VIDEO: McCain’s Subcommittee Staff Director Urged IRS to Target Conservative Groups

Little is as unnerving as trouble with the IRS, especially if you haven’t done anything wrong. That happened repeatedly during the Obama administration, as his IRS enthusiastically targeted conservative groups.

We’re now understanding why the Congress didn’t do much of anything about it.

We just released internal IRS documents revealing that Sen. John McCain’s Former Staff Director and Chief Counsel on the Senate Homeland Security Permanent Subcommittee, Henry Kerner, urged top IRS officials, including then-director of exempt organizations, Lois Lerner, to “audit so many that it becomes financially ruinous.”  President Trump, presumably unaware of these new facts, appointed Kerner as Special Counsel for the United States Office of Special Counsel.

The explosive exchange was contained in notes taken by IRS employees at an April 30, 2013, meeting between Kerner, Lerner, and other high-ranking IRS officials. Just ten days following the meeting, Lois Lerner admitted that the IRS had a policy of improperly and deliberately delaying applications for tax-exempt status from conservative non-profit groups.

Lerner and other IRS officials met with select top staffers from the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee in a “marathon” meeting to discuss concerns raised by both Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) that the IRS was not reining in political advocacy groups in response to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. Senator McCain had been the chief sponsor of the McCain-Feingold Act and called the Citizens United decision, which overturned portions of the Act, one of the “worst decisions I have ever seen.”

In the full notes of an April 30 meeting, McCain’s high-ranking staffer Kerner recommends harassing non-profit groups until they are unable to continue operating. Kerner tells Lerner, Steve Miller, Nikole Flax, then chief of staff to IRS commissioner, and other IRS officials, “Maybe the solution is to audit so many that it is financially ruinous.” In response, Lerner responded that “it is her job to oversee it all:”

Henry Kerner asked how to get to the abuse of organizations claiming section 501 (c)(4) but designed to be primarily political. Lois Lerner said the system works, but not in real time. Henry Kerner noted that these organizations don’t disclose donors. Lois Lerner said that if they don’t meet the requirements, we can come in and revoke, but it doesn’t happen in a timely manner. Nan Marks said if the concern is that organizations engaging in this activity don’t disclose donors, then the system doesn’t work. Henry Kerner said that maybe the solution is to audit so many that it is financially ruinous. Nikole noted that we have budget constraints. Elise Bean suggested using the list of organizations that made independent expenditures. Lois Lerner said that it is her job to oversee it all, not just political campaign activity.

We previously reported on the 2013 meeting. Senator McCain then issued a statement decrying “false reports claiming that his office was somehow involved in IRS targeting of conservative groups.” The IRS previously blacked out the notes of the meeting, but we found the notes among subsequent documents released by the agency.

We separately uncovered that Lerner was under significant pressure from both Democrats in Congress and the Obama DOJ and FBI to prosecute and jail the groups the IRS was already improperly targeting. In discussing pressure from Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (Democrat-Rhode Island) to prosecute these “political groups,” Lerner admitted, “it is ALL about 501(c)(4) orgs and political activity.”

The April 30, 2013 meeting came just under two weeks prior to Lerner’s admission during an ABA meeting that the IRS had “inappropriately” targeted conservative groups. In her May 2013 answer to a planted question, in which she admitted to the “absolutely incorrect, insensitive, and inappropriate” targeting of Tea Party and conservative groups, Lerner suggested the IRS targeting occurred due to an “uptick” in 501 (c)(4) applications to the IRS but in actuality, there had been a decrease in such applications in 2010.

On May 14, 2013, a report by Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration revealed: “Early in Calendar Year 2010, the IRS began using inappropriate criteria to identify organizations applying for tax-exempt status” (e.g., lists of past and future donors). The illegal IRS reviews continued “for more than 18 months” and “delayed processing of targeted groups’ applications” in advance of the 2012 presidential election.

All these documents were forced out of the IRS as a result of an October 2013 Judicial Watch Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit filed against the IRS after it failed to respond adequately to four FOIA requests sent in May 2013 (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Internal Revenue Service (No. 1:13-cv-01559)). Judicial Watch is seeking:

  • All records related to the number of applications received or related to communications between the IRS and members of the U.S. House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate regarding the review process for organizations applying for tax exempt status under 501(c)(4);
  • All records concerning communications between the IRS and the Executive Branch or any other government agency regarding the review process for organizations applying for tax exempt status under 501(c)(4);
  • Copies of any questionnaires and all records related to the preparation of questionnaires sent to organizations applying for 501(c)(4) tax exempt status and;
  • All records related to Lois Lerner’s communication with other IRS employees, as well as government or private entity outside the IRS regarding the review and approval process for 501 (c)(4) applicant organizations.

The Obama IRS scandal is bipartisan – McCain and Democrats who wanted to regulate political speech lost at the Supreme Court, so they sought to use the IRS to harass innocent Americans. The Obama IRS scandal is not over. We continue to uncover smoking gun documents that raise questions about how the Obama administration weaponized the IRS, the FEC, FBI, and DOJ to target the First Amendment Rights of Americans.

JW Sues for Mueller Deputy Andrew Weissmann’s Text Messages

This week we learned that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein hid from Congress a text message by FBI official Peter Strzok declaring that Trump wouldn’t become President:

“No. No he’s not. We’ll stop it.”

The highly partisan Strzok became a lead player in Robert Mueller’s Russian collusion investigation of Donald Trump. Also, and still, in the lead is Andrew Weissmann, a senior deputy for Special Counsel Robert Mueller and a former chief of the Justice Department criminal Fraud Division.

Now the question is: What was Weissmann saying about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton? We will find out.

Our legal team just filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit asking the court to compel the Department of Justice to produce “all text messages to or from DOJ official Andrew Weissmann” regarding President Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-01356)).

We sued after the DOJ failed to respond to our December 15, 2017, FOIA request for:

  • All text messages sent to or from DOJ official Andrew Weissmann regarding Donald Trump and/or Hillary Clinton between August 8, 2016 and the present.
  • All calendar entries, whether in physical or electronic form, for Weissmann from January 1, 2015 to the present.

We’re not at all surprised that the Justice Department didn’t respond, given its deplorable record of transparency.

Weissmann’s objectivity in Mueller’s investigation was called into question in December 2017 when a separate JW FOIA lawsuit uncovered an email Weissmann wrote praising former acting Attorney General Sally Yates for defying Trump on enforcement of the President’s so-called travel ban.

Weissmann wrote to Obama appointee Yates in the email: “I am so proud. And in awe. Thank you so much. All my deepest respects.” President Trump fired Yates over her refusal to defend the policy. Yates was appointed by President Obama and was serving in an acting capacity as Attorney General for President Trump.

Also in December 2017, the Wall Street Journal reported that Weissmann had been in attendance at Hillary Clinton’s 2016 election night party. According to the Washington Post, Weissman contributed more than $4,000 to the Obama Victory Fund in 2008 and $2,300 to the Clinton campaign in 2007.

Weissmann, described by The New York Times as Mueller’s “pit bull,” is the lead prosecutor in the Mueller team’s case against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.

Weissmann is demonstrably an anti-Trump/pro-Clinton activist. And it is suspicious that the Justice Department refuses to turn over any Weissmann text messages, especially given the anti-Trump bias documented in the FBI”s Strzok-Page texts.

Judicial Watch Seeks Obama-Era Records on Refugee Resettlement Sites

While the professional Left has successfully diverted everyone’s attention to a manufactured crisis involving illegal alien children on our Southern border, we are investigating other ways people flow into our country.

In particular, we continue to look at the UN-sponsored refugee program that has brought dangerous people across our borders. During the Obama administration, pro-refugee officials in several places gamed this system to disguise their intent.

We have filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia for records on sites that were considered for the resettlement of refugees in the United States during the last two years of the Obama administration. (Judicial Watch vs. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:18-cv-01244))

We sued after the State Department failed to respond to our February 23, 2017, FOIA request for:

  • All records reflecting the locations within the United States that were considered as possible sites for refugee resettlement under the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) in 2015 and 2016.
  • All records reflecting the criteria used to determine suitability of locations as refugee resettlement sites in 2015 and 2016.
  • All records reflecting the names of local organizations promoting any of the locations identified above for consideration as refugee resettlement sites.

In October 2016 we made public 128 pages of documents we obtained from the mayor of Rutland, Vermont, showing a concerted effort by the mayor and a number of private organizations to conceal from the public their plans to resettle 100 Syrian refugees into the small southern Vermont town. The mayor and resettlement organizations shrouded the plan in such secrecy that not even the town’s aldermen were informed of what was taking place behind closed doors. The aldermen eventually wrote to the U.S. Department of State protesting the plan and opened an investigation into the mayor’s actions.

The State Department says it currently works with nine nonprofit organizations to resettle refugees. Those nonprofits have about 315 affiliates in 180 communities throughout the U.S.

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the U.S. admitted 84,994 refugees during fiscal year 2016, just short of the 85,000 target set by the Obama administration. The U.S. admitted 16,370 refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo, 12,587 from Syria, 12,347 from Myanmar, 9,880 from Iraq and 9,020 from Somalia. Pew Research reports that nearly 39,000 Muslim refugees entered the U.S. in fiscal year 2016, the highest number on record, according to analysis of data from the State Department’s Refugee Processing Center.

In fiscal year 2015, the U.S. reportedly admitted 70,000 refugees. The Obama administration also proposed admitting 110,000 refugees for fiscal year 2017.

President Donald Trump on January 27, 2017 issued Executive Order 13769, which included a suspension of the USRAP for 120 days. There were 29,022 refugees reportedly admitted to the U.S. in 2017 – the lowest number since 2002.

In a July 2017 report on the refugee applicant screening process and associated fraud risks, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) noted that, “Increases in the number of USRAP applicants approved for resettlement in the United States from countries where terrorists operate have raised questions about the adequacy of applicant screening.”

We are suing to find out which towns across America were, without input and over the objections of residents, targeted for refugee settlements by the Obama administration.

And to make sure the Deep State isn’t up to its usual tricks, we are investigating to make sure now that the current State Department is being more transparent and honest in its placement of refugees.

The Strange Case of McAuliffe & McCabe — Another Clinton/FBI Scandal

You won’t hear from this from the liberal media, but the IG report is chock full of facts and scandal leads that go way beyond Clinton emails and the “get Trump” fever that overtook the FBI leadership. As our own Micah Morrison points out in his latest Investigative Bulletin piece, raises more questions about other players in the Clintons’ orbit:

Every student of American politics knows that Terry McAuliffe is that swampiest of swamp creatures, the cool cat with the big bucks. Al Gore called him “the greatest fundraiser in the history of the universe.” In 1996 alone, as national finance chairman of the Clinton-Gore re-election team, McAuliffe raised $50 million, but plunged the Democratic Party into a sweeping campaign-finance scandal involving the sale of sleepovers in the Lincoln Bedroom, coffee klatches at the White House, a vast cast of sketchy characters and rivers of money. The Clintons loved the ebullient money man and he loved them back. By 1999, McAuliffe claimed to have raised nearly $275 million for the Arkansas couple—and that’s before he joined forces with the Clinton’s 21st century money machine, the Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative. In 2000, he was named chairman of the Democratic National Committee. In 2008, he chaired Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. In 2013, with enthusiastic support from the Clintons, he ran for governor of Virginia and won.

By 2015, Governor McAuliffe already was “shaping a significant role for himself” in Mrs. Clinton’s second try at the presidency, Politico reported. A “consummate political animal, [McAuliffe] just can’t keep his fingers away from the flame. Despite the daily demands of running the state…he’s emerging as Hillary’s informal liaison to governors and the party’s biggest donors, while also keeping a finger on the pulse of the camp’s central operations in Brooklyn.”

