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


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

Black Women Applaud Trump Administration Getting Government Out of Abortion Business

To ensure that taxpayers “do not indirectly fund abortions,” the Trump Administration has issued a proposal to reform the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Family Planning Program (Title X) funding.

This move is strongly supported by black women affiliated with the National Center’s Project 21 black leadership network.

In keeping with rules enacted during the Reagan Administration and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Trump White House is asking for “bright line” standards to prevent federal money from being spent in facilities performing abortions or making abortion referrals.

Congress allocated approximately $286 million for family planning in 2017. Asked about the nature of this change in policy, White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway explained on the Fox News Channel: “You can still get an abortion in this country. You can get it in many different places. We… just don’t think taxpayers should have to pay for that.”

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the policy reboot “would ensure compliance with the program’s existing statutory prohibition on funding programs in which abortion is a method of family planning. The new proposed rule would not cut funds from the Title X program. Instead, it would ensure that taxpayers do not indirectly fund abortions. Contrary to recent media reports, HHS’s proposal does not include the so-called ‘gag rule’ on counseling about abortion that was part of the Reagan Administration’s Title X rule.”

Project 21 member Alveda King, the niece of civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said:

Today, the majority of our population is pro-life. Light bulbs are coming on to the truth that all human beings – of one blood and one race – should have the right to be born.

In the past, the fight to protect and defend the lives of the unborn has been hampered by regulatory malfunction. With the Trump Administration’s new executive order regarding Title X provisos, regulation becomes the key to success.

Families and individuals can now hope for protection from the predatory practices of abortion-providing grant recipients demonstrably more interested in protecting their ability to make millions of dollars through abortions than they are in protecting the rights and safety of their clients.

Families and individuals need true health care. Abortion is death care.

Project 21 member Day Gardner, the president of the National Black Pro-Life Union, added:

Here’s the bottom line: President Trump loves America and all her citizens.  And, more than any of his predecessors, he values America’s unborn.

President Trump understands that most Americans believe and trust that every life is precious. American taxpayers don’t want to and should not be forced to give their hard-earned dollars to Planned Parenthood or any organization that brutally kills unborn children. They don’t want to be forced to subsidize a group that causes emotional and many times physical scars to  mothers.

I applaud President Trump for having the mortal fortitude to do the right thing.

Less “Meddling” Allows Economy to Thrive – and People Understand

Under the tenure of President Donald Trump, the American economy is recovering dramatically. And the American people know it. More importantly, they appear to know why.

Probably to the great consternation of the media, the public is giving President Trump the credit for the economic turnaround. A new CBS News poll found that 68 percent of those surveyed said Trump Administration policies had a “great deal” or “somewhat” positive effect on the economy’s robust performance.

In an interview about it on the Fox Business Network’s “Varney and Co.” National Center Senior Fellow Horace Cooper said:

It’s a sign that this economy is moving. It’s working on all eight cylinders. What we’re seeing with this CBS poll is, when you ask people what’s going on, you’re seeing they understand.

For instance, Google data is reporting that we’re seeing… a strategic spike in the number of Americans searching for vacations. Last summer, we broke a record – and it looks like we’re going to break that record. Housing’s up. You know, a rising tide lifts all boats.

How did Trump do it? Horace explained:

It reminds me of the good maxim for a great Baptist preacher: “Stick to preaching and not meddling.” Over the last eight years of the Obama Administration, all the government did was meddle. All it did was minimize the ability of people to achieve. This president is saying, “We’re here to let you be successful.”


When We Said “Free Coal,” We Didn’t Want to Subsidize It

President Ronald Reagan famously said: “Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”

At a time when the Trump Administration is being praised for “draining the swamp” and ending the Obama Administration’s war on the coal industry, National Center Senior Fellow Horace Cooper reports in the American Spectator that it is simultaneously flirting with the idea of subsidizing Big Coal rather than allowing the market to correct itself.

After reversing the Clean Power Plan, sidelining or rolling back crippling regulations on the coal industry and pulling the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord, a plan that was introduced last fall to stop coal-fired power plant closures would make payments to plant owners to the tune of billions of dollars.

