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Committee to Protect Journalists Calls Attack on Andy Ngo ‘Unacceptable’

Tue, 2019-07-02 14:47

The Committee to Protect Journalists told The Daily Caller News Foundation that the attack of Andy Ngo at an Antifa rally Saturday was “unacceptable,” but it hasn’t not yet issued a written statement condemning the attack.

The Committee to Protect Journalists is a nonprofit organization that promotes freedom of the press and aims to defend journalists’ rights. It has not published a written statement on its website about the attack on Ngo Saturday by masked men that resulted in an alleged brain bleed.

The Committee to Protect Journalists told The Daily Caller News Foundation it is still working with the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker to document the case as of Monday.

“CPJ has taken a special interest in how journalists are treated at protests,” Alexandra Ellerbeck, Committee to Protect Journalists North America program coordinator, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Through the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker—a joint collaboration with Freedom of the Press Foundation—we’ve covered more than 97 cases of journalists being physically assaulted, at least 48 of which happened in the context of protests.

The Committee to Protect Journalists has previously documented a case where Ngo was sprayed with bear repellent and assaulted in May 2019.

The article gave information about the assault, but did not condemn the physical violence against Ngo, who “identifies as an independent journalist and photographer.”

Ngo is currently an editor at Quillette.

“The Tracker is reaching out to Ngo and is documenting Saturday’s case,” Ellerbeck told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Journalists should not have to fear physical violence when covering public demonstrations, and what happened to Andy Ngo is unacceptable.”

BBC cameraman Ron Skeans was assaulted while covering one of President Donald Trump’s rallies in Texas in February 2019. The Committee to Protect Journalists issued a statement within 24 hours of the attack stating it was “concerned about journalists’ safety at Trump’s rallies.”

“It’s outrageous that a journalist was attacked while covering a presidential speech,” said Ellerbeck, according to the statement. “We call on President Trump to moderate his rhetoric against the press and to state clearly that physically attacking media personnel is not acceptable.”

This article also commented on a previous attack of a journalist at another Trump rally. The article cited the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, the Committee to Protect Journalists’ partner, stating that Trump had “spoken fondly of a physical attack on a journalist during a rally in Montana.”

The Committee to Protect Journalists also condemned the White House for suspending Jim Acosta’s, CNN’s chief White House correspondent, credentials. This statement came within a day of the suspension.

“In the current climate, we hope President Trump will stop insulting and denigrating reporters and media outlets, it’s making journalists feel unsafe,” said Courtney Radsch, the Committee to Protect Journalists’ advocacy director.

The nonprofit documented the attack of “freelance photojournalist Kyle Ludowitz” in November 2016. He suffered from a broken cheekbone as he tried to photograph protesters looting and vandalizing businesses in California, the article read. The statement was also issued within a day of the attack.

“Journalists have faced increasing threats and violence at political events throughout the U.S. presidential election campaign,” said Carlos Lauria, senior coordinator of the Committee to Protect Journalists’ Americas program, according to the statement. “The trend toward heightened violence targeting the press is alarming, and must be reversed.”

This article described the attack as protests centered around Trump’s then-upcoming presidential election.

“In the past weeks, journalists have faced threats and attacks both from professed supporters and opponents of Trump,” the article read.

Despite being active and quick in condemning other attacks and freedom of the press violations, the Committee to Protect Journalists has not written any articles about the attack on Ngo.

“We report as quickly as possible on any case based on our own independent investigation and verification of information,” according to a statement responding to why the Ngo documentation was taking longer than previous attacks. “While CPJ is a member of the press tracker steering committee, they [U.S. Press Freedom Tracker] have their own editorial process.”

The Daily Caller News Foundation was referred to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, which said that it does “not make statements on incidents.”

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 Committee to Protect Journalists Calls Attack on Andy Ngo ‘Unacceptable’ appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

Arizona Drops Nike Investment After Betsy Ross Shoe Is Scrapped

Tue, 2019-07-02 13:39

Gov. Doug Ducey revealed on Tuesday that the state of Arizona will be withdrawing all of the financial incentives provided to Nike following the company’s decision to pull an American flag-themed sneaker it deemed offensive.

“Today was supposed to be a good day in Arizona, with the announcement of a major [Nike] investment in Goodyear, [Arizona],” Ducey said. “And then this news broke yesterday afternoon.”

And then this news broke yesterday afternoon. 2/https://t.co/NmM8OPGR0G

— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) July 2, 2019

“Words cannot express my disappointment at this terrible decision. I am embarrassed for Nike,” he continued. “Nike is an iconic American brand and American company. This country, our system of government and free enterprise have allowed them to prosper and flourish.”

Air Manufacturing Innovation, the Nike subsidiary that makes Nike Air sneakers, announced plans to open a multimillion-dollar facility in the Grand Canyon state only hours before news broke that Nike was recalling Air Max 1 USA sneakers because a Revolutionary War-era version of the flag was stitched on the heel.

The already produced shoe line was pulled after former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick complained that the Betsey Ross flag was a symbol of the slave era and considered offensive, reported The Wall Street Journal.

Kaepernick, a Nike endorser, gained notoriety by kneeling during the national anthem to protest systematic racism in America.

“Instead of celebrating American history the week of our nation’s independence, Nike has apparently decided that Betsy Ross is unworthy, and has bowed to the current onslaught of political correctness and historical revisionism,” Ducey said. “It is a shameful retreat for the company. American businesses should be proud of our country’s history, not abandoning it.”

“Nike has made its decision, and now we’re making ours. I’ve ordered the Arizona Commerce Authority to withdraw all financial incentive dollars under their discretion that the State was providing for the company to locate here,” he continued. “Arizona’s economy is doing just fine without Nike. We don’t need to suck up to companies that consciously denigrate our nation’s history.”

The famed shoemaker planned to invest more than $184 million into the first phase of the Goodyear-based facility, according to Arizona’s ABC15. Operations were scheduled to be up and running by 2020 and create at least 505 new full-time manufacturing jobs.

“It shouldn’t take a controversy over a shoe for our kids to know who Betsy Ross is. A founding mother. Her story should be taught in all American schools,” Ducey added. “In the meantime, it’s worth Googling her.”

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 Arizona Drops Nike Investment After Betsy Ross Shoe Is Scrapped appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

Report: Colin Kaepernick Pressured Nike to Recall American Flag-Themed Sneakers

Tue, 2019-07-02 13:37

Nike is recalling an American flag-themed sneaker after former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick complained that it harkened back to the slave era, The Wall Street Journal is reporting.

Nike had already delivered the Air Max 1 USA sneakers to stores when Kaepernick, a Nike endorser, complained about a Revolutionary War-era version of the flag stitched on the back of the shoe, according to the Journal.

The flag, designed by Betsy Ross, has 13 stars in a circle with 13 red and white stripes to represent the original colonies.

A Nike spokeswoman confirmed to the Journal that the shoes were pulled from shelves because of the flag.

“Nike has chosen not to release the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July as it featured the old version of the American flag,” the spokeswoman said.

Kaepenick gained notoriety when he began kneeling at NFL games during the national anthem in protest of police brutality. He has not played in the NFL since 2016, but settled with the league on Feb. 15 over complaints that team owners colluded to prevent him from being signed with a team.

Nike signed Kaepernick to an endorsement deal in September.

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 Report: Colin Kaepernick Pressured Nike to Recall American Flag-Themed Sneakers appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

Free Speech on Campus Comes With Responsibility

Tue, 2019-07-02 10:56

In the face of adversity, the responsible use of freedom is a virtue—as well as a necessity.

America is a nation born from the idea of freedom. To properly use this blessing and avoid abusing it, we need the clarity of moral insight. Civil rights require civic responsibility. But Americans’ fear of losing the freedom to express themselves has caused them to forget that responsibility.

One of the great ironies of the past century has been the decline of the American university. These institutions were designed to stand for the pursuit of truth and civic enhancement.

Yet today, campus grounds are the place where free expression is most constantly challenged. Censorship is not only imposed by administrators. Students themselves are a source of censorship when as they choose to treat their political opponents with disdain.

Fear of the “other side” has fostered a toxic political tribalism.

Thomas Jefferson once wrote that “the price of freedom is eternal vigilance,” and Americans have taken the fight for their individual liberties seriously. But while it is true that freedom must be defended, freedom also loses its credibility in the eyes of opponents if it is abused.

American college students are no exception. In their own way, they are determined to prevent others from stifling their freedom. What they don’t realize is as they claw for their rights, they are shredding the very foundation those rights stand on.

When conservative students host a lecture or activism event, many remain on constant alert for demonstrators who may silence their speech. This caution is not without merit. Countless conservative events have been shut down by dissenting voices who can become violent and physical in an attempt to shut down words they feel are “hateful.”

Both groups understand their rights to be at risk, and their fear of the opposing side chipping their freedom away has caused them to lash out in defense of what is theirs.

Students on the left have a different concern when it comes to rights. They often fight to protect the feelings of individuals who have historically been denied rights by society. It doesn’t matter whether they have reason to fear those individuals losing rights again. In the minds of progressive activists, they are defending the civil liberties of others.

Both groups understand their rights to be at risk, and their fear of the opposing side chipping their freedom away has caused them to lash out in defense of what is theirs.

The right, when silenced by the left, begins to yell louder. The more words they can say, the better, as that proves they have the right to say them. Those words, however, often turn into dangling red meat for their opposition. They holster the “own the libs” mentality, mocking liberals as snowflakes “triggered” at everything.

The left feels their existence and rights are threatened, so they protest, grinding away on the limits of “peaceful” assembly. And they justify in their minds that storming stages and super-soaking speakers is acceptable: They’re just defending their rights.

Shouting shameful things or forming a mob to silence your opponents sullies the intended purpose of the First Amendment. This amendment protects us from the government infringing on our rights, but the standard for exercising that right shouldn’t be merely what we can get away with legally.

A counter-protester holds his ripped sign that was torn by protesters demonstrating against a speech by conservative commentator Ben Shapiro at the University of Utah, Sept. 27, 2017.

We are so blessed to have the freedom to speak freely and organize ourselves to demonstrate as we wish without government-mandated muzzles. But what good is that protection if citizens are silencing each other’s speech or resorting to aggressive messaging?

When my campus activism chapter hosted Ben Shapiro in 2016, a group of protesters stormed the stage and silenced him for 20 minutes. Those protesters succeeded in silencing our chapter members’ speech. Sure, they weren’t the government telling me to shut up, but they stole my voice.

Shouting shameful things or forming a mob to silence your opponents sullies the intended purpose of the First Amendment.

That being said, my retaliations for the rest of the semester were a poor reflection on my character. I resorted to crudely presenting my arguments, something I am not proud of.

I had a great gift—the freedom to speak my mind—and was squandering it by treating my enemies poorly. I ignored their humanity. Yes, they were as offensive and belligerent as me, but I helped fuel the fire.

Being able to engage with those we disagree with is important—we are a community of souls and should treat each other as such. The respect we show our foes reveals the respect we have for the Bill of Rights.

When we use our freedom for hostile purposes, we exploit the intention the Founders had for the First Amendment. Freedom requires responsible use, and the proper use of freedom optimizes its purpose.

