Heritage Foundation

Subscribe to Heritage Foundation feed Heritage Foundation
Policy News, Conservative Analysis and Opinion
Updated: 34 min 32 sec ago

The Time Is Ripe for a US-Swiss Trade Agreement

Fri, 2019-03-08 14:13

Switzerland is known for many things: chocolate, cheese, watches, banking, and of course multifunction army knives. Not surprisingly, what these Swiss items have in common is high quality.

Well, here is another thing that Switzerland may be recognized for: free trade.

Switzerland certainly makes for an attractive trading partner. It boasts an adaptive free market economy admired for its openness, regulatory efficiency, and respect for the rule of law.

It’s a willing trade partner, too. Switzerland’s strategic pursuit of trade deals around the globe has netted it free trade agreements with more than 70 countries, including all 28 European Union member states, as well as China and Japan. Having inked a pact with Indonesia last December, Switzerland is back in the market for its next trade deal.

Oddly enough, there is no free trade pact between the U.S. and Switzerland currently in place. And that’s too bad. Switzerland’s strong commitment to free-market capitalism makes the country an ideal partner for an America seeking to deepen “economic relationships rooted in fairness, reciprocity, and faithful adherence to the rules.”

Switzerland and the United States are no strangers to mutually beneficial arrangements. The two nations already have strong economic and business ties. As Switzerland’s largest trading partner outside of the European Union, the United States has a roughly balanced exchange of goods and services with the Alpine country, which amounts to some $100 billion annually.

American and Swiss companies produce cutting-edge pharmaceuticals, aerospace components, machinery, and other advanced equipment. Switzerland boasts a sophisticated service sector that accounts for roughly 75 percent of its gross domestic product (vs. less than 1 percent from agriculture). This makes Switzerland an exceptionally attractive partner for an advanced trade agreement.

>>> It’s Time for a Free Trade Agreement With Switzerland

In its just released 2019 Trade Policy Agenda, the Trump administration states that the U.S. will “continue pursuing new trade deals—and stronger enforcement—throughout 2019” as “part of an ongoing upgrade to adjust U.S. trade policy to the realities of the 21st century.” Switzerland should be considered a prime candidate.

Going beyond the recently signed apprenticeship accord, the shared values of the United States and Switzerland make the two countries natural, forward-looking economic partners. Pursuing a U.S.-Swiss free trade agreement, in effect, would serve as a strategic opening move and pragmatic building block for advancing the administration’s trade agenda of bringing forward “a fairer and more efficient global economy.”

In his recent trip to Washington where he had constructive discussions with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton, Swiss Foreign Affairs Minister Ignazio Cassis pointed out that both sides clearly desire a bilateral free trade agreement. The question is no longer if, but when the two countries can move it forward.

What’s needed now is a formal, market-opening agreement. The Trump administration should prioritize its pursuit of a trade and investment pact with Switzerland. The fact that the two economies have flourished on the foundation of market principles should make it far easier to conclude an agreement with Switzerland than with other nations already engaged in negotiations.

Memo to Bern and Washington: You have a unique opportunity to form a free trade partnership that would benefit both your economies. Let’s make it happen.

The post The Time Is Ripe for a US-Swiss Trade Agreement appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

Majority of House Democrats Vote to Let 16-Year-Olds Vote for President

Fri, 2019-03-08 13:58

A majority of House Democrats on Wednesday voted to lower the federal voting age from 18 to 16.

A number of high-profile Democrats voted in favor of the legislation, including California Reps. Adam Schiff, Eric Swalwell, Maxine Waters, and Ted Lieu; Democratic presidential candidate and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard; New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib; and Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar.

Democratic Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley introduced the legislation Tuesday evening as an amendment to House Democrats’ For the People Act, which would overhaul federal election laws.

Pressley’s amendment fell short at 126-305.

House Democrats voted 125-108 in favor of Pressley’s amendment, with two members voting present and three members not voting.

House Republicans voted against the amendment 197-1. Texas Rep. Michael Burgess was the only Republican to vote aye.

Pressley cited teen activists pushing for gun control as a reason to give 16-year-olds the right to vote, which she compared to having a driver’s license.

“Young people are at the forefront of some of our most existential crises,” she said in her remarks Tuesday. “The time has come. Our young people deserve to have the opportunity to exercise their right to vote.”

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 Majority of House Democrats Vote to Let 16-Year-Olds Vote for President appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

Eric Holder: Democrats Should Consider Packing Supreme Court

Fri, 2019-03-08 13:43

Former Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday said Democrats should consider packing the Supreme Court when they regain political power.

Holder said he would “seriously consider” adding two seats to the court if he were president, as revenge for the two seats on the court that President Donald Trump has filled since taking office. Holder wants other Democrats to follow suit.

“In response to a question, Attorney General Holder said that given the unfairness, unprecedented obstruction, and disregard of historical precedent by Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans, when Democrats retake the majority they should consider expanding the Supreme Court to restore adherence to previously accepted norms for judicial nominations,” a Holder spokesman said in a statement.

The idea of packing the court has gained steam among liberal activists since Trump took office.

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democratic candidate for president in 2020, previously signaled her openness to expanding the court, which she described as “an interesting idea.”

Brian Fallon, executive director of left-wing group Demand Justice, is among the left-wing activists pushing Democrats to embrace the radical change.

“More and more Democrats are becoming convinced that we cannot resign ourselves to the third branch of government being captive to partisan Republican forces for the next 30 years,” Fallon, a former Hillary Clinton campaign spokesman, told The Daily Beast Thursday.

Case study in how an idea goes mainstream … https://t.co/rJY2w8iobL

— Alex Burns (@alexburnsNYT) March 7, 2019

“Any progressive reforms that a Democratic president would pursue in 2021 would come under threat from the Supreme Court. Accepting the status quo on this issue is not going to fly and there is becoming a consensus that some type of reform needs to happen,” Fallon said.

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

The post Eric Holder: Democrats Should Consider Packing Supreme Court appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

It’s Time for Congress to Defend Free Speech on Campus

Fri, 2019-03-08 12:14

As an undergraduate student during the ‘60s, the Vietnam War was often on our minds and in our conversations.

I vividly remember the discussions. Students were debating professors and each another. Ideas were being exchanged, opinions formed, and unique perspectives shared.

I saw first-hand how college campuses across the nation were hubs of free speech—and some of that speech I vehemently disagreed with, in all honesty. Yet as a soldier years later, I would fight to protect and defend this right to free speech. As a country, we were best served by allowing all sides to passionately argue their views.

In the decades since, our colleges’ commitment to protecting free speech has eroded. Examples have piled up of students silencing and attacking speakers with whom they disagree, as well as students being arrested for violating their college’s policies on “free speech zones.”

Time and again, university leaders stand by and just allow this to happen.

The designation of a “free speech zone” is a particularly egregious example of how colleges limit free speech. These small parcels of land—often just a tiny fraction of the campus—are the only places students can freely engage in expressive activity, such as distributing fliers or holding a rally or protest. Students caught engaging in these activities outside the free speech zone can be subject to arrest, harassment, and discipline.

Roughly 10 percent of American colleges now restrict constitutionally protected speech to a particular corner of campus, according to a recent report, and 30 percent of colleges have restrictive speech codes. These regulations prohibit the kind of student expression that is typically protected by the First Amendment.

And disturbingly, students increasingly approve of these policies. A national study last year found that about one-third of students supported restricting free speech on their own college campus.

President Donald Trump has shown a strong commitment to protecting the free speech rights of college students. He recently announced an executive order that will require colleges to honor free speech on their campuses in order to remain eligible for up to $26 billion of federal research funding.

