Standing With Israel

It is an extraordinary day in Washington, D.C.  Thousands of pro-Israel activists are here for the 13th annual Christians United For Israel Washington Summit.  As you may know, Christians United For Israel was founded by Pastor John Hagee and currently has more than 4 million members in all fifty states.

This morning, attendees heard from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  He thanked Christians United For Israel and President Trump for recognizing “the fundamental truth that Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel for 3,000 years . . . and will always be our capital.”

Netanyahu stressed that Israel is the only state in the Middle East where Christians are thriving.  And he contrasted that with the oppression Christians face in Iran, saying that the Iranian regime “is a point of darkness in the Middle East, while Israel is a point of light.”  (See next item.)

As many of you know, I was a founding board member of Christians United For Israel and currently serve as the Washington Director of CUFI Action Fund, the legislative lobbying arm of Christians United For Israel.  This afternoon, I had the privilege of introducing several outstanding speakers.

Tonight, CUFI is hosting a Night to Honor Israel celebration featuring Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley.

Watch the Summit live online at the CUFI Facebook page.

—Gary Bauer
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CUFI Washington Summit Starts Today

Thousands of pro-Israel Christian activists have come to our nation’s capital for the 13th annual Christians United For Israel Washington Summit!

If you were unable to join us in person, you can watch the proceedings live at the CUFI Facebook page or at GETV.org.

The opening session begins at 9:00 AM, and will feature an address via satellite by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

At 2:00 PM, I will be moderating a briefing on the Middle East featuring Pastor John Hagee, Col. Richard Kemp, Malcolm Hoenlein, Erick Stakelbeck and Dr. Victoria Coates.

This evening, there will be a Night To Honor Israel celebration featuring Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley.

—Gary Bauer
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Fighting For Faith

Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed an appropriations bill on a narrow vote of 217 to 199.  Tucked inside that bill is legislation that effectively guts the Johnson Amendment, thereby allowing pastors to speak freely from the pulpit about public policy without fear of the IRS.

To give you some idea of why this legislation is necessary, just consider what happened recently to Catholic bishops in Texas.

They were sued by abortionists challenging a state law requiring that abortionists respectfully dispose of the bodies of aborted babies.  The Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops had offered to provide “free or low-cost burials.”

In their legal challenge to the law, the abortionists demanded all the bishops’ documents and communications regarding abortion, miscarriages, the law and any communications with Texas officials and legislators in the past two years.  Incredibly, a left-wing judge ordered the bishops to comply.

Thankfully, a panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-to-1 that the lower court judge had violated the First Amendment rights of the Texas bishops.  Judge Jim Ho wrote, “It is hard to imagine a better example of how far we have strayed from the text and original understanding of the Constitution than this case.”

This isn’t the first time religious leaders in Texas have been threatened by leftist politicians and activists for speaking out on matters of faith and public policy.

My friends, there is no question that religious freedom is under fire from the left.

Thankfully, President Trump and his Senate allies are making tremendous progress appointing conservative judges to the courts.  In fact, they have set a record.  But there are still many more vacancies to fill.

We must expand our majority in the Senate this year in order to confirm Trump’s judges and defend religious liberty!

—Gary Bauer
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Economic Illiteracy

We told you recently about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s difficulty comprehending the unemployment rate.  She claimed it was low because so many people were working two jobs.  The left-leaning site PolitiFact rated her claim not just false, but “Pants On Fire!”

Unfortunately, others on the left are just as confused.  Sen. Elizabeth Warrendoubled down, telling MSNBC that Americans are working “two, three, or four jobs to try to pay the rent and keep food on the table.”

The left is going to find it hard to make the class warfare argument when virtually every economic class and statistic is showing improvement.  But they are trying.

And if you want even more examples of left-wing economic illiteracy, check out this video of Rep. Keith Ellison, deputy chairman of the Democrat National Committee, explaining why national borders create “injustice” because illegal immigrants can’t unionize.

Seriously, my friends, you can’t make this stuff up!

—Gary Bauer
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Wray Said What?

I was on Capitol Hill this week, and I had a fascinating conversation with Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas.

As you may know, he aggressively confronted renegade FBI operative Peter Strzok, who was once chief of the FBI’s Counterespionage Section.  There were several significant revelations from that hearing, which the media largely ignored.

Rep. Gohmert filled me in on some of the details of his exchange with Strzok, and this is something that really can’t be ignored.

Strzok told the committee that he was concerned about foreign influence in the 2016 election.  Rep. Gohmert asked how serious his concern really was because key officials in the intelligence community had briefed Strzok about an “anomaly” they found on Hillary Clinton’s email server, and he did nothing.

They discovered during a forensic analysis that essentially everything Hillary sent on her server had been redirected to a hostile foreign power that was not Russia.  Strzok told Gohmert that he could not recall this briefing.

