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Apparently, America is great again


White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders talks to reporters during a press briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, in Washington.


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Apparently, America is already great again.

That’s the verdict from Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. She declared it in a tweet recently:

“Democrats wasted the year tearing the President down while the President built America back up: Booming economy – Millions of new jobs – ISIS caliphate in ruins – Record number of judicial appointments – Obamacare individual mandate repealed – Historic tax cuts America great again.”

Apparently, all it took to make America great again was to begin accepting facts President Donald Trump had said were fake.

The Trump administration has been touting GDP growth of above 3 percent for two consecutive quarters and deeming that, along with a low unemployment rate, a record-setting stock market and a couple million jobs created in 2017 as a “booming economy.”

Under President Obama, the S&P 500 nearly tripled; the jobless rate began falling at a pace not seen since the Reagan era; and the middle class and poor received the largest annual increase in wages on record. In order to match the growth seen under Obama, the Dow Jones industrials would have to reach about 48,000 points under Trump; it’s at less than 25,000 today.

During the Obama era, quarterly GDP topped 3 percent seven times and came close a few more quarters. The economy grew 4 percent during the final three quarters of 2014; a brutal winter kept growth below 3 percent for the full year. If a couple of quarters of growth under Trump made America great again, why didn’t the back-to-back 4.6 percent and 5.2 percent quarters under Obama?

The Trump administration is bragging about the recently passed “historic tax cuts.” During the Obama era, there were two larger tax cuts, one of which came in a stimulus package that created millions of jobs and helped lift the country out of the worst downturn since the Great Depression.

The Trump administration says ISIS is in ruins. What it doesn’t say is that much of those battlefield gains happened under Obama and that the Trump strategy was essentially an extension of Obama’s fight.

The Trump administration brags about “millions of new jobs” — but neglects to say monthly job creation so far under Trump is slightly behind the pace Obama set, or that under Obama the economy created jobs for more consecutive months than any other president ever. The black poverty rate fell to its lowest level ever under Obama, and the overall poverty rate was falling at its fastest clip since 1968 during the end of the Obama era.

Though the Trump administration is exaggerating the president’s accomplishments, it is encouraging that it is finally embracing solid economic measures it once considered phony. A great country can’t be truly great if its leaders refuse to accept basic fact.

The Charlotte Observer


Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.


November 16, 2018

Rising casualties. Aerial assaults. Weary ground forces. The charred desolation of thousands of homes. The most apt metaphor about California’s rampaging wildfires is warfare.

And just like in any war, one of the first casualties is truth.

Who or what is to blame for the conflagrations?…

California Wildfires-12

November 14, 2018

Members of the N.C. General Assembly will get some legislative exercise to help burn off their Thanksgiving calories this year, returning to Raleigh for a late-November special session that will, among other things, write the rules for the state’s newly enacted constitutional requirement for…

Voter ID Lawsuit

November 13, 2018

Anita Earls, who was elected Tuesday to a seat on the N.C. Supreme Court, ought to be happy that legislative Republicans apparently spend so much time reading Niccolo Machiavelli’s 16th century treatise on power, “The Prince.”

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November 10, 2018

The Democrats’ return to control over the House of Representatives is much more than a victory for one party. It is a sign of health for American democracy.

Distrustful of untrammeled majorities, the authors of the Constitution favored checks and balances, including, crucially, the check that…

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November 09, 2018

With the courts and Trump Administration rolling back federal climate regulation, green activists have turned to the states. But there’s a troubling ethical twist: Instead of merely lobbying, activists are placing employees in Attorneys General offices in dubious private-public condominiums.…

November 04, 2018

President Trump’s assertion on Tuesday that he could end birthright citizenship via an executive order likely is another attempt to stir up immigration as a campaign issue ahead of next week’s midterm election.

It’s a bad and almost certainly unconstitutional idea, and had the…

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November 04, 2018

Pitt County is fortunate to have a ballot full of fine candidates running for elected office on Tuesday. Women and men have put their names forth to produce contested races for almost every seat. The races offer contrasts in style, personality and direction.

The Daily Reflector has reported on the…

November 02, 2018

It’s natural to think of worst case scenarios when such a scenario is right before your eyes. So it was Monday when authorities said a Butler High School student was shot and killed by another student during a dispute in a school hallway. The death appeared to be the first fatal shooting…

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October 31, 2018

Children in North Carolina aren’t learning to read fast enough or well enough. The state has invested millions. Hands are wringing, and heads are hitting hard against the wall. “Success” can’t be claimed if a third-grader can’t read the word and know what it means.



October 30, 2018

The United States has been a beacon of hope for people who are poor, mistreated or persecuted. That is a unique position on the world stage that must not be abdicated.

Many Americans trace their roots to people who left harsh conditions in other countries in search of a better life in the United…

Central America Migrant Caravan
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