The president’s proposal sheds critical light on this issue. We should continue to send a strong message to institutions of higher education that free speech restrictions are at odds with our constitutional rights.

Congress likewise cannot sit idly by while college campuses restrict free speech. For this reason, I have introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives supporting the right to free speech, and admonishing institutions that aim to limit this right. It also calls on universities to abolish their free speech zones and recommit themselves to protecting the free and open exchange of ideas.

My resolution affirms the House of Representatives’ commitment to being a guardian of free speech in America, including on college and university campuses. This isn’t about protecting conservative or liberal viewpoints. It’s about encouraging conservative and liberal viewpoints, and all viewpoints in between.

Twenty-one colleagues of mine in the House have cosponsored this resolution, and I will continue to work on growing that number.

Fostering intellectual curiosity, robust debate, and passionate discussion on college campuses is vital for our nation’s strength and future. Passing this resolution will send a message to colleges and students throughout the country that the freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment are alive and well in the 21st century.

The post It’s Time for Congress to Defend Free Speech on Campus appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

Podcast: A Jewish Conservative on Omar’s Anti-Semitic Remarks

Fri, 2019-03-08 03:01

As the left fights over how to handle the latest use of an anti-Semitic trope by Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., we discuss what’s going on with The Heritage Foundation’s Joel Griffith, who also chairs a Washington, D.C., Jewish group. Plus: Daniel speaks to Nigel Farage about Brexit.

We also cover these stories:

  • President Donald Trump says he hasn’t broken any campaign laws.
  • An Alabama judge is allowing a 19-year-old man to sue an abortion clinic for taking the life of his unborn child against his wishes.
  • Philadelphia has become the first city in the nation to say no to cashless stores.

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!

The post Podcast: A Jewish Conservative on Omar’s Anti-Semitic Remarks appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

Pelosi’s Shameful Decision to Place Rep. Omar on Foreign Affairs Committee

Fri, 2019-03-08 03:01

Rep. Ilhan Omar argues that American “democracy is built on debate,” tweeting, “I should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee.” I’m sure no decent person disagrees with her comment. Also, every sane person understands this is merely a deflection from Omar’s many anti-Semitic comments.

No one asked her—or anyone else—to pledge allegiance to a foreign nation. It’s her belief that supporting the Jewish state, a longtime ideological and geopolitical ally of the United States, is an act of dual loyalty—either by Jews or by others who, as Omar might say, have been “hypnotized” to do “evil.” She is the one who accuses Jewish Americans, a group that has played a robust role in the nation’s civic life for a long time, of doing the bidding of a foreign power to the detriment of their own.

Just as no one is forcing Omar to take a position on Israel—much less pledge allegiance to it—no one is attacking her right to free speech. This isn’t Eritrea—a country Omar recently visited and was quite impressed by—where a dictatorship can arrest and torture citizens for taking unpopular positions. If Omar’s moral compass tells her to advocate for terrorists and theocrats, she’s free to do so. Americans are likewise free to point it out.

But Democrats’ draft measure condemning anti-Semitism is a useless and transparent attempt to distract from a serious problem of their own creation. The decree mentions Alfred Dreyfus, Leo Frank, Henry Ford, and “anti-Muslim bigotry”—because hey, even when Jews are being smeared, it’s about Islamophobia—but not once does it condemn Omar or the strain of hatred she is helping normalize on the left. The resolution, teeming with useless platitudes, is one that even Omar could probably support.

It’s also worth remembering that it was only after a handful of Jewish Democrats, such as Eliot Engel, objected to Omar’s comments that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was forced to act—or rather, pretend to act.

Even now, a number of pundits on the left, including columnists for The Washington Post and The Atlantic, argue that Omar—as well as fellow anti-Semite Rep. Rashida Tlaib—operates within the parameters of acceptable debate. Omar could read portions of the Hamas Charter into the Congressional Record, and The New York Times would tell us her “latest remarks on Israel draw criticism.”

Another tactic taken up by Democrats is trolling for supposedly anti-Semitic comments by Republicans to deflect and dilute the attention on Omar. This week, Democrats found one such straw man when the ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, Jim Jordan, spelled liberal donor Tom Steyer’s name with a dollar sign in a tweet. Liberals across the media quickly took up the cause: “Gee whiz, what if Ilhan Omar had done this?!”

Well, if Omar had inserted a dollar sign into the name of a Jewish donor, considering her history, we’d have to assume she was clumsily trying to make another bigoted comment.

There’s absolutely nothing anti-Semitic about calling out Steyer—and other billionaires who spend millions every cycle helping political causes. Steyer, perhaps more than anyone, in fact, is known for advocating the impeachment of Donald Trump.

So when House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler issued document requests from 81 people and organizations in a massive trolling investigation for “obstruction,” Jordan reacted as people in both political parties tend to do, by accusing the other party of being bought by big donors and special interests.

Moreover, Steyer grew up with a nonpracticing Jewish dad and became involved in the Episcopal Church when he was 40. I certainly had no idea that “$teyer” had any Jewish background. His surname isn’t Jewish. He’s not a supporter of Jewish causes. If anything, he’s been a longtime supporter of anti-Israel candidates and organizations.

But Democrats, who hear dog whistles at every mention of “globalist,” can’t get their ire up when one of their own drops tropes that date back to at least “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

Congress, of course, really has no business setting guidelines for acceptable political speech. Pelosi does, however, have the power to name committee appointees. And with this power, she decided to place a doltish hater of Jews, someone with radical positions and absolutely no relevant experience, on the House Foreign Affairs Committee to appease the growing anti-Israel contingent in her party.

She did this knowing about Omar’s history of anti-Semitic tweets, radicalism, and support of Hamas. Last week, Pelosi was mugging on the cover of the celebratory issue of Rolling Stone with Omar and her bestie, apologist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. These, claims the magazine, are “women shaping the future.” If so, that will be Pelosi’s legacy.

COPYRIGHT 2019 CREATORS.COM

The post Pelosi’s Shameful Decision to Place Rep. Omar on Foreign Affairs Committee appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

What We Can Learn From the Turbulence of 1969

Thu, 2019-03-07 18:27

Fifty years ago, the United States was facing crises and unrest on multiple fronts. Some predicted that internal chaos and revolution would unravel the nation.

The 1969 Vietnam War protests on the UC Berkeley campus turned so violent that National Guard helicopters indiscriminately sprayed tear gas on student demonstrators. Later that year, hundreds of thousands of people filled the streets of major cities as part of the “Moratorium to the End the War in Vietnam.” In Washington, D.C., about a half-million protesters marched to the White House.

Native American demonstrators took over the former federal prison on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay and stayed there for 19 months, declaring it their own sovereign space.

In November 1969, the American public was exposed to grotesque photos of the My Lai Massacre, which had occurred the year before. The nation was stunned that American troops in Vietnam had shot innocent women and children. My Lai heated up the already hot national debate over whether the Vietnam War was either moral or winnable.

Meanwhile, the trial of the so-called Chicago Seven, involving the supposed organizers of the riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, roiled the nation. The courtroom drama involving radical defendants such as Tom Hayden, Abbie Hoffman, and Jerry Rubin descended into a national circus, as the battle between leftists and the establishment went from the streets to the courtroom.

It was also the year of the Woodstock music festival. More than 400,000 thrill-seekers showed up on a small farm in the Catskill Mountains in August 1969 to celebrate three days of “peace and music.” Footage of free love and free drugs at Woodstock shocked half the country but resonated with the other half, which viewed the festival as much-needed liberation for an uptight nation.

Newly inaugurated President Richard Nixon characterized the national divide as the “silent majority” of traditional Americans fighting back against radical changes in culture and politics.