Our standard for free expression should not be what we can get away with legally. If we continue down this path, language will continue to be associated with hatred, and assembly with mob rule.

When we use our freedom for hostile purposes, we exploit the intention the Founders had for the First Amendment.

I fear those connotations are what will dissolve the freedom of expression.

If either side truly wants to stop this endless cycle of shouting matches, cancelled events, and lawsuits, they are going to have to start gaining composure in difficult situations.

There are a plethora of different groups popping up on campuses around the country that focus on fostering kind, multi-partisan discussions between students. While some are more successful than others, the recent creation of these groups shows there is an appetite among students to engage civilly with people of other opinions.

When we face true injustice, or people who seek to erode our rights, we should stand firm for those rights. But we must do it with respect to the other side, even if they are not respectful in return.

Americans have the gift and responsibility of liberty. We must not misuse it.

The post Free Speech on Campus Comes With Responsibility appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

How to Restore America

Tue, 2019-07-02 03:01

Are America’s best days behind it? Or is there a way to return to the values that our Founding Fathers and so many subsequent generations held? Tim Goeglein, co-author of the new book “American Restoration: How Faith, Family, and Personal Sacrifice Can Heal Our Nation” is an optimist about the future—believing Americans can rebuild their culture from the ground up, starting in their own neighborhoods. Read the full interview, posted below, or listen on the podcast:

We also cover these stories:

  • Iran announces it has more uranium than was allowed under the Iran agreement.
  • President Donald Trump is mad at New York state, which he says is targeting him unfairly.
  • Sen. Ted Cruz calls for the Justice Department to investigate after a journalist is attacked by Antifa.

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: We are joined in the studio now by Timothy Goeglein.

He is the vice president for external and government relations at Focus on the Family here in Washington, D.C. And he’s also co-author of the new book “American Restoration: How Faith, Family and Personal Sacrifice Can Heal Our Nation.”

Tim, thanks for your time.

Tim Goeglein: It’s a real pleasure to be here. Thank you so much.

Davis: So Tim, in this new book, you talk a lot about the need to return to America’s spiritual foundations.

There’s so much to unpack there, but I want to ask you, first off, what do you mean when you say returning to American spiritual foundations?

Goeglein: It’s impossible to understand the United States of America without understanding the spiritual foundation, even before our founding.

You know, Americans were a great presence in North America 150 years before we were formally a country. And literally from the beginning we were a nation, which was a eventually a religious republic. A country that faith and public life could not be divorced. They went together.

And from the very beginning, this idea of self-government was rooted in a spiritual dimension that you cannot impose virtue, the other side of freedom, upon the people. That you need to have moral excellence in the people and in the leaders.

Our Founding Fathers and mothers rightfully asked, “Well, in the American experience, where does that come from?” And in the American experience, it comes from the Judeo-Christian tradition.

In “American Restoration,” we do not open up our book pining for the 18th century or the 19th century or the 20th century. What we say is that the way forward is not despair and discouragement, but it is being hopeful about the next chapter of America.

I’m an irredeemable optimist and “American Restoration” is built on the foundation.

What we say in this book is that if we really want to restore our country and we’re very serious about restoration, regeneration, renewal, it’s not going to be rooted in Washington, D.C., and in government. It’s going to be rooted in faith, the family, and personal sacrifice in our communities, in our neighborhoods.

That’s where the solutions, as it were for “American Restoration,” are really based.

Kate Trinko: You just mentioned that you’re hopeful and I would say that I am a pessimist, so I’m going to push back a little bit here.

Why is there a realistic chance for hope when right now, a lot of Americans came, had grandparents from this foundation of faith and virtues, and have chosen to reject it?

What about the modern world gives you any realistic hope that people are suddenly going to change their lives and take up sacrifice and virtue?

Goeglein: First, I’m a hopefulist … and may tell you it’s not rooted in a confetti-to-the-wind optimism.

I am an optimist, but that’s not my basis for hope. First and foremost, I’m a Christian, and I love living in a country, in a culture and a civilization where the foundation of that hope is the Judeo-Christian tradition, which is definably, the best foundation that a country can be built on.

I’ll tell you, I never negate and we should never negate as Americans that we’ve been in incredibly tough positions before.

This is a country that lived through a Civil War. We lived through two world wars. We lived through the social and the sexual revolution of the 1960s and ’70s.

During all of those periods of time, it was very tempting … for Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives to sort of say, “That’s the end of America.”

There was a time not very long ago in the ’60s and ’70s where quite literally parts of America were burning down. Where there were shootings in the streets. Where there were shootings on campuses. Where we had the resignation of a U.S. president for the first time ever.

We lost nearly 60,000 Americans in Vietnam. We lost 750,000 Americans in the Civil War. And I’ll tell you, during those chapters of American history, people said, “Count me out. The country’s done.”

It isn’t. Because for America there’s always tomorrow and there’s always the hope for restoration.

What we do in this book is that we set out a blueprint for how to restore the country. To restore the Constitution. To restore the family. To restore civic renewal and civic responsibility.

It’s really a wonderful read because it’s a read that says better days are ahead. Not easy days.

Restoring a country like ours is not easy. This is a large, complex continental nation of 329 [million] souls. … So when you’re talking about restoration, it is necessarily not going to be easy, but that doesn’t mean that there’s not a way forward.

Davis: Your book mentions multiple things. Fifteen actually. Fifteen chapters, 15 things, areas where America can be restored.

Walk us through just a couple of those that you think are the most important and how specifically how that would happen.

Goeglein: I believe that the most important way to restore America begins in the home. It begins with family.

We in America have a large percentage of families which are broken. Marriages, families, parenting, absolutely broken. And it is totally and completely central to our whole idea of restoration.

Government cannot cause the family to fall in love again. Government cannot tuck a child into bed at night. But government can get out of the way. And government can also find ways to incentivize ways to make it easier for parents and families to thrive.

So we with clarity and with, if I may say, pinpoint accuracy define focusing on the family as something that is absolutely central to the restoration of our country.

We also concurrently say that it’s very important to restore the idea of the centrality of the Constitution.

This is a country of law and not men. And the Constitution has a fixed meaning and a fixed purpose. And we have lived for too long in an ever-growing gargantuan federal government, which believes that it can better than families, communities, churches, synagogues, neighborhoods, localities, believes that it can better and more uniformly address the problems that ail us.

In “American Restoration” we say just the opposite, that it begins at the local level.

It begins with what the great statesman Edmund Burke called the “little platoons.” And what he meant [is] the little platoons are family, church, synagogue, neighborhood, community. All those associations and groups, which Tocqueville celebrated when he looked at America in the 1830s and [said], “That’s what makes America exceptional. It’s what makes us different.”

Davis: One of the things I want to ask about that, you talk about the importance of little platoons, but it seems to me that so often when we think about cultural erosion and corruption, a lot of it does come from the elites in our culture who are controlling.

Think of the tech companies who control with algorithms what we see on social media. Or think about when you open up Netflix, the first thing you see is something overtly sexual that you didn’t want your kids to see.

Those are the kinds of structural problems that are driving social change in the wrong direction. And those are set by elites, rather than people in local communities.

Do you think that a big part of the problem at least is the culture of the elites and what they’re pushing through Hollywood, through Netflix, through other media that are affecting our communities?

Goeglein: I could not agree more. And not only can I not agree [more], this is part of the central narrative of “American Restoration,” that we believe that irresponsible elites across a series of professions have been a central part of the problem.

I mentioned one of them a moment ago. The problem of a central government that is literally out of control. That believes it can micromanage better than people in the home or in the church or in the neighborhood or in the community. That it can control and make these decisions for us better than we can make them ourselves.

So the answer is absolutely yes.

A very good friend of mine is David Azerrad, and by the way, several people at The Heritage Foundation play an important role in “American Restoration.”

We’ve gone into some of the best research that the matchless Heritage foundation has done. And we have used that in our book.

One of the things that David Azerrad has written about is a front-row America and a back-row America.

A front-row America being elites, who are out of touch. Who are like the boy and the girl in the bubble. You know, they don’t have to mix with other people but, in fact, back-row America is hurting very badly.

And there have been many important studies and books that have—like “Hillbilly Elegy,” “Alienated Americans” by my friend Tim Carney—done an excellent job of distilling what the problem is.

What “American Restoration” does is it’s a bookend to those kind of excellent analysis. It says, “Yes, we’ve got real problems in our nation. Here are the reasons why, and here are some of the ways that we can address head-on these real challenges and problems and can make them better.”

We quote in this book a little-known scholar who deserves to be much better known, Gertrude Himmelfarb, in which she talks about how Victorian England—by the way, Victorian England was in absolute meltdown mode—reapplying the great spiritual truths of Anglo-American civilization was able to help restore a really great country. And there are lots of other examples.

So restoration and renewal and regeneration are possible. It can happen and I’m confident.

Trinko: Yeah. And of course, if you’re interested in the back-row, front-row America, we interviewed Chris Arnade, the former Wall Street trader-turned-photo journalist, I guess you would say … I think might’ve coined that term.

We had him on the podcast a few weeks ago and I’d encourage you to check that out if you’re into this topic.

So, one poll that came out recently that really surprised me from The Wall Street Journal and the NBC News found that back in 2000, which is not that long ago, two decades ago, 41% of Americans said they went to religious services weekly. That number is now down to 29%.

You and your book discuss a lot about how important regular church attendance is. What do you think drove the decline in the past two decades and how do we reverse this?

Goeglein: I believe that the biggest driver of the decline, as you describe it, has been the fractioning of the American family. And I want to give a very concrete example.

One of the things, by the way, that powers “American Restoration” is not a bunch of opinions and anecdotes. It’s actually empirical data. It’s very important in data sets that we know what we are actually dealing [with], and I want to give just one example. …

In 1965, a mere 56 years ago, 54 years ago, Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote a very important study on the African American family in the United States of America.

Now, this is only 1965. He found that 25% of all African Americans were born out of wedlock. Now we’re in 2019, that number is at 70% or above. Also, that’s 53% of all Hispanic Americans and more than 30% of native-born white people.

In composite, about 40% of all Americans are now born out of wedlock. And for the majority of babies born to women who are 30 years of age and under, the majority of babies are now born out of wedlock.

So if you have this kind of demography and you are facing this kind of challenge, it is not the federal government. Frankly, it’s not any government that is going to be able to address that kind of decline.

And the question emerges in social science: Well, wait a minute, what drove that? And the answer goes back to where we started.

It ultimately starts from a spiritual decline that is measurable in some pockets of America. The great conservative statesman and philosopher Russell Kirk said that political and public policy differences are actually spiritual differences first. And I think that there’s a lot of truth in that.

Trinko: That is a great segue into my next question, which is, just looking through your book, I share so much of the analysis of the culture that you give. It’s a pretty bleak picture right now.

And you know … we’re recording this in June, which is Pride Month. And as a Christian I have certain feelings about that.

You paint a picture of a culture that is losing, its sort of adrift in moral relativism, and your book is about recovering that.

The solution you’re calling for, though, doesn’t it really just come down to people converting to Christianity and being faithful?

Goeglein: That’s correct. I’m glad you raised that.

And in light of the last question, I believe very strongly that you can be a great American and be a man or woman of faith. I believe very strongly that you can be a great American and not be a person of faith. Or be a great American and a person who’s searching and looking, right? I don’t think that that is the the demarcation. I really don’t.

