75 Years Later: What Pearl Harbor Taught Us About Patriotism

Seventy-five years ago at about this very hour — 7:55 a.m. Hawaii time — airplanes bearing Japanese insignia began dropping bombs on ships docked at Pearl Harbor. The surprise attack took place on December 7, 1941 — a day which will forever “live in infamy,” as President Franklin Roosevelt declared shortly after the attack. The strike claimed the lives of 2,403 Americans, mostly seamen at the Pearl Harbor naval base. Most were teenagers. A strong sense of patriotism washed over America following the events of December 7, 1941, an emotion not lost on America’s youth. Pearl Harbor has taught Americans a lot about patriotism — then and now.

A Date Which Will Live in Infamy

It was early in the morning, just before 8 a.m. when squadron personnel working inside Hangar 54 heard the sound of Japanese Zeros (A6M2) and Kates (B5N2) dive-bombing the base. At first they thought it was a prank. But when they stepped outside, they realized the gravity of their situation. “Then it became survival,” recalled then-Navy flight engineer Dick Girocco in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. “As luck would have it, they were putting a pipeline of some sort out there by our hangar … we took cover in that.” He and the others ran away from the hangar and into the ditch for cover. “What I remember most was the noise and concussion,” said Girocco. “When the Arizona exploded, it actually shook the ground like an explosion.” Girocco was 20 years old at the time.

Jon “Chief Johnny” Gordon, now 94, said he was a 19-year-old kid getting ready to go to the beach when an airplane flew by. Most of the men at Pearl Harbor were just teenagers, like Gordon. “All kids and a few officers,” he said. “That was when we were called to save the world,” Gordon recalled.

Lester Lindow was aboard the USS Maryland when the attack began, he told FOX News in an interview. He, like Gordon, was planning to go surfing but as he and his buddies stepped out on the quarterdeck, he saw a Japanese plane fly overhead. About that time, said Lindow, “The bugler sounded general quarters and he said ‘This is no bull-you-know-what.’” Lindow remembered getting below in his battle station “pit” — at 19 years old he was a trainer on a 60-inch battery — and didn’t see much, but did feel and hear the enormous explosion that devastated the USS Arizona.

Stuart Hedley, 95, stationed on the battleship West Virginia, told The San Diego Union-Tribune most people today “don’t have the slightest idea what happened there.” When the bombers hit Battleship Row, the West Virginia was docked close to the Arizona. When the bomb hit the Arizona and detonated in a powder magazine, the 20-year-old saw “dozens of bodies” flying through the air. Hedley had to swim through oil-covered water with flames as high as buildings just to get to shore. “I knew how to swim, but not underwater,” he remembered. “I swam underwater that day.”

The average age of the men at Pearl Harbor was 19 years old.

The Rush to Enlist

The next day, December 8, President Roosevelt declared war on Japan.

The surprise attack had taken so much from so many. It took lives, of course, thousands of them. It took the innocence of a nation that believed it could remain out of the war just a bit longer. From a different perspective, though, it also took courage, bravery and heroism for the men to get in their planes and fight back during the second strike on Pearl, just an hour after the first. And it took strength and pride in their beloved America to make thousands upon thousands of men and women rush to enlist in the military. They believed in the USA and the good she stood for and could accomplish. They held a strong standard of right and wrong — and the unprovoked attack on Pearl Harbor would not go unpunished. In those days this young generation showed why it would become known as the Greatest Generation.

Gerry Davison was a college student sitting in class when he and his fellow students heard the news about Pearl Harbor. His professor got a call in the classroom and told them what had happened. “I didn’t even know where Japan was really on the map — or Pearl Harbor … but I knew immediately I was going to go,” he recalled, speaking to News8. Davison, along with nearly all of his classmates, quickly made plans to enlist. “It was such a devastating attack. It absolutely meant that we were totally going to go to war. And having heard from my dad about World War I all my life, I thought that’s what you’re supposed to do.” Asked if there was anything he
wished he could have done differently, Davison replied, “Only that I could have been there sooner.”

Patriotism in Decline

The sense of patriotism and love of country in America isn’t what it used to be. In the past, the identity of an American, the love of country, and the passion and uniqueness of America drove soldiers to enlist and fight for her. The idea of patriotism in America’s youth has changed.

