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Republicans, Democrats, and unemployment

April 30, 2021

ITEM #1: Republican states work.

That’s the chief takeaway from employment data analyzed by Dan McLaughlin, who writes at National Review:

“[S]tate governors and the current state legislatures have had an outsized role in handling state responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. And a year after states began locking down, this much is clear: states with unified Democratic governments have significantly higher unemployment, on average, than states with unified Republican government. States with divided government fall in between.”

Some numbers to chew on:

“Eleven states plus the District of Columbia have unemployment rates of 7% or higher, a full point above the national average of 6%. Not one has a Republican governor, and only two (Louisiana and Pennsylvania) have Republican-controlled legislatures. The other ten all have unified Democratic governance. 

“By contrast, twenty states have an unemployment rate of 4.7% or lower; sixteen of those have unified Republican governments, one (Vermont) has a Republican governor, and two (Kansas and Wisconsin) have Republican legislatures (Minnesota has a Republican state senate). Maine is the only unified Democrat-run state in the country with an unemployment rate below 5%. The average Republican-controlled state has a 4.5% unemployment rate, more than a point below the national average, while the average Democrat-controlled state (including D.C.) has a 7.2% unemployment rate, more than a point above the national average. The average state with divided government falls in the middle, at 5.3%. (These are unweighted averages). 

“The divide among states with divided government is less dramatic: 5.2% for states with Democratic governors and at least one Republican-controlled legislative house, 5.6% for states with Republican governors and at least one Democrat-controlled or equally-divided legislative house (in Alaska, the Democrats’ only foothold is divided control of the state house of representatives).”

Nevada, where Democrats control both the Governor’s office and the Legislature (and where policymakers took an especially heavy-handed approach to shutting down the economy), has an unemployment rate of 8.1 percent — which is worse than even the average for Democrat-run states.

As McLaughlin says: “Elections matter, and they matter more in a crisis.” 

ITEM #2: It turns out you can't avoid reality forever.

The editors of the Wall Street Journal weigh in on the latest news out of Portland, Oregon:

"A well-known politician on Friday denounced 'self-described anarchists who engage in regular criminal destruction' and want to 'burn,' 'bash' and 'intimidate.' He called for 'higher bail' and 'tougher pretrial restrictions' on rioters. And he pleaded with the public to cooperate with police and identify miscreants: 'Our job is to unmask them, arrest them, and prosecute them.'

"Donald Trump? Sheriff Arpaio? Nope.

"That was Portland, Ore., Mayor Ted Wheeler, the über-progressive, who made a national reputation last year by apologizing for vandals and rioters he said were merely exercising their right to protest against an unjust America. Now he’s had an epiphany, after his indulgence has made parts of Portland a battle zone."

Wheeler's excuses for violence and contempt for law enforcement (he called it “an attack on our democracy" when the Trump administration sent agents to the city to defend federal property) has had serious consequences.

More from the WSJ:

"Last summer there were more than 100 consecutive nights of anarchy and violence in the Rose City. Between Nov. 3 and April 17, police arrested some 69 people on charges ranging from disorderly conduct to attempted murder. Vandals assaulted two federal courthouses and other government buildings, causing at least $2.3 million in damage. Recent targets include a church known for its homeless outreach, the Boys and Girls Club in Northeast Portland, and the Oregon Historical Society.

"There were 56 murders last year, a 60% increase over 2019, and 891 shootings, up from 389. Riots sometimes prevented police from quickly responding to 911 calls. Some 62% of businesses described downtown Portland as 'not safe' in 2020, compared to 5% in 2016, according to a recent survey by the nonprofit Downtown Portland Clean & Safe."

The editors conclude: “Mr. Wheeler sounds like a liberal mugged by reality. Too bad his city had to be mugged first.”

ITEM #3: In case you missed it (and judging by the ratings, you probably did), the Oscars were held recently.

Not on the guest list: Ricky Gervais.

