Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Trump Ends Globalism at the State Department

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
by John and Andy Schlafly

Outgoing Rex Tillerson is, by all accounts, a very likeable fellow, and no one wants to kick someone when he is down.  But President Trump wisely fired him as secretary of state for having an outlook different from Trump’s, and from the agenda Trump was elected on.

We have “different mindsets,” Trump said about Tillerson, as a polite understatement.  “We got along, actually, quite well, but we disagree on a lot of things.”

Indeed. Tillerson was the CEO of ExxonMobil, one of the largest multinational corporations in the world.  No one could hold that position without being a globalist and he did not convert quickly enough to make America great again.

Tillerson was never on the same page as President Trump in standing up against, not with, the many parts of the world that are hostile to our sovereign interests.  A supporter of phony free trade, Tillerson seemed more like the appeasement-type of secretary of state that we would expect if Hillary Clinton had won the presidential election.

It is not merely that Tillerson thought Obama’s sweetheart deal with Iran was “okay,” as Trump complained in announcing his termination of Tillerson.  It was also that Tillerson would say and do things out-of-sync with what the America-First stance needs to be.

Tillerson was mistakenly trying to use diplomacy with the North Korean communist dictator Kim Jong-un while Trump was pursuing tougher measures.  When Trump finally got Tillerson to stop groveling, the situation improved.

Even the media concedes that Tillerson’s departure will not hinder Trump’s highly effective handling of North Korea, which is all-Trump and contrary to Tillerson’s approach.  If anything, a successful outcome of the North Korean crisis is more likely with Tillerson gone.

Given how often Tillerson disagreed during his confirmation hearing with Trump’s positions, it is surprising that Tillerson lasted as long as he did.  In merely one day of testimony Tillerson disagreed with Trump about the harmful Trans-Pacific Partnership, Russian policies toward the Ukraine, so-called climate change, and the need for Japan and South Korea to develop nuclear weapons.

President Trump indicated that the upcoming renegotiation of trade deals was a reason for his timing in letting Tillerson go now.  Trump recently stood up against China by blocking the foreign takeover of Qualcomm, thereby signaling that American technology secrets are not for sale to foreign countries hostile to us.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who has long been a much stronger Trump supporter than Tillerson ever was, will step in without the baggage of a globalist mindset.  Pompeo brings a welcomed enthusiasm and focus that Tillerson unfortunately lacked.

“Tremendous energy, tremendous intellect, we’re always on the same wavelength,” Trump said about Pompeo after picking him.  “The relationship has been very good, and that’s what I need as secretary of state.”

In addition to his stellar record of being first in his class in West Point and then serving in the Army, Pompeo has a strongly conservative track record as a congressman from Kansas.  His positions include being outspokenly pro-life and taking many stances that fit hand-in-glove with those of Trump and the conservative movement.

Phyllis Schlafly praised the freshman congressman Pompeo in early 2011, for sponsoring a budget amendment that would have cut $8.5 million from the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Registry.  She applauded how Pompeo observed that the registry would be “the very foundation of the EPA’s effort to pursue its radical anti-jobs agenda.”

Unlike Tillerson, Pompeo has been a leader in cracking down on terrorists from Muslim countries.  When confronted with an alleged hunger strike at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp for terrorists, Pompeo took it upon himself to personally visit the camp and quipped afterwards that it looked to him “like a lot of them have put on weight.”

For months it has been perceived that Tillerson, who is younger than Trump but appears older, has been unhappy in his position.  He failed to fill key vacancies in his department despite being on the job for more than a year, and at key moments seemed to be in his home state of Texas rather than in D.C.

Trump was perceptive in his post-firing comments: “I think Rex will be much happier now, but I really appreciate his service.”  With Mike Pompeo in charge at the State Department, Americans can be more confident that the interests of the United States will be foremost in any foreign policy decision-making.

It took a year, but we have finally arrived to the point of “let Trump be Trump,” reminiscent of the moment in 1984 when “let Reagan be Reagan” started to carry the day.  President Trump is acting boldly on his instincts rather than being blocked and dissuaded by naysayers around him, and there is no limit to what he can achieve with this approach.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously in 2016. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Russians did not subvert democracy

The NY Times reports:
Trouble has now arrived. Unfortunately for Mr. Thiel, the storm is centered on Facebook, whose board he has been a member of practically since its founding. The social network, which billed itself as bringing democracy and enlightenment to the world, was used by the Russians to subvert democracy and sow confusion in the United States.

Even people paid to see the future didn’t see that one coming.
And only extreme Trump-haters see it that way today.

Hillary Clinton spent about a billion dollars in her campaign for President. In addition, nearly all of the mainstream news media were supporting her in editorials and in biased news stories.

According to the NY Times, some Russians spent a couple of thousand dollars on a Facebook ad saying that Hillary was Satan, and showing a picture of Satan arm-wrestling Jesus. And that subverted democracy?!!
Last summer, there was a flap when a memo by a fellow board member, Reed Hastings, the chief executive of Netflix, appeared in The New York Times. In the memo, Mr. Hastings wrote to Mr. Thiel that he displayed “catastrophically bad judgment” in supporting Mr. Trump.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, did not ask him to step down from the board, and reports that he wants to leave the board are incorrect, Mr. Thiel said, noting that among other things that he brings “ideological diversity.”
So Facebook is willing, just barely, to tolerate 1 out of its 10 board members being a Trump supporter. The other 9 are leftist Democrats. And the big issue in Silicon Valley is whether to kick the one Republican out of town!

What the Left sees is an opportunity to monopolize the dissemination of political ideas. They can't control Rush Limbaugh and a few others, but they can control CNN, NY Times, Facebook, Google, etc. Now they hope to shut down free-lance Russians that they cannot control.

Saying that the Russians were subverting democracy with their silly Facebook ads is so crazy that it is hard to believe that anyone seriously believes it.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

How Trump Wins on Trade 

by John and Andy Schlafly

When President Trump announced he would protect American jobs by imposing tariffs on foreign-made steel and aluminum, naysayers of both parties rushed to the nearest microphone or TV camera. Pundits and politicians alike pretended to be “shocked, shocked” that Trump meant what he said as a candidate, and that he actually means to deliver what he promised during the campaign.

The Swamp, in short, is not happy.  But cheers rose from the manufacturing belt that runs through the states that put Trump in the White House:  Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Iowa.

“This is a good thing for the steel industry and for our country,” said Tim Timken, the fifth-generation leader of TimkenSteel, which has 3,000 employees in Ohio.  “We’re standing up to our foreign competition and essentially saying enough is enough,” he added.

While foreign lobbyists warned of a new “trade war” in which other countries retaliate against the United States, U.S. Steel CEO David Burritt pointed out that “We are, and have been, in a trade war for decades.   Countries which have economically prospered by creating our current trade imbalance will face repercussions to their own economies if they choose the path of retaliation.”

Peter Navarro, director of the White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, debunked the notion that the United States could lose a trade war with Europe or Asia.  “We are the most lucrative and biggest market in the world. We have the lowest tariffs in the world, we have the lowest non-tariff barriers, we are the free-tradingest nation in the world."

“And what do we get for that?” Navarro asked.  “We get every year a half-trillion-dollar trade deficit that transfers our wealth to other countries and basically offshores our jobs and our factories. All we are asking for is fair and reciprocal trade.”

The rest of the world wants unlimited access to the American consumer without complying with American regulations and without paying American taxes.  “Under my administration,” Trump boasted in his speech to CPAC last month, “the era of economic surrender is over.” 

“We’re renegotiating trade deals that are so bad, whether it’s NAFTA, whether it’s the World Trade Organization, which created China.  China has been like a rocket ship ever since, and last year we had almost a $500 billion trade deficit with China” ― money that finances the growing Chinese military. 

Critics are exaggerating the cost to consumers by adding a tax to foreign-made steel and aluminum.  Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross ran the numbers and found that the aluminum tariff would add just six-tenths of a cent to the cost of a soup or beer can, while the steel tariff would add about $175 to the cost of a $35,000 car.

Tariffs are much like the out-of-state tuition that state colleges charge students whose families have not supported the college through taxes.  Most state colleges require out-of-state students to pay more, and most people fully support that sensible requirement.

Similarly, tariffs help level the playing field between offshore manufacturers that escape the extra burdens and costs of operating a business in America and providing jobs to Americans.  Requiring those foreign companies to pay more for the privilege of selling to American consumers is perfectly logical given how the foreigners have not been paying American taxes or complying with our regulations.

