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Obama’s Decision to Commute Manning Proves Liberals Will Always Choose Political Gain over Justice

In light of President Obama’s commutation of national traitor Chelsea Manning Tuesday, the looming question of whether Manning’s status as a transgender “woman” had anything to do with the decision remains. Fox News’ Greg Gutfeld speculated Wednesday about whether a non-trans individual in Manning’s situation would have enjoyed such a generous (and completely asinine) pardon:

If this were just an average guy that had leaked this stuff and just went to jail as an average guy and didn’t go and have a sex change and become a sympathetic character, would that person be treated differently? I think that person would be treated differently from Chelsea Manning.

There is reason to believe that Manning’s status as a “sympathetic character” played a role in his commutation, given Obama’s never-ending effort to appeal to the far Left. And if courting the favor of anti-establishment liberals was the goal, Obama succeeded.

The disgraced former U.S. Army soldier received support from Hollywood figures and prominent SJWs, who touted him as a “hero” of the LGBT community. WikiLeaks touted the commutation as a “victory”:

Tuesday’s decision is just the latest debacle in Obama’s long history of administrative missteps (i.e. befriending enemies of liberty). Take the recent death of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro: Obama sent one of his closest aides to attend Castro’s funeral, and the White House formulated a sentimental tribute to the murderous tyrant.

The outgoing president’s commutation announcement Tuesday was met with harsh backlash from conservatives who noted the blatant hypocrisy of Obama pardoning Manning while his party continues to condemn Russia and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for allegedly tampering with the presidential election.

Others cited Manning’s commutation as further evidence of the Obama administration’s complete disregard for law and order:

In an interview with “CBS This Morning” Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest offered what is quite possibly the lamest response to this episode:

The thing that I think is outrageous is for Republicans to say is that somehow Chelsea Manning deserves a more serious punishment because of her collusion with Wikileaks and its damage to the country when they endorsed a man for president of the United States who praised Wikileaks, who encouraged people to go and check out Wikileaks and who encouraged Wikileaks to collude with the Russians to hack his opponent. It is outrageous for them to suggest that right now what Chelsea Manning did is worse than what the man who they endorsed for president did.

Even if it were true that the majority of Republicans approve of hacker Julian Assange, his anti-American activities, and his interference with the U.S. election (they don’t), since when did, “Republicans excuse traitors, too” become a viable defense for absolving a man who aided terrorists and put countless American lives at risk?

This was never about “justice.” The real reason for Obama’s preferential treatment of Chelsea Manning is that the LGBT and sexual identity issues have become the issue for the Left, presenting Obama another easy opportunity to play the social justice hero and deity — without any of the cost or fallout. His disgraceful decision shows an utter indifference toward justice and a disregard for the safety of American citizens. (For more from the author of “Obama’s Decision to Commute Manning Proves Liberals Will Always Choose Political Gain over Justice” please click HERE)

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The Story Media Bubble-Dwellers Won’t Tell You about Our ‘Divided’ Country

The narrative following the last election is that America is a deeply divided country. Split right down the middle on both values and vision.

But what if that isn’t exactly what’s happening here?

Clearly a deep divide exists within the country. However, what isn’t known is how much of the country this divide exists within.

Is it possible that since the parts of the country most estranged from and hostile to the ideals of American Exceptionalism also happens to be where the most of the media lives and works, as well where most of pop culture is produced, the conventional wisdom on how divided we are could be overblown?

The data suggests that could be case.

Democrats are at their lowest level of national representation in American politics since before the Great Depression. Hillary Clinton won fewer than 15% of the nation’s counties, despite winning the overall national popular vote by more than 2 million votes. A margin, by the way, which came entirely from one state. Minus the leftist home world known as the People’s Republic of California, Donald Trump actually won the popular vote by well over a million votes everywhere else.

Trump also won Pennsylvania, which a Republican hasn’t won since 1988. He won Wisconsin, which a Republican hasn’t won since 1984. He won Iowa, which Republicans have only won once since 1988. He won Michigan, which a Republican hasn’t won since 1988. And he broke those decades-long trends by doing pretty much everything GOP consultants — who demand bland — have been advising the party’s standard-bearers not to do all this time.

Not to mention Trump’s own considerable personal baggage, including a frustrating tendency to seemingly find the most boorish way possible to communicate — even when it clearly isn’t necessary.

If you look at the below map of this election you actually see a lot of agreement on which direction to take the country, alongside concentrated pockets of resistance.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not having conservative delusions of grandeur, just because it appears rumors of America’s alleged leftist takeover have been greatly exaggerated. Given what I do for a living I fight on the frontlines for conservatism every day, so I’m well aware of the fact what I’m fighting for isn’t the majority view in the country, either. After all, we just went through an election when GOP primary voters rejected any semblance of conservatism in nominating Trump, as well as a general election that was almost completely devoid of conservative themes and ideas.

