4%: “President Donald Trump pressed allies to double their military spending target to 4% of GDP…After attacking North Atlantic Treaty Organization leaders for months for not meeting a 2% spending target, Mr. Trump said on Wednesday that amount was too low.”

ACTUAL NUMBERS: figures released by NATO a day earlier put the U.S. spending share at 3.57%. Of NATO’s 29 members, 15 currently spend less than 1.5% of GDP on defense. Eight members expect to hit the 2% target this year and a total of 18 by 2024, NATO officials say.

TRUMP ATTACKS GERMANY: Trump tweeted: “What good is NATO if Germany is paying Russia billions of dollars for gas and energy?” Mr. Trump also criticized Germany’s military spending as “inappropriate.”

SARAH SANDERS: “President Trump wants to see our allies share more of the burden and at a very minimum meet their already stated obligations,”

WHY GERMANY? “Theories abound about the reason for Trump’s German fixation — all the more surprising given his own German ancestry — and there may be no single answer. They range from Trump’s seeming belief that Germany has grown wealthy by mooching off the U.S. to the notion that he resents strong women like Merkel, who also happened to be one of President Barack Obama’s closest allies.”


JERRY HENDRIX: “The real danger is that the growing American perception that NATO members are not taking their individual responsibilities to the alliance seriously…To turn this perception around, NATO’s members must meet the United States halfway, both in their overall defense spending and in the particular investments they make…The success of President Trump’s talks with Putin will depend on the degree to which Europe publicly backs Trump’s policies. In the end, when it comes to Europe’s security, the U.S. cannot want it more than Europeans do.”

NOAH ROTHMAN:“The prospect of European rearmament serves American political sensibilities but not America’s strategic interests. Conflicts abroad have a gravitational pull on the world’s only superpower and allowing them to flourish inevitably sets the stage for American involvement. There is no coalition of European allies that can allow the U.S. to outsource its role as lone superpower. That was a lesson Barack Obama learned too late. Those who allow Donald Trump to harbor the delusion that American security is advanced by weakening its allies’ reliance on it as the guarantor of geopolitical stability are giving the president license to make Obama’s mistake.”

Tyler’s Thoughts

“I think Jerry Hendrix at National Review makes a good point about Europe needing to show more commitment to NATO.  Noah Rothman also has some good points about the danger of the rearmament of Europe.  With President Trump, you never know if he is really playing 6D chess or if he is completely out of his depth.  For the sake of global security, I hope it is the former…”

In Other News

The Senate took a symbolic shot at Trump’s tariffs yesterday, “Senators voted 88-11 to instruct lawmakers hashing out a deal on a government funding bill to include language “providing a role for Congress” on tariffs implemented for national security reasons, known as Section 232 of the trade laws.The vote is nonbinding, meaning lawmakers don’t have to add trade language into the funding bill. But the vote margin, with more senators supporting it than the amount needed to override a veto, underscores the depth of concern on Capitol Hill.”

Andrew Cuomo apparently has no idea how the Supreme Court works…“New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he’ll sue if the Supreme Court rolls back Roe v. Wade.  Gov. Cuomo has been calling on lawmakers to increase protections in New York.”


House Problems

SENATE IS LOOKING GOOD: Yesterday new analysis from The Weekly Standard says the GOP has a 75% chance of holding on to the Senate, “In Tuesday’s update, the GOP had a 69 percent chance of taking the Senate. But now that we’ve factored the SurveyMonkey poll in, Republicans have a 75 percent win probability.”

HOUSE, NOT SO MUCH: The Democrats hold a 10 point lead on the generic ballot according to a new WaPo poll, “Overall, registered voters say they prefer to vote for a Democrat over a Republican for the House, 47 percent to 37 percent.”

HARRIS DOWN 7: Reverend Mark Harris is not doing well in the 9th district after his upset victory in May.  Harris emerged victoriously after the May Primary defeating incumbent Robert Pittinger.  Unfortunately, that could be his only victory in 2018 as a new CIVITAS Poll shows Harris is down 7 points Democrat Dan McReady.

REPUBLICAN CONCERN: Civitas President Donald Bryson says Republicans should be concerned because of the makeup of this district, “This race has all the indications of being a nail-biter into November, but Republicans should be concerned with a negative 7-point spread in a district that has an R+7 rating,”

THE ROLE OF WOMEN: A sermon Harris gave in 2013 made some headlines while this poll was being conducted that dealt with the role of women in society.  McCeardy said it shows Harris is, “out of step with this district and this century” and Bryson said, “It seems that the story may have had some effect,”

WOMEN DEFICIT: This gap between the two leading candidates grows even larger when looking at female support. McCready leads Harris by 16 points among likely women voters.

HE’S NOT ALONE: According to the same WaPo poll, President Trump’s numbers are atrocious with ALL women.  “Overall, the president’s approval rating among men is 54 percent positive and 45 percent negative. Among women, it’s 32 percent positive and 65 percent negative…Among self-identified Republicans, Trump’s approval is 91 percent among men and 82 percent among women. But the gap in intensity of support is what is particularly telling. While 68 percent of male Republicans say they strongly approve of the way Trump is handling his job, just 31 percent of female Republicans say the same — a whopping 37-point difference.”

Tyler’s Thoughts

“2018 is going to be the year we see how powerful the female vote truly is.  This could be a real problem for the GOP is they don’t bridge this gender gap”

In Other News

TILLIS NON-BINDING BACKING: “‘I agree with the policy,”’Tillis said of a bill introduced by Bob Corker that would give Congress a say in Trump’s national security tariffs. The Senate will take what Corker calls a “test vote” on the bill on Wednesday afternoon; the resolution does not carry the force of law.  ‘It’s a non-binding measure, but I think we need to send a signal that on issues related to trade, we’ve got to get to a normalized environment where we’re working very closely with our allies, because if we are going to have a war with China on trade, we want to have a lot of allies with us,’ Tillis added.”

DUKE BANS PLASTIC: “As of July 1, the only plastic to be found in Duke University dining halls are the ID cards or debit or credit cards swiped to pay for meals.Duke Dining has banned the use of disposable plastics from all 34 eating locations on campus, including single-use plastic carryout bags, plastic hot and cold beverage cups, plastic straws and plastic utensils.”