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Trump Praises Military for Keeping U.S. ‘Safe, Strong, Proud’

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– The Associated Press

“President Donald Trump on Wednesday praised the U.S. military for keeping America ‘safe, strong, proud, mighty and free’ and used the Independence Day holiday to thank them for being willing to put their lives on the line in defense of the nation,” Darlene Superville writes.

“Two hundred and 42 years ago on July 4, 1776, America’s founders adopted the Declaration of independence and changed the course of human history,” said Trump, addressing hundreds of military families attending a White House picnic from a balcony overlooking the South Lawn of the White House.

Before greeting guests on the lawn during the picnic, Trump praised service members and their families as “truly unbelievable people.””Thank you for keeping America safe, strong, proud, mighty and free,” he said.

The White House invited some 1,500 military families to the picnic, according to the first lady’s office, with 5,500 more invited for the fireworks. Several Cabinet secretaries attended the picnic, including embattled Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt.

Entertainers appearing at the 90-minute concert that was televised by the Hallmark Channel included singer-songwriter Sara Evans, pianist Lola Astanova and former “American Idol” finalists Jonny Brenns and Jax.


U.S. Added 213,000 Jobs in June, Beating Expectations

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– NBC News

“Total nonfarm payroll employment increased to 213,000 jobs in June, the 93rd straight month the number has gone up, the longest recorded streak. It was also higher than the expected gain of 195,000 jobs,The unemployment rate rose slightly to 4 percent, above the expected 3.8 percent, mainly due to 600,000 Americans entering the workforce , Employment increased in several industries, including health care, manufacturing and construction, though retail trade lost jobs. Wage growth accelerated in June to 2.7 percent annually.” Ben Popken reports.

Last month critics slammed Trump for appearing to hint at the positive direction of the jobs report before it was officially posted when he tweeted, “Looking forward to seeing the employment numbers at 8:30 this morning.” That sent bond yields and the value of the dollar higher ahead of the report. This time around his latest tweet was 12 hours prior to the release, praising Republican leadership and America’s global standing.


‘Abolish ICE’ is a Sign of the Left’s Rising Extremism

'ABOLISH ICE' banner was hung in protest.

– New York Post

The New York Post Editorial Board argues that “the ‘Abolish ICE’ crowd has no actual proposal for what — if anything — should replace it. They just want the agency shut immediately, and we’ll worry later about what comes next.”

Which leaves them legitimately open (as Trump clearly realizes) to the charge that what they really want is no immigration enforcement, and de facto open borders.

Indeed, now that Trump has ended the separation of children, many of those who first called for just that are demanding an end to detaining families altogether.

But Democrats shouldn’t get carried away by media coverage of the protests or their own overheated rhetoric. Yes, polls show widespread opposition to Trump’s handling of the border crisis — but also show that Americans still oppose illegal immigration and favor beefed-up border security.

A few Democrats realize this: Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois is refusing to join the “Abolish ICE” movement, saying: “There’s a lot of other things we can do before we get to that point.” And New York’s Chuck Schumer wants only a “real overhaul.”

Real immigration reform requires rational laws and a workable, humane enforcement system. But that requires political compromise, which can’t happen when so many Democrats are rushing in the opposite direction.


Trump Tax Cuts Have Strengthened U.S. Economy

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– Tampa Bay Times

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is fulfilling President Trump’s “critical goals of allowing people to keep more of what they earn and improving the business environment,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin writes. “Substantial economic progress and greater prosperity are already being achieved, which will mean more career opportunities, more prosperity, and a safe and secure future for Americans.”

In just six months, these historic tax cuts are yielding tremendous results for workers and taxpayers all across the country. The unemployment rate — currently 3.8 percent — is at an 18-year low. African American unemployment is the lowest ever recorded. Unemployment claims are at their lowest in 45 years. The Labor Department now reports for the first time that there are enough job openings in America for every unemployed person in the country.

Business optimism is soaring. The National Federation of Independent Business is reporting record levels of optimism. The Consumer Confidence Index recently reached its highest level in 17 years. The National Association of Manufacturers is reporting record-setting optimism and confidence in the future. These results demonstrate that America is open for business and that companies are eager to invest and grow in the United States.


Trump’s Trade Critics are Wrong — His Tariffs Could Bring Major Benefits to America

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– Fox News

“President Trump has done what any president should do – he’s made it clear that America will not allow the unfair trade practices that have led to enormous trade deficits to continue,” writes Andy Puzder, former CEO of CKE Restaurants. “Changing times require changing policies. Just because America’s trade practices made sense decades ago does not mean these same trade practices make sense in the 21st century.”

We have moved beyond the post-World War II and Cold War period when America’s economic dominance was unchallenged and trade concessions were essential to worldwide economic growth. While our trading partners’ economies have meaningfully improved, America’s approach to trade failed to adjust, leading to increasingly large trade deficits.

For example, the U.S. imposes a 2.5 percent tariff on car imports. But American car manufacturers must pay a 10 percent tariff to sell their cars in Europe – four times higher than Europeans must pay to sell their cars in the U.S. This helps explain why German manufacturers sell three cars in America for every car we sell in Germany. It also helps explain why our trade in goods deficit with Germany was $64 billion in 2017.

