“You look at the mainstream media … after the Parkland shooting, [and] it was round-the-clock coverage of the students calling for aggressive gun control because that happens to be the political agenda of most of the media. In this case, where the students aren’t calling for that, suddenly . . .  the media isn’t interested in covering it.” —Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Daily Signal Interview, May 2018

The town of Santa Fe, Texas, experienced a tragedy that has become all too common in our times: the murder of 10 people, including eight students, by a disturbed individual. Then the town experienced something that added insult to their injuries: a callous media that couldn’t be bothered to tell their story.

The Daily Signal, the Heritage Foundation’s news outlet, went back to the town three months after the media had forgotten them. We told a story that many networks wouldn’t: most Santa Fe survivors don’t blame guns for that horrible day in May. They blame the shooter and poor security procedures at the school. Here are just some of the things they had to say:

“I think what people need to realize is that it’s not solely a gun issue. You can’t make stricter gun laws or stuff like that and expect it all to go away. People will break the rules if they want to.”

— Grace John, Student, Santa Fe High School.

“We believe that mental health is a big deal. We have to change people’s hearts and people’s minds, how people see each other.”

— Annabelle O’ Day, Student, Santa Fe High School

“I don’t think [arming teachers is] the end-all by any stretch. I don’t think it’s the magic answer. But I will say this. I truly wanted that pistol in my hand”

–Steve Rose, Teacher, Santa Fe High School

Click here to see the survivors tell their stories:

A political stance shouldn’t decide whether a story is worth telling. Were it not for the generous giving of Heritage donors, only the media’s favored victims would be heard. Thank you for giving them a voice, and not just a headline.

Given that so many stories go untold, what stories would you want to see the Daily Signal cover?

“Heritage has played a vital role in so many of the important public policy debates of the last several decades. Many administrations, including this one, have benefited from your work on public policies that reflect the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.” – Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, July 26, 2018 

When Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar came to Heritage to reveal the Trump Administration’s plans to undo Obamacare, he made it clear that they plan to take a page from our 2016  Mandate for Leadership, the in-depth policy guide we prepared for the incoming administration.

As prescribed in Mandate, the Trump administration aims to take Obamacare’s Medicare spending and send it to the states in the form of fixed-dollar block grants. This approach will empower states to reform Medicaid themselves, rather than push a one-size-fits-all federal program that, in practice, doesn’t fit very well at all.

This is a stark contrast to the left-wing “Medicare for All” concept, which would burn more than $32 trillion in new spending to impose a single-payer health care plan. Fixing existing programs like Medicaid now makes it much harder for those fires to catch on.

You can learn more about conservative changes coming to health care by clicking here to listen to The Daily Signal’s exclusive interview with Trump’s HHS Secretary >> 

If implemented, this would be a massive policy victory for The Heritage Foundation and the conservative movement. It would increase accountability and efficiency on one of the government’s most costly programs, all while limiting the size and scope of the federal government. This conservative solution wouldn’t have come to the fore without you. Thank you.

What do you think are the best next steps for repealing Obamacare?

National Law Journal credits Heritage’s John Malcom with helping “populate the short lists to fill the earlier court vacancy left by Justice Antonin Scalia’s death.”

Back in 2016, Heritage released a list of several candidates to replace the late Antonin Scalia. “President Trump was very kind and credited the Heritage Foundation for having some influence on the matter” of Gorsuch’s nomination, said Malcolm, who directs our Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies.

One of those Heritage’s original short list was Brett Kavanaugh, now President Trump’s latest nominee to the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh is an originalist who applies the law as written, Malcolm noted, an “independent, fair-minded individual who is not going to prejudge cases.”

Malcolm fully expects Kavanaugh to be an outstanding success on the Supreme Court.  He points to the nominee’s record as a Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. It is a record of faithful adherence to the Constitution, Malcolm said, especially when it comes to keeping the executive branch’s power in check. He noted, for example, Kavanaugh’s criticism of the “Chevron doctrine,” the practice of deferring to the government’s interpretations of the law rather than to the text of the law.

Click here to read the rest of the interview.

Through your loyalty to the Heritage Foundation, you are providing President Trump with the strong nominees he needs for the highest court in the country. Thank you!

How do you think having another originalist judge will impact the Supreme Court’s decisions?

While some in Washington have claimed that North Korea’s nuclear capabilities are “no longer a threat,” Heritage experts are far from convinced and have been active in the media urging vigilance.

All of North Korea’s nuclear programs “are continuing, perhaps even expanding,” Bruce Klingner warned in an interview with CNN.

And while it’s a positive sign that North Korea is making moves to dismantle its missile-testing facilities, Heritage expert Olivia Enos went on Fox News to say that we should “not necessarily overstate its benefits.”

“We still have to watch and see what North Korea does when it comes to denuclearization,” she cautioned.

Similarly, North Korea’s decision to return the bodies of fallen U.S. soldiers from the Korean War doesn’t move the nuclear-threat needle. Klingner agreed that “any day America gets some of its fallen warriors back is a good day,” but noted there’s no evidence yet of denuclearization in an interview with the BBC.

Because of you, the conservative perspective on North Korea’s actions can inform Americans everywhere. Heritage will continue to pay close attention to events as they unfold.

How do you think America should move forward with North Korea?

Ana Quintana’s parents fled Fidel Castro in the 1980s. Her mother and father came to the United States as political refugees to take hold of the God-given rights that conservatives all fight to secure: “the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” They achieved the American dream, and their family has always deeply appreciated the United States, never taking their freedoms for granted.

Today, as a Heritage Foundation expert focused on Latin American affairs, Quintana vigorously promotes the conservative principles that her parents instilled in her.

“Above all else,” she says, “I am a patriot. That is what motivates me, and we should always be actively defending our country.”

She found her way to the Heritage Foundation after working at the United States Agency for International Development and the Defense Intelligence Agency. Her experiences at those agencies led her to Heritage, because unlike the USAID and DIA, the Heritage Foundation doesn’t divorce policy from analysis.

Quintana explained that the “Founders of the Heritage Foundation let it be known that if you were affiliated with Heritage, you were worth something.” She has been with Heritage since 2013 because she firmly believes that her work makes a difference for her country.

Quintana’s policy proposals have influenced U.S. policy toward Latin America. For instance, as a member of the Trump administration’s transition team (working alongside Heritage’s James Jay Carafano), she helped shape foreign policy goals and devise the strategies now being used to undo the damage caused by the Obama administration.

She and Heritage maintain strong diplomatic ties with governments in Latin America as well. Quintana routinely travels to Central America to meet with senior officials, and they repay the visits. For example, she recently hosted Mexico’s foreign minister at Heritage. These contacts give her unique insight into shaping America’s policy towards this important region.

Quintana believes in the Heritage Foundation, and she thanks you for believing in us too.

“Everything Heritage does is framed around how to make America better and how to advance America’s interests in the entire world,” Quintana stressed. And that’s all thanks to your membership and support.

Do you have any questions for Ana?

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