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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 25, 2016
No Easter Without Good Friday
by Norm Beznoska Jr., Contributing Author: The road to Calvary and the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ spanned a period of less than 24 hours from the time of the Last Supper, the Jewish Passover meal on Thursday evening, to Friday afternoon at 3:00 PM when Jesus breathed his last. But, the story of His death and resurrection still echoes down the hill side of Jerusalem throughout history. His story is just ‘alive today’ as it was when it happened at the place of the skull, ‘Golgotha’ in Jerusalem, some 2000 years ago.
Preceding His crucifixion, Jesus suffered hours of unimaginable torture; facial beatings at the hands of Temple guards in the sham courtroom of Caiaphas; brutal scourging ordered by Pilate, by two Roman soldiers with flagrums of nine leather thongs fitted with lead balls and sharp pieces of bone, that caused over 240 deep lacerations from the back of His neck to the soles of His feet, leaving a mutilated mass of torn muscle and hanging flesh; and a tremendous loss of blood causing hypovolemic shock. To further mock and humiliate Him, Roman soldiers fastened a “Crown of Thorns” with branches (from a wild hawthorn bush with long, sharp, hard thorns) to cover His entire scalp. The thorns penetrated the skin, and were driven more and more deeply into his head when He was struck repeatedly. A comedy of mock adoration was played out as the Romans and crowd yelled, roaring with laughter: “Hail, King of the Jews!” Yet, Jesus uttered no rebuke and accepted their vile treatment without response.
Carrying the heavy wooden cross opened severe wounds on His shoulders and more bleeding; He fell three times, breaking His nose, so breathing became almost impossible. Reaching His destination with the help of Simon the Cyrenean, He fell atop His cross. His arms were literally pulled out of their sockets by Roman soldiers to match the holes 9-inch nails would be driven through His wrists and ankles to hold Him fast to the cross. His executioners and the Scribes and Pharisees expected Him to cry and scream from the excruciating pain. They were sure the same man who preached “love your enemies’, and “do good to those who hurt you” would forget His own words and curse them. What they got instead, was “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” Forgive the very people who hate and are trying to kill you? Honestly, there’s no way I could.
Then, in that final, terrible moment when He was dying on the cross, taking on all the sins of the world, Jesus cried out like we do when we feel a sense of abandonment: “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” Questions I have asked “If God is so loving, why is there so much evil? Why didn’t He answer my prayers? Why did God take my Mother after weeks of suffering before she could her me say “I love you” one last time? Why? Jesus stands at the door and knocks, but the latch is on the inside; only we can open it.
For the last three hours on that “Good Friday’, Jesus had been about His Father’s business. His passion and death avail us nothing unless we take up our cross and follow Him. Unless there is a ‘Crown of Thorns’, there will never be a glorified body; unless there is the thirst, there will never be the Heavenly refreshment. Jesus work is finished, but is ours? For unless there is a “Good Friday’ in our lives, there will never be an Easter Sunday.
--------------------------- Norm Beznoska Jr., aka Navyman Norm, is a Strongsville, OH resident . He contributes to the ARRA News Service via articles and Letters to the Editor. Editor's Note: Norm provided this excellent article in 2014 and it is being shared again on this Good Friday - 2016. Tags:Easter, Good Friday, ARRA News Service, Norm Beznoska, Navyman NormTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Trump Vs. Cruz, High Stakes Poker Not 'Brokered' Convention
by Ralph Benko, Contributing Author: There is a rising discussion about whether there may be a “brokered” GOP nominating convention in Cleveland. Might a party faction be able to deny the nomination to the front runner or, even, to any of the leading delegate holders? Rumors abound that the Party Establishment is looking to hand the nomination to the 2012 nominee Mitt Romney. Not a credible scenario.
A scorched earth attempt to deny the nomination to the leading contenders would be political suicide for the GOP. The Trump enthusiasts, and the Conservative Faithful (among whom I proudly am counted), would be alienated by such a move. The GOP would go to historic defeat.
Of course the Party insiders wish to retain their control… at all costs. As Satan, formerly known as Lucifer, said, in Paradise Lost: “Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven.” Saul Alinsky call your office. Won’t happen.
Speculation about a brokered convention may be a parlor game. Either Donald Trump or, just remotely possibly, Ted Cruz yet might secure the requisite 1,237 votes to secure a first ballot nomination or become so dominant as to be unstoppable. Farewell Establishment! Don't let the door hit you on the way out.
In the event of a technical shortfall Trump will and Cruz just might, have sufficient delegates to “broker” the convention themselves, adding the delegates of a rival sufficient to put one of them over the top. Period.
The next step will be to achieve party unity. Trump has proved himself — over the course of a lifetime — a shrewd negotiator. He does whatever it takes to win. Will he — can he — provide sufficient credible assurances to pull the bulk of conservatives back from the #NeverTrump brink?
... Alternatively, not a few see Trump as a Supervillain.
... Donald Trump recently said, on Fox News’ Hannity, “I mean, everything’s negotiable.” This perfect ambiguity is entirely consistent with how Donald Trump has lived his entire recorded life. That causes observers to see him, depending on their point of view, as Superhero … or Supervillain.Trump could reach out to Cruz (or, possibly, Kasich's delegates or even Rubio's) to put himself over the top … perhaps in return for the vice presidency, no small prize. (Marco Rubio, who failed to endorse Ted Cruz when it might have changed the electoral calculus, and who as widely anticipated lost his native Florida, alas does not now appear likely to be much of a factor.)
In a contested convention with Trump leading Ted Cruz would offer, as VP-designate if he will take it, the powerful advantage of bringing with him the conservative base. Unless rank and file conservatives are stoked to turn out to vote on November 6th Republican victory prospects in the general election are diminished. Cruz would seem to be holding the high cards in the Veepstakes.
John Kasich has the advantage of bringing with him Ohio’s electoral college votes plus impressive Congressional experience and a distinguished track record of executive branch public service as governor of Ohio. These are not inconsiderable assets for the general election. Yet the impressive Kasich somehow does not excite the conservative base.
It may be that Ted Cruz will have enough delegates to make a deal with Kasich, sidelining Trump and creating a right-center-right unity ticket. Such a ticket would, of course, require a heroic effort to bring in the Trump enthusiasts. Possibility.
Let it be noted that Trump — however ruthless in the course of negotiation — has a long history of not being a sore loser. He does not, win or lose, typically conduct vendettas against his opponents. He pivots to his next opportunity. This has served him very well.