But what we conservatives are fighting for is a return to the ideals that founded the country, rather than the radical departure away from them progressives seek. So even if America isn’t quite ready yet for limited government (and it’s clearly not), where the country stands politically at the moment proves most Americans have rejected the existential upheaval the Left is after.

For example, reasonable people can disagree on what restrictions regarding gun ownership are prudent in light of the Second Amendment. But the Left wants to debate whether private citizens should own guns at all.

Reasonable people can disagree on whether those of the same gender should be permitted lawfully to have relationships with one another, provided they’re not imposing on anybody else’s freedom in the process. But the Left wants to force those who morally disagree with homosexuality to be compelled by government to violate their own conscience in order to function as a full-fledged member of society.

Reasonable people can disagree whether schools should teach our children abstinence, offer birth control, or remain silent on the matter altogether. But the Left wants the killing of children not only protected by law but supported by tax dollars.

And it doesn’t stop there. Heck, the Left seeks the complete dismantling of gender altogether. One of the most fundamental recognitions required of any civilized, enlightened society.

See, it appears what our friends on the Left call division is really discernment. The rest of America has simply chosen not to bankrupt themselves fiscally and morally as our friends on the Left have. It’s not that the rest of America isn’t smart enough to ingest progressive magical thinking, it’s that they’re smart enough not to. (For more from the author of “The Story Media Bubble-Dwellers Won’t Tell You about Our ‘Divided’ Country” please click HERE)

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Why CNN Contributor Marc Lamont Hill Was Wrong to Call Trump’s Diversity Council ‘Mediocre Negroes’

What do NFL stars Jim Brown and Ray Lewis, Family Feud host Steve Harvey, rap great Kanye West, megachurch pastor Darrell Scott, Dr. Ben Carson, and Martin Luther King, III, have in common? They are all black. They have all met with (or worked with) President-elect Trump and spoken of their interaction positively. And they are apparently guilty of being “mediocre Negroes” in the eyes of CNN-contributor and Morehouse College professor Marc Lamont Hill.

Speaking about Trump’s new “diversity coalition,” Hill described them as “a bunch of mediocre Negroes being dragged in front of TV as a photo-op for Donald Trump’s exploitative campaign against black people.”

And speaking of Steve Harvey, who recently met with Trump and said he would be working with Dr. Carson to help the HUD, Hill opined, “My disagreement is the way in which [Steve Harvey is] being used by folk like Donald Trump. Again, his intention is just to have a seat at the table. But when you’re at the table, you should have experts at the table. You should have people who can challenge the president at the table.”

When Hill was castigated for this comment, he quickly claimed he wasn’t talking about Jim Brown, the NFL legend who stood side by side with Muhammad Ali for years, or of Steve Harvey, or even of Ben Caron, whom he described as a “mediocre choice for HUD” but an “extraordinary human.” Instead, he stated that he “referred to the Trump Diversity Council,” of which neither Brown nor Harvey were a part.

I will take Hill at his word, but it’s quite odd, to say the least, to mention Harvey in the very same interview in which he speaks of these “mediocre Negroes,” also stating that “because they keep bringing up comedians and actors and athletes to represent black interests [it’s] demeaning, it’s disrespectful, and it’s condescending. Bring some people up there with some expertise, Donald Trump, don’t just bring up people to entertain.”

So, these “comedians and actors and athletes” — which would certainly include Brown, Lewis, Harvey, and probably West — are not “mediocre Negroes,” simply because they didn’t appear in the photo-op for the president’s diversity council? Really? And he can use the same word, “mediocre,” when speaking of Carson as the presumptive head of HUD but he didn’t mean to say that Carson was a “mediocre Negro.” Seriously?

It’s Ugly & Racist

Either way, whomever he was speaking about, how is it not ugly and racist to call a fellow black person a Negro, let alone a mediocre Negro?

Can you imagine if a conservative white broadcaster like Sean Hannity — or even a conservative black commentator like Larry Elder — said something like that on Fox News? The moral indignation and the calls for that person’s head would be both non-stop and over the top. (Just think of what happened to sports commentator and baseball great Curt Schilling, himself a conservative, fired from ESPN after what was deemed an offensive Facebook meme about bathroom access for transgenders.)

But a black commentator on liberal CNN can use the derogatory term “Negro,” surely pointing back to an earlier period in our history when blacks quietly suffered indignation and segregation, and to date, to my knowledge the network has neither rebuked him nor distanced itself from his comment.

More insultingly, some of those who have been part of Trump’s National Diversity Coalition include Bruce Levell, a prominent Georgia Republican, Alveda King, Dr. King’s niece, Lynne Patton, vice president of the Eric Trump Foundation, Brunell Donald-Kyei, an attorney and former Democratic Lt. Gov. candidate for the state of Illinois, and Dr. N. Denise Mitchem, VP of Corporate Relations and Government Affairs, UST Global — all of them black. Are they part of Hill’s group of “mediocre Negroes”?

