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Election watch: Ignore Early Returns
“Don’t try to divine election results from early voting returns,” advises RealClearPolitics’ Sean Trende. He said the same thing in 2016, when pundits also pointed to “Democrats’ massive lead in early voting” to predict a Hillary Clinton win. In North Carolina, for example, “Democrats have a 10.5-percentage-point lead over Republicans in early voting.” Yet Dems had “a 13.1-percentage-point lead there” four years ago — and lost the state. As it is, early-voting data point in contradictory directions, with the black share of the electorate down, while independents and some GOPers sour on the president. Bottom line: There’s nothing to do but “wait eight more days.”
From the right: An Existential Choice
At The American Conservative, Jon Schweppe declares: “America is on the ballot this election. Vote for the Republicans, if you love your country. Vote for the Democrats, if you’d rather see it burn to the ground.” Over the past year, the left has shown that it truly believes the “American system is rotten to the core and needs to be done away with.” That’s the message of The New York Times’ 1619 project and the Black Lives Matters rioters burning US cities, often with open Democratic approval. If they succeed on Nov. 3, “nothing we traditionally call American” would endure.
Fiscal hawk: Localities Can’t Rely on Growth
“Even before COVID-19,” observes Brian Chen at City Journal, “many states and cities” were just a “downturn away from fiscal calamity.” They counted on population growth to finance their budgets, yet that growth had stalled even before the pandemic and lockdowns: “The Congressional Budget Office has consistently revised population projections down in recent years.” New York City, in particular, is now seeing “high-earning residents fleeing,” and its “outlook isn’t rosy.” Nor can states and cities can’t expect federal bailouts. Instead, they need to build up their “stabilization funds” and reduce “unfunded pension liabilities.” More fundamentally, they will have to cut their “dependence” on growth “for basic fiscal solvency” — or face service cuts, tax hikes, “long-lasting economic destabilization” and “even slower growth.”
Fact-check: Lesley Stahl’s Lies
At The Federalist, Margot Cleveland corrects Lesley Stahl, who falsely claimed during her “60 Minutes” interview with President Trump that it’s “unverified” that the Obama administration spied on the Trump campaign. In reality: “Nearly a year ago, the 478-page report issued by Inspector General Michael Horowitz verified spying on the Trump campaign” via deceptive and flawed Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants to monitor adviser Carter Page and his communications with other campaign officials. The FBI also “ran” a regular source, academic Stefan Halper, at Page, at George Papadopoulos and at Sam Clovis, the campaign’s national co-chair, having Halper ask multiple campaign-related questions. Finally, the FBI sent a member of its Russiagate team to a security briefing for Trump and Gen. Mike Flynn “to ‘assess’ Flynn in anticipation of a ‘subject interview,’ ” the IG found — with notes on the two men’s comments entered into the case-management database. In short, “Stahl and the rest of corporate media” are “lying to Americans” about a huge scandal.
Conservative: Big Grassroots Support for Trump
On Saturday, some 2,000 cars lined up on Pennsylvania’s Interstate 70 for a “Trump Train” — “the biggest political rally no one saw” and just one of gatherings like it that “have been happening for months in some of the places President Trump needs most to win if he is to be re-elected,” reports the Washington Examiner’s Byron York. Many attendees work oil and gas jobs, and they know that Trump “has supported their industry while . . . Joe Biden wanted to cripple and ultimately eliminate it.” Trump is down in the Pennsylvania polls, but he managed to pull off a surprise win there four years ago. If that happens again, “he might well owe his victory to his grassroots supporters’ work on the road,” particularly in “oil and gas country.” The Trump Train might just “keep driving all the way to Election Day” and return him to the White House. — Compiled by The Post Editorial Board