One Year Out, Trump Has Proven Doomsayers Wrong But Naysayers Right

Oh, tribalism. The political discourse in America right now absolutely reeks of it. It’s a steaming pile of, well, you know what.

There is not much thought that goes into such a worldview except blind allegiance to a person. It’s not as if we haven’t seen the same thing in years past. Barack Obama received undying adulation during his eight years in the White House. He was praised for every move he made, no matter if it was substantive or not.

That’s what idol worship looks like.

Now we’ve seen the same exaltation of Trump, a man whose questionable character and behavior would make his own MAGA disciples think twice about throwing their support his way but only if he was a member of that other political party. Again with the idol worship.

And then there’s another segment of the incredibly fractured electorate that’s located on the Right side of the aisle. It’s made up of those whose hatred for Trump is also a sort of blind allegiance. This time, however, that allegiance isn’t directed at a person but an anti-Trump ideal.

“Hold to that ideal and never let go! Stay strong, no matter what. Must not smile if anything good happens during Trump’s presidency. Must. Not. Give. In.”

What an exhausting way to live.

A great example of this very thing is Jennifer Rubin, the so-called conservative blogger for The Washington Post. Rubin has completely abandoned her own convictions about particular issues just because of Trump. Charles Cooke at National Review wrote about it recently.

Rubin is not the only example of this president’s remarkable talent for corrupting his detractors as well as his devotees, but she is perhaps the best one. Since Donald Trump burst onto the political scene, Rubin has become precisely what she dislikes in others: a monomaniac and a bore, whose visceral dislike of her opponents has prompted her to drop the keys to her conscience into a well…If Trump likes something, Rubin doesn’t. If he does something, she opposes it. If his agenda flits into alignment with hers—as anyone’s is wont to do from time to time—she either ignores it, or finds a way to downplay it. The result is farcical and sad; a comprehensive and self-inflicted airbrushing of the mind.

Rubinism. Tribalism. Both are everywhere.

In his Sunday column at The New York Times, Ross Douthat said just that, though much better than I can.

This doesn’t mean that his presidency is succeeding, or that NeverTrumpers were wrong to oppose him; it doesn’t mean that his manifest incapacity won’t lead to some disaster; it doesn’t mean that conservatives or anyone else should be happy to have porn stars and race-baiting in the headlines; it doesn’t mean that the Trump chapter in our history won’t be remembered for hastening decline.

Trump is a dictator on Twitter, a Dear Leader in his own mind, but in the real world there is no Trumpocracy because Trump cannot even rule himself. And while real tragedy may arrive eventually, in this historical cycle a dismal sort of farce is what comes first.

Those who completely set aside clear, principled stances on important issues just to take cheap, lazy shots at Trump are closer to the man they love to hate than they’ll admit. Their own rancid tribalism is patently obvious.

On January 19th in advance of the 45th annual March for Life, I wrote about the preceding year and all of its pro-life advancements. As a former NeverEverTrumper who was committed to that through election day, I admitted that I had been wrong about the movement under this president. I am happy to have been wrong. If my allegiance had been to a man instead of a life-affirming principle, I would have denounced all that has occurred. Shockingly enough, I can praise the good that has been done while still holding the man accountable for his words and actions.

And I’ll continue to do that.

This president was never going to being all good or all bad. That this very thing needs to be uttered speaks to our binary obsessions in the world of politics.

A full twelve months after he took office, it’s evident that President Donald Trump did not usher in an American apocalypse. He is not Hitler nor is he Stalin. He is not comparable to these murderous monsters of decades past, but he is monstrous in his own way. He gives rise to bigotry and racism within his own ranks whether he gives a stamp of approval on it or not. He lowers the decorum of the highest office in the land. He is embarrassing on an international scale.

But the end is not upon us.

This is not to say that he hasn’t irrevocably damaged conservatism. His connection, however tenuous, has permanently marred it. We’ll have to answer for that in the immediate future and in the long run as well.

Despite what those who are deeply aligned against Trump believe, the end was never going to come with him. But he certainly hasn’t done much to slow its arrival.

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President Trump’s First Year Pro-Life Report Card

During the Obama administration, the unborn did not have a friend in the White House.

The 44th president was cozy with the pro-abort movement and even ended with “God bless you” when addressing Planned Parenthood, the country’s largest abortion provider, in 2013.

Naturally, the desire for a pro-life president was strong during the 2016 presidential campaign. Voters knew that Hillary Clinton was loved by abortion proponents and would go out of her way to defend legal homicide. Her opponent, Donald Trump, hadn’t been a self-described pro-lifer for very much of his adult life. This led to nervousness on the part of some in the movement. Admittedly, I was one of those who cast a wary eye his way with regard to the very serious issue of protecting the unborn.