I also believe, and we say this in “American Restoration,” that for all of the many cultural challenges we have, and there are many, we also have a lot of bright spots.

May I say, just when you think that you’re at a moment of cultural decline, that even in that decline you can see spots of recovery and of renewal.

It’s kind of like when you have one of these terrible California wildfires and you look out and you say that is a very bleak landscape. Until you come back about two weeks later. And from all the charred cinders, coming through the charred cinders are small green shoots. And I do believe that organically cultures are the same.

I believe that you can focus like a laser beam on all of the problems. And we certainly seek to do that in “American Restoration.” But we also seek to hold up real examples of real people, real institutions, real groups, who are really addressing some of our most important social, moral, and religious issues.

So we don’t say or assert in the book that in order to restore America that we must have a mass conversion to Christianity. As Christians, you know, we certainly pray that people would come to know Jesus Christ, but that is not our demarcation for a healthy or flourishing country.

We know that from our founding.

Some of the greatest people in our founding were serious Christians. Benjamin Rush and George Washington.

Others were not serious Christians, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. It doesn’t make them any less great as human beings. But it also does not deter from the fact that foundationally and from the beginning, America was a nation that flourished because of strong Christianity and strong Judaism. And you know, that is a fact.

Trinko: You talk in the book about the importance of religious liberty and, obviously, if you’re going to practice your faith, you need to be allowed to by the states.

However, we’re seeing more and more clashes on this front and you describe some of them in the book.

Specifically, I would say pro-abortion advocates and LGBT activists are often pushing for things that Christians feel in good conscience they cannot accommodate.

And there’s often a push from the extreme left to say, “No, we’re not going to find a third way. It can’t be that there’s another baker who bakes the cake. It has to be this baker.”

How do you recommend people engage with the far left and with maybe family and friends who are sympathetic to the far left?

Goeglein: May I say, I am really thrilled by that question because I believe, a tenet to where we began this interview, that the frontal assault on religious liberty and the rights of conscience in the public square is overwhelmingly one of the greatest challenges that we face.

And the question is why? Because it’s unconstitutional.

There is absolutely nothing in the Constitution that in any way usurps the centrality of religious liberty and conscience rights, that were inherent in the Constitution from the beginning.

We have seen endless cases at the Supreme Court. Endless cases in the circuit and in the the the district courts, which have been a net result of this assault on religious liberty and conscience cases.

I feel very strongly, in fact, we say this in “American Restoration” and we have a whole chapter on the restoration of religious liberty in the book for this reason, that incrementally, and it does take time, that we will eventually move our way back toward the constitutional position and defense of religious liberty and conscience rights.

It’s not to say that we are not having and will not continue to have a major debate in this area, but I believe that incrementally we are going in the right direction, even as we have enormous challenges.

We also have a chapter in “American Restoration” on the restoration of the right to life and human life. That is incredibly important to us.

Look, we have had more than 60 million abortions in America since 1973. That is a real black mark on our country. But … as a person who has been involved in the pro-life movement since I was 12 years old, I believe very strongly that this is a very good time for the pro-life movement.

I think we are winning. I think we’re moving in the right direction.

I am overwhelmed, having been [to] every right to life march in January with the exception of two for the last 30 years, that the right to life people who come to Washington get younger and they get larger. And those numbers are overwhelming.

It’s simply bad manners in a lot of quadrants in America now, where it wasn’t even 15 years ago. It’s bad manners not to be pro-life with 3D and 4D images of babies. We know that it is a baby.

Trinko: I appreciate it, in your book, how you talked about the importance of caring for foster kids and also your co-author mentioned that at his church there is, I believe, a night for parents of Down syndrome kids.

I just thought it was nice how you guys paid so much attention to being pro-life after birth, as well.

I think that’s very true of the pro-life community, but we’re always slammed as not. And it was nice to see you address that.

Goeglein: I was in a debate just last week in which my interlocutor said, “Yeah, you’re pro-life, which means that you only care about the baby until the day it’s born.” And I said, “That is absolutely false.” And he said, “Prove it.” And I said, “Read ‘American Restoration.'”

We have a whole chapter in this book, to your point, we care about mother and baby before the baby is born. We care about the baby in all three trimesters, right? And we care about mother and baby long after the baby is born and the mother is dealing, as is baby, with a lot of issues.

But also to capitalize on that, we care a lot about orphan care, foster care, and adoption. And we wanted to make sure that “American Restoration” had a a sizable bit of attention to this issue.

One of the tragedies in America is not only abortion, but also the vitiation of young Down syndrome babies. That has got to change and we’ve got to do that better.

I trust and believe that by raising it in books like this, talking about it on a podcast like this, that we will move more and more toward a pro-life America.

I believe that we will see a day when Roe v. Wade is overturned. I do believe that, and I think that it will be on par of the day that Dred Scott finally came to it’s last gasp.

Davis: Your book also responds to folks like Rod Dreher, who have offered what they call the Benedict Option, in which Christians are engaging in a strategic withdrawal from certain sectors of culture in order to protect the good that we have.

What’s your main response to that argument?

Goeglein: Rod Dreher is a great friend and I’ve known him and benefited from his writing, his research, and his friendship for many years.

I have read his book now three times, cover to cover, and I have compared the text of the book with debates that have happened and with analysis since.

I want to be very direct in this point. To the degree that there is a difference or a distinction it is at least in some of those debates and analysis that he has been calling for disengagement.

And there’s a nuance about this, and we make this very clear in the book. This is not in any way a backdoor attack or a critique of Rod. But we disagree in this regard. This is not a time for Christians or conservatives to disengage, to be discouraged, to drop out.

This is a time … we say in “American Restoration,” to engage more than ever.

For us to be present more than ever in the public square. To be involved in schools, public schools, and private schools. To be involved in government. To be in the media. To be in the culture, shaping professions. To be in the law and legal societies. To be in the permanent bureaucracy. To be a presence in the state capitals and in Washington, D.C.

There’s never been a time where we have needed men and women of faith to step up and to be more involved than now.

Davis: That is a great place for us to leave it. The book is called “American Restoration. How Faith, Family, and Personal Sacrifice Can Heal Our Nation.” Available on Amazon. Tim Goeglein, thanks so much for your time.

Goeglein: Such a pleasure. Thank you so much, and God bless The Daily Signal.

The post How to Restore America appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

Trump Signs Law Making It Harder for IRS to Seize Money From Americans

Mon, 2019-07-01 18:33

The Internal Revenue Service seized $446,000 from the bank accounts of brothers Jeffrey, Richard, and Mitch Hirsch in 2012, claiming a “structuring” violation against the owners of Bi-County Distributors Inc. for making multiple bank deposits of less than $10,000.

The government never charged them with a crime, nor gave them a hearing to enable them to contest the seizure, but after intense national media attention to the case, the government returned the funds. 

The case was among many that highlighted an abuse by IRS agents known as legal source structuring that allowed the tax collection agency to use a law, the Bank Secrecy Act, intended to combat money laundering, to seize assets.

President Donald Trump signed a bipartisan bill Monday to force greater accountability on the IRS in the property seizures, as well as protect taxpayers from identity theft, boost whistleblower protections, and modernize the tax agency.

“We just finished signing, the important signing, of the Taxpayer First bill, the IRS Taxpayer First, which is a tremendous thing for our citizens having to deal with the IRS,” Trump told reporters after the signing. “It streamlines and so many other changes are made. That was just done and signed. It’s been made into law. So we are all set on that.”     

The new law, the Taxpayer First Act, requires the IRS to show probable cause that the smaller transactions were made in order to evade financial reporting requirements. 

Legal source structuring laws kick in when large financial transactions are broken up into smaller transactions, which sparks suspicion from the IRS. If dividing up transactions is done with the intent to evade bank reporting requirements, it’s illegal, and the IRS can seize assets.

A 2017 audit by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found no evidence of underlying crimes in 91% of the structuring cases examined in a sampling.

The inspector general’s report further noted that the IRS frequently ignored reasonable explanations business owners have for deposits.

The IRS used the power in 2,500 cases between 2005 and 2012, gobbling up $242 million in assets, according to the Institute for Justice, a public interest legal group. Of those, one-third involved only allegations of structuring, and not other alleged wrongdoing, the institute found. 

The provision of the Taxpayer First Act largely codifies rules the IRS had already made in response to public pressure, but unlike laws, regulations can be overturned administratively.

The new law further requires a hearing within 30 days of an assets seizure.  It also establishes an independent office of appeals within the IRS for taxpayers. 

“This is a long time coming,” said Jason Snead, senior policy analyst at the Institute for Constitutional Government at The Heritage Foundation. “There have been many noted abuses in cases not derived from illegal behavior. I hope this is the beginning of a longer process to reform the civil forfeiture laws.”

At a time when Congress has had a tough time agreeing to any major legislation, the Republican-controlled Senate and Democrat-controlled House voted overwhelmingly in favor of the legislation.  

“This bipartisan, bicameral bill represents years of hard work and consensus building,” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said in a statement after its Senate passage. “It’s a big first step toward strengthening taxpayer protections and turning the IRS into the customer service organization it ought to be.”

The new law authorized the IRS internal investigators to communicate with whistleblowers who are, during the processing of their claims, reporting bad behavior within the agency if doing so would be helpful to the investigation. The internal investigators, usually the inspector general, would also notify the whistleblowers on the status of the investigation, under the new law.

The law further extends anti-retaliation provisions to the IRS whistleblowers currently afforded to whistleblowers in other agencies. 

It requires the IRS to submit to Congress a plan to make the agency more efficient by modernizing technology, and to enhance cybersecurity to protect taxpayer data. 

The law further includes a provision to help prevent identity theft. It also expands to all taxpayers an existing program that previously only allowed victims of tax ID theft to obtain a personal identification number (PIN) that better secures their identity.

“Americans interact with the IRS more than any other federal agency,” said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, adding:

Passage of the Taxpayer First Act will modernize the agency, allowing it to better serve taxpayers.

Our bill includes critical provisions to improve customer service, protect personal data, preserve tax-preparation services and shield low-income taxpayers from abusive private debt collectors.

The post Trump Signs Law Making It Harder for IRS to Seize Money From Americans appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

1 Year After Union Ruling, Pennsylvania Law Still Allows for Unconstitutional Fees

Mon, 2019-07-01 18:30

One year ago, the Supreme Court ruled that public-sector employees like me, who are not union members, don’t have to pay union fees in order to be employed.

That ruling is already benefiting me and countless others. But unfortunately, Pennsylvania law hasn’t caught up with the times.

For decades, teacher contracts often required even non-union employees to pay fees to a union or lose our jobs—regardless of whether we agreed with the union’s positions. But because of the Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling in Janus v. AFSCME, Council 31, those forced union fees are now unconstitutional.

The ruling was of particular interest to me because in 2017, I, too, filed a lawsuit seeking relief from this unconstitutional practice.

During my 20 years as a public school teacher, I was compelled to send a portion of each paycheck to the teachers union, even though I did not agree with how the union leaders represented me during various negotiations. They blatantly ignored my opinions and worked to maintain their own power.

While I was able to resign my union membership, I was still required to pay a union fee as “fair share” for union representation—representation I did not ask for, want, or need.