Under the strain of constant protests, the cultural and moral fabric of the country seemed to be tearing apart. Alternative lifestyle choices sometimes led to violence or death.

When a West Coast version of Woodstock was tried a few months later in Altamont, California, the concert ended up an orgy of murder, drug overdoses, random violence, and destruction of property.

In July of 1969, liberal icon Teddy Kennedy ran his car off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island, Massachusetts, and his young passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, was left to drown. Sen. Kennedy did not report the accident to authorities until 10 hours later.

The next month, members of hippie psychopath Charles Manson’s “family” butchered seven innocents in Los Angeles, among them actress Sharon Tate. The Manson family apparently had hoped that the sensationalized murders would ignite some sort of racial civil war, thereby unraveling the United States.

Yet a wounded United States did not just survive 1969, but reached new heights of scientific, technological, and cultural achievement.

For the first time in history, a national economy produced more than $1 trillion worth of goods and services in a single year, as American nominal GDP for 1969 exceeded that level.

America also put the first humans on the moon in 1969–and did it twice the same year, with the Apollo 11 and Apollo 12 lunar missions.

Boeing’s 747 jumbo jet made its first successful test flight in 1969. The 400-passenger airliner was so well designed and ahead of its time that it continues in service today, a half-century after its rollout.

It took some 35 years for a European company to introduce a competitor to the 747, the Airbus A380. Yet the latter jet has been something of a white elephant. Many airlines have stopped using the A380, and Airbus has announced that it will stop producing the jets in 2021.

American computer scientists first used a precursor to the internet in 1969, when computers at UCLA and Stanford managed to share an electronic network, known as ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network).

Fifty years later, what are the lessons of the chaotic year 1969 for our similarly schizophrenic age of polarization, civil disunity, and unprecedented wealth and scientific advancement?

America is such a huge and diverse country, and so abundantly endowed with natural and human resources, that it is capable of achieving unprecedented scientific, economic, and technological breakthroughs even as its social fabric is tearing apart.

Or, put another way, while the media highlights crime, protests, grievances, and civil disorder, a majority of Americans still go to work unbothered each day.

And in a rare society with a free market, constitutional government, and individual freedom, people continue to do amazing things even amid the utter chaos around them.

(C) 2019 TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.

The post What We Can Learn From the Turbulence of 1969 appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

9 Young Adults Explain Why They’re Conservative

Thu, 2019-03-07 17:49

At the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, young Americans from across the country made a strong showing. The Daily Signal spoke with nine young adults to get their take on conservatism and why they identify as conservatives. Below are their stories.

Brandon Morris (Photo: Joshua Nelson for The Daily Signal)

1. Brandon Morris

Hometown: Gainesville, Florida

Age: 32

Brandon Morris, a graduate of Santa Fe College, says he grew up as a Democrat for most of his childhood. A former pan-African, Black Panther member and Black Lives Matter supporter, Morris once regarded conservative views as racist.

“I thought Republicans or conservatives were racist,” he said. “And then once I learned the history of everything, and [got] deeper into the policies and what actually takes effect, it made me comfortable to actually become a conservative Republican.”

What led Morris to his conversion? After a two-hour political debate with his conservative college roommate and his roommate’s friend, Morris says he decided to research conservative viewpoints more closely to better combat their arguments.

“I wanted to learn about conservatives so I [could] debate them and defeat them with their own side,” he said. “And after maybe a couple of months of reading and studying as much as I could, I was surprised and actually ended up making the switch over.”

Morris says he started to receive criticism from friends and family when they discovered his conservative identity.

“Oh they didn’t like it. They still don’t like it,” he said. “I lost a lot of friends because they called me an ‘Uncle Tom.’ But then I told them to read ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’—look at the synopsis, he was a hero.”

Morris says his background as a liberal gives him an advantage during a debate because he is well-rounded on both platforms. He says his friends call him the “Black Ben Shapiro” for always having a great comeback to confrontations against his conservative views.

Wyatt Dobrovich-Fago (Photo: “Fox & Friends”)

2. Wyatt Dobrovich-Fago

Hometown: Wall, New Jersey

Age: 18

Wyatt Dobrovich-Fago is one of the many victims of the campus outrage against conservatives, especially Trump supporters.

Dobrovich-Fago garnered national attention when news broke that his high school edited out the “Trump” logo on his vest for his high school yearbook photo.  

“The school allowed logos and other things to be put into the yearbook,” he said, adding: “There’s also another student who had a Trump shirt that was completely photoshopped with black paint over it. My sister had a Trump quote that was left out of the yearbook with all the other class presidents having their yearbook quote and stated, but not my sister’s because it was a Trump quote.”

Dobrovich-Fago was invited on “Fox & Friends” to share his story that went viral.

“I got to meet the president at last CPAC and he remembered me from my interview on ‘Fox & Friends,’ and told me to keep up the good work,” he said.

From then on, Dobrovich-Fago says he was “emboldened” to promote free speech and conservative values:

I think it’s important to be able to say what you want, [to] be able to wear what you want, without people literally photoshopping and censoring your speech. And what happened to me was an infringement of my rights and really made me think that if people are willing to do [that], then they’re willing to do anything. And it really emboldened me to be more into politics, to go to different political conferences like CPAC, [and] to get involved on campuses.

Dobrovich-Fago became involved with Young America’s Foundation during his first year at American University. He says getting involved with the grassroots student activism organization committed to promoting conservative values was a big turning point in his life because it got him more involved in politics.

Mesgana Yilma (Photo: Courtney Joyner for The Daily Signal)

3. Mesgana Yilma

Hometown: Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Age: 18

Mesgana Yilma is an aspiring politician who says she is conservative for reasons most liberals think I shouldn’t be, because I’m black.”

Yilma used to identify as a Democrat because she believed their policies helped the black community the most until shelearned more and more about what policies are put in place and how it’s affecting people,” she said. “I realized it’s not the truth.”

When engaging in political discussions, Yilma says she has learned to put facts over emotion. She noticed most conservatives argue with logic and reason, whereas liberal opinions are typically predicated on emotion.

For example, she addressed how guns were portrayed after the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where a student shot and killed 17 individuals.

“They made the whole message that there needs to be no guns, like guns are the issue,” Yilma said. “And then I’m thinking, that obviously isn’t the issue because you look at places that have really strict gun laws like Chicago, Detroit, [and] North Philly, where we are always getting notifications of different shootingsyou got to look at the policymakers and who’s there.

Yilma thinks the answer is in conservative solutions: “I think the proper way to address it is by protecting people more instead of taking away everybody else’s freedom.”

Joseph Cortese (Photo: Courtney Joyner for The Daily Signal)

4. Joseph Cortese

Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Age: 22

Joseph Cortese says he isn’t shy about being conservative. For him, it’s a fundamental part of how he was raised.

“I think that I should keep the money I work for, not the government,” Cortese said. “And my parents raised me and taught me the value of hard work.”

For this reason, Cortese “believe[s] in limited government” so that individuals can be free from the government and keep the money they work for.

In addition to being an advocate of small government, Cortese is also “unapologetically pro-life and pro-Second Amendment.”

Christopher Miller (Photo: Joshua Nelson for The Daily Signal)

5. Christopher Miller

Hometown: Ripon, Wisconsin

Age: 21

Although he grew up in a conservative family in a small town with a population of 8,000 people, Christopher Miller says he became a conservative on his own by doing his own research in college.  

“My dad always introduced me to a lot of my political ideas, but when I got through high school and started going to college, I did my best to do my own reading and thinking, and opening myself up to some new ideas,” Miller said.

Though Miller leans more toward libertarianism, he comes to CPAC because “it’s fun to be around like-minded people. There’s still a lot of variation within conservatism so it’s good to just be introduced to new people and new ideas.”

