Category: Opinion


Americans Dying With an Average of $62K Debt…

You’re probably going to die with some debt to your name. Most people do. In fact, 73% of consumers had outstanding debt when they were reported as dead, according to December 2016 data provided to by credit bureau Experian. Those consumers carried an average total balance of $61,554, including mortgage debt. Without home loans, the average balance was $12,875.

The data is based on Experian’s FileOne database, which includes 220 million consumers. (There are about 242 million adults in the U.S., according to 2015 estimates from the Census Bureau.) Among the 73% of consumers who had debt when they died, about 68% had credit card balances. The next most common kind of debt was mortgage debt (37%), followed by auto loans (25%), personal loans (12%) and student loans (6%).

These were the average unpaid balances: credit cards, $4,531; auto loans, $17,111; personal loans, $14,793; and student loans, $25,391.

That’s a lot of debt, and it doesn’t just disappear when someone dies.

What Does Happen to Debt After You Die?

For the most part, your debt dies with you, but that doesn’t mean it won’t affect the people you leave behind.

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“Debt belongs to the deceased person or that person’s estate,” said Darra L. Rayndon, an estate planning attorney with Clark Hill in Scottsdale, Arizona. If someone has enough assets to cover their debts, the creditors get paid, and beneficiaries receive whatever remains. But if there aren’t enough assets to satisfy debts, creditors lose out (they may get some, but not all, of what they’re owed). Family members do not then become responsible for the debt, as some people worry they might.

That’s the general idea, but things are not always that straightforward. The type of debt you have, where you live and the value of your estate significantly affects the complexity of the situation. (For example, federal student loan debt is eligible for cancellation upon a borrower’s death, but private student loan companies tend not to offer the same benefit. They can go after the borrower’s estate for payment.)

There are lots of ways things can get messy. Say your only asset is a home other people live in. That asset must be used to satisfy debts, whether it’s the mortgage on that home or a lot of credit card debt, meaning the people who live there may have to take over the mortgage, or your family may need to sell the home in order to pay creditors. Accounts with co-signers or co-applicants can also result in the debt falling on someone else’s shoulders. Community property states, where spouses share ownership of property, also handle debts acquired during a marriage a little differently.

“It’s one thing if the beneficiaries are relatives that don’t need your money, but if your beneficiaries are a surviving spouse, minor children — people like that who depend on you for their welfare, then life insurance is a great way to provide additional money in the estate to pay debts,” Rayndon said.

How to Avoid Burdening Your Family

One way to make sure debt doesn’t make a mess of your estate is to stay out of it. You can keep tabs on your debt by reviewing a free snapshot of your credit report on, in addition to sticking to a budget that helps you live below your means. You may also want to consider getting life insurance and meeting with an estate planning attorney to make sure everything’s covered in the event of your death. If you’re worried about leaving behind debt after death, here’s more on how protect your loved ones.

Poor planning can leave your loved ones with some significant stress. For example, if you don’t have a will or designate beneficiaries for your assets, the law in your state of residence decides who gets what.

“If you don’t write a will, your state of residence will write one for you should you pass away,” said James M. Matthews, a certified financial planner and managing director of Blueprint, a financial planning firm in Charlotte, North Carolina. “Odds are the state laws and your wishes are different.”

It can also get expensive to have these matters determined by the courts, and administrative costs get paid before creditors and beneficiaries. If you’d like to provide for your loved ones after you die, you won’t want court costs and outstanding debts to eat away at your estate.

Remember, estate planning can involve more than just drafting a will. Here are 7 documents you’ll need to fill out before you die.  

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This article originally appeared on

Christine DiGangi is Deputy Managing Editor – Engagement for, covering a variety of personal finance topics. Her writing has been featured on USA Today, MSN, Yahoo! Finance and The New York Times International Weekly, among other outlets. More by Christine DiGangi

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30 Countries Refusing To Take Back Illegals…


Approximately 30 countries are refusing to accept the deportations of illegal immigrants who have committed serious crimes in the U.S., according to Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar.

While these countries are refusing to accept the deportations of these criminals, the U.S. government is still issuing visas and student visas to citizens of those countries, according to the Texan congressman. There is already a law on the books which allows the U.S. to hold visas from a country that is not taking back its criminals, but according to Cuellar, the U.S. is not enforcing it.