I am happy to report that after his first year in office, President Trump has made decisions that help to protect the most defenseless among us.

Here are the highlights.

Reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy 

On January 23, 2017, just three days after taking the oath of office, Trump reinstated the Mexico City policy. Since it was enacted by President Reagan in 1984, it has been supported by Republican presidents and rescinded by Democratic presidents. Quite often, but not always, the abortion issue falls cleanly along party lines.

The policy

…states that foreign non-governmental organizations may not receive federal funding if they perform or promote abortions as a method of family planning.

…the Mexico City Policy has become emblematic of a new president’s stance on abortion. Incoming presidents generally overturn or reinstate the policy within their first week of office, symbolizing the stance that they will take on abortion issues over the course of their presidency.

Truly, how a president handles the MCP acts as a bellwether for the rest of his administration with regard to abortion.

Nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court 

On January 31, 2017, President Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to take the seat left vacant by Justice Antonin Scalia. Gorsuch is known as an originalist and textualist, and his stint on the bench thus far has proven that.

Pro-life organizations were quick to applaud his nomination.

The pro-life movement is advocating the swift confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court, calling the federal appellate judge a “defender of the most basic human rights” and a legal theorist “reminiscent of the late Justice Antonin Scalia.”

Sixty national and state pro-life organizations sent a letter to the Senate on Monday to mark the beginning of the confirmation hearings.

The letter was spearheaded by the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List and signed by representatives from Live Action, Students for Life and the Family Research Council.

It cites Judge Gorsuch’s record on religious liberty, including his decisions siding with Hobby Lobby and the Little Sisters of the Poor against the Obama administration’s contraception mandate.

For many on the Right side of the aisle, the Supreme Court vacancy was the factor that spurred them to support Donald Trump on election day. They could not tolerate the thought of Hillary Clinton appointing anyone to the high court. While the Gorsuch nomination and appointment is certainly one of Trump’s greatest achievements in his first year, greater impact still will be made when/if another seat becomes vacant. Any GOP president would have appointed a similar individual to follow in Scalia’s footsteps, which brings the bench to its most recent balance. The next justice will change the face of the court entirely. This is not to negate the impact and necessity of Gorsuch, though. Thankfully, it’s clear that any of Trump’s future nominations will be similarly solid based on how he handled this first, major judicial decision.

Defunding of UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund)

In early April, the Trump administration announced it would cut funds to the UNFPA based on its connection to population control in China. While the move was expected, and previous Republican presidents have done the same thing, it was of course met with resistance. However, it was necessary.

For many years, links have been exposed between the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and China’s one-child policy. China’s oppressive population control policy, recently changed to a two-child limit, has led to forced and coerced abortions up through nine months of pregnancy, as well as forced and coerced sterilizations.

“This determination was made based on the fact that China’s family planning policies still involve the use of coercive abortion and involuntary sterilization, and UNFPA partners on family planning activities with the Chinese government agency responsible for these coercive policies,” the state department said.

The cut amounts to at least $32.5 million for the 2017; the department said it will redirect the funds to the U.S. Agency for International Development, which provides medical care to families across the world

Killed Obama-Era Regulation Relating to Title X Funding

In mid-April, President Trump overturned a rule requiring states to pass federal funds to abortion providers.

President Trump has signed legislation that lets states withhold federal family planning funds from Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.

The rule required that state and local governments distribute federal Title X funding for services related to contraception, fertility, pregnancy care and cervical cancer screenings to health providers, regardless of whether they perform abortions.

Now, states have the option to withhold those funds.

Essentially, this decision defunded the state-funding of Planned Parenthood. Of course, states have the option to distribute funds as they wish, but since that was not an option before (thanks to Obama), this was a major – and early – win for the pro-life movement.

Department of Health and Human Services Declares that Life Begins at Conception

Every four years, the HHS releases a strategic plan outlining their mission to help Americans. For the first time ever, the department released a plan that defined life as from “conception to natural death.”

That this became official public policy marked a major shift toward life.

Starting in 2010, HHS has been required to release a strategic plan every four years. This time their plan, for the first time ever, has explicitly recognized that life begins at conception. This is a major victory for the rights and dignity of the unborn.

The HHS plan goes well beyond lip service. It incorporates this scientific principle as an integral and holistic part of its healthcare mission here at home and around the globe. Specifically, the fact that life begins at conception is included in four key components of the plan.

Of course, this definition doesn’t change the abortion culture within the United States, but a department within the government has on their books that “life begins at conception”, and that is no small thing.

