Friday, November 30, 2018

It’s Official: Trump Signs New Trade Deal With Mexico and Canada

By Katie Pavlich | Townhall

After promising to renegotiate NAFTA on the campaign trail and during his time in the White House, President Trump has delivered.

At the G20 Summit in Argentina on Friday, President Trump officially signed a new trade deal with Mexico and Canada.

“This new deal will be the most modern, up-to-date, and balanced trade agreement in the history of our country, with the most advanced protections for workers ever developed,” President Trump released in a statement.

According to the White House, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement rebalances the trade relationship with both countries, secures a stronger deal for American industries and modernizes trade practices for a new era.

More information from the White House:

- Today in Argentina, the United States is joining Canada and Mexico to sign a new trade agreement that will better serve the interests of American workers and businesses.

- This follows the President’s announcement in October that a deal had been reached.

- The new United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) will replace the outdated, failed North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

- With the signing of this agreement, President Trump has delivered on his promise to renegotiate NAFTA and protect American farmers, ranchers, businesses, and workers.

- USMCA will help incentivize billions of dollars in additional vehicle and auto parts production in the United States.

- The agreement includes updated rules of origin that require 75 percent of auto content to be produced in North America.

- American autoworkers will benefit from rules that incentivize the use of high-wage manufacturing labor in the auto sector.

- This includes a requirement that 40-45% of a vehicle consist of content manufactured by North American workers making at least $16 per hour.

- USMCA’s labor and environment chapters are fully enforceable and represent the strongest labor and environmental provisions of any trade agreement ever negotiated.

- Mexico agreed to historic labor reforms to provide for genuine collective bargaining.

- The agreement prohibits the importation of goods produced by forced labor.

- The agreement includes provisions that allow agriculture products to be traded more fairly.

- The new agreement includes a modernized chapter that provides stronger and more comprehensive intellectual property protections than any prior United States trade agreement.

- USMCA includes the strongest digital trade and financial services provisions of any United States trade agreement.

- USMCA will cut red tape at the border, streamline trade, and reduce regulatory uncertainty.  
The deal will need to be passed by Congress in order to be completed.

Black Parents Sue School, Claim Bullies Abuse Daughter for 'Acting White'

By Tom Knighton | PJ Media

A black family in South Carolina is suing their daughter's school for failing to protect her from racially motivated abuse at the hands of other students. However, both the abusers and the victim are the same race.

The high-achieving girl is black, and she is being abused by other black students because her success is apparently too "white."

The parents of an academically stellar African-American student are suing a South Carolina school district alleging school officials did not prevent continued verbal and physical abuse of their daughter from … other black students.

Students at Richland School District One’s Hand Middle School “called (the girl) racial slurs like ‘Oreo,’ ‘white girl,’ ‘wannabe white girl’ … and generally maligned her for ‘acting white,’” the lawsuit says, according to The State.

Hand’s student body is approximately 50% black, but the girl was just one of a few African-American students in her advanced courses.

“During those years, she also was “repeatedly pushed, shoved and tripped in hallways and other locations around Hand Middle School … (and) suffered several notable physical assaults,” the lawsuit continues.

The lawsuit contends that school officials were informed of the situation, yet did nothing. The superintendent reportedly avoided the girl's parents when they tried to meet with him.

This is troubling for me -- but not because I find it unusual.

I was raised in a majority-black community, and it appears the same thing I witnessed then is still happening to black students who do well academically.

I can't, for the life of me, reconcile the rhetoric we hear from black activists about black students being left behind with this complete silence about academic excellence being devalued as "white" behavior. 

She's challenging herself. She's humiliating anti-black racists by proving any kid is capable of anything.

And she's being harassed for acting "white"? Where the hell does such a cultural phenomenon come from?

Is this the result of decades of race-baiting about oppression? About Leftist narratives that blacks are not able to make it without government assistance anyway, so why bother with hard work?

How is the black community going to deal with the disproportional poverty affecting blacks if there is widespread denigration of academic achievement -- the one surefire way known to alleviate poverty? 

We have yet to see a government program actually work. We know hard work and education can. We've seen it time and time again.

Please, someone, explain to me how this school administration finds it acceptable to do nothing when they know students are attaching a racial slur to the act of achievement.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Facebook has a 'black people problem,' says former employee who quit this month

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify following a break during a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee joint hearing about Facebook on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Photo: Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

A former Facebook employee accused the company of having "a black people problem" in a note published publicly on Tuesday on the social network.

Mark Luckie, who is black, said Facebook's population of black employees is not representative of its black user base.