In my lawsuit, I joined with three other Pennsylvania teachers to challenge these forced union fees in court.

As my case waited in a lower court, the Supreme Court’s decision in Janus answered the question we were asking: Can teachers—or any public-sector employee—be compelled to fund union activities, many of which are political in nature?

The answer was simple: No. Doing so violates employees’ guaranteed rights to free speech and association.

Despite the court’s ruling, many of my colleagues remain unaware of their new freedom to not pay. Most haven’t heard of the Janus ruling, and union leaders aren’t telling them about it.

As a result, many teachers continue to fund union activities they disagree with, unaware that they have another choice—resign from the union and pay nothing.

To make matters even more confusing, Pennsylvania state law still authorizes forced union fees for public-sector employee contracts, which it calls “fair share” fees.

While Janus should apply to Pennsylvania law—many union officials have publicly admitted as much—the Supreme Court’s decision did not specifically analyze Pennsylvania law and nullify any of its provisions.

That means any teacher trying to understand their rights would soon encounter a valid state law and, in many cases, a contract with their employer requiring that non-members pay fees.

In fact, the Pennsylvania State Education Association and some of its local unions are continuing to include fair share provisions for non-union members in some of their new contracts right now—even after Janus.

As absurd as it sounds, they are completely ignoring the Supreme Court’s ruling and are knowingly negotiating for unconstitutional provisions in employment contracts.

This is why my own case, Hartnett v. PSEA is still relevant. It’s why we are now appealing to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

My case is about bringing the Janus ruling to Pennsylvania and affirming public-sector employees’ rights at the state level. Specifically, we are asking the courts to declare state fair share provisions unconstitutional and block teachers unions from including them in future contracts.

While one court has ruled that the Janus decision doesn’t require this, the facts, as noted above, prove otherwise. And a recent court ruling in California indicates there are legal grounds for my continued appeal.

I take great pride in my work as a teacher to thousands of Pennsylvania students. It’s an honor to have the confidence of both the parents and administrators in Indiana County’s Homer-Center School District where I teach.

It’s been a full year since the Janus decision was handed down, and I believe that workers across the country are benefiting. It’s time for Pennsylvania to catch up.

The post 1 Year After Union Ruling, Pennsylvania Law Still Allows for Unconstitutional Fees appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

Trump-Kim Photo-Op at the DMZ Fails to Deliver

Mon, 2019-07-01 18:01

“If you step forward, you will be the first U.S. president to cross the border,” said Kim Jong Un through a translator to President Donald Trump on Sunday.

The two men stood at the demilitarized zone on the border of North and South Korea. That moment made history.

The question is: Will have a significant impact on stalled negotiations?

Diplomacy between the two leaders seemed to have hit a roadblock since the Hanoi Summit in February, which ended abruptly when the two leaders left Vietnam without a deal. The swirl of summitry that began in Singapore last year has, so far, resulted in little progress.

To put a finer point on it, North Korea is no closer to complete, verifiable, irreversible dismantlement of its nuclear program than it was prior to the first meeting between Trump and Kim. For that matter, it is also failing to improve its egregious track record of human rights abuse.

Sunday’s last-minute meeting between Trump and Kim was prompted by a presidential tweet. This set into motion a photo-op that handed Kim yet another legitimizing appearance on the world stage without having made any major concessions in negotiations.

The primary deliverable from Sunday’s meeting was a promise to resume working-level negotiations. While this is a positive development, it’s hardly a promise worthy of fanfare.

Kim is a brutal dictator—one who imprisons between 80,000 and 120,000 people in political prison camps, murders people in broad daylight for merely possessing a Bible, and restricts all of the freedoms that Americans hold so dear. That’s to say nothing of its illegal nuclear and missile programs.

Kim, no doubt, desires legitimacy. Every time the two leaders meet and Kim makes no concessions, he is emboldened to press the U.S. to accept North Korea as a nuclear power, and for that matter a legitimate state—of which it is neither.

Following the historic meeting at the DMZ, there are now rumblings that the administration might be considering a “freeze-for-freeze”—essentially, North Korea freezing its nuclear program in exchange for the U.S. lifting some of the tougher sanctions on Pyongyang. This would essentially acknowledge North Korea as a nuclear state, something that negotiators refused to do in previous negotiations.

This would be a mistake. A freeze-for-freeze would undermine the most successful pillar of the Trump administration’s North Korea strategy—the maximum pressure policy—and would fall short of legally-required standards that North Korea denuclearize prior to getting sanctions relief.

This is not the first time diplomacy has impacted the maximum pressure policy. After the Singapore summit, Russia and China reportedly began easing implementation of their sanctions—sanctions that North Korea acknowledged helped bring them to the negotiating table in Hanoi. Kim would like nothing more than to see these sanctions lifted.

Now that the DMZ meeting has happened, the question is, “Where do we go from here?”

U.S. negotiators should use working-level dialogue to press North Korea to accept the legally-required definition of denuclearization and to lay out a step-by-step process to irreversibly dismantle its nuclear program. And, rather than viewing human rights as an afterthought, the administration should press for improvements to human rights, recognizing that the Kim regime uses human rights abuses to retain power for itself and continue its nuclear and missile programs.

Going forward, the administration should articulate a comprehensive strategy where both national security and human rights challenges are addressed in tandem. It should refrain from high-level, diplomatic photo-ops that bring us no closer to solving these problems.

The post Trump-Kim Photo-Op at the DMZ Fails to Deliver appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

A Federal Investigation Into Antifa Attack on Journalist Isn’t Just Justified–It’s Needed

Mon, 2019-07-01 17:55

Most Americans can agree that journalists should be safe to report on a protest without being targeted, or worse, physically attacked. It’s part of their job. But over the weekend, we learned that for a conservative, Asian, LGBT journalist, those rules don’t necessarily apply.   

Quillette editor and photojournalist Andy Ngo, who is known for his work in covering Antifa, set out on Saturday to cover a rally held by the far-right group Proud Boys, and a counter-protest organized by the far-left group, Antifa.

Late in the afternoon, Ngo tweeted that members of Antifa violently attacked him and stole his camera equipment.

Attacked by antifa. Bleeding. They stole my camera equipment. No police until after. waiting for ambulance . If you have evidence Of attack please help

— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) June 29, 2019

On way to hospital. Was beat on face and head multiple times in downtown in middle of street with fists and weapons. Suspects at large.

— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) June 29, 2019

Jim Ryan, a reporter with The Oregonian, tweeted out a video of Ngo being attacked by masked figures:

First skirmish I’ve seen. Didn’t see how this started, but @MrAndyNgo got roughed up. pic.twitter.com/hDkfQchRhG

— Jim Ryan (@Jimryan015) June 29, 2019

As reports of the attack went viral, conservatives began asking why the police appeared to do nothing as a journalist was robbed and beaten on video, in broad daylight.

According to Oregon Live, “Police were lined up along the perimeter of the park before the attack, but no one intervened to break up the fight.”

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, called for a federal investigation into the matter, accusing Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, a Democrat, of ordering his police officers to let citizens be attacked by domestic terrorists “for political reasons.”

To federal law enforcement: investigate & bring legal action against a Mayor who has, for political reasons, ordered his police officers to let citizens be attacked by domestic terrorists. https://t.co/5xyCDARICl https://t.co/c0Tf3SsKEf

— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) June 30, 2019

Wheeler’s office did not respond to The Daily Signal’s request for comment.

Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, said that investigation is justified under federal law.

“The Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department needs to launch an immediate investigation of Antifa in Oregon,” he said, adding, 

The dangerous violence and attacks that Antifa is organizing (and that its masked members are participating in) on journalists and anyone who disagrees with them must be stopped.  This despicable behavior is a violation of federal law, including 18 U.S.C. 241 and 42 U.S.C. 1985(3).

The latter is particularly applicable because that statue was passed to stop the Klu Klux Klan and bars using masks to disguise your identity when you are injuring victims to deprive them of their civil rights, which is exactly what Antifa is doing.

Ngo posted photos from the emergency room after the attack on Sunday where his face appeared bruised, and he claimed to be suffering from a brain hemorrhage.

In the ER. pic.twitter.com/spe5N4nzVl

— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) June 29, 2019

According to Oregon Live, at least eight people, including three officers, were treated by medics. Three, including Ngo, had to seek medical care at local hospitals. Officers also faced eggs, milkshakes, and “a substance similar to quick-drying cement.”

On Monday afternoon, a statement from the Portland Police Association sharply criticized Wheeler, suggesting that officers were—in fact—being told to stand down in some regard.

“It’s time for our mayor to do two things,” the statement reads in part. “Tell both Antifa and Proud Boys that our city will not accept violence in our city and remove the handcuffs from our officers and let them stop the violence through strong and swift enforcement action. Enough is enough.”

It doesn’t matter if our citizens are democrats or republicans; no one should be attacked in the streets of our city….

Posted by Portland Police Association on Monday, July 1, 2019

The dueling protests died down after police declared a “civil disturbance and unlawful assembly.” Despite the violence faced by Ngo and others, police did not declare Saturday’s clash a riot.

Harmeet K. Dhillion, a California lawyer who with a history of representing figures on the right, has been in contact with Ngo and tweeted:

Goodnight everyone except Antifa criminals who I plan to sue into oblivion and then sow salt into their yoga studios and avocado toast stands until nothing grows there, not even the glimmer of a violent criminal conspiracy aided by the effete impotence of a cowed city government.

— Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban) July 1, 2019

And columnist Michelle Malkin set up a GoFundMe for Ngo, writing (emphasis in original): “I said during my CPAC speech earlier this year that we need to stand with those reporting and fighting on the front lines. Andy is one of the intrepid journalists doing the job no one else will do.” So far, the fund has raised over $150,000. 

Good news! ?@MrAndyNgo? has been cleared to leave the hospital! He’ll have more to say in coming days about what happened to him & others yesterday in Portland. He is very thankful for the overwhelming support from decent people, especially ?@michellemalkin? & donors. pic.twitter.com/gK3ZEHfRyE

— Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban) July 1, 2019

Thankfully, at least a few prominent members of the mainstream media,such as CNN’s Jake Tapper and Brian Selter, condemned the attack. But there’s no doubt if a mainstream media reporter, instead of a journalist on the right, had been attacked like this, there’d be front page coverage everywhere.

The post A Federal Investigation Into Antifa Attack on Journalist Isn’t Just Justified–It’s Needed appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

Addressing National Debt Is Far More Important Than Trade Deficits

Mon, 2019-07-01 17:18

Promoting pro-growth economic policies has been a cornerstone of the Trump administration’s agenda since 2017. With tax reform implemented and deregulation in federal agencies well under way, President Donald Trump has helped our economy make huge strides.

It’s unfortunate, however, that the president is now making it a priority to decrease the trade deficit by reconfiguring trade relationships. This has wrongly taken precedence over the real monetary issue of our time: addressing our ballooning national debt.     

Unlike tax and regulatory reform, low trade deficits are not proven to promote economic growth and prosperity. In fact, the last time America had a significant decrease in its trade deficit was in 2009, during the Great Recession.

That’s because the trade deficit is measured by taking the difference between the value of items we export and those we import. Since Americans buy more from abroad than businesses export, the U.S. runs a trade deficit.