Today, President Trump will address the 45th annual March for Life. He is the first sitting president to do just that.

“Since his first day in office, President Trump has remained steadfast on his campaign promises to the pro-life cause and has actively worked to protect the unborn…We welcome our 45th President, Donald Trump, to the 45th annual March for Life,” March for Life President Jeanne Mancini said in a statement. “Over the past year, the Trump administration has significantly advanced pro-life policy, and it is with great confidence that, under his leadership, we expect to see other pro-life achievements in the years to come.”

The president of the March for Life is not incorrect in her assessment. As seen above, President Trump has truly made great strides in the fight to protect unborn life. Policies have nixed funds that directly propped up the abortion industry and decisions affecting the future, from judicial appointments to very definitions, have been decidedly pro-life.

So what does Trump get for his first year as it relates to the pro-life cause? He gets an A, but not an A+. 

Unfortunately, under a Republican-controlled Congress, Planned Parenthood still receives half a billion dollars in federal funds each year. This is unacceptable and should be a priority on the legislative agenda. Of course, this kind of victory would require a near-miracle in the Senate, a place where GOP Senators, and pro-abort harpies, Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins reside. Without their support, and without help from a few on the other side of the aisle, passing anything relating to defunding is dead on arrival.

Another difficulty in the fight, though a minor one from a policy standpoint, is Trump’s own language and behavior. His words on the campaign trail, when he said women who have abortions should be punished, is still mentioned to serve as proof of his callousness. While he recanted and went on to say it is abortionists who should be punished, which is what he should have said all along, the mistake cost him. In addition, Trump’s history of philandering doesn’t blend well with a movement that focuses on helping women find hope when faced with an unplanned pregnancy that too often is a result of casual sexual behavior. This is something that must be addressed by those who are leaders in the movement. If not, they will come across as disingenuous.

I am happy to have been wrong about the outlook for the pro-life movement in America under Donald J. Trump. Given the advancement in these first twelve months, we can plainly see that the rest of his tenure will follow in similar life-affirming footsteps.

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President Trump’s Sh*thole Comment? It Really Does Not Matter

If there is something we as Right aisle-sitters learned from the 2016 presidential campaign, it’s that anything goes when it comes to Donald J. Trump.

No faux pas is too great, no gaffe is too noticeable, and no remark is too rude.

Not much has changed since he was merely a candidate in that vast Republican field filled with eventual losers like Jeb Bush, John Kasich, and Chris Christie. During debates and in between stops the future president would “tell it like it is” to reporters and regular folks alike. Sure, that honesty was acerbic, but it was invigorating to a tired GOP electorate that had suffered under Barack Obama for eight years. This very exhaustion pushed them to choose the cringeworthy outsider whose controversial, but successful, campaign forever silenced the presidential aspirations of Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

It was all worth it, right? Well, the debate rages on.

We (the current or semi-retired NeverTrumpers) are glad that Hillary Clinton was not the victor. However, it’s difficult to breathe a sigh of relief while wincing at daily missteps by the 45th president. Yes, it is possible to be frustrated with an outcome that brought a Clinton down but also left us with a reality star president whose damaging impact on conservatism has yet to be fully realized.

Which brings us to that sh*thole comment and the corresponding news cycle.

As you’re well aware, President Trump is charged with describing African and Central American nations as “shithole countries” while discussing immigration during a January 11th meeting with lawmakers. Though he denies it, it’s hardly shocking that he most likely uttered such a phrase.

Let’s not act as if his use of that terminology is out of the realm of possibility. President Trump’s past and present behavior lends enough credence to these claims.

So, does it matter?

No, it really does not matter that he used the word sh*t. We’re all adults. Such language hardly spurs pearl-clutching. Are you really shocked that a politician speaks that way in private? Don’t be. No, it really does not matter that he labeled those countries as horrible places. After all, there are many nations that are run by ruthless and corrupt governments. International reputations are rightly sullied by their leaders. These nations are filled with warlords, criminals, and cartels.

The structure of the comment and its characterization of nations as a whole isn’t the issue.

The real issue is that by using this phrase, the president of the United States is implying that we don’t want people from bad nations because they are automatically…bad people. And that implication does matter. It matters greatly because it’s nothing short of bigotry and racism.

It’s elitism dressed up as very serious concern about national security. It’s laziness. It’s generalization. In other words, it’s the kind of thing that President Trump excels at when he opens his mouth: shock, awe, and little substance. It’s saying that someone from a country with problems could not become a true, patriotic American who contributes to and loves our own flawed nation. It’s saying that the best course of action – for a nation of immigrants – is to pick and choose people based on country of origin, not individuality.

