New CU Op-Ed: Trump Is Right To Call For Big UN Funding Cuts
In 2005, Citizens United produced a documentary entitled Broken Promises: The United Nations At 60, hosted by the late actor Ron Silver. The film took a fresh look at the record of the UN over its six decade history and probed into whether or not it was living up to its original charter. We found that the UN was failing horribly in its mission to rally and act against evil in the world and was rife with corruption and anti-Israel bias. Now, twelve years later, we ask again: has the United Nations been able to reform itself and if not, why does the United States continue to fund the UN at such high levels and why are we not seriously rethinking our relationship with the organization generally?
The Trump Administration is indicating it will be seeking deep cuts in funds that the U.S. sends to the United Nations, which could save taxpayers billions of dollars. President Trump has stated repeatedly that he wants to concentrate more American taxpayer funds on American jobs and infrastructure. The President’s platform of rethinking American foreign aid and our expensive support of international organizations is a big reason why he was propelled to the presidency in 2016.
President Trump has experience when it comes to the way the United Nations spends money. At the time our film was made, the UN was contemplating a building renovation project and President Trump offered to take on the project. He was kind enough to sit for an interview for the film to discuss his experiences with the UN in this regard. Here’s what our future president said in 2005:
I think you could save a billion dollars. I then get a letter saying we’re not interested…they weren’t interested in saving a billion dollars…then after that I started hearing about all of the scandals and everything else and I fully understand why those scandals took place. I don’t think it’s incompetence, I think it’s much worse than incompetence. They are going to spend much more than a ‘billion-five’ on fixing up a building and it’s impossible to do that.
Since our film was released, little has changed at the United Nations with regard to scandals. In April 2016, Reuters reported that a “21-page confidential report…outlines the results of an audit ordered by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in response to charges against John Ashe, General Assembly president in 2013-2014, and six other people…It is the biggest financial corruption crisis to rock the United Nations since the Oil-for-Food scandal hit the world body during the tenure of Ban’s predecessor Kofi Annan. U.N. officials and diplomats say latest [sic] scandal highlights the need for greater transparency at the United Nations.”
And with regard to anti-Israel sentiment at the United Nations, in January of this year Senators Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham felt compelled to introduce a bill that would cut U.S. funding of the UN until the organization reverses an anti-Israel resolution that passed the Security Council in December. Senator Graham was correct when he stated, “Twenty-two percent of the money to fund the U.N. comes from the American taxpayer. I don’t think it’s a good investment for the American taxpayer to give money to an organization that condemns the only democracy in the Middle East.”
In summing up our film my friend Ron Silver said, “For decades there has been talk of UN reform. But on its 60th anniversary, there seems to be consensus that the UN must reform or face irrelevancy.” So I ask again, now in its 72nd year, has anything changed at the UN? This is the precise time for America to pull back on its massive investment in the United Nations. Perhaps the time has come for America to have a debate about leaving the body altogether. History has shown the UN is unlikely to undertake any true reform absent extreme measures by its primary financial benefactor.
David N. Bossie is President of Citizens United and Executive Producer of Broken Promises: The United Nations At 60
Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2017/03/29/trump-is-right-to-call-for-big-un-funding-cuts/
Wash Exam: The campaign by the Left to permanently obstruct Trump shows how desperate they're getting
By DAVID BOSSIE • 3/8/17 7:00 PM
The oppose-it-all, oppose-it-now, oppose-it-forever campaign of the Left is getting more and more desperate as reality sets in. This month, the balance of President Trump's Cabinet will be confirmed, Judge Neil Gorsuch will continue on his smooth path to Senate confirmation, and voting on the big ticket items on the White House's conservative reform agenda will commence. This means that we should all expect more hyperventilating from the liberal media about meetings with the Russian ambassador, more anti-free speech outbursts at liberal universities, more juvenile calls for the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and maybe even an appearance by the community organizer-in-chief himself, President Barack Obama.
This destructive strategy of permanent obstruction is all that remains of the shrinking liberal ideology in America.
