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August 22 2018

07:33

Tom Cotton Picking Fights over Sentencing Reform

Federal sentencing reform is overdue, and many leading Republicans are now on board for change. Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, however, wants to stop it. Kevin Ring, President of FAMM, comments.
07:01
The Daily Signal Podcast: Wednesday, Aug. 22
07:01

The Daily Signal Podcast: Wednesday, Aug. 22

The Environmental Protection Agency has a new rule out—and unlike a rule from the Obama era, this one is friendly to coal producers. But The New York Times is reporting it could lead to more premature deaths per year. We sit down with Heritage Foundation expert Nick Loris to get the straight scoop. Plus: Facebook wants to identify malicious users, but a new initiative also raises troubling questions.

We also cover these stories:

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., introduced legislation Tuesday she claims will fight corruption.
  • University of North Carolina will be conducting “a full criminal investigation” on those who toppled a Confederate statue.
  • White House reporter April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks recently hired a bodyguard, and she blames Sarah Huckabee Sanders and the president himself.
  • Russian hackers launched a new wave of cyberattacks against U.S. targets in recent weeksthis time against conservative think tanks.

The Daily Signal podcast is available on Ricochet, iTunesSoundCloudGoogle Play, or Stitcher. All of our podcasts can be found at DailySignal.com/podcasts. If you like what you hear, please leave a review. You can also leave us a message at 202-608-6205 or letters@dailysignal.com. Enjoy the show!

The post The Daily Signal Podcast: Wednesday, Aug. 22 appeared first on The Daily Signal.

04:01
A Good President With Character Flaws
04:01

A Good President With Character Flaws

With the continuing hysteria about Donald Trump’s presidency, a few questions come to mind.

The first: Can a bad man become a good president? The second: Does one’s being a good man guarantee he’ll be a good president? Third: Does having a good president require a good man? Is there any evidence of Lord Acton’s argument that “great men are almost always bad men”?

I think former President Jimmy Carter was a good man who became a weak and bad president, both in domestic matters and in foreign affairs. President Bill Clinton was a bad man who became a reasonably good president in domestic and foreign matters. But then there was that impeachment issue that greatly tarnished his presidency.

What about our current president?

I think Trump’s personal behavior prior to his presidency is not something we’d call high character. We might put him down as a bad man, but what about his presidency? I think that he’d qualify for this description: a bad man but good president. The average reader might ask, “Williams, what’s your evidence?”

In a recent letter to me, Stephen Moore, a George Mason University graduate and a distinguished visiting fellow for the Project for Economic Growth at The Heritage Foundation, put together a list of Trump’s achievements. I recognize the possibility that they will be seen as horrible, maybe treasonous, by the nation’s leftists.

Trump has appointed Neil Gorsuch and nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Both men have stellar judicial qualifications and a deep respect for the Constitution. In addition, Trump has nominated more than two dozen lower court judges who have similar respect for our Constitution and are not likely to make laws from the bench.

Trump has shepherded through Congress the largest personal and corporate tax cuts since the Reagan administration. His administration has created a 35 percent reduction in regulations. Those reductions, including the rollback of costly Environmental Protection Agency regulations, have led to the biggest energy boom in history, making the U.S. the world’s No. 1 energy producer and thus ending our dependence on Middle Eastern oil producers.

The Trump administration has ended the Obamacare mandate and reformed the very costly Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Helping with these economic matters is free marketer Larry Kudlow, whom Trump appointed as director of the National Economic Council.

As a result of the gross domestic product’s growth spurt, caused by tax cuts and deregulation, unemployment is less than 4 percent. Black unemployment is hovering around the all-time low at 6.6 percent. In fact, it’s estimated that there are 6 million more jobs than workers. Also on the domestic front, the Trump administration is trying to push through sweeping prison and sentencing reforms.

Trump has also made important gains in international affairs. He’s gotten us out of the Paris climate accord. Aside from the fact that the agreement imposed costs and special disadvantages on the U.S., the Paris Agreement should have been presented as a treaty to the U.S. Senate.

Trump also got us out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—the Iranian nuclear deal. Aside from Iran’s violation of both the letter and the spirit of the agreement, it, too, should have been presented before the Senate for approval.

President Barack Obama did not present either the Paris climate accord or the Iranian nuclear deal for Senate approval. He knew neither would have passed muster and instead used his executive powers.

Also on the international front, Trump has gotten North Korean tyrant Kim Jong Un to the bargaining table to negotiate denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. He’s gotten our NATO allies to cough up more money for their own defense. Trump is rebuilding our military strength, which is beginning to put the fear of God into our adversaries.

The bottom line is that Trump does not have the personal character that we would want our children to imitate but has turned out to be a good president, save his grossly misguided international trade policies.

The post A Good President With Character Flaws appeared first on The Daily Signal.

