The Wire

  • Three takeaways from Alabama’s Runoff Election

    Excerpt:

    With Alabama’s primary election runoffs now in the books, here are three takeaways from the results.

    North Alabama has spoken.
    When this election cycle began, it became evident that north Alabama saw a window of opportunity to increase its influence.  The results from the Republican primary runoff have shown the electorate in that area of the state was eager to flex its muscle.

    Will Ainsworth pulled out an impressive come-from-behind victory in the Lt. Governor’s race. Steve Marshall enjoyed a resounding win in his bid to retain the Attorney General’s office.

  • On Roby’s win: One false media narrative dies, a new one is born

    Excerpt:

    Like Lucy van Pelt of Peanuts comic strip fame repeatedly pulling the football away from Charlie Brown as he lines up to kick it, Rep. Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) once again has shown you can’t beat her in a Republican primary.

    Similar to when she defeated “Gather Your Armies” Rick Barber in the 2010 GOP primary and “Born Free American Woman” Becky Gerritson in the 2016 GOP primary, Roby defeated former Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright for a second time on Tuesday night, this time by a whopping 36 points.

    Heading into yesterday, many national media reporters were sent into Alabama’s second congressional district looking at the possibility that Roby might have to answer to a revolt for not sticking with then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on the infamous Billy Bush weekend during the 2016 presidential campaign.

  • Mo Brooks Wins FreedomWorks’ Prestigious 2017 FreedomFighter Award

    Excerpt from a Rep. Mo Brooks news release:

    Tuesday, Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) was one of only 31 members of the U.S. House of Representatives awarded the prestigious 2017 FreedomFighter Award by FreedomWorks, a leading conservative organization with more than six million members nationwide. Only members of Congress who score better than 90% on the FreedomWorks scorecard receive the FreedomFighter Award. Congressman Brooks’ FreedomWorks score was in the top 4% of all Congressmen in 2017.

    Brooks said, “FreedomWorks is a leading organization in the conservative movement. I thank them for their work keeping members of Congress accountable and scoring key House floor votes which helps the American people better understand the impact of those votes. I was proud to receive the prestigious FreedomWorks 2017 FreedomFighter Award for my voting record in 2017. If America is to maintain its place as the greatest country in world history, more members of Congress must fight for the foundational principles that made America great. I’m fighting in Congress for those principles, and I’m glad to have a partner as effective as FreedomWorks in the fight.”

2 months ago

U.S. Rep. Rogers: Shut down the Mueller witch hunt

(Georgetown University/YouTube)

Robert Mueller is running a witch hunt, not an investigation, and it needs to be shut down now.

As folks across East Alabama have seen on the news, after a year and $25 million of taxpayer money, the only real collusion uncovered was between the Clinton campaign and a small corrupt group in the FBI. The primary goals of this whole probe would appear to be the obstruction of President Trump’s ability to lead our nation and to nullify a lawful American election.

At this point in time, we stand exactly where we did a year ago.

We are no closer to establishing a connection between the Trump campaign and Russia than we were in 2016 because one doesn’t exist. Collusion is a cute buzz-word that sells papers and air-time for Fake News media, but the reality is that this investigation shines brightly as nothing more than a well-orchestrated political witch hunt.

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In reality, if there was a true need to seek justice, why isn’t there a Special Counsel to investigate the plot to frame President Trump and the FBI and DOJ’s abuse of the FISA court? That is why I have joined a number of my colleagues on a resolution calling for the appointment of a second Special Counsel to truly seek justice.

The outrageous Mueller investigation is not only a politically motivated ruse against President Trump but has a greater impact of negatively affecting our nation and every American family.

The Fake News and the Washington swamp are obsessed with obstructing President Trump’s ability to lead at every turn and Mueller is perpetuating that obstruction.

Why are they doing this?

Just look at what has been accomplished in less than 18 months. We’ve passed the most comprehensive tax reform law in three decades. We’ve cut job-stifling regulations. The economy is booming. Unemployment is at historic lows. We are on the brink of historic talks with North Korea, destroying ISIS, standing up for our courageous ally Israel and much more.

All of these great things happened because of President Trump’s leadership. If the President could accomplish all this in the face of overwhelmingly biased sentiments, imagine what we could accomplish outside the burden of this witch hunt.

All this investigation has done is hurt Americans. It’s time it stops so the focus can be shifted back to making American great again.

I would like to hear from you on this or any issue. Please sign up for my e-Newsletter by visiting this link. To stay up to date, you can also like me on Facebook at Congressman Mike D. Rogers, follow me on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram at RepMikeRogersAL, on Tumblr and you can also subscribe to my YouTube page at MikeRogersAL03.

(U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers is a Republican from Saks.)

2 months ago

How the Russia investigation helps Trump

(Wikicommons, G. Skidmore/Flickr)

This week, for the first time in months, a generic ballot poll showed Republicans beating Democrats in the midterm elections.

According to Reuters, Republicans are now leading by six points. And while that poll is obviously an outlier, the movement of the generic ballot in the direction of Republicans isn’t: The average lead for Democrats has been dropping steadily since late February, from a nine-point lead to a four-point lead.

Why?

Certainly, the economy has something to do with it: The job market continues to boom; the stock market continues to hover around 25,000; and GDP continues to grow steadily. And, certainly, foreign policy has something to do with it: There are no catastrophic foreign wars on the horizon, and President Trump’s gutsy calls to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal and move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem resulted in zero serious backlash.

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Democrats opposed the Trump tax cuts and have whined incessantly about Trump’s Middle East foreign policy, even going so far as to demonstrate a certain level of warmth toward terrorist group Hamas. This isn’t exactly brilliant politicking.

But there’s another reason Democrats seem to be dropping like a stone, too: their Russia obsession. The reality is most Americans think the Russia investigation is going nowhere. As of early May, just 44 percent of Americans though the FBI special counsel investigation of President Trump and his associates is justified; fifty-three percent thought that the investigation is politically motivated. Three-quarters of Americans think Trump should cooperate with the probe, but Americans are skeptical that there is a there there.

And so far, Americans have been right. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation has resulted in indictments of Trump associates on a charge of lying to the FBI, but there have been no indictments related to the original brief of his investigation: election collusion with the Russians. Meanwhile, each day seems to bring new headlines regarding the extent of the FBI investigation, dating all the way back to mid-2016. Americans aren’t going to read all the details of the various stories — they’re just going to take away that law enforcement was all over the Trump campaign, has come up with nothing thus far and continues to hound the Trump White House.

Furthermore, Democrats are getting discouraged. They were promised a deus ex machina — an alien force that would swoop in to end the Trump presidency. They hoped it would be Mueller; they were convinced the election was stolen. It wasn’t, and it’s unlikely Mueller will end Trump’s presidency.

So when Trump fulminates about the supposed sins of the “deep state,” few Americans are exercised. Most shrug; some even nod along. Democrats seethe but have no new fodder for their ire — and every day that passes with the media chumming the waters and coming up empty drives down enthusiasm even more. And Trump’s focus on Russia means that he spends less time tweeting about other topics — which helps him, since he’s less likely to make a grave error on those fronts.

If Mueller truly has nothing, there’s a serious case to be made that the Russia collusion investigation actually helped Trump more than it hurt him. And Democrats might just have to come up with a plan for dealing with Trump’s policies other than praying for an avenging angel to frog-march him from the White House.

Ben Shapiro, 34, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of “The Ben Shapiro Show” and editor-in-chief of DailyWire.com.

(Creators, copyright 2018)

2 months ago

Trump: Hire America also means helping former inmates get work

(WH/ YouTube)

President Donald Trump’s Hire American plan includes helping former inmates find gainful employment, he said Friday at the White House Prison Reform Summit.

“When we talk about our national program to hire American, this must include helping millions of former inmates get back into the workforce as gainfully employed citizens,” the president said. “At the heart of our prison reform agenda is expanding prison work and the programs so that inmates can reenter society with the skills to get a job.

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“We also want more mental health services so released inmates can cope with the challenges of life on the outside, and some of those challenges are not easy. We’re developing more effective drug treatment so that former prisoners can remain drug-free,” he said.

“Prison reform is an issue that unites people from across the political spectrum,” Trump said, adding, “Our whole nation benefits if former inmates are able to reenter society as productive, law-abiding citizens.”

He said over 62,000 inmates are released from mostly state prisons, and they struggle to find a job, stay off drugs, and “avoid old habits that lead them back to a life of crime, back to prison.”

“Drugs are playing a tremendously big role in our lives — in so many lives — not only having to do with prisoners, but having to do with people that never thought they’d be addicted, that never thought they’d have a problem like this, that are having a really hard time coping — drugs. We’re doing a big, big job on drugs. It is a scourge in this country,” the president said.

“In this effort, we are not just absolving prisoners of their central role in their own rehabilitation. There is no substitute for personal accountability, and there is no tolerance for those who take advantage of society’s generosity to prey upon the innocent,” Trump said.