By contrast, even today, in the wake of hundreds of media stories and last week’s Office of Inspector General report on alleged wrongdoing in the 2016 election, few people will recognize the name Andrew McCabe. He’s a swamp inhabitant too, though many would put him on the right side of the swamp, on dry land, chasing the bad guys. Except that’s not quite how it turned out.

Many of the McCabe details in the OIG report will come as no surprise to Judicial Watch followers. We’ve been uncovering facts about the McCabe affair for over a year. Read about our efforts herehere, and here.

A useful timeline in the OIG report sketches the McCabe-McAuliffe saga—a swamp tale of a particular sort. In 2014, McCabe, a rising star at the FBI, is assistant director of the bureau’s Washington, DC, field office. His wife is a pediatrician in Virginia. Terry McAuliffe is governor.

In February 2015, Dr. McCabe receives a phone call from Virginia’s lieutenant governor. Would she consider running for a state senate seat?

Less than two weeks later, in March 2015, McCabe and his wife drive to Richmond for what they thought was a meeting with a Virginia state senator to discuss Dr. McCabe’s possible run for office.
In Richmond, according to the OIG report, they are told there had been “a change of plans” and that “Governor McAuliffe wanted to speak to Dr. McCabe at the Governor’s mansion.”

It’s around this time that a veteran FBI agent’s radar might start blinking.

McCabe and his wife meet with McAuliffe for 30 to 45 minutes, according to the OIG report. Fundraising was discussed. “Governor McAuliffe said that he and the Democratic Party would support Dr. McCabe’s candidacy.” McAuliffe asked McCabe about his occupation and “McCabe told him he worked for the FBI but they did not discuss McCabe’s work or any FBI business.” McCabe later described it to an FBI official as a “surreal meeting.”

After the meeting, the couple rode to a local event with the governor, then returned to the mansion with the governor to retrieve their car.

McCabe informed FBI ethics officials and lawyers about the meeting and consulted with them about his wife’s plans. No one raised strong objections. McCabe recused himself from all public corruption cases in Virginia and Dr. McCabe jumped into the race.

In July 2015, the FBI opened an investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s email practices.

Let’s pause to note here that while the official FBI investigation was opened in July 2015, Mrs. Clinton was known to be in hot water as far back as March 2015, when the State Department inspector general revealed her widespread use of a private, non-government email server.

Swamp cats will notice that March 2015 is also when Andrew and Jill McCabe got their surprise audience with McAuliffe, the longtime Clinton money man.

The McCabe fortunes rose in the autumn of 2015. Mr. McCabe was promoted to associate deputy director of the FBI. Dr. McCabe received $675,000 from two McAuliffe-connected entities for her state senate race. They were by far the biggest donations to her campaign.

In November 2015, Dr. McCabe lost her race.

In January 2016, the FBI opened an investigation into the Clinton Foundation.

On February 1, Mr. McCabe was promoted again, to deputy director of the FBI.

Despite the McAuliffe connection, the OIG report notes, there was no FBI re-evaluation of McCabe’s recusals following his promotions. Although recused from Virginia public corruption investigations, he retained a senior role in Clinton-related matters.

In May 2016, news broke that McAuliffe was under FBI investigation for campaign finance violations. CNN reported that investigators were scrutinizing “McAuliffe’s time as a board member of the Clinton Global Initiative” and Chinese businessman Wang Wenliang, a U.S. permanent resident who made large donations to both the McAuliffe 2013 gubernatorial campaign and to the Clinton Foundation.

On October 23, the Wall Street Journal revealed the McAuliffe-linked donations to Dr. McCabe’s campaign. At FBI headquarters, McCabe resists pressure from senior executives to recuse himself from all Clinton-related matters.

Finally, on November 1—a week before the presidential election — McCabe recused from the Clinton email and Clinton Foundation investigations.

Following James Comey’s dismissal in May 2017, McCabe was briefly acting director of the FBI—the most powerful law enforcement position in the land. Following the appointment of Chris Wray as director, McCabe returned to the deputy director position and, as controversy engulfed him and the FBI, he went on paid leave. Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired him in March, 2018. The Justice Department inspector general has referred a possible criminal case against McCabe to federal prosecutors for lying to internal investigators in an earlier probe of the Wall Street Journal story and leaks.

One of the strangest claims in the OIG report is that the senior leadership of the FBI was not aware of — or perhaps simply did not care about — McAuliffe’s long history with the Clintons. “We were troubled,” the OIG report notes, “by the fact that the FBI ethics officials and attorneys did not fully appreciate the potential significant implications to McCabe and the FBI from campaign contributions to Dr. McCabe’s campaign and did not implement any review of those campaign donations. Thus, while the same factual circumstances that led to McCabe’s recusal on November 1, 2016, were present at the time McCabe became deputy director on February 1, 2016, the FBI ethics officials, McCabe, and Comey only learned of them as a result of the October 23 WSJ article.”

It seems likely now that the McCabe chapter of the larger battle in Washington will end with a whimper, not a bang. The beasts—investigative, media, political—move on. But what are we to make of Terry McAuliffe’s role in the episode?

Swamp aficionados will note the sudden “change of plans” that elevated the trip to Richmond from a meeting with a low-level political operative to an encounter with the governor. McAuliffe is charming and charismatic. Money is (vaguely) discussed, and oh by the way, McAuliffe asks McCabe, what is your occupation?

Now, Terry McAuliffe’s connections are legendary. His devotion to the Clinton ambitions is unswerving. He knows everybody, particularly anybody who has any business with the Clintons (remember, the email controversy is about to metastasize) and certainly he knew that Andrew McCabe worked for the FBI before he asked that question. But now McCabe knows that the governor knows. Next, money—a lot of it—flows to Dr. McCabe’s campaign.

Things might have turned out differently, after all. Jill McCabe might have been in the state senate. Hillary Clinton might have been in the White House. And Andrew McCabe was in line to be the next director of the FBI. Some of the best swamp plays are not about greed but ambition.

Pride Month Has Become a Time for LGBT Activists to Pursue Political Enemies

In 2014, high-tech executive and CEO of Mozilla Brendan Eich was forced to resign from the company he helped found and build, because he made a $1,000 contribution to support traditional marriage in the California marriage referendum.

According to accounts, Eich was subject to vicious attacks through social media for his contribution in the marriage campaign.

The Mozilla chairwoman, Mitchell Baker, observed, “Mozilla believes in both equality and freedom of speech. Equality is necessary for meaningful speech. And you need free speech to fight for equality. Figuring out how to stand for both at the same time can be hard.”

That Mozilla’s chairwoman could offer such a confused, vacuous explanation for Eich’s dismissal sheds light on why the overall state of affairs in the country is such a mess.

Free speech is not about equality. Free speech is about the pursuit of truth. The equality necessary for free speech is equality under the law, where everyone receives equal protection. But when politics is the aim rather than truth, objective law protecting free expression gets flushed, and political operatives, like Baker, determine who lives and who dies.

Two years earlier, Crystal Dixon, a black Christian woman, was fired from her human resources position at the University of Toledo because she penned an op-ed for the local newspaper challenging the proposition that the gay rights movement is a new chapter of the black civil rights movement.

Carefully reasoned discourse—which is what Dixon offered in her fatal op-ed—is not welcome in a politicized society, because the pursuit of truth is no longer relevant. Only behavior consistent with predetermined political ends is.

This slippery slope leads in one direction. Less freedom and more oppression. Exactly what our nation is not supposed to be about.

It shouldn’t surprise us, then, that Gay Pride Month has become a time for LGBTQ storm troopers to pursue political enemies. Not much different from the infamous Kristallnacht in Nazi Germany, when Nazi brown shirts took to the streets to smash windows of shops owned by Jews.

Thus among the stories of this Gay Pride Month:

Another high-tech executive, the CEO of Twitter, with an estimated net worth of $5 billion, was forced to offer a social media apology for eating a chicken sandwich in Chick-fil-A. Patronizing a fast-food establishment whose CEO is a devout Christian, with the temerity to have criticized the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage, is a high crime in the eyes of the LGBTQ judges and jury.

Russell Berger, chief knowledge officer of CrossFit, was fired for tweeting his support of a company decision to cancel participation of a CrossFit gym in Indianapolis in Gay Pride Month events. Berger, a seminary trained pastor, was perhaps excessively inflammatory because he used the word “sin.” If there is any “sin” in today’s politicized America, it is to claim that sin, in the biblical sense, exists.

A Muslim Uber driver was fired for asking two lesbian passengers to leave his car after they began kissing and embracing.

Last year, my office in Washington had to temporarily close because of threats when, in a cable TV interview, I equated the LGBTQ rainbow flag to the confederate flag. From my point a view, it’s a totally reasonable assertion. As a black American, the Confederate flag communicates to me that I am not welcome. As a Christian American, the rainbow flag communicates to me that I am not welcome.

According to a recent Gallup survey, 41 percent of Americans identify as evangelical Christians. Will the course of events in LGBTQ-controlled America preclude them from shopping, working, speaking, existing in our nation’s public spaces?

The preamble of our constitution says that “We the people” establish this constitution in order to “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”

The direction of events indicates that “our posterity” has much to be concerned about.

COMMENTARY BY

Star Parker

Star Parker is a columnist for The Daily Signal and president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education. Twitter: 

 


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EDITORS NOTE: COPYRIGHT 2018 STAR PARKER

Media Separated from Reality at Border

It’s one thing to tell a story that tugs on people’s heartstrings. It’s quite another to manipulate that story to color people’s view. Of course, the liberal media knows a thing or two about twisting the truth to suit their narrative. And, after days of posting gut-wrenching photos of children at the border, the facts are finally catching up with them. Turns out, the faces of the immigration debate aren’t faces from this crisis at all!Time magazine is one of the biggest offenders. Its latest cover, a crying toddler staring up at President Trump, was never separated from her mother at all. In what is turning out to be a major embarrassment for Time and the far-Left, the little girl’s father went to the press to correct the story, insisting that she and her mom were never separated at the border. To its credit, the Washington Post outed the magazine and pointed out that, “The heart-wrenching image, captured by award-winning Getty Images photographer John Moore, was spread across the front pages of international newspapers. It was used to promote a Facebook fundraiser that has collected more than $18 million to help reunite separated families.”

And Time isn’t the only outlet taking liberties with the truth. Other outlets have been forced to apologize on air for using a photo of a caged little boy, after describing him as “ripped from the arms of their mother” by the president’s immigration policy. The propaganda is so out of control that the New York Times took the rare step of shaming the Left in a column, “How Liberals Got Lost on the Story of Missing Children at the Border.” Using a picture of two little boys in a cage as an example, reporter Amanda Taub explains, “This image has been widely shared on social media in recent days, offered as an example of the Trump administration’s cruel policies toward immigrants, but in fact the picture was taken in 2014.”

The real irony is this — no one needs to manipulate the truth to horrify Americans about the situation. There are more than enough nightmarish stories to compel anyone to act — and we should. You’d have to be the Tin Man not to be moved by what’s happening to children before they even get to our borders. People at ground zero, like National Border Patrol Council spokesman Chris Cabrera, have seen enough to keep them awake every night of the week. On CNN, he explained the absolutely devastating impact our lawlessness has had on families.

