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.

A new Pew Research Center report shows the death toll in the United States from COVID-19 is "heavily concentrated" in Democratic congressional districts.

According to the analysis, more than half of all COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. occurred in just 44 (approximately 10 percent of) congressional districts, and 41 of those 44 hardest-hit districts are represented by Democrats, while only three are represented by Republicans.

"A new Pew Research Center analysis of data on official reports of COVID-19 deaths, collected by the John Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering, finds that, as of last week, nearly a quarter of all the deaths in the United States attributed to the coronavirus have been in just 12 congressional districts – all located in New York City and represented by Democrats in Congress. Of the more than 92,000 Americans who had died of COVID-19 as of May 20 (the date that the data in this analysis was collected), nearly 75,000 were in Democratic congressional districts," Pew reported.

Filling in for Glenn Beck on the radio program this week, Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere argued that, while the coronavirus should never have been made into a partisan issue, the study certainly makes a strong statement in favor of GOP leadership.

Watch the video below:


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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) once predicted the coronavirus death rate would be between 4 and 5 percent, but they've just come out with a new report and those predictions have been adjusted significantly.

According to the CDC's latest data, the fatality rate among Americans showing COVID-19 symptoms is 0.4 percent. And an estimated 35 percent who are infected by the virus will never have any symptoms. Therefore, the CDC is now estimating COVID-19 kills less than 0.3 percent of people infected.

Filling in for Glenn Beck on the radio program this week, Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere recalled when the mainstream media went into overdrive, hammering President Donald Trump for predicting the final COVID-19 death rate would be "under one percent."

Looks like the president was right all along.

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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Michigan barber Karl Manke isn't a troublemaker. He's a law-abiding citizen who did everything possible to financially survive during the COVID-19 lockdown. pandemic. Eventually, he had no other option: he had to reopen his business in defiance of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's stay-at-home orders.

In an interview on the "Glenn Beck Radio Program," Manke, 77, told Glenn, "I'm not backing down" despite Whitmer's seemingly vindictive attempts to shut down his business.

Shortly after reopening, Manke was ticketed for violating Whitmer's stay-at-home order and charged with a misdemeanor. When he still refused to close his doors, the governor's office went a step further and suspended his barber license.

"It's kind of a vindictive thing," said Manke. "I've become a worm in her brain ... and she is going full force, illegally, when legislatures told her that she was out of place and this was not her assignment, she decided to take it anyway."

On Thursday, the Shiawassee County Circuit Judge refused to issue a preliminary injunction against Manke. Read more on this update here.

Watch the video clip from the interview below:

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Time after time, Americans have taken to the streets to defend our constitutional rights, whether it was our livelihood at stake -- or our lives. But, what was the point of all the civil rights movements that came before, if we're about to let the government take our rights away now?

On his Wednesday night special, Glenn Beck argued that Americans are tired of having our rights trampled by "tyrannical" leaders from state and local governments who are ignoring our unalienable rights during this pandemic.

"Our nanny state has gone too far. The men and women in office -- the ones closest to our communities, our towns, our cities -- are now taking advantage of our fear," Glenn said. "Like our brothers and sisters of the past, we need to start making the decisions that will put our destiny, and our children's destiny, back into our hands."

It took less than two months of the coronavirus tyranny to make America unrecognizable, but some Americans are fighting back, risking losing their jobs and businesses or even jail time, as they battle to take back our civil rights.

Here are just a few of their stories:

After New Jersey's Atilis Gym reopened in defiance of the governor's executive order, the Department of Health shut them down for "posing a threat to the public health." Co-owner Ian Smith says somebody sabotaged the gym's toilets with enire rolls of paper to create the public health "threat."

Oregon Salon owner, Lindsey Graham, was fined $14 thousand for reopening. She said she was visited by numerous government organizations, including Child Protective Services, in what she believes are bullying tactics straight from the governor's office.

77-year-old Michigan barber, Karl Manke, refused to close his shop even when facing arrest. "I couldn't go another 30 days without an income," he said. But when local police refused to arrest him, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's (D) office suspending his business license instead.

Port of Seattle police officer Greg Anderson was suspended after he spoke out against enforcing what he called "tyrannical orders" imposed amid coronavirus lockdowns.

Kentucky mother-of-seven, Mary Sabbatino, found herself under investigation for alleged child abuse after breaking social distancing rules at a bank. After a social worker from child protective services determined there was no sign of abuse, he still sought to investigate why the Sabbatino's are homeschooling, and how they can give "adequate attention to that many children."

Dallas salon owner Shelley Luther was sentenced to seven days in jail after she defied the state-mandated stay-at-home orders to reopen her business.

Watch the video clip from Glenn's special below:


Watch the full special on BlazeTV YouTube here.

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