The resistance to tariffs comes from the same never-Trumpers who assured us that Trump could never be nominated or elected.  Peter Navarro noted that nearly all the other presidential candidates opposed Trump on trade, but “guess what?  He beat them.”

Thirty years ago, when Donald Trump was in his early 40s, his views on trade were much the same as they are now.  He told Larry King that he was “tired of watching other people ripping off the United States.”  He told Oprah, “I’d make our allies pay their fair share.”  

Trump told Letterman that nations such as Japan have “totally taken advantage of the country. I’m talking about the [trade] deficits. They talk about free trade [but] they dump the cars and everything else.”

Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, who supports the Trump tariffs, observed that “Free trade hasn’t worked well for West Virginia.” Maybe that explains why Trump carried West Virginia with 69 percent of the popular vote, a whopping 42-point margin over Hillary Clinton in that formerly Democratic state.

Just as entrenched politicians in D.C. have blocked Trump’s efforts to build a Wall, they also protest too much at his effort to impose a few tariffs.  Yet the approach of a tariff-less society has been a catastrophic failure for the American worker, so it is time to try the approach that originally made our country great.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously in 2016. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Friday, March 2, 2018

The President is not a Monarch

Joseph Epstein writes a WSJ op-ed:
My son Mark, whose mind is more capacious, objective and generous than mine, nicely formulated the Donald Trump problem for thoughtful conservatives. “I approve of almost everything he has done,” my son remarked, “and I disapprove of almost everything he has said.” ...

I disapprove of the bragging tweets, the touchiness, the crude put-downs of anyone who disagrees with him ...

The presidency, like the monarchy in England, has a symbolic along with a practical aspect. ...

The obverse of Donald Trump’s presidency for me was that of Barack Obama. To flip my son’s formulation, I approved of almost everything Mr. Obama said, and I disapproved of almost everything he did. ...

I can easily imagine myself at lunch with Barack Obama, talking baseball, basketball, the University of Chicago, the intricacies of Chicago-style machine politics, whereas I cannot think of a single topic I might take up at a similar meal with Donald Trump.
No, the presidency is not like a monarchy.

If you agree with Epstein, then ask yourself: How would a President with Trump's policies ever get elected, without someone with a personality like Trump's?

Trump has had to tweet in order to get his message out, as the mainstream news media distorts everything about him.

Trump has had to abrasively challenge his enemies, as he would get destroyed otherwise.

Playing the role of a dopey nice guy worked well for Obama, but it would not have gotten us reversals of bad Democrat policies.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Victimized High School Triumphed where Olympics Failed

​The Phyllis Schlafly Report
by John and Andy Schlafly

After the poor showing by the U.S. men’s hockey team at the Winter Olympics, it was inspiring that the Marjory Stoneman Douglas boys’ hockey team captured the state championship on Sunday and will represent Florida at the national championship next month.  The sister of one of the team’s hockey players was among the recent shooting victims at the high school in Parkland, Florida.

Boys’ hockey is thriving at the high school level, and this remarkable victory by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas team brings welcome relief amid the tragedy.  Medals from this championship team were added to the memorial site of the shooting victims.

But boys’ hockey stars will find limited opportunities to play when they get to college.  There are only a few dozen competitive college men’s hockey teams, not enough to develop the talent needed to compete with the rest of the world. 
As a result, a ragtag team of Russians humiliated the U.S. men’s hockey team with a 4-0 drubbing in Pyeongchang, South Korea.  The American team fared slightly better for its final game prior to its elimination in an overtime shootout against Slovenia, but NBC failed even to broadcast that exciting finish.

When the U.S. women’s hockey team won the gold in a victory against Canada, there was praise but none of the national excitement that occurred when our men’s hockey players defeated the Soviet Union at Lake Placid in 1980.  Men’s hockey is far more popular than women’s hockey, for both men and women spectators.

Unfortunately, federal regulators who implement Title IX against college sports refuse to recognize this fundamental difference between men’s and women’s sports.  Regulators require colleges to provide more athletic opportunities for women than for men, simply because there are now more women than men attending college.

Under the so-called proportionality test, which ignores the greater interest in men’s sports than in women’s, colleges have eliminated hundreds of men’s sports teams, many in Olympic sports.  This hurts our national competitiveness and induces many young men to opt out of going to college where they are prevented from competing in the sport they love.

The Title IX regulators’ quota that limits men’s sports to their proportional enrollment in the college is senseless and not part of the law that Congress enacted in 1972.  It’s based on a regulatory interpretation first imposed by President Jimmy Carter to appease the feminists, and President Trump could repeal it along with the many others he has been properly rescinding.

Many colleges have been unjustly sued when they do not comply with the feminists’ distorted view of Title IX.  To avoid costly litigation, colleges have repeatedly eliminated men’s sports programs while adding women’s programs that they then have difficulty filling.

The Title IX regulations created a vicious cycle, discouraging men from matriculating to colleges that eliminated their sport.  In 1980, equal numbers of men and women obtained college degrees, but now nearly 60% of college degrees are awarded to women and only 40% to men. 

The hockey competition won by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas team in the Sunshine State of Florida illustrates how much boys’ hockey has grown in popularity.  Colleges, however, are generally forbidden from having more sports teams for men than women, so if there is not enough interest in women’s hockey or another large team sport for women, the college is not likely to start a men’s hockey team.

In the traditional Olympic events of alpine and cross-country skiing, the United States men won a grand total of zero medals.  Today there are more college women’s ski teams than there are men’s, perhaps again due to the impact of the proportionality test under Title IX.

Olympic sports themselves have been emasculated by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which even tried to eliminate men’s wrestling from the 2020 Olympics.  The IOC reinstated wrestling after an uproar but cut 56 positions, replacing them with events that “include more women” in the summer games.

Women’s figure skating remains popular to watch, but in a continuation of political correctness the public heard more about the men’s figure skating instead.   Despite this, a large crowd did stay up past midnight on the East Coast to watch the exciting finale of the women’s figure skating competition.

Downplaying the overall nosedive in interest in the Olympics, some commentators say this is merely part of a more general trend.  But the decline in viewership of football, still as masculine as ever, has been small compared with the bottom falling out for the Olympics.

When Phyllis Schlafly spoke for her last time at Harvard, she was greeted afterwards by Professor Harvey Mansfield, author of a book entitled “Manliness.”  If NBC executives hope to recoup the billions they invested in exclusive rights for the Olympics then they might pick up a copy, and the Title IX regulators would also benefit from recognizing the greater demand for men’s sports.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously in 2016. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Courage Under Fire Award

The National Rifle Association (NRA) today gave its Charlton Heston Courage Under Fire Award to Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. ...

After Schneider spoke, Meadows told Pai that "the Charlton Heston Courage Under Fire award is sponsored by the National Rifle Association" in honor of the former NRA president, and it's not given every year. It is only awarded "when someone has stood up under pressure with grace and dignity and principled discipline," she said.

Previous awardees included Rush Limbaugh, Phyllis Schlafly, Vice President Mike Pence, Roy Innis, and Sheriff David Clarke, she said.

"We are honored to have you as part of this distinguished pantheon," Meadows told Pai.
Pai worked to roll back regulations that the Obama administration put on the internet in the last couple of years. The regulations, called "net neutrality", were promoted by Google in order to enhance Google's control of internet control. The regulations applied to internet service providers like Comcast, but exempted Google.

Meanwhile, the NY Times has another article saying that Google and Facebook should do more in order to censor right-wingers who are skeptical of leftist media narratives:
SAN FRANCISCO — On Wednesday, one week after the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., Facebook and YouTube vowed to crack down on the trolls.

Thousands of posts and videos had popped up on the sites, falsely claiming that survivors of the shooting were paid actors or part of various conspiracy theories. Facebook called the posts “abhorrent.” YouTube, which is owned by Google, said it needed to do better. Both promised to remove the content.

The companies have since aggressively pulled down many posts and videos and reduced the visibility of others. Yet on Friday, spot searches of the sites revealed that the noxious content was far from eradicated.
There are indeed a lot of fishy things about the Parkland anti-gun activists. See Vox Day on YouTube threatening InfoWars and on David Hogg.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Social Media Monopolies Advance Leftist Agenda

by John and Andy Schlafly

Despite his headline-grabbing indictment of Russian nationals for interfering with the U.S. election, special counsel Robert Mueller has still found no evidence of collusion between any Russians and the Trump campaign.  Mueller indicted 13 Russians who apparently operated a “troll farm” in St. Petersburg, Russia’s second-largest city, purchasing ads on Facebook and sending provocative messages to Americans through Twitter and other forms of social media.