“I don’t think everybody understands what’s happening down here. You know, a lot of these kids that are coming here, and put through terrible, terrible situations by their parents…When you see a 12-year-old girl with a Plan B pill, or their parents put her on birth control because they know getting violated is part of the journey, that’s just a terrible way to live. When you see a four-year-old girl traveling completely alone with just her parents’ phone number written across her shirt. I mean, come on now… We had a nine-year-old boy last year have heat stroke in front of us and die with no family around…”

Why? Because our refusal to enforce our laws has encouraged parents to gamble with their children’s lives. And despite the media’s anti-Trump drumbeat, the majority of Americans still hold the parents responsible. When families are arrested and separated after attempting to enter the United States illegally, Rasmussen reports, “54 percent of likely U.S. voters say the parents are more to blame for breaking the law… [O]nly 35 percent believe the federal government is more to blame for enforcing the law. Eleven percent are not sure.”

In the wake of President Trump’s executive order, which makes clear that compassion and upholding the law are not incompatible, you would think there would be political goodwill that could be used to address the overarching issue. Not so. Congressional Democrats aren’t interested in a solution. They’re interested in bypassing immigration laws altogether, regardless of the lives it costs and the havoc it wreaks.

But if they think the American people are on board with that approach, they’re mistaken. By a 3-to-1 margin, they reject Obama’s “catch and release” program, which essentially apprehends people at the border and then releases them into the country with a court date that they may or may not ignore. Even Democratic voters don’t agree with the idea, barely giving it 30 percent support.

The compassionate solution is not the status quo. This has, as Donald Trump pointed out, been going on for many decades. “Whether it was President Bush, President Obama, President Clinton — same policies. They can’t get them changed because both sides are always fighting… This is maybe a great chance to have a change.” He’s right — if liberal leaders will set aside their political games long enough to pursue it.


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


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The Humanitarian Hoax of Illegal Immigrant Family Separation at the U.S. Border

The Humanitarian Hoax is a deliberate and deceitful tactic of presenting a destructive policy as altruistic. The humanitarian huckster presents himself as a compassionate advocate when in fact he is the disguised enemy.

Children are the future of every nation and culture on earth which makes them the most valuable natural resource in the world. Water, air, land, coal, natural gas, phosphorus, oil, minerals, iron, soil, forests and timber are all subjects of worldwide conservation efforts. What about the children?

Wars are fought over natural resources in competition for power and dominance. So it is with the children. The leftist exploitation of illegal immigrant children is a political dirty trick being played for the hearts and minds of the compassionate American electorate. This is how it works.

President Trump’s America-first policies are demonstrably positive for America and threaten the narrative of Obama’s leftist collectivist destruction. President Trump’s insistence on our national sovereignty is an existential threat to Obama’s battle for internationalized globalism. Obama’s promise to transform America has been exposed as a promise to destroy America from within and replace our infrastructure with socialism in preparation for the mother of all collectivism – planetary governance.

The left is exploiting ILLEGAL immigrant children in a desperate attempt to delegitimize President Trump before the midterm elections. A midterm victory is necessary for leftist Democrats to start impeachment proceedings against the President. Tear-jerking appeals for reunification of ILLEGAL immigrant families are completely disingenuous. They are pure political theater – a humanitarian hoax designed to engage compassionate voters and insure a midterm election victory because:

  • Mueller’s investigation into Russian collusion fell apart and only served to expose serious malfeasance of Obama’s FBI, DOJ, CIA, and State Department.
  • sensationalized news is a weapon designed to stigmatize Trump and offset his stunning economic victories before the midterm elections
  • reunification of families deflect attention away from the damning 6.14.18 IG report recommending more investigations into FBI improprieties during the Clinton email scandal which will ultimately expose Obama’s participation.

The colluding leftist mainstream media deliberately refuses to include the essential word ILLEGAL into its reports. There would be no issue of separated families if the families came to the United States LEGALLY! President Trump is in favor of LEGAL immigration and leftist attempts to deny that reality and present POTUS as anti-immigration are typical of the deceit that has come to characterize the leftist Democrats under Obama.

In a stunning 6.22.18 article Carolyn Glick exposes the deceitfulness of the media outcry over US government policy of separating illegal immigrant minors from their illegal parents:

  • “The policy is cruel. Indeed, recognizing its cruelty, Trump signed an executive order banning the practice.
  • But the policy isn’t new. This was the Obama administration’s policy following a court order prohibiting children from joining their parents in detention.
  • Rather than soberly acknowledge that law enforcement, including immigration law is often a cruel business and recognize that to remain a state of laws sometimes authorities undertake difficult and harsh actions, the anti-Trump media ignored reality and went straight for the kill. David Remnick, Frank Bruni and countless others didn’t care that the Obama administration separated children from their parents, placed them in cages and wrapped them in aluminum foil. As far as they are concerned, the continuation of the same cruel policy under Trump is proof that Trump is a Nazi.
  • Gen. Michael Hayden, the former director of the NSA and the CIA posted a photo of the entrance to Auschwitz on his Twitter feed with a caption ‘Other governments have separated mothers and children.’”

Hans von Spakovsky identifies more media deceit in his 6.21.18 article “Who’s Responsible for Separating Alien Kids From Their Parents? Many People, but Not Trump.” These are two particularly instructive quotes absolving President Trump of wrongdoing:

  • “In other words, it is the 9th Circuit’s misinterpretation of the Clinton administration’s settlement agreement that doesn’t allow juvenile aliens to stay with their parents who have been detained for unlawful entry into the country.”
  • “The Obama administration provided a huge incentive for illegal aliens to smuggle children across the border, since a child acted as a get-out-of-jail-free card for avoiding detention and prosecution for the adult accompanying the child. As the Department of Homeland Security correctly says, this policy ‘incited smugglers to place children into the hands of adult strangers so they can pose as families and be released from immigration custody after crossing the border, creating another safety issue for these children.’”

War makes strange bedfellows and the current culture war on America lead by Obama’s anti-American “resistance” movement has allies in its attempt to delegitimize and overthrow President Donald Trump. The economy is booming under President Trump. Unemployment for black Americans is the lowest in history. Optimism of small businesses is skyrocketing. Negotiations over fair trade are in America’s favor. President Trump is making America great again and the leftist Democrat predators in collusion with the mainstream media including Internet giants Google, Facebook, and Twitter are desperate to stop him from winning the 2018 midterm elections.

It is abusive for illegal immigrant parents to subject their children to separation at the US borders and equally abusive for leftist political predators to support the practice in a vile attempt to swing the midterm elections. It is time for the leftist/media/Internet alliance to stop abusing and exploiting the children they are entrusted to protect. Photographs of crying children tug at American hearts BUT the photographs are fraudulent and are pure political theater – it is a seismic humanitarian hoax!

Americans must understand the malfeasance, purpose, and value of politicizing illegal immigrant children at the border. Leftist child abuse and exploitation is the sinister leftist humanitarian hoax that misrepresents the facts of illegal immigrant family separation begun under Clinton, continued under Obama, and blamed on President Trump in a deceitful campaign to delegitimize POTUS before the midterm elections.

The mainstream media and Internet behemoths are deliberately colluding to misrepresent Clinton and Obama’s abusive family separation policies as belonging to President Trump. Americans believe in fairness. They do not appreciate being manipulated by the colluding mainstream and Internet media into believing leftist political propaganda masquerading as truth. If the humanitarian hoax of illegal immigrant family separation at the border is successful then leftist Democrats will have duped America into blaming President Trump for the abusive policies of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Poll: Americans Overwhelmingly Support Trump’s Position on Immigration Compared to Obama’s Catch-and-Release Policy

Don’t Ignore the Grave Danger Unaccompanied Illegal Alien Children Face, Idaho Lawmaker Says

In 2015, Judge Demanded Obama Release Children, Mothers Detained in ‘Deplorable Conditions’

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the Goudsmit Pundicity.

Journalism Duo Offers Christian Alternative to Media’s Reporting on Trump

David Brody and Jenna Browder are hosts of the “Faith Nation” show on Christian Broadcasting Network and Brody recently published “The Faith of Donald J. Trump” with co-author Scott Lamb. Brody and Browder spoke to Daily Signal Editor-in-Chief Rob Bluey about what it’s like to cover President Trump, why they report the news from a biblical viewpoint, and how the media can regain Americans’ trust.

Rob Bluey: Both of you have had tremendous interactions with the Trump White House and the political scene in Washington, D.C. Let’s begin by talking about what it’s like to be members of the media in this incredible time in history. Almost every day, David and Jenna, we have some sort of major news development. How do you keep up with it all?

David Brody: Where do you begin? I guess you begin by over-the-counter medication, for sure Excedrin. It’s like living in a reality TV show. I mean, it really is. Trump is the reality TV president and we’re just contestants in it. It’s just intense, but intense in a good way.

CBN has been given great access, and I think that’s been exciting for us. And just to see Trump take evangelical Christians in a very serious way—to realize they have something to say and they have something to add to the conversation, whereas past presidents have said the same thing, but their actions haven’t necessarily followed.

It’s been pretty exciting to see this president do what he said he was going to do.

Jenna Browder: Absolutely. You just have to check Twitter to get a quick update. And I think the American people really like that. They like that they can go to Twitter and they can see exactly what the president is thinking at that given moment.

Like David said, the access has been incredible. While the president has lashed out against so much of the mainstream media, CBN News has been given incredible access.

David Brody and Jenna Browder of CBN News at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority conference earlier this month. (Photo courtesy of CBN News)

Bluey: That was one of the reasons that we started The Daily Signal. We felt that you no longer had to go through these other channels to share information. Whether you’re Donald Trump or any other politician, the fact that you have these platforms in which you can talk directly to the American people, it certainly has changed the dynamic. What’s it like covering Trump in a situation like that? When you’re trying to convey information to your audience, what is it that goes into the journalism and how you make those stories relevant on a day-to-day basis?

Brody: There’s so much that goes into it. Obviously, it starts with journalism 101—just make sure we’re getting the who, what, where, when, why, and all of that. But beyond that, I think it’s important that we look at things from not a conservative viewpoint or a progressive viewpoint, but from a biblical viewpoint—a biblical worldview—and I think that’s our prism every day. And a biblical worldview, especially on topics like immigration, that runs the gamut, especially with millennials.

When covering Trump, it’s important to understand that our coverage really reflects what that 81 percent of, and let’s be honest, white evangelicals—because that’s the number that we’re hearing—81 percent of white evangelicals voted for Trump in 2016. And so if Trump’s numbers started to go in the tank, our coverage would reflect a lot of the concerns that they have. But right now, they don’t really have many concerns. I mean, it has just been one victory after another, and I think our coverage has reflected that enthusiasm.

Now remember, it’s not us being enthusiastic about this president, but it’s them clearly being enthusiastic, so we’re just reporting what we see on the front lines. I know Jenna, obviously you were in North Carolina, she’s been to places. I just go to Jersey. That’s my hometown.

Browder: We kind of joke that my unofficial beat has become the heartland, or that “deplorable” voter, as Hillary Clinton would call them. And what we’re hearing, just so much enthusiasm out in middle America.

I was just in North Carolina just a couple of days ago in Granville County, this is a swing county that was historically blue. But in 2016, it went red. And we were just there talking to voters. A lot of people, they don’t really identify with either party, but by and large, love President Trump there. They love what he’s doing and they feel like he’s restoring our country to a different time, to values of a different age.

Brody: The real question, Rob, is then: Will these folks in Granville actually vote in the midterm elections for the Republican Party? They seem to like Trump, but Republicans, it’s kind of two different situations.

Browder: I was talking to one. There was this one truck driver. I was telling you about him, David. And he voted for Trump in 2016. He said he would vote for him again in 2020, very enthusiastically. So I said, “So what about 2018? Will you vote in these fall midterms?” And he looked at me like I was crazy, as if he was saying, “Why would I vote in 2018? Trump’s not on the ballot.” And you know, that could be the sentiment among a lot of voters, among a lot of Americans. That’s yet to be seen.

