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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

ObamaCare Fix Dead

GOP chairman declares bipartisan ObamaCare fix dead
The Senate health committee chairman on Tuesday released a statement ending a bipartisan effort to find an ObamaCare fix amid a new GOP push to repeal the law. 

"During the last month, we have worked hard and in good faith, but have not found the necessary consensus among Republicans and Democrats to put a bill in the Senate leaders’ hands that could be enacted," Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the chairman of the Senate health committee, said in a statement

Defense Secretary Mattis Says US Will Act On North Korea Missiles That Pose A Threat


As President Donald Trump prepares to make his first speech to the United Nations, Secretary of Defense James Mattis was pushing the administration’s line on North Korea, saying that the US has “many military options” available for toppling North Korea’s unstable regime that wouldn’t risk millions of deaths in Seoul.

“There are many military options, in concert with our allies, that we will take to defend our allies and our own interests,” Mattis said, declining to elaborate or provide any further details.

The Trump administration has repeatedly insisted that “all options” remain on the table when dealing with North Korea, and that the US wouldn’t hesitate to consider a military solution if diplomatic efforts and sanctions fail to halt the Kim regime's rapidly progressing nuclear program. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have been exchanging threats of nuclear annihilation for months, with Trump famously promising to deliver “fire and fury the likes of which the world has never seen” if the North doesn’t cease its threats to the US.

Of course, many believe that, despite the administration's rhetoric, it still lacks a cohesive US military strategy for toppling the Kim regime – at least one that doesn’t involve risking millions of lives in Seoul, which is less than 50 miles from the North Korean border. Former Trump Chief Strategist Steve Bannon once said in a now famous interview that there is no military alternative for dealing with the North that wouldn’t involve potentially millions of deaths in Seoul from conventional weapons fire.

Mattis also said that he discussed deploying tactical nuclear weapons with his South Korean counterpart, but declined to elaborate on the details.

After the North has twice fired intermediate range missiles over the Northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, the former general added that the US is prepared to shoot down any North Korean missiles that pose a threat to its territory or that of its allies – comments that are particularly relevant following the North’s decision

“Those missiles are not directly threatening any of us,” Mattis said Monday when asked why the military didn’t shoot them down.

 

“The bottom line is that, when the missiles - were they to be a threat, whether it be to U.S. territory, Guam, obviously Japan - Japan’s territory, that would elicit a different response from us,” he said.

Mattis - confirming what investors have known for some time - said North Korea is “intentionally doing provocations that seem to press against the envelope for just how far can they push without going over some kind of a line in their minds that would make them vulnerable,” but that the country doesn't pose a threat to the US.

When the North fires its missiles, Mattis said, "they aim for the middle of the Pacific Ocean, as you know, where at least we hope no ships are around, right?”

South Korean President Moon Jae-in suggested to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sept. 15 that they should both refrain from overreacting to North Korean provocations to avoid any accidental conflict.

Mattis praised decisions by countries to expel North Korean ambassadors. Spain declared Pyongyang’s envoy to Madrid “persona non grata” on Monday, and told him to leave by the end of the month. Mexico, Peru and Kuwait have either expelled or given notice to ambassadors since the Sept. 3. nuclear test.

Kuwait will not renew permits to North Korean workers to re-enter the country after projects they are working on are completed "within one or two years," according to Bloomberg. There are between 2,000 and 2,500 North Korean workers in Kuwait, with thousands more believed to be in other Gulf states.

Rallying international pressure against North Korea and Iran is expected to be the top priority of the Trump's trip to the United Nations General Assembly this week. Reports that surfaced late Monday claimed that Trump is planning to label Iran and North Korea as "global threats" during his first address to the General Assembly, set to begin at 10 a.m.



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Who Truly Imperils Our Free Society?

Pat Buchanan 

"The Barbarian cannot make ... he can befog and destroy but ... he cannot sustain; and of every Barbarian in the decline or peril of every civilization exactly that has been true."

Hilaire Belloc's depiction of the barbarian is recalled to mind as the statues honoring the history and heroes of the Republic and of the West continue to be vandalized and smashed.

A week ago, the statue of missionary and Catholic Saint Fr. Junipero Serra was beheaded at the Santa Barbara Mission he founded. A century-old Columbus statue in Central Park was defaced and spray-painted with: "Hate will not be tolerated."

