Judge Will Reconsider Ruling Blocking Trump’s Sanctuary Cities Order

A federal judge Tuesday agreed to reconsider his ruling blocking President Donald Trump’s executive order to cut funding from cities that limit cooperation with U.S. immigration authorities.

U.S. District Judge William Orrick accepted the administration’s request to reconsider his April ruling. He gave the two California counties that challenged the executive order — San Francisco and Santa Clara — two weeks to file any documents opposing the request.

The administration was facing a Tuesday deadline to file paperwork to seek a second review by Orrick. (Read more from “Judge Will Reconsider Ruling Blocking Trump’s Sanctuary Cities Order” HERE)

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Manchester Explosion: UK Has Been Targeted by Terrorists ‘Time and Time Again’

At least 19 people were killed and at least 50 injured in a suspected suicide bomb explosion Monday night at an arena in Manchester, England, where U.S. pop singer Ariana Grande was performing a concert.

Police said they were treating the explosion just outside the arena as a terror incident until they “know otherwise.”

Robin Simcox, a terrorism and national security expert at The Heritage Foundation, said the United Kingdom has been a target of Islamist terrorists “time and time again.”

“While the perpetrator of this attack is not yet clear, the U.K. has been targeted by Islamist terrorists time and again,” Simcox told The Daily Signal. “Manchester itself was targeted by Islamist terrorists on multiple occasions in the past, including by al-Qaeda.”

“Even though the U.K. has world class security services,” Simcox added, “this is a numbers game—and the amount of terror suspects in the U.K. is so high that it is impossible for authorities to be able to keep track of everyone that is of concern.”

The explosion occurred about 10:35 p.m. local time outside the Manchester Arena as people were exiting after the concert. The arena has the capacity to seat 21,000 people.

Videos shared online shows concertgoers, many of them children, adolescents, or teens, frantically fleeing a chaotic scene.

Some used Twitter to desperately search for loved ones who had attended the concert.

Andy James, an eyewitness who attended the 23-year-old singer’s concert in Manchester, told CNN the boom felt like it “rattled in my chest.” After the explosion, he said, there was “a stampede of people.”

Chris Pawley, another eyewitness, told Fox News the explosion occurred in an area just outside the arena where parents were waiting to pick up their “young children and teenagers.”

European Parliament member Nigel Farage said that if the explosion is confirmed as an act of terror, it will be a “new low” for terrorists.

“The direct attack on children … marks a new low in all forms of terrorism,” Farage said on Fox News.

A publicist for Ariana Grande told The New York Times during the initial confusion that the American singer and actress was “OK.”

TMZ later reported Grande to be “in hysterics” over the carnage, and Sky News reported her world tour had been suspended. Grande tweeted:

Her “Dangerous Woman” tour, which kicked off Feb. 3 in Phoneix, had been scheduled to take the singer to London for concerts Thursday and Friday, followed by cities in Belgium, Poland, and Germany.

The explosion coincided with President Donald Trump’s visit to the Middle East, where on Sunday in Saudi Arabia he urged Arab leaders to step up the fight to “drive out” Islamist terrorists and extremists. Trump was briefed on the explosion in Manchester, according to NBC News.

(For more from the author of “Manchester Explosion: UK Has Been Targeted by Terrorists ‘Time and Time Again'” please click HERE)

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Here’s How Far Behind Trump Is on Political Appointments Compared to Obama, Bush

President Donald Trump has begun to move on naming federal judges and will eventually be naming a new FBI director, but more broadly, he remains slow in filling political appointments compared to his predecessors.

Trump has made 85 nominations to the Senate at this point in his presidency as of Friday, according to the Center for Presidential Transition, which tracks presidential appointees. In that same period of his first term, President Barack Obama made 212 nominations, President George W. Bush made 161 nominations, President Bill Clinton made 182 nominations, and President George H. W. Bush made 135 nominees by this point.

