Bizarre Sleeping Habits of 61 Famous People [Infographic]

By Raj Vardhman

We’re constantly reminded how important getting seven to eight hours of sleep is in order to function normally. Yet, for some of the most successful people on Earth, sleep is a precious commodity. Their sleeping habits often affect how well they perform on the job and they do everything they can not let it get on their way. Sacrificing the sleeping time or cracking an individual sleeping pattern that feels right for them is a common thing for many famous people.

For example, Thomas Edison and Leonardo da Vinci thought sleep is a waste of time and only took power naps during the day. On the other hand, Obama and Schwarzenegger get a six hours solid sleep.

From creating a special atmosphere to establishing a specific positioning manner, this CelebJury infographic illustrates the bizarre sleeping habits of some of the most famous people.

VIDEO: My Keynote Speech at Energy Day in Peru

Last October I gave the keynote speech at Energy Day, the most significant annual energy event in Peru. The event was hosted by the firm Laub & Quijandría, led by Anthony Laub, and a video of it is now available online. You can watch it here.

During the speech I made an analogy I’ve never made before. I thought you might enjoy it.

“The fossil fuel industry is the only industry in history that has figured out how to produce cheap, plentiful, reliable energy for billions of people. Even if there are costs, I think we should be really grateful to the people who’ve done this. I think it’s offensive that we say things like, ‘I hate fossil fuels.’

“I was flying in yesterday on Avianca, and it made me think: what if there had been someone on the plane who had said to the pilot, ‘You know what? I think what you do is evil,’ and they were wearing an ‘I hate pilots’ shirt, and they just spent their whole life denouncing pilots. What would you say to them if you were the pilot? You’d probably say, ‘Get off the damn plane.’ What kind of person takes advantage of this amazing human being that’s allowing him to fly, and then says, ‘I hate you, and I want to destroy you’?

“How is it any different to do that to the pilot than to do it to the person who fuels the plane or the person who created the fuel?

“There’s only one industry that allows us to fly. It’s the fossil fuel industry. We tell the industry, ‘Hey, we want to do the most amazing thing ever. We want to fly, so we can get from point A to point B really fast.’ Only one industry has raised its hand and said, ‘Yeah, we figured out a way to do that.’ Then we say, ‘We hate you. You’re horrible. The earth would be better off without you.’”

Transgender Ideology Hurts Kids

Properly understanding sex, gender, gender identity, and gender dysphoria will continue to be pressing concerns in 2018.

A proper understanding is a prerequisite for properly forming people in the truth and properly ministering to people in need.

As new gender ideologies are promoted throughout America, their lies will impact not only those who suffer from gender dysphoria, but all children who need to mature in their self-understanding as a boy or girl, man or woman, a potential husband or wife, father or mother.

In 2007, Boston Children’s Hospital “became the first major program in the United States to focus on transgender children and adolescents,” as its website brags. A decade later, more than 45 pediatric gender clinics have opened their doors to our nation’s children.

Parents are told that puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones may be the only way to prevent their children from committing suicide.

Never mind that the best studies of gender dysphoria show that between 80 and 95 percent of children who express a discordant gender identity will come to identify with their bodily sex if natural development is allowed to proceed.

Never mind that “transitioning” treatment has not been shown to reduce the extraordinarily high rate of suicide attempts among people who identify as transgender (41 percent, compared with 4.6 percent of the general population).

Never mind that people who have had transition surgery are 19 times more likely to die by suicide.

These statistics should be enough to halt the headlong rush into “transitioning” and prompt us to find more effective ways to prevent these tragic outcomes. Most of all, we shouldn’t be encouraging children to “transition,” or making heroes and role models of those who have done so.

We should be tolerant—indeed, loving—toward those who struggle with their gender identity, but also be aware of the harm done to the common good, particularly to children, when transgender identity is normalized.

Transgender activists are not merely asking for tolerance or kindness. They are demanding affirmation, not just from adults but from children and adolescents who are already challenged by the normal process of sexual development.

In a culture where transgender identities are not only affirmed but celebrated, everyone will be compelled to construct their own gender identity, unaided by a common understanding of sex differences and why they matter.

In my new book “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment,” I show that the best biology, psychology, and philosophy all support an understanding of sex as a bodily reality, and an understanding of gender as a social manifestation of bodily sex. Biology isn’t bigotry.

A sound understanding of gender rejects sex stereotypes on the one hand and androgyny on the other. The virtuous mean is a view of gender that reveals meaningful sex differences and communicates the difference they make—a view that takes sex differences seriously while upholding the fundamental equality of the sexes as complements to one another.

The most helpful therapies do not try to remake the body to conform with thoughts and feelings—which is impossible—but rather to help people find healthy ways to manage their tension and move toward accepting the reality of their bodily selves.

My book provides a nuanced view of our sexed embodiment, a balanced approach to policy issues involving transgender identity and gender more broadly, and a sober and honest survey of the human costs of getting human nature wrong.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Ryan T. Anderson

Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D., is the William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow in American Principles and Public Policy at The Heritage Foundation, where he researches and writes about marriage, bioethics, religious liberty and political philosophy. Anderson is the author of several books and his research has been cited by two U.S. Supreme Court justices in two separate cases. Read his Heritage research. Twitter: . For more on how to understand transgender issues, get a copy of Ryan Anderson’s new book “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment.”

RELATED ARTICLES: 

Planned Transgenderhood

The Ugly Truth About Sex Reassignment the Transgender Lobby Doesn’t Want You to Know [+video]

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.

SUPPORT THE DAILY SIGNAL

Media Ignorance on Capitalism Hurts Low-Wage American Workers

For whatever reason — ignorance, socialist-leaning worldview or laziness — basic economics of free market capitalism seems all but impossible for most of the mainstream media to grasp. And that is a shame. It means they fall for the emotional appeal of fellow Democrats and others who lack an understanding of capitalism, which ultimately ends up hurting low-wage American workers the most — purportedly the people they are trying to help.

Let’s walk through this. Because it becomes blindingly obvious this is exactly what happens. It’s just that consumers of the legacy media may never understand — and alas, they’re unlikely to read this article.

First, the basics on capitalism. At its most foundational, capitalism functions on supply and demand and the ability of a company to make a profit meeting the demand, and the person creating the demand to have multiple supply options to create competition.

Simple, right?

Let’s say I need a pair of shoes. Bob sells shoes. The shoes cost him $20 to make. With all of his overhead — building, electricity, employees, benefits, etc. — he needs to sell each pair of shoes for $35 to break even. He puts the shoes on display for sale at $40, to make a $5 profit. I go to Bob’s store in my tattered shoes and decide if I am willing to pay $40. If so, we’ve created a market and a transaction. Bob makes $5 profit and I get my shoes for $40. Everyone is satisfied.