Here's Fox News' Nate Day:

“Ricky Gervais is missing out on the action at the Oscars.

“The 59-year-old comedian is known for his sharp tongue and wit, which he often employs when hosting award shows like the Golden Globes.

“In fact, his name has now become synonymous with his 2020 Golden Globes opening monologue, in which he openly roasted some of Hollywood's biggest stars and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association itself.”

Gervais dared to speak his mind and even take on some of the entertainment industry’s progressive sacred cows. Which was basically a guarantee to make him persona non grata among the Hollywood elite.

He did show a sense of humor about the non-invite, though, tweeting, “It’s The Oscars tonight! I wasn’t invited. Was it something I said?"

Gervais’ blunt honesty may not have been welcome at the awards ceremony, but you know what was? Unhinged and unfair smears of America’s brave men and women in law enforcement.

As Melissa Roberto reports, many of those in attendance used the occasion of the Oscars to tee off on the police. She passes along one particularly nauseating example:

“Travon Free, one of the directors of ‘Two Distant Strangers,’ discussed police brutality in his acceptance speech for the film's win for best live-action short film.

"‘Today the police will kill three people and tomorrow the police will kill three people, and the day after that the police will kill three people because on average the police in America every day kill three people,’ Free said, joined by co-director Desmond Roe.

“He continued: ‘Those people have been disproportionately Black people... I ask that you please not be indifferent. Please don't be indifferent to our pain.’"

The far left’s politicization of the Oscars is a process many, many years in the making, of course. And it seems that among viewers, the camel’s back has finally broken. Kyle Smith reports that, “Ratings crashed 58 percent off last year’s abysmal viewership, down to 9.85 million Americans.”

It turns out Americans have better things to do than to be lectured by a bunch of self-righteous, out-of-touch, wealthy, privileged celebrities.

ITEM #4: If the Democrats pushing to pack the Supreme Court expect their arguments to sway the American people, they're going to have to do better than what they've offered up so far.

That's the view of Thomas Jipping, a senior legal fellow in the Edwin Meese Center for Legal & Judicial Studies at the Heritage Foundation, who writes:

“If enacted, the Judiciary Act of 2021 — which would add four seats to the Supreme Court — would be the most radical change to the Supreme Court as an institution in American history. One would, therefore, expect only the most compelling arguments from its backers. Judging from what we heard, however, this assault on judicial independence should crash and burn.

“Senator Ed Markey (D., Mass.), for example, claimed that expanding the Supreme Court is necessary because ‘Republican appointees represent a 6-3 supermajority.’ He made no attempt to explain why the number of justices appointed by presidents of different parties is relevant at all, nor did he explain why the 6-3 current tally is a problem.

“In 1937, President Franklin Roosevelt proposed expanding the Supreme Court for the same reason Democrats want to do it today. He wanted some vacancies that he could quickly fill with justices who would rule the way he wanted. Though Democrats held an overwhelming 80–16 majority at the time, the Senate rejected Roosevelt’s plan by a vote of 70–20. More to Markey’s point, however, Democrats did so even though Republican appointees to the Supreme Court represented an even larger 7–2 'supermajority.'

“Markey also argued that 'Republicans have appointed 15 of the last 19' Supreme Court justices. He wants us to believe that presidents of each party appoint a group of judicial clones. Republican appointees in Markey’s group, however, include Harry Blackmun, who authored Roe v. Wade creating a right to abortion; John Paul Stevens, who has argued that the Second Amendment should be repealed; Anthony Kennedy, who authored Obergefell v. Hodges creating a right to same-sex marriage; and David Souter, who provided the deciding vote to reaffirm Roe.

"Markey’s numbers correspond to the period since President Richard Nixon took office in 1969. But why slice and dice history that way? Looking a little further back to include Roosevelt, for example, the Republican-Democrat split is even at 20 apiece."

Weak sauce, indeed.