The president said he supports prison reform efforts, and he pledged to sign prison reform legislation that clears Congress.

“As we speak, legislation is working through Congress to reform our federal prisons. My administration strongly supports these efforts, and I urge the House and Senate to get together — and there are a lot of senators, a lot of Congress people that want to get this passed — to work out their differences. Get a bill to my desk. I will sign it, and it’s going to be strong, it’s going to be good, it’s going to be what everybody wants,” Trump said.

A bipartisan prison reform bill backed by the White House cleared the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

The FIRST STEP Act (H.R. 5682), sponsored by Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and co-sponsored by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries,” provides for programs to help reduce the risk that prisoners will recidivate upon release from prison, and for other purposes.

The bill authorizes the Bureau of Prisons to spend $50 million a year for five years on job training and education programs to reduce recidivism. It also clarifies current law to allow inmates up to 54 days of credit for good behavior each year. It was previously interpreted to allow only 47 days a year.

The bill also has the support of Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Several Democrats – Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) and John Lewis (D-Ga.) – wrote to their fellow Democratic lawmakers Thursday urging them not to support the bill, spearheaded by Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, because they say it is “flawed” and doesn’t include sentencing reform.

(Courtesy CNSNews.com)

2 months ago

The leftist duumvirate is subverting, not protecting, ‘our democracy’

(Pixabay)

It is increasingly clear that the Trump-hating holdovers from the Obama administration and their media enablers — together, the duumvirate — are not protecting “our democracy” but subverting it by fraudulently scandalizing and delegitimizing President Trump.

To avoid an email avalanche, let me emphasize that I know the difference between a democracy and a constitutional republic, but I am using the terminology of the Trump-hating left, which, by the way, prefers a democracy to a constitutional republic. But I digress.

As often happens, the truly bad actors (the duumvirate, in this case) are benefiting from the factual complexity involved, which they have exacerbated through disinformation, slanted reporting and outright lies.

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They went ballistic when candidate Donald Trump wouldn’t definitively answer in advance whether he would accept the presidential election results. Their fake outrage was purportedly over Trump’s ostensible willingness to allow a cloud to hang over the Clinton presidency in the event she won. But Trump was just saying that he wasn’t going to prematurely concede that no chicanery would occur that could result in his defeat.

I only bring this up to highlight the phoniness of liberals’ outrage, as shown by their engaging in exactly the same behavior for which they savaged Trump for merely considering. Ever since Trump was elected, they’ve tried to destroy and remove him and obstruct his agenda based on a mythical storyline and phantom “facts” concerning his supposed collusion with Russia to steal the election. (Actually, we now know their nefarious behavior preceded the election because they needed “insurance” in case he won.) As former U.S. Attorney Andrew McCarthy says, the government used its covert powers to investigate Trump despite having no evidence of a crime. There still is zero evidence.

Notwithstanding their misdirection to lead us off the scent, it’s becoming clear that they bootstrapped the case against Trump based on thirdhand rumors elicited from a government-placed spy in the Trump campaign and on a dossier full of innuendo and lies that was procured and purchased by the Clinton campaign under cover of a law firm and shadow corporation. What utter sleaze! Though fully aware Trump’s opponents bought the dossier and that its contents were salacious and unsubstantiated, they brazenly presented it to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to get a warrant, without disclosing any of these damning details. This duplicitous dossier was an indispensable component of the government’s Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant application.

James Comey, former FBI director and current self-promoter, denies that the dossier was crucial to the warrant application and pretends it was funded by Republicans. If he really believes that (and reasonable people really don’t believe he really believes that), then he is betraying a disqualifying ignorance , showing he had no business heading up this investigation — or the FBI, for that matter. This same James Comey, who is so zealous to ensnare Trump for Russian collusion that exists only in fevered leftist minds, bent over backward to exonerate Clinton for real crimes concerning the willful destruction of her emails. This same sanctimonious James Comey perniciously gamed the system by leaking memos he prepared while in the FBI to a law professor friend for the admitted purpose of triggering a special counsel investigation. Is this behavior we should expect from the nation’s top law enforcement officer, or are these the actions of some disgruntled two-bit Deep Throat wannabe trying to even the score against President Trump for firing him?

Though we know that the duumvirate will support darn near anything to advance its beloved leftist agenda, can we even fathom the magnitude of its hypocrisy in looking the other way at the gross conflicts of interest of the deep-state Trump investigators? How can anyone with a scintilla of decency not read with abject horror the email exchanges between the adulterously love-struck FBI agent Peter Strzok and top FBI aide Lisa Page? It’s undeniable that they were hellbent on shielding Clinton from justice and inflicting injustices upon Trump.

Throughout this ordeal, the government has thwarted legitimate congressional information requests by speciously invoking national security concerns and then deceitfully redacting documents it was ultimately forced to turn over — not to protect national security but to cover its own rear end. With one hand, the government claims it can’t release information concerning its spying on the Trump campaign (even claiming that congressional investigators are extorting it for the information), and with the other, it leaks this same information to friendly news outlets to mitigate the outrage coming its way when the unredacted documents are released and their duplicity is revealed.

If even a fraction of our disturbing suspicions concerning the government’s actions in this Trump investigation and pretend Clinton investigation are true, the Obama administration not only conspired to surveil, undermine and criminalize the opposition party’s presidential candidate but also has holdovers in government who are still engaged in a massive cover-up that in purpose, scope and the sheer number of important officials participating makes Watergate look like child’s play.

David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney.

(Creators, copyright 2018)

2 months ago

If Trump is so terrible, why must the media lie about what he says?

(White House/Flickr)

Americans are constantly being pounded with the narrative that President Donald Trump is a loud-mouthed, brash New Yorker who says crass things. It’s true, no question about it. There is already plenty to hammer the guy on, so there is no reason for the mainstream media to continue their lying about things he says.

Look at these headlines, then read the actual Trump quotes they reference.

USA Today Headline: 

OnPolitics Today: Trump calls undocumented people ‘animals,’ rhetoric with a dark past

Actual quote:

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SHERIFF MIMS: Thank you. There could be an MS-13 member I know about — if they don’t reach a certain threshold, I cannot tell ICE about it.

THE PRESIDENT: We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in — and we’re stopping a lot of them — but we’re taking people out of the country. You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are animals.

The Atlantic Headline:

Trump Defends White-Nationalist Protesters: ‘Some Very Fine People on Both Sides’

Actual quote:

“What about the alt-left that came charging at, as you say, at the alt-right?” Trump said. “Do they have any semblance of guilt?”

“I’ve condemned neo-Nazis. I’ve condemned many different groups. But not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me,” he said.

“You had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists,” Trump said. “The press has treated them absolutely unfairly.”

“You also had some very fine people on both sides,” he said.

BBC Headline:

‘Drug dealers, criminals, rapists’: What Trump thinks of Mexicans

Actual quote:

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

Why this matters: All three of these quotes were spun-up as wildly-offensive and racist comments. They are also all taken out of context completely. In all of these instances, Trump separates good guys from bad guys, and he makes it clear the blunt language is for the bad guys. Unfortunately, once it is fed through the national media prism in NYC and DC, the actual context and intent is completely lost.

This is why the media is losing trust every single day.

The details:

— A poll done last year indicated that 63 percent of Americans thought “traditional media outlets” spread fake news before this latest fake controversy developed. Now? That number is 77 percent.

— 90 percent of media coverage has been negative against Trump in the first four months of this year.

— In January, 67 percent of Republicans saw political bias in the news while only 26 percent of Democrats felt that way, which tells us Democrats are enjoying what the media is selling.

— A recent poll shows that 51 percent of Republicans view the American media as the “enemy of the people,” while only 22 percent of Democrats felt the same way.

@TheDaleJackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a conservative talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN

2 months ago

Trump: ‘We must end the attacks on our police’

(White House/YouTube)

In a speech to the National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service, President Donald Trump called for an end to attacks on police, adding that ambush attacks are “one of the most alarming crimes” against police.

“In 2016, an officer was assaulted in America on an average of every 10 minutes. Can you believe that? It’s outrageous, and it’s unacceptable. We must end the attacks on our police, and we must end them right now. We believe criminals who kill our police should get the death penalty. Bring it forth,” Trump said.

“One of the most alarming crimes taking place against our police are ambush attacks. Think of that – ambush attacks. I have directed the Justice Department to do everything in its power to defend the lives of American law enforcement,” Trump said.

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Trump said he was honored to attend the memorial service for the second time, “and I’ll see you I guess about another six times, and then after that, perhaps you’ll have had enough.”

“We stand with our police, and we stand with you 100 percent, and I think we’ve shown that,” he said.

Trump called the memorial service “one of the most important solemn occasions of the year – the day we pay tribute to law enforcement heroes – and that’s what they are, heroes – who gave their lives in the line of duty.”

