NEWS AND OPINION:
One lawmaker has unique insight into the southern U.S. border and whether it poses an emergency, as President Trump suggests. That would be Rep. Adam Kinzinger, Illinois Republican, just back from a working visit to the region as a member of the Air National Guard — and as a pilot flying an RC-26 surveillance aircraft some 12,000 feet above the terrain. It was his fourth border mission as an eyewitness to the illegal immigration challenge on the border.
“Does it constitute a national emergency?” CBS “Face the Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan asked the lawmaker during his appearance on the show Sunday.
“Yeah, I think it does. I went down there kind of undecided. I put on my lieutenant colonel hat, was apolitical — but obviously I’m looking at this, getting the information I can. And I think that if this was just an issue of immigration, it wouldn’t constitute a national emergency. But what I saw was really disturbing,” Mr. Kinzinger replied.
His team discovered a woman essentially lost in the desert after being abandoned by her “coyote” escort; the Border Patrol ultimately came to her rescue. They also encountered a would-be immigrant with 70 pounds of methamphetamines. Mr. Kinzinger describes these incidents as just a “very small picture” of the total challenge.
“Am I understanding that you believe the president’s declaration of a national emergency is constitutional, and that you will not vote to try to block it?” Ms. Brennan asked.
“I won’t try to block it,” Mr. Kinzinger replied, and agreed that it was OK to “bypass the purse strings of Congress” to ensure border security.
“If this was just about immigration, I would disagree. I do think this is a security threat. It’s a security threat with the amount of drugs coming over the border and the human trafficking that I’ve seen,” Mr. Kinzinger said, noting that it is more “compassionate” to handle border security “the right way,” and with a working immigration system.
WARREN’S QUEST FOR RECOGNITION
The Democratic presidential stage is already crowded, which so far does not bode well for Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who should be high up on the applause meter with all the other veteran lawmakers. She’s not.
“Another presidential poll, another dose of bad news for Elizabeth Warren. Our senior senator and declared presidential candidate found herself trailing two other well-known but undeclared Democrats — as well as an upstart U.S. senator from California — in a University of Massachusetts poll of likely New Hampshire Democratic primary voters,” notes a Boston Herald editorial.
“Former Vice President Joe Biden led the list of declared and potential candidates in New Hampshire at 28 percent, followed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (20 percent) and Sen. Kamala Harris (14 percent). Sanders has since announced his intention to again run for president. All Warren could muster, despite officially announcing her candidacy in Lawrence — in the shadow of the Granite State — was a disappointing 9 percent. No one else registered more than 6 percent. Warren did score the highest in one poll category — most polarizing. Twenty-six percent of those surveyed indicated they would not vote for her if she became the party’s nominee, the highest negative the field,” the editorial said.
AOC HAS A SAY
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has revealed her sentiment toward ongoing criticism of her Green New Deal.
“I don’t care anymore. The power is in the person who is trying,” the New York Democrat told an audience during a town hall event in Queens to promote computer technology training for women.
“I just introduced the Green New Deal two weeks ago, and it’s creating all of this conversation. Why? Because no one else has even tried. So people are like, ‘oh, it’s unrealistic, oh it’s vague. Oh, it doesn’t address this little minute thing.’ And I’m like, ‘You try. You do it. ‘Cause you’re not. ‘Cause you’re not. So, until you do it, I’m the boss.’ How about that?” she declared.
PRO-LIFE MOVIE GETS AN ‘R’
“Unplanned,” a pro-life film partially financed by My Pillow founder Mike Lindell, has just been given an R-rating by the Motion Picture Association of America, which cited “some disturbing/bloody images” in its rationale for the judgment call.
“The film tells the true story of Abby Johnson, who defected from Planned Parenthood to become a pro-life activist. While the filmmakers were certain they were making a PG-13 film, the MPAA has informed them that it will, in fact, be rated R unless all scenes of abortions are removed or altered,” The Hollywood Reporter noted.
The feature-length production is set to be released on 800 screens on March 29, distributed by PureFlix, a Christian movie studio that has never been given an R-rating on any of its productions. They do not plan to alter the film, and are unlikely to appeal the decision, which could delay the film’s release. The film’s production team has also pushed back against the ruling.
“We consider the MPAA’s current standards to be deeply flawed, insofar as they allow scenes of remarkably graphic sex, violence, degradation, murder and mayhem to have a PG-13 rating, whereas our film, highlighting the grave dangers of abortion in a straightforward manner, is considered dangerous for the American people to view,” wrote co-directors Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman, who say there is an unexpected benefit in the decision.
“Unplanned is an ‘R’ rated film which has no MPAA cautions for profanity, nudity, sex or violence — except for violence directly associated with the abortion process. Ironically, the MPAA seems to be indirectly endorsing the pro-life position. Namely that abortion is an act of violence,” the two filmmakers told MovieGuide.org.
POLL DU JOUR
• 36 percent of U.S. voters “strongly oppose” the construction of a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico; 5 percent of Republicans, 35 percent of independents and 65 percent of Democrats agree.
• 32 percent of voters overall “strongly support” the construction of the border wall; 65 percent of Republicans, 25 percent of independents and 8 percent of Democrats agree.
• 13 percent overall “somewhat support” the construction of the wall; 20 percent of Republicans, 13 percent of independents and 7 percent of Democrats agree.
• 11 percent overall “somewhat oppose” the construction of the wall; 7 percent of Republicans, 14 percent of independents and 11 percent of Democrats agree.
• 9 percent overall “don’t know” about the construction of the wall; 3 percent of Republicans, 13 percent of independents and 9 percent of Democrats agree.
Source: A Politico/Morning Consult poll of 1,914 U.S. voters conducted Feb. 15-19.
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