Jipping also refutes the common argument that expanding the Court is necessary for it to be able to do its work, noting that, “Unlike the lower courts, where a jurisdiction’s cases are divided among its judges, every Supreme Court justice handles every case that comes before the Court. Even if there were a workload problem, therefore, simply adding justices would do nothing to address it.”

There’s a reason Democrats are relegated to offering up these bad arguments for their court-packing scheme. It’s because no good arguments exist. This is a pure power grab, plain and simple. And the American people are likely to see right through the left’s nonsensical spin.

ITEM #5: Nobody with any common sense or even mild powers of observation needs any data or statistics to tell them the media are shamefully biased.

But that data exists nonetheless, and Kyle Smith passes along some pretty telling information from the Media Research Center. Smith writes:

“The Media Research Center is one of the few outfits that attempts to measure media bias in empirical terms, and its evaluation of TV news coverage of the first 100 days of the last two presidential administrations is telling, albeit not surprising.

"The MRC, looking at ABC, CBS, and NBC News, finds that there is both much less coverage of President Joe Biden than there was of President Donald Trump in each’s first 100 days, and that the tone of the coverage has flipped almost 180 degrees. Trump earned 1,900 minutes of coverage in his first 100 days, and almost all of the coverage that consisted of 'evaluative comments' was negative — 89 percent. By contrast, Biden has drawn only 700 minutes of coverage, and the editorializing was 59 percent positive."

We’re no more shocked than you are.

And by the way, we liked this little tidbit as well:

“Guess how much time the networks spent discussing the breathtaking levels of debt we are taking on, to such a degree that the deficit for the last six months reached $1.7 trillion and we just ran a monthly deficit, in March, of $660 billion? According to MRC, the answer is: 29 seconds.”

ITEM #6: Speaking of fiscal insanity …

The editors of the New York Post have taken stock of the spending tab President Biden has run up in his short time in office, and the numbers are simply unfathomable:

“Eight trillion dollars. That’s how much President Joe Biden has proposed in new spending — in just the 2½ months since taking office. It’s an absurd figure, equal to more than a third of America’s entire yearly economic output.”

Even more absurd is what all this money is being spent on:

"And it’s overwhelmingly meant to transform the nation — to empower and enrich Democratic special interests, lock in permanent Democratic control and impose radical left-wing ideas.

"Biden’s latest hit: $1.52 trillion in discretionary spending. That follows $1.9 trillion for last month’s American Rescue Plan, $2.3 trillion for Part I of his infrastructure plan and another $2 trillion or so expected soon for Part II.

"That mind-blowing $7.7 trillion total doesn’t even count another $3 trillion or so in entitlement spending and $300 billion in debt-service costs; add that in, and you’re talking about spending that’s more than half the nation’s $21 trillion output.

"Where would all the cash go? Mostly to Democratic allies and left-wing fantasies: unions and their members, Democratic states facing budget gaps, government bureaucrats, Green New Deal wish-lists and Dem-friendly corporations."

Hey, American news media … tell us again about what a “moderate” Joe Biden is?

ITEM #7: You’ve got to see this.

Fox News’ Yael Halon reports:

“CNN's ‘State of the Union’ was charged with engaging in dramatic ‘theater’ over the weekend after a televised interview with Vice President Harris showed host Dana Bash seated on the opposite side of the room, despite both she and Harris having received the coronavirus vaccine. 

“In the interview Sunday, Harris publically addressed the border crisis and admitted that the situation would not be ‘solved overnight.’ While the interview was wide-ranging in nature, critics couldn't help but notice the comically large distance between Bash and Harris.”

Here’s a photo of the setup:

As one witty social media observer quipped: "They're further apart than two kids dancing at a church social."

NOTABLE QUOTES

“These are the most radical first three months of a presidency since 1933, the most divisive — and certainly the most dangerous. And its catalyst is the myth of ol’ Joe from Scranton who has unleashed furies and hatreds never quite seen in modern American history.” ― Victor Davis Hanson
 
“Democrats want power. Republicans want freedom.” ― U.S. Congressman Jim Jordan