As for Hill’s accusation that all these people are being used as tools “for Donald Trump’s exploitative campaign against black people,” does that “exploitative campaign” include things like improving the quality of life in the inner-cities, providing more job opportunities for black Americans, undoing the destructive policies of the left, and appointing people like Carson to head up HUD?

“Blackness” Measured by Ideology

What I find most galling, though, is that, for quite a few years now, “blackness” is measured by one’s ideology rather than by the color of one’s skin (or even by a person’s life experience). Consequently, black friends of mine who are conservative are commonly told by their fellow-blacks that they are “not black enough” or “not black anymore,” as if they have not had the same life experiences or are not subject to the same racial profiling.

Black is now an ideology more than a skin color. (Similarly, “gay” not only describes a sexual orientation but an ideology, and conservative gays are seen as betraying their real identity.)

Not surprisingly, on his Prager U video “The Top 5 Issues Facing Black Americans,” Taleeb Starkes, himself black, listed as problem number 4 “Lack of Diversity,” decrying the virtual absence of “honest dialogue between blacks and blacks.”

Dare to differ with the party line, and you’re a traitor to the cause and a traitor to your people. You’re hardly even black anymore. You’re just a “mediocre Negro.”

In my book, it’s not much better for a black man to refer to a fellow black person as a “mediocre Negro” because of a difference in ideology than for a white man to refer to a black person as a n***** because he hates the color of his skin.

Are they not both blatant examples of racism? And are not Hill’s comments the latest example of divisive and destructive identity politics? If you read this, Mr. Hill, surely you can do better. Surely you can step higher, unless your agenda is to divide and destroy.

Is it? (For more from the author of “Why CNN Contributor Marc Lamont Hill Was Wrong to Call Trump’s Diversity Council ‘Mediocre Negroes'” please click HERE)

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Trump’s Lust for Respect Makes National Unity Implausible

“For many years,” Donald Trump tweeted Sunday afternoon, “our country has been divided, angry and untrusting. Many say it will never change, the hatred is too deep. IT WILL CHANGE!!!!”

As persuasive as the ALL CAPS are, I have my doubts.

Put aside Trump’s specific shortcomings for the moment. The presidency has become ill-suited to the task of unifying the country, because the presidency has become the biggest prize and totem in the culture war. Like the religious wars between Catholics and Protestants in England, if one side controls the throne, it is seen as an insult and threat to the other. And whoever holds the throne is seen as a kind of personal Protector of the Realm.

The political parties have been utterly complicit in the process. Exploiting social media and other technologies, Republicans and Democrats shape their messages around the assumption that they — and they alone — have legitimate ownership of America’s authentic best self. That’s why whichever party is out of power promises to “take back America” — as if the other side were foreign invaders.

Barack Obama was elected in 2008 in no small part to fulfill the promise of his 2004 Democratic Convention keynote address: to banish the slicing and dicing of America into Red States and Blue States. (Read more from “Trump’s Lust for Respect Makes National Unity Implausible” HERE)

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Are You Really More Prejudiced Than You Think?

How prejudiced are you? Wait — don’t answer, you’ll get it wrong. You’re more prejudiced than you think. You have implicit, automatic associations between gender and certain career tracks. You prefer lighter skin tones. You don’t know how much your biases influence you every day, but you can take a test that will tell you the dark truth about yourself.

It’s called the Implicit Association Test, or IAT. Harvard University has been running “Project Implicit” since 1998, testing people’s hidden attitudes toward gender, race and ethnicity. Millions have taken the test. It comes in several versions, it only takes about ten minutes, and it’s worth giving it a try to see what makes it such a big deal.

The Enormous Influence of the IAT

A big deal it certainly is. Scary, too. President Obama’s Office of Science and Technology Policy has prepared a white paper telling us,

Research demonstrates that most people hold unconscious, implicit assumptions that influence their judgments and perceptions of others. Implicit bias manifests in expectations or assumptions about physical or social characteristics dictated by stereotypes that are based on a person’s race, gender, age, or ethnicity.

Sounds pretty scientific — who could argue with language like that? And the effects are grim:

People who intend to be fair, and believe they are egalitarian, apply biases unintentionally. Some behaviors that result from implicit bias manifest in actions, and others are embodied in the absence of action; either can reduce the quality of the workforce and create an unfair and destructive environment.

The IAT’s influence has been enormous:

It’s been used to explain why people have doubted Barack Obama was truly American.

It’s also been used to explain why minorities are treated differently in the courtroom: “There is no reason to presume attorney exceptionalism in terms of implicit biases.… If this is right, there is plenty of reason to be concerned about how these biases might play out in practice.” The same paper raised a strong warning about implicit biases among judges.

It’s been used to explain “Why Cops Shoot Young Black Men”; for as we are told, “An impressive body of psychological research suggests that the men who killed Brown and Martin need not have been conscious, overt racists to do what they did.” Time magazine adds, “That’s little comfort to the grieving families of the growing list of victims — and no good at all to the young men who have been lost. But it at least might help us understand how we came to such tragedy.”

