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News for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited "smaller" government, free markets, lower taxes, due process of law, liberty & individual freedom. All content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for or by this site - no paid ads accepted - no payments for articles. Fair Use doctrine is posted & used.
Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
Contact: editor@arranewsservice.com (Pub. Since July, 2006)
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, January 02, 2015

25 States Continue Battle Against Obama’s Immigration Executive Actions

On Facebook: Blogs for Borders
by Hans von Spakovsky: U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen of the Southern District of Texas has scheduled a hearing for Jan. 9 on the request for an injunction filed by 25 states against President Obama’s immigration amnesty plan.

In a nationally televised speech on Nov. 20, Obama announced (and began implementing) the executive actions. The original lawsuit was filed on Dec. 3, and the states requested an injunction hearing by Dec. 31 “or as soon as practicable thereafter.”

The lawsuit claims that Obama has “unilaterally suspend[ed] the immigration laws as applied to 4 million of the 11 million” illegal aliens in the United States.

The states (see the full list below) are requesting that Hanen find that the Department of Homeland Security directives implementing Obama’s plan violate the “take care that the laws be faithfully executed” clause of the Constitution, as well as various provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act because they are arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and were issued without regulatory authority or the required notice and opportunity for public comment.

On Dec. 24, the Justice Department filed a 56-page response on behalf of the administration opposing the request for an injunction and asking the court to dismiss the lawsuit for lack of standing because the states cannot “demonstrate that they will suffer a cognizable injury traceable to the deferred action guidance.”

The Justice Department says that all of the increased, substantial costs of law enforcement, education and health care that the states claim will result from the president’s action are mere conjecture and are not sufficient to grant them standing.

The Justice Department argues that the states don’t have a right to bring an independent claim under the “take care” clause of the Constitution, and that the “deferred action” on the immigration status of illegal aliens implemented by Homeland Security is an unreviewable exercise of enforcement discretion.

In other words, deferred action is within the prosecutorial discretion of the president and his authority to enforce the law. It should be noted that a federal judge in Washington, D.C., recently dismissed a lawsuit filed by Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, finding that he lacked standing based on many of the same arguments that the Department of Justice is making in the Texas case.

The Justice Department also argues that the “guidance” or directives issued by Homeland Security are exempt from the Administrative Procedures Act as “a general statement of policy.”

According to the Justice Department’s brief, “statements issued by an agency to advise the public prospectively of the manner in which the agency proposes to exercise a discretionary power” are exempt from the Administrative Procedures Act requirements. DOJ claims that Obama’s plan falls within this definition.

Justice makes the claim that issuing an injunction would actually harm the government and “the public interest” because the president’s amnesty plan “promotes congressionally mandated public safety and national security objectives.”

Supposedly, because the government has limited resources, this plan will allow the government to “focus its removal efforts on criminals, threats to national security and more recent border crossers, while recognizing important humanitarian considerations.” But, as has been reported, Homeland Security already is spending its “limited resources” on hiring 1,000 new employees to implement the president’s amnesty program at a new operational center in Virginia.

This is certainly a very important case and a serious challenge to the executive branch by almost half of the states in the union over a substantive public policy and constitutional issue. And we will hear the issues being debated and argued on Jan. 9 by an impressive array of skilled lawyers.

But in a humorous note, a goat farmer from Florida filed a motion to intervene in the lawsuit on Dec. 29 on behalf of Obama.

Apparently, his best goat sales are to “persons from abroad [who] are much more likely to want to buy a goat for special occasions or feasts than long [term] resident Americans.” According to the farmer, if the “helpful new rules to allow undocumented migrants to remain in the country” are ruled unconstitutional, “this would be likely to reduce possible goat sales to the Intervenor’s disadvantage.”

So Obama has another ally on his side in this fight over immigration—goat farmers of America.

Here are the 25 states involved in the lawsuit:
Alabama
Arizona
Arkansas
Florida
Georgia
Idaho
Indiana
Kansas
Louisiana
Maine
Michigan
Mississippi
Montana
Nebraska
North Carolina
South Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
South Dakota
Texas
Utah
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Tennessee
---------------
Hans von Spakovsky is an authority on a wide range of issues—including civil rights, civil justice, the First Amendment, immigration, the rule of law and government reform—as a senior legal fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and manager of the think tank’s Election Law Reform Initiative. This article was shared by The Heritage Foundation's The Daily Signal.

Tags: President Obama, Immigration Executive Action, 25 States, injunction filed, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Hans von Spakovsky To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Time To Abolish Lame Duck Sessions

by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: The new Congress is about to convene. The new leadership should consider changing a tradition left over from the previous Congress. Columnist Derek Hunter put it this way: “It’s time to kill the lame duck.”

He makes a convincing case that it is time to abolish lame duck sessions in Congress. He asks, “why should people whom the voters unambiguously said they no longer wish to have represent them have two full months to do just that in every conceivable and legally binding way?” He proposes an amendment that Congress ends its session before a federal election.

These last few lame duck sessions illustrate the problem. Members of Congress postpone important decisions about the budget or major pieces of legislation until after the election. They stuff budget bills with payoff pork. They rush to pass major pieces of legislation (like Obamacare) without even reading the bills.

Derek Hunter even argues that no recess appointments, pardons, or new regulations should be made during this time. We have seen outgoing presidents pardon people who would never have been pardoned if they had been running for re-election. And we have seen presidents make recess appointments when Congress wasn’t even in recess. The mischief that takes place during this time of year has to stop.

I can think of many precedents that illustrate why we should kill the lame duck session. In the parliamentary system used in many countries, a vote of no confidence ends your opportunity to do mischief in government. In the British system the prime minister has 24 hours to vacate 10 Downing Street. That transition of power is stunning in its speed and efficiency.

Or look at the private sector. If a boss fires an employee, that employee isn’t allowed to stay on the job for another two months. I think we all know what would happen if a fired employee was allowed to stay on the job for an extended period of time.

It’s time for Congress to prevent this from happening again. It is time to kill the stupid tradition of allowing a lame duck Congress to stay in office and do mischief for months.
------------
Kerby Anderson is radio host of View Points on Christian talk radio Point of View. And his work is shared by the ARRA News Service.

Tags: ILame Duck, Congress, Kerby Anderson, Point of View, View Points To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

What Congress’ New Year’s Resolutions Should Be

Editorial Cartoon by Glenn Foden (@GlennFo)
by Genevieve Wood: Republicans don’t need to come up with a list of 2015 New Year’s resolutions. The promises they made on the campaign trail in 2014 will do just fine.

Repealing Obamacare, securing the border and putting a stop to President Obama’s unconstitutional executive actions come to mind as promises that should be kept.

But like many New Year’s resolutions, campaign promises are often forgotten. And with a presidential election now just two years away, there will be a tendency by some elected officials and party bosses to start making new promises instead of fulfilling the pledges that just got them elected.

Conservative and independent voters who gave the GOP control of Congress in November are expecting better.

