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Women’s Soccer Team More Proof the Left Ruins Everything It Touches

Tue, 2019-07-16 18:12

For the first time in my life, I did not root for an American team. Whatever the sport, I have always rooted American. But if those who called into my radio show were representative of my audience, many millions of Americans made the same sad choice.

It takes a lot for people like me not to root for an American team. But Megan Rapinoe, the foul-mouthed star of the team, and her fellow players made it possible.

The U.S. women’s team disgraced itself. Either its members were cowed into submission by Rapinoe or they agreed (or, at least, never disagreed) with her attacks on the president, her reference to the White House as the “f—ing White House,” her refusal since 2016 to participate in the national anthem, and her repeatedly shouting during the team’s parade in New York City, “New York, you’re the motherf—ing best!”

For example, Rapinoe said, “Every member of the team that I have talked to would not go” to the White House.

Rapinoe is a great soccer player. Other than that, she is unimpressive. She comes across as arrogant, a fool, and a lowlife.

Why a fool? Because she thinks she has something important to say to the American people and that we need to hear it because she is a great soccer player. She is not alone in this conceit.

Tom Steyer and other billionaires think the same thing about themselves: that because they are better at making money than almost everybody, they must be wiser than almost everybody.

People who excel in one thing are tempted to think they are smart about everything, but that is almost never the case. There is no reason at all to assume that people who excel in anything (other than wisdom) are wiser than anybody else.

And here’s the kicker (no pun intended): People who think they are wise because they excel at something unrelated to wisdom are fools.

And why is Rapinoe a lowlife? What would you label any adult who constantly used the F-word in public (especially during events when children are expected to be present or watching)? Or does being a star—like the foul-mouthed Robert De Niro—make you less of a lowlife?

The American women’s soccer team is unified in protesting on behalf of “equal pay for equal work.” It regards its team as a perfect example because its members receive less money than members of the U.S. men’s soccer team—despite the fact that the women have a much better record.

But there is a reason the male players earn more. Among other things—such as the women’s team’s vote for financial security in the form of guaranteed salaries rather than revenue share—men’s soccer generates far more money than women’s soccer.

According to the Los Angeles Times: FIFA’s “2018 financial report said it earned revenue of $5.357 billion from the men’s tournament in Russia. … Forbes estimated the Women’s World Cup will generate about $131 million for the four-year cycle ending in 2022.”

So, unless people should be paid according to gender (which they now are in Norway) rather than according to revenue and profits, male soccer players will earn more money than female soccer players.

There are only two ways to equitably ensure male and female players earn the same amount of money. One is to pool all the money earned by both teams and then distribute an equal amount to all the players, men and women.

The other is to end sex-based teams: Men and women compete to play on one team (composed of both men and women), and any woman who makes the team is guaranteed the same income as any man on the team.

Until then, the women’s soccer team and the left want to have their cake and eat it, too.

(Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., for example, tweeted this non sequitur: “Here’s an idea: If you win 13-0—the most goals for a single game in World Cup history—you should be paid at least equally to the men’s team.”)

They want women to have their own soccer teams—because biology has made it impossible for almost any woman to successfully compete with men in sports—yet earn the same amount as men do.

But the reality is more people will watch men play soccer, just as more people watch Major League Baseball than Minor League Baseball—which is why Major League Baseball players earn more money than Minor League players. But if we applied the equal-pay-for-equal-work principle to baseball, Minor League and Major League players would be paid the same amount.

With their politicization of their victory, their expletive-filled speech, and their publicly expressed contempt for half their fellow citizens, the women of the U.S. women’s soccer team succeeded in endearing themselves to America’s left.

But they earned the rest of the country’s disdain, which is sad. We really wanted to love the team.

What we have here is yet another example of perhaps the most important fact in the contemporary world: Everything the left touches it ruins.

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The post Women’s Soccer Team More Proof the Left Ruins Everything It Touches appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

Improper Payments Are Costing Taxpayers a Fortune

Tue, 2019-07-16 18:00

We all make mistakes, but most of us don’t make mistakes with billions of dollars of someone else’s money.

We can easily forgive the drive-thru worker who fails to “hold the pickles,” but it’s tougher when it comes to bureaucrats playing fast-and-loose with the federal purse.

What exactly does this neglect look like? As Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., recently explained, the government annually wastes hundreds of billions in taxpayer dollars through “improper payments.”

Improper payments can mean the government paid someone the wrong amount of money, paid the wrong person, paid for the wrong reason, or paid someone who used the funds in a fraudulent way.

According to the Government Accountability Office, in 2018, the federal government made nearly $150 billion in improper payments.

This included $16 billion from the earned income tax credit, $36 billion from Medicaid, more than $3 billion from food stamps, and just shy of $10 billion from Medicare. Especially embarrassing was Social Security paying nearly $1 billion in benefits to dead people.

According to Forbes, $1.2 trillion of improper payments have been made since 2004.

Examples abound. Last year, $1.77 billion in food stamps were improperly paid because recipients failed to provide accurate and timely information, which meant the government had little way to verify if those food stamps reached people who actually needed them.

Another $1.5 billion was improperly paid because state or local administrators didn’t coordinate with each other about the federal benefits households receive.

When administrators fail to handle taxpayers’ money in a responsible fashion, funds are as good as stolen. Government payouts without following proper procedure might well lead to overspending or fraudulent payments.

Thankfully, there are several ways to address improper payments.

The Government Accountability Office recommends that especially difficult departments—Treasury, Justice, and Health and Human Services—revise their risk assessment processes and come up with stronger means of addressing chronic improper payment.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget praises President Donald Trump’s fiscal year 2020 budget’s anti-waste, fraud, abuse, and improper payment proposals that could save a total of $296 billion this year alone.

The biggest savings include allowing states to conduct Medicaid eligibility reviews more frequently, getting tougher on income and asset reporting for Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance, increasing IRS enforcement funding, and strengthening Medicare requirements for state administrators.

Trump’s budget also would strengthen enforcement requirements for entitlement spending to ensure funds are directed to those who need them most.  

The Heritage Foundation’s “Blueprint for Balance” also details ways to reduce improper payments. The government could save more than a $500 million by allowing the Social Security Administration to use commercial databases for recipient verification.

A 2015 Social Security Administration inspector general’s report found there to be 6.5 million active Social Security numbers for people over the age of 112. As of July 8, there were only known to be 33 people in the world that are 112 or older.

Ending “double dipping” into Social Security Disability Insurance and unemployment insurance would save $25.4 billion over 10 years, and ensuring that accidental overpayments in Social Security benefits are paid back in a timely manner would save $2.5 billion in 2020.

There remains much to be done in cutting down on the government’s chronic improper payment problem.

Much of the problem results from the massive bureaucracy that flies in the face of the Founders’ vision, but Congress still must ensure all government programs are run honestly and effectively, regardless of whether they should exist.

The post Improper Payments Are Costing Taxpayers a Fortune appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

Trump Got It Right on Uranium Imports

Tue, 2019-07-16 17:41

President Donald Trump should be commended for separating fact from fiction in his decision late Friday not to employ trade barriers on uranium imports.

At issue was a year-and-a-half-long investigation into uranium imports brought to the Department of Commerce by two small uranium mining companies.

The petitioners argued that uranium imports—which make up 93% of the uranium used by commercial nuclear power plants in the U.S.—presented a national security threat. 

Misinformation unfortunately played a role in the debate. For example, petitioners arguing for quotas claimed we have “essentially surrendered the entire fuel cycle to China and Russia.” But that simply isn’t the case.

Nuclear energy companies in the U.S. didn’t import uranium from China in 2018. Instead, they imported from a variety of countries in short- and long-term contracts: Canada (24%), Kazakhstan (20%), Australia (18%), Russia (13%), Uzbekistan (6%), and Namibia (5%).

The reality is that international uranium markets are flooded with inexpensive supply. Domestic licensed mine capacity more than tripled since 2004 in anticipation of growth, but only a handful of mines are actually operating now given market conditions.

The hoped-for increase in uranium demand failed to appear with the “nuclear renaissance” of the early 2000s.

The unexpected downturn in global uranium demand following the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi accident in Japan contributed to other factors that depressed demand in America, such as the 2008 financial crisis, flat electricity usage, several nuclear power plant closures, increased fuel and reactor operations efficiencies, and the natural gas fracking boom.

Although plenty of inexpensive sources of uranium is bad news for uranium companies, it’s good news for the nuclear power industry.

The civilian nuclear industry today is international in scope, and trade is essential for U.S. nuclear companies to remain competitive. If the American nuclear industry is to be competitive, it needs the freedom to shop for the best components available, including uranium.

The president’s decision upholds free trade and rejects the protectionist policies that have failed Americans and alienated allies.

What then to make of the national security angle? It’s telling that some in the mining industry premised trade barriers on national security, but the Pentagon did not.

Trump was right to put a wider lens on the issue than the self-interested one requested by the petitioners that looked solely at uranium mining or what’s believed to have been studied by the Department of Commerce in its confidential report to the president. Instead, Trump commissioned a working group to examine “the entire fuel supply chain, consistent with United States national security and nonproliferation goals.”  

Further down the road, there are indeed specific defense requirements that must be met concerning supply, conversion, and enrichment capabilities to meet defense needs. But the federal taxpayer—not a tangentially related industry—should shoulder that burden as part of providing for the common defense.