At each step in the shoe-production process, and the building where Bob displays them and pays for electricity, there are more markets of demand and supply happening, creating a broader economy. Now let’s say Bob gets greedy — like many liberals tell us corporations are — and tries to sell his shoes for $60 to make a $25 profit. I may go to a different shoe store to find something more affordable. Enough people do this, and Bob is forced eventually to lower his price. This is the role of competition in capitalism, with hundreds of shoe stores vying for my purchase and that of thousands of other consumers.

These capitalism concepts of supply, demand, profit and competition seems to elude most media reports, allowing people like Sen. Bernie Sanders to claim corporations are evil, gouge employees and make outrageous profits. If you are making $9 per hour and working for a company making billions of dollars in profits without any media explanation of the fuller context, this is very enticing to believe.

But it is also largely and demonstrably untrue.

Obviously corporations are not evil. They are legal entities made up of people with vested interests in those entities earning a profit so they can stay in business. Corporations generally pay their employees through the same forces of supply and demand, but for workers not products. They don’t gouge, they make decisions based on their employee needs and their profit needs. This is obviously rational, albeit a little hard to objectively quantify.

What is not hard to quantify is that corporations make outrageous profits. Liberal politicians such as Sanders, and many in the media, always use the anecdote corporation that just made a huge profit, rather than actual data points.

The average corporation’s profit margin is about 7 percent, according to a New York University Stern database. Grocery stores and retailers make much less, about 2.5 percent profit. And your local liberal’s favorite evil corporation, Walmart, squeezes out a paltry 2.1 percent profit. Walmart’s profit margin is less than one-third of what it pays in taxes.

Yet a 2013 Reason-Rupe Poll found that the average American guessed the typical corporate American profit to be 36 percent — more than four times reality. How did Americans get such a wildly inaccurate impression?

The media.

The socialist-leaning, capitalist-ignorant, liberal-sympathetic mainstream media swallowing the nonsense of Sanders and many other Democrats and reiterating it as fair, objective news. This is surprisingly common as media bias and distortion consistently leads media consumers to have opinions that are embarrassingly divorced from reality. For instance, according to a 2011 Gallup poll, Americans estimated that 25 percent of the people in America were homosexual. In 2015, it was 23 percent. The actual number is about 3-5%.

The corporate profits disconnect is a combination of economic ignorance and liberal agenda. The gay disconnect is pure propaganda by the media and Hollywood.

But while the gay agenda has its share of downsides, the economic ignorance and agenda has done material damage to the working poor in America — by the very people claiming to be watching out for the working poor in America. And it would do a lot more if it could.

Let’s take the minimum wage as an example. Compassionate liberals and their media allies constantly strut around such nonsense as seriously intoning that a family cannot live on the minimum wage. Well, no duh! None were ever supposed to. (And FYI, the vast majority of minimum wage workers are young people still living at home and second incomes.)

Let’s look at what happens when the government passes a law to dramatically raise the minimum wage to, say, $15, which has been all the liberal protester/union rage the past few years. And because they have many workers near minimum wage, let’s force that on Walmart.

If Walmart, with a profit margin of 2.1 percent, has to increase the majority of its employees’ pay by 50 to 100 percent, how will they be forced to respond? Remember, the company needs to meet demands while making a profit. Grade school capitalism. It has four options, which it may combine:

1) It can raise prices. Since all of its competitors will be facing a similar problem because of liberal government action, this will almost assuredly happen for some portion of the cost offset. So the price of everything from bread and milk to shoes and shirts will rise — maybe a lot. Who shops at Walmart the most? Low-income workers, including likely everyone trying to support a family on minimum wage. See the problem? If so, you’re ahead of liberals and the media.

2) Cut the number of workers, particularly full-time workers with benefits. Add more part-time workers and employ the use of technology to replace low-skill workers. Who does this hurt? Right. The very people liberals say they want to help.

3) Cut hours. Walmart is open 24 hours, 365 days per year right now. It’s particularly convenient for people working strange hours — which are most often lower-wage workers. If Walmart reduces the number of open hours to 12 or even eight, which would be one shift, that would save money in many areas, including by cutting employees substantially. Who would be hurt? You guessed it!

4) Close the least profitable stores and keep open the most profitable. Closing large numbers of Walmart stores clearly impacts Walmart consumers, the lower end working class.

The ignorant will say, “Walmart makes billions of dollars! It can pay its workers more!” But remember, their margin is only 2.1 percent. The billions comes from scale. Walmart stores just in the United States employ 1.4 million employees. Without some or all of the four adjustments above, Walmart could dole out only about a $3.50-per-hour raise before it erased all of its profits and began losing money.

And no company can do that for long.

But liberals and socialists like Sanders can’t advocate for higher costs, fewer options and reduced employment for low-skill workers. That would be political insanity. Yet that is exactly what would result from a minimum wage hike. It’s also what results from high taxes and too much regulation. But you don’t know any of this if you rely on mainstream media sources such as the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, the networks or your local news and media outlets.

The final, real-life proof in the pudding is that the GOP tax reform package President Trump recently signed has triggered an avalanche of employee bonuses, reinvestments in domestic production, tens of thousands of new hires and, ironically, several companies choosing to voluntarily increase their own minimum wage to between $12 and $15 per hour.

None of this is because of government fiat and control, but because government go out of the way.

Hopefully, it is getting harder and harder for the media to obfuscate that reality.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The Revolutionary Act. Please visit The Revolutionary Act’s YouTube Channel

VIDEO: Want to Make the World a Better Place? First Fix Yourself!

Want to make the world a better place? Start by bettering yourself. Best-selling author and clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson explains how incremental daily changes can lead to a better life and ultimately a more harmonious world.

EDITORS NOTE: Please consider donating today to PragerU! http://l.prageru.com/2eB2p0h

Cherry-Picking Statistics: How the Violence Policy Center Manipulates Data to Advance their Cause

Last week, the Violence Policy Center shared their analysis of 2016 fatal injury statistics, which are released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and available for public analysis. VPC’s headline: “U.S. Gun Death Rate Jumps 17 Percent Since 2008 Supreme Court District of Columbia v. Heller Decision Affirming Right to Own a Handgun for Self-Defense.

That appears to suggest causation as if the Heller decision somehow has driven people to commit crime.

The chart in the press release is even more disingenuous than the headline. Take another look.  A casual look at the chart gives the impression that the firearm death rate has skyrocketed – the marker went from near the bottom of the chart in 2014 almost all the way to the top! The axis runs from 10.0 to 12.5; this technique is commonly used to make numbers seem more dramatic. Take a look at the same data point – the overall firearm death rate in the U.S. – on a chart with a more honest axis.

