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The official blog of the National Center for Public Policy Research, covering news, current events and public policy from a conservative, free-market and pro-Constitution perspective.

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Football Players "Supported a Lie" Emerging on Gridiron with Hands Up

While they won’t be playing at home this week, it’s probably not as likely that members of the St. Louis Rams will emerge onto the field with their hands up – a message of alliance with those protesting the death of Michael Brown and a grand jury decision not to indict the officer who shot him.  But, if they do and if other players begin copying them, the NFL made it pretty clear that this overtly political action by the players will not be punished.

This is troubling to Project 21 member Wayne Dupree, who told host Rick Amato that “the players came out and supported a lie” last week.  While Amato said he supported the free speech of the players (while acknowledging the league doesn’t need the political problems associated with their message), Wayne instead called the players “jackasses” and said: “They took to the field and basically… went against the police for doing their job.”

On the 12/2/14 edition of “The Rick Amato Show” on the One America News Network, Wayne said the exhaustive evidence analyzed by the grand jury exonerated Officer Wilson in Brown’s death and the “hands up, don’t shoot” meme the players mimicked is something that is “based on a lie that has gone global.”  He said people are largely “reacting on something that… didn’t happen.”

Additionally, in talking about former professional basketball star Charles Barkley calling Ferguson looters “jackasses” and “scumbags,” Wayne said, “100-percent – I agree” with Barkley.  Rebutting the narrative that criticism of the rioters is selective, Wayne explained that condoning bad behavior such as went on in Ferguson and elsewhere in protest of a settled legal process is a part of the demeaning leftist mentality that is meant to keep blacks loyal to their political agenda.


When Rhetoric Rebutted, Lefty Pundit Demands "Don't Talk about Statistics"

While some people see the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner in New York City as part of a trend in which black men are inherently endangered by police aggression, Project 21 co-chairman Horace Cooper said that people “can’t conflate these two incidents as one in the same.”  He noted that the Brown case was much different, for example, in the fact that Brown attacked an officer in the moments before his death.  An argument can be made that police involved in Garner’s death, however, should not have been engaged in so zealously enforcing government tax laws.

In a debate with Danielle Moodie-Mills of the leftist Center for American Progress on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s “Power and Politics” program on 12/4/14, Horace said the facts surrounding these deaths and others do not back up assertions of a police vendetta against black men.  He said there are “no evidentiary statistics to support” such charges, but there are definite problems of black-on-black crime that are not being addressed by those quick to complain about the police.

After he noted that police shootings are at a low, to which Mills replied to Horace, “don’t talk about statistics – let’s talk about people.”  She alleged a rise in racial tensions in America can be blamed in part on resentment of President Obama due to his race.  Rebutting that by mentioning the “Bush derangement syndrome” that gripped the left during the previous White House administration, Horace said that “overly-heated rhetoric” is “some of the history and the legacy of what it means to be President of the United States” and that it was Obama who failed to achieve his own goal of creating a post-racial America.


Expect Obama’s Amnesty Plan to Make America’s Employment Future Worse

On the first Friday of every month, Project 21 member Derryck Green provides his analysis of the nation’s economic stability under Barack Obama’s stewardship that is done in conjunction with the release of federal unemployment figures.

This time, Derryck wonders what will happen with unemployment and other facets of the economy as Obama brings illegal aliens out of the shadows and possibly onto the entitlement track.

Here is December’s “About Those Jobs Numbers”:

Newly-released unemployment figures from the federal government are almost the same as a month ago.  There’s probably some celebration that the official jobless rate remains below six percent.  But there are the lingering problems of the alternative and more overall measure of joblessness — the calculation that includes those seeking employment, are underemployed and who have stopped looking for a job in frustration — that is around twice the size of the rate that the mainstream media regularly reports.

But get ready for the possible blindside.

For November, that official unemployment rate as reported by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics is 5.8 percent — no change since last month.  That alternative rate, however, is a much higher 11.4 percent.

Combining this unsettling alternative rate with the workforce participation rate, and it’s a one-two punch to the gut.  Last month’s workforce participation rate was 62.8 percent, a rate that is unchanged since October and still keeps it down near a low not previously seen since the Carter Administration.

Want more bad news?  Racial minorities, particularly those considered to be among President Barack Obama’s political base, continue to suffer.

The overall unemployment rate for blacks is 11.1 percent.  That’s up.  This is bad enough, but it’s even worse for black teens.

As the media focused on the unfortunate death of one black teenager in Missouri, they seem to fail to notice that a lack of jobs is killing the hopes and dreams of so many others in Michael Brown’s age and race demographic.  This past November, 28.1 percent of black teenagers were out of work — being deprived of income, training and hope.  This was a  small decrease since the previous month.

In the Hispanic community, the official unemployment rate fell to 6.6 percent — still above the national average.  But it begs to be asked where this rate might be going in the coming months.  It’s a question that should be on everyone’s mind as Obama presses forward on his obvious quest for amnesty for our nation’s illegal alien population.

It’s a problem that will have a profound impact on the workforce, taxpayers and America’s safety net for its least fortunate.

After the mid-term elections, the President finally acted on his long-threatened intention to legalize millions of people who smuggled themselves into the United States against the law.  Around five million of these illegal immigrants are slated for exemption from deportation unless Congress figures out a way to successfully halt Obama’s executive action.

As Obama seeks to bring these illegals “out of the shadows,” at what point will jobless statistics begin to reflect this new influx into the official American employment equation?  Obama and his advisors had to know that the unemployment rate would necessarily skyrocket upon the opening of his road to amnesty.