Indeed, Congress has created tools to that end, such as the Defense Production Act, and could further fine tune this in the annual defense funding legislation now working its way through Capitol Hill.  

Tariffs may have given the impression of helping the uranium-mining industry, but the history of damage done by earlier protectionist policies and anti-competitive policies cannot be ignored.

Instead, the Trump administration struck the right approach by preserving access to competition and international markets and correctly framing national security.

The post Trump Got It Right on Uranium Imports appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

Planned Parenthood Ousts Leana Wen as President

Tue, 2019-07-16 17:25

Planned Parenthood removed Leana Wen from her position Tuesday after she had served only 10 months as president.

The Planned Parenthood board voted Wen out of her position Tuesday and temporarily replaced her with the co-founder of the progressive Perception Institute, Alexis McGill Johnson, according to The New York Times.

McGill Johnson will temporarily serve as the acting president and chief executive of both Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

“I am proud to step in to serve as acting president and facilitate a smooth leadership transition in this critical moment for Planned Parenthood and the patients and communities we serve,’’ McGill Johnson said in a statement, according to the Times.

“I thank Dr. Wen for her service and her commitment to patients.”

Wen became president of Planned Parenthood of America in September, the Times reports.

Since then, she has advocated unrestricted access to abortion and fought back against many states’ restrictive abortion legislation.

“I just learned that the @PPFA Board ended my employment at a secret meeting,” Wen tweeted Tuesday. “We were engaged in good faith negotiations about my departure based on philosophical differences over the direction and future of Planned Parenthood. My statement to come shortly.”

I just learned that the @PPFA Board ended my employment at a secret meeting. We were engaged in good faith negotiations about my departure based on philosophical differences over the direction and future of Planned Parenthood. My statement to come shortly.

— Leana Wen, M.D. (@DrLeanaWen) July 16, 2019

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 for this original content, email licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

The post Planned Parenthood Ousts Leana Wen as President appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

Deceased Navy Veteran’s Name Cleared in ‘Clean Water’ Case

Tue, 2019-07-16 17:21

After being convicted, fined, and imprisoned under the Clean Water Act for digging ponds to protect his Montana home from forest fires, Joe Robertson had his name cleared last week.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated Robertson’s conviction in a legal victory that comes posthumously, since the Navy veteran died four months ago at age 80.

Robertson was 78 when the federal prosecution led to his prison sentence in 2016; he completed his 18 months behind bars in late 2017. At the time of his death March 18, he was supposed to be on parole for another 20 months. 

Robertson also had been ordered to pay $130,000 in restitution through deductions from his Social Security checks.  

The 9th Circuit initially upheld a lower court ruling against Robertson in November 2017 and denied him a rehearing in July 2018. But last November, he petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review his case. 

On April 15, the high court responded by vacating the 9th Circuit ruling and sending the case back to that appeals court for further review.

Robertson’s widow, Carrie, had stepped in to carry on his legal battle. The Pacific Legal Foundation, a nonprofit, public interest law firm specializing in property rights, represented the Robertsons in their legal dispute with federal officials.

>>> Related:  This Vet Imprisoned for Digging Ponds on His Land Died. Now His Widow Continues the Fight

“We are very pleased that the 9th Circuit agreed that Joe’s convictions should be vacated and very pleased for Carrie, who will no longer have a $130,000 federal judgment hanging over her head,” Tony Francois, a senior attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation, said in a press release

Prior to his conviction, Robertson operated a business that supplied water trucks to Montana firefighters. 

In 2013 and 2014, Robertson had dug a series of ponds close to an unnamed channel near his home, to store water in case of fire. The foot-wide, foot-deep channel carried the equivalent of two to three garden hoses of water flow, his petition says. 

The Environmental Protection Agency claimed the ditch was a federally protected waterway under the Clean Water Act, and Robertson needed a federal permit to dig the ponds.

But the Montana man argued that he didn’t violate the federal law because digging the ponds did not discharge any soil into “navigable waters,” since the flow in the channel didn’t amount to that. The ponds are more than 40 miles away from “the nearest actual navigable water body,” the Jefferson River, his petition argues.

With the 9th Circuit’s action July 10, Robertson’s case has been settled in his favor.

The federal government will return to his widow the $1,250 in restitution that Robertson already had paid, according to Pacific Legal Foundation’s press release. 

“It has been an honor to represent Joe and now to be able to complete his vindication on behalf of his wife, Carrie,” Francois said. 

The post Deceased Navy Veteran’s Name Cleared in ‘Clean Water’ Case appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

Americans Are the Real Casualties of the Trump-‘Squad’ Showdown

Tue, 2019-07-16 17:00

Many Americans probably have no idea of the long history of the “go back to your country” taunt and how it was used to denigrate ethnic minorities. If they did, they would better understand the visceral reaction to it.

To understand what is unfolding, one must understand the history of this awful saying. One must also understand that we, as ethnic minorities, consider ourselves to be co-equal citizens in this fantastic country we call America. In other words, there is no place to go back to. This is my country—the one that I love.

When President Trump said four members of Congress should “go back” to the “places from which they came,” he was wrong, and he shouldn’t have said it. His words conjured up unpleasant memories for so many black people like me and immigrants alike who have been targets of the “go back to your country” taunt throughout their lives. His words hurt people beyond the congresswomen he intended to condemn.

I won’t offer an excuse for his ill-worded tweets, but simply some perspective as someone who has met with the president and whose organization works with his administration daily. The president loves this country, believes in the goodness of this country, and defends this country when others attack it. His tweets and follow-on comments were unacceptable, but let’s also be honest enough to recognize the destructive and divisive nature of the rhetoric of the members of Congress in question.

I can understand why Americans are tired of the growing chorus of anti-American sentiment from “The Squad.” We all can certainly have honest disagreements with how the country is being run—that’s one of the wonderful features of the American system—but to regularly trash it, its people, and those who protect it is another thing entirely.

I have found their rhetoric to be hateful, destructive, and dangerous. I will continue to expose their hypocrisy. What I will not do is join them in their ad hominem attacks as we debate policy.

As a woman and as a black person who lived through segregation, I know from personal experience about some of our nation’s shortcomings. Despite these challenges, America was founded on a set of principles that have allowed us to rectify our wrongs, and in the process, build a freer and more prosperous nation where anyone has the opportunity to succeed.

One thing this whole incident can provide is the opportunity for discussion, education, and some level of understanding among the races about where insults like this and others originated, how they have been historically used to taunt and jeer, and why they still cause pain today. I don’t think the president meant to tap into that pain, but he did.

When faced with a situation like this, we always have the choice to try to understand each other better or to become more divided. In my life, I’ve always sought to push toward more understanding.

The resolution in the House condemning the president is just the opposite. The intent is clear: It’s simply more partisan politics that is meant to divide us rather than unite us.

Our political discourse must be better, and politicians on both sides must do better. One of the unique characteristics about America is our freedom to disagree and challenge each other, but civility is needed, or else it all breaks apart.

We have a responsibility to demonstrate to the rest of the world what it looks like to live in a pluralistic society. That responsibility is not only to ourselves and to the world, but to our children who will inherit this country and become its next generation of leaders.

The post Americans Are the Real Casualties of the Trump-‘Squad’ Showdown appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

Murder, Rape, Assault, Burglary: 6 Examples of California’s Sanctuary Policies Leading to More Crimes

Tue, 2019-07-16 16:52

Illegal immigrants released by local police in California after their arrests for minor offenses go on to be charged with more serious crimes such as murder, rape, and assault, according to a new government report.

Those crimes could have been prevented if these sanctuary jurisdictions had turned over those accused to federal immigration officials for deportation,  the report suggests.

The cases are documented in the newly published quarterly Declined Detainer Report from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement covering January, February, and March 2018. 

The report focuses solely on California jurisdictions, although most large municipalities across the country adopted “sanctuary” policies that prohibit local law enforcement from assisting federal immigration authorities. California is a sanctuary state.   

When ICE determines an illegal immigrant accused of a criminal offense is in police custody, the agency issues a detainer. The paperwork is supposed to ensure the alleged offender will be transferred to federal authorities at the conclusion of his or her time in the local jail, instead of being released. 

But sanctuary jurisdictions–as a matter of policy–ignore the detainers, which in some cases means the criminal illegal immigrants are released and able to commit new crimes rather than be deported. 

The report says:

Additionally, some jurisdictions willfully decline to honor ICE detainers and refuse to timely notify ICE of an alien’s release, and may do so even when an alien has a criminal record. Unfortunately, a number of aliens who have been released under these circumstances have gone on to commit additional crimes, including violent felonies. ICE maintains that most of these crimes could have been prevented if ICE had been able to assume custody of these aliens and remove them from the country in accordance with federal immigration laws.

ICE released the report as the agency seeks to deport illegal immigrants whose cases were adjudicated and received final deportation orders. 

Numerous mayors have vowed not to cooperate with ICE enforcement actions. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, with Police Chief Michel Moore at his side, told illegal immigrants over the weekend:  “Your city is on your side.”

Critics of ICE’s current enforcement actions say, among other things, that the Trump administration should focus on criminal illegal immigrants. 

The new report notes an irony to the outcome of sanctuary policies. 

