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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, June 10, 2016
GOP Anti-Trump Insiders and Pundits – It’s Time to SHUT UP!
by Tom Balek, Contributing Author: Every day, day after day, the anti-Trump insider Republicans wail and moan, louder and longer. It’s beginning to sound like a teenage summer chainsaw movie. Or a difficult childbirth.
Paul Ryan calls Trump’s criticism of the Hispanic judge who is clearly politically aligned with Hillary Clinton “the textbook definition of a racist comment.”
After his failure floating the hopeless idea of a third-party candidate, Weekly Standard editor and #NeverTrump czar Bill Kristol now suggests that the likelihood of Trump’s impeachment is so great that the GOP insiders should be allowed to choose his running mate.
NewsMax quoted Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) saying, ‘”Trump would make a “terrible commander in chief” and the Republican Party would get “slaughtered” with him as the nominee, while Trump ripped Graham as a “disgrace,” a “nut job” and “one of the dumbest human beings I’ve ever seen.”‘
I have one question for all of you righteously indignant media opportunists who are doing everything humanly possible to damage Trump’s candidacy. What do you want?
Do you want Hillary to be elected? You say you don’t. You claim to know how calamitous another four or eight years of Democrat rule will be. You don’t deny the deadly impact that decades of Clinton appointees to the courts will bring. You know how corrupt the Clintons are, and have been, and can’t doubt that it would get worse – much worse. You admit Clinton has no clue about the economy and her foreign policy has been a disaster.
So what do you want?
There will not be a third-party candidate.1 There will not be an insurrection at the Republican convention that will yield a new nominee. Donald Trump will face Hillary Clinton in the election, and that is settled. It’s not good enough to say you just aren’t going to vote, because failure to vote for one is a vote for the other, and that is mathematical, metaphysical fact.
If you have any hope of being taken seriously, or maintaining your relevance in the media and in public life ever again, you have only one choice of action.
SHUT UP. NOW!
--------------- Tom Balek is a fellow conservative activist, blogger, musician and contributes to the ARRA News Service. Tom resides in South Carolina and seeks to educate those too busy with their work and families to notice how close to the precipice our economy has come. He blogs at Rockin' On the Right Side
1Editor's Note: There is one third-party candidate on every state ballot. Gary Earl Johnson is the Libertarian Party's nominee for President of the United States in the 2016 election. He served from 1995 to 2000 as Governor of New Mexico. Supports legal regulated prostitution, gay unions, government out of marriage business, marijuana is safer than alcohol; legalize marijuana, and does not support border wall or sending back illegals. Tags:Tom Balek, Rockin' On The Right Side, GOP Anti-Trump Insiders and Pundits, Time to SHUT UPTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Is Romney Running?, Trump Stands With Israel, Second Amendment At Risk
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Is Romney Running?
There is a big meeting taking place in Salt Lake City this weekend. It is being billed in some articles as Mitt Romney convening a #NeverTrump summit, perhaps to plan his own campaign this year.
Undoubtedly, some there will be upset that Trump is the GOP nominee. But the meeting is, in fact, the fourth annual "Experts and Enthusiasts" or E2 Summit.
Organizers of the E2 event say its purpose is to strategize about the future and what the GOP stands for. I have to point out the obvious: The previous three meetings have to be described, sadly, as failures. Allow me to point out a few examples.
There is no evidence that any kind of consensus emerged from the previous meetings about what the party's most loyal members and participants believed. If the previous meetings had been successful, Donald Trump would not have been the only candidate warning that trade deals were gutting Middle America. By the way Speaker Ryan released another policy paper this week calling for more trade deals.
If previous meetings had been successful, we wouldn't have heard virtually every GOP commentator saying over the past year, "I don't get it. Where did all this anger come from among the people voting for Trump?" Virtually every exit poll showed huge majorities of self-identified Republicans saying they felt "betrayed" by the Republican Party, yet the leadership appeared utterly clueless.
Apparently, nobody in the previous meetings realized that many Americans not only want the Republican Party to say it is going to secure the border, but they actually want to secure the border. Simply saying it doesn't keep illegal immigrants out. You actually have to secure the border with a real physical barrier.
