We Hear You: DACA, Illegal Immigration, Sanctuary Cities, and Voter Fraud

Editor’s note:  It’s helpful to know to what’s on the minds of The Daily Signal’s audience. Here’s a sampling of recent emails to letters@dailysignal.com.—Ken McIntyre

Dear Daily Signal: Thanks for Peter Parisi’s commentary, “The ‘Dreamers’ Have No Right to Demand Anything.” Interesting to see this today, as just yesterday I emailed the following to President Trump:

Mr. President: Please do not give amnesty to the illegal immigrants.  My parents came from Mexico many decades ago. They learned English (and did not have a class for English as a second language), became citizens, and grew to love America.

They never went on welfare nor took advantage of our country. They worked hard and paid their own way even for medical. They were never dependent on the government for anything. They became part of the community.

Today’s illegal aliens are making demands on us and they have no right, just as we have no right to make demands when we go to other countries. Today’s illegal aliens wave the Mexican flag and do not respect our laws, nor do they love our country as immigrants from past decades did.

Remember, that for 40-plus years our country even shut down immigration so that people could assimilate and learn English. Why can that not be done again?

Please, Mr. President, do not give in to any form of amnesty, and please stay firm on getting a complete wall built.

These thoughts are shared by many, many of my conservative friends across the country. (I have an email list of over 500 names, plus a whole group of conservative friends on Facebook, so I know this is how they feel.)—Molly Schubert, Raleigh, N.C.

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The problem of sanctuary cities and states is not complicated (“Acting ICE Director: Let’s Charge Sanctuary Cities for Violating Federal Law“). Neither is the solution. All we need to solve the problem is accountability by the politicians responsible for passing sanctuary laws.

If Congress were to pass a law making political entities and individual legislators and administrators personally and financially liable for damages stemming from actions of illegal aliens in sanctuary areas, lawyers would carry the ball from there. They would engage in massive financial damage suits and put an end to all sanctuary entities in a matter of months at no cost to the general public, except to the taxpayers in the political entities promulgating “sanctuary.”

States could also enact statewide laws creating financial liability for all legislators and administrators within their authority. Who would vote to pass or keep sanctuary laws knowing that the Steinle family or other victims could bring suit against them for financial damages and win and collect?—Harold Knowles, North Royalton, Ohio

I was speaking with a former student who began dating a young man from Brazil. After a while, they decided that she would get a visa and travel to Brazil and stay with his family for six months. She shared with me that the Brazilian government knew where she was at all times. She had to make periodic visits to government offices to verify her whereabouts and the continued purpose for her visit.

So Brazil can keep tabs on people traveling there on visas, but liberals in our country think that is against people’s rights, and that our government has no right to do ao as a sovereign nation. It’s as if they do not understand what the purpose of government is.

I think it would be interesting to have a story that shows how other governments around the world track people visiting on temporary visas, and how they handle immigration rather than focusing solely on what we do here. People who have never traveled have narrow perspectives that reflect only their experiences and exposures.

I also think it would be interesting to speak with legal immigrants and publish their stories to include why they immigrated to this country, when they immigrated, how they immigrated, how their lives changed afterward, and what their perspective is on illegal immigration.

I’d like to see a poll of legal immigrants and how they feel about illegal immigration. That information should in turn be shared with the government, so they understand that people who immigrate legally do not take kindly to others cutting in line rather than going through legal channels. The legal immigrants I know do not support illegal immigration.—Robin Greer

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Consider this: The very first thing that must be accomplished to keep this country free is to standardize all voting laws, requirements to be a candidate in any governmental election (city, county, state, and federal), and term limits.

Illegal immigrants and noncitizens should never be permitted to be a candidate for any government position. Our laws need to require having a photo ID and proof of U.S. citizenship for any legal citizen to vote or hold office in any election.

Everyone must be required to have these documents to get Social Security, welfare, and other benefits, and to have their water, lights, and gas turned on at their residence. The only individuals who cannot provide these documents are those who are dead, decide to vote more than once, are convicted felons: fraudulent voters.

Without just and fair voting, there will never be a government without the corruption of foreign control.—P. Panehal

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The other day in Brentwood, Long Island, police arrested five teens, two of whom were covered by the Delayed Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. They were part of the MS-13 gang, trying to abduct a 16-year-old boy just outside Brentwood High School.

Several months earlier, four boys were brutally murdered in Central Islip, again by MS-13 using teens to lure the boys into the woods where they were beaten and hacked to death.

Do we need DACA? No. Do we need illegal aliens? No.

My grandparents and others came here legally and received no food stamps, no welfare. It was all right for them, but not for these people.—Jack Norris, Bayshore, N.Y.

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Let President Trump know that Americans do not want anything short of deporting every DACA recipient and other illegal immigrant. They broke our sovereign law. No amnesty, no cutting deals, no ands, ifs, or buts. And make Mexico pay for building the wall.

Think of how much taxpayers’ money will not be used to support illegal immigrants. The amount saved can be the advance payment used to build the wall, instead of having to ask the House and Senate to authorize the money.—J. Kin Ng

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No DACA, period. My vote is no DACA at any cost. Where is this going to stop?

When President Reagan gave the first (and only) amnesty, this was to be fixed.—Kevin Sanders Sr.

Really Reforming Health Care 

Dear Daily Signal: I read the commentary on proposals to fix government (taxpayers)-funded health care by moving to state block grants, and I’ve got some questions (“Americans Need Health Reform to Be a Priority Issue in 2018“). Why must these taxes go through the federal system where Congress and the executive branch reduce the potential impact to those citizens targeted?

What are the administrative costs of federal and state bureaucracies for Obamacare, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.? What are the administrative costs for businesses and health care providers? How many programs are there, and who are the targets? What are the sources of funding for these programs? How effective are they, and by what measures?

I recently went on Medicaid and was surprised how small a percentage of care providers’ bills were paid. It looks to me that if these costs aren’t inflated, that a provider would be forced to take measures that will not benefit patient care. What are those changes in care we have seen or likely will see?

It doesn’t seem to make economic sense the way things work. Higher demand, price controls, additional patients, increasing costs, and fewer contributors would seem a prescription for disaster.

Are there efforts to look at the way we deliver health care instead of how we pay for it? Will the moves by Aetna and others to provide health care via storefronts lower costs or raise demand? Do restrictions on who can legally provide health care limit supply?—Bob Taylor

Saying No to Assisted Suicide

Dear Daily Signal: Thanks for your article and video on J.J. Hanson and his rejection of physician-assisted suicide (“This Marine Veteran Just Died of Cancer at 36. Here’s Why He Fought Assisted Suicide“). He was right to do what he did.

Doctors who provide physician-assisted suicide, I believe, are compromising the Hippocratic oath they took when they became a doctor in the first place. How can patients trust their doctors if they cannot, first and foremost, trust their doctors to save their lives?

Does physician-assisted suicide destroy the physician-patient relationship? I believe it does.

The group that made the video of Mr. Hanson should reach out to medical allies in the pro-life community such as the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Catholic Medical Association, and the American College of Pediatricians.

Doctors can do their best to give patients their best advice.  But they can’t accurately predict the future. Further, patients who have a strong faith can live productive lives and can be healed. There are no guarantees.

But, why give up?  As Mr. Hanson pointed out, these families would suffer greatly with the loss of their loved one.

Thanks for your great reporting. Blessings for a great 2018.—Kathleen Goryl

A Danger After Tax Reform

Dear Daily Signal: I am writing to warn of a danger that I don’t think President Trump has noticed regarding the new tax law (“Taxpayers Could See Benefits of GOP Tax Bill as Early as February“). I heard one speaker say after passage of tax reform that taxpayers would see the difference in their filing in 2019.  But even the president is talking as if it will happen in our April 2018 tax filing.

Why is this bad? Republicans have put out so much hype about taxpayers saving money, and I can assure you that most Americans will have not heard, not paid attention, not understood that all this tax-savings hype will not make any difference to them until 2019.

When April rolls around and we process our taxes, what the taxpayer will realize is that nothing has changed.Taxpayers will be teed off.  You had better believe that the Democrats will take full advantage and proclaim that the president lied. Well, there go the 2018 midterm elections to the Democrats.

What the president needs to do is to explain it better and to keep the left from taking total control. He need to act immediately. And to jump-start the new law, he needs to provide a tax rebate or other stimulus that will be received by Americans in 2018, to hold taxpayers over until the 2019 filing. Otherwise voters will run away.—Don P., Richmond, Va.

I’ve been getting into it with some of my liberal friends about AT&T and Comcast {“Companies Announce Bonuses, Raises Following Passage of Tax Reform“). They’re basically saying the new tax law has nothing to do with the companies’ recent announcements of wage increases and business investments. Plus they point out the recent AT&T layoffs as evidence tax reform didn’t save jobs.

I know the layoffs were announced last year, so it had nothing to do with the tax reform bill. But if you could point me anywhere that would debunk their claims, that would be great.—Andy Schatner

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Americans are worried about our growing budget deficit (“Congress Could Soon Face a Budget Fight. Here’s How Lawmakers Can Rein in Spending“).  The national debt will continue to rise as long as Congress doesn’t control spending.  It can take two actions–stop unauthorized appropriations and stop pork from being added to bills.

Our congressmen waive or disregard their own rules against unauthorized appropriations.  The rules of “paygo” don’t preclude them from enacting legislation to increase direct spending. In other words, our congressmen spend taxpayers’ money at will.

Almost every bill that Congress passes has pork added at the last minute. Congress must prohibit any addition to any bill that is unrelated to the topic or adds pork or other spending. This would cut a lot of wasteful spending.

America is becoming enslaved by debt.—Persistent Professor

Fake News and Classified Information

Dear Daily Signal: A review of the code of ethics for the Society of Professional Journalists indicates to me that fake news including contrived reports or sloppy checkingis unethical (“The History of Fake News in the U.S.“).  I am not interested in hampering a free press or freedom of speech. However, I would like to put a stop to unnamed sources. I believe that is unethical.

Also, when published information is proved to be wrong, I would like to see the correction given the same prominence, frequency, and distribution as the original error.  I would be happy to have a law to that effect.

Likewise, release of classified information ought to require some restraint. The government ought to appear before an appropriate judicial panel before release of such information. The Constitution included the idea of providing for the common defense, and classified information that puts us at risk ought to have appropriate review (whatever that is) before it gets released by anyone.

Those who steal information for the purpose of exposing something should have to show cause why it should be released.  Failing that, we ought to have loss of employment and pension, fines, and prison as deterrents.  It is a criminal offense and without special circumstances, there should be some justice meted out after due process that currently does not exist.