Trump, so far, is leaving key management positions unfilled, said Mallory Barg Bulman, vice president of research and evaluation at the Partnership for Public Service, the parent organization to the Center for Presidential Transition.

“Leadership matters a lot, as does having the right people in place,” Bulman told The Daily Signal. “You can’t start the game until the whole team is on the field.”

Trump has no nominee for 460 of the 557 key leadership positions, as of Friday, according to Partnership for Public Service. Trump has nominated 49, announced the nomination of 19, and 29 people have been confirmed.

Earlier this week, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the administration is taking time to vet employees.

“We’re actually going through the Office of Government Ethics and FBI clearances before announcing most of these individuals,” Spicer said at the Monday press briefing. “And so, there’s a little bit of a difference in how we’re doing this. But we are well on pace with respect to many of these [appointments] to get the government up and running.”

Trump has not yet even named a director to run the Office of Personnel Management, which manages the federal workforce, noted Robert Moffit, a former assistant OPM director under President Ronald Reagan.

“The bottom line is that the president can’t run the federal government out of the White House and secretaries can’t run giant agencies huddled in an executive suite,” Moffit, now a senior fellow for health policy at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal. “Unilateral disarmament is a victory for the swamp. The swamp creatures have won the fight. Unless you control the bureaucracy, the bureaucracy controls you.”

Moffit, who also worked in the Reagan administration’s Department of Health and Human Services, said Reagan took control of the federal bureaucracy shortly into his presidency.

He said congressional relations is a key area where political appointees should be working, instead of leaving it to career civil service employees in some cases. That’s because, Moffit stressed, it’s the job of the career civil service employees to execute administration policy but the job of political appointees to advocate and explain those policies to Congress.

The president can name about 4,000 political appointees.

Out of that, 1,242 are key leadership positions that need Senate confirmation, according to the Partnership for Public Service. Another 472 political appointees—largely White House staff—don’t require Senate confirmation, according to the partnership. Further, 761 non-career senior executive positions can be filled throughout the executive branch—though not all are presidential appointees. Finally, 1,538 non-career federal employees report directly to a presidential appointee.

The partnership did not have a final number on how many of these positions are filled or unfilled, because it only tracks key leadership positions—most of which require Senate confirmation.

The White House Transition Project measures a different metric, but still finds Trump well behind other presidents going back through Reagan. Trump officially fell behind in March, said Terry Sullivan, a political science professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and the executive director of the project.

Rather than measuring 4,000 jobs, which includes all U.S. marshals, U.S. attorneys, and every inconsequential U.S. ambassador, the White House Transition Project looks primarily at 221 government appointments that are required for the essential function of government, have policy roles, and have the potential to be controversial, Sullivan said.

“This is not a result of a policy predisposition to shrinking government,” Sullivan told The Daily Signal. “He wants a tax cut but he isn’t staffing up the Treasury Department. He doesn’t want more EPA regulations, but he isn’t moving slower or faster with that agency than Veterans Affairs or Health and Human Services, things he cares about.” (For more from the author of “Here’s How Far Behind Trump Is on Political Appointments Compared to Obama, Bush” please click HERE)

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Restoring Liberty BANNED by Google, Suspended by Facebook For Publishing Stories Offending Transvestites, Pedophiles

Well, it finally happened. Restoring Liberty was permanently banished from Google’s ad network. And just days later – this past Saturday – Facebook suspended Restoring Liberty, meaning that for the last several days, we have not been able to post any comments or stories on social media and have lost virtually all Internet revenue since Google’s ban.

So what happened? Was it because Restoring Liberty has been one of the most aggressive sites reporting on the global elites’ pedophilia scandal? Or maybe it’s been our unwillingness to bend on the gay agenda or the whacked-out transvestite mania that’s overcome the country, killing the political careers of folk like Senator Mark Green.

We believe Google’s and Facebook’s adverse action is part of a globalist conspiracy to kill liberty-oriented alternative news sites, especially those that dare to cross the line by criticizing the Elites’ favorite pastime: perversion.

