Featuring the Work and Ideas of the National Center for Public Policy Research & Project 21
Since when has it been in the best interests of Nike to promote the death of potential customers?
As odd as this may sound, it is exactly what is happening right now in corporate America. Big business is being asked to support the abortion industry, and companies are falling into line. They are funding the pro-abortion lobby, and putting their reputations on the line in the process.
“Why do so many American companies support the extermination of millions of potential future customers?” asks Justin Danhof, Esq., the National Center’s general counsel and director of its Free Enterprise Project (FEP). “It’s a question that the media really needs to start asking corporate executives.”
In a commentary published on the Breitbart website, Justin writes about the extent to which the business world is now backing abortion, including:
Justin points out that CEOs signing onto the Times ad are from companies such as Twitter, Yelp and Starbucks that “don’t perform abortions” and “aren’t profiting from the anti-life business.”
And then there’s Nike, which could do damage to its reputation among living customers as a result of its pro-abortion extremism:
Nike’s funding of Planned Parenthood is even more perplexing considering that it makes enormous revenue from the African American community. After all, Planned Parenthood was founded by a racist white woman, Margaret Sanger, and racial disparities in abortion abound.
“You would think with all this support for abortion and opposition to pro-life legislation, that the abortion machine would be satisfied with its standing in corporate America,” Justin says. “You’d be wrong.”
He explains that radical investors are already putting pressure on a select group of companies “to discuss their positions related to sexual and reproductive health care, including contraception and abortion,” according to CQ Roll Call. And there are five shareholder resolutions being pushed this year to compel companies to “report on the effects of pro-life legislation on the workforce.”
The message is clear: Get into the abortion debate, get on our side, or we are coming after you.
This is why FEP’s stand up for life is so important. As the largest and most active conservative shareholder advocate, FEP has addressed abortion issues with companies such as Bank of America and Intuit. While FEP is resilient, it needs more help against a monied and well-staffed opposition. It urges everyone who stands for life – from faith-based institutions to pro-life groups to principled stockholders – to make their voices heard.
“Companies can – and indeed should – remain neutral in the culture wars,” Justin writes. “But they need to hear from both sides in order to have the political courage to do so.”
To read all of Justin’s Breitbart commentary – “Corporations Killing Their Customers – Literally” – click here.
Even though liberals embrace radical, racial issues in an obvious attempt to shore up black support, it is highly likely they are putting their political viability at risk by not focusing on kitchen table issues such as preserving and growing America’s booming economy.
After all, a job is the best way to climb the socioeconomic ladder toward true equality.
And yet, even at a time when black unemployment has achieved record lows, liberals are not celebrating or looking for ways to prolong the prosperity. Instead, they are decrying a nation that, according to America First spokesman Steve Cortes, resembles a “racist, dystopian hellscape.”
During a panel discussion on the Fox News Channel program “The Ingraham Angle,” Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper pointed out that this suggestion of an inherent unfairness and lack of opportunity for black Americans effectively betrays what people are actually experiencing and thus undercuts their messaging.
This means that liberals are putting themselves out on a limb by which they can be called out for lying about the real state of the union. Suggesting how this could hurt liberals politically, Horace said:
What blacks in South Carolina are interested in is how many of them can buy a new car. How many of them are gonna get a better job. How many of them are gonna be able to do those kinds of things that they wanted to do – expand the house, put in a new bathroom.
If you offer that as an agenda, you get their support. If you tell us that you wanna throw all of those out with all of this crazy democrat socialism – guess what? You’re gonna see some fall-off.
In a slap to many of the biggest names in Big Tech, the Trump Administration has sided with Oracle against Google in a property rights case that The Hill newspaper says “weighs the outer limits of copyright law in the digital age.”
Earlier this month, National Center General Counsel and Free Enterprise Project (FEP) Director Justin Danhof argued that “[t]he Supreme Court should affirm Oracle’s Java copyright. To do otherwise would endorse Google’s pattern of illicit behavior and threaten the future of copyright law.” Now the U.S. Department of Justice has followed suit.
