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  • We are proud to announce that the 2014 Ronald Reagan Gala will honor Gary Sinise. For over thirty … [more]

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University President Defies Trend, Defends Intellectual Diversity

In an open letter to faculty, George Mason University president resists descent into grievance culture.

By Alice B Lloyd     •     Weekly Standard

In the May 9th issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD, the Scrapbook reports a particularly shameful episode of campus outrage. Recently, at George Mason University, thuggish puritanical progressivism apotheosized in a meeting of the university’s faculty senate and a vote to disapprove of naming the law school for the late Justice Scalia. “Thus continues the closing of the campus mind,” the Scrapbook wrote.

But in an open letter on Friday April 29, GMU president Angel Cabrera responded to his faculty. He defended the future Antonin Scalia Law School and commended his dean’s fundraising prowess, bucking the New York Times’ front page “exposé” of major donors’ alleged undue influence. More importantly, though, he came out on the side of education:

“…We must ensure that George Mason University remains an example of diversity of thought, a place where multiple perspectives can be dissected, confronted, and debated for the benefit and progress of society at large. Rejecting a major naming gift in honor of a U.S. Supreme Court Justice on the basis that some of us disagree with some of his opinions would be inconsistent with our values of diversity and freedom of thought.”

Read the full letter.

 

Does the United States Need Nuclear Weapons?

by Peter Huessy

US-nuclear-missileDoes the United States need nuclear weapons? What role do they play? And if they are valuable, how much should we spend supporting such a nuclear deterrent? In addition, what level of nuclear weapons should we aim to achieve to maintain stability and deterrence? And finally, does the type of nuclear deterrent maintained by the United States bear a relationship to whether nuclear weapons proliferate in the world, especially in Iran and North Korea?

The Center for Strategic and International Studies held a day long conversation on these questions on May 5th. Joe Cirincione, the President of the Ploughshares Fund laid out a four part narrative that the US was (1) maintaining a vastly bloated nuclear deterrent, (2) unnecessary for our security, (3) unaffordable, and (4) in need of at least an immediate unilateral one-third reduction in American nuclear forces to jump start efforts to get to zero nuclear weapons world-wide. [Read more...]

Ronald Reagan Lecture Series presents George Landrith of the Freedom Foundation

Supreme Court rules in redistricting case: Illegal immigrants can be counted

By Stephen Dinan     •      The Washington Times

In this Tuesday, July 7, 2015 file photo immigrants from El Salvador and Guatemala who entered the country illegally board a bus after they were released from a family detention center in San Antonio. Women and children are being released from immigrant detention centers faster on bond, with many mothers assigned ankle-monitoring bracelets in lieu of paying. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

A unanimous Supreme Court ruled Monday that illegal immigrants and other noncitizens can be counted when states draw their legislative districts, shooting down a challenge by Texas residents who said their own voting power was being diluted.

The ruling does not grant noncitizens the power to vote, but says the principle of one person, one vote doesn’t require localities to only count those who are actually eligible to vote when they are deciding how many people to put inside of each district.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for the court, said even though only eligible voters are supposed to cast ballots, elected officials represent all people within their districts, and it is that act of representation, not the election itself, that the boundaries are drawn to. [Read more...]

‘Climate Hustle’ debuts as skeptics take on global-warming ‘consensus’

By Valerie Richardson     •     The Washington Times

Even before the skeptical documentary “Climate Hustle” hits U.S. theaters Monday, it already has unsettled the climate change debate.

Weather Channel founder John Coleman rushed to the defense of the film, which challenges the catastrophic climate change narrative, after “science guy” Bill Nye slammed it in a clip released over the weekend as “not in our national interest and the world’s interest.”

“I have always been amazed that anyone would pay attention to Bill Nye, a pretend scientist in a bow tie,” Mr. Coleman said Saturday on the website Climate Depot.

“As a man who has studied the science of meteorology for over 60 years and received the [American Meteorological Society] Meteorologist of the Year award, I am totally offended that Nye gets the press and media attention he does,” Mr. Coleman said. “And I am rooting for the ‘Climate Hustle’ film to become a huge hit — bigger than ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ by Al Gore.” [Read more...]