Both the former FBI director, James Comey, and his law professor friend ought to come to grief from application of current law. We should not play favorites with the law.  Let us not be stupid about providing for the common defense.—Frank Steinle

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Dear Daily Signal: It is refreshing to see the leftist agenda of the New York Times pointed out, as in Jarrett Stepman’s commentary (“The New York Times Left Socialism Out of Its Report on Venezuela’s Devastation“). There are many other newspapers like the Times, and I wonder how can that happen in the “free” USA built on free enterprise and capitalism. (See PragerU.)

Most mainstream newspapers and universities have become leftist. I think it is simply because of the enormous amount of money pouring in. And people, being weak and greedy, accept the payment, live well, and do not care about the future the leftist agenda has in store. It really is a shame.

One just has to follow the United Nations’ Agenda 21 disguised as “sustainable development,” “clean environment,” etc.  The whole global-warming scare and climate change are just tools to the leftist goals: one world government and suppression of the people.

Once we all drive electric cars, all they have to do is cut electricity and we all become immobile. It is total control of the public and elimination of the middle class. The public has to wake up and see what is behind this movement. President Obama was a champion of it and he did a lot of damage in his eight years, including raising the debt level from $10 trillion to roughly $20 trillion.

Cutting coal and giving away control of the internet was designed to cut freedom, and the people do not know it. Germany’s Angela Merkel complied with an Agenda 21 point to allow free movement of African and Middle Eastern young men  to Europe. France’s Emmanuel Macron is also part of the game.

No wonder in Germany and Austria right-wing politicians gain votes. The European Union and the U.N. need to be dismantled. I am glad Brexit exists, and pray it will go through.—Rolf Pfeiffer

This and That

Dear Daily Signal: I’m a retired, 91-year-old man who worked for the telephone company from 1952 till 1989, and I’m responding to Elizabeth Slattery’s commentary, “This Test Claims to Show Whether You’re Unconsciously Racist.”

I spent about 17 years in the South Bronx as a walking repairman and installer of new telephones. The work was in the tenements and projects. The large majority of jobs was for blacks, Hispanics, and new immigrants from below our borders and Europe.

My opinion of most people must be considered by individual experiences encountered in daily jobs. How can a test designed by people, perhaps never exposed to the real world, be relevant? The answers of those taking the test would necessarily be influenced by encounters in the real world. I intend to take the test for my own interest.—George Fischer

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Net neutrality assumes everyone using the internet generally are good people, like all internet service providers and businesses are, and that they never would think of doing anything wrong to people for profits or agendas to control information.

Like Twitter counted the freedom of expression of the pro-life congresswoman as worth nothing, and protected the world from ideas different from their outlook of cultural colonization for the good of everyone else?—Mike Kelley

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Motivational reform is a great way to reverse decades of throwing taxpayer money at social issues, expanded by government, that would not be tolerated in the private sector (“Trump Administration’s 2 Priorities for Welfare Reform Executive Order“).  The old adage “a hand up, not a handout” is still a great rule.

There should be work-related guidelines for any taxpayer assistance, and they should be very strict. The most important lesson is discipline, and that means we don’t need federal bureaucrats defining rules of engagement.—Brannen Edwards

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I know that many of your readers enjoy the video reports you produce, and on occasion I find them informative. However, I find it more stimulating and thought provoking if the videos would include a transcript. Including the transcript allows me to think about what is being said and review the actual words more thoughtfully.

The audio text takes too much effort to review.  I also believe our society is getting lazy by watching the news rather than reading the text and getting more engaged with the content rather than watching the images.  The images have a way of skewing your thoughts away from perhaps what is truly being said.

Keep up the good work and continue pursuing journalistic excellence.—Joe Christ

Editor’s note: Hopefully you’ve noticed that we’ve begun including transcripts for many of our videos, Joe.

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Regarding Jarrett Stepman’s recent commentaries: I think that perhaps Charlottesville, Virginia, can be compared to Ferguson, Missouri, and the University of Missouri.  Outside troublemakers intended to bring chaos into the community and bring down whatever they could.

The cost to the city of Ferguson? Monies taken away from the University of Missouri by benefactors, and enrollment has fallen to where they have closed dorms and new facility. Divide and conquer. America is in sad shape and could already be lost. Those who can bring the cause to the forefront are silent.

History is not being taught in schools, but I am a firm believer that America needs to know exactly how Ellis Island worked. I think it would benefit many.—Connie Harris

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Walter Williams’ commentary about teachers’ academic qualifications (“The Low Academic Quality of Too Many Teachers“) omits two critical issues: teachers’ pay and the willingness to tax sufficiently to pay enough to make teaching at least competitive with comparable professions.—Jacob T. Chachkes

Appreciation and Feedback

Dear Daily Signal: The Daily Signal is basically the only political or worldview source I monitor daily. I always read through the article titles and occasionally read articles. I value this source immensely. This is saying a lot, since when Barack Obama was elected to a second term it marked a healthy change in my perspective from being a bit of a news junkie.

While I’ve been a committed Christian for many years, I finally very much took to heart the words of Psalm 2, which concludes with the words: Blessed are all who take refuge in him. (I actually teach grades 1-4 at a small Lutheran school in Yakima, Washington, with a 60-year history.)

I’ve just finished reading the excellent commentary on Kay Coles James by Paris Dennard (“What I Learned From The Heritage Foundation’s New Leader”). But what got me to finally send a note is my curiosity about the three ads with links under the heading “Trending,” followed by three links to Daily Signal articles.

I haven’t followed these first three links because they seem like they are sensationalism designed to be provocative. But I’m curious as to whether these are something The Heritage Foundation is endorsing, or if they are just paying the bills.

The important takeaway from this note is my appreciation for the work Heritage is doing. On the side is a bit of feedback.—Marilee Nolte

How Are We Doing?

We recently started to read The Daily Signal and love it. Thank you so much for giving us information on what is happening in our world without a progressive (i.e. left wing, liberal) bias. It is so very refreshing. We look forward to each day’s installment. May God richly bless you.—Steve and Sandy McCuen

Great job by your White House correspondent, Fred Lucas. Finally, people are standing up to the liberal bully press. Glad you are doing just that!—Bob Arthurs

You’re doing great.  We need a bulldog over there at The Daily Signal.  God bless your efforts.—Phil Reich

Thank you all. I look forward to seeing The Daily Signal’s Morning Bell every morning. Very good information from someone who can be trusted. Thanks again. Great job done.—Keith Spiers

I truly enjoy your daily briefings.  Thank you.—Winnie Payne

Let me say it again. Why do conservatives keep pointing out how the left is hurting themselvespointing out their faults and telling them how to improve? Say nothing! In the words of the great philosopher W.C. Fields, “Never smarten up a chump.”—Robert Albanese

Every article in Morning Bell Jan. 4 attracted my attention. I receive many, many email posts, and none has the influence on me that yours does.—Joanie Brown, San Luis Obispo, Calif.

I am a new subscriber, and I have to say I love the article and the contributors. Keep up the good work.—Barb Orcutt

The post We Hear You: DACA, Illegal Immigration, Sanctuary Cities, and Voter Fraud appeared first on The Daily Signal.

We Hear You: Tax Cuts, the GOP Establishment, the Job Outlook, and the Trump Economy

Editor’s note: Here’s another smorgasbord of emails from The Daily Signal’s audience, reflecting your thoughts on tax cuts and other matters as 2017 came to a close. Enjoy, and don’t forget to write us at letters@dailysignal.com.Ken McIntyre

Dear Daily Signal: The historic tax reform legislation draws a clear distinction between the governing matrixes guiding the two political parties in Congress (“Taxpayers Could See Benefits of GOP Tax Reform Bill as Early as February“).

Simply stated, the Democrats govern by onerous taxation (their “affordable” health care act), stressing that only the “state” can adequately spend the citizen’s money. The Republicans govern by free market license, stressing that the state has no business in the citizen’s pocketbook; the way citizens spend their money is their decision, and the consequences are to be borne by them.

The Democrats seek an obtrusive nanny state governed by elites who “know best” how to spend someone else’s money. In the wake of the passage of the historic tax reform, they are reliving the wounds they suffered when they thrust Obamacare upon the American taxpayer, increasing taxes in every imagined way.

The Democrats are saying the defeat they suffered in 2010 will now befall the Republicans. But such a conclusion only exposes a delusional matrix of governing that believes that citizens love to be taxed, so if taxes are removed they will be enraged.

The huge difference between the way the Affordable Care Act became law along party lines and the way tax reform did is so simple: In the first, the Democrats crammed oppressive taxes down citizens’ throats, and in the second, the Republicans released citizens from oppressive taxes.

The blowback of the 2010 election cycle resulted because Americans angrily rejected the Democrats’ governing matrix. Once they realize the 2017 tax reform released them from the onerous bondage of elitism taxation, they will show genuine appreciation at the polls.—John L. Kachelman Jr., Searcy, Ark.

Dear Daily Signal: I will fight the GOP establishment every day for what they think is an adequate calculation of what our wimp of a House speaker, Paul Ryan, called “giving back to taxpayers their money.”

How can anyone with millions of dollars in wealth even keep a straight face when saying that giving back a family of four making $70,000 a year around $2,000 of their own money is great? Enough for each of them to purchase an extra happy meal a week.

I have been paying from 15 to 18 percent and never, ever have had one year since 1965 that I paid zero taxes.

That gets me on the topic of the 48 percent who don’t pay taxes each year. And yet I hear how, if you owe over $10,000 in taxes, so many fly-by-night companies can make a deal with the IRS to cut what you owe. If the IRS is making deals with these groups, they’re all stealing from those of us who pay taxes every year, plus penalties.

I was given a penalty of 11 percent. That alone gets my goat when we give enemy countries billions every year and politicians live the life of Riley. Under my rule, that would stop now.

Seniors having to include our Social Security in our income is double jeopardy. That’s like an insurance company saying that if you collect on the policy we have to take 15 percent back as a penalty.

Seniors getting Medicare and Social Security don’t think the word “entitlement” should be construed as the politicians keep using it, as if we don’t deserve it and it should be taken away from us. We didn’t mismanage the funds. We didn’t create the program. Get the drift?

