Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Gas Tax Hike: Dumber than Dumb

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

Still smarting from how President Trump crushed its phony free trade agenda, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has come up with something even dumber. Led by its anti-Trumper president Tom Donohue, the Chamber has proposed a 25-cent increase in the federal gas tax.

William Weld, who just announced his absurd challenge to Trump for the Republican nomination, presided over a gas tax increase when he was governor of Massachusetts in 1991. That state became known as Taxachusetts with a massive exodus of residents following Weld’s unhappy tenure.

Yet already some liberal Republicans are biting the bait of increasing the taxes on gas. If adopted, this would facilitate a Democratic landslide in 2020.

Gas taxes are immensely unpopular with President Trump’s middle-class supporters, many of whom drive long distances to support their families. They also tend to go on driving trips, such as family summer vacations, and a gas tax increase would disrupt their plans.

Limousine liberals and government workers would barely feel the pinch of a gas tax as they ride the taxpayer-funded D.C. Metro. They would be fine with higher gas taxes, while swing voters who decide elections are hit the hardest.

A large share of the gas tax is diverted to subways, trains and buses. Car drivers who already pay enormous state and federal taxes should not be forced to further subsidize public transportation.

The federal gas tax is currently 18.4 cents a gallon, and all the states tack on a whopping additional tax of their own. In Pennsylvania, its state gas tax is an additional 58.2 cents a gallon.

The “yellow vest” demonstrations that have turned Paris upside down were primarily a protest against high gas taxes in France. Even in liberal Washington State, its voters defeated a carbon tax by 56 to 44 percent last November, and by a wider margin in 2016.

The wasteful way that government fails to maintain roads is the real problem, and hiking gas taxes will not repair that. A familiar sight on interstate highways is the many construction sites that lack real work activity, diverting traffic longer than they should.

In this era of Uber and Lyft, electric and hybrid vehicles, as well as humongous tandem tractor trailers, the gasoline tax is no longer a fair way to pay for our highways. Roads should be funded by those who use them, with variable fees that depend on cost and time of day.

The Dulles Greenway in Virginia is an example of a successful private highway which connects Washington Dulles Airport to Leesburg, Virginia. It has an electronic system for collecting tolls from riders, who enjoy its convenient and efficient access.

In this 21st century, drivers can pay electronically with their smartphones based on their GPS-tracked travel. That efficiency would help deter the massive commuter traffic jams that currently plague our public highways.

The practice of some cities, such as Chicago, to enter into long-term leases of its roads to a foreign owner is not the right approach. A consortium of Canadian pension funds owns the Chicago Skyway toll road, which may be preferable to government ownership but raises questions as to why an American owner was not found for it.

Politicians who have suggested a national carbon tax are not popular either, and anti-Trump Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) was defeated for reelection after he endorsed that bad idea. A carbon tax is on the amount of carbon in energy sources, primarily fossil fuels.

A carbon tax would be imposed on the suppliers of the energy, particularly oil, coal, and natural gas. But this tax would then be passed on to consumers in the form of higher heating and air-conditioning costs, and higher gas prices at the pump.

The same concept of increasing the gas tax is already being pursued by liberal states such as California, Illinois, and New Jersey. Each of those states have enacted or are considering sharp increases in their own state gas tax, in addition to the federal tax.

In New Jersey, the gas tax was increased by 23 cents a gallon in 2016, and then an additional 4.3 cents last year. Yet another gas tax increase there is possible later this year, with little to show for it except angrier drivers.

In California, where prices already average an eye-popping $3.80 per gallon, a new state tax of 5.6 cents per gallon will hit this summer. Legislation in the Illinois state senate proposes doubling the gas tax there, to 38 cents a gallon.

When the price of a good goes up, demand for the good goes down and a smaller amount is sold. An increase in gas taxes means fewer car trips, less shopping, a decline in summer family vacations on the road, and millions of angry daily commuters who vote.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Nuclear Option Needed to Confirm Judges

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

The vast majority of President Trump’s nominees to the federal district courts have been blocked by Democrats in the Senate. Some of them have languished for more than a year, without an up-or-down floor vote on their confirmation.

Tuesday afternoon Democrats rejected a fair compromise offered by Senate Republicans to break the logjam. On a nearly party-line vote, the Senate killed Senate Resolution 50 which would have established a new procedure to facilitate timely confirmation of nominees approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Sixty votes were needed to advance S.Res. 50, and even though Republicans enjoy majority control of the Senate they cannot muster the super-majority to attain cloture on changing the rules for nominees. So this leaves Majority Leader Mitch McConnell with only the nuclear option to overcome Democrat obstructionism.

While the Senate has promptly confirmed Trump’s nominees to the Courts of Appeal and the Supreme Court, Democrats have blocked dozens of excellent nominees to the lower courts. There are an astounding 133 vacancies today in federal district courts and 13 more vacancies will arise soon.

But under current Senate rules, Democrats are forcing several days of delay in confirming each district court judge whenever any senator wants to stall it. At this rate, President Trump would be denied his ability to fill a significant percentage of the trial court vacancies and Democrats hope keep these vacancies unfilled until after the next presidential election.

District courts are the tribunals that conduct all federal trials and they are where the vast majority of federal judiciary decisions are made. These are the courts that have repeatedly issued injunctions against President Trump, which he then has to run up on appeal to get them overturned months later.

It is federal district courts which issue injunctions in favor of Planned Parenthood virtually any time it demands them. It can take years to overturn those injunctions on appeal and often the appellate court simply remands the case back to the same district court, which then rules for Planned Parenthood again.

This means that while the U.S. Courts of Appeal have the last say in many cases, the federal district courts are the place where most litigation occurs. As a practical matter, continued liberal control of the district courts means never-ending judicial activism.

So it is not surprising that Democrats have done everything they can to continue their grip on the district courts. By causing seemingly endless hours of debate on each and every district court nominee, Democrats have frustrated the ability of President Trump to obtain confirmation of his judges at the trial level.

Democrats have obstructed district court nominees to such an extent that it has taken an average of 133 days – more than a third of a year – for the Senate to vote on a nominee after approval by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The non-partisan Congressional Research Service found that 37 district court nominees still await a floor vote after approval by the Judiciary Committee.

In some states, such as Missouri, not a single judicial nominee has been confirmed during the more than two years that Trump has been president. Indeed, since January both senators from Missouri are Republican and thus not even senatorial courtesy can be blamed, whereby a senator from the state can block a nominee by failing to return a blue slip.

Mississippi is another conservative state which has not had a single Trump judge appointed to a federal district court there. One vacancy has been pending for more than a year in its Southern District and another vacancy is expected there at the end of this month.

In Texas, another solidly Republican state, its Southern District, which includes Houston, has three vacancies. The Northern District of Texas, which includes Dallas, has five vacancies and five nominees by President Trump await confirmation by the Senate.

Senator Mitch McConnell expressed his justified frustration about this obstinance by the Democrats. He observed that their intransigence on these district court nominees “is unsustainable for the Senate and for the country,” and warned that it does not bode well for a future Democratic president either, because Republicans would return the favor in blocking his nominee.

If Democrats had supported Senate Resolution 50, then this gridlock on judges could have been amicably and sensible resolved. S.Res. 50 would have shortened the post-cloture time for a floor vote on presidential nominees, which means that Trump’s nominees could be brought to a vote without undue delay.

By rejecting this compromise, Democrats have made the nuclear option necessary to shut down the endless filibustering of these good Trump nominees. Majority Leader McConnell should next implement this option to proceed, with only a simple majority vote, to change the rules in order to hold timely floor votes on Trump’s district court nominees.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

The woman who shaped the modern GOP



A liberal online magazine, PS Mag, reports in a article about attempts to revive the ERA:
But an argument the anti-feminist firebrand Phyllis Schlafly — the woman who shaped the modern GOP — articulated on Good Morning America in 1976 has endured: Equality is actually bad for women. "When you make the laws apply equally to men and women, you end up taking away many of the rights that women now have," Schlafly said.
Really? She shaped the modern GOP? It is interesting that this magazine sees it that way.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Russia told the truth about Trump

After printing thousands of articles blaming President Trump for mysterious Russian allegations, it now publishes an op-ed by a Russian journalist on what nonsense it all was:
MOSCOW — Russians weren’t waiting for Robert Mueller’s report with quite the same excitement as Americans.

