The War for the Democratic Party Will Destroy Lives and Change Our Country

. . .Its young congressional leaders, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar, the fresh-faced consciences of the swamp, are all-three the targets of finance investigations. Two are tangled in credible accusations of anti-Semitism, and one is mired in a hard-to-believe incestual infidelity scandal with a married man on her payroll. . .

No doubt, Ocasio-Cortez’s immediate goal is her ally Sanders winning the primary. Toward that objective, the lies, back-stabbing, and attacks they have and will continue to face from former fellow travelers will be as vicious as they are relentless. Both he and she know, however, the ultimate goal is the transformation of the Democratic Party.

If they defeat the frantically-forming Biden wing of the party to win the primary, that prize will at once become more attainable and more imperiled than its been in 75 years, when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s socialist vice president was removed from the ticket — and thereby ascendancy to the presidency — for FDR’s final re-election campaign.

A Sanders loss to Trump, which in 2020 is far more likely than it would have been in 2016, would result in party retribution against all involved. Primaries and political exiles would be sure to follow. Then, a similar fate was assured conservatives after Sen. Barry Goldwater’s general election loss and, 12 years later, Gov. Ronald Reagan’s unsuccessful primary against sitting Republican President Gerald Ford. A political movement far stronger than Washington party politics saw to scuttling those planned executions.

This battle may be Sanders’s last stand, but the war for control of the Democratic Party has just begun. (Read more from “The War for the Democratic Party Will Destroy Lives and Change Our Country” HERE)

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Trump’s Win Over Iran Leads U.S. Toward Peace Through Strength. Now on to Domestic Security

Peace through strength. The actions the president has taken toward Iran over the past week exemplify Reagan’s foreign policy motto more than anything we’ve seen since Reagan’s victory over the Soviet Union.

Trump knows he holds all the cards and all the power, and over the past week, he has unambiguously conveyed the message to Iran that he will use it. As a result, he is on the cusp of winning the greatest victory over Iran since 1979. Now Trump can pocket this foreign policy triumph and move on to domestic security issues, using the same tactics against his domestic political adversaries.

On our side, Trump has crippled Iran with sanctions, shredded Obama’s terrible nuclear “deal,” prevented Iran from causing an oil crisis thanks to our energy prowess, and killed its most treasured terrorist general. On the other side, Iran launched a dozen low-grade missiles at Iraqi sites, demonstrating that it is terrified to do anything more significant. The missiles launched at two joint Iraqi-U.S. bases in western and northern Iraq caused no American casualties. Also, according to the U.S. government, four of them malfunctioned, which is another embarrassment for the Islamic Republic.

It’s truly remarkable how an operation Iran dubbed “Martyr Soleimani” resulted in no casualties and limited damage. One might have expected Iran to “go nuclear” in response to the killing of its most revered general. But the entire world knows exactly why the regime didn’t respond more aggressively. Trump holds all the power through the U.S. military to utterly destroy Iran. The mullahs always knew we were stronger than they, but they never saw a president willing to actually show it.

Gone are the days of Iran capturing American sailors and the president rewarding aggression with sanctions relief. The killing of Soleimani demonstrated that Trump will take action, which for now, ensures that he won’t have to. Peace through strength embodied.

The path ahead for Trump is clear. He should pocket the victory, double down on the use of soft power through crushing sanctions, and continue allowing the military to prepare for the worst while communicating to Iran that the trigger will be pulled if the regime prods him. He should distance himself from the pro-Iran government in Baghdad and begin pulling our troops out of Baghdad so that Iran will never even have the ability to harm our assets, even if it is willing to risk Trump’s retaliation. It’s time to pull the plug on Iraq.

Trump actually signaled this when the State Department put out a joint statement with Kurdish Prime Minister Barzani following Iran’s pathetic retaliation without any mention of Iraq’s prime minister. Good riddance. As Lee Smith so brilliantly observed in today’s New York Post, “Soleimani’s killing lets us get out of the Iraqi quagmire on a high note.”

This will free up Trump to focus on completing the circuit of national security through domestic policy: the border, the visa system, sanctuary cities, and domestic crime.

The same principle undergirding Trump’s success against Iran applies to his domestic political adversaries on the Left. The only reason Democrats have won every budget battle of his presidency is because they knew Trump would not use his veto pen to leverage action on issues like border security and sanctuary cities. Much as with Iran, Trump holds all the cards. Between his veto pen, inherent executive authorities, and his bully pulpit to expose the radicalism on the Left on issues like illegal immigration and crime, Trump can smash Democrats to pieces. They just need to know he will actually take action. That he will actually use the veto pen, implement lawful executive actions, push back against the lawless courts, and direct the RNC to run endless ads against Democrats on the thousands of criminal aliens and domestic criminals who have been released through the twin policies of sanctuary cities and jailbreak.

While Iranian aggression remains a looming threat, the average American’s safety is still imperiled exponentially more by weak-on-crime laws and open-borders policies. Trump should spend the remainder of the year leveraging his veto pen, executive actions, and the bully pulpit to promote the following:

Cut off visas from most Middle Eastern countries. Ultimately, the only meaningful way Middle Eastern terrorists and terrorist regimes can attack us is through our immigration system. But the “travel ban” has been so limited as to make it almost meaningless. The Trump administration is increasingly granting visas even to Iranians. Trump has the full authority to end this tomorrow.

Deploy our military to our own border. As Trump moves from nation-building in the Middle East to the peace through strength model, it’s time to redeploy our troops to our own border. The Border Patrol is simply not equipped to deal with the cartels and criminal aliens coming in strategically; it’s time to treat our border as the security perimeter that it should be. Moreover, use of the military will further leverage Congress on funding for more border wall construction.

It’s time for Trump to sideline wayward lower court judges and begin cutting off various grant funds to sanctuary cities. He can use his bully pulpit to demonstrate the devastating effects of sanctuaries releasing thousands upon thousands of the worst foreign criminals, including child rapists and gang members. The issue is so one-sided in the polling, Democrats could never survive a protracted national discussion over harboring the world’s worst criminals. He must be willing to have a budget funding fight later this year over codifying this action. It’s a fight he can win.

Trump needs to reverse course on so-called criminal justice reform and actually push Reagan’s reforms on behalf of victims of crime, which was Trump’s natural position before Jared Kushner changed his mind. The entire nation is appalled at what New York has done on crime, but this is happening in almost every state to some degree. Trump should use his bully pulpit to run against it, while also pushing federal legislation on gun felons and getting rid of many pro-criminal loopholes created by the federal courts.

A sustained and unflinching battle for public safety for our communities is a fight Democrats cannot win – the same way Iran could not win a conflict with our military, once they knew Trump would actually go kinetic with that potential power. Well, the time has come for him to use the extent of his political tools and the power of the issues and gain the same victories on behalf of the law-abiding sovereign American citizen. (For more from the author of “Trump’s Win Over Iran Leads U.S. Toward Peace Through Strength. Now on to Domestic Security” please click HERE)

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Our Global Missions: Soldiers Serving as… Dental Hygiene Teachers in Niger

Why do we have a military?

This is the question nobody in Congress asks as they pass annual defense authorization and appropriations bills codifying our aimless deployments in well over 100 countries without an understanding of what each mission is accomplishing. Well, now that congressional Democrats are demanding answers from Trump on our posture toward Iran, they might want to also ask what in the world we are doing in places like Niger.

