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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, November 20, 2015
Balwin's Observations: The Paris Attacks
by Dr. Chuck Baldwin: Paris, France: Muslim terrorists took the lives of over 120 people. Here are my observations.
I am aghast and flummoxed at the number of Americans who just cannot seem to comprehend the culpability that the U.S. government has in all of this. This only makes sense when one takes into account that the vast majority of Americans only know what the mainstream media tells them. And, without question, our mainstream media is nothing more than a propaganda ministry for Washington, D.C. Without a doubt, the controlled major media in America rivals the controlled major media of Hitler’s Germany or Stalin’s Soviet Union.
Make no mistake about it: the wars in the Middle East are Washington’s wars. The refugee crisis is the direct result of Washington’s wars. G.W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan and the continued violent attacks by the Obama administration throughout the Middle East--not to mention, the direct intervention of, and supervision by, the CIA, British intelligence, the Israeli Mossad, and the governments of Turkey and Saudi Arabia--created ISIS. Furthermore, these governmental entities have all helped to arm, sustain, equip, supply--and medically care for--ISIS terrorists.
One needs to understand that violent Muslims have been killing other Muslims for centuries. In fact, the vast majority of the people killed by violent Muslims are other Muslims--NOT Christians and Jews. What happened in Paris happens routinely in Syria.
ISIS is composed of mostly radicalized Saudi Arabian Sunni Muslims. The goal is to dispose of President Assad’s government in Syria as a stepping stone to conquering both Syria and Iran, thus turning those Shia Muslim nations into Sunni Muslim nations. The result of which means Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will become the de facto king of the entire Middle East. It would also mean that King Salman (already the richest man in the world) would single-handedly control the oil of the entire Middle East. And as everyone should already know, King Salman is in the harlot’s bed with virtually the entire western banking and petroleum worlds.
In addition, please understand that Washington’s wars have created hundreds of thousands of grieving Muslim mothers who have watched Bush and Obama’s bombers and drones take the lives of their sons and daughters--AND THEY ARE MAD! The families of these deceased grandfathers, grandmothers, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, and cousins have made ISIS recruitment EASY. These people know that the western alliance is behind these deaths and they want justice. Tell me we would react differently if the deaths were members of our families.
Neocons and globalists in Washington, D.C., are using the Shia Muslim people as the proverbial straw man to topple the governments in Iran and Syria, because those Shia Muslim nations care absolutely nothing about getting in bed with the international traders who want to further enrich themselves from the profits that can be made in those countries. The only one who is seriously making war against ISIS is Russia’s Vladimir Putin. And his efforts against the Sunni terrorists began but just weeks ago.
The refugee crisis is a tool of globalists to destabilize the West and help usher in a global Police State. Again, the goal is a global economic system. The Federal Reserve has taken the U.S. and European economies to the brink of collapse. The only thing that globalists can do to circumvent this inevitable collapse is create global panic, global war, and a global Police State. A Europe and America invaded with angry Muslims is just the antidote.
Please understand that the vast majority of refugees are NOT terrorists. They are persecuted Muslims and Christians (and others) who are literally fleeing for their lives. But there is no question that CIA-backed Sunni terrorists have infiltrated these refugees.
Ask yourself, why would refugees seeking safety and protection in other countries want to murder hundreds of citizens within those countries? They know this would completely alienate the country against them and only serve to further endanger the lives of their families. The attacks in Paris were NOT committed by refugees; they were committed by CIA-backed, Saudi-backed, Mossad-backed, Turkey-backed, MI6-backed ISIS terrorists.
Even though the majority of refugees are doubtless harmless people who did not want to leave their homes and did so only for their very survival--and with the knowledge that western operatives have created a radical Muslim Frankenstein--and given the fact that our federal government is making no attempt to vet these refugees, it is foolish for states to accept them. Governors are right to refuse. (If the U.S. government was truly behaving in the interests of peace and was not an active participant in creating war and instability in the Middle East--and thus creating the refugee crisis to begin with--it would be a different story.)
In addition, how did those terrorists successfully pull off these coordinated attacks? How did they get fully-automatic rifles and bombs into Paris? These sand people are NOT that sophisticated. They do NOT have those kinds of connections. Do you think you could successfully get a group of people together and smuggle dozens of automatic weapons and explosives into a European country--and then successfully coordinate a large-scale attack in a high-security major downtown city? The only people capable of such a thing are Special Ops military personnel. In other words, ISIS had help, folks--a LOT of help.
Furthermore, I believe the mainstream media and Washington politicians are setting America up for another 9/11-type attack. Following the Paris attacks, CIA director John Brennan wasted no time saying that ISIS was preparing more attacks against the West. He also criticized America’s privacy protections--meaning the Fourth Amendment and similar impediments to government encroachment of our liberties. View: CIA Chief Criticises Recent Surveillance Rollbacks In Wake Of Paris Attacks
Really, Mr. Brennan? If you are truly concerned about future terrorist attacks in the United States, why are you not using the power of your agency to help secure America’s borders? After 9/11, the U.S. government did NOTHING to secure our borders. And to this day, our borders are an open sieve. And you, Mr. Brennan, helped to create thousands of additional terrorists; you helped arm them, supply them, and sent Special Ops to help train them. And all you can say to the American people is that we must surrender whatever protections against governmental encroachment we have left? Do you take us for fools?
And when this next terrorist attack against the U.S. occurs, Washington politicians and their toadies in the mainstream media--along with thousands of Christian “leaders”--will blame Islam. They won’t give a second thought to who the real war-makers are.
A well-traveled friend from Germany wrote this in a private email, “The propagation that Muslims in general are thriving to take over the world is mostly radical Christian propaganda and paranoia with the clear intent to pursue their own political agenda and capitalize on fears in the general public. For instance, if you travel through Iran today, the general public is very pro west. The majority of the Iranian people seem to regard their religious leaders with great skepticism. Also, just look at the numbers: there are worldwide about 50% more Christians than Muslims. Militarily, Christian countries outnumber Muslims countries in weapons and forces easily by 20 to one--and this is not even assessing the quality of the weapons. The United States alone has more fighter jets than all Muslim countries put together by a wide margin. And most of the Muslims countries are allies of the Christian west.
“The uprising of ISIS is a direct result of Bush’s [and Obama’s] war on terror. Terrorism is always a type of guerrilla warfare. It cannot take over western countries for lack of organizational structure. It rises in an area of power vacuum as a structured opposition is lacking. The goal of terrorism is to initiate fear, to taunt powers and destabilize existing political structures. They succeed if radical groups spread the fear of the Muslim religion. This then destabilizes the political structure in western countries with radical parties rising. Since ISIS, the neo-Nazis have gained popularity in Germany. The attempt of Muslim terrorism is not to take over the USA or Germany. It is to create enough fear and political opposition in these countries that weakens their resolve to interfere on the ground in countries like Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.