Russian state media’s coverage of Donald Trump’s campaign and presidency has vacillated between breathless adoration, mockery and outrage, but one thing has been consistent: The idea of Russia electing and controlling an American president has always been deemed absurd. Most references to the Mueller inquiry and the Trump-Russia story in state media are preceded by a qualifier: “the so-called Russia investigation,” as the prominent TV host Dmitry Kiselyov puts it.

It’s not just the state media that has rejected the idea that Mr. Trump colluded with Russia. Even liberals and opponents of President Vladimir Putin have been deeply skeptical, pointing out that Russia’s ruling circles are barely competent enough to prop themselves up, let alone manipulate a superpower.

When the news broke last week that Mr. Mueller had finished his report, Moscow’s political and media circles reacted with a mixture of contempt and derision.
Remember that the famous Jan. 2017 report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence was the basis for alleging that Russia interfered with the 2016 American election. It consisted mostly of complaints about Russian news media stories, and said:
We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 ... 
We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump's election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him. All three agencies agree with this judgment. CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence. ...

Starting in March 2016, Russian Government- linked actors began openly supporting President-elect Trump's candidacy in media aimed at English-speaking audiences. RT and Sputnik-another government-funded outlet producing pro-Kremlin radio and online content in a variety of languages for international audiences - consistently cast President-elect Trump as the target of unfair coverage from traditional US media outlets that they claimed were subservient to a corrupt political establishment.

Russian media hailed President-elect Trump's victory as a vindication of Putin's advocacy of global populist movements ...

Putin's chief propagandist Dmitriy Kiselev used his flagship weekly newsmagazine program this fall to cast President-elect Trump as an outsider victimized by a corrupt political establishment and faulty democratic election process that aimed to prevent his election because of his desire to work with Moscow. ...

Russia used trolls as well as RT as part of its influence efforts to denigrate Secretary Clinton. This effort amplified stories on scandals about Secretary Clinton and the role of WikiLeaks in the election campaign. ...

RT's coverage of Secretary Clinton throughout the US presidential campaign was consistently negative and focused on her leaked e-mails and accused her of corruption, poor physical and mental health, and ties to Islamic extremism. Some Russian officials echoed Russian lines for the influence campaign that Secretary Clinton's election could lead to a war between the United States and Russia.
The NSA was not sure that the negative Clinton coverage was intended to help Trump. Maybe Russia was expecting Clinton to win the election and was simply putting out anti-American propaganda.

Or maybe the Russians were just reporting the facts. The American news media were overwhelmingly opposed to Trump, and were preoccupied with denigrating him with weirdo conspiracy theories. There were a few exceptions like Hannity and Limbaugh, but the American news media appeared to be more under partisan political control than the Russian's.

I am not endorsing Russian news. Russia just passed a law against "blatant disrespect" of the state, and against "fake news". Repeat offenders face up to 15 days in jail. But sometimes Russia reports stories that are hard to find elsewhere. See for example this video today of Trump, where YouTube attaches a disclaimer that RT is funded by the Russians.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The High Costs of the Left’s Conspiracy Theory

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

Liberal Wikipedia defines “conspiracy theory” as the fear of a nonexistent conspiracy. By that definition, the theory that Donald Trump conspired with the Russians to steal the 2016 election has to be ranked as the biggest conspiracy theory of all time.

As Robert Mueller closes the books on his 2-year reign of terror against Trump supporters, we should pause to consider the collateral damage Mueller caused. Mueller’s conspiracy theory about collusion with Russia caused unfathomable harm to many people, most of whom are totally innocent.

Mueller’s team burned through at least $25 million in its own costs, at taxpayer expense. But far greater costs were imposed on Mueller’s innocent victims and the American people.

In his four-page letter to Congress, Attorney General Bill Barr reported that the Special Counsel and his team “issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants, and obtained more than 230 orders for communication records.” They executed “almost 50 orders authorizing use of pen registers, made 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence, and interviewed approximately 500 witnesses.”

500 witnesses? Witnesses to what? There was never any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, as Mueller finally admitted in his report, so there was no crime for anyone to witness.

But the targets of Mueller’s subpoenas, the victims of his search warrants, and other innocent individuals were compelled to waste enormous time and money in responding to the frightful demands by the out-of-control investigation.

Each of Mueller’s subpoenas probably cost an average of $25,000 to comply with. The D.C. rates for attorneys’ fees are among the highest in the country, and this field of law is particularly specialized.

So the wasteful expense caused by Mueller’s subpoenas alone racked up $70 million in costs, but even that is just the tip of the iceberg. Many of the “witnesses” pursued by Mueller necessarily hired attorneys for themselves, which easily incurred more than $100,000 in fees apiece.

Jerome Corsi was one of those witnesses, and he spent many days being interviewed by Mueller’s team. At the end of all that cooperation, Mueller’s prosecutors demanded that Corsi plead guilty to lying to the government, even though he had been candid.

Corsi then went public and exposed the Mueller investigation for what it was: a political hatchet job stacked with enemies of Trump. Corsi expected to be unfairly indicted and put on trial, but he courageously stood his ground and refused to cave into wrongdoing by Mueller’s team.

Corsi was right to call Mueller’s bluff. Andrew Weissmann, Mueller’s highly partisan lead prosecutor, subsequently announced his return to teaching in New York City, which is preferable to his being given so much power to impose such high costs on many innocent people.

Mueller has some explaining to do about the unfounded threats by his team to indict Corsi if he did not agree to a plea. Mueller apparently allowed the anti-Trump prosecutors whom Mueller hired to run roughshod with impunity over Trump supporters.

“I consider this entire investigation to be fraudulent,” Corsi observed. “I’m glad it’s over.”
But it’s not over for Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, even though his persecutors have left the Mueller investigation for other high-paying jobs. Gen. Flynn still faces sentencing from the deal he agreed to in order to save his family.

For spending a mere 24 days as President Trump’s National Security Advisor, Gen. Flynn has been forced to incur $5 million in legal fees. Adding insult to injury, the federal judge presiding over his case accused Flynn of being a traitor to the United States, before walking back those comments.

"Waiting for all of those apologies from journalists and left wing politicians who slandered Gen. Flynn, calling him a traitor after serving his country heroically for 33 years," his brother Joe Flynn tweeted after the Mueller report found no collusion. The Department of Justice, post-Mueller, should move to dismiss the case against Lt. Gen. Flynn now.

On top of these massive costs is the time lost by the American public and President Trump. Overzealous prosecutions are a distraction, to say the least, and it is to Trump’s credit that he has not been completely distracted by this.

Trump could have accomplished even more in his first two years in office without the constant disruption caused by this Grand Inquisition by the Left. At one point Trump spent several days answering questions for Mueller despite no evidence for asking them.

The liberal media and Democrats who egged on the fiction of Russian collusion should be labeled as conspiracy theorists for falsely insisting that there was coordination by Trump with Russia in order to be elected. This liberal conspiracy theory harmed many innocent victims and the American people, to whom the Left should apologize.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Gun Control Goes Stealth

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

The horrific massacre at the New Zealand mosque has incited demands for gun control there, but surprisingly not here in the United States. The contestants for the Democratic presidential nomination have been remarkably silent on the issue of the Second Amendment.

Cat got their tongue? They have been leapfrogging each other to go far left on other issues, ranging from climate change to immigration.

Their liberal base must be stultified at the candidates’ deafening silence on this central issue of the Democratic Party Platform, which calls for bans on “assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines.” Three weeks ago the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passed the most sweeping gun control legislation in 20 years.

But leading Democrats fear a repeat of 2000, when they loudly demanded gun control in the wake of the Columbine high school shooting. Then came Charlton Heston’s famous performance at the NRA convention at which he publicly warned that nominee Al Gore would grab Heston’s guns only “from my cold, dead hands!”

Heston, who had won an Academy Award for his role in Ben-Hur and also starred in The Ten Commandments, campaigned against Gore on the issue of guns. Gore then backpedaled on the issue, pretending that he would not grab people’s guns while many voters knew that he and his party would do just that.

On Election Day in 2000 Gore then lost his home state of Tennessee, where the right to bear arms is paramount. That cost him the presidency against George W. Bush.