Baltimore's monument to Francis Scott Key, who observed the bombardment of Fort McHenry on a British warship late in the War of 1812 and was inspired to write "The Star-Spangled Banner," was covered in red paint. "Racist anthem" was written across it.

In Berkeley, home of the Free Speech Movement, the university last week had to spend $600,000 to protect an invited speaker of the college Republicans from being assaulted.

But St. Louis was where the real action was. Friday, a mob hurled rocks and bottles injuring 11 cops, leaving one with a broken jaw. They smashed windows at the mayor's residence and marched miles to the Central West End to berate diners on patios of restaurants with the menacing chant: "Off the sidewalk. Into the street."

Saturday, the mob invaded and shut down a suburban mall, and then smashed windows across a nightlife district.

The protesters rationale: rage at a not-guilty verdict in the murder trial of ex-cop Jason Stockley in the death of Anthony Lamar Smith -- in 2011.

Stockley's police van had been struck by Smith's car, who had been nabbed in an alleged drug deal and led police on an 80-mile-an-hour chase, at the end of which Stockley emptied his gun in Smith.

Yet even Attorney General Eric Holder declined to investigate.

On Sunday, Black Lives Matter showed up at the St. Louis' police headquarters chanting, "Stop killing us!" But if the killing of black folks is a legitimate grievance, we need to ask: Who is killing them?

Last year, there were 4,300 victims of shootings in Chicago and 762 deaths. How many of those shootings were by cops?

How many of those shootings, mostly of blacks, were acts of "terrorism by White supremacists, White nationalists, neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan," all of whom our ever-heroic Congress demanded that President Trump, in a joint resolution after Charlottesville, denounce.

Nowhere in the resolution was there any mention of Antifa, the "anti-fascist" fighters on the other side of the Charlottesville brawl, where a protester was run down and killed by a Nazi sympathizer.

What is it in their DNA that causes Republicans reflexively to sign on to a one-sided Democratic denunciation of President Trump for the sin of suggesting there were two parties to the Charlottesville brawl?

And are neo-Nazis really a threat to the republic?

In 1963, this writer was at Dr. King's March on Washington, which began on the Monument grounds where George Lincoln Rockwell's Nazis were yelling slurs. On the site where Rockwell's Nazis stood, there stands today the African-American Museum.

When my father was a 21-year-old Al Smith Democrat in D.C. in the Calvin Coolidge era, scores of thousands of anti-Catholic Klansmen strode up Pennsylvania Avenue, and the national Klan numbered in the millions.

But is the KKK of today a serious threat to civil rights?

Lately, St. Louis and East St. Louis have boasted the highest murder rates in America. Is that the doing of white supremacists?

This morning we read there have been so many smashed and stolen bicycles that Baltimore is canceling its Bike Share program.

Did David Duke and his Klan friends steal all those bikes?

Who are the ones shouting down speakers? Who violently disrupts political rallies, on campuses and off? Who engages in mob violence after almost every police shooting of a black suspect? As for interracial assaults, rapes and murders, according to FBI crime statistics, these are primarily the work of black criminals against white victims.

The Justice Department should report on hate crimes by white racists. But from the stats, anti-white racism is far more common and far more manifest in crimes of violence. Who reports that truth?

Are Christian supremacists murdering Muslims in Europe, or are Muslim supremacists committing acts of terrorism in Europe and conducting genocide against Christians in the Middle East?

The left has been marinated in an ideology where the enemy is always to the right. People blinded by ideology, unable to see the true enemies of their civilization, end up losing it, and their lives as well.

"We sit by and watch the Barbarian," wrote Belloc, "We tolerate him ... We are tickled by his irreverence; his comic inversion of our old certitudes and our fixed creed refreshes us; we laugh. But as we laugh we are watched by large and awful faces from beyond; and on those faces there are no smiles."

You Have To Stand For Something, Mr. President



Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump listens as Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton answers a question from the audience during their presidential town hall debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., October 9, 2016. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

By Scott Greer
18 Sep 2017, 10:45 PM

President Trump spent his Sunday retweeting memes from his biggest supporters, causing an uproar when one of them showed him hitting a golf ball into Hillary Clinton.