In the case, Oracle claims Google stole computer code from Oracle’s Java application to build the operating system for its Android operating system. In a commentary published by Issues & Insights, Justin explained:
The facts of the case are basic and not much in dispute. Google allegedly stole thousands of lines of code from Oracle’s Java program for its Android operating system. It’s that simple. What’s Google’s defense for doing so? It claims that Oracle shouldn’t be allowed to copyright Java. Google further asserts that its theft fits into copyright exceptions, including “fair use” and “transformative use.” These are absurd arguments, but they trend with Google’s oppressive tactics specifically, and the left’s disdain for private property generally.
Liberals have long abhorred private property, so it is unsurprising that much of the tech industry is lining up behind Google. This is all despite Google’s sordid history of appropriating other tech competitors’ work products.
The Administration’s brief argues that “computer programs are copyrightable” and that Google’s defense is “unpersuasive.”
The case will be argued at the U.S. Supreme Court on March 24, 2020.
Commenting on the Administration’s brief, Justin says:
The Trump Administration’s legal and policy stance against Google is not only sound, it comports with long-held conservative principles.
While the left regularly and wantonly neglects the rights of private property owners, conservative leaders and legal scholars have regularly defended those rights against big government and big business intrusion.
Kudos to the Administration for sticking to its conservative mores in this case.
And commenting on how this shows White House policy is not catering to the whims of the titans of the computing industry, Justin adds:
Some elements of the conservative movement have been concerned that the Trump Administration has been too cozy with Big Tech.
It’s a fair concern considering that Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other Silicon Valley mainstays regularly deplatform or otherwise censor right-of-center organizations and individuals. Some of these tech giants even seem to have zeal for rooting out conservatives from within their companies. And, at the same time, President Trump and his staff have been known to meet with Silicon Valley elites.
But the Administration struck a strong chord against tech bullying when it backed Oracle in its fight against Google over basic property rights in a case that has wound its path all the way to the Supreme Court.
A decision from the justices is expected before the end of June.
Not only is the Trump Administration’s proposed reform of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) expected to improve the effectiveness of domestic infrastructure strategy, but it is also expected to help strengthen national security.
In an Epoch Times article on the announcement of the new NEPA rule, National Center Senior Fellow Bonner Cohen notes that, while reforming the “cumbersome and time-consuming” aspects of NEPA is already a welcome development, the impact it will have on defense concerns will deal a blow to foreign governments like China and Russia that he notes have used NEPA as a “huge strategic asset” against the United States.
As reporter Kevin Mooney explains, “NEPA stipulates that federal agencies must consider the environmental impact of any federal actions that could significantly impact the quality of the environment…[and] consider potential alternatives to proposed actions.” Approvals can currently take several years, and challenges to projects under NEPA auspices can cause even further delays. Proposed reforms include a two-year time limit for approvals and a simplification of the environmental impact statement process.
Critics of reform include “green” groups such as the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), which have used NEPA to oppose projects — and are also accused of doing unreported work for at least one of those aggressive foreign governments.
Bonner points out:
There is no doubt that NEPA has been a huge strategic asset to America’s geopolitical rivals. Without having to raise a finger, China, Russia and other adversaries have been able to let American environmental groups do their dirty work for them.
Sometimes they have even been rewarded for the services they render, in the form of Russian money duly laundered through offshore and onshore entities, not to mention the remarkable partnership that has developed between the NRDC and the [People’s Republic of China]. The cumbersome and time-consuming NEPA process has been a blessing to America’s rivals, who rightly fear the implication of American global energy dominance.
Members of Congress have long sought information from the NRDC and CBD about whether the groups have registered as foreign agents of China under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). The groups have been accused of pressuring the Obama Administration to adhere to stronger climate-related emissions restrictions related to the Paris Agreement that would put America at a strategic disadvantage.
