The Left is all tied up in knots over Trump’s SCOTUS pick announcement

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It's panic time for the Left. Tonight, President Trump is expected to announce his Supreme Court nominee to replace retiring justice Anthony Kennedy. But the Left doesn't care what any potential nominee thinks about the Constitution. They're only obsessed with one thing – whether one of these potential justices will be the deciding vote in overturning Roe v. Wade, the holy grail of landmark Supreme Court cases for the Left.

In the always-entertaining Washington Post Opinion section yesterday, Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, wrote a piece titled: "Roe isn't just about women's rights. It's about everyone's personal liberty."

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Northup's first lie is front and center in her title – "it's about everyone's personal liberty" – well, everyone's except the unborn baby's.

She writes:

"Given the president's promise to appoint justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade, it's widely understood that his nominee will pose a clear danger to women's reproductive rights. What most don't realize is that everyone's personal-liberty rights are on the line."

Oh, okay. So, now the Left is worried about "personal-liberty rights," but they weren't worried about that in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, and not when it comes to the Second Amendment right to bear arms, and not even with something like the Obamacare individual mandate. They simply don't see personal-liberty rights at stake in those instances.

Northup continues:

"That line [that the Supreme Court drew to previous landmark decisions] led to the conclusion, enshrined in Roe and elaborated on in Casey, that liberty cannot exist if we are not free to make decisions about our lives, bodies and health free from government interference."

The thing is, if the Left was actually as concerned as Nancy Northup seems to be about personal-liberty rights, conservatives could more often be in lock-step with the Left. But her argument about Roe v. Wade being the linchpin of our personal-liberty rights misses something that is glaringly obvious. The pro-life position says, yes, absolutely, bring on the personal-liberty rights, but if we believe to our core in those rights, then they must be extended to that person growing in the womb. It's completely hypocritical to demand those rights for yourself and in the same breath deny them to a person in the womb that is just months from joining the world.

Progressives like Northup think they own the patent on empathy. Yet, they are apparently incapable of placing themselves in the shoes of the unborn.

Progressives like Northup think they own the patent on empathy. Yet, they are apparently incapable of placing themselves in the shoes of the unborn. If Nancy Northup was in the womb right now, just 32 weeks from birth, would she not want the personal-liberty rights she's talking about to be preserved for her? All men [and women] are created equal… endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights… If you honestly believe that, and you can extrapolate that concept to slavery and see it as evil, or to the Holocaust and see that as evil, how can you not see that it is wrong to deny those rights to the unborn, and even worse, to deny those rights by killing that person in the womb?

Northup says:

"You can have either the president's promise about overturning Roe or the Constitution's promise of a realm of personal liberty. You can't have both."

Actually, you can. The Left makes it sound so easy to overturn Roe v. Wade, but it wouldn't be, and there's no guarantee that it will happen even with a supposed conservative majority. Even if it was overturned, states would still decide on their own abortion law – some might ban it, many would still allow it. Overturning Roe v. Wade would be an anti-murder decision, not the restriction on personal liberty that terrifies the Left.

You can have both overturning Roe and the Constitution's promise of a realm of personal liberty. First, because abortion would still be available in many parts of the country, it's just that killing your child might be a little more inconvenient. Second, overturning Roe would actually extend that realm of personal-liberty rights to more Americans as hundreds of thousands of babies every year would now get to live.

Overturning Roe would not be the restrictive, Handmaid's Tale scenario that the Left is in a panic over. It would actually break the padlocks on some of the cattle cars of the endless Holocaust trains that we call abortion.

This compromise is an abomination

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Three decades ago, "The Art of the Deal" made Donald Trump a household name. A lot has happened since then. But you can trace many of Trump's actions back to that book.

Art of the Deal:

In the end, you're measured not by how much you undertake but by what you finally accomplish.

People laughed when he announced that he was running for President. And I mean that literally. Remember the 2011 White House Correspondents' Dinner when Obama roasted Trump, viciously, mocking the very idea that Trump could ever be President. Now, he's President.