“They made the ultimate sacrifice so that we could live in safety and in peace. To the families and survivors with us this morning, I know today is filled with sadness and pain, but today is also filled with love – the love of an entire nation wrapped its arms, and they have wrapped their arms right around you. They love you. They’re praying for you. They’re grieving with you and pledging to you that we will never forget our heroes, ever,” he said.

Trump said the first duty of government is to protect its citizens. The men and women of the Department of Homeland Security “are on the front lines of this incredible, heroic fight,” he said.

“That is why we are calling on Congress to secure our borders, support our border agents, stop sanctuary cities, and shut down policies that release violent criminals back into our communities. We don’t want it any longer. We’ve had it. Enough is enough,” Trump said.

“Recently, MS-13 gang members called for the assassination of New York City police officers, so the gang could ‘take back the streets.’ They got it wrong. We are the ones who are taking back the streets. We are getting them out of our country by the thousands,” he said.

“Every week, we’re setting new records on– we have a catch and release program too. It’s called we catch them, and we release them in the country they came back from. We’re getting them out or we’re putting them in prison,” the president added.

“The Trump administration has a policy, and it’s very clear: we will protect those who protect us and who do such a great job in protecting us. That is why as I promised all along that we are allowing local police to access the surplus military equipment they need to protect our officers and law enforcement agents and save their lives, and they are taking equipment at a record clip. Millions and millions of dollars of surplus equipment is going to our police departments,” he said.

“If we want to bring down violent crime, then we must stand up for our police. We must confront and condemn dangerous anti-police prejudice. Can you believe this prejudice with respect to our police? We’re not going to let bad things happen to our police. So we must show appreciation, gratitude and respect for those who police our streets and patrol our communities,” Trump said.

(Courtesy CNS News)

2 months ago

7 governors sign letter backing Trump for Nobel Peace Prize

(White House/YouTube)

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster and a group of fellow governors are backing President Donald Trump’s nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize.

McMaster and six fellow governors wrote to Norwegian Nobel Committee chairman Berit Reiss-Andersen this week, citing what they called Trump’s “transformative efforts to bring peace to the Korean peninsula.”

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Earlier this month, 18 U.S. House Republicans formally nominated Trump, who’s preparing for a historic summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.

McMaster was an early Trump supporter in the 2016 election. Trump has backed him in next month’s five-way South Carolina GOP primary.

Other signatories include Guam Gov. Eddie Baza Calvo; Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant; Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer; Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey; West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice; and Maine Gov. Paul LePage.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)
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2 months ago

Kanye saying what black conservatives have said for decades

In the aftermath of the Kanye West dust-up, my heart goes out to the white people who control the Democratic Party. My pity stems from the hip-hop megastar’s November announcement to his packed concert audience that he did not vote in the presidential election but if he had, he would have voted for Donald Trump. Then, on April 21, West took to his Twitter account, which has 28 million followers, to announce, “I love the way Candace Owens thinks.” Owens is Turning Point USA’s director of urban engagement and has said that former President Barack Obama caused “damage” to race relations in the United States during his two terms in office.

West’s support for Trump, along with his criticism of the “plantation” mentality of the Democratic Party, has been met with vicious backlash from the left. In one song, West raps, “See, that’s the problem with this damn nation. All blacks gotta be Democrats. Man, we ain’t made it off the plantation.” Rep. Maxine Waters said West “talks out of turn” and advised, “He should think twice about politics — and maybe not have so much to say.” The bottom-line sin that West has committed is questioning the hegemony of the Democratic Party among black Americans. The backlash has been so bad that West had to hire personal security to protect him against threats made against his life. Fortunately, the police are investigating those threats.

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Kanye West is not saying anything different from what Dr. Thomas Sowell, Larry Elder, Jason Riley, I and other black libertarians/conservatives have been saying for decades. In fact, West has tweeted quotations from Sowell, such as “Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it” and “The most basic question is not what is best but who shall decide what is best.” Tweeting those Sowell quotations represents the highest order of blasphemy in the eyes of leftists.

The big difference between black libertarians/conservatives and West is that he has 28 million Twitter followers and a huge audience of listeners whereas few blacks have even heard of libertarian/conservative blacks outside of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. (I might add in passing that Dr. Thomas Sowell is one of the nation’s most distinguished and accomplished scholars alive today.)

The Kanye problem for the Democratic Party is that if the party doesn’t keep blacks in line and it loses even 20 to 25 percent of the black vote, it can kiss any hope of winning any presidential and many congressional elections goodbye. Democrats may have already seen that threat. That’s why they support illegal immigration and voting rights for noncitizens. Immigrants from south of the border who are here illegally may be seen as either a replacement for or a guarantee against the disaster of losing the black vote.

Keeping blacks blind to the folly of unquestioned support for the Democratic Party by keeping blacks fearful, angry and resentful and painting the Republican Party as racist is vital. Democrats never want blacks to seriously ask questions about what the party has done for them. Here are some facts. The nation’s most troublesome and dangerous cities — Indianapolis, Stockton, Oakland, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Kansas City, Baltimore, Memphis, St. Louis and Detroit — have been run by Democrats, often black Democrats, for nearly a half-century. These and other Democratic-run cities are where blacks suffer the highest murder rates and their youngsters attend the poorest-performing and most unsafe schools.

Democrats could never afford for a large number of black people to observe, “We’ve been putting you in charge of our cities for decades. We even put a black Democrat in the White House. And what has it meant for us? Plus, the president you told us to hate has our unemployment rate near a record low.” It turns out that it’s black votes that count more to black and white politicians than black well-being, black academic excellence and black lives. As for black politicians and civil rights leaders, if they’re going to sell their people down the river to keep Democrats in power, they ought to demand a higher price.

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University.

(Creators, copyright 2018)

2 months ago

Rep. Roby: Strengthening our hand with Iran

(B. Froberg/Flickr)

President Trump recently announced he will withdraw the United States from the Iran Nuclear Agreement. From the very beginning, I said this was a flawed, weak deal that serves the interests of bad actors in Iran at the expense of our own. I support the Trump Administration’s efforts to ensure that we truly end Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

After all, wasn’t that the point of this agreement in the first place? Under the deal, the Iranian regime was to dismantle their nuclear weapons program in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. Needless to say, this didn’t work out, and that’s largely because the Obama Administration failed to uphold the basic tenets they laid out for this agreement from the start.

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For example, when the previous Administration was negotiating this agreement more than three years ago, they originally said the United States would perform inspections on suspected Iranian nuclear facilities that could occur anywhere, at any time, to ensure that this rogue regime wouldn’t be able to quietly continue their efforts to develop a nuclear weapon. In reality, the Iranians ended up having up to 24 days’ notice in many cases before inspections were allowed to occur. Even then, Americans were prohibited from unilaterally performing them. This is just one example of the many ways the Iran deal fell far short of accomplishing what the Obama Administration promised Congress and the American people.

Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism, and that hasn’t changed over the last three years. While actively supporting terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Hamas, the nation has been part of horrific terrorism in Yemen, Syria, and Lebanon. The regime has also been developing long-range ballistic missiles. Their ballistic missiles program threatens Israel, our allies in the region, and even U.S. forces.

It is no secret that Iran has not stopped its mission to obtain a nuclear weapon, and Israeli intelligence actually proved Iran deceived negotiators from the outset by covering up their nuclear weapons program prior to signing the agreement in 2015. So now, the regime has the best of both worlds: relief from economic sanctions and the freedom to continue their nuclear weapons program without consequence.

For starters, I believe it is imperative that we reinstate the economic sanctions against Iran that were in place prior to the Obama-era nuclear agreement. In the House, I have supported policies like this that strengthen our hand towards Iran, including the Iran Sanctions Extension Act, which Congress passed in 2016 to reauthorize for ten years the economic penalties used by the United States to deter Iran from furthering developing ballistic missiles and supporting terrorism.

Clearly, there is great room for improvement in our dealings with this rogue nation. As I have said many times before, the Obama Administration’s behavior towards Iran was truly baffling, and I am glad that we have now reversed course. I am hopeful that the Trump Administration can strengthen our hand with Iran after eight years of it being severely weakened. At the end of the day, the bottom line is that Iran’s nuclear weapons program, support for terrorist organizations, and development of ballistic missiles pose a direct threat to the United States and our allies. We must take this very seriously throughout future negotiations with this regime. To do otherwise compromises our own national security.

U.S. Rep. Martha Roby is a Republican from Montgomery.

2 months ago

Trump: ‘For many years we failed to acknowledge the obvious … that Israel’s capital Is Jerusalem’

(WH/Facebook)

President Donald Trump celebrated the opening of the first U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, saying that Israel is a sovereign nation with the right to determine its own capital, adding that for years, however, the U.S. has failed to recognize the obvious – that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.