“Also when thinking of Islam as a religion with world conquering ambitions: there have been major Christian communities all over the Arab world since Islam was founded. Lebanon is mostly Christian. Parts of Turkey, Iraq and Syria are Christian settled and have been for a thousand years or more. The Muslims had centuries to get rid of them but they haven’t. Some of the Christians communities are enclaves totally surrounded by Muslim groups that have peacefully coexisted for hundreds of years. That speaks more for religious tolerance than the reverse.”
I bet the vast majority of readers have never heard nor read about the fact that Christians and Muslims are fighting side-by-side against ISIS in Syria, have you? You haven’t read that NO ONE in the West or in Israel is helping the Assyrian Christian Army in Syria, have you? You haven’t heard that Iran is helping to provide medical assistance and support to the Christians fighting ISIS in Syria, have you? You haven’t heard that Assad’s army in Syria is assisting the Christians in their fight against ISIS, have you? No, you haven’t. The U.S. media and Washington politicians don’t want to tell you about that. It might undermine the anti-Muslim, anti-Iran, anti-Syria propaganda that they have been dishing out 24/7 for the last fourteen years.
Note that even though Breitbart should be credited for publishing the above reports, they continue to regurgitate the anti-Assad, anti-Iran propaganda. However, this bias doesn’t change the truth of the efforts of Christians and Muslims fighting together in Syria against ISIS that Breitbart admirably reports. You didn’t hear about this on FOX News, did you?
Then there is this: the first thing the president of France did following the terrorist attacks in Paris was to close the French borders. DUH! I think the fox is already in the henhouse.
Folks, let’s get real: if it wasn’t for Donald Trump, there would not even be a national discussion about America’s illegal immigration problem. However, the one disturbing element to Trump’s rhetoric regarding immigration is his statements that, as president, he would seriously consider closing mosques.
Again, Islam is NOT the problem. We have had mosques in the United States since at least 1929. And there are nearly 3,200 mosques currently in the United States. And none of them has been identified as producing terrorist attacks in America. The terrorists that did participate in the attacks on 9/11 were not even from the United States. They were from SAUDI ARABIA. If we were going to attack a Muslim nation in retaliation for 9/11, why didn’t we attack Saudi Arabia? Come on, folks. Are things not starting to add up?
Either we have freedom of religion for all or we have it for none. The problem with the rise of Islam in America can only be laid at the doorstep of the Christian Church. If our pastors and churches were doing the job they should be doing of making Christianity relevant to life today (including our political life), the American people would not be losing interest in Christianity, and the spiritual void that other religions (including Islam) are filling would not even exist. THAT problem is NOT an immigration problem or a political problem at all. THAT problem is a spiritual problem. And only our pastors and churches can solve that problem, but they refuse to do it.
Plus, America’s churches are more glorified social clubs than they are anything else. Far, far too many of America’s pastors are more concerned about being politically-correct CEOs or Joel Osteen wannabes than they are about being watchmen and shepherds. It has been a long, long time since a majority of America’s churches were a “pillar and ground of the truth.” (I Tim. 3:15) The rise of false religions is merely God’s judgment on the Church for abandoning truth. When truth is abandoned, does it really matter which version of error takes its place? Christians need to look themselves in the mirror and stop blaming the country’s ills on Muslims.
If a president can close mosques, he can close synagogues and churches. Talk about opening Pandora’s Box!
But there is another element to the Paris attacks: remember that France--and most of Europe--is a giant gun-free zone. Think about it: a handful of armed terrorists sent tens of thousands of French males into panic like kitty cats in a thunderstorm. European governments (except for Switzerland) have successfully stolen the manhood from the male citizens of that continent. The Natural instinct of men is to FIGHT for their families, their friends, and their communities. But for more than a half-century, socialist governments have indoctrinated men to believe that they must depend on government to protect their families, friends, and communities. Men are not allowed to defend themselves. They are stripped, not only of the means of self-defense, but of the mindset of self-defense. They are like a thousand Wildebeests running away from a half-dozen lions. And that’s exactly what globalists want to see happen in the United States. And in many respects, it has ALREADY happened in the United States.
For all intents and purposes, many states and cities in America are gun-free zones. Men and women are not allowed to defend themselves. The media constantly bombards the minds of the American people with the philosophy that we must depend on government to defend us. Government personnel are always called “first responders.” They are NOT first responders. Private American citizens at the scene are the first responders. By the time government employees show up, most of the damage is already done.
Had the French government not stripped the French people of their ability to defend themselves--and had the males of Paris not lost the mental awareness and mental toughness necessary to defend themselves--the loss of life in Paris would have been much less.
At about the same time that a disarmed Paris was being turned into a bloodbath, the Greensboro, North Carolina, Police Department was teaming up with Destiny Christian Center to ask residents to sign a “Pledge of Non-Violence” and to turn in their guns." Once again, we find American police agencies and state churches (via their 501c3 non-profit organization status) teaming up to try and disarm the American citizenry. No doubt, the pastor of this so-called church quoted Romans 13 to justify this Hitlerian conduct.
So, here would be my response if a police agency requested that I ask my fellowship to participate in such an activity (ha ha):
“First, Mr. Police Chief, will your department take a ‘Pledge of Non-Violence’ and turn in its guns?
“Every day, policemen throughout America commit acts of violence including the use of firearms. Let's assume for a minute that violence was justified in every single instance (which it's not). Why is it right and proper for a policeman to violently use a firearm in self-defense and not a citizen? Does not the Natural Law of self-defense apply equally to every human being, regardless of profession? Are policemen a privileged class?
“Second, Mr. Police Chief, do you really expect the criminal class in our community to sign a ‘Pledge of Non-Violence’ and turn in their guns?
“It is proven beyond all reasonable doubt (by reasonable people) that a disarmed society only encourages violence. Asking non-violent people to disarm doesn't discourage violence; it invites it.
“These pledges of non-violence and appeals for citizen disarmament are NOT intended to reduce crime; they are intended to make the populace more dependent on government. It's not about crime; it's about control.
“Mr. Police Chief, I respectfully decline your invitation. In fact, I think I will encourage the attendees of my fellowship this Sunday to go out and purchase a firearm. Oh, and I don't advise that your police department disarm either.”
The Paris attacks, the refugee crisis, ISIS, a world on the verge of global war: it’s all a manipulated contrivance of the globalist elite to eviscerate freedom and usher in Huxley’s “Brave New World,” aka George H.W. Bush’s “New World Order.” Folks, get your eyes off of the Wizard and start looking for the man (men) behind the curtain, because that’s the real enemy.
