Heritage applauds Brett Kavanaugh as a strong Supreme Court nominee

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Last Monday night, President Trump announced that he had chosen Judge Brett Kavanaugh as his nominee for the Supreme Court following Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement. Heritage is very excited about Kavanaugh’s nomination, and believe that he is an outstanding selection. Kavanaugh’s credentials are so strong that he has been on Heritage’s list of recommended appointees since 2016—and even more importantly, he is exactly what America needs: a fair, impartial, and faithful Constitutionalist.

Soon after President Trump nominated Kavanaugh, Heritage president Kay Coles James published an opinion piece voicing her support of his nomination. Heritage experts John Malcolm and Elizabeth Slattery also released a commentary praising the selection and analyzing how Kavanaugh’s statements and past rulings suggest he will be a faithful textualist.

The Daily Signal has published several stories about Kavanaugh’s track record as a judge. Reporter Kelsey Harkness interviewed some of Kavanaugh’s former female clerks on what it was like to work with him. The Daily Signal’s White House correspondent Fred Lucas ran an article on how Kavanaugh is no stranger to difficult nomination processes, and can hold his own against hostile liberal narratives. Lucas also released another article recounting how, as a young lawyer, Kavanaugh played a key role in the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.

The White House circulated a lecture that Kavanaugh gave last year at The Heritage Foundation as an introduction to his approach to judging. In the lecture, Kavanaugh talks about his perspective on the Constitution, how he thinks the court should interpret and apply legislation, the separation of powers, and more.

Hear what Kavanaugh has to say in the video below:

Thanks to your support for the Heritage Foundation, we can make sure that a strong conservative mind who will be faithful to the Constitution has a good chance to join the Supreme Court. Thank you!

What do you think about Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh?

Heritage hosts former Australian Prime Minister

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On July 11, former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott visited Heritage to discuss his perspective on President Trump’s first year and a half in office. In his talk, he address how the President’s foreign, defense, and trade policies are affecting the relationship between the United States and our close Australian allies, and where he sees the alliance going in the future.

Abbott has been a longtime ally to conservative values, and to the Heritage Foundation. He last visited The Heritage Foundation in 2012 when he was Leader of the Opposition in Australia’s House of Parliament, when he spoke to Heritage expert Kim Holmes about the relationship between America and the U.S. and its importance for maintaining security in the Asia-Pacific.

We are glad to maintain strong ties to the international conservative movement, and look forward to continuing to work with Australian leaders to strengthen conservative values around the world.

Watch the event here:

What foreign policy issues do you think President Trump should focus on with our allies?

Heritage recommendations take root at the NATO summit

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With the NATO summit happening in Brussels last week, Heritage experts and analysts paid close attention to the discussions that took place there, and to what President Trump did while he was there. Overall, it was a great success for conservative policies, and emphasized many of the recommendations that Heritage has been making in the past weeks.

Heritage analysts Luke Coffey and Daniel Kochis have published several articles this week touching on issues that they wanted NATO to focus on. Last Monday, they released a report encouraging NATO to maintain its open-door policy for qualifying countries, which they see as a key component to the security of Europe. They also spoke explicitly against giving Russia veto power over any country’s potential membership in NATO. In a later report, Kochis emphasized that the NATO summit needed to speak openly and frankly to the continuing threat from Russia, especially for Eastern and Central Europe, and also needed to make sure its member countries continued to increase their defense spending in order to have a unified front against potential Russian aggression. Coffey and Kochis continued to elaborate on where NATO countries should focus their defensive efforts in another report released last Thursday, where they pointed to the Black Sea, the Baltics, and the Ukraine as key locations to bolster defensively.

Many of Kochis’s and Coffey’s recommendations were realized during the summit. NATO’s open-door policy remains and we could see both Macedonia and Georgia joining the alliance at a later date, which would be a great boon to Europe’s security. The allied nations also recommitted to greater defense spending, and are unified against any potential Russian threats, which puts President Trump in a strong position for his meeting with Putin on July 16.