“Ultimately, a jurisdiction’s decision to ignore ICE detainers increases the need for ICE’s presence in communities and requires additional resources to locate and arrest removable aliens,” the report says. 

Among local law enforcement agencies cited in the ICE report is the San Francisco Police Department.

“The San Francisco Police Department does not enforce immigration laws and department policy prohibits SFPD members from placing administrative immigration holds or detainers on arrestees,” Sgt. Michael Andraychak told The Daily Signal in an email, citing this policy. “SFPD does not receive and is not involved in receiving or placing civil/immigration detainers lodged by ICE.

The Daily Signal sought comment from each local law enforcement agency mentioned in this story. Only the San Francisco Police Department responded as of publication time.

Here are six examples of multiple crimes committed by individual offenders cited in the ICE report.

1. Murder Charge in Los Angeles

On Jan. 7, 2018, the Los Angeles Police Department arrested and charged a 30-year-old Mexican man with possession of a controlled substance. 

Because he was in the country illegally, ICE issued a detainer order on the day of the arrest. The LAPD didn’t honor the detainer and released the man. 

On Feb. 26, 2018, the LAPD arrested and charged him again, but this time for murder. ICE issued another detainer, but the man remained in local custody as of the writing of the agency’s report. 

2. Release Before Alleged Rape

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office arrested a  28-year-old Mexican man on Dec. 8, 2017, charging him with a probation violation.

The next day, ICE issued a detainer that the sheriff’s office did not honor, according to ICE, and he was released. 

Little more than a month later, on Jan. 16, 2018, the man was arrested and charged with rape and threatening a crime with intent to terrorize. The next day, ICE issued another detainer, which the sheriff’s office again ignored. 

The sheriff’s office released the man, but this time he didn’t go free. ICE arrested him in Los Angeles on Jan. 23, 2018. On Oct. 4, 2018, the government removed him from the United States and sent him back to Mexico. 

3. Multiple Arrests, No Deportation

Perhaps the most arrests for a single individual in the fiscal year came for a 23-year-old Honduras man, who was repeatedly arrested, jailed, and released in San Francisco as law enforcement ignored ICE detainers.

The San Francisco Police Department first booked the man on Feb. 20, 2018, for receiving stolen property, showing false identification to police, possessing burglary tools, and stealing a vehicle. 

Police then arrested him on April 18, 2018, on an outstanding warrant for second-degree burglary, possessing burglary tools, possessing a controlled substance, and stealing a vehicle. 

Not even a month later, on April 30, police picked up the man again on charges of burglary, possessing unlawful paraphernalia, and possessing burglary tools. 

His next arrest came Aug. 10, on charges of operating a bicycle on a roadway, breaking a headlight law, and taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent. 

On Sept. 14, the Honduras man was arrested again on charges including trespassing, possessing unlawful paraphernalia, and taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent.

Two weeks later, on Sept. 28, police arrested him on charges of possessing a stolen vehicle, evading a peace officer, stealing a vehicle, driving without a license, and three counts of taking a vehicle without consent.

Police next arrested the illegal immigrant Nov. 16 on charges of second-degree burglary and two counts of taking a vehicle without consent. 

Police then arrested him Dec. 10 for two counts of taking a vehicle without consent and second-degree burglary, and Jan. 3, 2019, for possessing burglary tools and tampering with a vehicle. 

A few weeks later, on Jan. 21, police arrested the Honduras man on charges of first-degree and second-degree burglary, two counts of possessing burglary tools, and two counts of taking a vehicle without consent. 

Had San Francisco turned over the illegal immigrant to ICE after his first arrest in February 2018, the report suggests, it’s likely the government would have deported him and the San Francisco Police Department would not have had to charge him in the course of nine arrests between April 2018 and January 2019. 

4. Suspect in Assault at Large

The Beverly Hills Police Department charged a 26-year-old Mexican man with burglary, possession of burglary tools, and criminal conspiracy on Feb. 13, 2018. Police transferred him to the Los Angeles County Jail. 

ICE issued a detainer that same day, but police released the illegal immigrant. 

Two months later to the day, on April 13, 2018, police arrested the same man on a charge of attempted murder. ICE issued another detainer the next day. 

Police again declined to turn over the man and released him. He remained at large as of the writing of the ICE report.

5. Released to Steal More Cars

The Los Angeles Police Department arrested a 24-year-old man from El Salvador on Dec. 13, 2017, on a charge of taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent.

ICE issued a detainer on Feb. 5, 2018, but Los Angeles law enforcement ignored it, according to the ICE report. 

The LAPD released the man, but arrested and charged him again on Feb. 8, 2018, for possessing a controlled substance and taking a vehicle without consent. 

ICE issued another detainer on April 24, 2018, but Los Angeles authorities ignored it and released the man.

6. Spouse Abuse, Avoidable Assault Charge

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office arrested a 23-year-old Mexican man on March 29, 2018, on a charge of inflicting corporal injury on his spouse.

ICE issued a detainer that same day, but Santa Cruz law enforcement released him.

He was arrested again on the same charge on April 11, 2018, but again local authorities didn’t honor an ICE detainer.

Authorities arrested the man on Jan. 16, 2019,  charging him with driving under the influence of alcohol and assault with a deadly weapon. 

ICE issued a detainer that same day, the report says, “but as of the writing of this report, [ICE] believes the alien has been released and remains at large.”

The post Murder, Rape, Assault, Burglary: 6 Examples of California’s Sanctuary Policies Leading to More Crimes appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

Trump’s Deplorable Tweets Overshadow How His Policies Benefit Minorities

Tue, 2019-07-16 15:00

President Donald Trump clearly enjoys his unfiltered ability to communicate directly with the American people. But because of a racially charged tweet Sunday morning, he’s stirred hurtful memories among minorities and done a grave disservice to himself.

Trump’s policies have been welcome news for many minorities in America. Unemployment rates for blacks and Hispanics have reached record lows. His administration favors and prioritizes school choice—a key issue for low-income children, many of whom are minorities, and who need a private or charter school to have a real chance at getting a great education.

Yet thanks to a few careless words, seemingly targeted at four female minority Democrats, we are now once again in a news cycle fixated on whether Trump is a racist.

Believe me, there is plenty for Trump to criticize these four lawmakers, who call themselves “The Squad” about. But he doesn’t need to use ad hominem attacks to do it.

There’s Rep. Ilhan Omar’s history of anti-Semitic remarks, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s fixation on a Green New Deal that would destroy our economy (and barely change the climate outlook), Rep. Ayanna Pressley’s advocacy for “Medicare for All,” and Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s push to end Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

There’s an ample mixture of bad policies and divisive rhetoric from these four.

Plenty of these policies would also have implications for the very people “The Squad” asserts it represents. “By one estimate, that Green New Deal would cost $600,000 per household and eliminate the use of all fossil fuels in just 10 years. It would result in higher energy prices for all Americans, but would disproportionately hurt people of color and other minorities who are the most susceptible to energy poverty,” wrote Derrick Hollie for The Daily Signal earlier this year.

Trump could use his platform to make the case that it’s his policies, not the left’s, that would help minorities the most in the United States. He could undermine the media’s perpetual message that big government solutions are the only way to increase opportunity and prosperity.

He could also highlight that the big government and pro-socialism inclinations of “The Squad” aren’t rooted in our founding principles, which focus on less government power, and certainly less centralized government power—and also have a healthy skepticism of human nature that socialist advocates lack.

Unfortunately, Trump didn’t do any of that. Instead, by suggesting these minority lawmakers “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” he seemingly promoted the attitude that whiteness and Americanness are related.

So interesting to see “Progressive” Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly……

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2019

….it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2019

Instead of unifying the country, he promoted an ugly idea.

“Instead of sharing how the Democratic Party’s far-left, pro-socialist policies—not to mention the hateful language some of their members have used towards law enforcement and Jews—are wrong for the future of our nation, the president interjected with unacceptable personal attacks and racially offensive language,” said Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., in a statement. “No matter our political disagreements, aiming for the lowest common denominator will only divide our nation further.”

No matter our political disagreements, aiming for the lowest common denominator will only divide our nation further. My full statement below: pic.twitter.com/QXuV8arXso

— Tim Scott (@SenatorTimScott) July 15, 2019

Yes, the media is biased. No doubt if a Democrat had told Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson or Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao or Sen. Marco Rubio to “go back,” we’d have a far less intense news cycle—and one far more willing to give the Democrat benefit of the doubt.

Yes, conservative columnist Michelle Malkin, who is Asian, tweeted that she is regularly targeted by liberals with similar messages:

In case you are under the illusion that morally pure libs neeeeeeeever tells non-white women to "go back" to some other country, here's just a small sample of my go-back-to-fill-in-the-blank messages to educate you otherwise. And this is just on Twitter. Enjoy. I do every day! pic.twitter.com/DquAIdWXVw

— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) July 15, 2019

Yes, Trump is never given credit for what he does that benefits minorities.

And yes, the media unfairly and regularly smear conservative policies as racist that are not racist at all, such as securing the border and not allowing illegal immigrants in the country.

All that can be true—and so can that Trump crossed a line he shouldn’t have in his tweets.

Our country has richly benefited from the immigrants who have come to America, and Trump, as a husband of one immigrant and the child of another, no doubt knows that well. 