This time the Democratic presidential candidates are lying low on the issue of gun control until after the presidential election. Democrats are looking for more stealth ways to erode the Second Amendment, to fly undetected on the radar of most American voters.

The first way is to pack the Supreme Court with Democrat nominees. Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder has endorsed this approach, and there is even a new group called “Pack the Court.”

Multiple Democratic presidential contenders, from Elizabeth Warren to Beto O’Rourke, are open to the idea. If one of them were to defeat President Trump while their party takes Congress, they might add new justices to the Supreme Court to erode the Second Amendment.

Democrat President Franklin Delano Roosevelt floated a similar idea in 1937 for a different reason, and his own party resoundingly rejected it then. But in those days the Democratic Party actually represented working Americans.

The Supreme Court could soon be presented with an appeal from the Connecticut Supreme Court, which ruled that the gun manufacturer Remington can be held liable for the Sandy Hook massacre. The Second Amendment will not mean much if gun manufacturers are driven out of business for crimes they never intended.

The second approach is to call a constitutional convention under Article V of the U.S. Constitution, at which delegates could support an amendment to repeal the Second Amendment entirely. Hawaii legislators attempted this approach with a resolution.

In both Australia and Great Britain, massacres enabled gun control forces to push through tight new restrictions on guns. Their entire political culture then shifted to the left as voters became less self-reliant and more dependent on government.

"The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic,” wrote longtime Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story in 1833. He explained that the Second Amendment “offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.”

Chelsea Clinton was met with criticism by students at New York University who blamed the carnage at the New Zealand mosque on her gentle criticism of the Muslim congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN). So apparently President Trump is no longer the culprit for everything in the minds of Leftists anymore.

New Zealand itself is turning its sights on Facebook, Google and Twitter for how they provided an unregulated channel for the mass-murderer to live-stream his killings. Internet users then copied and reposted the hideous videos before those companies could take them down.

As three of the most liberal corporations in America, these Silicon Valley behemoths were slow to react to the New Zealand live-streaming. One reason may be that they devote much of their resources to censoring legitimate political speech.

Facebook admitted that a high-resolution video of the attack was uploaded 1.5 million times within the first 24 hours, and that 300,000 of these were unblocked. The mass murderer used its platform to promote his heinous crime live.

Multiple prior killings have been done by others who touted their evil deeds on Facebook. Yet there are no calls to ban Facebook, the way that liberals demand gun control.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

The Violence Against Constitutional Rights Act

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

While Congress considers new infringements on constitutional rights for a new Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), they overlook where the most violence is occurring. The New York Times recently featured an exposé about how nearly every woman is raped during their migration from Central America to our open southern border.

Shutting the border is the only way that the United States can protect those women. That would take away the incentive for the long, dangerous journey.

Yet House Democrats want nothing of that remedy to stop violence against women. Instead, Democrats push for more infringements on the rights of Americans as part of a proposed new VAWA.

In their subcommittee hearing on March 7, House Democrats were uninterested in the terrible violence against women resulting from their insistence on an open southern border. The minority Republicans were allowed to invite only one witness, and she did not address the violence among migrants either.

An organization called Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE) has proposed numerous sensible reforms to the now-expired VAWA law, which was causing more harm than good. For starters, the prior law lacked a clear, appropriate definition of what it even meant when it referred to violence against women.

The Obama Administration defined domestic violence very broadly to include conduct that was not violent at all, such as alleged economic, emotional, or psychological abuse. Fortunately, the Department of Justice in the Trump Administration has sensibly clarified the meaning of domestic violence to include only conduct that would be a felony or misdemeanor if charged as a crime.

Inclusion of non-violent behavior then becomes a means for grabbing guns from men, and imposing automatic sentences in prison if they are found to have any guns. Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham announced last week that his committee will hold a hearing on March 26 on “red flag” laws, which give government special power to seize and confiscate guns from individuals whom someone thinks might be dangerous.

The First Amendment is at risk, too, in this planned reauthorization of VAWA. Proposed expansions to the law include authorizing federal monitoring of internet communications, under the guise of punishing cyber stalking and so-called bullying.

That could result in censorship of the internet as prosecutions are brought against communications which the federal agents might consider to be inappropriate. The freewheeling online environment that makes it so popular could be chilled by a new VAWA.

Even President Trump’s colorful tweets against the women who are vying for the Democratic nomination to run against him might be considered cyberbullying, depending on how VAWA is rewritten. Robert Mueller might need to be recalled into service to do a new investigation into tweeting by Trump and his supporters.

Liberal women attempt to make VAWA a women’s issue, but in fact intimate partner violence against men is comparable in frequency to violence against women, according to a National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS). More importantly, domestic violence has been decreasing for decades, prior to the billions of dollars of handouts by VAWA to feminist groups.

One’s home with a spouse has always been the safest place for both men and women, and spousal murder is very rare. Yet VAWA trained workers to separate domestic couples, and file a complaint against men which often causes them to lose their jobs and their employability.

Women, once their partner is going to lose his job that supported both of them, then try to stop the harmful VAWA process and withdraw the accusations. But laws make that impossible, such that the women are greatly harmed by the loss in the men’s jobs that VAWA causes.

The abusive “ex parte” court orders under VAWA, which are issued without the man being in court to defend himself against false accusations, would probably expand under a new VAWA. Recall how late-night comedian David Letterman discovered in 2005 that a woman in Sante Fe had obtained a restraining order against him.
The woman insisted that Letterman had used code words on his television show to communicate that he wanted to marry her, and have her become his co-host. She said Letterman had been mentally cruel to her and caused her to endure sleep deprivation for more than a decade.

A New Mexico state judge granted the woman’s demand for an ex parte restraining order, and it became a humorous topic for Letterman’s show. His attorneys were able to reverse the court order, but most men do not have the luxury of time, money, and influence that a television celebrity has.

Perhaps VAWA should be considered under a new name that more accurately describes how it infringes on First and Second Amendment rights, in addition to turning women against men. How about calling it the “Violence Against Constitutional Rights Act”?

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

ISIS Bride Is Not an American Citizen

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

The case of the ISIS bride, Hoda Muthana, could result in a landmark ruling on what it means to be an American citizen and who has rights to that precious status. After spending five years in Syria with ISIS, the terrorist group also known as the Islamic State, Ms. Muthana wants to come back to the United States.

She was born in New Jersey to parents who had come here from Yemen under diplomatic immunity. Her father had worked for Yemen’s mission to the United States.

Children born in the United States to diplomats from foreign countries are not American citizens, under a longstanding rule of law. Not even advocates of open borders dispute that.

Yet many people mistakenly assume that being born on U.S. soil is enough to become a citizen, which is simply not true. The case of the ISIS bride, who moved to Alabama and from there joined ISIS, confronts this legal issue in a high-profile case.

Raised in the United States, Hoda was 19 when she told her parents she was going on a field trip as part of a college course she was taking. Instead she withdrew from college and used her tuition refund to buy a one-way ticket to Turkey, then somehow made her way to ISIS-held territory in Syria.

While in war-torn Syria she apparently met and married an ISIS fighter, and after he was killed, she married another ISIS fighter. During this period she posted a series of blood-curdling tweets, which have since been deleted by Twitter.

“Americans wake up!” Muthana tweeted in 2015 from ISIS-held territory in Syria. “Go on drive-bys and spill all of their blood, or rent a big truck and drive all over them. Kill them.”

She witnessed dead bodies lying about in Syrian streets where ISIS had murdered them. She observed heads severed by ISIS and planted on poles in order terrify opponents of ISIS.

When her second husband was killed, leaving her pregnant, Hoda married yet a third ISIS fighter. She left that husband and was captured by Kurdish forces, who placed her and her 18-month-old son in a massive refugee camp in northeast Syria with thousands of other widows and children.

Life is hard in the refugee camp, where women are punished if they step outside their tent without wearing a hijab or burqa. Not long after calling for death to Americans, Hoda has since decided that “I prefer America to anywhere else.”

To President Trump, Hoda’s recent remorse seems a little too convenient. “I have instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and he fully agrees, not to allow Hoda Muthana back into the Country!” Trump tweeted two weeks ago.

The same day Secretary Pompeo declared that “Ms. Hoda Muthana is not a U.S. citizen and will not be admitted into the United States. She does not have any legal basis, no valid U.S. passport, no right to a passport, nor any visa to travel to the United States.”

