Monday, February 25, 2019

ACTION ALERT: Stop the Democrats' Socialist Green New Deal

by: Freedom Works Foundation

Democrat extremists like Al Gore and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez want to completely ELIMINATE every single coal plant and mining job in the country by imposing their socialist Green New Deal on America.

Their disastrous scheme would devastate our military, eliminate nearly 90% of the U.S. energy sector, and even ban cars!

They don’t care about how horribly this will impact working families. All they care about is advancing their radical socialist agenda.

Help stop the Democrats’ socialist Green New Deal by signing the petition.

Report Warns of ‘Tariff Turmoil’ Absent Sweeping U.S.-China Trade Deal

by: Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce

Arlington, VA - February 25, 2019 - (The Ponder News) -- The Trump administration rightly delayed an increase in tariffs from 10 to 25 percent on March 2nd because it would devastate U.S. producers, workers, and consumers, according to a new analysis from Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce and Americans for Prosperity (AFP), entitled “Tariff Turmoil: The Effects of Section 301 Tariff Increases Told Through Businesses & Consumers.” In conjunction with the special report, at the online grassroots portal, a new feature lists sortable, state-by-state warnings about the negative impact of higher tariffs.

Freedom Partners Executive Vice President Nathan Nascimento issued the following statement:

“The Trump administration is right to delay the March 1 deadline and give U.S.-China trade talks more time. As our report illustrates, it is critical for Washington and Beijing to swiftly reach an agreement for both sides to eliminate tariffs and other non-tariff protectionist measures. Hundreds of job creators speak with one voice in our report: this 25 percent tariff endangers American prosperity. From rural farmers and small business manufacturers to national retailers and large corporations, trade builds America. Increasing the tariffs would mean higher costs for consumers, job losses for workers, and catastrophic harm for small businesses.”

AFP Senior Policy Fellow Alison Acosta Winters issued the following statement:

“The administration is right to delay increasing tariffs to 25 percent as negotiations continue and we continue to urge them to remove this tariff threat hanging over the country. Across thriving communities and bustling industries, trade is part of our economic powerhouse helping drive growth and improve lives. This new report gives a voice to hundreds of U.S. job creators warning of the devastating impact increasing tariffs to 25 percent on a vast array of Chinese imports would have on their businesses. The Trump administration should avoid the damage these tariffs would wreak on Americans by forging an agreement with Beijing that eliminates trade barriers.”


by: Faith and Freedom Coalition

Washington, D.C. - February 25, 2019 - (The Ponder News) -- Today, pro-infanticide Democrats in the United States Senate blocked cloture on S. 311 the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act” to ensure legal protections for children who are born alive despite attempted abortion procedures.

Forty-four Democrat Senators, including all six of the Democratic senators currently running for President, Cory Booker (NJ), Sherrod Brown (OH), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), Kamala Harris (CA), Amy Klobuchar (MN), Elizabeth Warren (MA), plus Bernie Sanders (VT), voted against the bill. Only three Democrats, Bob Casey Jr. (PA), Joe Manchin (WV), and Doug Jones (Ala.), voted in favor of the legislation.

“Today is a dark day in American history as Senate Democrats, including all those running for President, chose to support the murder of innocent babies alive outside the womb,” said Faith & Freedom Coalition Executive Director Tim Head. “The American people understand that the Supreme Court legalized abortion over 40 years ago; however, infanticide and abortion on demand violates our collective conscience. An overwhelming majority of Americans support common-sense restrictions on abortion, including this legislation to stop the abhorrent practice of denying medical care and taking the life of a child after they have been born.”

The Born Alive Survivors Protection Act would have amended Title 18 of the United States Code to provide legal personhood rights to any “infant born alive after an abortion or within a hospital, clinic, or other facility has the same claim to the protection of the law that would arise for any newborn, or for any person who comes to a hospital, clinic, or other facility for screening and treatment or otherwise becomes a patient within its care.”

