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Featuring the Work and Ideas of the National
Center for Public Policy Research & Project 21

CONSERVATIVEBLOG.ORG

Featuring the Work and Ideas of the National Center for Public Policy Research & Project 21

Black Political Beliefs May Change with Economic Gains

Black Political Beliefs May Change with Economic Gains
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Despite the Left’s dire predictions, it turns out that the policies advocated by President Donald Trump are helping black Americans even more than they are helping white Americans.

Numbers don’t lie, and the latest employment numbers refute the claims that Trump polices are a burden on the economy and especially harmful to black America.

In an interview with the One America News network, Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper said that the latest jobs report – which included the lowest black unemployment rate ever recorded – could also start changing the political opinions of many black Americans. “You’re likely to see that the conservative policies, the free-market policies, the policies of limited government and low taxation are attractive” to black America, Horace told OAN correspondent Stefan Kleinhenz.

The October jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics put black unemployment at 5.4 percent. As Project 21 noted in a press release following that announcement, this is the sixth time a record for low black unemployment has been reported during the Trump presidency. On OAN, Horace noted the significance of the current trend:

Typically, since the 80s, black unemployment is double the unemployment of white Americans. Under the Trump Administration, that barrier has been broken.

What you’re seeing is – even as the unemployment rate overall lowers – the unemployment rate for black Americans is happening even quicker. That means that black Americans are benefitting in the Trump economy faster and greater than the rest of the country.

Gains such as this, Horace remarked, betray liberal predictions that things would be worse for black Americans under President Trump:

There’s a boost that’s happening in employment numbers for black Americans in the wake of media criticism, activist criticism claiming that this president is somehow hostile to the interests of black Americans.

To the contrary, there have been marked improvements for black Americans and other minorities over the last three years. Horace noted:

What we’re seeing now, and what [Obama’s] advisors, what his economists and what people at the New York Times were saying – [that] if Donald Trump is elected, we’re gonna be in the middle of a recession and it’s gonna be terrible for everyone – it turns out it’s not. It’s improved. It’s gotten better.

And the economy, in just three years, is growing at an average rate faster than the eight years of the Obama Administration.

There’s Light at the End of the Regulatory Tunnel for Traditional Bulbs

There’s Light at the End of the Regulatory Tunnel for Traditional Bulbs
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When it comes to the bright idea of allowing people to continue to buy the affordable incandescent light bulbs they want and sometimes need, the National Center and its Project 21 black leadership network were glad to sign onto a public comment submitted to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in support of the government “restor[ing] the statutory focus on consumers.”

In signing onto the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s comment supporting the Trump Administration’s plans to not pursue unreasonable efficiency standards for traditional incandescent lighting, the National Center and Project 21 joined a dozen other free-market organizations including The Heritage Foundation, The Heartland Institute, Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow and Americans for Prosperity.

As part of a 2007 revision of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, “successively tighter” energy conservation standards were instituted for household appliances and light bulbs. A new Obama Administration requirement added the “social cost of carbon” (SCC) into the regulatory process.

The application of these new standards in 2012 was most evident in the need for people at the time to switch to the squiggly compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) that are unsafe, unhealthy and inadequate for many consumers’ needs.

Yet the industry found ways to adapt and keep incandescent bulbs readily available, and advancements in technology brought about a better alternative to the CFL in light emitting diode bulbs (LEDs).

But now, with the industry facing the tighter regulation on the traditional general service incandescent lamps (GSILs), there are reasons to abandon the Obama-era regulatory regime. And the Trump Administration has determined that “energy conservation standards for GSILs do not need to be amended.”

CEI’s comment agreed with this decision. It pointed out:

We agree with DOE that an amended standard is not warranted. The agency’s analysis demonstrates that incandescent bulbs cannot be made significantly more efficient without a prohibitive price increase, and thus an amended standard would effectively force them off the market. Furthermore, LED bulbs, despite their growing popularity and market share, do not suit every lighting need, thus consumers are best served by maintaining the existing standard for GSILs which would allow them to remain on the market as well. We also agree with DOE’s decision not to include SCC calculations in reaching their conclusion.