Is this entirely speculation? No, and here’s why. First, although we have almost 45,000 followers on Facebook, for the past four or five months, Facebook has stopped trafficking our posts to over 90% of our followers. That’s why you probably haven’t been seeing our stories in your Facebook feeds like you used to. We’re guessing this has to do with the political filters that Facebook has designed to limit stories it hates, like the DNC email scandal last July (read that story HERE).

But that’s not all. There have been other signs of political censorship. As early as this past August, we told you about Michael Savage being blocked by Facebook for posting news on Islamic crime (read that story HERE). Earlier this year, a Christian mom simply quoted bible verses on homosexuality and was banned by Facebook (read that story HERE).

Of course, Restoring Liberty has been sounding the alarm on the incompatibility of Islam and the Constitution for years. We also haven’t been shy about labeling homosexuality for what it is – perversion. We haven’t really cared much about the radical Facebook censors. We were recently warned over a story (read it HERE) that we put up about Kansas City Catholics disassociating with the Girl Scouts because of their stance on lesbians and transvestites. Facebook promptly deleted the post, apparently lacking toleration for unfavorable news about its favored constituencies: transvestites, homosexuals, and Islamists.

And that’s what got us banned last week. The offending story reported on the transvestite agenda in the United States. Here’s a screenshot of the offending post, as it was sent back to us by Facebook after its censors deleted it and blocked us from the page:

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So where exactly did we cross the line? After our repeated inquiries, Facebook refused to say, simply maintaining that we didn’t “follow the Facebook Community Standards.”

Again, like Savage’s site and the Christian mom, Restoring Liberty was simply reporting on facts — facts Zuckerburg’s ultra-liberal staff didn’t want to see the light of day. But it’s not just his big government-loving, corporatist-controlled staff that are the problem: as Zuckerberg himself admitted back in December, he is using leftwing sites to filter conservative outlets like Restoring Liberty.

Google has been every bit as bad. We reported in January that Google banned 200 websites from its ad network. We escaped these initial cuts but others, like Alex Jones and Natural News, did not. Since then, Google has come out of the closet, unilaterally labeling stories it dislikes as “Fake News.” Restoring Liberty’s hit came without warning, immediately eliminating its primary source of revenue to pay for Internet hosting fees, the website developer, domain fees, its chief editor, and other costs.

Regrettably, absent readers’ renewed commitment to supporting the website through donations HERE, Restoring Liberty will not be able to continue publishing stories on a daily basis. And, of course, that’s exactly what the globalists want in their efforts to destroy the only remaining free press outlets left in the nation. Please join with us in our fight to restore Liberty.

Europe’s Childless Leaders Sleepwalking the West to Disaster

There have never been so many childless politicians leading Europe as today. They are modern, open minded and multicultural. They know that “everything finishes with them.” In the short term, being childless is a relief since it means no spending for families, no sacrifices and that no one complains about the future consequences. As in a research report financed by the European Union: “No kids, no problem!”

Being a mother or a father, however, means that you have a very real stake in the future of the country you lead. Europe’s most important leaders leave no children behind.

Europe’s most important leaders are all childless: German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and the French presidential hopeful Emmanuel Macron. The list continues with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Europe Is Committing Suicide

As Europe’s leaders have no children, they seem have no reason to worry about the future of their continent. German philosopher Rüdiger Safranski wrote:

[F]or the childless, thinking in terms of the generations to come loses relevance. Therefore, they behave more and more as if they were the last and see themselves as standing at the end of the chain.

(For more from the author of “Europe’s Childless Leaders Sleepwalking the West to Disaster” please click HERE)

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Find out Which Republicans Voted Against House’s Obamacare Replacement Bill

The House of Representatives voted by a razor-thin 217-213 to pass Republicans’ revised Obamacare replacement bill and move it to the Senate, where more changes are expected.

