Tony Perkins / February 23, 2017

From the White House to the Outhouse

It’s been a rough month for Barack Obama. At his old office, President Trump is keeping the shredders busy with his predecessor’s radical policies and orders. Brick by brick, the White House is deconstructing the legacy of the Obama years — scrubbing everything from overseas abortion funding to dangerous immigration postures. Today, the Trump team may be adding a new guidance to the trash heap: Obama’s hugely controversial shower and bathroom order.

Editor’s note: This piece was originally penned on Wednesday, Feb. 22, before news broke that the Trump administration had formally rescinded Obama’s transgender rules.

It’s been a rough month for Barack Obama. At his old office, President Trump is keeping the shredders busy with his predecessor’s radical policies and orders. Brick by brick, the White House is deconstructing the legacy of the Obama years — scrubbing everything from overseas abortion funding to dangerous immigration postures. Today, the Trump team may be adding a new guidance to the trash heap: Obama’s hugely controversial shower and bathroom order.

For nine months, parents, local districts, and states have been storming the courthouse doors to fight back on the decree, which insisted that every public school force students into the humiliating situation of sharing showers, restrooms, and locker rooms, with members of the opposite sex. Comply, the Department of Education implied, or lose your funding. To leaders like Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick (R), Obama’s financial blackmail was nothing new. If anything, it only made them more determined. As far as Patrick was concerned, this was easily the most important issue for families since the Supreme Court ruled against school prayer. “This will be the end of public education, if this prevails,” he warned. And most parents didn’t need convincing. Even Democrats joined the fierce pushback in local communities, all fighting an agenda that the American College of Pediatricians calls “child abuse.” Like us, they think Trump’s position is the right one.

In a rare show of muscle, 23 states banded together to fight the order — led by Texas. The White House’s agenda was so unpopular by November that some experts even blamed Hillary Clinton’s loss on her defense of it. Through it all, Donald Trump’s position was clear: “I believe it should be states’ rights, and I think the states should make the decision, they’re more capable of making the decision,” he told “Good Morning America"on May 13. When pressed, he repeated his stance. "I just think it should be states’ rights. I think many things actually should be states’ rights, but this is a perfect example of it,” he said.

This week, he plans on proving it. According to sources, the Departments of Justice and Education have already drafted a letter scrubbing the Obama order. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was asked about the development yesterday in a media scrum. “Will there be further guidance coming out on this? I think that all you have to do is look at what the president’s view has been for a long time, that this is not something the federal government should be involved in, this is a state’s rights issue.”

In the joint letter obtained by the Post, officials point out that President Obama tried to rewrite the 50-year-old Title IX regulations on sex discrimination. In verbal gymnastics that were impressive even for his administration, Obama tried to twist the rule to suggest that leaders in the 1970s were thinking about gender identity then too. “No one can seriously argue that this is what Congress had in mind when it wrote the law or when President Nixon signed it,” Scott Pruitt said at the time. “Even in today’s world of rapidly evolving norms, sex and gender identity are understood to be distinct.” The Trump administration agrees, writing in the letter that Obama’s “interpretation has given rise to significant litigation.” While people struggle to understand the policy, DOJ and DOE “have decided to withdraw and rescind the above-referenced guidance documents in order to further consider the legal issues involved.” But, the administration reminds districts, this doesn’t “diminish the protections from bullying and harassment that are available to all students. Schools must ensure that transgender students, like all students, are able to learn in a safe environment.”

During a press conference this afternoon, a reporter pressed Spicer on why the administration was making this a priority. “It’s not a priority,” Spicer fired back. “There is a case pending in the Supreme Court in which we have to decide whether or not to continue to issue guidance to the court. It’s dictated by that. The Obama administration issued a joint guidance. We now have to decide whether or not this administration wants to continue that track that they were on. It’s plain and simple.” He’s right! This wasn’t Trump’s idea. It was forced on every parent and student in America by Barack Obama. We all agree this isn’t a priority. But why didn’t members of the press raise this issue when the Obama administration spent excessive time and money strong-arming the nation with this agenda? I applaud the White House for getting the federal government out of the showers and bathrooms of America’s schools.

Originally published here.