The following day, a 32-page, 128-paragraph lawsuit against President Trump and Secretary Pompeo was filed by the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America. Yesterday, lawyers pressed their claim before U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton.

Her lawyers pointed out that Hoda had been issued a U.S. passport in 2014, without which she could not have traveled to Syria. But Judge Walton said that “just because she received a U.S. passport does not mean she is a U.S. citizen,” and he denied her request to expedite her case.

“The government informed Muthana more than three years ago that she is not a citizen and canceled her erroneously issued passport,” Pompeo’s lawyers told the court. “Muthana -- who was at the time a member of ISIS -- failed to act timely in response to that notification, [and] remained in a war zone through hostilities for a period of years.”

“She was born to parents who enjoyed diplomatic-agent-level immunity at that time of her birth, so she did not and could not acquire U.S. citizenship at birth,” Pompeo explained to the court.

“The Man Without a Country” tells the story of a young American who, after renouncing his citizenship, is ordered to spend the rest of his life aboard ships at sea with no hope of ever setting foot on U.S. soil again. One of the most popular literary works of the nineteenth century, it was later adapted for a number of movies, radio and television dramas, and even an opera.

The ISIS bride is a modern version of the same story, except that she is not doomed to roam the seas with no place to go. Perhaps she could settle in her parents’ country of Yemen or remain in Syria, but she has no rights to citizenship in the United States.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Unfair Trans Competition in Girls’ Sports

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

Boys have clear athletic advantages over girls, both on average and among the best. The higher levels of testosterone and muscle mass in boys enable them to run faster and jump higher than girls can.

Martina Navratilova won 18 grand slam titles in women’s tennis, the fifth most ever. She has also been an outspoken supporter of gay rights, but the unfairness of men competing as transgendered women has sparked her ire.

Navratilova recently called it “cheating,” “insane,” and “it would not be fair” to allow transgender women to compete in women’s tennis. Yet the rules of the International Olympic Committee allow men who claim to be transgendered to compete in women’s sports, if their testosterone levels remain below a certain level.

A backlash from the transgender community then resulted despite how she merely stated the obvious. For that she was called “transphobic” and removed from the advisory board of Athlete Ally, which supports transgendered athletes.

Many other women and girls are also crying foul about the unfairness of transgendered athletes in women’s and girls’ sports. There was an outcry in New Haven, Connecticut, home to Yale University, when the top finishers in the indoor state championship for the 55-meter dash for high school girls were two transgendered girls, formerly boys.

The “winner” broke the girls’ record, finishing the race in 6.95 seconds. Connecticut is one of 17 states that has no restrictions on boys, who claim to be transgender, competing in girls’ sports.

The same transgendered former boys also finished first and second in the state championship for the 100-meter dash last year. Meanwhile, girls who would have won trophies – and perhaps college scholarships – were unfairly denied them.

The top six 55-yard dash finishers then qualified for the New England regional races. Selina Soule, who would have qualified for the regional races if the transgenders were not counted, lost that opportunity.

“We all know the outcome of the race before it even starts; it’s demoralizing,” Miss Soule said. “They should have the right to express themselves in school, but athletics have always had extra rules to keep the competition fair,” she added.

The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) would require all 50 states to allow this unfair form of competition, if it ever became part of the Constitution. The Virginia House of Delegates defeated ERA last week, but by only one vote in a 50-50 tie.

Under ERA, no law or governmental entity can make any distinctions based on sex. That means it would become impossible for girls’ sports to keep boys out.

Led by Phyllis Schlafly, conservatives defeated ERA in the 1970s, and its deadline for ratification expired in 1979. Congress improperly attempted to extend the deadline until June 30, 1982, but no states ratified it during the extra three years.

The expiration of the deadline for ERA, however, has not stopped radical feminists from trying to ratify it now, four decades later. ERA would cause more unfairness in girls’ sports, as it has done in Massachusetts where they have a state version of ERA.

There, muscular young men routinely break girls’ records in girls’ sports. In one championship game in Massachusetts a young man caused a concussion to a girls’ field hockey goalie while scoring a goal to defeat her team.

Meanwhile, an example of the havoc that ERA would require emanated from a federal court in Houston on February 22. Senior District Judge Gray H. Miller, an appointee of President George W. Bush, declared that the Selective Service system was discriminatory in not requiring women to register for a possible draft.

“Combat roles no longer uniformly require sheer size or muscle,” the Court found. With similar strange arguments the Court declared that there is no justification for Congress to draft men unless women are also drafted.

If ERA were ever ratified, then courts would be required to rule against a men-only draft. As Phyllis Schlafly often argued in the 1970s, ERA would compel drafting women just like men, or forcing women to register for the Selective Service just like men.

Without ERA, the recent federal court decision can be successfully appealed, in this case to the Fifth Circuit. President Trump has placed five conservative judges on that court, which seems almost certain to overturn this decision invalidating our all-male Selective Service system.

Without ERA, the unfair intrusion of transgenders into girls’ sports can be solved by legislation forbidding it. Notice how transgendered former girls are not breaking records in boys’ sports.

Fortunately, ERA is not merely one state away from ratification, as some fake news headlines promote. For ERA to become part of the Constitution, Congress would need to pass it by two-thirds supermajorities, and then 38 states would need to ratify it anew, which should never happen.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Diversity of opinion on climate panel

The NY Times reports:
WASHINGTON — President Trump is preparing to establish a panel to examine how climate change affects national security, to include a White House adviser whose views are sharply at odds with the established scientific consensus that human-caused global warming poses a threat to the nation’s economy, health and security.

According to a White House memo dated Feb. 14, Mr. Trump’s staff members have drafted an executive order to create a 12-member Presidential Committee on Climate Security that will advise Mr. Trump about “how a changing climate could affect the security of the United States.” The memo was first reported by The Washington Post.

The panel would include William Happer, a Princeton physicist who serves as Mr. Trump’s deputy assistant for emerging technologies. Dr. Happer has gained notoriety in the scientific community for his statements that carbon dioxide — the greenhouse gas that scientists say is trapping heat and warming the planet — is beneficial to humanity.

The efforts to establish the panel come in the wake of multiple new comprehensive reports concluding that the warming planet poses clear and specific risks to national security. The inclusion of Dr. Happer suggests the efforts may be the latest step by the Trump administration to play down or distort the established scientific consensus on the impact of climate change.
Note that Happer is not accused of being wrong on any scientific issue. He is just accused of having some opinions that are out of step with 11 of the 12 panel members.

Why bother appointing 12 panel members if they all have to have the same opinions?

This article is a good example of how the Left requires uniformity of opinion. It is not enough that 11 out of 12 tow the party line. They want 12 out of 12.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

The Wall Versus Judicial Supremacy

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

“We have an invasion of drugs, invasion of gangs, invasion of people, and it’s unacceptable,” President Trump said last Friday. “It’s very simple. We want to stop drugs from coming into our country. We want to stop criminals and gangs from coming into our country.”

It was from the White House Rose Garden that President Trump delivered those remarks, on the eve of the 3-day weekend for Washington’s Birthday. He campaigned for president on securing the southern border of the United States, and he plans to do precisely that for the American people.

Consider just one day’s traffic at a single section of the border that lacks a physical barrier. Among those caught crossing into Texas on February 7 were a Mexican previously convicted in Georgia for child molestation, a Honduran previously convicted in North Carolina for “indecent liberties with child,” and another Honduran who was previously identified in Florida as a member of MS-13.

The federal police agency known as ICE, which stands for “Immigration and Customs Enforcement,” reports that some 266,000 aliens with criminal records were arrested in the past two years. This agency also arrested 1,500 aliens for human trafficking and deported 10,000 known or suspected gang members in the last fiscal year, yet many Democrats want to abolish this protective agency.

At remote sectors of the border in Arizona and New Mexico, large numbers of Central Americans, mostly from Honduras and Guatemala, are being dropped off by the busload and who then cross on foot. The Border Patrol reports that 242 people were arrested on January 24, while 375 people crossed near Yuma and another 306 entered through New Mexico.

Many of the illegal arrivals were very sick with contagious diseases, and their health problems overwhelmed the facilities available in small towns near the border. The Border Patrol reports that 2,224 migrants, mostly from Central America, had to be driven three hours to the nearest hospital for treatment that could not be provided on site.