That retweetcaused HuffPostand others to willfully believe that Trump was somehow endorsing violence against women.

While not exactly presidential behavior, the retweet was just an example of harmless humor at the expense of his vanquished foe, similar to the famous gif he tweeted of him bodyslamming the CNN logo.

Trump was promoting a certain message with his choice of retweets, but it wasn’t support for violence against women. A week after he appeared to have betrayed his supporters by tentatively agreeing to an amnesty for illegal immigrants and no wall, the president further reinforced his agenda as simply “not Hillary or the liberals.” (RELATED: Trump Is A Terrible Negotiator)

One of the accounts that the president retweeted goes by the name “Trumpism 9.0.” The account’s tweet featuring an all-red electoral map and a warning “keep it up libs, this will be 2020” earned a retweet from the president.

It was an acknowledgement from the president that his appeal is built on the ridiculousness of his opposition. His fixation on attacking Hillary — a broken woman whom he defeated nearly a year ago — confirms the suspicion that he knows his main pitch is who opposes him.

The “Trumpism 9.0” seems to think that’s enough of a reason to support the president, as that account’s definition of Trumpism isn’t what the man in the White House campaigned on. The Twitter userclaims Trumpism“epitomizes Conservatism, Capitalism, patriotism, & respect for the Constitution.” While certainly patriotic, Trump ran against the old conservative establishment bromides about capitalism and the Constitution in his campaign.

Trump’s trade protectionism and his declarations that the Constitution isnot a suicide pactbelie the Trumpism 9.0’s claims as to what the ideology represents.

But since Trump seems to be giving up on Trumpism, the ideology behind the man no longer matters if it’s just a personality cult anyway.

Fortunately for the president, plenty of people may be fine with Trump existing solely as liberals’ worst nightmare.

On the same day that Trump was retweeting his supporters’ memes, the Emmys took place. Surprising no one, the TV awards show turned into aResistance rallywith more than enough criticism of the president.

Another example of condescending Hollywood liberals forcing their politics on Americaprompted many commentatorsto state that this is why Trump won and why he will win again.

Middle Americans see Trump’s haters and enemies as having total contempt for people like themselves. As an act of defiance, they vote for the man that makes those liberals lose their minds.

By acting as a totem of opposition against people like Hillary Clinton and Hollywood celebrities, he maintains support among millions of Americans — or so the theory goes.

That’s why Trump and his surrogates still spend an inordinate amount of time attacking the Clintons several months after the election. The president needs these enemies in order to bolster his status as the guy standing against them.

What he is exactly standing for can remain a mystery, however.

On the political Right, there is a serious crisis as to what unites the disparate elements that make up the Republican Party and the conservative movement. It’s no longer anti-communism like it was in the Cold War and tax cuts aren’t enough to keep everyone happy, especially when Trumpists have expressed support for raising taxes.

National Review editor Rich Lowryhas said, with a sense of regret, that the media now serves as the common enemy that defines the Right of the Trump era.

There is certainly truth to that, but the media is only one facet of this common enemy, which happens to be the political Left.

Numerous liberals have mockingly pointed this development out as a sign that the Right is devoid of ideas and animated by a vindictive spirit. It’s not so much that the Right is out of ideas as that the conservatism of the past was discredited in the Republican primary by Trump himself.

Populist-nationalism represented a direct challenge to the conservatism of Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and it triumphed with Trump’s ascension to White House.

But the man responsible for that triumph appears to be disinterested in carrying that nationalist platform any further, leaving a major void on the Right that is filled only by opposition to the Left.

Being defined by what you oppose instead of what you stand for isn’t exactly a positive message, but it seems to be the only thing driving the Trump administration at the moment.

It is true that Trump as president has to maintain a broad coalition in order to advance his agenda, so it makes sense to highlight the one thing that keeps that coalition intact.

But if that agenda is little more than anti-CNN gifs and the 2016 electoral map, what does that matter? How is a funny meme of Hillary falling down making up for you not building the wall and granting amnesty to illegal aliens?

The country artist Aaron Tippinonce sang, “you have to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.” Trump should keep those words in mind as he falls for the out-of-touch agenda of the Republicans he defeated in 2016.

Follow Scott on Twitterand buy his new book, “No Campus for White Men.”

