Remembering September 11 and our American Heritage

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Over the last couple weeks, millions of incoming freshmen students have stepped foot into university classrooms for the first time. It’s hard to imagine that just 13 years ago in the fall of 2001 these same young people were just beginning elementary school. For many of them, 9/11 is nothing more than a vague memory, yet it would be hard to overstate the impact this event had on their most formative years.

These children don’t remember a world without Osama Bin Laden or al-Qaeda – a world without the hateful threat of terrorism floating darkly over their heads. They grew up during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and said goodbye as their older siblings went off to war. They came of age in a time of severe economic recession and watched as their fathers and mothers struggled to find work.

But despite having every reason to doubt our capabilities, to be wary of our enemies and to throw up their hands and settle for less, the youth of today are determined to build a strong, rich, independent America. They know that the American capacity for hard-work will keep this land prosperous. They know that the fierce independence that burns in our hearts will keep it free. And most importantly, they know and can rest assured that at its core America was founded on an idea that this is a land of liberty where every man can make for himself and his family the life they desire. One of our experts, Matthew Spalding, wrote:

Every nation derives meaning and purpose from some unifying quality—an ethnic character, a common religion, a shared history. The United States is different. America was founded at a particular time, by a particular people, on the basis of particular principles about man, liberty, and constitutional government.

Today the aptly named Freedom Tower in New York City stands 1,776 feet tall – a visual monument to our ability to pick ourselves up and struggle for even greater heights. Americans have shown over and over again that we will never give up and never surrender and certainly never cease striving to preserve our heritage of liberty. We truly are an exceptional country.

May God always bless America.

The National September 11 Memorial and Museum

The National September 11 Memorial and Museum opened May 21 to the public in New York City.

At Heritage, Rick Perry Calls Border Security ‘a Constitutional Obligation’

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“Defending our border is not a political option but a constitutional obligation,” Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) said last week at The Heritage Foundation.

Speaking to a packed audience that included 23 news cameras, Perry was critical of President Obama’s failed immigration policies.

The President has been anything but consistent in his reaction to the crisis at the border, he said in an address broadcast live on C-SPAN. When he should take executive action by enforcing immigration laws, he retreats. And his attempts to sidestep Congress and implement his unilateral immigration reform are examples of “aggressive overreach.” Continue Reading »

This Statement Helped Heritage Interns Win Their Debate With Cato

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In Other Work of Note

Every summer, Heritage Foundation interns debate political philosophy with interns from the libertarian Cato Institute.

This debate is an opportunity for Heritage interns to refine their understanding of America’s first principles and how they apply to today’s most important issues.

Heritage interns were judged the winner of this year’s debate, in part because of the opening statement by intern Louis Cola.

Read his full remarks, below, and tell us what you think in the comments. Continue Reading »

Heritage Book Fair Raises $4,000 for Wounded Warrior Project

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In Other Work of Note

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Heritage Foundation interns pose with Angelise Schrader of Heritage’s Young Leaders Program, fourth from left, and a veteran representing the Wounded Warrior Project

Heritage Foundation staff and interns raised more than $4,000 this month for the Wounded Warriors Project through our fifth annual book fair.

Heritage staff and friends donated books, including books on history and conservative policy, which were then sold by members of Heritage’s Young Leaders Program. Proceeds were donated to Wounded Warriors, which works to aid injured veterans as they adjust to life after service.

The Wounded Warriors Project is of special significance to Heritage, since many Heritage staff members are veterans, and several currently serve in the National Guard or reserve units. Heritage believes strongly in both a strong national defense and in taking care of those who have sacrificed for our country.

Three With Heritage Ties Earn Spots on Red Alert Politics’ ’30 Under 30′ List

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Clockwise from top right: Alexandra Smith, Caitlin Poling, and Heather Pfitzenmaier. Photos: RedAlertPolitics

The Heritage Foundation’s Heather Pfitzenmaier and two former Heritage interns, Alexandra Smith and Caitlin Poling, have been selected for the annual Red Alert Politics “30 under 30” list, which recognizes rising young conservative stars.

“Heather’s understanding and commitment to conservative principles plus her enthusiasm and dedication to advancing great ideas to young leaders are attributes that make her shine as a leader,” said Heritage vice president Becky Norton Dunlop. “She is a consummate professional and is noticeably very personal and genuinely invested in each person she meets, making her an obvious role model for principled young people.”

Pfitzenmaier, an alumnus of Heritage’s intern program who directs Heritage’s Young Leaders Program, also received an honor from Forbes for being one of the young Americans making an impact on law and policy. She also received the 2012 Buckley Award from the Young Conservatives Coalition.

In an interview with Red Alert Politics, Pfitzenmaier explained why it’s  important for young conservatives to become involved in the movement: Continue Reading »

Speaking at Heritage, Gingrich Makes the Case for ‘Cheerful Persistence’

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In Other Work of Note

Newt Gingrich speaks at Heritage July 23. Photo: Hillary Rosenjack

Newt Gingrich speaks at Heritage July 23. Photo: Hillary Rosenjack

Conservatives must adopt a positive message to win over the American people, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said today at The Heritage Foundation.

“We must be for positive things,” he said.

It’s a mistake to call November’s midterm election a “referendum on Obama,” Gingrich said. This negative approach helped leave the Republican Party without a House majority from 1944 to 1994, he said.