The apparently probable scenario places Trump solidly in the delegate lead. In that case he will face a conundrum in seeking to unite the GOP behind him while pivoting to pocket the presidency. As my above-referenced column observed,The evidence on the nature of Trump’s character is ambiguous. Superhero? Or Supervillain? … Nominating him for, and electing him, president would be a high stakes riverboat gamble.Trump alone would have the power to provide assurances to the conservative base that nominating him would not, in fact, be a high stakes riverboat gamble. Can he do so? Will he?
Trump already has begun at attempt to pivot to the general election. As Megan McCardle noted at BloombergView, his initial attempt proved clumsy:It was as if he’d read that you’re supposed to pivot to the general, and failed to understand that you were supposed to selectively tack toward the center on key issues, rather than randomly retracting things you had previously said, some as recently as 30 seconds ago.
His closing statement, delivered in the same half-asleep voice, was probably his most electrifying moment of the evening: “So I just say embrace these millions of people that now for the first time ever love the Republican Party. And unify. Be smart and unify.” Essentially: I broke your party. Now surrender.Uniting the party, toward winning the presidency, may be the greatest challenge yet in Trump’s storied life. It might be a challenge he relishes. As I have written elsewhere:Wayne Barrett, a reporter for the Village Voice once upon a time — in 1992 — wrote an extensive biography of Donald Trump. Nestled among many other fascinating nuggets of reporting about Trump’s life is something, a rare unguarded moment, that might cast a ray of light on the inner workings of a complicated mind.
Consider if you will:
... "Donald liked to recall his favorite 'Twilight Zone' episode, which featured a venal man who died in an accident, was offered any wish he wanted, and declared: 'I want to win, win, win. Everything I want. I went to get. I want to get the most beautiful women. I want to get the beautiful this and that. I want to never lose again.' Then, as Donald recounted the story, the man was shown playing pool, winning every time. 'Everything he did, he won,' said Donald, until the godlike figure who’d granted his wish came back to the man. 'And the man said, ‘If this is Heaven, let me go to Hell.’ And the person said, ‘You are in Hell.’” (Trump, HarperCollins, pp. 31-32)
... As if the agon, rather than the ecstasy, is what truly is most dear.Reading between the lines: Trump does not covet loss. He burns to confront an authentic challenge, one of the highest magnitude. A challenge worthy of his powers.
Trump has created just such a challenge for himself.
Some profound and influential conservative thought leaders, among them William Kristol and Erick Erickson, have joined #NeverTrump never to return. If Trump arrives in Cleveland with a decisive delegate lead can he provide sufficient assurances to the GOP conservative base to unite the party … not as a matter of unconditional surrender but in a principled conservative way?
This will not be easy.
Trump does not crave easy.
It just might be possible.
Is Trump up to the challenge? Perhaps not. Yet Trump has demonstrated that he is formidable, not to be underestimated. If it comes to a “brokered” — meaning contested — convention, with Donald Trump in the delegate lead, choosing Ted Cruz as his running mate would be one step toward the goal of party unity. If Trump aspires to unite the GOP, however, more, will be required of him.
If we arrive at a contested convention and if Trump, in the lead, can provide credible assurances to the conservatives, advantage Trump. If he cannot and if -- at this juncture a big if -- Cruz has enough delegates, the negotiating advantage in Cleveland will pass to Cruz.
If we get to Cleveland without any candidate possessing 1,237 delegates, but with Trump and Cruz each holding a substantial bloc, do not expect a “brokered” convention. Expect the highest stakes poker game in living memory, with the presidential nomination as the stakes.
----------------- Ralph Benko is senior advisor, economics, to American Principles in Action's Gold Standard 2012 Initiative, and a contributor to the ARRA News Service. Founder of The Prosperity Caucus, he was a member of the Jack Kemp supply-side team, served in an unrelated area as a deputy general counsel in the Reagan White House. The article which first appeared in Forbes. Tags:Ralph Benko, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, high stakes poker, not brokered convention To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
On this day, Christians celebrate that Jesus Christ rose from the dead three days after his suffering and death by crucifixion.
Christians believe Christ undertook his suffering and death willingly on our behalf, in obedience to God the Father, so that all of humanity may have hope for a new life with Him and God the Father in heaven.
At the heart of Christianity is this act of God’s love for humanity. That God would send his one and only son to die so that we may live.
On Easter, we celebrate that God’s love overcomes even death. On Easter, we celebrate that goodness overcomes evil.
Easter is exactly the right time to assess the growing threats to humanity, and especially threats toward Christians. Christianity today is under siege on two fronts. On one front is a growing secular tyranny which violates the First Commandment and seeks to place human wishes ahead of God. This tyranny also increasingly violates the First Amendment in a campaign to use the power of government to force Christians to violate their religious beliefs.
On the other front is an irreconcilable wing of Islam which, in every country it dominates, is seeking to drive out Christianity. It has been horrifying to watch the spread of ISIS in Iraq, Syria, Europe and the United States. We were reminded of it as recently as this week with the terror attacks in Brussels.
It has been equally dismaying to see the treatment of Christians, especially young Christian women, in Nigeria at the hands of Boko Haram, and the countless other atrocities committed by radical Islamist groups around the world.
On Easter Sunday, ask yourself some simple questions.
Do you believe that the Son of God rose from the dead?
Do you believe you can be saved through faith in Jesus Christ?
Do you believe God loves you?
If you answer yes to these questions, isn’t it time to stand up to the growing secular tyranny and the irreconcilable wing of Islam which seek to destroy the religion that offers hope and salvation to us and all of humanity?
It really is that simple, and Easter is the day to think about it.
Callista and I wish you and your family a blessed Easter.
---------------------- 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, Importance of Easter To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
ISIS Goes Global: 75 Attacks In 20 Countries Have Killed 1,280
Islamic State Committed Genocide Against Christians
Fears Grow For Priest . . . Who May Be Crucified On Good Friday."At times it can all seem so overwhelming. But, my friends, there is Good News!
Today, on Good Friday, we think about the Cross and the sacrifice paid for our sins. Romans 5:8 tells us, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
While some worship a god who commands men to die for him, we worship a loving God who gave His son to die for us. Never forget that.
Thank God for the cross and the empty tomb!
Thank God for the Good News of Christ's resurrection!