Citizen Newt Is Needed Today

New GOP ObamaCare repeal bill gains momentum

New GOP ObamaCare repeal bill gains momentum
By Peter Sullivan - 09-18-17 14:28 PM EDT

A last-ditch effort by Senate Republicans to repeal and replace ObamaCare is gaining steam, suggesting lawmakers could face another vote on ending the former president's signature law later this month.

Supporters do not have the 50 votes necessary to pass the bill yet, but pressure is growing on Republicans to back the measure, which could replace much of ObamaCare with block grants for states.

In a crucial boost for its chances on Monday, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) offered his support.

"Congress has 12 days to say 'yes' to Graham-Cassidy. It's time for them to get the job done," he said, referring to the bill's two main co-sponsors, Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.).

Ducey's support is important because Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has said the Arizona governor's position would be an important factor in how he votes.

McCain helped kill the repeal effort in July, calling for committee hearings and a bipartisan process, but he has left the door open to voting for Graham and Cassidy's bill.

Still, McCain on Monday criticized the rushed process leading up to a possible vote next week, while not ruling out voting for the bill.

"The governor of Arizona is favorably inclined, but I am going to have to have a lot more information," McCain said.

He reiterated his call for committee hearings and amendments, known as "regular order."

"We should be going through regular order," he said. "I've said that about 12 times."

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), another crucial vote, also said Monday she is still studying the impacts on her state.

Senate GOP leadership is becoming more engaged. A source who has spoken to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) office described him as "taking it very seriously."

"The Leader asked CBO to prioritize the score on the legislation," said McConnell spokesman David Popp. "We expect regular staff briefings and Member discussions to continue."

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn(R-Texas) last week said he is conducting a whip count to gauge the level of support for the bill, though he did not say he would be pushing for it.

A significant factor giving the measure new momentum is a fast-approaching Sept. 30 deadline.

At the end of the month, Republicans will not be able to use rules known as "budget reconciliation" to bypass a Democratic filibuster in the Senate.

If the measure can be filibustered, it has no chances of passing the Senate. As a result, Republicans are feeling pressure to move quickly to enact change they have long promised but have been unable to deliver, even with their party in control of Congress and the White House.

The last-ditch effort is expected to have the backing of most Republican senators, but there are some high-profile holdouts.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has been tweeting his opposition to the bill, saying it keeps too much of ObamaCare.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who voted against previous repeal efforts, has also said she has concerns and is expected to be a no vote.

McCain has not endorsed the bill, though the fact that his close friend Graham is a co-sponsor has many observers thinking that he could be brought on board.

If McCain backs the bill and Paul maintains his opposition that could leave Murkowski as the deciding vote. Murkowski voted against every version of a repeal bill in July.

Murkowski told reporters Monday she is still studying the bill and its impact on Alaska.

"I need to figure out how all the numbers work with regards to Alaska," she said, noting she wanted to make sure there is enough money in the block grants for her state.

She also indicated she would prefer a separate, bipartisan approach that is currently being discussed in the Senate health committee, aimed at stabilizing ObamaCare.

"I always think that when you can get support for whatever the initiative from across the spectrum, it's just better legislation," she said.

Democrats are saying they are optimistic about those talks and a deal could be announced this week, and they are urging the GOP to go the bipartisan route, rather than back Cassidy-Graham.

"Conversations over the weekend were productive: the common ground has been staked out, the remaining differences are being negotiated, and the distance between the two sides on those issues is narrowing," Helen Hare, a spokeswoman for Democrats on the health committee, said in a statement.

The Congressional Budget Office said Monday that it would only have time to release a preliminary analysis of the Graham-Cassidy bill next week. That means lawmakers would be voting without a full analysis of the legislation's impact on premiums or how many people would lose coverage.

The Graham-Cassidy bill seeks to give more power to states by converting dollars currently spent on ObamaCare's subsidies and Medicaid expansion into a block grant to states.

Democrats argue the block grants would be too small and would lead to cuts to Medicaid and other health spending. The liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found the bill would on average lead to a 17 percent cut in spending compared to ObamaCare in 2026.

The bill would also allow states to waive regulations protecting people with pre-existing conditions from being charged higher premiums, a provision that moderate Republicans have opposed in the past.

