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  • The Trump administration plans to hand out $12 billion to American farmers who have been hurt by retaliatory tariffs. From an economic perspective, this is about as wrong a thing that the administration could do — its own tariff policies hurt a favored constituency, and they’re going to “fix” it by handing out bundles of cash.

    Ben Sasse, another actual fiscal conservative, added in his own statement today that “tariffs and bailouts aren’t going to make America great again, they’re just going to make it 1929 again.” Pretty close: WaPo notes that the program Trump is using for the emergency farm bailout is the Commodity Credit Corporation, created in 1933 to help boost the economy during the Depression. The CCC is already empowered by statute to borrow $30 billion from Treasury, which means Trump can hand this money out without further congressional authorization. The momentous follow-up question is what happens if the trade war deepens by October and the White House wants another cash infusion for struggling industries — and there isn’t enough left in the CCC to cover it this time. Will the “small-government” GOP sign off on a larger bailout fueled by Trump’s protectionism, with Election Day looming?

    Survey says … of course they will. These people won’t defy him even on minor matters for fear of enraging his base. Do you think they’re going to go to war with MAGAnomics knowing how it might affect midterm turnout? And once they cave on the next bailout, they’ll need to cave on others. It’ll never be a “good time” to say no to agricultural welfare when a president from their own party has created the conditions necessitating that welfare. They’re picking up the tab until the trade war is over, like it or not. At best there’ll be cuts to other parts of the budget to “fund” the trade-war subsidies. It may be the starkest demonstration yet of how fraudulent the whole “tea party” era was.

  • The House of Representatives passed a bill that denies localities federal economic development funds for two years if they use an economic development justification for eminent domain. This was passed 13 years after the Kelo v. City of New London decision that legalized eminent domain seizures for “economic development” purposes.

  • The three major evening news programs have devoted more time to immigration than to any other Trump administration policy, and 92% of that coverage has been negative.

  • House and Senate conferees settled on a defense authorization bill, which includes the first U.S. policy on cyber warfare, conditionally limits American involvement in Saudi Arabia’s military campaign in Yemen, and puts a temporary hold on F–35 deliveries to Turkey.

  • The Border Patrol is arresting more people crossing illegally into the U.S. from Canada.

  • Doug Bock Clark tried to piece together what happened to Otto Warmbier, the young man arrested by North Korea who returned home unconscious, only to die a few days later:

    When Trump learned of Otto’s condition, he doubled down on the order for Yun to rush to Pyongyang and bring Otto home. The North Koreans were unilaterally informed that an American plane would soon land in Pyongyang and that United States diplomats and doctors would get off. “The president was very invested in bringing Otto home,” said a State Department official who was involved in the case and who was not authorized to speak on the record. “Listening to him deliberate on this, he sounded to me a lot more like a dad.” But, the official said, “we were very scared,” for though the North Koreans eventually said the plane would be able to land, no one knew what kind of welcome the Americans would receive on the ground. Yun explained, “The North Koreans said we could send a delegation to see Otto, but that we would have to discuss some of the conditions of getting him out once we got there.” And so Yun raced to assemble a diplomatic and medical team to save Otto.

  • North Korea is dragging its heels on returning the remains of American soldiers. The North Koreans probably want cash and concessions in return for the remains.

  • At least 74 people were killed by wildfires near Athens, Greece.

  • Israel shot down a Syrian fighter jet after it flew over the Golan Heights. The plane crashed in an ISIS-held area of Syria and the pilot was reportedly killed.

  • Andrew Klavan explains that E is for equality in the leftese dictionary:

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  • If you haven’t read the speech Calvin Coolidge delivered on the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, it’s worth your time. I especially like this part:

    About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.

    The conclusion is excellent, too:

    Under a system of popular government there will always be those who will seek for political preferment by clamoring for reform. While there is very little of this which is not sincere, there is a large portion that is not well informed. In my opinion very little of just criticism can attach to the theories and principles of our institutions. There is far more danger of harm than there is hope of good in any radical changes. We do need a better understanding and comprehension of them and a better knowledge of the foundations of government in general. Our forefathers came to certain conclusions and decided upon certain courses of action which have been a great blessing to the world. Before we can understand their conclusions we must go back and review the course which they followed. We must think the thoughts which they thought. Their intellectual life centered around the meeting-house. They were intent upon religious worship. While there were always among them men of deep learning, and later those who had comparatively large possessions, the mind of the people was not so much engrossed in how much they knew, or how much they had, as in how they were going to live. While scantily provided with other literature, there was a wide acquaintance with the Scriptures. Over a period as great as that which measures the existence of our independence they were subject to this discipline not only in their religious life and educational training, but also in their political thought. They were a people who came under the influence of a great spiritual development and acquired a great moral power.

    No other theory is adequate to explain or comprehend the Declaration of Independence. It is the product of the spiritual insight of the people. We live in an age of science and of abounding accumulation of material things. These did not create our Declaration. Our Declaration created them. The things of the spirit come first. Unless we cling to that, all our material prosperity, overwhelming though it may appear, will turn to a barren sceptre in our grasp. If we are to maintain the great heritage which has been bequeathed to us, we must be like-minded as the fathers who created it. We must not sink into a pagan materialism. We must cultivate the reverence which they had for the things that are holy. We must follow the spiritual and moral leadership which they showed. We must keep replenished, that they may glow with a more compelling flame, the altar fires before which they worshiped.

  • The Department of Justice and the Department of Education released new guidance to schools suggesting that their admissions processes should be blind to race. This reverses Obama-era guidance.
  • Britain’s government reportedly told Donald Trump that he can’t meet Nigel Farage when he visits the U.K. this month.
  • The Houthis are firing ballistic missiles into Saudi Arabia from underground bunkers in Yemen.

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