It noted that tighter standards on even improved incandescent bulbs would make them “prohibitively expensive.” This cost increase of an estimated 300 percent would be “no different than an outright ban and lead to LEDs becoming the only viable choice.” And LEDs have a different quality of illumination from incandescents and “are inferior for certain functions such as dimming.”

The comment noted:

Consumers are best served by retaining the choice between incandescent bulbs and LEDs rather than regulating incandescents off the market.

Furthermore, harsher regulations just aren’t economical. A DOE analysis cited in the comment reported that “lifecycle costs” on bulbs for “nearly all uses of incandescent bulbs subject to an amended efficiency standard would lose more money than they save as compared to currently available bulbs.”

“American consumers want freedom of choice,” the comment stated, “and quite sensibly oppose regulations that restrict it. Nor do they want regulations that cost more than they save.”

To read all of the CEI public comment that the National Center and Project 21 joined, click here.

Behar Denies Blackface Incident During Trump, Jr. Interview

Behar Denies Blackface Incident During Trump, Jr. Interview
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During his appearance on “The View,” presidential son Don Trump, Jr. used a little political judo with the hostile panel. As a result, host Joy Behar may have put herself into jeopardy with her boss, Disney CEO Bob Iger.

When the show’s hosts criticized his father’s tweeting and brought up stories from the past, Don Jr. said that everyone has “done things that we regret.” To make his point, he brought up that Behar wore blackface in the past. He also noted how co-host Whoopi Goldberg was criticized when she defended accused rapist Roman Polanski. His comments sent the show into chaos.

Behar went so far as to deny the blackface incident. And Goldberg backed her up. Really?! If she didn’t do it, then what did Behar talk about with Disney management?

The National Center’s Free Enterprise Project brought the issue of Behar’s blackface to the attention of the nation earlier this year when it confronted Disney CEO Bob Iger about the hypocrisy of the Disney-owned ABC television network that broadcasts “The View.” Iger responded by saying the blackface matter had been handled internally with Behar. So who’s lying – Behar or Iger?

At the March 2019 Disney shareholder meeting, FEP Director Justin Danhof, Esq. challenged Iger about the company’s pride in the diversity of movies such as “Black Panther,” juxtaposed with the company’s apparent silence about past incidents of racial parody involving Behar and fellow host Jimmy Kimmel. Adding to the seriousness of Justin’s question was the fact that ABC hosts had spoken against former NBC host Megyn Kelly for defending some who have worn blackface makeup.

In response, Iger said at the shareholder meeting:

We take into account context in all cases when we become aware of the people that have been in blackface in public. And the specific incidents that you raised we chose to deal with privately.

We did not feel that it required any particular comment, nor do we have anything to say about what actions we may have taken in that regard, and we have no comment about the actions that were taken by others that you cited except to say that’s something we don’t condone.

So Iger, or someone at Disney, had a talk with Behar about the implications of her admission on the air in 2016 that she once dressed up as a “beautiful African woman” for a Halloween party. Just like they also had a talk with her about her attack on Vice President Mike Pence and his Christian faith – which FEP brought up at the 2018 Disney shareholder meeting. At that meeting, Iger admitted that Behar had privately apologized to Pence for her comments.

Now she denies the blackface incident ever happened. And Goldberg is helping her gaslight viewers.

Behar has a lot to answer for when it comes to her many regrettable actions (even while on vacation). And, thanks to the prodding of Donald Trump, Jr., she has dug herself into a hole – unless, of course, Bob Iger lied to his investors.

Calling Foul on Unsportsmanlike Behavior

Calling Foul on Unsportsmanlike Behavior
/ ConservativeBlog.org /

In high school football, there is not a problem of players kneeling during the national anthem. Unlike the NFL, it would appear the challenge involving student athletes is far more grave. Under the Friday night lights, there could be a powder keg of racial tension.

