The Countdown Begins
The one-fourth of the federal government that was closed is officially open today. But there is no sign of compromise coming from the left when it comes to the construction of new barriers at the southern border. And so the countdown to the February 15th deadline for congressional negotiators to reach a deal on a homeland security package begins.
President Trump does not seem very optimistic. He told the Wall Street Journal that the chances of a deal are "less than 50-50."
Those now insisting that walls are a "medieval solution" must be attempting to deceive the American people. Ask Israel if walls and fences are antiquated solutions.
Ask the liberal politicians and pundits living in their gated communities if they would be okay with tearing down their walls and fences in exchange for a few drones.
Drones and other "electronic solutions" are good at detecting where barriers have been breached so you can rush resources to plug the gap. But they do virtually nothing to actually stop illegal immigration.
Headed Toward An Emergency
If congressional negotiators fail to reach an agreement by February 15th, we could be headed for another government shutdown. My opinion is that another shutdown will not work, especially when you are dealing with such intransigence on the left and a media that refuses to tell the truth.
The truth is that we just had the longest-ever government shutdown because the left adamantly refuses to secure the border. But unless cooler heads prevail in these talks, the president may be forced to declare a national emergency at the border.
And there's no questioning his authority to do so. In fact, Daniel Horowitz of the Conservative Review notes that the president probably doesn't even need "a formal declaration of emergency."
Horowitz points to a recent report by the Congressional Research Service suggesting that existing laws may provide the Pentagon with "some authority for the construction of barriers along the border."
By the way, the governor of Washington State just declared an emergency due to an outbreak of measles. But the president can't declare an emergency because of drugs and gangs or even caravans coming across our porous borders?
Here's something else the "mainstream media" won't tell you: In the past three months, the Department of Homeland Security has had to transport more than 2,200 illegal immigrants to border community hospitals because they were so sick.
The Challenger Disaster
Thirty-three years ago today, I was working in the Reagan Administration as under secretary of education with Bill Bennett. I was sitting in my office watching the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger, just as many Americans were.
Secretary Bennett and the Department of Education had a particular interest in this launch because public school teacher Christa McAuliffe was on board. I had the opportunity to meet her several times.
Schools all over the nation were watching the launch on live TV. We all watched in horror as the shuttle disintegrated just over a minute into its flight.
Even back then many teachers had already accepted the left's demands that there could be no demonstrations of faith in the schools. We received letters at the Department of Education telling us that teachers led their students outside of school buildings in order to pray for the astronauts and their families.
As always, Ronald Reagan rose to the occasion. Here is brief excerpt of his address to the nation that evening:
"I want to say something to the schoolchildren of America who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle's takeoff. I know it is hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It's all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It's all part of taking a chance and expanding man's horizons. The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we'll continue to follow them. . .
"The crew of the Space Shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and 'slipped the surly bonds of earth' to 'touch the face of God.'"
Yesterday marked the 74th anniversary of the Soviet liberation of the Nazi concentration camps at Auschwitz, revealing some of the worst horrors of the Holocaust. More than one million people were systematically murdered there.
In 2005, as then-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was threatening a second Holocaust by vowing to "wipe Israel off the map," the United Nations voted to recognize January 27th as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Below are excerpts of President Trump's proclamation recognizing this somber anniversary:
"The Third Reich, and its collaborators, pursued the complete elimination of the entire Jewish people. Six million Jews were systematically slaughtered in horrific ways. . . The brutality of the Holocaust was a crime against men, women, and children. It was a crime against humanity. It was a crime against God.
"On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we hold in our hearts the memory of every man, woman, and child who was abused, tortured, or murdered during the Holocaust. . . Any denial or indifference to the horror of this chapter in the history of humankind diminishes all men and women everywhere and invites repetition of this great evil.
"We remain committed to the post-Holocaust imperative, 'Never Again.' 'Never Again' means not only remembering . . . the evils of the Holocaust, but it also means remembering the individual men and women in this Nation, and throughout the world, who have devoted their lives to the preservation and security of the Jewish people and to the betterment of all mankind."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also marked the day by meeting with Holocaust survivors. Here are excerpts of his remarks at the beginning of his weekly cabinet meeting:
"During the Holocaust, the Jewish people were completely helpless. Today the state of the Jews is among the strongest and most advanced in the world. First and foremost, we have restored to our people the strength to resist that we lost in exile. . .
"Anti-Semitism from the right is not a new phenomenon. . . What is new in Europe is the combination of Islamic anti-Semitism and the anti-Semitism of the extreme left which includes anti-Zionism. . . We condemn all forms of anti-Semitism as such."
The Countdown Begins