According to the indictment, the Russian effort to sow turmoil, confusion and division started in 2014, well before Trump announced he was running for president.  Even after the 2016 election was over, the Russian trolls promoted a “not my president” rally featuring Michael Moore in New York City on November 12.  

The 13 Russians will never be extradited to face trial in the United States; the indictments are apparently merely a political ploy by Mueller.  The bigger question is whether our social media services such as Facebook, Google and Twitter will respond to the indictments by ramping up their own censoring of political speech on their platforms.

Already Facebook has announced it will hire 10,000 employees tasked with policing “hate speech” on its pages.  But the toxic label “hate speech” is likely to be used as a pretext to impose a politically correct ideology on millions of unsuspecting users.

No one denies that Facebook, Google and Twitter are among the most liberal corporations in America.  Virtually all their executives and most of their senior staff were avid supporters of Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, and detested Donald Trump.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg chairs a pro-amnesty lobbying group called Fwd.us whose primary mission is to oppose Donald Trump’s efforts to secure the border.  Facebook’s number two executive, Sheryl Sandberg, was spotted in John Podesta’s leaked emails writing that “I still want HRC to win badly.  I am still here to help as I can.” 

The only prominent figure in tech who is known to have supported Trump for president is Peter Thiel, an early investor in Facebook and a member of its board of directors.  After beating back an effort to remove him from Facebook’s board for the heresy of supporting Trump, Peter Thiel announced he is moving both his home and his investment company to Los Angeles because he can no longer tolerate the suffocating politics of the Bay Area.

Google fired one of its highly paid engineers, James Damore, merely for raising questions about his company’s “diversity and inclusion” programs and policies.  In a thoughtful essay he shared with fellow Googlers last year, Damore slammed the Silicon Valley “monoculture” with its “ideological echo chamber” where contrary viewpoints are shamed into silence.

Other tech workers have told the Wall Street Journal that the echo chamber extends beyond Google to the entire industry whose “groupthink and homogeneity” make it a worse place to live and work.  Among tech workers polled in a survey quoted in the Journal, 59 percent of conservative respondents said they know someone who left the industry because they felt conservative views were unwelcome.

Two of the devious ways a social media platform can penalize conservatives are demonetizing and shadow banning.  Demonetizing a site means that it is prevented from carrying the advertising it needs to defray its costs, while shadow banning means that the service provider is throttling back access to recent posts or systematically hiding them from viewers. 

Cartoonist Scott Adams, a Trump supporter who draws the Dilbert comic strip, wrote last year that “hundreds of my Twitter followers have reported that I am being shadow banned on Twitter.”  Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey denied it, but Scott Adams insisted that “anecdotally, the evidence is overwhelming” and that “a number of other high-profile Twitter users report the same problem.”

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, pointed out last year that Twitter “appears to have a double standard when it comes to suspending or deverifying conservative users’ accounts as opposed to those of liberal users.”  He cited the case of U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn whose campaign announcement was blocked because it featured a pro-life message.

The highest-profile Twitter user, of course, is Donald Trump, whose account was blocked (supposedly by accident) and threatened with deactivation for his politically incorrect tweets.  The company finally said it would allow Trump to continue using Twitter, not because Twitter believes in free speech but merely because Trump is a world leader whose statements are inherently newsworthy.

Facebook and Google dominate their industries just as Standard Oil and AT&T once did, which were broken up under the antitrust laws.  Why are Facebook and Google being given preferential treatment while they monopolize the market?

More than half of all advertising spending is now collected by Facebook and Google, which exceeds that of newspapers, television channels and other media combined.  Competition and accountability are badly needed for these social media monopolies.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously in 2016. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Right and Wrong Approaches to Immigration

by John and Andy Schlafly

“This will be our last chance, there will never be another opportunity!” to protect Dreamers, President Trump properly tweeted as the U.S. Senate plunged into a debate about immigration policy. The Left wants amnesty for Dreamers, who are illegal aliens who entered our country many as teenagers.

President Trump is right to insist on funding for a border wall, which would cost less than 1% of our national budget, and an end to chain migration whereby relatives of immigrants are brought in with little or no screening. President Trump’s approach is welcome relief to the failed, open-door policies of the prior Republican leadership.

Meanwhile, an unexpected voice weighed in from the other side of the world. In Abu Dhabi, an oil-rich emirate in the Persian Gulf, former President George W. Bush was speaking at a conference organized by Michael Milken, the junk bond king of the 1980s.
“Americans don’t want to pick cotton at 105 degrees,” Bush said in response to a question, “but there are people who want to put food on their family’s tables and are willing to do that. We ought to say thank you and welcome them.”

Bush was right that Americans don’t want to pick cotton at 105 degrees, as we can tell you from personal experience. But he was wrong to say we ought to welcome people from other lands so poor that they are willing to do that kind of work to put food on their family’s tables.

When we were teenagers, we spent a memorable summer vacation working on a cotton farm in the Mississippi delta east of Pine Bluff, Arkansas. It was a miserable experience, but fortunately for us, it lasted only about two weeks.

It was too early to pick the cotton when we were there around the Fourth of July, but we learned how to chop it. Chopping cotton means chopping weeds with a hoe without damaging the cotton plant.

After awhile, we wondered why we saw no one else doing this backbreaking work in the 100-degree heat of the Mississippi delta, where cotton fields extend as far as the eye can see. That’s when we realized that chopping and picking cotton were already being done by machines, and the people who used to do it by hand had moved on to better jobs.

Once upon a time, more than 200 years ago, Americans imported African slaves to do the unpleasant work of cultivating cotton. Slavery was abolished in 1865, but African Americans continued to toil on cotton farms in conditions of extreme poverty that prevailed in the defeated Southern states.

About 75 years after the Civil War, some inventors finally made a successful cotton-picking machine. This invention came years later than the famous harvester invented by Cyrus McCormick, because cotton is so much harder to pick than wheat, corn or soybeans.

During the same period in which mechanization swept the cotton fields of the South, millions of African Americans moved north in search of economic opportunity and greater freedom. During this period known as the “great migration,” many black Americans found higher paying jobs in the factories of Chicago and Detroit, while others achieved success and fame in sports and entertainment.

Thanks to a legal and economic system that rewards invention and innovation, our high standard of living means that no American of any race has to chop or pick cotton at 105 degrees anymore. Bush grew up in Texas, which grows more cotton than any other state, and he should know that.

Bush’s foolish comment combined two of the worst slogans of the pro-amnesty movement, the myth of “jobs Americans won’t do” and the myth of “crops rotting in the fields.” On the contrary, the enormous growth of computer-aided automation, robots, artificial intelligence, and driverless vehicles is eliminating whatever opportunity there used to be for poor people from other countries to earn a living here.

While the debate rages in Washington, another debate is roiling the state of California, which has more immigrants (10 million) and more illegal aliens (2.4 million) than any other state. California’s Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, is warning that state’s employers not to cooperate with the federal government.

“Businesses are increasingly caught between California and Washington,” the Wall Street Journal reports. A new state law imposes fines of up to $10,000 on employers who provide information about their employees to federal immigration officials.

In the last presidential election, California went in a markedly different direction from the rest of our Nation. But the Supremacy Clause in the Constitution requires that California obey the same federal laws on immigration with which the other 49 states must comply in protecting American workers against illegal aliens.

In the end, Californians might thank President Trump for taking a strong stand against illegal immigration, which is estimated to be costing that state about $30 billion per year. That’s far more than the costs of building a border wall to permanently solve the problem.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously in 2016. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Trump Keeps Winning on Immigration

by John and Andy Schlafly

President Trump’s approval rating jumped 10 points in January, rising to the highest level since soon after he was inaugurated. As Congressman Steve Stivers noted, “No president in their second year has seen their approval rating go up except this one.”

Many were surprised that Trump has managed to break through the incessant opposition of a hostile media. Our explanation is that Trump lured the Democrats into a high-profile debate on the immigration issue, and the president won the debate because the public agrees with him.

Democrats proved they are so committed to the principle of amnesty for illegal immigrants that they would even shut down the government over it. To the surprise of many Democrats, the public is not buying it.

Immigration is a subject on which there is the greatest disconnect between what ordinary Americans want and what our government delivers. We allowed about 1.5 million immigrants a year to settle in America in 2014 and 2015, the latest year such figures are available, but a new poll shows that Americans think that number is way too high.