In a nutshell, it’s trash-talking that has apparently been allowed to go too far due to a lack of proper supervision and mentoring.

Project 21 member Martin A. Baker, in a new commentary posted on the Politichicks website, discusses allegations of extremely poor sportsmanship that have hit close to home for him. He explains how the problem – which he notes has popped up nationwide over the past few years – is more than just rowdy or hateful teens:

Turning high school sports into racial chaos serves no purpose whatsoever. It is imperative for students, parents, coaches and school administrators to draw the line and stop this trend in its tracks.

Martin once played on his high school football team. One of his rival schools back in the day is now plagued by one of these racial incidents. In the commentary, he writes about how players for that school have been accused of using racial taunts against a visiting team during one of their recent games. Compounding the trouble is that the visiting team also claims their locker room was vandalized during the game. While the allegations remain in dispute, Martin states that one thing is clear: starting from the top, there needs to be more mature supervision:

Coaches, of all people, should know better. They are supposed to be mentors, not agitators or enablers.

Martin cites how a black coach at another school was recently fired for using the n-word in front of his mostly black team. And the coach of the accused team used to play for the NFL, where use of racial language can lead to stiff penalties.

But parents also need to set a good example. Martin writes:

We all share a moral responsibility to teach kids personal accountability, and this must be a collaborative effort that includes educators, administrators and community leaders. A network of support, oversight and correction is necessary for the sake of our children – the most precious resource our society will ever produce. Concerns about a school-to-prison pipeline can be partially addressed simply by providing mentorship and supervision for our athletes.

Racial minefields present a clear and present danger to good sportsmanship and the camaraderie that is developed in interscholastic athletics. We must hold athletes accountable for their actions, and carefully and fairly examine accusations of racism, before these situations go critical.

To read all of Martin’s commentary – “Friday Night Lights, Not Fights” – at the Politichicks website, click here.

Reforming HUD’s Presumption of Racial Guilt

Reforming HUD’s Presumption of Racial Guilt
/ ConservativeBlog.org /

Under the current interpretation of the Fair Housing Act, as prescribed by a rule imposed during the Obama Administration, a statistical finding of disparate impact against a protected group is all it takes to prove discrimination. The Trump Administration has proposed a new interpretation that would bring landlords, lenders and others involved in the real estate industry out from under the assumption of guilt that is created by this regulatory regime.

“In order for our nation to shake off the sting of stereotypes,” asserts the leadership of the National Center’s Project 21 black leadership network, “we must avoid situations that lend to their creation and advancement.”

In a public comment submitted about the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) proposed rule, the co-chairmen of Project 21 – Horace Cooper, Council Nedd II and Stacy Washington – point out that the current disparate impact standard “creates morally and legally untenable circumstances… [that] strains relations – particularly among races – while impeding our desire for a truly even playing field for all.”

They further explain that “removing a heavy and arguably impossible current burden of proof… would allow government to focus on addressing real acts of discrimination rather than be mired in statistical interpretations that merely allude to a bias that may, in fact, not exist at all.”

But don’t just take it from Project 21. As was pointed out in the comment, the U.S. Supreme Court has noted that interpreting disparate impact in this manner may force the real estate industry to “resort to racial quotas” or “second guess” legitimate and nondiscriminatory actions for fear of running afoul of an algorithmic assessment of a disparity.

In that caseTexas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. – the justices ruled with these reservations that any disparate result found by this interpretation met the intent of the rule. Highlighting these reservations, the Project 21 leaders remark in their comment:

In the Inclusive Communities decision, the Court warned that “without adequate safeguards… disparate impact liability might cause race to be used and considered in a pervasive way” that could raise “serious constitutional questions.” That’s where we believe we are now, and why we believe this proposed rule is so important.