As Horace noted:

Just as these salutary changes have been going into effect, some over at the Department of Energy have engaged in what can only be called an over-reach or as a good Baptist might say, “Went from preachin’ to meddlin’.” Rather than focusing on eliminating the industry-destroying regulations that should never have been imposed to allow a return to market equilibrium, DOE staff pushed DOE Secretary Rick Perry to pursue outright subsidies for the coal industry…

Back in September when the DOE presented the plan they explained that, with the decline in existing coal plants and the rise of solar and wind power, there were heightened concerns about the reliability of U.S. power generation. In other words, because wind and solar can only provide intermittent power which is available only when the wind blows and the sun shines, our grid power capability could be caught flat-footed during an emergency.

Curiously the plan was drafted in a way to ensure that only a few energy producers would benefit — namely a few coal plants located in the Midwest and the Northeast corridor. In addition, the cost of these subsidies has been projected to exceed $10 billion annually. There was no explanation given for why the elimination of the onerous anti-coal regulation wouldn’t allow the marketplace to self-correct.

Instead, the plan was sent to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [FERC] and the agency was given 60 days to either reject or allow it to go into effect.

There’s good news and bad news. The good is that FERC rejected DOE’s request. The bad news is that there are other means that could be used to open the subsidy spigot:

Unfortunately the saga isn’t over. Within a couple months of FERC’s ruling, one company has asked the Department of Energy to issue a temporary order granting it access to subsidies under the DOE’s power to regulate energy markets using the “Federal Power Act.” If this request is granted you can be sure that other companies will follow suit.

The Act allows federal intervention in the energy marketplace for reasons of war, snap increases in the price of power and perilous shortages. And it is up to Secretary Perry, President Donald Trump’s pick to drain the swamp at the DOE, to make the call. Horace warned:

[V]igilance is necessary, because in the swamp, it appears that it’s far too tempting for the feds to control energy regulation rather than leaving it to consumers and the market. Hopefully American consumers will win and the swamp will lose.

To read Horace’s commentary, “Rick Perry is Being Asked to Subsidize Coal at DOE” in its entirety, click here.

Scott Pruitt the Science Guy

Over at the Environmental Protection Agency, the sun is shining.

Under the terms of a new proposal, all regulatory actions will be required to be made in broad daylight. The era of what EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt called “secret science” is over.

The announcement is applauded by the National Center’s environmental fellows as a “bold move” that “spells the end of junk science.”

A new rule proposed by Pruitt late last month prohibits EPA staff from basing regulation on scientific data not made available for public review. Additionally, data derived by EPA-funded studies will also now to be available to the public. Pruitt said:

The ability to test, authenticate, and reproduce scientific findings is vital for the integrity of the rule-making process. Americans deserve to assess the legitimacy of the science underpinning EPA decisions that may impact their lives.

Until now, this data secrecy has created long-standing and costly problems for American businesses and the consumers they serve. According to Kevin Mooney’s article in the Daily Signal:

[Representative Lamar] Smith and other congressional critics point out, for instance, that over the past two decades, the EPA’s air quality regulations have been based on science produced in a taxpayer-funded study from Harvard and Brigham Young University researchers that the agency kept sealed from public scrutiny. The study is widely known as the Six Cities Study.

In 1994, an EPA external science advisory board known as the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee requested the study data, but the agency denied the request. In 1997, Congress also asked, but the EPA again denied the request.

The following year, Congress passed legislation calling for the EPA’s scientific data to be made public, but an appellate court ruled that the law was not enforceable.

In 2013, House members issued a subpoena to compel the EPA to produce the data, which the agency successfully resisted.

The House also passed several bills to ban the practice of “secret science,” but the measures never made it out of the Senate.

Noting how the EPA abused its reliance on “secret science” in the past, National Center Adjunct Fellow Steve Milloy said:

During the Obama administration, the EPA wantonly destroyed 94 percent of the market value of the coal industry, killed thousands of coal mining jobs, and wreaked havoc on coal mining families and communities, all based on data the EPA and its taxpayer-funded university researchers have been hiding from the public and Congress for more than 20 years.

Administrator Pruitt’s decision to bring science into the sunlight spells the end of junk science, which has fueled overregulation by the EPA for years.

National Center Senior Fellow Bonner Cohen noted that Pruitt is seeking to make this proposal “much more difficult for a future anti-science administration to undo” by going through the formal rule-making process.