But does lowering the trade deficit help?  

The United States imports more than half of its fruit. Better packaging and shipping technology has contributed, but the big reason for this is the U.S. has limited environments that are suited for growing tropical fruits, especially during the winter, and our South American trading partners can grow higher-quality fruit that costs less and is better overall.  

The opportunity to buy better, cheaper products from abroad saves American families money and keeps importers and distributors in business, even if it happens to add to our trade deficit. It’s a win.

In contrast, government spending harms our long-term prosperity and could get worse if proposals such as Medicare for All and tuition-free higher education take root.

Meanwhile, according to The Heritage Foundation’s Blueprint for Balance, payments on interest on the debt are set to overtake defense spending by 2025. This is bad news for the safety and security of the country, and it places a crushing burden on the next generation. Children born in 2018 inherited nearly $50,000 in national debt, and that figure will grow to $140,000 by the time they reach 30.

The next step in the Trump administration’s pro-growth agenda should be to address spending,  not trade deficits.

Congress should at least stop making it worse. The Blueprint for Balance includes more than 250 recommendations to balance the federal budget by 2029. Perhaps it should pick a few and see what happens.

The post Addressing National Debt Is Far More Important Than Trade Deficits appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

3 Nigerian Women Beg for US to Help Stop Persecution of Christians

Mon, 2019-07-01 17:16

After 110 Nigerian girls were kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists in February 2018, all but one eventually were released. 

But Leah Sharibu, 16, is still held captive by the terrorists because of her refusal to renounce her Christian faith.

The trend of Christian persecution in the African country was discussed at a Heritage Foundation gathering last month, “Insecurity in Nigeria: Eyewitnesses Speak,” featuring three Nigerian women who shared their harrowing stories in hopes of prompting action from the U.S. government. 

Here’s what they had to say. 

 ‘A Prisoner of Conscience’

In Nigeria, Leah Sharibu is celebrated today as a martyr. Songs are composed about her, videos are produced, and books are written. But for Leah’s mother, getting her daughter back matters more than anything else. 

“I stand here for pleading the government of U.S.,” Rebecca Sharibu said in tears and broken English during the Heritage event on Capitol Hill. “Please, help me. Please, help me. I need my daughter back. I need my daughter.”

Gloria Puldu, a friend of the family and a senior lecturer in the political science department at the University of Jos in central Nigeria, spoke on behalf of Rebecca Sharibu. 

Puldu explained why Leah was singled out among the 110 girls.

“The other girls, who are all Muslim girls, are released. … When [Leah] was told to renounce her faith and recite the Kalima-e-Shahadah–“Kalima-e-Shahadah” means the Islamic faith creed–she refused to do that,” Puldu said. “That was the only reason that she was kept back.”

After Leah’s capture, Puldu said, her family and friends did everything they could to get the attention of the federal and local governments in Nigeria, without success. She said that even though many people advocated government action on TV and social media, the Nigerian government has not done anything to free the teen.

“She is a prisoner of conscience,” Puldu said of Leah. “She didn’t do anything, but up till now, we did not get that attention. And that is why we are here. And what [Rebecca Sharibu is] saying is to plead with your government to please pressure our government, because our government seems unable to secure her release.” 

‘If I Keep Quiet, to What Gain?’

Alheri Magaji is the daughter of the current leader of the Adara tribe in northern Nigeria’s Kaduna State. 

The tribe, almost completely Christian, was attacked by Fulani militants from mid-February through April. Nearly 400 people–mostly women, children, and the elderly–were killed.

The Fulani militants, also called “Fulani herdsmen,” are a tribe of Muslims who, since this year’s attacks, have become more deadly to Nigerian Christians than the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram

Magaji, who appeared to be in her late 20s, told the Heritage audience that she was warned not to speak about the persecution her tribe suffered because she might be killed or beaten by Kaduna State police. She said:

But I asked the person that called me, I said, ‘What have I got to lose if I don’t talk?’ My family is killed every day. My dad was locked up for over a hundred days. My tribe is now extinct. So if I keep quiet, to what gain will that be? 

The people who die every day are human beings too. And if I have an opportunity to let the world know what’s happening in my hometown, I will do anything to be able to save–even if it’s one life.

The Nigerian government describes the Fulani’s attacks as merely “retaliatory.” But Magaji said the Adara people never have attacked the Fulani.

She told the story of a mother who was nine months pregnant with her fifth child when the Fulani came to attack the Adara tribe. About 400 Fulani militants with AK-47s came into the community at 6:30 a.m. on a February morning. The Adara, as hunters with no assault weapons, ran for cover and were unable to respond, Magaji said. 

The Fulani told all the Adara children to lie down on the floor, Magaji said, and one of the woman’s sons began to cry when he saw his two siblings’ heads being severed.

“But when they got to the fourth child to slaughter, the Fulani men couldn’t find the child,” she said. “And [the mother] said God was telling her in the midst of that chaos that he’s alive, and he’s there.”

She continued:

They searched everywhere, but they couldn’t find the fourth child. And he was sitting right there, in front of her. And she was trying to reach out and hold her kid, but she couldn’t even. And then when they went out and she ran to her kid, to hug him, they came back inside and then they cut off her left hand, and tried to sever her head, and then kicked her tummy. She started bleeding and passed out. It was the reverend father that came and rescued her. 

By the time she woke up, her 9-month-old baby had died; they had operated on her and removed the child. Her only surviving child was the child that God protected from the Fulani herdsmen.

So I want to tell you that we believe in God. We know that God is the reason why we are even here to tell our story. What we’ve been through–it’s impossible to even stand and talk, because it’s so real when you’re living in situations like that.

Magaji said that although her people are “sleeping under the skies,” they are not asking for relief supplies.  

We are here to beg people, beg you, beg the U.S. government, to please wade into the armada. We want justice for our land. We need our land back. We are 95% Christian, Adara. Adara is the largest Christian community in Kaduna State. 

So we know it won’t end at Adara alone. There seems to be a systematic plan to take over Kaduna State and Nigeria as a whole. It is purely religious. Purely. I’m living this. It’s not something I read in the newspaper. It’s what we’re living.

‘Where Is Your Jesus?’

Mercy Maisamari, a member of the Adara tribe who was kidnapped by the Fulani militants, described how they  came to her parents’ home asking after her father for unknown reasons. 

The Fulani kidnapped Maisamari along with her siblings and her mother, walking them for 12 hours to the Fulani camp. They remained captive for 11 days.

Even after her father paid the ransom the terrorists demanded, the Fulani took him into the camp and beat him before releasing the family together the next day. 

Maisamari explained: 

After the whole kidnapping thing, the government arrested my dad twice, on different occasions. He was taken with some of the nine [Adara] elders away, locked up for 105 days, over what we know nothing about. They said 66 Fulani were killed. 

Our people were killed, but nobody said anything about it, not even the media. But they arrested our elders, and locked them up for 105 days, without any proof that they did this thing.

Maisamari also shared how the Kaduna State governor paid the militants to stop the kidnappings.

“I just wonder how [the Nigerian government says] they can’t get these people to arrest them,” she said. “You find out that the government are trying to negotiate with the kidnappers, to pay them to stop kidnapping people. How? How do they agree to negotiate when they can always arrest these people?”

Maisamari also pleaded for the U.S. to help Christians in Nigeria:

We are here to beg the U.S. government to please come to our aid. Girls, your girls, like Leah Sharibu and others, are kidnapped almost on a daily basis. They kidnap you, they do whatever, they beat you up, they abuse you. 

They ask you–some of them would ask us, ‘Where is your Jesus? Call your Jesus to come and save you!’ So we are here to beg the U.S. government to please come to our aid.

The post 3 Nigerian Women Beg for US to Help Stop Persecution of Christians appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

In 2 Months, Texas Law Will Protect Survivors of Abortion

Mon, 2019-07-01 16:56

Texas law soon will protect the rights of newborns who survive abortion attempts and will impose a fine of at least $100,000 on health care providers who don’t give proper care to abortion survivors.

“I was proud to sign HB 16 into law, and I am grateful for Representative Leach’s leadership to help protect the most vulnerable in our society,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement provided to The Daily Signal, referring to state Rep. Jeff Leach, R-Collin County, author of the measure.

“In the face of growing disregard for basic human dignity, the state of Texas is taking a strong stand for life on behalf of unborn children and abortion survivors,” Abbott, also a Republican, said. “I remain committed to fostering a culture of life in Texas and building upon our proud record of defending innocent life.”

Under House Bill 16, called the Texas Born-Alive Infant Protection Act, a physician or other health care provider may be held liable for providing adequate care to an infant who survives an attempted abortion, a third-degree felony with a criminal penalty: a minimum fine of $100,000.

Professional care, as defined by the new law, requires the physician responsible for the operation to “immediately transfer” the newborn to a hospital.

Abbott signed the bill June 17. The measure, which takes effect Sept. 1, reads: 

The physician must exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious physician would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational stage.

In this subsection, “professional skill, care, and diligence” includes a requirement that the physician who performed or attempted the abortion ensure that the child born alive be immediately transferred to a hospital.

“Where other states are passing legislation protecting abortionists … and where Washington, D.C., can’t even bring the bill up for a vote, Texas will act,” Leach, author of the bill and chairman of the House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee, said in an April 16 news conference as the bill advanced.

But pro-choice state lawmakers such as Reps. Julie Johnson of Carrollton, Yvonne Davis of Dallas, Victoria Neave of Dallas, and Jessica Farrar of Houston, all Democrats, said the bill was “unnecessary.”

“We refuse to offend our fellow Texas women, their families, and licensed physicians by wasting time on unnecessary legislation designed to intimidate and restrict women’s access to health care,” the four lawmakers said in a joint statement

The Dallas Morning News reported March 26 that the four House Democrats “boycotted the committee hearing, temporarily blocking debate” and refused to hear from pro-life activists and “abortion survivors.”

At the time, Leach shared his dismay with their reaction. 

“I’m extremely disappointed and disheartened in the decision by my friends and fellow committee members to skip this morning’s hearing simply because they don’t agree on the issue at hand,” Leach said March 26.   

The Texas House passed the bill May 23 by a vote of 84-57, after the Senate passed it May 16 by a vote of 21-10.

In the U.S. Senate earlier this year, Republicans attempted to pass federal legislation to ensure abortion survivors receive life-saving care, but Democrats blocked them. 

The Senate’s inability to pass such legislation led some states to act on their own versions.

Alabama’s governor, for example, signed into law a bill similar to the Texas measure. It includes harsher consequences such as possible prison time for involved doctors who fail to provide care to infants born alive after an abortion attempt.

The post In 2 Months, Texas Law Will Protect Survivors of Abortion appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

Senate Democrats Show What Real Confirmation Obstruction Looks Like

Mon, 2019-07-01 15:09

On March 13, 2012, then-Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. spoke on the Senate floor about the judicial confirmation process. He accused Republicans of applying “a different and unfair standard to President Obama’s judicial nominees.” Today, Leahy and his fellow Democrats are demonstrating just what real obstruction looks like.

