The five‐week campaign has been a grinding affair punctuated by a terrorist attack in London, floods in northern England and a welter of budget giveaways aimed at luring an increasingly exasperated electorate.
— Wall Street Journal, December 8, 2019
Candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for president … addressed a mostly friendly crowd—the audience was there by invitation—and hewed closely to the teacher unions’ own agenda, speaking of reducing testing, boosting school spending and raising teacher salaries.
— Washington Post, December 15, 2019
President Trump urged his top border security official to finalize a new labor contract with the Border Patrol union just weeks before the deal was signed in September, an agreement that significantly increased the number of union officials allowed to collect a government salary without performing patrol duties, according to current and former administration officials.
The new collective bargaining agreement, which took effect Nov. 1, requires the government to finance the equivalent of 74 full‐time union positions—more than comparable Department of Homeland Security unions and about three times the working hours that the National Border Patrol Council has used in recent years. …
The move pulls additional Border Patrol agents from their jobs to focus on labor relations matters [and] expands the number of border agents whose roles as union officers allow them to engage in partisan political activity, a potential benefit to the president’s 2020 campaign.
— Washington Post, December 10, 2019
TRADE DEAL BRINGS CENTRAL PLANNING BACK TO CHINA
The trade deal to be signed this week will include pledges by China to buy $200 billion of U.S. goods over a two‐year period in four industries, a Trump administration official and two people briefed on the matter said.
The target for manufactured goods purchases will be the largest, worth around $75 billion. China will also promise to buy $50 billion worth of energy, $40 billion in agriculture and $35 billion to $40 billion in services, the three people said.
— Politico, January 13, 2020
GIVE HIM ONE OF THOSE FARM BAILOUTS
After Hurricane Dorian battered his farm in September, John Trenton Pendarvis faced a costly decision. … He had already spent over $75,000 for licensing, seeds and labor—a sum that he hoped to recoup by selling the post‐harvest hemp oil and flowers for several million dollars. … A phalanx of law enforcement officers arrived, handcuffing and arresting him for illegal hemp cultivation, then bulldozing his crop. —Washington Post, January 11, 2020
BACK TO CRONYISM
Congress quietly renewed the U.S. ExportImport Bank for seven years, bundling its reauthorization into a federal spending package signed into law on Dec. 20, the date the bank’s operating authority and funding for the government were set to expire. —Wall Street Journal, January 9, 2020
AMLO’S NEW ECONOMICS
[Andrés Manuel] López Obrador is betting that the economy can again absorb the pay increases. “We’re going to raise the minimum wage without hurting job creation, without affecting businesses,” the president told journalists.
— Washington Post, January 2, 2020
EMPLOYEES OF SOCIALIST ENTERPRISE ENDORSE SOCIALIST
Bernie Sanders was endorsed Thursday by the 200,000-member American Postal Workers Union.
— AP, January 30, 2020