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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
Friday, March 13, 2015
Consumers Winning With Low Oil Prices, For Now
by Thomas Miller, Op-Ed: Lest we be too quick to forget whence we came, America is now 9-months into lower gasoline prices, which started their swoon the week of June 30, 2015 from a lofty national average just under $3.70, tumbling almost every subsequent week before bottoming and bouncing from $2.02 the end of January, according to gasbuddy.com.
It is estimated that for every penny gas goes down, consumers collectively save $1 billion. Therefore, the 2014/2015 drop has accounted for at least $50 billion in your pocket and mine. Well, maybe a little less than that in each of our pockets, but the national average is about $500 bucks per family. The question begs then, has that money shown up in other parts of the economy?
Dr. Bernard Weinstein, Ph.D., Columbia and Associate Director of the Maguire Energy Institute at the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University in Dallas says it has: "No question we're seeing the effects of lower oil prices throughout the economy."
On the economic front, although retail sales were not as strong in December and January, most analysts are shrugging it off as a temporary blip. The manufactured durable goods number in January did tick up slightly more than expected, with nearly a 3-percent increase. Interestingly, with fuel prices lower, the Ford F-Series, Chevy Silverado and Dodge Ram trucks have been the top three selling vehicles (in that order) since September, 2014.
The usual beneficiaries of lower oil prices are still benefitting: Transportation, airlines, power generators, refiners and any business directly using oil or natural gas for fuel or feedstock.
However, the decline continues to hammer drillers and producers hardest. As of last week, according to Baker Hughes, there are 687 fewer rigs drilling for oil than the peak of last October, now up to a 43% decline. Drillers, and those who found in-demand and high-paying jobs over the last five years exploring for oil and gas, are impacted the most. It is now speculated that up to 250,000 top-wage domestic oilfield jobs could be lost before this is over.
Dr. Weinstein attends and speaks frequently at conferences and is often quoted in the media. He said he gets this one all the time – is there an equilibrium price of oil where consumers still aren't afraid to buy and drive their F-150s, while oil and gas companies aren't having to lay down rigs and lay off good employees?
His answer: $70-$80 is the happy medium. "At that range, the shale plays in North America make sense and consumers would still be looking at lower costs."
We've never been here before in American history. We've never seen a crude revival so prolific that it re-positioned America as a dominant force on the world's oil stage, threatening a 40-year old dynasty of virtual monopolistic commodity price control. These are uncharted waters, and present a new and delicate balance between unregulated global supply versus fluctuating demand.
As observed by such industry experts as OPEC's Secretary General, Abdulla Al-Badri and Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm, if too much production comes offline, this could be setting the stage for a sharp price boomerang. When U.S. decline curves eventually catch up with fewer rigs, oil supplies should start to fall. If OPEC holds at its 2011 agreed 30.37 quota, with oil already allocated away from the U.S., could that set up an American supply shortage down the road?
As Al-Badri said in January, "if you don't invest in oil and gas, you will see more than $200 oil," referring to the greater than expected drop in new projects from offshore to shale.
That theory could be off-set somewhat by the recent news from Wood Mackenzie that there are approximately 3,000 wells that have been drilled but not fracked. This "fracklog" is, in essence, in-ground storage, waiting for better prices. That is production that could be activated faster than starting a new prospect from the ground up.
"This isn't like the 1980's – it's not a full scale debacle," Weinstein says. "What is a reasonable price for oil? There's no such thing as a reasonable price for oil. To me, as an economist, the price of oil is going to be determined by supply and demand. If you're a consumer, you want the lowest price possible. If you're a producer, you want the highest price that supply and demand will generate."
Clearly, at least for now, consumers are winning.
--------------------- James Stafford is Editor, OilPrice.com and contributes articles to the ARRA News Service. Thomas Miller is a writer, broadcaster and oil company marketing executive. In addition to Oilprice.com. he is a regular contributor to townhall.com. Tags:Thomas Miller, OilPrice.com, United States, lower gas prices, higher usage, oil prices,To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Ali Younesi, former intelligence minister, is a key adviser to Iran's President Rouhani
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: When Barack Obama ran for president in 2007, he stunned some observers by saying that he would talk with America's enemies without preconditions. In 2007 the New York Times wrote this:"Senator Barack Obama says he would 'engage in aggressive personal diplomacy' with Iran if elected president and would offer economic inducements and a possible promise not to seek 'regime change' if Iran stopped meddling in Iraq and cooperated on terrorism and nuclear issues."Critics of Obama's approach said he was being naive and that he would give undue credibility and legitimacy to the world's worst actors. His critics were right. Six years into his administration, there is no measure by which Obama's "aggressive personal diplomacy" can be considered a success.
Iran is clearly not cooperating on nuclear issues. But Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif recently declared that no matter how the negotiations turn out, Iran has won. Zarif said:"We are the winner whether the negotiations yield results or not. The capital we have obtained over the years is dignity and self-esteem, a capital that cannot be retaken."Iran has won far more than just self-esteem. It has won territory too. Iran never "stopped meddling in Iraq" and now controls much of the country.
Ali Younesi, a former intelligence minister and key adviser to President Rouhani (a supposed moderate), said this week: "Iran today has become an empire like it used to be . . . and its capital now is Baghdad." Younesi continued, "All of the Middle East is Iranian."
If you're skeptical about the Iranian rhetoric, consider what Dr. Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, a pillar of the elite foreign policy establishment, said yesterday on MSNBC:"What we have to understand is that Baghdad and the south [of Iraq] are now part of Greater Iran. . . . Iraq is over. Rest in peace. . . . What you're looking at is an Iraq that is an extension of Iran. . . . They've made that border [the Iraq/Iran border] irrelevant."Even the liberal Washington Post is alarmed by Obama's failed Middle East policy. In its lead editorial today, the paper warns, "Any nuclear deal should not result in Washington turning a blind eye to Tehran's activities." The editors continue:"According to news accounts, Mr. Obama has dispatched four private letters to the Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The most recent one, in October, assured the ayatollah that the United States would not attack Iranian forces or those of its Syrian ally in operations against the Islamic State. . .
"Publicly, Mr. Obama said in an interview in December that he hoped a nuclear deal 'would serve as the basis for us trying to improve relations over time'; if Iran agreed to the accord, he added, it could become 'a very successful regional power.'"When did it become the goal of U.S. foreign policy to make the Islamic Republic of Iran -- whose leader refers to America as "the great Satan" -- a "very successful regional power"? Who voted for that? Is any member of Congress on board with this?