Supreme Court Got It Wrong: Noncitizens Shouldn’t Be Counted

by Hans von Spakovsky     •     The Daily Signal

In a loss for voters, the Supreme Court has ruled unanimously against two residents of Texas who had argued that the Texas legislature diluted their votes when it used total population to redraw state Senate districts.

In Evenwel v. Abbott, the Supreme Court allowed states to use total population in redrawing district lines, even though that this includes a large number of noncitizens (legal and illegal), felons, and others who are ineligible to vote.

Sue Evenwel and Edward Pfenninger challenged the state Senate districts drawn by the Texas legislature using total population in 2013. They claimed that both the number of citizens of voting age and the number of registered voters in their districts deviated substantially—between 31 and 49 percent—from the “ideal” population of a Texas Senate district. They argued that this disparity significantly diluted their votes in comparison to those of voters who live in districts with large numbers of non-voters. [Read more...]

FCC Kept ‘Obamaphone’ Fraud Under Wraps Until After It Expanded Program

Commissioners were instructed not to reveal $5 million fine until day after controversial Lifeline expansion vote

by Lachlan Markay     •     Washington Free Beacon

Tom Wheeler/AP

Federal regulators were instructed to keep a massive fraud investigation under wraps until a day after a controversial vote to expand a program that was allegedly used to bilk taxpayers of tens of millions of dollars, one those regulators claims.

The Federal Communications Commission on Friday announced that it would seek $51 million in damages from a cell phone company that allegedly defrauded the federal Lifeline program of nearly $10 million.

The commission’s five members unanimously backed the Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL), but Republican commissioner Ajit Pai parted from his colleagues in a partial dissent. According to Pai, he and other commissioners were told not to reveal the details of its investigation until April 1, a day after the FCC voted to expand the Lifeline program. [Read more...]

Florida Governor Signs Bill Requiring Actual Criminal Charges Before Seizing Property

Important reform to reduce asset forfeiture abuse

by Scott Shackford     •     Reason.com

Some great news in asset forfeiture reform is coming out of Florida. S.B. 1044, approved by the legislature earlier in the month, was signed into law today by Gov. Rick Scott.

The big deal with this particular reform is that, in most cases, Florida police will actually have to arrest and charge a person with a crime before attempting to seize and keep their money and property under the state’s asset forfeiture laws. One of the major ways asset forfeiture gets abused is that it is frequently a “civil”, not criminal, process where police and prosecutors are able to take property without even charging somebody with a crime, let alone convicting them. This is how police are, for example, able to snatch cash from cars they’ve pulled over and claim they suspect the money was going to be used for drug trafficking without actually finding any drugs. [Read more...]

Dear attorneys general, conspiring against free speech is a crime

by Glenn Harlan Reynolds     •     USAToday

Free speechFederal law makes it a felony “for two or more persons to agree together to injure, threaten, or intimidate a person in any state, territory or district in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him/her by the Constitution or the laws of the Unites States, (or because of his/her having exercised the same).”

I wonder if U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker, or California Attorney General Kamala Harris, or New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman have read this federal statute. Because what they’re doing looks like a concerted scheme to restrict the First Amendment free speech rights of people they don’t agree with. They should look up 18 U.S.C. Sec. 241, I am sure they each have it somewhere in their offices.

Here’s what’s happened so far. First, Schneiderman and reportedly Harris sought to investigate Exxon in part for making donations to groups and funding research by individuals who think “climate change” is either a hoax, or not a problem to the extent that people like Harris and Schneiderman say it is. [Read more...]

Dem AGs mounting Big Tobacco-style probe of oil companies, industry fights back

By Jennifer G. Hickey     •     Fox News

Democratic officials’ campaign against fossil fuel companies is entering a new phase as state attorneys general launch investigations that mirror the Justice Department’s landmark case against “Big Tobacco,” probing claims that oil companies misled the public about the risks of global warming — a charge industry representatives adamantly reject.