Sorry, but that’s not America.

Naturally, the Trump Fan Club finds nothing wrong with his statements because, well, “there really are sh*tty countries, Kim!” Their rationalizations continue to meet my expectations for them.

So, we shall go forth from this news cycle (eventually) into another news cycle that contains just as much absurdity. This comment will be bookmarked and referenced often because it says much about the character of the man who leads our country. And that character is, and has been, concerning.

Truly, we should demand better from our president. No, this statement isn’t world-ending, but it is problematic. Such a thing should be readily admitted by those who are more closely aligned with the commander-in-chief.

But nevermind all that. Didn’t you hear? That sh*thole comment doesn’t really matter.

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Supreme Court’s Refusal to Hear Two “Discrimination” Cases Means WIN for Religious Freedom

In April 2016, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed HB 1523.

The law, known as the Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act officially protects religious and moral convictions within the state from action by the government. The convictions specific to the bill regard the definition of marriage, sexual relations within a marriage, and “an individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth.”

In other words, you’re allowed to – gasp – hold personal beliefs!

Among those protected by the law include the following:

  • religious organizations (free to decline services, accommodations, or facilities)
  • foster or adoptive parents (free to raise a child as they wish)
  • business owners who provide marriage-related services (photography, wedding planning, bakers, other vendors)
  • persons with sex-specific standards for their facilities (spas, baths, showers, dressing rooms)
  • state employees (free to recuse themselves from authorizing/licensing/performing marriages so long as the process isn’t impeded)

Naturally, this law does not mean members of the LGBT community are barred from buying a cake, scheduling a photographer, booking a clergyman for their wedding, getting a marriage license, or using a spa. What it does mean is that should one of the above-mentioned individuals have a religious or moral conviction that prevents them from providing services to an interested party, they will be free to live by their convictions and will not face government interference.

The reaction to the Mississippi law brought about two challenges that were eventually tossed by lower courts. The Hill reports, emphasis mine.

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals tossed out a lower court order putting the law on hold and dismissed the challenges brought by state residents and two groups — the Campaign for Southern Equality and Joshua Generation Metropolitan Community Church.

The court said the challengers did not prove they’ve been personally injured by the state law, which is required to bring a legal challenge. The court added that the residents and LGBT advocates only claimed to suffer a “stigmatic injury,” which it considers not enough to bring a case. 

“Under this current record, the plaintiffs have not shown an injury-in-fact caused by HB 1523 that would empower the district court or this court to rule on its constitutionality,” the court said. “We do not foreclose the possibility that a future plaintiff may be able to show clear injury-in-fact that satisfies the ‘irreducible constitutional minimum of standing,’ but the federal courts must withhold judgment unless and until that plaintiff comes forward.”

And on Monday morning, the Supreme Court refused the two cases.

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear two cases challenging a Mississippi law that allows businesses and government employees to deny services to LGBT people based on their religious beliefs.

As previously stated, general dislike of the law is not the same as suffering actual injury under said law, thus, the court tossed the two cases because discrimination and/or injury could not be proven.

Given that nearly two years have passed since HB 1523 went into effect, it’s safe to say that the law protects the few who qualify for it without causing an enormous amount of actual societal upheaval in the Magnolia State. Why it’s as if adults are acting like adults when such an issue comes up. Imagine that.

Of course, there may come a time in the future when challenges, and documented discrimination, are brought before the courts again, but as of right now, these cases have been squashed.

As an American, I don’t want any individual punished by the state for holding personal beliefs. HB 1523 continues that protection within the state of Mississippi.

For now, SCOTUS agrees, too.

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Hollywood’s Superficial Hand-Wringing Reaches Fashionable Fever Pitch Before the Golden Globes

Tonight is the 75th Golden Globe Awards, and Hollywood is set to make a major statement for victims of sexual assault.

Just don’t expect much substance since this will mostly be a fashion statement. Think of it as the living embodiment of hashtag activism. It feels good in the moment as you see those likes/favorites/retweets pile up, but what does it actually accomplish? Not much at all.

As stars arrive at that famous red carpet and parade in front of the cameras tonight, most will be wearing black. This seems barely a stretch for the men among them who don tuxedoes and designer suits quite regularly. For the women, however, it’s a “huge” sacrifice. You see, wearing black means they’re forsaking color, a terrible travesty. Their decision to forego style will somehow help their fellow actresses, and all those regular women, who have been victims of sexual crime.

Or something.

In the lead-up to Sunday evening’s big event, Hollywood is spending time doing some hand-wringing. Because of fashion. The Telegraph reports:

But so popular is the show of support for hundreds of victims of abuse that stylists around Hollywood are tearing their hair out.