You can't con people, at least not for long. You can create excitement, you can do wonderful promotion and get all kinds of press, and you can throw in a little hyperbole. But if you don't deliver the goods, people will eventually catch on.

This empire-building is a mark of Trump.

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The most recent example is the border wall. Yesterday, congress reached a compromise on funding for the border wall. Weeks of tense back-and-forth built up to that moment. At times, it seemed like neither side would budge. Trump stuck to his guns, the government shut down, Trump refused to budge, then, miraculously, the lights came back on again. The result was a compromise. Or at least that's how it appeared.

But really, Trump got what he wanted -- exactly what he wanted. He used the techniques he wrote about in The Art of the Deal:

My style of deal-making is quite simple and straightforward. I aim very high, and then I just keep pushing and pushing and pushing to get what I'm after.

From the start, he demanded $5.7 billion for construction of a border wall. It was a months' long tug-of-war that eventually resulted in yesterday's legislation, which would dedicate $1.4 billion. It would appear that that was what he was after all along. Moments before the vote, he did some last-minute pushing. A national emergency declaration, and suddenly the number is $8 billion.

Art of the Deal:

People think I'm a gambler. I've never gambled in my life. To me, a gambler is someone who plays slot machines. I prefer to own slot machines. It's a very good business being the house.

In a rare show of bipartisanship, Senate passed the legislation 83-16, and the House followed with 300-128. Today, Trump will sign the bill.

It's not even fair to call that a deal, really. A deal is what happens when you go to a car dealership, fully ready to buy a car, and the salesman says the right things. What Trump did is more like a car dealer selling an entire row of cars to someone who doesn't even have a licence. When Trump started, Democrats wouldn't even consider a wall, let alone pay for it.

Art of the Deal:

The final key to the way I promote is bravado. I play to people's fantasies. People may not always think big themselves, but they can still get very excited by those who do. That's why a little hyperbole never hurts. People want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular. I call it truthful hyperbole. It's an innocent form of exaggeration—and a very effective form of promotion.

He started the wall on a chant, "Build the wall!" until he got what he wanted. He maneuvered like Don Draper, selling people something that they didn't even know they wanted, and convincing them that it is exactly what they've always needed.

As the nation soaks in the victory of the recent passing of the historic First Step Act, there are Congressmen who haven't stopped working to solve additional problems with the criminal justice system. Because while the Act was impactful, leading to the well-deserved early release of many incarcerated individuals, it didn't go far enough. That's why four Congressmen have joined forces to reintroduce the Justice Safety Valve Act—legislation that would grant judges judicial discretion when determining appropriate sentencing.

There's a real need for this legislation since it's no secret that lawmakers don't always get it right. They may pass laws with good intentions, but unintended consequences often prevail. For example, there was a time when the nation believed the best way to penalize lawbreakers was to be tough on crime, leading to sweeping mandatory minimum sentencing laws implemented both nationally and statewide.

RELATED: If Trump can support criminal justice reform, so can everyone else

Only in recent years have governments learned that these sentences aren't good policy for the defendant or even the public. Mandatory minimum sentences are often overly harsh, don't act as a public deterrent for crime, and are extremely costly to taxpayers. These laws tie judges' hands, preventing them from using their knowledge and understanding of the law to make case relevant decisions.

Because legislation surrounding criminal law is often very touchy and difficult to change (especially on the federal level, where bills can take multiple years to pass) mandatory minimum sentences are far from being done away with—despite the data-driven discoveries of their downfalls. But in order to solve the problems inherent within all of the different laws imposing sentencing lengths, Congress needs to pass the Justice Safety Valve Act now. Ensuring its passing would allow judges to use discretion while sentencing, rather than forcing them to continue issuing indiscriminate sentences no matter the unique facts of the case.

Rather than take years to go back and try to fix every single mandatory minimum law that has been federally passed, moving this single piece of legislation forward is the best way to ensure judges can apply their judgment in every appropriate case.