“Exactly 70 years ago, the United States under President Harry Truman became the first nation to recognize the state of Israel. Today we officially open the United States Embassy in Jerusalem. Congratulations! It’s been a long time coming,” Trump said in pre-taped remarks that were broadcast at the U.S. embassy’s opening ceremony.

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“Today Jerusalem is the seat of Israel’s government. It is the home of the Israeli Legislature and the Israeli Supreme Court and Israel’s prime minister and president. Israel is a sovereign nation with a right like every other sovereign nation to determine its own capital. Yet, for many years we failed to acknowledge the obvious, the plain reality, that Israel’s capital is Jerusalem,” he said.

“On December 6, 2017 at my direction, the United States finally and officially recognized Jerusalem as the true capital of Israel. Today we follow through on this recognition and open our embassy in the historic and sacred land of Jerusalem, and we’re opening it many, many years ahead of schedule,” the president said. “As I said in December, our greatest hope is for peace.”

Trump said the U.S. is “fully committed to facilitating a lasting peace agreement” and that it continues to support the status quo at Jerusalem’s holy sites, including the Temple Mount.

“This city and its entire nation is a testament to the unbreakable spirit of the Jewish people. The United States will always be a great friend of Israel and a partner in the cause of freedom and peace,” the president said.

He wished U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman good luck “as he takes up his office in this beautiful Jerusalem embassy, and we extend a hand in friendship to Israel, the Palestinians and to all of their neighbors.”

“May there be peace,” the president said.

(Courtesy of CNSNews.com)

2 months ago

The day the Iran deal died

(WH/Instagram)

Team Obama lives in a world of fiction.

As President Trump announced to the world that he would finally put a stake through the heart of the Iran deal — the signal foreign policy “achievement” of the Obama administration — Obama’s former staffers lamented, rending their sackcloth and smearing their ashes. “I will never forget the dark cloud that hung over the White House in the years Iran was advancing nuclear program & Obama was briefed on all the risks of using military force,” former United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power tweeted. “Trump has demolished America’s credibility & paved the way for Iran to re-start its nuclear program. Trump has done the unthinkable: isolated the US & rallied the world around Iran.”

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Then there was amateur-fiction-writer-turned-professional-fiction-writer Ben Rhodes, a former Obama national security aide, who tweeted, “One tragicomic element of Trump’s presidency is that the more he tries to tear down Obama’s legacy, the bigger he makes Obama look.” Meanwhile, former Secretary of State John Kerry, who had been traveling the world in an attempt to conduct his own personal foreign policy on behalf of the mullahs, stated, “Today’s announcement weakens our security, breaks America’s word, isolates us from our European allies, puts Israel at greater risk, empowers Iran’s hardliners, and reduces our global leverage to address Tehran’s misbehavior.”

Obama himself stated, “Walking away from the JCPOA turns our back on America’s closest allies.”

In hearing all of these honeyed voices speak, one might think that Iran has been acting responsibly for the last three years, that it hasn’t been pursuing a campaign of horrific terrorism in Yemen and Syria, that it hasn’t been sponsoring the takeover of Lebanon by the terrorist group Hezbollah, that it hasn’t been funding the Palestinian terror group Hamas, that it hasn’t been developing long-range ballistic missiles while leading chants saying “Death to America.” One might think that Obama left the Middle East a bright a beautiful place, not a hellhole filled with human carnage bought with dollars spent by Iran but funneled through the United States.

None of that is true, of course. Obama left the Middle East a smoking wreckage heap — a situation so grim that even Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan have been forced to ally with Israel to allay fears of an Iranian regional takeover. Obama and his staff lied repeatedly to the American people about the Iran deal — and they continue to lie. When Kerry says that the deal will “empower Iran’s hardliners,” he is repeating an outright fabrication: The hardliners are in charge of the government, and the deal strengthened them. When Power speaks as though Obama alleviated the possibility of Iran’s nuclear program, she’s lying, too: The deal explicitly paved the way for an Iranian nuclear program free and clear of consequences from the international order. When Obama speaks as though our Middle East allies were pleased by the deal, he’s lying: They all opposed it, and they’re all celebrating its end.

Barack Obama had a peculiar vision of the Middle East remade: Iran ascendant, the power of Israel checked, the Saudis chastened. He achieved that vision at the cost of tens of thousands of lives across the region. President Trump is undoing that legacy. Good riddance.

Ben Shapiro, 34, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of “The Ben Shapiro Show” and editor-in-chief of DailyWire.com.

(Creators, copyright 2018)

3 months ago

Trump signs faith-based initiative giving religious voices more influence in federal government

(D. Trump/Instagram)

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday to create a new faith-based initiative ensuring the government’s cooperation with religious communities.

Trump unveiled the Establishment of a White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative in a Rose Garden ceremony on the National Day of Prayer, according to Religion News Service. The executive order established the White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative within the Office of the President to help ensure that all departments of the federal government, as opposed to only faith offices, work with faith based communities on issues like poverty and the preservation of religious liberty, according to the White House.

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“Today we are launching another historic action to promote religious freedom,” Trump said at the ceremony, surrounded by leaders of various faiths.

“The faith initiative will help design new policies that recognize the vital role of faith in our families, in our communities, and in our great country. This office will also help ensure that faith based organizations have equal access to government funding and the equal right to exercise their deeply held beliefs,” Trump added.

The initiative will advise the administration on opportunities to partner with faith-based organizations and communities to address poverty. It will also alert the administration to any ways in which current policies breach religious liberty and make recommendations on how to rectify those breaches. Executive departments without Centers for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives will appoint liaisons to the initiative.

“We take this step because we know that in solving the many, many problems and our great challenges that faith is more powerful than government, and nothing is more powerful than God.”

Trump signed the executive order after sharing the testimony of John Ponder, a former bank robber-turned-Christian minister who runs the ministry Hope For Prisoners, and invoking God’s blessing on the U.S.

“Today we gather to remember this truth – we thank God for the faith of our people. We praise God for the blessings of freedom. And we ask God to forever bless this magnificent land that we all love so much. America,” Trump said.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

3 months ago

Propaganda networks

(A. Martin/Twitter)

Why does American journalist Abby Martin report for media run by socialist murderers?

Martin once worked for RT, Russia’s state-run news network.

Now she’s got a similar gig at teleSUR, an anti-capitalist, pro-socialist news network funded by Latin American leftists.

I’d never heard of teleSUR before researching this week’s YouTube video. But teleSUR matters because its videos get millions of views. Latin America stays poor because people believe socialist propaganda.

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One teleSUR video lists countries where “capitalism failed”: Canada, Mexico, England, Peru, Panama, Switzerland, the United States…

Another says that “Trump is killing our brains with Nazi-era chemicals.”

Few viewers know that teleSUR is funded by the tyrants who control Cuba and Venezuela.

Venezuela, once rich, has been bankrupted by its socialist rulers. More than a million Venezuelans have fled to neighboring Colombia and Brazil.

Those who don’t flee go hungry. One study found Venezuelans have lost, on average, more than 20 pounds. Hundreds of children have died of starvation. But when other countries and philanthropists offer help, Venezuela’s rulers refuse it.

Instead, they spend their dwindling funds on teleSUR propaganda videos.

One shows a picture of Warren Buffet’s son while telling viewers, “Philanthropy is a scam that allows the super rich to influence global affairs … as if capitalism were the solution, not the cause of world problems.”
Excuse me? Capitalism is a solution. In the last few decades, capitalism has lifted billions of people out of miserable poverty.

By contrast, in Venezuela, many store shelves are empty.

How can teleSUR put a positive spin on that? They hire “useful idiots,” as Communists once called naive leftists who inadvertently spread tyrants’ propaganda. Today, one person they pay is former Californian Abby Martin.

Martin produced a teleSUR video that shows Venezuelan store shelves filled with goods. Martin narrates, “We just went to about five different supermarkets and the shelves were fully stocked … (W)hile it is true there are shortages, it seems like you are very able to find things for everyday life, no problem.”

I wanted to interview Martin, but she didn’t respond to my interview requests.

Back when Martin worked for RT, at least she criticized Russia for invading Ukraine. But she also used her RT airtime to praise tyrants like Hugo Chavez.

“It is undeniable that under his leadership the poorest in the country were empowered,” Martin said on RT.
Empowered? By starving? Shortages? Rampant inflation? Government troops suppressing protestors?

I wish Martin were more like her former RT colleague Liz Wahl. On RT, Wahl said:

“I face many ethical and moral challenges … I cannot be a part of a network funded by the Russian government.” Then she quit, on-air. She got a job with a legitimate news network.

After criticizing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Martin stayed at RT for another year, and now she works for teleSUR.

Her videos describe “U.S. death squads” and claim that NATO and the U.S. lead “constant wars of aggression.” In the U.S., racism is “entrenched … political opposition quashed” while the U.S. “empire … runs on death and destruction and kills thousands of our brothers and sisters every day.”

