GOP Warns Dems to Get Its House in Border
There isn’t much that compares to combat. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) ought to know. Before he was a congressman, Duncan was a Marine, doing two dangerous tours in Iraq. Now, 14 years since those bloody battles for Fallujah, he’s in a different warzone — this time on the Arizona border. And nothing in this country, he says, has ever reminded him “more of Afghanistan.”
While Democrats shrug their shoulders at the immigration crisis — or worse, fight the administration in court for trying to fix it — Republicans like Duncan Hunter are pleading with the country to start taking this disaster seriously. Wednesday afternoon, on the ground in Yuma, the California congressman couldn’t believe what a combat zone the area had become. “It is so bad here,” he told our listeners on “Washington Watch,” that “the border patrol has forward operating bases like we had in theatre in Iraq and Afghanistan.” Looking down at the scene from a DEA helicopter, Hunter and seven other congressmen saw the operating bases where agents are stationed for weeks-long rotations.
“It is almost a short-term military tour for them — that’s how bad it is here. And even me being so close to here, I didn’t really grasp just how big of an area with no border wall, so there is no way to funnel the illegal immigrants and the criminals. It’s just a wide-open space with no fence at all in some places, a three-foot high barricade in other places — but no real fencing like we have in San Diego. It is a spectacular failure of a way to secure a border.”
Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls agrees. Wednesday, in a desperate plea for help, the Republican became the first local official to declare a state of emergency because of the flood of illegal immigrants overwhelming the area. With shelters bursting and hundreds of illegals arrested every day, Nicholls is warning of mobs of people “roaming the streets looking to satisfy basic human needs,” clashing with citizens looking to protect their own property. “There is an imminent threat on having too many migrant releases into our community,” he said. It’s a “catastrophic situation,” Nicholls warned.
And every day, locals say, it’s getting worse. After jumping the low fences, some migrants are just showing up on people’s doorsteps asking for food and water. “In the past several months, it’s getting to be more and more,” one homeowner told reporters. “It’s pretty much like a sieve right here because all we have are vehicle barriers, and the river is very shallow right here. You can just wade across.” Her husband guesses that “50 to 500” migrants cross the area a day. And while some of them are just desperate people, there’s no mistaking the danger other smugglers pose. At his DEA briefing, Hunter posed in front of piles of confiscated cocaine, heroine, and fentanyl.
The only answer, Hunter insists, is stopping people at the border. “This is a Mexico problem,” he argued. “They’re the ones allowing the people to transit throughout their nation into the United States. They’re helping them, they’re providing them food and water, legal advice, and maps…” Once they cross into the U.S., they become everyone’s problem. As Mayor Nicholls pointed out, his city — and so many others — just don’t have the money to respond. Even with area nonprofits and ministries pitching in, it’s just “above our capacity as a community to sustain,” he said at his press conference.
Of course, the situation only gets worse when you consider that 98 percent of the illegals border patrol caught in 2017 are still in America today, benefiting from government resources. “As you know there are plenty of people in our country who are hurting and who need help,” Duncan pointed out. “You shouldn’t be giving American taxpayer dollars to illegal immigrants that break the law by coming here in the first place.”
With things completely unraveling at the border, you’d think congressional Democrats would at least come to the table and negotiate. Unfortunately, Hunter said, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) is driven by one thing and one thing only: politics. Her only priority is coddling her “San Francisco crazy base that wants open borders” and doing everything for the “[Alexandria] Ocasio-Cortezes, for the [Ilhan] Omars, for the open border crowds that don’t believe that you should have to do anything to become an American citizen. I think it’s all politics and they don’t care about reality.”
Well, Democrats had better start caring — or the problem won’t be migrants showing up on their doorstep demanding supplies. It’ll be voters demanding stronger leaders.
Originally published here.
NASA Chief Finds Space for Faith
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand the First Amendment. Or maybe, after the spat over a speech by NASA’s Jim Bridenstine, it does. Thanks to the double standards of secularism, public officials can’t even talk about faith without making headlines. It’s no wonder, then, that when the head of America’s space program gave remarks at a Christian ministry, even he had trouble finding signs of intelligence in the criticism that followed.
Capitol Ministries, the organization that Jim has supported for years, is hardly controversial. Nine of the president’s 15 cabinet officials are sponsors of the ministry — whose aim is simple: influencing government with biblical teachings. During his talk, Bridenstine even talked about the importance of that goal and what it means in the context of these times. “I love what Ralph said earlier: We’re not trying to Christianize the U.S. government. We believe in an institutional separation, but we also believe in influence. And that’s a big distinction and an important distinction, and that’s why I love this ministry.”
Jim couldn’t have been more clear: No one in the Trump administration is trying to create a theocracy. They just want the same freedom to bring their personal views to bear on public policy that liberals have. Still, secularists like Business Insider’s Dave Mosher, seem intent on dragging Bridenstine through the mud for daring to talk about actual NASA history — like Buzz Aldrin’s communion on the moon and the Apollo 8 astronauts’ Bible reading in orbit.