Lauren Wenig, on the right, and Lily Dileo. (Photo: Courtney Joyner for The Daily Signal)

6. Lily Dileo

Hometown: New York, New York

Age: 20

Lily Dileo says she cares about the use of tax dollars in America, especially within the immigration system.  

“I would love people to come into the country, but they need to come in legally because it’s not fair to people who have come in legally and have made it in here,” she said.

As a conservative, she says she is “tired of politicians giving benefits to poor people and to really rich people … [but] the middle class has to pay for it and gets no benefits.”

Dileo highlighted the Green New Deal as one policy that will undermine hardworking Americans. “Who’s going to be paying for that?” she asks. “My family.”

7. Lauren Wenig

Hometown: Bel Air, Maryland

Age: 22

Lauren Wenig voiced her concerns about the American immigration system, one of Trump’s top policy issues.

“One thing I feel very, very passionate about is immigration,” she said. “And I’ll tell you why. Because I think this country belongs to the actual American citizens.”

Wenig noted added competition for jobs, and the strain put on the American school system and welfare system among her top concerns, saying, “We work hard for our money, for our jobs, and for our families.”

Zachary Petrizzo (Photo: Joshua Nelson for The Daily Signal)

8. Zachary Petrizzo

Hometown: Washington, D.C.

Age: 20

Zachary Petrizzo says it’s the idea of individual responsibility that sets conservatism apart.

“I always had this idea that conservatism is the idea that sovereignty resides within the individual person and that each of us has a responsibility to ensure that we not only work hard every day, but ensure that we leave the earth better than we found it,” Petrizzo said.  

“That means economic prosperity for people, and that means equality for all people, and I think those two things fall on me,” he added.

Ian Rauenbuhler (Photo: Joshua Nelson for The Daily Signal)

9. Ian Rauenbuhler

Hometown: Trenton, New Jersey

Age: 21

The 2016 presidential election is what got Ian Rauenbuhler into conservatism.

“That’s when I really started paying attention to politics, and I really like Donald Trump’s tell-it-like-it-is message,” he said.

Rauenbuhler says he was also drawn to politics around that time because he was starting his first job, and gravitated toward Trump’s message of “low taxes.”

“I hated every time I got a paycheck and how much money the government was taking out of my paychecks,” Rauenbuhler said.  

Ever since, Rauenbuhler has supported the conservative values of limited government and lower taxes.

CPAC, the largest annual national gathering of conservative activists was held at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, just outside Washington.

The post 9 Young Adults Explain Why They’re Conservative appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

‘Green New Deal’ Would Hit Minorities the Hardest

Thu, 2019-03-07 17:44

The “Green New Deal” will fail for many reasons. One is that the people pushing it seem oblivious to the needs of poor and minorities families, who would be directly hurt by the plan.

By one estimate, that Green New Deal would cost $600,000 per household and eliminate the use of all fossil fuels in just 10 years. It would result in higher energy prices for all Americans, but would disproportionately hurt people of color and other minorities who are the most susceptible to energy poverty.

Energy poverty occurs when households are unable to afford their basic electric and heating needs due to high energy prices.

Yes, we need to protect the environment. But unrealistic proposals like the Green New Deal only contribute to energy poverty and won’t work for low-income families.

We need an energy approach that makes better use of what we have, especially if it can keep costs low and create jobs.

One of the answers is natural gas. Natural gas is abundant and affordable compared to most forms of energy, and it burns cleaner than other fossil fuels. In fact, shifting to gas-fired plant generators was the single greatest factor in the United States achieving a 28 percent reduction in CO2 emissions since 2005, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Right now, America needs better access to natural gas. This winter’s polar vortex exposed natural gas supply problems in the Northeast. We’ve certainly made progress—America is producing more natural gas than ever—but there isn’t enough pipeline infrastructure to move enough natural gas into the communities that need it most.

When temperatures dropped to the teens and single-digits, demand exceeded supply and forced prices to skyrocket. There’s simply no excuse for forcing low-income African-Americans and other minorities to choose between heating a home and putting food on the table.  

These pipeline shortages are bad enough, but they are made worse by the same activists who claim social justice in supporting the Green New Deal.

Where’s the social justice and compassion in blatantly opposing affordable, traditional energy resources that are becoming cleaner and more efficient every year? 

Recently, I saw some of these “keep it in the ground” people in economically depressed Buckingham County, Virginia, protesting the construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, where a pipeline compressor would create jobs and up to $1 million in tax revenues. That’s a desperately needed economic jolt to a county where every third person is African-American.

But the activists, with their bullhorns, T-shirts, and protest signs, ignored the potential benefits of this project and claimed to be fighting “environmental racism” by opposing the pipeline compressor. All of the protestors were white. 

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline could save consumers in Virginia and North Carolina more than $377 million in electricity bills annually—states with disproportionately high black populations.

How a pipeline that would make life more affordable and create more prosperity is racist is beyond my comprehension. Sadly, the only environmental racism I see is actually “green energy discrimination” foisted upon minority households, who can least afford higher energy costs. 

I’m all for renewable energy where it makes sense and where it doesn’t needlessly drive up our cost of living. If electric cars are attractive to consumers, let them compete in a free market without the help of government subsidies—our tax dollars. 

The working poor and middle class need to rely on affordable energy, and no one should be vilified for using a fuel-efficient gasoline engine to get to work. That’s ridiculous.

More pipeline infrastructure projects are needed to transport oil and natural gas from where it’s refined to cities and towns where it’s needed. Lower fuel costs also keep prices for commodities—food, construction materials, and industrial goods—in check.

There is a practical, realistic path forward when it comes to modernizing our national infrastructure and pipeline grid. We can do it while improving energy efficiency and lowering greenhouse gas emissions. 

But the Green New Deal, with its $93 trillion price tag, isn’t any viable plan at all. It’s a pipe dream—a bad deal for America. 

The post ‘Green New Deal’ Would Hit Minorities the Hardest appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

Ilhan Omar’s Impoverished View of Religious Freedom

Thu, 2019-03-07 16:43

The House of Representatives voted on Thursday on a resolution condemning bigotry and hate. The resolution was spurred by the recent remarks of freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn, which questioned the loyalty of Jews to the United States.

Both her anti-Semitic statements and broader views of religious freedom deserve examination.

The Center for American Progress recently called Omar “a champion of religious freedom.” At an event entitled “Reclaiming Religious Freedom,” Omar urged the need for “freedom, liberty, and justice for all” and bemoaned the fact that some groups in America don’t fully experience these. 

She is correct on that point. All Americans should be free to live according to their faiths without fear of government hostility, in public as well as in private—regardless of whether their beliefs are shared by elected officials.

But the promise of such depends, in large measure, upon government officials demonstrating respect for the freedom of all citizens to peacefully live according to their beliefs.

Unfortunately, Omar’s own words and actions undermine progress toward religious freedom and justice for all.

Prejudice Against One Group Undermines Religious Freedom for All

Omar’s anti-Semitic comments suggesting that Jewish-American politicians are bought and paid for by the government of Israel have drawn rebuke from both Democrats and Republicans.

Omar tweeted last month, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby”—a reference to $100 bills.

(Photo: Screenshot captured by IMGUR/ME.ME)

She went on to state her belief that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee pays Jewish-American members of Congress to take pro-Israel stances.

This statement echoed her earlier tweet: “Israel has hypnotized the world. May Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”

(Photo: Screenshot captured by Reddit/Me.Me)

Omar has also voiced her support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS) that aims to change Israeli policy toward the Palestinian population through economic pressure.

Anti-Semitism is religious prejudice. Jews have a multifaceted identity that includes culture, ethnicity, and religion. And while many Jews are secular, anti-Semitism targets Jews as a whole and helps foment hostility toward Jewish religious beliefs, practices, and identity.