Fergus Hodgson, who reports on Latin America, says teleSUR is winning hearts and minds.

“Even well-meaning people here in the United States, I see them sharing teleSUR material all the time,” he told me.

“They should know that this is a media outlet that is funded by … dictatorial communist or tyrannical rulers. (If you) share the material, you’re sharing the lies of these brutal people. You’re also sharing a media outlet that is funded by taking from the very poorest of the poor.”

Governments, especially socialist governments, like to present themselves as thinking only of “the people,” but they have agendas just like private-sector con artists trying to sell you goods.

Government sales pitches are harder to detect because they don’t sell products like cars or shampoos. But they still sell their bad ideas by showing only the worst aspects of the alternative, the private sector.

Update: Martin says that my characterization of her work at teleSUR and RT suggests that she lacked editorial independence. I never meant to imply that. I don’t think I did. I’m sure Martin sincerely believes what she reports. In my opinion, that does not make her work for socialist state-run media less harmful. I encourage readers to watch Martin’s reports and decide for themselves.

John Stossel is author of “No They Can’t! Why Government Fails — But Individuals Succeed.”

(JFS Productions, copyright 2018)

3 months ago

Pro-life groups, Congressmen ask HHS Secretary to stop Title X funds from going to abortion providers

(Brian Stansberry/WikiCommons)

More than 85 state and national pro-life groups as well as 41 senators and 153 congressmen and women are calling on Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to revise Title X family planning rules.

“The pro-life grassroots are furious with the inability of the Republican-controlled Congress to stop taxpayer funding of abortion and abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood. We urge the Trump administration to act swiftly to revise the Title X regulations, stopping the flow of Title X dollars to abortion centers,” Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement.

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“Planned Parenthood, which is the nation’s largest abortion business and responsible for more than 300,000 abortions a year, currently receives $50-60 million in Title X taxpayer dollars annually. A win like this would immediately disentangle taxpayers from the abortion business and energize the grassroots as we head into the critical midterm elections,” Dannenfelser said.

“For far too long the Title X Family Planning Program has been integrated with abortion centers. It is time to act swiftly to disentangle abortion centers from the Title X network. Doing so would be consistent with the President’s pledge and subsequent actions to defund Planned Parenthood and reallocate funding to alternative providers,” the pro-life groups stated in their letter to Azar.

“Reinstating President Ronald Reagan’s Title X regulations is sorely needed to bring the program into clear alignment with the statutory requirement stating, ‘None of the funds appropriated under this title shall be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.’ Abortion is not family planning and the law recognizes that,” the letter stated.

Forty-one senators led by Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), James Lankford (Okla.), and Steve Daines (R-Mont.) sent a companion letter to Azar, as well as 153 congressmen and women led by Reps. Ron Estes (R-Kan.), Diane Black (R-Tenn.), Chris Smith (R-N.J.), and Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.).

In Rust v. Sullivan, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld regulations by the Reagan administration that required Title X funding to go to family planning clinics that did not perform or refer patients for abortions.

“The Reagan regulations complied with this requirement by directing taxpayer funds to Title X locations that did not perform or refer for abortion. This action does not ban abortion or abortion referral in the private sector. It only governs the types of centers that the federal government chooses to fund using taxpayer dollars,” the letter stated.

“Federally funded family planning centers should not refer for abortion or be co-located with abortion clinics. These regulations were upheld by the Supreme Court in 1991 in Rust v. Sullivan (500 U.S. 173),” it stated.

“The result of this policy is simply to separate the Title X network of family planning providers from abortionists like Planned Parenthood – the nation’s largest abortion chain. A GAO report issued earlier this year showed that Title X is currently Planned Parenthood’s second largest funding stream, generating $50-$60 million for the abortion giant,” the letter noted.

“By shifting funding to clinic sites that do not perform or refer for abortion, you will send a strong message that abortion is not family planning consistent with the law creating the program. In the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, Congress provided $286 million for the Title X program. It is time to reinstate common-sense pro-life safeguards before the end of the fiscal year when the Congress and the President will face another funding deadline,” the letter concluded.

(Courtesy of CNSNews.com)

3 months ago

Smut night at the press dinner

(C-SPAN/Youtube)

Saturday’s White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, billed as a celebration of the First Amendment and a tribute to journalists who “speak truth to power,” has to be the worst advertisement in memory for our national press corps.

Comedian Michelle Wolf, the guest speaker, recited one filthy joke after another at the expense of President Trump and his people, using words that would have gotten her kicked out of school not so long ago.

Media critic Howard Kurtz said he had “never seen a performance like that,” adding that Wolf “was not only nasty but dropping F-bombs on live television.” Some of her stuff was grungier than that.

The anti-Trump media at the black-tie dinner laughed and whooped it up, and occasionally “oohed” as Wolf went too far even for them, lending confirmation to Trump’s depiction of who and what they are.

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While the journalistic elite at the black-tie dinner was reveling in the raw sewage served up by Wolf, Trump had just wrapped up a rally in Michigan.

The contrast between the two assemblies could not have been more stark. We are truly two Americas now.

“Why would I want to be stuck in a room with a bunch of fake-news liberals who hate me?” said Trump in an email to supporters, adding that he would much rather “spend the evening with my favorite deplorables who love our movement and love America.”

Her objective in arranging this year’s dinner, said WHCA president Margaret Talev, was “in unifying the country,” but “we may have fallen a little bit short on that goal.” The lady has a gift for understatement.

With revulsion at Wolf’s performance coming in strong on Sunday, journalists began to call for a halt to inviting comedians, with some urging an end to the annual dinner that Trump has twice boycotted.

These dinners are becoming “close to suicidal for the press’s credibility,” writes Margaret Sullivan in The Washington Post.

How did the White House Correspondents’ Association descend to this depth?

In 1962, along with friends at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, this writer hung out outside the dinner, as we talked to legendary Pulitzer Prize-wining investigative reporter Clark Mollenhoff.

A memorable evening and though most of the press there had probably been JFK voters in 1960, these journalists would never have sat still for Saturday night’s festival of contempt.

Nor has the older Gridiron dinner descended to this depth.

A white-tie affair at the Statler Hilton, it is put on by the Gridiron Club, one of whose rules is, “Women are always present.” Nothing is to be said from the podium that might affront a lady. And the jokes from the rival party speakers are to “singe, but not burn.”

What happened to the WHCA dinner? The evening has become less a celebration of the First Amendment than a celebration of the press themselves, how wonderful they are and how indispensable they are to our democracy.

Yet in the eyes of tens of millions of their countrymen, they are seen not as “speaking truth to power,” but as using their immense power over American communications to punish their enemies, advance their own agendas, and, today, bring down a president.

The press denounces Trump for calling the media “the enemy of the people.” But is there any doubt that the mainstream media are, by and large, enemies of Trump and looking to Robert Mueller to solve their problem?

Saturday’s White House Correspondents’ dinner recalls to mind T.S. Eliot’s insight that, “Things reveal themselves passing away.”

It was saturated with detestation of Trump, his people, and what they represent.

How did we get here?

Like our cultural elite in Hollywood and the arts, and our academic elite in the Ivy League, our media elite is a different breed than we knew in the Eisenhower-Kennedy era. Our institutions passed through the great cultural, social and moral revolution of the late 20th century, and they have emerged different on the other side.

Most of the Washington press corps at that dinner have next to nothing in common with the folks who voted for Trump and cheered him in Michigan. And Hillary Clinton surely spoke for many of the Beltway media laughing at Wolf’s jokes when she said:

“(Y)ou could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. … The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic … (Trump) tweets and retweets their offensive hateful mean-spirited rhetoric. Now, some of those folks — they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America.”

It’s good to know what folks really think of you.

Perhaps, rather than seeking to create a synthetic unity, those who so deeply and viscerally disagree — on politics, morality, culture and even good and evil — ought peacefully to go their separate ways.

We both live in the USA, but we inhabit different countries.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

(Creators, copyright 2018)

3 months ago

Texas suing to end ‘Dreamers’ program once and for all

(U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement/Flickr)

Texas and six other states are suing to end once and for all a program that would protect some young immigrants from deportation.

The lawsuit announced Tuesday comes a week after a federal judge in Washington ordered the Trump administration to resume the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Immigrants under the Obama-era program are commonly referred to as “Dreamers.” Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton had threatened legal action for the past year if the program didn’t come to a halt.

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Joining Texas in the lawsuit are Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina and West Virginia.

A federal judge in Washington called the Department of Homeland Security’s rationale against the program “arbitrary and capricious.” He gave the Trump administration 90 days to make a new case.