------------- Dr. Chuck Baldwin is the Pastor of Liberty Fellowship in Kalispell, Montana. Dr. Baldwin is Talk Radio Show Host for " Chuck Baldwin Live.” He addresses current event topics from a conservative Christian point of view.and is a writer/columnist whose articles and political commentaries are carried by a host of Internet sites, newspapers, news magazines and the ARRA News Service. Tags:Chuck Baldwin, The Paris Attack, observationsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Saudis Planning For A War Of Attrition In Europe With Russia's Oil Industry
by Nick Cunningham: Russia's central bank recently warned about the growing financial risks to the Russian economy from Saudi Arabia encroaching upon its traditional export market for crude oil. Russia sends 70 percent of its oil to Europe, but Saudi Arabia has been making inroads in the European market amid the oil price downturn.
The result is a heavier discount for Russia's crude oil, the so-called Urals blend. Bloomberg reported that the Urals typically lands in Rotterdam, a major European destination, at a discount to Brent of around $2 or less. But the discount has widened to $3.50 lately due to increased competition from Saudi Arabia. "Oil supplies to Europe from Saudi Arabia are probably adversely affecting Urals prices," the Russian central bank warned in a recent report.
Russian officials have accused Saudi Arabia of "dumping" its oil in Europe, a move that Rosneft chief Igor Sechin said would "backfire."
Russia's economy has been battered by the collapse in crude prices, compounded by the screws of western sanctions. The Russian economy could shrink by 3.2 percent this year.
Oil exports account for around half of the revenue taken in by the Russian government. And for an economy so dependent on oil, it is no surprise that the plummeting crude oil price has led to a dramatic depreciation of the ruble, although over the past month the currency regained some lost ground. The weakening currency has pushed up inflation, which creates a conundrum for the Russian central bank.
To stop the ruble from plunging further and to keep inflation from spiraling ever upwards, the Russian central bank took aggressive action by hiking interest rates to as high as 17 percent at the beginning of 2015. However, that has negatively impacted the economy. As the ruble stabilized, the bank dialed the interest rate back to 11 percent, where it stands today.
In response to the tough financial circumstances that Russia has found itself in, it sees no choice but to squeeze as much oil out of its aging fields as it can. So far, it has succeeded to some extent. Russian oil production is expected to rise by a modest 70,000 barrels per day in 2015, averaging 10.75 million barrels per day (mb/d) over the course of this year. Output hit a post-Soviet record of 10.78 mb/d in October, according to OPEC's latest monthly report.
However, the upside to Russia's oil production is limited. The Russian government needs revenue, so is not keen to cut taxes. The government is mulling a delay in the planned cut in export taxes, which, according to OPEC, could result in oil companies paying an additional $2 to $3 billion more in taxes. That could modestly cut into overall Russian oil production, perhaps pushing output down by 0.1 to 0.2 mb/d. In any case, Russia probably can't boost output any further. OPEC predicts Russia's oil production will remain flat through next year.
Globally, the competition between oil exporters won't ease in the near term. There are still too many barrels of crude floating around. OPEC predicts that non-OPEC supply will contract by just 0.13 mb/d in 2016, a rather trivial amount considering the extreme cut backs in investment and drilling activity.
Despite the fact that OPEC officials have consistently put on a brave face in public, insisting that markets will balance relatively quickly, OPEC's numbers tell a different story. The cartel sees U.S. shale contracting by just 100,000 barrels per day in 2016 from 2015, a volume that is nearly offset by several new projects beginning operations in the Gulf of Mexico.
Which brings us back to Europe. Saudi Arabia could be playing a longer game, intensifying its market share strategy by encroaching on Russia's traditional market in Europe. An increase in Saudi oil flowing to Europe threatens to undermine Russia's principle market. In its November report, OPEC reported that the Urals discount to Brent "almost tripled in October amid plentiful supplies, sagging refinery margins and wide availability of alternative grades from the Middle East."
--------------- Nick Cunningham is a Vermont-based writer on energy and environmental issues and author of this article which was contributed by James Stafford the editor of OilPrice.com, the leading online energy news site, to the ARRA News Service. Tags:Nick Cunningham, James Stafford, Oilprice.com, Saudi Arabia, Saudis, war of attrition, Europe, Russia, oil industryTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Tags:Editorial Cartoon,y AF Branco, the end game, ISIS Trojan Horse, Syrian, regugeesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
In The Aftermath Of Paris, We Need To Heed Forest Gump
by Lt. Colonel James G. Zumwalt: In the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attack killing 129 and possibly more, two lessons are worth noting-one of historical origin; the other mythological.
The first took place in post-war Vietnam.
As the post-war tourism wave hit Vietnam, among various war collectors' items that abounded were U.S. issued military identification "dog tags."
They were authentically manufactured in U.S. government addressograph machines; but the tags were not wartime issued as the machines had been abandoned when the U.S. left Vietnam in 1975. Once Vietnamese entrepreneurs discovered the machines, they made the tags, subjecting them to a quick weathering process, and sold them to naïve tourists as authentic, wartime memorabilia.
What relevance does this have to the Paris attacks?
While details are still emerging concerning the attacks, two facts quickly came to the fore: ISIS claimed responsibility and at least one of the terrorists involved held a Syrian passport. These two facts are mutually supportive of each other.
Just like authentically made but not wartime-made U.S. dog tags in Vietnam, ISIS has a similar capability to issue authentically made but not Syrian government-issued passports.
This brings us to a second lesson.
Mythology records how long ago the Greeks deceived the Trojans as they appeared to withdraw after a ten-year siege of Troy, leaving a huge wooden horse outside the city walls. Accepting the horse as a gift left by an enemy for a worthy opponent, the Trojans claimed their prize. Only later did they learn their folly as they were overpowered by Greek warriors hiding within.
With hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing to Europe and soon to the U.S., Trojan horses are among them.
Taking advantage of a Western culture that welcomes the oppressed with open arms, ISIS hides its operatives within the mass of refugees, providing them with passports and other official-looking Syrian documentation, positioning them to repeat the Paris attacks elsewhere.
And, it is not just the ISIS fighters hiding within a Trojan horse about whom we need be concerned.
What is most telling about a culture is how it treats its own.
The West is opening its borders to refugees who are overwhelmingly young Muslim males (at least 70 percent) who fit the ISIS profile and who have abandoned wives and children leaving them to face alone the Islamists they themselves fear confronting. Yet this is acceptable within a faith in which women are deemed inferior and, therefore, warrant little attention other than meeting a male Muslim's sexual needs. It also is justified by Muslim clerics who preach few Muslim women make it to paradise anyway.
Damning too is that there is a frighteningly large minority of Syrian refugees-despite fleeing from ISIS-who support the group's ideology.
The Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies reported conclusions in "the largest public opinion poll conducted in the Arab region" that 13 percent of Syrian refugees sympathize with ISIS. Another 10 percent have a mixed or lukewarm opinion-i.e., one not entirely negative-of ISIS. Thus, among Syrian refugees alone, 23 percent would be susceptible to ISIS recruiting.