Last week, United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) put out a press release lauding the “first-ever dental hygiene course in Nigerien village.”

The U.S. Army 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion Civil Affairs Team 219, deployed to Nigerien Air Base 201, hosted the first-ever dental hygiene course for school children in the village of Tsakatalam, Niger, Dec. 14, 2019.

The team partnered with local Agadez city dentist, Dr. Mahaman Aicha, who taught the Tsakatalam Primary School children for the first time how to properly brush and floss their teeth and the importance of good oral health.

The release goes on to say how two airmen deployed to the 724th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron collected donations to purchase hygiene supplies as well.

These might sound like heartwarming PR efforts on behalf of the military, but the real question here is what we are doing in Niger to begin with? Why is there never any question about the interests of the United States, the prudence, or the legal authority to use our military as global civil engineers, doctors, and teachers?

However, what is worse than using our military for social work is using it for social work in a combat zone. Niger is not a safe place. It is full of Sunni terrorists who subscribe to the ideology of the Islamic State. We lost four soldiers there in October 2017 fighting with a dubious Nigerian force to combat the Islamic State. But nobody is asking how African terror groups affect us or have the ability to strike us or to shut down shipping lanes as Iran does. Nobody is asking which ground we are holding, on behalf of whom, and in what sort of sustainable way. And it’s not just Niger; we are doing this all across Africa. There are an estimated 6,000 troops on the African continent, largely highly trained special forces.

On October 4, 2017, 11 soldiers of the 3rd Special Forces Group were ambushed in Tongo, Niger, while stopping a convoy to meet with local villagers, resulting in four fatalities. A Pentagon report found that the soldiers were ill-prepared for the mission. Yet here we are over two years later, and we still have troops there engaging in social work. Why is there no desire in Congress to find out more about this mission? Why are there only legal and policy concerns about countering Iran, the one country that unambiguously attacked us multiple times recently?

Just this Sunday, with all the focus on Iraq and Iran, al-Shabab terrorists attacked a U.S. airstrip on the Kenyan coast, killing one American soldier and two American contractors. The adjacent base, Camp Simba, is used by our special forces to train Kenyan forces in the fight against Shabab. While Shabab, an offshoot of al Qaeda, is certainly a terrible collection of terrorists, what is it we hope to accomplish in Somalia and Kenya? Our operations there are all the more absurd when you consider that we’ve brought into our own country 130,000 Somali immigrants, and many of them have been caught with ties to terrorism. Some are suspected of funding those wars from our soil through welfare fraud! If it’s in our interests to go there, then by a factor of a million, isn’t it in our interests to ensure we cut off all immigration from these countries so they can’t come here, as well as fund the operations there?

It’s not that there is never a strategic purpose for us to have a base in a far-flung country as a logistical support for indispensable national security interests. And as part of that, there are times when it’s appropriate for the military to engage in community relations to build needed alliances. But we need an operational audit of where we have troops, why they are there, what is the threat assessment, and what is the scope of their mission. Once we know what it is we are doing there, then we can do a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether it’s prudent and worth the cost to continue. The fact that none of these questions are ever asked of our missions in Africa, Syria, Iraq, or Afghanistan, except for when it comes to Iran, demonstrates that the inquiry by Congress into the Soleimani drone strike is all about politics and not about concern for our troops and our national security.

As I wrote, Congress nearly unanimously signed off on $71.5 billion in “overseas contingency operations” in the defense appropriations bill and the entire status quo of military deployments in the defense authorization bill just a few weeks ago. No questions were asked. Now that there is concern by some about our posture toward Iran, why not conduct a full audit of what it is we are doing everywhere in the Middle East and Africa?

The Trump administration is in the process of looking at drawing down our troops from western Africa. But Congress, with nothing better to do this year, should spend a week auditing each part of the world and our presence there so the public can actually weigh in on the prudence of these deployments.

Were we to conduct such an audit, we’d likely discover that we are depleting our resources and resolve for what largely does not threaten us at the expense of deterring China and using the military at our own border. China remains the biggest looming conventional threat to our country, in addition to its asymmetrical warfare against us through cyber attacks and espionage.

Our border has cartels, transnational gangs, and scores of previously deported sex offenders and murderers coming over every day. Border Patrol catches some of them, as we see from daily press releases, but many of the most sinister elements successfully infiltrate, and we never know about it until one of them is arrested in one of our communities. Although these criminals might not sound as cool as Islamic terrorist groups in the Middle East, they affect our security and safety exponentially more than what goes on overseas. Remember, just one year’s worth of detainers lodged by ICE included aliens charged with 2,500 homicides, 56,000 assaults, 14,500 sex crimes, 5,000 robberies, and 2,500 kidnappings. That doesn’t even begin to factor in the scope of the drug traffickers killing 70,000 people a year.

Shockingly, the same pencil-heads in Congress and in the various executive departments who believe it’s totally within constitutional authority to deploy soldiers as dentists in Africa believe we can’t aggressively deploy our military to combat the Mexican cartels at our own border who enable all this death and carnage in our communities.

Moreover, ultimately, foreign terror groups can only affect us here if we have an open border with Mexico or bring them in through our broken visa system.

We need not spend trillions deploying soldiers all over the world to engage in social work and dental hygiene lessons in order to protect Americans. We need only to put our interests first and stop self-destructing through immigration policies while using our military where it can most effectively protect Americans. Keeping us out of the insufferable tribal wars in other countries will preserve our soldiers, treasure, and deterrent against China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran. That is what our Founders envisioned as the purpose of our military. They certainly never envisioned them as the global dentists. (For more from the author of ” Our Global Missions: Soldiers Serving as… Dental Hygiene Teachers in Niger” please click HERE)

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Following Iraqi Parliament’s Vote to Expel U.S. Forces, Congress Should Repeal Funding for Baghdad

Just three weeks ago, Congress voted overwhelmingly (86-8 in the Senate; 377-48 in the House) to continue shoveling hundreds of millions of dollars to the Iraqi government for security. Over the weekend, the Iraqi parliament voted to expel our forces, even as we are protecting them both from Iran and from ISIS.

We’ve needed a robust debate over our mission in Iraq for years. Yet Congress kept signing off on endless funding to maintain the chaotic, ambiguous, and conflicting status quo. Suddenly, when Trump takes useful and decisive action in killing Qassem Soleimani, members of Congress begin demanding answers about our mission. Well, almost every one of them just signed off on this mess. If they actually put their money where their collective mouths are, they would vote to repeal the National Defense Authorization Act they just passed, along with all the garbage in the bill.

Nobody read the 3,488-page NDAA conference report adopted right before Christmas as Congress was passing a 2,000-page omnibus bill they didn’t read either. That includes many of the same members, such as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, claiming outrage over the president’s authority to conducts operations in Iraq. While everyone is debating the application of the 2001 and 2003 authorizations of use of force, nobody seems to remember that in every subsequent year, Congress passed a defense authorization bill codifying all of the current missions all over the globe without any examination of what we are doing. Somehow the endless nation-building operations getting our soldiers killed weren’t worth such examination, as they all rubber-stamped this bill, chock-full of harmful provisions, but when it comes to virtue-signaling on behalf of Iran, they feign outrage over a lack of congressional involvement in the use of force.