"There is often more diversity in Keynote presentations than the teams who present them," Luckie wrote in the note, which he originally shared with Facebook employees on Nov. 8.

"In some buildings, there are more 'Black Lives Matter' posters than there are actual black people. Facebook can't claim that it is connecting communities if those communities aren't represented proportionately in its staffing."

Luckie's note provides an inside look at what it's like to be black inside of Facebook, but it is not the first time Facebook's lack of diversity has been exposed.

"You can build something that works, that people want to use, but you can't actually make all the right decisions if among the builders there's not enough diversity and perspective," Facebook's head of diversity Maxine Williams told CNBC in July.

Among the highlights in Luckie's note are anecdotes he shares about how he and other employees of color are treated by their fellow colleagues.

"On a personal note, at least two or three times a day, every day, a colleague at MPK [Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park] will look directly at me and tap or hold their wallet or shove their hands down their pocket to clutch it tightly until I pass," Luckie wrote.

Another former Facebook employee who left the company recently and is also a minority told CNBC that Luckie's note was "unfortunately not surprising."

"Facebook touts diversity and inclusion as though it's a marketing opportunity, and perhaps it is genuinely meaningful to them on its face," the former employee told CNBC. "But when it comes to tactical, day-to-day integration of their stock 'unconscious bias' training, it proves to still be a group of exceedingly privileged white people making similarly biased and discriminatory choices as other white leaders in the industry."

Luckie's note comes at a trying time for Facebook, which is already under the microscope for its handling of Russian interference in U.S. elections and the spread of misinformation on its service as well as stagnating and declining user growth in key markets.

"To feel like an oddity at your own place of employment because of the color of your skin while passing posters reminding you to be your authentic self feels in itself inauthentic," Luckie wrote.

Responding to the note, Facebook spokesman Anthony Harrison said the company has "been working diligently to increase the range of perspectives among those who build our products and serve the people who use them throughout the world."

"The growth in representation of people from more diverse groups, working in many different functions across the company, is a key driver of our ability to succeed," Harrison said in a statement provided to CNBC. "We want to fully support all employees when there are issues reported and when there may be micro-behaviors that add up. We are going to keep doing all we can to be a truly inclusive company."

Wednesday, November 28, 2018


By Ed Driscoll

 Of Course: Study Shows White Liberals Talk Down To Minorities, Avoiding Language That Demonstrates Higher Competency

Obviously. They think of minorities as PeTA thinks of animals, or pro-lifers think of babies: incompetents incapable of standing on their own.

At least PETA and pro-lifers have a strong case to made there.

What will White Liberals say about this? What will their explanation be?

Oh, there won't be one: the media won't bother to explore this very interesting finding.

This article on Yale's website was published almost two weeks ago.

Ah, there you go. Media liberals who #LoveDaScience just happened to completely miss this article for two weeks until John Sexton found it.

The author of the article, Cydney Dupree, is one of two researchers who started out looking at how white presidential candidates talk when they are addressing a mostly black audience compared to when they are speaking to a mostly white audience.

Dupree, who is black, and co-researcher Susan Fiske of Princeton found the candidates were less likely to use words that expressed competence and more likely to use words that expressed warmth when talking to a minority audience.

The team found that Democratic candidates used fewer competence-related words in speeches delivered to mostly minority audiences than they did in speeches delivered to mostly white audiences.

The difference wasn’' statistically significant in speeches by Republican candidates, though "it was harder to find speeches from Republicans delivered to minority audiences," Dupree notes.

There was no difference in Democrats' or Republicans' usage of words related to warmth.

"It was really surprising to see that for nearly three decades, Democratic presidential candidates have been engaging in this predicted behavior."

But that was just the beginning.

Next, the researchers started designing a new experiment which would attempt to discover if the same pattern held true for ordinary people, i.e. non-politicians who were simply talking to another individual.
And what they found is that white liberals were less likely to stress competence when talking with someone they believed was black.

Conservative white participants did not show this same "competence downshift" when talking to someone they believed was black.

The researchers found that liberal individuals were less likely to use words that would make them appear highly competent when the person they were addressing was presumed to be black rather than white.

No significant differences were seen in the word selection of conservatives based on the presumed race of their partner.

"It was kind of an unpleasant surprise to see this subtle but persistent effect"” Dupree says. "Even if it's ultimately well-intentioned, it could be seen as patronizing."

Could be.

Could be.

Well, like I said, don't expect the media to dive into this topic. It's uncomfortable for white liberals, and their black liberal colleagues as well, and the media is made up of nothing but white liberals with a smattering of Don't Call Us Racist hires, so this will make them very uncomfortable indeed.