It seems there just aren’t enough black outfits to go round.

Designers and stylists are in a last-minute frenzy, some having more black attire rushed in from their fashion bases in New York.

Dozens of A-list actresses have pledged to wear black in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal. But Mr Walker warned supporters of the “Me Too” movement not to condemn those who choose not to follow suit with their outfits this year.

Just wait for it. Those not wearing black will be shamed on social media and by some fellow attendees. That’s what these people do.

…some actresses may still opt for colour, but they would be in the minority.

“You know you’re going to be creating the talk if you wear colour,” she said.

“It’s all about originality. Yet I really feel there’ll be a lot of black.”

Another stylist added that the Golden Globes should not look “like a funeral”.

And just how long will such fashion-activated activism stick around? Not even until the biggest awards show of the year: The Oscars. What does that say about Hollywood’s desire to turn the tide in their own backyard??

“I feel like the Globes is the statement. And I don’t think it will continue. It’s one big statement then the actresses may want to express themselves. The Oscars, especially, I think will be back to normal.”

And just like that, the pledge to make a difference will vanish. That’s because the extent of their commitment only went so far as the outfit they were wearing for one evening. What does that say about Hollywood? That too many are still unwilling to shake things up at the ground level. And until they do, the rape culture that exists within their lofty California bubble will go untouched.

Hollywood isn’t my thing. Sure, I enjoy entertainment and movies as I have time, but I find too many in the business to be obsessed with their elitism. As a Middle American, I somehow deserve to be lectured to by the privileged few who act for a living. They are here to “culture me up” and expand my mind through diverse and groundbreaking performances on the silver screen. In reality, their business is all fantasy.

When the players who act in front of the cameras choose that very thing as the way by which they’ll fight real harassment and abuse, I’m underwhelmed. Their show of support by wearing dark colored threads means next to nothing, especially after years of so-called open secrets about monster Harvey Weinstein and others within their golden fold.

Count me unimpressed out here in Regularville.

Rose McGowan, an actress who was assaulted by Harvey Weinstein, is rightfully upset at the ephemeral display planned for tonight’s show. I may not agree with her on everything, but she certainly has taken an enormous amount of flack for her unwillingness to keep her mouth shut. For too long, fellow actresses did just that as Weinstein enjoyed decades of predation will Hollywood kept it quiet.

On Monday, I’m sure we’ll see a number of glowing stories chronicling the “bravery” from this evening’s show. It will be counted as heroism when it is anything but that.

Tonight, Hollywood will do what it usually does: act as an arbiter of morality through glitz and glam. In reality, the dress up will mean little, will fade quickly, and the show will go on as usual.

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Taxpayer-Funded Planned Parenthood’s Annual Report Reveals That Butchery Is BIG Business

Each year, the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, publishes an annual report. Each year, the details are simultaneously heartbreaking and infuriating.

Listed among “services” several pages into the report is always a six-figure number. This lists the number of dead taken every 12 months in their clinics. These forgotten individuals are combined, tallied, and used as a statistic when pro-aborts discuss reproductive health care.

In Planned Parenthood’s 2016-2017 annual report, that number is 321,384. Take a moment to ponder the enormity of that figure and the severity of the loss. Truly, abortion is a holocaust and one of America’s greatest sins.

There are always many other figures included in the yearly report, and they are just as telling. You see, even though the abortion giant loves to tout the organization’s supposed essential place in American health care, the opposite is true.

LifeNews reports on PP’s dwindling non-death services:

If one compares annual PPFA reports over time, it’s easy to see that while abortions remain essentially unchanged, the number of patients treated for anything else continue to plunge.

In 2008, PPFA affiliates were seeing 3 million patients a year. Today, they see only 2.4 million—a huge drop of 20%.

PPFA’s highly publicized “cancer screenings” fell by almost 2/3rds–from 1,830,811 in 2009 to just 660,777 in 2016.

What about contraception services? They dropped from 3,868,901 in 2009 to 2,701,866 in 2016—a 30% tumble.

How about their much vaunted (but barely existent) prenatal services? From 40,489 in 2009 to just 7,762 in 2016—a decline of more than 3/4s.

While the abortion figure doesn’t drastically change (the 2015-2016 report listed 328,348 abortions), patient number, cancer screenings, birth control, and prenatal care have all dropped significantly.

“But Planned Parenthood cares about women!” Sure.

More damning still, when combined with the regular claims from PP that they just won’t survive without federal funding, is the final amount of revenue in the most recent fiscal year. According to the latest report, that number is $1.46 BILLION. The amount we as taxpayers gave? Officially, $543.7 MILLION.

