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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, April 01, 2016
The Lost Opportunity Campaign
by Newt Gingrich: The real tragedy of recent mud-slinging that seems to dominate presidential politics is a lost opportunity to talk about the things that actually matter.
The candidates and their campaigns (including SuperPACs) have been guilty of a lot of destructive, personal, and negative attacks.
The news media is an enthusiastic enabler of this kind of destructiveness because it is simple and attracts an audience. Smear someone’s wife, and it is easy to cover. Get involved in a conflict with a young female reporter and the news media knows how to be shocked, horrified, intrigued, and judgmental.
There is an old rule of local TV news: “if it bleeds, it leads.” There is a similar rule of national TV coverage that if it is nasty, negative, and personal, it is easy to cover, easy to explain and easy to dramatize.
Governor Kasich, by refraining from the pettiness, the negativity and the cheap shots, has guaranteed that he receives very limited coverage. Positive, cheerful campaign events simply don’t get the air time that noisy nonsense does.
For conservatives, the tragedy of all of this is the lost opportunity to describe a dramatically better future and the lost opportunity to describe just how bad the Clinton-Sanders model of bureaucratic big government is.
Describing a dramatically better future for all Americans is more difficult because it requires imagination and an ability to think beyond the immediate 30 second sound bite of the day. The opportunity for Republicans is to describe the huge breakthroughs in science, technology, engineering and entrepreneurship that will lead to better lives for all Americans in the very near future.
There are enormous opportunities to improve the Veterans Administration, the Indian Health Service, and dozens of other agencies. Our lives could be better in health, learning, and safety, not to mention the cost, convenience and transparency of government.
This vision of a better future, though so close to reality, is also complicated and difficult for candidates to explain and for the news media to cover.
The other great opportunity for Republicans is to make the case that the Clinton-Sanders world is failing. This is a far easier case to make and far easier for the media to cover.
Clinton and Sanders advocate bigger and bigger government, more unionized bureaucracies, greater spending, and centralized decisions in Washington.
The opportunities to highlight the failure of that vision are unending. The Metro system of our national capital has been so badly run that it may close entire lines for months at a time for safety repairs. The Veterans Administration is filled with corruption, incompetence, inefficiency and massive failures to serve veterans. Everyone agrees that the Pentagon procurement system is utterly broken with cost overruns, inefficiencies and time-consuming bureaucracy that take too long to produce too little. In area after area, there are case studies of the failures of the very bureaucracies and systems Clinton and Sanders want to expand.
This campaign could be a remarkable contrast between two visions — that of a better future, and that of a disastrous government.
Sadly, the Republicans who should be making that case seem mired in the politics of petty trivia, personal destruction and meaningless but exploitable baloney.
We still have seven months to have a campaign about a better future and a failed government. That would be a vast improvement over the mess we are in now.
---------------------- 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, lost opportunity campaign, Republicans, presidential candidates, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, 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:President Obama, April Fool Everyday, ISIS keeps killing, 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!
No April Fool! Obama Set To Give Iran Another Gift & The Genocide Continues
Kerry Gives Obama Love to Iran Satire image -- but also true.
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: No matter what Iran does to threaten U.S. interests and our allies, the response by Obama/Biden/Jarrett/Kerry is always the same: more U.S. concessions to Tehran. The latest is a decision by Obama's Treasury Department to give Iran's financial institutions access to U.S. dollars. Doing so will inevitably lead to more European and Asian banks doing business with Iran. Why is this in the interest of the U.S.? As Iran continues to export subversion and support terrorism throughout the Middle East, the Obama Administration should be increasing pressure on them, not rewarding the mullahs in Tehran.
Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Mark Kirk (R- IL) sent a tough letter to Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew critical of the plan. The letter warned Lew that, "Any such effort would benefit Iran's financiers of international terrorism, human rights abuses, and ballistic missile threats."
The Genocide Continues
In March, the Obama Administration, after much prodding from Congress, finally designated that the atrocities being committed by ISIS against Christians and other religious minorities in parts of Syria and Iraq constitute "genocide." But simply declaring genocide does nothing to stop it. And this week brought more evidence that the persecution continues.
According to Breitbart News, ISIS has decreed that Christians living in their capital city of Raqqa, located on the Euphrates River in northern Syria, are forbidden from leaving the city. Why? Doesn't ISIS want to eradicate Christians, cleanse Christianity from their homelands and establish an Islamic caliphate? Yes, yes and yes. But the terrorist group sees some value in keeping the Christians around, at least for a while.
There are only 43 Christian families left in Raqqa, according to one report. That's down from as many as 1,500 Christian families before the war. ISIS wants to use the remaining Christians as human shields in case the city is attacked by the forces of Bashar al-Assad or those of Russia.
Once again, Christians are paying the price for Islamic extremism.
------------- 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, President Obama, Iran, Another Gift, Genocide Continues, ISIS, Christians, Syria 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 Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: Limited government sports several rationales. The need for it pertains on many levels. One such level we don’t think about enough? This: Not every rights violation warrants calling in the law.
Take the strange case of Breana Evans, 12-year-old assailant, charged with misdemeanor battery.