Japan’s protectionist trade barriers are so restrictive that in 1989 the Reagan administration labeled Japan an unfair trading partner. Today those protectionist policies largely remain in place. As a result, Japanese car manufacturers sell 100 cars in the U.S. for every car we sell in Japan. Our trade deficit in goods with Japan stood at $49 billion in 1989. It jumped to $69 billion in 2017.

While China is not as yet a major auto exporting nation, since 2008 it has manufactured more cars annually than any other nation. It primarily sells those cars inexpensively within China, while imposing a 25 percent tariff on American cars imported into the country.


Snapshot: Americans’ Views of Job Market Remain Upbeat

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– Gallup

According to a new Gallup survey, “Americans continue to recognize a robust U.S. job market, with 65% saying that it is a good time to find a ‘quality job,’” Frank Newport reports. “These are the highest readings in Gallup’s 17-year history of tracking this measure of Americans’ views of the employment situation.”

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Background: The U.S. unemployment rate edged down to 3.8% in May, the lowest in 18 years, with total nonfarm payroll jobs increasing by 223,000 last month. Separately, Gallup has been finding many fewer Americans mentioning aspects of the economy as the nation’s top problem than has been the case historically. A slight majority of Americans interviewed in a June 1-13 poll, 56%, say the economy is getting better, as high as that measure has been since 2004.

Line graph: Americans who cite immigration as the top U.S. problem, Dec 2016-Jun 2018 trend. June 2018: 14% mention immigration.

Optimism about the ability to find a quality job rose after Donald Trump took office and, with one exception, has been above 60% every month since September 2017. Views of the job market began to improve after reaching their all-time low of 8% in 2009 and again in 2011, after the Great Recession and amid the financial meltdown and high unemployment. The highest reading before the recession — since Gallup began tracking the measure in 2001 — was 48% in January 2007.

Line graph: Mentions of immigration as top U.S. problem, by party, Sep 2017-Jun 2018. June 2018: 21% R, 10% D mention immigration.

Views of the job market, like views of the economy in general, are tied to underlying partisanship. Eighty-five percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents now say it is a good time to find a quality job, contrasted with 50% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents. During the Barack Obama years, Democrats were more optimistic about the job market than Republicans were — while during the George W. Bush years, Republicans were more positive than Democrats.

Trend line of what % of Americans think it is a good time to find a quality job from 2001 through 2018.

Americans are more optimistic about finding any job than they are about finding a “quality job.” This month’s survey contained an experiment in which half the sample was asked Gallup’s usual trend question about the climate for finding a “quality job,” while the other half was asked about it being a good time to find a “job” (removing the modifying word “quality”). Positive responses to the question asking about a “job” climb to 75%, compared with 65% for “quality job.”Republicans, robustly positive about the job market and the economy under Trump, are equally positive about it being a good time to find a quality job (85%) or just a job (87%). Democrats, on the other hand, react significantly differently to the two versions, with 64% agreeing that it is a good time to find a job, compared with 50% who say it is a good time to find a quality job.


Editorial: Melania Trump Finding Her Voice on Immigration

First lady Melania Trump arrives at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, in Phoenix, Thursday, June 28, 2018. The first lady is en route to Southwest Key Campbell, a shelter for children that have been separated form their parents. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

– Boston Herald

The Boston Herald Editorial Board applauds First Lady Melania Trump for “her efforts to understand the situation on the border and use her position to improve it. She is a smart and accomplished woman and has the unique circumstance of being an immigrant herself.”

She is becoming more high-profile in her current role and that can be a powerful thing as we’ve seen with some of her predecessors.Border security is important but so is empathy, and this first lady is certainly exhibiting it.


Trump Beats Promise to Cut New Refugees, Down 66% from Obama

Myanmar UN

– Washington Examiner

“The Trump administration beat the president’s goal of trimming new refugee admissions from the 100,000 brought in by former President Obama, slashing the population by 66 percent. In fact, for the first time, the U.S. resettled fewer refugees than the rest of the world, , but still more than another other country.” Paul Bedard reports in the Washington Examiner.

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New data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees showed that the U.S. took in 33,000 refugees last year, down from 97,000 under Obama, who had pushed to raise the ceiling to 110,000.

President Trump vowed to reverse that flow, raising concerns that refugees were not being vetted well by the United Nations. He pushed to cut refugees to 45,000 a year.

The majority of refugees to the U.S. come from the Middle East and Africa. But U.S. generosity is not met by wealthy nations in that region, such as UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait, who refuse to take in the refugees. And while the U.S. and Europe are criticized by the U.N. for not doing more, little anger is directed at those Middle Eastern nations.

Refugee resettlement groups, like Catholic Charities, have been critical of the administration’s cuts, which mean lower revenue to them. A recent report in a Catholic magazine indicated that reducing refugees could force the closure of 23 Catholic Charities resettlement offices.

An analysis by the Pew Research Center found that there were an international total of 103,000 refugees in 2017, down from 189,000 in 2016. And the U.S. was joined in cutting numbers by Canada and Australia. Refugees are one of the foreign populations being scrutinized by the Trump administration along with those seeking asylum, legal and illegal immigrants.

However under Trump the U.S. is bringing in a higher percentage of Christian refugees than the majority Muslim under Obama.


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