Page 1,069 of the conference report categorically authorizes the DOD to “provide support for the stabilization activities of other Federal agencies … in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Somalia.” Nobody ever questioned what it is we are accomplishing in any of these countries and on behalf of which governments we are shedding our blood and spending our treasury. But when a man like Soleimani sacks our embassy and plots more attacks against a multitude of federal agencies in the country, Trump has no authority to act?

Not only do we spend billions propping up pro-Iranian officials in Baghdad and dubious fighting forces elsewhere, but page 1,087 of the bill authorizes the DOD to reimburse these governments for “logistical and military support provided by that nation to or in connection with United States military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, or Syria.” On page 1,100, the bill provides authority for “(1) Defending the Syrian people from attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. (2) Securing territory formerly controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. (3) Protecting the United States and its partners and allies from the threats posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, al Qaeda, and associated forces in Syria.” However, the bill is ridiculously silent about who exactly we are defending. Well, now we know: We were defending Iranian-backed Shiites from the Sunnis, while both sides were killing our soldiers.

The House bill did originally contain a provision repealing the original authorization of use of force in Iraq, but the final version left that out. The final NDAA contained $4.5 billion for the Afghani government and another $845 million for the Iraqi government.

Then, in the same week, Congress passed the defense appropriations bill, which allocated roughly $1.2 billion for counter-ISIS operations in Iraq, including “training; equipment; logistics support, supplies, and services; stipends; infrastructure repair and renovation; construction for facility fortification and humane treatment; and sustainment, to foreign security forces, irregular forces, groups, or individuals participating, or preparing to participate in activities to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, and their affiliated or associated groups.”

Guess who that includes? The Shiite militias being commanded by Soleimani! After all, they were “participating in activities to counter” ISIS. For the past five years, our government has indiscriminately funded everything and anything that fights ISIS, when in fact, Iran was always the bigger strategic threat, yet Iran reaped the benefit of our efforts. Between the $26 billion we spent on training the Iraqi military through September 2012, according to the inspector general on Iraq, and another roughly $10 billion more in defense appropriations since then, authorized under the guise of fighting Sunni terrorists, that is more money than we need for our own border security that was sunk into pro-Iran militias.

Overall, the defense bill contains $71.5 billion for “overseas contingency operations,” which grants the president very general authority to use it for a number of questionable activities.

Thus, members of Congress have no leg to stand on when it comes to the president engaging in operations in those countries, particularly one that is rooted in a defensive action to protect our own personnel.

But if Congress really wants to have a debate about our vision in the Middle East, now is the time to engage in such a dialogue. It should begin with repealing the NDAA and starting anew. As I reported in December, that bill contained more visas for Iraqis and Afghans, a new paid family leave entitlement for all federal workers, a provision prohibiting federal agencies from asking about criminal records on job applications, and an amnesty for several thousand Liberian illegal aliens. Those provisions should be repealed, along with the provisions continuing our operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A new NDAA should define very strictly our interests in keeping open shipping lanes or protecting any other assets from Iranian aggression or from other terrorist groups. But when it comes to land battles in fractured tribal lands, the answer should be: “You’re on your own.”

Those concerned about Iran might suggest that pulling out will hand Iraq over to Iran, but that is ridiculous, because Iran already controls the Baghdad government … and we’re helping them with infrastructure and security. Were we to pull out, Iran would then have a permanent Sunni insurgency on its hands. Nobody expressed this sentiment better than Dan Caldwell of Concerned Veterans of America, who served in Iraq:

By staying out of these wars, we will actually be able to counter Iran from a position of strength. If Iraq doesn’t want to extend us the “honor” of losing thousands of soldiers, spending several trillion dollars on its nonexistent and permanently divided country, and bringing in over 200,00 of its unvetted people to our country, who loses out here? Not us.

Finally, a new defense authorization should deal with the foundation of national defense, which is homeland security. We should cut off visas from the Middle East, deploy our military to our own border to deal with the cartels, and arm our own soldiers on American military bases, not to mention refrain from bringing Middle Eastern militaries to those bases. It’s time to protect our own interests, not those who bite the hand that guards them. (For more from the author of “Following Iraqi Parliament’s Vote to Expel U.S. Forces, Congress Should Repeal Funding for Baghdad” please click HERE)

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Trump’s Strike on Soleimani Is About America First, Not Reckless Interventionism

On New Year’s Eve, Iran-backed militias attempted to storm the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, engaging in an unsuccessful act of war as American forces secured the compound. In the aftermath, President Trump warned Iran that it would “be held fully responsible for lives lost, or damage incurred, at any of our facilities,” and “pay a very BIG PRICE. This is not a Warning, it is a Threat. Happy New Year!” . . .

His decision to strike Qassem Soleimani was a game-changing act with immense substantive and symbolic implications. It finally brought a modicum of justice for the hundreds of Americans murdered and thousands injured at the hands of the head of the terrorist Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, his henchmen, and their proxies. . .

It represented a decisive response to Iran’s act of war in Baghdad, as well as its repeated assaults on Iraqi coalition bases including last month’s rocket attack that killed one American and injured several others, and additional imminent strikes for which Soleimani would have been responsible. It was about putting America first. . .

Critics of the Trump administration are claiming that this operation—which also resulted in the death of Hezbollah Brigades leader and Iraq Popular Mobilization Forces deputy leader Abu Mahdi al Muhandis, and may have coincided with the rumored rolling up of other Iran-backed militia leaders—recklessly risked all-out war with Iran.

The assumption among both leftist Trump haters and anti-interventionist Trump supporters like Tucker Carlson is that the United States could well be drawn into a broader conflict that will lead to another Iraq or Afghanistan, replete with a full-scale invasion and occupation. Yet this would conflict with President Trump’s word, deed, and demonstrated instinct, and almost assuredly the desires of his supporters. (Read more from “Trump’s Strike on Soleimani Is About America First, Not Reckless Interventionism” HERE)

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Gun Groups to Virginia’s Governor & Attorney General: Here’s Why You Should Expect a Revolution If You Try to Take Our Guns

Virginia Attorney General (“AG”) Mark Herring was asked to issue a formal legal opinion regarding Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolutions being adopted by counties, cities, and towns across Virginia. AG Herring’s official advisory opinion (“Herring AO”) was issued on December 20, 2019. In it, AG Herring argues that Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions (i) have “no legal effect,” (ii) local government officials “must comply with gun violence prevention measures that the General Assembly may enact,” and (iii) “neither local governments nor local constitutional officers have the authority to declare state statutes unconstitutional or decline to follow them on that basis.” Each of these contentions is untrue.

Based on the Herring AO, and various statements reported in the press, it is apparent that AG Herring and Governor Ralph Northam believe that Virginia localities have a duty to actively assist the Commonwealth in the enforcement of any law enacted by the General Assembly. These officials appear to believe that such blind obedience is required irrespective of whether a law violates the U.S. Constitution, the Virginia Constitution, or is manifestly destructive of the pre-existing rights of the People of Virginia. This radical view is demonstrably false, and ignores the significance of the fact that local officials are required by law to take an oath to support the federal and state constitutions above the laws enacted by the General Assembly.

Moreover, neither Attorney General Herring nor Governor Northam can credibly demand that local governments must implement every Act of the General Assembly, because that view directly contradicts the positions they have taken in the past. Indeed, on three recent occasions, AG Herring and Governor Northam have taken exactly the opposite legal position, with respect to: (i) the defense of the Virginia Marriage Amendment to the Virginia Constitution; (ii) the General Assembly’s refusal to assist the federal government with the arrest and detention of civilians as authorized by the National Defense Appropriations Act of 2012; and (iii) the right of localities in Virginia to become sanctuary cities with respect to the enforcement of federal immigration laws.