“If a Republican wins with a negative campaign, he has no consensus,” Gingrich explained.

But in 1994, Republicans maintained a “cheerful persistence” for conservative ideas.

There’s reason for optimism about the future, Gingrich added.

The millennial generation, those born after about 1980, has “crossed a technological threshold,” he said. While government remains mired in the past, technology is giving individuals more power in society. This gives conservatives an opening “to become the movement that offers a better future.”

Gingrich’s address in Heritage’s Allison Auditorium was part of Heritage’s “Lessons for Conservatives” lecture series.

In opening remarks, Heritage Founder Ed Feulner spoke highly of Gingrich, saying that he is “a unique find in Washington – articulate, charismatic, and loaded with ideas based on our conservative principles.”

Are you hopeful that the new generation can help sustain the conservative movement?  Tell us in the comments.

Heritage Action CEO Calls on Congress to Audit the IRS

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Mike Needham, CEO of Heritage’s sister organization, Heritage Action for America, recently called on Congress to investigate the IRS for its targeting of conservative groups for audits.

Watch the full clip from Fox News Survey above and let us know if you think Congress should audit the IRS.

The Supreme Court Blocks the Obama Administration’s Attack on Religious Liberty

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The media wait for the Hobby Lobby lawyers to make their first public statement in front of the Supreme Court. Photo credit: Kayla Toth

In their ruling Monday in the Hobby Lobby case, the Supreme Court struck a blow against Obamacare’s coercive contraceptive mandate.

“The government can’t compel a ‘closely held’  business such as the Hobby Lobby chain to cover abortion-inducing drugs or devices in employee health plans if doing so would violate the employer’s moral and religious beliefs,” Heritage’s Kelsey Harkness explains.

Heritage experts Sarah Torre and Elizabeth Slattery explain what this ruling means:

To be clear, the decision today applies only to the Obamacare rule that was threatening the religious freedom of the Greens’ and Hahns’ family businesses. Other claims for religious exemptions by closely held family businesses from other laws will have to be litigated on a case-by-case basis. RFRA doesn’t provide a blank check for religious believers to do whatever they want in the name of religion and neither does today’s decision.

With today’s ruling, the Greens’ and Hahns’ family businesses will be able to continue offering their employees generous healthcare plans (which cover most forms of contraception) without fear of government penalties. And the women who work for Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood remain free – like all women – to make their own decisions about these four drugs and devices (as well as other birth control) and to purchase or find insurance coverage for them. But the government cannot coerce these family businesses to participate in those decisions in violation of their beliefs.

Do you think the court made the right call in the Hobby Lobby case?

Once Again, the Liberal Media Is Unfairly Characterizing Conservatives

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In Other Work of Note

An event about the Benghazi attacks held at The Heritage Foundation on Monday sparked intense, but respectful, debate about the 2012 terrorist assault on the American consulate that left four dead.

But once again, the liberal media took the opportunity to unfairly characterize conservatives. The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank completely misrepresented what happened during a question-and-answer session during the event. He said the panelists rudely “attacked” and “pounced” on the questioner.

Milbank’s account was so incredible that others in the media leapt to Heritage’s defense. Politico, for example, pointed out that the video shows the panelists not mocking the questioner but thanking her. The facts just don’t support Milbank’s wild claims.

Watch video of the Q&A and see for yourself:

It’s precisely because the mainstream media has such bias that The Heritage Foundation started the Daily Signal: to expose the truth about what’s happening in America.

Coordinating Heritage’s Research Firepower

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The Heritage Foundation

Heritage’s new institutes will help build a stronger economy, a stronger society, and a stronger America.

The Heritage Foundation seeks to build a better life for all Americans––and a better life requires a stronger economy, a stronger society, and a stronger national defense.

Heritage serves our members as the only major think tank focused on all three of these important objectives.

To further sharpen that focus––and to continue to unite conservatives behind powerful policy solutions for a strong America––Heritage is coordinating all of our research firepower into three institutes that will help our experts work even more effectively to advance the conservative policy solutions our members support.

  • The Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity seeks to bring about a stronger economy. Through this Institute, Heritage will continue the groundbreaking research that highlights the disastrous impact of “progressive” left-wing ideas and explains the need for lower taxes, less spending and limited government.
  • The Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity seeks to bring about a strong society. The work of this Institute will include advancing religious freedom, marriage, and life, promoting child-centered education reform through parental choice, advocating work-based welfare reform, and developing patient-centered health care proposals to protect America from Obamacare.
  • The Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy seeks to bring about a stronger national defense. This Institute’s work will educate lawmakers and citizens on the numerous global threats to America’s freedom and explore the right and wrong ways to protect our national interests.

Heritage used feedback from our members to name each Institute, ensuring that the words we are using speak to the concerns and values of a vast majority of Americans while reflecting Heritage’s conservative principles.

Each Institute is now home to dozens of researchers and policy experts, whom Heritage members can trust to offer sound conservative solutions for key issues of debate in Congress, with research that drives news coverage and policy consensus toward conservative, common-sense ideas.

According to Heritage President Jim DeMint, “Each of these institutes, combined with the work of Heritage Action for America, will help Heritage pursue the key elements necessary to achieve conservative policy successes––effective research, superb communications, and first-rate advocacy.”

 

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