Finally, there might have been more value from the previous meetings if someone had realized that many Americans were having second thoughts about record levels of Muslim immigration -- especially while Islamists quoting the Koran were killing our sons and daughters in Afghanistan and Iraq and in Boston, New York City and San Bernardino.
That concern is not a sign of bigotry but a natural instinct for self-preservation. While clueless elites ask what is wrong with us, the rest of America is asking what is wrong with them!
But hope springs eternal. Perhaps just maybe the folks huddled at this weekend's confab will actually do a little soul searching. And with each fine meal they enjoy, I recommend a generous serving of humble pie.
Trump Stands With Israel Donald Trump issued an excellent statement yesterday condemning the terrorist attack in Tel Aviv. Not only did Trump condemn the violence, but he expressed a clear understanding of its root causes. Consider this excerpt: "The American people stand strong with the people of Israel, who have suffered far too long from terrorism. Israel's security is a matter of paramount importance to me and the American people.
"We understand all too well the unspeakable horror that terrorism unleashes. To address it . . . we must recognize the parallel horror of the culture of religious hatred that permeates many Palestinian quarters. From schools that indoctrinate toddlers to grow up to kill Israelis to the daily menu of hate that spews forth from various 'news organizations,' change is long overdue in the Palestinian territories." Second Amendment At Risk
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals struck a major blow against the Second Amendment this week. In an opinion written by a Clinton appointee, the court declared, "We hold that the Second Amendment does not preserve or protect a right of a member of the general public to carry concealed firearms in public."
This will no doubt be quite a shock to pro-Second Amendment residents in the states covered by the 9th Circuit, which includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.
The 9th Circuit looks like what every court in America will look like if the left gets control. That's what is at stake this November. By the way, at least one member of the Democrat Platform Committee doesn't believe anyone should be allowed to own a gun. And Hillary Clinton can't say with certainty what the Second Amendment means.
This opinion will be appealed. That means the issue will be decided by the Supreme Court, which is currently split 4-to-4 on whether the Second Amendment provides for an individual right to own a firearm. So the stage has been set for the next president to appoint the justice who will decide the fate of the Second Amendment in America.
------------- 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, Is Romney Running?, Trump Stands With Israel, Second Amendment At RiskTo 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 has been more than half a century since President Lyndon Johnson announced the War on Poverty, a vast expansion of the welfare state aimed at lifting up America’s poor.
Yet after three generations and tens of trillions of dollars, Americans who are born into poverty today are just as likely to remain stuck in poverty as they were when Lyndon Johnson made the issue a national priority in 1964. 52 years later, it is time to admit that we have lost the war.
It is clear that we must rethink our approach to poverty if we are committed to every American having the right to pursue happiness.
This week, House Speaker Paul Ryan announced exactly that — a new poverty initiative from House Republicans that forms the beginning of a broad policy agenda to offer the American people this fall.
The proposal, A Better Way to Fight Poverty, is a bold, ambitious, and badly needed rethinking of the nation’s poverty programs.
Speaker Ryan’s proposal builds on a generation of conservative thinking about how best to deal with poverty, promote mobility, and expand opportunity for all Americans.
In the 1980s, scholars like Marvin Olasky and Charles Murray helped make the case that the patchwork of bureaucracy, bad incentives and destructive culture which the left constructed had combined to trap far too many of our fellow citizens in poverty. Their books, The Tragedy of American Compassion and Losing Ground, respectively, explained how our sincere efforts to help the least well off had in fact made it more rather than less difficult for the poor to improve their lives.
It was based on these insights that we wrote the The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, the core principle of which was that work must be at the center of social policy. No one should get something for doing nothing, and no one who can work should remain dependent on the government indefinitely. So we replaced the old maintenance welfare program, which was corroding the work ethic, destroying families by paying moms to be single, and trapping the poor in poverty, with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The new program offered a simple deal: during hard times, government will help for a limited time — but not forever, and only as long as you’re working or preparing to work.
Critics of the reform predicted it would lead to catastrophe — raising the specter of millions of children starving in the streets. The legendary Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who in the 1960s had been at the forefront of recognizing the destructive nature of the welfare state on families and individuals, said that the reform was the “most brutal act of social policy since Reconstruction.”