What did she do?
She pinched the gluteal posterior of a boy she did not know.
Now, pinching the butt-end of strangers is a breach not only of decorum (to the extent that this standard we call “decorum” even exists any more), but of a pinchee’s rights.
Yet it was a mere pinch.
And the boy did not press charges.
The school’s “resource deputy” did not arrest her; she was merely suspended from school.
It would have remained a minor matter (so to speak) had not the boy’s mother “insisted to police that he was the victim of battery, and so they had no choice but to arrest Breana,” as Robby Soave explained over at Reason. “She was Mirandized and put in a patrol car. They took her mugshot and booked her into juvenile detention.”
The escalation of the dispute over carnal rites and personal rights into a matter fit for the police is, it seems to me, a grave result of a sort of cultural hysteria about all sorts of things. The willingness of some adults to push children through our harsh, bureaucratic, and often ruthless criminal justice system is sad to behold.
It is more indecent than a pinch.
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, Pincher, Pinchee, hysteria, 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 Jason Snead: With the 2016 election season well underway, millions of voters across the country have already cast their ballots in primaries and caucuses. Republican and Democratic candidates are locked in close races for the highest office in the land, and every vote cast makes a difference.
The Heritage Foundation’s Voter fraud database catalogues over 400 cases of proven voter fraud throughout America. Whether it be vote-buying, ineligible voting, false registrations, or fraudulent use of absentee ballots, the database makes clear that voter fraud is a real issue and one that must be effectively addressed—not denied, as some voter reform critics have done—in order to preserve the integrity of the electoral system.
Here are some recent additions to the database:
Pennsylvania Robin Trainor pleaded guilty to two charges of voter impersonation fraud at the polls in the 2014 primary. While serving as judge of a polling place, Trainor went inside a voting booth with her husband to “assist” him—that is, she told him whom to vote for. Trainor then stepped out, falsely signed the election register under her son’s name, reset the voting machine, and cast a vote in his name. Trainor was placed on one year of probation and stripped of her right to vote for the next four years.
Alabama Daniel W. Reynolds was recently sentenced to two years of probation for falsifying absentee ballots in a 2013 campaign for commissioner. Reynolds, the chief campaign volunteer for the re-election campaign of Commissioner Amos Newsome, pleaded guilty to three counts of absentee ballot fraud. Newsome won re-election by a mere 14 votes, after winning 119 of the 126 absentee ballots cast.
Minnesota is an example of a state that had rampant voter fraud between 2008 and 2011. In that time frame, there were over 100 convictions for various voter fraud offenses throughout the state, including ineligible voting, false registrations, and fraudulent use of absentee ballots.
For those who deny the impact voter fraud may have on elections, consider that the 2008 Minnesota election unseated incumbent Republican Sen. Norm Coleman. Although it is impossible to know whether this rampant fraud changed the outcome of the election, it is worth remembering that the declared victor, Democrat Al Franken, became the sixtieth Democratic senator, creating a temporary filibuster-proof majority that paved the way for the ultimate passage of the Affordable Care Act.
These are just a few of the hundreds of documented examples of voter fraud that have occurred and continue to occur throughout the country due to lax laws and a lack of vigilance. For every case of voter fraud that is successfully discovered and prosecuted, there are undoubtedly many more that go undetected.
In a report entitled “Does Your Vote Count?,” The Heritage Foundation examines the problem of voter fraud, as well as potential steps and solutions that can be taken by government at all levels in order to ensure the integrity of the electoral process.
The report tackles the persistent myths about voter fraud and voter ID laws and makes clear that election fraud is an issue that must be acknowledged and confronted. There is nothing more central to American democracy than free, fair elections. Without them, the entire system is in jeopardy.
------------------ Jason Snead (@jasonwsnead) is a policy analyst in The Heritage Foundation's Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies.Other Articles on Voter Fraud in America. Tags:Jason Snead, The Heritage Foundation, Examples, Voter Fraud, Across USTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Sanctuary Cities Facilitate Growth Of Terror In America
by Michael Cutler: In the wake of the terror attacks in Belgium, news reports once again focused on how so-called “No Go Zones” in Europe create neighborhoods where communities develop that, although are geographically located within major cities, insulate themselves from their surroundings, fostering the mindset that cooperating with law enforcement is dangerous and even traitorous.
The residents eye law enforcement officers with great suspicion if not outright animosity. The situation is exacerbated because while they fear law enforcement, they may well also fear their neighbors who may take revenge against them for cooperating with law enforcement.
These neighborhoods become “cultural islands” that eschew the cultures and values of the cities and countries in which they grow -- a virtual malignancy that ultimately comes to threaten its host city and country because within this cocoon radical Islamists are shielded from law enforcement, find shelter and support and an ample supply of potential terror recruits.
These communities are inhabited by many Muslim refugees who cannot be effectively screened.
This makes assimilation by the residents of these isolated communities unlikely if not impossible and creates breeding grounds for crime and, in this era and under these circumstances- breeding grounds for terrorism.