This correlates very closely with another recent poll that reports 25 percent of Muslims already here in the U.S. believe violence against Americans in the name of global jihad is justified.
An inherent danger of the Syrian refugee Trojan horse is acknowledged by FBI Director James Comey. When asked by the House Judiciary Committee how undocumented refugees could be vetted, he responded, "The only thing we can query is information that we have. And so if we have no information on someone, they've never crossed our radar screen, never been a ripple in the pond, there will be no record of them there. And so it will be challenging."
It is doubtful the Paris attacks will curb President Obama's plan to ultimately resettle 100,000 Syrian refugees in the U.S., among whom an estimated 25,000 ISIS sympathizers will be hiding within Trojan horses.
At a time America is engulfed in turmoil stirred up by protagonist groups such as Black Lives Matter and spoiled college students seeking safe spaces from reality, why invite into our fold a group that will only create real-rather than imagined-social ills and security risks for all Americans?
Should the Paris attacks not result in the West putting the skids on Muslim immigration, the words of Forest Gump will prove most profound, "Stupid is as stupid does."
------------- Lt. Colonel James G. Zumwalt, USMC (Ret.), is a retired Marine infantry officer who served in the Vietnam war, the U.S. invasion of Panama and the first Gulf war. He is the author of "Bare Feet, Iron Will--Stories from the Other Side of Vietnam's Battlefields," "Living the Juche Lie: North Korea's Kim Dynasty" and "Doomsday: Iran--The Clock is Ticking." He frequently writes on foreign policy and defense issues. This article was provided by Family Security Matters and a version of this piece previously appeared on The Hill. Tags:James G. Zumwalt, Family Security Matters, aftermath, Paris, Forest Gump, stupidTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Josh Siegel: Wanting to show assertiveness in the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks, the House overwhelmingly passed a bill to block Syrian and Iraqi refugees from entering the U.S. unless they pass strict background checks.
In a rush before Thanksgiving to comfort nervous constituents back home, Republicans were boosted by the support of 47 Democrats, who provided enough votes to override a promised veto by President Barack Obama.
The legislation, passed by a 289-137 margin, puts pressure on Senate Democrats, whose leader, Sen. Harry Reid, believes that his chamber has the votes to block the bill from being considered.
“For us to sit back and say we are being too harsh, I am here to say we have been too soft for too long, and we have emboldened terrorists,” Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., told The Daily Signal. “We are in crisis management now. I don’t want to be on the receiving line where I lost one of my constituents because they weren’t taken care of.”
Reid, D-Nev.; the Obama administration; and other supportive lawmakers argue that the resettlement vetting process is already rigorous, especially for Syrians, and that Republicans and moderate Democrats are trying to score political points by playing into people’s fears.
“The process that is currently in place is thorough and robust and long as it is fully implemented and not diluted, it will allow us to safely admit the most vulnerable refugees while protecting the American people,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on the House floor.
The current vetting process for Syrian refugees can take up to two years and involves multiple agencies and an in-person interview. Just over 2,100 Syrian refugees have settled in the U.S. since 2012, according to the State Department, and the Obama administration plans to admit 10,000 this fiscal year.
The new security procedure proposed by the House bill would force the FBI director, in consultation with the secretary of Homeland Security and the director of National Intelligence, to assure Congress that every refugee admitted from Syria and Iraq is not a security threat.
Though the House refugee bill, called the “America SAFE Act of 2015,” would only temporarily pause the resettlement program until the screening procedures are implemented, Obama insists that the new checks are unrealistic to perform and would effectively mean that the U.S. would close its doors to refugees fleeing war-torn countries.
“We are not well served when, in response to a terrorist attack, we descend into fear and panic,” Obama said this week. “We don’t make good decisions if it’s based on hysteria or an exaggeration of risks. Apparently they [Republicans] are scared of widows and orphans coming into the United States of America.”
FBI Director James Comey has told lawmakers that Syrian refugees are particularly hard to screen because the country has few criminal terrorist and criminal databases to check.
On Thursday, Comey said it would be “very, very difficult” for him to personally approve every applicant and assure that “there is zero risk,” as the House bill requires.
Still, many Republicans value Comey as an “honest” nonpartisan actor in Obama’s administration, according to Rep. John Fleming, R-La., so they are eager for him to take a more active role in the screening process.
“It’s going to be hard for Senate Democrats to go home and explain why they won’t support this enhanced process and protect American citizens,” Fleming told The Daily Signal. “They will be under tremendous pressure. If this thing is sent to the president’s desk and he refuses to sign, and we have a situation like Paris, and this bill would have protected U.S. citizens, everyone knows the president would have blood on his hands.”
Some members of Congress believe that lawmakers should focus on reforming other, more vulnerable programs, like the visa waiver process that allows short-term visitors from 38 countries—like France—to visit the U.S. with fewer security checks.
Sens. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz, and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., will soon introduce legislation tightening the visa waiver program to not allow people who have traveled to Syria or Iraq in the past five years to enter the U.S. this way.
Congress will also be under more pressure to consider updating the AUMF (Authorization of Military Force) that Obama is currently using to conduct his airstrike campaign against the Islamic State, or ISIS, in Iraq and Syria.
“The refugee issue is more a symptom of a failure of by the U.S. and Europe to develop a coherent and effective policy against ISIS,” Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa., told The Daily Signal. “That’s the bigger problem. Even though I support the legislation we just passed, and it’s a good first step, it would be mistaken for us to focus all our energy on the refugee issue and ignore this broader policy failure.”
If the Senate filibusters the refugee bill, or Obama vetoes it, the issue and potential other security-related measures will likely become a part of a debate next month over must-pass government spending bills that need to be approved by Dec. 11.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Thursday that the appropriations process will feature debate over policy riders, and members say he is open to including measures related to refugees and national security.
“We have to put a limitation on funding [Syrian refugees] in the omnibus, and I think Ryan is willing,” Fleming said. “I think this administration is so out of tune with the American people. When people feel like they can’t be safe, in subways, cafés, and theaters, that rises above any political consideration.”
------------- Josh Siegel (@SiegelScribe) is the news editor for The Daily Signal Tags:U.S. House, security screenings, Syrian refugees, Josh Siegel, The Daily Signal, Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House,To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Today in Washington, D.C. - Nov. 20, 2015 The President is still out of the country. Today he is in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Since its independence, Malaysia has had one of the best economic records in Asia, with its GDP growing at an average of 6.5% per annum for almost 50 years. Unlike America, Malysia has an official religion: Sunni Islam. On Sunday, Nov. 22, the President will hold a press conference from Kuala Lumpur.