And yet, the Republican majorities in Congress had the courage to pass the reform. In fact, they did so three times. President Clinton vetoed it the first two times, and finally signed the historic legislation on the third.
It is fortunate that he did. Far from being brutal, the legislation proved to be the most successful social reform in recent history. The welfare rolls declined. Single mothers went to work. And as a result, the number of single mothers and children living in poverty declined dramatically.
Now, Speaker Ryan and the House Republicans propose to extend the same principles behind the successful 1996 reforms to a broad range of social programs. In many ways, the plan is revolutionary and impressive in scope. It promises to expand opportunity for an entire segment of Americans who have been failed by the bureaucracy.
The Ryan plan is built around five pillars: rewarding work, matching benefits to individual needs, improving skills and schools, making it easier to save for the future, and insisting on evidence and results.
These principles lead to a number of creative ideas. For instance, the plan would extend the work requirement to federal housing programs, since there is evidence that more than 40 percent of those receiving rental assistance who could work actually don’t. In addition, the proposal would also strengthen or institute work incentives for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), as well as TANF, among other entitlements.
The plan would give states more flexibility to link and coordinate programs to help them more effectively tailor benefits to the needs of individuals in their communities.
Speaker Ryan’s plan also includes innovative new approaches to how we pay for poverty programs, such as public-private partnerships in which government pays for success and shuts down programs that don’t work. This would allow private-sector organizations to develop their own social programs that would only be reimbursed by taxpayers if they actually succeeded in their goals. After $22 trillion spent on federal poverty programs that have fundamentally failed to raise people out of poverty, this is a novel concept and a long overdue injection of accountability.
A Better Way to Fight Poverty includes still more good ideas: modernizing Pell Grants, reforming child nutrition programs, reforming housing assistance, and rolling back burdensome regulations that make it hard for poor Americans to get banking services.
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump expressed this week his commitment to rebuilding opportunity for all Americans, including America’s poor, and that he would seek to work with Speaker Ryan to do so. As one of the boldest and most thoughtful policy proposals in recent memory, Speaker Ryan’s plan is a real sign of hope.
With 50 million Americans living in poverty, the task certainly urgent. All of us, Republicans and Democrats, owe it to our fellow citizens in poverty to rethink what we have been doing for so long, with such discouraging results.
---------------------- 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, commentary, Speaker Ryan, Better Way to Fight Poverty, poverty, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
. . . The significance of Netanyahu's meeting with Putin in Moscow.
by Caroline Glick: There was something poetic about the events that bookended the past week of diplomacy. This week began with French President François Hollande’s “peace” conference and ended with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s state visit to Moscow.
From the perspective of both substance and style, the contrast between the two events couldn’t have been more striking.
France hosted yet another anti-Israel diplomatic pile-on. Hollande had hoped to show that France was stepping into the void left by the US’s abandonment of its position as world leader. But all the confab served to do was show how irrational and self-destructive France – and Western Europe – has become.
Neither Israeli nor Palestinian representatives were present at the conference which aimed to dictate Israel’s final borders. Their absence made the event seem like a throwback to the era of European colonialism. It was as if Hollande wanted to reenact France’s glory days in Syria and Algeria.
In his opening remarks, Hollande recycled the tired claim that the way to defeat jihad is by forcing Israel to give Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem to Islamic terrorists. The document the French Foreign Ministry circulated among participants ahead of the conference recommended setting a timetable for forcing Israel to give the PLO Judea, Samaria and large swaths of Jerusalem, for the benefit of global security.
The French planned their event before the mobs in Ramallah, Hebron, Jerusalem and Gaza publicly celebrated the cold-blooded massacre of Israeli diners at Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market on Wednesday night. But the latest massacre wasn’t necessary to show the absurdity of France’s plan to defeat jihad by empowering jihadists at Israel’s expense.
After all, Israel surrendered Gaza to the Palestinians 11 years ago. Far from ameliorating the problem of jihad – in Europe and throughout the world – the scourge of Islamic war has grown geometrically in the past decade.