According to the respected Harvard-Harris poll, 72 percent of Americans think we should admit fewer than 1 million immigrants a year. Of those, 54 percent think we should have fewer than 500,000 immigrants a year, and 35 percent think the number should be 250,000 or even less.

“Americans are Dreamers too,” President Trump declared in the best line of his superb State of the Union address. The president holds a winning hand, and the news on immigration keeps supporting him.

On Super Bowl Sunday, football fans awoke to the sad news that Edwin Jackson, a linebacker for the Indianapolis Colts, and his Uber driver were killed by a drunk-driving illegal immigrant from Guatemala, Manuel Orrego-Savala. The culprit, who had twice been previously deported, fled the scene on foot, but was later caught and found to have three times the legal limit of alcohol in his blood as he drove his pickup truck without a license.

Near San Diego last month, U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested two illegal immigrant Dreamers with DACA privileges who had been making a living by smuggling other illegals into the United States from Mexico. The 20-year-old Dreamer was caught driving two illegals in his car, while the 22-year-old was acting as a scouter to warn another smuggler when Border Patrol agents were sighted in the area.

While President Trump has been acting as “good cop” with his extremely generous offer of eventual citizenship for 1.8 million Dreamers, his essential “bad cop,” Acting ICE Director Tom Homan, has been enforcing the law in sanctuary cities and states. Homan raided 77 businesses in Northern California last week, looking for employers who harm American workers by knowingly hiring illegal immigrants.

The Obama administration had essentially allowed San Francisco and other liberal areas to opt out of federal immigration law, but that is changing under Director Homan, who promised a 400 percent increase in workplace enforcement. “We’ve got to take these sanctuary cities on,” Homan declared, even suggesting that local officials could be criminally punished for harboring illegal aliens in their jurisdictions.

Americans sympathize with immigrants who were brought here as young children (although that’s not really true of many who would receive amnesty under the bipartisan Dreamer legislation), but not the adults who illegally brought them here. Still less do Americans want the Dreamers to import their distant relatives under the process known as chain migration.

How that works was explained by the eminent Harvard Professor George Borjas, himself an immigrant, in the New York Times. “Our current system lets a new immigrant eventually sponsor the entry of her brother, who can then sponsor the entry of his wife, who can sponsor her father, who can sponsor his sister, and so on.”

Professor Borjas continued, “Does it really make sense for one entry today to eventually lead to a visa for the immigrant’s sister-in-law’s aunt?” Obviously not, which is why Americans oppose letting new immigrants import relatives beyond members of their immediate family.

President Trump has insisted that any deal for DACA must include provisions limiting family reunification to an immigrant’s spouse and minor children. Democrats have refused to accept that reasonable restriction, which means there likely won’t be a deal anytime soon.

The Harvard-Harris poll shows that most Americans not only think total immigration should be reduced, but also that we should give preference to immigrants with something to contribute to our country, based on their education and skills. That opinion was shared by all demographic groups polled, and was especially high among African Americans.

That opinion used to be shared by Democrats, too, including Bill Clinton who praised the late Barbara Jordan during his 1995 State of the Union address. “It is wrong,” Bill Clinton said then, “to permit the kind of abuse of our immigration laws we have seen in recent years, and we must do more to stop it.”

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously in 2016. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Open for Business, not Phony Free Trade

by John and Andy Schlafly

A few days before delivering his report to Congress on the State of the Union, President Trump took a victory lap at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. That’s the annual gathering of CEOs, celebrities, and liberal politicians who think they run the global economy.

Trump was not on the initial guest list for Davos, and few in the audience were pleased when he decided to crash their party. After all, Trump had won the presidency partly by campaigning against the global elites who dominate the goings-on in Davos.

“The world is witnessing the resurgence of a strong and prosperous America,” Trump told the world’s movers and shakers. “There has never been a better time to hire, to build, to invest and to grow in the United States. America is open for business, and we’re competitive once again.”

Trump flattered his reluctant audience of “business titans, industry giants and many of the brightest minds in many fields.” But he warned them that they owe “a duty of loyalty to the people, workers, customers, who made you who you are.”

In an obvious reference to China, Trump said: “The U.S. will no longer turn a blind eye to unfair economic practices including massive intellectual property theft, industrial subsidies and pervasive state-led economic planning. These and other predatory behaviors are distorting the global markets and harming businesses and workers, not just in the U.S. but around the globe.”

President Trump sent a high-powered advance team to Davos including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. At a press conference the day before Trump arrived, the cabinet secretaries pushed back against the media’s disdain for the American president.

When a reporter asked the inevitable, tiresome question of whether Trump’s America First policy would start a trade war, Wilbur Ross was ready with a crisp answer. “There have always been trade wars,” he said. “The difference now is U.S. troops are now coming to the ramparts.”

“Trade wars are fought every single day,” Secretary Ross continued. “Unfortunately, every single day there are various parties violating the rules and taking advantage.”

Ross’s comments echoed what the president told CEOs at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference in November. “We are not going to let the United States be taken advantage of anymore,” he said. “From this day forward, we will compete on a fair and equal basis.”

The day before Secretary Ross spoke in Davos, President Trump signed off on a recommendation to impose tariffs of up to 30% on Chinese-made solar panels and up to 50% on large residential washing machines from South Korea. These remedies for unfair trade practices are authorized by Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974 and were recommended by the independent U.S. International Trade Commission.

The decision was announced by Robert Lighthizer, who works at the White House as U.S. Trade Representative. As Lighthizer declared, “The president’s action makes clear again that the Trump administration will always defend American workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses.”

The trade action was welcomed by employees of Whirlpool, the Michigan-based appliance manufacturer that employs 10,000 Americans at five plants in Ohio. Whirlpool announced it would immediately hire 200 more manufacturing workers at its plant in Clyde, Ohio.

“This is a victory for American workers and consumers alike,” said Whirlpool’s Chairman Jeff Fettig, who wasn’t invited to Davos. “By enforcing our existing trade laws, President Trump has ensured American workers will compete on a level playing field with their foreign counterparts, enabled new manufacturing jobs here in America and will usher in a new era of innovation for consumers everywhere.”

In a rare act of bipartisanship, Trump’s decision was praised by both of Ohio’s U.S. Senators, including Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown, who’s up for reelection this year, and Republican Senator Rob Portman, who had Lighthizer’s job during the free-trading George W. Bush administration. “After moving their production from overseas back to Clyde, Ohio,” Portman said, “Whirlpool has had to fight a series of cases against companies who would rather cheat than compete.”

Trump was predictably criticized by the hard core of never-Trumpers such as Nebraska’s Republican U.S. Senator Ben Sasse and the columnist George Will, who called it protectionism. But the broad public support for a policy of putting Americans first shows why Trump won the states of Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Iowa in 2016 and can do so again in 2020.

Back in Washington, Trump told reporters that his State of the Union address would be “a very important speech on trade. The world has taken advantage of us on trade for many years and, as you probably noticed, we’re stopping that. We’re stopping it cold.”

“We have to have reciprocal trade,” Trump declared. “It’s not a one-way deal anymore.”

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously in 2016. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Trump’s Breakthrough Win Against Shutdown

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
by John and Andy Schlafly

President Trump proved the pundits to be wrong, once again, with his breakthrough victory against the shutdown. Nearly all political experts pompously declared that Republicans cannot win in a shutdown, and yet Trump did exactly that.

Margaret Thatcher, the late British Prime Minister who was Ronald Reagan’s ally throughout Reagan’s two terms as our president, explained how she achieved her improbable success as Britain’s longest-serving prime minister. Her pithy reply: “First you win the argument, then you win the vote.”

Thatcher’s motto explains how President Trump was able to win the shutdown showdown with Democrats: first, he won the argument. Democrats, led by Chuck Schumer, turned the lights back on when they realized they were losing the argument with the American people.

In order to win the debate, though, Trump first had to frame the debate, which he did brilliantly on Twitter: “Democrats are far more concerned with Illegal Immigrants than they are with our great Military or Safety at our dangerous Southern Border.”

U.S. citizens should not lose access to our own government in order to protect people who have no right to be here in the first place. By forcing the shutdown, as Trump said on Twitter, “The Democrats are turning down services and security for citizens in favor of services and security for non-citizens. Not good!”

Meanwhile, the New York Times reported that Senator Schumer’s decision to end the government shutdown “enraged liberals, who accused the lawmakers of betrayal and threatened to mount primaries against some of the Democrats who voted yes. They accused Schumer of capitulating to protect senators up for re-election in November in Republican-leaning states.”