David Brody and Jenna Browder on the set of “Fox & Friends” in New York. (Photo courtesy of CBN News)

Bluey: Jenna, let me ask you a follow-up question on that. Why is it so important to get out of Washington, D.C., and talk to people who are living completely different lives than the reporters who are here in the nation’s capital?

Browder: That is America. We get out in the heartland and we tell the stories of real, everyday Americans. And I think that’s what the mainstream media, by and large, is really missing. They’re in New York. They’re in Los Angeles and Washington and these big cities. And they’re very out of touch with so many people in middle America and so many people with heartland values.

So we try to get out, we try to talk to these people, and I like to say, take the pulse of the people in Kansas and Colorado and North Carolina—places that they don’t think the way we think here in Washington or in New York. And that, I feel, is just so important and we don’t see enough of it in the mainstream media.

Bluey: I agree. David, you mentioned something earlier that I want to go back to. And that is how you approach the news, covering it from a biblical perspective. That’s the approach you take. I think you’ve established a loyal audience in that respect because there’s not a whole lot of other media outlets that do that. In that respect, though, the media habits of your audience have obviously changed. How have you and Jenna changed your approach to making sure that information is still relevant and top of mind, and they’re still getting it?

Brody: That’s a really good question, and I think it’s a daily occurrence. To a degree, it’s an hour-to-hour occurrence. We have to kind of figure out how to do this, not just on television, but online as well. And I think that’s key, quite frankly.

Jenna’s Twitter account is exploding. And here’s why: Because she and myself and others, we’re putting up relevant interviews. The other day, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, for example. This is the type of stuff that we’re bringing to our audience in a way that maybe others aren’t asking the same questions. And I think that’s the key.

A lot of times, what’s above the fold in The Washington Post and New York Times is not above the fold at CBN. It’s much different. The questions are different. But the questions are relevant, and so I think that’s important. Do they care about Russia? Let’s be honest. Evangelicals care about Russia and they care about Stormy Daniels, but here’s the thing …

Browder: To an extent.

Brody: To an extent, but they hear it all the time. The truth of the matter is, they are watching a bit of CNN, a bit, and other places. But they get it there, so we’ve got to show a little bit more than just those two stories, which of course, we do.

Bluey: Jenna, let’s talk about “Faith Nation.” What is it and why did you start it?

Browder: “Faith Nation,” it really kind of started out as a weekly show that we would do. But what we’ve found is that the audience has more of an appetite for 10 or 15 minute segments, so when news is happening, we are there on the “Faith Nation” set providing live analysis. A lot of the stuff we do is just maybe a Sarah Huckabee Sanders press conference. Those do really well. That has become kind of must-see TV in a lot ways.

Bluey: It certainly has.

Browder: So that’s an event we might do, or other big ones like the Billy Graham funeral, or events on any given day. It just depends. But we found a lot of success with that. That seems to be the appetite that most of our viewers have, are these shorter segments.

Brody: And a couple of those shorter segments, for example, Lila Rose and the story that Planned Parenthood had basically contributed to child sexual abuse by not reporting it to authorities. We had Lila Rose from Live Action on for a 10-minute segment. And Rick Klein from ABC News, the political director, talking about faith and the Democrats and the media and whether or not the Democrats are getting their message out because of Russia and Stormy Daniels. We’ll kind of like target specific areas, and it’s been pretty successful so far.

Browder: It’s the intersection of faith and politics—two forbidden areas to talk about. But, yeah, we’ve found a lot of success with it, and we just have fun doing it. It’s a really fun show.

David Brody and Jenna Browder on the set of their “Faith Nation” show. (Photo courtesy of CBN News)

Bluey: You have also had success with your interviews with President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. What is it like to be in a setting like that with the vice president, David, which you’ve done a couple of times, or President Trump, which you did many times, including once for The Daily Signal when you were contributing here. What’s it like to be in that setting with them?

Brody: It’s very casual. As you might imagine, Trump is an impromptu-type guy who doesn’t get really caught up into protocol too much. And that’s what you find in these interviews. And Jenna and I have both been blessed. And that’s the word, blessed.

We like to call it crazy favor from God, for sure, to be in those settings, not just with interviews. I’ll let you take some of the behind-the-scenes stories that we’ve been at the White House for.

But in terms of the interviews, it’s very impromptu. I’ll give you an example. One time on the road during the campaign, we had everything all set up for him in terms of a side that he likes to be shot on and the whole thing, everything. Last moment, he says, “You know what, let’s do it this way,” and he switched and he went into my chair and I went into his chair. And he just wanted to do something different.

He’s kind of just going rogue a little bit. And we see that a lot in the interviews. And it’s just a lot of fun to kind of see how he operates and thinks. He talks quite a bit during those times. He’s a lot more pensive than people give him credit for.

Browder: We were at an off-the-record meeting at the White House a few weeks ago. And it was a group of people sitting in the Roosevelt Room. And in the middle of the meeting, the president stops everybody and says, “Hey, let’s go across the hallway to the Oval Office.” So he takes all of us into this beautiful Oval Office. He’s just impromptu like that. You never know what he’s going to do.

Brody: And he also asked people at the time, “Anybody been to the Oval Office?” A lot of people said, “No.” And he goes, “Come on. Let’s go.” And it was like a field trip, and so that was neat.

What I found out is that what he was telling us off the record in the Oval Office, which we of course can’t talk about, I also started hearing him talk about on television two days later. And that’s a bit of the charm of Donald Trump—off the record is really on the record with Trump. And that’s what makes him very authentic and why he got elected president.

Bluey: David, you and Scott Lamb wrote a book about the president and his faith, “The Faith of Donald J. Trump.” It’s not something you hear a whole lot about. Why did you write it?

Brody: This has nothing to with Donald Trump being a Boy Scout. I like to say it’s not the sainthood of Donald Trump, it’s the faith of Donald Trump. This is not apologetics book for Donald Trump at all. But he is the president of the United States, last time I checked. And so my co-author, Scott Lamb, and I felt we needed to have something on record, if you will, something in the historical record about Donald Trump and his faith, and it’s actually pretty interesting.

It’s a pretty deep dive. And Scott Lamb did a lot of this research, especially in the first part of the book, where we go back into his mother’s childhood, his father’s childhood, and where he gets some of that Scottish braveheart that we see quite often from Donald Trump today. He gets it from his mother’s side, and that Lutheranism from his father’s side, that hard work ethic.

So anyhow, a lot of interesting parts in the book, including the fact that he has a bit of viking blood in him, it turns out, which what a shock that he’s got some viking blood in him.

Browder: I think twice we’ve seen the vice president endorsing this book.

Brody: Saw it the other day.

Browder: Yeah, it was the Family Research Council, and he surprised this group of pastors. He’s up there giving this impromptu speech. And he just says, “And by the way, if you have time I’d recommend checking out David Brody’s new book, ‘The Faith of Donald Trump.’” A lot of people are speaking really highly of it.

Bluey: It’s another example of tackling a topic that very few in the media are willing to do. And that goes to the heart of my next question, which is, we’ve seen poll after poll come out where the Americans’ trust in media is at historic lows. And yet, I know there are people who write to us at The Daily Signal who are just so thankful and appreciative that there are alternative sources out there. David, you’ve worked alongside these people for a long time. What are they doing wrong to have lost this trust? And what can they do better?

Brody: It really is the $64,000 question. A couple things. First, they’re an echo chamber. They talk to themselves a lot. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich one time told me it’s the latte-sipping crowd, and that they actually sit around a table and discuss what, in essence, are the talking points for the next day. And I really mean that.

They literally do this, and so there’s a bit of a coordinated effort by the New York-Washington Acela corridor media, to in essence kind of come up with a game plan as to what the talking points will be for the next day. You see it on “Morning Joe” all the time. And so I think that’s part of it.

But remember, Donald Trump talks about the deep state a lot. The deep state, the way he views it, the way Steve Bannon views it, the media is part of it. And all that simply means is that the media have been in this town for a very long time, just like entrenched bureaucrats have been in this town for a very long time.

If you drink this Potomac water for long enough, you are going to get really poisoned. And I think that’s what we’ve seen. That’s a big part of it. They don’t understand another competing worldview. That’s part of the problem here, especially the Christian worldview.

Browder: After the election there seemed to be a moment where some of the outlets, The New York Times and different mainstream media outlets, were taking a step back and reflecting and saying, “Hmm. How did we go wrong? Why did we miss this?” And that was kind of refreshing to see. But that seemed to evaporate really quickly.

“They don’t understand the worldview of a lot of people in middle America and flyover country. And that’s the whole disconnect there.” —Jenna Browder

It’s a difference of a worldview, in that they don’t like the president’s worldview. They don’t like a lot of people, the worldview, or they don’t understand. They don’t understand the worldview of a lot of people in middle America and flyover country. And that’s the whole disconnect there. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s getting any better.

Brody: By the way, this whole fake news terminology, Donald Trump, he’s a master brander, so he’s great at that. But let’s be honest. We all knew for a long time that “fake news” was out there. We just called it the liberal mainstream media. We didn’t call it fake news, but Donald Trump takes it to a different level and is able to brand it very, very well.

Browder: That’s one of his strongest suits, his branding and marketing.

Brody: Greatest showman.

Browder: Everything, it sticks.

Brody: It does stick.

Browder: Lyin’ Ted.

Brody: Now it’s Punchy. Robert De Niro is now Punchy.

Browder: Right, exactly.

Bluey: It is truly fascinating to watch. What exciting things do you have on the horizon? What do you want to tell our listeners about that you’re doing at CBN?

Brody: There’s quite a bit.

Browder: You first, David.

Brody: Oh, thank you so much, Jenna.

We have Secretary of Energy Rick Perry joining us soon on “Faith Nation” in the next week or so, that’ll be exciting. There will be a lot more Cabinet members coming by CBN to talk about biblically-based issues, which is important.

Biblically-based issues, which will serve not just our audience, but quite frankly, society, to hear more of that traditional Judeo-Christian viewpoint from these Cabinet members because President Trump has surrounded himself with a lot of them. Watch for that coming soon.

Browder: Then also just getting on the road, going to the swing states and getting a pulse for the voters heading into these 2018 elections. One thing we have in the works is getting on the road with Ivanka Trump. We’ll be getting out with her and just going around and talking to the people of middle America.

Bluey: David, Jenna, thanks for speaking to The Daily Signal.

Browder: Thank you so much.

Brody: Thanks, Rob.

COLUMN BY

Portrait of Rob Bluey

Rob Bluey

Rob Bluey is editor-in-chief of The Daily Signal, the multimedia news organization of The Heritage Foundation. Send an email to Rob. Twitter: @RobertBluey.

Dear Readers:

With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone.

We are looking for a select few conservatives to become a Heritage Foundation member. With your membership, you’ll qualify for all associated benefits and you’ll help keep our nation great for future generations.

ACTIVATE YOUR MEMBERSHIP TODAY

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of David Brody and Jenna Browder who have made CBN News and their “Faith Nation” show a popular program for White House interviews. (Photo courtesy of CBN News)

New Yorker’s ‘Fact-Checker’ Defamed a Combat Veteran. She Hasn’t Even Apologized.

Confirmation bias damages reputations. It ruins credibility. It destroys lives.

When researchers ignore contradictory data that undermines their assumptions, junk science prevails. When police conduct investigations with predetermined outcomes, wrongful convictions abound. And when reporters cherry-pick facts and distort images to serve political agendas, media outlets become dangerous weapons of mass manipulation.

