Scholars Examine the Problem of Nationalism

by Jarrett Stepman{ } ~ Should conservatives embrace nationalism? A panel of Heritage Foundation scholars discussed why they shouldn’t on Monday, highlighting their views in a debate currently facing American conservatives and many countries throughout the West… So-called national conservatives sparked considerable discussion at a conference in the nation’s capital in July and a number of scholars have been advocating for conservatives to more fully embrace nationalism as an essential part of their creed. Kim Holmes, executive vice president of The Heritage Foundation and a historian, explained that Heritage has produced a document, “True North: The Principles of Conservatism,” which outlines 14 principles guiding the organization and providing clarity on policy issues. In his opening remarks, Holmes noted two recent books on nationalism, written by Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, and Yoram Hazony, the president of the Herzl Institute in Jerusalem. Lowry recently published the book “The Case for Nationalism: How It Made Us Powerful, United, and Free,” making the case for nationalism as a positive ideal, rightly understood, that is essential to future American greatness. Hazony’s book, “The Virtue of Nationalism,” defends the idea that nationalism is essential to protect liberty. Holmes said that Lowry defined nationalism, in part, as flowing from a people’s “natural devotion to their home and to their country.” Holmes quoted Hazony’s praise of nationalism: “The world is governed best when nations agree to cultivate their own traditions free from interference by other nations.”…


‘A lack of respect’: Fox’s Trish Regan bashes former employer Bloomberg News over 2020 coverage policy

by Mike Brest{ } ~ Fox Business prime-time host Trish Regan ridiculed Bloomberg News and its founder Michael Bloomberg for how the outlet has handled the ramifications of the billionaire’s decision to enter the 2020 presidential race… Bloomberg News, which was founded in 1981, has not investigated the former mayor during any of his mayoral campaigns, and they recently announced their intention to follow that policy during his presidential campaign. To keep the playing field level, the editorial staff at Bloomberg News said they will not investigate any of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates but will continue to dig into President Trump. Regan, who worked at  Bloomberg News from 2012 to 2015 and now hosts Trish Regan Primetime, told the Washington Examiner that she couldn’t fathom “how angry, upset, and honestly disgusted” she would be had they issued a similar decree during her tenure before adding that her first thoughts were to the “talented, terrific journalists” at the outlet and said, “It’s gotta be incredibly demoralizing.” “There’s an entire side that I’m not allowed to cover. If you’re being told you can’t investigate the other candidate, Democratic candidate, you can only investigate Trump, you’re basically being told, OK you’re an extension of the Democratic Party, which no journalist is or wants to be,” Regan said, and added that she would resign over the policy if she were still there. Bloomberg was asked about the consternation that the editorial policy was causing in the Bloomberg newsroom during an interview last week with CBS News’s Gayle King. He said the reporters that are critical of the policy “just have to learn to live with some things. They get a paycheck. But with your paycheck comes some restrictions and responsibilities.” Regan, who anchored Bloomberg News’s 2012 presidential coverage, criticized those remarks, explaining, “This is about more than a paycheck. You know, I think that the journalists, we feel a sense of responsibility. And I’m not saying that everybody should just boom, you know, walk out, because I realized people have families and financial obligations.” She went on to say that those comments demonstrate “a lack of respect for the professionals that are working for him.”…  

Supreme Court to decide fate of subpoenas for Trump financial records

By Bill Mears and Shannon Bream{ } ~ The Supreme Court agreed Friday to decide whether  President Trump can be shielded from congressional and state subpoenas for his personal banking and accounting records… in what could be a major test of separation powers between the executive branch, Congress, and the states. At issue is the extent a sitting president can be subject to congressional oversight — under “valid legislative purposes” — of his private business dealings before he took office. The high court will also look at the extent a sitting president can be subject to state and local grand jury investigations and prosecutions. The justices held a private conference Friday, where they considered a New York state subpoena, and two other related appeals involving separate congressional subpoenas. A lower federal court had separately ruled Trump must comply with the subpoenas, but his personal lawyers had asked the Supreme Court to intervene. “We are pleased that the Supreme Court granted review of the President’s three pending cases,” Jay Sekulow, counsel to the president, said in a statement. “These cases raise significant constitutional issues. We look forward to presenting our written and oral arguments.” One case involves requests for documents sought by the House Oversight and Reform Committee after the president’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, testified that Trump underreported or overstated the extent of his financial holdings to the government. Cohen is serving a three-year federal prison sentence for lying to Congress and financial-related offenses. A second subpoena involves House Financial Services Committee and House Intelligence Committee requests for 10 years of records from various banks that did business with Trump, his adult children, and his businesses. The committee is probing lending practices by major financial institutions, and allegations of Russian money laundering. Meanwhile, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. has empaneled a state grand jury seeking eight years of tax records relating to allegations of hush-money payments to two women claiming prior sexual affairs with Trump, allegations he has denied. Lawyers for the House committees had urged the high court to intervene now, saying the Democrat-led panels are actively pursuing the extent of any foreign interference in U.S. politics, which may be key to legislative safeguards ahead of next year’s elections…  