Really?  He could not recall being told that 30,000 emails from the secretary of state had been contemporaneously redirected to an enemy?

It seems that the Obama Administration was compromised by a foreign enemy because of the stupidity of the secretary of state and the malfeasance of the FBI’s counterespionage division, which was distracted by its efforts to take down the Republican presidential nominee.

In what world is this not a HUGE story?

If we had a truly non-partisan, unbiased free press, this would be banner headlines.  But the entire media complex is instead talking about the Trump/Putin press conference.

—Gary Bauer
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The Left’s New Leader

Pop quiz:  Name the leader of today’s Democrat Party.

If you said DNC Chairman Tom Perez, you’d be wrong.

Senate Democrat Leader Chuck Schumer or House Democrat Leader Nancy Pelosi?  Nope.

It’s not even Hillary Clinton or former President Barack Obama.

No, the leader in the sense of setting the “tone” of today’s Democrat Party is a 28 year-old socialist from the Bronx, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

As we have noted, she burst onto the political scene just a few weeks ago after defeating a member of Nancy Pelosi’s leadership team by running on a hard-left platform of free health care, free college, bashing Israel, calls for widespread civil disobedience, and demands that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) be abolished.

Just to be clear, abolishing ICE means letting violent criminals roam our streets.  According to the Pew Research Center, “Immigrants with past criminal convictions accounted for 74% of all arrests made by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in fiscal 2017.”

We’re talking about more than 100,000 illegal immigrants with DUIs, drug charges, sexual assaults and even homicides.

After her victory, many prominent Democrats jumped on the “abolish ICE” bandwagon.  And Ocasio-Cortez’s influence on the Democrat Party was on full display yesterday in the House of Representatives.

House Republicans called for a vote on a resolution expressing support for “the officers and personnel who carry out” ICE’s important mission.  All Republicans but one (shame on you, Rep. Justin Amash!) voted to express their support for the brave men and women of ICE.

Incredibly, only 18 Democrats voted for the resolution.

Following the lead of socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 34 Democrats voted against it, while 133 voted “present.”  Only 10% of House Democrats were willing to publicly declare their support for the men and women of ICE who put their lives on the line to protect us.

The American people are not on board with the left’s lawless, radical agenda.  A recent Politico poll found that only 25% of voters support abolishing ICE.

By the way, a new Gallup poll finds that immigration is the top concern among voters.  Gee, I wonder why?!

—Gary Bauer
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Mainstreaming Extremism

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the newest star on the political left.  She rose to fame last month after defeating a member of the House Democrat leadership team.  The New York Times editorial board declared, “Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s victory is a vivid sign of the changing of the guard.”

But what does this avant-garde candidate believe?  She sat down for a recent interview with PBS ­– hardly a right-wing media outlet — and it did not go well.

When discussing the Middle East, Ocasio-Cortez referred to the “occupation of Palestine.”  Asked to clarify her remarks, she said that “Palestinians are experiencing difficulty in access to their housing and homes. . .”

Then she admitted that she’s not “an expert on geopolitics on the issue.” (She got that right!)  Yet she graduated from Boston University with a degree in economics and international relations.

Speaking of economics, when asked about the low unemployment rate, Ocasio-Cortez responded by saying, “Well, unemployment is low because everyone has two jobs.”

But the unemployment rate has nothing to do with how many jobs a person has.  It is about whether someone even has one job!

This proud socialist also said something else that should send chills down your spine.  Ocasio-Cortez declared that, “Capitalism has not always existed in the world and it will not always exist in the world.”

That is exactly what we are afraid of.  No other economic system in the history of the world has created more wealth and lifted more people out of poverty than capitalism.

The Soviet Union, that grand experiment with communism, collapsed.  Cuba and Venezuela are hardly examples we want to emulate.

But wait. . . There’s more!

Ocasio-Cortez supports open borders and she wants to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE).  In another interview this week, she discussed immigration policy and why she joined protests at the southern border.  Here’s what she had to say:

I believe the moral character of the United States is at stake. . .  We have to occupy all of it.  We need to occupy every airport, we need to occupy every border, we need to occupy every ICE office. . .”

And this is what many in the media are hailing as the “future of the Democratic Party.”

My friends, the disturbing reality is that extreme views once considered well outside the mainstream of U.S. politics are taking root.

But contrary to the media myth, it’s not because Republicans are moving right.  It’s because Democrats are moving so far left.

Anti-Semitic and anti-Israel attitudes are growing on the left.

Socialism is increasingly popular on the left.

And the left has shifted dramatically on immigration and open borders.

As I have noted before, Bill Clinton could not win his party’s nomination today.