“We’re not enforcing it, which is amazing. So now my intent is to go back to our committee on appropriations and affect their funding until they do that,” Cuellar told Sharyl Attkisson, host of Full Measure, in an interview.

Cuellar, a Democratic member of the House Committee on Appropriations, told Attkisson that the Supreme Court has ruled that illegal immigrants arrested for criminal activity can only be held for a certain period of time before they must be released.

“That means you’re releasing criminals into our streets because those countries refuse to take back those criminal aliens,” said Cuellar. “That’s wrong. And especially I think it’s even worse that this is already on the books, and we’re still issuing business tourist visas and student visas to countries that refuse to take back their criminal aliens. That’s wrong, and we’re hoping to change that.”

Cuellar has not been afraid to break with some of his party leadership on immigration issues in the past. He was known as one of former President Barack Obama’s fiercest critics on illegal immigration. Cuellar teamed up with Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn in 2014 to help pass a bill that would speed up the deportation of unaccompanied minors. His stance disappointed his fellow Democrats, including Sen. Harry Reid.

There are many foreign countries that refuse to retake illegal immigrants convicted of crimes, according to the congressman, including Vietnam, Cuba and China. Cuellar said that diplomacy plays a factor in the government’s refusal to enforce the law, as the Department of State and other federal agencies do not want to upset foreign partners.

But, for Cuellar, diplomacy is no excuse to put American lives in danger.

“But my response is, but we can upset our constituents, we can upset our way of life that we have here by allowing those criminals to be released?” said Cuellar. “And basically the response from the State Department is because you have to work with the State Department and Homeland Security. And the State Department, with all due respect, was focused on diplomacy.”

Cuellar noted that he understands the importance of diplomacy in these situations, but that it also important to prevent convicted criminals from returning to American neighborhoods. He told Attkisson that he plans to push for the U.S. government to withhold visas from countries that refuse to take back their convicted criminals.

You can watch Cuellar’s entire interview with Attkisson at Full Measure’s website Sunday at 9:30 a.m.

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Congressman Handcuffed After Refusing to Leave ICE Meeting…

Illinois Rep. Luis Gutierrez was briefly handcuffed after refusing to leave a meeting with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in Chicago, saying he planned to risk arrest by staying at the agency’s office in The Loop until demands are met.

The Democratic congressman led a sit-in following a meeting that began around 10 a.m. Monday with a delegation of activists that included about 22 advocates, attorneys, community leaders and other local elected officials, according to Gutierrez’s spokesman Douglas Rivlin. 

“They were asking about specific cases and about the general conduct of ICE and deportations,” Rivlin said at a news conference Monday afternoon. “The congressman has decided that he did not get the answers he was looking for from the ICE regional director and he’s going to be staying inside until he gets answers, even if that means risking arrest.” 

Seven others from the meeting refused to leave alongside Gutierrez, who tweeted that he “was arrested, cuffed then cuffs were cut off” around 1:30 p.m. “Waiting for further word on if/when we will be arrested.” 

Specific immigration cases discussed in the meeting included the pending deportations of Army veteran Miguel Perez Jr., according to Rivlin, as well as Francisca Lino, whose husband and four of her six children are U.S. citizens.

“The congressman first met with the same ICE regional director in 2008 about this case, about getting a deferral from deportation,” Rivlin said. “Ms. Lino came in regularly for meetings with ICE every year as a condition for her deferred deportation, and a couple of weeks ago she was told that she would need to get her bags together and has a specific date for when she is going to be deported in July. The congressman is asking that that deportation be canceled.” 

Seattle ‘Dreamer’ Arrested Despite DACA StatusSeattle 'Dreamer' Arrested Despite DACA Status

“The congressman said this is reprehensible that immigrants are being treated this way, that the rules are changed without any information or notice, that low priorities for deportation are being removed from the country and the congressman wants to get answers from the staff here, and he has not been getting any answers,” Rivlin continued. “They need to call Washington, they need to call the White House.”