In Christ, we have confidence. No matter what happens on this earth, no matter what tomorrow's headlines may bring, we have confidence in a caring Creator, rather than the chaos of the cosmos. We have confidence in a glorious future, rather than the finality of the grave.
It is this confidence that sustains us in times of trial and tribulation -- in times like these.
We have confidence because "It is finished." Christ's atoning work on the Cross is done, and we are saved.
On Easter morning, we do not gather to remember a martyr, a mere man who lived and died. We come together to worship the risen Son of God!
He is risen! He is risen indeed!
------------- 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, Good News, Good Friday, EasterTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Why Is NTIA Still Implementing Internet Giveaway In Spite Of An Explicit Congressional Prohibition?
by Robert Romano: For the past two years, Congress has prohibited the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) from using any funds carry out any transition control of the Internet’s domain name system functions to the private Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
Specifically, the law said, “None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to relinquish the responsibility of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration … with respect to Internet domain name system functions, including responsibility with respect to the authoritative root zone file and the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority functions.”
Yet, despite the prohibitions, the NTIA has been busy proceeding with the giveaway, attending junkets and other conferences overseas to plan it out. And Americans for Limited Government Foundation President Nathan Mehrens wants to know why.
Mehrens has filed a complaint with the Commerce Department Inspector General David Smith on Feb. 1, stating, “Despite the explicit prohibition, the NTIA is clearly engaged in activities that are designed to lead to the relinquishment of its responsibilities regarding Internet domain name system functions, including responsibility with respect to the authoritative root zone fine and the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority functions. The NTIA personnel have traveled to numerous conferences on internet governance and speeches from NTIA personnel clearly indicate that they are moving ahead as if Congress had not acted to prohibit their very actions.”
“So yes there was a rider attached into our budget in the budget bill last December that said that we can’t spend appropriated dollars to complete transition before the end of next September,” Strickling said, adding, “And so we have taken that seriously and I’ve reported out that there will not be a transition before next—the end of next September. At the same time though there was some commentators, not necessarily anybody with any expertise were saying ah this shuts down NTIA. They have to sit on the sidelines and not do anything. You know, like our hands are tied. And so that concerned us. We didn’t read the bill that way or the law that way and we’ve consulted with — informally with both the House and the Senate, both Democrats and Republicans to get an understanding as to what exactly they intended.”
Then Strickling offered, “So one of the things was even in the rider it said you must provide us regular reports and updates on how the transition is going. So they clearly intended us to do things like come to the ICANN meetings and watch and report back what’s going on. We clearly are participating in the GAC and none of that affects that. And the only real issue was to what extent do we provide feedback during the process to the community.”
And yet, the only reporting in the omnibus spending bill for fiscal year 2015 Congress directed “NTIA to inform appropriate Congressional committees not less than 45 days in advance of any such proposed successor contract or any other decision related to changing NTIA’s role with respect to ICANN or IANA activities.” That’s it. Report if there are any changes to the current contract. Not, travel all over the world and create a plan for relinquishing the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions.
Strickling also offered this gem, “And on that, you know, the assurances I got from most of the staff on the Hill was they didn’t see any problem with that because… we want to protect the interests of the United States in all of this.”
Well, that just makes it okay, then, right?
Wrong, said Mehrens. As he noted in his Inspector General complaint, “it is not Hill staff that decide whether there is a problem, but rather the actual language passed by Congress should be examined.” Which says, again, that none of the funds may be used to relinquish responsibility for the IANA functions.
In addition, the U.S. Constitution in Article I, Section 9, Clause 7 clearly states, “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.” And the Antideficiency Act at 31 U.S.C. § 1341(a)(1)(A) states that the federal government cannot “make or authorize an expenditure or obligation exceeding an amount available in an appropriation fund for the expenditure or obligation.”
And as noted by Mehrens’ complaint, “Federal officials who ‘knowingly and willfully’ violate this prohibition commit a criminal offense and are subject to punishment of a fine of not more than $5,000 and a maximum jail term of two years.”
At the moment it is unknown how much tax dollars have been spent by NTIA on the transition since the prohibitions went into effect two years ago. But to find out, Mehrens requested the Inspector General “open an investigation into the information discussed above, investigate what other actions NTIA is taking to relinquish its responsibilities as discussed above, and take further appropriate action to ensure that taxpayer funds are protected and not spent in violation of the law.”
Mehrens has been informed by the Inspector General that they have referred the matter for an investigation.
---------------- Robert Romano is the Senior Editor of Americans for Limited Government. His article was first shared on the ALG's NetRight Daily blog. Tags:Robert Romano, Americans For Limited Government, Internet, giveaway, NITA, inspite of, Explicit Congressional Prohibition 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:Editorial Cartoon, AF Branco, dirty dancing, President Obama, Tangos, as the world mourns, dozens of victims, killed, ISIS Terrorists, Brussels, BelgiumTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: In nearly every one of the presidential campaigns you hear lots of doom and gloom. And I agree that there are many things in this country that need to be fixed. But it is also worth remembering that things are better than we know.
David Harsanyi reminds us that in many ways, we never had it so good. He argues that we have lost any sense of context. Let’s compare our current situation to the Great Depression. Let’s compare our comfort to a Dust-Bowl-era family trekking across Oklahoma looking for work. Let’s compare our current gas prices and ease of transportation to someone waiting hours in the 1970s for rationed gas.
Someone in the millennial generation may feel slighted if they don’t look at the context of their lives. College enrollment has nearly doubled in the last three decades. True, many more of them are graduating with huge student loans. We can see why the slogans of Bernie Sanders resonate with them. But these young adults will do better in the world because they have a college degree, even if it takes them as long to pay off student loans as it took me to pay off college and graduate school loans.
Part of the problem is that some of them grew up in the comfort of large homes purchased at four percent interest rates and “low middle-class tax rates instituted by Ronald Reagan.” That world may not return any time soon, but our presidential candidates assure us that things will get better. Hillary Clinton talks about “solutions for America,” and Donald Trump says it is time for us to “start winning again.”
David Harsaynyi reminds us that: “every successive year the world becomes less poor, less violent, and freer.” In the midst of the doom and gloom, it’s worth taking a moment to remember that we never had it so good.
----------- Kerby Anderson is a radio talk show host heard on numerous stations via the Point of View Network endorsed by Dr. Bill Smith, Editor, ARRA News Service Tags:Kerby Anderson, Viewpoints, Point of View, better than we know, David Harsaynyi, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
And, on top of that, add our outrageous world policeman fees.