Commenting on the potential long-term impact of the Pruitt’s intent to ban “secret science,” Bonner said:

This will send shock waves through the ranks of university researchers, who, for decades, have produced “findings” in the knowledge that they would never have to disclose the underlying data. Those who demand that the American people have a “right to know” how their government functions have now been put on notice that this also applies to taxpayer-funded research.

To read the entire Daily Signal article on the EPA announcement on “secret science,” click here.

“America’s Constable” Discusses Life in Law Enforcement

It took almost five decades before Project 21 Co-Chairman Council Nedd II realized he had a true vocation in law enforcement. Now, in a new Daily Caller commentary published during National Police Week, he discusses the “life-long calling” and the personal duty he feels in wearing a badge and putting his life on the line.

Council – who previously held jobs as a teacher, congressional staffer and who still serves his community and an international congregation as a Anglican archbishop – became a Pennsylvania state constable two years ago at the age of 46. He noted:

It took nearly five decades for me to realize the lifelong calling that law enforcement had on me. At 46 years old, I became the oldest rookie officer anyone could remember.

Known as “America’s constable,” Council wrote in the commentary that he’s “a cop at heart.” He also described the inherent dangers he now faces while on the job:

As a constable, each day is starkly different. When I knock on a door to serve a warrant and make an arrest, I have no idea what’s on the other side. Someone you anticipate being difficult can often be surprisingly docile. Other times, you may let down your guard only to find you have a runner or a fighter on your hands.

Despite these dangers, he wrote that there’s nothing he’d rather be doing right now. To read Council’s commentary in its entirety, click here.

Improving the relationship between law enforcement and black communities is a major part of Project 21’s new “Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America.” Among the reforms suggested in the Blueprint to help improve these relations are not requiring officers to enforce regulations so they can focus on criminal issues mattering most to residents, lifting restrictions on citizen gun ownership and having police help with gun training and safety, encouraging religious institutions to have themed “First Responder Sundays” and creating additional resources for officers to be able to identify and handle situations involving people with cognitive disabilities.

In his comments about Project 21’s Blueprint recommendations for improving police-community relations, Council said:

Proposals offered in Project 21’s Blueprint can substantially mend the rift between black Americans and law enforcement. Politicians and bureaucrats have inflicted mission creep on officers that hurts their standing in the black community. Project 21 suggests reining in that overreach, working with communities to highlight the value of good policing and keeping situations from unnecessarily escalating.



Left “Marginalizing” Illegal Immigrants, But John Kelly is Deemed the Racist

In the ongoing effort to sensationalize and demonize the Trump Administration, a rather mundane comment by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is being called “ignorant” and “racist” by the left-wing media.

Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper, in an appearance on the Fox News Channel’s “The Ingraham Angle,” pointed out it is actually the left that is “marginalizing” people who are being encouraged come here illegally without the skills they need to succeed in modern American society.

In an interview with National Public Radio, responding to a question about the prosecution of families illegally crossing the border, Kelly replied more broadly about the false promise facing many people entering the United States without permission:

Let me step back and tell you that the vast majority of the people that move illegally into United States are not bad people. They’re not criminals. They’re not MS-13. Some of them are not. But they’re also not people that would easily assimilate into the United States into our modern society. They’re overwhelmingly rural people in the countries they come from – fourth, fifth, sixth grade educations are kind of the norm. They don’t speak English, obviously that’s a big thing. They don’t speak English. They don’t integrate well, they don’t have skills. They’re not bad people. They’re coming here for a reason. And I sympathize with the reason. But the laws are the laws. But a big name of the game is deterrence.

In his appearance, Horace rebutted some of the accusations made by civil rights attorney Leo Terrell. Making his case, Terrell repeatedly sought to link the fact that his mother had an 8th grade education with his own ability to become an attorney and be allowed on Laura Ingraham’s show that night. He did not explain how his mother’s education affected his own or his career choices. He did say that, in his America, “it’s not how smart you are, it’s what you do with that opportunity.”

This is where Horace eloquently rebutted Terrell by pointing out that the great wave of organized European immigration happened under different circumstances than today’s illegal immigration from the south:

First of all, we’re talking about a 21st century economic environment. Not a 18th century. Not a 19th century. Not even an early 20th century. You could get off the boat and not know the language, not have any type of marketable skills – and still succeed.

