Tuesday, August 28, 2018

End NAFTA, Starting with Mexican Trucks

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
by John and Andy Schlafly

President Trump’s bold action in renegotiating NAFTA with Mexico caught his critics and hostile Canadian officials off guard.  Short for the “North American Free Trade Agreement,” NAFTA has been a mistake plaguing us ever since the Clinton Administration pushed it into law in 1993.

The Canadian government has been pursuing an anti-Trump agenda, but now they are begging to be included in the new deal with Mexico.  Trump has responded that Canada will be allowed into the deal on terms that are good for America, but Canada will get slapped with tariffs if it insists on the favoritism that it received in the past.

Trump is reportedly limiting a massive loophole which has cost us auto manufacturing jobs.  He is requiring that 75% of a car’s value be made in North America in order to qualify for the exemption from tariffs, up from the lax 62.5% threshold allowed by NAFTA.

Trump is also properly insisting that cars contain a greater amount of American aluminum, steel and other essential parts.  The new deal will require that 40 to 45% of cars be manufactured by workers who are paid at least $16 an hour, which would reduce reliance on cheap foreign labor.

NAFTA has been a scourge on our country perpetrated the globalists, who hide behind the misleading term “free trade” to justify their destruction of American jobs.  Real wages in the United States have not improved for workers in many decades, and the offshoring of manufacturing under NAFTA is a big reason why.

It is not “free trade” to export American technology to foreign countries for manufacturing there, and to give away our American trade secrets as many companies have been doing with China.  Corporate executives enrich themselves with this approach and create a two-tier society having a massive gap between the rich and poor, as exists in Silicon Valley today.

NAFTA narrowly passed 234–200 in the House of Representatives despite opposition by both liberals and conservatives.  NAFTA fell far short of the two-thirds vote needed to ratify a treaty, but President Bill Clinton signed it into law anyway.

Bernie Sanders defeated Hillary Clinton in the Michigan Democratic primary for president in 2016 by pointing out that NAFTA and other disastrous trade agreements are what destroyed Detroit.  Then Donald Trump defeated Hillary in that same traditionally Democratic state to win the presidency, again by criticizing Hillary’s support of bad trade deals like NAFTA.

NAFTA has been a job-killer and worse.  NAFTA has flooded our communities with illegal drugs and illegal aliens, as far away from the southern border as New Hampshire and Iowa.

Due primarily to NAFTA, imports to our country from Mexico increased more than five-fold in the first two decades after NAFTA became law.  But it is inevitable that this massive increase in legal imports from the crime-ridden foreign country would bring in much that is illegal and harmful, too.

In 2015, despite the failure of a pilot test program, President Obama extended NAFTA to allow Mexican trucks to carry loads deep into the United States with drivers having only a Mexican, not American, driver’s license.  This has harmed towns near the border that had nice businesses to transfer truckloads of Mexican shipments to qualified American drivers for delivery throughout the United States.

President Trump should completely end the invasion of Mexican trucks in the United States, and not merely modify it.  Mexican trucks are not as safe as American ones, and Mexican drivers have been involved in horrific crashes possibly caused by their limited English ability.

One can only guess at how much in illegal drugs flows into our Nation from Mexico due to NAFTA, because only a tiny fraction of all incoming containers are actually inspected.  Moreover, drugs are cleverly concealed in other shipments such that they can escape detection even when their containers are the subject of inspection.

The rise in vicious drug lords and gangs that render Mexico so dangerous today coincided with NAFTA and the increase in drug importation into the United States.  It is a myth perpetrated by globalists in claiming that NAFTA has been beneficial to Mexico, when in fact it has resulted in uncontrollable murders by drug gangs there.

Few remember presidential candidate Ross Perot, but in 1992 he attracted 19% in the presidential election by talking about the “giant sucking sound going south” if NAFTA became law.  The loss of manufacturing jobs has indeed resulted, as American companies used NAFTA to move good jobs to Mexico.

Now many of those jobs should be coming back, thanks to President Trump’s tough approach to negotiations with Mexico and Canada.  If he can also keep the Mexican trucks off our interstate highways then that will be an added bonus for all Americans.