Talia Lavin

Take Talia Lavin, a young journalist who has enjoyed a meteoric rise. Her pedigree appears impeccable on its face: She graduated with a degree in comparative literature from Harvard University six years ago. After graduation, she won a Fulbright Scholar fellowship to study in Ukraine. She “worked in all realms” of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency news agency and wire service, copy-edited for the feminist Lilith magazine, and contributed stories and translations for the Huffington Post.

Lavin has held the coveted position of “fact-checker” for the revered New Yorker for the past three years. The publication brags that its “fact-checking department is known for its high standards.” It demands the ability “to quickly analyze a manuscript for factual errors, logical flaws, and significant omissions.” The editorial department requires “a strong understanding of ethical reporting standards and practices” and prefers “proficiency or fluency in a second language.”

Impressively, Lavin speaks four languages (Russian, Hebrew, Ukrainian, and English). Her abdication of ethical reporting standards, however, raises fundamental questions not only about her competence, but also about her integrity—not to mention The New Yorker’s journalistic judgment.

With a single tweet, The New Yorker’s professional fact-checker smeared Justin Gaertner, a combat-wounded war veteran and computer forensic analyst for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

Lavin, the professional fact-checker, rushed to judgment. She abused her platform. Amid the national media hysteria over President Donald Trump’s border enforcement policies, Lavin derided a photo of Gaertner shared by ICE, which had spotlighted his work rescuing abused children. Scrutinizing his tattoos, she claimed an image on his left elbow was an Iron Cross—a symbol of valor commonly and erroneously linked to Nazis.

The meme spread like social media tuberculosis: Look! The jackboots at ICE who hate children and families employ a real-life white supremacist.

Only it wasn’t an Iron Cross. It was a Maltese Cross, the symbol of double amputee Gaertner’s platoon in Afghanistan, Titan 2. He lost both legs during an improvised explosive device-clearing mission and earned the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Combat Valor and the Purple Heart before joining ICE to combat online child exploitation.

When actual military veterans, whom Lavin failed to consult before defaming Gaertner so glibly, pointed out that the image looked more like a Maltese Cross, Lavin deleted her original tweet “so as not to spread misinformation.”

Too late. The harm to Gaertner’s name and honor is irreparable and cannot be unseen, unread, or unpublished.

The New Yorker issued an obligatory apology and acknowledged that “a staff member erroneously made a derogatory assumption about ICE agent Justin Gaertner’s tattoo.” But what consequences will there be for her journalistic malpractice? Who is supervising her work at the famed publication? What other lapses might she be responsible for during her present and past stints as a checker of facts and arbiter of truth?

The magazine editors claim “we in no way share the viewpoint expressed in this tweet,” yet the abject ignorance of, and knee-jerk bigotry against, law enforcement, immigration enforcement, and the military underlying Lavin’s slime run rampant in New York media circles. And they all know it.

Lavin has not commented on the matter and instead turned her Twitter account private. But we can infer her attitude about her present troubles from a defiant piece she published just last week in The Forward magazine, where she pens a regular column. Titled “No, We Don’t Have To Be Friends with Trump Supporters,” the piece, laden with Nazi allusions, decries asylum reform, strengthened borders, and ICE agents enforcing the law.

Rejecting calls for decency in public debate over these contentious matters, she spat: “[T]ough nuts, sugar. When they go low, stomp them on the head.”

She further raged:

It is high time, when you find yourself next at a dinner party with someone who has gone Trump, to smash your glass to shards and leave. It is time to push yourself away from the table. It is time to cease to behave with subservient politesse toward those who embrace barbarity with unfettered glee.

Better “gone Trump” than gone mad. In her unfettered haste to condemn those with whom she disagrees, The New Yorker’s professional fact-checker failed to check her own toxic biases.

Lavin’s act was no innocent gaffe. Like the journalists-turned-propagandists who have falsely spread Obama-era photos of immigrant detention centers to attack the Trump White House, Lavin engaged in mass manipulation under the guise of resistance journalism.

Truth is collateral damage.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Michelle Malkin

Michelle Malkin is a columnist for The Daily Signal, senior editor at Conservative Review, a best-selling author, and Fox News contributor. Twitter: .

Dear Readers:

With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone.

We are looking for a select few conservatives to become a Heritage Foundation member. With your membership, you’ll qualify for all associated benefits and you’ll help keep our nation great for future generations.

ACTIVATE YOUR MEMBERSHIP TODAY

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of Justin Gaertner who lost both legs after being hit by an IED in Afghanistan. (Photo: Kathleen Flynn/Zuma Press/Newscom)

Trump Orders Fix to Family Separation on Border, Calls for ‘Comprehensive’ Immigration Solution

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday to halt separating families that illegally cross the border, but also said he wants to sign a “comprehensive” immigration bill from Congress.

In signing the executive order, Trump said, “We are going to have a lot of happy people.”

“It’s about keeping families together while at the same time being sure that we have a very powerful, very strong border,” the president said. “Border security will be equal, if not greater, than previously. So we are going to have strong, very strong borders, but we are going to keep the families together. I didn’t like the sight or the feeling of families being separated.”

Trump added, “It continues to be a zero tolerance. We have zero tolerance for people who enter our country illegally.”

“Zero tolerance” marked a tougher approach by the Trump administration in enforcing existing immigration law by arresting those who enter the country illegally.

The order is a temporary fix, and is titled “Affording Congress an Opportunity to Address Family Separation.”

The executive order says:

The Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary), shall, to the extent permitted by law and subject to the availability of appropriations, maintain custody of alien families during the pendency of any criminal improper entry or immigration proceedings involving their members. … The Secretary shall not, however, detain an alien family together when there is a concern that detention of an alien child with the child’s alien parent would pose a risk to the child’s welfare.

Trump was accompanied in the Oval Office Wednesday by Vice President Mike Pence and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen

“This is a situation that president after president hasn’t dealt with for decades,” Nielsen said. “This one is willing to stand up and fix it. We ask Congress to do their part.”

Pence called it a “false choice between being a country of law and order and a country that demonstrates compassion and heart of the American people.”

Trump said that Congress must act, not only to address the minors situation but also for a “comprehensive” bill to address immigration.

“We are also wanting to go through Congress. We will be going through Congress,” Trump said. “We are working on a much more comprehensive bill.”

Past “comprehensive” proposals have awarded legal status to illegal immigrants, while increasing border security.

Trump met with 11 Republican senators and five GOP House members earlier Wednesday in the Cabinet Room of the White House where he first announced he would be signing the order, and also called for a broader measure.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., asserted that immigration has “bedeviled” lawmakers for 40 years.

“You’re the president who can help us solve the immigration problem with your leadership,” Alexander said. “You may be able to do for immigration what Nixon did for China and Reagan did for the Soviet Union and a lot of us would like to work with you on that.”

At least two bills have some GOP support in the House.

House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., sponsored a more conservative bill that requires employers to use E-Verify, to check immigration status of employees, gives renewable legal status to beneficiaries of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for three years, authorizes a border wall, and ends chain migration.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has a “compromise bill” that gives DACA beneficiaries a pathway to citizenship and includes $25 billion for a border wall.

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., told Roll Call of the two bills, “We don’t like any of them,” and said that “Immigration is kind of my sacrosanct. You’ve got to do this the right way. You just can’t do this badly.”

The detention of children has been a raging controversy as the administration increased enforcement.

According to immigration experts, under the federal government’s Flores settlement of 1997, the federal government would release unaccompanied minor illegal immigrants after no more than 20 days of detention. A separate 2008 law required unaccompanied minors be transferred out of custody of the Department of Homeland Security to the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Then, a 2016 judicial interpretation expanded the Flores settlement to include minors brought into the country with their parents. So, conforming to the expanded interpretation of the settlement and the existing law, the DHS enforcement agencies, after arresting illegal immigrant parents, have transferred minor children to the custody of the HHS Office of Refugee Resettlement, which tries to place them with relatives or a caretaker.

During the meeting with members of Congress, Pence told lawmakers the administration was limited.

“We don’t want children to be taken away from parents, but, right now under the law, and we sit with these lawmakers, we only have two choices before us,” Pence said. “No. 1 is don’t prosecute people who come into our country illegally, or prosecute them and then under court cases and the law, they have to be separated from their children.”

The executive order references the Flores settlement.

The Attorney General shall promptly file a request with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to modify the Settlement Agreement in Flores v. Sessions, CV 85-4544 (“Flores settlement”), in a manner that would permit the Secretary, under present resource constraints, to detain alien families together throughout the pendency of criminal proceedings for improper entry or any removal or other immigration proceedings.

The order is not a policy departure for the president, said Hans von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow for The Heritage Foundation.

So to the extent the 1997 Flores settlement and the 9th Circuit’s misinterpretation of it prevents DHS from holding juveniles for more than 20 days, this language gives DHS the exception they need to still separate families if they have to in order to comply with Flores.

As I expected, the [executive order] also tells the AG in Sec. 3 (e) to file a request with the court in the Flores case to allow DHS to detain families together “throughout the pendency of criminal proceedings for improper entry or any removal or other immigration proceedings.”

So the president is not backing down from prosecuting all illegal aliens who cross the border, which is what the critics wanted.

Pence reiterated the president’s call for a comprehensive measure when talking to lawmakers.

“The president’s vision, as articulated in his State of the Union address, was let’s solve the whole problem,” Pence said. “Let’s build a wall, let’s close the loopholes, let’s solve the problem for 1.8 million people that were brought into this country through no fault of their own, and let’s deal with law and order and compassion with this issue of family separation at our border.”

COLUMN BY

Portrait of Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.

RELATED ARTICLES:

How Immigration Officials Cooked the Books and Fooled Congress for Years

Who’s Responsible for Separating Alien Kids From Their Parents? Many People, but Not Trump

Dear Readers:

With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone.

We are looking for a select few conservatives to become a Heritage Foundation member. With your membership, you’ll qualify for all associated benefits and you’ll help keep our nation great for future generations.

ACTIVATE YOUR MEMBERSHIP TODAY<

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of President Donald Trump holding a signed executive order to keep families together at border in the Oval Office of the White House, in Washington, D.C., on June 20, 2018. Photo by Olivier Douliery/ Abaca Press (Newscom TagID: sipaphotoseight258174.jpg) [Photo via Newscom]

USA Yesterday vs. USA Today

Some liberals have spent the last year and a half trying to grasp the relationship between Donald Trump and evangelicals. And if Wednesday’s opinion pages are any indication, they’re no closer to understanding now than they were then. In some cases, that bewilderment has turned to spite. Desperate to peel off some of the president’s support, they try to shame Trump’s base away, accusing evangelicals of everything from hypocrisy to naivety. One of their favorite games to play is, “What if Barack Obama had [insert something that President Trump has done]?” Jonathan Zimmerman is the latest to try it, taking direct aim at FRC in a USA Today column that compares our enthusiasm for Trump’s policies to our frustration with Obama’s.

He points out that I’ve taken North Korea to task for its heinous treatment of Christians as recently as this year. “So,” he asks, “where were Perkins and his fellow evangelical Christians last week, when President Donald Trump was lavishing praise upon North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un? They were on the sidelines, mostly, or congratulating Trump for his diplomatic coup… You’d think,” he said bitterly, “that the mass imprisonment and executions of Christians would draw unequivocal denunciations from other Christians, no matter who was president. Think again.”