The House has adjourned for Thanksgiving and will return for legislative business at 2:00 p.m. on Monday November 30, 2015
As reported previously, before adjouning yesterday, the House passed: H.R. 4038 (242-183) - "To require that supplemental certifications and background investigations be completed prior to the admission of certain aliens as refugees, and for other purposes." H.R. 3189 (241 - 185) — "To amend the Federal Reserve Act to establish requirements for policy rules and blackout periods of the Federal Open Market Committee, to establish requirements for certain activities of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and to amend title 31, United States Code, to reform the manner in which the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System is audited, and for other purposes." The bill would require the Federal Reserve to explain publicly its monetary policy, specifically how it sets interests rates and the country’s money supply.
The Senate has also adjourned for Thanksgiving and will return for legislative business on Monday, November 30th. During the recess, senators will be traveling in their states to meet with constituents.
Yesterday, the Senate voted 95-0 to confirm Peter Bodde to be Ambassador to Libya. Also confirmed by voice vote were ambassadors to Tajikistan, Oman, Uganda, Swaziland, and Mozambique. In addition, two nominees to be Associate Judges of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, Victoria Lipnic to be a member of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and Mike Michaud to be Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' Employment and Training were all confirmed by voice vote.
Also yesterday, the Senate passed by unanimous consent H.R. 3996, a two week extension of highway and transit programs, as a conference committee continues working on a new highway bill. Tags:Congress, President Obama, Thanksgiving recessTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Hasna Ait Boulahcen who blew herself up with a suicide belt is the cousin of Abdelhamid Abaaoud the mastermind of the Paris Attacks
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: The House Rebukes Obama - Despite President Obama's overseas temper tantrums and veto threats, a bi-partisan, veto-proof majority of the House of Representatives voted yesterday to approve legislation demanding more security checks on refugees from Syria and Iraq.
In a major rebuke to Obama, 47 House Democrats sided with the GOP majority in supporting this bill. Now consider this excerpt from the beltway publication The Hill: "The Obama administration's eleventh-hour bid to rally Democrats against Syrian refugee legislation backfired on Thursday. . . A number of Democrats who were on the fence about the bill decided to vote yes after hearing administration officials make the case against it."That's very telling. The more the administration tried to reassure House Democrats about the quality of the existing refugee vetting program, the less safe some of them felt!
While I think this legislation falls short of what we should be doing, it tells you a lot about the left that even this modest proposal is being castigated by Obama and the media with suggestions that it doesn't reflect our values, plays on fears, amounts to demagoguery, etc. (More on that below.)
The government's first responsibility is to secure the homeland and not subject its citizens to unnecessary risks. Yet this is condemned by the president, many of his allies and leading media personalities.
The left seems to have an immune deficiency disease that makes it incapable of protecting people from the virulent virus of radical Islam.
The refugee bill now heads to the Senate where Democrat Leader Harry Reid is threatening a filibuster. So the battle is far from over.
At least someone is learning from the Paris attacks. Check out this Washington Post headline: "European Countries Agree To Strict New Steps To Secure Borders."
About That Religious Test - Barack Obama says it is un-American to have a religious test in our refugee policy. But as we have pointed out, American law already states that we must have a religious test in deciding whether a certain group is in danger and should be given sanctuary. Here's a quote right from the State Department's web site about U.S. refugee policy: "Under U.S. law, a refugee must have a well-founded fear of persecution based on one of the five 'protected grounds': Religion, Political opinion, Race, Nationality, Membership in a particular social group."Notice the very first category of "protected grounds" -- RELIGION!
Previous administrations have followed that rule for Soviet Jews, Catholics from Vietnam and Christians and Jews in Iran. It is Obama who is not reflecting America's values (or the law) when he insists that we should not have a religious test for refugees.
Here's something else to consider. Muslim refugees have a lot of options -- Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, etc. Christians and Yazidis have no comparable haven in the Middle East. So again, priority ought to be given to Christians and Yazidis.
Instead of accepting the left's terms of the debate, I hope our friends in Congress start making these points and stop rushing to assure their critics that our proposals don't include preferences for Christians.
Yes, It Is About Islam - This morning, Islamic terrorists stormed the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako, the capital of the west African nation of Mali. The hotel was targeted because it was well-known for being frequented by westerners and foreign diplomats.
Reuters reports that at least two dozen people are dead. A counterattack, led by U.S. Special Forces, is reportedly underway. Twenty-two Americans have been freed.
Several witnesses said that some hostages were released if they were able to accurately quote the Koran. Apparently the Mali terrorists didn't get the president's memo that this kind of terrorism has nothing to do with Islam. The jihadists, who yelled their supremacist battle cry "Allahu Akbar," believe that it has everything to do with Islam.
We are learning more about Hasna Ait Boulahcen (photo above), the woman who blew herself up in Paris. She reportedly had a difficult childhood, but her foster mother recalls Boulahcen "applauding in front of the [television]" when news of the 9/11 attacks in New York City broke.
She apparently liked to drink, smoke and wear cowboy hats . . . until a few months ago when she underwent a "dramatic conversion to radical Islam." Then she became willing to kill the infidel.
------------- 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 U.S. House, Rebukes Obama, Syrian Refugees, terrorists, religious Test, Islam, terroristsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Months ago, President Obama simply announced that "we" would take 10,000 refugees. After last Friday's terrorist attack in Paris, and upon evidence that one of the perpetrators came into Europe with other refugees, 31 governors declared that their states will not accept Syrian refugees. [Editor's Note: Only 14 state Governors has said Okay to Syrian Refugees & 32nd state's newly elected governor he will oppose taking refugees - more info here]
But note: this country doesn't belong to Obama; those states don't belong to those governors.
Back in September, I floated a different approach. "If I were president, I'd push for Congress to pass legislation specifically authorizing the acceptance of as many Syrian refugees as [Americans] stepped forward to sponsor. . . ."
"Sponsors could be individuals, families, churches, glee clubs, what-have-you, and would agree to cover costs for the Syrian person or family for one year or two or three," I proposed. "But no welfare, no food stamps, no government housing. . . ."
Granted, my suggestion came before the latest terrorism. It was aimed not at security concerns but at sparing taxpayers. Why shouldn't voluntary generosity dictate the extent of "our" generosity?
But come to think of it, my plan offers greater security, too. Why? It involves the personal faces of citizens, not merely a faceless bureaucracy. No matter how much vetting the government does, an ongoing link to an actual American provides another check.
There's a legitimate debate about security vs. compassion. Millions are in need, displaced by terror -- from both Daesh (ISIS) and the Assad regime. The Niskanen Center's David Bier notes the resistance to accepting Jewish refugees prior to and during World War II, out of fear some might be spies. Christians may find Matthew 25:44-45 compelling.
On the other hand, there is undeniable risk. GOP presidential aspirants have called taking Syrian refugees "insane" and "looney." Speaker Paul Ryan argues for a "better safe than sorry" pause.
Me? I support accepting the risk . . . but only if committed individual citizens step forward.
Not by any politician's decree.