When someone is facing numerous charges from a single incident, mandatory minimum sentencing laws stack atop one another, resulting in an extremely lengthy sentence that may not be just. Such high sentences may even be violations of an individual's eighth amendment rights, what with the imposition of cruel and unusual punishment. It's exactly what happened with Weldon Angelos.

In Salt Lake City in 2002, Weldon sold half a pound of marijuana to federal agents on two separate occasions. Unbeknownst to Weldon, the police had targeted him because they suspected he was a part of a gang and trafficking operation. They were oh-so-wrong. Weldon had never sold marijuana before and only did this time because he was pressured by the agents to find marijuana for them. He figured a couple lowkey sales could help out his family's financial situation. But Weldon was caught and sentenced to a mandatory 55 years in prison. This massive sentence is clearly unjust for a first time, non-violent crime, and even the Judge, Paul Cassell, agreed. Judge Cassell did everything he could to reduce the sentence, but, due to federal law, it wasn't much.

The nation is facing an over-criminalization problem that costs taxpayers millions and amounts to the foolish eradication of individual liberties.

In cases like Weldon's, a safety valve for discretionary power is much needed. Judges need the ability to issue sentences below the mandatory minimums, depending on mitigating factors such as mental health, provocation, or physical illness. That's what this new bill would allow for. Critics may argue that this gives judges too much power, but under the bill, judges must first make a finding on why it's necessary to sentence below the mandatory minimum. Then, they must write a clear statement explaining their decision.

Judges are unlikely to risk their careers to allow dangerous criminals an early release. If something happens after an offender is released early, the political pressure is back on the judge who issued the shorter sentence—and no one wants that kind of negative attention. In order to avoid risky situations like this, they'd use their discretion very cautiously, upholding the oath they took to promote justice in every case.

The nation is facing an overcriminalization problem that costs taxpayers millions and amounts to the foolish eradication of individual liberties. Mandatory minimums have exacerbated this problem, and it's time for that to stop. Congresswomen and men have the opportunity to help solve this looming problem by passing the Justice Safety Valve Act to untie the hands of judges and restore justice in individual sentences.

Molly Davis is a policy analyst at Libertas Institute, a free market think tank in Utah. She's a writer for Young Voices, and her work has previously appeared in The Hill, TownHall.com, and The Washington Examiner.

New gadget for couples in 'the mood' lets a button do the talking

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Just in time for Valentine's Day, there's a new romantic gadget for couples that is sure to make sparks fly. For those with their minds in the gutter, I'm not talking about those kinds of gadgets. I'm talking about a brilliant new device for the home called "LoveSync."

This is real — it's a simple pair of buttons for busy, modern couples who have plenty of time for social media and Netflix, but can't quite squeeze in time to talk about their... uh... special relationship.

Here's how it works. Each partner has their own individual LoveSync button. Whenever the mood strikes one partner, all they have to do is press their own button. That sets their button aglow for a certain period of time. If, during that time window, their partner also presses their own button, then both buttons light up in a swirling green pattern to signal that love has "synced"...and it's go time.

According to the makers of LoveSync, this device will "Take the Luck out of Getting Lucky." It brings a whole new meaning to "pushing each other's buttons." It's an ideal gift to tell your significant other "I care," without actually having to care, or talk about icky things like feelings.

If you find your significant other is already on the couch binge-watching The Bachelor, no problem! You can conveniently slink back to your button and hold it in for four seconds to cancel the desire. No harm, no foul! Live to fight another day.

Have fun explaining those buttons to inquiring children.

No word yet on whether LoveSync can also order wine, light candles or play Barry White. Maybe that's in the works for LoveSync 2.0.

Of course, LoveSync does have some pitfalls. Cats and toddlers love a good button. That'll be a fun conversation — "Honey, who keeps canceling my mood submissions?" And have fun explaining those buttons to inquiring children. "Yeah, kids, that button just controls the lawn sprinklers. No big deal."

If you've been dialing it in for years on Valentine's Day with flowers and those crappy boxes of chocolate, now you can literally dial it in. With a button.

Good luck with that.