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, August 21, 2018

Social Media Must Stop Censoring Conservatives

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
by John and Andy Schlafly

The biggest threat to what some call “our democracy” is not collusion with Russia, but collusion among high-tech monopolies in Silicon Valley to censor Trump supporters.  The strong-arm tactics of the Leftists who control Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Apple are making the Pravda of the former Soviet Union look like a free speech paradise in comparison.

Shadowbanning conservative users, which consists of blocking or hindering the distribution of their internet content without telling them, is a particularly pernicious form of censorship.  The victim sees fewer viewers for his postings but does not know why.

Other tactics to stifle conservatives on the internet have included taking down their YouTube videos, excluding their “apps” from smart phones, and disabling links from Facebook to conservative websites.  The problem is so pervasive that it has attracted the attention of House Republicans and President Trump himself.

On Saturday, President Trump tweeted that “Social Media is totally discriminating against Republican/Conservative voices.  Speaking loudly and clearly for the Trump Administration, we won’t let that happen.”

The timing of this political censorship less than 60 days from the beginning of early voting in the midterms is no coincidence.  Control of the House of Representatives hangs in the balance, and censoring Trump supporters gives Democrat candidates an unfair advantage.

“Too many voices are being destroyed, some good & some bad, and that cannot be allowed to happen,” President Trump continued.  “Let everybody participate, good & bad, and we will all just have to figure it out!”

“I won’t mention names,” the president said in an interview with Reuters, “but when they take certain people off of Twitter or Facebook and they’re making that decision, that is really a dangerous thing because that could be you tomorrow.”

The Department of Justice should take Trump’s tweets to heart, and investigate the Silicon Valley monopolies.  If DOJ can afford $50 million for Robert Mueller to search for Russian collusion in the last election, then it should have enough money to expose how conservative speech is restricted by the corporations that control our social media.

Competition is a necessary condition of the American free enterprise system, but there is no real competition in social media or Silicon Valley.  Instead, a privileged few are abusing their monopoly power to silence an essential segment of political dialog:  conservative speech.

The Sherman Act, landmark Republican legislation passed way back in 1890, provides the Trump Administration all the tools it needs to stop the censorship.  Facebook, Google (which owns YouTube), and the other California companies are violating the Sherman Act by restraining trade in the services they offer, as well as by attempting to monopolize the main channels of communication on the internet.

Senator John McCain’s political idol, President Theodore Roosevelt, would be telling Trump to bust up the Silicon Valley monopolies that are censoring conservatives. Not even John D. Rockefeller’s massive oil monopoly, a target of Roosevelt’s trust-busting, ever tried to impose censorship of American political opinion.

Teddy Roosevelt was also very Trump-like on the need for immigrants to assimilate and learn to speak our common English language.  In addition to Trump’s positions on securing our borders, the first President Roosevelt would have applauded Trump for recently praising a U.S. Border Patrol agent who “speaks perfect English.”

While the Justice Department is preoccupied with searching for a nonexistent Russia conspiracy, another Trump cabinet member, Dr. Ben Carson, has issued a challenge to one of the social media giants.  On Friday, Carson’s Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) accused Facebook of discriminating against its users, in a Housing Discrimination Complaint.

Facebook makes its enormous profits by extracting demographic information about its users and then delivering that information to advertisers for a price.  By doing so, Facebook “invites advertisers to express unlawful preferences by offering discriminatory options, allowing them to effectively limit housing options for these protected classes under the guise of ‘targeted advertising,’” Dr. Carson’s HUD said in a statement.

“The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination including those who might limit or deny housing options with a click of a mouse,” said the HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, Anna María Farías.  Facebook violates federal law by allowing its advertisers to unlawfully control which users receive housing-related ads based upon the recipient’s race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, disability, and/or zip code.

The Leftist strategy to censor is bound to fail, and gives Republicans a campaign issue for the fall.  Defending the right of free speech against censorship is an issue that resonates strongly with young voters, on whom Democrats traditionally rely for their margin of victory.