President Trump has done more than any other president in history to guide us in a better direction, but the establishment politicians are still idiots and border on being crooks.—L. Michael Bessinger

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Dear Daily Signal: Your two sets of charts reviewing the effects of the changes in taxes are excellent (“In Updated Charts, How These 7 Taxpayers’ Bills Will Change If Tax Reform Is Signed Into Law,” “In Updated Charts, What 8 Seniors’ Tax Bills Will Be With Tax Reform“). I am bombarded by liberals on every side whining about how much they will be harmed by changes that they have not even seen yet.—Anne Rose

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Dear Daily Signal: The big question: Are leftists going to apply for all the new jobs President Trump is creating?—Robert Albanese

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Dear Daily Signal: Why should we embrace tax cuts and tax reform? Because they will help our families and the businesses that employ us.

Republicans proposed to end the death tax, the alternative minimum tax, and the marriage penalty; they proposed to increase the child tax credit and double the standard deduction. They lowered taxes for small businesses and corporations, and allowed full “expensing” of new business investments. Historically, these kinds of tax cuts translate into hiring by companies of more workers and raising wages.

The changes simplify a complex, anti-growth tax code that serves special interests (through loopholes) and confiscates the earnings of hardworking Americans.

Republicans campaigned on pro-growth tax reform as a priority in 2016. Now they can pair tax reform with spending cuts to maximize economic growth.—Lucy Tscherne, Valley Forge Patriots

Editor’s note: This letter also was signed by Pennsylvania residents Linda Hertzog, West Chester Tea Party; Betty Dunkel-Hernon, Valley Forge Patriots; Lisa Esler, Delaware County Patriots; Jane Marie Toal, Citizens for Liberty; Donna Ellingsen, Elk Township Republican Committee; Linda Cleaver, Londonderry Township Republican Committee; Margaret Layden, Tredyffrin M-6 Republican Committee; Jane E. Brown, Landenberg; and Rita Misero, Coatesville.

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Dear Daily Signal: I suggest you discuss with several economists whether we are living in a “Trump economy” (“4 Big Signs of a Trump Economic Recovery”). It has been stated often that the economy of the prior president carries forward at least one if not two years.

Both Trump and The Daily Signal talk like a president starts with a clean slate. Doesn’t work that way. Trump takes no responsibility for his actions that have negative consequences, and inflates the benefit of any action with agreeable results.

Conservatives allegedly recognize reality. That is not consistent with judgments The Daily Signal has made about Trump and his non-policies.—Dr. Jacob T. Chachkes

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I thoroughly enjoy reading your updates and have tremendous confidence that the Trump administration is performing as advertised. However, the leftist media and Democrat talking heads will continue to sway the citizenry. Therefore, would it be possible to compile a list of the accomplishments of the administration?

Anything from regulation reduction to the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court would, we hope, contribute to a considerable list that would be good ammunition in talking to others in our circle of friends and family.—Mike Stevens

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We can take pride again that we have a president who represents the people who put him in office, much to the dismay of the sewer creatures of Congress.—William Wall

A New President at Heritage 

As a fan of The Heritage Foundation who watched Genevieve Wood’s interview with its new president, I’m impressed with Kay Coles James’s resume and, most importantly, her library of common sense that, sadly, cannot be passed on (“Q&A: Meet Kay Coles James, the New Heritage Foundation President”).

Ms. James is an example of someone who should be a role model for our youth and adults alike. I appreciate the efforts of people like Ms. James and Ms. Wood in trying to keep citizens informed.—Brannen Edwards

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I really enjoy receiving The Daily Signal. I’m a 60-year-old woman who grew up reading and being excited by the biographies of our nation’s founders. The Barack Obama years were truly depressing.

I feel like the world has been turned upside down and inside out regarding our nation’s values. I applaud The Heritage Foundation’s new president, Kay Coles James. She and your organization give me a glimmer of hope for our future.—Mona Hamel

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I have had the blessing and privilege of being mentored and nurtured by Kay Coles James. Heritage and America are getting the best this nation has to offer. I am also proud that Heritage had the vision and courage to do the right thing by hiring the best person for the job.—Clarence Carter, Phoenix

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Thank you, Heritage, for introducing me and so many others to this beautiful woman. It certainly seems Kay Coles James should and be the “poster adult” for every disadvantaged child in this nation, and many around the world. To admire and emulate her will help so many of our young as her story gets wider review. May God continue to bless Ms. James and Heritage.—Mike Briggs

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So pleased with the selection. A dedicated, decent woman and smart, too, who respects and has been part of the Heritage tradition for a long time. Onward!—Jean Smoot, Raleigh, N.C.

Concerning Paris Dennard’s tribute to Kay Coles James (“What I Learned From The Heritage Foundation’s New Leader”): President Trump should place this woman and the young conservatives she has mentored in charge of developing and implementing strategies to fulfill his promises to the black communities of this nation.

Nothing is more important to the success of the Republican Party than changing the hearts and minds by ridding black communities of the violence perpetrated by a few on the many decent families living there.

Improving security will bring businesses, which will bring jobs, which will bring higher wages. Safe schools will foster a better educational environment. Mobilizing members of the community who want more for themselves and their neighbors to participate in community action projects aimed at improving lives rather than fighting perceived oppression can lift entire communities.

Kay Coles James appears to be the sort of inspirational, action-oriented, solution-oriented person who can make a huge difference in the proper leadership position.—Chas Bassos

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Paris Dennard paints a very positive Heritage Foundation future under the tutelage of Kay Coles James, a highly reasoned educator.

I’ll gladly embrace what she purports for black America as long as she embraces personal choice and equal rights, diminishes sameness, and acknowledges cultural preferences. I’m seriously interested in reading her take on income inequality and our nation’s diverse population.

Perhaps she’s the libertarian with a heart that Heritage very much needs. I wish her total success at Heritage. I’ll also look forward to future Daily Signal commentary with her guidance.—John Kominitsky, Los Osos, Calif.

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Heritage is the source we look to for thoughtful and reasoned opinions on current issues in America (“Kay Coles James to Lead The Heritage Foundation as Next President“). We wish Ms. James all the best.—Randy and Peggy Malcom, Limon, Colo. 

I have a question for Ms. James: What does being inclusive mean? The Dems are in the resist movement with very strange bedfellows. Is that what she means by inclusive?—Lori Hopkins-Cavanagh, New London, Conn.

Saw her on “Hannity” last night. Very impressive. Good luck to Ms. James.—Jo Ann Tackovich, Florida

Very happy to hear. I have always respected and admired her.—Sandy Groepel, Elizabethton, Tenn.

Heroism in Higher Education

Tell Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., to keep up the good work. His Hero Act, explained in the congressman’s commentary, is exactly what needs to happen to our broken higher education system that my kids are in the middle of (“Student Debt Is a Symptom of Our Broken Education System“).

We hold our noses every time we make a payment to these “institutions of higher education.” Institutions are what they are. They are not serving the needs of many of our students, society in general, and definitely not Florida families.

Our boys are talented, passionate young men who would benefit from an alternative to a four-year degree at our many Florida universities. One son finds college boring and even wrote a paper about it, suggesting many of the same things DeSantis did.

But they know they have to attend. Our university system needs to be turned on its head. What a waste of money.

Keep up the good work at The Daily Signal. Love you guys.—Caroline Ure

Books Under the Tree

Dear Daily Signal: Your list of books for Christmas gift-giving is comprehensive but, in my opinion, not complete (“29 Books That Would Make the Perfect Christmas Gift“). I would have added Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged,” George Orwell’s “1984,” Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World,” and Amity Shlaes’ “The Forgotten Man.”

I know three of the four are out of fashion, but each applies to the world as it exists today—and possibly the future.—Jack Watson, Ardmore, Ala.

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I love lists of books with a few personal words to recommend them.This one is full of books I will put on my to~read list. Thanks!—Nancy Arey

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Thank you for the list of books. I bought two for me and one for my daughter.—Peter Anderson, New Braunfels, Texas

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I want all of these books, but No. 1 is the Antonin Scalia book. Will get this tomorrow for a present to myself. He’s my legal hero.—Virginia Murrell, Rancho Murieta, Calif.

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What compendium would be complete without the ever-contemporary Heritage Guide to the Constitution?—Derek Dubasik

This and That

I wish Kelsey Harkness’s video report on Colorado baker Jack Phillips could air on the television networks (“Justice Kennedy: Colorado ‘Neither Been Tolerant nor Respectful’ of Jack Phillips’ Beliefs“). People need to understand this side of the story: This man, this bakery, is about every American.

This story is about the domination of an ideology from the left that seeks to enslave free people—to enslave we, the American people. Let us pray for the defense of the freedoms that self-sacrificing men and women fought and died for.

I thank The Daily Signal and Mr. Phillips for right reason, simplicity, and courage. I thank him for standing up, and paying a terrible price, for truth, beauty, and goodness in all things large and small.Catherine Anderson

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Great interview of Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, by Rob Bluey (“Q&A: FCC Chairman Explains Why He’s Ending Obama’s ‘Heavy-Handed Internet Regulations’“).

So good to hear someone talk about getting the government out of the way and letting U.S. companies innovate. Yet another part of President Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign promises.—Dale Athanas, Clinton, Conn.

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I wish entertainers of all persuasions would exercise restraint, as Taylor Swift does, when delving into the political arena (“Problematic Women: Taylor Swift Isn’t Political Enough for Marie Claire“). Most don’t pursue the moral high ground and are way too enthusiastic about their personal lives. Of which I’d be better off not knowing.

And with limited knowledge of the Constitution and economic prosperity (capitalism), they’re not very reliable for advice. Ms. Swift is smart, wealthy, and wise beyond her years. I hope she remains so.—Brannen Edwards

Concerning the commentary by Robert Moffit and Ed Haislmaier (“Who Wouldn’t Have Coverage If the Obamacare Mandate Is Repealed”), the real reason why the left and liberals love communism is because under it the power holders and politicians have absolute power over the little people. Whom they may kill at will. Mao and Stalin were depopulation machines.—Tom Lilac

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I can’t help but compare today’s spiraling accusations of “sexual misconduct” by women against so many high-profile men as being another Salem witch hunt. Men are losing their jobs and being ostracized with no evidence put forth by the women.

There are no videos, there are no signed statements, there are no still pictures, yet everyone it seems believes that these men are guilty. What has happened to innocent until proven guilty?—Elna Bjelland-Hughes

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Probably one of the biggest actions President Trump has not taken is repeal of the “Johnson Amendment” that threatens churches’ tax-exempt status if they support political candidates.

True, Trump issued an executive order, but since then he has dropped the subject. The next president, if liberal, will just as quickly rescind the executive order. And there is nothing to say that “infractions” made by churches during Trump’s term will not be prosecuted.—Paul Kellner

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Is it fairly common that a Republican president’s judicial nominees struggle with questions at Senate confirmation hearings because the Democrats are zealous to destroy any Republican nominee? So do the Democrats question progressive and liberal candidates like this?—Dave Covert

How Are We Doing?