It is no coincidence that the anti-Semitic terrorist who took the lives of 11 Jews at the Tree of Life synagogue outside Pittsburgh chose to attack them at their house of prayer on the Sabbath—a day set aside for rest, religious observance, and celebration.

Unfortunately, anti-Semitism is on the rise not only around the world, but also in the United States. The Anti-Defamation League reported a 60 percent increase in anti-Semitic attacks in 2017.

The FBI also recorded that Jews were the most targeted group for religious hate crimes. Of the 1,749 victims of anti-religious hate crimes, 58.1 percent were “victims of crimes motivated by their offenders’ anti-Jewish bias”—even though Jews represent only 2.2 percent of the American population.

When a member of Congress suggests that a religious group has dual loyalty to an external power, it creates a chilling effect for all members of the community to express their identity in public. That was true in the 1960s when critics accused John F. Kennedy of dual loyalty to the Vatican, and it would be true if Omar were accused of dual loyalty to Muslim governments.

Every person of faith, every person who cares about religious freedom, and every member of Congress should stand up and speak out against anti-Semitism. World history shows that prejudice toward Jews is not easily contained, but can quickly spread.  

Expressions of religious prejudice from government officials can foment religious bigotry within society as a whole, and an attitude of “religious freedom for me, but not for thee.” Omar’s anti-Semitic statements reveal a dangerously misguided understanding of religious freedom.

Religious Freedom Protects Actions, Not Just Appearances

At the beginning of this congressional term, the House changed its ban on headwear in the House gallery. Omar was the catalyst for that change. It enables her to continue her Muslim practice of wearing a hijab while serving in public office.

At the Center for American Progress, she stated that she “visually presents her faith.” But she then undermined her view by denouncing the freedom of Christian adoption agencies to serve according to their religious beliefs.

Omar was referring to the decision of the Department of Health and Human Services to grant a waiver to the state of South Carolina that enabled Miracle Hill Ministries to continue serving foster children. The waiver, issued under the Obama administration, allows Miracle Hill and other religious agencies to place foster children with parents that share their own faith.

The Constitution protects this freedom as central to religious liberty. And it is a freedom that reflects religious solidarity—not a rejection of outsiders.

As Howard Slugh, founder of Jewish Coalition for Religious Liberty, has written, “Bonds between members of the same faith rest on shared beliefs; they do not indicate hatred of outsiders.”  

Slugh compared Miracle Hill’s stance to efforts by American Jews to find Jewish families for Jewish children fleeing persecution in Russia during the 1980s and 1990s, noting that the “position [was not] based on spite or hatred. Religious solidarity is the motivation.”

America is currently struggling with a shortage of foster parents to care for the more than 437,500 children on the waiting list. Government authorities need help from a broad diversity of agencies in meeting this need.

Secular and religious child welfare agencies play distinct roles. Faith-based agencies are uniquely suited to recruit families from their own communities—whether Christians, Jewish, or Muslim—and to provide these loving families with spiritual care and support.

During this year’s National Prayer Breakfast, President Donald Trump acknowledged the threat to religious liberty and pushed back by pledging that faith-based agencies should be “free to follow their deeply held beliefs.”

This robust vision of religious freedom contrasts sharply with Omar, who was hailed at the Center for American Progress as someone who brings “faith into public policymaking and public service,” despite her own comment that we shouldn’t “externally practice our faith.”

But an understanding of religious freedom that is limited to visual representation is remarkably impoverished. Religious freedom is more than wearing a hijab or carrying a rosary. It extends beyond prayer rugs and pews. Our Constitution protects our freedom to work and to serve according to our faiths in the public square.

Religious Freedom Matters Most When We Disagree

In stark contrast to Omar, another Democratic congresswoman has courageously spoken up for religious freedom for all Americans, including in the workplace. 

When Sens. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, questioned a Nebraska judicial nominee about his fitness to serve because of his membership in the Knights of Columbus, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, a practicing Hindu, rose to his defense.

She criticized the inquiries into his membership in the Catholic service organization citing Article VI of the Constitution, which bars “religious tests” for those seeking public office.

Gabbard wrote, “We must call this out for what it is—religious bigotry. This is true not just when such prejudice is anti-Catholic, but also when it is anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, anti-Hindu, or anti-Protestant, or any other religion.”

Amid the growing confusion in Congress over the constitutionality of religious tests, Gabbard’s voice was a welcome call for equal treatment and the freedom to live according to our beliefs in every sphere, not just in worship.

She echoed President George Washington, who wrote to the Newport Hebrew Congregation in 1790, “All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship.”

Our commitments to religious freedom are most deeply tested when we are asked to protect the freedom of those whose beliefs are different from our own.

Omar’s anti-Semitism, impoverished view of religious freedom, and intolerance toward religious differences must not become the new normal in Congress—or anywhere.

As Democrats and Republicans settle into their roles in the 116th Congress, our representatives should work to fulfill the promise of religious freedom for all Americans.

The post Ilhan Omar’s Impoverished View of Religious Freedom appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

It’s Not Wise to Depart From Decades of Bipartisan Agreement on Our Nuclear Triad, Mr. Chairman

Thu, 2019-03-07 16:01

The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee demonstrated a scary lack of understanding of nuclear weapons policy Wednesday during a hearing seeking outside perspectives on the U.S. nuclear posture.

Chairman Adam Smith, D-Wash., jumped at the opportunity to attack the U.S. fleet of intercontinental ballistic missiles, known as ICBMs, calling them unnecessary for deterrence and easily identifiable targets.

Smith misunderstands the value that ICBMs bring to U.S. national security and that of our allies, which is scary given the importance of the role he plays.

Combined with bombers and nuclear-armed submarines, intercontinental ballistic missiles provide the bedrock of our nuclear triad.

Each leg of the triad has its own valuable attributes. They are complementary and together assure allies and deter adversaries. That is why both political parties have supported them for decades, before and after the end of the Cold War.

Initially skeptical, then-Defense Secretary James Mattis said in September 2017 in defense of ICBMs: “I have questioned the triad, and I cannot solve the deterrent problem [by] reducing it from a triad.”

Although ICBMs are identifiable targets, they were not meant to be stealthy. That does not mean they are not valuable.

While each of the other two legs of the nuclear triad can be destroyed with conventional weapon systems, an adversary would have to spend an inordinate number of nuclear warheads to destroy our ICBMs. Those would be warheads that would not be available to destroy other targets in the United States.

Attacking our ICBMs also takes away all plausible deniability on the part of U.S. adversaries, as nuclear expert Frank Miller pointed out during the hearing.

We will know when the U.S. homeland is under attack if ICBM fields are attacked. We may not know with such a certainty right away if we lose a submarine or a bomber.

Eliminating the ICBM leg of the nuclear triad would allow our adversaries to focus their efforts narrowly on compromising other U.S. nuclear systems, including bombers and submarines.

Our bombers don’t even routinely fly with nuclear weapons. Some argue that the U.S. can upload additional warheads on our submarines to maintain the same target coverage. But adding warheads to submarine-launched ballistic missiles reduces their range because they get heavier.

That could have negative consequences for the survivability of our submarines, since adversaries would have to search a smaller area compared to when the submarines had fewer warheads.

Reducing the number of missiles would not substantively reduce costs associated with the ICBM program. The missiles are the least expensive leg of the triad to operate.

And even at the peak of nuclear weapons modernization efforts—for our warheads and delivery platforms—the U.S. will not spend more than 6.5 percent of the Defense Department’s budget on such efforts, an amount that is a decreasing portion of the entire federal budget.

Skepticism and debate are healthy. Interpreting opinions as facts is dangerous.