Citing the inherent problems with a system that is not holistic in its intent and holds the accused guilty until proven innocent, and how this can actually hurt race relations, Project 21’s leaders explain:

The ambiguity created by the standard is where stereotypes thrive. In maintaining the status quo, a disparate impact standard assumes society is inherently racist and always trying to systematically oppress minority groups. This attitude breeds mistrust, fear and anger. After all, if one looks hard enough and crunches the numbers in the right way, some form of discrimination will assuredly be found. Without advocacy groups pushing the government to step in to protect them, it is assumed that these minority groups would be helpless.

Analyzing the proposed interpretation, Project 21’s comment states that “the rule helps to stop pitting people against each other under false pretenses and assuming guilt solely on the basis of a numerical racial formula.”

To read Project 21’s full comment at the federal government’s regulations.gov website, click here.

Liberals Ignored High Black Unemployment Under Obama, Won’t Celebrate Record Lows Under Trump

Liberals Ignored High Black Unemployment Under Obama, Won’t Celebrate Record Lows Under Trump
/ ConservativeBlog.org /

Last week, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics posted the lowest overall black unemployment figure ever recorded at 5.4 percent.

According to a Project 21 analysis, reported in a press release last week after the jobs report was released, this was the sixth record-low black unemployment rate achieved during the Trump presidency. The previous lowest rate – 7.4 percent – was achieved at the end of the Clinton administration in December 2000.

In extensive remarks, excerpted for the release, Project 21 member Derryck Green addressed the racial allegations that have been made against President Trump (which Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper often calls the “weirdest” anti-black behavior) despite the Trump administration’s policies having been so helpful to black economic progress.

Derryck said it’s something liberal critics simply cannot justify:

Since at least the early 1970s, when racial demographics were first incorporated into the unemployment statistics, we’ve known that American blacks have suffered periods of chronically high unemployment.

Even during the economic boom of the 1990s, blacks still endured double-digit unemployment for most of the decade. Black unemployment dropped for a couple of years during the early 2000s, but it later found its way back into the double digits.

The economic policies of our first black president exacerbated black unemployment during the recession, helping black unemployment to reach or exceed 16 percent on 11 occasions. Obama Administration officials told us that high national unemployment, high black unemployment and a depressed economic environment in which businesses hired fewer employees because people stopped looking for work was the “new normal.”

But, since 2016, black unemployment has significantly and consistently declined. Under President Trump, black unemployment reached an all-time low on several occasions. Black unemployment dropped below six percent for the first time in May 2017. Twice this year – in August and September – black unemployment dropped and held steady at 5.5 percent. In October, black unemployment is 5.4 percent  – the lowest rate ever recorded.

During the presidential campaign, President Trump asked blacks “what the hell do [we] have to lose?” by voting for him. One answer to that question is now high black unemployment rates.

I think this is important to note. During the period of high black unemployment under Obama, the former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus – Emanuel Cleaver – said that “with [such high black] unemployment, if we had a white president, we’d be marching around the White House… President [Obama] knows we are going to act in deference to him in a way we wouldn’t to someone white.”

Now, we have a white president who is perpetually and falsely accused of racism. Yet this “racist” president has done more to lower black unemployment than his immediate – and black – predecessor. How do liberals square that circle?

They can’t.

Climate Change Lawsuits: A “Fool’s Gold” Financial Fix

Climate Change Lawsuits: A “Fool’s Gold” Financial Fix
/ ConservativeBlog.org /

Several city and local governments, as well as the state of Rhode Island, are suing energy companies because of alleged future damage due to climate change.

National Center Senior Fellow Horace Cooper calls this a “jackpot justice” scheme. In a commentary published by Issues and Insights, he notes this legal strategy is bound to fail where it hasn’t already faltered:

If anything, the mayors of Oakland, New York, San Diego, and others are seeking pots of Fool’s Gold. These greedy politicians should stop abusing the legal system, wasting taxpayer dollars and put a halt to their fantasy gold-digging.