And the media is all about pleasing itself and its fellow liberals these days, never challenging themselves or their audience.

They ignored this study for two weeks and they'll keep on doing so.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Election Results Point to a Political Change Occurring Among Black Young Adults

By Star Parker / The Daily Signal

Buried in the mounds of data fleshing out what happened in the midterm elections is an interesting take on blacks.

Nationwide data on black voting in this election cycle do not point to much change.

Various polls over recent months seemed to indicate that blacks were starting to warm up to Republicans and President Donald Trump.

But blacks went 90 percent for Democrats and 8 percent for Republicans. Pretty much business as usual.

However, digging down, we find something interesting.

Blacks ages 18 to 29 voted 82 percent for Democrats and 14 percent for Republicans. 

That seems to point to change taking place among young blacks.

Lending support to this conclusion is the fact that in the 2014 midterms, 18- to 29-year-old blacks voted in concert with the overall average: 88 percent for Democrats and 11 percent for Republicans.

Either we have a fluke in this year’s midterms or some kind of change in political thinking is taking hold among young African-Americans.

I think there is good reason to believe the latter. 

Of course, where it goes depends on how Republicans choose to think about and handle the situation.

Adding to this curiosity is something else of interest. 

The inclination to vote Republican as a function of age is the complete reverse for blacks as it is for whites.

Younger blacks vote Republican at higher percentages than older blacks.

Younger whites vote Republican at lower percentages than older whites.

Compared with the 14 percent of 18- to 29-year-old blacks who voted Republican in the midterms, 6.5 percent of blacks who are 45 or older voted Republican.

Compared with the 43 percent of 18- to 29-year-old whites who voted Republican, 58.5 percent of whites who are 45 or older voted Republican.

How might we understand this?

According to the Federal Reserve, as of 2016, median black household income was $35,400, and median black household net worth was $17,600. Contrast that with $61,200 median income and $171,000 median net worth for whites.

After all these years of government programs to help low-income Americans, African-Americans, on average, are not catching up.

Perhaps the message is sinking in to young blacks that what they need is more freedom and the kind of growing economy that goes with it.

They are seeing firsthand the results in the economic recovery that has taken place over the past two years. 

There were over 650,000 more blacks working last month than there were in October 2017. 

Compared with the average monthly numbers of 2016, there were over 1.3 million more blacks working.

According to reports that have been rolling out during this recovery, the boom has created a tight job market, which has created new opportunities for previously unemployable lower-end workers. This has meant new opportunities for young blacks.

Young white voters—who, on average, come from higher-income homes and have a higher chance of getting help in starting out from their parents—seem to be likelier to buy into the big-government and social justice mindset than their parents and grandparents.

Republicans should highlight for young blacks the critical importance of capitalism and a free economy for upward mobility. 

However, they also need to inform them that the same Federal Reserve report showing large gaps in income and wealth between blacks and whites also shows 61 percent of white households as having a married couple or romantic partners, compared with 37 percent of black households.

The message is that wealth is created through freedom and family.

Trump won in 2016 by flipping states that were blue to red by very thin margins.

Florida, for example, with 29 electoral votes, which Trump won by a margin of about 1 percentage point, will be critical in 2020. 

We see now the elections there for senator and governor at razor-thin margins.

Republicans should target African-Americans in Florida and other swing states with the message of upward mobility.

It could make all the difference in 2020.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Democrats Are Emerging As Party of the Rich

By IRA STOLL | New York Sun 

Maybe it’s time to rebrand the Democrats as the party of the rich.

This month saw the election of Jay Robert “J.B.” Pritzker as governor of Illinois. Mr. Pritzker, an heir to the Hyatt hotel fortune, is worth an estimated $3.2 billion, and spent $171.5 million to get himself elected, according to Money magazine.

Another winner was Edward M. “Ned” Lamont Jr., in the Connecticut governor’s race. Mr. Lamont, an heir to the J.P. Morgan banking fortune of his great-grandfather Thomas Lamont, estimated his assets in 2006 at between $90 million and $300 million, and showed reporters tax returns last month with income totaling $18 million over 5 years.

The winner of the election for governor of Colorado, Jared Polis, filed financial disclosure forms as a member of the House of Representatives indicating estimated wealth of more than $300 million.

Messrs. Pritzker, Lamont, and Polis are all Democrats.

The Democratic Party’s list of possible presidential contenders for 2020 includes Michael Bloomberg, whose fortune is estimated by Forbes at about $47 billion. 