In the aftermath of 9/11, even following Time magazine’s evocation of Roosevelt’s “day of infamy,” enlistment in the military was marginal at best. The New York Times reported that “Americans did not flock to military recruiting stations after 9/11 the way they did in 1941.” Perhaps it’s a waning patriotism that could not be revived even in the aftermath of 9/11.

In a 2014 Pew study, 75 percent of Baby Boomers felt they were patriotic, 64 percent of Generation Xers felt they were patriotic, but only 49 percent of Millennials felt the same. Perhaps the reason is that younger generations were raised with a sense of entitlement, receiving trophies for participation and scoring higher on a narcissism scale than previous generations, according to Time. Social media has flattened the world. Globalization has made the world a much smaller place; the younger generation identifies with faraway cultures and nations much more than in years past.

The one percent who were deployed to the Middle East following 9/11 wonder if the average American thinks about them and their service or the battles they have endured. One injured soldier said he wishes people would worry less about “Escalades and big-screen TVs,” and appreciate what they already have, to think about the world now and then, and to be more informed.

Today, on the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor only about 70 survivors of the attack still remain, a fast dwindling number of patriotic heroes. Those still living and able have been flown in to participate in the 75th commemoration ceremonies, perhaps their last trip to the site where so many of their friends and colleagues lost their lives. For some, thinking about Pearl Harbor and the events of that day is an opportunity to reflect on what “we as Americans value.” The takeaway for younger generations reflecting on Pearl Harbor is simple for Lester Lindlow: “Be American.”

Here is President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Day of Infamy” speech:

(For more from the author of “75 Years Later: What Pearl Harbor Taught Us About Patriotism” please click HERE)

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Pence Defends Trump’s Call with President of Taiwan, Says American People ‘Encouraged’ by Engagement

In an interview Sunday on ABC’s This Week, host George Stephanopoulos pressed Vice President-elect Mike Pence on the topic of President-elect Donald Trump’s phone conversation Friday with Tsai Ing-wen, the leader of Taiwan.

Since 1979, the United States has recognized a “One China” policy and had no formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, which China considers a renegade province.

“Let’s get right to China, that call with the leader of Taiwan,” began Stephanopoulos. “As far as we know, no president or president-elect has spoken with Taiwan’s leader in nearly four decades.”

“Why did Mr. Trump choose to break that precedent?” he asked.

“Well, I’ll tell you what,” Pence replied, “from the morning after the election we’ve seen the president-elect engaging the world. He’s spoken to more than 50 world leaders. I’ve spoken to several dozen myself. And he received a courtesy call from the democratically elected president of Taiwan to congratulate him.”

When asked about China’s unfavorable reaction to the call, Pence directed the focus back to what Trump’s outreach with foreign leaders says about his impending presidency.

“Did he intend to send the kind of signal it sent?” Stephanopoulos asked. “Because the Chinese government has already complained about this. How did you guys respond to that?”

“Well, I understand some of the controversy in the media about this, but I –” began Pence.

Stephanopoulos interrupted to say it wasn’t just an issue in the media, but that the Chinese government had registered its displeasure with the call.

“Well, yes, of course,” answered Pence. “But I would tell you that I think the American people find it very refreshing, the energy that our president-elect is bringing to this whole transition.”

The vice president-elect added, “He’s not only bringing together a Cabinet at a historic pace for the last 40 years, he’s not only assembling a legislative agenda to move forward this country at home and abroad, but he’s also been engaging the world.”

“I think the American people are encouraged … to see that President-elect Trump is taking calls from the world, speaking to the world. They know he’s going to be out there advancing America’s interests first with that broad-shouldered leadership that’s characterized his entire life,” he continued.

Stephanopoulos then inquired as to whether Trump’s call would have implications for the “One China” policy

“Well, we’ll deal with policy after Jan. 20,” Pence responded. “This was a courtesy call.”

Pence then drew a comparison with the current president and his talks with the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.