Now is Trump’s moment to remind Americans of what is great about our country and how his policies—not those from “The Squad”—are benefiting people in ways we haven’t seen in decades.

The post Trump’s Deplorable Tweets Overshadow How His Policies Benefit Minorities appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

Not a ‘Racist Bone in My Body’ Says Trump, as Pelosi Urges House to Condemn

Tue, 2019-07-16 13:58

President Donald Trump is pushing back against critics of the tweets he posted Sunday, saying that they were not inappropriate or racist, even as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi promotes a resolution condemning the president. 

“Those Tweets were NOT Racist,” Trump tweeted Tuesday, referring to tweets where he called out “’progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen,” “who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe.”

So interesting to see “Progressive” Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly……

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2019

“I don’t have a Racist bone in my body,” Trump tweeted Tuesday. “The so-called vote to be taken is a Democrat con game. Republicans should not show ‘weakness’ and fall into their trap,” Trump said, adding: 

This should be a vote on the filthy language, statements and lies told by the Democrat congresswomen, who I truly believe, based on their actions, hate our Country. Get a list of the HORRIBLE things they have said. Omar is polling at 8 percent, Cortez at 21 percent. Nancy Pelosi tried to push them away, but now they are forever wedded to the Democrat Party.

While Trump did not name which lawmakers he was referring to, it is believed he was targeting a group of four liberal lawmakers: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. 

The four women denounced Trump in a press conference Monday, with Omar saying of Trump, “He’s launching a blatantly racist attack on four duly elected members of the United States House of Representatives, all of whom are women of color. This is the agenda of white nationalists.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is asking Democrats and Republicans to sign on to a resolution condemning Trump’s tweets. 

“The House cannot allow the president’s characterization of immigrants to our country to stand,” Pelosi wrote in the “Dear Colleague” letter

Such a letter is official correspondence from a member of the House or Senate that is circulated to other congressional offices.

“Our Republican colleagues must join us in condemning the president’s xenophobic tweets,”she said, adding: 

Please join us in supporting a forthcoming resolution sponsored by Congressman Tom Malinowski, who was born abroad, and Congressman Jamie Raskin, along with other Democratic members born abroad referencing President Ronald Reagan’s last speech as president in which he said,

“Thanks to each wave of new arrivals to this land of opportunity, we’re a nation forever young, forever bursting with energy and new ideas, and always on the cutting edge, always leading the world to the next frontier… If we ever closed the door to new Americans, our leadership in the world would soon be lost.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told reporters Tuesday, “Let’s not be false about what is happening here today.”

 “This is all about politics and beliefs of ideologies,” he added, according to USA Today.

Trump also tweeted about McCarthy:

Kevin McCarthy @GOPLeader, “The President’s Tweets were not Racist. The controversy over the tweets is ALL POLITICS. I will vote against this resolution.” Thank you Kevin!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 16, 2019


The post Not a ‘Racist Bone in My Body’ Says Trump, as Pelosi Urges House to Condemn appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

Josh Hawley to Introduce Bill That Would Hold Universities Financially Liable for Defaulted Student Loans

Tue, 2019-07-16 13:37

Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri announced Tuesday he will introduce two pieces of legislation this week targeting institutions of higher education, one of which would put universities on the hook financially if students are unable to repay their student loans.

Americans hold nearly $1.5 trillion in outstanding student debt, 10.9% of which is over 90 days delinquent, according to the latest figures available by the New York Fed. Hawley’s proposal would require universities to pay off 50% of the debt incurred by their students facing default.

The Missouri senator’s proposal would also prohibit universities from increasing their tuition rates to offset their increased liability.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson explicitly called on Congress in March to pass a law forcing colleges to shoulder a portion of the liability on defaulted student loans.

“Colleges get all of the benefit and none of the risk,” Carlson, who is the co-founder of The Daily Caller News Foundation, said. “That’s the definition of a scam. It’s amazing it could even be legal. It shouldn’t be.”

“Maybe Congress could take 20 minutes from the Russia hoax and posturing about climate change and fix one of the biggest problems this country faces,” Carlson said. “Pass a law forcing colleges to share the liability on defaulted student loans.”

Hawley said his bill is “meant to address the concentration of power that has accumulated in the higher education space,” during an interview with The Hill on Tuesday. He noted that “many of them have built massive endowments that has been enabled by federal tax dollars.”

Hawley’s second proposal would expand Pell Grant eligibility to more job training and certification programs such as employer-based apprenticeships.

“It’s time to break up the higher education monopoly. It’s time to level the playing field and provide more options for career training. We also must hold higher education institutions accountable that take advantage of students who rack up mountains of debt, are unable to find a good job and default on their loans,” Hawley said in a press release Tuesday.

Most federal student loan programs do not require a credit check, nor is a cosigner required. Rather, the loans are divvied out to students backed by nothing but their future earnings with a college degree.

But the Department of Education loans billions to students who chose to pursue degrees in the liberal arts and humanities that are unlikely to give them the means to pay back their debt after graduating, a Daily Caller News Foundation analysis found.

Students who majored in the liberal arts and humanities have significantly higher rates of default than those who pursued business, vocational, and STEM majors, according to the New York Fed.

Upward of 29% of student borrowers will ultimately default on their loans, according to a 2018 Brookings Institution estimation.

“American students and workers need more pathways into the middle class, more opportunities to get good work and build bright futures. And they shouldn’t have to further enrich colleges by taking on a mountain of debt or mortgage their lives in order to get a good-paying job,” Hawley said Tuesday.

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 for this original content, email licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

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Categories: Public Policy

‘I Can’t Breathe’: No Federal Charges for NYPD After Eric Garner’s Death

Tue, 2019-07-16 13:03

The Justice Department decided Tuesday it will not levy charges against the New York City police officer responsible for the death of Eric Garner whose last words—“I can’t breathe”—became a rallying call for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Police confronted 43-year-old Garner—a black man—in July 2014 when he was alleged to have sold cigarettes individually—a crime in the New York City area. Garner died while officers attempted to place him under arrest in what became a viral video, throttling anti-cop sentiment in the country, USA Today reported.

Daniel Pantaleo is the officer credited with an alleged chokehold that may have possibly led to Garner’s death. A Staten Island grand jury acquitted him in December 2014, The Associated Press reported.

Obama-era U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder did not support the ruling and commenced a civil rights investigation on the same day of the jury verdict. The investigation did not yield a conviction in its five-year span.

Protests and rallies headed by Black Lives Matter and other groups protested a perceived injustice after Garner passed, spouting anti-cop rhetoric.

Two New York City Police Department officers were gunned down in their patrol car in December 2014—the gunman echoing sentiments of revenge for Garner’s death.

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 for this original content, email licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

The post ‘I Can’t Breathe’: No Federal Charges for NYPD After Eric Garner’s Death appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

Red States Could Lose Big Because of the Census, Rep. Mo Brooks Explains

Tue, 2019-07-16 03:01

Is it fair to distribute Electoral College votes and congressional seats by counting all people, not just citizens? Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., is suing the federal government because he thinks Alabama will be hurt because of the current methodology of the census. Read his interview, posted below, or listen on the podcast:

We also cover these stories:

  • The Trump administration announces new asylum rules.
  • President Donald Trump defends his “go back” tweets, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi condemns him.
  • Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley call on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate social media companies’ practices.

The Daily Signal podcast is available on Ricochet, iTunesSoundCloudGoogle Play, or Stitcher. All of our podcasts can be found at DailySignal.com/podcasts. If you like what you hear, please leave a review. You can also leave us a message at 202-608-6205 or write us at letters@dailysignal.com. Enjoy the show!

Daniel Davis: Alabama is suing the federal government over whether illegal immigrants should be counted in the census. The outcome will have real political ramifications for Alabama and other states.

And today we’re joined by one of the plaintiffs in that lawsuit. None other than Congressman Mo Brooks who represents Alabama’s 5th Congressional District.

Congressman, thanks for being with us today.

Rep. Mo Brooks: My pleasure.

Davis: Congressman, before we get into the lawsuit specifically, I’d like to ask your response to the president’s executive order last week after the Supreme Court pretty much blocked off his path to adding the citizenship question to the census.

He issued an order to the executive branch to gather as much information as it could piecemeal on citizenship. What’s your reaction to the president’s move there?

Brooks: I have mixed reactions. First, it’s unfortunate that the Supreme Court botched it in the way in which the Supreme Court chief justice drafted his opinion, which in effect barred the asking of the citizenship question on the census. A question that has been asked far more often than not.

It’s also unfortunate that the Trump administration, whoever it was that actually was involved in this process, I suppose a lower echelon person botched it by talking about improper motivations for asking a citizenship question.

Had the Trump Administration done it right and focused on what are legal motivations, then I believe we would have the citizenship question on the census.

It’s something that [Chief] Justice [John] Roberts probably would have agreed with, although, quite frankly, I believe he should have agreed with it anyway, based on the history of the citizenship question on the census.

So that’s kind of the mixed reaction side of it.

On the plus side, you’ve got the executive order that’s going to try to determine how many illegal aliens there are in each state, which is fundamental to making sure that we have a proper dispersal of congressional seats, and Electoral College votes based on people who are lawfully within the United States, not based in part on people who are illegally here.