Horace notes that many of the cities that are suing are “financial train wrecks” captivated by the “powerful allure” of a court-ordered payment from the wealthy American energy sector. But their dream of being able to “offset their mismanagement” with a hefty ruling has “fogged their judgment” and prompted officials to fight a losing battle while “speaking out of both sides of their mouths.”

For one thing, these governments are trying to sue in venues where they have no real standing. Previous cases have failed at the federal level, leading “plaintiffs [to] believe they have a better chance of success in lower, state courts.”

But these cases are unlikely to be considered anything more than nuisances. As Horace explains:

A major driver of legal precedent denying the use of nuisance ordinances comes from an Obama-era Supreme Court ruling. In the 8-0 American Electric Power v. Connecticut decision in 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that corporations cannot be sued for greenhouse gas emissions because the Clean Air Act specifically tasks the Environmental Protection Agency and Congress with the proper regulatory authority. Put another way, only the executive and legislative branches – not the judicial branch – may regulate and impose climate change policy. That precedent was properly cited last year when New York City’s climate lawsuit was bounced out of court. Also last year, a federal judge dismissed Oakland and San Francisco’s lawsuit for being outside the court’s authority.

And then there are the optics. While demonizing companies for finding, extracting, refining and delivering energy, these governments fail to account for the fact that they are large buyers and users of that energy for everything from buses to buildings. On top of that, many of the plaintiffs seemed to forget the perils of climate change in their locales when it came time to pitch to potential investors.

To read all of Horace’s commentary – “The Shameless Hypocrisy of Cities Suing for Climate Change Damages” – at the Issues and Insights website, click here.

“White Guilt” Threatens MLK’s Legacy

“White Guilt” Threatens MLK’s Legacy
/ ConservativeBlog.org /

White guilt is “really ripping us apart.”

That’s what Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper concluded during a recent discussion on the Fox News Channel’s “The Ingraham Angle” program. Horace also noted that white guilt about race relations is fueling a political radicalism that could do great harm to our nation.

Horace and liberal commentator Leo Terrell joined host Laura Ingraham to address a New York Times report which found that white liberals – rather than blacks – are the ones who are embracing the radical racial tenants of the left and supporting those “who promise to upend society in the name of racial equity.”

If a paper as liberal as the New York Times appears apprehensive about this new “white guilt movement,” there should be no doubt about the threat! It’s so strong that even Terrell noted that people are willing to overlook the economic benefits created by the policies of the Trump Administration in order to embrace race-conscious leftism and demand upheaval.

Horace pointed out that white guilt overlooks the great progress American society has made over the past 60 years in order to promote policies that he fears would reintroduce old problems in politically correct packaging:

Here’s the problem: America has come together with a Civil Rights Act, a Voting Rights Act, with a Federal Housing Act. Trillions of dollars in assistance to black, white and brown. We even tried a failed experiment with affirmative action. We elected – twice – a black man to be president of the United States.

What can the American people do to demonstrate that they genuinely are concerned, they are and they really want to embrace Martin Luther King’s vision of a colorblind society?

These people are saying we need to throw all of that out the window and start over with a new neo-segregation.

Ingraham noted that, despite the Obama presidency and the hope of its dividend of racial healing, the Obama era ended with people feeling that race relations had worsened. Terrell based his defense of the white guilt trend on the Trump era – seemingly unable to address the premise of Ingraham’s question as to why things soured under Obama when so much was promised to the contrary.

In citing the source of the problem, Horace explained that those who are trying to control the debate and shape the agenda are radicals trying to carry on what Obama promised when he said as a candidate that his administration would be “fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”

Horace said:

Here’s the truth: White America, and the sliver – the sliver of extremists, who are white progressive radicals – they are not speaking for the country…

The agenda that’s being pushed is very dramatically radical.

Politicians’ Anti-Semitic Remarks “Will Not Be Forgotten”

Politicians’ Anti-Semitic Remarks “Will Not Be Forgotten”
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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Virginia Governor Ralph Northam recently admitted to wearing blackface in the past. Senator Elizabeth Warren is trying to distance herself from past assertions she is of Native American ancestry. And now Project 21 member Marie Fischer is calling out members of the Trenton, New Jersey City Council for using and defending anti-Semitic language in the course of government business.