Today’s international environment demands that the U.S. modernize ICBMs, regardless of what Smith thinks.

The post It’s Not Wise to Depart From Decades of Bipartisan Agreement on Our Nuclear Triad, Mr. Chairman appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

Democratic Congresswomen Want to Lower Federal Voting Age to 16

Thu, 2019-03-07 13:55

Democratic Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley on Tuesday evening introduced legislation to lower the federal voting age from 18 to 16.

Pressley cited teen activists pushing for gun control as a reason for giving 16-year-olds the right to vote, which the congresswoman compared to having a driver’s license.

“Young people are at the forefront of some of our most existential crises,” Pressley added. “The time has come. Our young people deserve to have the opportunity to exercise their right to vote.”

Two other Democratic congresswomen, Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib and New York Rep. Grace Meng, offered their support for Pressley’s legislation.

“I’m committed to making sure we empower young people to build our future together. Giving them the power to vote will help build a more equitable and just future,” Meng said in a statement posted to Twitter on Tuesday.

Tonight I’m testifying before @RulesDemocrats to argue why it is important to lower the voting age to 16 with @RepPressley! Our young people can work and pay taxes. Let’s also make sure they can make their voices heard by voting in all elections. 1/2

— Grace Meng (@RepGraceMeng) March 6, 2019

I’m committed to making sure we empower young people to build our future together. Giving them the power to vote will help build a more equitable and just future. I urge my colleagues to include the Meng/Pressley amendment to lower the voting age to 16 in #HR1! #ForthePeople 2/2 https://t.co/o4tdqW3ON9

— Grace Meng (@RepGraceMeng) March 6, 2019

Tlaib tweeted her support for Pressley’s amendment on Wednesday.

Yes! https://t.co/MR8IPZ3di5

— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) March 6, 2019

Pressley proposed the change as an amendment to House Democrats’ For the People Act, which would amend campaign finance laws.

The left-wing American Civil Liberties Union has already come out against the bill, citing “provisions that unconstitutionally impinge on the free speech rights of American citizens and public interest organizations.”

“They will have the effect of harming our public discourse by silencing necessary voices that would otherwise speak out about the public issues of the day,” the ACLU said in a letter to the House Rules Committee.

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 Democratic Congresswomen Want to Lower Federal Voting Age to 16 appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

New Trade Deficit Numbers Remind Us Why They Don’t Matter

Thu, 2019-03-07 13:03

The numbers are in, and the U.S. trade deficit in 2018 was roughly $621 billion, a 10-year high. That number doesn’t mean much by itself, however.

The trade deficit is simply a calculation of how much Americans buy from abroad versus how much they sell.

Each month, the U.S. Census Bureau releases data on the flow of goods and services. Those numbers include things such as the value of cars exported from the BMW plant in Greenville, South Carolina, and the value of airline and hotel purchases made by visitors to America.

That’s not to say that these numbers aren’t important. It’s useful to know how much Americans are buying and selling. But the current growth in the U.S. trade deficit is simply due to Americans buying and selling more.

In fact, the last time America had a significant decrease in its trade deficit was in 2009, during the Great Recession.

Trade deficit numbers also leave out an important piece of the picture; namely, foreign investment. The flow of capital, such as in building a new factory or purchasing government bonds, is entirely left out of the number released Wednesday by the Census Bureau.

America actually has a capital surplus, meaning companies and individuals around the world invest more money in the U.S. than we do abroad. The next investment numbers will be released this summer, but the media probably won’t cover it.

Investment in America by foreign companies is everywhere. Japan’s Toyota, South Korea’s Samsung, the United Kingdom’s HSBC, and the Netherland’s Philips all create thousands of jobs for Americans.

So, what does all of this really mean for us as Americans?

When individuals have the freedom to buy and sell with the world—free of government intervention—businesses are forced to compete and innovate more, resulting in more choices in the marketplace.

From groceries to smartphone, there are endless options at price points that fit the needs of everyone.

Rather than focusing on the trade deficit, Congress, the Trump administration, and even the media should focus more on the barriers imposed by governments (including the U.S.’s) to limit trade freedom, what the real-life effects of those barriers are, and how we can fix them.

The post New Trade Deficit Numbers Remind Us Why They Don’t Matter appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

How Liberal Companies Are Bringing Blue State Mindsets to Red States

Thu, 2019-03-07 12:57

Amazon isn’t the only one fed up with New York’s ridiculous tax rates. Plenty of companies are packing their bags and looking for office space in states with more business-friendly policies. There’s just one problem: A lot of these top firms can’t stand the conservative laws that make their new homes so successful.

AllianceBernstein, another firm fleeing the Empire State’s stifling economy, just announced that it’s relocating its $70 million headquarters to Nashville. But before it moves, the CEO is warning Tennessee: It’s not a fan of religious liberty. And AllianceBernstein is proving it by fighting the state’s faith-based adoption bill.

“AB chose to move to Tennessee because we believe it is a welcoming state that is focused on growing jobs, incomes, and the tax base,” Chief Operating Officer Jim Gingrich said in a statement. But, “the bills being debated in the current session of the legislature send a clear message to certain constituencies that they are not welcome. Other states have tried to pass similar bills,” he claims, “and this has proven to be anti-growth, anti-job, and against the interests of the citizens of those states.”

Is that so? Because the last time financial experts checked, the most socially conservative states also happened to be the most prosperous. For years, places like North Carolina (No. 1), Texas (No. 3), and Georgia (No. 6) have topped Forbes’s Best States for Business list—despite high-profile campaigns for privacy, religious liberty, and life.

What these liberal CEOs don’t understand is that these favorable business climates only come from conservative legislators who understand that real freedom leads to economic growth. That’s why these red states are so enticing to companies, because their social values haven’t just built a foundation for workforce and family success—but thriving corporations, too.

The left loves to throw around this stale talking point that fighting for conservative values hurts states. Hardly! In the aftermath of the fiercest bathroom fight ever in North Carolina, nothing the liberals predicted came to pass. Even after a string of canceled concerts and celebrity boycotts, the Tar Heels are thriving. More than two years after the law, more businesses are moving to North Carolina than away from it.

“The outlook is also strong. Job growth and gross state product growth are expected to rank among the strongest in the country over the next five years,” Forbes points out. As for all of those people moving out of the state because it dared to protect women and children? “The population is growing twice as fast as the U.S. average … “

Why? Because in states where the social structure is better, you don’t need as much government interference. There’s less regulation, more freedom, and lower taxes in places like Tennessee (No. 13). But companies like AllianceBernstein can’t have it both ways.

Too many of these corporate refugees are relocating and trying to impose their extreme politics on their new homes. If conservative states want to keep their economies competitive, they need to make it clear. Businesses can either embrace the social structure that leads to growth and opportunity, or they can do what most Americans would prefer—and stay out of politics all together.

If CEOs don’t like those options, tell them to go back to the high-regulation, high-tax states from which they come.

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

The post How Liberal Companies Are Bringing Blue State Mindsets to Red States appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

Bryce Harper and the Future of Fan Loyalty

Thu, 2019-03-07 12:52

President Harry Truman once said, “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.” That truism can now be applied to baseball players, notably Bryce Harper.

Harper, a former Washington National and now new member of their National League East rival, the Philadelphia Phillies, recently completed an off-season auction of his talents, signing a 13-year contract worth $330 million to play the rest of his career in Philadelphia.

I have never been one to begrudge a professional athlete, or anyone else, from making as much money as they can.

Is he worth it? He is worth whatever the Phillies pay him. This is about loyalty.

There was a time when baseball players were loyal to the team that signed them, except in rare instances when some were traded. The greatest—Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Mickey Mantle, Cal Ripken Jr., and many others—stuck with one team.