After Being Terminated, Trey Gowdy Is Back At Fox News

by JUSTIN CARUSO{  } ~ Former Republican congressman Trey Gowdy has been re-hired by Fox News, The Daily Caller has learned… A Fox spokesperson confirmed to The Caller that Gowdy was re-hired following the New York Times’ Annie Karni reporting that he was back at Fox.  “Trey Gowdy — who was fired as a Fox News contributor when he was briefly set to join Trump’s legal team — has been rehired by Fox, I am told by a source,” Karni tweeted. This is a significant development for the former South Carolina representative, who was first hired by Fox News in January after leaving office. He was later terminated  by the network in October after it was reported that he was going to be retained for President Trump’s legal team against the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry. Ultimately, Gowdy did not join Trump’s legal team, paving the way for him to go back on Fox News.  

‘There is no deep state’: Fein-stein slams Barr for ‘unsupported attacks’ on FBI

by Caitlin Yilek{ } ~ Sen. Dianne Fein-stein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, condemned Attorney General William Barr for criticizing the FBI over its handling of the Russia investigation… “It’s really extraordinary that the attorney general continues to make unsupported attacks on the agency that he is responsible for leading,” Fein-stein said at a hearing Wednesday on Capitol Hill. “I believe strongly that it’s time to move on from the false claims of political bias.” “This was not a politically motivated investigation. There is no deep state,” she said, adding that the investigation into the Trump campaign’s links to Russia was “motivated by facts, not bias.” Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz is testifying to the Senate Judiciary Committee on his investigation into alleged surveillance abuses against the Trump campaign during the 2016 election. Horowitz’s report, released Monday, found that the FBI’s decision to open an investigation into Trump campaign associates was not motivated by political bias. Yet the watchdog found “significant inaccuracies and omissions” in the FBI’s applications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to monitor former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Barr, whom Democrats have accused of going out of his way to defend Trump and attack his political rivals, has been critical in his appraisal of the FBI’s actions. “There were gross abuses of FISA and inexplicable behavior that is intolerable in the FBI,” Barr said Tuesday. “I think that leaves open the possibility that there was bad faith.” Show me the facts Fein-stein.    

Nevada Group Seeks To Block Red Flag Law Enactment

by Tom Knighton{ } ~ The state of Nevada tends to be a fairly pro-gun place, but they’re also dominated by Las Vegas. Larger urban centers tend to be less tolerant of the Second Amendment in general… but Las Vegas probably has more reason to be that way than most cities. After all, the most deadly mass shooting in modern American history happened there. Believe me, I get it. Yet that doesn’t excuse anti-gun sentiment. Since Las Vegas, though, the state has taken a relatively anti-gun position. One of the measures they’ve passed is a red flag law. Now, a group is seeking to block it from going into effect. A group known as “NevadansCAN” is working to block the enactment of Nevada’s Red Flag law which is set to take effect in January, 2020. “The law itself is very unconstitutional on many bases, not just the second amendment,” said Julie Hereford. Their latest mission is Assembly Bill 291 which is now known as the Red Flag law. NevadansCAN filed an injunction to block the implementation of the newly adopted law. It’s goal is to prevent gun violence. Here’s how it works: a judge reviews an application sent in by police or family members about a person’s potentially threatening behavior. A hearing is held within seven days of the initial order being issued. If a judge decides they are a threat, that person’s weapons could be taken away from them for up to one year. Hereford and Rooney said the law is unconstitutional because the decision comes down to a single judge, not a jury. “It eliminates the presumption of innocence. Any person who is served with an emergency protection order is immediately suspected to be guilty and its up to them to somehow clear their name,” said Rooney. More than that, though, the judge in question never actually talks to the individual being discussed. He simply makes a ruling based on comments from a third party. The individual doesn’t get to face their accuser or have any real say in their defense. I’m sorry, but there are no possible excuses for such a horrible breach in due process. Now, the question is, will NevadaCAN be successful?…  