Jason Pye, vice president of legislative affairs at the conservative group FreedomWorks, said the bill is far from ideal, but better than doing nothing.

"It's better than the status quo so I think it's the last shot at doing something with 50 votes," he said.

Fifty votes would allow Vice President Mike Pence to cast a tie-breaking vote on the measure.

This story was last updated at 5:18 p.m.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Open The Floodgates: California Becomes A Sanctuary State

Matt Vespa

Well, Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown is about to make the entire state of California one giant safe space for illegal aliens. Over the weekend, the Democratic-controlled state legislature passed the California Value Act, which would bar state and local law enforcement from working with federal authorities on enforcing immigration laws. There was a minor tweak concerning when the state would work with federal law enforcement. The exception would be if an illegal were convicted of a violent crime. State Republicans and the state’s sheriffs were opposed to this measure. It passed along party lines (via NPR):

In a move apparently meant to counter the Trump administration's tough approach to immigration enforcement, the California legislature approved a so-called "sanctuary state" bill Saturday that would establish new protections for people living in the country illegally.

The California Values Act would forbid state and local law enforcement agencies from providing information to or acting as the deputies for federal immigration authorities. The bill also prohibits police and sheriff officers from inquiring about a person's immigration status.

The bill was introduced just before President Trump's inauguration and met opposition from some in California law enforcement, including many local sheriffs who lobbied California Gov. Jerry Brown to intervene, as KQED's Scott Shafer reported.

[…]

The changes allowed state and local law enforcement to communicate with federal immigration authorities if a person has been convicted of certain crimes. Corrections officers would also be permitted to work with federal agencies.

The bill now heads to the governor's desk where he is expected to sign it.

Democrats used supermajorities in the state Capitol to pass the bill they saw as an expression of their support for California's estimated 2.3 million undocumented immigrants.

The fight over sanctuary status concerning immigration law is yet another legal battle facing the Trump administration. Last Friday, a federal judge ruled that the Attorney General Jeff Sessions couldn’t withhold grant money from cities that had adopted this policy. The rationale behind the policy was so that it could afford illegal aliens protections from deportation if they came forward with information about a crime. There’s literally zero anecdotal evidence to prove this, as stated by the National Sheriffs’ Association. 

California is degrading citizenship, degrading our borders, and our laws. Then again, it’s what would you expect from a liberal cesspool. The state is opening the floodgates. 


Illegal Immigrants Shout Down Nancy Pelosi At Promotional DREAMer Press Conference


House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was shouted down by open borders protesters during a Monday press event organized to promote her efforts to work with President Trump to pass a DREAM Act that would benefit illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children.

Pelosi was completing her opening remarks when she was literally upstaged by a group of approximately 40 young people calling itself the Immigrants’ Liberation Front. Reportedly carrying banners claiming that “Democrats are Deporters,” group members shouted that “Democrats created an out-of-control deportation machine,” and “Democrats are not the resistance to Trump.”

The interlopers also chanted: “We undocumented youth demand a clean bill … We undocumented youth demand that you do not sell out our community and our values …We undocumented youth will not be a bargaining chip for Trump.”

At one juncture, the apparent leader of the group seemed to suggest that the fate of all 11 million estimated illegal immigrants in the United States must be addressed.

The “bargaining chip” claim is an apparent reference to the position taken by Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer that they would consider pairing a DREAM measure with increased border security, while ruling out Trump’s favored border wall as part of the negotiation. Border hawks consider the Democrats’ promise of more border security and enforcement to be a “trick” and not substantially different from the so-called “Gang of Eight” bill that collapsed in 2013.

Pelosi wore a frozen grin as the protestors presented their grievances in the traditionally progressive call-and-response format. She then attempted to bring the event back under control by admiring their passion. Nevertheless, the event crashers persisted, causing the House minority leader to repeatedly request that they “Just stop it. Just stop it now.”

After approximately a half-hour of chanting and shouting, when it became clear that the protesters had no intention of relenting, Pelosi was forced to leave the event, effectively bringing it to a close before California Democratic Reps. Barbara Lee and Jared Huffman, community leaders, and DREAMers had an opportunity to speak.

Whether the protest represents progressive sentiment that will impair the ability of Democrats’ congressional leadership to broker a DREAMer deal with President Trump remains to be seen.