We’re all rotten scoundrels, the IAT tells us. Well, maybe not all of us. Chris Mooney, writing in the Washington Post points fingers at one group in particular: “whites are biased and they don’t even know it.”

The IAT Should be stunning, But Isn’t

But what is this “clear evidence of implicit bias,” anyway? Turns out there’s probably nothing there, according to a January 5 article in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Nothing. It’s lousy science.

Researchers from three universities reviewed almost 500 studies across 20 years and found there was very little evidence that the biases supposedly measured in the IAT have anything to do with behavior. The findings, says one co-author of their 2016 review article, “should be stunning.”

I chose the words “supposedly measured” advisedly. As psychologist Hart Blanton explained in an interview with the Chronicle,

It’s possible to be labeled “moderately biased” on your first test and “slightly biased” on the next. …”The IAT isn’t even predicting the IAT two weeks later,” Blanton says. “How can a test predict behavior if it can’t even predict itself?”

In grad school they taught me no measurement could be more useful (“valid”) than it is reliable; and reliability has to do with how consistently it measures. A yardstick is both valid and reliable for measuring distances up to three feet — unless it’s made by marking inches off on a long rubber band.

That would be worthless, not because it lacks the right kind of measurement, and not even because you couldn’t get lucky with it and land on the right answer sometimes. It’s because you’d get a different answer every time, with no way of knowing which one was right, if any. That’s what Blanton says is going on with the IAT.

If May Look Like Science, But It Still Isn’t Necessarily Science

Naturally, the Project Implicit team thinks they’re producing real science. They could be right — there’s still room for debate — but this latest review casts considerable doubt on it (not for the first time, by the way). Nevertheless the White House tells us with unabashed assurance, “Research demonstrates that most people hold unconscious, implicit assumptions that influence their judgments and perceptions of others.”

I could cite other research — there’s plenty — demonstrating that people are often too quick to trust whatever looks like science to them. The IAT has all the right bells and whistles, and an impressive list of Ph.D.s on its supporting team. So if it says you’re a bigot, you’re a bigot, right?

Wrong. From the 2016 review paper: “We found little evidence that changes in implicit bias mediate [have anything detectable to do with] changes in explicit bias or behavior.” And what difference does it make if some test — completely divorced from real human relationships — says you’re unconsciously biased? What counts is how you actually treat other people. Apparently the IAT doesn’t have much to tell us a thing about that.

But still it shows why cops shoot blacks, doesn’t it? No, wrong again:

Despite clear evidence of implicit bias against Black suspects, officers were slower to shoot armed Black suspects than armed White suspects, and they were less likely to shoot unarmed Black suspects than unarmed White suspects.

Explicit Biases In Operation

Here’s the real lesson. Forget implicit biases. Think explicit ones instead. We don’t need teams of Ph.D.s and arcane tests to expose them. They’re right out in the open. One of them is liberals’ belief that discrimination is the root of all evil; and if you’re not displaying discrimination on the surface, it must be there anyway, especially if you’re white — And we’re gonna dig it out of you, you bigot, you!

I can’t prove it, but I can’t help wondering whether that sentiment explains the IAT’s huge popularity and interest. Never mind its poor record for reliability: it supports the liberals’ narrative of inequality and discrimination.

By Their Fruits

Prying into the unconscious may be an interesting pastime, except it’s way too easy to fool ourselves into thinking we know what’s there when we don’t. God knows what’s going on deep inside everyone’s hearts. For the rest of us, the better rule is, “You will know them by their fruits.” (For more from the author of “Trump’s Lust for Respect Makes National Unity Implausible” please click HERE)

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Obama Told US ‘Elections Have Consequences.’ Here’s One Way to Reverse His Liberal Legacy.

“Elections have consequences, and at the end of the day, I won.”

These were the infamous words President Barack Obama used to scold congressional Republicans just three days after his inauguration in 2009, foreshadowing how he would approach policymaking for the next eight years.

Rather than listening to and trying to work with Republicans, Obama governed through brute force—with his “pen and phone” more often than with the consent of Congress—guided by the dictates of his progressive ideology rather than the interests of the American people.

In virtually every policy area—from health care and immigration to the deployment of American troops and the accession to new international treaties—Obama ignored those who dared to dissent from his agenda and used whatever means necessary to accomplish his goals.

The result is a precarious legacy burdened by a host of deeply unpopular and highly controversial policies, many of which can be repealed, replaced, rolled back, and otherwise reformed by the new Republican majorities in Congress.

But Republicans should take care to avoid adopting the same high-handed, condescending governing style exhibited by Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress.

Instead of ignoring the concerns and preferences of the American people—and their elected officials at the state and local level—we should listen to and learn from them.