House Speaker Paul Ryan needed 216 votes to pass the legislation, and 20 GOP members voted no Thursday along with all 193 Democrats.

Immediately after the roll call vote concluded around 2:30 p.m., House Republicans began boarding buses to head to a celebratory event at the White House.

The 20 Republican House members who voted no included Andy Biggs of Arizona, Mike Coffman of Colorado, Barbara Comstock of Virginia, Ryan Costello of Pennsylvania, Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, Dan Donovan of New York, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Jamie Herrera Beutler of Washington, Will Hurd of Texas, and Walter Jones of North Carolina.

The other GOP members voting no were David Joyce of Ohio, John Katko of New York, Leonard Lance of New Jersey, Frank LoBiondo of New Jersey, Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Patrick Meehan of Pennsylvania, Dave Reichert of Washington, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, Chris Smith of New Jersey, and Mike Turner of Ohio.

The legislation, called the American Health Care Act, has been a point of contention on Capitol Hill since Ryan, R-Wis., pulled the bill March 24 when it became clear Republicans did not have enough votes to pass it.

The House Freedom Caucus, a group of conservative lawmakers, originally opposed the bill but now supports it with the addition of the so-called MacArthur amendment negotiated by Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, R-N.C., and Tuesday Group Co-chairman Tom MacArthur, R-N.J.

“The MacArthur amendment will grant states the ability to repeal cost-driving aspects of Obamacare left in place under the original [American Health Care Act],” the Freedom Caucus said in a formal statement. “While the revised version still does not fully repeal Obamacare, we are prepared to support it to keep our promise to the American people to lower health care costs.”

The revisions also include a provision on coverage for Americans with preexisting conditions.

Reps. Fred Upton, R-Mich., and Billy Long, R-Mo., worked with President Donald Trump on Wednesday to secure a new amendment that provides $8 billion more in federal funding over five years to help cover individuals with preexisting conditions.

The Wall Street Journal tweeted the names of the 20 Republicans who voted no:

“While it’s not full repeal, I’ve said this many times, it’s what we believe is the best piece of legislation we can get out of the House at this moment,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, told reporters Wednesday at Conversations With Conservatives, a monthly gathering on Capitol Hill.

The bill includes provisions to repeal Obamacare subsidies and replace them with age-based, refundable tax credits to help consumers get coverage in the individual market, and to repeal the Obamacare mandate that forced consumers to get health insurance or pay a penalty.

The legislation allows states to choose waivers to bypass Obamacare’s community-rating rules, which block insurers from charging sick consumers more than healthy consumers. States that do so may charge sick customers more only if they don’t maintain continuous coverage.

Before the vote, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., railed on the House floor against the “moral monstrosity” she called Trumpcare. Ryan, when he spoke, depicted the legislation as beginning to keep a promise to voters.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., tweeted his opposition shortly before the House vote.

Melanie Israel, a research associate at The Heritage Foundation, praised the bill’s pro-life provisions, one of which ensures that tax dollars will not go to the abortion industry and also defunds Planned Parenthood for one year.

“The American Health Care Act addresses pro-life concerns regarding Planned Parenthood funding and abortion coverage in health plans,” Israel told The Daily Signal in an email, adding:

These important restrictions would protect tax dollars from entanglement with the abortion industry and help allow individuals and families to choose health care that meets their needs without violating their beliefs or subsidizing life-ending drugs and procedures.

(For more from the author of “Find out Which Republicans Voted Against House’s Obamacare Replacement Bill” please click HERE)

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Tillerson Says China Asked North Korea to Stop Nuclear Tests

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Thursday that China has threatened to impose sanctions on North Korea if it conducts further nuclear tests.

“We know that China is in communications with the regime in Pyongyang,” Tillerson said on Fox News Channel. “They confirmed to us that they had requested the regime conduct no further nuclear test.”

