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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, May 27, 2016
The Six Core Beliefs of Conservatism
by Russell Kirk: “What is conservatism?” Abraham Lincoln inquired rhetorically, as he campaigned for the presidency of the United States. “Is it not adherence to the old and tried, against the new and untried?” By that test, the candidate told his audience, Abraham Lincoln was a conservative.
Other definitions have been offered. In Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary one encounters this: “Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others.” . . .Although it is no ideology, conservatism may be apprehended reasonably well by attention to what leading writers and politicians, generally called conservative, have said and done. . . . “Conservatism,” to put the matter another way, amounts to the consensus of the leading conservative thinkers and actors over the past two centuries. For our present purpose, however, we may set down below several general principles upon which most eminent conservatives in some degree may be said to have agreed implicitly. The following first principles are best discerned in the theoretical and practical politics of British and American conservatives.
1. TRANSCENDENT ORDER
First, conservatives generally believe that there exists a transcendent moral order, to which we ought to try to conform the ways of society. A divine tactic, however dimly descried, is at work in human society. Such convictions may take the form of belief in “natural law” or may assume some other expression; but with few exceptions conservatives recognize the need for enduring moral authority. This conviction contrasts strongly with the liberals' utilitarian view of the state (most consistently expressed by Bentham’s disciples), and with the radicals’ detestation of theological postulates.
2. SOCIAL CONTINUITY
Second, conservatives uphold the principle of social continuity. They prefer the devil they know to the devil they don’t know. Order and justice and freedom, they believe, are the artificial products of a long and painful social experience, the results of centuries of trial and reflection and sacrifice. Thus the body social is a kind of spiritual corporation, comparable to the church; it may even be called a community of souls. Human society is no machine, to be treated mechanically. The continuity, the lifeblood, of a society must not be interrupted. Burke’s reminder of the social necessity for prudent change is in the minds of conservatives. But necessary change, they argue, ought to be gradual and discriminatory, never “unfixing old interests at once.” Revolution slices through the arteries of a culture, a cure that kills.
Third, conservatives believe in what may be called the principle of prescription. “The wisdom of our ancestors” is one of the more important phrases in the writings of Burke; presumably Burke derived it from Richard Hooker. Conservatives sense that modern men and women are dwarfs on the shoulders of giants, able to see farther than their ancestors only because of the great stature of those who have preceded us in time. Therefore conservatives very frequently emphasize the importance of “prescription”—that is, of things established by immemorial usage, so “that the mind of man runneth not to the contrary.” There exist rights of which the chief sanction is their antiquity—including rights in property, often. Similarly, our morals are prescriptive in great part. Conservatives argue that we are unlikely, we moderns, to make any brave new discoveries in morals or politics or taste. It is perilous to weigh every passing issue on the basis of private judgment and private rationality. “The individual is foolish, but the species is wise,” Burke declared. In politics we do well to abide by precedent and precept and even prejudice, for “the great mysterious incorporation of the human race” has acquired habits, customs, and conventions of remote origin which are woven into the fabric of our social being; the innovator, in Santayana’s phrase, never knows how near to the taproot of the tree he is hacking.
Fourth, conservatives are guided by their principle of prudence. Burke agrees with Plato that in the statesman, prudence is chief among virtues. Any public measure ought to be judged by its probable long-run consequences, not merely by temporary advantage or popularity. Liberals and radicals, the conservative holds, are imprudent: for they dash at their objectives without giving much heed to the risk of new abuses worse than the evils they hope to sweep away. Human society being complex, remedies cannot be simple if they are to be effective. The conservative declares that he acts only after sufficient reflection, having weighed the consequences. Sudden and slashing reforms are perilous as sudden and slashing surgery. The march of providence is slow; it is the devil who always hurries.
Fifth, conservatives pay attention to the principle of variety. They feel affection for the proliferating intricacy of long-established social institutions and modes of life, as distinguished from the narrowing uniformity and deadening egalitarianism of radical systems. For the preservation of a healthy diversity in any civilization, there must survive orders and classes, differences in material condition, and many sorts of inequality. The only true forms of equality are equality in the Last Judgment and equality before a just court of law; all other attempts at leveling lead, at best, to social stagnation. Society longs for honest and able leadership; and if natural and institutional differences among people are destroyed, presently some tyrant or host of squalid oligarchs will create new forms of inequality. Similarly, conservatives uphold the institution of private property as productive of human variety: without private property, liberty is reduced and culture is impoverished.
Sixth, conservatives are chastened by their principle of imperfectibility. Human nature suffers irremediably from certain faults, the conservatives know. Man being imperfect, no perfect social order ever can be created. Because of human restlessness, mankind would grow rebellious under any utopian domination, and would break out once more in violent discontent—or else expire of boredom. To aim for utopia is to end in disaster, the conservative says: we are not made for perfect things. All that we reasonably can expect is a tolerably ordered, just, and free society, in which some evils, maladjustments, and suffering continue to lurk. By proper attention to prudent reform, we may preserve and improve this tolerable order. But if the old institutional and moral safeguards of a nation are forgotten, then the anarchic impulses in man break loose: “the ceremony of innocence is drowned.”
Such are six of the major premises of what Walter Bagehot, a century ago, called “reflective conservatism.” To have set down some principal convictions of conservative thinkers, in the fashion above, may be misleading: for conservative thought is not a body of immutable secular dogmas. Our purpose here has been broad description, not fixed definition. If one requires a single sentence—why, let it be said that for the conservative, politics is the art of the possible, not the art of the ideal.
Edmund Burke turned to first principles in politics only with reluctance, believing that “metaphysical” politicians let loose dreadful mischief by attempting to govern nations according to abstract notions. Conservatives have believed, following Burke, that general principles always must be tempered, in any particular circumstances, by what Burke called expedience, or prudence; for particular circumstances vary infinitely, and every nation must observe its own traditions and historical experience—which should take precedence over universal notions drawn up in some quiet study. Yet Burke did not abjure general ideas; he distinguished between “abstraction” (or a priori notions divorced from a nation’s history and necessities) and “principle” (or sound general ideas derived from a knowledge of human nature and of the past). Principles are necessary to a statesman, but they must be applied discreetly and with infinite caution to the workaday world. The preceding six conservative principles, therefore, are to be taken as a rough catalog of the general assumptions of conservatives, and not as a tidy system of doctrines for governing a state.