And a rise in unemployment generally as well as decreased job prospects for American citizens and legal immigrants in particular, in an already tough job market, is likely only going to be the beginning.  Consider the possible cascade of new economic problems that undoubtedly lie ahead because Obama chose to go it alone on the illegal immigration issue and “go big” in the process:

  • While the President’s alleged solution is only supposed to apply to illegal immigrants residing in the United States for a while, it is still expected that at least 100,000 more illegals will surge across the U.S.-Mexico border in 2015.  After his 2012 executive action legalized some younger illegals, many of the border-jumpers subsequently caught in the act clearly misunderstood Obama’s parameters and said they thought U.S. immigration law changed dramatically and simply getting into the country was good enough to guarantee they could stay.  That, and the unexpected interpretation of another law regarding unaccompanied children, led to flood of tens of thousands of Latin American children hopping across the border last summer.  It’s foolish to believe Obama’s post-election actions will stop the flow of illegal immigration into the United States.
  • What about those beneficiaries of the Obama’s 2012 executive action: the DREAMers?  Like illegals covered under Obama’s most recent action, they are not supposed to be eligible for ObamaCare.  Not yet.  Sylvia Burwell, Obama’s Secretary of Health and Human Services and one of the key players in implementing ObamaCare, indicated the Obama Administration may try to change that soon.  In a November webcast, Burwell said about DREAMers and ObamaCare coverage that “this administration feels incredibly strongly about the fact that we need to fix that.  We need to reform the system and make the changes that we need that will lead to benefits in everything from health care to economics to so many things…”  That means what’s already more expensive than it was promised could become even more expensive as a result of the Obama amnesty plan.
  • The Obama Administration shocked many by admitting those who came here illegally and work in the United States for as little as a decade can qualify for Social Security benefits.  A Heritage Foundation study conducted before the Obama plan was announced suggested that hypothetical amnesty for four million illegal immigrants (less than what is now expected) could cost American taxpayers around $2 trillion in government benefits.  Basing projections on the profile of the average illegal immigrant, Heritage’s Robert Rector, a welfare expert, said: “Given their expected earnings, from someone that has a 10th grade education, they will draw about three dollars worth of benefits out of those [government] programs over their lifetimes for every dollar they put into them.”
  • A looming threat to American citizens of limited means arose from a broken bipartisan deal that would have continued the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) past 2017 as well as set other tax cut extensions for individuals and businesses that are currently in peril  of expiring.  Conservatives have had a justifiable skepticism of both the EITC and CTC because of the fraud and abuse associated with them.  But there are those who legitimately use these programs as the safety net they were intended to be.  Those are the ones who stand to lose a lot due to amnesty.  A bipartisan deal that could extend the EITC and CTC was being negotiated until Obama’s immigration announcement was made, but faltered on the fact that there were no guarantees the programs could not and would not be exploited by the newly-legalized.  Outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), trying to save the larger deal, took extensions of the two programs off the table, and the White House scuttled the deal by threatening a veto of the entire tax-extender package just because Reid sought a compromise.
  • At the moment, conservatives in Congress are looking for a way to defund any implementation of Obama’s go-it-alone immigration plan.  If anything, they want to at least put off its implementation until the new Congress can be seated and the will of the voters in the mid-term elections (who were aware of Obama’s amnesty plans) can be realized.  If they find a way to do so, however, it could lead Obama to force a government shutdown.  President Obama is apparently so enamored and so protective of his path to amnesty for illegal aliens that White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Obama would veto any budget that would stop his executive measure — bringing the government to a screeching halt.

Let’s not forget that there are those on the left who now say that what the President did for illegal immigrants was not enough.  Erika Almiron of the group Juntos, for instance, told the Washington Times, “When we declare ‘Not One More Deportation,’ we mean just that.”  Still others, striking a seemingly more moderate pose, say that effectively giving amnesty to around five million people who cheated the system and didn’t wait in line and pay the fees and undergo the examinations involved in the legal immigration process is just a “down payment.”  That’s strange, since Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) referred to Obama’s 2012 executive action as a down payment back then.

Just how much of a debt are we supposed to owe these lawbreakers anyway?

Too many legal Americans are treading water as it is right now.  According to the official federal estimate, there are 9.1 million Americans looking for work.  That’s more than last month.  That job pool is about to get a lot more crowded thanks to the independent action of Barack Obama.

America’s jobs crisis seems about to get a whole lot worse.  Legal citizens desperately seeking work are about to find foreigners zealously and openly competing with them for the scant openings that are available.  Those who cannot compete, or simply join the ranks of the demoralized and give up, will further strain the government’s safety net of benefits.  And they will be joined by possibly millions more people who have come out of the shadows with a hand outstretched.

It’s a bad situation that’s likely only on the verge of getting worse.


New Congress Could See "Tons of Conflict" with White House over ObamaCare

Asked about his predictions for health care policy reform in the next session of Congress now that the Republicans control the House of Representatives and the Senate, National Center policy analyst David Hogberg suggested there might be a “smattering of cooperation… but coupled with tons of conflict.”

On the 12/3/14 edition of “The Rick Amato Show” on the One America News Network, David said that the Obama Administration might come to the table on some ObamaCare reforms such as the medical device tax and adjusting the employer mandate, but they will likely refuse to budge on the individual mandate and provisions to bail out the insurance industry.  Bringing up the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court case of King v. Burwell that challenges subsidies to those enrolled in the federal exchange, he said a loss for the Obama Administration would likely mean “all bets are off” as far as working with Republicans on reforms.