Tillerson said China also told the U.S. that it had informed North Korea “that if they did conduct further nuclear tests, China would be taking sanctions actions on their own.” (Read more from “Tillerson Says China Asked North Korea to Stop Nuclear Tests” HERE)

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Supreme Court Rejects Challenge Over Merrick Garland Nomination, Shows Why ‘Emoluments’ Suit Against Trump Will Fail

On Monday morning, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the case of Michel v. McConnell, where the courts below rejected a citizen’s effort to sue senators for inaction on D.C. Circuit Chief Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

The lower courts’ opinions explain why another controversial dispute, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) v. Donald J. Trump, will also fail—with only days left until the government’s response is due in that case.

Disappointed with the process of the Senate’s refusal to hold a vote on Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court, Steven S. Michel sued Sens. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, for allegedly violating his constitutional right “to elect his senators by depriving his home-state senators of a voice” in the nomination process.

A Political Issue

The U.S. Court of Appeals found, as did the district court below, that Michel “lacked standing to bring this action because he failed to demonstrate an injury in fact.” It found his “alleged injury—the diminution of the effectiveness of his votes for Senators—is ‘wholly abstract and widely dispersed.’”

As the district court wrote, Michel suffered only “the type of undifferentiated harm common to all citizens that is appropriate for redress in the political sphere,” not the courts. The Supreme Court appropriately denied Michel’s petition for review.

Lawyers with CREW face similar problems in their lawsuit, filed in January in the Southern District of New York, against President Donald Trump, because they also raise claims that do not touch their lives in any materially different way from any other citizen—except, perhaps, at the ballot box.

CREW argues that Trump violates the U.S. Constitution’s little-known Foreign Emoluments Clause whenever any of his businesses engage in any commercial transaction with any foreign state agent.

For several reasons related to its text and history, it is improbable that the clause—which was designed to keep ambassadors off of foreign states’ doles—is that broad. Nor is it so selective: Past presidents from George Washington to Barack Obama would likely have violated CREW’s far-reaching interpretation of that clause (explained here).

A ‘Silly’ Claim

As Michel v. McConnell clarifies once again, standing requires a plaintiff to show a specific and concrete injury—not a mere distaste for or disagreement with a politician. CREW claims, however, that Trump has injured the group because the costs it absorbed in suing him “diverted” resources it could have used to sue other politicians for ethics violations.

The injury CREW alleges is roughly equivalent to the “injury” that its complaint has imposed on the court and the Trump administration—which too must divert scarce governmental resources to respond to and hear the suit. Stanford Law School professor Michael McConnell told CNN, “The idea that a group has standing because it has to spend time on this more than other things is just so silly that I can’t believe they put it on paper.”

Well before Michel v. McConnell, the Supreme Court had “repeatedly held that such a ‘generalized grievance,’ no matter how sincere, is insufficient to confer standing.” And in Clapper v. Amnesty International USA (2013), Justice Samuel Alito wrote that plaintiffs “cannot manufacture standing merely by inflicting harm on themselves.”

The lawyers at CREW seek to avoid Michel’s fate by arguing that they are not suing as individuals, but as an organization. They base their argument on two cases: Havens Realty Corp. v. Coleman, a 1982 Supreme Court decision, and Ragin v. Harry Macklowe Real Estate Co., a 1993 opinion of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

Neither does the job.

Both cases arose under the Fair Housing Act of 1968, in which Congress sought to end racially segregated housing. The law authorized citizens to bring civil lawsuits and lowered ordinary standing requirements in order to more liberally enforce remedial policies.

In Havens Realty Corp., Justice William Brennan, writing the majority opinion, stated that “Congress intended standing under [the law]” to be lax, and “[w]ith this understanding,” found that a small nonprofit, Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME), had standing to sue the Havens Realty Corp. One of the latter’s employees denied housing to the former’s client on the basis of race, which compelled HOME employees “to devote significant resources to identify and counteract … racially discriminatory steering practices”—not to its ordinary “counseling and referral services.”

The very discrimination the law barred was hitting HOME’s bottom line, and HOME asked the court only to return “lost” funds and litigation expenses.