In the lead-up to Trump's incredibly well-received address to Congress, former Attorney General Eric Holder made news when he said Obama is poised to re-enter the political arena and is "ready to roll." This strategic announcement was meant to let the unhinged resistance know that their savior is ready to fight the Trump agenda.
Then, a few hours later, Trump delivered the best speech of his political career in which he laid out his common-sense agenda, including popular items like tax reform, enforcing immigration laws, and repealing and replacing the disaster that is Obamacare. Upon watching the presidential address, polling found that 57 percent of the American people had a very positive view of the speech, and almost 70 percent said the policies outlined would move the country in the right direction. Commanding numbers such as these are virtually non-existent in the United States today and must be causing panic attacks in liberal enclaves.
The best course of action for Trump going forward is to visit the many states he carried that have Democratic senators up for re-election in 2018 and repeat the speech he made to Congress at each stop. As Trump's optimistic and even-handed message continues to sink in, the chorus from the Left will become loonier. As more voters hear the president's agenda in states such as Missouri, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Ohio, it will pick up more bipartisan support from Democratic senators in these states because their constituents will demand it. The bad news for the Left is that most people want economic growth, better and cheaper healthcare, and sanctuary city reform — and that's exactly what they're going to get over the next couple months, because Trump keeps his promises.
If Obama takes a public leadership role in the failing "resist Trump" effort, he will damage his legacy. Most Americans understandably want their president to succeed. Reasonable people believe that when the president succeeds, Americans will be better off. The mood of the country improves, optimism increases, and the future seems brighter. Obama taking on his successor's agenda in the public arena is not something most Americans will appreciate. President Bill Clinton got out of the way of President George W. Bush. Bush got out of the way of Obama. These men understood that in the U.S. we have elections, elections have consequences, and one of the consequences is the winner gets to set the agenda.
It's not surprising that the Left is having a hard time coming to grips with voters' decision to reject a third Obama term. The people chose a Republican president, a Republican Senate, and a Republican House. By doing so, they chose to have Obamacare replaced with something that works, they chose a conservative as Supreme Court Justice Scalia's successor, and they chose to put "America First." Obama should respect the results of the election and focus instead on improving his golf game.
Trump's greatest strength is his ability to deliver his message of reform directly to the American people, just like I witnessed first-hand during the presidential campaign. If he stays on the principles he laid out before Congress, more of his agenda will be enacted and our country will be a much better place to live.
David N. Bossie is president of Citizens United and served as President Trump's deputy campaign manager.
Daily Caller Op-ed: Foreign Emoluments Clause Lawsuit Against Trump Unlikely To Find Traction In Court
President Trump’s detractors are bent on forcing him into a fire sale of his vast business empire, arguing his ownership of various assets violates the Foreign Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution. That clause prohibits federal officials from accepting “any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or Foreign State.” The Framers considered an “emolument” as something similar to a perk associated with the performance of official duties. An automobile given by a head of state to the ambassador from the U.S. would be a classic example of an emolument prohibited by the clause.
Just three days after President Trump was sworn into office, the liberal activist group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (“CREW”) filed a lawsuit demanding the courts force him to divest the bulk of his business holdings. The complaint alleges Mr. Trump’s ownership of real estate assets such as The Trump Tower in New York and Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC, and his receipt of royalties from the Television program “The Apprentice” qualify as emoluments that create conflicts of interests making him beholden to foreign governments.
The unprecedented legal theory of the case is that President Trump’s properties generate at least some receipts from foreign officials and governments, meaning some of those receipts will eventually find their way into Mr. Trump’s pocket as profits. Consequently, according to the lawsuit, the Emoluments Clause bars him from owning those assets because his judgment as President may be compromised by the profits he receives from foreign payments to his companies.
While the lawsuit drew major media coverage when it was filed, the case is unlikely to find traction in the courts.
Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2017/02/09/foreign-emoluments-clause-lawsuit-against-trump-unlikely-to-find-traction-in-court/
Wash Exam: Dems should think twice before delaying Trump's Supreme Court nomination
Democrats should think twice before using parliamentary tactics to delay or block President-elect Donald Trump's forthcoming nominee for the Supreme Court. The American people know the difference between holding up a nomination that would change the ideological balance of the court in the midst of a presidential election and denying the new president the opportunity to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia with a qualified conservative.