Trudeau, Northam and Warren have thus far escaped real damage to their political careers due to their racial insensitivity. Marie isn’t willing to forgive so easily when it comes to Trenton City Council President Kathy McBride and her colleagues:

It’s hard to justify the term “Jewing” someone down as anything but offensive. I know. I’ve tried.

Marie, who is Jewish, writes in a commentary published on the Politichicks website that, when she and some Jewish friends used the term in self-parody, she “still felt a little unsettled by the term.” But it is more unsettling to her when politicians use it “matter-of-factly and justify it.”

In Trenton, McBride was explaining to her colleagues during a closed session how the city saved money on a legal settlement because their attorney (who is Jewish) “was able to wait [the plaintiff] out and Jew her down.” After the remark became public knowledge, one councilmember explained it was simply “a reference to negotiating.” Another dismissed it because the phrase “has been said millions of times.”

“I cannot believe these people,” Marie asserts, “apparently intelligent enough to be elected by their peers, really believe that ‘Jew down’ is simply a harmless verb and not a slander against Jews.”

She adds:

If they knew history, they would understand it comes from a negative stereotype about Jews being stingy, tight-fisted or excessively frugal. It paints the picture of us as lovers and hoarders of money.

Calling out the Trenton politicians’ “cultural ignorance,” Marie notes that “[t]hey might not consider themselves anti-Semites, but they are espousing words and feelings that mimic those who have a dislike, if not an outright hatred, of Jewish people.”

And she adds that there appears to be a double-standard when it comes to belittling Jewish people in contrast to other minority groups:

All of these incidents make me wonder how most Americans truly feel about the Jewish people. We all know when something racist slips out of the mouth of a politician, a celebrity or a CEO there is an outcry that they be removed from their position. But when an anti-Semitic phrase comes out, there may be complaints but likely no similar repercussions. In fact, as in Trenton, others sometimes run to the defense of the perpetrator as the situation is swept away.

“Why is anti-Semitism not considered the same as racism?” Marie asks. And it’s been weeks since McBride’s comment and “all seems to have been forgiven.” But not to Marie, who writes, “it will not be forgotten.”

To read all of Marie’s Politichicks commentary – “No Justification for Anti-Semitic Language” – click here.

Counting Guns and Murders Doesn’t Add Up

Counting Guns and Murders Doesn’t Add Up
/ ConservativeBlog.org /

As gun control activists claim that Americans own too many guns, what they don’t acknowledge is that the number of gun-related murders fell by more than half as the number of guns more than doubled:

Banning firearms and taking guns and ammunition off store shelves may have great virtue-signaling value, but they aren’t serious solutions to gun violence.

In an InsideSources commentary published by major media outlets including New York Newsday and the Adrian Daily Telegram, National Center President David A. Ridenour points out an uncomfortable truth for gun critics that is absent from most discussions: “Americans are generally more inclined to commit murder.”

Guns are obviously not the only thing used to commit murders. Knives, hammers and fists are also commonly used. And homicides without guns also occur in the United States in greater numbers than most other “high income” countries. David notes:

Contrary to the claims of the gun control lobby, the correlation between the number of firearms and gun homicides is weak and possibly negative.

But it’s not that America is like the violent chaos portrayed in “The Purge” movies. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 60 percent of gun-related murders are due to just three things: gang activity, substance abuse and mental illness.

David explains:

If we’re to make meaningful progress in reducing gun homicides, we need to start addressing these underlying causes of violent behavior.

“It’s time to put American lives before politics,” he writes. “Serious solutions to gun violence” require “end[ing] the incessant debate over the number of firearms” that can be found across America.

To read all of David’s commentary — “Restricting Guns Won’t Solve Gun Violence” — at the Newsday website, click here.

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The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 60,000 active recent contributors.