CREW’s lawyers, by contrast, argue that they cannot as robustly fulfill their mission to sue other politicians when they voluntarily pay to sue a politician. And unlike HOME’s humble request for sunk costs, CREW seeks broad declaratory and injunctive relief designed to transform novel and far-reaching constitutional theories into binding law.

In a concurring opinion, Justice Lewis Powell provided another reason why CREW’s reliance on Havens is misplaced. The district court had originally dismissed HOME’s lawsuit because the group lacked standing. And by the time their case reached the U.S. Supreme Court, Powell wrote, HOME had advanced only “meaningless averments concerning the disputed question of standing.”

That does not bode well for CREW.

Ragin likewise is of no help to CREW.

Like CREW’s case, Ragin was filed in federal court in the Southern District of New York. There, “individual plaintiffs [testified] that they were offended when they saw” housing advertisements featuring only white models, and filed suit under the same law.

The court saw “no significant difference between the statutorily recognized injury” in Havens and Ragin. In fact, it cited Havens for “the long-held principle that” the kind of injury the Supreme Court found absent in Michel v. McConnell “may exist solely by virtue of ‘statutes creating legal rights, the invasion of which creates standing.’”

Because CREW’s lawyers do not claim that Trump has violated their rights under the Fair Housing Act or any other statute that might grant them standing, it is unclear how these cases support them. The opposite may be true.

A Tidal Wave of Lawsuits

Powell’s concurrence in Havens notes “a high price” to the liberal pleading standard in that case “in terms of a severe imposition on already overburdened federal courts as well as unjustified expense to the litigants.”

If the courts were to change the well-settled standing rules in CREW’s favor, then any organization—and maybe even Michel—could get away with suing any politician or group of politicians because (1) the organization disagrees with them and (2) filing a lawsuit costs money.

If that were so, the judiciary would likely face a tidal wave of lawsuits and few federal policies would ever be implemented without first having to clear hurdles erected by some angry and litigious group or individual (although the Center for Consumer Freedom notes that CREW, for its part, almost exclusively sues Republican officials).

For these reasons, Robert Kelner, a partner at Covington & Burling, said that CREW’s standing claim “barely passes the laugh test,” and “[t]he courts will toss this one out.” Michel v. McConnell shores up that bet. As Powell stated in his Havens concurrence: “One can well understand the impatience of the District Court that dismissed the complaint.” (For more from the author of “Supreme Court Rejects Challenge Over Merrick Garland Nomination, Shows Why ‘Emoluments’ Suit Against Trump Will Fail” please click HERE)

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UC Berkeley Rewards Liberal Violence by Not Allowing Coulter Speech

Apparently the lesson University of California, Berkeley learned from the violent protests surrounding writer Milo Yiannopoulos’ speech earlier this year was … you shouldn’t let controversial figures give speeches.

The Associated Press reported Wednesday that commentator Ann Coulter’s upcoming speech had been canceled “for security concerns.”

“UC Berkeley officials say they were ‘unable to find a safe and suitable’ venue for the right-wing provocateur who was invited to speak by campus Republicans on April 27,” the AP report added.

This shouldn’t be acceptable.

UC Berkeley canceled Yiannopoulos’ Feb. 1 speech. The level of violence and destruction that greeted Yiannopoulos—who was rightly condemned shortly after the Berkeley violence for remarks he made months earlier about teens, adults, and sexual relationships—was astonishing. Just look at these pictures:

No doubt it’s quite a headache for a university to figure out how to cope with thugs who are willing to act like this, just because they want someone silenced. Although the fact that UC Berkeley appears to have arrested only one person in the aftermath of the protests suggests a lack of seriousness about holding protesters accountable for their actions.

(Update: In an email to me received after publication, Sgt. Sabrina Reich, a public information officer at University of California, Berkeley Police Department, wrote: “To date, there have been two arrests and one student is facing school discipline … but the investigative efforts continue.”)