What campaign promise(s) do you most want the new Congress to fulfill? Tweet them to me @GenevieveWood or email them to me: Genevieve.Wood@DailySignal.com. My New Year’s resolution? Hold them accountable.
----------
Genevieve Wood advances policy priorities of The Heritage Foundation as senior contributor to The Daily Signal.

Tags: Glenn Foden, Republicans, resolutions, Congress, New Year, Resolutions, Genevieve Wood, Keep them Accountable To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Obama On New Year 2015 - Just Killing Time . . .

. . . But more than just another year coming to an end.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: Obama, killing time, 2015, New Years Eve, killing the Constitution, Constitutional Rights, Editorial Cartoon, AF Branco To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Democrats Cry Over The Cost Of Their Ticket To Tyranny

What Jim Mullen describes in the following article is not exclusive to West Virginia. It is also true of Arkansas and other states which have cast off the mantle of the Democratic Party's control of their state. Mullen's warning to the Republics is also worthy to consider: "Republicans should be aware that conservatives led this national purge of the left wing, and remember they expect you to live up to the promises you made of less government, more liberty, fewer regulations, and always follow the Constitution. Do not try to out-Democrat the Democrats. The New Year is upon us; get busy restoring freedom and shrinking government." ~ Bill Smith, Editor
------------
by Jim Mullen, Contributing Author: It’s most interesting that the state Democratic Party in West Virginia, feeling the sting of the latest election, is pointing fingers and assigning blame for their unexpected uprooting in West Virginia. Democrats have controlled the state for over eighty years, now it is red.

Not surprisingly, the national Democratic Party is also searching for answers.

This New Democratic Party, doggedly clinging to an agenda so radically leftwing, that it has the once dynamic middle class in America, reeling. The constant punching, prodding, and punishing Americans and the country’s industrial complex has left more people subservient to government largesse than any period in our history.

Fewer people are in the workforce, and this translates into a nationwide malaise and dissatisfaction by those still interested in the American spirit of work and pride.

Barack Obama doubled down on his Marxist policies on an already liberal and unsustainable welfare state. His guiding principles dictate that all personal freedom, commerce, industrial activity, and enterprise, be filtered through government. Sadly, the entire New Democratic Party not only got on the Obama-train-to-socialism; they did so with overzealous enthusiasm.

When you have a bitter, American-hater trying to put Americans ‘in their place’ because of his perceived grievances, and when those policies are race-baiting, class warfare and rubbing group against group, there will be friction and fire will fly. Freedom-loving Americans can only hope the highflying Marxists of Barack Obama will have their wings scorched enough to bring them back down from liberal La La Land to common sense and liberty.

Hopefully, fewer people are blinded by the lies overwhelming the country, especially in the last six years. This could help explain the current phenomenon of red-state rebellion. In any case, one thing is sure, liberal Democrats, and Republicans ought to take notice; leftists have hijacked and devoured our culture, education, liberty, Constitution, and economic system. If you persist in your anti-American tyranny, you will continue to pay dearly at the ballot box.

Our government, media, and the intelligentsia currently deem people supporting the Constitution and rule of law extremists. Those working, studying, and planning for their future, now bear the label troublemakers, or as Homeland Security calls them; ‘terrorists.’

Which political party constantly pushes for more gun control? Which party ruled the slums of the nation for decades? Who shackles industry, business, and workers with crippling regulations, and sets the EPA, IRS, and nearly every other government agency on Americans’ churches, culture, speech, and every other freedom guaranteed by the Constitution? The answer of course, in practically every case, is always liberals.

To those who remember the Democratic Party being for the working people, this is not your Father’s or Grandfather’s Party. It was usurped by the vicious left wing, and most Democrats got on that Obama socialist train. Now they cry about the cost of their ticket.

Republicans should be aware that conservatives led this national purge of the left wing, and remember they expect you to live up to the promises you made of less government, more liberty, fewer regulations, and always follow the Constitution. Do not try to out-Democrat the Democrats. The New Year is upon us; get busy restoring freedom and shrinking government.
------------
Jim Mullen is a contributing author to the ARRA News Service and writes for the Parkersburg Conservative Examiner and his West Virginia site, Freedom For US Now. He is a Republican conservative activist.

Tags: Jim Mullen, Democrats, Republicans, cost of, Ticket to Tyranny To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

The Future is Arriving Faster Than Ever

Future Shock (1970) addressed
today's and tomorrow's complexity

with technology.  Worth reading.
~ Bill Smith, Ph.D.. Editor
by Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: On the last day of 2014 I received a lapel pin from the Society of Professional Journalists in honor of my having been a member since 1979, thirty-five years ago. I confess I was a little stunned to think I had been an editor and reporter that long ago. Indeed, I had been one for several years even before I joined the Society.

I doubt that today’s generation of young journalists have ever used a manual typewriter nor know what it feels like to hold the pieces of metal that a linotype machine created to make a column of newsprint.

In theory journalism still has the same objectives; to get the facts and tell the story as objectively as possible.

Today, however, journalism has become far more subjective and the issue of bias blazes off the pages and from the television screen in terms of the selection of the events that are reported and the facts selected to be the news.

There is an old saying in newsrooms that reporters are liberal and editors are conservative, but these days much of what appears on editorial pages and in the print and broadcast news is a blatant liberal interpretation of what is or is not news.

This old journalist cannot escape the feeling that what we are reading much of the time is little more than a government press release handout. Sadly, I think we are witnessing a significant reduction of investigative journalism in the mainstream media. Fortunately that void is filled in these days by Internet sites that focus on various elements of the news occurring in the nation and the world.

It was not, for example, a journalist who discovered the truth about Jonathan Gruber and his role in creating ObamaCare. He's now famous for calling voters "stupid."

These days, according to the Pew Research Journalism Project, “Even at a time of fragmenting media use, television remains the dominant way that Americans get news at home, according to a (2013) Pew Research Center analysis of Nielsen data. And while the largest audiences tune into local and network broadcast news, it is national cable news that commands the most attention from its viewers.”

I suspect that the many new communications technologies will be the means by which people will get their news from ipads and similar devices. I feel positively ancient when I open the print edition of The Wall Street Journal, but I wouldn’t want to read it any other way. The same applies to reading a book.

In his 1970 book, “Future Shock”, Alvin Toffler warned that by the year 2000, technological advance would come so fast that they will actually make people’s lives more complex, not less. He called it “information overload” saying “Millions of ordinary, psychologically normal people will face an abrupt collision with the future, which will lead to distorted perceptions of reality, confusion, and fatigue.”

Now ask yourself if you’ve become accustomed to people walking down the sidewalk apparently talking out loud to themselves when in fact they are on a cell phone? Indeed, I rarely get in an elevator or go anywhere without seeing people who are looking at a device in their hand with which they are checking their email or conversing with someone. They are, however, literally cut off from any inter-relation with anyone around them, often oblivious to what is occurring.