The ongoing invasion, as Trump correctly described it, is unacceptable and cannot be allowed to continue. The president is right to declare a national emergency on the border, which permits him to reallocate some additional funds from other parts of the federal budget after the $1.375 billion approved by the Nancy Pelosi Congress runs out.

“Look, I expect to be sued,” Trump said, and within minutes of his speech, ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero announced he would be filing a lawsuit this week. The ACLU lawsuit would add to lawsuits already filed by California and something called the Center for Biological Diversity.

“They will sue us in the 9th Circuit, even though it shouldn’t be there,” Trump said prophetically, referring to the California-based court. “And we will possibly get a bad ruling, and then we’ll get another bad ruling. And then we’ll end up in the Supreme Court, and we’ll win.”

The lawsuits ought to be laughed out of court, even in the Ninth Circuit. Presidents have declared 58 national emergencies since 1976, when Congress gave the president that power, and 31 of them are still in effect.

Never before has a judge tried to second-guess a president’s declaration that a national emergency exists, and no court should be allowed to enter those uncharted waters now. Congress gave that power to the president with no limit on the reasons for which an emergency can be declared.

But never before have we had a president willing to stand up to the globalists, the media, and the federal courts. The real showdown between President Trump and the federal judiciary has begun.

President Trump is right that he wants to be before the Supreme Court on this issue, and not be stuck in lower federal courts handpicked by his opponents who forum-shop by choosing where to file their lawsuit. The ordinary appeals process would not enable the Supreme Court to decide this issue until after the next presidential election.

In the meantime, Democrats would campaign against Trump by using lower court rulings that predictably take the liberal side. Trump’s legal strategy should anticipate this, and seek an expedited appeal that bypasses the liberal Second, Fourth, Ninth or D.C. Circuits, which are packed with anti-Trump judges.

To no one’s surprise, sixteen liberal states chose San Francisco as the location for their lawsuit to block Trump. Only one out of 14 active judges on that court was appointed by a Republican president, giving Democrats roughly a 93% chance of having a judge picked by Obama or Clinton decide their case.

But all litigants have the right to appeal a preliminary injunction immediately, and the Department of Justice should start preparing those papers now. The appeal should be straight to the Supreme Court to ensure a decision before the 2020 presidential election.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Living in Phyllis Schlafly’s nightmare

The NY Times reports:
Do American Women Still Need an Equal Rights Amendment?
We’re already living in Phyllis Schlafly’s nightmare.

When Phyllis Schlafly crusaded against the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s as a threat to all-American motherhood, she handed out freshly baked bread and apple pie to state legislators. She warned of a dystopian post-E.R.A. future of women forced to enlist in the military, gay marriage, unisex toilets everywhere and homemakers driven into the workplace by husbands free to abandon them.

The E.R.A., which had been sailing to ratification, failed. ...
The article discusses a new push for the ERA, but admits that the benefits are dubious.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Green New Deal Is a Raw Deal for Democrats

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

The far Left is taking over the Democratic Party, creating a potential repeat of their landslide defeat in the 1972 presidential election when a vulnerable Richard Nixon trounced the liberal George McGovern. The radical “Green New Deal” illustrates how the so-called progressives, which is a euphemism for socialists, are driving the agenda for Democrats today.

This fanciful scheme tries to convert nearly all of our energy to wind, water, and solar power within a decade. Currently only about 10% of our energy needs are met by the inefficient wind and solar resources.

President Trump is already mocking this fanciful plan. Speaking to a massive crowd of supporters in El Paso, Texas, Trump declared that “I really don’t like their policy of taking away your car, of taking away your airplane rights, of ‘let’s hop a train to California,’ of you’re not allowed to own cows anymore!”

With characteristic wit, Trump added that “it would shut down a little thing called air travel. How do you take a train to Europe?”

He could have added that the Green New Deal will take away many American jobs, too, by hindering economic growth. Wind and solar power are more expensive than energy based on traditional fossil fuels, such as coal and oil, and higher costs limit economic growth.

Full-scale socialism, with strict government control of the production and use of energy, would be necessary to implement the Green New Deal. So it is not surprising that a self-described democratic socialist, freshman congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), is its chief sponsor.

She is making so many waves in Congress that she is known by her initials, “AOC.” Defeated Senator Claire McCaskill (MO) expressed dismay at the attention given to AOC, but she appears to be the future of the Democratic Party.

An entrenched Democrat was routed by AOC in his own primary, and many Democrats are fearful of the same fate if they oppose the new “progressive” agenda by AOC and other socialists. Senator Bernie Sanders, himself a socialist who supports the Green New Deal, nearly won the nomination for president in 2016 and could be the flag-bearer for the Party in 2020.

Already, more established Democrats are supporting this plan, including longtime former congressman and now-Senator Ed Markey (MA). Presidential candidates in the Democratic Party are also lining up in support of it, including prominent Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

Meanwhile, Hawaii overwhelmingly supports the Democratic Party, but residents there are fighting a proposed wind farm to be built on West Oahu.

As small islands in the middle of the wind currents of the Pacific Ocean, scenic Hawaii has perhaps more to offer to wind energy than any other American location. Installation of additional clunky eyesores of windmills atop Hawaii would be a green energy dream come true.

But Hawaiian residents do not want them, and neither do many environmentalists. Wind farms blight the beautiful landscape, create a constant irritating noise, and injure wildlife.

Yet this is what the “democratic socialists” want to impose on the entire United States, in their fantasy that this might reduce much-ballyhooed climate change. It is difficult to see how some windmills atop Hawaii would reduce hurricanes in Florida, but that is what supporters of the Green New Deal effectively claim.

President Trump has seized upon the absurdity of his opponents, the presidential wannabes. No politician can mock the other side as effectively as Trump does, and the Green New Deal gives him much material to work with.

Even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) disparaged the Green New Deal as the “Green dream, or whatever they call it.” Perennial potential presidential candidate and billionaire Michael Bloomberg (D) buys into the climate change theory of the Left, but cautioned against “things that are pie in the sky.”

Yet it seems doubtful that the Old Guard will be able to rein in the rising socialists who are not content with incremental changes. Senator Dianne Feinstein struggled to win reelection against a challenge by an underfunded Leftist in California, and surely many other Democrats have taken notice of the political winds that are blowing strongly towards socialism in their Party.

All this is good news for President Trump’s reelection campaign, just as it was for President Nixon in 1972. The Democrats got branded then as the Party of “acid, amnesty, and abortion.”

Then, as now, it was an established Democrat who voiced criticism of his own Party. McGovern’s own initial choice for his running mate, Senator Tom Eagleton, expressed that criticism in an off-the-record interview with conservative columnist Bob Novak, who then published it without disclosing its source until after Eagleton’s death.

History repeats itself as Democrats implode on the eve of a presidential election year.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Gov. Northam as Poster Boy for Abortion

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

The scandal of Virginia’s Democratic Governor Ralph Northam has peeled back the curtain on a little-known corner of the abortion industry. What happens when the infant survives an abortion to be born alive?

You’ve heard about late-term abortion, which occurs when the infant is far enough along to survive outside the womb with proper medical care. You’ve heard about partial-birth abortion, where the infant is partially delivered feet first before being killed with a sharp jab to the base of his skull.

What Governor Northam approves, however, is infanticide. Speaking with the authority of a board-certified pediatrician, Northam said, “If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen.”

Governor Northam is not just a politician, he’s a medical doctor with a specialty in pediatric neurology. Even after 12 years as an elected official, Northam remains a member of the medical staff at a children’s hospital in Norfolk.

The pro-abortion Dr. Northam continued: “The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired. And then, a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”

That “discussion” would not be whether to wrap the baby in pink or blue. Not about whether to start a college fund. Not about teaching the new mother how to breastfeed her new baby.

No, the discussion would be whether to leave the baby on a table without care or sustenance until it stops breathing and turns cold. The practice of abandoning a newborn to die is known as infanticide, which the civilized world has prohibited since Christianity took over the Roman Empire in the fourth century A.D.

Northam pretended that “When we talk about third-trimester abortions, it’s done in cases where there may be severe deformities. There may be a fetus that’s non-viable.”

In fact, severe fetal deformity explains only a small fraction of late-term abortions. This is confirmed by the Guttmacher Institute, which is a spinoff of Planned Parenthood.