While there are no actual “No Go Zones” in the United States, there are neighborhoods scattered around the United States, where the concentration of ethnic immigrant minorities is so great that police find themselves unable to make the sort of inroads that they should be able to make in order to effectively police these communities. Adding to the high density of these aliens in these communities is the issue of foreign languages often being the prevalent language in such “ghettos.” This gives new meaning to the term “Language Barrier.”
Back when I was an INS agent, we had an expression- “Big cases- big problems; Little cases- little problems; No cases- no problems!” That phrase applies to all law enforcement officers.
When police or other law enforcement officers are put into a classic “no win” situation, their commonsense solution is to make their own survival and well-being their priority by minimizing their contacts with such enclaves and taking the fewest actions possible within those communities.
Not unlike the “No Go Zones” of European countries, these communities in the Unites States also tend to shield foreign nationals who may be fugitives from justice both inside the United States and in other countries. Terrorists and their supporters are able to go about their daily lives- undetected by law enforcement agencies.
Implementation of sanctuary policies in such cities greatly exacerbates the threats posed to national security and public safety- turning those cities into magnets that attract still more radicals and fugitives and terrorists who need to “fly under the radar.”
Any community that provides safe haven for illegal aliens willfully endangers the lives of it residents.
Even as concerns about increased threats of terror attacks are the topic of a succession of Congressional hearings, so-called “Sanctuary Cities” continue to flourish- with the tacit approval of the administration even though they are clearly operating in violation of federal law.
Harboring -- Subsection 1324(a)(1)(A)(iii) makes it an offense for any person who -- knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place, including any building or any means of transportation.
Encouraging/Inducing -- Subsection 1324(a)(1)(A)(iv) makes it an offense for any person who -- encourages or induces an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law.
Conspiracy/Aiding or Abetting -- Subsection 1324(a)(1)(A)(v) expressly makes it an offense to engage in a conspiracy to commit or aid or abet the commission of the foregoing offenses.
My January 23, 2015 FrontPage Magazine article, “Sleeper Cells: The Immigration Component of the Threat” took a hard look at how failures of the immigration system enable terrorists to enter the United States and, in the parlance of the 9/11 Commission, embed themselves in communities across the country.
Incredibly, New York's Mayor Bill De Blasio, not content to simply continue the dangerous- indeed deadly sanctuary policies, has amped up the threats to New York and New Yorkers- and indeed the United States, by issuing “Municipal Identity Documents” to illegal aliens.
Reportedly hundreds of thousands of individuals have been issued these identity documents that provide a host of benefits to those to whom the cards have been issued.
Criminals, fugitives and terrorists use multiple false identities. It is therefore beyond comprehension how any mayor would be willing to provide municipal identity documents to illegal aliens. It is especially confounding that New York City's mayor would do this, given that New York City suffered the greatest number of fatalities on September 11, 2001.
If Mr. De Blasio is really that concerned about the threat of terrorism, perhaps he (and Senator Schumer) should read the 9/11 Commission Report and the companion report, “9/11 and Terrorist Travel - Staff Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.”
Consider this excerpt from Chapter 12 of the 9/11 Commission Report:For terrorists, travel documents are as important as weapons. Terrorists must travel clandestinely to meet, train, plan, case targets, and gain access to attack. To them, international travel presents great danger, because they must surface to pass through regulated channels, present themselves to border security officials, or attempt to circumvent inspection points.
In their travels, terrorists use evasive methods, such as altered and counterfeit passports and visas, specific travel methods and routes, liaisons with corrupt government officials, human smuggling networks, supportive travel agencies, and immigration and identity fraud.Page 9 of 9/11 and Terrorist Travel reported:“The 19 hijackers used 364 aliases, including different spellings of their names and noms de guerre.4 As they passed through various countries, their names were recorded by governments and their intelligence and border authorities.”Providing official identity documents to illegal aliens, whose true identities are unknown and unknowable, enables them to create new false identities and a level of credibility they are easily able to exploit as an embedding tactic. Criminals and terrorists use changes in identity the way that chameleons use changes in coloration- as camouflage that enables them to hide in plain sight, often among their intended victims.
Donald Trump has recommended that the United States, at least temporarily, bar Muslims from entering the United States.
In my judgement this solution is not realistic. While the President can order a ban on the admission of all foreign Muslims, it would be impossible to implement. Terrorists and others who were determined to enter the United States could simply lie about their religious beliefs. Aliens who enter the United States without inspection are not screened. We already have large numbers of Muslims living in the United States.
The First Amendment provides for freedom of religion and understandably, many Americans are repulsed at the thought of making religious distinctions where the admission of aliens is concerned.
A far better solution would be to beef up the enforcement of our immigration laws from within the interior of the United States and focus a major component of the enforcement effort on seeking to locate and apprehend illegal aliens, irrespective of religion, from countries associated with terrorism.
Much has been made of the need to develop effective intelligence. What is seldom, if ever, discussed is the role of informants. In my assignment to the Unified Intelligence Division of the DEA and then when I was assigned to the Organized Crime, Drug Enforcement Task Force, one of my key responsibilities was to use my authority as an INS agent to cultivate informants.