------------------- Russell Kirk (1918–1994) was one of the twentieth century’s foremost men of letters and one of the principal founders of the modern conservative movement. Article was excerpted from The Essential Russell Kirk, a collection of his finest essays and writings.complements of Intercollegiate Studies Institute. Tags:Six Core Beliefs, Conservatism, Russell Kirk, 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 Newt Gingrich: It’s difficult to choose the most disturbing aspect of the State Department Inspector General’s report this week on Hillary Clinton’s email practices, but near the top of the list must surely be this: virtually everything Clinton has said about her email has been a lie, and she knew it all the time.
Her first explanation was that she set up the secret server in her private home as “a matter of convenience” so she didn’t have to carry two devices.
Then she told us she was “not willing to say it was an error in judgment because…nothing that I did was wrong. It was not – it was not in any way prohibited.”
The whole thing, she promised, was “fully above board.”
“The truth is” she told CNN, “everything I did was permitted and I went above and beyond what anybody could have expected in making sure if the State Department didn’t capture something, I made a real effort to get it to them.”
And there was no indication, she assured us, that the server was ever hacked. “Not at all.”
Now, with the State Department IG report, we know it was all untrue. And Hillary knew it when she went on TV and said those things — lying to us again and again.
Contrary to Clinton’s claims that she set up her complicated server scheme to avoid carrying two phones, the Inspector General’s report proves that it really had nothing to do with “convenience,” and everything to do with avoiding public disclosure of her emails. The report shows that when Huma Abedin, the Secretary’s deputy chief of staff, suggested “putting you [Hillary] on state email…”, Hillary responded, “Let’s get a separate address or [second] device but I don’t want any risk of the personal being accessible.” In other words, her priority wasn’t to limit the number of phone she carried, but to avoid Freedom of Information Act requests.
That arrangement certainly was not “fully above board” nor was it “permitted,” according to the IG report. The IG states flatly, “She did not comply with the [State] Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act.” Instead, her practices were “not an appropriate method of preserving any such emails that would constitute a Federal record.” So much for her claim that “nothing that [she] did was wrong.”
Clinton was equally dishonest when she said she “went above and beyond” and “[made] sure if the State Department didn’t capture something, [she] made a real effort to get it to them.” As the IG report points out, “Secretary Clinton’s production was incomplete.” For instance, she has produced no emails at all from her first several months in office — “from January 21, 2009, to March 17, 2009 for received messages; and from January 21, 2009 to April 12, 2009 for sent messages” — even though we know she was using email during that period. This months-long gap is in addition to the roughly 30,000 supposedly “personal” emails that Clinton deleted before handing the rest over to the State Department nearly two years after she left office.
Finally, the report revealed that despite Hillary’s insistence that her server was not hacked, she was in fact aware of repeated attacks on it. The server administrator, who worked for Clinton personally, advised Clinton aide Huma Abedin that “he had to shut down the server because he believed ‘someone was trying to hack us and while they did not get in I didn't want to let them have the chance to.’ Later that day, the advisor again wrote to [Abedin], ‘We were attacked again so I shut [the server] down for a few min.’”
The next day, according to the IG report, Abedin “emailed the Chief of Staff and the Deputy Chief of Staff for Planning and instructed them not to email the Secretary ‘anything sensitive’ and stated that she could ‘explain more in person.’” This suggests Clinton and her aides were at the very least seriously concerned that the server could have been hacked — far from having “no indication” that it might have been.
The fact that virtually everything Clinton has said about her secretive email system has proved to be a lie is probably no big surprise to the American people. In a recent Quinnipiac poll, the word most mentioned by respondents in association with Hillary Clinton was “liar.” The runners up were “dishonest” and “untrustworthy” — offered by a combined 394 people. The next most common term, “experience,” was offered by 82.
But while the lies revealed in the Inspector General’s report may not be surprising, they do deal with sensitive issues of national security — and that should be disqualifying for the job of commander-in-chief.
A normal person would be chastened by such a report. Having everything he or she said revealed as a lie might elicit some apology, for “an error in judgement” at the very least. But then again, a normal person would never have had such reckless disdain for the law to begin with, nor continued the dishonesty when caught. So now we watch uncomfortably, as Hillary goes on lying about lying — as if we didn’t already know.
---------------------- 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, The Worst Thing, Hillary’s Email ReportTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Donald Trump Is A Wake Up Call For The Republican Party
Donald Trump looks at a photo to autograph
at the Charleston Civic Center on May 5, 2016 in Charleston, W. VA. (Photo by Mark Lyons/
Getty Images Via Forbes article)
by Ralph Benko, Contributing Author: Republican Party leaders have lost touch with their base, with Independents, and with the general electorate’s craving for equitable prosperity. That's odd. The economy consistently polls at the top of voter concerns.
The single most important factor in the 2016 presidential election pithily was described by the New York Post’s John Crudele in a column headlined Americans haven’t gotten a raise in 16 years: One last statistic, from Sentier Research. Median annual household income in the US reached $57,263 this past March, which was 4.5% higher than in March 2015.
But — and here’s where the anger comes in — this March’s figure is still slightly below the $57,342 median annual income in January 2000.
Americans haven’t gotten a raise in more than 16 years.Both Republicans and Democrats alternately have been in control of or possessed shared influence over the federal government for a long, dreary, Little Dark Age. Both Republicans and Democrats have come up short in resolving this slow motion crisis. No wonder we voters are dissatisfied. No wonder the appeal of outsiders and party mavericks.
The incumbents have failed us. Comes now Donald Trump as a wake up call.
We enter an epic political era. It rather puts one in mind of the second verse of Genesis: And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
Trump’s rhetorical focus on worker prosperity promises light. But … can he deliver? The Republican party now is waiting for Trump to prove himself an Agent of Light rather than just another political Lucifer. To what policies will Trump commit himself? On whose advice will he rely? Will he refine his disposition to display the kind of maturity required from the leader of the free world?
Much now depends on Donald Trump’s immediate next moves. While waiting for these moves let us spend a moment contemplating the darkness currently besetting the face of the political deep, both Democrat and Republican.