Kate Trinko: Tell us about the lawsuit that you and the state of Alabama are bringing on this question.

Brooks: Sure. You’ve got anywhere from 11 million illegal aliens in the United States, according to the 2010 census, to maybe 22 million. If you believe a recent Yale University study.

We have one congressional seat and one Electoral College vote that is doled out amongst the 50 states, roughly 750,000 people equal one electoral college vote and one congressional seat.

Well, if you’ve got 22 million illegal aliens in the United States of America, then you’re looking at roughly 30 congressional seats and Electoral College votes that are being allotted based on the count of illegal aliens rather than American citizens.

So in effect, you’re diluting the influence of American citizens over their own government.

You’re also, and this is part of the lawsuit, you are adversely affecting the “one man, one vote” principles that are enunciated in the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution that require congressional seats after reapportionment by way of example to be perfectly equal in population with maybe a fraction of a percentage point deviation.

And that’s to ensure that no one citizen’s vote counts more than another citizen’s vote.

Well, if you have a congressional seat, say in California where half of the people live in that congressional seat are illegal aliens, you’ve in effect doubled the political weight of a citizen’s vote in that congressional seat versus one that’s made up of primarily American citizens.

And so, that dilution of the vote by the counting of illegal aliens in my judgment is unconstitutional because it violates one man, one vote principles.

Trinko: And how do you see Alabama specifically being hurt by this?

Brooks: The odds are that the state of Alabama will lose a congressional seat if illegal aliens are counted nationally.

Keep in mind that you’re talking about a shift of roughly 30 congressional seats and 30 Electoral College votes from one set of states that don’t have a lot of illegal aliens to other states that have a lot of illegal aliens. And Alabama would likely be one of those 30 congressional seats that are shifted. That’s wrong.

Notably, there tends to be a shift to the socialist democrat states and away from states that are predominantly made up of American citizens, which in turn have a better understanding of the foundational principles that have made America a great nation, which in turn means that those states that are losing congressional seats and losing Electoral College votes, if you count illegal aliens, more often than not, they’re red states.

Davis: That seems like pretty straight forward policy to count the people in your apportionment count that are actually going to be voting legally. But I guess the policy argument could be different from the legal argument. You’ve argued that this is also unconstitutional. Could you explain that for us?

Brooks: It’s unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment, one man, one vote principles. And you are diluting the vote of American citizens when you count illegal aliens for the purposes of distribution of political power. That political power being congressional seats on the one hand and Electoral College votes on the other.

There’s a huge movement afoot in the United States to have illegal aliens voting in all of our elections. To have other noncitizens, lawful immigrants voting in all of our elections. That’s something the socialist democrats are pushing.

And in effect what that does over the long haul is it steals from American citizens the ability to govern their own governments.

Now, we’re not the United Nations. We’re the United States. I’m not sure if you’re aware, but there are probably about a dozen Democrat-controlled cities that have made it lawful to register to vote even if you’re not an American citizen. Makes no difference if you’re a lawful immigrant or an illegal alien.

The largest such city that allows illegal aliens and noncitizens to register to vote and vote is San Francisco. So, that gives you an idea of where the socialist democrats want to take us as a country.

They want to undermine the very principles that have made America who we are, the greatest nation in world history, and they want to do that by bringing into our voting pool people who are not as well informed about the foundational principles that have made us who we are, the greatest nation in world history.

Trinko: I have to say, I grew up near the insanity in San Francisco and it’s amazing to see firsthand. … Speaking of craziness, have you spoken to any liberals in Alabama? Have you spoken to any Democratic colleagues? Is there any sympathy for this argument from unexpected quarters?

Brooks: I have not spoken to any Democrats in the state of Alabama who are familiar with the national Democratic Party’s goal of allowing noncitizens and illegal aliens in particular to participate in American elections.

Right now it’s limited theoretically to municipalities, but with a wink-wink and a nod-nod, you have to wonder how many of those illegal aliens or lawful immigrants, both of whom are noncitizens when they show up with their voter registration card, are allowed to vote in state and federal elections.

Davis: Currently, under the current apportionment count, legal noncitizens are also being included in that. Correct?

Brooks: I believe there’s a pretty good argument for excluding all noncitizens in the count for the distribution of political power. That being the distribution of congressional seats and electoral college votes.

However, the Alabama lawsuit is limited to the most egregious of those two groups and those are illegal aliens who should not even be here. Whose first act on our soil was to spit on our laws and our Constitution.

Trinko: So, what’s next for this lawsuit?

Brooks: We’re waiting for the proceedings to develop to the point where a federal district judge in Birmingham will be able to render an opinion.

Most of the issues are legal in nature, although there is also some factual issue and that comes down to whether Alabama will lose a congressional seat, as we believe, if illegal aliens are counted for the purposes of distribution of federal government political power.

Davis: It seems like this is something that other states would really have a big stake in as well.

Brooks: Oh, they do. The red states have a huge stake in it and the blue states do, too. The blue states covet more congressional power, more Electoral College influence on the election of the president and states. And they want to take those congressional seats and take those Electoral College votes from the red states.

I’m using that as a generalism. It’s not always that way.

By way of example, Texas is probably a net gainer when you bring in illegal aliens in the count for the purposes of reapportionment of congressional seats and Electoral College votes. California is a huge gainer. … Probably Illinois, New York. They’re gainers. A state like Alabama, a state like Ohio, South Carolina, perhaps. A number of red states in the heartland of America, they tend to be the net losers if we count illegal aliens.

Davis: It’s a lawsuit with very real political ramifications. And congressman, we appreciate you coming in and talking about it with us.

Brooks: My pleasure.

The post Red States Could Lose Big Because of the Census, Rep. Mo Brooks Explains appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

California Public Schools Promote Polyamory for Preteens

Mon, 2019-07-15 19:10

The world recently learned that the American Psychological Association promotes “polyamory,” “swinging,” and “relationship anarchy.” Its experts say it’s healthy and ethical. They’re crazy.

Leftists who run our nation’s public schools love to hide behind the skirts of the American Psychological Association when it comes to crazy sex ed. So in a recent column I wondered how long it would take for them to push polyamory on the pubertal.

Then I learned they already do.

Targeting California Kids

It was a California teacher who discovered the “LGBT Consensual Non-Monogamy Task Force.” She was reviewing the state Department of Education’s “health” lesson mandates for the fall and stumbled across a term she didn’t know. She went to look it up, and was led to the American Psychological Association.

California instructs teachers to talk to youngsters about sex “partners.” They are to avoid terms like “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” because “some students may be non-monogamous.” This is in the lesson plan for 12-year-olds.

There it is. The American Psychological Association reaching its crusty paw all the way down to pre-pubertal kids.

For a stomach-churning exercise, read through all of the California Revised Draft Health Education Framework (April 2019 revision, the final version comes out this Fall).

The Education Department tells teachers that 14-year-olds “may have various gender identities and sexual orientations.” Indeed, “there are an infinite number of ways an individual can express their individuality and sense of self.”

Special emphasis is to be given to non-heterosexual ways, however. “Teachers should affirmatively acknowledge the existence of relationships that are not heterosexual by actively using examples of same-sex couples in class discussions.”

All of this is to ensure the classroom is a “safe environment.” Though it most certainly is not safe for the innocence of children.

California urges teachers to bring outside sexperts into the classroom. Provided they are “vetted.”

Planned Parenthood is apparently pre-approved, as it is given a special plug in the directives: “By the seventh and eighth grade, students are often more willing and eager to engage with guest speakers” from “local nonprofit organizations, such as Planned Parenthood.”

Talk about the fox guarding the chicken coop…

“Polysexual” and “pansexual” are “common” sexual orientations for high schoolers, teachers are told. But they are to keep in mind that “gender and sexuality are often fluid and do not always fit neatly into these categories.”

That might be funny if they weren’t talking about kids.

Using Kids as Lab Rats

California schools aren’t the only ones intentionally sexualizing kids. Northern Virginia schools are also used as “laboratories” for LGBT policy experimentation. The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network admitted that to The Washington Post last year.

After reading my column, a mom in Fairfax wrote to me about the “thruples” and “quadruples” (rhymes with couples) her kids encountered at a Fairfax County high school. These are polyamorous groups of three or four.

“These groups are allowed to openly ‘be together’ (hold hands, kiss, wrap arms, etc.), just as standard couples are in the halls,” she said.

She also told me there are “furries.” Rhymes with insane. Poor souls who believe they are animals and self-identify as such. “This year, we have some cats and a fox.”  

There is a very good chance that most moms and dads are not even remotely aware of the insanity going on in government schools today. None of it is by accident. All of it is by design. All of it funded by you and me.

Children are being used as lab rats in a social experiment. Without the consent of their parents. But with the encouragement and approval of the American Psychological Association.

Sickness is health, bad is good, wrong is right. And there is no tolerance for those who might disagree.

It’s past time to take back our public schools, where 86% of American kids are sent, supposedly for an education. Justice demands that we rescue these children. But wisdom demands it, too.

Because, as Abraham Lincoln said, “The philosophy of the school room in one generation, will be the philosophy of government in the next.