This isn't the only dramatic shift in U.S. foreign policy taking place. If Obama's anti-Israel stance wasn't obvious enough, it is undeniable now.
The White House recently promoted Robert Malley to be the Special Assistant to the President and White House Coordinator for the Middle East. Malley is so anti-Israel the Obama campaign fired him in 2008 after it was revealed that he had met with the terrorist group Hamas. Now Malley is directing Middle East policy at the White House.
------------- Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families Tags:Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, Middle East, Iran, New Persian Empire, Iraq, USA, U.S foreign policy, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Military Officers Association (MOAA): On Mar. 6, Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew told Congress that the United States hits its debt ceiling on Mar. 16. Failure to raise the debt ceiling means the government will not be able to pay what it owes.
Without raising the debt limit, the treasury department will need to impose “extraordinary measures” to meet federal obligations. These obligations include military pay, VA compensation, Social Security, Medicare payments, and tax refunds.
While the government can use extraordinary measures to shift money between accounts for a while, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), funding will expire sometime in October or November.
That time frame sets up a potentially toxic mix of fiscal issues for lawmakers, since FY 2016 spending bills are also due on Oct. 1.
The debt ceiling is a unique feature in American governance. Few other countries explicitly separate funding and borrowing authority.
Under the current system, Congress passes legislation to fund programs or initiatives without always finding ways to pay for them. Once signed by the president, there is a legal obligation to pay for the new measures. However, since the government has to pay out more than it takes in through tax revenue, it has to ask the treasury department to take on debt to meet its payments.
It’s important to note that raising the debt limit does not permit new spending, but rather, allows the government to pay what it’s already agreed to do.
The debt ceiling was designed to promote fiscal discipline, and make Congress use its constitutional powers to effectively control spending.
To reduce the debt, Congress will need to find a solution that either reduces government spending, increases revenue through taxes, or some combination of the two.
In 2011, political posturing on raising the debt ceiling caused Standard & Poor’s to downgrade the United States’ credit rating for the first time in history.
Immediately after the credit rating of the U.S. declined in 2011, the stock market declined between 5 and 7 percent.
MOAA calls on Congress not to make the same mistake and jeopardize the nation’s credit rating by waiting until the last minute to find a solution.
------------- MOAA is the nation's largest and most influential association of military officers. It is an independent, nonprofit, politically nonpartisan organization. Tags:U.S., Debt Ceiling, deadline, Government spending, credit rating, federal spending, Congress, MOAATo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
This week, Alabama’s leadership took a big step in correcting this seemingly intractable problem. Instead of building elaborate new facilities, handing out iPads, or pumping more money into the broken system, the state is giving choice a chance.
In the face of ugly opposition, the Republican-controlled legislature passed the School Choice and Student Opportunity Act. Gov. Robert Bentley is expected to sign the bill, which will allow charter schools for the first time in the Yellowhammer State.
Contrary to popular misconception, charter schools are public, but they are allowed to try more innovative solutions to educate K-12 students. By law, charter schools cannot charge tuition, are open to all children, and have no special entrance requirements. The variety provided by charters gives parents the ability to choose the education they believe is best for their child.
“It is a great day for parents and students in Alabama,” said State Senator Del Marsh, who introduced the bill. “For far too long parents have been stuck with the status quo when it comes to the quality of education for their children. I understand that there is no silver bullet to solve all problems in education, but public charter schools give parents an option.”
Naysayers fought passionately to stop the choice initiative. Democrat State Representative Johnny Mack Morrow claimed the bill “may very well set Alabama education back 50 years.” Nancy Worley, the state’s Democratic Party chair, even claimed that charter schools are “hotbeds for corruption.” An ironic claim for someone backed by public sector unions.
Despite the panicked invective, the proposed law requires Alabama charters to meet strict standards for performance and accountability. If a school does not meet the expectations set in their charter, they will be closed. In addition, to meeting performance standards, they would also be required to submit their school’s finances for independent audit on an annual basis.
A cap of 10 new public charters may be created during a single fiscal year, for the first five years. If no cap is reached, the remaining spots will be rolled into the next immediate fiscal year.
There is no limit on conversion charters, however all decisions to approve or reject these types of charters are made by local school board.State legislators aren’t the only ones changing the status quo in the heart of Dixie. The Alabama Supreme Court just ruled that a modest school choice initiative passed in 2013 was constitutional.
The Alabama Accountability Act allowed low-income students stuck in failing schools to apply for scholarships to attend a better school. Jason Bedrick of the Cato Institute reported on the ruling: Predictably, defenders of the government’s near-monopoly over K-12 education immediately ran to the courts to prevent any children from escaping. The Southern Poverty Law Center filed a lawsuit in federal court, absurdly claiming that the AAA violated the U.S. Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause because it failed to rescue all children from low-performing district schools. In other words, the SPLC argued that the U.S. Constitution would prohibit any incremental reforms to address social problems. Fortunately, the federal judge dismissed the SPLC suit, holding that the “equal protection” it sought was, “in effect, equally bad treatment.”
The Alabama Education Association, the state’s largest teachers’ union, also filed a series of separate lawsuits challenging the AAA in state court. The Alabama supreme court dismissed the first two union lawsuits, which had challenged the law on procedural grounds. In its third attempt, the union raised ten legal claims in a desperate spaghetti-against-the-wall gamble. A few of them stuck in a lower court, but the state supreme court rejected all ten in a 222-page decision.Let’s hope that Alabama’s progress on school choice continues for the parents’ and children’s sake.
---------------- Dr. Jon Gabriel (@ExJon) is a political writer and marketing consultant, contributing articles to Ricochet, The Blaze, FreedomWorks and the Heartland Institute. The article was shared on Ricochet. Tags: Alabama, school choice, Jon Gabriel, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Arkansas U.S. Senator Tom Cotton: The Most Powerful Man in Washington
by Erick Erickson, Op-Ed: Tom Cotton (R-AR) is the junior senator from Arkansas. In fact, Cotton has only been in the Senate for two months. He spent one term in the House of Representatives before making the leap to the upper house. Prior to his stint in elected politics, Cotton was a soldier in the Iraq War. He is now the most powerful man in Washington.