03:36
Are We in the Midst of Another Counter-Enlightenment?
03:36
Trump Wields Signing Statements, Carves Up Defense Bill
03:30
Profiles in Treason Bruce and Nellie Ohr
03:23

Let's stop out-of-control prosecutors -- together

At this unique moment in American history, liberals and conservatives have something in common: an abhorrence of government prosecutors run amok.

Republicans are livid at the federal fishing expedition known as the Mueller investigation. Bit players have been dragooned into an endlessly politicized probe. The media have taken sides; nonstop leaks have tainted the process. And the lead witch-hunter wields enormous and unchecked power to trump up (pun intended) charges against marginal campaign figures that have nothing to do with alleged Russian collusion.

Tuesday’s split jury verdict in lobbyist Paul Manafort’s trial on fraud charges (guilty on eight, hung on 10) will be hyped by the collusion truthers as proof positive of Putin-flavored pudding. But Manafort’s actual financial crime convictions have nichego to do with any imagined campaign conspiracy with the dreaded Reds.

There’s another truth that should be obvious to government watchdogs from all parts of the political spectrum. However shady Manafort’s activities (and they were swampy with a capital “SWAMP”), they were simply a means to Mueller’s end of twisting the screws on a potential snitch to bring down Donald Trump. Manafort’s dealings (stretching back to 2004) largely predated his flash-in-the-pan stint in 2016 with the campaign. The feds were aware of his foreign dalliances under the Obama administration, but chose to do nothing – nichego – until Trump took office.

Put aside partisan politics for a moment and let’s be real: For every honest and principled prosecutor working in the courts, there are obsessive Captain Queegs in office searching for political wins (strawberries!) instead of seeking the truth.

On the opposite side of the aisle, left-leaning criminal justice reformers understand this reality well – and have fought hard to educate the public about the role official misconduct plays in wrongful convictions. Indeed, the National Registry of Exonerations run by the University of Michigan Law School, reported recently that nationwide in 2017, there were a “record-high 84 official misconduct exonerations – or exonerations given because of official misconduct committed by those vested with the power of the law, such as police officers, prosecutors, and governmental officials.” That’s a stunning 60 percent of exoneration cases last year alone.

Thanks to the warm, fuzzy blanket of prosecutorial immunity, very few of the government actors involved in such misconduct are ever held to account.

That’s changing. This week, New York became the first state to create a commission on prosecutorial misconduct. After an intense lobbying battle, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the act this week. The legislative effort was spearheaded by exonerees who personally suffered and survived the whims, falsehoods and power trips of district attorneys who suppressed exculpatory evidence, coerced false confessions and solicited false eyewitness testimony from career jailhouse snitches. (I’ll have more on the remarkable journey by those leading this historic charge in an upcoming column and CRTV videos.)

Meanwhile, in California, prosecutorial misconduct stemming from intentionally withholding or altering evidence is a felony as a result of a law passed in 2016. Proposed by a Democrat, the bill earned bipartisan support after watchdogs exposed the failures of the California courts to report official misconduct as required by statute and the abdication of the California Bar Association to punish wrongdoing.

The iron shield of absolute immunity must be removed from prosecutors. As retired federal judge Frederic Block points out: “Police officers do not have it and they are held accountable in courts of law for their egregious behavior. We wisely do not give our law enforcement officers, or even the president, carte blanche to do as they please; bad prosecutors should similarly be accountable.”

Author and lawyer John Grisham similarly noted in The Wall Street Journal in support of the New York prosecutorial misconduct condition: “It is sadly ironic that those we trust to put away criminals are thoroughly unaccountable when their own unethical behavior is discovered. … The failure to regulate prosecutorial misconduct enables more misconduct and wrongful convictions.”

Exoneration super-lawyer Kathleen Zellner, who has won a record $108 million in verdicts and settlements on behalf of the wrongfully accused (most recently an added $11 million for Missouri exoneree Ryan Ferguson), put it bluntly:

“Good prosecutors do not need absolute immunity.”

Those who commit the crime of wrongful convictions should do the time. On this, all good-faith citizens who believe in equal justice can and should agree.

The post Let's stop out-of-control prosecutors -- together appeared first on WND.

03:21
Facebook rates users’ trustworthiness in an attempt to stop no-platforming behavior
03:21
Wait… now Cohen is offering a guilty plea?
03:21
Asia Argento: I deny everything — and the payoff to my accuser was Anthony Bourdain’s idea
03:21
Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver accused of cultural appropriation over rice recipe
03:21
Report: Michael Cohen says he violated campaign law “at direction of candidate”; Updates: Trump proceeding to rally, no comment on Cohen
03:21
Breaking: Manafort jury reaches verdict on eight counts, hung on 10; Update: Mistrial on latter declared; Update: Guilty on eight counts
03:21
CNN reads a whole lot into Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s collars
03:21
Shocker: U.S. leading all Paris Accord signatories in emissions reduction
03:21
Bad news: Omarosa part of the Resistance now
03:21
Illegal immigrant charged with murder after leading police to body of missing college student Mollie Tibbetts
03:21
Drug overdoses kill 72,000 Americans, as governments ramp up treatment
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