Finally, the assertion that lesser magistrates owe slavish obedience to abusive higher authorities was never the view of the Founding Fathers, particularly those from the Commonwealth of Virginia. Had the English barons embraced this view, there might never have been a confrontation with King John at Runnymede, leading to the protections provided by Magna Carta. Had our nation’s founders embraced this view, Virginia might still be a colony of England. Truly, this view is contrary to the most basic principles which underlay our form of government, is anti-Biblical, and is profoundly abusive of the pre-existing and inalienable rights of the People of Virginia.

On December 2, 2019, Delegate Jerrauld C. “Jay” Jones (D-89) requested that Attorney General Mark Herring (D) issue a formal opinion under Code of Virginia § 2.2-505, addressing Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolutions. At the time of his request, such resolutions had been passed by “more than twenty localities across the Commonwealth.” Since then, the movement has spread across the Commonwealth with remarkable speed, and as of the date of this letter, 114 counties, cities, and towns have adopted Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolutions, with more still expected to add to this list. Sheriffs have joined in this effort as well.

On December 5, 2019, Delegate Lee J. Carter (D-50) pre-filed HB 67, seeking to remove law enforcement personnel from office who decline to enforce firearms laws, regardless of their constitutionality.

Virginia General Assembly to enact into law a cornucopia of the nation’s most extreme anti-gun bills. The Governor’s threat to enact radical gun control must be taken seriously, as complete one-party control of the General Assembly will occur on January 8, 2020, and the offices of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor (Justin Fairfax (D)), and Attorney General all will be filled by persons of the same political party, and sharing the same anti-gun sentiments.

In response to Delegate Jones’ request, AG Herring’s office issued a media statement on December 6, 2019, stating that the Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolutions appear to be “just symbolic.” In another newspaper article, on December 9, 2019, AG Herring was quoted as saying that “Second Amendment sanctuary” resolutions will have “no legal effect whatsoever.” On December 11, 2019, it was reported that Governor Northam stated that localities “can continue to have their meetings. They can continue to make sanctuary counties,” but they will not stop the Governor from pursuing anti-gun legislation. Now, AG Herring has issued his Advisory Opinion, formalizing that view.

The legal claims in AG Herring’s AO are invalid, and on the contrary, there are established precedents for non-cooperation efforts such as Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolutions. In fact, both AG Herring and Governor Northam participated in establishing and reinforcing those precedents.

I. Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolutions Have Significant “Legal Effect.”

It is certainly true, as the Herring AO notes, that Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolutions generally assert only the “intent” of Virginia’s counties, rather than making concrete directives to address a future situation which is not yet known. And, as the AO points out, it is certainly true that the “measures that the General Assembly may enact,” and the scope of resistance to those measures, is “entirely speculative.” But those facts hardly lead to the Attorney General’s conclusion that Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolutions have “no legal effect.”

On the contrary, events in the Commonwealth are still at the stage whereby law-abiding Virginians are sincerely petitioning their state government officials not to enact unauthorized, unconstitutional laws. The Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolutions, passed in November and December of 2019, are not unlike the petitions of an earlier time, when both the citizens of Virginia and their elected officials implored their Royal Governor, King George, and Parliament to hear their petitions and grant them relief. In this sense, the Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolutions should be considered an exercise of the ancient right to petition government for redress of grievances. They can be understood as a supplication to the Commonwealth’s rulers not to abuse their power nor do the great evil that is being considered.

At the same time, however, these petitions and supplications are not being expressed as mere preferences, but as Constitutional necessities. The vast majority of Virginia localities have made it clear that any attempt by the General Assembly to forcibly disarm Virginians, to register their weapons (in preparation for their eventual later forcible seizure), or otherwise to turn law-abiding Virginians into felons, would be ultra vires acts, void, and thus not law at all. See Federalist No. 78.

These concerted actions by the Commonwealth’s counties, cities, and towns are highly unusual and of great significance. Sadly, the Attorney General’s letter wholly ignores the fact that the Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolutions are crafted as an appeal to the government. The resolutions do not indicate any desire to provoke a fight (legal or otherwise) with the ruling government in Richmond. Rather, the resolutions indicate a most sincere desire to avoid conflict with the General Assembly, the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, and the Attorney General. However, Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolutions announce that, should the government in Richmond act lawlessly, then local officials and the People they represent will not cooperate and may take steps to actively resist.

Indeed, the degree to which these localities may find it necessary to withhold compliance, or even actively to resist legislation, is entirely in the hands of the General Assembly and the Governor. The Attorney General was profoundly wrong in his attempt to minimize and demean this historic effort, asserting it as being of no “legal effect.”

II. No Constitutional or Statutory Provision Requires Compliance with an Unconstitutional State Law.

The Herring AO conflates several constitutional principles to arrive at the desired result. First, the AO notes that the General Assembly has the power to create (and uncreate) counties, and to designate the scope of their powers. From that, the AO reaches the far broader conclusion that “all local authority is subject to the control of the General Assembly.” (emphasis added). That is a non sequitur. On the contrary, there are certain constitutional requirements, such as the form of county government, with which the General Assembly cannot dispense. Article VII, Sections 4 and 5 establish county boards and county sheriffs as elected constitutional offices, and thus beholden to the People — not to Richmond. Indeed, Article I, Section 2 notes that “power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people, that magistrates are their trustees and servants, and at all times amenable to them.” In other words, through the enactment of Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolutions, county boards, and sheriffs, are acting “subject to the control” of the People as expressed in the Constitution, not the General Assembly. Likewise, Article I, Section 7 explains that “all power of … the execution of laws, by any authority, without consent of the representatives of the people, is injurious to their rights, and ought not to be exercised.” It is to protect the People’s rights that Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolutions have been adopted by county boards, acting to protect the People who consented to be governed under a Constitution which contains limits on the powers of the General Assembly and the Governor.

Second, the Herring AO conflates the text of Virginia Code Section 1-248, that “the Constitution and laws of the United States and of the Commonwealth shall be supreme,” with the concept of “supremacy of state law over local ordinances and policies” and the idea that “local authority is subordinate to state law.” The Herring AO asserts that “when a statute and an ordinance conflict, the statute must prevail.” But what happens when a statute and the Constitution conflict? Indeed, Virginia Code Section 1-248 contemplates supremacy in a situation where a statute is in harmony with constitutional provisions. Here, where the General Assembly is considering passing a litany of unconstitutional gun control laws, state law would come into conflict with the Virginia and U.S. Constitutions. In such a case, county boards owe no obeisance to an unconstitutional state statute, but rather to the higher law of the Virginia and United States Constitutions, and to the People — the authorities from which these officials derive their power. The offending laws are a nullity — void — as if they were never enacted.

Finally, the Herring AO asserts that all laws enacted by the General Assembly must be complied with “unless and until those laws are repealed by the legislature or invalidated by the judiciary.” Thus, the Herring AO adopts the Doctrine of Judicial Supremacy: that the courts are the only branch of government which has a duty to interpret and apply the Constitution. If that were true, there would be no reason for all office holders to swear an oath to the Constitution — just a duty to obey the view of the courts. Indeed, this has never been the law of the land, in Virginia or the United States. Rather, as St. George Tucker observed, even after a constitution has been ratified by the people, the people retain “the censorial power [which] may be immediately exercised upon their representative or agent who forgets his responsibility….” St. George Tucker, View of the Constitution of the United States 48 (Liberty Fund: 1999). It simply is not, nor has it ever been, the case that a constitution means whatever a current majority of judges decide it should mean. As Blackstone put it, “the law, and the opinion of the judge are not always convertible terms, or one and the same thing; since it sometimes may happen that the judge may mistake the law.” W. Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England at 71 (Univ. of Chi. facsimile ed. 1765).