Consider how brilliantly economic growth performed under President Bill Clinton’s neoliberal economic regime. We experienced massive job creation, upward income mobility, even a federal budget surplus. It is more than mildly bewildering as to why the Democrats are giving only a weak cheer for neoliberal economic growth policies.
... Mainstream conservative think tank positions on free trade, U.S.-led internationalism, lower personal income tax rates, Social Security reform and immigration regularization simply do not appear to speak to today’s high-anxiety voters. … Lower taxes, small government, free-trade, and more immigration appealed to blue-collar voters in Reagan’s day; they don’t so much today. And so far, the elite has been reluctant to adapt.I, to the best of my knowledge, am the only capo of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy who also is a proud card-carrying member of the AFL-CIO. Heresy?
Note also that the great John L. Lewis, leader of the United Mine Workers and prime founder of the CIO was a lifelong Republican. He was a supply-sider, willing to see the number of miners reduced by advanced mining technology so long as the remaining miners equitably participated in the associated productivity gains.
The founder of the Republican Party, one rail-splitting Abraham Lincoln was deeply empathetic toward and supportive of laborers. Today's GOP has lost touch both with its roots and its rank-and-file.
If Trump can reawaken the GOP that would be creative destruction at its best.
The American Dream has two components: prosperity and economic justice. Realizing the Dream demands that labor and capital both thrive. The parties are polarized.
Republicans champion prosperity (but a prosperity in practice largely inuring to the “rich." Democrats champion fairness, but at the cost of thwarting the prosperity to which we workers aspire.
The two values, economic prosperity and economic justice, are not antithetical. Trump, at least rhetorically, has fused the two. He is receiving an enthusiastic response and not just in the GOP.
Trump is formidable yet something of an enigma. He rhetorically hits the nail – equitable prosperity – on the head. Yet Trump’s proposed highest profile remedies -- high tariffs and mass deportations -- would take us out of the frying pan and into the fire.
Herbert Hoover proved how toxic tariffs can be. Tariffs contributed to, some say even precipitated, the Great Depression. His tariffs caused immense misery to millions of workers.
Hostility to undocumented workers is a proxy issue for stagnation. A policy to deport derives from the pressure from enough jobs to go around it causes an understandable grievance to allow illicit competitors for available jobs. To succeed in his aspirations Trump needs more than a “a big beautiful door” in his wall. He needs job creation.
Trump surely wishes, if elected, to become “the greatest jobs president that God ever created” rather than the next Depression-inducing Herbert Hoover. Is Donald Trump able to offer up the kind of mechanisms that propelled America to create nearly 40 million new jobs under Presidents Reagan and Clinton.
Trump shows some promise in his unequivocal praise of the gold standard as a crucial element in restoring equitable prosperity. Trump: “Bringing back the gold standard would be very hard to do, but boy, would it be wonderful. We’d have a standard on which to base our money.”
There is plenty of evidence that the gold standard would let the djinn of equitable prosperity out of the bottle. Restoring it would be far less difficult than Trump suggests.
Trump's propensity for tax rate cuts holds promise.
Going into the general election, Trump need only double down on the gold standard and cutting marginal tax rates to unite the party and excite America.
“God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.”
Will Donald Trump credibly offer the voters a recipe to restore the daylight of the American Dream? Or will his recipe portend an even longer, darker, night?
----------------- 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, wake up call, Republican Party 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 Patrick Buchanan: “Something startling is happening to middle-aged white Americans. Unlike every other age group, unlike every other racial and ethnic group … death rates in this group have been rising, not falling.”
The big new killers of middle-aged white folks? Alcoholic liver disease, overdoses of heroin and opioids, and suicides. So wrote Gina Kolata in The New York Times of a stunning study by the husband-wife team of Nobel laureate Angus Deaton and Anne Case.
Deaton could cite but one parallel to this social disaster: “Only H.I.V./AIDS in contemporary times has done anything like this.”
Middle-aged whites are four times as likely as middle-aged blacks to kill themselves. Their fitness levels are falling as they suffer rising levels of physical pain, emotional stress and mental depression, which helps explain the alcohol and drug addiction.
But what explains the social disaster of white Middle America?
First, an economy where, though at or near full employment, a huge slice of the labor force has dropped out. Second, the real wages of working Americans have been nearly stagnant for decades.
Two major contributors to the economic decline of the white working-class: Scores of millions of third-world immigrants, here legally and illegally, who depress U.S. wages, and tens of thousands of factories and millions of jobs shipped abroad under the label of “globalization.”
Another factor in the crisis of middle and working class white men is the plunging percentage of those who are married. Where a wife and children give meaning to a man’s life, and to his labors, single white men are not only being left behind by the new economy, they are becoming alienated from society.
“It’s not surprising,” Barack Obama volunteered to his San Francisco high-donors, that such folks, “get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them…”
We all have seen the figure of 72 percent of black children being born out of wedlock. For working class whites, it is up to 40 percent.
A lost generation is growing up all around us.
In the popular culture of the ’40s and ’50s, white men were role models. They were the detectives and cops who ran down gangsters and the heroes who won World War II on the battlefields of Europe and in the islands of the Pacific.
They were doctors, journalists, lawyers, architects and clergy. White males were our skilled workers and craftsmen — carpenters, painters, plumbers, bricklayers, machinists, mechanics.
They were the Founding Fathers, Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Hamilton, and the statesmen, Webster, Clay and Calhoun.
Lincoln and every president had been a white male. Middle-class white males were the great inventors: Eli Whitney and Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell and the Wright Brothers.
They were the great capitalists: Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller, Henry Ford and J. P. Morgan. All the great captains of America’s wars were white males: Andrew Jackson and Sam Houston, Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee, U.S. Grant and John J. Pershing, Douglas MacArthur and George Patton.
What has changed in our culture? Everything.
The world has been turned upside-down for white children. In our schools the history books have been rewritten and old heroes blotted out, as their statues are taken down and their flags are put away. Children are being taught that America was “discovered” by genocidal white racists, who murdered the native peoples of color, enslaved Africans to do the labor they refused to do, then went out and brutalized and colonized indigenous peoples all over the world.