President Trump also spoke strongly against the proposed Nord Stream II pipeline that could run between Germany and Russia, calling it a threat both to Europe’s security and their energy independence. Kochis had also referenced the dangers of the pipeline in his brief, where he had recommended that the U.S. needed to push back against the project.

Thanks to your support, Heritage has the platform to bring all of these issues and recommendations to public attention, and can advance your conservative values both in America and beyond. Thank you for being a Heritage member!

What do you think are Europe’s best next steps for handling outside threats?

Heritage provides recommendations for handling threats from Russia

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With the NATO summit in Brussels quickly approaching and President Trump planning talks with Putin soon, and wth the World Cup happening in Russia right now, all eyes are on Eastern Europe. Heritage scholars advise us to still be vigilant in monitoring our relations with Putin.

The timing of the FIFA World Cup potentially has ominous implications, especially given how different Russia is today than it was when it originally won the FIFA bid in 2010. Heritage expert Alexis Mrachek released an article on the topic in nine different publications last week, where she noted that since winning the bid, Russia has annexed Crimea, invaded Georgia, claimed 10,000 lives in the war against Ukraine, and has interfered in American elections. This relatively quick change for the worse means that we as Americans should be very careful in dealing with the nation.

As such, Heritage experts Luke Coffey and Daniel Kochis recommend that the United States make Russia a focus for next week’s NATO summit in Brussels. In a report released last Friday, Coffey and Kochis highlight that Russia is the only existential crisis to NATO countries, and that as an alliance founded to protect its members against invasion, NATO should go back to basics and make defense against Russia its first priority. Coffey and Kochis elaborate on the point in another report, where they point out that many NATO countries have decreased defense spending over the last few years in spite of the stipulations of the North Atlantic Treaty, and despite increasing pressure from Russia. In order to properly defend against threats from the East, they say, it is crucial that America stresses that every country needs to make a commitment to common defense.

We will continue to monitor the situation with Russia and provide you with conservative analysis and solutions as events unfold. Thank you for your support; we couldn’t bring attention to these issues without you.

What do you think about the escalating threats from Russia?

You are encouraging freedom of speech on social media

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For years, social media platforms like Facebook have shown dangerous biases against conservative messages and users on their platform. And now Heritage is making sure that bias doesn’t impact the social media service anymore.

For the last several months, Heritage has been hosting talks and fostering a relationship with Facebook. This relationship has grown especially since Heritage hired ex-CIA consultant and tech policy expert Klon Kitchen as a senior fellow. In the press release announcing his hire, Heritage expert James Jay Carafano noted that conservatives have largely remained quiet on tech policy in the past, and that with Kitchen’s addition to the Heritage team, conservatives would have an opportunity to advance a conservative worldview on this quickly changing but integral part of our lives.

Kitchen has worked hard to foster the relationship between Heritage and Facebook, recognizing that in order to preserve conservative voices on the social media platforms we spend so much time interacting on, an open conversation needs to happen between the conservative think tank and the tech company. As reported in Axios last May, Facebook agreed to consult with Heritage and with Republican Senator Jon Kyl on how to better work with conservative groups moving forward, and how to be more transparent about its operations. An example of the dialogue happened last April in an event that Kitchen hosted featuring Facebook Head of Global Policy Management Monica Bickert, where she and Kitchen discussed the social media platform’s duty to use its influence for the good of all its users.

Last week, mainstream media news sources took notice of the partnership. The Washington Post ran a feature on the change in Facebook’s approach to conservatism, referencing the company’s meetings with us. New Republic, a heavily left-leaning publication, also took note of the relationship. While they took a more jaded view of the partnership, as did CNN in their opinion piece on the topic, the real narrative runs clearly through all of the media attention that the issue has received: left-leaning social media companies aren’t ignoring the conservative message anymore.

Because of you, we have the influence we need to make sure that conservative voices are not silenced. Thank you for your committed support!

What do you think are the best ways to defend conservative viewpoints online?

New healthcare reform plan is unveiled

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Last Wednesday the Health Policy Consensus Group, a group of conservative leaders that includes The Heritage Foundation, unveiled its detailed plan for healthcare reform at the Hoover Institute.