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed for cloture to end debate and allow a straight up or down vote on this critical pro-life legislation to extend legal protections to children born alive in health care facilities nationwide, but S. 311 failed to garner the 60 votes necessary to end debate.

“Senators who voted against this bill to provide legal and health protections to children who have survived failed abortions have much soul searching to do,” added Head. “The barbaric practice of leaving young children to die despite their having survived an abortion procedure should not be tolerated in our country. But, unfortunately, purveyors of abortion-on-demand blocked this common-sense restriction on infanticide.”

Faith & Freedom Coalition will score each Senator’s vote against cloture as a vote in favor of abortion-on-demand, and those recorded votes will appear in tens of millions of Congressional Scorecards and voter guides which will be distributed to tens of millions of voters and over 100,000 churches during the 2020 election cycle.

Support of Bladensburg Veterans Memorial

by: Family Research Council

Washington, D.C. - February 26, 2019 - (The Ponder News) -- On Wednesday, February 27, Alexandra McPhee, FRC's Director of Religious Freedom Advocacy, and an author of our amicus brief in the case, will give her reaction to the oral arguments in American Legion v. American Humanist Association. She will be available for comment on the steps of the Supreme Court immediately following the arguments in the case, which concerns the future of a historic cross-shaped veterans memorial in Bladensburg, Maryland.

Alexandra McPhee, FRC's Director of Religious Freedom Advocacy, made the following comments:

“Across the nation, monuments depicting religious imagery are being challenged by groups arguing that having these monuments on public property constitutes government establishment of a religion, even though these monuments are often greatly important to the local community. The Supreme Court’s decision in this case could have reverberating effects on whether religiously themed monuments may be maintained on government land anywhere.

“To find a display or memorial unconstitutional for its religious inspiration alone shortchanges a community’s history and culture. It also neglects the important role of religion in our public life. The Peace Cross, for instance, serves as a reminder to residents and visitors of the surrounding Bladensburg community that freedom has been bought with the lives of our loved ones. How can it be unconstitutional for the government to preserve that memory when it was the very same government that asked those loved ones to die for their country?” concluded McPhee.

WHO: Alexandra McPhee, Director of Religious Freedom Advocacy, Family Research Council

WHAT: Reactions to the oral arguments in the Bladensburg Cross Case

WHERE: Supreme Court of the United States, 1 First St NE, Washington, DC 20543

WHEN: Wednesday, February 27, 2019, immediately following oral arguments (approximately 11:30 am Eastern)

T-Mobile Feels Heat on Jobs-Related Concerns, Lashes Out with Unsubstantiated and Hypocritical Attacks

by: Communication Workers of America

Washington, D.C. - February 26, 2019 - (The Ponder News) -- With a growing number of elected officials and regulators expressing concerns about the jobs-related effects of the proposed T-Mobile/Sprint merger, T-Mobile executives are clearly feeling the heat and starting to worry. How else to explain their ramped-up attempts to attack CWA’s credibility on jobs?

This week, Kathleen Ham, T-Mobile’s senior vice president for government affairs, told Communications Daily that CWA has “no credibility” on jobs - an inaccurate and wildly hypocritical assertion in light of T-Mobile’s real record on jobs and the job-killing impact of the proposed T-Mobile/Sprint merger.

CWA’s comprehensive economic analysis shows that the merger will result the loss of 30,000 U.S. jobs—25,500 from the closure of overlapping retail stores and 4,500 at headquarters. New Street Research, an independent telecommunications and technology research firm which has been supportive of the merger, has estimated similar losses.

Ham’s comments come after T-Mobile CEO and President John Legere faced tough questioning during a hearing last week before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. T-Mobile is making a desperate attempt to obscure the job-killing impact of the merger by pledging to open customer experience centers if the merger proceeds—but the jobs pledge is filled with loopholes and would not come close to offsetting the 30,000 jobs that would be lost due to the merger. As CWA President Chris Shelton noted at the hearing, “trusting Sprint and T-Mobile with American jobs is like trusting a vampire at a blood bank.”