Jordan Double Teamed by Lib Out-of-Towners

No wonder there are so many protestors at Republican townhalls! According to some reports, it’s a lucrative gig. In Utah, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R) was just one of the targets of liberal billionaire George Soros, who’s helping to “ship” protestors to district meetings all across the country. In some cases, the gatherings have turned so ugly that members like Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) needed a police escort just to leave the building.

Like Chaffetz, he knows the outrage was manufactured. After all, both are in solidly Republican districts. It’s “more of a paid attempt to bully and intimidate,” Chaffetz told reporters after the dust-up. “You could see it online a couple days before, a concerted effort in part to just cause chaos,” the Utah Republican said Friday. “Democrats are in disbelief that they have nothing but flailing and screaming to deal with this.” “Disrupt and resist” seem to be the marching orders in places like Pennsylvania, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, and Ohio, as groups tied to Soros work to create commotion at key meetings with constituents. Local activists shouted down Rep. Justin Amash (R) in Michigan, one of the areas where groups like MoveOn and ACLU have committed to “troublemaking.”

Our friend Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) took the name-calling with a grain of salt. “Frankly, I don’t care,” he said. “If there are people who aren’t constituents, they’re still Americans. I’m happy to talk to them.” Unfortunately for Jordan and others, the Left isn’t interested in talking. They’re interested in ending whatever conversation moves the nation forward. For those who actually care about constructive questions and answers, one of the biggest themes of the events has been the Obamacare repeal. Jordan, who just released his Top Nine Lies about the “Affordable Care Act,” took a slew of questions about the GOP’s plan. But he also reminded people of one of its most important components: defunding Planned Parenthood. “We got some Planned Parenthood signs here — one thing I’ve been very clear on is not giving any of your tax dollars to Planned Parenthood… Those community clinics do a very good job, certainly better than the Planned Parenthood clinics.”

While the Left’s army fans out to various townhalls in states, make sure your opinion is represented! If your member of Congress scheduled a townhall for this week in the district, show up! Oftentimes, voters only make an effort to talk to their elected officials when they have something to complain about. So many of these leaders are doing the right thing, and they need to be encouraged. They also need to have their priorities reinforced by people like you. Let them know it’s time to repeal Obamacare. Help us counter the voices of the Left by telling them no more excuses on health care. And while you’re at it, make sure they hear from you on religious freedom. Too many Americans are suffering the consequences of the last eight years. The moment to address it is now! For a list of discussion points you can bring up with your members, click here. And if you’re in my home district, Louisiana’s 6th, don’t miss Rep. Garret Graves’s meeting at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow at Central Branch Library (11260 Joor Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70818).

Originally published here.

A Sparks Plug for Planned Parenthood

It may be your money, but that doesn’t mean you can decide how it’s spent! That was the message from U.S. District Court Judge Sam Sparks to Texans who overwhelmingly voted to strip Planned Parenthood of its hefty Medicaid haul. In a 42-page opinion that read like it was written by Cecile Richards herself, Sparks took unusual offense to the law, insisting that the effort was all based on “a secretly recorded video, fake names, a grand jury indictment, [and] congressional investigations” that sounded more like a “best-selling novel” than a legitimate case.

“Yet, rather than a villain plotting to take over the world, the subject of this case is the State of Texas’s efforts to expel a group of health care providers from a social health care program for families and individuals with limited resources.” Insisting that yanking funding for the scandal-plagued group would somehow cause “irreparable harm,” Sparks seemed more concerned with his personal agenda than the facts. If the judge had bothered looking beyond his own bias, he would have realized that low-cost, publicly-funded health centers (where these dollars would be redirected) outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities 20 to one nationwide, care for 23 million Americans, and even provide more health services than the group he’s so desperate to defend. In fact, those community health centers serve 21.1 million individuals per year, nearly eight times more individuals than are served by Planned Parenthood centers.

Obviously, the only “irreparable harm” Sparks cares about is the kind done to the abortion industry’s bottom line. He should be more concerned about the irreparable harm that judges like him do to the Constitution and the rule of law. The “judge” goes on to claim there is “not a scintilla of evidence” of wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood. That’s interesting since Congress referred the group for criminal prosecution. Unfortunately, this is just another judicial activist who refuses to rule on the merits of the law. But no gavel can unravel the truth about Planned Parenthood!

Originally published here.


This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.

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