In Hollywood films and TV shows, working-class white males are regularly portrayed as what was once disparaged as “white trash.”
Republicans are instructed that demography is destiny, that white America is dying, and that they must court Hispanics, Asians and blacks, or go the way of the Whigs.
Since affirmative action for black Americans began in the 1960s, it has been broadened to encompass women, Hispanics, Native Americans the handicapped, indeed, almost 70 percent of the nation.
White males, now down to 31 percent of the population, have become the only Americans against whom it is not only permissible, but commendable, to discriminate.
When our cultural and political elites celebrate “diversity” and clamor for more, what are they demanding, if not fewer white males in the work force and in the freshman classes at Annapolis and Harvard?
What is the moral argument for an affirmative action that justifies unending race discrimination against a declining white working class, who have become the expendables of our multicultural regime?
“Angry white male” is now an acceptable slur in culture and politics. So it is that people of that derided ethnicity, race, and gender see in Donald Trump someone who unapologetically berates and mocks the elites who have dispossessed them, and who despise them.
Is it any surprise that militant anti-government groups attract white males? Is it so surprising that the Donald today, like Jess Willard a century ago, is seen by millions as “The Great White Hope”?
----------- Patrick Buchanan is currently a conservative columnist, political analyst, chairman of The American Cause foundation and an editor of The American Conservative. He has been a senior advisor to three Presidents, a two-time candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, and was the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000. He blogs at the Patrick J. Buchanan. Tags:Patrick Buchanan, conservative, commentary, Great White Hope, 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!
. . . V.A. Secretary Robert A. McDonald , compared the time veterans wait to receive care at the VA to the amount of time people wait in line at Disneyland. A little something to ponder this Memorial Day weekend.
Tags:Man or Mouse?, Veterans Administration, VA, VA Secretary, Robert A. McDonald, compares, BA wait times, Wait at DisneylandTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
A public school district in Oregon paid a teacher $60,000 because colleagues declined to use the pronoun “they” to describe the teacher. The teacher, Leo Soell, does “not identify as male or female but rather transmasculine and genderqueer, or androgynous.” As Volokh explains: “Soell wants people to call Soell ‘they,’ and submitted a complaint to the school district objecting (in part) that other schoolteachers engaged in ‘harassment’ by, among other things, ‘refusing to call me by my correct name and gender to me or among themselves’ (emphasis added).”
The 4th Circuit Court has said a Virginia school district must allow bathroom access based on “gender identity” not biology. The school district created a policy that says bathroom and locker room access is primarily based on biology, while also creating accommodations for transgender students: only biological girls can use the girls’ room, only biological boys can use the boys’ room, and any student can use one of the three single-occupancy bathrooms, which the school created specifically to accommodate transgender students. But the court said this commonsense policy was itself “discrimination” on the basis of “gender identity.”
Congress should not be ratifying Obama’s radical transgender agenda and imposing these outcomes on private employers just because they contract with the government.
All Americans should be free to contract with the government without penalty because of their reasonable beliefs about contentious issues. The federal government should not use government contracting to reshape civil society about controversial issues that have nothing to do with the federal contract at stake.
Obama’s executive order and the Maloney amendment treat conscientious judgments about behavior as if they were invidious acts of discrimination akin to racism or sexism.
By contrast, “race” and “sex” clearly refer to traits, and in the overwhelming majority of cases, these traits (unlike voluntary behaviors) do not affect fitness for any job.
Congress tried to minimize the damage of the Maloney amendment with two provisions last night. One provision, introduced by Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Pa., amended the Maloney amendment to say that it couldn’t violate the U.S. Constitution. Another provision, the Byrne Amendment, attempted to attach existing religious liberty protections to the bill. Neither adequately protects against the damage of Maloney.
Liberal activist judges will do all they can to ensure that sexual orientation and gender identity policies will trump religious liberty protections.
Here is a list of the 43 Republicans who voted for the amendment:
Justin Amash, Mich.
Susan Brooks, Ind.
Mike Coffman, Colo.
Ryan Costello, Pa.
Carlos Curbelo, Fla.
Rodney Davis, Ill.
Jeff Denham, Calif.
Charlie Dent, Pa.
Mario Diaz-Balart, Fla.
Bob Dold, Ill.
Daniel Donovan, N.Y.
Tom Emmer, Minn.
Michael Fitzpatrick, Pa.
Rodney Frelinghuysen, N.J.
Chris Gibson, N.Y.
Joe Heck, Nev.
Will Hurd, Texas
Darrell Issa, Calif.
David Jolly, Fla.
John Katko, N.Y.
Adam Kinzinger, Ill.
Leonard Lance, N.J.
Frank LoBiondo, N.J.
Tom MacArthur, N.J.
Martha McSally, Ariz.
Pat Meehan, Pa.
Luke Messer, Ind.
Erik Paulsen, Minn.
Bruce Poliquin, Maine
Tom Reed, N.Y.
David Reichert, Wash.
Jim Renacci, Ohio
Tom Rooney, Fla.
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Fla.
John Shimkus, Ill.
Elise Stefanik, N.Y.
Fred Upton, Mich.
David Valadao, Calif.
Greg Walden, Ore.
Mimi Walters, Calif.
David Young, Iowa
Todd Young, Ind.
Lee Zeldin, N.Y.
--------------------- Ryan T. Anderson (@RyanT_Anderson)researches and writes about marriage and religious liberty as the William E. Simon Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. He also focuses on justice and moral principles in economic thought, health care and education, and has expertise in bioethics and natural law theory. Tags:43 Republicans, Join Democrats, Support Obama, Transgender Agenda,Ryan T. Anderson, Heritage FoundationTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Dick Morris and Eileen McGann: Buried in a footnote and text of the scathing report by the State Department’s Inspector General (IG) about Hillary’s emails is evidence that the private email server that carried America’s top secret information to and from the Secretary of State was installed, maintained, and partially operated by a civilian aide to Bill Clinton who lacked any security clearance and did not even work for the government.
This extensive reliance on a close assistant to Bill Clinton raises questions about the handling of classified material by the Secretary of State. If General David Petraeus was held accountable to passing secret information to his biographer and mistress, what are we to make of the routine access to potentially all secret information granted to Hillary’s husband’s aide?