France’s own recent experience shows that Hollande’s “peace” plan was a delusional.
In 2000, Muslims comprised 10 percent of the population of France.
That year, the state-owned France 2 television network invented the contemporary blood libel of Jews as baby killers with the release and dissemination of its deceptive film which purported to show IDF troops deliberately murdering Muhammad al-Dura.
The Dura libel unleashed the forces of Islamic Jew-hatred in France and throughout Europe. It paved the way for the rise in anti-Jewish violence unseen since the Holocaust. This violence in turn is causing the current exodus of Jews from France and from Western Europe as a whole.
But assaulting Jews didn’t satisfy the jihadists.
As last year’s events made clear, the state authorities’ desire to deflect Islamic extremism onto Jews – in Israel and in France – backfired.
Fifteen years after the Dura blood libel, Muslims now comprise at least 15% of France’s population, and 40% of the population of Marseilles.
And today, the same extremists who have terrorized France’s Jews for a decade and a half, have turned their guns on French society as a whole.
Last year’s Islamic killing spree, from Charlie Hebdo and Super Cacher to Bataclan made clear that as far as the jihadists are concerned, the French Jew-baiters are no different than the Jews.
Even worse, with their hatred legitimized by the Jew-baiters, France’s jihadists feel they have license to direct their rage and guns in whatever direction they choose.
If this weren’t bad enough for the likes of Hollande, despite the elites’ attempt to blame Israel for the rise of jihadist forces in France, the native French see what has happened.
Squeezed between political leaders who pretend the problem is Israel and Islamic radicals who deprive them of the freedom to live as they please without fear, public sentiment in Europe is increasingly desperate, and angry. Rather than address their concerns, Hollande and his fellow elites have sought to repress them.
Consider the case of Brigitte Bardot. The mid-20th-century French sexpot and national icon has been convicted six times in recent years for “inciting hatred.” Her crime? Bardo has written angry books and articles about what she refers to as an “Islamic invasion” that imperils the French way of life.
Rather than recognize that their own people can’t stand their games anymore, and aren’t buying their attempts to blame Israel for the rise of jihadist forces in France, Hollande’s “peace” conference was proof that he and his colleagues have chosen to double down on their anti-Israel scapegoating.
With a tailwind from anti-Israel activists posing as journalists, Hollande believed that the conference could elevate him, and hide from French voters his failure to defend his country.
The Washington Post’s editorial board joined him in this delusion. In an editorial published in the lead-up to his conference, the newspaper argued that the anti-Israel conference should serve as the opening salvo of an escalating diplomatic war against the Jewish state. The culmination of that war, the paper said, should be an anti-Israel resolution at the UN Security Council in the final days of Barack Obama’s presidency.
But if this is what the West’s renewed war against Israel looks like, then Israel has little reason for concern.
In the event, even Hollande’s accessories – the 29 foreign ministers including Secretary of State John Kerry, who attended his meeting – couldn’t maintain the fiction that scapegoating Israel would secure them. In the conference’s closing statement, the most they could muster was a weak condemnation of Jewish construction on the one hand and Palestinian terrorism on the other, coupled with a call for direct negotiations between Israel and the PLO .
If this is the best they could do then it is clear that even if they do pass an anti-Israel Security Council resolution as Obama packs his bags, given the realities on the ground, the resolution will be written on water.
And if Hollande’s failed conference wasn’t humiliating enough, Netanyahu’s trip to Moscow reinforced his humiliation, and demonstrated that Europe’s embrace of anti-Semitism has done nothing for its international stature.
On Tuesday, Netanyahu arrived in Moscow for his fourth meeting with Vladimir Putin in the past six months. Unlike their other meetings, this week’s visit was both ceremonial and substantive.
Moscow and Jerusalem celebrated the 25th anniversary of the restoration of diplomatic ties between Israel and the Soviet Union, which Moscow cut off after the 1967 Six Day War.
Putin lavished the honors befitting a major ally on Netanyahu. In so doing, Putin showed that Israel is anything but isolated, and far from dependent on the goodwill of European basket cases.