“This is the same situation that we had when there were people arriving at the airports and they couldn’t get information out of CIS and ICE officials about how they were being treated,” Rivlin said, referring to the rollout of President Trump’s Jan. 27 executive order halting refugee resettlement and suspending entry of immigrants from seven Muslim-majority nations for 90 days.

That order, which was put on hold by a federal judge, caused immediate chaos and protests at airports in Chicago and around the country as travelers were detained.

Supporters Cheer for Rep. Gutierrez After ICE MeetingSupporters Cheer for Rep. Gutierrez After ICE Meeting

“We even had one ICE officer say, ‘Well, you should just call the White House to get information,'” Rivlin said of immigration authorities’ response to Gutierrez’s questions on Trump’s controversial order. “Well, maybe they need to call the White House.”

Trump signed a new version of the travel ban on March 6 that leaves Iraq off the list of impacted countries and does not apply to those with valid visas or green card holders. That order is scheduled to take effect on March 16, though it already faces legal challenges from states including Hawaii, Washington, New York and more.

“They need to get some answers for the congressman and the congressman is prepared to get arrested if that’s what it takes,” Rivlin continued. 

People Skip Work, Class On 'Day Without Immigrants'People Skip Work, Class On ‘Day Without Immigrants’

Gutierrez was among a group of Hispanic congressmen barred from a meeting with a top federal immigration enforcement official in February. 

According to Gutierrez, members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus were scheduled to speak with the acting director of ICE on Feb. 14 in a meeting the congressman said was abruptly canceled and rescheduled for two days later.

At that point, Gutierrez said it was transformed into an invitation-only affair, and he was asked to leave by an aide to House Speaker Paul Ryan.

“In 20-plus years, I have never heard of the Republicans controlling what meetings Democrats can have with officials of the Executive Branch and never had a staffer ask me to leave a meeting to which I am entitled to attend,” Gutierrez said in a statement following the incident.

Trump Will Be Respectful to DACA ‘Dreamers’: SpokesmanTrump Will Be Respectful to DACA 'Dreamers': Spokesman

A spokeswoman for Ryan told Politico that the speaker’s office organized the event at the request of the Department of Homeland Security, limiting attendance to “members with jurisdictional interests in immigration enforcement.”

“There has been no dialogue, no transparency, no consultation, and no accountability – just like every other aspect of how this White House does business,” Gutierrez said in a statement about Monday’s incident. “It is heavy-handed government in secret all to make the new strongman President look tough and to satisfy the cravings of his coliseum audience for some immigrants to sacrifice.”

“Chicago officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations agreed to an informational meeting on March 13 with Congressman Luis Gutierrez and various community groups. During this meeting, ERO Chicago officials responded to the Congressman’s requests for information. However, when the Congressman sought actions and assurances that ICE officials couldn’t provide, he and other meeting attendees staged a sit-in and refused to leave the ERO office at the conclusion of the meeting,” ICE Public Affairs Officer Gail Montenegro said in a statement.

“Federal Protective Service officers were called by ERO to the scene because the individuals would not leave the ERO office. FPS provided three separate verbal warnings and after each warning FPS provided the individuals several minutes to comply. When the group refused to leave, they were briefly placed in flexible plastic restraints before ICE officials relayed that they no longer wanted the individuals removed from the building. The Congressman and other individuals were placed in the restraints for approximately two minutes before the flex cuffs were removed by FPS. FPS did not cite these individuals.”

Published at 1:53 PM CDT on Mar 13, 2017 | Updated at 5:30 PM CDT on Mar 13, 2017

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Dems Warn of Flight Over Border Wall…

Senate Democrats are warning Republicans of a shutdown showdown if President Donald Trump insists on including funding for a wall along the Mexican border in April’s government funding bill.

“We believe it would be inappropriate to insist on the inclusion of such funding in a must-pass appropriations bill that is needed for the Republican majority in control of the Congress to avert a government shutdown so early in President Trump’s Administration,” the Senate Democratic leadership team, along with Appropriations ranking Democrat Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, wrote in a letter to be circulated Monday.

The letter was directed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Appropriations Chairman Thad Cochran, R-Miss., but the clear audience was the Trump administration and the new president himself.

An early copy of the letter was obtained by CQ Roll Call.