Aliens who would be arrested would, under certain circumstances, be provided with the opportunity to become informants and cooperating witnesses to identify those aliens who are engaged in terror-related activities, thereby providing invaluable intelligence. Those who cooperated could be permitted to remain in the United States and even possibly, granted lawful status provided that they could be effectively vetted and that their assistance was particularly meritorious and yielded significant results.
Deporting those illegal aliens who could not- or would not cooperate would shrink the size of the haystack in which some very deadly needles are hiding.
Either way, our security would be greatly enhanced.
-------------- Michael Cutler is a retired Senior Special Agent of the former INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) whose career spanned some 30 years. He served as an Immigration Inspector, Immigration Adjudications Officer and spent 26 years as an agent with half of his career in the Drug Task Force. He has testified before well over a dozen congressional hearings, provided testimony to the 9/11 Commission. His website is michaelcutler.net. He also writes for FrontPage Mag a publication of the David Horowitz Freedom Center. David Horowitz is a Contributing Author of the ARRA News Service Tags:Michael Cutler, FrontPage Mag, Sanctuary Cities, facilitate, growth of terrorism, AmericaTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Andrew Collins: Pennsylvania may be full of ghost stories, but a much more tangible kind of “ghost” has been haunting the state’s school districts lately. These ghosts are found in the form of teachers working for their local teachers union – nowhere to be found in the classrooms in which they were originally hired to teach.
The term “ghost teachers” (also known, more tactfully, as “release time” or “official time”) refers to a practice common in school districts across the country of allowing teachers to leave the classroom to work full time for their local teachers union. This is problematic from the perspective of taxpayers because those teachers remain employed and paid by the school district even though they aren’t spending any time teaching.
Philadelphia schools, for example, paid at least 18 teachers $1.7 million while they worked for the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers last year. For many of these teachers, it’s been years since they taught in the classroom; some have even been on release time for decades. The school district’s rules currently allow the PFT to pull up to 63 teachersfrom the classroom each year for union purposes. The PFT has said most of those teachers simply work as information officers, but it later revealed that some work as political operatives.
Granted, in the case of Philadelphia, the PFT says it reimburses the school district for the salaries of teachers who spend their workdays with the union. But there’s still a catch for taxpayers. Ghost teachers continue to accrue seniority while working for their union, even though they aren’t gaining any experience teaching, and they continue to earn a pension because they are still technically employed by the school district. On top of that, students must pay the priceless opportunity cost of losing out on an education from qualified, experienced teachers. This is especially significant in Philadelphia, where the school district has openings for 200 full-time teaching positions and lacks enough subs to regularly fill classrooms when teachers are absent. There is also no official requirement that teachers unions reimburse taxpayers for ghost teachers.
Watchdog reporter Evan Grossman has covered multiple efforts over the past year to rein in the ghost teachers practice. The Fairness Center, a free legal service that represents employees with cases against unions, has two lawsuits making their way through the courts targeting ghost teachers in the school districts of Philadelphia and Allentown. Last year a judge ruled that the first lawsuit, filed in Philadelphia County Court, “lacked sufficient facts to support the case,” but the Fairness Center intends to appeal the ruling.
“Unfortunately, this ruling perpetuates the PFT’s abusive ‘ghost teacher’ scheme and turns a deaf ear to the voices of Philadelphia teachers,” said David Osborne, general counsel for the Fairness Center. “The PFT is intent on making teachers’ jobs even more difficult by raiding the classroom as a means to staff union offices. Teachers, students and taxpayers are harmed when union leaders are allowed to take school district employees out of the classroom for decades, even while they receive all incidences of district employment.”
In Allentown, the cash-strapped school district has dished out more than $1.4 million in public funds since 1999 to pay the salary of the president of the Allentown Education Association, the local teachers union. In response, the Fairness Center is bringing a lawsuit on behalf of Allentown taxpayers Steven Ramos and Scott Armstrong to end the practice of allowing the AEA president to work full-time for the union while drawing a salary and benefits from taxpayers.
“It’s absurd that Allentown taxpayers are being forced to pay a union employee’s salary along with health and pension benefits,” Ramos said in a statement. “How many students could be educated with the more than $1 million the district has given to a private organization? This misuse of public money must end.”
The lawsuit, however, didn’t stop the Allentown Board of School Directors from forging ahead and approving a new teachers contract that keeps the practice of using ghost teachers intact. Out of the eight-person board of directors, only one voted against the contract, citing concerns over the release-time provision that continues to divert public funds away from classrooms.
In response to Watchdog’s reporting on the issue, Pennsylvania lawmakers in both the House and Senate have taken legislative action to try to end the practice. The latest attempt on this front is SB1140. Recently introduced by Sen. Pat Stefano, R-32nd district, it would ban the practice of using ghost teachers across the entire state.
“During an era of tight budgets and taxpayer concerns over increasing education costs, it is imperative that teachers on a school district’s payroll actually be in a classroom, teaching students,” Stefano said. “By banning this provision in collective bargaining agreements, this legislation will ensure a more effective use of public school resources and funds.”
A similar bill, HB1649, was introduced in the House last year by Reps. Kristin Phillips-Hill, R-York, and Jim Christiana, R-Beaver/Washington, but it is still awaiting action in the House Education Committee.