The Consensus Group’s proposal recommends converting much of the federal government’s healthcare funding structure into state block grants, with structural elements specifically designed to increase access, expand choice, and reduce cost. By bringing control over healthcare closer to the patient, the proposal aims to restore choice and competition in the marketplace.

While covering our proposal, Stephanie Armour from The Wall Street Journal noticed that Congress is taking the Consensus Group’s solutions very seriously. Our plan would “drive control of healthcare almost entirely to the states,” she said, which would do much to fix the healthcare problems caused by Obamacare.

While Obamacare has inflicted a great deal of damage to America’s health system, your support of The Heritage Foundation is continuing to push for its repeal and for patient-centered healthcare.

How has Obamacare affected you?

You are deregulating the Internet

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Obama’s Net Neutrality regulations, came into effect in 2015 to restrict internet service providers from limiting bandwidth to particular sites. The regulation, which Heritage and Heritage Action have stood against for a long time, officially ended on Monday. Now, the FCC has replaced Net Neutrality with the Restoring Internet Freedom Order, which the Federal Communications Commission claims will decrease red tape and increase freedom and free market principles on the Internet.

Earlier this year, Heritage’s Senior Research Fellow in Regulatory Policy, James L. Gattuso criticized Obama in an op-Ed published in The OC Register for making consumer prices more likely to rise. Because the regulations weren’t enforced fairly by the FCC, it made it more difficult for companies to pay for their costs and “left the consumer to carry the load,” said Gattuso.

In another report published on Heritage’s website, Gattuso outlined his critiques of Net Neutrality at greater length, suggesting that the Internet is like any other market, and would enjoy better price competition, freedom of access, and innovation without the Net Neutrality restrictions on internet traffic.

Heritage’s partner organization Heritage Action for America also put pressure on Congress by key voting against Net Neutrality this month. This key vote is an influential means for Heritage Action to impact the votes of members of Congress and the Senate: a Congressman’s vote on an issue that Heritage Action has key voted will impact that congressman’s score on Heritage Action’s influential scorecard, which uses congressmen’s voting history to tell constituents how conservative their representatives are.

Moving forward, Heritage has high hopes for the future of the Internet, and assured supporters of net neutrality in a Daily Signal article that the Internet will still exist despite the ending of the regulation.

Do you believe that the government should regulate internet use? If so, to what extent?

Q&A with Nolan Peterson: Stories of the secret war

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Nolan Peterson is The Daily Signal’s foreign correspondent, focusing on the war between Russia and Ukraine that has not received as much attention as it deserves among major news sources. We talked to Peterson this week to get his insight into why he works with The Daily Signal, and why telling the story of the war is so important.

Why are you a conservative?

After a career as an Air Force special operations pilot, and after years of experience in war zones as a conflict journalist, I understand that the United States remains a beacon of hope for people fighting for their freedom around the world.

I feel like conservative principles best reflect my belief in the right of every person to live in freedom—and I believe that’s a right worth fighting for.

What brought you to work at The Daily Signal?

I first reported on the war in Ukraine in the summer of 2014 while working as a freelance journalist.

I saw firsthand a Russian invasion of a sovereign European country. Tank battles, heavy artillery barrages, rocket attacks—Europe’s only ongoing land war was of an intensity far beyond anything I ever witnessed in Iraq or Afghanistan.

And yet, back in the U.S., the war felt like a secret.

When the war intensified, I looked for a news outlet that was willing to invest in me to report on the war from the front lines.

The Heritage Foundation saw the value in my proposal and invested in my long-term presence in the region. The Daily Signal—and Rob Bluey in particular—understood the long-term value to the American people to be informed about this war.

They took a chance on me, and, in the end, I think it’s paid off.

In 2015, I was the first American journalist to embed with the Ukrainian regular army in combat. And, after more than four years of war, I’m still among only a handful of U.S. journalists permanently based in Ukraine.

Why did you choose to become a foreign correspondent in the Ukraine?

There’s a line I’ve used in a few of my articles that I think succinctly answers this question: “The only way to prevent another world war from happening, is to believe that it could.”