“It’s a little mystifying to me that President Obama can reach out to a murdering dictator in Cuba in the last year and be hailed as a hero for doing it, and President-elect Donald Trump takes a courtesy call from the democratically elected leader in Taiwan and it’s become something of a controversy,” he said.

Some say Trump’s call was a calculated move designed to send a message to China.

Marc A. Thiessen, writing in The Washington Post, said it “wasn’t a blunder by an inexperienced president-elect unschooled in the niceties of cross-straits diplomacy. It was a deliberate move — and a brilliant one at that.”

“Trump knew precisely what he was doing in taking the call,” he wrote. “He was serving notice on Beijing that it is dealing with a different kind of president — an outsider who will not be encumbered by the same Lilliputian diplomatic threads that tied down previous administrations. The message, as John Bolton correctly put it, was that ‘the president of the United States [will] talk to whomever he wants if he thinks it’s in the interest of the United States, and nobody in Beijing gets to dictate who we talk to.’” (For more from the author of “Pence Defends Trump’s Call with President of Taiwan, Says American People ‘Encouraged’ by Engagement” please click HERE)

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Can Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos Really End Common Core?

On the campaign trail, President-elect Donald Trump made big promises about getting rid of Common Core. “We’re going to end Common Core, we’re going to have education an absolute priority,” he said in a campaign video.

Upon being nominated secretary of the Department of Education, Betsy DeVos made clear her stance against the national education standards. “I am not a supporter—period,” she wrote.

But what can Trump and DeVos really do to dismantle the national education standards? The Daily Signal explains. (For more from the author of “Can Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos Really End Common Core?” please click HERE)

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7 Top RINO Moments of Betrayal This Week

One of the excuses for Republicans failing to promote a conservative agenda is that “outside organizations” have unrealistic expectations of what they can accomplish when they are out of power.

That excuse comes to an end in January when Donald Trump is sworn into office with a Republican-controlled House and Senate. However, based on what we’re seeing from the lame-duck session, it is clear that the dearth of conservatism is not due to a lack of power but a lack of will. The alacrity of Republicans to promote mediocre or liberal priorities in a lame-duck session with Obama as president instead of passing a budget CR and getting out of town — so that we can do better things next year — demonstrates that they fundamentally don’t share our values.

To that end, I present a week in review in the form of the top seven RINO moments of betrayal. (Warning: John McCain, R-Ariz. (F, 32%) and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. (F, 30%) are the stars of the show.)

1. Sold out to the transgender lobby

GOP leaders negotiated a conference report for the final version of the FY 2017 defense bill (NDAA). The transgender lobby pushed hard to remove a provision protecting defense contractors from Obama’s mandate forcing them to comply with his transgender policies and views on gay marriage or risk losing contracts. John McCain, as the lead Republican negotiator, agreed to take out this provision (the Russell Amendment).

Let’s get this straight: Republicans are passing an NDAA in a lame duck, which is already several months into the fiscal year, instead of waiting until early next year when we have a Republican president who could sign an NDAA with better provisions, protecting religious liberty. Remember, this is an authorization bill — not an appropriations bill — and can wait until February. Then again, the sexual identity movement tells Republicans to jump and they ask, “How high?”

Unfortunately, with leadership presenting members with a false choice of passing a defense bill with bad provisions instead of waiting, conservatives felt compelled to vote for it and so as not to appear they oppose the military. This is what leadership does to conservatives on a daily basis.

2. Jammed through 1,000-page health care spending bill

Who doesn’t want to cure cancer? Under the guise of discovering the cure to cancer, GOP leadership passed an “unpaid-for” $6.3 billion health care spending bill that threw even more money at the HHS, which already spends about $1 trillion a year on health care programs. Once again, conservative members were placed in a tough position between the false choice of either appearing to be against a cure for cancer and some good reforms or creating a lot of wasteful big government programs.

3. Funded Syrian al Qaeda in defense bill

In addition to caving on the transgender provision in the NDAA, Republicans, at the behest of John McCain, extended funding for the training and equipping of Syrian rebels through 2018! Yes, they are extending Obama’s legacy of funding Syrian Islamist groups — who call for the beheading of the troops who are training them — into Trump’s presidency. Again, why not wait until Trump becomes president and disband this harmful program? Because McCain, as you will see in a moment, loves himself some Islamist rebels.