While not named in the report itself, the “non-Department” aide referred to is apparently Justin Cooper, longtime aide-de-camp to the former president. Cooper had no security clearance and no expertise whatsoever in safeguarding computers. He helped Bill Clinton research two of his books, frequently traveled with Clinton, was involved in Clinton Foundation fundraising, and, at the same time, worked for Teneo — the sprawling investment banking, political consulting, and PR firm that started on Hillary’s tenure. Teneo paid Bill Clinton, Huma Abedin, Doug Band, Justin Cooper. The firm was founded by two former State Department employees and then hired four more.
It was Cooper who initially opened and registered the private server and it was he who apparently maintained its security. But that wasn’t the end of it.
The Inspector General report indicates that on two occasions, Cooper suspected that the server had been hacked and that, on one of them, he actually took it upon himself to shut the entire server down. (Hillary’s aides deny that it was ever hacked, but emails from Cooper belie that assertion). Indeed, both hacking attempts came while Hillary was traveling abroad in locations of dubious security — the UAE, Bosnia, Serbia and Algeria. Her server was especially vulnerable to hacking on her foreign travels when she carried and used her Blackberry which was linked to her server.
The IG Report states that on Jan. 9, 2011, the Bill Clinton aide who registered the clintonemail.com domain — who was Justin Cooper — “notified the Secretary’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations [Huma Abedin] that he had to shut down the server because he believed ‘someone was trying to hack us and while they did not get in I didn’t [sic] want to let them have the chance to.'”
Cooper wrote another email to Abedin later in the day stating that, “We were attacked again so I shut [the server] down for a few min.” Abedin emailed another top Clinton aide the next day urging them to not email “anything sensitive” to Clinton. She also offered to “explain more in person.” Abedin did not report any of the hacking issues to anyone at the State department, as was required.
Cooper obviously had the authority, access, and ability to access and shut down the server used by State Department employees, diplomats, and ambassadors to communicate with the Secretary of State. And apparently the server was also used by Bill Clinton’s aides for his business, as we reported last September.
The Clintons are very interested in Cooper’s legal issues. Columnist Monica Crowley reported that the Clintons are now paying Cooper’s legal bills. That’s interesting, isn’t it?
The “all in the family” approach of the Clintons to the operation of the private server makes a mockery of security. Not only could anyone with even minimal levels of skill hack into her server through her Blackberry (that she carried with her into high risk countries despite the explicit warnings of security officials that she wrote about in her own books), but an aide who worked for a former president, who was aggressively courting foreign countries for donations and for a private consulting firm soliciting foreign governments as clients had access to the State Department email server.
But the broader implications of the IG Report about Cooper’s intimate connection with the Secretary of State’s email server suggest that the Hillary and the former president operated an off-the-shelf rogue operation out of Bill Clinton’s office — and possibly the Clinton Foundation — that had the potential access to all the government’s secrets that passed through the Secretary of State.
Hillary went to great lengths to keep the server secret and out of the reach of the State Department and the Freedom of Information Act.
What’s even more astounding is that Bryan Pagliano, who is obviously the second “technical adviser, “a political appointee” of the Secretary referred to in the Report, kept his work on the Secretary’s server a dark secret from his State Department bosses.
Remember, Pagliano was granted immunity by the Department of Justice in exchange for his testimony.
But whatever he actually did for Hillary was on the QT, because according to the Report, his direct supervisors said: “they did not know that he was providing ongoing support to the Secretary’s email system during working hours. They also told the IG that they questioned whether he could support a private client during working hours, given his capacity as a full time employee.”
Yet Hillary’s attorney, David Kendall, said that Pagliano performed technical assistance for the Clinton family and was compensated in various amounts at various times by wire or check.
So what was he doing?
This massive conflict of interest opens up an important new line of investigation: Did Cooper — or anyone else in the Bill Clinton orbit — access any of the actual emails, and, if so, did they share the content with Bill Clinton or anyone at Teneo? These are the kind of questions that the indiscriminate sharing of the email server with the Clintons’ entire official family invites.
The OIG Report raises lots of questions beyond its unequivocal conclusion that Hillary did not seek permission for the use of a private email server and would not have been granted permission in any event. Moreover, the Report certifies that she violated Federal Records requirements and failed to protect the server from cyber strikes.
The Report verifies what we already knew: Hillary is a chronic liar who deliberately lied about her email server cover-up.
Let’s hope the FBI picks up where the OIG left off.
------------- Richard "Dick" Morris is an American political author and commentator who previously worked as a pollster, political campaign consultant, and general political consultant. He has worked on both sides of politics for candidates. Eileen McGann is an attorney who, with her husband, Dick, write columns. Their articles can be found at DickMorris.com and HillaryDaily.com. Tags:Hillary Clinton Email scandal, Bill Clinton’s Personal Aide, Justin Cooper, No Security Clearance Operated Hillary’s Email Server, Dick Morris, Eileen McGann, Commentary, DickMorris.comTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Cully Stimson: It’s almost summer, so that means that the United States Senate and House of Representatives will take up—again—more legislation related to the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay (Gitmo), Cuba.
Gitmo legislation has been a favorite political football for both parties, regardless of which party is in the majority. And this year is no different.
I want to focus on one controversial amendment: Section 1023 of the National Defense Authorization Act titled “Designing and Planning Related to Construction of Certain Facilities in the United States.”
At first blush, it looks like the amendment breaks the legislative logjam, starting back in 2009 and enacted into law every year since, that prohibits the expenditure of federal funds for the construction, acquisition, or modification of a facility in the United States for the purpose of housing Gitmo detainees.
But it does no such thing.
First, some history. Since 2006, the Pentagon has been studying various sites inside the United States where Gitmo detainees could be safely detained as law of war detainees.
President George W. Bush, in 2006, said that he would like to move to the day when the detention facility at Gitmo was closed. And although over 500 Gitmo detainees were transferred or released from the island compound during his presidency, Bush never ordered the facility to be closed.
President Barack Obama signed an executive order in his first week in office in 2009, directing the facility to be closed within a year. He failed to do so, in large part because he was not willing to spend the political capital necessary to do so, as I explained in detail here.