Dear Daily Signal: I want to take a moment just to thank you very much for your excellent publication. Reading your articles both inspires and gives me hope while mentally floundering in the sea of “fake news,” as it were.

Us folks out in the real world already instinctively understand that President Trump is doing a great job, but when you are constantly bombarded with opposing opinions and “facts” to the contrary, it becomes quite disheartening and difficult to discern the truth, to say the least.

Our resolve to stand with the president is mortared with the good, true knowledge that you bring us every day. Your news is like a lifeline of solid information that we can count on in these troubling times. Please keep up the good work, and may God bless.—Jerry C. Reich

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As a conservative, I am constantly looking for coverage of national, political, and international news that is unbiased, but more importantly accurate. I can abide honest mistakes, but “gotcha” journalism is a huge turnoff. I refuse to watch cable news such as CNN and MSNBC as well as ABC, NBC, and CBS. I do watch Fox’s Bret Baier and think quite highly of him as a professional.

I look forward to The Daily Signal’s continuing the “not fake news” coverage I already expect. I will be enjoying Fred Lucas’s great articles in the future.—Joseph Bochichio

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Why do you have to interrupt the text of your fine articles with huge color photos so that it is very complicated to print an article without wasting paper and ink on big photos?—Ralph Blair

Gratitude. Thanks for all you do. Bye, B.S.—William Sharpe, Arizona

Some good articles, but too predictably one-sided and selective. The piece on Roy Moore’s loss is pretty balanced. But how about some other views on the benefits (or not) of corporate tax cuts? What are the lessons from President Reagan’s argument that trickle-down aids workers?—Jameson W. Doig

It would be difficult to stay informed about conservative issues without The Daily Signal.—Bill Parker Headland

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Please put “like/share” buttons at the end of your articles. I hate having to scroll back to the top after reading an article, and I am not one to “like” or “share” an article without reading it first. I will not do so just because of who the author or source may be.—Craig Brueckman

I enjoy your publication. It’s nice to read things I can enjoy and agree with.—Fred Riley

Stop referring to illegal aliens as “immigrants.” Those illegally in the USA are thieves. They have stolen the privilege of being able to live in the USA. Call them thieves.—Doug Wilkerson

Illustrations in your tax charts are disappointing in that only “Mr. Jones” is wearing a tie.—J. Tilford

Compliments. You are doing a great job. Keep up the fine reporting.—Buddy Hutchins

The post We Hear You: Tax Cuts, the GOP Establishment, the Job Outlook, and the Trump Economy appeared first on The Daily Signal.

We Hear You: Term Limits, the Russia Probe, the NFL, Religious Freedom, and Other Obsessions of 2017

Editor’s note: For our roundup of letters at year’s end, we thought we’d highlight some letters from The Daily Signal’s audience that we meant to publish earlier. Enjoy, and don’t forget to write us at letters@dailysignal.com.Ken McIntyre

Dear Daily Signal: In my view, the No. 1 problem in D.C. is that congressmen and senators constantly are re-elected and do not have term limits like the president does. They end up serving for decades, and their focus shifts from serving their country and constituents, if that was ever their motivation, to getting re-elected and gaining more power.

The year 2017 amply demonstrated this issue. The Founders anticipated this, and gave a means to rectify it in Article 5 of the Constitution. Article 5 deals with amending the Constitution, and provides two means.

The one that has been used exclusively to date is that Congress passes a proposed constitutional amendment and sends it to the states, three-fourths of which (38) must ratify the amendment for it to be approved.

The other way to amend the Constitution is for two-thirds of the states (34) to propose convening a constitutional convention. If the states approve the same charter, a convention is convened and may consider any amendment to the Constitution.

This has been used as a red herring by opponents who say any crazy thing could be proposed. When the organization making this push convened a mock convention, though, that didn’t happen because of the rules in place. But even if something crazy was proposed, it would be sent tc the states, and 38 would have to approve it before it became an actual amendment to the Constitution.

The organization pursuing this effort is called Convention of States, of which I am not a part. To date, 12 states have approved a resolution calling for a convention, so organizers need 22 more.

All kinds of potential amendments could be considered, including ones requiring a balanced budget, setting term limits for Supreme Court justices, and specifying the ability of Congress to overturn Supreme Court decisions. The website lists them. But the single most important amendment is congressional term limits: two six-year terms for senators, six two-year terms for congressmen.

I urge The Daily Signal’s readers to go to the website and, if they support the effort, get involved and pass the word. Congressional term limits are the key to draining the swamp.—George O’Neal, Dayton, Ohio

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Dear Daily Signal: Americans elected Republicans to stand behind President Trump and work out any plan that needs help being passed. If we had wanted to vote for Democrats to have the numbers to win, we would have voted that way. We gave the power to the Republicans, but they are siding with Democrats and nothing is getting done.

Cleaning the swamp must be done, and Democrats are determined not to let this happen. I never believed in term limits for our elected officials, but I’m ready to vote that way. I think so many elected officials get in office and do nothing to support the president. And why is it that Democrats and Republicans can’t work together on repealing broken-down Obamacare?

I am tired of all the scares we get, day in and out, to take something else from federal employees. We are retired and haven’t had a real raise in years. Every time we get a raise, our health premiums go sky high.

I can tell President Trump a place he can take money from: Look at all the perks our elected officials enjoy. Meal tickets, travel expenses, expense cards that allowed thousands of dollars for a pizza party and Nancy Pelosi’s buying thousands of dollars of alcohol. Why are taxpayers paying for all their perks? They make more than enough money to pay their own way in Washington.—Mary Tuttle

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Dear Daily Signal: Congress is not going to repeal Obamacare because lawmakers are beholden to campaign donors. You can’t have health care reform unless and until the health care industry stops the price gouging, particularly the pharmaceuticals and insurance companies interested mostly in big profits. These entities and lobbyists all have a seat at the table and donate to campaign funds. This appears to be a racket.

People are forced to purchase generic medications mostly from offshore suppliers. Big problem there, too. What is in these drugs that is causing all the dangerous side effects? And why are there medications that people can’t get off? Time for a full investigation.

It is past time for a cure for cancer and other diseases, but the industry obviously doesn’t want a cure. They make too much money on treatments. Also, fraud and overbilling are not being addressed. Pharmacies are having a field day with nursing homes. Who investigates all of this overbilling?

So many problems in the health care industry easily could be remedied, but there is no real interest. It is all for show.Norma Mabry, Columbia, S.C.

Building a Wall, Paying for Border Patrol

Dear Daily Signal: I’m a retired state trooper. After reading Fred Lucas’ story on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (“How GOP Attorneys General Forced Trump to Act on DACA“), I was thinking: What is the big opposition to the border wall?

Answer: Money. Well, how about figuring out the cost and efficiency of a wall versus Border Patrol officers?

The wall would be a solid barrier that could have an assortment of electronic detection and/or cameras rather than wages, vehicles, and retirement benefits for an overwhelming force that so far really hasn’t stopped border crossings.

Border officers still will be needed, but a much smaller force could seek out those detected at the wall. Stopping the action before it happens would lessen costs for holding facilities, hearings, courts, and so on.

It would seem the wall could break even in cost in a short period of time and be more efficient.—Ken Parsons

The Left’s Problem With American History

Dear Daily Signal: Thanks for Jarrett Stepman’s informative article on Christopher Columbus (“The Truth About Columbus“). I am a retired senior citizen, and I must admit I needed to refresh my knowledge. This article did that.

To me, there are those who wish to strip and tear apart the very fiber of our nation. This is deplorable. In my opinion, most of these divisive, far-left liberals do not even know what they are speaking of.

They need to re-educate themselves on world history and U. S. history, written by truly objective sources. Perhaps in the long run that would not help, because they seem to have closed minds. But at least they could become better educated about which they speak and protest against.

The Daily Signal is a beacon of hope and clarity for me, and I thank Mr. Stepman and all the staff at The Daily Signal. Your articles are always “first class.”

I am disabled and live on Social Security. While I couldn’t contribute due to disproportionate medical costs in 2017, I certainly will be able to do so starting in January 2018. Please continue to report the truth, because the so-called mainstream media is not doing so.—Randolph L. Groninger

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Regarding Jarrett Stepman’s commentary, “How a Radical Left-Wing Historian Birthed the Anti-Columbus Movement“: If Howard Zinn is a valid historian, why does he not realize that we have memorial statues of communist mass murderer Vladimir Lenin standing in Seattle, New York City, and Los Angeles that are not a part of U.S. history and should be destroyed?—Aubrey Yancey 

The National Anthem and the NFL

Dear Daily Signal: Genevieve Wood is exactly right in her NFL commentary (“The Hypocrisy of the NFL“). When it comes to political statements and acts by employees while on the job, they can do whatever their employer lets them do.

If there are ramifications, the employer will be the first to suffer or benefit and the first to have to explain the conduct to the customers (in this case football fans).

As an employee you have the right to say whatever you want or act however you want (within the law) constitutionally, but your employer has the absolute right to fire you or condone what you do as well.

So it looks to me like some NFL managers and owners decided to take a political stand. That entitles them to suffer the positive or negative consequences as well. It’s a business decision. We’ll see how it goes. As for me, I decided I wouldn’t be watching any games at all. I’m sick of it, and I don’t have to be a victim of their politics.—Dave, Florence, Ore.

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I have stopped watching the NFL until the league decides to step in and stop these protests during the national anthem.

I served in the Navy during the Vietnam War, and have no respect for these overpaid athletes who disrespect the things that set us apart from other countries.  If they don’t like it, they should leave with all the Hollywood jerks who threatened to do so after Donald Trump was elected.

President Trump is voicing what many in the country have no venue to do.  Who wants to listen to me or will publicize what I have to say?  You may be surprised how much support he has, as do Genevieve Wood and The Daily Signal for your commentary.—John Cox, North Carolina

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Thanks for Genevieve Wood’s video commentary, which I shared.  The NFL has successfully branded itself as a home for heroes—bigger, faster, stronger, better. They come into our homes via TV, and we cheer for our favorites. We are loyal to our team and individual players, and believe we know them. We like them and believe they like us.