Congressman Rob Bishop, while chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee during the 115th Congress, requested the NRDC, CBD and other organizations provide proof of their FARA compliance. Only Earthjustice actually registered, while the others denied ever acting as foreign agents (despite apparent evidence to the contrary).
Bishop says that NEPA has been used as “a tool for excessive litigation aimed at impeding necessary infrastructure projects” and has also “left our military vulnerable as our judiciary system is exploited under the guise of environmental justice.” He additionally tells the Epoch Times: “For our foreign adversaries, such litigation serves as an inexpensive tool to reduce our military readiness and defense.”
One national security example of such foreign work that Mooney cites in his report was on the Pacific island of Okinawa. CBD has been working with Japanese as well as American environmental groups to stop the relocation of a U.S. Marine Corps air base on the Japanese prefecture.
Commenting on the necessity for the Trump Administration to act to rein in NEPA abuse, Bonner adds:
Still saddled with a flawed law that only Congress can fix, the Trump administration has grasped the essence of the problem and is using administrative reforms to speed up the process. NEPA-related delays will still happen, but the amount of time lost should be reduced through the deadlines and page limits on environmental impact statements and other paperwork requirements.
To read Kevin Mooney’s entire article on NEPA reform – “Trump’s Efforts to Reform Environmental Impact Statements Draw Cheers and Jeers” – at the website of the Epoch Times, click here.
Of all the places where racial intolerance could rear its ugly head, did it have to happen again in Charlottesville, Virginia?
In the same city where protests over race and the public display of historic statues of Confederate leaders led to violence and death, how could students at the University of Virginia think that it is alright to encourage racial separatism?
UVA officials were compelled to clarify that the new Multicultural Student Center (MSC) on the campus was meant to be “inclusive” after the Young America’s Foundation posted a video of a black student making a “public service announcement” in the center that essentially told white students that they were not welcome:
If y’all didn’t know, this is MSC. And, frankly, there are just too many white people in here – and this is a space for people of color. So just be really cognizant of the space that you’re taking up because it does make some of us [persons of color] uncomfortable when we see too many white people in here.
She added that “there are very few spaces for us,” and white students allegedly have “the whole [rest of the] university” for themselves.
Horace said that the University of Virginia must shoulder the blame for this racial incident because its efforts to adhere to radical racial politics run afoul of both of the law and goals of racial equality:
She was saying exactly what she thought the university was telling her – that it’s OK to exclude people on the basis of race.
It was the university’s job to make sure that, when people come to UVA, they understand that the institution does not discriminate on the basis of race…
It’s simply not true that, when she was in high school, that she was told – yes, when you go off to college, there are going to be black spaces and white spaces. It is not true that the town that she lived in taught her this. It was the University of Virginia that left her with this impression, and I blame the University of Virginia for not making it clear not just to her, but to all students and not waiting until a video goes viral in order to clarify that that is the case.
In hammering the point home that segregated facilities are not to be tolerated, Horace emphasized: “There can’t be facilities built on the campus with taxpayer dollars that are just for certain groups based on their gender or based on race.”
When asked during the interview if the University of Virginia deserved the benefit of the doubt – and assuming that good intentions were simply misinterpreted – Horace said:
If you want to have a place where people learn to be more tolerant, one of the key aims of such a place is supposed to be explaining everyone can come here and everyone is going to be tolerated.
It apparently is the case that, not just this center, but the university communicated that there are places that are preferred for some racial groups over other racial groups. And that is – in fact – not a marketing problem, not a language problem but a fundamental rejection of what our country stands for.
Every American is welcome regardless of their racial group. And as long as UVA is a taxpayer-funded institution, it not only must adhere to that – it ought to be championing that.
Chicagoans were trapped by another bitter freeze last week – similar to that night on January 29 of last year when actor Jussie Smollett called the police to report he had been savagely attacked by two white supremacists.