The Washington Post let the cat out of the bag, reporting that the uproar over Northam’s comments “has disrupted carefully laid plans to bolster abortion rights across the nation after President Trump elevated Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.”

In other words, the spate of pro-abortion legislation in Virginia, New York, and several other states didn’t just happen. It was part of a national campaign by the abortion industry “to push state laws that would maintain access to the procedure if the national protections are knocked down” by the Supreme Court.

“More concerning to abortion rights advocates,” the Post continued, “the abortion debate is now fixed on the least popular aspect of the measures in Virginia and elsewhere.” The “new attention” to late-term abortion is “not helpful” to their cause.

The mystery is why the abortion industry chose “to push measures that would loosen restrictions on late-term abortions,” which we’re told are very rare. Actually, they are not that rare: Guttmacher estimates over 10,000 a year, which is about the same as the number of people shot to death each year.

A late-term abortion, by definition, is performed after the point at which the unborn child can survive outside the womb, provided it receives appropriate care. Late-term abortions are typically done by injecting a poison intended to cause cardiac arrest, which results in “fetal demise” before it is delivered.

But sometimes the lethal injection fails, and the baby is delivered alive. That’s where Dr. Northam’s cruel position kicks in.

Some years ago Hadley Arkes, the retired professor of Jurisprudence and American Institutions at Amherst College, asked a prophetic question. Does a woman’s constitutional right to terminate her pregnancy necessarily entail the right to a dead baby?

“If you go with what Hillary is saying, in the ninth month, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby,” candidate Donald Trump said in the third presidential debate in 2016. “Now you can say that that’s okay, and Hillary can say that that’s okay, but it’s not okay with me.”

“That is not what happens in these cases,” Clinton replied, seemingly flustered by Trump’s forthright declaration. “And using that kind of scare rhetoric is just terribly unfortunate.”

A fact checker for the Washington Post predictably came to Hillary’s defense, claiming that “only” 1.3 percent of abortions occur after 21 weeks, when the infant can survive outside the womb. But that 1.3 percent is more than 10,000 people, which is still a shocking number.

As the new poster boy for late-term abortion, should Ralph Northam resign as governor of Virginia? No, he should remain in office until it’s time to fill the next vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Liberals Censor Free Speech about Diversity

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

Another day, another innocent person is destroyed by the social media mob for an innocuous expression of free speech. The apostles of diversity police our speech and aggressively enforce a speech code according to “politically correct” liberal dogmas.

First it was Congressman Steve King (R-IA), who was wrongly ostracized by his colleagues for wondering when the term Western Civilization became offensive. A week later it was 15-year-old Nick Sandmann, a junior at Covington Catholic High School, who was confronted at the March for Life by a “tribal elder” banging a drum.

Next in the hot seat was the president of the University of Notre Dame, Father John I. Jenkins. He kowtowed to the Native American Student Association by agreeing to cover up 12 large murals that depict Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the New World.

The latest victim of self-appointed guardians of diversity was the 78-year-old liberal journalist Tom Brokaw, the longtime NBC anchor. Brokaw, an icon of television news, is also known for chronicling the “greatest generation” of Americans who won World War II and came home to build the greatest country in the world.

In a rare appearance Sunday on Meet the Press, Brokaw commented that “Hispanics should work harder at assimilation. They ought not to be just codified in their communities, but make sure that all their kids are learning to speak English.”

The response to Brokaw’s good advice was fast and furious, to borrow a phrase from the Mexican gun-running operation approved by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. That improper operation, which was politically motivated to justify gun control, instead resulted in the 2010 murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

Aura Bogado, who is described as an investigative immigration reporter at Reveal, said Brokaw was “arguing classic white supremacist talking points in a deeply racist rant on national television.” Julio Ricardo Varela, the founder of LatinoRebels.com, said “It really was a punch in the gut to a lot of people.”

“It was not only factually incorrect, it was also xenophobia in action,” Varela added in his criticism of Brokaw. Liberal commentator Maria Cardona called Brokaw “a little out of touch.”

Cardona also insisted, unpersuasively, that “Latinos absolutely assimilate.” If that were really true, Latinos would be speaking English, but many of them aren’t.

Brokaw’s fellow commentator on Meet the Press, PBS NewsHour’s Yamiche Alcindor, said: “We need to adjust what we think of as America. The idea that Americans can only speak English, as if Spanish and other languages wasn’t [sic] always part of America, is in some ways troubling.”

People who cannot speak, understand, read and write English will never be able to advance socially, economically or politically in our country. It’s not true that “Spanish and other languages” were “always part of America,” given that none of the Founding Fathers spoke or wrote in Spanish.

Within a few hours the liberal Brokaw went on an apology tour on Twitter, tweeting that he is “truly sorry” for his remarks, which he said were “offensive to many.” “I never intended to disparage any segment of our rich, diverse society which defines who we are,” Brokaw continued.

Brokaw even apologized to fellow panelist Yamiche Alcindor, saying she’s a “wonderful colleague and an important voice,” despite the fact that Alcindor’s views were directly contradictory to Brokaw’s. Like many Hispanic activists and lobbyists, Alcindor rejected the whole idea of assimilation.

On Fox News, Geraldo Rivera took a different tack, claiming that Hispanics are actually “assimilating at a rate that’s faster than any other ethnic group in our history.” But the official numbers from the Census Bureau show otherwise.

The American Community Survey enables the Census Bureau to track the number of households who self-report that they speak a language other than English at home. The fraction of U.S. households answering yes to that question has risen steadily over the last three decades, reaching 22 percent in 2017 (the last year numbers are available), which is double the 11 percent in 1980.

Most of the non-English speaking households are concentrated in a few areas close to our southern border, plus a few of our largest northern cities. In 39 U.S. counties, a majority of residents report that they speak a language other than English at home.

Many of those who speak another language at home claim they also speak English well or very well, but further studies have shown that is not the case. Nearly half were found to speak English at a level below basic, also known as functional illiteracy.

Spanish is presumed to be the common language south of the border, but among the people who arrived most recently, many did not speak or understand Spanish. They spoke only indigenous languages such as Q’eqchi’, which meant that U.S. officials were required to find translators to provide medical care.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Never-Trumpers Harm Innocent Victims

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

As Democrats announce their plans to run against President Trump next year, the partisan hysteria against the president grows more intense. Opposition to Trump now justifies, in the eyes of some, a vicious drive-by smearing of innocent high-school boys wearing MAGA hats.

The students were attending the 46th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., after riding the bus all night from Covington, Kentucky. Despite the grueling 36-hour trip to D.C. and back, the boys were in high spirits, and their faces were ruddy from a day outside in the winter cold.

As they waited patiently at their designated pick-up location for the overnight bus back to Kentucky, the boys were rudely accosted by a group that even the leftwing Southern Poverty Law Center has condemned as “racist” and “black supremacist.”

The aggressive protesters, who call themselves Black Hebrew Israelites, taunted the boys for nearly an hour with vile insults against them and their Catholic religion. The boys were singled out because they were white, Christian, and wearing President Trump’s favorite hat.

Anti-Catholic taunts peppered the inhumane heckling, which has been underreported but can be found online. Had those same insults been lobbed against any other ethnic or religious group, liberals would have defended the students.

The boys “turned the other cheek” throughout the unexpected encounter. Eventually, they asked their adult chaperones for permission to sing their school cheers as a break from the protesters’ profanity.

Despite the vile insults hurled at them, the young men admirably remained polite and peaceful in response. Then an Indian “elder” invaded their space and began beating his war drum right in the face of one of the high school students, who held the Indian’s gaze with a pleasant, peaceful smile.

To describe the behavior of the drum-beater as impolite would be an understatement. If he was merely trying to defuse the situation, as he claimed later, why didn’t he beat his drum in the face of one of the anti-Trump instigators?

The ultimate injustice was then inflicted by the liberal media, which excoriated the boys nationwide. Anti-Trumpers savaged the boys and their families on social media, to the detriment of the entire Covington Catholic High School including students who were not even there.

Kentucky Republican congressman Tom Massie heroically defended his young constituents from the onslaught, but Democrats and some Republicans were too quick to unjustly criticize the students. Massie’s Democratic colleague John Yarmuth tweeted, “I am calling for a total and complete shutdown of teenagers wearing MAGA hats. They seem to be poisoning young minds.”