“It’s hard to overstate how disgusted many progressive leaders are,” a Times columnist observed. Trump thus not only emerged victorious, he cut off the Democratic leadership from their own base which they will need for the upcoming midterm elections.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s promise to hold a future vote on DACA was merely a fig leaf for Democrats, since a promise to vote on something unspecified is as meaningless as a promise to merely consider agreeing to something unknown.

Representative Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL), one of the Democrats’ chief advocates of amnesty for illegal immigrants, bitterly observed: “It’s the one word they know in Spanish: mañana.” That word literally translates as “tomorrow,” but it really means “some day, maybe never.”

President Trump has already properly rejected the so-called bipartisan bill floated by never-Trumpers Jeff Flake and Lindsey Graham, because it utterly fails to include three essential conditions of any immigration compromise: ending chain migration, eliminating the visa lottery, and building a border wall. That bill not only snuck in millions of additional Dreamers, it even protected their parents who brought them in illegally.

President Trump had been willing to extend DACA in exchange for new border controls, but USA Today reported that “There are 3.6M ‘DREAMers’ — a number far greater than commonly known” (and far greater than the 690,000 DACA recipients). “A number so large raises the stakes for both sides.”

Not only did Trump win the first-ever clear victory for Republicans on a shutdown, he won it with the equivalent of a first-round knockout. Democrats are bewildered by the drumming they just received, and how they had to capitulate to avert a disaster for their party.

Trump defined the issue and stuck with it, astutely declining to discuss DACA with Democrats until the government is reopened. In so doing, he taught his fellow Republicans a great deal about how to negotiate with the Democrats in the future.

Trump showed how he is not a Republican like the first President George Bush, who declared “Read My Lips” in promising not to raise taxes, and then famously broke his pledge as soon as Democrats pressured him on the issue. Trump is not like Republicans leaders in Congress, either, many of whom have been trying to appease liberals on DACA and other issues.

The benefits of President Trump's forceful leadership on the shutdown extend far beyond immigration. President Trump has finally ended the stranglehold that liberals have had over Republicans, by holding the government hostage to a shutdown unless the GOP caves in.

Instead, it was the Democrats who completely caved in by ending the shutdown, and even the liberal media are admitting their ignominious defeat. Reasons are being floated as to why the Democrats lost this time when they are perceived to have always won on the shutdown issue in the past, but much of the post-game analysis misses the point.

The real cause of this massive political blunder by the Democrats can be summed up in merely four words: they underestimated Donald Trump. By now, this is not a mistake that political experts should still be making.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously in 2016. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Trump Should Stand His Ground on Immigration

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
by John and Andy Schlafly

The mainstream media have had a field day reporting on President Trump’s alleged use of coarse language in a closed-door meeting at the White House last week. According to one tally, CNN repeated the offensive word 195 times in a single day last week, including 22 times in a single hour, not including its display on the chyron at the bottom of the screen.

The initial report was denied by President, and his denial was corroborated by two U.S. Senators and a cabinet secretary who (unlike the media) were present in the meeting. But all the fuss over coarse language has reinforced the point that Trump was making, that we should be much more selective about the immigrants and others we allow to enter the United States.

Whether or not Trump used a bad word to describe impoverished countries, which have been plagued by political systems that do not reward hard work, Trump is right that most of the people living there are not prepared to immigrate here without imposing a burden on Americans. Most of the people in the rest of the world just don’t have the skills to support themselves in our high-tech society.

Too many Americans have been misled by the sentimental myth that our immigration policy is (or should be) based on a poem that includes the lines “give me your tired, your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.” In fact, that poem does not reflect the purpose of the Statue of Liberty and it was only hung in the visitor’s lounge many years after the statue was erected and dedicated.

In 1883, when Emma Lazarus wrote her famous poem, America could accommodate millions of poor immigrants willing and able to work at low wages, but that’s not true anymore. Such jobs are disappearing fast in our economy, and we’ve built a vast safety net so that our own low-skilled citizens can live in dignity without working.

On the day Donald Trump announced he was running for president, he vowed to change the way our immigrants are selected and screened. “When Mexico sends its people,” he said about the country that has sent about 50% of our immigrants, both legal and illegal, “they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us.”

As Trump himself conceded in that June 16, 2015 speech, there are of course some “good people” coming from Mexico and other poor countries. His point, then and now, is that we’re not selecting the best candidates for immigration from among the much larger number of people who do not share our values.

More than three-quarters of the 1.2 million people who legally settle in the United States each year never pass any qualifying test for their fitness to live and work here. Their average level of education is well below that of American citizens, which means those immigrants are doomed to a life of near-poverty supplemented by food stamps and other taxpayer-funded benefits.

Numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau tell the story. Immigrants from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador have the least education (many never attended high school), the least command of English (most are “functionally illiterate” in our language), and live in households that depend on at least one major welfare program.

This is what happens under a system of chain migration under which immigrants are allowed to sponsor their unscreened, unvetted distant relatives for a green card. In effect, this year’s immigrants are selected by last year’s immigrants instead of by the American people as a whole.

President Trump said that any deal for DACA must include an end to chain migration, tweeting over the weekend: “I, as President, want people coming into our Country who are going to help us become strong and great again, people coming in through a system based on MERIT. No more Lotteries! #AMERICA FIRST.”

A group of leading House Republicans has just unveiled a bill to do just that. Called the Securing America’s Future Act (H.R. 4760), the bill has support from all factions of the conference including two committee chairmen (Goodlatte and McCaul), the Puerto Rican-born Raul Labrador and the moderate Martha McSally, who’s running to succeed Jeff Flake in the Senate.

The House bill extends DACA benefits while meeting the president’s proper demand to end chain migration and the diversity visa lottery. It requires employers to use E-Verify, and it cracks down on sanctuary cities and those who overstay their visas or reenter after being previously deported.

In an effort to attract support from rural states, the bill unwisely allows more low-skilled agricultural guest workers, and the bill’s definition of high-skilled work may not be high enough to protect our own engineering graduates from foreign competition. But Securing America’s Future Act would help Make America Great Again.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously in 2016. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Marijuana Lights Up the Wrong Way

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
by John and Andy Schlafly

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is being attacked on both sides of the aisle for rescinding the Obama policy that opened the floodgates to marijuana addiction. Funded by libertarian billionaires such as the Koch brothers, pro-pot senators like Cory Gardner are demanding that AG Sessions stand down and continue Obama’s misguided policy.

Sessions rescinded Obama’s command that the Department of Justice ignore federal law against marijuana production and sales, and instead Sessions instructed U.S. Attorneys to begin enforcing well-established federal statutes against large-scale cultivation and distribution of marijuana. These federal laws preempt state law, particularly in Colorado and California where a culture of pot addiction has virtually taken over.

Sessions wrote on January 4th that “today’s memo on federal marijuana enforcement simply directs all U.S. Attorneys to use previously established prosecutorial principles that provide them all the necessary tools to disrupt criminal organizations, tackle the growing drug crisis, and thwart violent crime across our country.”

That hardly seems controversial, but money talks and politicians beholden to mega-donors went ballistic in response. Senator Cory Gardner, who heads the misguided fundraising arm of Republican senators, even took to the Senate floor to rant against Sessions for wanting to enforce the law.

Sen. Gardner is the same guy who is pushing the agenda of the same mega-donors to enact amnesty for certain illegal aliens, wanted for their cheap labor. Yet every time Gardner opens his mouth he makes it more difficult for Republicans in Congress to hold onto their majority in the upcoming midterm elections, because American voters reject Republican candidates who support either amnesty or legalized pot.

New Year’s Day rang in the sale of pot in retail stores in California, which expands the hazards it poses to the public there. In addition, anyone over the age of 21 may smoke pot on private property now in California, simply to get high over and over again.

This push for pot is not really coming from the freedom-loving culture of rock music. Instead, like gambling, legalizing pot is driven by a multi-decade campaign of investors seeking to profit from cannabis, as it’s now being advertised for marketing purposes.

First it was sold to the American people under the guise of “medical marijuana,” and predictably anyone with a little back or joint pain was obtaining prescriptions to get high. The strategy was to open the door to the inevitable recreational use by anyone, which is occurring now in eight states.

This is too much even for rock fans, as California's popular Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival recently responded to the legalization of marijuana by banning it at its concerts: “Sorry bro. Marijuana and marijuana products aren’t allowed inside the … Festival. Even in 2018 and beyond.”