Specifically, Leahy said that nominees to the U.S. District Court, by either Republican or Democratic presidents, had been “confirmed quickly” and “with deference to the home state Senators who know the nominees and their states best.” Obama’s district court nominees, however, “have been forced to wait more than four times as long to be confirmed by the Senate as President Bush’s district court nominees at this point in his first term, taking an average of 93 days after being voted on by the Senate Judiciary Committee.” This delay, he said, “is unprecedented and it hurts our system of justice in this country.”

So that’s the Leahy standard for the Senate handling nominees to the U.S. District Court. Deference to home state senators and quick confirmation; it should take far less than 93 days between Judiciary Committee approval and Senate confirmation.

Applying the Leahy standard to the confirmation process today is especially relevant because, as in 2012, the president’s party controls the Senate. It’s fair to say that failure to meet the Leahy standard can be attributed to the minority, in this case, to Democrats.

Let’s accept Leahy’s claim that 93 days between Judiciary Committee approval and final confirmation was “unprecedented.” Since Trump took office, his district court nominees have waited an average of 178 days between committee and full Senate approval. If the delay in 2012 was hurting our system of justice, what describes a delay that’s 91 percent longer?

Leahy might have added a few more elements to his standard. First, by the time he spoke in March 2012, the Senate had confirmed 103 of Obama’s nominees to the U.S. District Court, or 2.64 per month. Today, the Senate has confirmed 80 of Trump’s district court nominees, or 2.67 per month. If that was too slow in 2012, it’s too slow today.

Second, by March 2012, the Senate had taken a separate vote to end debate on just one of Obama’s district court nominee, or less than one percent. Ending debate and scheduling a final confirmation vote for the rest was done the easy way, by cooperation between the majority and minority leaders. Today, the Senate has been forced to take a cloture vote on 48 of Trump’s district court nominees, or 60 percent.

Third, only 19 percent of Obama’s district court nominees confirmed by March 2012 had any opposition at all, and received an average of fewer than four votes against confirmation. Today, 55 percent of Trump’s district court nominees have been opposed and have received an average of more than 15 votes against confirmation.

If Republicans were applying an “unfair” standard to Obama district court nominees, they were amateurs. For all the indignation in 2012 about politicizing the confirmation process and hurting the judicial system, Democrats have been showing Republicans just what serious confirmation obstruction looks like.

Originally published by National Review.

The post Senate Democrats Show What Real Confirmation Obstruction Looks Like appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

Holocaust Survivor Accuses Ocasio-Cortez of Spreading ‘Anti-Semitism, Hatred, and Stupidity’

Mon, 2019-07-01 13:58

Holocaust survivor Ed Mosberg accused Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of “spreading anti-Semitism, hatred, and stupidity” Saturday.

Mosberg, 93, was responding to Ocasio-Cortez’s insistence on calling detention facilities housing illegal immigrants “concentration camps” in his interview with the New York Post.

“She should be removed from Congress. She’s spreading anti-Semitism, hatred, and stupidity,” Mosberg said. “The people on the border aren’t forced to be there—they go there on their own will. If someone doesn’t know the difference, either they’re playing stupid or they just don’t care.”

The freshman congresswoman said the Trump administration is running “concentration camps” on the U.S.-Mexico border for immigrants June 18.

This administration has established concentration camps on the southern border of the United States for immigrants, where they are being brutalized with dehumanizing conditions and dying.

This is not hyperbole. It is the conclusion of expert analysis ??https://t.co/2dWHxb7UuL

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 18, 2019

Ocasio-Cortez falsely claims Trump is operating concentration camps, compares the situation to the Holocaust: “The U.S. is running concentration camps on our southern border and that is exactly what they are. … ‘Never Again’ means something … we need to do something about it” pic.twitter.com/F2MmZ8y2dT

— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) June 18, 2019

Mosberg survived through the Holocaust at the Plaszów concentration camp in Poland and Mauthausen concentration camp in northern Austria, losing his entire family along the way.

“Her statement is evil,” he said. “It hurts a lot of people. At the concentration camp, we were not free. We were forced there by the Germans who executed and murdered people—there’s no way you can compare.”

After hearing of the congresswoman’s comments, Mosberg, who lives in New Jersey, said he sent her an invitation to visit Auschwitz and tour “German Nazi concentration camps” through the Holocaust education group of which he is president called From the Depths. Mosberg’s mother, grandparents, and cousin died at Auschwitz.

“They give my wife’s mother [benzine] injections to the heart and put her on the fire,” he continued.

When Iowa Rep. Steve King encouraged her on Twitter to accept Mosberg’s invitation, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted in response to King:

The last time you went on this trip it was reported that you also met [with] fringe Austrian neo-Nazi groups to talk shop. So I’m going to have to decline your invite. But thank you for revealing to all how transparently the far-right manipulates these moments for political gain.

The last time you went on this trip it was reported that you also met w/ fringe Austrian neo-Nazi groups to talk shop.

So I’m going to have to decline your invite. But thank you for revealing to all how transparently the far-right manipulates these moments for political gain. https://t.co/TQkaPEESoD

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 23, 2019

Mosberg said he was disappointed by the rejection, adding that Ocasio-Cortez could have learned from the experience.

“If you’re not there, you will never know what happened,” he said. “She doesn’t want to learn—she’s looking for excuses. I would like to nominate her for the Nobel Prize in stupidity.”

Mosberg said he saw people being hanged, attacked by dogs, and fatally beaten at the concentration camps he was forced to live in during World War II. Guards tried to kill him. He eventually immigrated to the United States with his wife and settled in Harlem.

A representative for Ocasio-Cortez told the Post the congresswoman has “made a distinction between a death camp and concentration camp. She’s been pretty outspoken about the issue.”

Ocasio-Cortez told CNN host Jake Tapper on Thursday that the Jewish community in her district has “rallied around this issue” of living conditions at the centers.

CNN’s Jake Tapper asks Ocasio-Cortez about her false claim that the Trump administration is using “concentration camps” on the southern border

Ocasio-Cortez claims her Jewish community has rallied by her false claim that Trump is using “concentration camps” pic.twitter.com/NEy53TNsQX

— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) June 27, 2019

Ocasio-Cortez’s office did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment in time for publication.

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 Holocaust Survivor Accuses Ocasio-Cortez of Spreading ‘Anti-Semitism, Hatred, and Stupidity’ appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

Federal Judge Blocks Billions of Dollars for Border Wall Funding

Mon, 2019-07-01 13:57

A federal judge in California barred the Trump administration Friday night from reallocating $2.5 billion to construct border barriers.

U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam, an Obama appointee, expanded an earlier order and forbade the government from moving forward with specific border wall projects in Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas. He also turned the previous order into a permanent injunction.

“Congress considered all of defendants’ proffered needs for border barrier construction, weighed the public interest in such construction against defendants’ request for taxpayer money, and struck what it considered to be the proper balance—in the public’s interest—by making available only $1.375 billion in funding, which was for certain border barrier construction not at issue here,” Gilliam’s order reads.

Elsewhere in his decision, Gilliam said government lawyers were advancing “an argument that the court should not enjoin conduct found to be unlawful because the ends justify the means. No case supports this principle.”

After declaring a national emergency at the southern border, the administration announced it would reprogram $600 million from the Treasury Department’s forfeiture fund, $2.5 billion from Defense Department counter-narcotics activities, and $3.6 billion from military construction projects to finance construction of the wall. The $2.5 billion for counter-drug efforts were at issue in Friday’s case.

The plaintiff in Friday’s case is the Sierra Club, an environmentalist group that claims “recreational and aesthetic interests” in habitats near the border, like “hiking, birdwatching, photography and other professional, scientific, recreational, and aesthetic uses.”

A border wall will inevitably restrict their access to those habitats, the plaintiffs say, thereby diminishing their quality of life. They also fear heightened racial tensions and environmental damage.

“Congress was clear in denying funds for Trump’s xenophobic obsession with a wasteful, harmful wall,” ACLU staff attorney Dror Ladin, who argued the case, said after the ruling. “This decision upholds the basic principle that the president has no power to spend taxpayer money without Congress’ approval. We will continue to defend this core principle of our democracy, which the courts have recognized for centuries.”

The judge said he would not stay his ruling pending appeal, as the Trump administration had requested. Gilliam’s order can be appealed to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Other legal bids to stop reallocation of federal funds for the border have proven unsuccessful. A federal judge in Washington, D.C., ruled against House Democrats in a similar lawsuit on June 3.

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

BBC Report Shows Disturbing Nature of China’s ‘Thought Transformation’ Camps

Mon, 2019-07-01 09:35

Adorned with bright smiles and clothed in colorful garb, Uighur Muslims held in political reeducation camps flash across the screen as they sing and dance triumphantly to the words that President Xi Jinping wrote just for them.

These sights, captured by the BBC, are what the Chinese government wants journalists and the outside world to see.

No amount of colorful displays of political allegiance, however, can hide the reality: Not one of these people is in a political reeducation facility of their own accord.

One interchange in the video is especially telling. The BBC reporter asks one of the men whether it was his choice to be in a political reeducation facility. “Yes,” he replies. “A policeman at my village told me to get enrolled in the school and transform my thoughts.”

The reporter also speaks to Chinese officials. Nearly every one alludes to the notion that the roughly 800,000 to 1 million people interned in Xinjiang are affected by religious extremism and in need of reeducation so that their thinking aligns with the Chinese Communist Party.  

The conflation of religion with extremism took shape in new regulations instituted in February of last year. These regulations continue the government’s practice of “Sinicizing”—or secularizing—religion, so that it conforms to the core tenets of the Communist Party.

In addition to “thought transformation,” people in these facilities must undergo Mandarin lessons, self-criticism sessions, forced labor, and even torture. Occasionally, there are deaths.

So-called “vocational training” is a core component of most inmates’ curriculum. One Chinese official in the report explained that inmates spend between two to four months learning how to do simple tasks like making a bed.

The reality—which was not shown in the report—is that these people are subject to forced labor, producing goods that likely make their way into U.S. supply chains.

One case reported by the Associated Press suggests that Badger Sportwear, a North Carolina-based company, had its supply chain tainted with goods produced by a Chinese business, Hetian Taida Apparel, which shares warehouses with a political reeducation facility in Xinjiang. If the allegations are true, Badger Sportwear may face repercussions for importing goods produced with forced labor into the U.S.

The BBC reporter notes up front that the facilities they were permitted to visit were cleaned up for journalists’ prying eyes. Satellite images showed that prior to the BBC’s visit, watchtowers and barbed wire were removed from the premises and barren outdoor spaces were transformed into sports facilities.

Documentaries like this one are incredibly important to building a human rights case against the Chinese government. They provide additional evidence, especially of what the Chinese government wants the outside world to see. Such evidence augments the troves of satellite imagery collected over the last several years and eye-witness testimony of former prisoners, who can testify that these facilities are far from benign.

The existence of these facilities and the hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people arbitrarily detained within their walls, is now irrefutable. Which raises the question: How will the world respond?

Earlier this year, The Heritage Foundation, released a cutting-edge report on the crisis in Xinjiang. The report called on the U.S. government and the international community to move beyond mere condemnation to craft a swift response to the atrocities transpiring in western China.

The report notes that this is not merely an isolated human rights crisis, but a crisis with national security implications. China’s rapid internment of potentially millions of Uighur Muslims is made possible by a draconian use of surveillance technology—the kind that China is already exporting across the globe to countries in Africa, Latin America, and Europe.