Notice that the sharp increase presented by the Violence Policy Center is flatter when the axis hasn’t been manipulated to suit an agenda. Readers will also notice that this chart is not arbitrarily set to only post-Heller years but goes back to 1990; the longer trend line reveals some truths that the VPC would like to ignore. Total firearms-related death rates were higher through nearly all of the 1990s than they were in 2016.

One should also notice that the total firearms-related homicide rate continued a marginal and pre-existing downward trend after Heller, moving from 4.28 per 100,000 population in 2006 to 3.45 per 100k in 2014. A trend that directly contradicts the misleading headline touted by the Violence Policy Center.

RELATED ARTICLES: 

“Strict Scrutiny” Amendments: Iron Plating for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms

UK: Gun Control Extremists Target Police for Teaching Teen Cadets About Firearms

Stemming the Tide: Violent Crime Decreased in First Six Months of 2017

Once Pot Friendly North California County Bans Marijuana

Last week, Calaveras County’s new Board of Supervisors banned all marijuana cultivation within its boundaries. This rural county the size of Rhode Island has a population of 44,000. Financially challenged, it needed the money the previous Board thought legalizing cultivation would bring.

That Board legalized marijuana cultivation for medical use in 2016 after a devastating fire destroyed more than 500 homes the year before. Owners sold their burned-out property to cash-laden pot growers desperate for farmland in anticipation that Proposition 64 would pass and vastly increase demand for a legal product.

Motivated by being able to tax legal growers, officials expected to receive some 250 growing applications. They got three times that. By last week, about 200 had been approved. About the same number were rejected, and the rest were being processed. Another 1,000 illegal grow sites had flooded the county as well. Last year, authorities cut down some 30,000 plants from just 40 such sites.

Last October, Supervisor Dennis Mills released a hair-raising report, Cultivating Disaster, on the unparalleled damage so many growers have done to the county’s environment. The report is an assessment by local, state, and federal agencies, academic institutions, and journalists’ accounts of the environmental devastation cultivation has brought to the county. Below is a picture from the report showing abandoned containers of fertilizers and other chemicals used at just one site.

Suddenly the $10 million in taxes and fees the county took in from licensed growers last year paled in comparison to the estimated $1.2 billion cost to clean up the environmental mess in Calaveras County.

The backlash was so intense that this month citizens removed four of the five members of the Board of Supervisors who legalized cultivation and replaced them with candidates who had vowed to ban it if elected.

Read ABC News story here. Read/view background report from San Francisco CBS-TV here. Read Committee to Ban Commercial Cultivation in Calaveras County report here. Read Cultivating Disaster: The Effect of Cannabis Cultivation on the Environment of Calaveras here.


Cigarettes and Pot Linked to Teen Psychosis

A new study published in JAMA Psychiatry finds that teenagers who use cigarettes and marijuana have elevated risks for experiencing psychotic episodes.

Researchers studied 3,328 teens living in the Bristol area of the UK. The teens answered questions about their cigarette and marijuana use at six different times between the ages of 14 and 19.

Compared to nonusers, the researchers found that teens who smoked only cigarettes at an early age had a 4.3 percent higher probability of having a psychotic experience by age 18. Teens who used only cannabis at an early age had a lower probability (3.2 percent) for psychosis but a much higher one (11.9 percent) if they started using the drug later.

Next, researchers looked at other factors in the adolescents’ lives such as bullying, alcohol use, social class, family history of schizophrenia, and others. These factors greatly weakened the association between cigarette use and the risk for psychotic episodes, but did not influence the relationship between marijuana and psychosis.

Read CNN account here. Read full text of JAMA Psychiatry study here.


Did My Brother’s Teen Pot Use Lead to His Schizophrenia?

This is a heart-breaking account of what families go through when a member becomes addicted and is unable to see that he or she needs help to enter recovery.

It appears on the website of Moms Strong, a group of mothers who have lost children to addiction or have struggled through its escalation to many drugs that almost always began with marijuana.

The author of this account and her brother wrote a book, pictured above, about their experience.

Read this account on the Moms Strong website here.


From Gummy Bears to Open Doors, Inspections Identify Problems at Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) has conducted 327 inspections of the state’s medical marijuana dispensaries since the first one opened in 2015.

MassLive.com obtained copies of all the deficiency reports and plans for corrections those inspections generated.

This article details some of the reports and presents all those received in table format. The state has 19 medical marijuana dispensaries which DPH says have been responsive to their findings. “As always, DPH’s priority continues to be that patients have safe and reliable access to medical marijuana across the Commonwealth.”

See next story for a different viewpoint.

Read MassLive.com story here.


Contaminated Flower May Be Getting Patients and Employees Sick

A former employee at New England Treatment Access (NETA), a registered medical marijuana dispensary in Massachusetts, quit her job there and filed a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) claiming she was regularly exposed to mold in marijuana flowers sold there.

She also alleges that the dispensary soaks plant material in hydrogen peroxide to remove the mold the dispensary denies is present in its product. OSHA responded to her claim with a telephone interview, she says. When NETA denied their plants contained mold and presented outside testing evidence they were mold-free, the case was dropped.

No other NETA employees were interviewed, but many say they dealt with mold in plants they trim. One says his supervisor told him to soak moldy plants in hydrogen peroxide on NETA pot to remove the mold. Some employees say they have gone home from work with rashes. There is no ventilation in the workrooms and no one is advised to wear a mask to protect them from breathing in mold.

Last June, the former employee wrote a letter to DPH:

Two months after beginning to consume NETA products, I began to experience the following symptoms: headaches, sore throat and multiple respiratory illnesses. Once the marijuana concentrates (shatter, wax) were released in 2016, I began consuming them. My symptoms progressed to bloating in my abdomen, nausea, cramps in my GI tract and difficulty sleeping.

Neurological symptoms such as neuropathy (numbness in the toes and ball of my foot) and tetany (spasms) in my calves greatly increased in escalating pain intensity and frequency starting November 2016, and I also began to experience fasciculations (twitching) in my calves when seated in the beginning of 2017.

The article does not say whether she has received a reply.

Read DigBoston.com story here.

The Sex-Change Revolution Is Based on Ideology, Not Science

Twenty-eight years ago, the release of “When Harry Met Sally” highlighted one big debate: whether men and women could really be just friends.

That question may still be up in the air, but now we are being forced to confront a more fundamental debate: whether men can really become women.