Europe and the American Left have seized on Palestinian grievances against Israel as proof that the solution to jihad is anti-Semitism. They have made Israel-bashing the centerpiece of their foreign policy.
In contrast, under Putin, Russia has chosen to base its foreign policy – and its bid to replace the US as the chief power broker in the Middle East – on reality.
As a result, during his meetings with Netanyahu, the Palestinians were given the attention that they deserve, as a minor nuisance.
After paying lip service to the mordant “peace process,” Putin and Netanyahu got down to business. They discussed everything from Iran’s rise in Syria to Israel’s gas industry to free trade to the approaching rapprochement between Israel and Turkey.
The distinction between the business of real statecraft for a real world as practiced by Netanyahu and Putin, and the imaginary statecraft practiced by the French and their guests, is jarring.
Putin is determined to emerge strengthened from the chaos now engulfing the Middle East, and through it, the world as a whole. As a consequence, he is embracing Israel as an ally and a trading partner.
Westerners, whose strategy for surviving the chaos is to turn a blind eye to the dangers, are targeting Israel with unwarranted and self-destructive diplomatic assaults and escalating economic warfare.
This brings us to the US – whose abandonment of its traditional role as the dominant superpower in the Middle East facilitated Russia’s rise to power.
In the twilight of the Obama era, the US is steeped in an identity crisis. The Democratic Party has been radicalized. The Republican Party is in disarray as the forces of populism and prejudice have been unleashed by Donald Trump’s unforeseen rise.
Under the circumstances, and given that the disastrous legacy of Obama’s foreign policy, it is hard to see the US restoring its global leadership in the near future.
Given the intensity of Netanyahu’s discussions with Putin since the Russian leader deployed his military forces to Syria last year, many wonder if a major realignment is in the cards for Israel.
When asked about the prospect of replacing the US with Russia as Israel’s superpower patron, Netanyahu rejected the notion. He explained simply that the US is irreplaceable.
He is right. And not merely because Russia cannot supply spare parts to Israel’s F-16s.
Unlike Britain, which was seamlessly replaced by the US as the leader of the free world in the aftermath of World War II, the US has no clear successor. Moreover, despite its self-destructive tendencies, the US remains the world’s biggest economy and most powerful nation. The significance of America’s loss of the will to lead the world is not that the US will disappear. Rather, it will share the stage with other, rising, powers.
For Israel, this means that while maintaining the US as its primary strategic partner, Israel cannot continue to place all of its eggs in America’s basket. As Netanyahu is doing with Putin as well as with China and India, recognizing America’s new limitations, Israel must diminish its dependence on Washington, while developing noncompeting alliances with other powers, based on shared interests.
What Israel’s attractiveness to other world powers makes clear is that as America’s power wanes, Israel needn’t and oughtn’t seek to replace it with another superpower patron. Israel today is fully capable of fending for itself.
Putin courts Netanyahu because Israel is strong. And the stronger it is, the more leaders will beat a path to our door.
The failure of France’s “peace” conference, on the one hand, and the success of Netanyahu’s fourth visit to Moscow on the other hand, were poetic bookends of the week because they were a vivid exposition of Israel’s true diplomatic and strategic position today. Israel is neither weak nor isolated.
It is embraced by the rising powers. And the waning ones that scapegoat the Jewish state are leading their countries into economic and cultural decline and security chaos.
---------------------- Caroline Glick is the Director of the David Horowitz Freedom Center's Israel Security Project and the Senior Contributing Editor of The Jerusalem Post where this article was first published. For more information on Ms. Glick's work, visit carolineglick.com. David Horowitz is a Contributing Author of the ARRA News Service Tags:“peace” conference, France, Israel, State Visit, Russian, Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, Moscow, Vladimir PutinTo 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 has internalized the maxim Benjamin Jowett gave to his students at Balliol who would soon be running the empire.
And in rejecting demands that he apologize for his remarks about the La Raza judge presiding over the class-action suit against Trump University, the Donald is instinctively correct
Assume, as we must, that Trump believes what he said.
Why, then, should he apologize for speaking the truth, as he sees it?