Led by Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York, the Democrats outline familiar concerns about the wall, which was a key campaign promise of the president. That includes the argument that the wall itself may not deter illegal immigration from Mexico.

They say there has been no plan for construction or for how to get Mexico to fund the wall, as Trump had insisted throughout the campaign.

Aside from that obvious flash point, the Democratic senators are continuing to hold the position that they had under President Barack Obama that any increases in spending above existing caps for non-emergency spending should be equally divided between defense and non-defense accounts.

Senate appropriators in both parties have already grown wary of the prospects that discretionary funding past the end of April for most or all of the budget could be completed through a continuing resolution rather than with an omnibus spending package that reflects the work of members of the Appropriations Committee.

Democrats say they want all of the 12 remaining spending bills to be completed, but even with their reduced leverage with Trump having replaced Obama in the White House, they still indicate opposition to what they consider to be noxious policy riders.

“They should not include poison pill riders such as those that roll back protections for our veterans, environment, consumers, and workers and prohibit funds for critical healthcare services for women through Planned Parenthood,” the Democrats wrote. “We strongly oppose the inclusion of such riders in any of the must-pass appropriations bills that fund the government.”

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It's literally pay to play at Mar-a-Lago

If you pay $200,000 a year to the company Donald Trump owns, you too can have access most weekends to the president and his top officials. As an alternative, your organization could cut a $150,000 check to bring in a couple of hundred people who will have a chance to schmooze with the president and cabinet officials. Foreign moguls and dignitaries welcome.

This isn’t Bill Clinton’s Lincoln Bedroom. This isn’t the Clinton Foundation during Hillary’s reign at the State Department. This is Mar-a-Lago.

Donald Trump, for the fourth weekend in the past five, has gone down to his Florida resort, and once again he is mingling with guests. The Palm Beach Post reported:

President Donald Trump mingled with guests outside a charity ball at his Mar-a-Lago Club on Saturday night.
As attendees danced inside the ballroom where the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute held its gala, the president was spotted nearby, shaking hands and talking with club members and guests.
Earlier, Attorney General Jeff Sessions also took a few moments from high-level meetings to greet guests at the estate.

Past weekends have also seen the president schmoozing with people who have paid to be at his resort. Of course Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions are free to go where they want, but consider the dynamic they have created here.

Access to the president and his Cabinet are incredibly valuable. This is why companies spend millions a year on lobbying. This is why President Obama’s golfing buddy Robert Wolf was able to set up a powerful consultancy in the Obama years. This is why Indian tribes paid Jack Abramoff so much money.

In those cases, it was associates of the president who sold access to the president. With Mar-a-Lago, it’s the president himself profiting from access to him. Trump refused to sell his company or unload his properties. While he has given up management of them, he still owns them. That means he still profits when someone books a gala there or becomes a member. And if you’ve followed the lobbying game in Washington, you know that special interests are likely shelling out the cash to get a chance to be close to the president — not necessarily because they expect Trump to reward them as a quid pro quo for their membership, but because joining Mar-a-Lago is the best way to get close to him.

It’s a nice setup for those who want some government favor and can afford a six-figure check. And it’s a nice setup for Donald Trump.

Timothy P. Carney, The Washington Examiner’s commentary editor, can be contacted at His column appears Tuesday nights on

Spicer: Congress must investigate whether Obama 'abused' executive branch power

Also from the Washington Examiner

Statement comes a day after Trump accused Obama of wiretapping his campaign headquarters

By Anna Giaritelli, Caitlin Yilek

03/05/17 9:10 AM

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Can charter schools work in the world's fourth-poorest country?

Charter schools have proved successful at educating underserved children in places such as New Orleans and Washington, D.C.

So successful, in fact, that advocates of charter schools, which are publicly funded but privately run, are exporting the education model across the globe, including to war-ravaged Liberia, on the West African coast.

Liberia’s schools are terrible, and that’s no surprise given that the county has endured two civil wars and, more recently, the Ebola epidemic, which killed thousands there.

According to the Economist, just 13 students out of 15,000 passed the University of Liberia’s entrance exam in 2014. That was an improvement. Nobody passed the exam in 2013.