Tuesday’s lawsuit joins a host of litigation related to the program that is not expected to be resolved until the U.S. Supreme Court weighs in.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

3 months ago

Trump deserves credit on North Korea, but let’s slow down the peace prize talk

(WH, Wikicommons)

One of Republicans’ favorite stories over the past several years has been the regret that Geir Lundestad, former Nobel Peace Prize committee secretary, expressed about awarding President Obama the prize in 2009.

Lundestad, as did many back when the prize was given, said in 2015 that the prize was given to President Obama too early — that he had advocated a noble cause but hadn’t accomplished much tangibly.

Now that some, including President Moon of South Korea, are already saying that Trump deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts on de-nuclearizing North Korea, I suggest the prize talk slow down a bit, so as to avoid another preemptive award ceremony.

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One could argue – I think convincingly – that securing meetings with Kim is more meritorious than President Obama’s abstract and allegedly “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples,” but the meeting between Trump and Kim hasn’t happened yet. The testing facilities haven’t closed yet. De-nuclearization hasn’t happened yet.

For Trump to be awarded the prize isn’t likely anyway, considering he doesn’t exhibit the qualities that impress a progressive European group like the Nobel prize committee, but he may truly end up deserving it.

It’s prudent to let a little bit of time pass, though, before that is determined, because who knows what’s going to happen.

President Trump’s national security adviser encouraged such caution before announcing a victory.

“We’ve heard this before,” John Bolton said on Sunday of North Korea’s promise to end its nuclear program. “This is the North Korean propaganda playbook… What we want to see from them is evidence that it’s real and not just rhetoric.”

Again, Trump may end up deserving the prize, but let’s see what happens, as he is prone to say.

@jeremywbeaman is a contributing writer for Yellowhammer News

3 months ago

America’s unsustainable empire

(YHN/Pixabay)

Before President Trump trashes the Iran nuclear deal, he might consider: If he could negotiate an identical deal with Kim Jong Un, it would astonish the world and win him the Nobel Peace Prize.

For Iran has no nuclear bomb or ICBM and has never tested either. It has never enriched uranium to bomb grade. It has shipped 98 percent of its uranium out of the country. It has cameras inside and inspectors crawling all over its nuclear facilities.

And North Korea? It has atom bombs and has tested an H-bomb. It has intermediate range-ballistic missiles that can hit Guam and an ICBM that, fully operational, could hit the West Coast. It has shorter-range missiles that could put nukes on South Korea and Japan.

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Hard to believe Kim Jong Un will surrender these weapons, his ticket of admission to the table of great powers.

Yet the White House position is that the Iran nuclear deal should be scrapped, and no deal with Kim Jong Un signed that does not result in the “denuclearization” of the peninsula.

If denuclearization means Kim gives up all his nukes and strategic missiles, ceases testing, and allows inspectors into all his nuclear facilities, we may be waiting a long time.

Trump decides on the Iran deal by May 12. And we will likely know what Kim is prepared to do, and not prepared to do, equally soon.

France’s President Emmanuel Macron is in D.C. to persuade Trump not to walk away from the Iran deal and to keep U.S. troops in Syria. Chancellor Angela Merkel will be arriving at week’s end with a similar message.

On the White House front burner then are these options:

Will North Korea agree to surrender its nuclear arsenal, or is it back to confrontation and possible war?

Will we stick with the nuclear deal with Iran, or walk away, issue new demands on Tehran, and prepare for a military clash if rebuffed?

Do we pull U.S. troops out of Syria as Trump promised, or keep U.S. troops there to resist the reconquest of his country by Bashar Assad and his Russian, Iranian, Hezbollah and Shiite allies?

Beyond, the larger question looms: How long can we keep this up?

How long can this country, with its shrinking share of global GDP, sustain its expanding commitments to confront and fight all over the world?

U.S. planes and ships now bump up against Russians in the Baltic and Black seas. We are sending Javelin anti-tank missiles to Kiev, while NATO allies implore us to bring Ukraine and Georgia into the alliance.

This would mean a U.S. guarantee to fight an alienated, angered and nuclear-armed Russia in Crimea and the Caucasus.

Sixteen years after 9/11 and the invasion of Afghanistan, we are still there, assisting Afghan troops against a Taliban we thought we had defeated.

We are now fighting what is left of ISIS in Syria alongside our Kurd allies, who tug us toward conflict with Turkey.

U.S. forces and advisers are in Niger, Djibouti, Somalia. We are aiding the Saudis in their air war and naval blockade of Yemen.

The last Korean War, which cost 33,000 U.S. lives, began in the June before this writer entered 7th grade. Why is the defense of a powerful South Korea, with an economy 40 times that of the North, still a U.S. responsibility?

We are committed, by 60-year-old treaties, to defend Japan, the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand. Voices are being heard to have us renew the war guarantee to Taiwan that Jimmy Carter canceled in 1979.

National security elites are pushing for new naval and military ties to Vietnam and India, to challenge Beijing in the South China Sea, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea.

How long can we sustain a worldwide empire of dependencies?

How many wars of this century — Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen — turned out to have been worth the blood shed and the treasure lost? And what have all the “color-coded revolutions” we have instigated to advance “democracy” done for America?

In a New York Times essay, “Adapting to American Decline,” Christopher Preble writes: “America’s share of global wealth is shrinking. By some estimates, the United States accounted for roughly 50 percent of global output at the end of World War II. … It has fallen to 15.1 percent today.”

Preble continues: “Admitting that the United States is incapable of effectively adjudicating every territorial dispute or of thwarting every security threat in every part of the world is hardly tantamount to surrender. It is rather a wise admission of the limits of American power.”

It is imperative, wrote Walter Lippmann, that U.S. commitments be brought into balance with U.S. power. This “forgotten principle … must be recovered and returned to the first place in American thought.”

That was 1943, at the height of a war that found us unprepared.

We are hugely overextended today. And conservatives have no higher duty than to seek to bring U.S. war guarantees into conformity with U.S. vital interests and U.S. power.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.” 

(Creators, copyright 2018)

3 months ago

Cornyn laments ‘despicable’ treatment of VA nominee; Sen. Tester ‘should be ashamed of himself’

(Wikicommons)

Rear Admiral Dr. Ronny Jackson withdrew from consideration as President Trump’s Veterans Affairs secretary on Thursday without ever getting a chance to publicly defend his reputation.

In a statement, Jackson said the allegations about his drinking and pill-pushing “are completely false and fabricated. If they had any merit I would not be selected and promoted to serve in the important role as physician to three presidents over 12 years.”

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said on Thursday that Jackson’s withdrawal just shows how low some Democrats are willing to go:

“Well, I feel bad for Admiral Jackson, because you’re right, none of these accusations was ever proven to be true — and they were anonymously sourced and repeated by some Senate Democrats who were trashing his reputation,” Cornyn told “Fox & Friends” on Thursday.

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“In the end, he may have just figured that it’s not worth it. But this is a guy who had gotten glowing performance evaluation reports by President Obama. And so it leads me to wonder whether we’re just chasing good people off with all this rumor and hearsay that’s never been proven. And it’s really a shame. It’s our loss.”

Host Brian Kilmeade asked Cornyn what it says about Sen. John Tester of Montana, that he’d “go on national television and parrot these allegations as if they’re facts?”

“I think it’s despicable, and he should be ashamed of himself,” Cornyn said.

Tester, a Democrat, is running for re-election in November.

In an earlier interview with “Fox & Friends” on Thursday, President Trump predicted that Tester will pay a “big price” for smearing Dr. Jackson.

“Because I don’t think people in Montana — the admiral is the kind of person that they respect and admire,” Trump said. “And they don’t like seeing what’s happened to him.”

Even MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” crew, a group that is nothing but hostile to all things Trump, wondered about the “over-the-top” smearing of Dr. Ronny Jackson on Thursday’s show.

Willie Geist said he’s been “amazed by the sheer number” of private communications from people who worked in the Obama administration, “messaging me and emailing me and saying — this guy, you know, yes, that he gave out some Ambien on flights, that’s normal. Maybe he had a couple of drinks after hours with people. But they, to a man, say he was a great doctor, a good man. President Obama wrote him four separate commendations, so they’re surprised to see this, and they’re suspicious of what you’re suspicious of, that somebody has some kind of agenda here to push him aside.”

Joe Scarborough said he doesn’t know if the effort to torpedo Jackson is coming out of the Pentagon or where it’s coming from. “I don’t think the man is qualified. So I’m not sitting here fighting for him to run the VA.”

“It just seems over the top,” Mika Brzezinski chimed in.

“But this seems over the top,” her fiance Scarborough agreed. “What this does do is the next time somebody who is qualified to run an agency like this, they’ll say wait a second, I’m going to have a lot of people trash me, say I’m a drunk, say I’m abusive, saying this, saying (that). You know what, they could have gone to one or two people that were angry with Ronny Jackson for some reason over the past 30 years who did that.”

(Courtesy of CNSNews.com)

3 months ago

Teachers with guns — why it’s a good idea

(YHN/Pixabay)

What should be done about school shootings?