4. Proposed an amendment to protect al Qaeda and Saudi Arabia

Obama is not the only one who mixes up enemies and allies. Just how strong is the support of John McCain and Lindsey Graham for the Syrian Islamist rebels? They proposed an amendment this week to strip out a provision from the Justice Against Sponsors of Terror Act (JASTA), which allows families of terror victims to bring civil claims against governments that fund those terrorist groups responsible.

As Patrick Poole reports, the intent behind their amendment, which comes on the heels of an intense lobbying campaign from Saudi Arabia, is “to immunize countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar that have funded Sunni terrorist groups in Syria — the Syrian ‘rebel’ effort that both McCain and Graham have publicly supported since 2011.” Meanwhile, as they promote Saudi Arabia and Syrian al Qaeda, McCain and Graham are publicly criticizing domestic policies of Egyptian President al-Sisi in his efforts to clamp down on the Muslim Brotherhood. Who needs Democrats when we have two of the most senior Republicans on foreign policy promoting the same dyslexic Muslim Brotherhood agenda?

5. Thom Tillis threw a tantrum over criminal justice reform

Imagine being a Republican now as we look forward to the opportunity of controlling all branches of government. There is an endless list of conservative priorities to push on social, fiscal, and national security issues, right? Well, for Sen. Thom Tillis (R-K Street), his hill to die on his promoting jail break.

This week, he threatened to retire from the Senate in 2020 unless Republicans pass criminal justice “reform.” So as a member of the Judiciary Committee, with the opportunity to focus on immigration and election fraud, which are helping create a permanent Democrat majority, he instead focuses on Soros’ number one priority: help grow the Democrat voter base?! This is a man whose priorities are already dyslexic, as he sided with the transgender lobby over his own state party. His threat to retire should actually come as welcome news to conservatives. Unfortunately, his threat is likely as real as the threat from Hollywood actors to leave the country when Trump becomes president.

6. Lindsey Graham just can’t divorce himself from amnesty

Lindsey Graham has long peddled the open borders electoral myth: Republicans cannot win elections without embracing amnesty. This election completely repudiated that premise and proved conclusively that just the opposite is true. So what is Graham’s first priority for 2017? He plans to introduce another Dream Act amnesty designed to preserve Obama’s executive amnesty! At a time when more and more young, illegal immigrants are flooding our southern border, induced precisely by these very promises of amnesty, Lindsey wants to pour gasoline on the fire.

Meanwhile, there are new reports that illegal immigrants are more successful than ever at evading apprehension at the border and that unaccompanied minors are draining our federal health care funds. Thanks Lindsey! You are just what the doctor ordered.

7. Orrin Hatch might violate his pledge and run again

Facing a competitive primary in 2012, old-bull establishment hack Orrin Hatch, R-Utah (F, 33%) pledged that this would be his final — and most conservative — term in the Senate. Well, it has been his most liberal, and he is now indicating he will break his pledge and run for another term in 2018. If re-elected, he will be 90 years-old at the end of his term. Then again, the growing fumes of more power will always get in the way of doing the right thing, turning the House of Lords into a retirement home.

With friends like these … (For more from the author of “7 Top RINO Moments of Betrayal This Week” please click HERE)

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Tolerance Strikes Again: College Students Shout Down Rick Santorum During Speech

Open-minded, tolerant liberals are at it again — this time, shouting down former Pennsylvania U.S. Senator and two-time presidential candidate Rick Santorum for making a speech at Cornell University on the future of America under President-elect Donald Trump. Famously socially conservative, Santorum made a short speech and opened up the floor to questions from the packed audience.

But liberals couldn’t wait that long to heckle Santorum, both in the marked area outside the auditorium and indoors. Hosted by the Cornell Republicans, the campus’ Young America’s Foundation and the Student Activities Funding Commission, Santorum was introduced by Cornell College Republicans President Olivia Corn. Within a minute of speaking, Corn had to firmly ask hecklers to “please give me the respect I’m giving you.”