George Werner, Liberia’s education minister, has been enacting some reforms, including, last September, launching a pilot project that is establishing charter schools throughout the country. Partnership Schools for Liberia has eight operators (including three for-profit organizations) that now run 93 public schools in the country.

Just like charters in the United States, PSL is under fire from teachers’ union groups that are concerned about cost and PSL’s focus on small classes (it limits classroom size to 65 students), which they say may prompt some schools to select only the brightest students.

But a randomized controlled trial run by an international non-profit should settle whether the schools are cost effective or discriminating against less clever pupils.

Meanwhile, Werner is undeterred: Last month he announced that PSL will expand by another 100 schools or more.

Daniel Allott is deputy commentary editor for the Washington Examiner

Sean Hannity takes bets on when Sen. Lindsey Graham becomes a Democrat

Also from the Washington Examiner

“Should we start a pool on when @LindseyGrahamSC officially becomes a democrat?”

03/04/17 5:42 PM

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The Washington Post originality on display with Trump/Hitler comparison

President Trump announced this week that he plans to create an office to highlight crimes committed by illegal aliens, meaning he’s pretty much the next Adolf Hitler.

This is an actual thing suggested this week in an article filed under the Washington Post’s foreign news blog.

Trump touted his plans for the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement office Tuesday evening during his joint address to Congress.

“I have ordered the Department of Homeland Security to create an office to serve American victims,” he said, outlining his plans for the new organization. “We are providing a voice to those who have been ignored by our media and silenced by special interests.”

For the Post’s Worldviews blog, this is basically Hitler 2.0. Because, as the story’s headline stated, Hitler also “published a list of crimes committed by groups he didn’t like.”

Godwin’s Law has been getting a real workout lately, hasn’t it?

“There’s a reason Trump’s opponents are so worried,” the article read. “This strategy — one designed to single out a particular group of people, suggesting that there’s something particularly sinister about how they behave — was employed to great effect by Adolf Hitler and his allies. In the 1930s, the Nazis used a similar tactic to stir up anger and hatred toward Jews.”

“To spread these ideas, there were books (like the pamphlet pictured above) and films that portrayed Jews as subhuman. ‘The Eternal Jew,’ released in 1940, depicted Jews as wandering cultural parasites, consumed by sex and money,” it added.

It goes on like that for quite a bit.

Sen. Ben Sasse: US is 'in the midst of a civilization-warping crisis of public trust'

Also from the Washington Examiner

The Nebraskan called for the “full truth, rather than knee-jerk partisanship.”

03/04/17 4:32 PM

The best (worst?) part is when, after all of the obvious comparisons, the author concludes by saying she’s not really saying Trump is like Hitler (except maybe a little).

“Of course, a regular government report is a far cry from the Nazis’ aggressive, constant drumbeat against the Jews. Third Reich officials had significantly more control over what people were exposed to than any American president. They controlled the media and decided what kinds of art were and were not allowed in the country,” she wrote.

She added, “The point is not that VOICE equals the Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. But when leaders use the levers of government to drum up fear of one group of people, we should all be worried.”

Wink, wink.

Invite for Rep. Michael Burgess town hall: 'Do not allow this to be overrun by the left'

Also from the Washington Examiner

The town hall was for Rep. Michael Burgess of northern Dallas.

03/04/17 4:27 PM

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Trump is moving the goalposts on the Russian question, and people need to stop helping him

President Trump is trying to shift attention away from questions about his administration’s alleged ties to Russia, and too many people in media appear happy to help.

The Drudge Report, for example, ran an image from 2003 on its front-page Friday afternoon showing Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., sharing a donut and a cup of coffee with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The headline read, “Schumer and the Russians.”

Breitbart News, which has served as an unapologetically pro-Trump web service since his campaign launched in 2015, ran a report Friday titled, “Russian Ambassador Visited Obama at the White House 22 Times.”

Elsewhere, Fox News published a graphic that same day listing the “Dem lawmakers” who have met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. (A quick aside: The list of Democratic lawmakers for some reason includes Mary Landrieu. She hasn’t held public office since she lost her Senate seat in 2014.)

The problem with these supposed scoops is that they attempt to rebut an argument no one is making in good faith, and now the president himself is parroting these talking points.