Cotton rounded up 46 other Republican senators in Washington to sign a letter to Iran. That letter announced that no deal between President Obama and Iran would ever make it through the United States Senate. The constitution requires a two-thirds vote for any treaty to be ratified. An Iranian deal would not get a majority vote, let alone a two-thirds vote.
The outrage from Democrats was immediate. On twitter, the hashtag "47traitors" exploded. More than 100,000 people signed a petition demanding the 47 senators be arrested for treason. Chris Matthews, the Walter Winchel of MSNBC, yelled at his viewers accusing the senators of violating the Logan Act. The sound bite got picked up and parroted by talking heads who needed a point and had none of their own.
The Logan Act is a law enacted in 1799 by President John Adams. It prohibits citizens from engaging foreign powers in contravention of the United States. Not a single person has ever been convicted of violating the Logan Act. Only one person, in 1803, was ever indicted under the Logan Act. The government is exempt from the law, obviously, and the State Department determined in 1975 that Congress, as a branch of government, was exempt from the Logan Act.
The rhetoric of the left has been farcical. The late Sen. Ted Kennedy directly collaborated with the Soviet Union to undermine President Reagan's foreign policy. We only learned about that as a nation when the Soviet Union collapsed and old KGB archives were uncovered.
In 2002, Congressmen John Bonior and Jim McDermott flew to Iraq to stand shoulder to shoulder with Saddam Hussein against George W. Bush. Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi went to Syria to stand with Bashar al-Assad against George W. Bush. But the most similar action to Tom Cotton's letter happened in 1984.
That year, then-Democratic Leader Jim Wright, who would go on to be Speaker of the House, penned a letter to communist leader Daniel Ortega. The letter, signed by multiple Democrats in the Congress, pledged Democratic opposition to Ronald Reagan's policies and sought to engage in separate diplomatic relations with Ortega than what the Reagan administration was attempting.
For Hillary Clinton to claim last week that Tom Cotton's letter was something unique in American history was as big a lie as her claiming she could not put two email accounts on one device. In fact, the Democrats know Tom Cotton's actions are legal. They just do not like his boldness in defiance of a president who increasingly views himself as a dictator.
Try as they might, the Democrats have not been able to completely undermine the idea of three separate but equal branches of government. Their spittle flew when Speaker Boehner invited the Israeli prime minister to speak to Congress. Though they claimed the invitation was some sort of breach of protocol, the Speaker also invited the Pope to speak, and the Democrats made no such claims.
What is really happening is the Democrats were attempting to allow Iran to build up a nuclear program without anyone noticing. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Sen. Tom Cotton shed light on the Democrats' plan. The Democrats were left scurrying about like roaches with the light turned on. They do not like it.
The net result of Sen. Cotton's actions has not been an indictment of 47 Republican senators. Instead, Secretary of State John Kerry had to admit President Obama's negotiations with Iran were non-binding and unenforcible. But for Sen. Tom Cotton, America would never have gotten that admission. It makes the senator one of the few people in Washington who has been able to throw Barack Obama off his game.
-------------- Erick Erickson, also known as Erick-Woods Erickson, is a politically conservative American blogger and editor-in-chief of the blog site RedState.com. Tags:U.S Senator, Tom Cotton, Most Powerful Man in Washington, Op-Ed, Erick EricksonTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Benghazi Docs Obtained by JW Belie: Hillary’s No Classified Emails Claim
Hillary Clinton claimed that she didn't send any classified material through her secret email. That's just not sure, according to Judicial Watch. Benghazi docs obtained by Judicial Watch show that classified materials were circulated through email among top officials at State. Hard to believe the Secretary of State was not looped in.
In fact, according to experts, including a former State Department official’s assessment in a mainstream newspaper article: “I would assume that more than 50 percent of what the secretary of state dealt with was classified.”
Times Reports: "Former Sec. of State
Hillary Clinton checks her PDA upon her
departure in a military C-17 plane from Malta
bound for Tripoli on Oct. 18, 2011.
Photo by Kevin Lamarque—Reuters"
Special Report by Judicial Watch: Though Hillary Clinton asserts that she didn’t send any classified material on her secret email account, Benghazi documents obtained by Judicial Watch show classified information was indeed circulated among top State Department officials via electronic mail.
It’s hard to believe that the Secretary of State was completely out of the loop on this material, which was disseminated among her top aides as Islamic terrorists attacked the U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi, Libya. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, the first diplomat to be killed overseas in decades, and three other Americans were murdered in the violent ambush. The Obama administration initially blamed the attack on a demonstration ignited by an anti-Muslim internet video but Judicial Watch has uncovered droves of documents that show the administration knew in real time that it was carried out by armed assailants tied to a terrorist group.
In fact, last month Judicial Watch obtained State Department files that include a chain of internal emails tracking the events surrounding the terrorist attack as it developed beginning immediately upon its inception. The exchange includes emails between Clinton’s top aides and advisors, including Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills, Special Assistant Maria Sand, Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Jacob Sullivan and Executive Assistant Joseph McManus. Last year Judicial Watch forced the release of an internal State Department email showing top White House officials attempting to orchestrate a campaign to “reinforce” President Obama and portray the Benghazi terrorist attack as being “rooted in an Internet video, and not a failure of policy.”
That brings us to the secret email account scandal initially exposed by a mainstream newspaper. “Hillary Clinton’s suggestion that she didn’t send classified information is belied by productions in our Benghazi lawsuits,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “A review of the documents shows material sent to Susan Rice and other top State Department officials withheld under exemptions for classified material. None of these emails (or any similar emails) were ever received or sent by Hillary Clinton?”
The scenario is highly unlikely, despite claims made by Clinton this week during her United Nations news conference. “I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email,” the former Secretary of State assured. “I’m certainly well aware of the classification requirements and did not send classified material.” So, we’re supposed to believe that the nation’s top foreign diplomat managed to exclude classified information in more than 30,000 emails? Highly unlikely, according to experts, including a former State Department official’s assessment in a New York Times article: “I would assume that more than 50 percent of what the secretary of state dealt with was classified.”
Judicial Watch has filed dozens of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, a Mandatory Declassification Review and eight lawsuits against the Obama administration relating to Benghazi. It is the only non-governmental organization in the nation currently litigating in federal court to uncover information withheld by the Obama administration about the events that transpired before, during, and following the Benghazi massacre. Judicial Watch has also published two in-depth special reports on the September 11, 2012 ambush and continues to investigate Clinton’s role in the scandal. Read JW’s Benghazi reports here and here. [Judicial Watch Special Report] Tags:Judicial Watch, report, Hillary Clinton , classified emails, Benghazi, Times Reports, Hillary checks her PDA, military C-17 plane, Secretary of State 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 House will reconvene on Monday, March 16, at Noon.