“This measure will close a loophole that allows public school teachers to take leave from the classroom and work full-time for their union while they continue to earn salary, benefits, accrue seniority and time toward their pension,” Phillips-Hill said. Her office also noted that Watchdog’s reporting on the issue provided a “starting point” for crafting the bill.
----------------- Andrew Collins (@ACwords) when not writing an article, spearheads Franklin Center’s social media campaigns, promoting journalism through Franklin Center, Watchdog.org, and Watchdog Wire-branded accounts on various social media platforms. Previously, Andrew worked in campaign communications and television news. Tags:Ghost Teachers, not teaching, teachers, working for, local teachers union, Pennsylvania, Andrew Collins, Franklin CenterTo 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: You may have noticed that often during a conversation about Islam, someone points out that radical Muslims are but a small percentage of the whole Muslim population. That is true, but there is another percentage that rarely gets mentioned: the percentage of Muslims who want to make Sharia law the official law of a country.
A number of years ago, Pew Research interviewed nearly 40,000 Muslims in 39 countries concerning sharia law. Let’s start with the two countries where American troops have been for more than a decade. They found that 99 percent of Muslims in Afghanistan favor making sharia the official law of their country. The same poll found that 91 percent of Muslims in Iraq also believed sharia should be the official law of their country. It will be hard to bring democratic values to countries where nearly all the citizens believe that sharia law, not a constitution, should be the law of the land.
If you look at the list of other countries you see high percentages: 84 percent in Pakistan, 74 percent in Egypt, and 72 percent in Indonesia. In nearly every country surveyed, you had a substantial majority that believed that sharia law should be the official law of their country.
If you come to the United States, the percentages are different because (1) there are fewer Muslims in America, and (2) many Muslims have been willing to accept American democratic values. But that does not mean that sharia has not been implemented even here on a limited basis.
The Center for Security Policy published a paper awhile back that identified 146 cases of sharia law coming into conflict with American law. Granted these are not major cases but they still illustrate the willingness of Americans (both Muslim and non-Muslim) to accept some aspects of sharia law.
Radical Muslims may only be a small percentage of Muslims, however the percentage of Muslims who accept sharia law is much larger percentage.
----------- 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, Sharia Law, conflicts, American LawTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
"How is the Commerce Department giving out a taxpayer-funded no-bid contract to the President and Fellows of Harvard College to review the IANA functions transition that Commerce is prohibited from even performing? Congress has defunded the Internet giveaway three times, but still work continues, with Commerce Department officials traveling all over the world to junkets and conferences to prepare the proposal, which was finalized in Morocco just this month. They've already agreed to it. If Congress' Article One power of the purse is so easily ignored by the executive branch without adverse recourse, Congress has little reason to exist.
"The FBO listing even erroneously claimed at first that 'Congress has mandated the review prior to NTIA transitioning its stewardship of certain Internet technical functions to the global multistakeholder community...' before amending it after a Senate office pointed out the error, since Congress never actually mandated any review of the transition. In fact, Congress has denied funds to engage in the transition. Thus it lacks funds to even consider the transition, let alone executing various stages of the proposal to prepare the transition.
REP. DANA ROHRABACHER (R-CA): “Let me ask you this. We say that about 30 percent or whatever that figure is that have been released have been -- have returned to terrorist activities. How many lives have been lost by those terrorists who went back to their terrorist activities?” … PAUL LEWIS, Defense Department Special Envoy For Guantanamo Closure:“Sir, what I can tell you is unfortunately, there have been Americans that have died because of Gitmo detainees.”(U.S. House Of Representatives, Foreign Affairs Committee, Hearing, 3/23/16)
Obama Administration Previously: 'We're Going To Die Trying' To Close Gitmo
SEC DEF: style="color: red; font-size: 14pt;">‘There Are People In Gitmo Who Are So Dangerous That We Cannot Transfer Them’
SEC. OF DEFENSE ASH CARTER:“[T]here are people in Gitmo who are so dangerous that we cannot transfer them to the custody of another government no matter how much we trust that government. I can't assure the president that it would be safe to do that. ... We're not going to be able to close Gitmo by magically making safe everybody who's in there.”(CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” 1/24/16)
GTMO Detainee: “... to the American be patient, your days is coming, one day we going to slaughter you behind the tree.” [Detainee leading the rest of his cell block singing]. (Department Of Defense Briefing, June 2006)
‘30 Percent Of The … Detainees Transferred Or Released, Are Now Either Confirmed Or Suspected Of Reengaging’ In Terrorist Activities
“The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has released its latest statistics on the number of former Guantanamo detainees who are either confirmed or suspected of returning to the fight. … The ODNI says that a total of 196 ex-Gitmo detainees, or 30 percent of the 653 total detainees transferred or released, are now either confirmed or suspected of reengaging. The number of confirmed recidivists (117) outnumbers those on the suspected list (79). The figures are current as of July 15, 2015.” (“More Than 100 Ex-Gitmo Recidivists At Large,” The Weekly Standard, 9/4/15)