Although immigration policy has divided the Republican caucuses in both the House and Senate, House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) has said he would not demand border wall funding be tied to DREAMer legislation. Conversely, Rep. Raul Grijalva, (D-AZ), co-chair of the House Progressive Caucus, claimed that the “vast majority of the progressive caucus” supports shutting down the government if any bill fails to meet their demands. Democrats are also considering using a discharge petition to bring a DREAM Act directly to the House floor for a vote.

Watch part of this ironic confrontation below:



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Judd Gregg: The art of legislating

Judd Gregg: The art of legislating
By Judd Gregg, opinion contributor - 09-18-17 06:00 AM EDT

If President Trump and his people want to do "huge" things (to borrow from his vocabulary), they are going to have to pass legislation.

As is becoming painfully obvious to veterans of the Obama administration, things done through regulation alone tend to have a short half-life if you lose the next election.

Unfortunately, some of those who claim to be the president's most ardent supporters do not seem to understand this fact. They confuse loudness with accomplishment.

Interestingly, the president appears to be adjusting his approach, with his outreach to the Democratic leadership of the Congress over the last few weeks.

In terms of White House personnel, he has left some of his most vociferous folks behind. He has, at the least, given the appearance of being open to governing through compromise. He might even be accused of adding an "establishment" air to his repertoire.

Of course, his approach has been tinged with his usual unique quirks. In reaching out to the Democratic leadership, he seems to have forgotten that the Republican leadership still controls Congress and actually needs to be in the room when agreements are reached.

The idea of bipartisan government or government based on compromise involves a lexicon that is unacceptable to the president's adoring throngs.

But as he moves forward into this brave new world of cooperative government, here are a few thoughts.

Some ought to be obvious but are not; the list is intended to be useful but it is not exhaustive.

Call it: The Art of Legislating

- In legislating, you cannot be effective if you do not pass proposals that meet your goals. Legislating does not take a village, but it does take a working majority. If the president is to seek a working majority by including the Democratic leadership, he needs to be sure that his Republican members are on board too.

- Majority building in a legislature is personal. Knowing the individuals whose support you need is critical. Gratuitously attacking one's potential allies because you feel that have not been supportive enough rarely leads to good outcomes.

- Compromise is considered a weakness by those who shout from the corners and claim a purity of purpose. In the real world, it is the essence of how things get done.

- It is not necessary to forgo one's core values and goals to reach agreements with those who have different values and goals. All that is needed is a willingness to deal with people who understand that governing does not occur without compromise. Results can be found that are acceptable to both sides. This is easier then it seems, if it is pursued with integrity, diligence and patience.

 - Share the microphone. The more people who are involved in an idea or piece of legislation, and who want credit for it, the more likely it is to pass. Thus getting people to buy into your purpose and take ownership of it gives you the support needed to pass legislation. Without such buy-in, you end up as a general without soldiers.

- In the legislative process, the distance from start (an idea, or a statement of intention) to end (the signing of a law) is very long. Setbacks are inevitable when you are trying to build a coalition to govern a nation of more than 300 million people. Perseverance is the key, not impatience.

- Some issues will be inherently partisan, but do not allow the battle over these issues to intensify to the point where the opportunity to address other issues in a bipartisan manner is lost. In legislating, today's opponent may be tomorrow's ally. Make enemies sparingly and choose them purposefully.

- When you win on a contentious issue, do not taunt your opponent. Say that you hope to have their support next time. There is no downside to showing courtesy and respect for your opponent - usually.

- Public opinion is the fuel of success and the engine of action. Keep it on your side by making your case for initiatives aggressively. Frame them so that people see the benefit to themselves if you succeed in passing the legislation.

- Do not allow those who have no interest in actually governing to control the dialogue. Shouting is not governing, even though it may get the most attention. What most Americans expect and want are results that benefit the nation.

As the president sets forth on what appears to be a new direction, pursuing the inclusion and participation of the Democratic leadership in Congress, it is important that he and his people recognize that this is not a short cut to delivering effective government. It is simply a side road.

He will also need the Republican leadership and constructive Republicans in Congress to join him on this highway. He should respect their role and their independence as much as he seems to desire the participation of the Democratic leadership.

Such goodwill and support will come through inclusion, not through exclusion or degrading comments.