When Scalia passed away last February, high stakes Supreme Court politics were injected into an already contentious presidential election season. With the high court down to eight justices and the specter of many 4-4 deadlocked decisions on the horizon, President Obama wasted no time nominating liberal federal Judge Merrick Garland as his choice to succeed Scalia. Liberals sensed an enormous opportunity to score some controversial 5-4 court victories, which before Scalia's death would not have been possible.
To his credit, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stood tall and shut down any hope that Garland would get a hearing before the presidential election when he unequivocally stated: "the next justice could fundamentally alter the direction of the Supreme Court and have a profound impact on our country, so of course the American people should have a say in the court's direction ..."
Democratic leaders smelled blood in the water and attempted to make McConnell's principled position an election issue. Attack ads were launched trying to convince Republican senators in close races to embrace a hearing for Garland. Democrats dreamed of Hillary Clinton scoring political points nationally with a "stop blocking Garland" line of attack against GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump. As it turned out, the American people would have none of it. Donald Trump was elected president with 306 electoral votes and swing state senators on the ballot like Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Rob Portman of Ohio, Richard Burr of North Carolina and Marco Rubio of Florida all prevailed — as did Trump on top of the ticket in each of these critically important electoral states.
The American people said loud and clear that they wanted a Republican president and a Republican-led Senate to pick Scalia's replacement. Hillary Clinton's stated judicial priorities, such as overturning free speech rights granted in the Citizens United case and severely limiting the Second Amendment, were of great concern to voters. The election confirmed what conservatives had hoped was the case: Putting a liberal on the bench to replace Scalia would tip the balance of the court too far to the left.
The election notwithstanding, bitter Democrats are now threatening to block President-elect Trump's Supreme Court choice — apparently whoever it turns out to be — as revenge for the Republican strategy with regard to Merrick Garland's nomination. "Past is present, and what goes around comes around," is how Sen. Dianne Feinstein recently put it.
This strategy — if employed — is a big risk for Democrats. In 2018, 23 Senate seats currently occupied by Democrats are up for election. Two more are occupied by independents who caucus with the Democrats. Ten of those Senate seats are in states carried by Donald Trump. If Senate Democrats try to block President-elect Trump's nominee to replace Scalia, they will face the wrath of voters in those states, voters who clearly understand what is at stake. The outcome could leave Democrats with 40 or fewer Senate seats following the 2018 elections, a result that would give Republicans a filibuster-proof majority in the upper house.
The truth is that even with Scalia on the bench, the court was hardly a surefire 5-4 conservative majority, when you consider the recent Obamacare and gay marriage rulings. At most, the anticipated Trump selection will maintain the balance as it was prior to Scalia's passing, while Merrick Garland would have moved the court to the left. The Democrats should question the wisdom of moving to block our new president's Supreme Court pick for some sort of misguided political revenge.
J.T. Mastranadi is vice president for governmental affairs at Citizens United.
National Review: McConnell Can Make Super PACs Obsolete
As Congress and the Obama White House work to enact a funding bill to avoid yet another possible government shutdown, a rift has developed within the conservative community.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would like to repeal the limits on how much political parties may spend in coordination with their candidates. The congressional Freedom Caucus is skeptical of the proposal, because party spending is often heavily tilted toward “establishment” candidates. Other conservative groups, such as the Center for Competitive Politics, enthusiastically back the measure, saying the limits are unconstitutional.
To read more, click here.
Breitbart: Conservatives Should Think Bigger On Immigration Ban
Donald Trump is right.
We are at war and our homeland security and immigration policies are a complete mess. The Syrian refugee issue and the Islamic terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino have kick-started a much needed debate and have brought some alarming information to the American people.