Rather than forcing diverse communities to abide by inflexible, burdensome rules and regulations devised by federal bureaucrats in Washington, we should empower local decision-makers to find solutions that address the unique needs of their families, neighborhoods, and businesses.

One of the areas of federal policy most in need of local empowerment is housing.

For instance, in 2015, the Department of Housing and Urban Development issued the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which requires cities and towns across the country to audit their local housing policies.

If any aspect of a community’s housing and demographic patterns fails to meet the department’s expansive definition of “fair housing” under the fair housing rule, the local government must submit a plan to reorganize the community’s housing practices according to the preferences and priorities of the department’s bureaucrats.

Failure to comply will result in the department withholding Community Development Block Grants, federal grant money that local officials have traditionally been free to use as they see fit.

Proponents of the fair housing rule claim the rule establishes a collaborative process, with local government officials in the driver’s seat while the bureaucrats at the Department of Housing and Urban Development merely provide “support” and “guidance.”

But the track record of the fair housing rule proves the opposite.

Many local housing officials from across the country, including in Utah, have told the same story: The costs of complying with the fair housing rule stretch their already thin resources, add hundreds of hours of bureaucratic paperwork to their workloads, and eliminate their autonomy to determine the best ways to provide adequate low-cost housing to their community.

To provide some measure of relief to local public housing authorities, a group of Republicans in Congress has supported legislation to restrict the department from using federal funds to implement the fair housing rule.

The Local Zoning Decisions Protection Act is the latest iteration of this legislation, which I joined Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., to introduce last week.

For the past 18 months, with Obama holding the executive veto pen and unwilling to believe that his policies are unpopular, there was very little chance this bill would be signed into law.

But on Jan. 20, when Donald Trump is sworn into office, that will change, and I will do everything in my power to ensure its swift passage.

After all, elections have consequences. (For more from the author of “Obama Told US ‘Elections Have Consequences.’ Here’s One Way to Reverse His Liberal Legacy.” please click HERE)

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What Obama’s Farewell Speech Revealed about His Plans for YOUR Future

In Obama’s farewell address, he rekindled his lifelong effort to reinvigorate leftist activism, provided hints and direction for more concentrated efforts, and directed leftists as to how to go about bringing “change.”

In November I wrote two pieces here and here, that had to do with community organizing on the constitutional conservative side, to counter the obvious organizational superiority of the Left. With Obama free to take up his previous tasks with rockstar status and an extremely distraught Left, he will have the fuel to launch highly motivated leftists in every town. We must be there too.

Obama began his speech describing his beginning as a community organizer in Chicago, saying, “I began working with church groups in the shadows of closed steel mills.” His start was a direct copy of Saul Alinsky’s start to begin to radically change the minds and hearts of people through agitation.

Writing about Hillary Clinton’s ties with Saul Alinsky over the summer, I quoted Alinsky when he argued community organizer must be:

… dedicated to changing the character of life of a particular community [and] has an initial function of serving as an abrasive agent to rub raw the resentments of the people of the community; to fan latent hostilities of many of the people to the point of overt expressions… to provide a channel into which they can pour their frustration of the past; to create a mechanism which can drain off underlying guilt for having accepted the previous situation for so long a time. When those who represent the status quo label you [i.e. the community organizer] as an ‘agitator’ they are completely correct, for that is, in one word, your function–to agitate to the point of conflict.

That’s what the Left calls “community organizing.” Rubbing raw resentment and anger to the point of conflict. It is what we as Americans have been subject to during Obama’s presidency, and what has provided much of the strain we all see in the nation.

And Obama is certainly dedicated to that end. His farewell speech sought to re-dedicate his most loyal followers.

Obama called upon the Left to organize many times in his speech, including, but not limited to, these statements:

“… change only happens when ordinary people get involved, get engaged, and come together to demand it.”

“We, the People, through the instrument of our democracy, can form a more perfect union.”

“… we must forge a new social compact”

“All of us have more work to do.”

“All of us, regardless of party, should throw ourselves into the task of rebuilding our democratic institutions.”

“And all of this depends on our participation; on each of us accepting the responsibility of citizenship, regardless of which way the pendulum of power swings.”

“We, the people, give it power – with our participation, and the choices we make.”

“So you see, that’s what our democracy demands. It needs you.”

“If you’re tired of arguing with strangers on the Internet, try talking with one of them in real life.”

“If you’re disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures and run for office yourself.”

“Show up. Dive in. Stay at it.”

“I am asking you to believe, not in my ability to bring about change, but in yours.”

“To believe that you can make a difference, to hitch your wagon to something bigger than yourselves.”

Obama’s not going anywhere.

So many have complained that Trump was butting in on Obama’s presidency, causing a dual presidency. But now the shoe is on the other foot, and leftists are outright ignoring the greatness of the Constitution’s Electoral College, calling Trump “illegitimate,” and continuing to follow Obama as their president, blowing up the rule of law in their altered reality.