The Senate will reconvene on Monday at 3 PM. At 5:30, the Senate will vote on confirmation of the nominations of Carlos Monje, Jr, to be an Assistant Secretary of Transportation and Manson Brown to be an Assistant Secretary of Commerce.
Yesterday, the Senate voted 97-0 to confirm Christopher A. Hart to be Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
Also, yesterday Majority Leader McConnell filed cloture Thursday on an anti-trafficking bill that has stalled in the Senate amid an abortion fight. Democrats have balked over the legislation's inclusion of the Hyde Amendment which is supposed to be the present law of the land regarding federal funded programs and blocks federal funding from being used for abortions.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell lambasted Senate Democrats on the floor yesterday afternoon: “I want to make sure everybody understands what's been objected to. The provision that was in the bill -- it’s been in there for two months -- everybody had a chance to read, came out of committee unanimously, no one objected to proceeding to it on the floor. I just offered the [minority] an opportunity for a simple up-or-down vote to strike the provision they recently discovered, and they've objected . . . .
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) told reporters, "This is a phantom excuse. I don't believe that Senate Democrats didn't read the legislation. I don't believe that their staff didn't catch this provision. I think this is more about politics."
Thanks to Democrats’ carelessness and desire to appease pro-abortion groups, the bill is stalled. Democrats would not accept the opportunity to vote on amendments to it and Dems are now saying they’ll filibuster this bipartisan bill that was uncontroversial last week and even earlier when it was voted unanimously out of the Judiciary Committee.
In an important story today, Politico examines how the Senate arrived at this point. Politico writes, “It’s a cause any politician would have a hard time opposing: cracking down on human trafficking. Instead, in a breakdown sensational even by Senate standards, a bill to address the issue is set to go down in a partisan firefight. The cause of the row? Democrats didn’t read the 68-page bill to discover its provisions dealing with abortion . . . . The spectacle has infuriated groups that advocate for cracking down on sex trafficking . . . .”
“‘What do you want me to tell you? We missed it!’ said Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) when asked why Democrats didn’t recognize the language this time.”
Apparently, Sen. Durbin had trouble finding provisions that were on pages 4 and 5 of the legislation.
The provision that Democrats are complaining about is hardly new or particularly controversial. As Politico notes, “The provision is essentially an expansion of the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits taxpayer funds from being used for abortions and is routinely included in spending bills. Provisions similar to the Hyde Amendment are included in other types of programs, such as the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.” . . .
“Indeed, Democrats appeared to have ample chances to spot the language. For example, the abortion language is on pages 4 and 5 of the bill. But when it came up in committee, the top Democrat, Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, offered an unrelated amendment on the same page — apparently not noticing the abortion provisions. The bill was approved unanimously by the judiciary panel. And on Monday, a full two weeks later with still no ire over the abortion language, Democrats agreed to move ahead.”
The crux of the problem is in this revealing passage of the Politico article: “[B]y Monday night, staffers for Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Senate Democratic leadership spotted the provision. And pro-abortion rights groups began putting heat on Democrats to oppose the legislation.”
And so, thanks to Democrats’ carelessness and desire to appease pro-abortion groups, the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 is stalled. Democrats won’t accept the opportunity to vote on amendments to it and are now saying they’ll filibuster this bipartisan bill that was uncontroversial last week and even earlier when it was voted unanimously out of the Judiciary Committee.
As editor, this whole process by the Democrats appears to be another "slight of hand" trick to also keep the Senate in controversy and thus feed the news cycle in an effort to help diminish / mitigate negative press concerning topics like the Presidents actions with Iran, the FCC power grab, the scandal of former Democrat Secretary of State Hillary Clinton emails or a myriad of other other issues. While the Senate Democrats were in charge they even lowered voting thresholds and pushed the presidents, often less than stellar, nominees through, and they blocked reasonable funding programs and accountability oversight. And now that Democrats do not have the majority they rely on the honor of Republicans to NOT do the same thing.
Indeed, Senate Majority leader McConnell may have too much dignity and love for the Senate in the role of government to lower the 60 votes bar. But, it must be noted that American conservatives are tired of seeing Democrats abuse and run over the American people.
Regrading the above Trafficking bill, the American people are in debt up for years of future generations and yet they stands supportive to spend future generation's hard earned money to help fight Anti-Human Trafficking in other parts of the world. But today, we find the Democrats can think only about is using those tax dollars to fund abortions in other countries.
There is an Evil in this world and it isn't limited to terrorists and tyrants. And in our day, it appears to be a moving force among our own elected officials. May God have mercy on us! Tags:U.S Senate, Mitch McConnell, John Cornyn, Abortion, trafficking, Hyde Amendment, evil in the World, elected officialsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Protestors block a police vehicle from entering the City of Ferguson Police Depart. & Municipal Court parking lot in Ferguson, MO, 3-11-15. REUTERS/Kate Munsch
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: What a tragedy is unfolding in our country. Barack Obama was elected in 2008 in part because large numbers of whites and blacks thought he would bring racial reconciliation. Instead, he has stoked racial discord, leaving every American family (white, black and brown) to wrestle with the consequences.
Three police officers were shot today -- one on Long Island, New York, and two in Ferguson, Missouri. I want to focus on the Ferguson shootings.
Scores of protestors gathered last night outside the Ferguson police department. Just after midnight, three shots were fired. Two officers were hit -- one in the shoulder, one in the face near his eye. The bullet reportedly lodged in his head. The officer's screams after this grievous wound can be heard on video here.
The shooting happened AFTER the police chief had been forced to resign. That obviously didn't satisfy the shooter.
By the way, the wounded officers are not even members of the Ferguson police department. One serves with the St. Louis County Police and the other with the Webster Groves department. The shooter did not care. His intention was to kill cops.
This attack is a lamentable and predictable outcome of the demagoguery promoted by the president, the attorney general and the media about the police in general and in Ferguson specifically. It started with a rush to judgment after the tragic shooting of Michael Brown by an officer who feared for his life.
The media promoted a narrative of "hands up, don't shoot," which we now know from the Justice Department's own report was a fabrication.
Buried in that report, we learned that six witnesses, all of them black, told the same story -- that Brown attacked Wilson, fought with him and never tried to surrender.