Criticized for his call for unconstitutional censorship, Rep. Yarmuth then claimed it was merely a joke. But he continued to pile on against the students from his own state of Kentucky, saying that “I believe these kids acted inappropriately, whether they were provoked or not.”

The full video revealed that the young men had acted properly throughout the afternoon. But if the additional videos had not fortuitously emerged, the lives of these students could have been destroyed by the rush to judgment in the fake news media.

In a since-deleted tweet, Never-Trumper Bill Kristol decried “the behavior of #MAGA brats who have absorbed the spirit of Trumpism.” Other Republicans, such as those running the once-conservative National Review, were also incredibly harsh in their criticism of the young men in posts that were later removed.

President Trump was not fooled by the fake news that smeared the young men. He tweeted that “Nick Sandmann and the students of Covington have become symbols of Fake News and how evil it can be.”

In a refreshing rejection of the guilty-if-the-media-says-so mindset of his critics, President Trump observed that the students “have captivated the attention of the world, and I know they will use it for the good.” He added that this unfair treatment of the students may help “even to bring people together.”

The March for Life leadership disgracefully abandoned these volunteers who attended at significant hardship. The event organizers should have been the first to stand up for their own participants, but instead initially sided against the students.

The Covington high school closed on Tuesday due to a torrent of threats. Meanwhile, the Catholic diocese there fanned the flames of injustice by initially posting a statement threatening expulsion of the boys and even apologizing to the Native American activist who beat his drum relentlessly in a student’s face.

The Mayor of Covington should have stood up for the students from his own area. Instead, he referred to the conduct by the students as somehow being “appalling.”

The contrast is stark between President Trump and the Never-Trumpers. Unlike his critics, President Trump defends those who are unjustly smeared by the media.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Making the Census Great Again

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

“Is this person a citizen of the United States?” This 2020 census question, or something similar, was asked on the decennial census from 1820 through 1950, and afterward on the long-form census through 2000.

Even now, and ever since 2005, a citizenship question has been included in the annual American Community Survey (ACS) by the federal government. Not even President Obama stopped that.

So why all the fuss about this citizenship question now? Apparently opposition to President Trump means opposition to virtually everything he does, and resorting to judicial activism to stymie Trump in every way possible.

The census is used to apportion the Electoral College and representation in Congress, so there is political significance to puffing up the population count for California and other sanctuary states by including illegal aliens as legal residents. Dollars are also at stake because more people in a state mean more federal dollars flowing to it.

The census must count every person living in the United States, but citizens and aliens should be counted separately in every state and electoral district. President Trump, through his Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, restored this question about citizenship to the 2020 census, and a barrage of lawsuits ensued to stop it.

There is nothing racist in asking about citizenship. It may be racist, or at least anti-American, to oppose a citizenship question so that illegal aliens are counted as citizens and sanctuary states unfairly obtain more congressmen and Electoral College votes than they deserve.

It is fictional to pretend that American Hispanics are less likely to respond to a census question about citizenship. Citizenship is something nearly all Americans are proud of, and there is no right of privacy at stake.

There is no reason to expect any American citizen to be hesitant to respond if he is a citizen. Employers and schools ask about citizenship, as does the federal government on application forms.

Yet in a textbook example of legislating from the bench, an Obama-appointed judge held a trial in Manhattan federal court to take this issue away from President Trump and Congress. There are two sets of plaintiffs: 18 States, D.C., 15 cities and counties, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors form one set, and liberal advocacy groups form the other.

Plaintiffs asserted a headline-grabbing claim that asking about American citizenship is invidious racial discrimination in violation of the Constitution. They demanded a right to depose the Commerce Secretary to ask him if he is a racist.

The allegation was absurd, but falsely claiming that Republicans are racists is how the Left advances its agenda. The Supreme Court shut down an unprecedented attempt to depose the Trump Cabinet member Secretary Ross in this case, after it had been ordered by the trial judge.

Plaintiffs also sought to block the citizenship question based on the mundane Administrative Procedure Act. Plaintiffs insisted that it is somehow arbitrary to ask if someone is an American citizen, even though many companies and institutions ask this regularly of new applicants.
On Tuesday, federal Judge Jesse Furman issued a 277-page opinion to prohibit the inclusion of this 9-word citizenship question in the upcoming census. He did not expressly hold that the question was racist, but implied without any support in the record that it might be.

He stated his mission as one to “smoke out” racism, in order to uncover hidden forms of discrimination. He implied his disagreement with the Supreme Court, which prevented Judge Furman from requiring Commerce Secretary Ross to testify about his allegedly hidden motives.

But no such racism could ever be found. Unable to latch onto any testimony by Ross, Judge Furman instead thrashed those who worked for him.

Earl Comstock, who was just doing his job as Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Policy under Ross, became a punching bag for the court’s complaints about a policy change it does not like. Other Trump officials took a beating from the court based on snippets from routine email communications, patched together in the decision as though there was something wrong with them.

This ruling was based on mere procedure, not substance. In 277 pages there is nothing to justify branding President Trump, Secretary Ross, or anyone else as a racist.

The court admitted that the Framers of the Constitution “had a strong constitutional interest in the accuracy of the census.” President Trump and Commerce Secretary Ross fully agree, which is why the traditional question about whether someone is an American citizen is an essential part of the census.

Fortunately, the census case is already scheduled for oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court in February. So Tuesday’s ruling against asking about citizenship is not going to be the last word on the issue.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

The High Cost of No Wall

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

There is no moral high ground in opposing the border security wall sought by President Trump to protect Americans. Yet that is the script which Democrats use to stonewall our President to prevent him from building the Wall Americans want and need.

“No, no, nothing for the wall,” Nancy Pelosi said in her first TV interview after accepting the gavel as the new Speaker of the House last week. “That sends the wrong message about who we are as a country.”

Pelosi’s San Francisco colleague Gavin Newsom, newly sworn in as governor of California, stunned many by promising to provide “sanctuary to all who seek it.” He declared that under his leadership California would become “the first state in the nation to cover young undocumented adults through a state Medicaid program.”

“A wall is an immorality,” Pelosi stated further to another group of reporters who gathered outside the House chamber. “It’s not who we are as a nation.”

Have you noticed how often liberal Democrats claim they represent “who we are” and that anything President Trump supports is “not who we are”? The same phrase was a verbal tic of Barack Obama, who used it at least 46 times during his first 7 years as President, according to a video montage collected on the internet.

A different viewpoint about “who we are as a nation” was given by Rajnil Singh at the tragic funeral of his brother, Ronil, at the CrossPoint Community Church in Modesto, California. Ronil Singh, a police corporal in nearby Newman, California, had been shot to death at 1 a.m. on December 26 by an illegal alien from Mexico.

“We both view serving our country and communities through law enforcement as important to who we are,” a grieving Rajnil said to the 4,000 mourners, who included 2,000 uniformed officers from more than 100 agencies in California and other states. “It is our way of giving back to a country that has embraced us and our families.”

Growing up in Fiji, a small island nation in the South Pacific, the Singh brothers watched the American TV show COPS, and Ronil decided he wanted to become one. After immigrating legally to California in 2003, Ronil studied criminal justice at the local community college in Modesto before landing his dream job with the Newman Police Department.

After tweeting a picture of himself in front of his Christmas tree at home with his wife, their 5-month old son, and his police dog Sam, Cpl. Singh volunteered to patrol the empty streets of Newman on the normally quiet evening of December 25. Just after midnight, during a routine traffic stop of a driver who appeared to be intoxicated, Cpl. Singh was shot multiple times by the driver who then sped off in his unlicensed pickup truck.

Murder and mayhem by illegal aliens is rampant but rarely makes national news anymore, even when the victim is a uniformed officer on duty. What makes this case especially heinous is how the murderer was protected by a network of other illegal aliens who helped him elude capture and try to make a run for the border.

After 55 hours on the run from the law with the assistance of at least 7 other illegal aliens, the suspect using the alias Gustavo Perez Arriaga was arrested December 28 in Bakersfield, which is 200 miles away and nearly halfway to the Mexican border. The 7 other Mexicans have been charged with being an accessory after the fact, aiding and abetting, harboring and shielding from detection, and similar offenses.

One of Gustavo’s accomplices provided him with changes of clothing; another helped conceal his vehicle and drove him to multiple locations to hide; another provided shelter; another drove him to a store to buy a prepaid cell phone. Yet another accomplice disposed of the murder weapon, a 9mm pistol that had been reported stolen in another state, in a trash bin.