But Obama didn’t just call on his followers to organize. He issued directives for his community organizers while using the founding principles we all believe in: “self-government,” and “that we are all created equal, endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, among them life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

But Obama and his followers do not believe those principles. If they believed in self-government, they would put stock in themselves and God instead of the government. If they believed that we are all created equal, they wouldn’t continue to agitate one man against another while focusing on our differences. If they believed we are endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights such as life, they would be pro-life instead of pro-abortion. If they believed in Liberty, they wouldn’t engage in coercion as they did with Obamacare, and so on.

Laced throughout the speech, Obama focused leftist agitators on:

Guaranteed college education

Increased unionization

Increased welfare

Higher taxation

Continued class warfare

Radical racialization

Forced employment policies

The false flag of anthropogenic global warming

Abortion as a human right

Fighting against voter ID laws

Overturning Citizens United v Federal Elections Committee

Redistricting

Contrary to Obama’s litany of “worthy causes,” constitutional conservatives must be able to articulate the proper disposition of the Constitution as it is dragged through the mud with the Left’s unending destruction of it. We need a counter to the Alinskyites.

President Obama gave all of us a list of things to do, and it matters because he is telling us that his side will be out there in force giving the people a destructive worldview. We will see more agitating, marching, demonstrating, and rioting, but that is not the beginnings of their conspiracies.

All too often, we ignore how the Left is able to change minds and hearts. They do it by influencing our churches, our neighborhoods, our culture, our schools, and our government at local, state, and federal levels. They are directed to by their president. Constitutional conservatives must stop playing catch-up with the Left or act as spectators, giving opinions that identify what is going wrong without providing the proper way to make it go right. We can’t just complain about how the Left changes our culture. We have to be there to nip it all in the bud, and provide the corrected version of the Left’s historically inaccurate and intellectually lazy homework. (For more from the author of “What Obama’s Farewell Speech Revealed about His Plans for YOUR Future” please click HERE)

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Religious Freedom under President-Elect Trump

As we commemorate Religious Freedom Day 2017, on January 16th, we mark a year of much change and a season of much opportunity for religious freedom.

President-Elect Trump’s surprise win can be credited in part to widespread (and unforeseen) angst over eight years of an Obama administration that has increasingly meddled in individual lives and liberty. In the area of religious freedom, the federal government has picked and chosen which religious freedom claims to advance and which to ignore. While the administration has disproportionately highlighted Muslim religious rights, it has failed to defend the rights of Christians — both overseas and at home. It also only supports religious freedom claims when they do not interfere with its pet causes of promoting abortion and LGBT policies. Such selectivity and bias destroys the integrity of any religious freedom policy; unfortunately, our federal government has done exactly that.

President-Elect Trump now has an opportunity to restore the credibility of U.S. religious freedom policy, at home and abroad, by addressing these incongruities. He can do this with two simple policy adjustments:

Protect religious freedom equally for everyone. Justice is blind, and the same law must be applied neutrally and fairly to everyone, regardless of their religion, and regardless of the circumstances. Some claims will succeed and others will fail under our religious freedom laws — they have always functioned this way. The key is that all are entitled to a fair shot. Yet by prioritizing some and deprioritizing others in its policy, the Obama administration has unfairly influenced the race out of the starting gate. This approach has been incredibly destructive to the morale of anyone who cares about religious freedom. The new president can do much good merely by taking the approach that all religious claims deserve to be treated equally by the government, regardless of the faith of the individual and the context in which the claim is raised.

Protect robust religious exercise, not a stifled and limited notion of the idea advanced by the Obama administration and championed by losing presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Under the Obama administration’s view, religious freedom only applies fully within “houses of worship,” not to one’s place of business or anywhere else. Yet this is neither true under our laws nor faithful to our history. Religious freedom includes the ability to exercise one’s religious beliefs in all spheres of life; indeed, this is reflected domestically in our First Amendment and internationally in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Despite what the Obama administration would wish, religious freedom simply doesn’t exist when the Little Sisters are forced by the government to violate their consciences by helping provide abortion-causing drugs to their employees — as the administration tried to force them to do. These nuns did not have religious freedom under the administration’s proposals, despite what the government tried to claim. This must be corrected.

Policy changes in these two areas apply to our international religious freedom efforts as well. The Obama administration has failed to properly prioritize religious freedom in our international affairs, and has abandoned our historical role as a strong religious freedom and human rights defender around the world. President-Elect Trump has an opportunity to change this, and re-engage the United States on this critical issue worldwide by defending the right of all to freely choose and live out their beliefs. Marginalized peoples around the world often look to the United States for help when they are persecuted because of their religion, and we should be there for them. A proper understanding of religious freedom demands that it be defended for all, at home and abroad.