Amato asked David about comments by former Florida governor Jeb Bush, who said his fellow Republicans should drop intentions to repeal ObamaCare in favor of creating alternatives to it.  David noted that Bush may be “half-right,” but that “implementing those ideas is going to still require repealing at least some parts of ObamaCare” such as the individual mandate, community rating and guaranteed issue.  He added that allowing ObamaCare to remain virtually untouched is “not possible if you want to come up with a free-market alternative.”


Project 21's Shelby Makes Sense about Ferguson Decision Poltics, Process

Project 21 member Shelby Emmett, a lawyer and former Capitol Hill staffer, was a true voice of reason after the controversy erupted in Ferguson, Missouri.

In interviews that lead-off Rick Amato’s cable talk show on two occasions over the course of a week, Shelby explained why things may have gone the way they did regarding the Ferguson grand jury and how professional race hustlers and violent opportunists made the situation in Ferguson worse than it needed to be.

On the 12/2/14 edition of “The Rick Amato Show” on the One America News Network, Shelby was asked about outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder’s stated intention to end alleged racial profiling by local police, she replied that such a move is likely to make things a whole lot more unfair and regulated in America:

It will probably be something with a more powerful, centralized federal government and he’ll probably ask for a lot of money…

They just want one big uniform police state, and they want to make sure that power is concentrated in the hands of the few at the expense of everybody else.

This comment intrigued Amato, who played a 2008 clip in which then-candidate Barack Obama railed against increased police power.  Shelby noted how the President is now headed in the wrong direction if he truly does want to follow his campaign rhetoric about reducing the power and influence of the police:

If the President was actively concerned with ensuring individual liberty and protections for everyday citizens — particularly those in poor areas — what he would do is push a bill for education reform and choice, and he would push to decriminalize so many of these gun control issues.

For a president that seems to think the police have too much power, he has no problem trying to take away constitutional Second Amendment rights for everyday people… instead of allowing these people to be armed and protect themselves.  And instead, he supposedly wants these same entities that are allegedly harassing African-Americans every single day — he wants those people to have more power and more access to guns.

The whole thing just doesn’t make sense.  This is all about power, control and distraction.

And she said that Al Sharpton, a protest gadfly and now an apparent White House confidant, is “all about political pandering” and helping President Obama distract the American people from the more important issue of Obama’s executive action on amnesty.

Speaking about the grand jury’s decision in Ferguson on the 11/25/14 edition of Amato’s program, the day after the decision was rendered, Shelby said that she felt the jurors “came to the right conclusion” based on the information available at that time.  She noted that the “jury did what the jury needed to do,” and that they did so with the knowledge of what was happening in the world around them and what the controversial decision they did come to could mean in the community.

Shelby was quite critical of Benjamin Crump, a lawyer representing Michael Brown’s parents.  She said that Crump, who had earlier represented the parents of Trayvon Martin in Florida, was “looking for his five minutes of fame” and his anger about the ruling — dutifully rendered by the grand jury — was improper since, as a lawyer, he “has a higher duty” than the parents or the general public to respect the grand jury’s decision.

She added about the grand jury and allegations of potential tainting of the proceedings:

Of course, arguments can be made about the prosecutor’s past and what happened to his father [who was a cop killed by a black man in the early 1960s], but then we could also make those same arguments if there was anyone on that jury — particularly the three African-American members that were on the jury — did they ever have any issues with the police department.  And, if so, could we argue that they would not be able to be on that jury.

Commenting on establishment civil rights leaders and protesters who waded into the Ferguson controversy, Shelby said there are those who “want the violence” and “want the drama” associated with angst over the grand jury’s decision, and that one needs to “separate people that may be legitimately upset — with background and reason to be — and those that just wanted a reason to start trouble.”


Senators Cruz and Coburn Vow to Stop Scheme to Include Massive Pork in Defense Authorization Bill

Should controversial legislation that has not been debated and which is completely irrelevant to our national defense be included in the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA?

The office of Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) says no, and Senator Cruz and Senator Tom Coburn (R-TX) have vowed to stop it -- the "it" being a huge federal land grab that has nothing to do with national defense.

Senator Ted CruzSenator Ted Cruz (Flickr: Gage Skidmore)

Besides, the federal government already "owns" nearly a third of America's land!

National Center Senior Fellow R.J. Smith does not mince words in his agreement with Senators Cruz and Coburn:

In still another bald-faced action, both the Democratic and Republican establishments in the U.S. Congress have demonstrated their contempt for a free society and a strict Constitutional government. The leaders of both parties have cut a dark-of-night deal to slip a public lands lock-up package into the murky depths of the nearly 2,000 page National Defense Authorization Act.

The federal lands package will take still more of the so-called public lands -- lands supposedly owned by all the people and available for multiple use -- and lock them up for the benefit of elite minorities and pressure groups in mainly limited-use or non-use categories, preventing their use by or benefit to the vast majority of the American people. Hundreds of thousands of acres of land all across the West will be permanently locked up. Still more un-inventoried land will be locked up as Wilderness Areas, set aside and left completely unmanaged to serve as source of forest disease, insect infestation, degradation, death and catastrophic wildfires. America already has over 107 MILLION acres of its lands permanently locked up as Wilderness, which is an area larger than the state of California plus Massachusetts. There is hardly a pressing need for any additional Wilderness.

Senator Tom CoburnSenator Tom Coburn (Flickr: Talk Radio News Service)

The "lands package" also will lead to the creation of still more national parks, expansions of existing parks, and studies for new parks, as well as the creation of new Wild and Scenic Rivers. This again extends federal hegemony across the American land.

