Here's some potentially VERY good economic news that was lost amid the weekend news flurry.  Those…
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Some Potentially VERY Good Economic News

Here's some potentially VERY good economic news that was lost amid the weekend news flurry.  Those with "skin in the game," and who likely possess the best perspective, are betting heavily on an upturn, as highlighted by Friday's Wall Street Journal:

Corporate insiders are buying stock in their own companies at a pact not seen in years, a sign they are betting on a rebound after a coronavirus-induced rout.  More than 2,800 executives and directors have purchased nearly $1.19 billion in company stock since the beginning of March.  That's the third-highest level on both an individual and dollar basis since 1988, according to the Washington Service, which provides data analytics about trading activity by insiders."

Here's why that's important:

Because insiders typically know the…[more]

March 30, 2020 • 11:02 am

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For House GOP, Midterm Pickup Chances Are Rare but Crucial Print
By Byron York
Wednesday, October 17 2018
Perhaps a Republican win won't matter in the scheme of things. But it's also possible that, in a close race, it might make all the difference in the world.

It's been noted a million times that Democrats need to pick up 23 seats to take control of the House of Representatives in next month's midterm elections. Nearly all analysis has focused on how many seats Republicans might lose.

Less noticed is the fact that the GOP will likely pick up a small number of seats in congressional districts that buck the predicted national trend by changing from Democrat to Republican. Any GOP pickups will probably be few and far between. But if the race for House control tightens in coming weeks, they could be critical.

The Republicans' best chance to pick up a Democratic seat is in the sprawling, 27,000-square-mile 8th District of Minnesota. The district has been represented since 2013 by a Democrat, Rep. Rick Nolan. Nolan has had one of the more unusual careers in the House: He was first elected in 1974; served until 1980, when he chose not to run for re-election; took a 32-year break to pursue private business; and then ran for and won his old seat in 2012. Now, at age 74, he has decided to retire again.

Running for the Democrats  in Minnesota, the Democratic-Farmer-Labor party  is Nolan's former campaign manager, a former state house representative named Jim Radinovich. For the Republicans, there is Pete Stauber, a member of the St. Louis County Board of Commissioners.

Polling in September showed the race very close. But a recent New York Times poll found Stauber with a 15-point lead, 49 percent to 34 percent, with 13 percent undecided. Stauber led with men, with women, with voters who had a college degree and with those who didn't.

The third player in the race, as in so many others, is Donald Trump. The district voted for Barack Obama twice, and then took a sharp turn toward Trump, who won by 16 points in 2016. Now, in the Times poll, the president's job approval rating in the district is 54 percent. Trump has already jumped into the race, traveling to Duluth in June for a rally for Stauber and other Republicans.

"President Trump and his policies are more popular today than they were on Election Day," said a well-connected GOP strategist recently. "Best pickup opportunity in the country. We are going to win the seat."

Stauber embodies what he calls the "blue-collar, common-sense" spirit of the district. He went to college, Lake Superior State University, on a hockey scholarship and played for a few years with the minor league Adirondack Red Wings. He returned to Duluth and became a police officer, serving 22 years. He and his brothers also operate a local hockey equipment company.

Stauber got into politics when he ran for city council in the Duluth suburb of Hermantown, and after serving eight years, won a seat on the St. Louis County Commission. Last year, when it still appeared Rick Nolan would run for re-election, but after it was clear that the district had moved in a Trumpian direction, Stauber decided to take the big step of running for Congress.

The substance of the campaign is a classic mix of local and national issues. When, during a recent phone conversation, I asked Stauber about his platform, the first thing he said was, "I support iron ore mining, copper nickel mining, and Enbridge Line 3 replacement." Mining is at the heart of the local economy, and Line 3 is an aging crude oil pipeline, first built in the 1960s, whose proposed replacement has set off a vigorous debate over its predicted environmental impact.

"Those are good-paying union jobs," Stauber told me. "The mines are good-paying union jobs." New mining projects, he said, will be "an economic boom for this area  like having a Super Bowl every year for 20 years."

The national part of the mining and pipeline debate, of course, is that Republican voters, and a significant number of independents, believe Trump policies will protect the region's economic way of life. "The president has the miners' and steelworkers' backs," Stauber said.

It's a message Trump has sent personally. When he visited Duluth in June, he announced that he would reverse proposed Obama environmental rules concerning the Superior National Forest and would "restore mineral exploration for our amazing people and miners and workers and for the people of Minnesota."

Stauber also pledges strong support for law enforcement and for the military  his wife, Jodi, served 20 years in the Air National Guard and deployed to Iraq in 2009. He also supports Trump on immigration.

On health care, I asked Stauber if, had he been in the House in recent years, he would have voted to repeal and replace Obamacare. "Not necessarily," he answered. "In order to repeal and replace, you have to have something better." He pledged to seek solutions, like protections for people with pre-existing conditions, on which there is bipartisan agreement.

Put it all together, and Stauber appears to be in one of those rare spots where Republicans can play offense rather than defense. There are a few other districts  another in Minnesota, a couple in Nevada, one in New Hampshire  with similar situations. But none are quite so perfectly suited for GOP victory as Minnesota 8. Perhaps a Republican win won't matter in the scheme of things. But it's also possible that, in a close race, it might make all the difference in the world.

Byron York is chief political correspondent for The Washington Examiner.

Question of the Week   
Which one of the following pandemics caused the largest number of deaths in the 20th Century alone?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
"The city of San Francisco is forbidding shoppers from carrying reusable bags into grocery stores out of fear that they could spread the coronavirus.As part of its shelter-in-place ordinance, the California city barred stores from 'permitting customers to bring their own bags, mugs, or other reusable items from home.' The city noted that transferring the bags back and forth led to unnecessary contact…[more]
—Madison Dibble, Washington Examiner
— Madison Dibble, Washington Examiner
Liberty Poll   

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