To do so would be to submit to extortion, to recant, to confess to a sin he does not believe he committed. It would be to capitulate to pressure, to tell a lie to stop the beating, to grovel before the Inquisition of Political Correctness.
Trump is cheered today because he defies the commands of political correctness, and, to the astonishment of enemies and admirers alike, he gets away with it.
To the establishment, Trump is thus a far greater menace than Bernie Sanders, who simply wants to push his soak-the-rich party a little further in the direction of Robin Hood and his Merry Men.
But Trump, with his defiant refusal to apologize for remarks about “rapists” among illegal immigrants from Mexico, and banning Muslims, is doing something far more significant.
He is hurling his “Non serviam!” in the face of the establishment. He is declaring: “I reject your moral authority. You have no right to sit in judgment of me. I will defy any moral sanction you impose, and get away with it. And my people will stand by me.”
Trump’s rebellion is not only against the Republican elite but against the establishment’s claim to define what is right and wrong, true and false, acceptable and unacceptable, in this republic.
Contrast Trump with Paul Ryan, who has buckled pathetically.
The speaker says Trump’s remark about Judge Gonzalo Curiel being hostile to him, probably because the judge is Mexican-American, is the “textbook definition of a racist comment.”
But Ryan’s remark raises fewer questions about Trump’s beliefs than it does about the depth of Ryan’s mind.
We have seen a former president of Mexico curse Trump. We have heard Mexican-American journalists and politicians savage him. We have watched Hispanic rioters burn the American flag and flaunt the Mexican flag outside Trump rallies.
We are told Trump “provoked” these folks, to such a degree they are not entirely to blame for their actions.
Yet the simple suggestion that a Mexican-American judge might also be affected is “the textbook definition of a racist comment”?
The most depressing aspect of this episode is to witness the Republican Party in full panic, trashing Trump to mollify the media who detest them.
To see how far the party has come, consider:
After he had locked up his nomination, Barry Goldwater rose on the floor of the Senate in June of 1964 and voted “No” on the Civil Rights Act. The senator believed that the federal government was usurping the power of the states. He could not countenance this, no matter how noble the cause.
Say what you will about him, Barry Goldwater would never be found among this cut-and-run crowd that is deserting Trump to appease an angry elite.
These Republicans seem to believe that, if or when Trump goes down, this whole unfortunate affair will be over, and they can go back to business as usual.
Sorry, but there is no going back.
The nationalist resistance to the invasion across our Southern border and the will to preserve the unique character of America are surging, and they have their counterparts all across Europe. People sense that the fate and future of the West are in the balance.
While Trump defies political correctness here, in Europe one can scarcely keep track of the anti-EU and anti-immigrant nationalist and separatist parties sprouting up from the Atlantic to the Urals.
Call it identity politics, call it tribalism, call it ethnonationalism; it and Islamism are the two most powerful forces on earth.
A decade ago, if one spoke other than derisively of parties like the National Front in France, the blacklisters would come around. Now, the establishments in the West are on the defensive — when they are not openly on the run.
The day of the Bilderberger is over.
Back to Jowett. When the British were serenely confident in the superiority of their tribe, faith, culture and civilization, they went out and conquered and ruled and remade the world, and for the better.
When they embraced the guilt-besotted liberalism that James Burnham called the “ideology of Western suicide,” it all came down.
The empire collapsed, the establishment burbled its endless apologies for how wicked it had been, and the great colonial powers of Europe threw open their borders to the peoples they had colonized, who are now coming to occupy and remake the mother countries.
But suddenly, to the shock of an establishment reconciled to its fate, populist resistance, call it Trumpism, seems everywhere to be rising.
----------------------- 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, Why Trump, Must Not ApologizeTo 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: For more than 200 years, candidates have been running for election in districts that were gerrymandered. The term comes from the name of the governor in Massachusetts. In 1812, Governor Gerry signed a bill that changed the district lines for candidates. One of those contorted districts in the Boston area resembled the shape of a salamander. Thus the term “gerrymander’ was born.
Recently I learned that gerrymandering goes all the way back to the first congressional elections and involved two of the founders. One of them was James Madison, architect of the Constitution. The other was James Monroe. Both went on to become the fourth and fifth presidents of the United States.