III. AG Herring and Governor Northam Have Established the Principle that It Is the Duty of All Elected Officials to Defend the U.S. and Virginia Constitutions.

Paradoxically, one of the most recent Virginia precedents for elected officials declining to enforce provisions of state law was established by AG Herring himself, immediately after being inaugurated as Attorney General in 2014. Indeed, AG Herring not only refused to enforce a statute, he refused to enforce the Constitution of Virginia itself. AG Herring then went even further, attacking and helping undermine state constitutional provisions and statutes that he believed to be unconstitutional, based on his personal view that the U.S. Constitution superceded the Virginia Constitution, even though his opinion was wholly unsupported by any decision of the U.S. Supreme Court as of that time. If AG Herring truly believed the claim in his AO, that state officials must defend and enforce the law until a court declares it invalid, he would not have acted in this way.

On November 7, 2006, the People of the Commonwealth of Virginia ratified their State Constitution by adopting the “Virginia Marriage Amendment” with over 57 percent of the vote. In order to become part of the Virginia Constitution, as Article I, Section 15, it was necessary that the Amendment was passed by two different sessions of the General Assembly, separated by a general election. The amendment declared, inter alia, that “[o]nly a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions.”

On July 18, 2013, the Virginia Marriage Amendment was challenged in a case filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (Norfolk Div.) known as Bostic v. Rainey, 970 F.Supp.2d 456 (E.D. Va. 2014). The case was defended by then-Attorney General of Virginia Ken Cuccinelli (R). After a hotly contested election which required a recount, AG Herring was sworn into office, succeeding Ken Cuccinelli, on January 11, 2014.

On January 23, 2014, on no authority but his own, AG Herring filed a “Notice of Change of Position” with the district court, based on his personal decision to refuse to defend the Constitutional Amendment voted by the People of Virginia. AG Herring declared that, irrespective of the action of the People in amending their Constitution, that as “an exercise of” his “independent judgment,” he had concluded that when a provision of the Virginia Constitution or Statute “violates the federal constitution, he is not duty bound to defend it.” (Emphasis added.)

In an interview with NPR, reported January 23, 2014, AG Herring asserted: “As attorney general, I cannot and will not defend laws that violate Virginians’ rights.” (Emphasis added.) He added that “his job is to defend laws that are constitutional. This one, he said, isn’t.” As AG Herring put it in a January 23, 2014 opinion article in USAToday:

An attorney general who concludes that a law is unconstitutional is duty bound not to defend it. There are those who argue that attorneys general should operate on automatic pilot, defending laws regardless of their constitutional merit. An uncritical allegiance to that notion is not only wrong, it allows the critic in this instance to mask his opposition to marriage equality. [Emphasis added.]

In support of his assertion of the authority not to enforce a law thought to be unconstitutional, AG Herring relied on a position taken by Justice Scalia, stating that “the President’s powers to resist legislative encroachment by Congress include the power to ‘disregard them when they are unconstitutional.’ Freytag v. Commissioner, 501 U.S. 868, 906 (1991) (Scalia, J. concurring in part).” AG Herring also relied on an amicus curiae brief filed in the U.S. Supreme Court in Astroline Communications Co. v. Shurberg (Mar. 6, 1990), by then-Acting Solicitor General John A. Roberts (now Chief Justice of the United States), refusing to defend a federal statute in court and expressing, as AG Herring put it, “the view of the United States that the [federal] statute in question was unconstitutional.” Notice at 4.

In conclusion, AG Herring’s actions, supported by Governor Northam, with regard to the Virginia Marriage Amendment, establish the following precedents for Virginia:

First, an elected official who reaches the “independent judgment” that a state statute is in violation of the U.S. Constitution is at liberty to decline to enforce that statute.

This principle is at the very core of the Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolutions.

Second, an elected official has the power to take affirmative steps to block enforcement of an unconstitutional statute.

By these actions and the precedents they establish, AG Herring and Governor Northam have completely undermined their recently expressed opinions that Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolutions are not authorized.

On New Year’s Eve in 2011, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (“NDAA”). Sections 1021 and 1022 of the NDAA allow the military the power to undertake an indefinite detention of anyone the federal government declares to be an enemy, including civilians not under the authority of the Department of Defense. These powers apply even if the person is a U.S. citizen, allowing him to be held without charges, without access to counsel, and without trial.

Immediately after the public became aware of the NDAA law, there were efforts across the country to resist this unlawful suspension of the right of habeas corpus and other constitutional violations. Opposition arose to this unjust, immoral, and unconstitutional law came from across the political spectrum, even among Democrats who, even though perhaps trusting President Obama with such powers, understood that a future administration could use it against its political opponents.

Thus, with broad bipartisan support, and only one dissenting vote in the Senate and seven dissenting votes in the House, Virginia enacted HB 1160 in 2012, prohibiting Virginia from assisting the federal government in the unlawful detention of U.S. citizens pursuant to the NDAA. With a narrow exception designed to exclude information sharing through joint task forces, the law stated:

no agency of the Commonwealth [including any] political subdivision of the Commonwealth … [or] employee of either acting in his official capacity, or member of the Virginia National Guard or Virginia Defense Force, when such a member is serving in the Virginia National Guard or the Virginia Defense Force on official state duty, shall knowingly aid an agency of the armed forces of the United States in the detention of any citizen pursuant to 50 U.S.C. § 1541 as provided by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (P.L. 11281, § 1021) if such aid would knowingly place any state agency, political subdivision, employee of such state agency or political subdivision, or aforementioned member of the Virginia National Guard or the Virginia Defense Force in violation of the United States Constitution, the Constitution of Virginia, any provision of the Code of Virginia, any act of the General Assembly, or any regulation of the Virginia Administrative Code. [Emphasis added.]

Notable among the legislators voting for HB 1160 were both Attorney General Herring and Governor Northam, on February 28, 2012 and again on April 18, 2012.

Thus, through HB 1160, the Virginia General Assembly established the principle that:

A subordinate level of government has the authority and, indeed, the responsibility, to refuse to cooperate with a higher level of government when the higher government enacts a law which violates the Constitution of the United States.

This same principle of Non-Cooperation applies when local governments are faced with unconstitutional statutes enacted by the General Assembly.

On March 9, 2018, the General Assembly passed a bill introduced by then-Delegate, now-Congressman, Ben Cline, HB 1257, which would have added a one sentence provision to the Code of Virginia:

No locality shall adopt any ordinance, procedure, or policy that restricts the enforcement of federal immigration laws.

On April 9, 2018, Governor Northam vetoed this bill. A story published on April 9, 2018 in the Washington Post stated that Delegate Cline had explained that his bill would only “ban localities from interfering [with] federal immigration actions, not press them into service.” However, Governor Northam explained that preventing localities from declaring themselves immigration sanctuaries would send “a chilling message to the communities across Virginia that could have negative impacts on public safety.” Governor Northam called the measure “unnecessary and divisive.” The House attempted to override the Governor’s veto, but it failed on a vote of 51-48.