But fans are slowly beginning to realize that the NFL image is incredibly deceptive—a product of ultraslick marketing. The NFL is all about its fame, fortune, and political agenda—an agenda that many patriotic Americans oppose. Maybe it’s time to question our loyalty to the NFL. Maybe it’s time for a boycott.—Patriotic Moms

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I have been a diehard NFL fan for over 45 years, since I was a kid.  If these players cannot respect our national anthem when soldiers fought to raise our flag in numerous wars to give them the right to play football and they do not respect that, I do not need to watch them.

Isn’t there a better way to protest than our anthem, which represents the land of the free? Why don’t these players turn in their jerseys and go overseas to Iraq, Afghanistan, or North Korea, so we can have equal rights in our country?

Do they think the women of these countries are treated fairly? Take off your jersey and give away your million-dollar salary and really stand up for what you believe. What a bunch of cowards, kneeling for our flag.—Tommy Van Ess, Madison, Wis.

Equating a Christian Baker With Nazis

Dear Daily Signal: Regarding Kelsey Harkness’s video report on baker Jack Phillips, I don’t understand why people think his religious views make his right to refuse service less than their right to have a cake made (“Underreported: Christian Baker Reacts to Government Official’s Comparing Him to a Nazi“). If you, for any reason, force what you want on someone concerning a service they provide, you might as well just say, “And spit in my food while you at at it.”

I wouldn’t want to make someone provide a service for me. Their rights and beliefs should be respected, too. And the happy same-sex couple who caused themselves and this guy so much grief should have just moved on down the road and found a baker that was more than happy to make their cake. Without the spit.—Brenda Reardon

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I enjoy Kelsey Harkness’ reporting of truthful facts that help give the other side of the story about American values. Much of the rest of the current media does not do that.

Their information is slanted, liberal gibberish found within the circles of biased, talking heads with an agenda taken from scripted, anti-American journalists.

My question to them is: When your freedoms are gone and the Constitution is only a fading memory, who will you turn to when you are silenced?

Please continue to unmask those who will continue to come after our freedoms with a vengeance that is right out of the un-American playbooks of the fascist parties. America needs to wake or be overrun from outside our borders.—John Buckley

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The Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is a legal union, equal to heterosexual marriage in all civil matters such as Social Security spousal benefits, spousal health care benefits, spousal benefits in tax matters, and so on. The ruling did not include a decree that everyone also must accept that gay marriage is a religious union ordained by God.

It’s not included because the Supreme Court is not authorized to speak for God. That’s outside their jurisdiction.

However, because of the First Amendment, if a gay couple wants to believe their marriage is a religious union, they have a right to believe that.  But they don’t have a right to force anyone else to believe that.  The Supreme Court cannot force anyone to believe that.

The court does not have the authority to dictate to anyone what their religious beliefs must be.  So people who believe in traditional marriage—that the only marriage ordained by God is the union of one man and one woman—have the right to that religious belief and the “free exercise thereof.”—Anita Goodspeed

Sessions, Mueller, the FBI, and Russia

Dear Daily Signal: As 74-year-old voter, I always felt that Attorney General Jeff Sessions would be weak when it came to prosecuting “his” own people, namely Congress (“Amid Trump’s Threats, Conservatives Rally Around Sessions“).

Rudy Giuliani has the capabilities, the toughness, and the proven fortitude to do the job that needs to be done. This yearlong, ridiculous witch hunt into Russia should be stopped immediately. It is a political vendetta.Maureen Waite

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Please, someone out there with public exposure, advocate for Jeff Sessions to cancel his recusal from the Russia probe when special counsel Robert Mueller goes beyond his original mandate of campaign-related investigations. That was the context of the recusal, and it should change when that mandate is exceeded.

We are well past that point, with Mueller going into Trump business matters 10 years gone by. Sessions is fully, credibly qualified to reverse his recusal and take control of his department.Robert Toews

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Trump needs to take the political heat. Fire Mueller and explain why to the American people. If the president leaves Mueller in place, this is not going to end well. He is going to find something made up, half true, a process crime, whatever. Trump should also fire Deputy Attorney General Rob Rosenstein for making such a bad decision and folding under pressure so fast.Bob Trento

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The attorney general should have done something long ago rather than waiting until now to issue another vague and empty warning (“Jeff Sessions Warns Sanctuary Cities About Missing Out on Help to Fight Crime“).M.D. Barber

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How about an article on the merits of President Trump’s firing the FBI director and threatening to fire his attorney general and the special counsel due to Trump’s highly questionable relationship with the Russian government (“Legal Experts Weigh in on Trump’s Right to Be Riled at Sessions, DOJ“)?

Your article should deep-dive into the problems for our country if we have a president who has been financed for years by the Russian government and the oligarchs it controls. Of course, you would never write that article.

The Heritage Foundation has become a hypocritical door mat for Trump.  You have lost all credibility on all subjects. Close down shop. Trump’s supporters, like himself, do not read. So unless you are spoon-feeding his cult leaders, Rush and Hannity, no one is reading you. Hopefully your donations reflect this as well.Mary C. Oliver

NASA and the American Spirit

Dear Daily Signal: Regarding the commentary by Bonner Cohen and James Conway, NASA lives in myriads of fantasies and wastes the taxpayers’ money (“How to Make NASA Great Again“) How much more money is going to be allowed to go to waste by NASA?  The foolishness is so extravagant.

The people cannot and will not take care of this planet, yet NASA seeks somewhere else to make a complete garbage dump, and at the cost of their lives in propelling their foolish desires.

Was it ever possible to replenish Mars with plant life and treatable air and water? A child would possibly think in these terms, yet educated clowns are demanding that we try these insidious fantasies.

What does the immense cost for a Mars expedition supply for our nation? Initially a certain cost figure will come out, but it will escalate exponentially in ensuing years. We should stop the whimsical ideas immediately and focus on the real needs of mankind here on terra firma.—Ivars Loce

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While there are some flaws to this commentary on NASA, the basic concept is accurate. Landing a man on the moon in less than a decade was a great accomplishment, but it was a disaster for the long-term exploration of space.

The correct approach is to build a space infrastructurewhich should include the International Space Stationthat would allow for regular visits to the moon and elsewhere at the lowest cost with the greatest amount of safety.

I’ll also say that NASA should not be deciding where they should go. That’s a job for Congress and the president. NASA is primarily an engineering organization that should be given goals to achieve, not set them itself.—Kevin W. Parker

Future of the Filibuster 

Dear Daily Signal: The parties in the Senate are so diametrically opposed, it is difficult to see how any meaningful legislation will get passed (“Conservatives to Trump: Short-Term Victories From Killing Filibuster Could Be Costly“).

The legislators in each party, particularly the Democrats, march to the beat of their leaders. They are loathe to step out of line, even for the good of the country.

What a bunch of puppets. The common good and logic seem to have departed the legislative process in recent administrations.

It does seem the filibuster is too easy to engage, with 60 votes (20 percent more than a majority) necessary to override one. Perhaps 55 to 57 votes would achieve desired results.

Maybe the filibuster is an excuse for inaction and kicking the can down the road.  The can is getting worn out.Brad Kocher

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Thanks for being a voice of reason and truth. I would like to see your White House correspondent, Fred Lucas, who I follow closely, do an article on the reasons for getting rid of the filibuster in the Senate.

First, remember that it was then-Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who got rid of it for federal judges, thus allowing President Obama to pack the courts with liberal activist judges who have been doing everything they can to slow or stop President Trump’s agenda.

Second, it was current Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who killed the filibuster for Supreme Court justices.

So here is where we stand. President Trump can’t fulfill his agenda due to opposition by the congressional swamp. If this continues, he will be blamed instead of Congress. We will likely take a beating in 2018.

This is what the Democrats are planning for. And if they win back the Senate, here is exactly what will happen: The new Democrat majority leader immediately will abolish the filibuster, and the liberals will unleash a socialist/communist attack on this country that will destroy us.

Wake up to reality. The Democrats play hardball while Republicans play badminton.

Republicans should get rid of the filibuster and pass every bit of the Trump agenda.  This would give the economy a huge boost, create massive jobs and wealth, and actually make America great again. No Democrat would dare attempt to undo this, as they would be laughed out of office.

The future of our country is at stake, and it seems to me that Republicans are totally clueless. God help America.—Dale Athanas, Old Lyme, Conn.

More on Those Banned Farmers

Dear Daily Signal: The case of Steve and Bridget Tennes, the Michigan farmers banned from the farmers market, is a can of worms that should never have been opened (“Farmer Fights Back Against City Ban of Traditional Marriage Supporters From Farmers Market“).

However, now that it’s opened, I stand with the farmers and religion. It would serve the city of East Lansing right if the farmers all banded together and boycotted the farmers market. But that solves no problems and could hurt everyone.

So the only amicable solution I see is for the city to back off and make amends. Yeah, the city’s feelings are going to be hurt. But more than likely, city officials won’t relinquish their “power.” Then the public will have their say. It might just be the end of the farmers market.Stanley Howey

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I read with interest Kelsey Harkness’ article about Steve and Bridget Tennes being prohibited from selling their produce at the farmers market in East Lansing, Michigan (“Couple Banned From Farmers Market Over Same-Sex Marriage Views Speak Out“).

I pray the Supreme Court will rule in favor of the Colorado baker with similar problems.   Perhaps it will play an important factor in the Tennes family’s case. Keep informing us about the stories we never read about in the mostly liberal press with a biased agenda.Jo Ann Rinaldo

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Thank you for covering this important story. I fully support the Tenneses in their right to free speech and freedom from an intolerant government. Please keep us up to date.

This is what is hugely wrong with our country today, the intolerance of government. I am a conservative who is extremely disillusioned with Republicans currently serving with my president.Maribeth Hueber, Cincinnati

What’s Great About America

Dear Daily Signal: As sad as it is to see the devastation from Hurricane Harvey, it is watching people come together that gives us hope in these troubling times (“Hurricane Harvey Brings Out the Best in Americans“).

Prayer helps. No looting, no marching, no protestsvery reassuring, despite the tragedy. It is wonderful to hear this nice news in the face of all the bad. Thanks for making my day a little lighter.

Now we need to realize we will all have to sacrifice to help our neighbors. God bless us and keep us and make us see we are one.—Susan Rose

No, They’re Not Liberals

Dear Daily Signal: I admire and look forward to your daily reports. I have only one quibble, and it is the use of the term “liberal.” What a wretched misnomer.

“Liberal” once meant a philosophy opposite to that of a “conservative” party, but no genuine liberal party exists anymore. In fact, we have more true liberal politics on the right than anywhere else.

George Will observed that the party on the left are really “progressives” who believe history has a destination known only to them, and they want to take us there. They have zero right to the name liberal.