The political irony is rich.  Democrats are making President Trump the new champion of free speech, and deservedly so.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. 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, August 14, 2018

Stephen Miller is our Rock of Gibraltar

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
by John and Andy Schlafly

When the Left resorts to digging up someone’s uncle to smear someone, then you know they are getting desperate.  Yet that is the pathetic length to which the Trump-haters are going, to try to stop the most effective adviser in the White House.

Stephen Miller has been the guiding light on President Trump’s agenda to make America safe again after decades of illegal immigration and open borders.  He is extraordinary in how he both writes Trump’s speeches on many topics, while also giving him substantive advice on the most important issues.

It has taken the media awhile to recognize that the low-key Miller is the Rock of Gibraltar in the White House amid the storms that fake news repeatedly creates.  Miller is the one who stayed strong while House Speaker Paul Ryan and other sellouts on Capitol Hill demanded that Trump cave on DACA and other immigration controversies.

Phyllis Schlafly praised Miller back when he was crafting immigration policy for then-Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama.  Miller authored detailed, highly effective reports against open borders while he worked for Sen. Sessions, which Phyllis then distributed nationwide.

When John McCain ran for president in 2008, Phyllis educated the grassroots in Iowa about the immigration issue and urged them to question McCain at gatherings he attended around the state.  He expressed surprise and dismay afterwards about how significant the immigration issue had become in rural Iowa.

Significant indeed.  Since then Miller first guided Senator Sessions and then President Trump on the issue, championing the needs of America against those who hate us around the world.

Enter Dr. David S. Glosser, a retired neuropsychologist and Miller’s uncle who wrote a recent article highly critical of his nephew Stephen Miller in Politico.com.  It is unclear if Dr. Glosser knows Miller well enough to criticize him on a personal level; instead, Dr. Glosser relies on how Miller’s maternal grandmother immigrated through Ellis Island more than a century ago without being able to speak English.

But those immigrants worked hard to learn English and assimilate fully into American society, and they raised their children to love America.  Many of the Ellis Island immigrants, like Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, were highly patriotic and outspokenly supportive of America.

Justice Frankfurter, for example, was so patriotic that he voted against a constitutional right for any schoolchild to refuse to salute the American flag.  The Supreme Court ultimately decided that issue in favor of a First Amendment right not to salute, but the immigrant Justice Frankfurter passionately dissented in support of West Virginia and its mandatory salute to the American flag in public school.

Stephen Miller has described how his experiences at his own public high school helped shape his views.  He quoted President Teddy Roosevelt in his high school yearbook: “There can be no fifty-fifty Americanism in this country.”

Now Stephen Miller is reviving the “public charge” doctrine to reduce public welfare handouts to immigrants.  If someone has been milking the taxpayers for Obamacare and other welfare programs, then why should he be granted American citizenship?

We do not have enough resources in the United States to give perpetual handouts to the rest of the world, and we should not be attracting immigrants who want to live on such entitlements here.  Miller should take sensible steps to tie citizenship to self-reliance, and he does not need approval by Congress to do so.

The Department of Homeland Security confirmed that the Trump Administration “is committed to enforcing existing immigration law, which is clearly intended to protect the American taxpayer by ensuring that foreign nationals seeking to enter or remain in the U.S are self-sufficient.”  The Department added that it “takes the responsibility of being good stewards of taxpayer funds seriously and adjudicates immigration benefit requests in accordance with the law.”

Bravo!  But liberals are howling mad, decrying how this could affect one million people in New York City alone.

Milton Friedman, the Nobel Prize-winning economist, explained decades ago that “in a welfare state … the supply of immigrants will become infinite.”  In other words, the combination of immigration and the welfare state is a recipe for economic disaster.

For example, liberals want Medicare for All, by which they mean all residents, legal and illegal.  That is projected to cost the American taxpayer an astronomical $32.6 trillion over ten years.

President Trump can save us from that by enforcing “public charge” doctrine, by which all participants in such government handouts will be disqualified from obtaining American citizenship.  This will advance Trump’s goal of attracting the best from other countries, not those who are least willing to work.