Originally published in The Stream

The post California Public Schools Promote Polyamory for Preteens appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

How Students Have Turned Their Back on Civil Discourse

Mon, 2019-07-15 17:38

More than a half-century ago, Coretta Scott King addressed Harvard University students in the wake of the assassination of her husband, Martin Luther King Jr.

She said:

Today’s student is a serious-minded, independent-thinking individual who seeks to analyze and understand the problems of our society, and find solutions to these problems, which are in keeping with the highest traditions and values of our democratic system.

Students, according to King, were the future of a more thoughtful and equal society, and one of the most important tools at their disposal was the freedom of speech.

Yet, today it seems students have changed.

Finding solutions to the problems of society remains a dominant feature of modern universities, but many students have rejected the former spirit that valued solutions, as King noted, “in keeping with the highest traditions and values of our democratic system.”

In fact, instead of engaging in civil dialogue, students now express outrage at controversial speakers and demand the resignation of faculty members who refuse to conform to progressive creeds or do not immediately condone students’ threatening or pernicious actions.

Worse, often they do this with campus administrators in tow.

For instance, a left-leaning professor, Bret Weinstein, at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, who objected to reverse segregation on campus (specifically, a day when white students and faculty were to remain off campus), was hunted by students in 2017 because of his objection.

Campus security, aware of the situation, recommended that he remain off campus, since they could not protect him as the college president had ordered security to “stand down.”  

In 2017, Stanley Kurtz, writing at National Review,  documented dozens of campus shout-downs across the nation. The presidents of Virginia Tech and the University of Oregon were among those shouted down.

After police removed protesters interrupting Texas state Rep. Briscoe Cain’s speech at Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University, the university president immediately ended the event. He claimed that scheduling procedures weren’t followed, even though the dean of the law school had approved the event.

Some argue that such extreme situations result from a very small, but vocal, group of college students. Most students, instead, choose to remain silent, rather than risk their friendships and social capital—afraid they might appear “unwoke.”

The trend of student silence is especially evident from the guarded support Sahil Handa received after publicly critiquing the political tribalization among his fellow Harvard students.

Handa wrote that he “received well over a hundred notes from students thanking [him] for writing the article.”

But, he added, “not a single one was shared in public.”

The poignancy of the political atmosphere on college campuses is emphasized by a 2019 Knight Foundation study. It found that “[m]ore than two-thirds (68%) of college students say their campus climate precludes students from expressing their true opinions because their classmates might find it offensive.”

At the same time, the study found that more than half of students thought that “shouting down speakers or trying to prevent them from talking” was either “always” or “sometimes” appropriate.

Although most students condemned violence as a means to stop a speech or rally, 16% of respondents thought violent actions were acceptable either “always” or “sometimes.”

This general opposition to the free exchange of ideas is fundamentally opposed to an environment of open inquiry. Yale University’s Woodward Report outlines the university’s purpose as “[t]o discover and disseminate knowledge by means of research and teaching. To fulfill this function, a free interchange of ideas is necessary … .”

Accordingly, “the university must do everything possible to ensure within it the fullest degree of intellectual freedom,” it said.

Intimidation and fear impede intellectual freedom. Growing tribalism means that many students are reticent to engage their peers in real conversations.

This silent passivity allowed overzealous administrators and raucous students to limit the free exchange of ideas on campuses.

Some state policymakers, however, have refused to stand by idly as public universities began to confine free speech activity to narrow, often remote, strips of campus.

Jonathan Butcher from The Heritage Foundation noted that Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, and Wisconsin have already taken corrective measures by eliminating free speech zones in their public universities.

Arizona’s free speech protections, in particular, preserve the hallmarks of campus free speech since the “public areas of campus—such as sidewalks and campus lawns—are public forums and are open on the same terms to any speaker.”

Moreover, students who repeatedly infringe on others’ expression of free speech can face expulsion.

It’s unfortunate that policymakers must go to such great lengths to protect a basic tenet of a free society in public universities. But the most distressing element of the conflict is the pervasive silence among students who are unwilling to speak their minds.

Universities were places where students challenged each other, sometimes fiercely, and engaged in civil discourse.

Coretta Scott King envisioned the modern student as “a significant political actor with amazing power to influence the course of societies all over the world.” However, past students only earned her admiration because they were willing to engage their peers in civil discourse—exercising free speech.

To be worthy of her plaudits, today’s students must break their silence.

The post How Students Have Turned Their Back on Civil Discourse appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

As Democrats Attack Trump as ‘Racist,’ He Defends ‘Go Back’ Tweets

Mon, 2019-07-15 17:09

President Donald Trump defended tweets that suggested unnamed congresswomen “go back” to their countries of origin, but House Democrats planned to introduce a resolution to denounce his remarks as racist. 

Republican lawmakers also criticized the president after he didn’t back down from the tweets.

Trump, speaking to reporters Monday at a White House event, noted that he “didn’t mention names” in his tweets Sunday. He defended himself without taking back any of those words.

“If you’re not happy here, then you can leave. As far as I’m concerned, if you hate our country, if you’re not happy here, you can leave. That’s what I say all the time,” Trump told reporters during the “Made in America” event. “That’s what I said in a tweet that I guess some people think is controversial.”

“A lot of people love it,” Trump added, apparently referring to America. “But if you’re not happy in the U.S., if you’re complaining all the time, very simply you can leave. You can leave right now. You can come back if you want; don’t come back, that’s OK, too.”

Many inferred that Trump’s tweeted reference to “‘Progressive’ Democratic Congresswomen” who should return to where they “came from” and “help fix” those “totally broken and crime infested places” was aimed at four House Democrats in particular: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan

So interesting to see “Progressive” Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly……

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2019

And at day’s end, the four women came out swinging at a press conference on Capitol Hill in which they variously called the president a “racist,” a “white nationalist,” “corrupt,” and “weak,” and two of them specifically demanded his impeachment.

Some pundits refer to the four women, all critics of both Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as “the squad.” Of the four, only Omar was born outside the United States. 

Pressley led off the press conference by refusing to call Trump the president and by saying his tweets were “simply a distraction from the callous, chaotic and corrupt culture” of his administration. 

We are grateful for your solidarity and your encouragement in the face of the most racist, xenophobic, bigoted remarks from the occupant of our White House,” Pressley said. “I will always refer to him as the occupant, as he is only occupying space, not embodying the grace, the empathy, the compassion, the integrity that that office requires and that the American people deserve.” 

Referring to the president, Ocasio-Cortez said: “Weak minds and leaders challenge loyalty to our country in order to avoid challenging and debating the policy.”

“This president operates in complete bad faith,” she said.

Talib, one of two Muslim women in Congress, urged House colleagues to move forward on impeaching Trump.

“We remain focused on holding him accountable to the laws of this land and accountable to the American people,” she said.

Omar, the other Muslim woman in Congress, also called for impeachment. She used the term “white nationalist” to describe Trump and repeated vulgar language attributed to Trump in private settings.

“Right now the president is committing human rights abuses at the border, keeping children in cages and having human beings drinking out of toilets,” Omar said. “This president, who has been credibly accused of committing multiple crimes, including colluding with a foreign government [to] interfere with our election.”

“This is a president who has overseen the most corrupt administration in our history and pursued an agenda to allow millions of Americans to die from a lack of health care,” she said.

“To distract from that,” Omar added, “he’s launching a blatantly racist attack on four duly elected members of the United States House of Representatives, all of whom are women of color. This is the agenda of white nationalists.”

Pelosi, D-Calif.—who only last week had been locked in a clash with the four freshmen—tweeted later Sunday that the president’s tweets confirmed that he wants to “make America white again.

When @realDonaldTrump tells four American Congresswomen to go back to their countries, he reaffirms his plan to “Make America Great Again” has always been about making America white again.

Our diversity is our strength and our unity is our power. https://t.co/ODqqHneyES

— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) July 14, 2019

And on Monday, Pelosi backed a resolution to condemn the president’s words in a letter to House colleagues.

“The House cannot allow the president’s characterization of immigrants to our country to stand,” Pelosi’s letter says. “Our Republican colleagues must join us in condemning the President’s xenophobic tweets. Please join us in supporting a forthcoming resolution.”

The House Democrats’ resolution is sponsored by members born outside the United States. It refers to President Ronald Reagan’s final speech as president, when the Republican standard-bearer said:

Thanks to each wave of new arrivals to this land of opportunity, we’re a nation forever young, forever bursting with energy and new ideas, and always on the cutting edge, always leading the world to the next frontier. … If we ever closed the door to new Americans, our leadership in the world would soon be lost.

Republican lawmakers who criticized the president’s tweets included Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, both of South Carolina, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rep. Chip Roy of Texas, and Rep. Susan Brooks of  Indiana.

Scott tweeted:

No matter our political disagreements, aiming for the lowest common denominator will only divide our nation further. My full statement below: pic.twitter.com/QXuV8arXso

— Tim Scott (@SenatorTimScott) July 15, 2019

Other Republican House members who decried Trump’s remarks included
Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Jackie Walorkski of Indiana, Dusty Johnson of South Dakota, Don Bacon of Nebraska, Tom Cole of Oklahoma, Lloyd Smucker of Pennsylvania, French Hill and Steve Womack of Arkansas, and Ohio’s Troy Balderson, Anthony Gonzalez, Dave Royce, and Steve Stivers.

Many congressional Democrats and commentators called the tweets racist.