In 2014 I raised alarms that the war in Ukraine could spill over into a larger conflict across Eastern Europe, which could ultimately embroil NATO.

I remember the eye rolls I got from other journalists at that time when I voiced this opinion.

Now, four years later, NATO is building up its forces in the Baltics and across Eastern Europe, U.S. and Russian forces have gone head to head in Syria, and relations between Moscow and Washington have hit a post Cold War nadir.

War between the U.S. and Russia is no longer unthinkable. But we should have seen this coming four years ago. When it comes to the recent tensions between Russia and the West, all roads lead back to Ukraine. So—we have to pay attention to what’s happening in Ukraine. And we have to take seriously the possibility that this war could get much bigger, and much worse.

What is a normal day like for you?

No day is ever the same. I firmly believe in “boots on the ground” journalism, so I frequently travel to the places I cover. Whether at the conflict areas in eastern Ukraine, embedded with the Kurdish peshmerga on the front lines against ISIS in Iraq, aboard a U.S. aircraft carrier off the coast or Syria, or at a coffee shop in Kyiv for a face-to-face interview—I try to get away from the computer screen as much as I can.

Otherwise, I have a pretty strict routine of waking up early to write and then going about doing interviews and editing in the afternoons. Evenings I leave open for the most important part of my day—time with my wife.

Why should conservatives care about the topics you report on?

Our national values are at stake in Ukraine.

Ukrainians are fighting for intangible goals like freedom and democracy, and for the right to chart their own future free from Russian oppression.

Ukrainians are fighting for uniquely American values, and they see our country as a symbol for the kind of future they want to achieve for themselves and their children one day.

“If we win here, we win everywhere,” Ernest Hemingway wrote in his novel about the Spanish Civil War, “For Whom the Bell Tolls.”

I believe that, in our time, the same can be said about Ukraine. It’s not just Ukraine’s future at stake in this war. It’s the everlasting promise of freedom and democracy for all people. If there ever was a country that deserved American help in pursuit of their freedom, it’s Ukraine. And that’s the story I want to tell.

What questions do you have for Nolan?

Daughter of the Cold War tells her story to Heritage

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Last Thursday, Heritage expert Helle Dale sat down with Grace Kennan Warnecke, Chairman of the Board of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy, to talk about Warnecke’s firsthand experiences with the Cold War and the Soviet Union.

Warnecke, daughter of influential diplomat George F. Kennan, lived through both the rise and fall of the Soviet Union. She attended a Soviet school during World War II, accompanied Ted Kennedy and his family to Russia, helped Joseph Stalin’s daughter defect to America, and worked to restore economic prosperity to women in Ukraine after the wall fell.

Watch Warnecke recount her story:

What lessons do you think we can learn from the Cold War today?

Heritage experts are valued voices on North Korean events

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With relations between Korea and the United States fluctuating wildly in the past few weeks, the opinions of Heritage experts have been much sought after in analyzing the situations at hand.

On Tuesday, Heritage’s expert on Northeast Asia Bruce Klingner was asked to come onto multiple major networks to give his analysis of the situation at hand. FOX News and CNN interviewed him to talk about the pace of the events unfolding, and what to expect in the coming talks about denuclearization. Klingner also published an article in the Washington Post that day, where he compared Trump’s relations with Kim Jong Un to The Scrambler, a nauseating carnival ride filled with twists, drops, and sudden turns.  With Kim Jong Un’s unpredictable actions, Klingner says that “We’re in unchartered waters.” He also told Rebecca Kheel from The Hill that he is hopeful that President Trump will set the U.S.-North Korea summit back in motion.

Later in the week, Heritage expert Olivia Enos appeared on FOX Business to offer her analysis on what she called the “on-again, off-again summit of the century,” and discuss whether we could expect the summit to happen. Fellow expert Dean Cheng also offered his perspective to FOX Business to discuss what the effects of a U.S.-North Korea summit might be, and how America should approach negotiations.

As the rollercoaster of events continues, Heritage experts will continue to be prominent voices in analyzing and recommending policy for the issue.

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