Think now of how many passwords, remote controls, onboard navigation systems, and Internet search engines with which you interact every day. These are all relatively new technology even though they may seem to have always existed to millennials and younger folk.

Another futurist, R. Buckminster Fuller, an American philosopher and architect—inventor of the geodesic dome—predicted that by the year 2000, the world would have figured out how to eliminate poverty and hunger. We have made great progress with regard to growing abundant crops, but of course those who hate and fear any new way to benefit society are presently campaigning against genetically modified crops (GMOs). They are safe but many large food providers like McDonald’s are giving into the pressure from groups who claim they pose a health threat. They do not. Demands that GMO elements be listed on product labels are part of a despicable campaign against this extraordinary agricultural technology that enhances, protects, and increases crops.

As for poverty, Fuller’s prediction did not come true. The future that has arrived since he made the prediction requires a higher level of education for most jobs and computer skills to perform them. If you’re poor, you face an immediate obstacle trying to learn how to operate and own a computer.

At the same time, robots have replaced workers such as bank tellers. When I call customer service these days, I generally end up talking to a machine. Isaac Asimov, one of the 20th century’s most highly regarded science fiction writers, predicted in 1942 that robots would be so ubiquitous that he proposed “Three Laws of Robotics.” The prime law was that a robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being come to harm. We haven’t quite reached the point Asimov envisioned, but we are getting there.

In terms of how new technologies have occurred in my lifetime, it is fair to say that the future is arriving even more swiftly than it did in the past.

My Mother who at age 98 had lived through virtually the entire last century recalled how amazed she was when a box with earphones was her introduction to the first radio. Born in 1903 when the first Wright Brothers plane flight occurred, she lived to see men rocket to the Moon and airplane travel largely replace trains. 1903 was also the year Henry Ford founded his company and five years later began to roll out the first Model T. Affordable automobiles transformed American society.

Since we live in an era of change we are often unaware of how greatly the newest technology will affect our lives, but we know we want to have it and use it. That is why, if I may return to my starting point, it is ever more essential that the news that journalists provide is even more important to our lives in terms of how accurately they report the changes affecting it.
-----------------
Alan Caruba is a writer by profession; has authored several books, and writes a daily column, Warning Signs". He is a contributor to the ARRA News Service.

Tags: the future, Future Shock, Alvin Toffler, technology, advances, past, present future, complexity, distorted perceptions, reality, confusion, and fatigue, the press, media, reporters, Alan Cauba, Warning Signs To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year: 2015

Being grateful for the successes of 2014  and setting aside the disappointments of 2014 while not ignoring the continual hardships levied on the American people by oppressive and burdensome government,

the ARRA News Service editor and writers wish our readers and friends a very Happy New Year for 2014! In the year of 2015, may we see the decline of progressive socialism!  May conservatives garner the wit, wisdom and tenacity to persevere in the battle of ideals to gain enough elected offices at all levels so as to facilitate the return to both moral and fiscal responsibility!  May we again see our God given liberty and individual freedoms blossom!  May God grant the United States mercy and protection from our enemies who wish to see America tarnished, damaged and destroyed!
Righteousness exalts a nation,  but sin is a disgrace to any people. ~ Prov. 14:34

Tags: Happy New Year, 2015 To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

End of Year People I Don't Like List

Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: At the end of every year it is customary to offer up lists of all kinds—the best this, the worst that—and it is a brief, generally amusing exercise.

I don’t usually make lists, but lately though I have been thinking a lot about people I don’t like and at the top of the list are the monsters of the Islamic State, the Taliban, and Boko Haram, all “militant” Islamists who justify their barbaric immoral slaughters, kidnappings, and other crimes in the name of Allah. I have had a bellyful of these horrid people and am weary of hearing they are only a small part of Islam.

There are more than a billion Muslims in the world and, if the Islamists are “just” ten percent, that means there are a hundred million who are active waging their “holy war” or who support them. Among those whom I do not like are the millions of silent Muslims who do nothing to organize and speak out against them. It is true, however, that the handful that do speak out literally risk being killed. What kind of a religion is predicated on making war on all other religions?

Closer to home among the people I do not like are those who joined marches to denigrate our nation’s police corps, defaming them with charges of racism and murder. The events that followed the shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, one of self-defense by a white cop against a black thug and the death in Staten Island that resulted when a long-time offender refused to be arrested, were simply an excuse by those who apparently prefer the streets to be filled with criminals whom the police are not supposed to “profile.” Well, cops make judgments about the people on their beat all the time, black, white, or otherwise. That’s their job!

I do not like people crying “racism” every time the commission of a crime goes badly for a black perpetrator are people I do not like. People in high office who use these events to exacerbate racial divisions are high on my list of those I don’t like.

Among the much discussed social issues, I am less than sympathetic for those women who enter into consensual sex and then cry “rape.” If they have been raped, they need to contact the police. I am not sympathetic to those colleges and universities who think it is their job to regulate the private sexual activities of students with all manner of “codes” that one can add to those that crimp freedom of speech and other Constitutionally-protected behavior.

At this time of year, I really don’t like those people who insist that one cannot or should not say “Merry Christmas” or that communities should not display Christmas scenes on public property. These are the same dreadful people forever declaiming against any public display of religious belief such as the kind that has for centuries opened government and legislative meetings of every description in America. The atheists among us have every right to be atheists, but they have no right to insist we deny a greater power because they refuse to do so. Even the Supreme Court has ruled against them.

While I see no practical or even moral way to deport the eleven million illegal aliens among us, that doesn’t make them any less illegal. Like a lot of others, I want to see our borders made more secure and less open to swarms of invaders—not “refugees”—that we saw occur when 75,000 children and their families who invaded the U.S. this year and who must now be absorbed at a cost that comes out of the pockets of every native-born and naturalized citizen. That must stop. For those illegals who have been born here or lived here for five years or so, they should be permitted to go to the back of the line and seek naturalization. For others, temporary work permits are a common sense option.

Editor Note:  Who makes the signs for
protesters?  Visit revcom.us! It's the
Revolutionary Communist Party USA.
A group of people I have not liked for decades are the environmentalists. The reason is very simple. They lie about everything they champion in the name of “global warming” or “climate change.” Both are hoaxes that, like most everything else the Greens protest, result from the way they debase meteorological science or their absurd claims about the use of fossil fuels. As far as Greens are concerned, anything that benefits mankind from new housing to more industry producing more jobs, and anything that requires the use of chemicals in their manufacture (that is everything!) is just a tiresome scare campaign that is promulgated to line their pockets with the millions they receive every year. I don’t like the liberal foundations that give them millions.

In America politics has always been a blood sport. It’s vigorous. It sometimes produces real leaders. It increasingly requires millions of dollars to run for high office and that has led to a high degree of control by those entities that have deep pockets. I suspect it has always been thus though not at the levels of cost that exist today. I am not a big fan of those politicians of the Far Left or the Far Right. Those in the middle and those who understand that a republic requires compromise are often seen as too willing to go along, but finding a middle way to solve problems is usually the best way.