If concerts won’t allow smoking pot, why do the rest of us have to put up with its pungent odor and harmful consequences? Costly emergency room visits by “potheads” and deadly car accidents are just two of the burdens that rampant marijuana addiction brings to our society.

Among traffic fatalities in Colorado when operators were tested for marijuana, 25% of those crashes had an operator who tested positive for the drug. This is a sharp increase since marijuana was legalized there, and the real number may be higher because unlike alcohol there is no close correlation between impairment and tissue levels.

Although supposedly limited to adults, marijuana use by youths between 12 and 17 years old, and college-age adults between 18 and 25, has risen sharply in Colorado since pot was legalized there four years ago. Now Colorado has the highest rate of marijuana use by youths in the country, according to the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.

Meanwhile, the town of Pueblo, Colorado, is buckling under the expense of “marijuana migrants,” attracted to the town’s pro-marijuana publicity. Instead of finding real work, however, these marijuana migrants live mostly in boxes, resorting to buckets as toilets.

Billionaire George Soros has been behind the push to legalize marijuana around the country, but the problem now is that he has been joined by a few billionaires associated with the right side of the political spectrum. They are misleading GOP politicians to make the colossal mistake of embracing this leftist agenda item.

Starved for money to finance their campaigns for office in 2018, hopeful Republican candidates will feel the pressure to cave in to pro-pot demands of mega-donors. But while Democrats can get away with that, Republican candidates surely cannot.

The vast majority of our country, and particularly working-class Republicans, reject the legalization of marijuana with all of its harmful consequences. Republican candidates for office who go along with the demands of billionaire donors to endorse their pro-pot agenda will see their own candidacies go up in smoke among voters.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously in 2016. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

How Trump Changed the Debate

by John and Andy Schlafly

When President Trump announced his decision to wind down DACA, which protects illegal aliens who came to America before their 18th birthday, Democratic leaders were secretly pleased. They thought DACA gave them a way to defeat the President, and compel him to cave in on the issue in order to avert a government shutdown just before Christmas.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was created by a stroke of President Barack Obama’s pen in 2012, even after Obama said 22 times that he lacked the power to do that. DACA provided a two-year work permit with a valid Social Security number to around 800,000 illegal aliens, a number that has since dropped through attrition to about 690,000.

No one denies that Trump has the power to rescind an executive order by his predecessor, but many were misled by polls showing that DACA is a popular program. Depending on how the question is asked, polls show many Americans sympathize with the plight of young people who were supposedly brought here through no fault of their own.

But the real poll is on Election Day, and Donald Trump was elected president primarily because of his commitment to control our borders and reduce immigration. If Trump could be rolled by the media on his signature issue, it would undermine his presidency and make it that much easier for Democrats to defeat the rest of the Trump agenda.

Thinking they had Trump on the defensive, Democrats laid plans to expand DACA from a two-year work permit for 700,000 people all the way to permanent residency for some 4 million illegal residents. Democrats felt so confident that they would win on the DACA issue that they started posturing already for how to expand its amnesty to include many millions.

Now Democrats are making similar threats about extending DACA as a condition for the next budget deadline on January 19, but the terms of the debate have changed. Instead of DACA and the Dream Act, Trump has forced public attention on chain migration.

Between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, Trump served notice via Twitter about the new deal that Democrats would face in the new year: “There can be no DACA without the desperately needed WALL at the Southern Border,” he warned, “and an END to the horrible Chain Migration & ridiculous Lottery System of Immigration etc. We must protect our country at all cost!”

A helpful web page was created by the White House to elaborate on the president’s tweet. According to this page at whitehouse.gov, chain migration is “the process by which foreign nationals permanently resettle in the U.S. and subsequently bring over their foreign relatives, and so on, until entire extended families are resettled within the country.”

The numbers are huge. On average, according to the White House, “every 2 new immigrants bring 7 additional foreign relatives to permanently resettle in the U.S.”

In just the last ten years, some 9.3 million people have been allowed to settle permanently in the United States solely because of their familial ties to another immigrant. That’s more than the total population of Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, and Cleveland – combined.

“This system of chain migration – whereby one immigrant can bring in their entire extended families, who can bring in their families and so on – de-skills the labor force, puts downward pressure on wages, and increases the deficit,” explains the White House website. The Trump administration is absolutely correct that low-skill immigrants increase the fiscal deficit by consuming more in benefits than they pay in taxes.

Chain migration “de-skills the labor force” because those immigrants, on average, have lower or fewer skills than the Americans who are already here and struggling to find adequate employment. While the vast majority of immigrant green cards were based on family ties, only 6 percent were issued on the basis of skills.

Despite low unemployment figures being reported, as President Obama’s chief economic adviser Jason Furman recently wrote in the Wall Street Journal, “some 9 million men of prime age – that is, between 25 and 54 – still are not working.” Furman ignored immigration, but it’s not just a coincidence that 9 million men exited the labor force during the same period that 9.3 million low-skill immigrants settled in the United States.

“The bulk of the decline in employment,” Jason Furman continued, “has been for men with a high-school diploma or less, who have seen their employment rates fall from 97% in 1964 to 83% today.” That’s the same group that is most harmed by the policy of allowing low-skill immigrants to come here and fight for the same jobs.

For more than 50 years, America’s immigration policy has been set by an unholy alliance between liberal Republicans, who seek to please their donors with access to cheap labor, and Democrats in search of more votes for their progressive agenda. Under the Trump administration, that corrupt bargain is finally coming to an end.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously in 2016. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Defeat of Globalism is the Story of 2017

by John and Andy Schlafly

On Dec. 21, as President Trump prepared to leave Washington for Christmas at Mar-a-Lago, the White House released a list of “81 major accomplishments” during the President’s first year in office. A second list touted more than 100 other “minor achievements” in 2017.

His fulfillment of his campaign promise to roll back globalism is one of his crowning achievements of the year. Without exception, President Trump stood up against the incessant pressure by other countries against the United States.

An example of this occurred later the same day at the United Nations in New York. The UN General Assembly held an emergency session to condemn Trump’s decision to move the American embassy to Jerusalem, thereby walking into a trap that will come back to bite that dysfunctional body.

Some 128 UN member countries joined in the vote against this sovereign decision by the United States, while 35 countries abstained and 21 were absent. Only 9 countries (including the United States and Israel) voted against the resolution.

“The United States will remember this day in which it was singled out in this assembly for the very act of exercising our right as a sovereign nation,” said U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley. Voting against the United States were several of the top recipients of U.S. foreign aid such as Egypt, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Ambassador Haley acted promptly to deliver on her promise of consequences. The U.S. Mission to the United Nations announced that next year’s UN budget would be slashed by over $285 million and warned that further reductions would also be made to the UN’s management and support functions.

“We will no longer let the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of,” Haley said in a statement, adding that the “inefficiency and overspending” of the organization is well-known. The timing of her statement sends a clear message.

For many years, Uncle Sap has been paying 22% of the body’s annual operating budget, costing us $1.2 billion in 2017-2018. We also pay 28.5% of the $6.8 billion annual cost of peacekeeping operations.

After the vote, Haley reminded the assembly that the U.S. was “by far the single largest contributor to the UN” and would remember the vote “when we are called upon to once again make the world’s largest contribution to the United Nations, and we will remember it when so many countries come calling on us, as they so often do, to pay even more and to use our influence for their benefit.”

“I must also say today: when we make generous contributions to the UN, we also have expectation that we will be respected,” she said. “What’s more, we are being asked to pay for the dubious privileges of being disrespected.”

Haley added: “If our investment fails, we have an obligation to spend our investment in other ways … The United States will remember this day.”

Before the vote, the President Trump spoke at a White House cabinet meeting about the vote scheduled for the next day. “They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars, and then they vote against us,” he said. “Well, we’ll be watching those votes. Let them vote against us; we’ll save a lot. We don’t care.

“But this isn’t like it used to be, where they could vote against you, and then you pay them hundreds of millions of dollars and nobody knows what they’re doing. We’re not going to be taken advantage of any longer.”

Three weeks earlier, Haley announced that the Trump Administration had properly withdrawn from the UN Global Compact for Migration, which claims to be aimed at protecting the rights of refugees and migrants. Its real purpose is to give refugees and migrants the right to resettle in the countries of their choice (the United States and Europe) while fighting what is misnamed as xenophobia, racism, and discrimination towards refugees and migrants.