Addictive Recidivism by Tom McLaughlin

{} ~ Everyone in prison was once in a jail; that’s how the system works. Someone is arrested and arraigned, then is either bailed or left in jail until trial. If found guilty, they may go back to jail if the sentence is short — less than a year, say — or to another correctional facility if it’s longer. The longest sentences are served in state prison, or federal prison as the case may be.  

In the Cumberland County jail where I volunteer once a week, I’m assigned to a pod with a capacity of 85. It’s usually full but not always. The inmates wear either orange or blue depending on their level. Blue designates trusty status, which is earned. Trusties can work in the kitchen, the library, or around the grounds either raking or shoveling snow depending on the season. Work reduces their sentences according to a formula.  

Those wearing orange in my assigned pod are awaiting trusty status. If they abide by the rules for a designated period they get their blue outfits, but they can also lose them by mouthing off to a corrections officer or some other violation. If it’s severe enough, they’re moved to a more restrictive pod to start all over again. Be careful not to “lose the blues” as inmates put it.

There are women in the jail but I don’t work with them. Sometimes I see individuals or groups of women in the corridors dressed in blue or orange and escorted by a corrections officer (CO). Once in a while, I recognize a former student, either male or female. If he or she looks away I don’t say anything. If they maintain eye contact, I’ll greet them. I’ve never conversed with a female inmate though because the opportunity never arises.  

Every Thursday afternoon I arrive at the jail, empty my pockets into a locker, go through the metal detector, don my badge, sign in, and wait for 3:30 when I walk through the first of many sally ports and corridors to my assigned pod. All movements are monitored at all times by cameras wired to banks of monitors in a central location. Heavy steel doors unlock ahead of me with a metallic clang and lock again as they close behind me with another clang. You can never forget where you are or who is in charge — and it’s not you.  

Each week there is about a 20% turnover on my oval-shaped, two-tier pod. I’ll report to the control center in the middle where there’s almost always a different corrections officer on duty. Sometimes it’s a woman in charge of 85 guys. On Thursdays and Sundays inmates can shave and razors are distributed while inmates are in their cells. Sometimes that cuts into the hour I have for Bible study because I have to wait for the CO to collect all the razors, one cell at a time. Then cells are unlocked and inmates flood the common area where they play cards, make phone calls, do pull-ups, or just walk around. 

After my arrival, the CO announces Bible study in the small classroom and anywhere from three to twenty stroll in. Usually, about two or three are repeats from previous weeks, but sometimes they’re all first-timers. That makes it hard to plan a lesson. Some will come in with little knowledge of what the Bible is beyond that it’s some kind of holy book. Others will have studied the Bible for decades and know more than I do. Usually the latter are from the south and are often black.   

I never ask why they’re in jail but they often tell me. Once I had only two guys, one white and covered with tattoos, the other black and strong-looking. Both were addicts in their late thirties and had been incarcerated since sixteen on drug charges. They knew each other at the Maine State Prison and were together again at the Cumberland County Jail awaiting trial on drug charges. The black man knew his Bible very well. His mother taught him, he said.  

They were afraid of being released and going back on drugs. Both wanted to get clean but were critical of rehab programs. Neither knew how to turn on a computer or use a cell phone and needed to learn those skills and others. “We’ve been away so long we’re out of touch,” said one as the other nodded. Rehab has to teach us those things and whatever else has changed out there. Then we need a transition house or we’re likely to use again, they said. Both were easy to like.  

At least 75% of inmates I’ve encountered over three and a half years were addicted to drugs or alcohol. Many were in and out of jail or prison for most of their adult lives. Many had co-occurring mental illness of some kind as well.  


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