It only got worse from there, with hecklers chanting “Shame!” as Santorum spoke. They also said he should leave campus, and were otherwise hostile despite claiming to have liberal values. The event can be seen in full at the video immediately below, starting around 29:00.

In a particularly poignant clip, Santorum seemed to chuckle as he noted that the same liberal students yelling “Shame!” were likely to “walk around this campus and talk about tolerance.” Santorum was interrupted this time by cheers and a partial standing ovation, after which he continued: “And all of them will tell you that you have to celebrate what? Diversity! Celebrate diversity! Preach tolerance! But when it comes to anybody who disagrees with them, there is no tolerance.”

The conservative student publication Cornell Review mocked the protesters, while The Cornell Daily Sun gave prominent voice to students who claim Santorum is “anti-gay” and “racist.” The independent student newspaper The Daily Sun article noted that the evening began with the usual reading of the university’s free speech policy, which had to be read again half-way through, “as protesters were continually hindering the speaker’s ability to address attendees.”

The SJW students at Cornell clearly can’t tolerate a viewpoint or rationale with which they disagree, though it appears the number of outlandishly rude and intolerant students was small compared to the 500-person audience reported by the Review. Cornell’s student leadership and administration deserve credit for hosting Santorum despite the students who showed their liberal values go no further than their safe spaces. (For more from the author of “Tolerance Strikes Again: College Students Shout Down Rick Santorum During Speech” please click HERE)

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See College Students’ Responses When Asked to Compare Castro to Trump

College students in the nation’s capital thought it was a “tough question” whether former Cuban President Fidel Castro or American President-elect Donald Trump is more favorable.

Campus Reform, a project of the Leadership Institute, polled several students at American University in Washington, D.C., and captured the students’ responses in the video below.

Many students could not give a clear answer whether they thought Castro, the Cuban dictator who died last week, or Trump was a better leader.

Some of the American University students told Campus Reform they favored Castro over Trump.

“I would say at this very moment, I have a better opinion of Fidel Castro,” one female student said in the video.

As The Heritage Foundation’s Ana Quintana wrote in an op-ed piece for The Daily Signal, “Religion was criminalized, dissent was violently punished, and Cuban citizens became property of their communist state” under Castro’s rule.

One student told Campus Reform she didn’t have an opinion on either man.

“I never really had an opinion on [Castro] to start with other than he was really, really bad for the world,” the student said. “Donald Trump, I still don’t have any opinion on. I just choose to ignore it.”

Another student said that if Trump’s administration “is anything like he said it will be, then I think that Fidel Castro will absolutely have been a better leader to the Cuban people than Trump will be to the U.S., just based on his statements alone.” (For more from the author of “See College Students’ Responses When Asked to Compare Castro to Trump” please click HERE)

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Clinton Critics Voice Disappointment After Trump Vows to Drop Investigation

President-elect Donald Trump asserted Tuesday his administration would not further investigate his vanquished opponent Hillary Clinton.

“I don’t want to hurt the Clintons,” Trump said in a wide-ranging interview with The New York Times.

The news came after a rough campaign where Clinton faced an FBI investigation into classified information sent and received on her private email server.

FBI Director James Comey announced in July he was not recommending a prosecution. However, 11 days before the election, he announced he was reopening the probe, only to close it two days before Election Day.

The FBI is reportedly also investigating potential ties between donors to the Clinton Foundation and actions taken by Clinton when she was the secretary of state.

“It was a premature decision [not to continue investigating Clinton] because we don’t know what evidence on the email server or Clinton Foundation will emerge,” said Peter Flaherty, president of the National Legal and Policy Center, a conservative watchdog group, told The Daily Signal.

“It shouldn’t be the call of the White House anyway, but should be left up to the new attorney general—and IRS commissioner—whether to investigate,” Flaherty continued, noting the IRS should look into the nonprofit status of the Clinton Foundation. “Prosecuting Hillary might seem like piling on from a political sense, but if she broke the law, this is a decision that should be left to law enforcement.”

Trump’s comments to The New York Times followed an interview earlier Tuesday with Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway in which she expressed a similar view. Trump said his administration would not pursue further investigation into the email server or the Clinton Foundation.

Trump further told the Times, “we’ll have people that do things,” which the newspaper said could mean the FBI, but Trump was clear he would not push the investigation.