America is in the midst of what has been called a “transgender moment.” In the space of a year, transgender issues went from something that most Americans had never heard of to a cause claiming the mantle of civil rights.

But can a boy truly be “trapped” in a girl’s body? Can modern medicine really “reassign” sex? Is sex something “assigned” in the first place? What’s the loving response to a friend or child experiencing a gender identity conflict? What should our law say on these issues?

These shouldn’t be difficult questions.

Just a few years before “When Harry Met Sally” hit theaters, Dr. Paul McHugh thought he had convinced the vast majority of medical professionals not to go along with bold claims about sex and gender being proffered by some of his colleagues. And as chair of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School and psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital, McHugh put a stop to sex-reassignment surgery at Hopkins.

Once the elite Johns Hopkins did this, many medical centers across the nation followed suit.

But in recent years we have seen a resurgence of these drastic procedures—not in light of new scientific evidence, mind you, but as a result of a growing ideological movement. Such is our transgender moment.

The people increasingly in the spotlight of this moment are children.

In the past 10 years, dozens of pediatric gender clinics have sprung up throughout the United States. In 2007, Boston Children’s Hospital “became the first major program in the United States to focus on transgender children and adolescents,” as its own website brags.

A decade later, over 45 gender clinics opened their doors to our nation’s children—telling parents that puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones may be the only way to prevent teen suicides.

Never mind that according to the best studies—the ones that even transgender activists themselves cite—80 to 95 percent of children with gender dysphoria will come to identify with and embrace their bodily sex.

Never mind that 41 percent of people who identify as transgender will attempt suicide at some point in their lives, compared to 4.6 percent of the general population. Never mind that people who have had transition surgery are 19 times more likely than average to die by suicide.

These statistics should stop us in our tracks. Clearly, we must work to find ways to effectively prevent these suicides and address the underlying causes. We certainly shouldn’t be encouraging children to “transition.”

Many psychologists and psychiatrists think of gender dysphoria as similar to other dysphorias, or forms of discomfort with one’s body, such as anorexia. The feelings of discomfort can lead to mistaken beliefs about oneself or about reality, and then to actions in accordance with those false beliefs.

The most helpful therapies focus not on achieving the impossible—changing bodies to conform to thoughts and feelings—but on helping people accept and even embrace the truth about their bodies and reality.

Operating in the background is a sound understanding of physical and mental health—proper function of one’s body and mind—and a sound understanding of medicine as a practice aimed at restoring health, not simply satisfying the desires of patients.

For human beings to flourish, they need to feel comfortable in their own bodies, readily identify with their sex, and believe that they are who they actually are.

In my new book, “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment,” I argue that McHugh got it right. The best biology, psychology, and philosophy all support an understanding of sex as a bodily reality, and of gender as a social manifestation of bodily sex. Biology isn’t bigotry.

In my book I offer a balanced approach to the policy issues, a nuanced vision of human embodiment, and a sober and honest survey of the human costs of getting human nature wrong.

Despite activists’ best efforts to put up a unified front, Harry cannot become Sally. Activists’ desperate insistence to the contrary suggests that the transgender moment is fleeting.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Ryan T. Anderson

Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D., is the William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow in American Principles and Public Policy at The Heritage Foundation, where he researches and writes about marriage, bioethics, religious liberty and political philosophy. Anderson is the author of several books and his research has been cited by two U.S. Supreme Court justices in two separate cases. Read his Heritage research. Twitter: .

RELATED ARTICLES:

When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment

Planned Transgenderhood

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.

SUPPORT THE DAILY SIGNAL

VIDEO: Border Wall Models Thwart U.S. Commandos In Tests

Citizen James Munder posted the following video on his YouTube channel. The testing on the eight border wall prototypes included using 7th Special Forces Group soldiers to try to breach the walls.

It appears according to reports that the favored designs are those with steel beams that border agents can see through. Officials indicated that the best features from each prototype will be used in the final design after testing is completed.

VIDEO: Donald J. Trump is the first President to address the March for Life

President Donald J. Trump once again made history today, January 19th, 2018. President Trump is the first sitting President to address the national March for Life.

It is prophetic that Trump is the 45th President of the United States and he addressed the 45th March for Life in Washington, D.C. God must be smiling.

FULL TEXT OF PRESIDENT TRUMP’S SPEECH TO THE 45TH ANNUAL MARCH FOR LIFE

[To cheering crowd] Thank you very much, that’s so nice. Sit, please.

We have tens of thousands of people watching this right down the road, tens of thousands. So, I congratulate you, and at least we picked a beautiful day, you can’t get a more beautiful day. I want to thank our Vice President Mike Pence for that wonderful introduction. I also want to thank you and Karen for being true champions for life. Thank you, and thank Karen.

Today I’m honored and really proud to be the first president to stand with you here at the White House to address the 45th March for Life, that’s very very special, 45th March for Life, and this is a truly remarkable group. Today tens of thousands of families, students, and patriots, and really just great citizens gather here in our nations Capitol. You come from many backgrounds, and many places, but you all come for one beautiful cause, to build a society where life is celebrated and protected and cherished.

The March for Life is a movement born out of love: you love your families; you love your neighbors; you love our nation; and you love every child born and unborn, because you believe that every life is sacred, that every child is a precious gift from God.

We know that life is the greatest miracle of all. We see it in the eyes of every new mother who cradles that wonderful, innocent, and glorious-newborn child in her loving arms. I want to thank every person here today and all across our country who works with such big hearts and tireless devotion to make sure that parents have the caring support they need to choose life.

Because of you, tens of thousands of Americans have been born and reached their full God-given potential, because of you. You’re living witnesses of this year’s March for life theme, and that theme is, ‘Love Saves Lives.’

As you all know Roe versus Wade has resulted in some of the most permissive abortion laws anywhere in the world. For example, in the United States, it’s one of only seven countries to allow elective late-term abortions along with China North Korea and others. Right now, in a number of States, the laws allow a baby to be born [sic, aborted] from his or her mother’s womb in the ninth month.

It is wrong. It has to change.

Americans are more and more pro-life. You see that all the time. In fact, only 12% of Americans support abortion on demand at any time.

Under my administration, we will always defend the very first right in the Declaration of Independence, and that is the ‘right to life.’

Tomorrow will mark exactly one year since I took the oath of office. And I will say our country is doing really well. Our economy is perhaps the best it’s ever been. You look at the job numbers, the companies pouring back into our country,  look at the stock market at an all-time high, unemployment at a 17-year low, unemployment for African workers at the lowest mark in the history of our country, unemployment for Hispanic at a record-low in history, unemployment for women, think of this, at an 18-year low.

We’re really proud of what we’re doing.