After a comprehensive investigation by the Justice Department (involving 100 FBI agents in Ferguson) no basis could be found to file any charges against Officer Wilson.
So the Justice Department changed the narrative. A separate investigation of the Ferguson police department found a few racist emails and what the Justice Department claimed was a pattern of traffic ticket writing that demonstrated racial bias.
But over the past seven months, the facts have not mattered much. There has been a steady drumbeat from the left demonizing law enforcement, creating an atmosphere where the most unbalanced radical elements believe it is open season on cops.
Remember President Obama went to the United Nations and, before an audience that included habitual human rights abusers, held up Ferguson, Missouri, as an example of America's sins. It is not at all surprising that some deranged minds, hearing this constant drumbeat, would think they are doing something noble when they try to murder law enforcement officers.
Attorney General Holder has alleged that the entire Ferguson police force is racist and has threatened to dismantle it. The anti-police atmosphere in Ferguson has been growing day by day, and local officials have warned that the situation was extremely dangerous. Someone decided to dismantle the police department on their own with the barrel of a gun.
The political left is pouring gasoline on a fire. Americans of all races want equality and fairness. They also want safe communities and protection from those who make our cities so dangerous. Thankfully, the constituency for killing police officers is very small.
Racism of any kind is unacceptable and should not be tolerated, especially among those charged with protecting us. We taught our children, and will teach our grandchildren, never to make judgments based on skin color, but instead, as Martin Luther King urged, only on the content of someone's character.
What should good and decent people do? Of course, they should speak out against racism. They should also condemn the demagogues who attempt to exploit race. To know what a real civil rights leader sounds like, they should read, as I recently recommended, Martin Luther King's Letter From a Birmingham Jail.
Today's shooting in Ferguson is fundamentally not about race, but about a battle between civilization and anarchy.
The notion that racist police officers are the biggest problem bedeviling America's minority communities is absurd. I believe fatherless homes, failing schools, out-of-control gangs and drugs are more significant problems. Where are the president and the attorney general on those issues?
------------- Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families Tags:Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, Ferguson, killing cops, anarchy, civilizationTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Democrats Threatening ‘To Torpedo Bipartisan Legislation Combating Human Sex Trafficking’
Dems ‘Choosing A Phantom Problem Over Real Victims’
Democrat Senators Evidence Not Caring About Sex Trafficking Bill But they are all-in on abortion!
ELEANOR GAETAN, The Coalition Against Trafficking In Women: “Senate Democrats are choosing a phantom problem over real victims.”(Dallas Morning News, 3/12/15)
GAETAN:“Speechless that superb U.S. anti-trafficking bill #JVTA is hostage… Offer an amendment & take a vote Dems, don't block!”(Twitter, @EkGaetan, 3/11/15)
Bipartisan Cornyn / Klobuchar Bill ‘Represents An Effort To … Target The Culture Of Impunity For Those Who Seek To Purchase Sex, Especially With Children’
HOLLY AUSTIN SMITH, Victim & Advocate: “When I was fourteen years old, I was coerced into prostitution by a man I had met at a local shopping mall in New Jersey… Had there been a Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act... perhaps law enforcement would have immediately recognized that I was a victim, not a criminal… Perhaps my healing process could have been easier, faster.” (Holly Austin Smith, Committee On The Judiciary, U.S. Senate, Testimony, 2/24/15)
MILIKA SAAR, Executive Director of Human Rights Project for Girls: “We owe it to Aviva and other trafficked children to make clear to them that the victimization and abuse they have suffered is no different or more tolerable than other forms of rape or sexual abuse of minors. We owe it to Aviva and the girls still left behind to hold accountable those who have purchased and raped them—and to create for these girls, who are mighty and strong and so hurt, opportunities to heal and to live out their potential.” (Malika Saada Saar, Committee On The Judiciary, U.S. Senate, Testimony, 2/24/15)
184 GROUPS:“We are a coalition of organizations from across the United States dedicated to improving the lives of vulnerable women and children and write to express our support for the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015, S. 178 (JVTA). … As leaders in the anti-trafficking, anti-violence, child welfare, civil rights, runaway and homeless youth, and human rights movements, we urge Congress to pass this critical piece of legislation.” (“Letter Of Support From Advocacy Groups, Letter To Senators Grassley & Leahy, 2/23/15)
“The JVTA provides unprecedented resources to address the issue of domestic victims of trafficking, who are too often invisible and underserved… This legislation is vital. The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 represents an effort to provide the necessary support services to our domestic victims of trafficking in the U.S. and to target the culture of impunity for those who seek to purchase sex, especially with children. … We urge Congress to pass this critical piece of legislation.”(“Letter Of Support From Law Enforcement Groups,” Letter To Senators Grassley & Leahy, 2/24/15
Law Enforcement & Prosecutor Organizations: “Women and children, especially girls, are also advertised online where buyers purchase them with ease, anonymity, and impunity. … The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 addresses a critical need by providing the necessary tools and support services for domestic victims of trafficking in the U.S. We urge Congress to pass this critical piece of legislation.”(Letter To Sens. Grassley & Leahy, 2/24/15)
‘Legislation Makes No Change In The Existing Law, Known As The Hyde Amendment’
AP: Democrats “blocking passage of a sex trafficking measure designed to help children and women. … The legislation makes no change in the existing law, known as the Hyde Amendment.”(AP, 3/11/15)
“Gaetan said she didn’t know who the language [in Cornyn / Klobuchar] would apply to since it includes provisions that allow the fund to be used for abortions in cases of rape.” (Dallas Morning News, 3/12/15)
CRS: “In addition to the temporary funding limitations contained in appropriation bills, abortion restrictions of a more permanent nature have been enacted in a variety of contexts since 1970. For example, the Family Planning Services and Population Research Act of 1970, P.L. 91-572 (42 U.S.C. 300a-6)… The Legal Services Corporation Act of 1974, P.L. 93-355 (42 U.S.C. 2996f(b)(8))… The Pregnancy Discrimination Act, P.L. 95-555 (42 U.S.C. 2000e(k))… The Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1988, P.L. 100-259 (20 U.S.C. 1688)… [and] The Civil Rights Commission Amendments Act of 1994, P.L. 103-419 (42 U.S.C. 1975a(f))…” (Congressional Research Service, “Abortion: Judicial History and Legislative Response,” 1/23/15)
“Not long after agreeing unanimously to move forward with a bill to combat human trafficking on Monday,Democrats discovered the abortion language that had been sitting on page four. They're now refusing to allow Republicans a final vote on the bill, potentially carrying out a filibuster that could last well into next week.” (“McConnell Puts Democrats In A Box,” National Journal, 3/10/15)
Tags:Democrats, threatening to torpedo,bipartisan bill, Combating Human Sex Trafficking, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Tags:Hilary Clinton, emails, scandal, editorial cartoons, AF BrancoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Why was Sid Blumenthal advising Hillary Clinton on Libya?