This proper understanding of religious freedom has been dangerously eroded over the past eight years. President-Elect Trump has an opportunity to lead in restoring it, and the above two steps would be a start. (For more from the author of “Religious Freedom under President-Elect Trump” please click HERE)

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Why America Needs to Know What Tillerson Thinks about Refugees

Given that Rex Tillerson is the first secretary of State nominee with absolutely no political or military experience, we have no clue where he stands on many critical geopolitical issues. After this week’s hearing, which was almost completely consumed with Russia and random Democrat priorities, he is still very much a blank slate, including on the all-important issue of refugees.

One of the most important issues within the purview of the secretary of State is refugee resettlement in general and the UN’s Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in particular. Although the secretary of DHS is widely viewed as the point-man on the issue of immigration, the secretary of State is the gatekeeper. The State Department works with the UN to identify the pool of refugees and bring them to our shores.

A secretary of State who has his priorities straight would serve as a positive influence on Trump and urge him to shut down or curtail the program in the face of pressure from the global elites. On the other hand, a secretary of State who subscribes to the views of James Baker, Condi Rice, Bob Corker, and Robert Gates — all strong backers of Tillerson — could serve as a major negative influence on the president-elect.

With all the negative energy that will inevitably swarm Trump on behalf of Islamic refugee resettlement, a secretary of State with anything short of a full-throated opposition to this program will become a problem in the long run.

With the Obama administration working closely with the UN to “expedite” the selection process of Syrian refugees, Obama has flooded our shores with a record number of individuals who are impossible to vet, on top of the thousands of others from Somalia, Iraq, and Burma. Where does Tillerson stand on the surge center set up in Amman, Jordan? Will he shut it down?

Nobody will have more influence on forcing reforms to the UNHCR program or ending it altogether than the secretary of State. And that program must end, or we must withdraw from it. A recent Center for Immigration Studies analysis of a “UNHCR Projected Global Resettlement Needs” report demonstrates that not only is the refugee program a ruse for socially transforming America, but it also doesn’t even address the neediest individuals and is therefore counterintuitive to humanitarian goals. “Contrary to UNCHR and U.S. official claims, it is not necessarily the most vulnerable and urgent cases that are being submitted for resettlement,” writes CIS’ Nayla Rush.

The U.S. has already spent $5.6 billion on humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees, is the largest donor to the UNHCR (which also promotes the Palestinian political jihad), and is by far the largest recipient of refugees under this program in the world:

unhcr table 1

As Nayla Rush observes, despite the tremendous cost, the security risks, and cultural transformation of settling America with the Islamic world, millions of refugees are still left out in the cold anyway. It will never be enough because the entire system is not designed to address the core problem. It would be 12 times cheaper to resettle them in the Arab world — closer to their homes with the goal of eventually returning home. Unfortunately, the UN would rather transform America, even if it is counterintuitive to its own stated goals.

In addition to handling refugee resettlement, the State Department oversees the issuance of most visas. What is particularly concerning is the rapid increase in foreign students from the Middle East. Last year, the State Department admitted roughly 1.2 million foreign students with roughly 157,000 coming from predominantly Muslim countries. This is a gaping security hole because they are predominantly young males who are coming straight from the Middle East and, unlike legal permanent residents, have no plans to establish a family or even attempt to share in the future of this country. We are literally recruiting from the subsection of the world that is most prone to subscribing to strict Sharia and Islamic supremacism, from those that have the zeal and energy to act on callings from ISIS and other terror groups.

Shouldn’t we have some idea as to where Rex Tillerson stands on the refugee program and some of our visa programs? The secretary of State is the most important Cabinet official as it relates to the security aspects of immigration. In addition, Nikki Haley as ambassador to the UN, which is also a Cabinet-level position, will have tremendous influence over our policies related to international migration. There are certainly no signs that she has fundamentally changed her views on mass migration from the Middle East.

The point is we can’t merely hope for change on immigration; we have to ensure and demand it. While repeal of Obamacare has unfortunately turned out to be needlessly complex and uncertain, the repeal of refugee resettlement is very straightforward and does not require any complicated legislation. It would be nice if we had a sense of where this administration is headed. Radio silence on these issues seldom portends a strong change in a conservative direction. (For more from the author of “Why America Needs to Know What Tillerson Thinks about Refugees” please click HERE)

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Who’s the Real Threat to the West: Putin or the EU?

Vladimir Putin is far from a saint. No Russian leader can really be one and rule for long. (The principled democratic socialist Alexander Kerensky lasted just a few months in 1917.) The political history of Russia is tragic for complex historical reasons. If you want to understand that great but troubled country, undertake some extensive reading. A short list would include:

Richard Pipes’ magisterial Russia Under the Old Regime,
Simon Sebag Montefiore’s The Romanovs,
Dominic Lieven’s The End of Tsarist Russia, and
Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s brilliant series of historical novels, The Red Wheel.

You need not delve into Russia’s history to ask yourself: Does it really serve America or the West to cast Russia as our permanent enemy, as Senate anti-Russia hawks John McCain and Lindsey Graham insist to the point of obsession?