Recall that the Democrats were in the majority in the House and Senate in 2009 and 2010. But instead of forcing its closure with his own party, he spent his early political capital on the TARP, the stimulus, and on the controversial Obamacare.
Nevertheless, the process of surveying possible sites in the United States continued, and indeed intensified.
Department of Defense experts, and others from other federal agencies, conducted site surveys in several states up until two years ago. Approximately two years ago, however, Department of Defense lawyers interpreted new congressional restrictions on the expenditure of funds to forbid site surveys.
In other words, the last site surveys of possible locations in the United States are over two years old.
Section 1023 simply allows Department of Defense to expend funds for “designing and planning related to construction or modification of such facilities.”
Section 1023 does not repeal or modify the other provisions related to the use of funds for the construction or modification of facilities in the United States, no does it effect the legislative bar on expending funds to bring Gitmo detainees to the United States.
It simply allows them to use appropriated funds to start the planning and designing phase.
To some, this is a crack in the legislative dam, and is a dangerous slippery slope on the way to closing the facility and importing Gitmo detainees into the United States.
Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., filed Section 4068 to strike Section 1023. He also filed Section 4069 strengthening the obligations on the administration to certify the transfer or release of Gitmo detainees from Gitmo.
There is no way of knowing, at this point, whether Section 1023 will pass.
If it makes it through the House/Senate conference, and is signed into law, we should know very soon which facility or facilities the administration has their eye on in the United States, as activity around those places will increase in the public eye.
----------------- Charles “Cully” Stimson (@cullystimson) is a leading expert in national security, homeland security, crime control, immigration and drug policy at The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and the Center for National Defense. Tags:Gitmo, Gitmo Detainees, Coming to US? Cully Stimson, Heritage FoundationTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Monday is Memorial Day, a national observance first known as Decoration Day. The first Memorial Day was observed on May 30, 1868. Flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.
Initially meant as a time to remember those who fell during the bloody battles of our brutal Civil War, the holiday's significance has been extended to honor all those who paid the ultimate price for our nation.
At my father's table, I learned love of country in a way that only a Marine could teach it. Dad taught me that the great country we are citizens of and the liberties we enjoy were won by heroic sacrifice.
Just as my father taught me, you are your children's most important teacher. They are listening. Teach them about the things they likely are not learning in school today.
Tell your children about the sacrifices that had to be made to stop the march of fascism and the cancer of communism. Tell them about the beaches of Normandy and the Bataan Death March. Tell them about why there was a Berlin Wall and how free men brought it down.
Remind them about 9/11, what happened at the Pentagon and over the fields of Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Teach them to love the things we love and honor the things we honor.
I want to leave with you remarks by President Ronald Reagan delivered at Arlington National Cemetery on May 26, 1986 -- almost 30 years to the day. Today is the day we put aside to remember fallen heroes and to pray that no heroes will ever have to die for us again. It's a day of thanks for the valor of others, a day to remember the splendor of America and those of her children who rest in this cemetery and others. It's a day to be with the family and remember.
I was thinking this morning that across the country children and their parents will be going to the town parade and the young ones will sit on the sidewalks and wave their flags as the band goes by. Later, maybe, they'll have a cookout or a day at the beach. And that's good, because today is a day to be with the family and to remember.
Arlington, this place of so many memories, is a fitting place for some remembering. So many wonderful men and women rest here, men and women who led colorful, vivid, and passionate lives. There are the greats of the military: Bull Halsey and the Admirals Leahy, father and son; Black Jack Pershing; and the GI's general, Omar Bradley. Great men all, military men. But there are others here known for other things.
Here in Arlington rests a sharecropper's son who became a hero to a lonely people. Joe Louis came from nowhere, but he knew how to fight. And he galvanized a nation in the days after Pearl Harbor when he put on the uniform of his country and said, "I know we'll win because we're on God's side." Audie Murphy is here, Audie Murphy of the wild, wild courage. For what else would you call it when a man bounds to the top of a disabled tank, stops an enemy advance, saves lives, and rallies his men, and all of it single-handedly. When he radioed for artillery support and was asked how close the enemy was to his position, he said, "Wait a minute and I'll let you speak to them." [Laughter]
Michael Smith is here, and Dick Scobee, both of the space shuttle Challenger. Their courage wasn't wild, but thoughtful, the mature and measured courage of career professionals who took prudent risks for great reward—in their case, to advance the sum total of knowledge in the world. They're only the latest to rest here; they join other great explorers with names like Grissom and Chaffee.
Oliver Wendell Holmes is here, the great jurist and fighter for the right. A poet searching for an image of true majesty could not rest until he seized on "Holmes dissenting in a sordid age." Young Holmes served in the Civil War. He might have been thinking of the crosses and stars of Arlington when he wrote: "At the grave of a hero we end, not with sorrow at the inevitable loss, but with the contagion of his courage; and with a kind of desperate joy we go back to the fight."
All of these men were different, but they shared this in common: They loved America very much. There was nothing they wouldn't do for her. And they loved with the sureness of the young. It's hard not to think of the young in a place like this, for it's the young who do the fighting and dying when a peace fails and a war begins. Not far from here is the statue of the three servicemen—the three fighting boys of Vietnam. It, too, has majesty and more. Perhaps you've seen it—three rough boys walking together, looking ahead with a steady gaze. There's something wounded about them, a kind of resigned toughness. But there's an unexpected tenderness, too. At first you don't really notice, but then you see it. The three are touching each other, as if they're supporting each other, helping each other on.
I know that many veterans of Vietnam will gather today, some of them perhaps by the wall. And they're still helping each other on. They were quite a group, the boys of Vietnam—boys who fought a terrible and vicious war without enough support from home, boys who were dodging bullets while we debated the efficacy of the battle. It was often our poor who fought in that war; it was the unpampered boys of the working class who picked up the rifles and went on the march. They learned not to rely on us; they learned to rely on each other. And they were special in another way: They chose to be faithful. They chose to reject the fashionable skepticism of their time. They chose to believe and answer the call of duty. They had the wild, wild courage of youth. They seized certainty from the heart of an ambivalent age; they stood for something.