On February 23, 2019, the General Assembly passed a bill introduced by Senator Dick Black, SB 1156, which had the same wording as the HB 1257. This bill too was vetoed by Governor Northam, who explained to the Richmond Times Dispatch on March 19, 2019, “The safety of our communities requires that all people, whether they are documented or not, feel comfortable, supported and protected by our public safety agencies….” This story mentioned that, in 2017, Governor Northam had opposed legislation (HB 2000, introduced by Delegate Charles D. Poindexter) to restrict localities from becoming sanctuary localities, and the Governor told voters that he had voted against such a measure in order to break a tie while presiding over the Senate as lieutenant governor.

Thus, three times in three consecutive years (2017, 2018, and 2019), Governor Northam used his office to support the right of Virginia’s localities to declare themselves sanctuary cities and counties, refusing to help with the enforcement of federal immigration laws, based on mere policy differences with those federal laws. These consistent and clear actions establish yet another powerful Virginia precedent supporting the right of localities to decline to enforce a state law that violates the express federal and state constitutional protections for firearms.

IV. The Virginia Founding Fathers Established the Principle that Certain Statutes were Unlawful and thus Void.

Among the authorities cited by AG Herring in his Notice of Change of Position, when he refused to defend the Virginia Constitution’s marriage amendment, were statements by certain of the Founding Fathers. Thus, it is useful to examine how the Founding Fathers viewed the enactment of laws which exceeded a government’s power.

When the Federalist Party used its power in Congress to enact the Alien and Sedition Acts in 1798, it was Virginia’s own Thomas Jefferson who anonymously drafted the Kentucky Resolves, also known as the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 (approximately October 4, 1798) which were adopted by the Kentucky legislature. The Jefferson draft begins:

Resolved that the several states composing the US. of America are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government; but that, by a compact under the style & title of a Constitution for the US. and of Amendments thereto, they constituted a general government for special purposes, delegated to that government certain definite powers, reserving, each state to itself, the residuary mass of right to their own selfgovernment; and that whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, it’s acts are unauthoritative, void, & of no force. [Emphasis added.]

Virginia’s James Madison drafted a similar resolution, adopted by the Virginia General Assembly on December 24, 1798. The Virginia Resolution claimed that the states may “interpose” when the federal government acts unconstitutionally:

in case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers, not granted by the said compact, the states, who are parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose, for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining, within their respective limits, the authorities, rights and liberties, appertaining to them. [Emphasis added.]

Thus, from the time of this nation’s infancy, Virginians clearly envisioned the principle of resistance to abuses of power not unlike that which is taking place with the enactment of Virginia’s Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolutions. When a higher government overreaches, it is the duty of the lesser governments to interpose themselves, to protect the People from the abusive power to give meaning to the protections of the U.S. and Virginia Constitutions.

Our Founding Fathers knew well the dangers of the unauthorized accumulation of, and abuse of, power. As students of history, they knew it had not been uncommon for those holding high civil office to abuse the power with which they were entrusted. When serious abuse occurs, the role of the People and those holding lower civil office is not simply to suffer that abuse without remedy. This principle, which is long established in Virginia, and recently affirmed with the assistance of AG Herring and Governor Northam, is now being relied upon and asserted by counties and cities with respect to proposed unconstitutional gun laws.

Resistance to illegal and unauthorized government acts is not new — it is an ancient doctrine, historically known as “The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrate.” Under this doctrine, when a superior or higher civil authority makes an unjust, immoral, or unconstitutional law or decree, the lesser or lower ranking civil authority has both the right and the duty to refuse obedience to that superior authority. The act of the lesser or lower authority is deemed an act of “interposition” — using the term chosen by Madison — choosing to stand between the higher authority and the People, thereby protecting the People under its charge. If necessary, the lower authority may even actively resist the superior authority, since the higher authority is acting illegitimately and unconstitutionally, and without legal authority.

This doctrine is, in fact, foundational to our form of government. Indeed, the Declaration of Independence is a document of interposition, between the American colonists and a tyrannical King George III. Its signatories — the People’s representatives — pledged to one another “our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor,” believing that they most likely would be tried and executed for treason against the crown.

This ancient doctrine is reflected in the words of Roman Emperor Trajan to a subordinate: “Use this sword against my enemies, if I give righteous commands; but if I give unrighteous commands, use it against me.” This doctrine equips the American People with a way to address the abuse of power by higher civil authorities (here, potentially, the Commonwealth of Virginia) — in a measured and peaceful manner — by making an appeal to and through lower civil authorities (here, the governing bodies and sheriffs of the localities of Virginia).

The application of the principles set out above to Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolutions is clear. The U.S. Constitution and the Virginia Constitution are the statements of the will of the People themselves, and the compacts from which the Virginia legislature draws its authority. Should the Virginia General Assembly, along with the Virginia Governor or Attorney General, enact and attempt to enforce a law which is prohibited by Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, or Article I, Section 13 of the Virginia Constitution, and the pre-existing, inalienable rights of the People, then such law is of no legitimacy — and void. In response, local government officials who have sworn an Oath to uphold the federal and state constitutions unquestionably have the inherent power — and the duty — to refuse to enforce such unconstitutional laws, and even to protect the People against enforcement.

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The Deep State Resistance Terrorized Innocent Americans; Pardoned Ex-Soldier Fuels Trump’s ‘Deep State’ Talk

By Daily Caller. Ever since Donald J. Trump was elected to Make America Great Again, the self-declared #Resistance has terrorized him and many innocent Americans. . .

Today’s Resistance more closely resembles the 18th century French Revolution type – a ruthless mob orchestrated by elites which toppled the government and terrorized countless French citizens for a decade. Their hatred was so deep they even beheaded the statues at Notre Dame Cathedral and the Palais Des Papes in Avignon, home to the 14th century popes and the seat of Western Christianity.

Then, as now, the Resistance’s rallying cries were based on false claims and similar smear campaigns. In Paris, Queen Marie Antoinette was rumored to have said if the poor had no bread, “let them eat cake.” Yet that was an anti-royal trope in France for over a century and there’s no evidence she said it.

In our times, the equivalent rabble-rousing slander is that the Trump Campaign “colluded” with Russia to steal the 2016 election. Though fortunately the guillotine is no longer fashionable, the Resistance still wages terror. Judicially. Financially. Psychologically. . .

Tragically, President Trump along with 50-plus associates have been subjected to a three-year reign of terror from our own government, press and public over a politically motivated hoax. (Read more from “The Deep State Resistance Terrorized Innocent Americans” HERE)

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Pardoned Ex-Soldier Fuels Trump’s ‘Deep State’ Talk About U.S. Military

By Business Insider. It’s been nearly a month since Clint Lorance, the 35-year-old former US Army first lieutenant who was convicted of war crimes and later pardoned by President Donald Trump, emerged from military prison at Ft. Leavenworth in Kansas to the greetings of his family. . .

Throughout his presidency, Trump and his ardent supporters have fueled the so-called “deep state” theory — a term lifted from coup-prone Turkish politics about the military who’ve overthrown elected leaders — and pointed to the steady stream of unflattering leaks from unnamed law enforcement and intelligence officials as unmistakable proof.

For the first time, Trump recently expanded the theory to include the Defense Department.

