Commentary

Jerry Bowyer: Talking the Economy Into Recession?

The economic question which people ask me most often these days is whether the media can talk the economy into a recession.

For months I’ve been warning that economic growth was slowing down. Now it’s undeniable: The economy has slowed … and people are trying to figure out where to place the blame.

This is going to be kind of hard for me to say, but for once, I don’t think the media is to blame. This slowdown is not driven by falling consumer confidence, the sort of thing that the media can influence.

No, this slowdown is driven by a slowdown in big-ticket capital spending: factories, power plants, gigantic earth movers, ships, planes, etc. which are not performing well. Decisions about those items are made by serious analysts with serious spreadsheets, not by watching cable pundits.

There’s no need to point a finger at the media on this one.

Want to move the needle back to boom again? Stop the policy uncertainty.

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Hugh Hewitt: China Needs to See U.S. Resolve

Protests have continued in Hong Kong, even as the territory’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam formally withdrew from consideration the bill that would have allowed residents of Hong Kong to be extradited to China for criminal trial.

Yet, just a day earlier, China’s President Xi reiterated his call—as the Wall Street Journal reported—“for a determined fight to overcome any risk or challenge that endangers Communist Party leadership or harms China’s sovereignty and security.”

So, who to believe? What should we expect from Beijing regarding Hong Kong? The only certainty is that the People’s Republic of China is playing the proverbial “long game.”

In response, we need a long-haul policy of containment and coexistence, speaking firmly but without provocation.

Beijing is developing another 100-year strategy.

Our response will require doing more than words. It will require ships and submarines, missiles and planes, and a cyber- and space force.

Is the United States really serious?

Xi is watching what we build, not what we say.

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Owen Strachan: Standing Firm

Is the Bible—and its teaching about marriage and the family—now hateful?

Some today seem to think so.

When NFL quarterback Drew Brees promoted Bring Your Bible to School day in partnership with Focus on the Family, activists in the LGBTQ world struck back hard.

They accused Brees of partnering with a “hate” group that does harm to homosexuals.

The attack on Brees was gratuitous—a cheap shot deserving a penalty. And Brees should not backtrack here. Teaching that marriage is a lifelong covenant between one man and one woman isn’t hateful. Neither is helping people believe anything Scripture teaches about sexual sin. This is what virtue and health look like, actually.

It’s right to support marriage, the traditional family, and the sexes. Focus on the Family is doing great work. They can take their hits.

People of religious conviction everywhere must have the courage to stand firm in the pocket.

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Jerry Bowyer: Campaign 2020: Is it Dems v. Trump or Dems v. Beef?

After the recent CNN “Climate Change Townhall,” one gets the impression that the candidates are no longer running against Trump but instead running against beef.

Kamala Harris and Andrew Yang both called for either cutting back meat consumption dramatically or even nudging most of the world to go vegetarian completely. Beto O’Rourke says people who eat meat are part of the problem—and Cory Booker went full veggie a long time ago.

But the science behind The Vegetarian Myth, is rebutted by an eponymous book by former vegan Leirre Keith. Turns out that all that soy they’re pushing at us is much worse for the environment. The rain forests are generally being slashed and burned for soy farming, not for pasturing cows. Grass-fed cows maintain sustainable pastures with deep roots—whereas highly subsidized, shallow-rooted annual grain crops can leave soil vulnerable to run-off and depletion.

The war against beef has deep roots itself—in progressive ideology, but its scientific roots are rather shallow.

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Michael Medved: The Alarming Truth About Life Expectancy

The New York Times recently reported on alarming statistics on life expectancy. “For the first time in modern history, gains have stalled,” according to the report. “Alcohol and drug abuse, poor diet, obesity, smoking, and a lack of exercise have taken their toll … Older people are dying prematurely, their conditions worsened by isolation and depression.”

It’s a bleak portrait, but it’s not about America: the Times report focused on the United Kingdom, long-celebrated by the left for its National Health Service and other welfare state programs. Of course, in America we have identical problems of substance abuse, isolation and deaths of despair, but the situation in Great Britain reveals how socialized medicine and big government don’t offer simple solutions.

In most Western societies, the breakdown of family, retreat of religion and collapse of community, damage both the quality and length of our lives, regardless of government policies.

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Michael Medved: The Real Story Behind Israeli Elections

American conservatives who view Israeli elections on September 17th as a simple “yes” or “no” on Prime Minister Netanyahu, will miss the underlying good news about the electorate. Polling shows complete collapse of the Israeli left; the secular, socialist Labor Party that dominated the first 30 years of Israel’s modern history, will barely win 5 percent of the new Knesset.

All left-leaning parties, including the “Joint List” that represents Israeli Arabs, draw a combined total of only a fourth of the voters. Even the centrist “Blue and White” Party that is challenging Netanyahu’s Likud for national leadership, is decidedly conservative by historic standards, led by former generals. Despite the distracting headlines about Netanyahu and corruption charges against him, the Israeli public shows growing commitment to free markets, religiosity and a strong security policy.

Whatever the final results, the voters have undeniably moved to the right.

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Lanhee Chen: As the Field Narrows

And then there were ten. That is: Ten Democrats who have qualified to participate in the next presidential primary debate on September 12.

Although the field has narrowed, the candidates’ drift toward far-left progressive policies continues—particularly when it comes to efforts to deal with climate change.

Elizabeth Warren recently unveiled a plan that would spend $3 trillion on government subsidies to combat global warming. Bernie Sanders wants to spend $16 trillion over 15 years, ban fracking for natural gas, and end the import and export of various sources of energy. Kamala Harris has a $10 trillion proposal that would bring what she calls “climate justice” to areas impacted by flooding, heat waves, and shortages in water or food.

Democrats are tripping over themselves to spend more and tax more, all in the name of environmental friendliness. But instead of dealing with climate change thoughtfully, they’re putting forth irresponsible proposals that will damage our economy and ultimately hurt American families working hard to make ends meet.

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