And during my first week in office, I reinstated a policy first put in place by Pres. Ronald Reagan, the Mexico City Policy.

I strongly supported the House of Representatives’ pain-capable bill, which would end painful late-term abortions nationwide. And I call upon the Senate to pass this important law and send it to my desk for signing.

On the National Day of Prayer, I signed an executive order to protect religious liberty. [I’m] very proud of that. Today, I’m announcing that we’ve just issued a new proposal to protect conscience rights and religious freedoms of doctors, nurses, and other medical professions. So important.

I have also just reversed the previous administration’s policy that restricted state efforts to direct Medicaid funding away from abortion facilities that violate the law.

We are protecting the sanctity of life and the family as the foundation of our society. But this movement can only succeed with the heart and the soul and the prayer of the people.

Here with us today is Marianne Donadio from Greensboro North Carolina. Where is Marianne? Hello, come on up here Marianne. Come. Nice to see you, by the way.

Marianne was 17 when she found out that she was pregnant. At first, she felt like she had no place to turn. But when she told her parents they responded with total love, total affection, total support. Great parents? Great? [Trump asked Marianne. She responded in the affirmative] I thought you were going to say that. I had to be careful.

Marianne bravely chose life and soon gave birth to her son. She named him Benedict which means blessing. Marianne was so grateful for her parents love and support that she felt called to serve those who were not as fortunate as her. She joined with others in her community to start a maternity home to care for homeless women who were pregnant. That’s great. They named it ‘Room at the Inn.’ Today, Marianne and her husband Don are the parents of six beautiful children. And her eldest son Benedict and her daughter Maria join us here today. Where are they? Come on over. That’s great.

Over the last 15 years, Room at the Inn has provided housing, childcare, counseling, education, and job-training to more than 400 women. Even more importantly, it has given them hope. It has shown each woman she is not forgotten, that she is not alone, and that she really now has a whole family of people who will help her succeed.

That hope is the true gift of this incredible movement that brings us together today.

It is the gift of friendship, the gift of mentorship, and the gift of encouragement, love, and support. Those are beautiful words and those are beautiful gifts.

And most importantly of all, it is the gift of life itself – that is why we March, that is why we pray, and that is why we declare that America’s future will be filled with goodness, peace, joy, dignity, and life for every child of God.

Thank you to the March for life, special, special people. And we are with you all the way. May God bless you and may God bless America. Thank you. Thank you.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Roe v. Wade Is My Generation’s Dred Scott

Why Pro-Lifers Have Cause for Hope

29 of the Best Signs at the March for Life

Facebook blocks crowdfunding site for new movie on how abortion became legal in U.S.

In March for Life Address, Trump Prods Senate to Pass Late-Term Abortion Ban

A movement born out of love

Ignore the Scam: Planned Parenthood No Supporter of African-Americans

Paul Ryan Explains Why He Thinks the Pro-Life Movement Is ‘on the Rise’

At March for Life, Pam Tebow Recounts How Super Bowl Ad Saved Baby’s Life

Public School Kids Get Assembly on Sex Changes

By Cathy Ruse, FRC’s Senior Fellow for Legal Studies

Amy Ellis Nutt

A Northern Virginia public school held a school-wide assembly before Christmas break featuring transgender crusader Amy Ellis Nutt. George Mason High School in the City of Falls Church brought in Nutt, a Washington Post reporter, to lecture students on her book Becoming Nicole, about a boy who “identified” as a girl as a toddler, had his puberty suppressed as a child, and was castrated as a teenager.

Nutt’s lecture hit all the usual notes. Your gender is “assigned at birth” by people who might get it wrong. Toddlers can be transgender. Moray eels change sex and female reef fish produce sperm when there are no males. “Gender is a spectrum,” everyone must get “comfortable” with new gender language that is “changing every day.” Asking a biological boy to use the teachers’ rather than the girls’ restroom is “bullying.”

The full assembly can be viewed on YouTube:

The sponsor of the event was the Falls Church Education Foundation.

Did the school make plain to the students that they could decline to attend? That’s not clear. In her presentation, Nutt quipped: “Thank you for coming, although I know you’re probably required to be here.”

Nor is it clear whether parents were fully informed about the assembly in advance. At least one shocked George Mason teacher, who remains anonymous, says parents were not.

What does seem clear is that this public school will not hold another school-wide assembly featuring other views on the issue: such as first-person accounts of the negative consequences of “transitioning,” health warnings from pediatricians and other medical experts, or condemnation from the feminist community, from which the term “female erasure” has sprung to describe the transgender program.

Transgender ideology in children is extremely controversial, not least because so many children who experience gender dysphoria later desist and accept their natal biology. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5) as many as 98% of boys and 88% of girls will “grow out of” their gender dysphoria and accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty.

There is no medical or psychological test to show which 2% of those boys will persist in their gender dysphoria as young adults. Protocols that encourage school-wide affirmation of every case of gender dysphoria could impede the overwhelming majority of children from accepting their natal biology, as well as sow confusion in other vulnerable children.

There has been a spate of articles in recent weeks on the phenomenon of “rapid onset” gender dysphoria in teen girls, thought to be a “social contagion” like anorexia 30 years ago. Details of these cases reported by therapists are heartbreaking.

At the end of the talk, Nutt was asked two student questions, written on index cards.

“What is gender dysphoria and how does the transgender community respond to the idea that they are glorifying the mental health condition known as gender dysphoria?”

That was a good question, and evidence that at least one student at George Mason has held on to his critical thinking skills.

Nutt’s answer was not good: “Gender dysphoria is not a mental health condition,” she said, continuing:

It is included in the DSM, which is the bible of mental illnesses, of psychiatrists, but only because gender dysphoria isn’t the inability or confusion of a transgender child to understand why they are the way they are, it’s the failure for [sic] other people to understand that. It’s the confusion that comes because of the cultural misconceptions and not being able to fit into that.

So a person is diagnosed because other people are confused? It’s in “the bible of mental illnesses” because it’s a healthy condition that the culture doesn’t understand? Now I am confused.

The DSM defines gender dysphoria in children as “clinically significant distress” from “a marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender” manifested by, among other things, “a strong dislike of one’s sexual anatomy.”

The ICD – the International Classification of Diseases – calls it a “childhood disorder” characterized by “persistent and intense distress.” Diagnosis requires “a profound disturbance of the normal gender identity.”

If Nutt is trying to dismiss their distress as a cultural condition, she’s freelancing.

The final question was also a good one: “Did Nicole undergo reassignment surgery and if so was there any risk to it?”

Nutt’s answer was bad, and sort of creepy. “Yes. She was 17 at the time…I was there.”