In the last midterm elections those who showed up to vote sent a clear message to Congress and to a President who claimed he heard them as well as those who didn’t vote. Those who didn’t vote should shut their mouths because their message was surrender.

I don’t like the Obama administration that has produced six years of unrelenting failure domestically and internationally. That’s what happens when the voters put a Marxist and very likely a Muslim in office. I don’t like Barack Hussein Obama, a man many regard as the worst President this nation has ever had.

If the last two midterm elections are any indication, voters have learned their lesson — which leaves the 2016 election. Don’t listen to anyone who says they know who will run or who will win. Two years in American politics is an eternity and people vote differently in national elections than in midterms.

There are a lot of people I do like.

I like the ones who go to sporting events or concerts and share the enjoyment with everyone around them without regard to race, gender, or any other reason.

I like the ones who volunteer in their community to make it a better place in which to live and raise children.

I like the ones who put their lives on the line—police and firemen—for the rest of us.

I like those who are members of our armed forces at a time when they are being treated in a shabby fashion, but believe enough in America to defend it.

I like those in the medical professions who devote themselves to helping cure and treat the ill.

I like the legion of caregivers who look after older family members and others.

There are others I like, but this is a pretty good list, right?
-----------------
Alan Caruba is a writer by profession; has authored several books, and writes a daily column, Warning Signs". He is a contributor to the ARRA News Service.

Tags: End of Year, New Year, list, people I don't like, Alan Caruba, Warning Signs To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Obama, Congress Should Act To Keep Oil Cheap


Cheap Gas Is Like A $60 Billion Tax Cut
Washington Examiner Editorial: In June 2014, a barrel of oil cost $115. Currently, it goes for about $60. The historic plunge continued Monday as Saudi Arabia made clear it had no plans to cut production in order to prop up prices.

This week, the Wall Street Journal told more of the incredible story behind the recent oil bust. Contrary to what some say, the Saudis are not letting prices fall to crush the new crop of North American shale producers. The reality is more subtle. The Saudis and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' other Arab members have accepted that with U.S. production expanding so rapidly, U.S. shale operators will benefit from any OPEC production cuts by gobbling up more market share and cashing in on the higher OPEC-set prices.

And so OPEC's aim in letting production continue is not to stop the U.S., but to slow its growth, so that oil prices (they hope) will rebound. It's a risky bet. Many shale producers can remain profitable, at least on an operating basis, with oil as low as $40 a barrel, but no oil-dependent OPEC government can balance its budget selling oil at prices anywhere near that low.

In the meantime, OPEC's inaction has nearly given rise to a free market in oil, creating panic among the ranks of petro-despots (including both OPEC leaders and Russia's Vladimir Putin) and immense benefits for American businesses and consumers. What better illustration could there be of how markets work when self-interested players make rational choices? The world's oil oligopolists are suddenly panicking, turning against and underbidding one another, behaving like real market actors do in a desperate scramble to maintain market share.

There is a lesson here. Many opponents of policies that promote U.S. oil exploration and infrastructure argue that the resources don't help Americans if they are shipped overseas. Current events demonstrate how wrong they are. Oil is a commodity, and it sells at a world price. Significant new production can change that price dramatically — in this case, it has nearly halved the price in a matter of months.

OPEC's manipulation of prices, it turns out, had its limits. The extraordinarily high prices of the last few years spurred new innovations in energy exploration in the U.S. — especially the perfection of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling techniques. The Saudis and other OPEC countries are now reaping the benefits of their own greed.

If you like paying less for gasoline, there is a clear path Obama and the new Congress can take to keep prices down. Simply remove government obstacles — including everything from slow permitting processes on pipelines to the existing ban on U.S. oil exports — and it will immediately exert some amount of downward pressure on oil prices. Such actions can reduce shale producers' costs, expand their customer base, and make OPEC's goal of slowing down U.S. production that much less realistic.

Putin and the world's other bad-apple oil potentates have had lots of time and money this decade to harass U.S. interests in their respective corners of the world. It's high time they were given something bigger to worry about.

Tags: Editorial, Economy, Energy And Environment, Oil, Oil Exports, Saudi Arabia, OPEC, gasoline prices, Washington Examiner To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

What Republicans Have at Stake in Senate Rules on Filibustering President’s Nominees

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is set
to be the U.S. Senate Majority Leader
by Melissa Quinn: Little more than one year after Harry Reid, the Senate’s top Democratic leader, invoked the hotly disputed “nuclear option,” the change of rules may stand after the Republicans officially take over Jan. 6.

As majority leader, Reid pushed through a change in Senate rules on advancing presidential nominations just over 14 months ago. At the time, Republicans were outraged and contended that Reid’s move would come back to haunt him.

Now, the GOP is grappling with whether to return to the old filibuster rule or keep the change.

That change effectively eliminated the time-honored filibuster to block a president’s nominations to the lower courts and executive offices. Under the old rules, senators could debate whether to confirm a nomination until 60 of the 100 senators voted to invoke cloture and end the debate. That is, 41 votes could bring the process to a halt.

Reid secured Senate approval, 52-48, to lower that threshold from 60 votes to a simple majority of 51. Nominations to the Supreme Court were excluded from the change.

After months of threats, the top Senate Democrat turned to the “nuclear option” after Republicans blocked President Obama’s nominations to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and to the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

The president nominated three judges to the bench of what is called the nation’s second-most-powerful court. He selected Mel Watts, a member of Congress at the time, to head the agency that oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They were confirmed after the rules change.

Following Republicans’ sweep of Senate seats in the Nov. 4 midterm elections, GOP lawmakers began deliberating whether to return to the old rule.

Republicans will have 53 Senate seats in the next Congress. All GOP senators, including those newly elected, will take part in debating the future of the rule.

“I think it’s rank hypocrisy if we don’t [roll back the rule],” Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., told The Hill newspaper. “If we don’t, then disregard every bit of complaint that we made, not only after they [Democrats] did it but also during the campaign. I’m stunned that some people want to keep it.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., one of McCain’s biggest allies, said returning to the 60-vote threshold to avoid a filibuster would make it more difficult for nominees to be confirmed — which he sees as a good thing — and would make nominations a “collaborative process.”

“I think it would be smart for us to go back to the way it used to be, getting the Senate back to the way it’s always been and making it harder to get people into the court and into the executive branch, not easier,” Graham told Hugh Hewitt, a conservative radio host.

Others contend that changing the threshold back to 60 votes from 51 sets a different standard for Republicans than for Democrats.

In an op-ed last month in the Wall Street Journal, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, wrote:

To restore the rule now, after Mr. Obama has installed his controversial judges, would cement a partisan double standard: When Democrats control the White House and Senate, judicial nominations need only 50 votes; but when Republicans control both, judicial nominations require 60 votes, allowing Democratic minorities to block Republican nominations.Ed Whelan, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, agrees.