And we owe them something, those boys. We owe them first a promise: That just as they did not forget their missing comrades, neither, ever, will we. And there are other promises. We must always remember that peace is a fragile thing that needs constant vigilance. We owe them a promise to look at the world with a steady gaze and, perhaps, a resigned toughness, knowing that we have adversaries in the world and challenges and the only way to meet them and maintain the peace is by staying strong.
That, of course, is the lesson of this century, a lesson learned in the Sudetenland, in Poland, in Hungary, in Czechoslovakia, in Cambodia. If we really care about peace, we must stay strong. If we really care about peace, we must, through our strength, demonstrate our unwillingness to accept an ending of the peace. We must be strong enough to create peace where it does not exist and strong enough to protect it where it does. That's the lesson of this century and, I think, of this day. And that's all I wanted to say. The rest of my contribution is to leave this great place to its peace, a peace it has earned.
Thank all of you, and God bless you, and have a day full of memories. Tags:Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, Patriot Graves, Memorial Day, Ronald Reagan, speech, 30 years agoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Tags:What a tool, never trump amnesty tools, help, Donald Trump, AF Branco, editorial cartoonTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: The States vs. Obama - Once again a coalition of states is going into federal court seeking to roll back yet another outrageous abuse of executive power by the Obama Administration. From Obamacare to environmental regulation, this is becoming a routine event.
The issue in this case is Obama's bizarre redefinition of bathroom policies. Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin joined the state of Texas in seeking an injunction against Obama's order.
The lawsuit accuses the administration of turning "workplace and educational settings across the country into laboratories for a massive social experiment, flouting the democratic process, and running roughshod over commonsense policies protecting children and basic privacy rights."
The states presented numerous arguments against the Obama Administration, ranging from broad constitutional issues, such as violations of the 10th Amendment and the separation of powers, to violations of specific laws.
They may have the most success, at least initially, on this last point. The Administrative Procedure Act requires the government to submit significant new regulations to a public notice-and-comment period. The Obama Administration did not do that. Undoubtedly, the bureaucrats feared the deluge of comments they would get in response.
It was also that very point that torpedoed Obama's executive amnesty orders.
Hillary Getting Hammered - Yesterday we told you about the State Department inspector general's report that concluded Hillary Clinton violated the Federal Records Act. Today, Hillary is getting hammered in the media. Consider these headlines:
"State Department Watchdog Rebukes Clinton Over Email" -- Washington Post
"Clinton Violated Polices On Email" -- Wall Street Journal
"E-Nailed: Feds Rip Hill For Hiding, Lying, Dodging"New York Post
In addition, the Washington Post's editorial board blasted Clinton for her "inexcusable, willful disregard for the rules." Just imagine what we'd get if she becomes president!
Speaking on MSNBC this morning, Clinton apologist Andrea Mitchell said this: "She violated the official records act according to her own State Department IG appointed by President Obama . . . it completely undercuts the argument she's been making for more than a year just as she's trying to persuade voters she's not untrustworthy. . .
"There are so many flaws in their argument. . . I don't see how this is anything but devastating given the fact they have been making a completely different argument now for more than a year."It will be interesting to see how this plays out politically. A new poll in California shows Clinton and Sanders are running neck-and-neck -- 46% to 44%. Of course, the poll was conducted before yesterday's "devastating" news.
------------- 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, States vs. Obama, President Obama, abuse of executive power, environmental regulation, bathroom policies, violations, 10th Amendment, separation of powers,violations of specific laws, Hillary Clinton, Getting Hammered, State Department, inspector general, report, 9th Amendment, 10th Amendment, U.S. Constitution 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 May 2, 2016, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico officially defaulted on a $370 million bond payment, the third such default since August 2015. Gov. García Padilla’s tax-and-spend policies helped push the island’s debt to $72 billion, along with $46 billion in pension liabilities.
After fiscally conservative Gov. Luis Fortuno was voted out of office, Gov. García Padilla began reversing his predecessor’s efforts to stabilize Puerto Rico’s fiscal situation. He proposed a massive new $783 million spending package and raised sales taxes by 64 percent, from 7 percent to 11.5 percent, all while stating, “I can assure you that Puerto Rico will not default. Puerto Rico will pay our debts. It is a constitutional obligation. But for me it is also a moral obligation.”
On February 7, 2014, Moodys downgraded Puerto Rico’s bond rating to “junk” status. As the decline continued, Gov. García Padilla refused to even provide fiscal audits for two consecutive years. On June 28, 2015, Gov. García Padilla backed out of his previous assurances and glibly admitted, “The debt is not payable. There is no other option.”
He then set out to not only allow two defaults to occur in the months that followed, but on April 6, 2016, he signed into law a one-year moratorium on debt payments. Gov. García Padilla defended the moratorium and the continued defaults as necessary to be able to maintain basic services, while conveniently neglecting to mention that the government would continue to provide “free” electric power to local communities, which has been used to build and power such “basic services” as a recreational ice rink.
CAGW President Tom Schatz said, “Puerto Rico’s debt crisis was exacerbated by Gov. García Padilla’s reckless tax and spending agenda, and now the island is suffering the consequences. Puerto Rico should make every effort to stabilize its fiscal situation by implementing pro-growth policies and reversing the destructive growth of the state bureaucracy. To avert a taxpayer bailout of the island, Congress must act on the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA), which includes essential measures such as a financial control board that can put Puerto Rico’s fiscal house in order.”
For hastening Puerto Rico’s descent into fiscal calamity and refusing to honor its debt obligations, CAGW names Gov. Alejandro García Padilla its May Porker of the Month.
--------------- Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers. Tags:Puerto Rico, Gov. García Padilla, CAGW, May 2016, Porker of the MonthTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Why Millennial Women Are Not Voting For Hillary Clinton
Madeleine Albright: There is a "Special Place in Hell" for Women
by Natalia Castro: The only thing more sexist than not voting for Hillary Clinton because she is a female is voting for her simply because she is a female. Finally, there is a generation that understands that, and the Clinton campaign must surely be hating it. Millennials are not buying the simple gender standard, but rather forcing Clinton to represent all their interests, and she is failing.
Before the New Hampshire primary in February, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said at a Clinton rally, “A lot of you younger women don’t think you have to, [that] it’s been done. It’s not been done. And you have to help Hillary Clinton, who will always be there for you. And just remember, there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.”