After the horrible shooting in Parkland, Florida, President Trump suggested that some teachers carry guns. “We need to let people know, you come in to our schools — you’re gonna be dead.”

Anti-gun activists were horrified.

But they probably didn’t know that many teachers have brought guns to work with them for years.

Some teachers at the Keene Independent School District in Texas carry concealed weapons at school.

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“We know our staff and our teachers are gonna go” defend students, Texas’ Keene Independent School District superintendent Ricky Stephens told me for this week’s online video. “Do we want them to go with a pencil or go with a pistol?”

Stephens acknowledges that an attacker might have heavier weaponry than his teachers’ handguns. “It’s not much, but it’s better than nothing,” he argues. “If you go there with nothing, you have no chance of stopping anything.”

His teachers saw how in Florida the “school resource officer” simply waited outside during February’s school shooting.

“It made me mad,” a teacher in Stephens’ district told us. She’s glad she carries her gun. “We have to have a fighting chance if something should happen.” For my video, superintendent Stephens asked us to obscure her identity. He doesn’t want potential attackers to know which teachers are armed.

Opponents of armed teachers fear that guns will create new dangers. But even though teachers carry at hundreds of schools, I could find only one instance where one of those guns hurt a student. A California teacher accidentally discharged his weapon at the ceiling. A student was cut by falling debris. That’s it. One minor injury.

By contrast, armed school staffers have stopped school shootings. In Pearl, Mississippi, an assistant principal held a boy who killed two classmates at gunpoint until police arrived.

No one knows how often armed teachers deter shootings. The media can’t cover crimes that are never attempted.

Of course, the media distort proposals to allow teachers to carry.

One commentator shouted, “Teachers should not be required to protect!”

But no teacher is required to carry. It’s voluntary. Those who want to can bring their guns to school.

On MSNBC, pundits criticized President Trump for advocating “arming” teachers, as if he’d proposed a federal program.

He didn’t. He just talked about “armed educators.” Since lots of teachers already carry guns, all a school has to do is allow some to bring their weapons to work.

The Keene district, however, does go further. “The school purchases the gun, and we register them to (some of) our teachers,” says Stephens. Those teachers get 80 hours of firearms training and are paid an extra $50/month.

I gave Stephens grief about creating a “new government program.” Why not just let teachers bring their own guns to school? Stephens explained that he wants teachers trained on the same gun “so if a gun is dropped, another teacher will know how to use it.”

I pushed back again. “Why create a program at all?” There’s no epidemic of school shootings. In fact, non-gang, non-suicide shootings have declined over the past 25 years. It’s media hysteria that makes it seem like there’s an increase.

I said to Stephens, “School shootings are much less of a threat to students than driving, suicide, drowning, even suffocating!”

“Exactly right,” he replied. “But we do train our kids in school how to not suffocate and how not to drown. … One shooting is more than we would want.”

Certainly Stephens’ armed teacher program is cheaper than what my town does.

New York City spends millions of dollars stationing police officers in schools. Here, and in most blue states, suggesting that teachers be allowed to bring weapons to school horrifies people.

“They don’t understand,” says Stephens, “a responsible trained teacher with a firearm is better than having a teacher with nothing.”

It’s good that America has 50 states and many school districts. That allows for different experiments. Politicians in New York City hire extra police officers, but in Texas, the staff at the Keene school district can serve and protect.

John Stossel is author of “No They Can’t! Why Government Fails — But Individuals Succeed.”

(JFS Productions, copyright 2018)

3 months ago

Trump: Prisoner of the war party?

(Wikicommons, DoD News/Flickr)

“Ten days ago, President Trump was saying ‘the United States should withdraw from Syria.’ We convinced him it was necessary to stay.”

Thus boasted French President Emmanuel Macron Saturday, adding, “We convinced him it was necessary to stay for the long term.”

Is the U.S. indeed in the Syrian civil war “for the long term”?

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If so, who made that fateful decision for this republic?

U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley confirmed Sunday there would be no drawdown of the 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria, until three objectives were reached. We must fully defeat ISIS, ensure chemical weapons would not again be used by Bashar Assad and maintain the ability to watch Iran.

Translation: Whatever Trump says, America is not coming out of Syria. We are going deeper in. Trump’s commitment to extricate us from these bankrupting and blood-soaked Middle East wars and to seek a new rapprochement with Russia is “inoperative.”

The War Party that Trump routed in the primaries is capturing and crafting his foreign policy. Monday’s Wall Street Journal editorial page fairly blossomed with war plans:

“The better U.S. strategy is to … turn Syria into the Ayatollah’s Vietnam. Only when Russia and Iran began to pay a larger price in Syria will they have any incentive to negotiate an end to the war or even contemplate a peace based on dividing the country into ethnic-based enclaves.”

Apparently, we are to bleed Syria, Russia, Hezbollah and Iran until they cannot stand the pain and submit to subdividing Syria the way we want.

But suppose that, as in our Civil War of 1861-1865, the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939, and the Chinese Civil War of 1945-1949, Assad and his Russian, Iranian and Shiite militia allies go all out to win and reunite the nation.

Suppose they choose to fight to consolidate the victory they have won after seven years of civil war. Where do we find the troops to take back the territory our rebels lost? Or do we just bomb mercilessly?

The British and French say they will back us in future attacks if chemical weapons are used, but they are not plunging into Syria.

Defense Secretary James Mattis called the U.S.-British-French attack a “one-shot” deal. British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson appears to agree: “The rest of the Syrian war must proceed as it will.”

The Journal’s op-ed page Monday was turned over to former U.S. ambassador to Syria Ryan Crocker and Brookings Institute senior fellow Michael O’Hanlon: “Next time the U.S. could up the ante, going after military command and control, political leadership, and perhaps even Assad himself. The U.S. could also pledge to take out much of his air force. Targets within Iran should not be off limits.”

And when did Congress authorize U.S. acts of war against Syria, its air force or political leadership? When did Congress authorize the killing of the president of Syria whose country has not attacked us?

Can the U.S. also attack Iran and kill the ayatollah without consulting Congress?

Clearly, with the U.S. fighting in six countries, Commander in Chief Trump does not want any new wars, or to widen any existing wars in the Middle East. But he is being pushed into becoming a war president to advance the agenda of foreign policy elites who, almost to a man, opposed his election.

We have a reluctant president being pushed into a war he does not want to fight. This is a formula for a strategic disaster not unlike Vietnam or George W. Bush’s war to strip Iraq of nonexistent WMD.

The assumption of the War Party seems to be that if we launch larger and more lethal strikes in Syria, inflicting casualties on Russians, Iranians, Hezbollah and the Syrian army, they will yield to our demands.

But where is the evidence for this?

What reason is there to believe these forces will surrender what they have paid in blood to win? And if they choose to fight and widen the war to the larger Middle East, are we prepared for that?

As for Trump’s statement Friday, “No amount of American blood and treasure can produce lasting peace in the Middle East,” the Washington Post Sunday dismissed this as “fatalistic” and “misguided.”

We have a vital interest, says the Post, in preventing Iran from establishing a “land corridor” across Syria.

Yet consider how Iran acquired this “land corridor.”

The Shiites in 1979 overthrew a shah our CIA installed in 1953.

The Shiites control Iraq because President Bush invaded and overthrew Saddam and his Sunni Baath Party, disbanded his Sunni-led army, and let the Shiite majority take control of the country.

The Shiites are dominant in Lebanon because they rose up and ran out the Israelis, who invaded in 1982 to run out the PLO.

How many American dead will it take to reverse this history?

How long will we have to stay in the Middle East to assure the permanent hegemony of Sunni over Shiite?

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

(Creators, copyright 2018)

3 months ago

I used to defend James Comey, but no longer

(ABC/YHN)

I spend a lot of time trying to convince people that diverting attention away from the subject of criticism at hand to mount an unrelated attack on an ideological opponent is bad argumentation.

For example, on the Michael Cohen office raid, I was told, “If Obama had gotten this type of exam, half of his cabinet would be in jail.” That, I said, is a service to partisan instincts and fails to address the fact that Cohen did something meriting a judge to issue that warrant.

My instinct has been to assign to James Comey a mitigated culpability for his recent media charade, “because Trump…”

Trump being so unsaintly makes defending Comey’s book and ABC interview as an unorthodox but necessary response to a heretical presidency quite tempting.

Tempting though it is, I can’t blame Trump’s erraticism and pettiness for Comey’s self-indulgence and pettiness.

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Comey was entirely correct that Trump has changed the “norms” of good tact in politics, norms that he, Comey, could embrace himself in post-bureau life.

The former director has opted instead to embrace the norm change and to talk about the president’s appearance, the lowest of low-hanging fruit.

