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Highlights of the News


Let freedom ring, let the white dove sing.
Let the whole world know that today
Is a day of reckoning.

ITEM 1: Today is the day the British made Great Britain both Great and British again by exiting the European Union.

Fill in the Chunnel. The English Channel makes a fine moat.

ITEM 2: ABC reported, "Life expectancy in the U.S. rose in 2018, the first such increase in four years, according to a report the National Center for Health Statistics published on Thursday.

"The average American man will live to be 76, and the average woman will live to be 81.

"Those gains were driven by declines in 6 of the 10 leading causes of death between 2017 and 2018, and a notable drop in drug overdose deaths.

"Overdose deaths, after increasing for decades, fell for the first time in 28 years, from 70,237 in 2017 to 67,367 in 2018, according to the report."

Is there anything President Donald John Trump cannot do to improve the lives of Americans?

God bless him.

ITEM 3Politico reported, "The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected Democrats' plea to consider a high-stakes legal challenge that could kill Obamacare, punting a resolution in the politically fraught case until after the presidential election."

The story said, "A coalition of blue states and the House of Representatives, which are defending the Affordable Care Act in the lawsuit, had pressed the high court to intervene after a federal appeals court last month refused to rule on the law’s constitutionality and sent the case back to a federal judge in Texas who had earlier issued a ruling knocking out the entire law."

Democrats are reaping what Chief Justice John Roberts sowed in upholding Obamacare in 2012. Roberts said the interstate commerce clause does not give Congress power to pass such legislation.

But Roberts held that because Congress can levy taxes, Obamacare was legal. Republicans repealed the tax on the uninsured in 2017.

In Texas in December, Judge Reed O’Connor, a George W. Bush appointee, ruled that by repealing the tax, Republicans repealed the law. I think the judge is right.

ITEM 4: Chuck Grassley wrote, "Skeptics of President Donald Trump’s bold way of negotiating trade ate a bit of crow this month. That includes this Iowa senator.

"I’m not a big fan of tariffs. So, when the president imposed tariffs as leverage in world trade talks, I was skeptical. And yet, here we are starting the fourth year of his presidency and President Trump has succeeded in securing two major trade agreements that are good for America and good for Iowa.

"Two weeks ago, I joined Gov. Kim Reynolds and Sen. Joni Ernst at the White House for a signing ceremony with China, the world’s second-largest economy. After reciprocal tariff hikes largely put American farmers on the hook for retaliation, the Trump administration first cushioned financial harm to rural America with Market Facilitation Payments before closing the deal and sealing a big win for U.S. farmers and ranchers.

"This phase one agreement commits China to purchase $32 billion worth of agricultural products over the next two years. This is also welcome news for Iowa farmers hard hit by natural disasters, including flooding that’s prevented planting, in addition to a five-year stretch of low commodity prices. It brings much-needed certainty for farmers and lenders as they make decisions for the coming season.

"President Trump is taking another well-deserved victory lap at the White House to sign the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) agreement. The agreement updates and improves the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) enacted a quarter-century ago."

It takes a big man to acknowledge he was wrong.

Chuck Grassley is YUGE. Bigly so.

ITEM 5: The Washington Examiner reported, "A year after Ukraine official and alleged whistle blower Eric Ciaramella left President Trump’s White House, a picture of him shaking Barack Obama’s hand was published on a close friend's wedding website.

"The Oval Office photograph, obtained by the Washington Examiner, is circulating among Trump allies who consider it evidence that the alleged whistle blower is biased against Trump and had partisan motivations when he filed an Aug. 12 complaint that sparked impeachment proceedings.

"In the photograph, a smiling Ciaramella, then Ukraine director on the National Security Council at the White House, is shown shaking Obama's hand. They are standing in front of a portrait of Abraham Lincoln by George Henry Story."

Jake Tapper and other Democrats with bylines are appalled that the Examiner named names.

Too bad.

It is called news. Tapper presented the Russian Hoax as fact.

The real story is Obama coordinated 3 years of harassment of the president by seditious spies and mutineers in the government. The news media is too chicken to hold Obama accountable for his post-presidential antics.

ITEM 6: Tech Crunch reported, "Facebook  will pay over half a billion dollars to settle a class action lawsuit that alleged systematic violation of an Illinois consumer privacy law. The settlement amount is large indeed, but a small fraction of the $35 billion maximum the company could have faced.