We are grateful to Stephen Miller for his courageous stance on immigration.  Not even the welcoming poem at the Statue of Liberty invites those who are coming here for a handout.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. 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, August 8, 2018

Congress AWOL as courts derail the Trump Train

President Trump’s party controls Congress, but one would never know that by how it has been AWOL (absent without leave) while courts block Trump at every turn. Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House who is retiring at the age of only 48, is doing so little that the public might wonder if he is even still in office.

Meanwhile, the judicial war of resistance against Trump continues unabated. In the last few days and weeks, federal courts have issued rulings requiring Trump to restart DACA, fund sanctuary cities, stop asking about citizenship in the census, include transgenders in the interpretation of Title IX, reunite illegal alien “families” even where the adults are criminals who have already been deported, and so on.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a statement on Monday criticizing the rash of judicial activism against the Trump Administration. “We have recently witnessed a number of decisions in which courts have improperly used judicial power to steer, enjoin, modify, and direct executive policy,” General Sessions explained.

“This ignores the wisdom of our Founders and transfers policy making questions from the constitutionally empowered and politically accountable branches to the judicial branch,” he said. General Sessions vowed that the “Trump Administration and this Department of Justice will continue to aggressively defend the executive branch’s lawful authority and duty to ensure a lawful system of immigration for our country.”

New lawsuits against policies Trump campaigned on are being filed by the Left nearly every day. Last week four liberal-controlled cities – Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, and Columbus – asked a federal court to force Trump to support Obamacare.

Imitating a familiar pattern pursued by liberals in other cases, the new lawsuit for Obamacare quotes out-of-court statements by President Trump as though they were evidence. For example, the lawsuit demands relief because Trump has said that “essentially, we have gotten rid of” Obamacare.

The power vacuum on Capitol Hill encourages judicial supremacy, as courts see that Congress is not providing any check or balance to the overreach by the judicial branch. Like unsupervised kids in a candy store, judges will grab as much power as they can until Congress checks their conduct.

The Supreme Court does too little, too late to rein in lower courts that legislate from the bench. Deciding only 58 argued cases during its recently ended term, the Supreme Court has been barely more than a remote outpost that takes far too long to protect our Constitutional rights.

In the last year the Supreme Court has ducked issues and declined to accept appeals on anti-Second Amendment rulings upholding gun control, and an anti-First Amendment ruling censoring videos taken by pro-life David Daleiden. This renders liberal Courts of Appeals the last word on key issues.

In a tactic known as forum shopping, Trump’s opponents file their lawsuits in courts where Democratic trial judges will likely rule in their favor at the district court level. Then, a year or two later at the appellate level, the overwhelmingly Democrat-nominated judges in the Fourth and Ninth Circuits predictably affirm.

Trump ultimately prevailed when the Supreme Court reinstated his temporary, so-called travel ban from several hostile nations, but it took nearly a year-and-a-half to do so, even with the expedited attention that case received. That wasteful litigation consumed more than a third of Trump’s entire first term in office, and far too much of his personal time, allowing uncertainty to persist and undermine other actions that Trump could have been taking for our country.

The Ninth Circuit presides over a fifth of our nation’s population – more than 64 million people – and more than two-thirds of its active judges were appointed by Presidents Clinton and Obama. Despite seven vacancies on that Circuit for Trump to fill, the Senate has so far confirmed only one, a compromise nominee opposed by more than half the Republican senators due to his weakness on the Second Amendment.

More than a decade ago, Congress did take an important step to curb judicial hostility to the Second Amendment. The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) prohibits all courts, both federal and state, from entertaining lawsuits against gun manufacturers for crimes committed by their products.

This good law stands as a model of what Congress should also be doing to rein in the courts on additional issues where they are out of control. Despite the resounding success of the PLCAA in achieving its stated goal to “preserve a citizen’s access to a supply of firearms and ammunition,” Congress has not yet expanded this approach to eliminate other judicial activism.

Immigration policy is an issue uniquely within the domain of the President and Congress, and courts should have little say in the matter. Congress should take heed of Attorney General Sessions’ criticisms of judicial overreach on immigration, and withdraw the issue from the courts.