In “The Road to Serfdom,” Friedrich A. Hayek long ago commented: “It has been part of the camouflage of leftist movements in this country, helped by the muddle-headedness of many who really believe in liberty, that ‘liberal’ has come to mean the advocacy of almost every kind of government control.”

Call them “progressives” or lefties, police-staters or what you will, but please don’t dignify them with the honorable term liberal. They are anything but.Tom Anderson, Eureka, Calif.

This and That

Dear Daily Signal: I just wanted to thank Kelsey Harkness for doing such a great job. The mix of fun and satire on her “Problematic Women” show is wonderful (“Why Wonder Woman Is a Problem for Feminists“).

I know that the issues we face are serious, but fighting the irrational views of the left with a smirk is so much fun.

I loved the Windex commercial too. Maybe it is because I have a 9-year-old daughter, but it actually made me cry. Keep up the good work.—Pastor Dominick Cuozzo, New Egypt, N.J.

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If these “Dreamers” are wanting to stay in the United States, why have they not tried to become legal residents (“Trump Signals Willingness to Trade ‘Dreamers’ Amnesty for Merit-Based Immigration Reform“)?

I believe all they want is free stuff, education we pay for, and food and housing they get free or subsidized by us, the taxpayers. It is time they step up  and admit they broke the laws of the USA. No other country would let this go on.

Americans are taxed above and beyond to pay for those who do not do the right thing, morally or legally.—Cindy Haschke

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I’m writing about Rep. Phil Roe’s commentary, “Union Bosses Have Too Much Control.” I got laid off from my job after 10 years. It was a union job, and our union was useless to say the least. Its only purpose that I saw was to make sure people who should have been fired a dozen times over kept their job over a paperwork technicality.—Ryan Woody

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President Trump should cancel by executive order all exemptions from Obamacare (“How Trump Could Force Congress and Its Staff to Live Under Obamacare“). Congress does not think it is a severe punishment on American citizens, so they should be allowed to live under the program they support.—David Jerome

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Having graduated from a well-known scientific and technology college, I see absolutely no reason why more women are not studying engineering and related subjects. It is their choice and their choice alone.

My school has had an extensive drive the past eight years to enroll more women, with great success. The current freshman class is nearly 50-50. You start at the freshman year in high school trying to convince young women that math and science are not evil subjects to be avoided at all cost.—Merle Southern

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Regarding recent riots and protests, I see many participants dressed in what I regard as terrorist garb such as black-hooded shirts and masks. Anyone dressed like that is asking for a possible deadly response from an old fellow like me. A masked person typically represented someone bent on deadly violence in my day.

What does it take for our law enforcement to react to this sort of ignorant and aggressive behavior? Why is deterrent action not taken before violence begins? Where are the water cannons of yesteryear? This is getting serious, folks.—John H. Ross, Montrose, Colo.

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They say every vote counts, but does it (“Get Involved Locally. You Might Just Save the Country“)? When I was young. I wanted everything done for me, but my parents didn’t agree with me, thank goodness. Today, just where are the parents and are they collecting any and every government handout?

At some point in my life, I came to the realization that if I wanted something then I needed to figure out what it was and how to get it. Somehow, I figured out that if government gave it to me, someone else had to pay for it since government doesn’t earn a dime.

I have nothing against helping people, but if I’m going to help them they need to put something in the pot as payment. States like Maine are changing their laws to require that. Seems when that happens the lazy folk move to another state, and costs to states like Maine decrease.Sinclair Doggett

How Are We Doing?

Dear Daily Signal: Thanks for writing about the news the way I hear it and understand it. The Daily Signal is the best. Now I want to know how to get the news across to my liberal friends so they will listen.

One radio commentator suggested that President Trump register to run as an Independent in the next election. I think that would be a good idea.  If 60 percent of the rest of the country splits 30/30 between Democrats and Republicans, Trump would win with his 40 percent.—Susan Rose

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I thank you for your complete, accurate, and honest reporting of cultural and governmental problems.  To add interest, often included in the reports are previous decades’ contribution to the cause and history of an event.  This gives a citizen a way to pray for the event or topic, and for those involved, and for solutions—including things for which the citizens of the country must take responsibility.—Nancy Shaffer, Warsaw, Ind.

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Exactly what have the conservatives done for our country in the past 37 years? There is so much horrible stuff you guys have done to unravel a generally peaceful society, which still does not have health care for all.

And you wonder why the conservatives are not talked about glowingly? The Daily Signal is sending all the wrong signals to the citizenry.—Chris Chalogias

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Thank you for inspiring messages and columns, such as those by Walter Williams.—Don Ranck, Paradise, Pa.

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The blocking of highways, kneeling and raising fists during NFL games, and police shootings all have stemmed from the disruptive  “resistance” movement.  After hearing how good the stock market is, and how a lot of jobs are opening up, just what is the left complaining about? The losers are turning into anti-America.—Carol Crowe

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After 55 years of being a liberal Democrat, having been raised at the altars of FDR and LBJ, I became disgusted and frankly embarrassed by the “Democrat” Party. What happened? So here comes Mr. Trump and brings with him my governor, Mike Pence, and pulls me into his triumph of November 2016.

I now am a contributor to The Heritage Foundation, and am re-reading Robert Rector (no relation, sadly), with a different eye. The Daily Signal is my wake-up paper.—Anne Rector, Indiana

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Love the “We Hear You” page. Many contributions are knowledgeable, articulate, and even eloquent. Many with lots to contribute to our democracy have been silenced already, i.e. no one hears us. Please continue this feature, at least weekly. It’s nice to know we are not alone.Liana Silsby

The post We Hear You: Term Limits, the Russia Probe, the NFL, Religious Freedom, and Other Obsessions of 2017 appeared first on The Daily Signal.

We Hear You: A Thoughtful, Informative Chat With Trump Champion Sebastian Gorka

Editor’s note: Response to former Trump aide Sebastian Gorka’s on-camera interview with Rob Bluey, The Daily Signal’s editor-in-chief, was overwhelmingly positive from our audience. Here’s a generous sampling. Remember to write us at letters@dailysignal.com.—Ken McIntyre

Dear Daily Signal: I am so tired of the “mainstream media” having only specific topics that are inane at best and totally manipulative in their divine estimation (“Former White House Insider Explains Why Trump Is Uniquely Able to Challenge the Left and Media“). Thank you for Rob Bluey’s informative and thoughtful interview with Sebastian Gorka.

In the commentaries and interviews I have seen in The Daily Signal, I have never thought that there was any kind of trap-setting. And the answers are nontargeted because the questions are nontargeted. Opinions are expressed as such and are not taken as a “source” for phony or adjusted fact.

I love Mr. Gorka and his dry wit. It is uplifting for me to see the dialogues without the defensive/offensive attacks.—Karin Callaway

***

Sebastian Gorka’s intelligent observations speak to his qualifications and perspective. Men of like minds can help make America great again.

President Trump should end all benefits for Congress, from Obamacare exemption to military transportation, to reserved parking at airports. That would give him good headlines or popularity with the people, and he would never run out of wrongs to right. He could make government transparent by requiring public access to department spreadsheets of all spending.

Congress and the deep state and the lobbyists all function on honor among thieves. Besides building the wall, nothing more than taking on congressional corruption would assure re-election.—Michael Watson 

As a dedicated American, it was with a happy heart that I was able to catch Rob Bluey’s interview with Sebastian Gorka. Finally, I have all the reason to go on believing in America’s principles set down by our forefathers.

This interview made that possible, and I want to thank Mr. Bluey and Mr. Gorka. I will be making a copy of the transcript and keeping it with me to refer to for a long time to come. Godspeed.—Sylvia Rachel Quinn, Kihei, Maui, Hawaii

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Thanks for keeping us informed with the interview with Sebastian Gorka. I was disappointed when I learned about his having to leave the White House, and then started to see shady (to me) new appointees.

I hope to read more of Rob Bluey’s work. Lucid and with a good number of questions providing the reader wonderful insight into the subject. Merry Christmas!—Tessie Pasa

***

Thank you to Rob Bluey for his to-the-point questions to Sebastian Gorka. I thoroughly enjoyed the questions and answers.

All pertinent and relevant to President Trump and national concerns. Gorka’s answers regarding threats were a beautiful example of his ability to explain complex issues in tight, concise language.—Norma Berrios

***

Excellent piece, with well-thought-out questions. And naturally, Dr. Gorka’s responses were very insightful, introspective, and reassuring. Thank you to Rob Bluey and all his colleagues at The Daily Signal for being the medium of truth, justice, and the American way.—Sanford P. England, Indian Land, S.C.

What a great interview. Gorka’s views on foreign affairs were insightful. Thank you for the transcript. I did not vote for Trump, as I did not feel his conservative track record was all that steady. But from everything he has done so far, I am warming up to voting for him in 2020, if he runs.—Joseph Vander Jagt 

***

Legal immigrants appreciate this country more than Americans sometimes, because they know what it is like to live under oppressive governments without the freedoms we enjoy here.

Our public school system is indoctrinating students with progressive nonsense rather than teaching students to be critical thinkers and teaching them the truth about socialism and communism.—Marilyn Regan

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The Daily Signal has a great opportunity to educate us to deal with the left’s Marxist “talking points.” I would like to see a list of Gorka’s statements that make evident the distortions of the left’s lie-laden propaganda.

It’s difficult to respond to the craft of lie-making of the left because the way they form their statements can be difficult to entangle. I know something is twisted in what they say, but can’t always find a way to cut through the fog. Apparently Gorka has that ability. There are others.

The Daily Signal should give us these educational points with the people with whom you come in contact. Help us to clarify the lies with reality and their illusion of relativity (including moral relativity).—Mark Bigley, Luling, Texas

***

All you have to do is take the oath to protect this country against enemies both foreign and domestic, and the “clear responsibility” to preserve human rights and equality becomes paramount in your thinking.

Gorka experienced this through schlepping into the White House daily, and I’m glad it provided him the feeling that many of us whom have sworn the oath have realized since 1776.—Drew Molina

Rob Bluey, editor-in-chief of The Daily Signal, poses questions to Sebastian Gorka, a national security and intelligence expert and former deputy assistant to President Donald Trump. (Photo: Ginny Montalbano/The Daily Signal)

A recurring trope of the right-wing media is that “the mainstream media is unfair, dishonest, and controlled by liberals to promote their agenda.” But it is a false trope.

Gorka’s story in this interview of one journalist, whether true or not, can’t be reasonably extrapolated to tarnish all members of the “mainstream” media. Further, Gorka doesn’t identify this journalist, nor does he even describe the person as “mainstream,” whatever that means.