“Republicans would be setting up this ridiculous asymmetry where conservative nominees need 60 votes when Republicans control the Senate, and liberal nominees only need 50 votes when Democrats control the Senate,” Whelan told The Daily Signal. “That’s not a way to improve the courts.”

Whelan said that returning to the 60-vote threshold for judicial nominees would have little consequence in the next two years, as Obama’s nominees could be stopped both at the committee level and by incoming Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

However, going back to the old rule would hold more weight after 2016 — especially if a Republican wins the presidency in November. Then, Democrats would have more leverage in blocking nominations.

“I think that, for reasons I’ve argued, it’s impossible to reinstate the 60-vote threshold in a durable way,” Whelan said. “Reinstating it temporarily would just provide a huge gift for the Democratic minority if a Republican president is elected in 2016. I don’t see the sense in that.”

With the rule already changed, he also contends, it’s difficult to revert back to the 60-vote threshold.

“As some have said, the genie is out of the bottle, and it can’t be put back in.”

However, Michael Hammond, former general counsel to the Senate Steering Committee, warns that eliminating the judicial filibuster would lead to the end of the legislative filibuster.

“There is no conceptual difference between the way you destroy nomination rules by the nuclear option and the way you destroy the legislative filibuster by the nuclear option,” he wrote at RedState.com.

Hammond contended that those advocating for leaving current filibuster rules in place are “laying the groundwork for the destruction of the legislative filibuster.”

In a separate post, Hammond pointed to the 2016 presidential election and said that should a Democrat win, having a 60-vote margin to confirm judicial nominations is vital.

“If you look at the landmark cases over the past half-century, most of them are a result of bad legislation that got through,” he wrote. “The legislative process is important. The Senate is important. And relying on the courts to save you from its destruction is foolish.”

In his first six years in office, Obama nominated 305 judges to the federal bench — 252 to district courts and 53 to appeals court. He named a total of 132, more than a third, over the past few weeks.

Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, nominated 256 judges over his first six years. He named a total of 324 judges throughout his presidency.

Historically, invoking what today’s lawmakers call the nuclear option has been considered only on a few occasions.

In 1841, Sen. Henry Clay of Kentucky, leader of the Democratic-Republicans, threatened to use the lower threshold after a bank bill he proposed faced opposition. More than 150 years later, in the 1990s, Democrats proposed the nuclear option as a way to eliminate the filibuster.

In 2005, Republican senators threatened to invoke the option after Democrats blocked a series of Bush’s nominations.

At the time, Reid criticized Republicans for trying to “change willy-nilly a rule of the Senate.” Three years later, as majority leader, the Nevada Democrat discussed whether to use the nuclear option.

“As long as I am the leader, the answer’s no,” Reid said:I think we should just forget that. That is a black chapter in the history of the Senate. I hope we never ever get to that again because I really do believe it will ruin our country.-----------------
Melissa Quinn is a news reporter for The Daily Signal. Follow her on Twitter.

Tags: Senate Rules, U.S. Senate, Filibustering President’s Nominees, Republican, Mitch McConnell To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Republicans Who Opposed Omnibus Were Right

Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco
by Rick Manning: Speaker John Boehner passed the last government funding bill (in 2014) by appealing to Democrat votes in the House to offset the more than 25 percent of his Republican Conference which refused to support him. After the benefit of time to review some of the specifics of the so-called Cromnibus, the only surprise is that a majority of House Republicans voted for it.

Take the Environmental Protection Agency as an example. After years of railing against the EPA’s attack on the American economy, failure to respond to Congressional inquiries, using fake email addresses to hide their activities and they like, the House voted to fund the Agency for the rest of the fiscal year with few constraints. Not only did they fund it, but they gave the EPA $200 million more than President Obama requested.

You read that right. Obama’s environmental handmaidens who are single-handedly destroying coal production in America, and have announced a new set of regulatory attacks on other fuel sources during the Administration’s last two years are receiving $8.1 billion in funding instead of the $7.9 billion requested.

Is there any wonder why President Obama has a new bounce in his step as he kicks wedding parties off of golf courses in Hawaii?

Not only did Republicans cave on protecting America from Obama’s regulatory overreach, but just prior to the lame duck session, the President gambled that Speaker Boehner would not be willing to fight over amnesty and challenged him directly by announcing Executive Amnesty for approximately five million illegal aliens. Rather than responding forcefully as those who paid attention to the just passed election rhetoric might have expected, the timid uncoordinated opposition revealed stunning weakness out of the Speaker’s office. Ultimately, the final bill funded all aspects of immigration laws with increases to those agencies responsible for caring for the illegal surge that was orchestrated in the late summer. As a concession, the bill only funded the Department of Homeland Security until late February – a complete and total victory for Obama and his program to fundamentally transform America.

When arguing in favor of the bill, President Obama crowed that it was a victory because it didn’t touch his three major funding priorities: Executive Amnesty, his environmental policy and Obamacare.

Shortly after Congress lifted the threat of using the power of the purse against his policies by passing long-term government funding, Obama slapped them in the face by normalizing relations with Cuba in contravention of U.S. law.

The 67 House Republicans who voted against the lame duck government funding bill instead preferring a short-term Continuing Resolution covering the small part of the government that is not on automatic pilot have been vindicated. The President promises to continue executive action after executive action to impose his will, and absent a willingness to use the power of the purse, there is little the House can do to stop him.

The problem with getting positive reviews in the Washington Post for “governing” is that every time you do it, you move the country farther to the left. Obama is in legacy, not compromise, mode, and if the Republican majority helps him solidify the changes he has made to America over the objections of the people, they will be no less culpable for the sad outcome than those who actively supported them.

Now is the time to throw sand in the gears of Obama’s regulatory machine using every means available before it grinds the free enterprise engine of our economy to a pulp.
----------------
Rick Manning (@rmanning957) is the vice president of public policy and communications for  Americans for Limited Government. This article was also shared on NetRightDaily.

Tags: Omnibus, Republican, opposition, CromniBus, spending bill, Speaker John Boehner, Rick Manning, Americans for Limited Government To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Making Predictions

by Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: If there is one thing pundits like to do it is to make predictions. If they turn out to be right you can always look back and quote them as proof of your prescience and if they are not, you can always ignore them.

The best ones, of course, are those filled with doom and I suspect they are the most prevalent. We all live to some degree in fear of the future. It is, after all, unpredictable and we are conditioned to believe something awful will happen. That’s what keeps insurance companies in business. Governments continue to create problems and then promise to solve them.

For example, at some point there will be a huge earthquake in California thanks to the San Andreas Fault and in a comparable fashion the Yellowstone National Park will have an even bigger event due to a huge volcano that lies beneath it. The loss of life and economic impact will be historic no matter when they occur.