“No country has done more than the United States, and our generosity will continue,” Haley said in a statement. “But our decisions on immigration policies must always be made by Americans and Americans alone.”

“We will decide how best to control our borders and who will be allowed to enter our country,” Haley continued. “The global approach is simply not compatible with U.S. sovereignty.”

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson explained that “we simply cannot in good faith support a process that could undermine the sovereign right of the United States to enforce our immigration laws and secure our borders.” He stressed that it “is the primary responsibility of sovereign states to help ensure that migration is safe, orderly, and legal.”

As 2017 winds down, so does the century-long push for globalism. Thank you, President Trump!

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously last year. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Dream on, Establishment

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
by John and Andy Schlafly

If money talks, the loudest noise in America would be an article published last Thursday entitled “Congress must act on the dreamers.” Legislation to protect the 690,000 illegal aliens known as Dreamers, the article insists, “is a political, economic and moral imperative.”

A movement is afoot either to slip this into a final 2017 bill when few are watching, or to make it a litmus test for candidates seeking to raise campaign cash for races next year.

“Delay is not an option,” the authors wrote, ignoring the backlog of unfinished business in Washington. “Congress must act before the end of the year.”
The op-ed was signed by Charles Koch, who shares a $97 billion fortune with his brother David. The Koch brothers are aligned with the “never Trump” Republicans who have undermined much of President Trump’s agenda.

Charles Koch is a businessman, and he likes to get his money’s-worth when he spends it. After striking out the past two years with their political agenda, the Koch network of mega-donors could be making support of DACA a litmus test for Republican primary candidates in the 2018 election cycle.

Republican candidates would be wise to decline, just as candidate Trump declined support by the Koch network last year, and won anyway on a platform of opposing illegal immigration.

Koch was joined by co-author Tim Cook, who succeeded the late Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple. Cook supports many liberal causes, and was criticized by candidate Trump for how Apple would not cooperate in unlocking the iPhone of a terrorist who went on the killing rampage in San Bernardino about two years ago.

Cook’s corporate practices at Apple hardly commend him to lecture about what is best for America. Apple stashes hundreds of billions of dollars – that’s billions, not millions – of its profits overseas in order to avoid paying taxes in the United States, and thereby avoid investing it in American workers here.

Moreover, Apple’s claim of employing a few hundred Dreamers – far less than 1% of its workforce – in mostly low-skill jobs would not ordinarily attract the attention of a CEO. But Cook and Koch are not just in favor of entitlements for hundreds of thousands of Dreamers, but also for many millions of other illegal aliens.

Cook and Koch declare in supporting DACA, “If ever there were an occasion to come together to help people improve their lives, this is it.” But where is the compassion for helping Americans improve their lives, which ending benefits for illegal aliens would do?

Senator Jeff Flake was a frequent attendee at the Koch conferences of donors, and he has remained anti-Trump to this day. All that got him was a disapproval rating so high in his home state of Arizona that he resigned at a young age rather than even try for reelection.

Now Senator Flake is leading a group of other anti-Trump senators, including Lindsey Graham (R-SC), to try to forge a deal with Democrats to protect these illegal aliens.

The day after the Koch-Cook article appeared in the Washington Post, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued a report throwing cold water on the bum’s rush to protect the Dreamers. The CBO estimates that legalizing Dreamers would cost taxpayers $25.9 billion over the next decade.

The CBO explains why the costs of Dreamers would far exceed any benefit that Americans would ever see. Once legalized, the Dreamers would become eligible for the full array of benefits for the working poor including Obamacare, Medicaid, food stamps, and much more.

Dreamers would consume more benefits and pay less taxes than the average American because their skills and education are so much lower. Even though most Dreamers are now in their twenties or thirties, for example, more than half of them never finished high school.

Part of the skills gap is because Dreamers were never required to demonstrate English fluency, and many are functionally illiterate. Of those who signed up for DACA, many required the help of a translator to fill out the form.

The CBO estimates the cost of all those federal benefits at $27 billion over 10 years, while only $1 billion of new tax revenue would be generated from Dreamers moving “out of the shadows” to regular employment. Combining those two amounts produces a net cost of $26 billion.

Even in Washington, where the federal budget is measured in trillions, $26 billion is real money. And that number almost surely understates the true cost by a wide margin.

Democrats are acutely aware of the value of $26 billion, whether or not they are willing to admit it where the Dreamers are concerned. Trump's border wall, which Democrats consider exorbitantly expensive, would cost only $21.6 billion according to a study conducted by the Department of Homeland Security in February of this year.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously last year. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Daubert standard is not current law

The Bezos Wash. Post attacks a Trump nominee:
But a clip of one of President Trump’s federal judicial nominees struggling to answer rudimentary questions about the law garnered well more than 1 million views in a matter of hours on Thursday night and stoked speculation that another of the president’s nominations might get derailed. ...

“As a trial judge, you’re obviously going to have witnesses. Can you tell me what the ‘Daubert standard’ is,” the senator asked, referring to a critical and well-known rule on using expert testimony in federal court.

“I don’t have that readily at my disposal,” Petersen said. “But I would be happy to take a closer look at that. That is not something that I had to —” ...

When video of the interrogation made its way online, several high profile law professors tweeted their surprise.

“Don’t want to beat up on the guy but the questions he was being asked could be answered by a second year law student,” wrote Aderson Francois, a professor at Georgetown Law. “Even if you know zero about evidence the one doctrine every law student knows is Daubert because it’s a very famous case about standard to admit expert testimony.”

Anthony Michael Kreis, a professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law, said it was unreasonable to expect Petersen to have recently studied the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a lengthy and complex document. “But,” Kreis added, “if you have little or no trial experience, I’d hope you could speak a little bit about the law with some degree of sophistication. Daubert is pretty basic.”
This is amusing, but the Daubert standard is not used in federal courts today, and there is no reason for a federal judge to know what it is. It was used from 1975 to 2000, and was defined:
If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise.
The current rule is:

A witness who is qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education may testify in the form of an opinion or otherwise if:
(a) The expert’s scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue;
(b) The testimony is based on sufficient facts or data;
(c) The testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods; and
(d) The expert has reliably applied the principles and methods to the facts of the case.
As you can see, the current rule goes beyond Daubert by requiring sufficient data and reliable methods.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Amid More Terrorism, Question Diversity

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
by John and Andy Schlafly

“There have now been two terrorist attacks in New York City in recent weeks carried out by foreign nationals here on green cards,” President Trump told an impromptu news conference on Tuesday. “The first attacker came through the visa lottery and the second through chain migration.

“We're going to end both of them – the lottery system and chain migration,” the president declared. “We’re going to end them – fast.”

The first terrorist attack occurred six weeks ago, on Halloween, when Sayfullo Saipov, a Muslim immigrant from Uzbekistan, drove a rented truck through a crowd of pedestrians and cyclists, killing 8 and injuring 12. Saipov had sworn allegiance to ISIS and reportedly asked to display the ISIS flag in his hospital room where he was recovering from a gunshot wound.

Saipov came to the United States in 2010 after winning the annual lottery for 50,000 visas which our government foolishly grants to people from the most diverse countries, defined as those that sent fewer than 50,000 immigrants to the United States during the previous five years. Over a million people without skills have received one of these so-called diversity visas since the program began, and the average recipient brings three relatives to settle here permanently.

In the latest attack Monday morning, Akayed Ullah, a Muslim immigrant from Bangladesh, set off a pipe bomb in the crowded tunnel that links Times Square to the nation’s busiest bus terminal, which serves over 200,000 passengers each weekday. Ullah reportedly told police that he chose that location partly because he was triggered by nearby Christmas posters.

Ullah came to the United States in 2011 after qualifying for an F43 visa as the child of a sibling of a U.S. citizen (his uncle) through what’s called “extended family chain migration.” He was one of 141,501 immigrants who have entered the U.S. from Bangladesh through chain migration since 2005, an astounding number equal to the population of Dayton, Ohio.

The same day the President vowed to end the visa lottery and chain migration, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the men who committed the two New York attacks were in the United States “as a result of failed immigration policies.” As Sessions explained, this “20-year-old son of the sister of a U.S. citizen should not get priority to come to this country ahead of someone who is high-skilled, well educated, has learned English, and is likely to assimilate and flourish here.”

President Trump points out that the United States “must fix its lax immigration system, which allows far too many dangerous, inadequately vetted people” into our country. Trump was elected president in large part because Americans applauded the strength of his commitment to put Americans first and protect our borders against politically correct notions of multiculturalism and diversity.

