated, stuck-in-the-1990s campaign strategy of national Democratic Party leaders: “They were campaigning most when we had more of an American middle class. This upper middle class is probably more moderate but that upper middle class does not exist anymore in America.”

My best guess is that Ocasio-Cortez’s comments suggest a belief in a hyperpolarized, “1 percent vs. 99 percent” modern America. There’s only the rich getting richer and then everybody else. But that doesn’t appear to be an accurate description about what has been happening with incomes. (For more on Ocasio-Cortez’s thinking, check out “The uninformed economic views of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, in 2 charts.”) As this 2016 story in The Wall Street Journal explained,

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An Experience with Healthcare in a Free Market System

 

This little guy is up past his bedtime. He’s just been through triage. About an hour and a half later, a very capable nurse will help a very capable ER doctor with very good tools for the job to remove the peanut from his nose. Before I tell you the price, let me say that […]

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American-style Crony Capitalism: What Happens When Government Sorts Things Out

 

When President-elect Trump intervened to stop jobs at a Carrier air conditioner plant in Indianapolis from moving to Mexico, Vice President-elect Pence offered this justification: “The free market has been sorting it out, and America’s been losing.” (Not that the president’s intervention was a big win, turns out.)

Of course, one shouldn’t expect only winners when markets are sorting things out. Markets aren’t magic. Yet it’s hard to conclude that American-style capitalism hasn’t overall sorted things out pretty well for Americans. Since 1980, the US has added nearly 60 million jobs. And the CBO says middle-class incomes are up significantly, either by 28 percent or 42 percent (in real terms) depending if you are looking at income before transfers and taxes vs. after. Oh, and the United States continues to push the technological frontier. Europe would sure love to have its own tech titans such as Google and Amazon, not to mention all those tech unicorns. (By one measure, the US has nearly 100. Europe? Just 12.)

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America commend the Trump administration for reinstating sanctions on Iran after rescinding the failed nuclear deal, which the rogue regime did not follow. They also denounce Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth’s Warren’s far-left rhetoric about the criminal justice system and they blame the divisive discourse for the lack of meaningful reforms. And they are frustrated that President Donald Trump tweeted about LeBron James’ intelligence rather than thanking the NBA star for funding education and extolling the benefits of charter schools.

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Europe and Innovation, Again

 

As a follow-on to my recent post about sclerotic hyper-regulated quasi-socialist European states: Where are the European tech companies? Where is the European E-Bay? Where is the European Amazon? Where is the European Facebook? Where is the European Apple? Where is the European Google? – Richard Epstein (9:30 mark) More

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A Thought About Thinking About “Democratic Socialism”

 

It occurs to me that, while “socialism” is primarily an economic idea, I don’t think it’s being used that way by many of its American proponents — and particularly when they call it “democratic socialism.” I think it’s much more, in their minds, than an economic system. I think it’s shorthand for a relationship between […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Chad Benson of Radio America celebrate a positive July economic report, as unemployment drops to 3.9 percent and the economy adds 157,000 jobs. They also criticize The New York Times for hiring reporter Sarah Jeong, who made racist comments about white people. And they break down reporter Bill Scher’s unappealing offer for Never-Trump Republicans to join the Democratic Party, as long as they accept that their policies will not win.

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Today on the Daily Standard Podcast, host Charlie Sykes is joined by Politico’s Ben White (author of Morning Money) to discuss the recent job numbers, the latest about President Trump’s growing trade war, Paul Manafort’s ostrich jacket, Michael Cohen’s pay-for-play nuclear deal, Apple reaching $1T in valuation, and what’s going on with our deficit and debt.

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Democratic Socialism: An Unscientific Observation

 

I think right-wingers like me can be forgiven for hearing the phrase “democratic socialism” and immediately thinking of mass starvation, genocide, and scores of millions of casualties in horrific autocratic regimes. That is, after all, the legacy of collectivism in the 20th century — something you probably didn’t learn in school if you’re under 50 since it doesn’t seem to be taught anymore.

On the other hand, there’s some plausibility to the progressive complaint that socialism can exist in other forms, and that the democratic part of democratic socialism tempers — or perhaps obviates entirely — the need for the brutality and authoritarianism we associate with socialism’s application.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Chad Benson of Radio America watch in amusement as Democrats invent ridiculous arguments against Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation, such as Sen. Richard Blumenthal’s (D-Conn) statement that President Donald Trump “would be a monarch if Brett Kavanaugh becomes a Supreme Court justice.” They also worry about America’s fertility rate falling to a 42-year low and the factors contributing to the decline, such as low marriage rates and the prevalence of birth control. And they are happy to see Netflix cancel the show of the Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan.

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Today on the Daily Standard Podcast, senior writer Michael Warren and deputy online editor Chris Deaton join guest host Jim Swift to discuss the White House’s bizarre announcement that chief of staff John Kelly will keep his job through 2020, the latest on Judge Kavanaugh making his Senate rounds, President Trump’s seemingly off-the-cuff announcement that he’s willing to meet with Hassan Rouhani without pre-conditions, the coming midterm elections, and today’s MLB trade deadline.

The Daily Standard Podcast is sponsored by RXBar. Our listeners can take advantage of this special offer of 25 percent off their first order by visiting RXBAR.com/STANDARD and using the promo code STANDARD.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Chad Benson of Radio America congratulate President Donald Trump for appointing more judges to regional circuit courts than any president has at this point in his term. They also criticize big businesses that are supporting Democrats in 2018 because of Trump’s trade and immigration policies. And they think the only major support for a Bill Kristol 2020 presidential campaign would come from the Kristol household.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Rich McFadden of Radio America break down Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s request that red-state Democrats remain neutral on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. They also cannot believe that some Democrats are seriously considering the idea of almost doubling the federal budget to pay for Sen. Bernie Sander’s Medicare-for-all program. And they cannot find any examples of malfeasance in the Boston Globe story about the TSA’s passenger-monitoring program that tracks people who sweat too much and urinate too often.

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On today’s Daily Standard podcast, reporters Andrew Egger and Haley Byrd discuss the Koch Network’s growing efforts to push back against President Trump’s protectionist policies and divisive rhetoric and go in-depth about the president’s latest efforts to dismiss and discredit Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

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Are Supercompanies Really Corporate Villains?

 

Before we start shackling or smashing America’s largest tech firms, maybe it’s important to understand why they’re so big and successful. Is it because they’re squashing their challengers through unfair competition or buying up potential competitors?

In a 2017 paper, Boston University’s James Bessen concludes, “Increasingly, it seems, top performing firms utilize new technologies productively while their rivals do not…. Overall, the analysis here suggests that the recent overall rise in industry concentration is not mainly the result of anticompetitive activity that should worry antitrust authorities.”

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America celebrate the booming economy that hit second quarter growth of 4.1 percent. They also notice the Democrats want to institute five years of jail time for spreading false information about elections dates and locations. And they see that Michael Avenatti was invited to speak to Iowa Democrats and they hope the party won’t take him seriously simply because he hates President Donald Trump.

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