It starts with basic government incompetence and the suffocating PC culture that Republican and Democrat establishment leaders are slaves to along with the liberal media. Hopefully Trump’s policy idea will start a substantive conversation, because does anyone believe that the United States Government has a firm grasp on who is trying to come into our country, who is already in our country, and what they are doing when they get here?
Couple that with President Obama’s total lack of interest in securing America and we find ourselves in the midst of a perfect storm.
The next president should enact an immigration moratorium or strict quotas across the board.
To read more, click here.
Breitbart: Don’t let Quentin Tarantino off the Hook
Quentin Tarantino must be concerned about the prospects of his upcoming movie, The Hateful Eight.
Why else would he go on television last week to backtrack and claim he’s “not anti-police” and “not a cop-hater”? Tarantino’s disgraceful public comments about police officers have created a backlash and rightfully so.
But just because Tarantino is feeling pressure from Hollywood bosses to rectify the situation doesn’t mean Americans should let him off the hook. Decent-minded Americans from across the political spectrum must boycott this film to make the statement that our police men and women are heroes, and that out of touch blowhards like Tarantino won’t get one cent of our money.
There are a lot of phony wars being promoted by liberals such as the war on women and war on minorities, but one of the real wars being waged by the Left is against hardworking and professional police officers across the United States.
To read more, click here.
Bretbart News: OVERSIGHT IS A CONSTITUTIONAL DUTY
In 1973, when Senate Watergate Committee counsel Fred Thompson famously asked, “Mr. Butterfield, are you aware of the installation of any listening devices in the Oval Office of the president?” the committee was under extreme pressure from the Nixon White House. Even in the face of a constitutional crisis, the committee plowed ahead and fulfilled its core constitutional duty of executive branch oversight within our system of checks and balances. The committee went on to prove that no one is above the law, not even the President of the United States.
Today, congressional investigators are under a lot of pressure as well. On Thursday a Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, when asked about the possibility of a thorough investigation into the Clinton email allegations, said, “They really don’t want to [mess] with us on this. Trust me.” This public threat from a Democrat Member of Congress tells me all I need to know about the still-unfolding Clinton email situation. Democrats are worried sick about the specter of a public congressional fact-finding investigation running parallel to the ongoing FBI investigation. But threats such as this – and there will be more – must not trump doing what is right, and that is to move forward with the investigation in Congress.
To read more, click here.
Washington Times: Why Congress needs to keep probing the Clinton cash register
The former first couple has been commingling public and personal business for years
Now that Hillary Clinton’s much anticipated congressional testimony is in the rearview mirror, the House Select Committee on Benghazi can move toward completing its investigation and issuing a final report. It’s also an appropriate time to urge standing congressional committees on both sides of the Capitol to press new investigations into a crony capitalism network the Clintons built inside the State Department. They ran a political cash register that blurred the lines between official government business and private enrichment and left behind many unanswered ethical questions.
The blueprint for this shakedown machine is laid bare in emails that the group I head, Citizens United, has been able to force into the public domain through Freedom of Information Act requests and subsequent lawsuits. Over the past several months, Citizens United has released many of these never-before-seen emails, and it prompted me to reminisce about the past
To read more, click here.
Breitbart: PAUL RYAN’S FORK IN THE ROAD
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has an opportunity as the new Speaker of the House, but it’s going to take courage to stand up to the failed status quo in Washington. He’s well equipped to make the pivot, if he’s willing to show some guts. He’s already seen firsthand what failed business as usual on Capitol Hill looks like, where things like trillion dollar backroom deals, more debt, no real debate, and less accountability have become the order of the day. The dismal record of the past seven years has caused enough frustration to force millions of Americans to give up hope on the idea that government can make competent decisions.
As soon as Paul Ryan gets handed the Speaker’s gavel, he’s going to arrive at a fork in the road. One direction is the easy path forward, which is more of the same; bowing to President Obama’s threats, legislating from crisis to crisis, and punishing Members for voting their conscience. The other direction is much more difficult. That direction calls for seizing the initiative by making Congress once again a co-equal branch of government. The conservative majority in the House of Representatives can re-assume control of the public policy debate in this country.
To read more, click here.