"Class members — basically Illinois Facebook users from mid-2011 to mid-2015 — may expect as much as $200 each, but that depends on several factors. If you’re one of them you should receive some notification once the settlement is approved by the court and the formalities are worked out.

"The proposed settlement would require Facebook to obtain consent in the future from Illinois users for such purposes as face analysis for automatic tagging."

It looks like the lawyers will split $167 million and the clients will get $200 each.

ITEM 7: The Oregonian reported, "A jury has awarded $400,000 to two Oregon dog breeders who sued the International Canine Semen Bank alleging that it mistakenly destroyed frozen dog sperm from the 1990s that could have produced hundreds of coveted, cream-of-the-crop Labrador retriever puppies.

"Dick Weiner and Brad Barcroft claimed the Sandy-area sperm bank negligently allowed the sperm of six prized, long-dead Labradors to thaw and become useless after a freezer mishap in 1997. Weiner and Barcroft alleged the sperm bank then hid its mistake for nearly two decades until a former employee of the company shared the news with them in 2016.

"Weiner, 81, has been breeding Labradors for nearly 50 years through his Salem-based company, Sunnyview Labradors. He described the loss of the bloodlines as emotionally devastating."

That is heartbreaking. I am glad he sued and won.

ITEM 8: Yahoo Finance reported, "The growing goods trade deficit between the U.S. and China has cost America 3.7 million jobs between 2001 and 2018, according to new data from the Economic Policy Institute.

"Sino-American relations have entered a delicate phase, after the two sides struck a provisional deal that will lead to an extended round of negotiations about a range of thorny issues.

"The EPI data underscores how high those stakes are, pointing out that 'the growing trade deficit with China isn’t just a post-recession phenomenon hitting manufacturing: it has cost the U.S. millions of jobs throughout the economy since China entered the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, a finding validated by numerous studies.'"

George Walker Bush should never have allowed Red China into the WTO. He was too nice.

ITEM 9The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, "Former President Jimmy Carter issued a statement Thursday rejecting President Donald Trump’s newly proposed Middle East peace plan, which calls for the Israeli annexation of key swaths of Palestinian-held land."

That is enough to convince me this is a good plan.

ITEM 10: The Washington Examiner reported, "Biden mocks Pence and Trump campaign supporters for crowding Iowa before the caucuses."

Maybe they live in Iowa.

President Trump carried the state by 9 points in 2016.

ITEM 11The Washington Times reported, "Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg ignited a backlash on Twitter, particularly among people of color, after he claimed that the country’s next president needed to embody the values of 'the American Heartland.'"

American Heartland is the new N-word.

Democrats are insane.

ITEM 12: The New York Post reported, "Hillary Clinton has now twice snubbed a process server attempting to deliver the defamation lawsuit filed against her by Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard, according to Gabbard’s attorney."

Finally, someone got Hillary to go into hiding.

ITEM 13: Fox News reported, "Republican Utah state Rep. Tim Quinn has introduced a bill in that state's legislature that would allow voters to recall U.S. senators -- a possible swipe at Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, despite Quinn saying the bill isn't targeted at anyone in particular. First reported by Deseret News, the bill would create a process by which a recall vote could go on the ballot after a petition by voters."
Romney, West Virginia, should change its name to Trumpville.

ITEM 14: Who you rooting for on Sunday?
I thought so.

ITEM 15: Murderer: So what are you in prison for?
Arlo Guthrie: Stargazing without a permit.

And resisting arrest.

ITEM 16: The impeachment continues.
That was no accident.

ITEM 17: Reporter for the New York Times tweets.
It is not ironic. It is the presumption of innocence.

ITEM 18: I like her.
Beau was no prize, either.

ITEM 19: Everyone is trying to be Bill Kristol now.
Balko never heard of the Mueller report. Sad.

ITEM 20: He's 17.
America is gonna do all right in the 21st century despite itself.

FINALLY: Readers keep giving me tips on alternatives to Drudge. The latest is Knewz, which unlike other sites will link 3 or 4 stories to the same subject. Broader range of stories too, but mainly court cases like the Facebook settlement.

So let's add Knewz to the list: Instapundit. Lucianne.com. Whatfinger. Ace of Spades. Breitbart News. FreeRepublic. TheDonald.win. Pro Trump News. Rantingly. Citizen Free Press. The Liberty Daily.

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