The U.S. and the international community should unite around several key solutions, including levying sanctions against those responsible for China’s police state in Xinjiang and Tibet, and preventing the export of Chinese surveillance technology to our countries.

The time to act was yesterday, but in lieu of inaction, the U.S. should seek to build a coalition of the willing to address these blatant human rights abuses perpetrated by the Chinese government.

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Categories: Public Policy

Big Media Is Plotting to Take Down Trump. What Can You Do?

Mon, 2019-07-01 03:01

On today’s episode of The Daily Signal Podcast, Brent Bozell and Tim Graham of the Media Research Center discuss their new book, “Unmasked: Big Media’s War Against Trump.” It is no secret that some of America’s most notable media personalities dislike President Donald Trump. Bozell and Graham have the research to prove it and break down why it’s so bad. They also reveal who tops the list and how the American people can find other sources of trustworthy news. The full audio is below, along with a lightly edited transcript.

Rob Bluey: Brent Bozell and Tim Graham are the authors of the new book “Unmasked: Big Media’s War Against Trump.” You can find an excerpt from “Unmasked” on The Daily Signal. Brent and Tim, why don’t we begin by telling our listeners why you decided to write this book?

Brent Bozell: Well, because the publishers paid us some money. … No, I’ll take it first, let Tim comment on it. Our first reaction was—I think it’s fair to say, Tim—that we weren’t that enthusiastic, because we said, “Everybody knows what’s in there.”

But we decided to take a look at it, and Tim went off to study the research that had been compiled. He came back and we discussed it, and there was a there, there.

You think you know everything, but you put it all together, and the narrative becomes very different.

Tim Graham: It’s just the whole idea that everyone knows it’s negative. They don’t know just how tremendously negative it is.

I think for us, it was the whole notion of the media always tells us that Trump is eroding all of our political norms. They have thrown every media norm out the window for this president.

Bluey: I have some personal experience having worked at the Media Research Center at CNSNews.com—I’ll get to that in a little bit—but one of the things that we appreciate is the fact that you back up the work with research, as you referenced, Brent. Since you founded the Media Research Center, and Tim, in your time there, you go through in detail what exactly people are saying. You’re quoting them directly, and that’s one of the advantages that you bring to the table in this kind of critique of the media.

Bozell: There are two kinds of analyses on Trump. There’s the quantitative and the qualitative.

The quantitative is what you see every month in the studies that Rich Noyes comes out with. That’s a function of exhaustive research into every single network news story to determine the numbers where you see the 89%, the 92%, the 91%.

These numbers are astronomic and astonishing because they don’t end. No matter what success this president registers, it’s just going to be that kind of negative.

That’s the quantitative. The qualitative is in the analysis of just how negative it is. This was Tim’s point.

When you look at the examples of that hostility, it’s unlike anything any president has undergone before. It astonishes even us to see the level of betrayal and the personal animus directed not just at him, but at anyone around him who dares do things like be related to them.

Graham: The degree of negativity where they use phrases like, “Trump’s rallies are swallowed by fear, anger, and misinformation.” “Donald Trump spoke off the cuff and took his campaign off the rail.” It is just intense. It really sounds like a horror movie commercial.

Virginia Allen: Brent, you opened the book with a great story about meeting then-Mr. Trump at his New York City office in Trump Tower in early 2015, before he’d even announced his campaign. You discussed how surprised you were by the man that you met. Can you talk a little bit about that for a moment and about how that meeting really influenced your view of Trump?

Bozell: Sure. I think my perception was similar to most people’s perception of him.

I went to have lunch with him at his invitation to discuss the race. He knew I had endorsed [Sen. Ted] Cruz, but he wanted to know what my views were on the idea of him running.

Unlike everyone else who says, “I knew he was going to win. I knew he was going to win,” I told him he couldn’t win. So I’m being very honest there.

But here’s what I found. I was prepared, as I write in the book, I was prepared not to like the man. I had the perception of him as loud, gregarious, bombastic, self-centered, arrogant, aloof. All those things put together, to me, spelled J-E-R-K. But then you visit with the fella and I was just stunned.

It was the exact opposite. He was soft-spoken. He was courteous. He was genuinely inquisitive. He was laser-focused in his questions, listening to his guests intently, pushing back where he felt necessary, taking in what he needed to take in. A true gentleman.

I tell you something else that I noticed that, to me, was very telling. We went down that escalator, you know that famous Trump Tower escalator from whence he declared his candidacy?

You would expect that the vicissitudes of celebrity would be such that we would be dining in his private dining room or some fancy restaurant.

Instead, he went right to Trump diner, whatever that restaurant is at the bottom, and along the way stopped to to meet with staff, the people at the kiosk, the security guards, and whatnot.

He wanted to talk to them. I made note of that. So the man that I spent an hour with was completely different from the man you see in public, and I was really taken by it.

Bluey: Brent, it’s interesting that you share that story. Virginia and I have interviewed other journalists and they describe Trump in the same way. Yet, the coverage reflects something entirely different. It makes you wonder why. He’s somebody who’s had a compelling life story. He grew up in Queens. He became an entrepreneur, then a Hollywood star, ultimately president of the United States. He wasn’t always despised by the media. Then something changed.

Why do you believe the media turned on him the way that they did?

Bozell: I’ll take one crack and then let Tim give his thoughts on it. I see it as a confluence of three different things.

One was that he declared war on the Obama legacy. He ran directly with the proposition that, “If elected, I’m going to dismantle what this guy did.”

The media saw that as a threat to all they believed in, and they felt that Hillary [Clinton], with all of her awards, was going to solidify that fundamental transformation that Obama had promised, especially if she got eight years.

That was one. No. 2, the fact that they … created this monster. He was a celebrity from “The Apprentice.” They gave him unlimited coverage during the campaign, but it was ridiculing him and it was dismissing him.

I think they thought they could hang him around the neck of the Republican Party. Then it wasn’t working and it was having the exact opposite effect.

The third one, and perhaps most important one, he declared war on them. No one’s ever declared war on the media before.

You’ve had the hostility, Nixon vs. Media, Reagan vs. Media, to another degree the Bushes vs. Media. But it’s never been a situation where the Republican declared war on the media. He did.

These people are just so arrogant, they’re such elitists, they couldn’t stand it.

So you put those three things together and you’ve got the perfect storm, I think, or the greatest animus toward any political candidate, then president in the history of the Republicans.

Graham: I would just add that it’s so funny when we look at this, and we think George W. Bush, what did he do to wage war on the media?

He was photographed holding a copy of Bernie Goldberg’s book “Bias” on the lawn. That was shocking in his anti-media turn.

Republican consultants have told people for years, “Don’t pick a fight with the media.”

I think not only Trump, but other people started picking this up like in the 2012 primary. It’s like, “No, actually taking on the media is what the base likes because the media are so dramatically unfair.”

I think if Trump had been more like a Michael Bloomberg, like this moderate-to-liberal businessman, which he was, they would have been much less hostile to him.

They probably would have enjoyed the idea of him trolling all the conservatives in the race if he’d run that way. Instead, he ran an anti-immigration populist, which they could not stand.

Bozell: Trump is a master marketer and he knows that he may be unpopular, but he is the Dalai Lama compared to the news media.

They are despised by the public. So he knew he could win that fight. He also knew that the enemy of my enemies is my friend. He knew the more he attacked them, the stronger he got with his base.

It’s akin to Ronald Reagan. Same thing. With Reagan, it was he was the Teflon president. He did it in a very optimistic, positive way. You might say just the opposite way, but it was the same thing.

He also knew that in a war with the press, they declared war on him, but that was fine. He knew he was going to win.

Allen: You all have a list in the book titled “The Top 10: Who Hates Trump the Most.” Can you tell us a little bit about some of the journalists who made that list and why?

Graham: This was probably the toughest thing we had to do was, “Give us the top 10 anti-Trump journalists.” It’s like, how do you do that? That’s like opening a fire hydrant.

But yeah, obviously, we looked at each other and said, “Jim Acosta,” because he really represents to many people that whole mentality of, “I’m not here to report the news. I’m here to scream at Trump. I’m here to be a protester.” That’s really kind of the way that CNN has been.

So we kind of focused in on the cable news people, the first. Joe and Mika, Chris Cuomo, Chris Matthews, these are all people who … they’re really not in any way giving you the news of the day.

They’re coming on saying, “Donald Trump is Hitler. Donald Trump is mentally unstable. Donald Trump is going to kill us all.” That kind of tone, this is where people say, “Ultimately, it’s fake news.”

Bluey: I want to ask you gentlemen about a situation that we’ve seen develop on the U.S.-Mexico border. The crisis we find ourselves in.

For the past few months, we’ve heard from people like Jim Acosta say, “There is no sign of the national emergency that the president’s been talking about.” He says it’s “pretty tranquil down there.”

Chris Cuomo says, “Here’s a matter of fact, there is no invasion crisis at the border.” MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough said it was an “imaginary border crisis.” I could go on and on.

Do you think that things have become so bad with their treatment of Trump that they are just willing to ignore reality?

Bozell: I think they’re so blinded by hatred of this man and everything he stands for and everything he’s doing that everything he says, it becomes opposite time.

So that he said there was a crisis, and they said there was no crisis. Then you see the crisis, and they say there’s a crisis while he’s trying to calm people down.

They’ve done this on everything. No matter what he attempts to do, they fight it.

He’s been trying to do something about this crisis since he was a candidate and they’ve been dismissing it. Well, now there’s the crisis and they’re saying there’s a crisis and it’s his fault.

We just have this bizarre thing now where they’re saying, “We have a crisis that we have massive illegal immigration,” and the news media’s response is to hold debates and ask all the Democrats if they’re going to insist on open borders and making sure every illegal immigrant gets government health care.

You don’t know the story that’s missing here. Whatever happened to those caravans? Remember all the coverage about those thousands of people that were coming? It was all done in a very positive light by the media.

“This is kind of transformative! How exciting! Here they come! This is going to be wonderful!” Well, guess what? Those are the caravans.

Those are the people now who are coming into this country, who are wreaking havoc on the border, who are getting sick, who are dying, who are committing crimes. It’s mayhem down there.

The border authorities are pleading for assistance on them. The National Guard is having to be sent down. It’s an absolute calamity. This is what they said was such a wonderful thing that was going to happen. They never connected the dots.

Allen: So what is your advice to Americans who are looking for news that is credible?

Bozell: They need to listen to podcasts from The Daily Signal.

Allen: Thank you.

Bozell: I do believe that the news media’s credibility—and we write about this in the book—they set out to destroy a president and destroyed themselves instead.

Look at CNN. You will never see that as a credible network ever again. I think it has committed suicide.

Its ratings, 729,000, as we’ve written about this, you know that there are more people with pet chickens in America than view CNN? It now reaches two-tenths of 1% of the American people. It’s collapsed.

You’ll never watch MSNBC again. Look at the debate the other night and last night. Did anyone believe that NBC or MSNBC was an impartial observer? Everyone saw them for what they are. They’ve done it to themselves.

Graham: Yeah, Rich Noyes has this morning wrote up and he said, “These debates looked like … the moderators were Nancy Pelosi and Charles Schumer.” That was the sort of the tilt of the questioning.