“Just this week, I stuck up for three great warriors against the deep state,” Trump said at a Florida campaign rally in November. “And you know what I’m talking about.” . . .

In the interview, Lorance agreed with Trump’s sentiment and said he believed that “senior bureaucrats in the Pentagon who believe they do not answer to the electorate” were also members of the so-called deep state conspiracy. (Read more from “Pardoned Ex-Soldier Fuels Trump’s ‘Deep State’ Talk About U.S. Military” HERE)

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The Next Democrat President Must Be Impeached

I am of the opinion that the next Democrat president must be impeached.

That’s the only way to stop this.

If the Republicans control the House, they must impeach the next Democrat President to ensure this sort of thing is never repeated.

The next Democrat President must be impeached? What are grounds? It doesn’t matter.

With Trump, they were talking impeachment when he was a candidate. They were talking impeachment the day he got elected. I told you, this is all sham. It’s a scam. It’s a ruse.

The only way to stop them is to turn the political and impeachment guns on them.

The next Democrat president must be impeached.

The Republican Congress can take a page from Nadler, from Waters, from Engel, from Schiff and all the rest.

They should issue scores and scores of subpoenas. Scores of subpoenas, for financial information, for bank records, for tax information; all kinds of communications with, around and about the president; issue subpoenas for the president’s White House Counsel, Chief of Staff, National Security Adviser, and other people who are closest to the president so he ceases to function.

You want to burden this Democrat president as much as possible. You want to undermine him as much as possible.

And you can wave around the Pelosi doctrine, the Schiff doctrine, the Nadler doctrine, and all the rest of them. Use their rules and take him down.

Do the Republicans have the guts to do so? I doubt it, but they must.

It is the only way to fix the Constitutional order when it comes to impeachment, because the Democrats are creating this precedent.

Now let them eat it.

Joe Biden would be the perfect Democrat president to be impeached.

Start subpoenaing all of his records; all of his phone calls with Ukraine, all of his phone calls with Red China.

You bring Hunter Biden in for 30 hours of secret testimony, like they brought Don Jr. in.

You create a special counsel, the way they created a special counsel against President Trump.

You demand Joe Biden testify in person and, when he refuses, you claim he has something to hide.

Imagine using their tools and their rhetoric against their guy. Or gal, it could be Elizabeth Warren, another liar. She’s another one with interesting finances. Well, we want to get to the bottom of it.

The next Democrat president must be impeached.

And Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff and Nadler and the others; CNN, the Washington Post, the New York Times, ABC and the others; they have all laid the foundation.

And the only way to stop this is to destroy their foundation with their guy or their lady.

Read more at MarkLevinShow.com.

(For more from the author of “The Next Democrat President Must Be Impeached” please click HERE)

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While Conservatives Sleep, Refugee Contractors Push to Resettle Refugees in Every County

Conservative media, political operations, and grassroots organizations on the Right might be paralyzed 100 percent by impeachment proceedings, but left-wing groups have not diverted an ounce of resources from their fundamental transformation agenda. In fact, as conservatives focus on an issue whose outcome is already known and about which there is nothing they can do, they are ceding an eminently winnable fight on refugee resettlement to the only men on the field: Open Borders Inc. The outcome of this one-sided fight will determine nothing less than the future of all our communities and neighborhoods. It is both the most local and most national issue of prominence that grassroots conservatives can actually influence.

In September, President Trump moved to rectify one of the most egregious manifestations of social transformation without representation by allowing the people to decide the future of their neighborhoods and refugee resettlement. While reducing the refugee intake number, the president also enacted the most enduring long-term reform that would spawn grassroots involvement in the future of society by requiring refugee resettlement agencies within government that work with “private” contractors to obtain permission from local officials and the state governor before resettling refugees in a given county. Now it’s time for conservatives to actually get on the field to fight before the Left wins the game.

Aristide Zolberg, one of the leading immigration historians of recent memory, asked the question in his scholarly book, “A Nation by Design,” how amid anti-open-borders sentiment in the country, the open-borders Left always wound up “moving [the policy] in the opposite direction.” Citing other commentators, he noted that “while public support for a reduction in legal immigration was broad, it was not well-organized. … In contrast, a liberal coalition of well-organized organized groups, including ethnic organizations, churches, and employer associations, articulated strong opposition to proposals for restricting legal immigration.”

This is exactly what is playing out with local advocacy for refugee resettlement following Trump’s requirement that local officials sign off. In some ways, Trump’s order was so beneficial for the pro-sovereignty side that it is resting on its laurels, not realizing that the Left is already 100 percent activated, while the Right is sedated on the political morphine of Trump’s presidency and all of the drama in Washington surrounding his personality, not his policies.

Trump’s order requires affirmative support from local officials as well as the state’s governor in order to activate resettlement rather than formal opposition in order to stop the default outcome of resettlement. Thus, the Left is activated to lobby for its side, while the Right doesn’t even know resettlement, particularly under this administration, is still a possibility.

Nobody has covered this unfolding story better than Ann Corcoran, a citizen journalist and refugee law and policy expert who has covered this issue like a laser beam at her blog for over a decade. As Corcoran notes, in the ultimate conflict of interest, refugee resettlement contractors’ entire budgets grow commensurate with the number of refugees they resettle. The more localities they get to sign off on resettlement, the more money they get. That is why they are fighting and sending out step-by-step guides to astroturf every local official in all 3,000+ counties to get them to send their affirmative letters of support to the State Department.

The one-sided battle is having its effect. Even though most citizens oppose refugee resettlement, most Republican politicians on this issue are, at best, amenable to one-sided pressure, and at worst, downright in the pockets of Open Borders Inc. As Corcoran observes, several Republican governors have already voiced support for statewide resettlement, including Utah’s Governor Gary Hubert. While conservatives have ceded so much of America to the Left, the refugee groups have not ceded a single red county, and indeed, thanks to many apathetic and corrupted GOP politicians, resettlement has thrived in the reddest areas of the nation. The fiscal and cultural costs have been enormous.

The Left is winning in North Dakota while conservatives clamor for their hot takes on impeachment. Gov. Doug Burgum, an alleged Republican, already said he would agree to resettlement if any local jurisdiction is willing to go along with it. What happened? As Corcoran reported, Cass County officials agreed to resettlement. Thankfully, residents of Bismarck turned out in force to their local county meeting, and resettlement has been blocked for now. But everywhere American citizens sleep, the refugee resettlement parasites plot and scheme.

There’s no reason why patriots can’t contact their governors or local officials and express the opposite opinion – that they don’t want to pay for the social transformation of their own communities. But that would require some people on our side to peel themselves away from the dead-end impeachment proceedings for a few minutes.

December 25 is the deadline the State Department has set for determining the exact formula for localities to accept or reject refugees. Last week, more than 85 mayors sent a letter to the secretary of state on behalf of the Conference of Mayors opposing the president’s executive order requiring local opt-in to refugee resettlement. Why would they possibly do this? See if your mayor is on this list and find out why they don’t want local input on what affects their communities more than almost any issue. The reality is that every time the people weigh in on immigration, they oppose the elites. But if elite politicians get to quietly make decisions, including even local Republican elected officials, they will go along with the pressure of the cultural elites, unless conservatives become active on the ground.