But perhaps the most disturbing part of the land lock-up package is that hundreds of thousands of acres of multiple-use lands will be withdrawn from any exploration or development or production of energy resources, oil and natural gas, strategic minerals and forest products. How does preventing America from even discovering its oil and gas and strategic minerals possibly enhance out national defense and security? Perhaps our Congressional leaders should rename the act "the National Anti-Defense Act."

RJ SmithNational Center Senior Fellow R.J. Smith

America is already facing a looming crisis produced by unthinking or uncaring Members of Congress, as year after year they continue to expand the federal estate, giving government an ever-growing ownership of the nation's land and natural resources, and locking up and mismanaging the lands they already hold. The American people can only live free and prosperous lives if they own the land and natural resources. This is a large part of why the colonists broke away from Great Britain with its long traditions of the King and the ruling classes owning all the land and resources and wildlife. Sadly, we appear to be traveling back down the Road to Serfdom, paved with the green bricks laid by uncaring and unscrupulous congressmen.

Thankfully, two Constitutional heroes in the Senate have promised to stand up and halt this never-ending journey to government land tyranny. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).

Instead of attempting to acquire still more private land and lock-up still more federal land, it is way past time for the Congress to begin to take a serious look at the entire issue of the vast over-reaching ownership and control of the American land by all levels of government. Congress should begin to look at ways to permanently halt this avaricious land-grabbing and return to the free society envisioned by the Founding Fathers.

Learn more about this atrocious policymaking by reading a quick summary by Robert Gordon and Nicolas Loris at the Daily Signal; a story by Sarah Hurtubise in the Daily Caller, a story by Edwin Mora on, and/or a press release by the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

An article in The Hill about Senator Ted Cruz's opposition to the land grab is available here and a Roll Call article about a letter Senator Coburn sent to incoming Majority Leader Mitch McConnell protesting this atrocity is available here.

Or you could just Google "pork in 2015 defense authorization bill."


What Michael Savage Said About Project 21 Members Speaking Out on Immigration

That's what top talk show host Michael Savage (#6 nationally, according to Talkers magazine, with 5 million-plus listeners) had to say about Project 21 members speaking out about President Obama's immigration action:

If you'd like to read the unabridged comments of Project 21 members Joe Hicks, Demetrius Minor, Stacy Washington, Charles Butler, Christopher Arps and Shelby Emmett on the President's immigration order, please go here.


Horace Cooper on Sean Hannity: Media, Eric Holder Partly Responsible for Destruction in Ferguson

Attorneys Horace Cooper (Co-Chairman of Project 21), Kisha Hebbon and Tamara Holder discussed the grand jury process that led to no charges being filed against officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri on The Sean Hannity Show.

Some excerpts:

Horace Cooper: Mainstream media reports were contradicted by forensic evidence, yet were a cause of the protests.

"Here's the problem. When the mainstream media reported, unchallenged, false narratives from people who said they were eyewitnesses -- and it turned out they actually weren't eyewitnesses -- from people who described what they said they saw, then the forensic evidence showed it was almost impossible for that to occur. You get his fingerprints, and you get his blood on a firearm only by close contact. It just isn't plausible to now want to say a man grabs for a police officer's gun, threatens him, gets out of the car, jumps down on his knees, puts his hands in the air, and then the police officer shoots him point-blank. At least one of the witnesses I saw on MSNBC said Michael Brown was laying on the ground and a kill shot was administered by Darren Wilson. The forensic evidence showed none of that. For the mainstream media to report these things as facts... obscured the truth about the forensic evidence..."

Kisha Hebbon: "When do we as African-Americans look at ourselves and say 'why is there a heightened level of fear when it comes to African-American males?'"

"I'm an African-American female who grew up in the inter city, and I'm tired of people saying, 'why is this happening, why is this happening.' When do we as African-Americans look at ourselves and say 'why is there a heightened level of fear when it comes to African-American males?' What are these males doing wrong? What about the innocent people who are killed by gang violence? Blavk-on-black crime. We need to look at that. Michael Brown's life is not any more important than any other innocent child who was shot down the other day in Newark on Chancellor Avenue. We need to look at those issues."


Horace Cooper: Eric Holder "chose to act more like Bull Connor in inflaming racial tensions than someone like Martin Luther King, who tried to diminish those, and bring this country together."

"Eric Holder had access to the forensic information. He had to know that there were eyewitnesses, black ones, who were prepared to report exactly as Darren Wilson had indicated when he first gave his report to his officers. They were giving similar, almost identical accounts. He had to know that, and yet he chose to act more like Bull Connor in inflaming racial tensions than someone like Martin Luther King, who tried to diminish those, and bring this country together."

Kisha Hebbon: "There are a lot of good police officers who are out there to protect and serve, and I feel bad for all of them..."

A lot of people on social media are saying things like, 'oh, you can't trust any of the police; they're all bad; I'm teaching my children not to like police officers,' and I think that's the most ignorant, senseless thing to do. There are a lot of good police officers who are out there to protect and serve, and I feel bad for all of them, with this crisis going on right now."

Horace Cooper: Darren Wilson is to be commended for being willing to testify before the grand jury, even though he was required to do so without his attorney present.

"A quick fact. Every single accused person has a constitutional and legal right in all fifty states to voluntarily go and testify before the grand jury. The statements can be used against them, but it is not unprecedented, it is not true that it doesn't happen. And so, Mr. Wilson chose to exercise that option; he appeared without his attorney. I commend him for having chosen to do that."


