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Will the U.S. Be Prosecuted in the International Criminal Court? (National radio commentary, Salem/Townhall) April 4, 2018

Posted by daviddavenport in Radio Commentaries.
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As if President Trump did not face enough legal challenges, there are now two threatened prosecutions of Americans at the International Criminal Court.

First, the Palestinian territories have filed a complaint against both President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu over relocating Israel’s capital to Jerusalem. While an important matter for Middle Eastern politics, it’s difficult to see how this could be a criminal matter for the court.

Second, the prosecutor is seeking authority to investigate whether the U.S. military is guilty of torture and other war crimes in Afghanistan. Although the U.S. is not a member of the court, Afghanistan, on whose territory the alleged crimes occurred, is.

If either of these moves ahead, it would be the first time the ICC has sought to prosecute Americans and would set up a major confrontation between the U.S. and the court.

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Another Shot Fired in California’s Civil War (National radio commentary, Salem/Townhall) March 22, 2018

Posted by daviddavenport in Radio Commentaries.
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California is stepping closer to a civil war with the federal government over immigration. In the latest round, one day after President Trump visited the state to see prototypes of his border wall, the state senate appointed an illegal immigrant to serve on a state commission, a big step in California’s progressive history.

Lizbeth Mateo, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, was appointed to the state’s Student Opportunity and Access Program Project Advisory Committee.  Perhaps, as a lawyer who advocates for immigration rights, she would have a perspective to share as a witness before a state commission, but as a member? There’s no legal basis for that and it is a further effort by California to tweak the Trump administration.

Unfortunately, the rule of law is rarely raised anymore in debates about immigration policy. Tweaking Trump is just a bad approach to public policy.

https://omny.fm/shows/townhall-review-conservative-commentary-on-todays/david-davenport-another-shot-fired-in-california-s/embed?style=artwork

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The Rise of Millennial Voters (National radio commentary, Salem/Townhall) March 20, 2018

Posted by daviddavenport in Radio Commentaries.
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A wave of change is coming in the 2018 and 2020 elections:  the rise of millennial voters.  In those elections, millennials, born between 1980-2000, will finally pass baby boomers as the largest voting generation.

What we know is that millennials hold different political views than their boomer parents.  They are more fearful, saying 4-1 that America is on the wrong track.  They believe less in political institutions such as Congress and the President.  They are more open to socialism, less committed to freedom. Seventy-one percent say we need a new political party.

What we don’t know is how many millennials will actually show up to vote.  So far, their voting percentage is low:  only half or less of eligible voters in 2016.

It seems likely that millennial concerns will change the conversation in future elections, but we’ll have to wait and see whether they actually vote and change the outcome.

https://omny.fm/shows/townhall-review-conservative-commentary-on-todays/david-davenport-the-rise-of-millennial-voters/embed?style=artwork

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Power to the States (National radio commentary, Salem/Townhall) January 31, 2018

Posted by daviddavenport in Radio Commentaries.
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One encouraging development is that power is leaving Washington, DC and heading to the states. Policy wonks call it devolution, I call it progress.

After 15 years of federalizing K-12 education, for example, Washington turned its back on No Child Left Behind and passed a bill returning power over schools to the states.  There’s no need for Washington to act, as Education Secretary Betsy DeVos says, as a national school board.

There’s discussion in Congress that the states should not only manage the trees, plants and flowers in their territory, but wildlife as well, including endangered species.

Welfare reform may be the next big issue and any solution is likely to create a larger role for states. Only the marijuana laws are moving the other way, toward Washington.

It’s heartening that Washington may finally be reading the Tenth Amendment—that all powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution belong to the states or the people.  Not everything needs to be a federal case.

I’m David Davenport.
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What Kind of Country Wants Media Stars for President? (National radio commentary, Salem/Townhall) January 29, 2018

Posted by daviddavenport in Radio Commentaries.
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Social media blew up when it appeared that Oprah Winfrey might run for president.  Think of it:  two billionaire media stars who had never held political office running for president. Only in America.

But the deeper question is why voters are turning in this direction?  Besides their obvious frustration with politicians, voters seem more interested in making statements than actually governing. We don’t know what policies Oprah might follow and, even after a year, Trump’s policy approach is still taking shape.  But they do make a statement.

A related problem is that the presidency is becoming all bully pulpit and no real leadership, all hat and no cattle as they say in Texas.  We want superheroes and action, not mature deliberation.  What passes for action in Washington these days is party-line votes and executive orders, not working through complex issues.

Citizens have duties, too, and we shouldn’t vote just to express frustration, but to guide the policy and governance of the nation.

https://omny.fm/shows/townhall-review-conservative-commentary-on-todays/david-davenport-what-kind-of-country-wants-media-s/embed?style=artwork

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Previewing Trump’s State of the Union Speech (National radio commentary, Salem/Townhall) January 22, 2018

Posted by daviddavenport in Radio Commentaries.
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A president’s first state of the union message is an important occasion. But in our era of political theater, there is some danger that this year the sideshow will overshadow the main attraction.