Referring specifically to the statement made by Kelly about current opportunities, Horace continued:

Today, we’re already seeing this. All you’ve got to [do is] look and see is who came in the 1990s. Their children are not doing nearly as well. I’m talking about immigrants – many of them illegal – are not doing nearly as well as what we saw in the 1920, the 1930s – all the way up to the 1960s.

We are marginalizing these people by encouraging them to come when they don’t have the skills necessary to compete.

Surprisingly, Terrell – a civil rights attorney – smeared the Irish immigrants of generations past as “criminals, uneducated and had a allegiance to the Catholic Church.” The first accusation is derided by others of Terrell’s belief when it is said about today’s immigrants, so it’s odd he would use it as well. The education issue was addressed by Horace. The religious conspiracy? From a civil rights lawyer? It seems oddly similar to a recent story in Washington, D.C. in which a member of the city council blamed snow on a Jewish conspiracy.

Illegal immigration and its effects on the black community are an issue addressed by Project 21 in its new “Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America.” While the portion of the Blueprint addressing the immigration issue – “Stopping Wealth Transfer From the Poor to Non-Citizens” – is not scheduled to be released until June 25, it is described in the executive summary as recommending “bar[ring] illegal aliens from using public services, except in emergencies.”

#MeToo Culture Likens a Diaper Change to Sexual Abuse

A human sexuality “expert” in Australia suggested babies should be consulted as to whether or not they consent to having a soiled diaper changed.

Project 21  member (and father) Jerome Danner, in a new Daily Caller commentary, asked: “Has she actually interacted with a newborn and/or a toddler on a daily and consistent basis?”

Jerome also wonders what constitutes consent when it comes to a baby. Furthermore, how long must one wait before the subject can be broached once again.

In a recent interview on Australian television, Deanne Carson didn’t dispute babies want their dirty “nappies” changed. She nonetheless suggested that  – in an effort to prevent any potential for sexual abuse – adding a step to the process in which “you leave a space, and wait for body language, and wait to make eye contact.” Doing so, she insisted, is “letting that child know that their response matters.” She said this “empowers children with their rights.”

Putting the ridiculous notion into perspective, Jerome noted in his commentary:

There are times when it is quite possible that a noble idea has no actual logic to it whatsoever. So, as a theory, such an idea may look attractive. However, when a thoughtful individual mulls over the proposition, they may end up finding it harder and harder to implement realistically. The proposed solution to whatever problem ends up having no real pragmatism to its premises.

For example, one of the presenters in the video included in this post pointed out an inherent flaw in Carson’s logic. He said that his 16-month-old daughter, when posed with a choice about changing her dirty diaper, always refuses. It’s not a “no means no” situation, but a sassy child. At her age, she obviously has no concept of the health risks or the detrimental effects on the local environment related to her precociousness. Jerome noted that abiding by Carson’s standard could easily be considered “neglect”:

Honestly, when children are at a very young age, the key word is “trust.”

They trust you to do the right thing by them as they will need time and maturity before they ever gain the slightest understanding of what it means to give consent over their body. Actually, this should easily prompt another inquiry, especially from those parents with a child with a certain intellectual impairment and physical abnormalities (such that comes with having Down syndrome). If a child has a disorder that causes a substantial impact on their speech (or lack thereof) and/or their physical movement (or lack thereof), then what does consent look like in such a child’s case?

In occurrences such as these, waiting for consent may be tantamount to neglecting your child until you are completely sure that they are affirming that it is okay for them to be touched and changed.

To read Jerome’s Daily Caller commentary – “That Statement on Babies’ Consent to Change Diapers by the Australian ‘Sexuality Expert is Absurd” – can he viewed in its entirety by clicking here.



Ben Carson’s Welfare Reform Defended: “Separate the Needy from the Greedy”

Horace Cooper

Promoting a better deal for those receiving government assistance, Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper showed support for Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson’s proposal for welfare reform in an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

As part of the Trump Administration’s comprehensive efforts to reform the American welfare system, Secretary Carson suggested increasing the contribution recipients make for their subsidized housing, making that amount based on gross income and streamlining the process for local housing officials to include work requirements in exchange for taxpayer assistance.