According to CWA President Chris Shelton, “T-Mobile is clearly feeling the heat on jobs-related concerns about the merger and is lashing out in a manner that is wildly disingenuous and incredibly hypocritical. T-Mobile has one of the worst records on workers’ rights issues in corporate America and the company has yet to explain why our analysis is incorrect. Just look at the store location maps. In many areas T-Mobile and Sprint stores practically sit on top of each other. They are going to close those stores to create “synergy” for their investors. We know what synergy means—pink slips for working people and more money for the German government, which owns T-Mobile, and Japanese billionaire Masayoshi Son, who owns Sprint.”

Club for Growth Supports Neomi Rao’s Confirmation to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals

by: Club for Growth

Washington, D.C. - February 26, 2019 - (The Ponder News) -- Club for Growth President David McIntosh provided the following statement offering his support for Neomi Rao, President Trump’s nominee to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals:

“I have known Neomi for decades and have no doubt that she will be a principled jurist, cut from the same cloth as Justices Scalia and Thomas,” stated Club for Growth President David McIntosh.

“Not only is she eminently qualified for the position, she possesses an extensive knowledge of administrative rulemaking given her most recent time as the Director of President Trump’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the White House. Furthermore, the decades I have spent working with her on separation-of-powers issues demonstrate that she is an originalist who is faithful to the Constitution. Senate Republicans should not be thrown off track by rumors and innuendo, and instead should stand behind President Trump in support of this nominee. The Senate should move swiftly to confirm her.”

CVT Asks Kids “Should we help asylum seekers?” In New Digital Ad

by Center for Victims of Torture

St. Paul, MN - February 26, 2019 - (The Ponder News) -- A new digital ad from the Center for Victims of TortureTM (CVT) strips away the rhetoric surrounding asylum and features children answering a simple but powerful question: Should we help asylum seekers?

Created and written by CVT and produced by Emergence Pictures, Inc., the ad is running until June on Facebook and will also be posted to CVT’s Twitter and Instagram platforms. The children in the ad are not actors, had no prior knowledge of what they would be asked and did not work from a script. The ad captures their genuine responses to a question many adults struggle to answer in this day and age. CVT’s ad is intended to challenge viewers to rethink preconceived notions about asylum seekers.

“The right to seek asylum is not complicated, but the politics surrounding it can be, as we’re reminded with each new attempt by this administration to weaken or shut down the U.S. asylum system,” said Curt Goering, CVT’s executive director. “Our new ad was created to get to the heart of why people seek asylum: safety. We know that as many as 44 percent of refugees, asylees and asylum-seekers living in the United States are torture survivors, and safety is paramount to healing. The straightforward, unbiased and un-coached responses from the children in our ad represent the very essence of our message: Asylum seekers need our help. We should help them. Period.

“For more than 33 years, CVT has rebuilt the lives and restored the hope of tens of thousands of refugee and asylum-seeking torture survivors and their families, and we have had the honor to witness remarkable healing among our clients when access to safety and rehabilitative care is available. We have also seen the heartbreaking results of misunderstanding and misinterpretation of what it means to seek asylum. CVT has and will continue to educate about refugee and asylum issues and to dispel the myths about who refugees and asylum seekers really are. This ad is just one example of CVT striving to engage as many people as possible in order to dispel these myths.”

The Center for Victims of Torture is a nonprofit organization headquartered in St. Paul, MN, with offices in Atlanta, GA, and Washington, D.C.; and healing initiatives in Africa and the Middle East.

BPC Launches New Initiative to Develop Long-Term Solutions to Funding Federal Infrastructure Needs

By Bipartisan Policy Center

The Bipartisan Policy Center today announced that former Reps. Bill Shuster (R-PA) and Joe Crowley (D-NY) will lead a new Great American Rebuild Initiative to identify long-term mechanisms to finance the Highway Trust Fund. Their work will focus on developing potential long-term solutions to fully fund America’s critical infrastructure programs, up to and including ending the federal government’s reliance on the gas tax.

Under their leadership, the initiative will conduct a comprehensive review of potential revenue sources and develop recommendations to improve and sustainably fund trust fund programs. This effort aims to offer solutions that are practical, politically viable, and bipartisan.