Kenneth R. Timmerman, Accuracy in Media: Until Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) revealed last week that his Benghazi Select Committee was investigating Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for her official State Department communications, no one had a good explanation for why none of the Congressional committees that had previously investigated Benghazi had ever cited a single Hillary Clinton email in their reports.
Congressional Democrats had been pooh-poohing Gowdy’s investigation, claiming that all the important questions about Benghazi had been “asked and answered” by previous committees.
Now the best that Gowdy’s counterpart, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), can do is object to subpoenas (especially when they are issued to Hillary Clinton in person, through Counsel), and to huff and puff about the investigation becoming a “surrogate” for the “Republican National Committee.”
What a change a single revelation can bring.
We now learn that Hillary Clinton not only used a private server, maintained at her Chappaqua, New York home for official communications, but that she never used a government email at all. Not once.
No firstname.lastname@example.org, or Clinton.email@example.com or anything of the kind. Just multiple accounts on her family server, clintonemail.com, including firstname.lastname@example.org, the same address used by former Clinton White House aide Sidney Blumenthal to communicate with her on Benghazi and related matters.
Federal prosecutors recently finished up their case against former CIA Director David Petraeus, who was conveniently forced to resign just three days after the November 2012 elections, before he could clarify what he knew about Benghazi. (Given that Petraeus had just returned from a September 2, 2012 trip to Ankara, Turkey, where he had been trying to tamp down publicity due to an arms shipment from Benghazi to the Syrian rebels, he certainly knew a lot.)
In a widely criticized decision, they forced him to plea bargain one count of a misdemeanor in exchange for dropping more serious charges. The full extent of the FBI’s case against Petraeus involved him sharing personal, hand-written notebooks with his biographer.
Prosecutors noted that the CIA had installed a SCIF—a specialized high-security area—in his Arlington, Virginia home where he could safely store classified materials brought home from the CIA. That facility was dismantled by the CIA without incident two months after Petraeus resigned from the Agency.
The prosecutors never accused Petraeus of improperly storing U.S. government classified materials either in the SCIF or elsewhere. Nor did they accuse him of sending classified materials over an unsecure server.
If they could prosecute Petraeus on one count of improperly handling classified material (he kept those personal notebooks in a rucksack in his attic), one can only speculate how many thousand counts of mishandling classified information could be brought against Mrs. Clinton. Of course, she denies having sent classified information over her personal server, but in that case how did she communicate on classified matters with her envoys and subordinates?
Was the private server at her residence designed, installed, and maintained by a U.S. government security agency? Was it connected to the government’s Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet) and physically separated from the open Internet?
The Sid Blumenthal memos, sent from his AOL account to Hillary’s private email server, suggest that this was not the case. If so, the former Secretary of State was breaking the law—big time.
When the memos first surfaced in 2013—posted to the Internet by a Romanian hacker known as “Guccifer” —neither the State Department nor their purported author acknowledged their authenticity. Given that they initially surfaced on the website of Russia Today, Vladimir Putin’s reliably anti-American TV network, that was enough to consign them to oblivion as yet another Internet hoax.
Now we learn that former CIA official Tyler Drumheller apparently helped to gather the “intel” that Blumenthal sent to Hillary on the Benghazi attacks and other political developments inside Libya.
This is extremely significant because the initial memo sent by Blumenthal, dated September 12, 2012, cites “a sensitive source,” who purportedly met with Libyan President Magarief shortly after the attacks began and claimed that a YouTube video sparked the “protest” against the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi.
Magarief himself never said such a thing, although the memo is worded to suggest that he did. He blew up when he heard Susan Rice make that claim on the Sunday talk shows after the attack, as I write on pages 347 and 348 of Dark Forces: The Truth About What Happened in Benghazi.
Drumheller became infamous for several earlier pieces of disinformation. As European Division chief at the CIA’s Directorate of Operations in 2001 and 2002, he was the one who planted the phony evidence about the Niger uranium contract that was later used by the media during the Valerie Plame affair to claim that George W. Bush had “lied” about Saddam Hussein’s WMD programs. On three separate occasions, he passed the Niger information up the food chain as validated intelligence, when the CIA had been warned that it was not (see page 63 of my book Shadow Warriors).
Then-CIA Director George Tenet was so fed up with Drumheller that he spent seven full pages in his memoir debunking claims by Drumheller regarding the defector known as CURVEBALL that Tenet said were simply untrue.
Drumheller and Sid Blumenthal have a history together. In 2007, Blumenthal used Drumheller as a source to “prove” that Bush had “lied” about pre-war intelligence on Iraqi WMD. Drumheller and Blumenthal went on to work in Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2007 and 2008.
So was the Guccifer/Blumenthal memo intended as disinformation, written after Hillary Clinton put out her statement on the night of the attacks blaming them on a YouTube video? Or was it actually the source of Hillary’s false claim about the video, written and sent by someone on the ground in Libya who was attempting to plant the story?
Many reporters, myself included, have submitted Freedom of Information Act requests to the State Department, asking for all documents and communications that would show how Mrs. Clinton’s statement came to be worded as it was finally released. Where are all the drafts? Who commented on them? What did it say initially? How was it changed? By whom?
We have much of that information for the Susan Rice talking points, but nothing at all for Hillary Clinton’s statement on the evening of the attacks.
Given that there is not a single mention of a protest or the YouTube video in all the documents released to Congress, which included real-time communications from Tripoli and Benghazi from the State Department and CIA that night, exactly how Mrs. Clinton came up with that idea could provide key insight into what actually happened in Benghazi, and why. Tags:Sid Blumenthal, advising, Hillary Clinton, Libya, Kenneth R. Timmerman, Accuracy in Media, AIM.orgTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
There is much to protest on any given day Obama sits in the Oval Office with all its powers at his disposal. The Constitution granted the executive branch considerable power, particularly in the conduct of foreign affairs but the Founders also created a system to offset the office when it comes to domestic affairs.