The ultimate question anyone who works in conservative politics must ask is: Are we looking for hot takes and talking points, or are we looking for actual policy results on the issues that matter most to the future of our communities? The Left has already answered that question. (For more from the author of “While Conservatives Sleep, Refugee Contractors Push to Resettle Refugees in Every County” please click HERE)

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This Thanksgiving, Remember Who Grants the Blessings We Take for Granted

Perhaps we need a little more Thanksgiving and little less Black Friday to cure what is ailing our culture. Perhaps the best way to return God’s gift to our generations of unprecedented wealth and convenience is to focus on the “day of public humiliation and prayer,” as George Washington conceived the first national Thanksgiving, rather than the day of national indulgence.

As a nation, we may have turned away from God, but God sure has not turned away from us. Despite the infinite social and political problems in this country, God continues to bless us with an extraordinary level of bounty and prosperity that would shock our founding leaders, who believed their relative abundance showed a need for a national thanksgiving.

In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge noted in his annual Thanksgiving message, “An abundant prosperity has overspread the land.” He exhorted the nation to use the abundance to please the giver of that bounty and to lift our spiritual state to equal our physical one. “We shall do well to accept all these favors and bounties with a becoming humility, and dedicate them to the service of the righteous cause of the Giver of all good and perfect gifts,” wrote the quiet and humble 30th president. “As the nation has prospered let all the people show that they are worthy to prosper by rededicating America to the service of God and man.”

As we stand here today, nearly a century later, nobody would wish to live in that era, which Coolidge later referred to as one of “comfort” where “wealth is almost incalculable.” Most people didn’t even have the full bathroom amenities of hot piped water, a bathtub, shower, or a flush toilet in their homes, yet they were happy with their state of being. Why? Because as Coolidge observed in his 1928 Thanksgiving proclamation, the spiritual wealth of the nation grew commensurate with its physical wealth:

Our fields have been abundantly productive; our industries have flourished; our commerce has increased; wages have been lucrative, and comfort and contentment have followed the undisturbed pursuit of honest toil. As we have prospered in material things, so have we also grown and expanded in things spiritual. Through divine inspiration we have enlarged our charities and our missions; we have been imbued with high ideals which have operated for the benefit of the world and the promotion of the brotherhood of man through peace and good will.

Today, the opposite is true. As our spiritual wealth and healthy family life decline precipitously, God continues to bless us with unparalleled material wealth as a nation that makes the advances of the 1920s seem like a period of destitution and scarcity. Thus, any excuse we have for our troubles can certainly not be blamed on God’s open hand. We have every reason to succeed now as a nation, at least from a physical standpoint.

Even years before the era of Black Friday, where the most unfathomable high-tech comforts of life would become available at a cheap cost in a dizzying array of choices, former Russian President Boris Yeltsin taught us American abundance in a local Houston supermarket. On September 16, 1989, Boris Yeltsin made a high-profile visit to Houston’s Johnson Space Center. However, it wasn’t the amazing space technology that impressed him about America and crushed his will to continue pursuing communism in his home country. It was an unscheduled visit to Randall’s supermarket that shocked him, according to his autobiography.

Yeltsin, then a high-ranking Soviet official, reportedly “roamed the aisles of Randall’s nodding his head in amazement” and told those around him that if Russian supermarkets looked like this, “there would be a revolution.” He later wrote of his experience: “When I saw those shelves crammed with hundreds, thousands of cans, cartons and goods of every possible sort, for the first time I felt quite frankly sick with despair for the Soviet people.”

What Yeltsin saw in just one local supermarket was a much a greater abundance than what was celebrated in the first Thanksgiving in 1621 – by a factor of a million.

The asymmetry between America and the rest of the world in terms of choices and abundance in food, cars, and other products is still evident today. In fact, even our homeless vagrant population in San Francisco has iPhones that they use to effectively barter goods, according to a recent report by the Manhattan Institute’s Heather Mac Donald.

We have so much food in this country that we don’t know what to do with it. According to the USDA, farm output grew by 170 percent between 1948 and 2015, “even as the amount of labor and land (two major inputs) used in farming declined by about 75 percent and 24 percent, respectively.” Earlier this year, America’s dairy surplus reached a record high with 1.4 billion pounds of cheese. Last year, the USDA reported a 2.5 billion-pound surplus of meat.

More recently, we have witnessed the oil and natural gas miracle of America, as we become the global energy superpower. Contrary to the socialist principle of scarcity, God is constantly renewing the world, such that the more oil and gas we produce, the more we find. The U.S. has an estimated 310 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil, more than Saudi Arabia, and the numbers keep growing every year. Those estimates have jumped over 30 percent in just a decade, even though we have already extracted over 30 billion barrels during that period.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced that American crude oil production had hit an all-time record of 12.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in November. That is an astounding 43 percent increase in production in just three years. Our oil exports have grown 30-fold over the past five years.

We are also the global leader in natural gas production. The EIA predicts that U.S. liquified natural gas exports will increase 72 percent this year over last year’s impressive showing. In petroleum production combined with “other liquids” production, total U.S. production is projected to hit 20.73 million bpd during the fourth quarter of this year, according to the EIA. That is 67 percent and 83 percent more than Saudi Arabia and Russia respectively. Just seven years ago, those countries were producing more than us. Through 2040, the U.S. is expected to account for 75 percent of the global growth in oil production and 40 percent of the growth in natural gas.

Indeed, God’s blessings are growing faster than we can harvest them. However, His blessings are also growing faster than our spirits can use them for the good. The age-old story of spurning God when we are fat and happy was portended in the Bible – “Jeshurun[a] grew fat and kicked; filled with food, they became heavy and sleek. They abandoned the God who made them and rejected the Rock their Savior” (Deuteronomy 32:15).

That is the true lesson of Thanksgiving. It’s easy to turn to God in a time of need. After all, there are no atheists in a foxhole. What man struggles with most, however, is keeping God in his life during a time of bounty and prosperity. As the sagacious President Coolidge said in his 1923 Thanksgiving proclamation, “We have been a most blessed people. We ought to be a most thankful people.” Yet the number of people who don’t believe in God or don’t attend church has skyrocketed over the past decade. As such, many people don’t even know who to thank.

That we are so pampered with luxury and convenience has turned our society away from family and godly values and has reared an entire generation on unvarnished narcissism and selfishness. Moreover, as we remain personally wealthy and indulgent, we remain apathetic to the injustices around us in our broken political and legal system, like the citizens of Rome in the generations preceding its fall. We have let our guard down because we forgot we need a guard and we forgot that God is the ultimate granter of those comforts we take for granted.

Consequently, everything wrong with our society, culture, and government is not because of God’s punishment but because His immense blessings of divine providence, filtered through our corrupted souls, have turned into divine judgement. God has given us everything we could possibly want, but because our spirituality as a society has been attenuated, His very blessings from His just ways have been used for crooked and profligate purposes. As it says in Hosea 14:9, “Who is wise? Let them realize these things. Who is discerning? Let them understand. The ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them.”

As we thank God for our unfathomable level of physical abundance, we must remember that while only He can deliver material prosperity, only we can salvage our spiritual prosperity by returning His favors and turning back to Him and His ways. Thus, while we, as a civilization, thank God for His unparalleled blessings, we should oblige ourselves to be worthy of those blessings, lest his endless patience run out. As the wise President Coolidge once said, “If at any time our rewards have seemed meager, we should find our justification for Thanksgiving by carefully comparing what we have with what we deserve.” (For more from the author of “This Thanksgiving, Remember Who Grants the Blessings We Take for Granted” please click HERE)

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