But as we’ve seen in the past year, a year of p***y hats, marching, and all that resistance, friends of Planned Parenthood are more than eager to give their own money. There have been thousands of donations made in Vice President Mike Pence’s name alone. There was a lipstick specifically created to benefit Planned Parenthood. Celebrities have worn pins at award shows in a silent gesture of support and a “brave” plea for donations. And these are but a few of the many examples.

In other words, Planned Parenthood will be just fine. Not that we were worried, though. Who won’t be fine? Specifically, those who will be targeted for death all because of their location and stage of development; the unborn. And as this new fiscal year continues on, each day the aborted dead are added to an ever-increasing number that will be another seemingly innocuous line item in another annual report.

Another figure that says much about PP priorities relates to adoption. As per the 2016-2017 report, the behemoth did one adoption referral for every 83 abortions. Referrals topped out at 3,889, but such a life-affirming choice by a pregnant woman doesn’t bring in the sweet, bloody revenue that Planned Parenthood requires.

As usual, the annual report lists abortion as only 3% of its total services. We know this to be entirely misleading.

So what’s the bottom line?

Planned Parenthood kills an enormous number of fellow Americans each year, all in the name of convenience. Abortions have remained steady, despite administering of actual health services showing moderate to severe decline. Finally, revenues are up and booming, proof that abortion is big business and it’s well past the time for the deadly giant to be defunded. (Are you listening, Congress?)

It is a powerful, transparent reminder to those of us active in the pro-life cause that the battle to protect the unborn – and keep our money from funding their demise – rages on.

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New Military Report: ISIS Has Lost Even MORE Territory

During President Trump’s first year in office, there have been some accomplishments.

A huge win for the GOP was the recent passage of the tax cut bill. This is a victory as they head into 2018, a year which holds the midterm elections. Regardless of whether one agrees with all aspects of the legislation (and there is a fair amount to dislike about it), this is a clear victory for the Republican base and Trump supporters who were looking for a win in Congress.

On top of this domestic win has been military success against the terror group ISIS. And these triumphs are no small thing.

As FOX News reports, the reduction in ISIS territory is astounding, emphasis mine.

ISIS has lost 98 percent of the territory it once held — with half of that terror group’s so-called “caliphate” having been recaptured since President Trump took office less than a year ago, U.S. military officials said Tuesday.

The latest American intelligence assessment says fewer than 1,000 ISIS fighters now remain in Iraq and Syria, down from a peak of nearly 45,000 just two years ago. U.S. officials credit nearly 30,000 U.S.-led coalition airstrikes and regional partners on the ground for killing more than 70,000 jihadists. Meanwhile, only a few thousand have returned home.

The remaining ISIS strongholds are concentrated in a small area along the border of Syria and Iraq. ISIS, at one point, controlled an area the size of Ohio.

Former officials have spoken up about the environment under which President Obama engaged this enemy, one where the ability to make such gains was seemingly stifled.

The massive gains come after years of “onerous” rules, when critics say the Obama administration “micromanaged” the war and shunned a more intensive air strategy that could have ended the conflict much sooner.

“The rules of engagement under the Obama administration were onerous. I mean what are we doing having individual target determination being conducted in the White House, which in some cases adds weeks and weeks,” said retired Air Force Lt. Gen. David Deptula, the former head of U.S. Air Force intelligence. “The limitations that were put on actually resulted in greater civilian casualties.”

To be sure, these military advancements against such a bloodthirsty terrorist organization bent on death and domination should be applauded by everyone, no matter their political leanings.

With an enemy whose tactics are anything but traditional and a battlefield that often extends into city streets, a full defeat of ISIS will take some time. However, these gains represent enormous steps forward in the fight.

If President Trump as commander-in-chief has played a part in allowing the military to do its job and not “micromanage” as Obama seems to have done, then he should be commended.

Winning against terrorism should be a goal of every president. As of right now, the victories are numerous.

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The Liberal Base Is Eager For Impeachment, But Many Congressional Dems Are Leery For ONE Reason

With 2017 swiftly coming to a close, the word on everyone’s tongue is midterms.

If we’re honest, President Trump’s first year turned out as we expected. MAGA Republicans have nothing but love for their uninhibited man and Trump’s fuming opponents continue to openly despise him at every turn.

We shouldn’t be surprised.

While it certainly seems best to go the Ben Shapiro route of “good Trump, bad Trump” and take each policy, speech, and even each hastily-typed tweet individually, many reject such a plan.