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, security vs. Compassion, Syrian refugees, ISIS, terriristsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
“Many people signing up for 2016 health policies under the Affordable Care Act face higher premiums, fewer doctors and skimpier coverage, which threatens the appeal of the program for the healthy customers it needs. Insurers have raised premiums steeply for the most popular plans at the same time they have boosted out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles, copays and coinsurance in many of their offerings.” (“Rising Rates Pose Challenge to Health Law,” The Wall Street Journal, 11/19/15)
‘Sticker Shock’ – ‘Insurers Have Raised Premiums Steeply For The Most Popular Plans’
“Premiums for individual plans offered by the dominant local insurers are rising almost everywhere for 2016, typically by double-digit percentage increases, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of plan data in 34 states where the HealthCare.gov site sells insurance. More than half of the midrange ‘silver’ plans are boosting the out-of-pocket costs enrollees must pay, while more than 80% of the less-expensive ‘bronze’ plans are doing so. The Obama administration has acknowledged that premiums are going up, releasing an official analysis that, by one metric, showed the price of second-lowest-cost silver plans was rising 7.5% on average for 2016.” (“Rising Rates Pose Challenge to Health Law,” The Wall Street Journal, 11/19/15)
Ban All Visas For Travelers From Countries With ISIS Presence
"The U.S. is a sovereign country, not a taxpayer-funded treatment facility for foreign terrorists fleeing civil wars." ~ Mike Huckabee
Hold It! The U.S. Is
A Sovereign Country!
by Former Gov. Mike Huckabee: President Barack Obama has shown incompetence in the face of radical Islamic terrorists, like those responsible for Friday's attacks in Paris. We need to take care of Americans and defend our communities first.
Why invest billions to defeat enemies abroad only to transplant terrorists to American soil? The U.S. is a sovereign country, not a taxpayer-funded treatment facility for foreign terrorists fleeing civil wars.
Sadly, our president has erased Syria's "red line" and rolled out the red carpet for possible radical refugees on American soil. Granted, there are genuinely desperate people escaping from war-torn areas and the savagery of Islamic jihadism. But establishing refugee camps near the areas these folks fled makes more sense than moving them thousands of miles without a proper system to determine if they are indeed refugees.
Europe's experiment with open borders collided with radical Islamic terrorism on Friday, producing the most bloodshed in Paris since WWII. One of the terrorists responsible for the attacks in France is believed to be a Syrian refugee and others are believed to have trained there. Paris should be a wake-up call for the Washington establishment and many in the GOP who support open borders and out-of-control amnesty.
At last week's Republican debate I was mocked by the media and the chattering class for opposing Obama's refugee relocation plan. Our country is $19 trillion in debt and America faces high unemployment levels. We need to take care of Americans first-not foreign refugees.
In the face of continued ISIS threats, it's time for common sense. Middle Eastern countries need to accept responsibility and tackle their own refugee problems in their own back yard. And the U.S. needs to get serious.
First, we must immediately ban ALL visas for travelers and tourists from any country with a significant ISIS or al-Qaeda presence.
Second, we must reject all Syrian refugees to America. It makes no sense to relocate these refugees half way around the world. Some misguided Republicans think we should just ban Syrian Muslims from coming to the U.S. But terrorists will say anything to infiltrate America - including lying about their religion. Trusting the Obama administration to process these refugees puts American lives in danger.
Third, we must immediately secure our borders and build the southern border fence with Mexico today. A country that cannot control its borders is not a country. No more excuses.
Lastly, Republicans in Washington must hold Obama's feet to the fire. For once, they must stand strong and reject Obama's power-play on refugees.
Regardless of what this White House says, we are not at war with militant Methodists, extremist Episcopalians, or radicalized Roman Catholics. We are at war with Islamic jihadists. And it's time we identify our enemy by name and start waging a winning war.
----------------------- Mike Huckabee is the former Governor of Arkansas and Republican candidate for President. This Op-Ed for Time was shared by his campaign with the ARRA News Service. Tags:Governor, Mike Huckabee, Op-Ed, ban all visas, travelers, countries, ISIS presence, Republican, candidate, president, candidate, 2016To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Tags:Editorial Cartoon, AF Branco, Paris terrorist attack, ISIS, GOP, President Obama, number one enemyTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Jeff Dunetz: Solar energy is the latest example of every time the U.S. government picks winners and losers in the marketplace, the big loser is the American taxpayer.
By 2017 the federal crutch for the solar industry (tax credits) expires and according to many different sources the solar energy industry will collapse like a house of cards.“Solar power’s value as a grid resource is limited because we simply can’t count on it to meet peak demand in the evenings,” Travis Fischer, economist at the Institute for Energy Research, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “In fact, solar power could cause major problems if implemented on a wide scale due to its daytime-only production profile.”The Solar power industry has shown strong growth since Obama became president but but because the solar panels and their installation is so expensive, that growth has been been heavily supported by taxpayer supported government incentives.The 30 percent investment tax credit for solar power will expire at the end of 2016, threatening the long term future of the industry. The solar industry has been expanding in the U.S. with installations up 30 percent on the year, according to The Wall Street Journal. But critics warn that much of this success is due to government efforts to pick winners and losers in energy and cast solar power as an updated and modern technology.But here’s the rub, solar energy is not that new and modern:“Advocates like to leave the impression that solar power is an exciting, new technology with a limitless future. In reality, solar power is not new–photovoltaic solar panels date back to 1883,” said Fischer.
Experts warn that ending the subsidy will devastate solar power and could cost the industry thousands of jobs. Bloomberg estimates a two-thirds drop in solar installations in 2017 if the credit expires, reports The Wall Street Journal. According to Energy Information Administration data, rooftop installations could plummet 94 percent while utility scale projects could drop by 100 percent.And while the progressives like Obama keep talking about the “rich” needing to do their fair share, because of the expense of setting up solar panels those solar energy tax credits are going to wealthier families with larger houses. Gee that’s not very liberal of them.
And as it represents such a tiny amount of U.S. electricity, (0.004 of the total output) there is doubt to whether it will ever be an important part of the future U.S. energy source.“Despite being heavily subsidized by handouts like the investment tax credit, solar power still makes up only a small fraction of the electricity we need to keep the lights on,” said Fischer.The solar energy field looks as if it will go the way of another Obama turkey, the Chevy Volt. Since its introduction, General Motors hasn’t been able give away the Chevy Volt. Despite rebates and heavy government subsidies sales of the “plug-in hybrid” continue to be way below projections.
In 2013, General Motors announced it was going to knock another $5,000 off the sticker price of a new Chevy Volt, making it the latest electric car to be steeply discounted as automakers battle to find any suckers er..consumers, who will purchase their cars even with tax credits and a steep discount.
A May 2015 report in The Detroit Free Press said the Volt sales have seen a huge 46% decline compared to 2014’s lousy sales, and that’s with a $7,500 federal tax credit.