The problem isn’t simply that people close to the president spoke with Russian officials during the 2016 election. There’s nothing wrong with any senator meeting a Russian diplomat. That’s not the real issue.

Obama fires back at Trump's 'simply false' wiretap accusations

Also from the Washington Examiner

Trump said the wiretaps are indicative of “McCarthyism.”

03/04/17 12:49 PM

Rather, the real controversy centers on the circumstances under which people like Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the president’s former national security adviser, retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, spoke last year with Russian government officials.

The real Trump controversy is also about Sessions and Flynn failing to disclose these conversations until the truth eventually surfaced in news reports.

There are several legitimate questions that can be asked in this area, especially in regards to Sessions, who was also a campaign surrogate, failing to mention during his confirmation that he spoke with Kislyak at least twice last year.

Even if it was an honest mistake, that’s a big thing to omit from one’s hearing.

The Russian controversy is about a lot more than simply sharing a donut with Putin, and the White House isn’t helping anything by trying to distract with some tit-for-tat gamesmanship.

Report: Ivanka Trump and her Jewish in-laws toured Holocaust Museum

Also from the Washington Examiner

Jared Kushner’s late grandmother was a Holocaust survivor.

03/04/17 12:36 PM

The Schumer picture, the Fox News graphic and the Breitbart story are poor “gotcha” attempts. It’s not about the meetings. It’s about circumstances and disclosure.

If right-wing activists want to hit Democrats for hypocrisy over this story, then actually hit them for something comparable. A more thoughtful “gotcha” would be to ding Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., for apparently forgetting this week that they also had meetings with Kislyak.

The Missouri senator said Thursday in a widely shared tweet that she had never “ever” met with the Russian ambassador in her capacity as a member of the Armed Services Committee. This was a very false statement, as National Review’s Charles Cooke noted.

On Friday, Pelosi also said she had never met with Kislyak. This was also a very false statement, as reported first by Politico.

In both cases, non-Trump-friendly media uncovered the truth of the matter.

Pelosi and McCaskill have defended their false charges by claiming they meant to say they never had a one-on-one meeting with the Russian ambassador.

Schumer, for his part, responded to Trump’s goalpost shifting Friday evening by challenging the president’s team to discuss under oath their meetings with Russian officials.

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'Impartial' media always side with illegal immigrants

If the national press wanted to prove it’s not the “enemy of the people,” it could start by covering illegal immigration more like it’s a serious problem and less like their husbands just left them.

It’s nearly impossible to find a news story on illegal immigration that doesn’t read like a Nicholas Sparks novel.

President Trump signed an executive order in late January that recommitted the White House to enforcing immigration laws, including deportation of just about any illegal immigrant who has committed a crime (including fraud) and “the immediate construction of a physical wall on the southern border.”

This might otherwise be known as maintaining the U.S. as an actual country with established borders and laws.

Regarding the so-called DREAMers, immigrants brought into the country illegally as children and who were given legal protections to stay by former President Barack Obama, the New York Times in February noted that Trump harbors some natural sympathy.

“The problem that Mr. Trump faces as he worries aloud about how to handle the young immigrants … encapsulates the beating heart of the difficult choices confronting him,” said an article in the Times.

News stories on abortion are couched in the most sanitized, passionless terms, but on immigration, “the beating heart” leaps to the forefront of the Times’ conscience.

After one illegal immigrant who had been living in America for decades using a fraudulent Social Security number was deported in February, all three network prime-time newscasts put together packages on “the family she leaves behind.”

Those were CBS correspondent Carter Evans’ words.

The Washington Post hits readers with the very edgy and original idea of comparing Trump to Hitler

Also from the Washington Examiner

Trump touted the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement office Tuesday.

03/04/17 9:00 AM

Mental exercise: What would happen if the IRS found out that an actual citizen, Carter Evans, for example, was employed for years under a fake Social Security number?

When Trump signed a separate executive order in January that put a hold on incoming Syrian refugees and non-citizens coming from some Muslim-majority countries (the order has since been stayed by federal courts), New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof likened it to the establishment of internment camps.