Congressman Steve King recently echoed an observation made by the prime minister of Hungary that diversity can lead to a lower quality of life, not a higher one. What is needed is not diversity as much as assimilation, in order to remain a secure and prosperous nation.

“Assimilation has become a dirty word to the multiculturalist Left,” King wisely observed. “Assimilation, not diversity, is our American strength."

Supporters of diversity insist that immigrant terrorists became radicalized after they arrived in the United States. Even if true, that’s all the more reason to oppose such immigrants because they are not assimilating themselves into our society, and instead are trying to destroy it.

The Boston Marathon bomber, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, is cited as an example of someone who supposedly became a terrorist after coming to America, but Tsarnaev was probably trained by his trip to the Chechen region of Russia in 2012. He was then allowed back into the United States despite his highly suspicious stay abroad, and the House Homeland Security Committee Chairman, Michael McCaul, expressed dismay at why the FBI did not pick up on this.

Akayed Ullah repeatedly traveled to Bangladesh in recent months before initiating his attack here. Is this the same mistake, which was made in letting Tsarnaev back in after a suspicious trip abroad, being made again and again?

One of the first executive orders by President Trump was to issue his so-called travel ban to restrict immigration from certain countries associated with terrorism. Liberals then filed multiple lawsuits to block his Executive Order from going into effect.

On December 4th the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that President Trump’s modified travel ban can be enforced while liberals challenge it in lower courts. It took nearly all of 2017 for the courts to allow the ban that President Trump first issued back in January to be enforced in a revised form, but better late than never.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously last year. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Summarizing the Russian story

The NY Times keeps reminding us about the silly Russian story that is supposedly going to be used to impeach Trump.
Confused by all the news about Russia and the 2016 presidential election? We are here to help.

What Is the ‘Russia Story’?
It is all a big nothing burger, but read it yourself.
Russia’s use of cyberattacks to interfere in the 2016 presidential election

In late 2016, top United States intelligence agencies concluded that the Russian government directed a massive cyberattack aimed at denying Hillary Clinton the presidency and putting Donald J. Trump in the White House.
Not exactly. Two agencies said that the Russians were probably trying to help Trump. One agency thought that the Russians were trying to undermine the coming Clinton presidency, and did not expect Trump to win. They all very explicitly said that they were not certain about those conclusions.

The "massive cyberattack" consisted mainly of broadcasts on RT television that decried American capitalism in general, and Clinton in particular.

None of the agencies said that the Russian interfered with the election. The reports have no allegations that any votes were changed or influenced as a result of Russian activities.
This broad campaign included hacking and leaking Democratic emails, pushing false information on Russian media outlets, ...
Wikileaks published hacked emails, but there is no proof that the Russian govt had anything to do with it. The DNC refused to let the agencies inspect their servers for evidence. Podesta apparently got phished by someone in Eastern Europe, but there is no known link to the Russian govt. The DNC president and many others believe that the DNC leak was an inside job by Seth Rich, and not related to the Russians.

The "pushing false information" refers to opinion broadcasts on RT TV. There is a lot of legitimate news on RT. Sure, there is some bias, but I am not sure that there is any more bias than there is for Hillary Clinton on MSNBC and CNN.
It was also recently revealed that Donald Trump Jr. exchanged private messages on Twitter with WikiLeaks, the antisecrecy group that published Democratic emails stolen by Russian hackers.
So? Is there something wrong with that? I am sure the NY Times and a lot of others had private communications with WikiLeaks. Even if Donald Jr. asked WikiLeaks to publish info embarrassing to Clinton, I don't see anything wrong with that.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is known to hate Hillary Clinton for reasons that have nothing to do with Trump. Apparently Clinton once suggested having Assange killed. Assange denies that he got the leaks from the Russians, and denies that he was trying to elect Trump.
Here are some of the ways Mr. Trump may have interfered in the continuing criminal and congressional investigations, according to ethics and legal experts.

• Mr. Trump admitted that he had been thinking about the F.B.I.’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and possible coordination by Trump campaign associates when he fired the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey.
Are you kidding? Trump probably thought about all the things that Comey was involved in. It is Trump's constitutional responsibility to consider everything that makes Comey fit or not fit for the job.

The accusation here is that Trump was worried that Comey would screw up the Russian investigation in the same way that everyone agrees that he screwed up the Clinton email investigation.

The President's main job is to make sure that competent men are running the federal agencies. It was Trump's duty to consider what Comey might do, and to fire him if there are sufficient doubts about the job he will do.

The NY Times hates Trump, and presents this story in a way to make him look as bad as possible.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Trump Should Take Control of DOJ

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
by John and Andy Schlafly

Robert Mueller’s ongoing “investigation” of Trump supporters is the only part of government that has no budgetary constraints and no real accountability. Its lack of proper oversight resulted in a political opponent of Trump, FBI agent Peter Strzok, apparently leading the biased questioning of Lieutenant General Michael Flynn that caused his downfall.

The partisan agent has since been reportedly removed from the Mueller investigation, but not until after the injustice occurred. The right to an impartial investigator is fundamental to our legal system, and Gen. Flynn was unjustly deprived of it.

“When the FBI first learned of the allegations, the employees involved were immediately reassigned, consistent with practices involving employee matters,” the FBI declared. But the flaw is that there has been no proactive oversight of Mueller’s out-of-control investigation, and no meaningful steps taken to ensure that bias does not taint the process.

As Trump properly tweeted, “Tainted (no, very dishonest?) FBI ‘agent’s role in Clinton probe under review.’ Led Clinton Email probe.”

We have three branches of government, and the Department of Justice is part of the Executive Branch. Yet President Trump has been misled by his advisers to believe that he cannot supervise his own department or fire employees who fail to ensure impartiality in the investigations.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday the Justice Department released the shocking report that Mueller blew through $6.7 million in merely the first four-and-a-half months of his investigation, which exceeds more than $1 million per month. At that rate his runaway witch-hunt has already wasted more than $10 million in taxpayer money, with no end in sight.

General Flynn, who spent most of his life serving our country, could not possibly withstand an expenditure of so much money against him. Facing bankruptcy if he did not agree to a plea bargain, he had little choice to stop the hemorrhaging of legal fees in order to save his family from complete financial disaster.

Before long, the cost of Mueller’s searching for crimes done by Trump supporters will exceed the entire budget for the United States Attorney’s office in many states. The Department of Justice gives more money to Mueller’s unsupervised investigations than it does to prosecuting dangerous illegal aliens in many parts of the country.

Hire 17 prosecutors and give them a blank check for funding, as the DOJ has done for Mueller, and numerous injustices will inevitably follow. On Tuesday there was a report, denied by a Trump attorney, that Mueller’s prosecutors have even issued a subpoena on Deutsche Bank to provide highly confidential banking information about President Trump and his family.

At this point, Trump’s own advisers may be too terrified of the out-of-control prosecutors to give him candid advice. Congressmen are probably petrified about retaliation if they were to say anything critical of this.

But President Trump can and should take the decisive action that he is known for in other areas. For starters, he should impose a reasonable limit on expenditures by Mueller’s growing army of 17 lawyers.

In Texas, for example, the average cost of investigating and prosecuting a death penalty case is $2.3 million. That should be more than adequate for the task of looking into whether there was any illegal contact with Russians during the 2016 election, in which nobody died.

But Mueller has already burned through more than three times that amount. In the spirit of the Christmas season, Trump should cap the taxpayer expense at ten times the cost of a death penalty case, or $23 million.

In addition, Trump should fire those who are failing to properly supervise the Mueller investigation. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein should be politically accountable for everything that Mueller does, and when there is a lack of oversight on his overreaching, then Mr. Rosenstein should be fired.

Use of an anti-Trump FBI agent to interrogate key witnesses is an example of something that should never have been allowed in the first place, and for which a supervisor should be fired. Issuing subpoenas on a private bank for the highly personal banking information of Trump and his family members is another basis for firing the supervisor who allows it.

Congress properly rejected the concept of an “independent prosecutor” nearly two decades ago, and Justice Antonin Scalia wrote against it as being unconstitutional. Similarly, the advice that President Trump has been receiving that the Department of Justice must somehow be independent is contrary to our Constitution.

Phyllis Schlafly felt an incoming president should take control of all of the Executive Branch to ensure loyalty to his mandate. It is long overdue for Trump to invoke Harry Truman to say “the buck stops here,” and stop the injustices coming out of his Department of Justice.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously last year. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.