The president needs to remember that there is as much art in legislating as there is in making a deal.

Judd Gregg (R) is a former governor and three-term senator from New Hampshire who served as chairman and ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, and as ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Foreign Operations subcommittee.

Is America a Christian Nation?

John Adams: A Government of Laws, and Not Men, in Virginia

Ken Blackwell 

They say past is prologue. Let’s hope so in this fall’s election for Virginia attorney general. In a state of so many founders that advanced the cause of individual liberty, religious freedom and the rule of law, Republican John Adams is running for attorney general on a record and platform that fully embraces this cause. Not only does Virginia’s John Adams share the Massachusetts founder’s name and principles, but he’s actually related to Presidents John and John Quincy Adams.

The original John Adams talked famously of  “a government of laws, and not of men,” and his son John Quincy remarked that nipping “the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people.” If both were alive today, they would undoubtedly point to the Virginia’s Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring as example of arbitrary power and a government of men, not laws.

Virginia’s John Adams certainly is in his race against Herring. 

First, however, it’s important to point out that Virginia John Adams is more than a name or bloodline. Much more. He’s a Virginian of great accomplishment, Born and raised in Chesterfield County, he attended local public schools before graduating with distinction (economics) from the Virginia Military Institute. At that time, he received his commission as on officer in the U.S. Navy. When his service there ended, Adams attended the University of Virginia School of Law on the GI Bill. Honors followed. He was managing editor the Virginia Law Review earned clerkships on the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. He then worked as an Associate White House Counsel for President George W. Bush, while living in Arlington and starting his family with his Chesterfield born-and bread wife, Lisa. They moved back to Richmond after John’s White House years.  He led a team of more than 50 lawyers in the United States and abroad, and the Adams’ four sons attend the same public schools John and Lisa attended.

Now, this citizen-sailor is ready to rescue Virginia from a career politician who is running the attorney general office like he’s still a member of the Virginia Senate. Adams is committed to the rule of laws – and the Virginia and U.S. Constitutions – to reining in out-of-control government at the state and federal law, and returning the voters and their legislative representatives to their proper place in Virginia’s political order. And Herring? Not so much. 

 Adams is proudly pro-life and promises to uphold strict standards for abortion clinics and defend the laws that the General Assembly passes in court. Herring reversed a legal opinion of his predecessorand claimed in 2105 that existing abortion clinics should be exempt from the medical standards the General Assembly had passed into law.This new legal opinion was in line with Herring’s opposition as a senator to regulating abortion clinics to protect women and children.  

 Adams has also roundly criticized AG Herring for hiring outside counsel when he does not agree with a particular the law or constitutional provision. Herring did just this when it came to defending Virginia’s voter ID law and its Constitution’s traditional marriage amendment. Adams vows to defend Virginia’s law and Constitution provisions instead of engaging in these costly political subterfuges, because that’s the job of the attorney general. As Virginia’s Daily editorialized, “Serving in this office doesn't mean you can pick cases like they're on an a la carte menu.” 

 Again, Adams favors the rule of law, not the rule of men. He has criticized former President Obama’s executive overreach in protecting illegal immigrants and Herring’s defense of Obama’s DACA executive orders. Adams has also said that Herring went beyond the law when he instructed Virginia colleges to give in-state tuition to illegal aliens.

 Adams had represented clients filing a friend-of-the-court briefs challenging Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate. Herring has been a big backer of Obamacare and filed an amicus brief in defense of its premium tax credit provision.

 Adams has pledged to “vigorously defend” the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment and safeguard the right to bear arms. Herring has voted for greater gun control in the past and advocated more of the same as Virginia attorney general. The NRA endorses Adams while labeling Herring as "one of the most anti-gun lawmakers In Virginia history.”

 There’s more to John Adams than all this, of course. He’s particularly keen, for example, on combating the state’s heroin and opioid crisis. But this non-politician will do all this under the law – the codification of the people’s will – and all due respect for individual liberty. As the Republican candidate for Virginia attorney says, “I will not stand by while career politicians, social engineers, and progressive ideologues force their values on us and try to supplant our ideals and institutions with an oversized government they believe ‘knows better’ than we do.” 

History and heritage from Massachusetts to Virginia echo in the words of this latest John Adams.