But voters didn’t fall for it. Clinton lost the New Hampshire primary—and she is losing young women.
Women support Clinton as their presidential pick by large margins, but not as large as the Democrat establishment has been hoping, and certainly not comparable to President Obama’s minority grab in 2008. Among Democrats, Clinton loses young women votes by about 30 points to Sanders. Clinton represents a generational divide between young women eager for political change and non-Millennial women eager for a female president.
Anoa Changa, a young, Hispanic feminist who supports the “I’m not with her” movement, told The Guardian in a May 23 report “some women I encounter act as if I’ve betrayed some kind of secret society. I reject this brand of feminism. I’m not only voting for my gender, I’m voting for other issues.”
Clinton began running in 2016 with the presumption that being a female would mobilize the female voter bloc, but without energizing Millennial females Clinton has lacked consistent support.
The desire to have a female president is not as strong as the desire to have a successful president, making many believe it is ok to wait. Across the political spectrum, 49 percent of women see Clinton as unfavorable because she is not reflective of a vast majority of women.
As Politico’s Molly Roberts explains, Clinton has more elements of privilege than she does minority, and in backing “her husband’s incarceration and welfare reform policies, critics say, and it’s not just that Clinton doesn’t personally embody intersecting identities — it’s that as a politician, she’s been part of the problem.”
Clinton is a wealthy white female, while the Millennial voters she is attempting to appeal to are in some cases middle to low income, minority females. Clinton does nothing for their voice in politics, while other candidates like Sanders appear to be much more appealing.
The lead Sanders maintains over Clinton among young women is not surprising, who tend to be supportive of change and political movement. Clinton represents none of this, even as a female, she was First Lady, and a Senator and Secretary of State — she is very much the establishment.
Clinton might be a female, but that does not make females eager to vote her into office. Modern feminism is not centered around being a female, but being a competent leader, a test Clinton is failing consistently among the voters she needs.
----------------- Natalia Castro is a contributing editor at Americans for Limited Government. Tags:Millennial Women, Not Voting. For Hillary Clinton, Natalia Castro, 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!
D.C. Attorney General Ignores Court Order, Refuses Gun Permits
by Devin Watkins: Less than a year ago, Kim Davis ignored a court order from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky and refused to issue a marriage license to same-sex couples. She was held in contempt of court, served five days in jail, and was ruthlessly attacked in the media.
Now the office of Karl Racine, the Washington, D.C. attorney general, has ordered D.C. government employees to ignore a court order from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The order by the D.C. District Court Judge Richard Leon was to stop denying individuals applying for a concealed-carry permit from requiring a “good reason,” and to immediately update the forms to no longer require that.
This “good reason” requirement, while it might sound nice, just means D.C. government claimed the authority to arbitrarily deny people their Second Amendment rights because the D.C. government doesn’t like the reason they wanted to be able to defend themselves. As open-carry is completely prohibited, the inability to get a permit to conceal-carry means no one is allowed to bear arms outside his home without the permission of the D.C. government.
For instance, according to the D.C. government, living in a “high-crime area” is not considered a “good enough” reason to want to be able to defend yourself. This is hardly the strict scrutiny applied to the other enumerated rights in the Bill of Rights like the First Amendment.
Give Me My Rights
After the order, I went to apply for a concealed-carry permit in the District of Columbia. The police officers there told me the D.C. attorney general’s office had ordered them to ignore the court order and continue to deny applications. Thinking there might be some kind of mistake, I contacted the AG’s office, which explicitly told me if I had a complaint about what they did I could file that complaint online.
The rule of law is worth more than this by an officer of the court such as the attorney general. The D.C. attorney general is free to seek a stay of the court order from the D.C. Circuit Court, but until that opinion is properly stayed it must be obeyed. It is the AG’s duty to see that the court order is properly followed even if he thinks it is wrong. It will take time for D.C. to update the forms as required, but the AG’s office cannot legally order them to ignore the court order and not at least start to draft new forms to inform people that they are not required to submit a “good cause” to exercise a constitutional right.
While Davis just asked state government take her name off marriage licenses so her employees could sign them for gay couples so she personally did not violate her religious beliefs, the D.C. attorney general is preventing anyone from issuing the license. Will the D.C. attorney general be held to the same level of scorn in the media as Kim Davis? Unlikely, given the liberal bias in most of the media; opposition to gun rights seems like their own kind of religion.
Davis at least could point to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act her state legislature designed to protect people like her from violating her deeply held religious beliefs. Does the D.C. attorney general’s office have any excuse for their actions? So far they have not given any.
Those of us who value the rule of law should speak out against the lawless acts of the D.C. attorney general. No one is above the law, not even the D.C. attorney general’s office. Correction: Davis’s legal argument used her state RFRA to defend her, not the federal one, as an earlier version of this article said. We regret the error.
UPDATE: Rob Marus, communications director for the D.C. attorney general’s office, responded to this article with the following.
“[T]he Office of the Attorney General has not and would not instruct any officer of the District government to ignore any Court order. As the District stated in its reply brief filed with the Court yesterday (copy attached), the Metropolitan Police Department last week revised its concealed-carry licensing website to read:
“‘In light of the preliminary injunction issued by Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in Grace v. District of Columbia, Civil Action No. 15-2234, the Metropolitan Police Department will not require applicants to comport with the ‘Good Reason’ requirement under D.C. Official Code § 7-2509.11(1)(A) & (B), while the injunction is effective . . . . Applicants must still meet all other requirements when applying for a license to carry a concealed firearm. Applicants who were previously denied pursuant to the ‘Good Reason’ requirement may submit a new application. The application fee for re-applicants meeting this criteria will be waived. New applicants should use the existing forms until such time as the Department is able to revise forms in accordance with the court’s order.'”
------------------ Devin Watkins is a contributor to The Federalist. He formerly worked at the Institute for Justice and graduated with honors from the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University. Prior to his legal career he was a senior software developer at Intel and WebMD. In 2012, he represented Oregon at the Republican National Convention. Tags:alcohol licenses, concealed carry, court order, District of Columbia, gun permit, Kim Davis, rule of law, Washington DC, Devin Watkins, The FederalistTo 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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