The issue with the forced solar energy market is the same as the electric car market.
Generally, in a free marketplace, consumer pressure forces the manufacturer to develop superior products at a cheaper cost. But thanks to all the help it is getting from the American taxpayers (thanks to Obama), the incentive is not as strong. Sales for electric cars haven’t taken off despite the incentives, the solar marketplace is destined to fail once the incentives go away because it uses technology that is more than a century old.
America’s choice is to continue to prop up these industries, or allow the marketplace force a better product at cheaper costs.
------------- Jeff Dunetz is Editor and an conservative author at The Lid Tags:Jeff Dunetz, The Kid, Cheap Solar Energy, Obama Fraud editorial cartoon, Michael RamirezTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Strike Back At ISIS and All Form of Islamic Extremism
by Ken Blackwell, Contributing Author: In leading his country in the confrontation of a unique set of challenges Winston Churchill famously said: “This is no time for ease and comfort. It is the time to dare and endure.”
Scenes of Pregnant women hanging from the balcony of a Paris concert hall and screaming for help on an otherwise serene Friday evening; young men desperately pulling the severely wounded down to the street to save their lives; blood-drenched public spaces; chaos: all of this is too familiar. It was sadly reminiscent of what we experienced and endured on 9/11.
And it was the product of the same enemy: Islamic extremism.
The urgency of confronting this growing menace has never been greater.
Amidst growing outrage and justified calls for action one has to be careful not to equate the savagery of Islamic extremists with Islam or Muslims as a whole. This would be a huge mistake and would simply play into the hands of extremists, further complicating the already complex situation.
It is of great significance that moderate Muslims have been the primary and first victims of Islamic extremists. A case in point is in Iran, where the ruling ayatollahs have executed 120,000 dissidents, primarily activists of the People’s Mojahedin organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), the principal Iranian opposition movement and representatives of a moderate interpretation of Islam.
Maryam Rajavi strongly condemned the terrorist attacks and massacre of defenseless people in Paris as “crimes against humanity” in the first hours after the carnage. Mrs. Rajavi is the president of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, the political coalition that includes the MEK as its largest constituent group.
She offered her condolences to the French President, government and people and in a compassionate message and said:“Today, our hearts bleed for the French nation. The people of Iran deeply feel the bitterness of these crimes. In these difficult moments, the Iranian people can empathize with the French people and share their grief, because for the past 37 years they have been suffering under the religious and terrorist dictatorship, which is the Godfather of ISIS.”Rajavi has also emphasized that fundamentalism has nothing to do with Islam, whether that fundamentalism takes the form of absolute rule by Shiite clerics or Sunni extremism like that of ISIS. Thus, in her statement she called on “all Muslims to strongly condemn the crimes committed in Paris and to not allow the conduct of these ruthless terrorists to occur in the name of Islam and Muslims.”
The target of the Islamic extremists is not limited to the US, or France, or Europe. The target is the entire West and all of its values and achievements. So we have to hold firm and respond swiftly to ISIS. It has to be crushed with all available military, policing, and intelligence means, within the context of a cohesive, comprehensive, multi-faceted strategy.
There can be no compromise with such an entity. Experience has shown that making concessions to terrorists, extremists and fundamentalists is a recipe for disaster. It would embolden them to continue their crimes with even more vigor.
To defeat ISIS at its core, it is essential to realize that it was able to grow and control a large swath of land by exploiting a particular situation.
The main hub for the growth of ISIS has been in Syria. The regime of Bashar-al-Assad provided the suitable political and social ground for the growth of ISIS through the killing of 300,000 innocent Syrians who demanded nothing but freedom and democracy. It also forced more than half of the Syrian population out of their land.
As long as this dictatorship rules in Damascus, ISIS will continue to survive and it will be able to export its bloodbaths from the Middle East to Europe as we witnessed in Paris last week.
Thus an immediate, unconditional end to Assad’s rule is a prerequisite to permanently defeating ISIS. But getting rid of Assad cannot be achieved without addressing Tehran’s role.
Since the outbreak of the civil war, Tehran’s ayatollahs have been the main backer of Assad, providing all kinds of support, from dispatching large number of IRGC personnel (including some of its top brass), to providing military hardware, intelligence and huge financial assistance (by some estimates up to $15 billion annually).
Tehran’s senior officials, who view Damascus as an integral part of their survival strategy, have repeatedly said that without Tehran’s direct interference Damascus would have fallen a long time ago. It should come as no surprise that official Iranian media brazenly blamed the French government for the Paris attacks and urged it to ally itself with Bashar Assad.
And on this side of Atlantic, President Obama’s hands-off policy and “leading from behind” strategy has been a total failure. It has simply played into the hands of Tehran’s ayatollahs and their Russian friends.
Thinking that Iran can be an ally or partner in finding a lasting, durable solution to the Syrian catastrophe is as logical as asking an arsonist to help putting out the fire he started.
Islamic extremism can be defeated, both in the lands where ISIS is running rampant and in Iran where the ayatollahs have been espousing fundamentalist Shiism for the past 37 years.
In this fight, the West needs to be allied with moderate Muslin forces and leaders like Maryam Rajavi. This is part and parcel of any sound strategy.
But to crush ISIS, Assad’s unconditional removal is a must and there should be zero tolerance for Tehran and its meddling in Syria.
As Sun Tzu said in the Art of War, “In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.” In the midst of the present chaos, we can strip the Islamic extremists of the opportunity that they have sought, and turn the situation to our advantage instead. In fact, the entire arc of modern history may just depend upon our doing so.
------------------ Ken Blackwell is a former ambassador to the U.N., Ohio Secretary of State and mayor of Cincinnati. He is a contributing author to the ARRA News Service. Tags:Ken Blackwell, ISIS, Islamic extremism, strike backTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
This morning the House passed: H.R. 4038 (242-183) - "To require that supplemental certifications and background investigations be completed prior to the admission of certain aliens as refugees, and for other purposes." H.R. 3189 (241 - 185) — "To amend the Federal Reserve Act to establish requirements for policy rules and blackout periods of the Federal Open Market Committee, to establish requirements for certain activities of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and to amend title 31, United States Code, to reform the manner in which the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System is audited, and for other purposes." The bill would require the Federal Reserve to explain publicly its monetary policy, specifically how it sets interests rates and the country’s money supply.
On passage of H.R. 3189, the Fed Oversight Reform and Modernization Act, Speaker Ryan said, "If the Federal Reserve explained to the public how it made its decisions, the American people would have greater confidence in them. Families could better plan for the future, invest their money wisely, and create opportunity for all of us. I thank Chairman Hensarling and the Financial Services Committee for offering this commonsense legislation."