For some, especially the fiercely liberal members of the Democratic base, nothing will water down their calls for impeachment. And in an upcoming year when midterms could make or break either party, this talk is bound to have an effect on voters – and Congressional leadership.

Politico reports, emphasis mine:

Democratic lawmakers acknowledge that their voters are hungry for Trump’s removal from office, even if there is no consensus on the grounds for his impeachment. Polls on the question show as many as three-quarters of Democrats already back impeachment…

“Impeachment, it’s not something you ought to welcome. It’s not something you ought to be ready to — it’s not something you want,” said Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), who was elected by his colleagues last week to be the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, the panel that handles impeachment matters.

If Democrats retake the House, Nadler will instantly become the party’s gatekeeper on the issue. In fact, his expertise in constitutional law — as well as his outsized voice opposing the Clinton impeachment in 1998 — was a factor in his selection to lead committee Democrats. While he says impeachment would surely be on the table in a Democrat-led House, it’s far from certain it would be the right call — politically or constitutionally. And it’ll be up to his committee to tell voters why.

Despite dislike, and even hatred, of a president, impeachment should never be rushed. This applies to the tenure of not just an incredibly unpopular GOP president (whose approval rating is in the 30s), but also any Democrat who inhabits the office in the future. Going forward with impeachment is a very serious matter. It is one thing for an emotionally-charged pundit to scream “impeachment” during a primetime roundtable discussion. It is another thing entirely for the United States Congress to begin the process.

For plenty of Democrats in D.C., the reluctance to go full-steam ahead with any impeachment talk is more about the makeup of a pre-midterm Congress than anything else.

“I realize that maybe I’m in the minority in our party,” said Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.), one of 12 Democrats from a district Trump won in 2016, who opposes impeachment. “I know there are contrary views, obviously, with Al Green forcing us to vote on something that I think was entirely unnecessary and hurtful to people in certain districts.”

Several Democrats also noted that it makes little sense to pursue impeachment without Republican buy-in because the process would then surely be stopped cold in the Senate. The House requires a simple majority vote to impeach a president, but removal from office requires a two-thirds vote after a trial in the Senate — a threshold that Democrats are certain to be well short of in the next Congress.

Nadler argued that it makes little sense to pursue a partisan impeachment under those conditions.

For now, the shaky consensus among Democratic leadership seems to be that they’ll wait for the completion of the investigation into Trump’s possible ties to Russia. Whatever those may be.

Obviously, Democrats are uninterested in pursuit of impeachment at this moment if it turns voters against them during a midterm election year. On top of that, they have realized that at least some Republican involvement would be necessary.

If not, they will fail at impeachment and be the ones blamed for dragging the country through the turmoil.

With the end of the year looming and a major tax cut victory now on the Republican side, the partisan divide among voters seems more defined than ever. In Congress, a fair number of Democrats are realizing that they face an uphill battle if impeachment is pursued. How 2018 and the midterms will play into their decisions remains to be seen.

For now, they aren’t willing to take any chances that may increase their losses at the ballot box on November 6, 2018.

The post The Liberal Base Is Eager For Impeachment, But Many Congressional Dems Are Leery For ONE Reason appeared first on RedState.

Source: Red State


Christmas 2017: Disperse the Gloomy Clouds of Night

Each year, when Christmas arrives and a new year is right around the corner, we reflect on the past twelve months.

Those of us who write at RedState spend quite a bit of time discussing politics and current events. You, our faithful readers, absorb and comment on the opinions we share. And we are grateful. To say that 2017 has been dramatic would be an understatement. Currently, the political landscape is tense, tribes on all sides have dug their feet in, and 2018 looks to be just as divisive.

But as much as we enjoy the political discourse, this is obviously not all there is to life. There are many layers to each person’s existence, yet most go unseen by others. Often, we keep the uncomfortable aspects of our lives and personalities locked away, out of reach from all but our own selves.

When writing mostly about politics, these aspects of our lives rarely make an appearance. Despite that fact, they still affect our days, routines, and the writing you see on these pages.

For me, the hope of Christmas means more than usual this year. You see, in 2017 plenty of my moments were overshadowed by lingering postpartum depression.

I’m a first-time mom to an energetic, curious, jabbering seventeen-month-old boy. His life has brought unspeakable joy into mine. Children open up a place in the heart that has never before been touched. The happy ache you have for them alone is palpable. As someone who is fiercely and vocally pro-life, going through the stages of pregnancy, birth, and parenthood myself has further solidified my stance. I am more resolute in my determination to be a voice for the voiceless unborn. As a writer, it is my greatest passion.

