Making A Difference
I am pleased to share some great news with you, my friends!
Late yesterday afternoon the White House released a statement announcing President Trump's intention to appoint three new members of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.
The president intends to appoint: Johnnie Moore, a former vice president of Liberty University and founder of the Kairos Company, Nadine Maenza, chairman of Hardwired, and your humble servant -- me!
The Commission has a total of nine members. It is structured in such a way that the president and the congressional leaders of his party appoint five members or a majority of the Commission.
Four appointments are made by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. The Commission also works very closely with Ambassador for Religious Freedom Sam Brownback.
As you may know, Senator McConnell announced yesterday that he was appointing Tony Perkins to the Commission. I know Tony, Johnnie, Nadine and Ambassador Brownback very well. I look forward to working with them on this critical issue.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom was established in 1998 by an act of Congress. The legislation creating the Commission was sponsored by my good friend, former Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf.
While I am honored to receive this appointment by President Trump, I am humbled by the enormity of the task at hand. Religious liberty is under increasing attack here at home and overseas. Anti-Semitism is rising all over the world, including in Europe and the U.S.
And while President Trump has made great progress in crushing the jihadists of ISIS, much work remains to be done when it comes to safeguarding the religious freedom of Christians in the Middle East. Virtually every Sunday another church is attacked.
By the way, this appointment compliments -- not replaces -- the work I am doing at American Values. It gives us a bigger megaphone for the work we are doing to defend religious liberty and combat religious persecution.
Thank you for your support. This appointment is proof that we are making a difference. We couldn't do it without your generous support and friendship.
Honoring Fallen Heroes
Yesterday the country observed National Peace Officers Memorial Day to honor the police officers who have died in the line of duty over the past year. Sadly, we are adding too many names to the memorial of fallen officers. Last year, 135 officers died in the line of duty. So far in 2018, 54 law enforcement officers have died.
I am pleased to report that both Vice President Mike Pence and President Donald Trump addressed yesterday's national memorial service. I say that because we just lived through a time when the previous administration's support for the men and women on the Thin Blue Line wasn't always clear. In fact, it was frequently hostile.
But when it comes to backing up our police officers, there are no mixed messages with this president. "We stand with our police, and we stand with you 100 percent," President Trump declared yesterday.
Referring to the national memorial service as "one of the most important solemn occasions of the year," Trump vowed to attend it every year of his presidency. "We pay tribute to law enforcement heroes -- and that's what they are, heroes -- who gave their lives in the line of duty," he added.
The president also connected his commonsense immigration policy, which the left despises, to keeping our citizens and our police officers safe. He said:
"We are calling on Congress to secure our borders, support our border agents, stop sanctuary cities, and shut down policies that release violent criminals back into our communities. We don't want it any longer. We've had it. Enough is enough.
"Recently, MS-13 gang members called for the assassination of New York City police officers, so the gang could 'take back the streets.' They got it wrong. We are the ones who are taking back the streets."
It was a very moving speech. If you missed it, please take a moment to watch it now. Share it with your friends and family members.
America Wins Again
While other important issues have been making headlines in recent days, President Trump continues to score big victories for American workers. Here's one example you likely missed.
For several years, there has been a dispute raging between major U.S. airlines and two carriers from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The UAE has been heavily subsidizing its airlines in violation of the "Open Skies" agreement.
The UAE airlines have received as much as $50 billion in subsidies, putting U.S. companies at a tremendous disadvantage and putting as many as one million U.S. jobs at risk. As it has done in many other trade disputes, the Trump Administration made it clear that such anti-competitive practices would no longer be tolerated.
This week, the State Department announced that the UAE has agreed "to address concerns . . . regarding [UAE] government support" for its airlines. In a major concession, the UAE agreed to provide greater transparency by issuing audited annual financial reports for its airlines.
This deal didn't make the front pages on Monday. But just like the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, it is another example of President Trump keeping his promises. In this case, it is to protect American jobs and industries.
Palestinians observed "Nakba Day" or "Catastrophe Day" yesterday. That's how they view the creation of the modern state of Israel. The Israeli government was braced for the worst, but it appears that the strong response by the IDF to Monday's riots resulted in a dramatic drop in the violence.
By the way, if the Palestinians want to mark a catastrophe, they should consider the day they elected Hamas to govern them. That's when their lives really took a turn for the worse.
Hamas did not build roads, schools and hospitals for the residents of Gaza. It built terror tunnels. It squandered precious resources in three wars against Israel. And it continues to hide behind civilians, using the population of Gaza as a shield for terrorism.
The left-wing media are complicit in Hamas' atrocities because they cover them and give Hamas propaganda victories while blaming Israel.
For example, how many times have we heard that dozens of unarmed, peaceful protestors were killed. Well guess what? Hamas is now claiming that at least 50 of the "martyrs" belonged to the terrorist group. But don't hold your breath waiting for the media to report that fact.
Expanding Our Media Presence
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