Since free agency, players have become like interchangeable parts. One year they are in the local uniform, the next they are wearing different colors and playing for a rival team. Owners partially pay for their large salaries by sticking fans with higher prices for tickets, parking, beverages, and food.

The last time I attended a Nationals game, a roast beef sandwich cost $12 and domestic beer was $9. Closed-in parking cost $50. The price tag on a player’s jersey was $225 (plus tax). Water, peanuts, and hot dogs are similarly and ridiculously priced. One can buy a pack of hot dogs at the supermarket for the price of a single one at the ballpark.

The Nationals offered Harper roughly the same money Philadelphia is paying him, but much of it would have been deferred, which apparently caused Harper’s agent, Scott Boras, to convince him to go to the Phillies.

In politics, if a Republican is loyal to the president, or his or her principles, that person is regarded by opponents as a sycophant, or rigid and unwilling to compromise. If one is a Democrat and displays such loyalty to a president of that party, and their own beliefs, that politician’s motives are regarded as principled.

It’s not that different in sports, where the individual, not the team, or the paying fans, has become supreme. In politics, it is increasingly about one’s re-election prospects; it’s not about country first.

Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo lured Harper to the team seven years ago when he was 19. They groomed him, gave him a platform that allowed him to become an all-star, a most valuable player, and a fan favorite.

Harper provided great entertainment and the hope—subsequently dashed—that a Washington baseball team, the first since the old Washington Senators in 1924, might just win the World Series.

Fans had faith they could overcome what baseball writer Charles Dryden said about an earlier team in 1904: “Washington—first in war, first in peace, and last in the American League.”

Harper is not alone in winning big paydays. Manny Machado just signed a $300 million deal with the San Diego Padres. That record amount was eclipsed by Harper’s deal by a small amount. So Harper will have bragging rights until someone signs an even bigger contract.

What about fan loyalty? Major League Baseball can look at the problems the NFL had with its fan base when politics invaded the sport. So far, baseball has been free of politics, but how long fans will put up with “here today, gone tomorrow” players is anyone’s guess.

It would be a shame if America’s pastime went to the dogs.

(c) 2019 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

The post Bryce Harper and the Future of Fan Loyalty appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

Podcast: Penny Nance on Conservatism and Feminism

Thu, 2019-03-07 03:01

Should women be drafted? What should we do about the #MeToo movement? And how can we reach out to more women with the conservative message? Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America joins us to discuss. Plus: Another young adult book has been canceled for not being woke enough.

We also cover these stories:

  • Border agents are dealing with a massive surge in border crossings, the highest number in a decade.
  • “It is shameful that House Democrats won’t take a stronger stand against anti-Semitism in their conference,” tweeted President Donald Trump.
  • The Democratic National Committee announced Wednesday that it won’t allow Fox News to host one of its televised debates during the upcoming presidential primary.

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!

The post Podcast: Penny Nance on Conservatism and Feminism appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

Sen. Martha McSally Claims She Was Raped in the Air Force

Wed, 2019-03-06 19:00

Arizona Republican Sen. Martha McSally said she was raped while she was a pilot in the Air Force during a Wednesday meeting on Capitol Hill.

“I am also a military sexual assault survivor,” McSally said during a Senate Armed Services subcommittee hearing on sexual assault in the military. McSally also went on to say that she felt like the system in place hurt her as well, after she was raped by a superior officer, according to CNN. “I too felt like the system raped me over again,” McSally continued.

The Arizona Republican was appointed to John McCain’s former Senate seat after Republican Sen. Jon Kyl announced his resignation from the U.S. Senate at the end of December.

McSally, a retired Air Force colonel and A-10 fighter pilot, was the first female to fly in combat. Before serving in the Senate, McSally served as a two-term Arizona congresswoman.

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 Sen. Martha McSally Claims She Was Raped in the Air Force appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

On Hill, Homeland Security Officials Describe Emergency at the Border

Wed, 2019-03-06 18:17

Changing immigration laws could reduce the inflow of illegal border crossers by almost two-thirds, a top border security official testified Wednesday at a Senate hearing.

Kevin McAleenan, commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the Border Patrol should be able to detain families as a unit, which is prohibited under the government’s interpretation of current law.

Congress also should reform the asylum laws and make it easier for immigration officials to send illegal border crossers to to their home countries, McAleenan said.    

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., chairman of the Judiciary Committee, asked whether a change in law or more resources—including funds for a border wall—would make a bigger dent in illegal immigration.   

Border Patrol officials need both, McAleenan replied.

“But the immediate impact—63 percent of our traffic at the border would be addressed by a change in the laws,” McAleenan said.

The hearing comes as President Donald Trump makes his case to Congress for the national emergency he declared Feb. 15 to secure funds to build a wall or other barrier along sections of the southern border.

On the other side of the Capitol, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, McAleenan’s boss, testified Wednesday before the House’s Democrat-controlled Homeland Security Committee.

Nielsen and McAleenan shared the same updated statistics with House and Senate lawmakers.

A total of 76,103 illegal immigrants were arrested or deemed inadmissible in February, according to Customs and Border Protection statistics.

This marked the highest monthly total since 2008. Of the more than 66,000 arrested, 6,825 were unaccompanied children and 36,174 were in family units.                             

At the House hearing, Nielsen testified that illegal immigration across the border is “spiraling out of control” and is now a “humanitarian catastrophe.”

“Our capacity is already severely strained, but these increases will overwhelm the system entirely,” Nielsen said. “This is not a manufactured crisis. This is truly an emergency.”

However, House Democrats were tough on her, questioning her veracity while focusing primarily on last year’s controversy of separating children.

Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., asked Nielsen not to repeat the president’s lies.

“The secretary can choose whether to be complicit in this administration’s misinformation campaign, or she can correct the record,” Thompson said at one point.

McAleenan told the Judiciary Committee that 70 percent of illegal immigrants come from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. Because of U.S. asylum laws, only about 2 percent who bring a child into the country ever are sent back.

“The smugglers are actively advertising that if you come with a child, they will be released,” he said.

The problem dates to 1997, when the Clinton administration entered into something called the Flores Settlement Agreement to end a class action lawsuit brought in the 1980s.

The settlement established a policy that the federal government would release unaccompanied minors from custody to parents, relatives, or other caretakers after no more than 20 days, or, alternatively, determine the “least restrictive” setting for those children.

Then, in 2008, the Democrat-controlled House and Senate passed bipartisan legislation to combat human trafficking, and President George W. Bush, a Republican, signed it into law.  

Section 235 (g) of that law, the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, states that unaccompanied minors entering the country must be transferred to the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement, rather than to the Department of Homeland Security.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit expanded the
Flores settlement in 2016 to include children brought to the country illegally by their parents, in addition to unaccompanied minors.

For consistency between the provision of the anti-trafficking law and the 9th Circuit’s interpretation of the Flores Settlement Agreement, children who came into the country illegally with parents had to be taken into HHS custody.

This left law enforcement with the choice of separating children from parents or continuing the catch-and-release policy.

During the Judiciary Committee hearing, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., argued against making changes to the Flores agreement.

“Without Flores, there is no protection for children, who could be caged,” Durbin said.

At several points during the hearing, McAleenan clarified that he did not want to scrap the protections under the Flores agreement.

“The three changes I outlined, having appropriate conditions is essential and we are committed to that,” McAleenan said. “What we’re asking for is the ability that families be detained together in an appropriate way.”

McAleenan also fact-checked Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., who said during the hearing that illegal border crossings are declining.

“The numbers of border crossings are still at a historic low compared to other times in our nation’s history,” Blumenthal said.