The Washington Post reports that, “thanks to various treaties and deals set up since 1945, the U.S. government might be legally obligated to defend countries containing 25 percent of the world’s population.”
And boy, has America, World Policeman, been active! The U. S. military is well into a second decade of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, engaged in ongoing armed conflict in Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, and with ISIS and its terror, not seemingly degraded at all but growing.
No wonder, then, that the iconoclastic Donald J. Trump questioned — at a Washington Posteditorial board meeting, just before the Brussels terrorist attacks — the wisdom of U.S. commitments to NATO, South Korea and Japan.
“NATO was set up when we were a richer country,” Trump explained. “We’re not a rich country. We’re borrowing, we’re borrowing all of this money. We’re borrowing money from China. . . .”
So why subsidize wealthy countries? “Well, if you look at Germany . . . Saudi Arabia . . . Japan . . . South Korea — I mean we spend billions of dollars on Saudi Arabia, and they have nothing but money.”
Lest I get my hopes up too high, it seems unlikely that Trump would change actual policy, but simply make “a much different deal with them, and it would be a much better deal.”
Here’s an even better deal, as our third president, Thomas Jefferson, articulated: “Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations. Entangling alliances with none.”
It’s quite affordable.
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, Trump’s Empire, addressing foreign entanglementsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Trump Change: Most Still See Trump on Track for Nomination
Trump Out Stump Speaking
Rasmussen Reports (3/15/16): In its Friday Morning Report, Rasmussen Reports that despite Jeb Bush’s endorsement of Donald Trump’s last serious rival Ted Cruz this week, Republicans continue to believe overwhelmingly that “The Donald” is the GOP’s next likely presidential nominee.
This week’s Rasmussen Reports Trump Change national telephone survey finds that 84% of Likely Republican Voters think Trump is likely to win their party’s nomination this year, with 53% who say it’s Very Likely. This is down only slightly from last week’s all-time highs of 87% and 59% respectively.
Just 12% of GOP voters say a Trump nomination is not very or Not At All Likely.
Among all likely voters, 73% say Trump is likely to be the Republican nominee, including 43% who feel it is Very Likely.
Trump has benefited from the anger many Republicans feel toward their current elected leaders. Seventy-six percent (76%) of GOP voters now believe Republicans in Congress have lost touch with the party’s base nationwide, the highest-ever level of disapproval in regular surveying on this question since 2008.
Sixty-four percent (64%) of Democrats and 75% of voters not affiliated with either major party see Trump as the likely Republican candidate in the fall. This, too, is consistent with recent polling.
Conservatives think a Trump nomination is far more likely than moderates and liberals do. Rassumessen data identified in the detailed post
------------------- Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information. For the detailed statistical analysis visit their site. Tags:Donald Trump, on track for nomination, survey, Rassmussen ReportsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Americans for Tax Reform: Americans are losing businesses to foreign competitors. Our companies are being punished by a U.S. tax code stuck in the 1970s, and are faced with either moving some operations overseas or being bought by foreign competitors outright.
In the past decade alone, almost 50 companies moved their headquarters outside the U.S. through a business inversion, according to the Congressional Research Service. Those that don’t invert are targets of foreign acquisition.
Companies are being squeezed by the U.S. tax code, with the highest rate and most complexity in the world. Many U.S. corporations with global reach have no choice but to shift their headquarters to a foreign country or risk being bought by foreign firms.
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders think the solution is to tax our companies even more, but U.S. businesses just can’t compete when saddled with the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world and a taxation system unique in its global reach of American companies’ income.
More will move their headquarters overseas—or get bought out by foreign companies—so Congress must not delay in reforming the tax code to allow American business to compete.
Congress must fix two key pieces to allow American business to compete, and keep them from moving their headquarters overseas or getting bought by foreign companies:
First, the U.S. must fix the highest corporate income tax rate in the developed world. At 39 percent it is far higher than the average rate in the developed world, which is just 25 percent.
Second, the U.S. must end its worldwide taxation system. We are one of a tiny handful of countries on the globe with a worldwide taxation system, meaning the IRS tries to tax all income, not just income earned in this country, trapping trillions of dollars overseas.
Urge Congress to Save U.S. Businesses by Reforming the Tax Code Now!
-------------- Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) is a nonprofit, 501(c)(4) taxpayer advocacy. ATR was founded in 1985 by Grover Norquist at the request of President Reagan. Realizing that Americans not only need to be protected from higher taxes, but from higher spending; Americans for Tax Reform created the Cost of Government Center (CoGC). CoGC focuses on all issues related to fiscal responsibility and accountability, especially spending restraint. Tags:Americans for Tax Reform, save American Businesses, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Leftist on America campuses are following the actions
of Pakistani thugs who seek to silence free speech.
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Monday morning students at Emory University found messages written in chalk at various places on the campus. Some students were traumatized and complained to the administration that they were afraid and "in pain."
What did they see? Swastikas? Was "KKK" scrawled in large letters on the side of a dorm? Did they see the Arabic writing from the ISIS flag? No. What was so incredibly offensive to these students was, "Trump 2016!"
I thought universities were supposed to be places where the free exchange of ideas was welcomed, where diverse opinions were celebrated. Yet these students are having nervous breakdowns over chalkings of the name of the Republican presidential front-runner. Seriously. Offended students were offered "emergency counseling" by the student government association.
If they need counseling, they may have to get in line behind Emory's president, Jim Wagner, who has joined in the collective breakdown. In an email to the Emory community, President Wagner stated that his administration was taking steps such as:"Immediate refinements to certain policy and procedural deficiencies (for example, our bias incident reporting and response process); Regular and structured opportunities for difficult dialogues (like the Transforming Community Project of several years ago); A formal process to institutionalize identification, review, and addressing of social justice opportunities and issues."If I were paying tuition to Emory University, I'd be furious at how my money was being wasted.
Sadly, I suspect if someone had written "Cruz 2016!" the reaction would have been the same. The left is trying to make universities "no-go zones" for conservative thought and opinion.
It started with eliminating conservative speakers. They are going after students who defend traditional values and the state of Israel. There have been physical violence and bomb threats.
I have had to have extra security when speaking on college campuses. Now they are even trying to ban the names of political figures.
The assault on conservative speech at Emory University is worthy of a speech by the speaker of the House. Yesterday, Paul Ryan condemned harsh rhetoric in our political dialogue. How about a speech condemning the left's attempt to squelch dialogue on our university campuses?