First of all, FRC — and the broader evangelical movement — has been an outspoken defender of international religious freedom for decades. We, along with several other faith leaders, signed a letter calling on President Trump to bring up Kim Jong Un’s human rights abuses before his Singapore summit. And the president, as he’s done on multiple occasions throughout his first term, did raise the issue. “It was discussed. It will be discussed more in the future — human rights,” Trump said. “It was discussed. It was discussed relatively briefly compared to denuclearization. Well, obviously, that’s where we started and where we ended. But they will be doing things, and I think he wants to do things.”

President Trump didn’t shy away from the oppression of Christians in North Korea any more than he did when he called out Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari to his face in the White House Rose Garden. We’ve watched the White House fast-track relief efforts through USAID and appoint Sam Brownback as Ambassador at Large for International Religious Liberty. He, the president, Vice President Mike Pence, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have all championed international religious freedom in some of the most abusive countries on earth. And we have applauded them as we would any leaders who stand up to tyrants.

Still, Zimmerman argues, “Imagine that Barack Obama — not Donald Trump — had met with Kim Jong Un. And then suppose that Obama had downplayed the repression of Christians while applauding the dictator responsible for it.” Well, unfortunately, we don’t have to imagine Barack Obama downplaying the repression of Christians. He actually did. In one of the worst humanitarian crises of the century, the U.N. had to shame the president into recognizing the genocide of religious minorities in the Middle East — a fact almost every western world power (and his own party) had already acknowledged. As if that weren’t awful enough, his administration refused to let more than a handful of Christians seek asylum in America, while unvetted Syrian refugees (or terrorists posing as refugees) streamed across the border.

President Trump applauded a few superficial things about Kim Jong Un in hopes of securing a deal that would someday bring an end to North Koreans’ suffering. Does that mean he excuses Kim Jong Un’s brutal policies? Or that we do? Of course not. Zimmerman questions whether conservatives will “hold firm to their own principles… Either religious freedom matters, or it doesn’t. Its fate shouldn’t rest on who is in the White House.”

On that, we agree. It’s a shame that Obama didn’t do more that we could applaud him for. On the rare occasion when he did do something right, we praised him. There were moments like the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden when we cheered along with the rest of America. When it came to his family, we congratulated him for setting a positive example as a father and husband — and said so. We gave Obama credit for nominating Rabbi David Saperstein to the post that Sam Brownback now holds and for signing the Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act into law.

Beyond that, it wasn’t so much that conservatives were withholding applause, but that President Obama was doing so little to earn it. To my amazement (and probably most conservatives’), President Trump has not only met — but exceeded — the high policy bar we had set. He’s done more than any recent president to advance the agenda that’s critical to making America a good and prosperous nation. And unless that changes, our enthusiasm won’t.


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


RELATED ARTICLES:

U.N. Human Rights Council: Win, Lose, or Withdraw

Southern Poverty a Poor Choice for America

Time to Preach to the Non-Converted on Abortion

Filip Mazurczak writes that no one says he’s personally opposed to human trafficking, but it’s better to have it safe, legal, and rare. So why on abortion?

Those who believe that the right to life is a fundamental human right have experienced two major defeats on two continents in less than a month. On May 25, two-thirds of Ireland’s population voted to strike down a constitutional amendment protecting the right to life, paving the way for what the Irish government has promised will be one of Europe’s most aggressively pro-abortion regimes. Then last week Argentina’s Congress voted by a 129-125 margin to legalize abortion up through the fourteenth week of pregnancy (for the bill to become law, it needs to pass the Chamber of Deputies and be signed by the nation’s president).

It is clear that pro-lifers are losing the battle to save unborn human life. To emerge victorious in the long run, we need to create a social consensus that the unborn deserve the right to live, a consensus transcending political and religious divides.

The recent anti-life Irish debacle has been often presented as more evidence of Ireland’s rapid retreat from its Catholic roots since the 1990s. In Argentina, there is still hope that the Chamber of Deputies, more conservative than the Congress, might stop the legalization of abortion. But even if it does there is a strong probability that it will be an ephemeral victory: polling shows that 60 percent of Argentines support the liberal abortion bill, almost twice as many as those who oppose it (34 percent).

Furthermore, in Argentina, as in Europe or North America, pro-life forces are very closely associated with Catholicism. And Argentina is one of Latin America’s least religious countries. Thus an Irish-style anti-Catholic, anti-life popular rebellion there seems very likely in the not too distant future.

Internationally, the greatest weakness of the pro-life cause is its close association with Christianity and the political Right. It’s not a bad thing, of course, that churches – Catholic, Orthodox, and some Protestants (along with Orthodox Jews and some Muslims) – stand at the forefront of the battle for life. On the contrary, Christianity is once again showing evidence of its rejection of the Zeitgeist in favor of timeless values, just as it did in 1537 when slavery was a common practice during the European colonization of the Americas and Pope Paul III issued a bull prescribing excommunication for that odious practice.

Rather, the problem rests in the fact that in a pluralistic democracy, no party or leader will permanently rule. Helmut Kohl was the West German chancellor for sixteen years, but even his grip on power eventually ended. I was happy when President Trump rescinded the Mexico City policy and enacted other pro-life policies. But Trump too won’t last forever.

In the United States and in many countries, someone’s stance on abortion is strongly tied to political affiliation and religion. In recent decades, this has become even more pronounced. The number of pro-life Democrats in Congress, for example, is in the single digits today, compared to more than 100 in the 1970s. For pro-life legislation to be irreversible, a certain consensus has to be created.

To do that, we need to reach out to so-called people of good will. We need to start on a grassroots level and explain to our non-conservative and non-Christian friends and family why we are pro-life. The pro-life movement may not have the political clout or generous financing of Planned Parenthood or George Soros’ Open Society Foundations. But we have a much more powerful weapon: the truth.

With advances in science, technology, and medicine, we know that the unborn child is not a clump of cells. The embryo’s brainwaves are detectable just six weeks after conception, which is when abortion is legal in almost all Western countries.

Intellectually honest people, who adhere to Socrates’ advice to follow the evidence wherever it leads, will be compelled by the irresistible logic that the unborn child is human and thus deserves legal protection, regardless of which side of the political aisle they are on, or what God or gods, if any, they believe in.

While Hinduism is not absolute in its opposition to abortion (as evidenced by India’s extremely permissive abortion legislation, allowing the procedure through twenty-four weeks in some circumstances), Mahatma Gandhi, a Hindu turned off by the hypocrisy of the Christians who had colonized his country, said that to him it was “clear as daylight that abortion would be a crime.”

The late Nat Hentoff, a music critic for the Village Voice, hardly a hotbed of social conservatism, was a libertarian Jewish atheist. Yet as someone intellectually honest, he saw the evil of abortion, which he actively opposed. There are many minds that, like Gandhi or Hentoff, are in other respects politically or religiously on different planets than Christians, yet they have the potential to see abortion for what it is – if we inform them.

The more such people there will be, the more pressure there will be on policymakers and on society to condemn abortion as a violation of basic human rights.

Imagine someone saying, “Personally, I’m opposed to human trafficking, but it’s better if it’s regulated instead of having it happen illegally and unsafely. And the government shouldn’t pry into the trafficker’s personal business. Instead, they should let him be an adult and make his own decisions.”

Chances are, you’ve never heard such silly sophistry from anyone’s mouth. Many people, however, make very similar statements about the killing of unborn humans – humans with brains, spinal cords, and fingerprints, who can feel pain and in some cases are capable of living outside their mothers’ wombs.

The recent Irish catastrophe and developing Argentinean tragedy show that we must work to create a society in which abortion is seen as being just as unacceptable as human trafficking, and we should preach not to the converted, but to those who, because of their ideas on politics or religion, are our strange bedfellows.

Filip Mazurczak

Filip Mazurczak

Filip Mazurczak is the assistant editor of the European Conservative. His writing has appeared in the National Catholic Register, Catholic Herald, Crisis Magazine, and many others.

RELATED ARTICLE: Francis Condemns ‘Eugenic’ Abortions and Fake Marriage

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of St. Paul Preaching at Athens by Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino), c. 1515 [Ashmolean Museum of Art and Architecture, Oxford, England] © 2018 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.orgThe Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

U.S. Makes the Right Call to Quit UN Human Rights Council

The United States announced Tuesday that it will leave the United Nations Human Rights Council.

This is hardly surprising. As Ambassador Nikki Haley explained in Geneva last year, the Human Rights Council remains beset by three fundamental problems.

1. Bias against Israel.

According to UN Watch, the council had adopted 169 condemnatory resolutions on countries as of the end of May. Of those, nearly half (47 percent) focused on Israel. In addition, the council has convened 28 special sessions to address human rights violations or related emergencies. Of those 28 sessions, eight focused on Israel.

Moreover, Israel is the only country subject to a separate agenda item: Item 7, labeled “Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories.” Every other country is examined under Item 4, “Human rights situations that require the council’s attention.”

The council’s fixation on Israel is absurd. By spending exponentially more time on Israel than on North Korea or Syria, the council only underscores the politicization and bias of its agenda.

2. Human rights abusers sit on the council.

Governments deemed “not free” and “partly free” by Freedom House historically have comprised a majority of the council’s members. Not even the world’s most repressive regimes have been excluded.

Currently, 14 of the 47 members of the council (including Burundi, China, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela) are ranked “not free” by Freedom House. This is the highest number of “not free” countries in council history, indicating that the majority of the world’s governments see no problem with electing human rights violators to the U.N.’s highest human rights body.

Even defenders of the Human Rights Council acknowledge this problem. As Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, noted, “[T]he Trump administration is correct that [membership] is suboptimal … . To make matters worse, some abusive governments try to join the council in the hope of protecting themselves and their kind from condemnation.”

3. Consistent failure to address serious human rights situations equally and objectively.

In stark contrast to its obsessive focus on Israel, the council is notably incurious about the human rights situations in some of the world’s most oppressive counties.

For instance, the Human Rights Council has never passed a condemnatory resolution on China, Cuba, Russia, Saudi Arabia, or Zimbabwe, despite their terrible records of religious persecutionpunishment of political dissenthostility to freedom of the pressunequal rights for women, and use of force against civil society and government opponents, respectively.

One can also look at the Universal Periodic Review, a process under which every country undergoes a review of its human rights practices and receives recommendations for improvement. According to UPR Info, the country that has received the most recommendations for improvement is the United States.

That’s right. The Human Rights Council’s process has concluded that the U.S. has more need of human rights advice than Cuba, Iran, and Sudan. Israel is also in the top 25, naturally, right ahead of China.

For over a year, the U.S. has tried to rally support among other member states to reform the council to address these problems. Unfortunately, most governments either prefer a weak, biased council or are unwilling to devote the effort needed to reform it.

This is not a recent development in response to the Trump administration. The Obama administration met similar resistance when it proposed reforms at the mandatory 2011 review of the council.

Nonetheless, over the past year, the U.S. has tried again. Led by Haley and strongly supported by U.S. diplomats in Geneva, New York, Washington, and around the world, the U.S. has engaged bilaterally and multilaterally to promote reforms to address anti-Israel bias, membership quality, and improve the council’s efficiency.

They have been met with disinterest and hostility. Even European governments and human rights groups have opposed the U.S. reform effort out of fear that countries hostile to human rights might seize the opportunity to weaken the council.

This is a self-fulfilling prophesy that condemns the council to its current gravely disappointing status quo. Worse, as long as this fear exists, any future reform effort will be stillborn.

Supporters of the Human Rights Council will criticize the U.S. decision as another example of the Trump administration’s rejection of multilateral engagement. This is wrong. The administration could have left the council any time in the past year, but it did not. Instead, it sought to work within the U.N. to fix the council. Only when other member states rebuffed these efforts did the U.S. pull back.