Don’t forget that these two pro-immigration globalists were among the leading champions of our invasion and occupation of Iraq. If they’d had their way in Syria, U.S. planes would have been risking dogfights with Russian jets, all to help al Qaeda’s Islamist allies conquer the country and repress a million Christian Syrians. The “moderate Syrian rebels” were merely a fig leaf, with no more presence or power than Iraqi “moderates” and “democrats” had in 2003. Remember neocon savior Ahmed Chalabi? Iraqis don’t.

Who Threatens Our Vital Interests in Europe More: Putin or Merkel?

What vital interests of ours does Russia threaten? Yes, it invaded Crimea, to take back disputed territory full of Russian speakers that was only transferred to Ukraine in the 1950s. Russia has violated the sovereignty of Ukraine, which was part of Russia since before the U.S. annexed Texas. As I said back in 1992, Ukraine should have secured its independence permanently by holding on to the nuclear weapons it inherited from the Soviets. But Bill Clinton convinced Kiev to trade those vital safeguards for a piece of American paper. As sympathetic as we should be to the people of Ukraine, who suffered their own Holocaust at the hands of the Soviet government in the 1930s terror famine, the battle over the border between Ukraine and Russia is none of America’s business.

Those who’d make it our business are busybodies, globalist utopians who dream of imposing their own ideological solutions on other countries — meddling in elections from Israel to Armenia, provoking resentment against America all around the world, then huffing and puffing with outrage because Russia may have helped leak authentic, damning emails about Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Just how long do they think that the U.S. can pretend it knows how to manage and police the entire world, before we suffer some push back? We don’t even know if Russia was trying to swing the election from Clinton — who looked unbeatable to most Americans in the know — or simply to weaken and humiliate her before she got into office. Putin may get more than he bargained for: a president who is much tougher, more nationalistic, and free of financial and personal ties to the Saudis, Qatar, and the Muslim Brotherhood.

What Russia Wants

Russia craves excessive influence over the Baltic states, which rightly won their independence in the 90s, but which we brought into NATO, taking advantage of Russia’s post-Communist chaos to create a tripwire for possible nuclear war right on its doorstep. Step back for a moment, and put yourself in Russia’s shoes. Imagine if during the Civil War, while we fought for our survival, Great Britain had recruited Mexico as its military ally, even stationing troops and ships there. When we got back on our feet, we would have rightly resented that. I don’t think that President U.S. Grant would have let that stand for long.

Russia violates human rights, and Putin persecutes his critics, it’s true. But how sincere are critics of Russia on these subjects who breeze past far worse offenses in countries like Saudi Arabia, China, and Turkey? When McCain and Graham start demanding that the Saudis stop torturing rape victims, that China stop forcing women to have abortions, and that Turkey release hundreds of dissident journalists from prison, then and only then should we listen to their complaints about Vladimir Putin. (To Marco Rubio’s credit, in his Senate grilling of Trump nominee Rex Tillerson, he did survey Saudi abuses.)

The EU Wants to Silence Its Patriotic Critics

What Putin really threatens is not so much NATO as the EU — because he funnels money to patriotic parties across the Continent that oppose the oligarchs in Brussels, who are stealing sovereignty from voters, trying to impose legal abortion and gay marriage on Catholic countries from Poland to Ireland, and encouraging the mass colonization of Europe by Jew-hating Islamists of military age whom Turkey ships across the porous southern EU border.

The real threat to the West comes not from the economically stalled, oil-dependent Russia, with its shrinking demography and limited regional ambitions. The EU itself is the greatest danger to our allies in Europe, and hence to America. Its reckless embrace of a single currency, its destruction of internal borders, its suicidal acceptance of limitless Muslim refugees — these are acts of sabotage that Putin’s secret service could never dream of pulling off. The EU has gravely weakened major NATO countries such as France, Germany, and Britain — filling them with potential terrorists and endangering their banking systems. Smaller, poorer EU countries like Greece and Italy suffer the twin assaults of German austerity measures, and Angela Merkel’s delusional refugee policies.

The only hope for those Western nations is that their patriotic parties succeed in wresting power from sterile, aging elites, and restoring in each a healthy regard for its national interests — as Britain began to display with its embrace of Brexit, and the U.S. did by electing Donald Trump. If those parties do succeed, they won’t be Putin’s puppets, any more than Trump will be. But they will see as he sees that we have far graver threats facing us than border conflicts on the Dnieper.

We face a mass colonization of the cradle of Western civilization by millions of real or potential religious fanatics, tied to Saudi fundamentalism by a thousand financial strings. The polity responsible for imposing that threat on the West is the Soviet European Union, and its thousands of unelected apparatchiks. When that monstrosity collapses, there won’t be a Berlin Wall we can dismantle, but perhaps patriotic Westerners can converge on its headquarters in Brussels with sledgehammers and pickaxes, in the spirit of 1989. (Read more from “Who’s the Real Threat to the West: Putin or the EU?” HERE)

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