So it seems only fitting that this was when Dan Webb, a special prosecutor appointed by a Cook County judge, indicted Smollett on six charges of disorderly conduct related to his false allegations about the incident. He made it all up. Smollett could now be facing jail time.
From the outset, members of the National Center’s Project 21 black leadership network were out front in voicing their skepticism of Smollett’s story. They also criticized how Smollett used the controversy created by his allegations for his own personal gain while other liberals sought to use it for political advantage.
“A harebrained scheme to exploit his homosexuality for an increase in pay has instead netted Jussie Smollett ridicule, the loss of his career and maybe the loss of his freedom,” says Project 21 member Christopher Arps. “This indictment shows that no one is above the law, including C-list celebrities.”
Smollett was charged with making four false police reports alleging the attack. After a police investigation found Smollett paid his trainer and the trainer’s brother – who are black – to assault him, he had faced similar charges. Yet those 16 charges were later dropped and the case sealed by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx under mysterious and possibly political circumstances. Foxx says she will not protest the new indictments and is “cooperating as best we can” with the special prosecutor’s office as it investigates why the charged were dropped, her influence on the case and the possible involvement of former first lady Michelle Obama.
The new indictments have been largely ignored by the mainstream media despite extensive coverage of the initial allegations. Also silent are celebrities such as Lee Daniels, who created the television show “Empire” that Smollett was starring on at the time, and who responded at the time that the alleged attack was “just another f*cking day in America” (although he admitted he was “beyond embarrassed” when Smollett’s story fell apart).
Smollett was later written off the show. Police investigators said the scheme was due to him being “dissatisfied with his salary.”
As with the Covington controversy that had captured national attention just days earlier, Project 21 members again acted as a rational voice amidst emotional discussion during the Smollett debacle. For example, during a panel discussion on the Fox News Channel’s “The Ingraham Angle,” Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper noted:
This story is not adding up in any way – where it occurred, when it occurred. None of that makes sense…
But what’s most important here is how fast the media decided that this needed to be national news.
In calling for calm, and to let the investigation that was underway run its course, Horace added:
You let an investigation take place, and then you reach conclusions.
This investigation is still ongoing, and there are some troubling aspects about it that need to be further developed. Why won’t [Smollett] give the [phone] records so we can see who he was calling and hear it simultaneously?
And, after the initial indictment of Smollett, Project 21 took the issue to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Project 21 asked the group to rescind its nomination of Smollett for an Image Award for “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series,” contending that Smollett did not live up to the award’s goal of honoring “individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors.”
In 2004, Project 21 had helped usher in new nominating criteria for the NAACP Image Award after members criticized the group for honoring singer R. Kelly while he was facing charges of child pornography.
The NAACP was founded to help move America beyond our deeply racist past. Generations of men and women – both black and white – have dedicated their lives to that noble cause. It would be nothing short of a slap in the face to those civil rights heroes for the NAACP to now honor Smollett with an Image Award while he’s suspected of using symbols of racial barbarism – including a noose – to shamelessly advance and promote his career.
Smollett will appear in court on February 24 to face the new charges against him.
Would you be interested in seeing a documentary about the life and political transformation of Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas?
Unfortunately, there are only a few places where you can see “Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words” on the big screen. If you live in Boise, St. Louis, Dallas or a few other select cities – go! But you’re otherwise out of luck.
I happened to be visiting my parents in Florida, and was able to catch a well-attended show at The Villages. Lucky me.
During its first week, it played at only a few screens nationwide. It deserves better.
As I write in a commentary that was published by Washington, D.C.’s The Hill newspaper:
It’s a shame that “Created Equal” didn’t get the big opening that a Michael Moore or Al Gore documentary might have received. Director Michael Pack delivers an engaging and emotional two hours – using movie clips and creative analogies like an oyster boat trip – that would inspire many if it could get on more than two dozen screens nationwide.