------------- 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, Emory University, silencing conservatives, stopping free speech, conservative speech, on campus, Trump 2016, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Dr. Thomas Sowell: Much is made of the fact that liberals and conservatives see racial issues differently, which they do. But these differences have too often been seen as simply those on the right being racist and those on the left not.
You can cherry-pick the evidence to reach that conclusion. But you can also cherry-pick the evidence to reach the opposite conclusion.
During the heyday of the Progressive movement in the early 20th century, people on the left were in the forefront of those promoting doctrines of innate, genetic inferiority of not only blacks but also of people from Eastern Europe and Southern Europe, as compared to people from Western Europe.
Liberals today tend to either glide over the undeniable racism of Progressive President Woodrow Wilson or else treat it as an anomaly of some sort. But racism on the left at that time was not an anomaly, either for President Wilson or for numerous other stalwarts of the Progressive movement.
An influential 1916 best-seller, "The Passing of the Great Race" — celebrating Nordic Europeans — was written by Madison Grant, a staunch activist for Progressive causes such as endangered species, municipal reform, conservation and the creation of national parks.
He was a member of an exclusive social club founded by Republican Progressive Theodore Roosevelt, and Grant and Franklin D. Roosevelt became friends in the 1920s, addressing one another in letters as "My dear Frank" and "My dear Madison." Grant's book was translated into German, and Adolf Hitler called it his Bible.
Progressives spearheaded the eugenics movement, dedicated to reducing the reproduction of supposedly "inferior" individuals and races. The eugenics movement spawned Planned Parenthood, among other groups. In academia, there were 376 courses devoted to eugenics in 1920.
Progressive intellectuals who crusaded against the admission of immigrants from Eastern Europe and Southern Europe, branding them as genetically inferior, included many prominent academic scholars — such as heads of such scholarly organizations as the American Economic Association and the American Sociological Association.
Southern segregationists who railed against blacks were often also Progressives who railed against Wall Street.Back in those days, blacks voted for Republicans as automatically as they vote for Democrats today.
Where the Democrats' President Woodrow Wilson introduced racial segregation into those government agencies in Washington where it did not exist at the time, Republican President Calvin Coolidge's wife invited the wives of black Congressmen to the White House. As late as 1957, civil rights legislation was sponsored in Congress by Republicans and opposed by Democrats.
Later, when the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was sponsored by Democrats, a higher percentage of Congressional Republicans voted for it than did Congressional Democrats. Revisionist histories tell a different story. But, as Casey Stengel used to say, "You could look it up" — in the Congressional Record, in this case.
Conservatives who took part in the civil rights marches, or who were otherwise for equal rights for blacks, have not made nearly as much noise about it as liberals do. The first time I saw a white professor, at a white university, with a black secretary, it was Milton Friedman at the University of Chicago in 1960 — four years before the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
She was still his secretary when he died in 2006. But, in all those years, I never once heard Professor Friedman mention, in public or in private, that he had a black secretary. By all accounts, she was an outstanding secretary, and that was what mattered.
The biggest difference between the left and right today, when it comes to racial issues, is that liberals tend to take the side of those blacks who are doing the wrong things — hoodlums the left depicts as martyrs, while the right defends those blacks more likely to be the victims of those hoodlums.
Rudolph Giuliani, when he was the Republican mayor of New York, probably saved more black lives than any other human being, by promoting aggressive policing against hoodlums, which brought the murder rate down to a fraction of what it was before.
A lot depends on whether you judge by ringing words or judge by actual consequences.
-------------- Thomas Sowell is an American economist, social commentator, and author of dozens of books. He has a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago and degrees from Columbia University and Harvard University. He is a retired professor of Economic and presently is a Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow, The Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Visit his website: tsowell.com and view a list of other articles. Tags:Thomas Sowell, commentary, Black and White, Left, Right, progressives, conservatives To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Ann Coulter: Immigration is the new "No Nukes/Save the Whales" movement, only with more body bags.
After the mass murder committed by Muslims in San Bernardino, which came on the heels of the mass murder committed by Muslims in Paris, Donald Trump proposed a moratorium on Muslim immigration.
Explaining the idea on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," he talked about how Muslim immigration was infecting Europe: "Look at what happened in Paris, the horrible carnage. ... We have places in London and other places that are so radicalized that the police are afraid for their own lives. We have to be very smart and very vigilant."
Trump's reference to London's no-go zones was met with a massive round of sneering, which is what passes for argument in America these days. Jeb! said Trump was "unhinged," Sen. John McCain called him "foolish," and former vice president Dick Cheney said Trump's remarks went "against everything we stand for and believe in." (Based on Trump's crushing primary victories, Cheney is no longer qualified to say what "we" believe in.)
To prove Trump wrong, reporters called British authorities and asked them: Are you doing your jobs? They responded, Why, yes we are! The head of London's police said, "Mr. Trump could not be more wrong," and London mayor Boris Johnson called Trump's comments "utter nonsense."
Within days, however, scores of rank-and-file London policemen begged to differ with their spokesmen, leading to the following headlines:
UK Daily Mail: 'TRUMP'S NOT WRONG -- WE CAN'T WEAR UNIFORM IN OUR OWN CARS': Five Police Officers Claim Donald Trump Is Right About Parts of London Being So 'Radicalised' They Are No-Go Areas
The Sun: 'THERE ARE NO-GO AREAS IN LONDON': Policemen Back Trump's Controversial Comments
UK Daily Express: 'TRUMP IS RIGHT!' Police Say Parts of Britain Are No-Go Areas due to ISIS Radicalisation
Then, in January of this year, Trump talked specifically about the Muslim invasion of Brussels on the Maria Bartiromo show. "There is something going on, Maria," he said. "Go to Brussels. ... There is something going on and it's not good, where they want Sharia law ... There is something bad going on."
The New York Times headlined a story on the interview: "Donald Trump Finds New City to Insult: Brussels." News is no longer about communicating information; it's about imparting an attitude. Trump is rude, so whether he's right is irrelevant. As the saying goes, "Better dead than rude."
Indignant Belgians took to Twitter, the Times reported, "deploying an arsenal of insults, irony and humor, including images of Belgium's beloved beer and chocolate." Liberals have gone from not understanding jokes to not understanding English. When Trump talked about unassimilated Muslim immigrants demanding Sharia law, I don't think he was knocking Belgium's beer and chocolate.
