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

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It's surprising that criminal justice reform hasn't, up to this point, been on the forefront of politicians' agendas—since we're living in the country with the highest incarceration rate in the world. We dominate even communist China and totalitarian-leaning Iraq with our miserable numbers. But if our elected officials truly want to make a positive impact for the future of the country—as they boast during campaign season—then fixing our incarceration problem would seem like a good place to start. Fortunately, with President Trump's Wednesday announcement of support for the Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person Act (First Step Act), there could finally a foundation for real, sweeping criminal justice reform in America. But lawmakers have to do their part.

Key advocates such as Senator Mike Lee( R-UT ) and Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL ) have worked on this issue for a number of years, but remained unable to make progress. And it's past time for their colleagues to step up and support the First Step compromise. Although FIRST may not be the perfect bill, it's still indicative fo progress made. The bill includes considerable changes in favor of fairness toward individuals caught in the criminal justice system—while also upholding the widespread safety of communities across the country. Its reforms, too, have evolved from policies which legislators have already successfully implemented on the state level in a majority of states. It's sure to help millions of future Americans avoid overly harsh sentencing laws and the unfair prison practices that are currently espoused by the federal system—a reality that even Trump has recognized.

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In May, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the initial version of the First Step Act with a vote of 360-59. It has since changed, with additions from a bipartisan group of Senators that added significant sentencing reforms to the bill. The compromise package now grants further sentencing discretion to judges, expands compassionate release for terminally-ill patients, bans the shackling of incarcerated women during childbirth, and expands time credit to allow incarcerated individuals more time off for good behaviour—among other great reforms.

President Trump's support of this newly-crafted bipartisan bill is a monumental, if somewhat unexpected, moment for America. "It's a strange and ironic twist to have the president's support push it over the finish line," Michael Waldman, president of Brennan Center for Justice, said on Wednesday.

But if Trump can put politics aside to even support the amendments that were added to the bill to appease Democrats... then all lawmakers should be able to do the same.

But if Trump can put politics aside to even support the amendments that were added to the bill to appease Democrats (mainly on sentencing reform), then all lawmakers should be able to do the same. Indeed, the bill has garnered support from both parties and has been backed by groups ranging from the ACLU to Koch Industries. Yet the Senate has still waited over five months to vote on the legislation. That seems like a long time until you consider that the wait for comprehensive criminal justice legislation has been far longer for those lawmakers trying to push reform.

The Senate may still be divided on this bill, but Trump's support on this bipartisan issue should stand as an example of compromise when it counts. And while his outward support for the First Step Act may be off-putting to some more stringent MAGA adherents, it's necessary to pass positive compromises in order to restore true justice for all Americans. These reforms have been proven to work locally, and it's time to see them at work for those caught in our broken federal system. If Trump can see it, everyone else should be able to.

Molly Davis is a policy analyst at Libertas Institute, a free market think tank in Utah. She is also a writer for Young Voices. Her work has previously appeared in The Hill, TownHall.com, and The Daily Caller.

We've finally heard some news on the migrant caravan. Some of the migrants have given up and gone back home, but some are still there waiting at the border. A leader representing the group has decided to step forward, and he's made out a list of... demands. Remember when I said back in October that this caravan was originally formed as a Leftist act against the Honduran government by people with ties to Venezuela and Cuba? Well what do you know… wait until you hear who this guy is.

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Alfonso Guerrero personally walked into the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana, Mexico with a list of demands from the caravan. Get a load of this. The caravan is demanding that if they're not granted immediate asylum they want the following:

  1. Fifty thousand dollars in cash for every caravan member (which would be a total of tens of millions).
  2. The immediate removal of all U.S. economic and military assets in Honduras.

Failure to comply to these demands will result in the caravan continuing to try and penetrate the U.S. border.

I mean, if you're trying to appear like some grassroots movement for migrants that are just escaping the dangers of their own country, you might want to - oh I don't know - tone down the crazy Leftist freedom fighter schtick. I'm just saying. Demanding millions of dollars AND the removal of the U.S. military from Honduras kinda just screams, "Hey check me out. I'm a Marxist terrorist." It would have been basically the same thing if he just charged up to the embassy wearing a beret and shouted "Viva la Revolution!!" while firing off an RPG.

Well, it turns out this isn't the first time Mr Guerrero has tried to claim asylum. Back in 1987 he claimed asylum in Mexico after being suspected by the Honduran and U.S. government for - wait for it - left wing terrorism… Jeez, you know you really can't make this stuff up. This is INSANE. Here's the story…

This is ridiculous. Can we all now agree that this entire charade is a fraudulent scam?

In 1987 Honduras was ground zero for U.S. and Soviet proxy forces fighting the Cold War. The Contra rebels were actually based there, and leftists terrorists would sometimes carry out operations in the country in response. On August 8th a bomb was thrown into the China Palace restaurant, just a few miles from the U.S. military base in Honduras. Six American soldiers were injured in the blast. Alfonso Guerrero was the primary suspect. He escaped to Mexico and claimed asylum. The Reagan Administration charged the Mexican government for quote "harboring a terrorist" for granting Guerrero protection.

