Jul 24, 2018

Lindsey Graham loves Trump's renewed Iran hawkishness

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump's all-caps war threat against Iran President Hassan Rouhani is a way for Trump to look like a tough guy at a time when that's being questioned because of his handling of Vladimir Putin.

The big picture: But it also builds a Trump comfort zone with Republican lawmakers, who remain publicly supportive of him while privately expressing frustration with his handling of a host of issues. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) — an on-again, off-again critic of Trump — is off-again because of the administration's Iran offensive, especially a tough speech by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

  • Graham told Fox News' Martha MacCallum last night: "The Trump doctrine when it comes to Iran was the Reagan doctrine when it came to the Soviets."
  • Graham said Trump "is letting the Iranian president know there's a new sheriff in town."

Graham told me in the green room before his appearance that he plans to introduce a resolution of support for the Iranian people that he believes will draw support from almost all Republican lawmakers, plus many Democrats: "This is a moment in history."

  • Graham said the sense of the resolution will be: "We're all going on record to say we stand with you in your desire to determine your own destiny, pick your own leaders, express yourself and live in peace with your neighbors."

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Unemployment rate falls to 13.3% in May

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 13.3% in May, with 2.5 million jobs gained, the government said on Friday.

Why it matters: The far better-than-expected numbers show a surprising improvement in the job market, which has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.

The difficulty of calculating the real unemployment rate

Data: U.S. Department of Labor; Note: Initial traditional state claims from the weeks of May 23 and 30, continuing traditional claims from May 23. Initial PUA claims from May 16, 23, and 30, continuing PUA and other programs from May 16; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The shocking May jobs report — with a decline in the unemployment rate to 13.3% and more than 2 million jobs added — destroyed expectations of a much worse economic picture.

Why it matters: Traditional economic reports have failed to keep up with the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic and have made it nearly impossible for researchers to determine the state of the U.S. labor market or the economy.

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How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

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Why it matters: The league's proposed trip to Disney World not only impacts this season but could have a domino effect that impacts seasons in the future — and could permanently change what time of year the NBA plays its games.