In response to a question, Trump denounced Pelosi’s tweet saying he wants to “make America white again.”

“That’s just a very racist statement, somebody who would say that,” the president said. “Speaker Pelosi said ‘make America white again.’ … That’s a very racist statement, and I’m surprised she’d say that.”

Though he said he didn’t mention names in his Sunday tweets, Trump talked specifically about past controversial remarks by Omar.  

“I never met her, and I hear the way she talks about al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda’s killed many Americans,” Trump said. 

Trump referred to Omar’s much-publicized comments about the 9/11 attacks by Islamists affiliated with the al-Qaeda terrorist group, in which she said “some people did something.”

“You remember the famous ‘some people?’ These are people that in my opinion hate our country,” Trump said. “Now, you can say what you want, but get a list of all the statements they’ve made. All I’m saying is if they’re not happy here, they can leave. I am sure there will be many people that won’t miss them, but they have to love our country. These are congresspeople, and I never used any names.”  

Trump continued to single out Omar, however. 

“You have somebody who comes from Somalia, which is a failed government, a failed state, who left Somalia and ultimately came here, who’s now a congresswoman who’s never happy,” Trump said. “[She] says horrible things about Israel, hates Israel, hates Jews. Hates Jews. Very simple.”

Hours before the press conference Monday, Omar claimed that Trump wanted to “silence” her.

They are working to silence the voices of the people who see themselves represented in me. I will stay in the ring, fighting for what is right and will never back down in the face of these attacks.

— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) July 15, 2019

Ocasio-Cortez also ripped into the president in a tweet Monday. 

It’s important to note that the President’s words yday, telling four American Congresswomen of color “go back to your own country,” is hallmark language of white supremacists.

Trump feels comfortable leading the GOP into outright racism, and that should concern all Americans.

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 15, 2019

Trump also referred to Ocasio-Cortez, but not by name, in citing her successful opposition to Amazon’s plan to relocate its headquarters to New York City. 

“One of them kept Amazon out of New York. Tens of thousands of jobs—would have been a great thing,” Trump said. “New York has not been the same since that happened. It really hurt New York.”

This article has been updated since its initial publication.

The post As Democrats Attack Trump as ‘Racist,’ He Defends ‘Go Back’ Tweets appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

2 Senators Call For Investigation Into Big Tech’s Censorship

Mon, 2019-07-15 16:24

Two of the country’s staunchest big tech critics are asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate social media companies’ perceived censorship practices.

Facebook, Google, and Twitter exercise lots of influence on Americans and they also use their tools to censor some content while amplifying others, Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri wrote in a letter Monday to the Federal Trade Commission. They are asking the agency to open a public probe into the impact such policies have on people.

“Companies that are this big and that have the potential to threaten democracy this much should not be allowed to curate content entirely without any transparency,” they wrote. “These companies can greatly influence democratic outcomes, yet they have not accountability to voters.”

They added: “They are not even accountable to their own customers because nobody knows how these companies curate content.” Cruz and Hawley are two of the biggest Republican critics of Google and Facebook, both of which are consistently accused of discriminating against conservative content.

Hawley, for his part, introduced the Ending Support for Internet Censorship Act in June that aims to amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which gives online companies immunity only if they can show they are politically neutral. Section 230 was passed in 1996, when the internet was in its infancy.

Other Republicans are taking a more critical stance against big tech companies as well. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, for one, is dinging Google for not doing enough to protect children.

“Things would change tomorrow if you could get sued,” Graham said during a congressional hearing on July 9 dealing with online dangers to kids. YouTube is under pressure to turn off its recommendation systems for videos featuring kids after reports showed potential predators were abusing the feature.

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 for this original content, email licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

The post 2 Senators Call For Investigation Into Big Tech’s Censorship appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

Trump Puts Limit on Asylum Claims at Border

Mon, 2019-07-15 14:20

While waiting for Congress to act on closing immigration loopholes, the Trump administration is imposing a new rule to limit asylum claims by requiring professed refugees to first seek asylum in another country closer to home.

The Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security announced the new rule for asylum-seekers, which is set to take effect Tuesday.

Asylum-seekers will be required to apply for protection from prosecution or torture in at least one other country outside their country of citizenship or nationality before entering the United States.

The rule comes as President Donald Trump tries to gain control over the southern border amid a surge of migrants from Central America. 

Kevin K. McAleenan, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said the change is designed to decrease that surge.

“Until Congress can act, this interim rule will help reduce a major ‘pull’ factor driving irregular migration to the United States and enable DHS and DOJ to more quickly and efficiently process cases originating from the southern border, leading to fewer individuals transiting through Mexico on a dangerous journey,” McAleenan said in a formal statement

The Trump administration contends it has the flexibility to place the restriction on asylum-seekers under the congressionally passed Immigration and Nationality Act, which allows additional limitations on eligibility for aliens who seek asylum in the United States.

“Ultimately, today’s action will reduce the overwhelming burdens on our domestic system caused by asylum-seekers failing to seek urgent protection in the first available country, economic migrants lacking a legitimate fear of persecution, and the transnational criminal organizations, traffickers, and smugglers exploiting our system for profits,” McAleenan said. 

A high number of meritless asylum claims has overwhelmed the Border Patrol. Only a small minority of recent asylum-seekers are granted asylum when their case is adjudicated, but many avoid detention and are able to escape into the interior of the country.

A federal appeals court previously upheld the Trump administration’s policy of sending Central American asylum-seekers to Mexico while their asylum requests are being adjudicated.

“This rule is a lawful exercise of authority provided by Congress to restrict eligibility for asylum,” Attorney General William Barr said in a prepared statement. 

Barr said this would deter phony asylum claims “while ensuring that no one is removed from the United States who is more likely than not to be tortured or persecuted on account of a protected ground.”

“The United States is a generous country but is being completely overwhelmed by the burdens associated with apprehending and processing hundreds of thousands of aliens along the southern border,” the attorney general said. 

The administration is making three exceptions to the new rule that apply when an asylum-seeker demonstrates he or she applied for protection in another country and was denied; is a victim of trafficking; or is someone who traveled to the U.S. only through countries that were not parties to two agreements (the 1951 Convention on the State of Refugees and the 1967 Convention Against Torture and Other Curel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment).

The recent surge of illegal immigrants, mostly from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, has flooded into border states such as Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California.

Under the new rule, the asylum-seekers from these countries first would have to apply for asylum in Mexico or other nations they pass through en route to the United States.

Administration officials previously asserted that economic migrants are making bogus asylum claims to enter the United States. Officials and commentators also have argued that the United States is not the only country that can offer protection from persecution.

The regulation is well within DHS authority under existing federal law, said Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation. 

“It seems obvious that aliens who wait to claim asylum until they arrive at our shores and didn’t take the opportunity to claim asylum in any other country they traveled through that has an asylum statute [do] not have a credible claim,” von Spakovsky told The Daily Signal. 

“This is exactly the same rule that the European Union applies to asylum- seekers—they have to claim asylum in the first EU country they enter. This change in U.S. procedures has been long needed.”

The post Trump Puts Limit on Asylum Claims at Border appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

Trump Judges Hit a Home Run in the 9th

Mon, 2019-07-15 14:01

There’s a reason Planned Parenthood likes to challenge pro-life laws on the West Coast. It knows the cases will eventually bubble up to the most liberal bench in the country—the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

There’s just one problem. After almost three years of President Donald Trump, their favorite appeals court isn’t exactly liberal anymore. And that’s throwing a major wrench into the abortion industry’s plans.

Elections have consequences, and they’ve been big ones for the makeup of America’s courts. Just last week, Trump added another originalist to the 9th Circuit bench, Daniel Bress—bringing the administration’s total for the much-maligned court to seven.

For the first time in decades, the 9th Circuit, which Trump has accused of being “out of control” with “a horrible reputation,” is on the verge of ideological balance. And for liberals, who rely on the courts to do what legislatures will not, the prospect of losing their grip is daunting.

On Thursday, abortion extremists started to feel the effects of the president’s court-leveling when the 9th Circuit refused to stop the administration’s family planning rules from taking effect.

In a shocking blow to Planned Parenthood’s ego, the judges ruled 7-4 that the Department of Health and Human Services’ rule stopping Title X grantees from promoting abortion could go into effect. Making the decision even more upsetting for liberals, two of the judges in the majority were Trump appointees.

If the rule goes into effect, groups like Leana Wen’s Planned Parenthood could stand to lose millions of dollars.

Wen, who’s obviously unaccustomed to bad news from the 9th, called the decision “devastating.” And not just for her bottom line, which could suffer a $60 million loss—but for the left’s whole court-shopping strategy.

Originally published in Tony Perkins’ Washington Update, which is written with the aid of Family Research Council senior writers.

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Categories: Public Policy

Is Texas Democrat Exploiting Loophole by Coaching Migrants to Lie?

Mon, 2019-07-15 13:48

Are Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, and her staff violating federal immigration law? If the information reported in the Washington Examiner is correct, then the answer could be “yes.”

The National Border Patrol Council’s El Paso chapter and Customs and Border Protection staff told the Examiner that Escobar has been sending members of her staff to the Mexican border town of Ciudad Juarez “to find migrants returned from El Paso, Texas, under the ‘remain in Mexico’ policy.”

