Heritage member Thomas Colbert poses with a portrait honoring his generosity.

Heritage member Thomas Colbert poses with a portrait honoring his generosity to the conservative cause.

It’s The Heritage Foundation’s commitment to free enterprise and limited government that motivated Thomas Colbert to make his first gift some 20 years ago.

“The more I found out about Heritage, the more impressed I became,” recalls Colbert, one of the biggest names in Mississippi finance.

He has since become a Heritage Legacy Society member and a major supporter of our work, especially our facility on Pennsylvania Avenue. “I decided to make the foundation one of my major beneficiaries,” he says, “and as I began making estate plans I set up a trust which includes The Heritage Foundation.” Continue Reading »

Outgoing Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. Photo: Newscom

To more effectively defend the country, lawmakers and military leaders should change the way the Pentagon manages personnel, property and equipment, Heritage Foundation expert Jim Carafano explains.

Making defense operations more efficient is a natural common cause for Congress and the Pentagon. Increased efficiency would save money—freeing up dollars that the Pentagon could plow back into rebuilding the capacity and capabilities needed to defend the country.

One change, known as Performance Based Logistics, could help the Pentagon work better with the resources it has. Other changes would improve how the Pentagon acquires equipment. This requires leadership changes, real accountability for major weapons acquisitions, cutting red tape, and ensuring the Pentagon gets the equipment it actually needs.

These reforms address a real challenge, as outlined in Heritage’s 2014 Defense Reform Handbook:

The armed forces are already inadequate to protect all the nation’s vital national interests because of shortfalls in training and maintenance. By the end of his second term, the shortfalls in readiness will be compounded by reductions in military capabilities. It is not an overstatement to conclude that the capabilities-requirements mismatch will rival the hollow forces of the 1970s under President Jimmy Carter.

How would you ensure America is properly defended?

Thanksgiving is a uniquely American tradition, a Heritage Foundation report explains:

Following a resolution of Congress, President George Washington proclaimed Thursday the 26th of November 1789 a day of “public thanksgiving and prayer” devoted to “the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be.” Reflecting American religious practice, Presidents and Congresses from the beginning of the republic have from time to time designated days of fasting and thanksgiving (the Thanksgiving holiday we continue to celebrate in November was established by Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War and made into law by Congress in 1941).

In setting aside a day for Thanksgiving, Washington established a non-sectarian tone for these devotions and stressed political, moral, and intellectual blessings that make self-government possible, in addition to personal and national repentance. Although the First Amendment prevents Congress from establishing a religion or prohibiting its free exercise, Presidents, as well as Congress, have always recognized the American regard for sacred practices and beliefs. Thus, throughout American history, Presidents have offered non-sectarian prayers for the victory of the military and in the wake of catastrophes. Transcending passionate quarrels over the proper role of religion in politics, the Thanksgiving Proclamation reminds us how natural their relationship has been. While church and state are separate, religion and politics, in their American refinement, prop each other up.

From all of us at Heritage, best wishes for a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

Senator Sessions (R-AL) speaks at the Heritage Foundation

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) says that President Obama “undermines the moral integrity” of our laws.

Speaking today at The Heritage Foundation, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) condemned President Obama’s unilateral executive amnesty for ignoring America’s laws and “undermining their moral integrity.”

Granting amnesty to those who violated our immigration laws is not just unconstitutional but would undermine the rule of law, he said:

Do you believe in open borders? Or do you believe in a sovereign state that has a legitimate right to establish [rules of] entrance and exit in our country? People want a system that is lawful, that they can be proud of.

Giving away four million work permits could have consequences for the economy, Sessions said. It could drive up unemployment and lower wages, particularly for those with lower incomes.

Was President Obama right to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants by executive dictat? Tell us in the comments.

President Obama’s amnesty is both unlawful and “unfair to those who have come here the legal way,” Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer yesterday.

Despite the President’s rhetoric, DeMint argued during the ten-minute interview, giving work permits to those who came here illegally amounts to amnesty.

DeMint’s interview ensured that millions of Americans heard a principled, conservative alternative to the liberal spin on amnesty.

Watch the video above and tell us you think about this abuse of presidential power in the comments below.

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