Yesterday the House passed: H.R. 1210 (255-174) — "To amend the Truth in Lending Act to provide a safe harbor from certain requirements related to qualified mortgages for residential mortgage loans held on an originating depository institution's portfolio, and for other purposes." H.R. 1737 (332-96) — "To nullify certain guidance of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection and to provide requirements for guidance issued by the Bureau with respect to indirect auto lending."
Today at his weekly press conference, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) discussed the fight against ISIS and the need to protect the American people from terrorists trying to take advantage of our refugee program.
“The first duty of our government is to keep the American people safe. That’s why, today, the House will vote on a plan to pause our Syrian refugee program. If our law enforcement and intelligence community cannot verify that each and every person coming here is not a security threat, then they shouldn’t be allowed in. Right now, the government can’t certify these standards, so this plan pauses the program. It’s a security test—not a religious test. This reflects our values. This reflects our responsibilities. And this is urgent. We cannot and should not wait to act—not when our national security is at stake.
“Often, in times of crisis, bills like these come together sort of haphazardly. That’s not the case here. The Homeland Security Committee has been looking at this issue all year long. It held hearings. It issued recommendations to deal with the very refugee problem we’re talking about today. Right after the attacks, the majority leader put together a task force of relevant committee chairs to draw upon this work. We had an intelligence committee briefing for our members. We reached out to our Democratic colleagues. We didn’t think of party labels when we mourned for France. We should do the same thing when protecting our country.
“This is an important first step. But we need to do more. Not just about the refugees, but in the fight against ISIS. The defense bill that we sent the president this week requires him to present a plan to defeat ISIS. In the meantime, our task force will continue the work on these grave challenges.”
The Senate reconvened at 10 AM today.
The Senate has resumed consideration of H.R. 2577, the Fiscal Year 2016 Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill.
At 2 PM the Senate began a series of votes on nominees to be ambassadors to Libya, Tajikistan, Oman, Uganda, Swaziland, and Mozambique.
The Senate today agreed by unanimous consent to pass H.R. 3996, a two week extension of highway and transit programs, as a conference committee continues working on a new highway bill.
Yesterday, the Senate voted 91-6 to invoke cloture on the motion to go to conference with the House on S. 1177, the Every Child Achieves Act. The Senate then agreed to the motion to go to conference by voice vote.
He said, “Years ago, then-candidate Obama made a campaign promise that has not withstood the measure of time or the realities brought by terrorism. He said he wanted to close the secure detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. . . .
“It turns out, the reality of closing the secure detention facility is a lot harder than making promises on the campaign trail. It’s an incredibly complex issue with grave national security concerns for the citizens of our country and our allies. The fact that the President has never been able to present any kind of serious plan to Congress seems to say a lot.
“We hear he’s finally working on one now. We will of course give consideration to what he sends. We will of course keep an open mind. It doesn’t mean Congress is going to agree with him — it’s going to be a very tough sell because it is hard to understand why indefinite detention for terrorists on United States soil is preferable to detaining terrorists who cannot be released in Guantanamo. This is especially true when one considers the fact that bringing terrorists here presents serious risks that simply do not exist if we keep the terrorists in the secure facility there.”
According to Roll Call, “The White House is pouring cold water on a report it is delaying a plan to close the terrorist detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, saying the blueprint remains under construction.
“A delay would amount to yet another blow to President Barack Obama’s quest to shutter the controversial prison and transfer some prisoners to U.S. soil. A senior administration official told CQ Roll Call Wednesday night the plan ‘will be delivered to Congress when complete’ because closing the facility ‘remains a priority for President Obama.’
“The plan was expected to be released late last week, but it never surfaced. With Obama traveling to Turkey then Asia this week, and with the Paris terrorist attacks only days old, conventional wisdom in Washington was the plan would be released after Obama’s return.
“But a Politico article published online late Wednesday afternoon stated the White House had decided to delay submitting its much-anticipated plan to Congress.”
The AP adds, “President Barack Obama vowed Thursday to work ‘meticulously’ with Congress to try to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center, and said he saw no reason for the Paris attacks to derail his long-planned push to make good on an unfulfilled campaign promise.
“Speaking to reporters at an economic summit, Obama suggested he still intended to submit a plan to Congress outlining a strategy to close Guantanamo, although he did not offer a time frame. The White House had hoped to send the plan to Congress this week, but the process is stalled over concern about cost estimates, officials said. . . .
“Obama said Thursday he's braced for opposition. ‘I guarantee you there will be strong resistance,’ he said. ‘Because in the aftermath of Paris, I think that there is just a very strong tendency for us to get worked up around issues that don't actually make us safer.
“Regardless of timing, the closure plan is unlikely to get much traction in Congress, where legislation prohibiting Obama from moving detainees to U.S. soil just passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.”
Leader McConnell pointed out, “This much is crystal clear though: If the President wants to be able to import Guantanamo terrorists into Americans’ backyards, he’s going to have to persuade a majority in Congress to change the law.
“Just last week, big bipartisan majorities in Congress voted twice to underline the point. We overwhelmingly passed a defense authorization bill with a clear, bipartisan prohibition on the President moving Guantanamo terrorists into our country. We overwhelmingly passed a veterans funding bill with a clear, bipartisan prohibition on the President improving military facilities for the detention of Guantanamo terrorists in our country.
“The Senate has voted many times in recent years to enact these bipartisan protections. We’ve enacted them in Congresses with split party control. We’ve enacted them in Congresses with massive Democratic majorities. The President has signed them into law.
“So if the President wants to bring Guantanamo terrorists into the United States, he has to change the law. That’s the opinion of the President’s own Attorney General. She was asked directly this week if the President could ignore legislation passed by Congress that prohibits him from transferring Guantanamo detainees to American soil. This is what she said.'The law currently does not allow for that.' Let me repeat that. ‘The law currently does not allow for that.’ This is what the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, a woman appointed by President Obama himself, had to say on his ability to import Guantanamo terrorists into our country.
“This isn’t exactly a revelation to anyone. The fact that the President is now contemplating flouting the law in pursuit of a campaign promise from years ago means that it’s apparently necessary for his own Attorney General to remind everyone that the law is the law.”
Leader McConnell concluded, “There are a multitude of other reasons not to bring these dangerous individuals into our country. I plan to continue reminding my colleagues of them here on the floor.
“If the President ever presents some kind of plan we can actually debate, I’m sure there will be several different views on it. I’m sure we’ll each have a lot to say. I’m sure the President will make his pitch to convince Congress that moving terrorists into American communities is a good idea.
“Like I said, it will be a hard sell. But the President should make his case if he feels passionately about it.
“For now though, we should all at least be able to agree with what one of our Democratic Senate colleagues recently said of the President: ‘He's going to have to comply with the legal restrictions.’” Tags:President Obama, GITMO, The House, Paul Ryan, National Security, National Defense, Terrorism, SyriaTo 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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