“It was not the most important thing…but it was the last thing that she needed to do,” said Nutt.

“What was important for her early on was to have her puberty suppressed as a child, so that she knew what she really wanted.”

Puberty-blockers are serious business. Puberty suppression and cross-sex hormones can stunt a person’s growth and render him completely infertile, never able to have genetically-related children, even by artificial means. You cannot walk back up this road.

What’s more, there are no scientific studies on their use by growing children. None.

Nutt’s cavalier treatment of puberty blockers was awfully reckless.

And isn’t her logic backwards? How does blocking your natural development tell you what you really want? Isn’t it, rather, tipping the scales toward an ideologically pre-determined outcome?

Did Nicole even have the capacity to consent to this untested, irreversible medical treatment in the first place? “There is a serious ethical problem with allowing irreversible, life-changing procedures to be performed on minors who are too young to give valid consent themselves,” cautions the American College of Pediatricians.

Nutt went on: “When the time for puberty came, she took estrogen, and she made the puberty that all girls do at the right time.”

Making the puberty that all girls do is strange phraseology. But of course this teen could not make the puberty that all girls do without ovaries and a uterus. Were the teen girls in the audience misled? Were the boys?

As to risk, Nutt brushed it aside: “You know, there’s always a risk to surgery, it’s actually not that complicated.”

“She will be, for all purposes, physically and biologically a girl. A woman.”

Wrong. Biologically, Nicole will never be a girl. Every cell in Nicole’s body contains male sex chromosomes. A lifetime of male-suppressing hormones will never change that fact.

At one point in her lecture, Nutt said: “I’m not trying to be funny, I’m trying to be factual.”

She should have tried harder.

Children suffering from gender dysphoria deserve our compassion. Surely their suffering is genuine, and profound. But they also deserve an adult response: first and foremost, our recognition that the distress and confusion they are experiencing will give way to acceptance of their natal biology in the vast majority of cases.

The person with persistent dysphoria who ultimately chooses radical surgery and a lifetime of hormones deserves compassion, too. As well as great sympathy, in my opinion, for treating a healthy body as sick and a troubled mind as healthy.

Nutt obviously disagrees. There is great disagreement on this issue, especially among medical experts.

When a public school takes sides, nobody wins. But students, and taxpayers, lose.


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


RELATED ARTICLE: What You Can Do to Fight Sex Trafficking

Al Gore Blames the ‘Climate Crisis’ for Cold Weather. But Actually, it’s Just January.

Remember when global warming meant the planet was supposed to, well, warm up? Temperatures would rise, and all manner of ecological calamity would ensue?

Me too. So it was surprising to find myself shivering, like other Americans, through several days of arctic chill and extreme cold, only to hear Al Gore blame it on global warming.

He didn’t use the w-word, though. “It’s bitter cold in parts of the U.S., but climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann explains that’s exactly what we should expect from the climate crisis,” Gore tweeted on Jan. 4.

See, it’s a “climate crisis” now. But it’s hard to blame him for trying some rebranding. After all, prediction after prediction has come to naught.

But no matter: Like other Doomsday prophets, Gore just acts like the last missed deadline didn’t happen and comes up with a new one.

Which is why it’s important to remind ourselves of what Gore has said in the past.

Consider, for example, how he said global warming would cause the north polar ice cap to be completely free of ice within five years. When did he say that? Nine years ago.

News flash: The Arctic still has ice. Indeed, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, “ice growth during November 2017 averaged 30,900 square miles per day.” Oops.

So how about the evidence for the latest cold snap?

Gore’s source, Michael Mann, says the ultra-chilly temps we’ve been enduring are “precisely the sort of extreme winter weather we expect because of climate change.” As the planet warms, he says, we’ll see more cold snaps and “bomb cyclones.”

Seems counter-intuitive, but Mann suggests this is because warming is “causing the jet stream to meander in a particular pattern” that leads to these cold spells.

I use the word “suggests,” however, because this is simply a theory—one that other scientists are not sold on. (Gore and the rest of the climate-crisis crowd often act like their ideas are universally accepted—that the scientific community is in complete agreement with them. But there is more room for doubt and disagreement than they care to admit.)

Just ask Kevin Trenberth, a scientist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

“Winter storms are a manifestation of winter, not climate change,” he recently told the Daily Caller. “The Arctic is greatly affected by climate change, and it has a feedback effect—but not in winter.”

Even if Gore and Mann are correct about the link between global warming and cold snaps, the record works against them there, too.

“The frequency of cold waves have decreased during the past 50 years, not increased,” University of Washington climatologist Cliff Mass says. “That alone shows that such claims are baseless.”

The term “bomb cyclone” is new to most of us, but it’s been around for a while. Climatologist Judith Curry recently told the Caller that it was coined almost 40 years ago by Fred Sanders of MIT, who spent a lot of time studying such storms.

Moreover, there are about 50 or 60 bomb cyclones every year, but most of them occur too far out to sea for us to notice.

Gore and his fellow travelers may have trouble admitting that they could be wrong. But their never-look-back crusade isn’t helping scientific research.

“It is very disappointing that members of my profession are making such obviously bogus claims,” Cliff Mass said. “It hurts the science, it hurts the credibility of climate scientists, and weakens our ability to be taken seriously by society.”

That’s what happens, though, when we bend facts to fit theories—and not the other way around. And remember, Al, as the old song goes, “Baby, it’s cold outside.”

Originally published by the Washington Times.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Ed Feulner

Edwin J. Feulner’s 36 years of leadership as president of The Heritage Foundation transformed the think tank from a small policy shop into America’s powerhouse of conservative ideas. Read his research. Twitter: .

RELATED ARTICLE: NYC Mayor De Blasio Sues Oil Companies for Global Warming – The Week After NYC Records All-Time Record Cold

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.

SUPPORT THE DAILY SIGNAL

EDITORS NOTE: Photo: Pedro Fiuza/SIPA/Newscom.

New Offshore Drilling Plan Will Reverse Obama Restrictions, Unleash U.S. Energy Dominance

America is moving forward in its march toward energy dominance, and the Trump administration just took an important step forward in achieving that goal.

In unveiling its draft five-year Outer Continental Shelf leasing plan on Thursday, the Interior Department is reversing the Obama administration’s “Keep it in the Ground” anti-energy policy.

An abundance of untapped energy lies beneath America’s ground and off the coasts. For six years, America has been the world’s largest petroleum and natural gas producer, supporting more than 10 million jobs and contributing more than $1.3 trillion to the economy.

The increase in energy supplies has lowered prices for households and businesses. Families are saving hundreds, if not more than $1,000 each year on electricity bills and home-heating costs, and paying less at the gas pump.