Along with the overflowing happiness that comes with motherhood has come the overwhelming sorrow of depression. I understand that I cannot control the hormonal changes and chemical distractions that often invade my brain. But they are there.

In 2017, they routinely suffocated my mind and its ability to see things clearly. Many times, they kept me from one of my favorite pursuits; writing. These were my “dark days.”

Which brings us to Christmas.

I love many of the beautiful, traditional songs that are sung during the season. One is “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” And this year, on the back end of difficulties, the lyrics jump out at me in a way they never have in all my years of singing them.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Those “gloomy clouds of night” have sat heavily upon my shoulders in the past calendar year. They were difficult – and sometimes, impossible – to shrug off. I was embarrassed by their existence for a good long while. In the midst of almost routine internal sadness, in the reality of my up and down year, those clouds have been eclipsed by the purest hope of all: the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ, whose arrival we celebrate on Christmas day.

Notice, if you will, the lyrics. Those oppressive clouds aren’t a maybe, they’re a most likely. They will darken our days and they will come in many forms. This year, the clouds of depression often swallowed me whole.

But…Christmas.

There is nothing like it. In the midst of our hectic lives filled with real joy and immense pain comes a season where nearly everyone seems to breathe a collective sigh. Not so much of relief, but of realization. During a time when gifts are beautifully wrapped and waiting under a tree, we’re reminded that people are the dearest treasures of all. We’re reminded that time goes by quickly.

Most of all, we’re again reminded of the ultimate gift, the birth of the savior. The ultimate hope, the ultimate lifting of gloomy clouds, finally realized. He is joy incarnate.

This is the miraculous and calming reason for the season.

And for me, ending on a beautiful note of hope tastes sweeter than ever. This is the raw and the real meaning for me this year.

It is indeed a merry Christmas.

The post Christmas 2017: Disperse the Gloomy Clouds of Night appeared first on RedState.

Source: Red State


Newly Signed Abortion Ban in Ohio Makes Discriminating Against This Disability Illegal

Females in the United States have it pretty good.

They are blessed with near-endless opportunities. They can go about their lives free from the constraints that women in many other parts of the world must endure. They are also legally free to choose to end the lives of their unborn children all for the sake of convenience.

While change on a national scale may take decades, on the state level, there have been numerous pro-life victories of the legislative kind.

On Friday, Governor John Kasich of Ohio signed an abortion restriction that targets prenatal discrimination against those with Down Syndrome.

Gov. John Kasich signed into law House Bill 214, the 20th abortion restriction passed since he took office in 2011, and 14 other bills Friday morning.

Under the law, doctors who know of a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis and perform an abortion could be charged with a fourth-degree felony, punishable by up to 18 months in prison. There is no punishment for the woman who seeks the abortion.

The new law will take effect sometime in late March.

Supporters said that allowing abortions after a fetal Down syndrome diagnosis amounted to discrimination and modern day eugenics.

Naturally, NARAL and other pro-abort groups are outraged at this new law. After all, how dare abortion be limited in any way! Isn’t the Leftist mantra now “abortion on demand without apology”? I guess that extends to “defective” persons in the womb. Sadly, the diagnosis of Down Syndrome automatically makes them unwanted in the eyes of too many adults.

Currently, North Dakota has a similar law in place. In 2016, Indiana passed a nearly identical measure that was then blocked by a judge for supposedly being unconstitutional. This very thing spurred some Republican lawmakers in Ohio to actually vote against the legislation.

Reportedly, the rate of abortion after a woman has received a prenatal diagnosis of DS sits at 67%. While many women elect to not have this type of pregnancy testing done, it’s clear that for the ones who do, the majority decides that the disability their children may have exceeds the worth of their life. But many times, prenatal diagnoses are incorrect and a baby is born without disability or difficulty. It is impossible to know just how many lives have been taken all because of a prenatal diagnosis that was wrong in the first place. And as even NBC News reported, the rate of failure in prenatal testing may be encouraging many abortions of otherwise completely healthy children.

Each life is precious. Each life has inherent worth. We know this to be true no matter if a child is born completely healthy or with the added difficulty of a physical or mental disability.

Deciding to end a life through abortion based on what hardships may be encountered in the future, by parent and child, is no way to view the miracle of pregnancy.

It remains to be seen whether this new Ohio law will be challenged, but that would not be surprising. The pro-abortion movement is eager to preach that we live during a time in which women are held back from freedom when it comes to reproductive decisions.

Meanwhile, the most helpless among us, the unborn, are picked off by an abortion industry that salivates at the opportunity to deny them life.

The post Newly Signed Abortion Ban in Ohio Makes Discriminating Against This Disability Illegal appeared first on RedState.

Source: Red State