In the article, Cooper said:

Part of what we’ve been asking for is that we engage in a new round of welfare reform. We want to separate the needy from the greedy. Able-bodied people ought to be encouraged to become independent, then with the resources we have, we’re able to better help those who can’t help themselves.

To read the article in its entirety, click here.

Project 21’s support for welfare reform can be found in its new “Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America.” It calls for enhanced welfare reform as part of a better deal on employment policy, and specifically calls for work requirements to be attached to assistance programs such as the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP, or “food stamps”).

The employment policies of Project 21’s Blueprint were released on May 7. Other policy areas will be released weekly through July 9.


Embracing America’s Promise is the Key to Escaping Mental Prison

It didn’t take much for hip hop star Kanye West to get the political left up in arms.

Celebrities simply aren’t supposed to praise conservative politicians or the ideas they espouse. Especially if that celebrity is black. It’s even more maddening when that celebrity is the zeitgeist and cannot be silenced.

Some have tried. Critics have suggested that the always erratic and eccentric West may now actually be mentally ill. Boycotts of his music are underway. What they are avoiding, however, is a real discussion about any deeper context that can be found in West’s comments.

That hasn’t been lost on Project 21 members such as Derrick Hollie and Co-Chairman Stacy Washington, who have both done high-profile interviews related to what was said and how people reacted.

Adding to the discussion is Project 21 member Richard Dimery, the grandson of a South Carolina sharecropper. Picking up on West’s comments in which he likened modern mental slavery to a prison, Richard warns that the current fixation on race and differences could have devastating consequences down the line for America:

When Kanye West said that black Americans who claim that the race has suffered under 400 years of slavery “sounds like a choice,” please understand that it’s all about people thinking rationally and thinking for themselves. That’s how you break the chains these days.

Before it was outlawed by the 13th Amendment over 150 years ago, physical slavery was enforced by whips and chains and dogs and laws. Today, there’s mental slavery – a devotion to the idea that we are permanent victims. In subscribing to that notion, we believe our freedom is something beyond our control. What we focus on – real or imaged – we draw to ourselves.

We are all now equal inheritors of the promise that is America. But it is available to us only if we step up and responsibly claim it. Those who wish to be our oppressors, and whom too many cower from, are now an insignificant minority who lack any law to justify their actions and agenda. Their power over us is mind control – which we allow to control us through their cunning and deceitful words alone. Their labels are “black” and “white,” which we willingly accept.

The current back-and-forth on issues of race is ineffective. If we don’t change the way we talk about race to get away from the notion that we are systematically oppressed, it will probably end in America being destroyed.

America will be stronger and more beautiful if we are Americans first and not disparate tribes of people.

Stop Encouraging the CIA to Go Rogue… Confirm Gina Haspel

Gina Haspel’s confirmation as the next CIA director is in trouble because she did what she was supposed to do: Follow directions of her superiors.

Haspel was in charge of a so-called “black site” in Thailand during George W. Bush’s administration where “enhanced interrogation techniques” such as waterboarding were used. Senators are now using Haspel’s connection to the black site as an excuse for opposing her nomination.

In so doing, they’re sending a terrible message to CIA employees:  It’s okay to substitute their own judgment for that of their superiors.

That’s called going rogue, and if Haspel had done so, she would be unqualified to serve as director of the U.S.’s premier intelligence agency.  

Whatever one’s view of enhanced interrogation, it was the policy of the Bush Administration deemed lawful by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel.

I have news for Senators Paul and McCain and for Democrats opposing Haspel’s confirmation: The Senate’s advice-and-consent powers aren’t supposed to be used to relitigate policies of past administrations.  They’re supposed to be used to ensure that a president’s appointees are qualified for the positions for which they’ve been nominated.

Gina Haspel is eminently qualified, having risen from a case officer to deputy director over her 33-year career at the CIA.  President Obama’s CIA Director Leon Panetta praised her as “someone who really knows the CIA inside out” while Obama’s Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said “she is capable, smart, very experienced, well-respected by the Agency rank and file and a great person.”

We know what happens when government officials feel free to play by their own rules: We get James Comey, we get Andrew McCabe, and we get Peter Strzok.

Don’t turn the CIA into another DOJ.  Confirm Gina Haspel.


David A. Ridenour, President
The National Center for Public Policy Research


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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.