Gary Bauer / May 4, 2017

At the White House

Tuesday’s White House event, in the ornate Indian Treaty Room, honoring Israel on its 69th Independence Day was outstanding. Vice President Mike Pence gave a stirring tribute to our most loyal friend and ally, Israel.

Tuesday’s White House event, in the ornate Indian Treaty Room, honoring Israel on its 69th Independence Day was outstanding. Vice President Mike Pence gave a stirring tribute to our most loyal friend and ally, Israel.

Other speakers included my friend Ron Dermer, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, the U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, a good man and a true friend of Israel whom we helped to confirm, and Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch.

At the end of the event, a group of orthodox Jews went to a corner of the room and prayed for the peace of Jerusalem. I have no way of knowing of course, but that may have been the first time the seed of Abraham had a chance to pray in the Indian Treaty Room for the undivided eternal capital of Israel.

Vice President Pence reiterated that the Trump administration was “seriously considering” moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, and he received enthusiastic applause.

Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, currently in the 12th year of his five-year term of office, was in town Wednesday, meeting with President Trump to discuss the prospects of peace with Israel. It’s debatable how much influence Abbas really has given that the terrorist group Hamas controls Gaza.

In spite of his claims, Abbas is really not concerned about the location of the U.S. embassy. He wants all of Jerusalem as the capital of a new Palestinian state, which would quickly become Hamastan.

The last thing the United States needs is another failed radical Islamic state in the Middle East.

Restoring Religious Liberty

Thursday is the National Day of Prayer. Washington is buzzing with reports that President Trump will sign an executive order reaffirming America’s deep religious heritage and protecting the free exercise of faith, as guaranteed by the First Amendment. Such an order is desperately needed.

The Left has been attacking religious liberty for decades. It has redefined marriage and driven Christian businesses into bankruptcy. It has forced men and women of faith out of the workplace and it is trying to drive Christians out of government.

It is attempting to force Christian ministries to promote abortion. The Left has even used the brute force of big government to prosecute nuns!

And now the Left is attempting to force Catholic hospitals to perform sex change operations.

Clearly, the time has come for an executive order from the president protecting religious liberty. And a signing ceremony on the National Day of Prayer would be perfect timing.

Out of Touch

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is under fire for celebrating the president’s missile strike on the Assad regime for its use of chemical weapons against innocent civilians.

But for the past 48 hours, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have been celebrating the fact that they temporarily stopped President Trump from building a wall to secure our border and keep gang members and terrorists out of the country.

Think about the juxtaposition of these two things. Progressives are outraged about the bombing of a war criminal but they celebrate keeping the American people vulnerable to criminals and terrorists. It’s hard to get more out-of-touch than that.

Speaking of That Wall…

The White House is pushing back against some of the criticism of this week’s budget deal regarding funding for the border wall. Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told reporters that the deal includes $341 million to upgrade 40 miles of existing fences. While there may not be construction in new areas, Mulvaney said that weak chain-link fencing that already exists will be replaced with a 20-foot steel wall.

“You can call it new wall, you can call it replacement, you can call it maintenance, call it whatever you want,” Mulvaney said. “The president’s priority was to secure the southern border and that’s what this does.”

“That’s what we got in this deal,” Mulvaney added, “and that’s what the Democrats don’t want you to know.”

Forty miles on the southern border isn’t enough, but it’s a start.

Clinton in Denial

At a women’s forum Tuesday, Hillary Clinton said, “If the election had been on October 27th, I would be your president.” Asked by moderator Christiane Amanpour whether she accepted any personal responsibility for her loss, Hillary said, “I take absolute personal responsibility. I was the candidate.”

“But,” The Washington Post notes, “then Clinton went on to blame [FBI Director James] Comey and the Russian hack of Podesta’s emails for her loss.” Clinton also blamed misogyny, which she said “is very much a part of the landscape politically and socially and economically.”

White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway shot back, tweeting, “You Ignored WI, Called us deplorable/irredeemable, Had oodles of $$ & no message, Lost to a better candidate.” Conway signed her tweet, “From: Woman in the White House.”

One person not feeling terribly sorry for Mrs. Clinton is former Obama adviser David Axelrod, who echoed Conway’s sentiments. “Jim Comey didn’t tell her not to campaign in Wisconsin after the convention,” Axelrod said on CNN yesterday. “Jim Comey didn’t say, ‘Don’t put any resources into Michigan until the final week of the campaign.’”

Perhaps President Trump should be happy Hillary is attacking him again. CNN says her attacks are helping him by reminding voters that they had a choice and she is why many of them chose Trump.

Shakeup at Heritage

There have been whispers in Washington for days about a major shakeup at The Heritage Foundation. Tuesday night the board of directors announced that former South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint was asked to resign. Many members of Heritage’s senior staff were also dismissed. Former Heritage CEO Ed Feulner was reinstated to oversee the transition to new leadership.

Who eventually takes the helm of Heritage has been the subject of much speculation. Some reports have suggested that White House strategist Steve Bannon may be in the running.

The Heritage Foundation is a central pillar of the conservative movement. It was critical to the success of the Reagan Revolution and I have many good friends there. I worked with them in helping to provide staffing recommendations for the Trump administration. Whatever happens in the days ahead, I know The Heritage Foundation will remain an influential and vibrant organization.

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