In a 2,000-word rant about the faith of Trump’s team, Mosher insists that “Some ethics and legal experts outside NASA have expressed concern over Bridenstine’s speech. They believe it ran afoul of the establishment clause of the First Amendment, which outlines a separation of church and state, and might have also violated ethics rules for federal executives.” Quoting people like Virginia Canter of Citizens for Responsible Ethics, Mosher tries to paint Bridenstine as a typical Establishment Clause abuser. “One’s personal beliefs must be respected, but when appearing in an official capacity, you have to adhere to certain ethical standards,” Canter explained. “One is not to give the impression that you are officially endorsing any products or service or enterprise.”
Funny, where was Mosher when Barack Obama was headlining political fundraisers for Planned Parenthood? Or worse, invoking God’s blessing on the abortion giant? Everyone from Hillary Clinton to Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) have not only endorsed the group’s “service” — but funneled hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to it. No one seemed to care when they appeared in their official capacities to preach the gospel of abortion. But put a Christian on the stage from the Trump administration — encouraging something as innocent as prayer — and they’re a walking ethics violation! This is NASA, for crying out loud. What are they worried about? Jim sending astronauts to evangelize the galaxy?
If secularists are upset about Bridenstine’s speech, then they should have been shaking the White House gates over the last administration’s agenda for the space agency. How quickly we forget those shocking comments in 2010 when President Obama told NASA administrator Charles Bolden that his new mission should be “to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations…” If you’re looking for a textbook abuse of public office, I’d say start with the Obama administration. After that, giving a few remarks at a charity function seems like small potatoes.
But hypocrisy is the name of the Democratic game. Like Secretary Mike Pompeo and countless other Trump officials before him, Bridenstine is just the latest target of an intolerant Left whose only goal is purging faith from public life and history. If activists can’t get Christians to stay quiet, then they’ll try to drive them out of government altogether. That will be tough to do in this administration, thanks to the fearless leadership of Trump. If his team has learned anything, it’s how to stand up to bullies. That shouldn’t be hard for a man Jim Bridenstine. He was already light years ahead of the opposition.
Originally published here.
Pence Controversy Taylor-Made for Left
What’s so controversial about an evangelical college inviting an evangelical leader to speak? Absolutely nothing — unless that leader is Vice President Mike Pence. Apparently, there isn’t anywhere the former Indiana governor can go these days without generating debate — including a Christian university in his own home state. But is the protest on Taylor University’s campus real — or just another orchestrated smear campaign by LGBT activists?
For the media, at least, the controversy at Upland’s small liberal arts school is a goldmine. Any time the press can drive the narrative that there’s trouble on the administration’s horizon with evangelicals, they’re more than happy to fan the flame. Yesterday, the Washington Post did just that with a feature piece on the supposed outrage on campus, warning that 2020 conservatives should be alarmed. Pointing to a petition meant to be signed by students and alums — but has instead been co-opted by outside liberals — reporters seem intent on turning the visit into a bigger dispute than it actually is.
When we talked to Jim Garringer, the director of Taylor’s media relations, he said the university was prepared for reaction to the announcement — but nothing like this. “We knew at some level that there’d be people who’d be unhappy about it because of the perceived association with [President] Trump, and we were ready for that… But we also knew people would greet it with excitement as well.” What’s caused the leadership so much heartburn, though, is the number of people who’ve reached out to Taylor and think the backlash is “a portrait of the entire university, which is not the case.” Historically, he said, “Taylor has been a place that’s been able to draw students from different socio-economic backgrounds and affiliations. And one of the things that has made [it] such a special place is that we can lay those things aside and find [common ground in Christ].”
As for this idea that the whole campus is on a crusade to disinvite Pence, it’s simply not true. The lone Taylor grad who insisted he was “physically shaking” and felt “personally attacked” is not representative of the school or the student body. “There are some people who are upset about it, and that’s their right,” Garringer said. “But large numbers of students are happy about it — and some others [who are on the fence] are interested in giving it a fair hearing. And ultimately, that’s what the university is about.” Unfortunately, the media isn’t interested in talking about the majority on campus who are thrilled for the opportunity to hear from the home-grown vice president — a Hoosier himself, who reached the upper levels of power.
Despite the headlines and some manufactured hysteria, Taylor President Lowell Haines has no intentions of backing down. He praised the vice president as a “good friend to the University over many years,” and “a Christian brother whose life and values have exemplified what we strive to instill in our graduates.” Sure, there’s been feedback from both sides of the aisle, he explained. But he’s not about to let LGBT intolerance hijack his campus. “Taylor University is an intentional Christian community that strives to encourage positive, respectful and meaningful dialogue,” and “we look forward to hosting the vice president next month.”
If you’re a Taylor alum and want to show your support for Mike Pence’s visit, sign the petition here.
Originally published here.
This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.