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, August 1, 2018

Trump's right to push back against Koch bros

Fed up with rants against him by the globalist Charles Koch, President Trump tweeted back that the Koch brothers “have become a total joke in real Republican circles.” “I don’t need their money or bad ideas,” he added, or their political baggage.

Republican politicians who have fallen for the Koch agenda of weak borders, phony free trade and a toxic image have often lost as a result. Trickles of money given by the Koch network are insufficient to offset the immense radioactive political effect.

Yet Koch allies just slipped three open-border provisions into the Fiscal Year 2019 Appropriations Bill for the Department of Homeland Security. Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kan., inserted these pro-immigration amendments, as approved by a voice vote to avoid political accountability, whereupon the House Appropriations Committee recommended the entire bill by a 29-22 vote on July 25.

The pro-immigration provisions include blocking Attorney General Jeff Sessions from tightening the requirements for illegal aliens who seek asylum. The last-minute changes also seek to expand the limit of visas for foreign workers and lift the per-country cap, which would open the floodgates to thousands of guest workers from India.

Koch’s recent semiannual conference of ineffective muckety-mucks turned into an unhelpful bashing of President Trump a mere 100 days from the midterms. A top spokesman for Koch accused Trump, and not his opponents, of being too divisive.

At the conclusion of the conference, the Koch network declared they would not support the Republican Senate candidate in North Dakota, Kevin Cramer, who has a chance to oust a Democratic incumbent and preserve GOP control of that chamber. A Koch organization has already run ads promoting the pro-abortion Democratic incumbent, to the dismay of conservatives.

In Pennsylvania, Koch money is funding ads against the pro-life Republican Lou Barletta, who is challenging the entrenched liberal Democrat Bob Casey Jr. for the Senate. As Republicans struggle to hold the Senate, this shocking betrayal by the Koch network should cause all conservatives to disassociate from it.

Rep. Yoder’s fellow Kansas congressman Tim Huelskamp was a rising conservative star until he went for the Kochs’ peculiar resistance to farmers, whereupon he was defeated in his own primary in 2016. Huelskamp was even outspent by his opponent despite how the Koch network brags about having so much money.

Jim Ryun, a good man who has held the American record for more than 50 years for a teenager in running the fastest mile (and 1,500 meters), was ousted in 2006 from his congressional seat in Kansas by a Democrat who then sponsored a bill to crack down on Mexican trucks. “A Republican cannot win if he allows a Democrat to get to the right of him on an issue people care about,” Phyllis Schlafly wrote in Spring 2010, lamenting how Ryun’s political comeback in 2008 fell short of the finish line.

Far from any border, one might think that Kansas would be immune from immigration controversies that rage in Arizona, Texas and Florida. But shocking crimes have been committed by illegal aliens in the otherwise safe Kansas, such as the reckless murder last year of a Johnson County sheriff’s deputy by a badly intoxicated illegal alien who drove a pickup truck into his police car.

Kansas is also on high alert for the West Nile virus, a deadly disease that was first imported into our country in 1999. This mosquito-transmitted virus of Africa and the Middle East made it all the way from Queens, New York, where it was first discovered in America, to the middle of Kansas.

Pushing the Koch agenda might boost a candidate’s campaign coffers, and Rep. Yoder’s has swelled to $2 million for his re-election. But a candidate still needs a base to win, and all the money in the world may not salvage a Republican who crosses Trump on immigration or trade, as some Republicans are doing.

Criticism of President Trump by the Koch network is publicized widely by the liberal media, due to the false perception by some that the Koch mega-donors are conservative. In fact, Trump disavowed support from the Kochs during his own campaign for president, and spectacular success for Trump’s campaign followed.

Trump was then free of all the negative baggage among many voters that is associated with the Koch network. Current candidates should pause before pandering to the Koch network, because embracing the Koch agenda will bring out the Democratic base against them while doing nothing to energize conservative voters needed to win.

The Kochs “were the first people to put the knife in [Trump’s] back,” Steve Bannon observed in a recent interview with Politico. He added that the Koch network should “shut up and get with the program,” which is the necessary “ground game to support Trump’s presidency” in order to enable “victory on Nov. 6.”

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.