Several Democratic members of Congress say they will boycott the event.  One Congresswoman is encouraging females who do attend to dress in black.

Despite the political challenges, “it’s the economy, stupid.”  If Trump makes this primarily an economic address, he can succeed.  Think about it:  unemployment is down, jobs are up and the stock market is on fire. His big piece of legislation, the tax bill, is projected to lead to even more economic growth. The president has problems elsewhere, but so far so good on the economy and that should be his message.

The Constitution does not actually require this kind of televised state of the union address, though tradition does.  It’s always possible that a nontraditional president like Trump might surprise us and do something completely different.

https://omny.fm/shows/townhall-review-conservative-commentary-on-todays/david-davenport-previewing-trump-s-first-state-of/embed?style=artwork

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A Cancer Growing on Congress (National radio commentary, Salem/Townhall) January 10, 2018

Posted by daviddavenport in Radio Commentaries.
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There is a cancer growing on Congress.  It is the curse of party-line voting.  The biggest legislation of the Trump administration is the tax bill, passed with only Republican votes.  And the biggest of the Obama administration:  Obamacare, again passed on a party-line vote with only Democrats.

Party-line voting has grown dramatically in the last 40 years.  In the 1970s, party unity voting was around 60 percent but today it is 90 percent.  Sadly it has become the new normal.

Such partisanship is cancerous because it cuts out all the people and ideas of one political party. And it leads to rushed votes, without the expected give and take and amendments of a quality legislative process. It also leads to weak laws because what can be passed by one party’s vote can be undone later by the other party’s vote.

This is no way to run a government.  I vote for more collaboration and less hyper-partisanship in 2018.

https://omny.fm/shows/townhall-review-conservative-commentary-on-todays/david-davenport-a-cancer-growing-on-congress/embed?style=artwork

The Tax Bill Needs Follow-On Spending Cuts (National radio commentary, Salem/Townhall) January 5, 2018

Posted by daviddavenport in Radio Commentaries.
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Although a tax cut may have been a nice Christmas gift, it needs some follow-on spending cuts to work.  At best, Republicans have eaten their dessert first, waiting to eat their spending cut vegetables later; at worst, they will have increased the federal deficit by another trillion dollars or more.

 

By most estimates, even stimulating economic growth will not fully pay for the tax cut.  Republicans will now have to undertake the politically courageous step of cutting federal spending.

 

It will be difficult to make spending cuts without touching Medicare or Social Security, which President Trump has said are off limits. Meanwhile there is pressure to undo the sequester, automatic cuts on spending no one liked, but which have at least kept spending growth down.

Ideally, Republicans would have disciplined themselves to do tax and spending cuts at the same time. Tax cuts may come and go, but the federal debt remains forever, it seems. And—without spending cuts—it grows.
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Jerry Brown’s Blue Christmas (national radio commentary, Salem/Townhall) December 28, 2017

Posted by daviddavenport in Radio Commentaries.
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California governor Jerry Brown has been everywhere, preaching the gospel of blue-state California. California wildfires are the curse of climate change, he told 60 Minutes, while he whisks off to yet another climate conference in Paris, warning that the world is on the road to hell. He says the new federal tax cuts are a “monstrosity,” while he raises taxes at home.

Brown has turned California into a blue-state model of governance, but all is not calm or bright. Even with higher taxes and Silicon Valley growth, the state budget has a deficit and its pension deficit has grown dramatically.

Meanwhile jobs continue to flee the state in the face of high labor costs, high taxes and over-regulation. California has the highest poverty rate in the nation. The cost of housing is sky-high and the roads are old and gridlocked.

Much has been made of Governor Sam Brownback’s failing red-state experiment in Kansas, but Jerry Brown’s blue state Christmas left lumps of coal in many stockings.

Free Speech on the Decline (National radio commentary, Salem/Townhall) November 28, 2017

Posted by daviddavenport in Radio Commentaries.
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One reason to be concerned about the future of America is the reduced commitment of its young people to freedom, starting with free speech.

A recent survey from the Brookings Institution indicates that 44 percent of millennials do not believe hate speech is protected by the Constitution. Moreover, 51 percent believe it is appropriate to shout down a controversial speaker, with 19 percent saying it is ok to use violence for that purpose. Mistakenly, 62 percent say the First Amendment requires one controversial speaker to be balanced by another speaker.

Today’s college students are coddled by helicopter parents and seek safe spaces on campus, not freedom. And, with little or no civic education, students do not understand the First Amendment.

Founder Benjamin Franklin said that “whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freedom of speech.” Wake up, America, the message from our campuses is that free speech is on the decline and, ultimately, so is freedom itself.

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