A declared presidential candidate is a Democratic congressman from Maryland, John Delaney, who is worth an estimated $90 million. 

John Forbes Kerry might have another go at it, having recently acquired an $11.75 million, 18.75-acre property on Martha’s Vineyard to go with his $10 million house on Boston’s Louisburg Square.

The list of potential successors to Nancy Pelosi as speaker of the House includes a Democratic congressman from Massachusetts, Joseph Kennedy III, whose disclosed wealth of about $42 million stems primarily not from the Kennedy side of his family but rather from his mother Sheila Brewster Rauch’s status as an heir to the Standard Oil fortune.

When President Trump named an initial team that included Rex Tillerson, Wilbur Ross, and Betsy Devos, the press was quick to label it a cabinet of plutocrats. “Trump’s wealthy cabinet choices hark back to gilded age,” was the headline the Financial Times put over it.

Somehow, the wealth of Messrs. Pritzker, Lamont, and Polis has gotten less attention, perhaps because it doesn’t so easily fit the country-club Republican stereotype

Instead of writing about the limousine liberals who are so rich they make the Trump cabinet look like a passel of paupers, the press has been obsessing about how a newly elected congresswoman from the Bronx, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, can’t afford to rent a place in Washington until she starts collecting her congressional salary.

The mention of Washington apartments is a reminder that there’s plenty of precedent for Democratic Party politicians who were personally at some economic distance from the working people they purported to champion. 

Harry Reid, who was the Democratic leader in the Senate, resided in a Ritz-Carlton luxury condominium, prompting The New York Sun editorial headline, “Reid of the Ritz.” Neither Senator Edward Kennedy nor President Franklin Roosevelt were from what you’d call humble origins, though both were effective.

It may be too much to hope that Democratic politicians with some money will, John Kennedy-style, favor policies that will enable and encourage the creation of new fortunes, or even that they would be sensitive to the desire of other wealthy people not to have their money either taxed away at confiscatory rates or eroded by inflation.

I’d settle for an end to what seems like the constant vilification of “millionaires and billionaires.” 

Or simply a recognition that, as a professor of political science at Williams College, Darrel Paul, put it after analyzing wealthy congressional districts, “the big story of the 2018 election is the swing of the rich toward the Democrats.”

It’s not clear whether that will be a long-term realignment.

Part of the dynamic is surely that even an incumbent President Trump is in some ways a change candidate, voicing popular discontent with policies advanced by coastal elites. Some of the wealthy understandably prefer to defend the status quo under which they have prospered.

Also, the campaign finance donation limits that liberals have championed in the name of getting money out of politics have had the paradoxical effect of favoring wealthy candidates who can self-fund.

Republicans may be tempted to attack the wealthy Democrats with class warfare rhetoric of their own.

Maybe it wouldn’t be a bad thing for the country, though, if wealthy voters do become a swing constituency to be courted by both political parties, rather than a group to be insulted, scapegoated, or taken for granted. If any of these politicians can articulate how their wealth was a reward for hard work and innovation rather than the result of mere luck, they’ll be enriching the conversation.

The sweet spot is for politicians to be rich enough that they understand and appreciate wealth creation, but not so rich that they are entirely remote from the reality of ordinary Americans. If Messrs. Pritzker, Lamont, Polis, Bloomberg, or Kennedy manage to achieve that Trump-like feat, one of them may eventually even follow him into the White House.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Moral Bankruptcy

By Thomas Sowell | Townhall

People who follow politics, even casually, learn not to expect high moral standards from politicians. But there are some outrages that show a new low, even for politicians.

Among the consequences of Democrats' recent election victories, especially at the state and local levels, is the election of officials who have publicly announced their opposition to charter schools, and their determination to restrict or roll back the growth of those schools.

What have the charter schools done to provoke such opposition?

Often located in low-income, minority neighborhoods, these schools have in many cases produced educational outcomes far better than the traditional public schools in such neighborhoods.

A Success Academy charter elementary school in Harlem had a higher proportion of the children in one of its classes pass the statewide math exam than in any other class at the same grade level, anywhere in the state of New York.

As a result of the charter schools' educational achievements, it is not uncommon for thousands of children to be on waiting lists to get into such schools -- in New York City, tens of thousands.

This represents a huge opportunity for many low-income, minority youngsters who have very few other opportunities for a better life. But, to politicians dependent on teachers' unions for money and votes, charter schools are expendable.

In various communities around the country, charter schools are already being prevented from moving into empty school buildings, which would allow them to admit more children from waiting lists.