It is clear that Obama has virtually no interest in foreign affairs, preferring to tell lies about Islamic terrorism and to ignore Russia’s seizure of Crimea and its support of insurgents in eastern Ukraine. Instead he has devoted most of his time, when not vacationing and playing golf, to his domestic agenda. It has proven to be a failure.
The failure of ObamaCare, introduced with a series of lies, is the most dramatic feature of his legacy. While it remains a law, it has been so plagued with problems that one can easily imagine it being repealed once Obama is out of office. It has seriously harmed what was widely understood to be a costly system. By now, thanks to Jonathan Gruber, one of its architects, we know that both he and the President knew it would be largely unaffordable back in 2009 and both regarded Americans to be “stupid.”
The Supreme Court will hear a case, King v. Burwell, on March 4 and will likely rule in June. As The Wall Street Journal opined, “As a matter of ordinary statutory construction, the Court should find that when the law limited subsidies to insurance exchanges established by states, that does not include the 36 states where the feds run exchanges.” That many states refused to set up their own exchanges and that tells you just how poorly it was received.
Fundamentally, “if the subsidy foundation is undermined, the rest will collapse of its own weight…The subsidies are crucial to ObamaCare because they offset the added costs of the law’s regulations.” Suffice to say, Republicans who now control Congress had better have some measures to enact to replace ObamaCare. And, yes, if it was passed in whole, it can be repealed in whole.
While 36 states refused to participate in ObamaCare’s exchanges, 26 states joined together in a legal suit against the legitimacy of Obama’s unilateral executive order intended to alter the laws regarding illegal aliens, but only Congress can change those laws. No President has the authority to do so.
Ironically, on President’s Day, February 16, Federal Judge Andrew Hanen enjoined Jeh Johnson, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, from implementing “any and all aspects of phases of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program as set out by Johnson in a November 20, 2014 memorandum.
The injunction was based on “the failure of the defendants to comply with the Administrative Procedure Act.” That Act governs the issuance of new rules and regulations by government agencies, including requirements that public notice be posted and opportunities to comment exist before a substantive rule can be enacted. The routinely arrogant Obama administration ignored this.
The greater issue, of course, has been Obama’s refusal to obey the existing immigration laws in order to add five million or more illegal aliens to the U.S. population without their going through the process that millions of others have obeyed.
If Obama won’t obey the law, why should he expect the states or anyone else to do so? The suit was brought by the states on the grounds that “the Government has abandoned its duty to enforce the law” and Judge Hanen concluded that “this assertion cannot be disputed.” The case will now move up through the court system because, of course, Obama’s Department of Justice will seek an appeal. By the time a ruling is made, Obama is likely to be out of office and his amnesty efforts will have failed.
Obama’s two key initiatives will go down in flames and that is very good news.
Beyond them is the astonishing amount of debt he had added over the past six years, starting with a failed “stimulus” program that wasted a trillion dollars on non-existent “shovel ready” jobs, the bailout of General Motors that left taxpayers with a loss of $11.2 billion, and grants to “clean energy” companies, many of which went belly up.
As of this writing, not only has the credit rating of the U.S. been downgraded for the first time in its history, but U.S. debt stands at $18 trillion and growing. That is definitely not good news.
We can, however, as Obama’s term of office recedes with every passing day, know that his “transformation” of America into a socialist state will end in failure. When gone, whoever replaces him will have a huge job of reestablishing America as the leader of the free world.
It will not likely be a Democrat. Obama’s legacy will include—as it already has—a major voter shift to support of Republicans in Congress, in the governorships, and many state legislatures throughout America. And that is good news.
----------------- Alan Caruba is a writer by profession; has authored several books, and writes a daily column, Warning Signs He is a contribution author on the ARRA News Service. Tags:Alan Caruba, Warning Signs, President Obama, Legacy of Failure, foreign affairs, ObamaCare, King v. Burwell, Department of Homeland Security, illegal immigration, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Just not for 7-year-olds. At least, not when they're in the public school system.
Back in 2013, a boy then in second grade in Anne Arundel, Maryland, was suspended for two days for what was deemed a "gun-related" offense.
It was also a Pop Tart-related offense.
No, he didn't shoot a Pop Tart; he bit his Pop Tart into the shape of a gun. There's a dispute as to whether he then pointed the high-calorie weapon at the ceiling or at other students. Either way, unless the strawberry filing was piping hot (it wasn't), there wasn't really anything to fear.
Still, school officials pretty much freaked out.
Of course, the incident did occur just months after the Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting, when six- and seven-year-olds were feeling the full weight of adult hysteria about guns, pastries, pointed fingers, etc.
Fast-forward to the present: the Maryland lad's parents are still fighting to clear this gun-related black mark from his permanent record, fearful it could damage him even decades from now.
I don't blame them.
Unfortunately, last week the Maryland State Board of Education upheld the suspension. A spokesperson for the local schools claimed it was warranted because of the lad's "long history of disciplinary issues," adding that the school "has gone to every conceivable length to assist that student."
The attorney for the family says they will appeal.
My kids have been home schooled, but next year my youngest will attend a public high school. I just hope we can find a good, inexpensive attorney to go with her.
This is Common Sense. I'm Paul Jacob.
------------------ Paul Jacobs is author of Common Sense which provides daily commentary about the issues impacting America — and about the citizens who are doing something about them. He is also President of the Liberty Initiative Fund (LIFe) as well as Citizens in Charge Foundation. Jacobs is a contributing author on the ARRA News Service. Tags:Paul Jacob, Common Sense, Pop Tart Gun,To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
It Isn't the E-Mails, It's the Corruption: Congress Has to Find All the Facts
Just how Corrupt is this woman?
by Newt Gingrich: Clinton held her first press conference in years yesterday to address a few of the questions everyone wants to ask about her emails. But the focus on Clinton’s emails misses the larger and more dangerous scandal, of which the private server is only a symptom.
The poorly-defended personal server in her closet, her use of a personal email account for all of her official business, her unilateral decision to erase more than 30,000 emails, her narrow definition of "official" as emails sent to U.S. federal government addresses (when several of her top aides also used personal email accounts) – are all outrageous, yes. But none of these go to the heart of the Clinton scandal.
The key fact is that a former president of the United States and his wife, a U.S. senator, then Secretary of State and always a possible future president, have raised nearly $2 billion dollars--a significant part of it from foreign governments--for their family foundation.