Rudi Vervoort, the president of the Brussels region (who evidently survived this week's bombing), rebuked Trump, saying, "We can reassure the Americans that Brussels is a multicultural city where it is good to live."
After multiculturalism struck this week, Vervoort said, "I would like to express my support to the victims of the attacks of this morning ..." Twitter bristled with supportive hashtags, the Belgian flag and professions of solidarity. The Times editorialized: "Brussels, Europe, the world must brace for a long struggle against this form of terrorism."
All this would be perfectly normal if we were talking about an earthquake or some other natural disaster -- something humans have no capacity to prevent. But Muslims pouring into our countries and committing mass murder isn't natural at all. It's the direct result of government policy.
It's as if the government were dumping rats in our houses, and then, whenever someone died of the plague, those same government officials issued heartfelt condolences, Twitter lit up with sympathetic hashtags and the Times editorialized about effective rodent control, but no one ever bothered to say, Hey! Maybe the government should stop putting rats in our houses!
When people are killing in the name of their religion, it's not an irrelevancy to refuse to keep admitting more practitioners of that religion.
But this is the madness that has seized Europe and America -- a psychosis Peter Brimelow calls "Hitler's revenge."
Apparently, what we have learned from Hitler is not: Don't kill Jews. To the contrary, the only people who openly proclaim their desire to kill Jews are ... Muslims.
What we've learned from Hitler is not: Don't attempt to seize hegemonic control over entire continents. The only people vowing to conquer the world are ... Muslims.
And what we've learned from Hitler is not: Beware violent uprisings of angry young men. The only hordes of violent, angry young men are, again ... Muslims. (And Trump protesters.)
But instead of learning our lesson and recoiling with horror at this modern iteration of Nazism, we welcome the danger with open arms -- because the one and only lesson we've learned from Hitler is: DON'T DISCRIMINATE!
----------------- Ann Coulter is a conservative author of ten New York Times bestsellers, writes numerous columns and is a frequent guest on numerous radio and TV shows. Her web site is AnnCoulter.com. She is the author of Adios America which she signed and gave to the ARRA News Service editor at the 2015 Eagle Council. Tags:Ann Coulter, hashtag, America, Barack Obama, Neville Chamberlain, Muslims, Donald TrumpTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Tags:free ride, Obama, Castro, enjoying, fruits of Communist dictatorship, editorial cartoon, 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!
by Dustin Howard: RealClearPolitics, on the 6th anniversary of Obamacare being signed into law, listed 551 separate polls since 2009 on whether the American public approved or opposed the law. Of that number, with polls from all across the spectrum found that in 94 percent of the polls, Americans opposed the law; 5 percent of the polls supported the law and less than 1 percent tied. It is safe to assume that Americans don’t like this law, with the most recent Rasmussen poll reflecting a 54 percent opposition to it, and only 43 percent in support of it.
Americans have indeed found an entitlement they don’t like. What’s not to hate? At last count, better than half of the health care law’s co-ops have failed, with only 11 of 23 remaining. With billions of federal dollars still being hosed on to the flaming co-ops, their ashes remain a smoldering ruin.
With the Little Sisters of the Poor fighting for their religious liberty before the Supreme Court, the Obama administration is being confronted with the hypocrisy that they will exempt large corporations like Pepsi, Visa and Chevron from providing contraception, but not those with conscience concerns. Hobby Lobby has already won its liberty, now non-profits with such an objection must fight. And why? Because the doctrinaire inhabitants of the administrative state, namely the Department of Health and Human Services, deemed them unfit to opt out of what clearly conflicts with their faith.
Why would Americans support that?
May we also safely assume that Republican dominance of Congress means that they want rid of it? It is hard to believe that a policy so roundly disliked would have fearful members of that august body thinking there was a political disadvantage to dismembering it. Accepting the premise that the President will protect the law until he leaves in 2017, wouldn’t this be a great time to acquaint the 2016 electorate with the alternatives including repeal, and forever put to rest the notion that Republicans can’t implement a better plan?
The major Republican contenders, Donald Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz have pledged to repeal and replace the most hated six year old in American history. Republicans in Congress would do well to consult both men on a plan they can agree on to use as a campaign issue, putting the lie to the notion that the GOP would displace those who are covered by the so-called Affordable Care Act. Give the American people a clear choice so the result can be a mandate for or against the albatross that is Obamacare.
In 2012, President Obama campaigned on the vagaries of what had not yet been implemented. Obamacare and it’s legion of bureaucratic handmaidens have had access to the national credit card, profits from the student loan nationalization and the hundreds of billions raided from Medicare, and they still can’t get it to work without massively raising premiums. To paraphrase Churchill, Republicans: Give the candidates the tools and they will finish the job.
It’s time to put this law out of our misery.
--------------- Dustin Howard is a contributing editor to Americans for Limited Government Tags:America, Still hates Obamacare, Obmacare, editorial cartoon, AF Branco, Dustin Howard, Americans for Limited GovernmentTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: As we get closer to April 15, more and more Americans hope they don’t have to deal with the IRS and an audit of their tax returns. But some Americans have had to deal with the IRS for years just to get a tax-exempt status.
You may remember the IRS scandal from five years ago. Congress demanded answers, and the IRS and other political officials said the problem was just a few rogue employees in Ohio. Congress asked for the emails of Lois Lerner. Well, we were told, they were lost in a hard disk crash and there was no backup. Congress never seemed to be able to get satisfactory answers.
Fortunately, Congress did something about it. House Speaker Paul Ryan explains in a recent column that they were able to implement policy reforms that will make a difference to future religious groups and political groups.
Congress learned that the IRS was threatening to impose a gift tax on donors to conservative non-profit groups. That would have forced many of these groups to close their doors. Congress passed a law making it clear that these donations are exempt.
Because of the actions of Congress, a codified Taxpayer Bill of Rights hangs in every IRS building. It prevents agency employees, like Lois Lerner, from using their personal email addresses for official business. Organizations can now self-declare their tax-exempt status. If the IRS rescinds their status, they have a right to appeal.
Many Americans fear the power of the IRS, and the IRS scandal from a few years ago shows that fear is justified. Fortunately, Congress has been able to reign in some of the excesses that surfaced five years ago and make it easier for religious and political groups to function without problems and intimidation.