It also means companies around the country devote less money to paying energy bills and more to investing in labor and capital.

All of these benefits have accrued to Americans, despite the fact that the Obama administration made a majority of America’s coastal waters off-limits to natural resources exploration and production.

In fact, 94 percent of federal offshore acreage is off-limits to development. The United States is the only country in the world that has placed a majority of its territorial waters off-limits to natural resources extraction.

Until now, that is.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s draft plan is the first part of a multiyear process that would make more than 90 percent of the total federal acreage available, which includes 98 percent of the undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and gas resources in the Outer Continental Shelf.

As highlighted by Interior’s press release:

The Draft Proposed Program … includes 47 potential lease sales in 25 of the 26 planning areas—19 sales off the coast of Alaska, seven in the Pacific region, 12 in the Gulf of Mexico, and nine in the Atlantic region. This is the largest number of lease sales ever proposed for the National Outer Continental Shelf Program’s five-year lease schedule.

The 47 potential lease sales top the number of sales listed in President Ronald Reagan’s two submissions of 41 and 42.

At several points in time, offshore drilling was not such a partisan issue. When President Jimmy Carter, a Democrat, made his 1979 energy speech, he said, “We will step up exploration and production of oil and gas on federal lands.”

As a result, the Carter administration’s Interior Department proposed 36 lease sales. As recently as 2013, both Democratic senators from Virginia offered legislation to open parts of the Atlantic to offshore development.

It’s understandable why.

Offshore drilling is a critical component of the Gulf of Mexico economy, one of the limited areas where offshore activity takes place in federal waters.

Recognizing that offshore resource exploration is systematically safe, the energy industry has a very strong relationship with the seafood and tourism industries. In fact, Louisiana hosts a Shrimp and Petroleum Festival each year.

Despite the Deepwater Horizon incident that adversely affected the Gulf environmentally and economically, there was a broad recognition among these three industries that the blanket drilling moratorium was bad policy and bad for the region as a whole.

The economic benefits of realizing America’s true energy potential could be significant. Opening the Atlantic and Pacific Outer Continental Shelves and the eastern Gulf of Mexico could create more than 800,000 jobs by 2035.

Increased supplies, which could equate to as much as 3.5 million barrels of oil per day, would lower prices for families.

Furthermore, federal and state governments would stand to benefit as well, since increased production would increase revenues from bonus bids (for new leases), royalties, rents, and increased economic activity.

By 2035, the federal government could collect more than $200 billion in revenue. With the country burdened with massive amounts of federal debt, policymakers should welcome the potential for revenue generation.

No one knows where oil prices will be once the Interior Department finalizes the plan. Therefore, it’s difficult to fully project where the industry will invest.

Nevertheless, the market will determine what areas the oil and gas companies will pursue. The federal government should not stand in its way.

It’s encouraging to see Interior take a hatchet to a long-standing barrier to energy dominance and improved economic well-being.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Nicolas Loris

Nicolas Loris, an economist, focuses on energy, environmental and regulatory issues as the Herbert and Joyce Morgan fellow at The Heritage Foundation. Read his research. Twitter: .

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.

SUPPORT THE DAILY SIGNAL

The House’s Born Ultimatum

Like a lot of pregnant women, the young mom who visited Planned Parenthood in St. Paul last summer wasn’t sure she wanted to have the abortion. Already well into her second trimester, she was started to have second thoughts about whether this was the right decision for her or her baby. But, pressured by doctors to go through with it, she agreed — giving her permission for them to start the painful, two-day procedure. When the time came, she watched in shock as the male abortionist started “jamming that needle in and out” of her stomach. Finally, she was told: he couldn’t reach the baby’s heart to inject it with the fatal drug that would kill it. Panicked that her child might survive the abortion, she asked, “What if the baby was to come out alive?” The female doctor paused and said, “Most likely, we would break the baby’s neck.”

Horrified, she asked them to stop the dilation and went home. Her baby survived. But dozens of unborn children, who cross that same threshold every day, aren’t so lucky. As far as Planned Parenthood is concerned, the killing of a tiny child — whether she’s in the womb or breathing on her own — is what “choice” is all about. The decision of destroying a life, they’ve argued, even one who’s lived through the worst our world had to offer, “should be between the patient and the health care provider.” Even if it’s murder. They’ll deliver a baby alive to harvest its organs or they’ll cover up a botched abortion by leaving the little survivor to die. Either way, they’re breaking the law. And Republicans in Congress have had enough.

For more than two years, they’ve held hearings, launched investigations, and turned over reams of damning evidence to the FBI. Now, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) says, it’s time to act. “Next week– the week of the annual March for Life, when tens of thousands of Americans come to Washington to give voice to the voiceless unborn — the House will vote on the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Act,” he announced. The bill, which easily passed the same House in 2015, never got a vote in the Senate. This time, leaders vow, it will. Although a similar measure was signed into law by President Bush in 2003, it never had the teeth pro-lifers needed to hold the abortion industry accountable. Under this version, the law would not only criminalize people who let newborns die (or actively kill them) but gives moms a private right of action to sue.

“…[I]f a baby is born after a failed abortion attempt, he or she should be given the same medical care as a baby born any other way,” McCarthy explained. “There is absolutely no ambiguity here. This is about protecting babies who are born and alive, and nobody should be against that.” Tell that to Planned Parenthood. They’ve argued that the bill would have a “chilling” effect on the “provision of abortion services.” “I cannot think of a more chilling effect,” Arina Grossu fired back, “than continuing to let abortionists get away with infanticide, the intentional killing of born-alive, breathing babies after an attempted abortion.”

But how often does that happen? According to David Daleiden’s videos, a lot more than we think. Yet even on the stand, under oath, Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards denied it. “There was one specific video,” Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) reminded Richards, “…describing harvesting the brain of a late-term boy. She said she wasn’t sure if the baby was alive since its heart was still beating and she harvested its brain by cutting his head open starting with the chin. Do you recall that?” She said she didn’t. “There is nothing she has ever described,” Richards claimed, “that I could attest to has ever happened.” Based on hours of footage, the findings of the House Select Panel on Infant Lives, and the testimony of this one (out of who-knows-how-many) young Minnesota mother, it does happen. And obviously, the practice is far more widespread than Planned Parenthood, its president, or our former president will ever admit.

Murdering an innocent human being is not, and never has been, a constitutional right. That’s true whether the person is nine seconds old or 90 years old. Join Leader McCarthy, Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), and 60 of her co-sponsors by calling your House member and supporting the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Act. Even one lost baby is too many.