Without new revenue sources, maintaining current spending levels will require an average bailout of general revenues of $20 billion per year. However, with increasing pressure on the federal budget—projections show federal deficits surpassing $1 trillion in 2019—forward movement on an infrastructure bill demands new, collective thinking on sustainable revenues.

“With the greater adoption of electric vehicles and more efficient gas-powered vehicles, the gas tax is increasingly untenable as a long-term funding source. Even if the gas tax were raised by 20 cents per gallon, as some interest groups suggested, Washington would still face a long-term funding crisis. Congress can no longer avoid a comprehensive examination of the federal role in funding our nation’s transportation infrastructure and the best means to meet those obligations,” said Shuster, the former chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

The launch of the Great American Rebuild Initiative comes ahead of the expiration of the FAST Act, which authorizes federal spending on roads, bridges, and other transportation infrastructure, on September 30, 2020. In addition, the Highway Trust Fund balance will approach zero in fiscal year 2021.
“There is bipartisan agreement that infrastructure needs to be addressed, but no consensus on how to pay for those essential upgrades. Now is the time to come together and forge a new path forward to ensure our infrastructure can meet the needs of our economy,” said Crowley, a former member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

BPC’s Infrastructure Work
The Bipartisan Policy Center has played an integral role in infrastructure policy circles for over a decade with its leadership of several key infrastructure projects, including the Executive Council on Infrastructure and the National Transportation Policy Project.

Supreme Court rejects abortion groups’ attack on Texas Catholic bishops

by Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

Washington, D.C. - February 26, 2019 - (The Ponder News) -- On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an attempt by abortion groups to pry into Texas Catholic bishops’ private discussions about religious doctrine. In Whole Woman’s Health v. Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops, several abortion advocates targeted and subpoenaed Texas’ Catholic bishops to demand their internal deliberations regarding abortion. Last year, a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans rejected the surveillance attempt as intimidation and an invasion of the church’s right to privacy. Today’s Supreme Court ruling finally puts an end to the abortion group’s intrusion efforts.

In 2016, Whole Woman’s Health, a Texas-based abortion facility chain, sued over a state law that would require hospitals and abortion facilities to dispose of aborted human remains by burial or cremation, rather than in a landfill or the sewer, as is currently allowed. Because of the Catholic Church’s pro-life stance, the Texas Catholic Church’s leadership––the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops––acted according to its faith and offered to provide burials to all unborn children who were aborted. Although the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops was not part of that lawsuit, last year the abortion groups retaliated against the bishops by subpoenaing decades of internal religious deliberations among the bishops regarding abortion.

“Thank goodness the Supreme Court saw this appeal for what it was: a nasty attempt to intimidate the bishops and force them to withdraw their offer to bury every child aborted in Texas,” said Eric Rassbach, vice president and senior counsel at Becket. “Abortion groups may think the bishops ‘troublesome,’ but it is wrong to weaponize the law to stop the bishops from standing up for their beliefs.”

Last June, a trial judge ordered the bishops to hand over their internal communications about abortion to Whole Woman’s Health—even though they had already provided 4,000 pages of external communications. The bishops appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which granted them permanent protection from the order. The court ruled that the bishops’ claims “go to the heart of the constitutional protection of religious belief and practice as well as citizens’ right to advocate sensitive policies in the public square.” Whole Woman’s Health asked the full Fifth Circuit to rehear the case. The full court rejected their request. They then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which today also rejected the group’s bid.

The Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops is also represented by Steven Levatino and Andrew McRae of Levatino | Pace PLLC in Austin, Texas.

For more information or to arrange an interview with a Becket attorney, contact Melinda Skea at or 202-349-7224. Interviews can be arranged in English, Chinese, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

Becket is a non-profit, public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions and has a 100% win-rate before the United States Supreme Court. For over 20 years, it has successfully defended clients of all faiths, including Buddhists, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Native Americans, Sikhs, and Zoroastrians