What is predictable will be natural events such as hurricanes and tornadoes, but what is largely unreported is that both have been occurring less in recent years. As Weather.com noted this year, “the Atlantic basin, which includes the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, produced the fewest tropical cyclones and fewest named storms since 1997.” Worldwide, there are some 40,000 tornadoes and the U.S. averages some 1,200 a year. So the weather guarantees some unhappy news for some of us some of the time.

Blaming natural phenomenon on “global warming” which is not happening or on “climate change” which has been happening for 4.5 billion years is the way the merchants of fear keep everyone scared of real and imaginary weather events. The planet has been in a natural cooling cycle for the past nineteen years because the Sun is in one as well, producing less radiation.

As for climate, it is measured in units as small as thirty years and as big as centuries and millenniums. Nothing mankind does has any impact. The Pope is wrong. The President is wrong. And lots of others who claim that climate change is an immediate threat.

What interests most people is the state of the economy and the good news is that it appears to be improving although relying on government issued statistics is problematic because they are often mathematically skewed to show a favorable trend. There is a natural dynamism to the U.S. economy which would be even greater if the government would eliminate the hundreds of thousands of regulations that interfere with the conduct of business and stop issuing more. Less taxation would boost the economy as well.

I am hopeful people will stop being taken in by the talk about “income inequality.” If the economy improves there will be jobs and the marketplace will determine the salaries they will pay. By contrast, legislating minimum wage increases reduces jobs. We’ve been watching machines replace humans for a long time now.

Elsewhere in the world, the economy is very iffy. The drop in the price of oil will have a dramatic impact on nations whose economies are dependent on it. The Russian Federation will likely be less aggressive with neighboring nations. Venezuela is already in a world of trouble. The Middle East will feel its impact as well. The reason traces back to the increase in the technology of hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as fracking. It had its beginnings in 1947 and today it is unlocking huge amounts of oil and natural gas. It will make the U.S. energy independent and that’s a very good thing. It will also continue to generate jobs and revenue.

Will there be wars in the world? The short answer is that there will always be conflicts because that is the nature of the world. Wars are very expensive and most nations want to avoid them. The big problem in 2015 will focus on two nations. North Korea is led by a mentally unstable dictator, a threat to others in its region thanks to its nuclear weapons, missiles, and huge army. Iran will be a threat if it is allowed to acquire the ability to make its own nuclear weapons. When that happens the threat level to Israel and the U.S. increases, along with every other nation its missiles can destroy.

What is entirely predictable will be the horrific attacks of Islam’s “holy war” on all other religions and, testimony to its lack of internal cohesion, its attacks based on whether Muslims are Sunni or Shiite.

It would be nice to predict that science will find cures to many of the ills of mankind and the fact is that it has been doing that for much of the last century and will continue to do so in this one. In 1973, life expectancy in the U.S. was 71 years of age and it is now up to 78. In much of the world people are living longer and that is having some interesting demographic impacts in nations that are trying to cope with providing care for a growing older generation.

In the sphere of U.S. politics the most encouraging trend as seen in the last two midterm elections has been voters—those who actually show up and vote—toward conservatism. The Republican Party has regained control of the Senate and expanded its control of the House. The majority of U.S. states have Republican governors. The Tea Party has played a significant role in this, but it is a movement and will continue to take the lead in seeking to reduce the size of the federal government that is far too large for a society based on the idea of freedom and liberty. In what is likely to be an increasing bipartisan effort, the new Congress will work to control as much as possible the damage Obama seeks to inflict.

It takes no great prescience to predict that Barack Hussein Obama will spend his remaining two years in office doing what his Communist roots and ideology has trained him to do; stir as much racial divisiveness as possible, encourage more illegal immigration, keep the increasingly unpopular ObamaCare alive, undermine our moral structure, degrade our military strength, and other such mischief.

Two years sounds like a long time, but he will be gone by January 20, 2017 when a new President takes the oath of office that he has ignored. One prediction about him is easy. He will be judged the worst President the nation has had and, in fact, that judgment has already been rendered.

What is not predictable are the directions the U.S. Supreme Court will take the nation in 2015. Despite its august name, it has made some supremely bad decisions in the past. Wouldn’t it be nice if it undermined ObamaCare after having helped inflict it on a health system that was the best in the world and is now suffering greatly from it?

If any of my predictions turn out to be true, I will claim bragging rights, but mostly what I intend to do is maintain my personal sense of hope, sensing that more people worldwide are discovering that others share their desire for less corruption and more freedom.
-----------------
Alan Caruba is a writer by profession; has authored several books, and writes a daily column, Warning Signs". He is a contributor to the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Making Predictions, predictions, The New Year, Alan Caruba, Warning Signs To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Economy Grows . . .

. . . in spite of President Obama's Policies / Agenda.

Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: Economy, grows, in spite, Obama policies, agenda To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

96% of Illegal Immigrant Families With Deportation Orders ‘Can’t Be Found’

by Natalie Johnson, The Daily Signal: Thousands of illegal immigrants who spilled into border states earlier this year have “disappeared” from government tracking, according to a recent investigation by a Houston TV station.

The wave of unaccompanied children and women illegally crossing into the United States between July and October was so large that Border Patrol had to release thousands on their own recognizance due to lack of detention space.

Now, many of those ordered to be deported “can’t be found,” says investigative reporter Robert Arnold.

The Obama administration has repeatedly reinforced these cases as a top priority, yet the Houston TV station found that only a sliver have been sent home.

After six months of requests, the Executive Office of Immigration Review told Houston’s KPRC that 96 percent of the more than 4,100 families released on recognizance and ordered deported did not show up to court, prompting the government to classify them “in absentia.”

A similar 92 percent of the more than 1,600 unaccompanied children to be deported did not show up.

The Executive Office of Immigration Review usually reports an 11 percent to 15 percent annual “in absentia” rate, far below this year’s jump.

Among the thousands who were caught and detained by Border Patrol, the court process remains sluggish. A mere 22 percent of the more than 30,400 families and unaccompanied children caught have received a court decision.

This number could remain low for several months to years, as federal officials sift through the thousands of cases yet to be heard.
-----------------
Natalie Johnson (@nataliejohnsonn) is a news reporter for The Daily Signal and graduate of The Heritage Foundation's Young Leaders Program.

Tags: illegals, illegal aliens, illegal immigrants, deportation orders, can't be found, Natalie Johnson, The Daily Signal, The Heritage Foundation To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Welfare and Work

Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: It seems that welfare has replaced work in America. In the last few years, we have seen the largest expansion of the welfare state since President Lyndon Johnson. We have also seen the largest decline in the labor force in 30 years.

Stephen Moore with the Heritage Foundation (and formerly with The Wall Street Journal) believes it is time to ask whether welfare has contributed to the reduction in the percentage of Americans holding a job. More than 46 million Americans are on food stamps. We have a record increase in the number of Americans on disability.

Back in 1996, the Republican Congress and President Clinton passed a bill that made work a requirement for welfare. Despite the predictions of failure and the prediction that it would harm the poor, we actually saw the number of people on welfare decrease by 50 percent. Unfortunately, the current administration has removed most of the positive requirements in that original bill.