It’s very in-house, DNC, “What do we all think?” type of debate. So I always tell people, “Get the raw data, get the C-SPAN.”

You know the problem we have, one of the things we write about in the book, is they won’t even do stats. We have unemployment now at 3.6%. It’s the lowest in 50 years. We can’t get these networks to give that 15 seconds.

In April, 3.2% growth in the first quarter. A surprise, a shock. Ten seconds on NBC [and] ABC and CBS zero. They’re not doing news now. That’s the problem, you have to hunt down the facts from people other than the so-called news networks.

Bluey: Tim, I appreciate you citing those statistics.

We love when the Media Research Center comes out with that analysis because you are actually taking the time to watch those programs and report back to your supporters and people all across the world what these news networks are actually doing.

Within the last 10 years, we have seen so many new conservative media outlets emerge, including The Daily Signal, which celebrates its fifth anniversary this year.

I had the opportunity to work for one of the first, which you, Brent, founded back in 1998. CNSNews.com is where I got my start in 2002.

It was a a great experience, put me in the center of the action on the U.S. Capitol or the Supreme Court.

I got to see firsthand what it was like to rub shoulders with some of these journalists that we’re talking about today, and just how they do go about approaching their job.

I want to ask you how conservative media have helped to change the landscape, and what role that you see them playing in the future to give Americans an alternative source of news?

Bozell: I think it’s been dramatic, and I think this is something that the media see as a direct threat to them, which is why they are so loath to give credibility to so many conservative outlets.

But a news outlet like CNS News has a simple proposition, which is that you don’t have a story unless you have two sources. That’s just Journalism 101.

Now, if you look at what is reported today by the news media, and you follow that rule, you would have a dead signal on television half the evenings because you’d have to cancel half the stories, beginning with the entire collusion narrative.

You never had two sources with evidence of collusion. You never did. Why? Because there was no collusion.

We now know there was no collusion, and yet thousands of stories were coming up about this collusion. It continues. Thousands of stories continue about collusion, even though the Mueller report has come out.

So you need other voices.

I think that the conservative news media today is akin to conservative talk radio in 1990.

When Rush [Limbaugh] burst into the scene, he filled this great void. The reason that he took off so much, besides being as eloquent as he is, is because he started telling a story where … the public said to themselves, “This is something I believe was true,” and nobody was saying it.

Now with the conservative news, what’s happening is when people read The Daily Signal, they’re saying, “This makes sense. This is something I’m not getting from CBS.” The same thing happens with a whole litany of conservative news outlets.

So to [answer] your earlier question, I would say that you have to look at other sources of information, just acknowledge what you’re getting from CBS News is not trustworthy, from The Washington Post is not trustworthy.

A lot of it will be very good. Hard, breaking news will be very good. But ultimately, you can’t trust those sources.

Graham: I would go, Rob, to one way that Rob Bluey at CNS News changed the landscape, and that is exposing the fakery of Dan Rather.

I hope you tell your young people over there the stories about how you helped take down Dan Rather for faking everything. That, I think, is one of the most important things conservative media does.

They’ve questioned the liberal media, and it can suggest to people that some of the news you’re getting is not authentic. When we can force them to actually have to retract stories and apologize for stories, that’s a big thing.

Bozell: Let’s look at you Rob, and what you did with the Dan Rather story, because it’s just Journalism 101.

Somebody had, in the middle of the night, blogged, probably in his underwear, that when the Dan Rather story about the National Guard came out, that the piece of evidence that was being shown looked like it was a computerized piece of paper, not something that was typewritten in 1971.

You saw it, and first thing in the morning, you went to, I believe it was, the top three typography experts. You asked them, and they all said on the record, “This doesn’t look real.”

You did a story, and it took off like wildfire. It became that piece which was then reported by everyone, and which made the media suddenly have to head for the hills because they knew they been had, and it cost Dan Rather his job.

This was CBS’ attempt at an October surprise, to sandbag a president and you exposed them. You weren’t on a jihad, you weren’t advancing an opinion, you didn’t have an agenda. You were simply a reporter, and that’s what reporters are supposed to do.

Bluey: Thank you for sharing that story. It was certainly a tremendous experience to work for CNSNews.com during that period of time.

You’re absolutely right. I think it’s just those basic fundamentals of reporting that reporters should get back to doing. If they did, we wouldn’t necessarily find ourselves in the situation that we do today.

So, thank you for the opportunity to relive that exciting time in my life and certainly yours. It was a great team that we had at CNSNews.com. I commend the work that you continue to do today. We certainly need more voices out there.

I absolutely concur with your conclusion and solution for what an American should do. Look at multiple outlets when you’re consuming news. That is critical, I think, to having an understanding of what’s happening in the world.

Graham: Right.

Allen: Brent and Tim, how can our listeners follow your work?

Graham: We’re at NewsBusters.org, which is our news analysis blog that’s constantly updating. We’ve talked about CNSNews.com. We have videos going up all the time at MRCTV.org. Did I leave anything out?

Bozell: Yes, there’s our book “Unmasked,” and I’ll tell you what’s important about this book.

Normally, when Tim and I do these books, these are retrospectives looking at a campaign just concluded. But this one is forward-thinking because it’s a preface for what is about to happen between now and next November, where this is going to be—and you’re already seeing it—a nonstop jihad.

They tried to prevent [Trump] from being elected. They tried to have him removed. They know they can’t remove him now, but what they can do is inflict as much a damage on him to maybe cost those two or three points that could cost him the election.

On the other hand, this campaign against him ultimately could backfire because I think that there are enough people. … You’re looking at the bleeding audiences from MSNBC and CNN.

I wonder if there aren’t that 2% to 3% of people who are moving in the opposite direction because of the media. That could [be] his margin of victory.

So ironically, either way you look at it, I think the news media will decide the election next year.

Bluey: Thank you, gentlemen. It was great to have you join us.

Bozell: Thank you so much.

The post Big Media Is Plotting to Take Down Trump. What Can You Do? appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

These 8 Graphics Explain How Bad the Illegal Immigration Crisis Really Is

Sun, 2019-06-30 18:31

For months, Democrats denied the illegal immigration crisis at the southern border, with Sen. Chuck Schumer, flanked by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, going so far as to accuse President Donald Trump of working to “manufacture a crisis, stoke fear and divert attention from the turmoil in his administration.”

The president, on the other hand, has made the situation on the southern border a top priority, in January declaring it both a “humanitarian and security crisis,” and stressing it ever since.

So how bad is it? The Daily Signal rounded up some of the most striking statistics to explain the current crisis.

Graphic: Kelsey Lucas for The Daily Signal Graphic: Kelsey Lucas for The Daily Signal Graphic: Kelsey Lucas for The Daily Signal Graphic: Kelsey Lucas for The Daily Signal Graphic: Kelsey Lucas for The Daily Signal Graphic: Kelsey Lucas for The Daily Signal Graphic: Kelsey Lucas for The Daily Signal Graphic: Kelsey Lucas for The Daily Signal

The post These 8 Graphics Explain How Bad the Illegal Immigration Crisis Really Is appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

The Injustice of Canceling Student Debt

Sun, 2019-06-30 18:27

This week, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claimed that it was “literally easier” for her to win the congressional election than pay off her student loan debt—which says something unfortunate about both the cost of college and the electorate’s choices.

Ocasio-Cortez was commenting on Sen. Bernie Sanders’ new plan to eliminate $1.6 trillion in student debt and transform higher education into a “free” and “fundamental right.”

“This proposal will make it possible for every person in America to get a college education no matter what their financial situation,” Sanders explained.

This might surprise some people, but every person in America can already get a college education, no matter his financial situation. Most poor Americans, in fact, can attend college for a relatively reasonable price tag.

Sanders’ socialization of the university system would be far more helpful for high-earning individuals.

One Georgetown University study, for example, finds that a bachelor’s degree is worth $2.8 million on average over a lifetime, which tells us that college is often a pretty good investment.

Then again, around two-thirds of people in the American workforce have no college degree. Some Americans have no interest in higher education. Many don’t need university degrees for the vocations they pursue.

They can, I suppose, go to college and earn a useless degree in journalism or comparative literature for kicks. Or, maybe, they could enter the workforce and start subsidizing people like Heather Gautney.

“I am $180k in debt. I have a PHD and am a tenured professor—my students are in the same boat, sinking in debt,” Gautney, a senior policy adviser for Sanders, tweeted. “I pay $1100/month in student loan debt, half of my rent. We MUST #CancelStudentDebt.”

This tweet, more than perhaps any political argument made about “free” college, encapsulates the fundamental injustice of student loan cancellation. Because above all else, Sanders’ plan rewards people who overpaid for degrees or made bad fiscal choices.

Why should those who’ve worked to pay off their loans—and perhaps even their children’s loans—subsidize Gautney’s doctorate in sociology?

Why should Americans who skipped college and went straight to work to start businesses and families help pay the $2,200 rent of tenured professors who live in expensive areas like New York (where Gautney teaches)?

Why should conscientious kids who weighed the economic trade-offs of the situation, and went to reasonably priced colleges, or community colleges, bankroll the careers of socialists who do not?

If Ocasio-Cortez feels underpaid at $170,000—approximately $110,000 above the average American’s salary—she is free to go out into the meritocratic world and find a vocation where her talents will be more fairly remunerated.

Sanders’ plan will ostensibly be made “free” by taxing all trades, and putting fees on bonds and derivatives from the universally reviled institution of Wall Street.

For one thing, the cost of all of this will be passed through to investors and businesses, not CEOs, who, I assure you, will continue to send their kids to the very best schools.

Of course, the idea that Sanders (or Elizabeth Warren) is accurately calculating the price of a government entitlement is, to be charitable, highly unlikely. History tells us the cost is sure to skyrocket.

The Government Accountability Office reported that loan-forgiveness programs will already cost taxpayers $108 billion over the next 10 years. And Sanders has already underestimated his “Medicare for All” idea by tens of trillions of dollars. There’s nothing more expensive than “free.”

None of this is even accounting for the moral hazard caused by “free college”—or “free” anything, for that matter.

We’ve seen some of this in play since the Obama administration took over responsibility for college loans.

Progressives want to create a system without risk, where students aren’t responsible for their debt and schools aren’t responsible for their costs.

Once colleges know that prospective students can get any loan for any major they desire, incurring no risk whatsoever, what motivation do these institutions have to offer degrees of value?

And, in the end, forgiveness does nothing to lower costs. Then again, when the state takes control of private institutions, it inevitably turns to price controls and all the usual tools that destroy industries.

Then there is the ethical matter. In her speech, Ocasio-Cortez shared the story of a young woman she mentored who would have needed $250,000 in debt in order to attend her dream college. “She got into her dream college but her dream college offered her no scholarships, just loans,” claimed Ocasio-Cortez.

The world doesn’t owe you a dream college or a dream house or a dream job. You have no right to someone else’s labor and time.

If you want to attend free college, ask professors to offer you their lectures gratis or ask school administrators who run massive endowments to open their doors to everyone.

Or, maybe, ask them to bring down their tuition prices.


The post The Injustice of Canceling Student Debt appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

Cartoon: A Lack of Common Census

Fri, 2019-06-28 19:22
Categories: Public Policy