An additional accomplice accepted a wire transfer of $500 from an unknown source and used the money for a human trafficker to transport the murderer back to Mexico. Police determined that it was the same human trafficker who had brought the killer across the border illegally in the first place several years ago.

California brags it is a sanctuary state, and this is what sanctuary means: a place where an illegal alien can kill a cop and then disappear into a vast community of other illegal aliens willing to defy our laws in order to protect their fellow aliens from justice.

Nancy Pelosi was right: a wall does send a message. The message is that this is our country, and we have the right to close our doors to unwanted visitors, and decide who we will allow to enter.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Monday, December 31, 2018

Shutdown Blues Will Grip Democrats

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

Government shutdowns are supposed to favor Democrats, according to conventional wisdom. All they need do, pundits pompously declare, is wait patiently until the Republican President caves into their demands.

That is the mindset that brought us the current shutdown. Senate Democrats dug in and refused to approve the modest $5.7 billion in funding for the border wall as approved by the House of Representatives.

But President Trump’s approval rating has remained steady during the shutdown, according to the respected Hill-HarrisX survey. This is in contrast with how President Clinton’s approval rating plummeted 10 points during the 1995-96 shutdown.

This leaves Democrats in a quandary they did not expect. President Trump, unlike past Republican presidents, may stand his ground and refuse to buckle.

The shutdown disarms the Democrats of their most powerful weapon against Trump: investigations by the House of Representatives, soon to be controlled by Speaker Nancy Pelosi. With committee majorities starting in 2019, Democrats could serve subpoenas on anyone they choose, from Trump’s children to his biggest supporters.

Pelosi is lawyering-up with attorneys who want to impeach the president. Fourteen of the nation’s most aggressive and partisan lawyers are already working for Robert Mueller, but there is no shortage of liberal hacks anxious to take on the assignment of trying to bring down a conservative president.

The House Democrats plan to launch many investigations and hold numerous committee hearings against conservatives other than Trump. If someone turns on the lights, heats the buildings, pays the congressional staff, and serves the subpoenas, that is.

The shutdown postpones some of these bad things from happening. Liberals are not interested in working for free in a cold building, and investigations go nowhere if subpoenas cannot be enforced.

As Trump enjoys a rock-solid base of support, he is probably asking himself why he would want to fund Pelosi and the House Democrats to harass him, his family, and his supporters. The spectacle of Pelosi not having funds to accomplish her political mischief should be appealing to the president and all conservatives.

There has already been enough wasteful distraction caused by the funding of Robert Mueller and his search for non-existent crimes. The shutdown prevents a multiplication of that in the House.

The shutdown may even cause unexpected problems for the Mueller investigation itself, despite official denials. The Department of Justice insists that the Mueller probe will be unaffected by the shutdown, but reports are that President Trump thinks otherwise and he may well be right.

Federal district courts around the country are warning attorneys that court funding could run out by mid-January, which would place federal litigation on hold. Several federal courts have already suspended their pending cases involving the United States.

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker will need to prioritize the urgent cases in the Department of Justice as resources dwindle and dry up in courthouses and in his department. It is difficult to see how Mueller’s searching for imaginary crimes would rank as more important than processing drug kingpins.

Mueller depends on support by the Department of Justice for serving subpoenas, bringing people into custody, and making court appearances. Whitaker could politely decline that support of Mueller due to the shutdown, as there is no reason why Mueller should get special treatment over other investigations.

Mueller has already run aground in his effort to hold a foreign corporation in contempt. Chief Justice John Roberts intervened in that potential abuse of power by Mueller, and has set a briefing scheduling before allowing Mueller to move forward on that front.

But heat and light will be needed at the federal courthouses to resolve that and other pending issues in the Mueller investigation. Staff may not show up unless paid, and Chief Justice Roberts will not be assuming the role of the clerk to accept newly filed briefs.

The Constitution may require keeping the lights on at the Supreme Court, although it is unclear who could enforce this if bills are not paid. The Constitution does not require continued funding for all other federal courts, which exist entirely at the discretion of Congress.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which has long been a liberal hangout to interfere with job creation, suffered the same fate that its regulations have caused to many businesses. Last week the EPA furloughed 13,705 employees, telling them to stay home without pay.

That means a slowdown in EPA regulations and enforcement actions, which is good for the economy. It is a temporary hardship on the EPA employees, but far more employees of businesses hurt by EPA regulations have permanently lost their jobs because of it.

So what is the hurry for ending the shutdown? Stand strong, Mr. President, and watch the Democrats beat a path to your door to end the shutdown, on your terms.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Trump’s Christmas Echoes the One in 1776

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
by John and Andy Schlafly

For the 22nd time since 1975, an impasse between Congress and the President has resulted in a partial shutdown of non-essential government offices. Like the 21-day shutdown in 1995-96, this one is occurring over the Christmas holidays when little government work is done anyway.

Members of Congress went home after failing to approve a modest down-payment on essential border security. Thankfully, President Trump has stood strong for building a wall along our southern border, where over 100,000 people crossed illegally last year.

Of course the Republican Congress should have addressed this long ago, not days before they lose their majority in the House. It should not have required a successful “GoFundMe” fundraising effort for the wall to prod the House to finally authorize $5.7 billion to fund it.

Some Democrats are refusing to support a border wall merely because Trump supports it. As Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) said last week, “I talked to four Democrats that said: ‘Look, if you just stop calling it the wall, we’re in.’”

Democrats have thought that a shutdown always works to their advantage, but that calculation changed after Republicans benefited from the Schumer shutdown last January. Trump had generously offered to sign legislation protecting the children of illegal aliens, but his offer was rebuffed by Schumer and Pelosi.

Democrats claim they support “border security,” but what they really mean is money to process thousands of bogus claims of asylum by people hoping to land in the great American safety net while they wait for their claims to be heard. Trump has outfoxed the asylum industry by requiring claimants to remain in Mexico while they wait.

To reinforce his commitment to protect Americans first, the president also announced plans to withdraw troops from Syria, where ISIS has been decimated, along with a reduction of our involvement in the 17-year, no-win war in Afghanistan. He accepted the resignation of the defense secretary who disagreed with these decisions.

Among the D.C. swamp dwellers, many of the same people who resist building a wall on our own border insist that American troops be permanently deployed in faraway countries. They support an endless presence by our soldiers elsewhere, but oppose a wall to protect our own people from the influx of illegal aliens and drugs from Central America.

“We fight for the borders of other countries,” Trump tweeted on December 22, “but we won’t fight for the borders of our own!”

It’s time to recall the first government shutdown in American history, and how a future president won that battle with his bold, decisive action. It was in December of 1776, when General George Washington was camped along the Delaware River in northeastern Pennsylvania.

On December 12, 1776, Congress adjourned without extending the enlistments of American soldiers or approving their pay for the coming year. Members of Congress abandoned Philadelphia, where they had been meeting, because they feared the British troops nearby in New Jersey.

Once the soldiers’ enlistments ran out, the Continental Army would disband and soldiers would return to their farms in the 13 colonies. Some soldiers had already gone home, some were barefoot, food was running short, and winter was coming in.

But Washington was not going to give up the American cause without a fight. In an incredibly bold and risky maneuver, he decided to load his entire army ― men, horses and munitions ― into boats to cross the icy Delaware River on Christmas night.

To inspire his men, Washington ordered them to assemble for a public reading of Thomas Paine’s new pamphlet, “The American Crisis,” which had just been published on December 19: “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”

On December 23 and 24, many boats were collected and secured with the help of experienced seamen. The crossing began at sundown December 25, and lasted all night amid horrendous weather: rain, sleet, snow, ice, and winds that were called a hurricane.

It was daylight on December 26 when troops reassembled on the Jersey shore. They marched 9 miles to Trenton where they surprised and defeated a contingent of British-allied Hessian troops, took them prisoner and captured their food, supplies and horses.

That was the early turning point in the American Revolution, thanks to the leadership of George Washington against all odds. Trump displays the same kind of initiative needed to put our Nation back on the path sought by our Founders.

Amid the current Democrat-caused shutdown, Trump delivers to the People the best Christmas present a president can give: leadership to Make America Great Again.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.