The right wing has made a major effort to undermine trust in our republic’s basic institutions, including the media, federal courts, scientists and academic institutions, public schools, elections, and on and on.

The damage to our nation’s credibility, psyche, unity, and strength is as palpable as it is repugnant. But these attacks depend on honest people and patriots remaining passive. We won’t.—John Levin

***

It is a breath of fresh air having a president who actually wants to solve problems instead of simply talking them to death or kicking the can down the road for someone else to deal with. The left has won virtually all of the arguments because we have not had a leader since Reagan who would debate them.

That’s one reason Reagan was so despised by the left: He made them look stupid and sought the support from the people via periodic TV broadcasts. Trump is doing the same thing, except he uses Twitter and is far more aggressive than Reagan. However, this is justified because the left is far more aggressive today, even though they were not exactly meek back then.

I for one have had enough of milquetoast politicians. I respect people who proudly state their beliefs even if I might disagree. At least I know where they stand. Also, actions speak far louder than words. It’s called character and integrity, which have been scarce over the past eight years.Randy Leyendecker

***

Sebastian Gorka is a foreigner, as am I.  Both of us committed to becoming United States citizens,  unlike those who acquired their citizenship merely by being born here and didn’t have to give anything up to do so.

So, effectively, most who become naturalized are more patriotic and refuse to cede our rights to the left for perceived safety. We know what it is like not to have the freedoms everyone here takes for granted.—Marine Lt. Col. Klaus von Faustheim (retired)

***

Rob Bluey conducted an insightful interview with Sebastian Gorka on how he sees today’s world. The nuances about the Middle East threats, as well as China’s 2049 ambition, are corroborated by the widespread terrorist incidents that happen on a weekly basis, and by China’s intrusion into Africa and South America for natural resources and to buy influence and enterprises.

If the U.S. does not place its fiscal house in order, China has a strong probability of achieving its objective of replacing the U.S. as the world’s ultimate superpower.—F.G. Voltz, Carson City, Nev.

***

Great job, Rob Bluey. I love this guy as a true-blue conservative and Trumpist.—B.D. Cook

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Compliments to  Bluey for a great interview with  Gorka.—Neil Goodman

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Sebastian Gorka is 100 percent right. President Trump is a fighter, and he wins. All the losers like Romney, McCain, and Bush can’t stand him. Trump shed light on the corrupt American government. He could become the greatest president in U.S. history.—Thomas Mathew

***

I love The Daily Signal. Thanks for the terrific Q&A with Gorka. He is brilliant. Hope guys like Rob Bluey and Ben Shapiro become major forces in the media.  Keep up the great work.—David Nicholas

***

Excellent interview. I learned a lot about Gorka through it. Job well done.—Nancy Culkin

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Thank you so much for this article. Bluey is a great writer and Gorka is a great man.—Claude and Linda McLean

***

I have listened to Gorka on Fox News Channel a few times and know of his eloquence. Now I know the depth of his awareness.

I find that so many people do not read beyond the headlines and never reach the depths of thought I am alluding to. But, you must keep trying. It is our lot in life.Air Force Lt. ColMichael Fitzgerald (retired)

***

I found Rob Bluey’s interview with Sebastian Gorka exceptionally encouraging. Thanks for asking super questions and providing Gorka’s superb responses. Very enlightening.—Peter Jensen

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Thank you for The Daily Signal as an instrument of truth for the American people. I especially liked Rob Bluey’s interview with Sebastian Gorka. Inspiring and so hopeful for our country. With prayers for massive circulation for The Daily Signal.—Sr. Grace Anne Wills, TOR, Toronto, Ohio

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I certainly appreciate Gorka’s candor. He is a great American.—Miguel (Mike) Escobar

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Thanks for putting the interview with Gorka online. It was an excellent interview and really caused me to respect Gorka even more.—Robert Brenner

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Appreciate the insightful Q&A. Really needed to hear what Gorka said.—Nancy Gaenssley

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Great questions and great article about someone who brings clarity to the insanity. I absolutely loved it.—Richard Kelsheimer, Grand Prairie, Texas

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Thanks for cutting to the truth. A very good interview. Sending to friends. God bless you.—Gary and Linda Witt, Buhler, Kansas

Questions About Uranium One

Great article on the Clintons and Uranium One by Fred Lucas (6 Key Elements in Understanding the Tangled Uranium One Scandal”). Please stay after this crime against America. There’s so much swamp and so few honest investigative journalists. I hope you and yours stay true to the cause.—Brannen Edwards

***

The FBI had plenty of evidence to prosecute this case in 2009. This was a Justice Department cover-up perpetrated by Eric Holder, Robert Mueller, Rod Rosenstein, Andrew McCabe and others. How do you keep something hush-hush? You have an ongoing FBI investigation. Sorry, can’t talk about that!

When the case was closed, where was all the handshaking and backslapping followed by the “Aren’t we great” press conference? The FBI busts an international (Russian) racketeering scheme—money laundering, kickbacks, and extortion—involving uranium in the U.S., and they’re not going to take a victory lap?

Think about this as well: The FBI announced the closing of the investigation after dinner on Friday. We all know why this sort of thing happens. Sssshhhh!—Danny Lee Cosat

***

Aren’t most all of these so-called government officials basically just puppets answering to the puppet masters? In that case, this entire event is a show, meant to keep the masses in a tangled maze, thus creating more confusion followed by apathy. It’s the divide and conquer game. We’re all screwed.—Tom Varano

***

Will they get away with it? Sadly, yes. Back in the day, the exposure of wrongdoing was enough to bring down the wrongdoer. Bill Clinton changed all that; now we willingly accept wrongdoing, as long as the state propagandists (media) give their blessing.

Clearly, we are living in an age when despite truckloads of evidence against the Clintons, Eric Holder, Barack Obama, Loretta Lynch, James Comey, Robert Mueller, and others, the coup against President Trump must continue no matter what.

We thought we would have a true champion in  Attorney General Jeff Sessions, but tragically, he’s turned out to be an unwitting dupe of the deep state.—Vicky Kay

***

This proves how corrupt the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton are. Our FBI and Justice Department have been so politicized they are incapable of investigating anything. We need to clean house and drain the swamp and prosecute all of them.—Lisa Chaumont

***

It is becoming clear that cronyism has been resident in the Justice Department and FBI for years, even decades. Recent revelations threaten to kill the trust of the public in government, law enforcement, and more.

Those in power within public service, the Congress, the courts, and the presidency, are playing with the existence of the country. The honor and trust of the nation, and our system of government, is on the docket. “Have they no shame?”—Jaime Manzano

***

My questions have been these: Did the FBI, Justice Department, Homeland Security, and others know about this? If not, why not? If they did, did they investigate? If not, why not?

If they did investigate, did they inform Congress and/or any of the agencies tasked with approving the sale of those uranium assets in a timely manner? If not, why not?—John Besharian

***

I’m praying the truth will be exposed very soon. The corruption dating back decades needs to be rooted out. America can take the blow as long as truth is the outcome. Examples need to be made in many areas of government, past and present.—B. Younger

  ***

Thanks for clarifying that there is no there there.—Warren Coats, Bethesda, Md.

***

Great  article, based on fact and not sweeping, smearing generalizations. Like other readers, I am most interested in where the trail of facts ultimately leads.—Mike Lee

On Teaching Kindness and Tolerance

Dear Daily Signal: Kelsey Harkness should lengthen her 6-minute video report on Delta Street Academy (“Through God, This Mississippi Boys School Is Working to Heal the Racial Divide”) to encourage teachers to concentrate on keeping frustration and anger out of the classroom and put the emphasis on helping students to be peaceful, good citizens. Teachers should teach kindness and tolerance, not hatred and racism.

I taught for two years in the Greenwood, Mississippi, schools. They are indeed failing, not only because the students have given up but because the teachers have. The teachers are as poorly trained as the students.

Of course, I generalize. I had AmeriCorps teachers tell me the schools were the worst they ever served in. I agreed, and after two years went back to college, got my master’s, and remained teaching at a college. I have since retired and moved back to Greenwood. The school are worse yet.

I helped a teacher at Delta Street Academy by giving him my curriculum, books, and PowerPoints. Our local library is very close to this academy, and the students visit often. One librarian said the academy students say that academy teachers “listen to them and encourage them to succeed, while they are shouted at and put down in local public schools.” I know this to be true from when I was in the system.

Black teachers put their frustration and hate with their situation onto the students. This does not create good citizens. I applaud Delta Street Academy for listening and being kind to these abused students. They are helping to heal the racial divide.—Persistent Professor

***

Kelsey Harkness has done it again, producing another blue-ribbon piece full of joy, hope, optimism, and true life characters who personify courage, resilience, hard work, perseverance, humility, Christian charity, grace, and virtue. Why can’t all the news be like hers? —Jeffrey L. Gainey

Physics and Climate Change

Thanks to Kevin Mooney for his story, “Climate Change Alarmism Is ‘Garbage In, Garbage Out,’ Retired NASA Physicist Says”). Like Hal Doiron, I also have a degree in physics. It is getting a little old now, but I did learn the scientific method and how to evaluate data. I have been telling everyone I know that the climate model being used is nonsense.

Without access to the quality of information referred to in your article, my objection was based on the fact that the data being used was literally garbage, unreliable and frequently skewed intentionally. My other objection was that, even with manipulated data, the result never matched the claims. Thank you for a knowledgeable approach to this issue.—Lloyd Wentworth

***

Keep it up and repeat often. Because I live on the coast in Savannah, Georgia, we are inundated with front page articles about doomsday. I even have requested that the editors of our newspaper at least do point-counterpoint, to no avail.

Snowbirds continue to move south and bring their need for big government with them, which means they’re never going to be happy until we look like what they left.—Brannen Edwards

This and That

Rob Bluey’s reporting on the findings of the Axios-Survey Monkey poll about government’s role really shows the true nature of the people of America (“Growing Number of Americans Oppose Government Regulation of Social Media”)The government should never regulate any business entity or media outlet, except in cases such as mergers of companies of like kind that will, in the end, cause a definite monopoly on a particular item or service.

Way back, the government “broke up” some businesses because they got too big to allow competition (AT&T, or “Ma Bell”).  Now businesses have gotten smarter by not staying within their own venues and instead gaining ownership of various other entities with a possible competing service (AOL/Time-Warner).

