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On the roster: - Trump’s business boosting will test both parties - Power Play: Which way back for Dems? - Pelosi won, but House Dems demand major changes - The Judge’s Ruling: Flag burning protected? - Nobody says ‘Merry Christmas’ anymore
TRUMP’S BUSINESS BOOSTING WILL TEST BOTH PARTIES
Republicans laughed when Barack Obama and his administration touted the jobs “created or saved” by his 2009 stimulus.
Now it’s Democrats turn to mock saved jobs as President-elect Donald Trump heads to Indiana to tout a deal with heating and cooling manufacturer Carrier.
Under the deal, Carrier, a subsidiary of corporate behemoth United Technologies, will keep “close to 1,000” of the 1,400 jobs slated for termination by 2019 at its Indianapolis plant. In exchange, United Technologies will get goodies from the government. A suite of tax incentives made possible by the handiwork of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who just happens to be the vice president-elect.
Probably an even bigger part of the consideration for United is all of the business they do with the federal government: $5.6 billion a year in taxpayer funds, which constitutes about 10 percent of its overall revenue. Making the incoming CEO of your largest customer look good is always a good idea.
Those hundreds of jobs mean a lot to Indianapolis, and they mean everything to the families of those who will continue to work for Carrier. In the larger scheme of things though, it is not even a rounding error in an economy that saw 1.5 million people get fired in the month of September, which was a dramatic improvement from August.
But Democrats ought to be careful about mocking Trump for making a federal case out of a relative handful of jobs in one city. Republicans were wrong to mock Obama’s saved jobs rather than celebrating alongside of him. As the GOP found out in 2012 during the relitigation of the auto bailout, economic philosophies matter little to most voters. One of the reasons that conservatives have had to fight so long and so hard to make their ideas mainstream is that politicians care far more about popularity than ideology.
Maybe it would have been better to “let Detroit go bankrupt,” but good luck winning Macomb County with that on your bumper sticker.
Trump’s wheedling with United is a micro version of what Obama did with Detroit. Yes, it’s picking winners and losers. Yes, it’s not conservative. Yes, it represents “moral hazard.” But most voters could care less.
Obama’s meddling in the economy was done with the appearance of more circumspection and an effort not to appear to be putting his thumb on the scale. But believe us, when federal representatives walked into bankruptcy court and told a judge they wanted to stiff General Motors bond holders and magically invent a new company with only assets and no liabilities, it was just as much central planning as the Castro brothers could’ve imagined.
Now, it will be Trump’s turn to try to refashion that American economy in a way that he thinks works best. Like Obama, and most politicians, really, he has an arbitrary if understandable penchant for manufacturing jobs. Hard hats and welding goggles look good in campaign ads for both parties.
Trump is going to take his party out of its comfort zone on the role government plays in the economy, for sure. Calvin Coolidge, he ain’t. But he’s also going to be testing Democrats’ political reflexes. He will be picking different winners and losers than Obama did. Think coal liquefaction plants not Solyndra.
How both parties adapt to the idea of a business-developer-in-chief will tell us a lot about the near economic future but also the shape of the political battlefield for the next two years.
THE RULEBOOK: DON’T TELL CONGRESS!
“The dilatory process of convening the legislature, or one of its branches, for the purpose of obtaining its sanction to the measure, would frequently be the occasion of letting slip the golden opportunity. The loss of a week, a day, an hour, may sometimes be fatal.”– Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 74
TIME OUT: HERE’S THE STORY, MORNING GLORY
New Yorker: “Oasis can lay claim to being one of the last generation-defining rock acts, particularly in Europe, where it sold millions of records, became a tabloid sensation, and, at its height, performed a concert that four per cent of the U.K. population tried to attend. Most of the band’s success had to do with the music: massive tunes that toggled between brashness and sentimentality, the biggest hits ready-made for pub sing-alongs. But one of Oasis’s loudest features was how much its core duo, the brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher, loved the rock-and-roll life style…They had discovered that the secret to superstardom is embodying a paradox: they were normal guys, just like their fans, living a dream on behalf of the masses. It could have been anyone. Yet they would never miss a chance to remind you that what was happening could never be repeated.”
Flag on the play? - Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM with your tips, comments or questions
POWER PLAY: WHICH WAY BACK FOR DEMS?
Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell talks to Chris Stirewalt about what Democrats can do to regain their footing with the white working class. Dingell backed House Minority Leader Pelosi for another term but says their party needs to make serious changes. What are they? WATCH HERE.