Denying these children what can be their one chance in life is a new low, even for politicians.

Political rhetoric can camouflage what is happening. But the arguments against charter schools are so phony that anyone with a decent education should be able to see right through them. Unfortunately, the very failure of many traditional public schools to provide a decent education enables their defenders to get away with arguments that could not survive any serious analysis.

Consider the incessantly repeated argument that charter schools are "taking money away from the public schools." Charter schools are themselves public schools, educating children who have a legal right to be educated with taxpayer money set aside for that purpose. When some fraction of children move from traditional public schools to charter schools, why should the same fraction of money not move with them?

What is the money for, if not to educate children? The amount of taxpayer money spent per child in charter schools is seldom, if ever, greater than the amount spent per child in traditional public schools. Often it is less.

Another argument used in attacking charter schools is that, despite particular charter schools with outstanding results, by and large charter school students' results on educational tests are no better than the results in traditional public schools. Even if we accept this claim, it leaves out one crucial fact.

White students and Asian students together constitute a majority of the students in traditional public schools. Black students and Hispanic students together constitute a majority of the students in charter schools.

On virtually all educational tests, black and Hispanic students score significantly lower than white and Asian students. If charter schools as a whole just produce educational results comparable to those in traditional public schools as a whole, that is a big improvement.

If you want to make a comparison of educational results with comparable students, you can look at results among children living in the same neighborhood, at the same grade levels -- and with both charter school children and children in a traditional school being educated in the very same building.

Such comparisons in New York City showed, almost every time, a majority of the students in the traditional public school scoring in the bottom half in both math and English, while the percentage of charter school students scoring in the top half was some multiple of the percentage of other students scoring that high.

This is what the teachers' unions and the politicians want to put a stop to. Who will speak up for those children?

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Minority Women ‘School Choice Moms’ Tipped the Governor’s Florida Race

By William Mattox

DeSantis owes his win to unexpected support from minority women.

Believe it or not, Republican Ron DeSantis owes his victory in the Florida gubernatorial election to about 100,000 African-American women who unexpectedly chose him over the black Democratic candidate, Andrew Gillum.

Of the roughly 650,000 black women who voted in Florida, 18% chose Mr. DeSantis, according to CNN’s exit poll of 3,108 voters. 

This exceeded their support for GOP U.S. Senate candidate Rick Scott (9%), Mr. DeSantis’s performance among black men (8%) and the GOP’s national average among black women (7%).

To be sure, 18% of the black female vote in Florida is equal to less than 2% of the total electorate. But in an election decided by fewer than 40,000 votes, these 100,000 black women proved decisive. 

Their apparent ticket splitting helps to explain why the Florida governor’s race wasn’t as close as the Florida Senate race, though Mr. Gillum was widely expected to carry Democrat Sen. Bill Nelson to victory on his coattails.

What explains Mr. DeSantis’ surprising support from African-American women? Two words: school choice.

More than 100,000 low-income students in Florida participate in the Step Up For Students program, which grants tax-credit funded scholarships to attend private schools. Even more students are currently enrolled in the state’s 650 charter schools.

Most Step Up students are minorities whose mothers are registered Democrats. Yet many of these “school-choice moms” vote for gubernatorial candidates committed to protecting their ability to choose where their child goes to school.

Four years ago, Gov. Scott narrowly won re-election thanks to a spike in support from school-choice moms. In 2016 more than 10,000 scholarship recipients joined Martin Luther King III in Tallahassee to protest a lawsuit filed by the teachers union in America’s largest-ever school choice rally.

Regrettably, Mr. Gillum’s campaign chose to ignore signs that many minority voters view school choice as ‘’the civil rights issue of our time,” to quote Condoleezza Rice. Mr. Gillum figured his charm and potential to become the state’s first black governor would win over African-American voters.

But many school-choice moms were not convinced. A social-media campaign by the Florida Federation for Children reminded voters of Mr. Gillum’s strong opposition to school choice. The issue also helped solidify Mr. DeSantis’s support among Latinos at an impressive 44%.

The unexpected outcome of the Florida governor’s race should encourage Republicans nationwide to pitch their education agenda to minority voters. It should also prompt Democrats to rethink their blind allegiance to teachers unions.

Most of all, Florida’s surprising outcome ought to encourage every American—especially in these hyperpolarized times—to support policies that bring together strange bedfellows to solve serious problems.

Mr. Mattox is director of the Marshall Center for Educational Options at the James Madison Institute. He served on the Tallahassee Civil Rights Landmark Committee.