Massachusetts and the U.S. Virgin Islands are the latest to announce probes, specifically into whether ExxonMobil was up-front regarding what it knew about climate change.

“Fossil fuel companies that deceived investors and consumers about the dangers of climate change should be held accountable. That’s why we have joined in investigating ExxonMobil,” Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said in announcing the inquiry. [Read more...]

Lost emails from Clinton server discovered

by Julian Hattem     •     The Hill

Hillary Clinton 1Conservative legal watchdogs have discovered new emails from Hillary Clinton’s private email server dating back to the first days of her tenure as secretary of State.

The previously undisclosed February 2009 emails between Clinton from her then-chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, raise new questions about the scope of emails from Clinton’s early days in office that were not handed over to the State Department for recordkeeping and may have been lost entirely.

Clinton’s presidential campaign has previously claimed that the former top diplomat did not use her personal “clintonemail.com” account before March 2009, weeks after she was sworn in as secretary of State. [Read more...]

For the Last 25 Years…

by Peter Huessy

For the past 25 years, arms control has been a key driving force behind how many Americans view our relationship with Russia. In that period the two countries have agreed to the START I, Moscow, and New Start nuclear weapons agreements that has successfully reduced the strategic warhead arsenals on both sides by over 90%.

But relations between Moscow and Washington are not good and since the 2010 New Start agreement, the Russians have flatly rejected discussions of further reductions in nuclear weapons. The Russians have also stopped cooperation under the Nunn-Lugar agreement, named after two US Senators that put together a program to safeguard and eliminate nuclear material and warheads in the former Soviet Union subsequent to the end of the Cold War. Other agreements between the two countries have also been put on ice by Russian President Putin’s government. [Read more...]

Federal judge calls IRS untrustworthy in tea party case

By Stephen Dinan     •     The Washington Times

IRS GangsterA federal judge said the IRS isn’t to be trusted as he and his colleagues tried Thursday to figure out whether the tax agency is still targeting tea party groups for intrusive and illegal scrutiny.

Judge David B. Sentelle of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit said there is strong evidence that the IRS violated the constitutional rights of the groups when it delayed their nonprofit status applications and asked inappropriate questions about their political beliefs.

The agency’s insistence that it has retrained employees and instructed managers to behave better did not mollify the judges, who said past IRS behavior doesn’t lend itself to the benefit of the doubt.

“It’s hard to find the IRS to be an agency we can trust,” Judge Sentelle said. [Read more...]

Millennials like socialism — until they get jobs

by Emily Ekins     •     Washington Post

Millennials are the only age group in America in which a majority views socialism favorably. A national Reason-Rupe survey found that 53 percent of Americans under 30 have a favorable view of socialism compared with less than a third of those over 30. Moreover, Gallup has found that an astounding 69 percent of millennials say they’d be willing to vote for a “socialist” candidate for president — among their parents’ generation, only a third would do so. Indeed, national polls and exit polls reveal about 70 to 80 percent of young Democrats are casting their ballots for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who calls himself a “democratic socialist.”

Yet millennials tend to reject the actual definition of socialism — government ownership of the means of production, or government running businesses. Only 32 percent of millennials favor “an economy managed by the government,” while, similar to older generations, 64 percent prefer a free-market economy. And as millennials age and begin to earn more, their socialistic ideals seem to slip away. [Read more...]

The State of the World: An American Perspective

by Dr. Istvan Molnar  &  Dr. Miklos K. Radvanyiamerican exceptionalism Captain America

Until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the post-World War II international order was based on a web of multilateral and bilateral agreements and institutions as well as the doctrine of mutually assured destruction between the two military superpowers.  The protracted period of peace and relative stability created the political and economic circumstances that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union.  As a result of this development the United States  of America emerged as the sole superpower.  This new situation, at the minimum, should have called for  an in-depth reevaluation of American foreign policy.  It also should have led to a new national security strategy, commensurate with the changing international realities and the diplomatic, economic, financial and military resources of the United States. [Read more...]