“In a message released Thursday on the social media messaging app Telegram and attributed to Ibrahim Qosi, Qosi told fighters in Somalia to ‘continue the raid with a raid, and light up the ground beneath the feet of the Crusaders and team them that the lands of Islam are a fortress that is not allowed to the disbelievers, and a graveyard for the invaders,' according to a translation by the SITE Intelligence Group. 'Victory is brought by blood and suffering, not by promises and wishes from every libertine,’ he said.” ("Freed Guantanamo Bay Detainee Promotes Jihad in Somalia," ABC News, 2/26/2016)
“Though the detainee file describes Qosi as ‘high risk’ and of ‘high intelligence value,’ he was released from Guantanamo Bay in July 2012 after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy and supporting terrorism. He had originally been sentenced to 14 years, but the sentence was reduced to two . . . At the time of his release to Sudan, the Pentagon said the U.S. had coordinated with Sudan's government to ensure ‘appropriate security and humane treatment measures’ for Qosi. Butby late 2014, Qosi had reportedly joined al Qaeda's affiliate in Yemen, AQAP, and shortly thereafter became one of its senior members.”("Freed Guantanamo Bay Detainee Promotes Jihad in Somalia," ABC News, 2/26/2016)
“Spanish and Moroccan police on Tuesday arrested four suspected members of a jihadi cell that sought to recruit fighters for the Islamic State group, including one described as a former Guantanamo detainee who once fought with militants in Afghanistan. One of those detained in Ceuta was the former Guantanamo detainee who was not named by Spanish authorities but described as ‘a leader who was trained in handling weapons, explosives and in military tactics.’” ("4 Arrested In Spain, Morocco For IS Armed Group Ties," The Associated Press, 2/23/2016)
Tags:Gitmo detainees, how many, will rejopin, Terror GroupsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Ann Coulter: The only question for Republicans is: Which candidate can win states that Mitt Romney lost?
Start with the fact that, before any vote is cast on Election Day, the Democrats have already won between 90 and 98 percent of the black vote and 60 to 75 percent of the Hispanic and Asian vote. Unless Republicans run the table on the white vote, they lose.
If there's still hope, it lies with Trump and only Trump. Donald Trump will do better with black and Hispanic voters than any other Republican. But it's with white voters that he really opens up the electoral map.
A Republican Party that wasn't intent on committing suicide would know that. But Stuart Stevens, the guy who lost a winnable presidential election in 2012, says it's impossible for Republicans to get one more white vote -- and the media are trying to convince the GOP that he's right.
Stevens says Romney tapped out every last white voter and still lost, so he says Republicans are looking for "the Lost Tribes of the Amazon" hoping to win more white votes: "In 1980, Ronald Reagan won 56 percent of white voters and won a landslide victory of 44 states. In 2012, Mitt Romney won 59 percent of whites and lost with 24 states."
Apparently, no one's told Stevens about the 50-state Electoral College. The national white vote is irrelevant. Presidential elections are won by winning states. (Only someone who got his ass kicked running an eminently electable candidate might not know this.)
Excluding third parties and breaking it down to a two-man race, Mitt Romney won 88 percent of the white vote in Mississippi, but only 40 percent of the white vote in Massachusetts. What sense does it make to talk about his national percentage of the white vote with disparities like that?
Romney lost the white vote to Obama in five crucial swing states: Maine (42 percent of the white vote), Minnesota (47 percent), New Hampshire (48 percent), Iowa (48 percent) and Wisconsin (49 percent). He only narrowly beat Obama's white vote in other important swing states -- Illinois (51 percent), Colorado (52 percent), Michigan (53 percent), Ohio (54 percent) and Pennsylvania (54 percent).
Increasing the white vote in these states gives Trump any number of paths to victory.
If Trump wins only the same states as Romney, but adds Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois -- where Romney's white vote was below his national average -- Trump wins with 280 electoral votes. (Romney wasn't an ideal candidate in the industrial Midwest.)
Trump could lose any one of those states and make up for it by winning Minnesota and Wisconsin -- where Romney actually lost the white vote. Or he could lose two of those states but add victories in places outside the Rust Belt, where Romney's white vote was also below average, such as Colorado, Iowa, Maine and New Hampshire. (In 1992, Ross Perot came in second in Maine, beating George Bush.)
I haven't even mentioned Florida, where Trump recently trounced Stuart Stevens' dream candidate, Marco Rubio, a sitting senator -- and a Cuban! -- in a 20-point rout. Republican primary voters outnumbered Democratic primary voters in that election by more than half a million votes.
If Trump wins Florida, he needs to win only two or three of the 10 states where Romney either lost the white vote outright or won a smaller percentage of it than he did nationally.
Stevens' analysis assumes that there will be no new voters -- and, again, there isn't a mammal on the North American landmass who knows less about winning presidential elections than Stuart Stevens.
It's as if we're only allowed to divvy up the pile of voters from 2012. Unless you voted in 2012, you can't vote in 2016! Use it or lose it, buddy.
That's not how it works.