As an ultraconservative, Constitution-loving, flag-waving, Republican, Christian woman, I am appalled at the way government has been taken over by certain beliefs, that the seated representatives think they know more of what people should have, rather than keeping America and its people safe.Karin Callaway

***

Nolan Peterson’s article on Ukraine and U.S. coal is a bit of an eye opener (“Ukraine Turns to American Coal to Defend Itself Against Russia”). Now I think I understand why the dark state communist and radical Muslim sympathizers have fought so hard to curtail American coal and oil companies from expanding into a state of global energy independence.

American energy independence and worldwide energy abundance directly undermine the economies and influence of all the Middle Eastern nations and Russia. This also explains the Russians’ trying to infiltrate North American uranium resources.

The only problem with capitalism is it has been intentionally mismanaged and obstructed by the “progressives” working to subvert it. Otherwise, it works everywhere it’s tried.—John Emmi

***

Good for Fred Lucas to write about dreaded communism (“Trump White House Recognizes 100 Years of Victims of Communism”). Just read Mike Walsh’s book, “Trotsky’s White Negroes.” Makes me ill to think about the millions that were killed. So you did the world a favor.—Vilma

How Are We Doing?

As members of the President’s Club at The Heritage Foundation for 25 years, we love referring to The Daily Signal as The Daily Truth. Can’t thank its presence enough.—Bryon and Sandra Odhner

I am grateful for accurate news such as the reports by Fred Lucas. I no longer can trust the major media or TV news. As a retired geologist and combat veteran pilot in Vietnam, I am extremely disappointed in our Congress and in our judicial system. Trump is doing the best he can to drain the swamp.—Fred Hankinson

Many thanks for The Daily Signal. I just read my first Morning Bell. I make my donations to The Heritage Foundation the old-fashioned way, by paper check.—Walter Ling

I urge Fred Lucas and The Daily Signal to help expose the corruption of “the swamp.” Be cooperative and innovative in telling the voters what’s going on in your neck of the woods regarding improprieties.—Craig Schwartz

Casey Ryan helped to compile this column.

The post We Hear You: A Thoughtful, Informative Chat With Trump Champion Sebastian Gorka appeared first on The Daily Signal.

After Texts Show Bias of FBI Agents in Russia Probe, GOP Lawmakers Question Justice Official in Testy Hearing

Revelations that FBI investigators who were part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s team sent each other derogatory text messages about Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign dominated a House hearing Wednesday featuring the No. 2 Justice Department official.

The electronic messages disparaging Trump fit into a larger pattern of partisanship undermining the integrity of Mueller’s ongoing probe into allegations the Trump campaign team colluded with Russia, according to legal analysts and government watchdogs.

The Justice Department submitted copies of about 375 of the two FBI agents’ text messages to Congress on Tuesday night, as Politico reported and Republican and Democrat lawmakers confirmed Wednesday during the House Judiciary Committee hearing.

The text messages include several exchanges between Peter Strzok, an official who served in the FBI’s counterintelligence division, and Lisa Page, an FBI attorney. Strzok and Page reportedly were having an extramarital affair at the time they sent the text messages about Trump and other 2016 presidential candidates.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said Strzok’s “strident” texts created an appearance of impropriety and was one reason to appoint a second special counsel to look into wrongdoing within the FBI and the Justice Department designed to “hang” Trump.

“Were you aware of just how biased Mr. Strzok was?” Rep. Louis Gohmert, R-Texas, asked Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein during the hearing.

“No, I was not,” Rosenstein replied.

“It’s not just the FBI agents and their obvious partisanship,” Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal analyst at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal. “It is now a whole series of disturbing revelations about the lawyers hired by Mueller that show the same level of bias, partisanship, and conflicts of interest.”

The text messages first came to light as the department’s Office of Inspector General conducted an internal review of the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server to conduct official business as secretary of state from 2009 through 2012.

Clinton, the Democrats’ 2016 presidential nominee, was cleared before the election of any criminal activity by then-FBI Director James Comey, who Trump fired less than four months into his presidency.

The dates of the text messages by Strzok and Page range from August 2015 to December 2016, according to The Washington Times and other media outlets that obtained copies. Fox News Channel reported that officials were reviewing more than 10,000 messages.

Republican lawmakers noted that Strzok was lead investigator in the probe of Clinton’s secret email setup, and identified him as the one who urged Comey to use the words “extremely careless” rather than the legally weighted “grossly negligent” to describe Clinton’s email practices as secretary of state.

‘Loathsome Human’

Mueller removed Strzok from his investigative team about five months ago, in July, after learning of the text messages. Strzok was in charge of the FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s private email server prior to joining Mueller’s team.

Page, the FBI lawyer, also served on Mueller’s investigative team, but by the time Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz’s probe uncovered the text messages, she had returned to other duties at the FBI.

Strzok and Page referred to Trump as an “idiot” during the Republican primaries, the text messages show. Other exchanges indicate that the pair supported Clinton for president over Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in the Democratic primaries.

Politico noted a March 2016 text in which Page declared: “God trump is a loathsome human…omg he’s an idiot.”

“He’s awful,” wrote back Strzok, who also texted that Trump was an “idiot” in another exchange.

House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., expressed concern about partisan inclinations within the Justice Department and FBI in a statement he released during the oversight hearing, when committee members questioned Rosenstein about the text messages, the Russia probe, and the Clinton email investigation.

“Reports on the political predisposition, and potential bias, of certain career agents and department lawyers on Special Counsel Mueller’s team are deeply troubling to all citizens who expect a system of blind and equal justice,” Goodlatte said. “DOJ investigations must not be tainted by individuals imposing their own political prejudices. We are now beginning to better understand the magnitude of this insider bias on Mr. Mueller’s team.”

‘Super Agent’

Rosenstein appointed the former FBI director as special counsel after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia probe because of his advisory role in the Trump campaign. The deputy attorney general repeatedly defended Mueller’s investigation during the hearing from Republican lawmakers who cited evidence of political bias on the part of key investigators.

“I’m not aware of any impropriety, I’m not aware of any violation of rules,” Rosenstein said early on, a refrain he would repeat while declining to address the appearance of impropriety.

“How can you say with a straight face that this group of Democrat partisans are unbiased and will give Trump a fair shake?” Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, asked at one point.

“This guy thought he was super agent James Bond at the FBI,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said of Strzok, pointing to texts in which Strzok appeared to see it as his mission to protect the nation from Trump.

Jordan said Americans have lost trust in Mueller and the Russia investigation, and Rosenstein ought to disband it and begin to probe efforts within Justice and the FBI to undermine Trump as president.

The inspector general at Justice is doing that already, Rosenstein repeated.

“What’s it going to get to get a second special counsel to answer these questions?” Jordan shot back.

“High-ranking FBI officials involved in the Clinton investigation were personally invested in the outcome of the election,” Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, says during Wednesday’s hearing. (Photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters/Newscom)

‘Showing Disdain’

In his statement, Goodlatte specified major issues with the special counsel’s probe of possible coordination between Trump campaign operatives and Russian officials:

First, we have FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page exchanging communications showing extreme bias against President Trump, a fact that would be bad enough if it weren’t for the fact that these two individuals were employed as part of the Mueller ‘dream team’ investigating the very person for whom they were showing disdain.

And calling it mere ‘disdain’ is generous.  According to the documents produced last night to this committee, Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page referred to the president as “an utter idiot,” “a loathsome human,” and “awful,” while continually praising Hillary Clinton and the Obamas.

These text messages prove what we all suspected: High-ranking FBI officials involved in the Clinton investigation were personally invested in the outcome of the election, and clearly let their strong political opinions cloud their professional judgment. And this was only an ‘initial disclosure,’ containing heavy redactions.

Second, former embattled FBI general counsel and current Mueller prosecutor, Andrew Weissmann, expressed his ‘awe’ of a former DOJ official [Acting Attorney General Sally Yates] for shunning the president and failing to faithfully execute the law. However, we are the ones now in ‘awe’ that someone like Mr. Weissmann remains on an investigative team that looks more and more partisan.

Third, we have learned that a top Mueller prosecutor, Jeannie Rhee, in addition to other actions that would normally justify recusal, served as an attorney for the Clinton Foundation. Aren’t DOJ attorneys advised to avoid even the ‘appearance of impropriety?’ A former Clinton employee is now investigating President Trump. This seems to be the very definition of  ‘appearance of impropriety.’

Fourth, we just recently learned that another top DOJ official, Bruce Ohr, has been reassigned because of his and his wife’s connections with the infamous [Trump] ‘dossier’ and the company [Fusion GPS] from whom the opposition research document originated.

‘The Runaround’

Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, a Washington-based nonprofit that promotes “integrity, transparency, and accountability in government,” released a YouTube statement Tuesday about what he said were “anti-Trump and pro-Hillary text messages.”

Fitton called on the Justice Department to respond to Judicial Watch’s related requests under the Freedom of Information Act.

“We are getting the runaround from this Justice Department and this FBI in our Freedom of Information Act lawsuits,” he said. “The coverup and secrecy must end. We want the documents now.”

The Justice Department did not respond to The Daily Signal’s request for information Wednesday on any policy or guidelines governing text messages and other mobile messaging on government devices, and for a comment on whether the Russia probe is undermined by political bias.

Heritage’s von Spakovsky told The Daily Signal in an email that Rosenstein should revoke Mueller’s authority to pursue Russia-related questions since there are too many “conflicts of interest” at work.

He said:

How can you have lawyers working on this special investigation who represented the Clinton Foundation; represented the IT staffer who installed the home server; attended Hillary’s election eve party; supported [acting Attorney General] Sally Yates’ unprofessional and unethical behavior? All of this raises serious questions about Mueller and the lawyers he has hired and his lack of judgment. The work of this special counsel seems to now be irretrievably suspect.

After revoking Mueller’s authority, von Spakovsky said, Rosenstein “should ask the Criminal Division of the Justice Department and its career prosecutors to investigate the very narrow issue of Russian election collusion.”

No Improper Orders

During the hearing, Democrats–Reps. Hank Johnson of Georgia and Eric Swalwell of California among them–asked Rosenstein whether Trump ever interfered with investigations.

“I told you I have never received any improper orders,” Rosenstein snapped to Johnson at one point.

“Are you afraid of President Trump firing you?” Johnson asked.

“No, I am not,” Rosenstein replied.

Other Democrats cast Republicans as running down the professionalism of the FBI and Justice Department.

In response to questions from Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Texas, Rosenstein made an emotional defense of Mueller’s reputation, record, resume, and experience.

“I believe he was an ideal choice for this task,” Rosenstein concluded.

The post After Texts Show Bias of FBI Agents in Russia Probe, GOP Lawmakers Question Justice Official in Testy Hearing appeared first on The Daily Signal.