Project 21's Joe Hicks on Fox's The Kelly File: Some Protesters are "Just Flat-Out Rejecting Facts and Evidence"

Project 21's Joe Hicks and Rev. Rafael Green of the Metropolitan Christian Worship Center join Shannon Bream on the November 26 edition of Fox's "The Kelly File" to discuss the violence in Ferguson, who is responsible for it and how communities can reduce violence in the future.

Among other comments, Joe Hicks said the willingness of some protesters to ignore facts makes communication difficult. He noted that some protesters appear to be "just flat-out rejecting facts and evidence; eyewitness testimony from black witnesses who came and corroborated the police officer's version of events. People are saying 'we won't believe it; we refuse to accept it,' and are continuing to argue for pushing forward, saying, in essence, the nation -- people who are not black in this case -- don't understand where they're coming from. I'm not always sure we need to understand that... we have to somehow find a way to engage... but there has to be some common basis for us having that discussion."


Media, Mob among Those Condemned by Project 21 Members for Ferguson Furor

More members of the National Center’s Project 21 black leadership network are commenting on the rioting in Ferguson and the culpability of the mob, politicians, the media and other culpable parties.

Project 21 member Christopher Arps, who lives in the Ferguson area and was witness to both the initial riots in August and the ones that began after the grand jury decision:

You had two types of protestors in Ferguson last night, and neither were peaceful.

You had those hell-bent on destruction, looting and rioting.  And you had those out there who were not doing those activities but who were encouraging the looters and urging them on.

I was there.  To me, they are both guilty of the lawlessness we witnessed last night.

Day Gardner, a Project 21 member and media host, said about the looting:

Those rioters in Ferguson really don’t seem to care about Michael Brown’s death.  They refuse to hear all the facts.  They appear to just consider this a license to steal and act out.  They have burned a Public Storage, Little Caesars, liquor store and more.  They are laughing while they destroy their own community – burning businesses and stealing liquor and cell phones.  It’s ridiculous and so sad!

All the stores and businesses that have been looted and burned to the ground mean that, as we enter the Christmas season, families are forced out of work.  How many residents will be out of work because of the destruction?  They will be unable to pay bills or provide for their families.

Al Sharpton incited tensions in Ferguson before all the facts were known.  He should have waited for the grand jury documents.  He is such an embarrassment to the black community.

Author and motivational speaker Demetrius Minor, a Project 21 member living near Atlanta, said churches need to step up:

There was no indictment in ‎Ferguson for Officer Wilson, but there was an indictment of the conscience of many.  Riots and violence proves our nation still needs healing.

It’s shameful that the same people who are inciting – directly or indirectly – the protests and mob violence in ‎Ferguson will be quoting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and praising his message just two months from now.

Something needs to be done.

Dear 21st century churches: This is your moment.  Stand up for morality, but also advocate peace.  Speak healing, but also be sensitive.  Ferguson needs you.  The world needs you.

Project 21 member Wayne Dupree, a talk radio host who visited Ferguson after the initial riots to try to help the community heal, had sharp words about the word choices of the media:

Words have meaning.  It seems people are too willing to fall into the media’s portrayal of the victim and the media’s own version of the truth.  Allowing the media to use words that indicate one’s innocence or guilt is a very slippery slope.

There is no innocence or guilt unless proven by law.  And Officer Wilson has the law on his side.  His life is now destroyed at the hands of a thug who died.  Wilson didn’t force the fight.  Wilson did what he needed to do to save his own life, but he will never seem to have the same sympathy that have been afforded to the deceased by the media and the mob.

Many people saluted Obama for stepping in and asking for peace, but that executive action should have been done earlier.  He was too late – the looting was just beginning.  The mob looted a beauty store, burned down a bakery and destroyed Advanced Auto Parts among other businesses.  What the Hell!

Agitators were angry and they wanted “justice” for Mike Brown, but instead they destroyed innocent business owners’ livelihoods.  Where is the justice in that?

Additionally, Project 21 member Kevin Martin appeared in Danish television to talk about the situation in Ferguson and the need for more community policing in which law enforcement has more ties to the communities they serve (as well as more respect from the community for the police):


Project 21's Joe Hicks Talks Ferguson Live with Fox's Megyn Kelly

Amid live scenes of rioting on the screen, Project 21's Joe Hicks joins Fox's Megyn Kelly to discuss the grand jury's decision not to charge Police Officer Darren Wilson in the Michael Brown shooting case. Joe was harshly critical of the rioters, calling them "thugs," "punks" and "hoodlums." He also addressed comments by President Obama about events in Ferguson and expressed disgust that some people have compared Michael Brown to civil rights leaders in the past who were heroic figures.

Said Joe, in part:
You heard somebody behind the camera saying, 'this is justice.' Somewhere Dr. King is probably... spinning in his grave, if that's what 'justice' looks like. That tramples on the graves of all the old martyrs of the civil rights movement that really did struggle for real things, [against] real racism, real issues they were trying to overcome. And you've got thugs, and punks, and hoodlums in the street, and you've got somebody saying, 'this is justice.'

Joe and host Megyn Kelly also were joined by Ron Hosko, president at Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, in this Fox News Channel special late edition of "The KellyFile" broadcast after midnight ET on November 25, 2014.

Addendum, 11/26/14: Fox has posted a transcript of the interview, available here.

Project 21 Member Captures Michael Brown's Mother's Initial Comments

Soon after the news broke about the grand jury’s decision, Project 21 member Lawrence B. Jones III was at a gathering in which Michael Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, was present.  He caught some of her angry response to the news that she shared with the crowd.