The point is, no college should reward violent protesters by refusing to allow controversial speakers to appear.

Because this isn’t really about Coulter or Yiannopoulos or author Charles Murray, who was greeted by violent protests when he arrived to speak to Middlebury College in Vermont.

It’s about whether we as a society protect free speech—or not.

Yes, free speech can make some people, including college students, feel sad or threatened or dozens of other unpleasant emotions.

But it can also force them to realize a new insight or perspective that might challenge their values, might make them re-think their views on a certain issue. Or sometimes it works the other way: The weakness of the opposition’s argument makes someone surer that her own perspective is right.

Regardless, if we believe in a reason-driven society—one where arguments, not violence, drive our perspective—we need to allow a diversity of voices to communicate their views. We need to let people, hopefully guided by reason and a good education, to decide what they think is right—not force them, by silencing some perspectives, to adopt a certain viewpoint by default.

College students, like all Americans, deserve a chance to hear a variety of views—and then make up their own minds.

Once, colleges understood that. But U.C. Berkeley’s decision here suggests that at least this university is prioritizing some views over others. (For more from the author of “UC Berkeley Rewards Liberal Violence by Not Allowing Coulter Speech” please click HERE)

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Poll: Joe Miller Dominates among 2018 Hopefuls for Alaska’s Governorship

Yesterday, we told you how some Democrats would do in their 2018 gubernatorial primary if it were held today. Today is the Republicans’ turn. Well, Republicans and Gov. Bill Walker.

But before we give you all the numbers, just as we did yesterday, we’ll tell you about the poll itself. The survey was conducted by Harstad Strategic Research, Inc. and sampled registered voters in Alaska between March 22 – April 2. You can see the sample breakdowns here:

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The poll asked voters who say they normally vote in GOP primaries who they would vote for if their choices for Governor were former Speaker of the House Mike Chenault, former candidate for U.S. Senate Joe Miller, former gubernatorial candidate John Binkley, current State Senators Mike Dunleavy and Peter Micciche, and current Governor Bill Walker.

Walker’s inclusion in the poll is interesting. We’ve told you in recent months that we believe if at least 3-4 candidates get in the GOP primary — Alaska GOP Vice-Chairman Rick Whitbeck has said on numerous occasions he has a list of about 50 names of people who could run — then Walker would likely have a path to victory if he jumped in.

The rest of model looks like a good mix of names. There are candidates from various areas of the state including Kenai, Mat-Su, Valdez, and Fairbanks, current legislators and those who can play the “outsider” card, and a blend of business conservatives, social and fiscal conservatives, and moderates. The pollster gave Republican voters options that varied in enough ways to see where they really stand.

Here is how numbers came out:

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Joe Miller dominates with 25% of the vote, with Walker coming in just behind him at 19%. The rest barely make a blip. That is likely because despite being well-known names in political circles most voters likely have never heard of them.

Now, here’s where things get really interesting. Look at what happens when respondents are asked their second choice, or who they would vote for if Miller or Walker (the top two picks) weren’t in the election.

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Interestingly, Joe Miller is Walker voters’ top second choice (19%), and in what will come as a shock to many, Walker is the second choice of a full quarter of Miller voters. It should come as no surprise, then, that when either Walker or Miller are taken out of the race, the other takes a commanding position. Miller gets 37% without Walker, three times his closest competitor, and Walker comes in with 25% without Miller, two and half times anyone else.

Finally, if Walker and Miller went head to head, Miller would start off 12 points ahead at 33% to 21%, with a hefty 46% undecided.

The conclusion has to be that if the GOP primary attracts more than one credible candidate other than Walker, the Governor would have a plausible path to victory if he chooses to go that route for reelection. The only Republican currently positioned to disrupt such a move is everyone’s favorite beard, Joe Miller. (For more from the author of “Poll: Joe Miller Dominates among 2018 Hopefuls for Alaska’s Governorship” please click HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.