But all the caravan wants is a better life in the United States… oh and millions of dollars AND a list of political demands for their home country. This is ridiculous. Can we all now agree that this entire charade is a fraudulent scam? This is a Leftist political stunt. It has been since the very beginning.

TRANS-INSANITY: Not everyone is bowing down to the PC culture

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Here's an incident that you won't hear about anywhere else. It doesn't fit the mainstream media's transgender narrative, their fairy tale of infinite genders, where any criticism is viewed as transphobic and taboo and certainly not something that the majority of Americans think or feel.

Last week, in West Point, Virginia, a high school French teacher named Peter Vlaming was fired after a five-and-a-half hour hearing that centered on his refusal to use a transgender student's specific gender pronouns. Vlaming said that doing so violated his religious beliefs.

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Vlaming's lawyer Shawn Voyles told reporters:

Tolerance is a two-way street. Unfortunately, tolerance on the part of the school division has been noticeably absent. It chose to impose its own orthodoxy on Mr. Vlaming and fired him because he didn't relinquish his rights protected by the First Amendment.

School administrators fired Vlaming "due to this insubordination and repeated refusal to comply with directives made to him by multiple WPPS administrators."

The school justified the firing by pointing to a set of policies aimed at curbing misgendering of transgender students.

Vlaming's lawyer disputed this, saying that the policies include no such mention of transgenderism, adding that:

My client respects the rights of all students, including this student's rights; he simply asked that his rights be respected as well. Unfortunately, the school division refused to consider any solutions that would respect the freedoms of everyone involved.

There is a ray of hope in all of this, though. The students. A group of students from the school immediately staged a walkout in protest of Vlaming's firing.

One student told reporters:

I feel like everyone should have the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion as well.

Students lined up outside the school with signs that said, "Free Vlam." Another included a quote from Ben Shapiro: "Facts don't care about your feelings." Another read "You can't impose delusion onto us."

You can sigh a sigh of relief. There's hope for the future yet.

Whether it's a 'War on Christmas' or just progressivism run amok, the song 'Baby It's Cold Outside' has been firmly in the crosshairs this holiday season. Here are just a few of the headlines making the rounds:

Should radio stations stop playing 'Baby, It's Cold Outside'?

They range from the previous as questioning and then roll right into the following and assume facts not in evidence.

'Baby, It's Cold Outside,' Seen As Sexist, Frozen Out by Radio Stations

It may be seen as sexist but according to one radio stations polling, only about 5% do. Then they go from saying it's sexist to straight up claiming it as a rape song.

Radio Bans 'Baby It's Cold Outside' Over Claims It's A Rape Song, English Teacher Explains Its Real Meaning

And then they just flat out call for its retirement.

Is it time to retire 'Baby, It's Cold Outside'?

The left might think they are woke and on the right side of history in the wake of the #MeToo movement — but how shocked do you think they'd be if they knew Glenn beat them to the punch over a decade ago? Don't believe me? Take a listen to this clip from our audio vault from 2008.

Christmas has arrived early for mainstream media. They have their first sentencing of a major player in President Trump's inner circle. Yesterday, Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen was sentenced by a federal judge in Manhattan. How did it come to this and how did Cohen explain himself to the judge? We start there next…

President Trump's former attorney, 52-year-old Michael Cohen, is going to jail. Well, it will probably be one of those federal prison camps with a dorm that's more like a college campus. But he's going to be locked up. A federal judge sentenced him to three years in prison for financial crimes, and two months for lying to Congress. He also ordered Cohen to pay $2 million in financial penalties. The judge called Cohen's misdeeds a "veritable smorgasbord of criminal conduct."

RELATED: Michael Cohen's plea deal won't lessen Trump's support. Here's why.

The judge said:

As a lawyer, Mr. Cohen should have known better. While Mr. Cohen is taking steps to mitigate his criminal conduct by pleading guilty and volunteering useful information to prosecutors, that does not wipe the slate clean.

Cohen pled guilty in August to eight criminal charges in two different cases. One brought by special counsel Robert Muller for Cohen's lying to Congress about a potential Trump Tower project in Moscow. The second was for bank-fraud, tax, and campaign finance violations brought by federal prosecutors in New York.

President Trump said recently that Cohen has simply been lying to get a reduced sentence for crimes that have nothing to do with him. Cohen was very emotional as he apologized to the judge, saying:

It was my own weakness and a blind loyalty to this man that led me to choose a path of darkness over light. Time and time again I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds rather than to listen to my own inner voice and my moral compass.

The left thinks that Cohen's sentencing marks the beginning of the end for Trump's presidency. They may be ultimately disappointed in that regard. But this does intensify the long national nightmare of the Muller investigation that seems to have no end in sight.