When Stephen Moore was on my radio program, I also made the case that some of these generous welfare benefits actually are a significant disincentive to working. The CATO Institute did a study of welfare payments in each state. They argue in their monograph “The Work Versus Welfare Trade-Off” that welfare currently pays more than a minimum wage job in 35 states (even after accounting for the Earned Income Tax Credit). In 13 states, welfare pays more than $15 per hour.

If someone does a rational calculation of costs and benefits, you can see why they might not try to find a job unless it pays significantly more than minimum wage. They also found the in 11 states, welfare pays more than the average pre-tax first year wage for a teacher. In 39 states, it pays more than the starting wage for a secretary.

Americans are a generous people. They don’t mind helping someone who has fallen on hard times. But they see welfare as a system that should provide a hand up not a hand out. It is no wonder that the welfare rolls are increasing when it makes more economic sense in many states to collect welfare than to find a job.
--------------
Kerby Anderson is radio host of View Points on Christian talk radio Point of View. And his work is shared by the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Kerby Anderson,View Points, Point of View, Economics, Family, Public Policy, Trends in Society To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

We've Got Issues ...

by Phil Kerpen, Contributing Author and President of American Commitment: Yes, you read that right...we’ve got issues. And here they are:
  • Defend Free Speech - We are committed to stopping all efforts to restrict the First Amendment, including shameful efforts to amend the Constitution to empower politicians to regulate political speech, attempts to undermine the privacy of members of groups that engage in controversial speech, and backdoor regulatory efforts to limit the First Amendment at federal agencies. Learn More.
  • End Regulatory Tyranny - The rapid expansion of this power comes at an astonishing cost to American taxpayers and businesses and erodes our democracy by transferring power from our elected representatives to unelected bureaucrats and regulators. Learn More.
  • Fix the Tax Code - We are committed to replacing America’s corrupt, loophole-laden, confusing, and economically destructive tax code with a simple system that taxes income once and only once, ending the punitive double and triple taxation of savings and investment. We are also committed to permanent repeal of the death tax, the most unfair tax of all, and to achieving corporate tax reform to make America the best place in the world to invest, build businesses, and create jobs. Learn More.
  • Promote Economic Growth - We are committed to boosting America’s economic growth rate to create more jobs, higher incomes, better standards of living, and greater opportunities. Strong economic growth provides the resources with which to address all of society’s problems. The first question in any public policy debate must be how the proposal will affect economic growth. This overriding principle informs all of our commitments. Learn More.
  • Protect Property Rights - We are committed to protecting property rights, a pillar of free society. From local communities adopting restrictions on private land use in the name of “sustainable development” to the galloping growth of state and federal land and water grabs, private property is in peril. Intellectual property is also under sustained assault, threatening to cripple some of America’s most important industries. We must win these fights and protect private property. Learn More.
  • Protect the Free-Market Internet - We are committed to protecting the Internet from burdensome taxes, United Nations control, and unnecessary state and federal regulations. There has been no greater free-market success than the Internet. We must defend it from politicians and bureaucrats. Learn More about what we’re doing.
  • Reform Health Care the Right Way - We are committed to fully repealing Washington’s health care takeover and replacing it with genuine health care reform that empowers patients and doctors, not politicians and bureaucrats. This is the best strategy to unleash American ingenuity and creativity to cure diseases and make our lives longer and better. Learn More.
  • Restore Fiscal Sanity - We are committed to reducing the size and cost of the federal government, achieving a balanced budget through spending restraint, and stopping tax increases, which give Washington politicians more of our money to spend and therefore are at cross-purposes with cutting spending and balancing the budget. Learn More.
  • Unlock American Energy - We are committed to unlocking America’s vast energy resources. Affordable, reliable, abundant energy is critical to a modern economy. Washington must stop taxing, regulating, and blocking access to American energy resources. Learn More.
Whew...I think that’s it. Good to get that off my chest.

Think American Commitment is crazy to take all that on? Maybe. But you don’t get the impressive results we’ve seen in so short a time by thinking small and not taking on big challenges.

Here’s a quick way to help: “Like” American Commitment on Facebook and Follow American Commitment on Twitter.

You don’t need a lecture on the “power” of social media. But we do need you to actually do this, so that the next time we’re trying to reach you and the rest of the growing American Commitment family, we can do so quickly and easily. Remember - maximum impact. That’s how we made fools of MoveOn.org with the video entered in their contest. We’ll post it and tweet it, and you can share it.

We’re working to restore liberty and prosperity to this country, and we can’t do it without you.

And while your at it. also, “Like” the ARRA News Service ARRA News Service on Facebook which publishes our articles and Follow its editor Dr. Bill Smith  on Twitter
------------------
Phil Kerpen  is president of American Commitment and a contributing author for the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Phil Kerpen, American Commitment, issues, ARRA News Service To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

A 2015 New Year's Presidential Resolution

The year ahead will be critical for those hoping to roll back President Obama's executive overreach. By this time next year, the 2016 presidential primary field will be set and, if everyone plays by the usual rules, the Republican establishment will be well-positioned to win the nomination, but, we fear, poorly positioned to make the case for a constitutional executive. Today, we continue to argue for trying something different: a series of pre-primary events that would fairly and naturally unite conservative and libertarian-leaning Republicans behind a single insurgent candidate--one we hope would be able to articulate and, in office, respect the boundaries of our separation of powers system, so well distilled in Federalist 78. ~ David Corbin & Matt Parks

Hang together -- or be hung out to dry, once again, in 2016
Drs. David Corbin and Matthew Parks, Contributing Authors: Congratulations to Texas Senator Ted Cruz for winning the Federalist Today Presidential Straw Poll with 26% of the nearly one thousand votes cast. Placing a respectable second and third, Senator Rand Paul (22%) and Governor Scott Walker (16%) showed that they also have considerable support among the “lovers of freedom and anxious for the fray” Federalist faithful.

The political insider would, undoubtedly, not be impressed. Good luck getting Senators Cruz or Paul elected President of the United States. Any such insurgent’s campaign will be undone by a press that favors Democrats, a bare-knuckles Republican establishment that favors milque-toast candidates, and a bewildered flyover electorate conditioned to favor one flavor-of-the-month insurgent presidential candidate after another, to the detriment of any effective insurgent candidacy.

These same insiders would have no problem envisioning a scenario in which insurgent Democrat Elizabeth Warren, establishment Democrat Hillary Clinton, or establishment Republicans Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, or Chris Christie win the presidency. Ruling-class smugness aside, these folks have a point: playing by the normal rules, the least likely outcome in 2016 is a victory by a Republican insurgent, even though 40% of Americans consistently identify themselves as conservatives (twice the typical number of progressives)

But who says we have to play by their rules?