Following her defeat, The Daily Signal reported that Clinton faced at least four legal probes. Regardless of Trump’s decision, she could still face scrutiny from Republican-controlled committees in the House and Senate, as well as a Federal Election Commission investigation of her presidential campaign.

During the second presidential debate, Trump told Clinton, “If I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation.”

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton expressed disappointment in Trump’s decision.

“Donald Trump must commit his administration to a serious, independent investigation of the very serious Clinton national security, email, and pay-to-play scandals,” Fitton said in a statement.

“If Mr. Trump’s appointees continue the Obama administration’s politicized spiking of a criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton, it would be a betrayal of his promise to the American people to ‘drain the swamp’ of out-of-control corruption in Washington, D.C.,” Fitton continued. “President-elect Trump should focus on healing the broken justice system, affirm the rule of law, and appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the Clinton scandals.”

The matter muddies the waters beyond what the FBI might already be investigating about Clinton, said Ilya Shapiro, senior fellow of constitutional studies at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank.

“It’s a little disturbing for a president to say, ‘I’m showing mercy and the fate of my political opponent is in my power,’” Shapiro told The Daily Signal. “It’s not his place to decide which political enemies to go after or not go after. The FBI and the Department of Justice should go forward without political interference.”

Shapiro added this could be politically costly.

“I think more of his supporters voted against Clinton than for him, so it would have been better to stay silent rather than act like a benevolent leader who holds the fate of his opponent at his whim,” Shapiro added.

Conway, Trump’s campaign manager and current adviser in the transition, presented the case for turning the page during an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Tuesday.

“I think Hillary Clinton still has to face the fact that a majority of Americans don’t find her to be honest or trustworthy,” Conway said. “If Donald Trump can help her heal, then perhaps that’s a good thing to do.”

Conway added, “I think he’s thinking of many different things as he prepares to become the president of the United States, and things that sound like the campaign are not among them.”

Trump foreshadowed that he might not pursue a special prosecutor during an interview with CBS News’ “60 Minutes” after the election.

From a political standpoint, Trump’s decision could be mixed, said Gary Rose, chairman of the political science department at Sacred Heart University.

“This does make him more statesmanlike because it probably is for the good of the country to move on, even if his base will not be all that happy,” Rose told The Daily Signal. “It does seem to turn the page and provide a way to say ‘I’m a statesman.’ But, if a crime was committed, perhaps that wasn’t his call. A line might have been crossed.” (For more from the author of “Clinton Critics Voice Disappointment After Trump Vows to Drop Investigation” please click HERE)

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Trump Outlines 6 Steps He’ll Take to ‘Drain the Swamp’ in Washington

In a video message released Monday, President-elect Donald Trump told Americans the first executive actions he’ll take on Jan. 20 to “drain the swamp” in Washington. They include, in Trump’s words:

1. “On trade, I am going to issue our notification of intent to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a potential disaster for our country. Instead, we will negotiate fair, bilateral trade deals that bring jobs and industry back onto American shores.”

2. “On energy, I will cancel job-killing restrictions on the production of American energy—including shale energy and clean coal—creating many millions of high-paying jobs. That’s what we want, that’s what we’ve been waiting for.”

3. “On regulation, I will formulate a rule which says that for every one new regulation, two old regulations must be eliminated, it’s so important.”

4. “On national security, I will ask the Department of Defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to develop a comprehensive plan to protect America’s vital infrastructure from cyberattacks, and all other form of attacks.”

5. “On immigration, I will direct the Department of Labor to investigate all abuses of visa programs that undercut the American worker.”

6. “On ethics reform, as part of our plan to drain the swamp, we will impose a five-year ban on executive officials becoming lobbyists after they leave the administration—and a lifetime ban on executive officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government.”

(For more from the author of “Trump Outlines 6 Steps He’ll Take to ‘Drain the Swamp’ in Washington” please click HERE)

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Conservative Lawmakers Say Current Welfare System Is ‘Anti-Family’

With a new Republican administration in tow, conservative lawmakers are renewing their call for welfare reform that incentivizes families rather than punishing them.