I’ve been slow to write Comey off because I’ve tried to sympathize with the inherent difficulties of his job. There was no way – no way at all – for him to come out looking honorable as far as the Clinton investigation is concerned, and I’m sure that haunted him, influenced his decision-making, and so forth. I can hardly blame him for that. If you commit your life’s work to the Department of Justice, you want to be fair and to be remembered as fair.

I can even justify the book writing. As I imagine many people are, I am extremely interested in learning about what it’s like to lead the FBI, particularly over the last few years.

But I can’t justify Comey talking about the president’s hair. The only reason he is doing that is vengeance.

Trey Gowdy, who has spent many of the last few weeks defending the Department of Justice against the president’s and others’ criticisms, summed it up in his denouncement of Comey.

“I can’t think of anyone who’s done a better job of politicizing the FBI than he has in the last 36 to 48 hours, by talking about tanning bed goggles and the length of a tie,” Gowdy said on Fox News last week. “That is beneath the dignity of the offices that he held.”

Sadly, he’s right. More than politicizing his former office, Comey has trivialized it.

@jeremywbeaman is a contributing writer for Yellowhammer News

3 months ago

Paul Ryan — still an entitlements reform crusader?

(Speaker Paul Ryan/Facebook)

Concerning Paul Ryan’s decision to leave Congress, I am more troubled by its implications for entitlement reform than the impact it may have on the GOP agenda or the November elections.

The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page said, “Ryan will leave Congress in January with no substantial progress on (reforming Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid), few lawmakers interested in picking up the torch, and a clear signal that prospects are dim for any big overhaul in the foreseeable future.”

Entitlement reform is not only the least sexy of all proposed legislation; it is the kiss of death for any would-be Republican reformer, because Republicans are already depicted by leftist demagogues as reverse Robin Hoods and curbing federal benefits for the poor and elderly would just “confirm” the slander.

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It is tragic that we haven’t the maturity to responsibly discuss amending these programs to prevent the inevitable national bankruptcy they guarantee in the absence of reform. Republicans are culpable on this, to be sure, but it’s nothing compared with Democrats, who would rather demagogue than breathe.

I have been concerned about these runaway federal programs for decades but became especially interested during the Barack Obama years, when Ryan gained national prominence for making them a national issue — for a while.

This was Ryan at his best — a policy wonk, meticulously crunching the numbers, preparing the position papers explaining their implications and presenting them to Congress and the public in intelligible language. I was encouraged when Mitt Romney chose Ryan as his running mate, because I saw Ryan’s potential position as increasing the chances that the country would finally tackle the problem.

Though the details of the math might put some to sleep and experts might disagree on the timetable for our economic destruction, it is indisputable that unless we legislatively reform the programs, the country will swallow itself in debt. Any solution involves some pain, but the longer we delay the greater the pain will be and the more difficult reform will become politically.

Part of the problem is that many have been crying wolf for decades over the looming dangers of federal deficits and the accumulated federal debt. As no catastrophe has ever materialized, it’s no wonder the public has been lulled into complacency and disregards the predictions of doom.

It is human nature to focus more on immediate problems than on long-term ones, and Washington’s ever increasing demands on the public through onerous taxes and unending regulatory control keep us plenty busy. Endless partisan warfare also militates against soberly addressing this issue.

Some criticize Ryan for dropping the ball on entitlement reform after spending years convincing us that we ignore this issue at our own national peril.

But let’s be realistic here. Does anyone think that in this politically hostile, hate-Trump atmosphere fomented by the media and the Democratic Party — with the distractions they spawn over the Russia-collusion myth — Ryan would have had a snowball’s chance in Hades of getting to first base on any entitlement reform proposal?

Does that mean Ryan or other Republicans should abandon reform? No. But when you are under relentless fire, you’d better fire back right then, or you won’t be around to fight another day.

And it’s not just Democratic demagoguery and the unpopularity of reforms that stand in the way of action but also the tyranny of the urgent. Ryan didn’t choose the speakership. He even resisted the position. But he eventually relented. It soon became clear that the mood of the country was to work on Trump’s agenda, and that did not include entitlement reform. Ryan can be fairly criticized perhaps, along with many others, for the GOP failure on repealing and replacing Obamacare, but if he had dreams of addressing long-term entitlement reform in the short run as speaker under Trump, they would have been just that — dreams.

The hard, cold fact is that we do have more pressing problems than entitlement reform, and we always will — until we finally bankrupt ourselves. But the political climate has made current attention to such reform almost impossible.

Every year, entitlements will gobble up an increasing percentage of the federal budget, so that in the near future, even draconian cuts in discretionary spending will not put a dent in the federal deficit.

People often lament that democracy contains a poison pill that guarantees its own demise, in that the voting public will vote itself money from the public trough and commit suicide by greed. (Yes, we have a constitutional republic, but our representatives are democratically elected.)

This poison has infected our system in multiple ways — with the redistribution of income, certain people abusing federal power to control others, and the possible bankruptcy of future generations at the behest of irresponsible present generations.

I have no illusions that we’re going to make appreciable headway in the near term or that Democrats will ever approach this problem in good faith to allow us to achieve reform by consensus. But because the budgetary doomsday clock is ticking, we don’t have the luxury of forever shelving it.

As such, I am just going to be Pollyannaish for a change and humbly propose and pray that after Paul Ryan returns to his family and rejoins the private sector, he carves out time from his new position, whatever it is, to use his expertise and passion on entitlements to crusade for reform and keep that torch burning before it is too late for anything other than extreme reform. If you say that that reform is impossible, then you are necessarily saying the country is headed for destruction — sooner than we imagine. Are you willing to live with that?

David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney.

(Creators, copyright 2018)

3 months ago

The welcome mat: Out for legal immigrants, not for others

(W.Miller/YHN)

It’s not easy to discuss immigration these days. Nuance is out. We’re pressured to pick a side—either you favor open borders, or you’re anti-immigrant, right?

Take it from me, the grandson of four immigrants to America, that kind of polarized, either/or mindset is nonsense.

I grew up nearly 60 years ago in a community in suburban New York City that was made up of nearly all immigrant-related families. There were Italians, Irish, Poles, East European Jews, and even a smattering of Hispanics and Africans.

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Every one of them came to America legally. Many took a great deal of time and effort to do it, but they played by the rules. In fact, that’s what made America so different from pretty much every one of their respective “old countries”—namely, there were rules here, and they were followed.

Today, however, that principle has broken down. It’s even harder to get to America legally, and a huge number of people seem to have said, “The heck with the rules, we’re just going to America on our own terms.”

This has to stop.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s the activist group People Without Borders, or a family who wants a better life than is currently available to them in the “old country.”

The rampant and flagrant rule-breaking has to stop. And it appears that President Trump is determined to do just that.

Sure, the same pundits who went crazy when he first proposed a wall on the southern border now rail against him for being a failure because he has not achieved that border wall (yet).

But beyond the political theater and tweets, when one considers what Trump has actually done, there is a surprise: The wall may not be there, but neither is the welcome mat to illegal immigrants that President Barack Obama had put out. That’s progress.

Mind you, the welcome mat for immigrants is certainly still out, but the one for illegal immigrants is gone.

The recent actions the administration has taken are transforming Trump’s campaign promises into policy. For example, the absurd “catch and release” policy that essentially forces law enforcement to ignore the breaking of federal immigration statutes? It’s been cancelled.

If you get caught, you are no longer getting a hall pass to stay in America until you get a hearing you don’t attend.

Trump is also shoring up our overworked Border Patrol agents with National Guard troops at the border (as both of his predecessors did). This will both free up more agents to apprehend illegal immigrants, and provide them with better intelligence and surveillance, logistics, and overall coverage of the border.

In short, fewer people will be getting into the U.S. illegally, and everyone that is caught will go back.

The administration is also ramping up internal enforcement. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is going after the lawbreakers who already reside in the U.S., starting with those who have (regularly) committed additional crimes against American citizens.

The pressure against the so-called “sanctuary” movement, which prohibits local or state law enforcement agencies from cooperating with ICE, is being increased.

This pressure is not just coming from the feds. Municipalities that are tired of putting illegal immigrants before citizens are rebelling against state governments like California’s. Mayors of sanctuary cities across the nation are being challenged in the same way.

Lastly, the president has slammed the door on a deal on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. He previously offered an enormously “wide” path to legal citizenship for more “Dreamers” than Congress had even requested, if Congress would only aid him in securing our border.

Congress said “no,” so now he has switched gears. The major motivation for young people to get here has been withdrawn. The political games are over. The Dreamers were sold out by those who claimed to support them.

Taken together, these steps by the president make it clear that the promise of the Statue of Liberty is still in place—but those who sought to pervert it into an open door to those who see no true investment in the collective American dream are wrong.

The welcome mat is there for legal immigrants. But for those trying to force their way in, the door is being shut.

Steven P. Bucci, a former Army Special Forces officer and top Pentagon official, is a visiting fellow in the Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation (heritage.org).