—Gary Bauer
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Politicized Intelligence

Reacting to President Trump’s Helsinki Summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, former CIA Director John Brennan tweeted this:

“Why did Trump meet 1 on 1 with Putin? What might he be hiding from Bolton, Pompeo, Kelly, & the American public? How will Putin use whatever Trump could be hiding to advantage Russia & hurt America? Trump’s total lack of credibility renders spurious whatever explanation he gives.”

He followed that up with this attack on the Helsinki press conference:

“Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of ‘high crimes & misdemeanors.’  It was nothing short of treasonous.”

Fired FBI Director James Comey chimed in with this partisan exhortation:

“This Republican Congress has proven incapable of fulfilling the Founders’ design. . . All who believe in this country’s values must vote for Democrats this fall.  Policy differences don’t matter right now.  History has its eyes on us.”

Comey’s suggestion that the left best represents the country’s values or the Founders’ vision is laughable!   To suggest we should go back to the high tax, high unemployment days of the Democrats is absurd.  And it speaks volumes about James Comey.

In the history of the United States, it is unprecedented for former directors of the FBI and the CIA to engage in this kind of raw partisanship.

Brennan’s hysteria is beyond the pale.  George W. Bush met privately, one-on-one, numerous times with Vladimir Putin.  So did Barack Obama.  That’s what presidents do when discussing affairs of state with other world leaders.

And John Brennan is the last person who should be lecturing the public about truth and honesty.  Even liberals wanted Obama to fire Brennan for his dishonesty.

By the way, what exactly did Brennan and Comey do about the Russian meddling in our election?

They knew in 2014 that the Russians were interfering in our elections.  But the Obama White House ordered our cybersecurity experts to “stand down.”

Last week, we witnessed hours of snarling and unrepentant testimony by disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok, who seemingly believed that he had the power to decide who should be president of the United States.

There is a growing list of deep state operatives who have jumped ship or have been fired after their misdeeds were uncovered, but we still don’t know the full extent of what happened during the 2016 campaign.

And perhaps that explains the desperation in Brennan’s and Comey’s tweets.  They sound like men trying to hide something, and fearful that continued Republican-led investigations may uncover the truth.

—Gary Bauer
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Hillary Invokes Slavery

Speaking to one of the big left-wing teachers’ unions Friday, Hillary Clinton attacked Judge Brett Kavanaugh as a “threat of devastating consequences for workers’ rights, civil rights, LGBT rights, women’s rights.”  Hillary added, “You know, I used to worry that they wanted to turn the clock back to the 1950s, now I worry they want to turn it back to the 1850s.”

The most historically significant point about the 1850s is that slavery was still legal.  At a time when there are serious racial tensions in America, Clinton’s comment is reckless and beyond the pale.

Sadly, this is not the first time the left has engaged in this kind of disgusting hyperbole.  In 2012, Joe Biden suggested Mitt Romney wanted to put black Americans “back in chains.”  In 2008, Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) compared Sen. John McCain to segregationist George Wallace.

In 2000, political ads were run linking George W. Bush to the death of James Byrd, Jr., a black man who “was beaten, chained and then dragged behind a pickup truck [for] three miles.”

Black leaders and civil rights groups should speak up now and condemn Clinton’s suggestion that a mainstream conservative judge would support enslaving black Americans.

—Gary Bauer
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The War Party?

The anti-Trump left became unhinged (yet again) after the president’s press conference with Putin, especially for his “deflection” on questions of alleged hacking of the 2016 elections.

Nancy Pelosi suggested that Putin “has something on” Trump.  CNN’sAnderson Cooper called Trump’s press conference remarks “disgraceful.”  Obama CIA Director John Brennan tweeted that Trump’s remarks were “nothing short of treasonous” and amounted to an impeachable offense.

Really?

The political left was giddy as Obama negotiated a nuclear deal with the Holocaust-denying regime of Iran as its agents were killing U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Obama didn’t want Congress to vote on it, and parts of the deal were kept secret from Congress.  He flew pallets of cash to Iran in the middle of the night.  He refused to prosecute Hezbollah for drug trafficking.

Maybe we should be asking what Iran has on Obama!

But the Democrats don’t want Donald Trump talking to Russia.  And when he insists on talking to Russia, the number one thing that the left demands is that Putin turn over a dozen Russian intelligence officers who hacked Democrat organizations in 2016.

There is no chance of that happening.  Neither would we hand over a dozen CIA agents whose job is to make life difficult for Russia.  That said, Putin invitedSpecial Counsel Robert Mueller to continue his investigation in Russia.

But what exactly is it that these progressives want Trump to do in order to get tough on Russia?  Are they suggesting that he threaten a nuclear strike?  Do they want him to shoot down Russian planes?

And why didn’t Obama do anything about the Russian hacking?  (Here andhere.)

I don’t hear any real suggestions at all, just constant carping against a president who wants to make America great again.

—Gary Bauer
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