Commenting on the unbridled success of the movie during the opening weekend, I note:
“Created Equal” is a remarkable documentary about a remarkable man. Considering its $4,555 per-screen average, the third-highest average in its first week of release, it has certainly earned a wider release.
There aren’t many more compelling stories out there – political or otherwise – than the one about Justice Thomas. He was born into extreme poverty and raised by his grandparents. He worked on a farm in the summers of his youth. He once studied to become a Catholic priest. He was a militant leftist before contradictions pushed him rightward. He’s become one of the most prolific judges on the current Supreme Court. And he vacations in an RV that he sometimes parks at Walmarts!
His life was dramatically shaped by his grandfather, who was able to offer him a middle-class upbringing later in his childhood. But, more importantly, he gave the young Clarence a respect for the value of education. A bust of his grandfather watches over him in his office at the Court.
Thomas, who has experienced more than his fair share of racial animosity in his 71 years, pushed himself so haters could never question his credentials and would be left with only his physical characteristics to criticize.
His interest in the law was sparked by the mistreatment of his grandfather (once pulled over for allegedly wearing too much clothing). Yet Thomas understood that it’s the interpretation of the law that’s so important:
Thomas embraces the concept of “natural law” found in the Declaration of Independence. Unlike those who would altogether discard the document’s advocacy of basic, inherent rights because of its slave-owning authors, Thomas recognizes slavery and discrimination are antithetical to the ideals of America’s founding principles and wants to right those past wrongs.
It would seem that, if a case involving the removal of controversial historical statues from public places ever makes it to the Supreme Court, Thomas’s opinion will be a must-read.
While I’ve always admired Justice Clarence Thomas, “Created Equal” exponentially increased my respect for him. It’s a shame that so many people will have to remember to try to catch this compelling documentary on a streaming service, because now – at this moment of such political tension – is the perfect time to see it.
To read my entire review of “Created Equal” at The Hill’s website, click here.
Can Apple CEO Tim Cook be trusted?
At the company’s 2019 annual shareholder meeting, he told a concerned investor that her conservative friend – an Apple employee – could come directly to him for protection against discrimination related to that employee’s politics.
The notion that all of the approximately 80,000 American Apple employees can simply ring up Cook and expect personal attention should they be persecuted for their politics is ludicrous. Add to that incredulity that Cook is an ardent liberal who has overseen the company flexing its corporate muscle for a leftist agenda. And Silicon Valley as a whole is well-known for its liberal bias in which conservatives have been fired for their values – even when it had nothing to do with their workplace performance.
But, as Justin explains in a commentary published by The Federalist, despite “ample evidence that conservative individuals may face discrimination at Apple” and a FEP proposal to help protect the employees, Apple’s “lawyers recoiled with vigor.”
What’s worse is that the federal U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which could have forced Apple to keep FEP’s shareholder proposal on its annual meeting agenda, allowed it to be removed.
Justin charges that “the SEC is now deciding the fate of shareholder resolutions based on subjective, and decidedly left-leaning, biases.”
He also remarks:
In rejecting our resolution, the SEC made a mockery of the shareholder proposal process. It’s time for Congress to take notice of the role the SEC plays in shaping corporate proxy ballots – and how that process is empowering corporate America’s slow march to the left.
As Justin further explains:
Our proposal sought to have the Silicon Valley mainstay amend its equal employment opportunity (EEO) policy to protect individuals from viewpoint discrimination. We thought it a simple request. After all, Apple – as with most major American corporations – already has protections in place based on race, gender, and sexual orientation…
The SEC’s approval of Apple’s abhorrent behavior is bad on its face, but underneath the surface, it’s much more sinister. That’s because our resolution is nearly identical to a prior liberal proposal that the SEC supported.
If Cook were truly committed to a workplace free of political discrimination, Justin notes that he could have directed Apple lawyers to adopt the FEP proposal that has already been accepted by major American companies including Walmart and Coca-Cola. Instead, they fought it.
To read all of Justin’s commentary – “In Apple Case, Feds Green-light Corporate Discrimination Against Conservatives” – click here.