----------- Kerby Anderson is a radio talk show host heard on numerous stations via the Point of View Network endorsed by Dr. Bill Smith, Editor, ARRA News Service Tags:Kerby Anderson, Viewpoints, Point of View, Taxpayer Bill of RightsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
This is the process through which police and government agencies grab a citizen's money or property -- even if the citizen is never charged with a crime, much less convicted. Then, to get one's stuff back, a citizen must sue to prove the stuff was innocent of being involved in criminal activity.
Asset forfeiture without a criminal conviction turns our system of justice on its head, encouraging bad behavior by police -- ahem, stealing -- by rewarding departments and agencies that get to keep the loot.
Reform legislation passed through an Oklahoma House committee earlier this week and now goes to the full House. Television News 9 in Oklahoma City began its report by acknowledging that, "A watered down version of the civil asset forfeiture bill has crossed another hurdle in the state Legislature."
That's because a bill to end civil asset forfeiture outright had already failed in the Senate. The currently pending legislation requires that citizens who sue to recover their property and win be awarded their legal fees.
It's progress . . . but still not justice enough.
Late last month, Wyoming's Gov. Matt Mead signed reform legislation mandating that there be a probable cause hearing before the legal forfeiture process can begin. Good. But that was after Gov. Mead vetoed a better bill, which stopped all official, convictionless snatching of stuff.
Police taking people's stuff without having to prove a crime must be ended altogether, abolished. That means we better stop waiting for politicians. Instead, petition this important principle directly to the people -- use ballot initiatives in cities and states across the country.
No time like the present.
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:Oklahoma, Wyoming, asset forfeiture, without a criminal conviction, Paul Jacob, Common Sense,To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Phyllis Schlafly: On March 16th, President Obama announced his nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to succeed the late, great Justice Antonin Scalia on the United States Supreme Court. The U.S. Senate should follow the famous advice of the late First Lady Nancy Reagan and “just say no” to Obama’s nominee.
The media are portraying Judge Garland as a “moderate” and a “centrist” — but that’s what they also said about Obama’s two previous nominees (Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor) and Bill Clinton’s two nominees (Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer). Yet all four of those so-called “moderates” voted in lockstep for the Windsor and Obergefell decisions, which overturned the definition of marriage in federal and state laws.
In his current position as a Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which hears disputes involving federal regulations, Judge Garland has not had the opportunity to rule directly on marriage or abortion. However, in two cases he voted against the individual right to keep and bear arms, which means the landmark Heller decision written by Justice Scalia would likely be overturned if Garland joins the Court.
On the wide range of critical issues coming before the Supreme Court, Judge Garland’s views are no different from those of the two Justices already appointed to the bench by Obama. More importantly, his selection comes just as voters have the chance to end Obama’s stated goal of “fundamentally transforming” our country.
The late Justice Antonin Scalia was the Supreme Court’s most outspoken conservative, so anyone nominated by President Obama would shift the balance of the Court to the left. The New York Times admitted that “If Judge Garland is confirmed, he could tip the ideological balance to create the most liberal Supreme Court in 50 years.”
Even if he is “moderate” in his temperament, Judge Garland would certainly be a reliable fifth vote for liberal Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan. Those five Justices would form a new liberal working majority on the Supreme Court.
Don’t let a lame-duck president make an appointment that would extend liberal control over the Supreme Court for decades to come. Americans deserve a chance to weigh in on this momentous decision by voting for a president they know will pick at least one new justice.
Bravo to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) for saying they will not consider any nominee this year. Encourage your senators to do the same. Call or email your senator and say that no Supreme Court appointment should be considered until a new president takes office.
The Court can continue to function indefinitely with fewer than nine Justices, as it has many times in our history. There’s nothing magic about the number nine, which was prescribed by Congress, not the Constitution.
If Republicans elect the next president and retain control of Congress, there will be plenty of time to add new Justices to the Supreme Court. One scholar proposed expanding the size of the Court to 11 or more Justices, since a larger Court reduces the likelihood that any single appointee would fundamentally change the Court’s direction.
In addition to controlling the size of the Supreme Court, Congress could also authorize the President to nominate new Justices on a regular timetable – say, one during each two-year term of Congress. Under that system, a new Justice would join the Supreme Court every two years, regardless of whether an existing Justice dies or retires during that period.
In the current system, appointments to the Supreme Court depend on the unpredictable death or voluntary retirement of current Justices. The Constitution gives the power of appointment jointly to the President and the Senate, and judges should not be allowed to influence the timing or political affiliation of their successors.
If the Court is already full when a new Justice is appointed, the most senior Justice would rotate off the Supreme Court, but continue to draw a full salary and serve on lower courts for the rest of his career. Legal scholars believe that system, which indirectly sets a term limit for Justices of the Supreme Court, could be implemented by Congress without a Constitutional amendment.
When Alexander Hamilton was promoting the new Constitution to a skeptical public, he promised that the judiciary would be the “least dangerous” branch of the federal government because it depends on the other branches to enforce its judgments. We’ve let the federal courts have the last word on too many important issues.
It’s long overdue for Congress to use its constitutional powers to check and balance the federal courts through its control over their creation, composition and jurisdiction. The unexpected Supreme Court vacancy is a golden opportunity for Congress to reassert its power over the number of Justices and the process for appointing them.
-------------------- Phyllis Schlafly has been a national leader of the conservative movement since 1964. She founded and is CEO and Chairman of Eagle Forum. She has testified before more than 50 Congressional and State Legislative committees on constitutional, national defense, and family issues. Tags:Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum, No Confirmation, President Obama, Supreme Court NomineeTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Joseph Klein: The Ballistic Missile Defense System is a key part of our nation’s overall missile defense program. It is described by the Department of Defense as “an integrated, ‘layered’ architecture that provides multiple opportunities to destroy missiles and their warheads before they can reach their targets.” The system is “designed to counter ballistic missiles of all ranges—short, medium, intermediate and long.” It consists of three basic components – space, ground and sea-based sensors and radars, and ground and sea-based interceptor missiles. The system relies on a sophisticated communications network “with the needed links between the sensors and interceptor missiles.”
Seven years before winning the White House, Barack Obama told a Chicago TV station that "I don't agree with a missile defense system." True to his word, the Obama administration has set about weakening key elements of the multi-layered ballistic Missile Defense System. Our enemies including Russia, Iran and North Korea could not be happier.