Originally published by Rebelpundit.  WARNING: This video contains explicit language.


Black Conservative Leader Defends Giuliani’s Raw Truth, Policing Strategy

Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani squared off against Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson in a heated exchange over the legitimacy of claims that police officers pose a major threat to the lives of blacks in the United States.

On the 11/23/14 edition of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Giuliani explained that black youths commit a disproportionate amount of the murders of other blacks, and they commit them and other crimes primarily in the communities where they reside.

A transcript and video of the exchange can be found by clicking here.

Project 21 co-chairman Horace Cooper, a legal commentator who both taught constitutional law at George Mason University in Virginia and served as a leadership staff member for the U.S. House of Representatives, had comments of his own about the Giuliani-Dyson exchange – coming to Giuliani’s defense:

Most prominent leaders in America are afraid to address the root causes and identify the real problem of crime in the inner city.  Mayor Giuliani has a demonstrated record of creating safe streets and safe neighborhoods.

Instead of pretending that police officers are the problem as Dyson seems to do – he recognized that crime skyrockets when law enforcement shirks.

Giuliani was also willing to send the police into any and all areas to aggressively tackle the criminal element.  And it worked.

Furthermore, Mayor Giuliani is just the kind of leader that the Justice Department should be consulting with on dealing with urban crime across the country.  Instead of ignoring or rationalizing thousands of black on black killings in our country, we should be discussing techniques that will end this problem and save the lives of the innocent.


Black Activists Speak Out against Obama Amnesty Agenda

As the potential harm of the President Obama’s amnesty bid for possibly more than 5 million illegal aliens residing in the United States becomes clearer, members of the Project 21 black leadership network are continuing to speak out against his unilateral action to try to remake America.

Joe R. Hicks, former executive director of the Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference:

President Obama strode into the White House promising to give the American people the audacity of hope.  What we are witnessing instead, with his immigration agenda, is an audacious grab for power and an evisceration of the Constitution.

Having kicked the can down the road, obviously refusing to ruin his own chances for re-election in 2012, and tap-dancing on the issue until after the 2014 mid-term elections, Obama now disdainfully punches the amnesty card for upwards of five million illegal residents with the knowledge that almost half of all Americans polled oppose his maneuver.

With the stroke of a pen, Obama rewards those who arrogantly mock our border laws while simultaneously telling those hopeful immigrants still waiting patiently to lawfully come to America that they are chumps.

After these five million or so, what then?  The magnet that draws illegal immigrants across the border just got stronger.  They will come expecting, — no, demanding — to get “Obama’s amnesty.”

In 2010, defending his inaction on immigration issues, Obama said, “I’m president, I’m not king.  I can’t do these things just by myself.”  That’s all changed, and the Constitution lies in tatters as a result.

Demetrius Minor, youth minister and motivational speaker:

Barack Obama really had the potential to be an iconic president.  It’s a shame he’s now relegated to someone who will be remembered most for not only dividing a nation, but for circumventing Congress in order to push his personal agenda.

Stacy Washington, talk radio host:

Well, black liberals, sorry — but I have to put you on blast.

Every time this country has pardoned illegal immigrants, crime and black unemployment have gone through the roof.  Don’t believe me?  Check the statistics from Reagan’s congressionally-approved amnesty package.  Not only did three times as many illegal immigrants as were promised become legal through the undiscovered intricacies of chain immigration, but the crime rate soared and black unemployment went through the roof.

Sorry again, black liberals.  You just got dumped!


Charles Butler, talk radio host:

The fact is President Obama will do with the stroke of a pen what 300 years of slavery, Jim Crow and legal segregation could not: destroy the hopes and dreams of millions of black Americans.  His position on illegal immigration and reform is not tenable given the numerous sources of information that warn of the negative impact of immigration reform on black Americans and low-income Americans.


Christopher Arps, founder of the black social networking web site

Mr. President, how do these people “get right with the law” when you have to break the law to allegedly get them right with the law?

Ronald Reagan and George Bush used executive orders to tweak immigration law, but it was within the framework of the 1986 Simpson/Mazzoli amnesty law that was passed by Congress.

As a student of politics and history, I’ll unfortunately be able to tell my grandchildren that I lived through America’s early 21 century experiment with a lawlessness extremely left-wing president.  This man — a self-professed constitutional scholar — is so brazen that he’s openly violating the Constitution he swore to protect.  And he’s doing so just a few years after he said he didn’t have the authority to do what he just did on immigration.



Shelby Emmett, lawyer and former congressional staff member:

I wish Obama would focus just ten percent of his time on Americans and not illegals.

Since this all about rewarding people who chose to put their kids in a position where they’d be “ripped” from their arms, why hasn’t Obama suspended the family law system as well?

Plenty of American parents lose their kids on a daily basis over silly things like breaking the law.


Earlier this year, Project 21 issued six “DataReleases” on immigration in recent weeks, covering the major issue areas of jobs, fairness, health, public schools, refugees and history.

Project 21 released statements from members opposing the Obama amnesty plan immediately after the President’s remarks on 11/20/14.


Obama's Amnesty Plan Incremental, True to Leftist Strategy 

Bottom line: Project 21 member Derryck Green said, “I don’t believe the President” when it comes to Obama’s assurances that his executive action on immigration is not amnesty.

In an interview with Blaze TV host Dana Loesch on her eponymously named “Dana” program on 11/20/14 – just hours before the Obama’s address to the nation – Derryck laid out how he saw the President’s strategy and how he thinks the President’s critics should respond.