It’s obvious that bail reform isn’t a good idea when even New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is having second thoughts about it. Yet his liberal colleagues are successfully promoting it all across America.
[T]he efforts to end bail have simply made our neighborhoods more dangerous and signaled to criminals in our midst that they wouldn’t be held accountable.
Horace explains that the concept of bail has existed for over 700 years. It is designed “to balance the interests of the state to ensure that defendants show up for trial while obviating the requirement for the accused to be detained for the duration of the trial.”
Yet liberals now say that bail should be largely abolished because it is unfair to minorities and people who are poor. They have successfully enacted some form of bail reform in 20 states and counting. And the Laura and John Arnold Foundation (recently rebranded from a nonprofit organization to the more opaque Arnold Ventures) has touted an “assessment tool” that will allegedly determine who can be released before trial on their own recognizance.
But Horace contends that this notion — that bail assessment tools are better than traditional jurisprudence — is inherently flawed:
This so-called assessment tool doesn’t even focus on the defendant’s individual circumstances but instead relies on statistical data like their age, gender etc. to generate a risk factor to determine whether they are “likely” to re-offend or skip trial.
In the 21st century we’re actually being told that you can tell whether someone is a criminal based on their physical characteristics?
Even if such tools could work, Horace adds that supplanting bail itself is a bad idea:
Bail isn’t useful, it is essential. Society will either warehouse every accused defendant prior to trial (at considerable taxpayer expense) or allow them to post a bond promising to show up for trial.
We can’t simply let them go after an arrest with just their promise to appear.
Horace previously criticized the Arnold Foundation and bail reform in a 2018 Daily Caller commentary. In that piece, he wrote: “Assault, robbery and burglary aren’t minor crimes and they are treated as serious crimes as a way to prevent their occurrence. If punishments and accountability recede, just as night follows day, a surge in these crimes of violence would occur.”
To read all of Horace’s Newsmax commentary – “Bail Reform? It Just Causes More Crime” – click here.
Plumbing the depths of “Trump Derangement Syndrome” after impeachment efforts against the president failed in Congress, Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper said “the left is decapitating itself” politically. He called the acts of outright and outspoken hatred for the commander-in-chief “crazytown” antics that threaten to “marginalize” critics among the American people.
And Horace, who said he’s been in D.C. so long that he “cannot get outraged” anymore, had his limits tested during this panel discussion.
On the “News Views Hughes” program on RT America, Horace said of the left’s obsession with trying to find something to destroy the Trump presidency:
The fever has to break.
The other side – that has just decided they cannot tolerate and stand this president – are going to have to just internalize these feelings. If they cannot do that, they are going to marginalize themselves politically.
Discussing the choice of impeachment over censure or another option that congressional liberals could have used to try to punish President Trump, fellow panelist Robert Patillo insisted “they had to do this” to reestablish the power dynamic among the branches of government. But comparing it to the failed impeachment effort against President Bill Clinton, Horace pointed out:
We already saw what happened in 1998. And, in this particular case, there were many other options open to leaders in Congress. They could have, for instance, said no appropriations for two-thirds or more of all White House staff. They could have put limits on the use of Air Force One. They had a number of ways to express themselves other than crazy – but they chose crazy.
When Horace noted that censure – which would not have removed President Trump from office – might have nonetheless been a successful and politically damaging path for congressional liberals, fellow panelist Tobin Sutton, who noted he didn’t always agree with Horace, said, “on this, you’re right on.”
Earlier in the segment, Sutton also complimented Horace by saying, “you do a very good preaching, sir!”
Comparing the actions of President Trump to President Clinton, the latter of whom was impeached related to his marital infidelity with a White House intern, Patillo asked about Clinton’s actions: “Was that done in a public statement, in a public forum?”
An incredulous Horace responded: “I paid for that space. You paid for that space. [Sutton] paid for that space. Any CEO would have been run out of town for that.”