Sadly, the U.S. seems to be the only government that seriously wants the Human Rights Council to promote universal respect and protection of human rights, and to confront fundamental freedoms in a fair and equal manner. Unless other member states commit to fixing the council’s problems, the U.S. is better off focusing its time and effort on advancing human rights through other venues and means.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Brett Schaefer

Brett D. Schaefer is the Jay Kingham fellow in International Regulatory Affairs at The Heritage Foundation. Schaefer analyzes a broad range of foreign policy issues, focusing primarily on international organizations and sub-Saharan Africa. Read his research.

RELATED ARTICLE: U.N. Human Rights Council: Win, Lose, or Withdraw

Dear Readers:

With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone.

We are looking for a select few conservatives to become a Heritage Foundation member. With your membership, you’ll qualify for all associated benefits and you’ll help keep our nation great for future generations.

ACTIVATE YOUR MEMBERSHIP TODAY

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley. (Photo: Albin Lohr-Jones/Sipa USA/Newscom)

Leftist Ideas That Keep Black People Down

For several decades, a few black scholars have been suggesting that the vision held by many black Americans is entirely wrong.

Shelby Steele, a scholar at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, said:

“Instead of admitting that racism has declined, we [blacks] argue all the harder that it is still alive and more insidious than ever. We hold race up to shield us from what we do not want to see in ourselves.”

John McWhorter, professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University, lamented that “victimology, separatism, and anti-intellectualism underlie the general black community’s response to all race-related issues,” adding that “these three thought patterns impede black advancement much more than racism; and dysfunctional inner cities, corporate glass ceilings, and black educational underachievement will persist until such thinking disappears.”

In the 1990s, Harvard professor Orlando Patterson wrote, “America, while still flawed in its race relations … is now the least racist white-majority society in the world; has a better record of legal protection of minorities than any other society, white or black; [and] offers more opportunities to a greater number of black persons than any other society, including all those of Africa.”

During an interview in December with The Daily Caller, Steele said the anti-Americanism that started during the 1960s and has become mainstream and visible in the black community is “heartbreaking and sad.” That anti-Americanism that so dominates the American black identity has been “ruinous to black America, where we are worse off than we were under segregation by almost every socio-economic measure.”

Some people might challenge Steele’s assertion that in many measures blacks are worse off than during segregation. How about some numbers?

As late as 1950, female-headed households were only 18 percent of the black population. Today 70 percent of black children are raised in single-parent households.

In the late 1800s, there were only slight differences between the black family structure and those of other ethnic groups. In New York City in 1925, for example, 85 percent of kin-related black households were two-parent households. According to the 1938 Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences, that year 11 percent of black children were born to unwed mothers. Today about 75 percent of black children are born to unwed mothers.

From 1890 to 1940, a slightly higher percentage of black adults had married than white adults. Today about twice as many blacks have never married as whites.

The bottom line is that the black family was stronger the first 100 years after slavery than during what will be the second 100 years.

What about the labor market?

In every census from 1890 to 1954, blacks were either just as active as or more so than whites in the labor market. During that earlier period, black teen unemployment was roughly equal to or less than white teen unemployment. As early as 1900, the duration of black unemployment was 15 percent shorter than that of whites; today it’s about 30 percent longer.

Would anyone suggest that there was less racial discrimination during earlier periods?

White liberals and the Democratic Party are the major beneficiaries of keeping black people fearful, angry, victimized, and resentful. It’s crucial to both their political success and their efforts to change our nation. Racial harmony would be a disaster for leftists, be they politicians, academic liberals, or news media people.

As for black politicians and civil rights hustlers, Booker T. Washington long ago explained their agenda, writing:

There is another class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs—partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Walter E. Williams

Walter E. Williams is a columnist for The Daily Signal and a professor of economics at George Mason University. Twitter: .

Dear Readers:

With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone.

We are looking for a select few conservatives to become a Heritage Foundation member. With your membership, you’ll qualify for all associated benefits and you’ll help keep our nation great for future generations.

ACTIVATE YOUR MEMBERSHIP TODAY

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of A member of Black Lives Matter Greater NY speaking at a rally in New York City, April 4, 2018. (Photo: Erik Mcgregor/Zuma Press/Newscom)

Fact-Checking 4 Claims About Detaining Children at the Border

The Trump administration is taking heat from Democrats and Republicans for separating parents and children after they illegally crossed the southern border.

Over the six weeks from April 19 through May 31, federal officials separated about 2,000 children from their families at the U.S.-Mexican border, the Associated Press reported last week.

President Donald Trump blamed the procedure on Democrats in Congress.

“They’re obstructing. They’re really obstructionists and they are obstructing,” Trump said Monday at the White House. “The United States will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee holding facility. It won’t be.”

“If you look at what’s happening in Europe, if you look at what’s happening in other places, we can’t allow that to happen to the United States—not on my watch,” he said.

During the White House press briefing Monday, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said: “This is a very serious issue that has resulted after years and years of Congress not taking action.”

Here’s a look at four of the more questionable claims made about the enforcement action.

1. Democrats’ Law or Trump Policy?

“The Democrats forced that law upon our nation,” Trump asserted last week.

Democrats, backed by some media commentators, counter that it’s not the law but a Trump administration policy.

Actually, experts say, the situation is a combination of a bipartisan law and a Clinton administration policy.

In 1997, the Clinton administration entered into something called the Flores Settlement Agreement, which ended a class action lawsuit first brought in the 1980s.

The settlement established a policy that the federal government would release unaccompanied minors from custody to their parents, relatives, or other caretakers after no more than 20 days, or, alternatively, determine the “least restrictive” setting for the child.

In a separate development, in 2008 the Democrat-controlled Congress approved bipartisan legislation to combat human trafficking and President George W. Bush, a Republican, signed it into law.

Section 235 (g) in that law, the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, states that unaccompanied minors entering the United States must be transferred to the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement rather than to the Department of Homeland Security.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit expanded the Flores settlement in 2016 to include children brought to the country illegally by their parents.

For consistency between the provision of the anti-trafficking law and the 9th Circuit’s interpretation of the Flores agreement, children who came into the country illegally with parents had to be taken into HHS custody, said Art Arthur, former general counsel for Immigration and Naturalization Services (now known as Immigration and Customs Enforcement) as well as a former federal immigration judge.

“As soon as their parents are detained, the children are classified as unaccompanied,” Arthur, now a resident fellow for law and policy at the Center for Immigration Studies, told The Daily Signal.

2. Unprecedented Action by Trump Administration?

Some media outlets have called the practice of separating children from parents at the border “unprecedented” or a “new low” for the United States.

What’s different under the Trump administration, though, is a “zero tolerance” approach to enforcing existing immigration laws and policy.

On May 7 in Scottsdale, Arizona, Attorney General Jeff Sessions directed federal prosecutors to prosecute all adults who illegally enter the country, including those accompanied by their children, under a provision of federal law (8 U.S.C. § 1325(a)) that covers illegal entry.

“If you’re smuggling a child, then we’re going to prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you, probably, as required by law,” Sessions said. “If you don’t want your child separated, then don’t bring them across the border illegally. It’s not our fault that somebody does that.”

Since it takes more than 20 days to adjudicate an asylum claim, the 9th Circuit’s interpretation of the Flores Settlement Agreement essentially provides three options, said David Inserra, a homeland security policy analyst for The Heritage Foundation.

“The Trump administration currently faces two options: Either release every family that crosses the border and claims asylum and know that most of them will never show up at their immigration court hearing; or release the child as required by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals’ interpretation of the Flores settlement while holding the parents while awaiting trial,” Inserra told The Daily Signal.

“A third, better solution is to fix the loophole created by the 9th Circuit with regard to Flores and improve the asylum process to discourage frivolous asylum claims, while also better serving those with legitimate asylum cases,” Inserra added.

Proposed legislation by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va.; Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C.; and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis. would reverse the 9th Circuit’s interpretation.

“This would mean only a brief period of separation while the parents are prosecuted,” Arthur said.

Depending on the outcome, the family would be reunited and either be released or deported together.

3. ‘Concentration Camps’?

Much of the criticism of separating children from parents at the border has been from Democrats.

However, former CIA Director Michael Hayden, who served under President George W. Bush, and former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, who was once lieutenant governor of Maryland, both compared the practice to Nazi concentration camps.

The Department of Homeland Security rejected the comparison, noting that most children caught crossing the border illegally are not detained by federal officials.

“We have high standards,” Nielsen said during the White House press briefing Monday. “We give them meals and we give them education and we give them medical care. There are videos, there are TVs. I visited the detention centers myself.”

In the last fiscal year, 90 percent of apprehended children were released to a sponsor who was either a parent or close relative, according to the department.

Homeland security officials also say they work with HHS to improve and ease communication between detained parents and their children in HHS care.

Sponsors may be “a parent, adult sibling, relative, or appropriate home that meets criteria for the safety of the child and continuation of any immigration proceedings,” according to DHS. Also, a parent who is prosecuted and later released can be a sponsor and ask HHS to restore custody of the child.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has dedicated a facility to operate primarily as a family reunification and removal center. ICE staff who interact with parents will receive training in trauma-informed care, and the agency will assign staff trained in mental health care to detained parents who have been separated from children, according to DHS.

4. Taking Babies From Nursing Mothers?

CNN reported last week on an illegal immigrant from Honduras who claimed her nursing daughter was pulled away from her before she was handcuffed. CNN cited a lawyer from a liberal legal group called the Texas Civil Rights Project.

In a conference call with reporters last week, a senior Department of Homeland Security official said this was not the case.

“We do not separate breastfeeding children from their parents. That does not exist. That is not a policy. That is not something that DHS does,” an official told reporters Friday. “We believe that that is false.”

An estimated 14,500 to 17,500 individuals are smuggled into the United States each year. For perspective, that number constitutes about 5.7 percent of total apprehensions of illegal immigrants in 2017, though apprehensions don’t account for all border crossings.

This article has been modified since publication.

COLUMN BY

Portrait of Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.

RELATED ARTICLES:

The Left Is Spreading Misinformation About Our Border Crisis. Here’s What’s Really Happening.

House ‘Compromise’ Immigration Bill Fails to Adequately Address Broken System

Trump Is More Right Than Wrong About Migrant Crime in Germany

Here Are Horrifying Photos Of Obama’s Illegal Alien Facilities The Media Refuses To Show You.

13 Facts the Media ‘Pros’ Don’t Want You to Know About ‘Family Border Separation’

Dear Readers:

With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone.

We are looking for a select few conservatives to become a Heritage Foundation member. With your membership, you’ll qualify for all associated benefits and you’ll help keep our nation great for future generations.

ACTIVATE YOUR MEMBERSHIP TODAY

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is by Leah Millis/Reuters/Newscom.

TMLC Agrees To Help Father In Fight With School Over Islamic Indoctrination Of 13-Year Old Daughter

ANN ARBOR, MI – The Thomas More Law Center (“TMLC”), a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, announced today that it has agreed to represent Richard Penkoski in his fight with the Mountain Ridge Middle School, located in West Virginia, over the Islamic indoctrination of his 13-year old daughter.

​Mr. Penkoski, an evangelist who hosts an online Christian ministry, “Warriors for Christ,” with an estimated 200K-300K followers, discovered the astonishing extent to which his daughter and her fellow classmates were being subjected to Islamic indoctrination under the guise of teaching about world religions.

On May 14 of this year, his seventh-grade daughter brought home a packet of lessons and assignments which included the following:

  • Write the Shahada, the Islamic conversion creed, “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah,” in Arabic as part of “calligraphy” practice.
  • Fast for 24 hours and give lunch money and food to a food bank, to sympathize with Muslims going through Ramadan.
  • Read chapters from the Koran.
  • Learn the Five Pillars of Islam.