“When Japanese-Americans were rounded up, other Americans were silent,” he said, unbothered by the dissimilarity of a policy that forcibly relocated real citizens in their own country, but stewing nonetheless. “Today, it is heartwarming to see Americans of all creeds standing up against similar bigotry.”

By “Americans of all creeds,” Kristof means: Two judges and some protesters.

Otherwise, a clear majority of Americans, 54 percent, said they at least “somewhat” approved of it, according to a poll published Feb. 8.

Trump: Arnold Schwarzenegger was 'fired' from 'Celebrity Apprentice'

Also from the Washington Examiner

“[H]e was fired by his bad (pathetic) ratings, not by me.”

03/04/17 8:36 AM

This past week, Trump said in his first joint session address to Congress that he was directing the Department of Homeland Security to create a new office for the Victims Of Immigration Crime Engagement, or VOICE.

“Joining us in the audience tonight are four very brave Americans whose government failed them,” he said, acknowledging four guests he invited and who had family members killed by illegal immigrants.

The Washington Post editorial board called it “the ugliest moment” of Trump’s speech and asserted that the victims were only “allegedly” murdered by illegal immigrants.

In the cases of those “allegedly” murdered by illegals, one person, illegal immigrant Pedro Espinoza, was convicted in 2012 of killing 17-year-old Jamiel Shaw II.

Another illegal immigrant confessed. Luis Enriquez Monroy Bracamontes, stated in court in 2015, “I killed them cops,” a reference to two police officers, Danny Oliver and Michael Davis Jr., he says he shot dead.

Three Americans are gone but for the Post, the “ugliest moment” was Trump’s vow to reduce crime by immigrants who violated the law and snuck into the country.

The national media are affronted when Trump calls them the “enemy of the people.”

But that’s only because Trump doesn’t specify he’s referring to legal citizens.

Eddie Scarry is a media reporter for the Washington Examiner.

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Leave that Alabama drive-in alone

When the owner of a drive-in movie theater located in the 2,300-person town of Henagar, Alabama, took to their business’s Facebook page Thursday night, it’s doubtful they expected to attract the attention of the national media.

But that is the world in which we live.

Earlier in the week, Beauty & the Beast director Bill Condon revealed that the forthcoming film would feature Disney’s first gay character, previewing an “exclusively gay moment” for moviegoers. This drove media outlets to trumpet the decision as “historic” and “truly groundbreaking.”

In response, the Henagar Drive-In Theater posted a note on Facebook respectfully informing patrons of its decision not to screen the movie. It was the kind of post that would not have been worthy of so much as a double take just ten years ago. But in 2017, it earned coverage in Entertainment Weekly, Time, Cosmopolitan, Variety, the Hollywood Reporter, Marie Claire and more, all in less than 24 hours.

Here is an excerpt from the now-viral post:

[blockquote]If we can not take our 11 year old grand daughter and 8 year old grandson to see a movie we have no business watching it. If I can’t sit through a movie with God or Jesus sitting by me then we have no business showing it. I know there will be some that do not agree with this decision. That’s fine. We are first and foremost Christians. We will not compromise on what the Bible teaches. We will continue to show family oriented films so you can feel free to come watch wholesome movies without worrying about sex, nudity, homosexuality and foul language.[blockquote]

This reflexive outrage over a small town drive-in’s business decision provides an instructive opportunity for all of us to take a deep breath, pause for a moment, and engage in the tolerance and understanding so many on the Left pledged to practice after the presidential election.

Honestly, the media’s impulse to cover the story feels a lot like urban voyeurism — city-dwelling journalists plucking the post of a rural theater from its local reach to showcase the ignorance to their more cosmopolitan readers.

After the election in November, New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet told NPR, “I think that the New York-based and Washington-based too probably, media powerhouses don’t quite get religion. We have a fabulous religion writer, but she’s all alone. We don’t get religion. We don’t get the role of religion in people’s lives. And I think we can do much, much better.”

Sessions will answer Senate Democrats' Russia questions Monday

Also from the Washington Examiner

The group called Sessions’ recusal a “welcome first step,” but said it want to know more.

03/03/17 9:20 PM

Here’s a great opportunity for the media to start.

Emily Jashinsky is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.

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