Pelosi won, but House Dems demand major changes - Roll Call: “After winning re-election as minority leader Wednesday morning, Nancy Pelosi came out late Wednesday night in support of one of the changes pushed most strongly by her opponents. In a ‘Dear Colleague’ letter, she embraced the idea of the full caucus directly electing the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. She also said she’d support the creation of five regional vice chairmen. The House Democrats’ campaign arm is under scrutiny from members who are demanding change after the party netted just six seats this year — below even the most pessimistic projections of how many seats the party could gain in a presidential year. The caucus is expected to vote on Thursday on amendments to the rules for how leadership positions are filled.”
--Former UN Ambassador John Bolton met with vice president-elect Mike Pence in Washington on Wednesday to discuss the secretary of state spot and will meet with the president-elect in New York on the topic Friday, sources tell Fox News.
--Sources tell Fox News’ John Roberts that retired Gen. James Mattis is the leading contender for the secretary of defense spot, but nomination would require a waiver since he hasn’t been out of the military for seven years as required for former military officials in the post.
--Trump is considering Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., for intelligence director on the heels of their meeting Wednesday in New York.
--ABC News reports former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin could be up for a job in the Trump administration.
--Another possible Goldman Sachs man is being eyed for a Trump post, sources tell Politico. The company’s COO Gary Cohn is being considered for director of Office of Budget and Management, or another “senior administration job.”
AUDIBLE: NO ANKLE BRACELET THOUGH
“The defendant shall notify the probation officer within 72 hours of any change in residence or employment.” – Terms of a court judgement that would require former CIA chief David Petraeus to inform his probation office if he is offered and accepts a cabinet position in the incoming Trump administration.
Russia already working with Trump’s team on Syria - WaPo
GOP aims to pass ObamaCare repeal by the inauguration - The Hill
Could Ivanka Trump be the voice of global warming regulations in the Trump White House? -Politico
Trump assembles the richest administration in modern history - WaPo
OMG! Did you know Trump will have access to the emergency text system? - NY Magazine
With GOP incumbent McCrory behind, N.C. governor’s race heads to partial recount - NYT
Hillary now leads popular vote by 2.5 million votes - Cook Political Report
Dem donors feel burned after Hillary’s loss, have no interest in helping ‘rebuild’ the party - The Hill
THE JUDGE’S RULING: IS FLAG BURNING PROTECTED SPEECH?
Writing that the American flag is revered as “a universally recognizable symbol of human sacrifice of some for the human freedom of many,” Senior Legal Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano says while “flag burning is deeply offensive to many people…banning it dilutes the very freedoms that make the flag worth revering.” More here.
FROM THE BLEACHERS
“Message to Pres.-Elect Trump. Rep. Tim Ryan would make an excellent Secretary of Labor. He certainly understands and speaks well on behalf of his constituency.” – Leona Johnston, Fountain Hills, Ariz.
[Ed. note: Well, Ms. Johnston, I don’t think that Trump’s inclination will be toward a friend of big labor like Ryan. The CEO of one of the largest fast food corporations of America is reportedly on the shortlist, which would pretty much be the antithesis of AFL-CIO stalwart Ryan. Even in the era of shrunken private sector labor unions, the old divides between labor and management still remain.]
“This report really makes a difference – it is in depth and thoughtful. I may not always agree with everything, but it always makes me think. Chris Stirewalt’s article on the ‘demographic flood’ concept that appears to be the Democrats’ great hope is an excellent example. And the Poyais story comparison was great fun. Trust that the quality will remain this high.” – Rosemarie Hill, Chattanooga, Tenn.
[Ed. note: Ms. Hill, that is about the finest compliment you could pay me. Our goal isn’t to confirm any presupposed set of beliefs, but rather to broaden in a convenient fashion the universe of news and analysis sources. Too many Americans live in echo chambers of their own making and therefore miss out on valuable insights. We here ask ourselves everyday whether our bubbles are too thick or whether our ideas can still permeate. Thanks for your subscription, we will try to live up to your high expectations.]
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NOBODY SAYS ‘MERRY CHRISTMAS’ ANYMORE
WFTV: “Orlando police released a surveillance photo Wednesday of a man who they said robbed a store on International Drive Saturday night. Police said the man walked into the Bev Fly Wine store on International Drive, wearing a dark-colored T-shirt, black pants and black tennis shoes with white on the upper shoe and a hat. The man approached the clerk and told him to open the drawer, and wished him ‘happy holidays,’ police said. Authorities said the clerk complied and handed the man cash from the drawer. The man then walked around the counter and exited the store with his hat tucked under his left arm, police said.”
Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News. Sally Persons contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.