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


RELATED ARTICLEOpen Doors Shows Others Are Closing on Christians

Here’s the History of the 25th Amendment

After failing to gather any real momentum to impeach President Donald Trump, some Democrats are now floating the idea of using the 25th Amendment to oust him.

This little-known constitutional amendment serves as an escape-hatch measure for removing the president if he is incapacitated. It is quite different from impeachment.

Impeachment is the method that the Founders set up to prosecute cases of presidential criminality. It requires members of Congress to bring specific charges of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

But absent these charges, some of Trump’s detractors are now embracing other methods to overthrow him.

Anti-Trump commentators and the few Democrats now suggesting use of the 25th Amendment have suggested that the president is mentally unstable.

“The judgment [about the president’s mental state] is not mine to make,” Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., said to reporters after proposing a commission to examine Trump’s mental health, according to Politico.

“The judgment constitutionally is to be made by the vice president and the Cabinet, or the vice president and a new body. We have an institutional responsibility to set that body up.”

Pulling out the 25th Amendment is the logical next step for those who have been looking for a way to depose Trump since he entered office, though it’s a serious departure from the intent of those who passed the amendment.

Democrats have trotted out psychologists on Capitol Hill to prove that Trump is unstable and should be removed from office.

This alone seriously flirts with violating the “Goldwater Rule,” which prevents psychologists from offering a “professional opinion unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement.”

The American Psychiatric Association created this rule after Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater successfully sued a magazine that had published a survey of psychologists deeming him unfit for office.

The survey was misleading, clearly partisan, and damaged the reputation of psychologists as a profession. Moreover, the idea of removing a president based on the whims of an elite group of supposedly neutral psychologists is an affront to democracy.

This is not to say the 25th Amendment doesn’t serve a valuable purpose. If a president suffers a disability that would make him unable to perform his duties, this tool is an emergency stopgap to solve the problem.

It was never conceived of as a partisan tool to depose a hated president.

‘We Stumbled Along’

Perhaps been the most obvious case where the 25th Amendment was needed occurred a generation before it was actually passed.

On Sept. 25, 1919, President Woodrow Wilson suffered a collapse and a massive stroke while campaigning in Colorado for the U.S. to enter the League of Nations.

The League of Nations, a precursor to the United Nations, had been Wilson’s pet project, and despite warnings from doctors he had pushed himself to the limit on its behalf.

After the stroke, Wilson went blind in one eye, was paralyzed on the left side, and lay unconscious. While he eventually awoke from the coma, he was never the same. For the most part, he was a barely-functioning invalid.

Incredibly, Wilson’s wife practically ran the White House for the two remaining years of his term, only leaving the most serious acts of policy and politics to her husband, which by that point he was barely able to perform.

“This is the worst instance of presidential disability we’ve ever had,” said historian John Milton Cooper. “We stumbled along [for eighteen months] … without a fully functioning president.”

Few around the country even knew that the West Wing was in such bad shape, as both the press corps and the White House carefully kept the truth of the president’s condition from coming out.

Wilson even considered running for what would then be an unprecedented third term, but Democratic Party leaders carefully selected a compromise candidate who would run instead.

While Wilson’s Cabinet and the Washington political establishment were wary about forcing the president out of office, many fretted about what could be done if a president couldn’t perform his duties in an emergency.

The debate went more or less dormant for half a century until the assassination of a president forced the nation to seriously reconsider legal ways of replacing—either temporarily or permanently—a president for health-related reasons.

A Re-Evaluation

While health scares for President Dwight Eisenhower led to some informal agreements about transmitting the duties of the president in a time of crisis, nothing was enacted until the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

The line of succession had been laid out by the Presidential Succession Act, but some began a push to clearly define these ambiguous rules in the Constitution while also addressing what could be done if the president was alive but experiencing a sudden health crisis.

The idea of being without a functioning president, particularly in the rapid-response world of instant communication and the Cold War, concerned Americans in a way that it hadn’t in earlier times.

“In an age of nuclear weaponry—and now, global terrorism—America can ill afford to be leaderless for long, or to have unclear rules about who is in charge,” wrote constitutional scholars Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram David Amar.

“The 25th Amendment, proposed and ratified after JFK’s assassination, fills many of the gaps left open by the Founders.

The 25th Amendment, enacted in 1967, set up a clear line of succession in case the president or vice president died, and included the section that some anti-Trumpers are now looking to: the method for removing, or putting a pause on, the official powers of a debilitated president.

The crucial Section 4 states:

Whenever the vice president and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as acting president.

Congress then has 21 days to determine if the president is able to continue performing his duties and can remove him from office with a two-thirds vote in both houses.

Since its passage, the 25th Amendment has been used several times, but never for the purpose of removing the president from office.

Some have alleged that officials wanted to remove President Ronald Reagan from office using the 25th Amendment after his attempted assassination—but those allegations have been debunked.

The amendment has only been used to temporarily transfer power from presidents to vice presidents during medical operations that would leave them incapable of responding to an urgent crisis.

Reagan himself did invoke Section 3 of the amendment on himself during a routine medical procedure in 1985, in which Vice President George H.W. Bush assumed the powers of the presidency for several hours.

And President George W. Bush also used the law to transfer power to Vice President Dick Cheney during a couple of operations, again for only a few hours.

Dangerous Precedent

While some are now itching to use Section 4 of the 25th Amendment on Trump, many have urged caution or outright blasted the move as nothing but naked partisanship.

The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway suggested that this overheated effort to boot the president with the 25th Amendment is akin to a “coup.”

“Talk of mental health and a 25th Amendment removal, ‘by force if necessary,’ is talk of a coup,” Hemingway wrote. “Responsible parties should consider how this is perceived by the part of the electorate they rarely speak to and cease.

Harvard Law School professor emeritus and lifelong Democrat, Alan Dershowitz, also denounced the movement as “dangerous” and a “fool’s errand.”

“Now that they couldn’t criminalize political differences, they’re trying to psychiatrize political differences,” Dershowitz said on Fox News.

Right now, this push is little more than creative fan fiction, since impeachment would require a majority vote in the House and a two-thirds vote in the Senate to remove the president, while the 25th Amendment would require a two-thirds vote in both houses.

Yet this won’t stop left-wing activists from trying to wield this amendment as a weapon against the Trump presidency.

At least they’re arguing from the Constitution. If only they cared for its intent.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Jarrett Stepman

Jarrett Stepman is an editor for The Daily Signal. Send an email to Jarrett. Twitter: .

RELATED ARTICLES: 

Read the Heritage Guide to the Constitution’s Explanation of the 25th Amendment

Can the Cabinet “remove” a President using the 25th amendment?