For example, the Obama administration has undermined what is known as the ground-based midcourse defense (GMD) system, which relies on strategically placed ground-based missiles combined with radars to enable the interception of incoming offensive missiles. In fact, as part of his failed ”reset” policy towards Russia, Obama decided during his first year in office to reverse a key initiative of the Bush administration that would have deployed missile interceptors and a radar station in Poland and the Czech Republic. Obama got absolutely nothing in return for this enormous concession, which has increased the vulnerability of Europe and the U.S. homeland.
Russia has been in non-compliance with a key arms control missile reduction treaty since 2008. A senior Obama administration official admitted to a joint congressional subcommittee last December that the evidence of Russia’s violations was “conclusive,” and that Russia’s actions pose an “indirect” threat to the American homeland. His attempt to provide assurances that the administration was preparing to counter Russia’s arms treaty breaches was not very reassuring.
Instead of following through on promises to develop more robust, adaptive missile defense alternatives, the administration has retrenched. Early in Obama’s first term, his administration downgraded or cancelled various facets of the country’s layered Missile Defense System, including airborne laser, space-based and kinetic energy interceptor system development. There is no missile defense system on our Gulf of Mexico or East Coast. Progress has slowed on deployment of interceptors in Alaska and Hawaii. The administration also stopped funding for systems that could be used to destroy missiles during their early boost phase of flight when they are most vulnerable.
President Obama did follow through, however, on a promise that he made to outgoing Russian President Dmitri Medvedev four years ago, caught on a hot microphone. Obama told Medvedev that he would have more “flexibility” after the 2012 presidential election to work with Medvedev’s successor, Vladimir Putin, to resolve any issues regarding “particularly missile defense.” All Obama needed, he told Medvedev, was for Putin to give him some “space” until after Obama’s re-election. Demonstrating his “flexibility” during his second term, Obama’s proposed missile defense budget has declined since FY 2012. Putin’s response was to flex his muscles in Ukraine and Syria.
Not only are Obama’s cuts in missile defense a gift to Russia. The Iranian regime, which has been test firing ballistic missiles with impunity, will benefit from a weakened U.S. missile defense.
Before the nuclear deal sellout to Iran was finalized in July 2015, Obama administration officials had assured the American people that curbs on Iran’s ballistic missile program would be a part of the deal. Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, a lead negotiator of the nuclear deal with Iran, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2014 that shutting down Iran’s missile program that had anything to do with the delivery of nuclear weapons “is indeed going to be part of something that has to be addressed as part of a comprehensive agreement.” It did not turn out that way, however. To the contrary, Iran’s ballistic missile development and testing were deliberately left out of the nuclear deal at Iran’s insistence.
“The administration is paving the way for Iran to become a strategic threat to the United States eventually with ICBM’s, while at the same time suppressing our own ability to defend the homeland against such weapons,” House Armed Services Committee member Trent Franks, an Arizona Republican whom has served as chairman of the House missile defense caucus, told The Daily Caller last July.
North Korea is also reaping the benefits of Obama’s reckless cuts in missile defense spending. Its test last month of a three-stage rocket, which can serve as an intercontinental ballistic missile, is yet another step forward in the regime’s offensive nuclear posture. Although the North Korean regime tried to portray its February 7 launch as serving a peaceful space-related purpose, the North Korean leaders’ real intentions are obvious.
In its 2015 report to Congress entitled “Military and Security Developments Involving the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” the Department of Defense discussed various types of rockets North Korea has developed and is testing, including “the TD-2, which has only been used in a space-launch role, but could reach the United States with a nuclear payload if developed as an ICBM.” The report warned that North Korea’s “continued development of nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missiles…pose a serious threat to the United States, the region, and the world.”
North Korea’s state-run outlet DPRK Today published earlier this month the regime’s boast that it can “burn Manhattan down to ashes” with an H-bomb “mounted on an intercontinental ballistic missile.”
While North Korea’s ability to carry through with this threat does not pose an immediate danger, North Korea does have ballistic missiles capable of striking South Korea, Japan, and U.S. military bases on Okinawa and Guam. And its intention to develop and deploy long range ballistic missiles capable of delivering their lethal nuclear payloads to the U.S. mainland is crystal clear.
The Obama administration’s response to date has been what it calls “strategic patience.” It has imposed some additional unilateral sanctions and managed to get the United Nations Security Council to pass another toughly worded resolution with multilateral sanctions. North Korea has routinely ignored past resolutions and responded to the latest resolution with the firing of some short-range ballistic missiles into the sea.
Only now is the Obama Pentagon entertaining discussions with South Korea to consider deploying the THAAD anti-missile defense system on the Korean peninsula over the objections of Russia and China. The U.S. is already deploying THAAD missiles in Guam.
The THAAD missile is a land-based system capable of shooting down short and medium range ballistic missiles in their “terminal phase,” as they re-enter the atmosphere towards their targets. It uses kinetic energy to collide with and destroy the incoming warhead. South Korea has been reluctant in the past to host such missiles on its soil for fear of riling up China, one of its most important trading partners. Belatedly, after North Korea’s continuing pattern of escalating nuclear bomb and missile-related provocations, South Korean and U.S. officials are now preparing the way for the THAAD missile deployment.
Secretary of State John Kerry did not help to advance those discussions. He sent mixed signals as to the Obama administration’s intentions during a joint news conference following talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi earlier this month. "We have made it very clear that we are not hungry or anxious to deploy THAAD," Kerry said. “If we can get to denuclearization, there is no need to deploy THAAD," Kerry added, no doubt thinking of his disastrous nuclear deal with Iran which he has deluded himself into thinking is a success.
However, even if finally deployed on the Korean peninsula, THAAD missiles will provide an inadequate protection of the U.S. homeland. They presently have an estimated range of only 125 miles. They are not designed to deal specifically with the threat of incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles, which North Korea is aiming to develop and deploy.
The Obama administration has been reactive, rather than looking ahead to deal robustly with the gathering threats. Its missile defense cuts have increased the risk to the U.S. homeland from ICBM attacks, including from North Korea and Iran, in the not too distant future.
General David L. Mann, USA, Commander, Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense, United States Strategic Command, told the House Armed Services Committee two years ago that we have only “a limited defense against threats emanating from North Korea and Iran.” When asked to explain, he said, “Given their current capability, it does provide the protection. But we all know that these countries are continuing to increase their arsenal and their technology. And down the road, they might reach a point in terms of numbers, just the numbers of missiles that they could employ that it could overwhelm the system.”
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