That figure actually understates the total amount of money flowing through the Clinton empire since they left the White House. There have been extraordinarily highly paid speeches and consulting gigs. There have been extraordinarily large book advances (the most recent of which almost certainly did not earn back the advance). There have been expensive trips on private planes and yachts to stay at private mansions.
The IRS has investigated churches and Tea Party groups run by grandmothers to determine the extent of their political activities. The FBI has investigated Republican governors for corruption or abuse of office on the most tenuous grounds.
Yet apparently neither has any interest in the $2 billion raised for the personal foundation of America’s most prominent political family.
Given the national security issues at stake--and the national security consequences that may already have occurred--Congress needs to look at questions much larger than Hillary’s email. It needs to look at the Clinton Foundation’s income and expenditures. Because the Clintons didn't just raise $2 billion. They also spent $2 billion.
Who gave the money is one question.
Who got the money is another question.
Whom did they favor with their largesse? What personal business transactions occurred parallel to foundation activities?
You may think that these questions are grasping at straws. But consider Breitbart’s report about Peter Schweizer’s new book, which will be published in May. Schweizer spent a year investigating the Clinton empire. Among his findings, according to Breitbart:Hillary Rodham Clinton’s brother, Tony Rodham, sat on the board of a self-described mining company that in 2012 received one of only two ‘gold exploitation permits’ from the Haitian government—the first issued in over 50 years.
The tiny North Carolina company, VCS Mining, also included on its board Bill Clinton’s co-chair of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC), former Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive.
...VCS’s coveted gold mining exploitation permit was apparently such a sweetheart deal that it outraged the Haitian senate, since royalties to be paid to the Haitian government were only 2.5%, a sum mining experts say is at least half the standard rate.The State Department directed billions of dollars in aid to Haiti while Hillary was secretary. The Clinton Foundation directed many millions more. Bill Clinton also co-founded the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund which directed an additional half-billion dollars of donations to Haiti. Bill Clinton was also named the U.N. special envoy to Haiti.
It is a surpassing coincidence that Hillary’s brother suddenly decided to enter the mining business in Haiti and that the company on whose board he sat received a very favorable mining deal from the Haitian government.
Schweizer wrote me that this "gold mine is a minor revelation." He further wrote that the scale of Clinton corruption "is scary stuff."
Of course, we know that many foreign countries have given the Clinton Foundation millions of dollars directly, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Algeria, Australia, Germany, and Norway, among others. As the San Diego Union-Tribune put it in a recent editorial:This may be legal, but it reeks. It could not be more obvious that foreign governments are attempting to buy favor with former President Bill Clinton and possible future President Hillary Clinton. The Clintons can’t make the stench go away with their assurances that the de facto bribes were used to help worthy causes.The House and Senate Judiciary Committees should undertake comprehensive investigations.
We need to know when meetings were held, when money in every form (speech, consulting, book, gift, travel, foundation, campaign) came in, what the various interlocking interests of the donors were, how the money was spent, and what side deals went on between the donors, the beneficiaries and the various members of the Clinton world.
When people can see the chart and timeline (and it will be enormous because raising and spending $2 billion requires a lot of relationships and activities) they will begin to see the scale of dishonesty, self-dealing, and corruption that is sure to be at the heart of the Clinton empire.
In addition to understanding the Clintons, the House and Senate Judiciary Committees need to write new laws updating and enforcing the Constitutional prohibition on foreign governments giving money to federal officials.
This explosion of foreign money into our political system is a dangerous threat to American independence and to the self-government of the American people. It must be investigated and stopped.
---------------- Newt Gingrich is a former Georgia Congressman and Speaker of the U.S. House. He co-authored and was the chief architect of the "Contract with America" and a major leader in the Republican victory in the 1994 congressional elections. He is noted speaker and writer. The above commentary was shared via Gingrich Productions. Tags:Newt Gingrich, Hillary Clinton, emails, icorruption, Congress, the facts, 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 overarching question before the Supreme Court is not whether an exclusively male–female marriage policy is the best, but only whether it is allowed by the U.S. Constitution. The question is not whether government-recognized same-sex marriage is good or bad policy, but only whether it is required by the U.S. Constitution.
Those suing to overturn male-female marriage laws thus have to prove that the man–woman marriage policy that has existed in the United States throughout our entire history is prohibited by the U.S. Constitution.
The only way someone could succeed in such an argument is to adopt a view of marriage that sees it as an essentially genderless institution based only on the emotional needs of adults and then declare that the U.S. Constitution requires that the states (re)define marriage in such a way. Equal protection alone is not enough. To strike down marriage laws, the Court would need to say that the vision of marriage that our law has long applied equally is just wrong: that the Constitution requires a different vision entirely.
The U.S. Constitution, however, is silent on what marriage is and what policy goals the states should design it to serve, and there are good policy arguments on both sides. Judges should not insert their own policy preferences about marriage and declare them to be required by the U.S. Constitution.
We explain why advocates for the judicial redefinition of marriage cannot reasonably appeal to the authority of Windsor, to the text or original meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment, to the fundamental rights protected by the Due Process Clause, or to Loving v. Virginia. So, too, one cannot properly appeal to the Equal Protection Clause or to animus or Lawrence. Nor can one say that gays and lesbians are politically powerless, so one cannot claim they are a suspect class. Nor can one say that male–female marriage laws lack a rational basis or that they do not serve a compelling state interest in a narrowly tailored way.
Part of the design of federalism is that experimentation can take place in the states: As the Sixth Circuit noted when it upheld several states’ marriage laws, “federalism…permits laboratories of experimentation—accent on the plural—allowing one State to innovate one way, another State another, and a third State to assess the trial and error over time.” Judges should not cut this process short.
At the end of the day, this is a debate about whether citizens or judges will decide an important and sensitive policy issue—in this case, the very nature of civil marriage. Read more about it in our new legal memo.
---------------- Gene Schaerr is a Washington, D.C.-based attorney who specializes in constitutional and appellate litigation. He has previously served as associate counsel to the president and as law clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia and has handled dozens of cases (including six he personally argued) before the U.S. Supreme Court. Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D., researches and writes about marriage and religious liberty as the William E. Simon Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. [Heritage Foundation article] Tags:U.S. Supreme Court, marriage, States Right, Constitution, New Legal memo, Gene Schaerr, Ryan T. Anderson, Heritage FoundationTo 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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