Trump is saying he'll bring in lots of new people, as he has throughout the primaries. In the Florida GOP primary, for example, Trump got nearly half a million more votes than Romney did in 2012 -- and about half a million new people voted. Trump may be wrong, but it's insane to say that it's impossible for him to bring out new voters.
What's impossible is for any Republican candidate, other than Trump, to win a single state Romney lost. Ted Cruz's corny speaking style is creepy to anyone who doesn't already agree with everything he says. He's the less likable, more hard-edged version of Romney. Every other Republican is, one way or another, a less attractive version of Romney.
Maybe 50 years of Third World immigration means it's too late, and even Trump can't win. But it's an absolute certainty that any other Republican will lose.
----------------- 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, It's only Trump, Donald Trump, winning states, Romney lostTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Hans von Spakovsky: In a second loss in less than two weeks, a federal court has once again ruled against the Obama administration, this time in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) tussle with Judicial Watch over the Clinton email fiasco.
Previously, on March 22, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the Justice Department and the IRS to stop their “continuous resistance” and “meritless” objections to producing information and documentation sought in a lawsuit filed by a Tea Party organization in the IRS targeting scandal.
This time, Judge Royce C. Lamberth of the District Court of the District of Columbia issued an order on March 29 giving Judicial Watch the ability to take limited discovery of State Department officials on the adequacy of the Department’s “search for responsive documents” in a FOIA request filed by Judicial Watch seeking former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s internal email correspondence. The purpose of the discovery, which, Lamberth admitted, “is exceedingly rare in FOIA cases,” is to help the court determine whether the State Department’s search “reasonably produced all responsive documents.”
Lamberth noted that he has set out the proper standards for limited discovery in a prior FOIA action filed by the Landmark Legal Foundation against the Environmental Protection Agency in which the agency:
… had excluded its Administrator from a search of ‘senior official’ files …, did not search personal e-mail accounts where official government business was being conducted, and ultimately disclosed that the Administrator was sending and receiving e-mails in her dog’s name – which was not subject to the FOIA search.As Lamberth said (emphasis added), “where there is evidence of government wrong-doing and bad faith, as here, limited discovery is appropriate.”
Lamberth called Clinton’s “exclusive” use of “her ‘clintonemail.com’ account to conduct official government business, as well as other officials’ use of this account and their own personal e-mail accounts to conduct official” State Department business “extraordinary.”
Lamberth also criticized the State Department’s claim that Judicial Watch was relying on “speculation” or “surmise” over the inadequacy of the department’s search, noting instead that Judicial Watch was “relying on constantly shifting admissions by the Government and the former government officials.”
The State Department claims that it had no obligation to produce Clinton’s State Department emails “because it did not ‘possess’ or ‘control’ them at the time the FOIA request was made.” Lamberth stated, however, that Judicial Watch is “certainly entitled to dispute” this position.
The administration also argued that the fact that it had not actually searched Clinton’s emails at the time Judicial Watch asked for all of her emails “was neither a misrepresentation nor material omission”—a dubious claim, to be sure.
In response to the State Department’s claim that its non-search and subsequent responses to Judicial Watch did not show “a lack of good faith,” Lamberth said “that is what remains to be seen, and the factual record must be developed appropriately in order for this Court to make that determination” (emphasis added).
Lamberth acknowledged that there is a similar ongoing case filed by Judicial Watch pending before Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, who is also in the District of Columbia District Court.
Sullivan has already ruled “that he will authorize limited discovery.” Briefing in that case is ongoing and may effect “what additional proposed discovery, tailored to this case,” Lamberth will allow.
The bottom line is that Judicial Watch is now going to be able to take limited discovery to plum the State Department’s “constantly shifting admissions” over the use of Clinton’s home-brewed computer network by Clinton, her aides, and other senior State Department officials and the extent of their knowledge about that unsecured system—a system that would have been a target-rich environment for lone wolf hackers as well as sophisticated foreign intelligence agencies.
------------- Hans von Spakovsky is an authority on a wide range of issues—including civil rights, civil justice, the First Amendment, immigration, the rule of law and government reform—as a senior legal fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and manager of the think tank’s Election Law Reform Initiative. More ARRA News Service articles by or about Hans con Spakovsky Tags:State Department, loses another round, Clinton email fiasco, scandal, Judicial Watch, Hans von Spakovsky, The Heritage Foundation, The Daily Signal, 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 Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: Congress is considering a bill to fight government zombies. That is the name Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers gives to the many government programs that have never been reauthorized by Congress. These “walking dead” programs continue to function with little or no government oversight.
Her bill would gradually cut funding for unauthorized government programs in order to compel Congress to take action on them. Currently, the federal government funds 256 unauthorized programs costing $310.4 billion. This even includes entire agencies like the State Department.
That raises a point. Would Congress refuse to refund the State Department? Certainly not, but imagine the oversight that would occur if even the State Department had to come to Congress and explain its action. Representative Rogers notes that many of these agencies have “become arrogant, they become disconnected from their mission.” She believes that this bill “restores accountability with the elected representatives.”