Suppose the former South Carolina senator and current president of the Heritage Foundation, Jim DeMint, once again able to meet freely with sitting members of Congress, requests and leads a meeting in the new year with Cruz, Paul, and other serious insurgent candidates–two years before the inauguration of the next president of the United States. At the meeting, DeMint lays out two possible pathways to winning the presidency:

Scenario One: An insurgent miraculously wins a three-front 2016 election battle by simultaneously (a) consolidating conservative-libertarian support in the midst of a heated primary; (b) defeating a well-funded, well-positioned, well-organized Republican establishment candidate, and (c) defending himself against the mainstream media charge that he’s too outside the mainstream to win a national election. Likelihood of pulling off this trifecta in a condensed election season: almost zero.

Scenario Two: The insurgents agree to compete with one another over the summer and fall months of 2015 in a well-organized series of regional debates, speeches, town hall meetings, and organized votes. These events would aid the largely conservative and libertarian Republican base in naturally and fairly reducing the field of insurgents to one consensus candidate by Thanksgiving. Likelihood of winning the Republican nomination and thereafter the presidency: perhaps one in four, or about the same as the other contestant wings of the two major parties.

Leading the candidates through the math, DeMint convinces each that the most likely insurgent path to victory in 2016 (and therefore his most likely path to victory) comes from embracing the second option. Since each thinks he has the right stuff to win a fair fight, all agree to work together to make the fight fair.

Led by DeMint, candidates, donors, activists, and organizations across the conservative-libertarian spectrum through the spring of 2015 agree to the terms of the competition and work together to galvanize limited government partisans to participate in the affair. After a spirited summer and fall campaign season, an insurgent emerges from the field battle-tested and well-positioned to move on to win the Republican nomination.

Why is it essential that such an effort begin soon? If nothing like this starts to happen in the next few months, it is all but certain we’ll be playing 2016 by the normal rules, in which the ruling class house wins every time–and for those committed to constitutional, republican government, this is a dangerous election to lose.

The expansive executive power wielded by President Obama may very easily become institutionalized, especially if a Republican successor applies it to his own (perhaps better) ends. The open question, in essence, is whether the hegemonic Obama presidency is the exception or the new (bipartisan) rule. Whether recognized or not, this is the defining question for the campaign–and only a top-tier, battle-ready insurgent will be positioned to make it the defining question of the campaign.

The Democratic nominee–whether establishment Progressive or insurgent Progressiver–will have every partisan and ideological reason to consolidate and extend, where possible, President Obama’s institutional gains. Progressivism began with a revolt against the Constitution’s separation of powers system and a longing to replace it–in fact, if not in law–with a responsible and responsive centralized, parliamentary system led by a charismatic president (or prime minister).

An establishment Republican will be almost equally unlikely to undo the damage of the Obama presidency, not so much out of fealty to a long-term Progressive dream (which most establishment Republicans only accidentally–which is to say, unconsciously–share), but out of the general don’t-rock-the-boat respectabilitarianism that is their identifying pseudo-ideology.

We know enough about the Bushes not to expect Jeb to repudiate his brother’s own aggressive use of signing statements and other extra-constitutional prerogatives–and therefore can expect him to be as effectively neutered on the central issue of the 2016 campaign as Mitt Romney was on the central issue of the 2012 campaign (Obamacare, thanks to Romneycare). Moreover, does anyone think that gusto and bluster Chris Christie has a credible critique of executive overreach in him? Or once (and future?) would-be Management Consultant-in-Chief Mitt Romney?

A serious conservative-libertarian insurgent candidate that emerged from a serious debate on the contemporary state of the American republic should have a very different profile–beginning, we hope, with a very different understanding of the role of the president (and the leaders of the coordinate branches of the federal government) under our constitutional system.

There is no more insightful and aphoristic summary of the Constitution’s separation of powers system than Alexander Hamilton’s near the beginning of Federalist 78, in the context of explaining why the judiciary ought to be the “least dangerous” branch of the federal government:The Executive branch not only dispenses the honors, but holds the sword of the community. The legislature not only commands the purse, but prescribes the rules by which the duties and rights of every citizen are to be regulated. The judiciary, on the contrary, has no influence over either the sword or the purse; no direction either of the strength or of the wealth of the society; and can take no active resolution whatever. It may truly be said to have neither FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgment.Force, will, and judgment–three distinct but complementary powers for three distinct but complementary branches. Combine any two and dangers to liberty abound. Most critically in our time, combining executive force with legislative will produces every opportunity for selective enforcement of oppressive rules–the exact opposite of what Hamilton suggests should be the aim of all government: “a steady, upright, and impartial administration of the laws.”

Getting the basics right is the first step toward constitutional recovery. We believe that there are a number of potential insurgent candidates who could champion this cause and encourage like-minded members of Congress to do the same–and that they are much more likely both to make the effort and succeed in it with a pre-primary process that sharpens the insurgent message and unifies insurgent voters, donors, activists, and institutions.

One scenario is clear: we’ll either hang together in 2015–or be hung out to dry, once again, in 2016.
----------------
Drs. David Corbin and Matthew Parks are Professors of Politics at The Kings College (NYC). They are contributors to the ARRA News Service. They edit and write for The Federalist and are on Facebook and Twitter.

Tags: Alexander Hamilton, Heritage Foundation, Jim DeMint, Mitt Romney, Obamacare, President Obama, Republican, Romneycare, Ted Cruz, The Federalist Papers, David Corbin, Matthew Parks To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

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  • 4/26/15 - 5/3/15
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  • 5/24/15 - 5/31/15
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  • 9/20/15 - 9/27/15
  • 9/27/15 - 10/4/15
  • 10/4/15 - 10/11/15
  • 10/11/15 - 10/18/15
  • 10/18/15 - 10/25/15
  • 10/25/15 - 11/1/15
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  • 11/15/15 - 11/22/15
  • 11/22/15 - 11/29/15
  • 11/29/15 - 12/6/15
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  • 12/13/15 - 12/20/15
  • 12/20/15 - 12/27/15
  • 12/27/15 - 1/3/16
  • 1/3/16 - 1/10/16
  • 1/10/16 - 1/17/16
  • 1/17/16 - 1/24/16
  • 1/24/16 - 1/31/16
  • 1/31/16 - 2/7/16
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  • 2/21/16 - 2/28/16
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  • 3/20/16 - 3/27/16
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  • 4/3/16 - 4/10/16
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  • 5/22/16 - 5/29/16
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  • 10/16/16 - 10/23/16
  • 10/23/16 - 10/30/16
  • 10/30/16 - 11/6/16
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  • 11/20/16 - 11/27/16
  • 11/27/16 - 12/4/16
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  • 12/11/16 - 12/18/16
  • 12/18/16 - 12/25/16
  • 12/25/16 - 1/1/17
  • 1/1/17 - 1/8/17
  • 1/8/17 - 1/15/17
  • 1/15/17 - 1/22/17
  • 1/22/17 - 1/29/17
  • 1/29/17 - 2/5/17
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  • 2/26/17 - 3/5/17
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  • 3/19/17 - 3/26/17