According to the Examiner, members of Escobar’s staff are then “coaching them to pretend they cannot speak Spanish to exploit a loophole letting them … return to the U.S.” 

Under the Migration Protection Protocols implemented by the Trump administration, non-Mexicans illegally crossing our southwest border who claim asylum are to be returned to Mexico while their asylum claims are being evaluated.

However, this protocol does not apply if the asylum-seeker does not speak Spanish, which is the apparent “loophole.”

If the Washington Examiner report is accurate, congressional staffers have either lied to immigration officials or coached migrants to lie to the officials in order to get the migrants into the U.S.

Is that against the law? 

The Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. §1324(a)(1)(A)(iv)) says it is a felony if a person “encourages or induces an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such” entry is illegal.

Furthermore, it is a violation to engage “in any conspiracy to commit” such acts or to aid or abet “the commission” of such acts.

Violations are punishable by up to five years in prison.

As the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in 1993 in U.S. v. Oloyede, the word “encourages” is “not limited to bringing in, transporting or concealing illegal aliens.” Rather, it also includes “actions taken to convince the illegal alien to come to this country or to stay in this country.” 

That same court decision confirmed that a person violates the law if he or she “encourages” someone to make false statements on an immigration application.

In their individual capacities, members of Congress don’t have the power to pick and choose which laws they want to obey and which they want to ignore, like someone making selections in a cafeteria.

The law requires knowledge (or reckless disregard) of the fact that the migrant’s entry is illegal. If congressional staffers are specifically instructing migrants to lie about their language ability to take advantage of the loophole in the protocols, it seems obvious that the staffers know the entry of the migrants is illegal. Why else would the staffers instruct the migrants to lie about their fluency in Spanish?

Moreover, if the congressional staffers were instructed by their boss—Escobar—to engage in such behavior, then the “conspiracy” and “aiding and abetting” portions of the law would come into play.

A federal prosecutor would have to have pretty strong evidence before indicting a member of Congress—something that might be difficult to do unless a staffer decided to come clean and testify about what he or she was told to do.

By the way, Escobar’s office is allegedly also providing migrants with medical diagnoses intended to give them a pathway into the U.S.

The Examiner reports that one of Escobar’s staffers and an official of the local Catholic diocese brought in a migrant who they claimed had “cognitive disabilities.”

The migrant was returned to Mexico after it was discovered that the diagnosis was not made by a medical professional, but by one of the congressional aides.

Another intriguing angle: The Border Patrol Council says that Escobar’s aides have been recording their south-of-the-border conversations with returned migrants.

If federal investigators can get those recordings, they may be able to get a very quick answer as to whether the congresswoman’s aides have been coaching migrants to lie to immigration officials.

What should happen now?

An important principle of our legal system is that no one in this country—including members of Congress—is above the law. Members of Congress have the power to change laws and pass new ones—but only if they can get the support of a majority of their fellow lawmakers.

In their individual capacities, members of Congress don’t have the power to pick and choose which laws they want to obey and which they want to ignore, like someone making selections in a cafeteria.

Laws that are not enforced are meaningless. This includes the immigration laws, even though many Democrats in Congress and in state and local governments want to pretend our immigration laws are optional.

Like all of us, Escobar and members of her staff are entitled to the presumption of innocence. But it seems clear that the allegations in the Washington Examiner are serious enough to warrant a thorough investigation of the congresswoman and her staff.

Originally published by Fox News

The post Is Texas Democrat Exploiting Loophole by Coaching Migrants to Lie? appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

Diplomat: Poland Doesn’t View Trump as Cozy With Putin

Mon, 2019-07-15 13:19

From the perspective of a country counting itself as the “best barometer” of concern about Russia’s aggression, President Donald Trump is anything but soft on the government of Vladimir Putin, a top Polish official in the U.S. says.

Trump pledged last month to put 2,000 more U.S. troops in Poland, at a time when that nation is wary not only because of its own distant history with Russia but because of Russia’s invasions of Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014. The U.S. already has about 4,000 troops in Poland. 

“It couldn’t be clearer that the president is far from … cozy with Russia,” Maciej Golubiewski, the New York-based consul-general of Poland for the U.S., told The Daily Signal in a recent phone interview.

“Poles I think are the best barometer of what it means to be cozy with Russia, because we are the closest ones who understand the threat,” Golubiewski said.

Trump met June 12 at the White House with Polish President Andrzej Duda. Trump is set to travel to Poland in September, where he is expected to announce Poland’s inclusion in the Visa Waiver Program during his second visit to the country.

Golubiewski recalled Trump’s July 2017 speech in Poland, a strong defense of America’s Western allies and a critique of Russia that was widely regarded as one of Trump’s best foreign policy speeches.

“He couldn’t have been clearer about his condemnations of what Russia is doing in Ukraine and what Russia is doing in Syria and what Russia is doing in blackmailing Europe with creating that monopolistic supply of gas,” Golubiewski said of the speech Trump made two years ago. 

The United States is the “sole guarantor for security in Europe,”  Golubiewski said, and Poland will provide the infrastructure for the division headquarters of American troops, which some call  “Fort Trump.” 

Trump’s announced troop buildup is a “visible and permanent commitment on the part of the United States,” the Polish official told The Daily Signal.

“Some studies that appeared recently showed that if Europe were to go it alone, in terms of defending itself against potential Russian attack on the Eastern plank, it would take around 20 years for Europe to reach the capacity … to mount an effective defense and pushback,”
Golubiewski said.

Having been invaded by both Germany and Russia, he said, Poland, like Eastern European countries, has a better understanding of threats after the Cold War than other countries do.

“In a lot of Western Europe, there is not enough of an appreciation of conventional military threats that arise on Europe’s borders,”  Golubiewski said. “It was in vogue in the late ’90s, early 2000s to talk about ‘We just have to have small, agile special troops,’ that terrorism would be the most common threat. People tend to forget conventional threats. Countries still invade other countries.”

He pointed to Trump’s push for more NATO countries to pay the required 2 percent of gross domestic product toward national defense as another defense against Russia. Of the 28 NATO member nations, the United States and Poland are among the eight nations that pay the full 2 percent. 

A Year of Anniversaries

Trump’s September visit to Poland will come on the 80th anniversary of Germany’s invasion of Poland, which started World War II. 

In June, Poland marked 30 years since the once-communist and Soviet-alligned nation held its first mostly free election and voters rejected all communist candidates at the end of the Cold War. 

The president’s visit also highlights 100 years of U.S.-Poland diplomatic relations, and 101 years since Polish independence. 

While the presidencies of conservative Ronald Reagan and progressive Woodrow Wilson seem quite far apart, both were instrumental for Poland at key moments, Golubiewski said.

“All those anniversaries should rank very loudly in the ears of the Americans,” he said, adding:

That notion of freedom–in many countries in the West, during old times when the first pilgrims were reaching the states, there was absolutism in Europe. There were absolutist kings [in Europe]. Poland was a rare exception. We had relatively weak kings and our society was ruled locally. 

We had a lot of freedoms that in Europe [were] a rarity. That’s also why Poland welcomed so many Jews, because they were escaping persecution from Western Europe. A lot of those anniversaries should be close to the American heart. We wouldn’t be where we are without the close friendship and alliance with the U.S.

Golubiewski, a native of Lodz, Poland, who lived in and around Washington, D.C., for many years, holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, politics, and economics from Washington and Lee University in Virginia. 

At Odds With EU

Poland has clashed with the European Union over Duda’s reforms of his country’s judiciary and on immigration matters. 

“Poland is a very loyal member of the European Union and doesn’t want to contest the laws of the EU, but also believes that EU bureaucracy should be faithful to the letter of the treaty,” Golubiewski said. “Just like the U.S. Constitution, certain matters are reserved to the states. So it’s a bit of a similar situation where you have [a] federal versus states’ rights debate.”

A complex judiciary system in Poland that wasn’t reformed when the country moved to democracy in 1989 allowed older Soviet judges to remain on courts. 

When Duda tried to replace such judges, Polish opposition leaders accused him of a power grab to politicize the courts. The EU sued to stop the move. 

“The judiciary in Poland has had a great deal of autonomy, including ruling itself–a very, very different system than the United States where we don’t have as much democratic oversight over the way judges are picked,” the Polish official said.

He said that in the U.S., for example, the president nominates judicial candidates who must be questioned and confirmed by the Senate before they take their seats as judges.

“What the government wants to do is increase legitimacy and democratic oversight, in line with what you have in the United States, which balances the judiciary with other branches of the government,” Golubiewski said.

“We are in a dialogue with the EU. This is a civil and formal dialogue. We are trying to ensure that this reform is agreeable to all the parties involved.”

Poland also has been more resistant to accepting Syrian refugees and immigrants into the country without stronger vetting than the EU would prefer. 

“We oppose unilateral actions by some countries that invite immigrants to enter, then ask that they be de facto forcefully relocated to other countries, because they cannot deal with them because there are too many,” Golubiewski said. “So, this again falls outside the competencies of the EU to ask for such a thing.” 

The diplomat stressed that Poland is open to immigration. 

“We are actually the second country in the EU behind Great Britain with the number of economic migrants,” he said. “We don’t have a problem with legal immigration and legal movement of people. We have to observe the rules.” 

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Categories: Public Policy

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