Under the bill, programs that have expired authorizations would be subject to a 10 percent spending cut the first year of unauthorized status and a 15 percent cut in the second and third years. If Congress fails to reauthorize after that time, the program will be sunsetted (all funding would disappear). In addition to the sunset process, the bill also creates a Spending Accountability Commission to oversee the authorization schedule and review all mandatory spending programs.
Citizens and candidates all complain about spending and the lack of accountability but we rarely see concrete programs that would change the current system in Washington. An automatic cut in spending will get the attention of the agency and members of Congress. This is the type of fiscal discipline with need in Congress.
-------------- 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, Government Zombies, unauthorized programs, Cathy McMorris RodgersTo 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, Hillary Clinton, the truth, truth dogTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: Many who pledged to limit their terms in Congress have gotten elected and, then . . . actually kept their word. Yet, with the temptations of power, combined with the acute narcissism of politicians, not a few have flung their honor aside to break their promise.
Four years ago, Oklahoma Congressman Markwayne Mullin was a challenger, “who pledged repeatedly . . . not to serve more than six years in the House.” Okie voters limited their congressional reps to three terms (six years) via a ballot initiative back in 1994. Of course, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down that and 22 other state-imposed congressional term limits laws just a year later.
NewsOK.com reporter Chris Casteel asked Rep. Mullin if this coming term would, as Mullin vowed, be his last.
A simple yes or no question, eh?
Well, the incumbent’s response was less than unequivocal, “leaving open the possibility that he may run for a fourth term,” Casteel reported.
“Our position on this has not changed,” read Mullin’s official statement. “However, Christie and I will continue to seek the Lord’s guidance and do what is best for our family and the 2nd District of Oklahoma. The only election I am focused on right now is in 2016.”
Hmmm. Do you recall the Lord ever guiding anyone to break his word to the people?
What a dodge!
Mullin is like a burglar announcing, “I’m not sure if I’m going to rob your home when I get out of jail. That’s too far off in the future. But I’m seeking spiritual advice about it.”
Come to think of it, incumbent politicians and burglars have quite a lot in common.
But notCommon 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, politicians, incumbent upon heaven, Oklahoma. Congressman. Markwayne MullinTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
One Belgian nuke plant security guard was murdered recently and his ID is missing. Two of the Brussels bombers reportedly spied on the home of a top senior scientist in the country’s nuclear program. ISIS has been implicated in an alleged insider plot to obtain radioisotopes from one of Belgium’s nuclear plants for a dirty bomb. Two former Belgian nuke plant workers left their jobs to fight for ISIS in Syria.
Could Islamic terrorists and other criminal menaces now exploit homeland security vulnerabilities at our own nuclear power plants and other utilities here in the U.S.?
Answer: They already have.
In 2011, a little-remembered Department of Homeland Security intelligence report warned of the ongoing enterprise of jihadi infiltration at nuclear, utility and other infrastructure facilities. The memo, titled “Insider Threat to Utilities,” warned that “violent extremists have, in fact, obtained insider positions.” Moreover, “outsiders have attempted to solicit utility-sector employees” for damaging physical and cyber attacks.
“Based on the reliable reporting of previous incidents, we have high confidence in our judgment that insiders and their actions pose a significant threat to the infrastructure and information systems of U.S. facilities,” the bulletin detailed. “[I]nsider information on sites, infrastructure, networks, and personnel is valuable to our adversaries and may increase the impact of any attack on the utilities infrastructure.”
No kidding, Captain Obvious and First Lieutenant Duh!
Since the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. nuclear industry has spent more than $2 billion upgrading security — including more than doubling the number of armed guards at entrances and checkpoints surrounding the plants.
But when the threats are coming from inside the tent, all those armed forces outside the perimeters are for show.
Politically correct politicians and terror-coddling grievance groups condemn monitoring and tracking of Muslim refugees and Muslims enclaves (such as those in Minneapolis and Maine where tens of thousands of Somalis have resettled). They cried “Islamophobia” when homeland security officials wanted to interview Muslim visa holders from terror-sponsoring nations after the 9/11 attacks.
Then there are the security breaches involving who knows how many illegal border-crossers, fake document users and deportation violators. Dozens of illegal immigrants using fake Social Security numbers were swept up in immediate post-9/11 raids at nuclear sub bases, power plants and Navy aircraft carriers. But it didn’t take long for the feds to hit the snooze button.
In 2011, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio arrested Cruz Loya Alvares, who was working at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station despite being a Mexican illegal immigrant who had been deported in 2000. He paid human smugglers to bring him back, secured work in construction, and somehow escaped re-deportation despite being cited by Mesa County Police for driving with a suspended license.
In 2012, another Mexican illegal immigrant, Nestor Martinez-Ochoa, who worked in construction, was arrested after trying to enter the same Palo Verde nuclear power plant with a fake ID — not by federal authorities, but again by Arpaio’s office.
The specter of nuclear jihad is terrifying, but the chilling fact is that homeland security has already been in meltdown for years. We’re doing ourselves in.
------------------ Michelle Malkin is mother, wife, blogger, conservative syndicated columnist, and author. She shares many of her articles and thoughts at MichelleMalkin.com. Tags:Michelle Malkin, Nuclear Jihad, Threats Are Inside Our TentTo 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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