Derryck took the President at his word, but did so while revealing the doublespeak:

Obviously, it’s not amnesty – but it’s the first step toward amnesty.  The President knows specifically what he’s doing, and that’s why he’s doing it now [after the election]… Obviously, if this was going to benefit the American people, he would have been out there talking about it.  People would have been campaigning on it.  But no one said a word until now…

It’s a cynical ploy by the President to do it and not wait for the incoming Congress because the President has a particular ideological vision for the country and he wants to implement that.

And part of that is a step toward amnesty.

Why doesn’t Derryck think that Obama wants to seem “all in” right away?  “Everything left does is incremental,” Derryck warned.

As for the future, Derryck also warned Obama’s immigration strategy is likely just the beginning:

[It’s] a clear indication on what the last two years of this presidency is going to look like.  And I think that Republicans and conservatives have to take that into consideration and start crafting messages – not falling into these political provocations that the President is trying to set for them.

Derryck suggested conservatives in control of Congress make Obama put his money where his mouth is by sending him a reform bill as soon as possible.  Give Obama a bill that truly helps fix the problems with America’s immigration system and make the President seriously consider the issue rather than just waging political warfare.

But Derryck said this will take a lot of political gumption from some members of Congress.  To stand up to Obama, timid lawmakers need to find a “fire in the gut” and eschew the “go along to get along” mentality that grips too many professional politicians.

Not only will this help rein in a president who seems to believe he’s akin to an emperor, but it will also help to end the chronic contempt that the public has toward Congress.


Project 21's Cooper Dispels Liberal "Mischaracterization" of Reagan, Bush Amnesty Plans 

Liberals are engaging in a “mischaracterization” of how Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush dealt with illegal immigration during their presidencies.  Project 21 co-chairman Horace Cooper noted those presidents worked with Congress on a plan that made Congress a partner as well as crafted a policy (one that Reagan, by the way, deeply regretted) that brought the political parties together.

But, in the case of President Obama’s executive amnesty agenda: “We do not have that in this case.  We have the exact opposite.”

In discussing the illegal immigration-inspired constitutional crisis on the 11/19/14 edition of “The Big Picture” on the Russia Today network, Horace said explained that a likely rebuke of Obama’s executive amnesty will come in budgetary language denying funding the implementation of the President’s agenda.  When host Thom Hartmann tried to bring up impeachment, Horace explained that, with the exception of a few outliers who are not influential to the expected process, “no one is calling for impeachment.” 


Ferguson Mayhem Presents Dilemma for Parents Teaching Kids Right and Wrong

With a grand jury decision on the fate of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson believed to be just days away, and the implications that there will be violence if Wilson is not indicted in the shooting death of Michael Brown, Project 21 co-chairman Cherylyn Harley LeBon said the situation sets a bad example of children.

Appearing as part of the “Grassroots Citizens Panel” of “The Rick Amato Show” on the One America News Network on 11/19/14, Cherylyn — the mother of two young children — pointed out the actions of protestors in Ferguson thus far and the potential for renewed violence there creates a problem for parents trying to teach questioning children about right and wrong.  In talking about the threats to violence if charges are not filed, she asked, “What is the message that the community is sending to young people?”

Commenting on a threat made by some protestors to allegedly disrupt the area’s electrical grid, Cherylyn said such violence constitutes an act of terrorism and that committing such blatantly illegal acts is no way to advance justice for Brown or should be representive of those in the community legitimately grieving his death.

Responding to the other news that gun sales in the St. Louis area have risen sharply as the grand jury’s announcement near, Cherylyn said that residents “absolutely have to arm themselves” as potential mayhem may overwhelm the ability of law enforcement to protect everyone in the area who may be at risk. 


Cruz Continues Fight for Internet Freedom

TedCruzOfficialPortrait2014WSenator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is continuing his fight to limit government interference into (and taxation of) the Internet, today releasing a compilation of comments he has received since his Washington Post op-ed and short video were released last week (you can watch the video here).

Here's a few of many (emphases were added by me):

"Sen. Ted Cruz got it right last week when he tweeted that Title II would be ObamaCare for the Internet."

-- L. Gordon Crovitz, former Wall Street Journal publisher and author of the Wall Street Journal's Information Age column

"Private Internet providers already compete with each other to provide broadband access to millions of Americans, and limiting their ability to sell their products how they see fit will stifle innovation and competition, not encourage it. Sen. Cruz is right that imposing new government controls on the Internet will lead to fewer choices, fewer opportunities, and higher prices."

-- Chris Chocola, President, Club for Growth

"The greatest threat to the Internet is the slow encroachment of government power. Public utility regulations lead to monopolies and slower service. Imposing Title II on the Internet would open a Pandora's box of larger broader government control worldwide. Senator Cruz's position was the bipartisan consensus in the 90's: Title II is unwise and unnecessary. Congress, not the FCC, should decide how to address hypothetical concerns about free speech and anticompetitive conduct -- while maintaining the regulatory light-touch that began under President Clinton and continued under Republicans. That 'Hands off the Net' approach has driven over $1.3 trillion in private broadband investment and allowed the Internet to flourish."

-- Berin Szoka, President, TechFreedom

"Senator Cruz has been a vocal opponent of the Marketplace Fairness Act, which passed the U.S. Senate in May of 2013. The legislation, if passed, would create a dizzying maze of new sales tax mandates for hundreds of thousands of tech-enabled small businesses across the country. In addition, it would give unprecedented authority to state tax enforcement agents and allow them to cross borders and enforce their laws on businesses located in other states. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has announced his intention to try and move the Marketplace Fairness Act in the final weeks of Congress. However, Senator Cruz, along with a number of his colleagues in the House and Senate, have expressed their concern and opposition."