“When we look at what we want for our society, when we look at the key ingredients that have to be contained within any thriving civilization, there are a couple of common themes,” Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said at an anti-poverty welfare event in the District of Columbia. “One is a strong family structure, and another involves opportunities for work.”

The problem, Lee said, is the current safety net, “in many respects, discourages these things, or undermines these interests.”

“In some instances, it discourages marriage, the formation of a family to begin with,” he said.

Lee, along with several other conservative lawmakers in favor of welfare reform, was speaking at The Heritage Foundation’s 2016 Antipoverty Forum, where policy experts and community leaders came together to discuss how to help low-income Americans from both the state and federal levels.

Lee, joined on stage by Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., addressed the Welfare Reform and Upward Mobility Act, which would make significant changes to the nation’s welfare system. With President-elect Donald Trump set to take control of the Oval Office next year, they hope to make this legislation a reality.

“Think about what we now have–don’t get married, don’t get a job, have more kids, and we’ll give you more money,” Jordan said, speaking at Thursday’s forum. “That’s pretty ridiculous, right? It’s anti-family–the key institution in our culture.”

The lawmakers cited the example of an unmarried couple with two children who receive assistance under the Earned Income Tax Credit, which is one of the government’s largest federal welfare cash assistance programs. If each individual were earning $20,000 out of wedlock, for example, they would lose about 10 percent of their benefits once they got married.

“I always tell folks: The first institution the good Lord put together wasn’t the church, wasn’t the state, it was moms and dads and kids,” Jordan said. “It was family. We have an anti-family welfare system, and we have an anti-work welfare [system]. The two values that helped make America the greatest country ever. Strong families, strong commitment to the work ethic. That’s what we have to incentivize.”

Attendees also addressed the importance of religious institutions in the fight against poverty, vowing to oppose efforts that they argue are discriminatory toward people of faith.

“We have got to resolve where we are as a nation, where we are on religious liberty,” said Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., the keynote speaker of the event.

The Obama administration, he said “has tried to isolate people of faith,” and “we have got to turn that back.”

Referencing faith-based adoption agencies that were forced to shut down for refusing to place children with same-sex couples, Lankford, added, “Why should the federal government care about their faith?”

The result, he added, is that “our country is becoming afraid of faith.”

While there are some legislative measures that he believes will fix the problem, the real difference, he said, comes from homes, churches, and communities.

“Our nonprofit entities are so much more efficient at taking care of poverty than our government,” he said. “Mentor a family. It will make a world of a difference.” (For more from the author of “Conservative Lawmakers Say Current Welfare System Is ‘Anti-Family'” please click HERE)

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Anti-Trump Demonstrators Attack Unaccompanied Woman, Shatter Her Windshield

Anti-Trump protesters in Portland, Ore. attacked a vehicle driven by a young woman who claimed she was attempting to pass on a road blocked by demonstrators due to a personal emergency.

Local press covering the protest filmed the confrontation.

Protesters claim the altercation began when a motorist attempted to circumvent a Trump protest due to a personal emergency. The Daily Caller News Foundation is not able to confirm the nature of the alleged emergency. Demonstrators then claimed she attempted to run over one of the protesters with her car.

“I can’t agree with them,” the reporter covering the protests said. “I was out here, and someone jumped in front of her car while she was slowly trying to drive away.”

A bystander then attempted to intervene so the vehicle could pass. He in turn was pushed and shoved by protesters. At one point during the dispute, a demonstrator slammed and shattered the woman’s windshield. Though the reporter could not identify which specific protester was responsible, one individual immediately proximate to the vehicle throughout the encounter was brandishing a baseball bat.

“This woman is by herself, surrounded by protesters — hundreds of them,” the reporter said, as a camera crew filed the ongoing encounter. The woman sat alone inside the car and cried, her neck and shoulders tensed in a frightened posture.

The reporter indicated it was the second such confrontation between demonstrators and a motorist that evening. He also reported that police were not on the scene.

“I haven’t seen a police officer — I’m trying to think– all night.” he said. (For more from the author of “Anti-Trump Demonstrators Attack Unaccompanied Woman, Shatter Her Windshield” please click HERE)

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