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.

Acclaimed environmentalist and author of "Apocalypse Never" Michael Shellenberger joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Wednesday to warn us about the true goals and effects of climate alarmism: It's become a "secular religion" that lowers standards of living in developed countries, holds developing countries back, and has environmental progress "exactly wrong."

Michael is a Time "Hero of the Environment," Green Book Award winner, and the founder and president of Environmental Progress. He has been called a "environmental guru," "climate guru," "North America's leading public intellectual on clean energy," and "high priest" of the environmental humanist movement for his writings and TED talks, which have been viewed more than 5 million times. But when Michael penned a stunning article in Forbes saying, "On Behalf of Environmentalists, I Apologize for the Climate Scare", the article was pulled just a few hours later. (Read more here.)

On the show, Micheal talked about how environmental alarmism has overtaken scientific fact, leading to a number of unfortunate consequences. He said one of the problems is that rich nations are blocking poor nations from being able to industrialize. Instead, they are seeking to make poverty sustainable, rather than to make poverty history.

"As a cultural anthropologist, I've been traveling to poorer countries and interviewing small farmers for over 30 years. And, obviously there are a lot of causes why countries are poor, but there's no reason we should be helping them to stay poor," Michael said. "A few years ago, there was a movement to make poverty history ... [but] it got taken over by the climate alarmist movement, which has been focused on depriving poor countries, not just of fossil fuels they need to develop, but also the large hydroelectric dams."

He offered the example of the Congo, one of the poorest countries in the world. The Congo has been denied the resources needed to build large hydroelectric dams, which are absolutely essential to pull people out of poverty. And one of the main groups preventing poor countries from the gaining financing they need to to build dams is based in Berkeley, California — a city that gets its electricity from hydroelectric dams.

"It's just unconscionable ... there are major groups, including the Sierra Club, that support efforts to deprive poor countries of energy. And, honestly, they've taken over the World Bank [which] used to fund the basics of development: roads, electricity, sewage systems, flood control, dams," Micheal said.

"Environmentalism, apocalyptic environmentalism in particular, has become the dominant religion of supposedly secular people in the West. So, you know, it's people at the United Nations. It's people that are in very powerful positions who are trying to impose 'nature's order' on societies," he continued. "And, of course, the problem is that nobody can figure out what nature is, and what it's not. That's not a particular good basis for organizing your economy."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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Dr. Voddie Baucham, Dean of Theology at African Christian University in Lusaka, Zambia, joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to explain why he agrees with Vice President Mike Pence's refusal to say the phrase "Black Lives Matter."

Baucham, who recently drew national attention when his sermon titled "Ethnic Gnosticism" resurfaced online, said the phrase has been trademarked by a dangerous, violent, Marxist movement that doesn't care about black lives except to use them as political pawns.

"We have to separate this movement from the issues," Baucham warned. "I know that [Black Lives Matter] is a phrase that is part of an organization. It is a trademark phrase. And it's a phrase designed to use black people.

"That phrase dehumanizes black people, because it makes them pawns in a game that has nothing whatsoever to do with black people and their dignity. And has everything to do with a divisive agenda that is bigger than black people. That's why I'm not going to use that phrase, because I love black people. I love being black."

Baucham warned that Black Lives Matter -- a radical Marxist movement -- is using black people and communities to push a dangerous and divisive narrative. He encouraged Americans to educate themselves on the organization's agenda and belief statement.

"This movement is dangerous. This movement is vicious. And this movement uses black people," he emphasized. "And so if I'm really concerned about issues in the black community -- and I am -- then I have to refuse, and I have to repudiate that organization. Because they stand against that for which I am advocating."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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We're going to be doing an amazing broadcast on Thursday, July 2nd, and we will be broadcasting a really important moment. It is restoring truth. It is restoring our history. It is asking to you make a covenant with God. The covenant that was made by the Pilgrims. And it's giving you a road map of things that we can do, to be able to come back home, together.

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On last week's Wednesday night special, Glenn Beck revealed where the Black Lives Matter organization really gets its funding, and the dark money trail leading to a cast of familiar characters. Shortly after the program aired, one of BLM's fiscal sponsors, Thousand Currents, took down its board of directors page, which featured one of these shady characters:

Ex-Marxist professor and author of "Beyond Woke," Michael Rectenwald, joined Glenn Beck on the TV show to fill us in on the suspicious change he discovered on the Thousand Currents webpage and the Communist terrorists who is now helping run the organization. (Fortunately, the internet is forever, so it is still possible to view the board of directors page by looking at a web archive from the WayBack Machine.)

Rectenwald revealed the shocking life history of Thousand Currents' vice chair of the board, Susan Rosenberg, who spent 16 years in federal prison for her part in a series of increasingly violent acts of terrorism, including bombing the U.S. Capitol building, bombing an FBI building, and targeting police for assassination.

"Their whole campaign was one of unbelievably vicious, murderous cop killings, assassinations, and bombings," explained Rectenwald of Rosenberg's terror group known as the May 19th Communist Organization or M19.

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:


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