-- eBay

"Senator Cruz is right on target in warning that the Internet regulations President Obama seeks would destroy innovation and harm consumers. The FCC should officially foreclose the draconian option of reclassifying the Internet under Depression-era monopoly telephone rules by closing the Title II docket once and for all. Senator Cruz recognizes the dangers of turning back the clock on Internet freedom; it's time for the Administration to do the same."

-- Pete Sepp, President, National Taxpayers Union

"The Internet we've all grown to rely on, and it has been especially helpful to working moms like me, has come about in the absence of excessive government regulation. Sen. Cruz is right to be wary of the Internet power grab the White House has proposed, especially in the wake of the IRS and NSA scandals."

-- Sabrina Schaffer, Executive Director, Independent Women's Forum

There are more comments here. Don't take our free Internet for granted. Share this, Facebook it, Tweet it or just tell your Senators what you think before the Internet as we know it today is gone.


Gruber's Wrong: Hogberg Says Americans "Not That Stupid" about ObamaCare

Commenting on shock videos released last week that show ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber disparaging the American people and admitting that the effort to sell the health care takeover was rife with lies and the bill was intentionally confusing, National Center policy analyst Dr. David Hogberg said it’s “not surprising” that liberal intellectuals think the American people are stupid.  But David disagreed with Gruber, saying that Americans are “not that stupid” — a sizable portion of the public, in fact, has always been skeptical of ObamaCare and are smart enough to see through assurances of Gruber and his ilk.

On the 11/14/14 edition of “The Rick Amato Show” on the One America News Network, David said the American people are engaged in the public policy process and do want to see those who tampered with our nation’s respected and envied health care system to be held accountable for the damage that has been done to it.  They also want to see actual free-market reforms instituted that can improve upon it.


Markets Are Not the Problem. ObamaCare's Subsidy Mechanism Is the Problem

After NCPPR sent out a Data Release on the ObamaCare exchanges last Thursday, I received this email about my criticism of the drop in subsidies from one of our readers:

You […] note (correctly) that… “Many of them may see their subsidy amount drop because of the way the subsidy is calculated. It is based on the second-lowest cost silver plan, and that plan will likely be cheaper on most exchanges this year. That could mean hefty premium hikes for people who don’t change their plans.

I don’t understand the leap you’ve made here.  First and foremost, you are a proponent of markets, and you presumably like it when markets work well.  Second, this particular market is producing lower prices for comparable benefits.  Third, you are bemoaning the fact that the subsidy is predicated on that lower price. Fourth, you put a negative spin on things like this:

An analysis by the Colorado state government found that lower-cost silver plans could reduce subsidies to the point that exchange consumers could see their premiums rise by an average of 77 percent if they keep their current plans.

I believe in markets too.  And your facts are consistent with a successful market, not a failing one. 

Unfortunately, the Data Release could be read as though I’m criticizing markets. I’m not. What I’m attacking is the subsidy mechanism.  I think that’s clear in the piece “14 Ways ObamaCare Is Still a Big Mess.” I’ve posted the relevant section from that below.  Unforunately, it wasn’t as clear in the Data Release, so let me address that now.

In short, the subsidies on the exchanges drop whenever the price of the second-lowest cost silver plan drops. People who have subsidies but don’t change plans will likely see their premiums increase.  They can try switching to a cheaper plan, but that entails the difficulty of finding a plan that is accepted by one’s doctor and so forth.

The subsidy mechanism is something of a Catch-22.  When premiums increase, subsidies will also increase. That’s great if you’ve got a subsidy, but if you are one of the 17 percent of people on the exchanges who don’t qualify for one, it’s not so good.  And for the taxpayers, it’s not so good either.

The reader is correct that new companies joining the exchanges and offering lower-cost plans is how markets work.  Indeed, the exchanges will need more of that if they are to have any chance of succeeding.  Frankly, I think the fact that relatively few new companies entered the exchanges this year (on average, less than two per state) is an indication this is a market that, in the long-run, won’t work.  But that is an argument for another day (stay tuned).

In sum, I’m ciriticizing the subsidy mechanism, not markets.

From “14 Ways ObamaCare Is Still a Big Mess”:

Exchange Subsidy Roller Coaster: While the left hailed the new insurance companies entering the exchanges and the lower premium costs that would result, they forgot to mention that exchange subsidies could also decline. Since 83 percent of exchange consumers have subsidies, a lot of people could be in for hefty premium increases as their subsidies begin to decrease.

The subsidy is a formula based on the second lowest-cost silver plan on an exchange minus the amount of money the individual is required by law to put toward the insurance premiums, known as the “applicable percentage.” Let’s say that the second lowest-cost silver plan last year was $200 per month while an enrollee’s applicable percentage was $150 per month. The enrollee’s subsidy was $200 - $150 = $50 per month. This year, however, if a new company enters the exchange offering lower cost insurance, and the second lowest-cost silver plan becomes $175 per month. The enrollee’s subsidy is now $175 - $150 = $25 a month. If the enrollee keeps the same plan (ObamaCare automatically re-enrolls individuals in the plans they had in 2014), he would pay $300 more per year for it.

This is far from hypothetical. A preliminary analysis by the state of Colorado found that the new lower-cost silver plans could cause exchange consumers to see the premiums rise by an average of 77 percent next year if they keep their current plans.