McAleenan replied: “No, Senator, they’re not. We are on pace for over 700,000 crossings this year. That’s closer to historic highs than historic lows.”

He said the high point for modern times was 1 million illegal crossings in 2006.

Blumenthal asked, “That’s only if we get to 700,000?”

McAleenan said it’s time to look at the facts.

“We have to confront what has happened in these five months. Four months of 50,000 or 60,000 crossing illegally,” McAleenan said. “Last month, 76,000 in February. We have not had a February like that in over a decade.”

Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., later asked about a border wall.

Trump declared the national emergency last month to have the ability to move more than $6 billion toward new construction of a wall or other barricades along the southern border.

“Do we need a border wall or a barrier? And, I want your honest answer. If you get fired, you can come to work for me. Do we need one?” Kennedy asked.

“We do,” McAleenan answered. “We need to maintain what we have. There is 654 miles [of barriers], and we need hundreds of additional miles in critical areas we have difficulty controlling, that the president has requested.”

Kennedy asked, “What would happen if we tore down the walls we have now?

“Parts of our border would be completely ungovernable,” McAleenan said.

The post On Hill, Homeland Security Officials Describe Emergency at the Border appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

Congress Should Keep Its Promise to End Energy Subsidies

Wed, 2019-03-06 18:15

As Americans work to file their taxes, Congress is setting to work on a package of expired tax credits this spring to enrich a few energy technologies at the expense of federal taxpayers.

Sens. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., of the Senate Finance Committee last week introduced a bill that would retroactively renew 26 tax credits that expired at the start of 2018.

The Grassley-Wyden bill would carry those tax credits through 2019 even though they were intentionally left out of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and past omnibus spending deals.

Called the Tax Extender and Disaster Relief Act of 2019, the legislation carves out favors for a few odds and ends such as race horses, motor sports complexes, and medical expenses.

But most of the bill gives special breaks to energy companies that produce biofuels, electric and fuel cell vehicles, and certain boutique renewable energy technologies, including biomass and geothermal.

Targeted tax credits have become a popular way for government to award special treatment and artificially attract private-sector interest to politically favored and well-connected industries.

In short, they’re nothing more than subsidies doled out through the tax code. Not only is this fiscally irresponsible, but Congress also does no service to these energy technologies and companies in the long run by subsidizing them.

It’s bad enough that several years of lobbying by these special interests appears to be working. Rather than getting closer to a free energy sector, that’s unfortunately business as usual for Washington.

But it’s another thing altogether to see some in Congress all too willing to hand out subsidies apparently unsolicited by lobbyists. How efficient.

As reported by E&E News, some Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee are angling to add wind and solar tax credits to a larger tax extenders package like the one introduced by Grassley and Wyden.

On these, Republicans and Democrats reached a compromise in the 2015 omnibus spending bill to extend credits one more time and put them on a schedule to sunset in 2022, a decision that diverted over $14 billion to the green energy industry. From the beginning, these credits (like those in the Grassley-Wyden bill) were designed to be temporary but have expired, been extended, re-extended, and retroactively extended for decades.

Finally, it seemed that Washington had had enough, and the wind and solar industries could no longer claim they were infant industries in the face of falling costs and industry growth.

Fast forward four years to now.

About the wind production tax credit, the wind industry said: “The wind industry agreed to an orderly phase-out of the production tax credit … We aren’t actively asking for an extension to our PTC.”

And the solar industry said of the solar investment tax credit: “We have not asked for an extension of the ITC.”

And yet now, that compromise could mean nothing if Democrats have their way.

There is some hope of responsible action winning out. Grassley, historically a champion of wind subsidies, said: “We made that decision in 2015. I think it would be wrong for me to go back on my word.”

But one has to ask: What will it take to get the rest of Congress to keep a promise?

The post Congress Should Keep Its Promise to End Energy Subsidies appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

How 3 People Showed the Absurdity of Some Academic Research Journals

Wed, 2019-03-06 18:10

If you are an American college professor, the way you get a raise or tenure is by getting papers published in “academic journals.”

The stupidity of these journals says a lot about what’s taught at colleges today.

Recently, three people sent in intentionally ridiculous “research” to prominent journals of women studies, gender studies, race studies, sexuality studies, obesity studies, and queer studies.

“The scholarship in these disciplines is utterly corrupted,” says Dr. Peter Boghossian of Portland State University. “They have placed an agenda before the truth.”

To show that, hoaxer and mathematician James Lindsay says, “We rewrote a section of ‘Mein Kampf’ as intersectional feminism” and got it published in Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work.

For another paper, they claimed to have “closely” examined genitals of 10,000 dogs in dog parks to learn about “rape culture and queer performativity.”

Boghossian had assumed, “There’s no way they’re gonna believe that we did this!”

But the journal Gender, Place & Culture did, calling the paper “excellent scholarship.”

Seven journals accepted the absurd papers, as I show in my latest video.

Hoaxers Boghossian, Lindsay, and Areo Magazine Editor Helen Pluckrose explain the reason for their trick.

“We think studying topics like gender, race, and sexuality is worthwhile and getting it right is extremely important,” says Lindsay.

But researchers of these topics have gotten lazy and political, they say. “A culture has developed in which only certain conclusions are allowed—like those that make whiteness and masculinity problematic,” Lindsay says.

Reach politically “correct” conclusions and you can get most anything published.

“Kind of a last straw happened,” says Lindsay. “There was this paper well-funded by the National Science Foundation that studied ‘feminist glaciology.’ It said glacier science is sexist.”

As a glaciologist giving a TED Talk put it, “The majority of glaciological knowledge that we have today stems from knowledge created by men about men within existing masculinist stories.”

What?

One paper suggested the solution to sexism in glacier science is “feminist paintings of glaciers and feminist art projects,” says Lindsay. They praised art projects like one where they “hooked up a phone line to a glacier so you could call the glacier on the phone and listen to it.”

That was “the last straw” for him.

Lindsay adds, “What appears beyond dispute is that making absurd and horrible ideas sufficiently politically fashionable can get them validated at the highest levels of academic grievance studies.”

The hoaxers didn’t get to finish their experiment because The Wall Street Journal’s Jillian Kay Melchior noticed the absurdity of the paper on dog humping. She exposed the hoax before all 20 journals weighed in.

What upsets me most is what happened—or rather, didn’t happen—next.

No university said it would stop using those journals, and no journal editor publicly said, “We must raise our standards.”

“Think about if you did this to civil engineers with bridge building,” says Boghossian. “They would’ve thanked us, right? Because they’re driving over the bridges with their families, so they don’t want the bridges to collapse.”

But the journal editors, instead of admitting that they sometimes publish nonsense, attacked the hoaxers. They accused them of doing “unethical research.”

A dozen of Boghossian’s colleagues at Portland State University criticized him anonymously in the school newspaper, which depicted him as a clown. He’s become a pariah at his own school.

“I’ve been spat on … physically threatened,” he says.

Instead of applauding him for exposing nonsense, Portland State threatened him.

I called the school asking for an interview, but it declined.

How can a college criticize the hoaxers but revere ridiculous journals that publish nonsense?

“When you live in these tight ecosystems, this stuff makes total sense,” says Boghossian. For people in the tiny bubble of academic thinking, “there’s a pervading rape culture; men are bad—the whole ball of wax.”

It’s been going on for some time. A physicist once submitted a nonsense paper claiming gravity is just a “social construct.” The journal Social Text published it. That embarrassed the journal, but 20 years later, it is still going strong.

At universities, “scholarship” has gotten even crazier.

The real “hoax” is on students who pay thousands of dollars for useless degrees in fields that end in “studies.”

DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

The post How 3 People Showed the Absurdity of Some Academic Research Journals appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Categories: Public Policy

Pages