The lessons and assignments propagandized the students by downplaying the violent nature of Islam.

When his daughter brought home the packet of information, Mr. Penkoski told her she was not going to do the assignment and he immediately complained to the principal. He also asked the Thomas More Law Center to look into the legal aspects of the matter.

Mr. Penkoski felt that his daughter’s teacher dedicated much more time on Islam than any other religion.  He said “most of the faith aspects of Christianity and Judaism were stripped from the lesson plan by the teacher. Students were not given calligraphy writing assignments in Judaism, or Christianity, only Islam.”

Mr. Penkoski and his wife Amanda and 6 children refuse to shy away from the controversy. While it would be easy to remove his daughter from the school, Penkoski says, “We don’t back down during persecution.”

Richard Thompson, TMLC’s President and Chief Counsel, commented:

“This is typical of the public-school systems across the country.  Witless school officials have turned classrooms into Islamic indoctrination centers. They promote Islam in ways that would be unthinkable for Christianity or any other religion because they fear a lawsuit by the ACLU.”

Continued Thompson, “Teachers sugar coat Islam.  They don’t tell students about Islam’s barbaric brutality, where women and young girls are sold into slavery and used as sex-slaves, where men and women are stoned to death and burned alive—all in the name of Islam and the Koran.”

The case involving Mr. Penkoski’s daughter is one of several cases that the Thomas More Law Center has agreed to take on concerning Islamic indoctrination in American public schools.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is by Reuters.

Lying, Spying, Propagandizing – OH MY!

The Obama administration has been caught lying, spying, and propagandizing. In a cosmically outrageous attempt to defend the indefensible, the radical leftist Obama lemmings have decided that lying, spying, and propagandizing are not only acceptable – they are desirable – for our own good of course. OH MY!

In an astonishing display of arrogant disregard for the Constitution and its protections, James Clapper unapologetically announced that he spied on President Trump to protect him – REALLY?? Just how stupid do Obama’s sycophants think we are?

The entire Mueller investigation designed to destroy President Trump has boomeranged onto its blatantly anti-Trump team of “investigators” exposing their malice, contempt, and staggering improprieties. Their malfeasance is a continuation of Obama’s egregious politicization of the DOJ, FBI and State Department.

The question for America is “Should we be surprised?” I don’t think so.

When Obama promised to transform America most Americans imagined a better life of peace and prosperity in our republic. They did not envision the foundational principles of the Constitution being shattered in an unprecedented power grab to replace our national sovereignty and Constitutional infrastructure with collectivism and global governance. Lying, spying, and propagandizing are not the tactics American citizens expect the US government to use on Americans! Foreign enemies? Yes. American citizens? ABSOLUTLY NOT!

In a stunning 6.8.18 article KrisAnne Hall describes how Obama changed all that. Richard Stengel, Obama’s head of the office for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs at the State Department from 2013-2016 supports the use of “fake news.” WHAT??? Stengel unapologetically announced to the Council on Foreign Relations Forum that he is not against propaganda. “Every country does it, and they have to do it to their own population, and I don’t necessarily think it’s that awful.” Really Mr Stengel?? Most Americans would disagree with you. Most Americans do not want or expect to be propagandized by their government. Most Americans expect honesty and transparency from those elected to serve them.

Stengel’s egregious condescending attitude was part of Obama’s transformation-of-America policy. In 2013 Congress passed the mendacious Smith-Mundt Modernization Act that overturned the 1948 Smith-Mundt Act prohibiting the domestic dissemination of US government-produced propaganda. The “modernization” was disingenuously hidden in the National Defense Authorization Act Fiscal Year 2013 as if it was protective of Americans!

Jeff Powers explains, “Let’s be clear, the original law prohibited US organizations from using state resources, including the intelligence community, to influence public opinion of United States citizens. Obama’s reform to the Smith-Bundt Act allowed the American public to be a target audience of US government-funded information campaigns.” Government-funded information campaigns are just another name for government-produced propaganda.

So, Fake News not only exists – it was launched, legitimized, and legalized under Barack Hussein Obama! KrisAnne Hall writes, “The Smith-Mundt Modernization Act not only legitimized the heinous manipulation of mainstream media, but also allowed Congress to fund it with taxpayer dollars.”

The fact that the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act was a bipartisan success is irrelevant because RINOs in Congress, led by John McCain, are globalists and as hostile to government transparency as Obama’s minions.

The current Mueller investigation has revealed that the US entered a new period in American history on November 8, 2016 launched by the inability of the Obama/Clinton Democrats to accept the results of a presidential election. This is no small thing. What distinguishes our republic from tyrannical governance in the world is the public acceptance of election outcomes. We play by the rules. Without rules there is only anarchy and violence. Coups are for other countries – not for America.

So what is Obama’s disingenuously labeled “Resistance” movement? It is the aftermath of a lost election and is Obama’s “soft” coup attempt to destabilize and overthrow duly elected President Donald Trump. It is an egregious anti-American movement by Obama and his sycophants using weaponized legalized propaganda for the kill – brute force without bullets. This is how it works.

The Smith-Bundt Modernization Act directly affected the US government broadcasting and its oversight agency the Broadcasting Board of Governors. According to its website “The mission of the Broadcasting Board of Governors is to inform, engage, and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy. The agency’s mission is reinforced by those of the individual broadcasters that are overseen by the BBG.” BBG broadcasters include the Voice of America Charter, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Office of Cuba Broadcasting, Radio Free Asia, and Middle East Broadcasting Networks.

Here is the problem, Obama’s “modernization” of the Smith-Mundt Act in 2013 legalized overseas BBG broadcasting in America. In clear violation of its charter stipulating accurate, objective, and comprehensive news Voice of America vilified President Trump and Bernie Sanders in partisan support for Obama’s legacy candidate Hillary Clinton. Obama’s modernization politicized the BBG to use for his personal political advantage. In 2017 Barack Obama replaced the 9 member board of the Broadcasting Board of Governors with a CEO appointed by Obama and allowed VOA to broadcast its politicized messages directly to American audiences.

The Voice of America (VOA) website self-describes as “a dynamic international multimedia broadcaster with service in more than 40 languages. Serving an estimated weekly global audience of 236.8 million, VOA provides news, information, and cultural programming through the Internet, mobile and social media, radio, and television. VOA is funded by the US government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. The VOA began broadcasting in 1942 to combat Nazi propaganda with accurate and unbiased news and information. Ever since then, VOA has served the world with a consistent message of truth, hope, and inspiration.”

That was then. This is now. The original Smith-Mundt Act understood the possibility for propaganda abuses and its prohibitions protected Americans. Obama understood the possibility for propaganda abuses and exploited them by removing the prohibitions of the original Smith-Bundt Act. In a 2016 BBG Watch Commentary the partisan bias of Obama’s modernization is evident under his political appointees Amanda Bennet and John Lansing.

“U.S. President-elect Donald Trump was not the only presidential candidate vilified with hit pieces and biased, one-sided reporting at U.S. taxpayers’ expense on U.S.-taxpayer-funded ($224M FY2017) Voice of America (VOA) in violation of VOA’s own Charter. Under the leadership of Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) CEO and director John F. Lansing, who lacks experience in U.S. international broadcasting, U.S. government operations, and U.S. public diplomacy, and Voice of America director Amanda Bennett, who in her post-election note to VOA staff would not even acknowledge Trump’s victory or mention his name, the Voice of America also produced anti-Bernie Sanders programs during the primaries.”

It is chilling to understand the depth of Obama’s abuse of power while in office. America’s community organizer-in-chief kept his treasonous promise to transform America. He transformed the State Department, FBI, DOJ, Treasury, and broadcasting communities into politicized enforcers of his radical left wing narrative. He transformed real news into fake news and non-partisan government agencies into partisan institutions. Obama obliterated broadcasting oversight by replacing the Broadcasting 9-member Board of Governors with his own appointed CEO.

The election of President Donald Trump crippled Obama’s “transformative” power grab. As President Trump continues to erase Obama’s destructive legacy and Make America Great Again, he must reinstate the protections of the original Smith-Mundt Act that protected Americans against state-sponsored propaganda. The Broadcasting Board of Governors must be returned to the 9-member panel it was before Obama’s “modernization” destroyed its integrity to help restore a standard for real news.

Lying, spying, and propagandizing may be Obama’s way but it is most definitely not the American way!

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the Goudsmit Pundicity.

Harvard’s Oppression of Minorities

In 2015, the nonprofit group Students for Fair Admission filed a lawsuit against Harvard University that alleged Harvard directly discriminates against Asian-American applicants during the university’s top-secret admissions process. On Friday, documents previously reserved for attorneys’ eyes only were made public, providing substantial evidence of Harvard’s discriminatory practices.

In addition to pages of statistical evidence that show how Harvard’s admissions process is heavily biased against Asian-Americans, the documents show Harvard was aware of this discrimination for some time and deliberately chose to do nothing about it.

Harvard initiated an investigation into the accusations, but before these studies were even completed, members of its admissions staff, including Dean of Admissions William Fitzsimmons, contributed to a three-paragraph article that denied the school discriminated against Asian-Americans.

But evidence to the contrary soon emerged. In the first of two studies done by Harvard’s Office of Institutional Research, statistical models were created to predict what demographic admissions would look like under a varying set of circumstances.

In all models where race and ethnicity were not considered as factors for admissions, projected acceptance rates for Asian-Americans were substantially higher. In fact, in the model where only academic performance was considered, Asian-American applicants were projected to make up 43 percent of the school’s admissions, dominating all other demographic categories. When the current admissions model was applied, Asian-Americans made up only 19 percent of the school’s admissions.

When this information was presented to Fitzsimmons, he decided to neither share nor discuss the findings with anyone. When the second report from the Office of Institutional Research made abundantly clear that “being Asian American was negatively associated with the chance of being admitted to Harvard,” Fitzsimmons again neither shared nor discussed the findings.

The fact that race plays such a substantial factor in Harvard and other Ivy League schools’ admissions processes is alarming but far from surprising. Since 1989, there has been suspicion that Harvard and other Ivy League schools were actively limiting the number of Asian-Americans accepted into their institutions. Throughout the years, Asian-Americans have been instructed to avoid conforming to racial stereotypes in their extracurricular activities (regardless of their interests), and have even felt it necessary to refuse to disclose their race on applications.

For years, Asian-Americans have been cowed into hiding their race to improve their chances at attending an Ivy League school. Any serious advocate of civil rights should be outraged at such a blatant injustice. Aside from the fact that discrimination on the basis of race is patently illegal, it should be noted that schools such as Harvard often function as “pipelines” to positions of influence and political power.

As such, direct attempts to limit the number of Asian-Americans accepted into Harvard also are indirect attempts to limit their influence in the public sphere. Rather than being inclusive and fostering diversity, Harvard has decided to intentionally hide policies that play into a long history of political oppression of minorities.

Regardless of whether they are indicted in a court of law, the court of public opinion should hold our nation’s premier educational institutions to a higher standard, one that reflects the ideals of liberty and equality upon which America was founded.

COMMENTARY BY

Joseph Natali is a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation.

Portrait of Mike Gonzalez

Mike Gonzalez, a senior fellow at The Heritage Foundation, is a widely experienced international correspondent, commentator, and editor who has reported from Asia, Europe, and Latin America. He served in the George W. Bush administration, first at the Securities and Exchange Commission and then at the State Department, and is the author of “A Race for the Future: How Conservatives Can Break the Liberal Monopoly on Hispanic Americans.” Read his research. Twitter: .

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If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone.

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EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is by Brian Snyder/Reuters/Newscom.