In the summer of 1788, Virginia became the 11th state to ratify the Constitution. Governor Patrick Henry called for elections, and worked to prevent James Madison from serving in the Senate or the House of Representatives. First, he worked with members of the Virginia legislature to deny Madison a Senate seat. Back in those days, the legislature selected the U.S. Senators.
Next he worked to deny Madison a seat in the House of Representatives. Patrick Henry convinced the Virginia Legislature to draw the Fifth District lines so they included both Madison’s home and Monroe’s home. The two friends were forced to compete against each other.
During the election they traveled together and debated each other at various gatherings. Through hard and smart campaigning, Madison managed to defeat Monroe and then served in Congress.
There is a bright side to all of this. During the debates with Monroe, Madison realized how important a Bill of Rights would be. Some of the voters wanted such protections. So he made a campaign promise that he would support a Bill of Rights when elected to Congress. This is one campaign promise that was kept. Within six months, Madison pushed through the Bill of Rights, which were later ratified.
I suppose you can say that good things sometimes do come from districts that have been gerrymandered. Tags:Kerby Anderson, Viewpoints, Point of View, Gerrymandering, the Founders, James Madison, James MonroeTo 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, United States Uranium, Uranium deal with Russia, Hillary Clinton, Benedict Arnold, traitorTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
The report proclaimed, “NTIA, along with other U.S. Government agencies, has reviewed the plan… NTIA finds that the IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal meets the criteria necessary to complete the long-promised privatization of the IANA functions.”
There is only one problem.
The relinquishment of the responsibility over the IANA functions is prohibited under Section 539(a) of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, enacted into law late last year: “None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to relinquish the responsibility of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, during fiscal year 2016, with respect to Internet domain name system functions, including responsibility with respect to the authoritative root zone file and the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority functions.”
Transitioning the IANA functions while the defund is in effect would be a violation of the Antideficiency Act at 31 U.S.C. § 1341(a)(1)(A), which prohibits any federal agency from “mak[ing] or authoriz[ing] an expenditure or obligation exceeding an amount available.” Agency officials violate the Antideficiency Act when they expend appropriated funds in violation of prohibitions in an appropriations act, since the agency’s appropriations were not available for those prohibited purposes.
Federal officials who “knowingly and willfully” violate this prohibition, which is a felony, are subject to a fine of not more than $5,000 and a maximum jail term of two years.
By preparing a plan for relinquishing responsibility over the IANA functions, NTIA agency officials are apparently planning to violate the congressional defund and the Antideficiency Act. That is illegal under 18 U.S.C. § 371, which makes it a crime to “conspire either to commit any offense against the United States… [and] do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy.” Since transitioning the IANA functions is illegal, planning and preparing for the transition also clearly does.
Those convicted under that section “shall be fined under this title,” which would also be a maximum fine of $5,000 since tied to conspiracy to violate the Antideficiency Act, “or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.”
NTIA administrator Lawrence Strickling is aware of the defund and agree it prevents NTIA from transitioning the IANA functions whilst the prohibition is in place. On Jan. 27, 2015 at the State of the Net Conference in Washington, D.C. he said, “The act does restrict NTIA from using appropriated dollars to relinquish our stewardship during fiscal year 2015 with respect to Internet domain name system functions. We take that seriously. Accordingly, we will not use appropriated funds to terminate the IANA functions contract with ICANN prior to the contract’s current expiration date of September 30, 2015. Nor will we use appropriated dollars to amend the cooperative agreement with Verisign to eliminate NTIA’s role in approving changes to the authoritative root zone file prior to September 30. On these points, there is no ambiguity.”
Therefore, the agency is “knowingly and willfully” preparing a plan that if effected today, would violate the congressional defund, and constitute a criminal conspiracy.
But it gets worse. Since the final outcome of the transition will be that ICANN will be the world’s sole resolver of Internet domain names and numerical IP addresses, it would result in a situation inconsistent with antitrust law. ICANN receives exclusive fees of $0.18 for every domain name sold in the world, raking in tens of millions of dollars every year. Currently, the domain name system of overseen by a U.S. government contract, but post-transition, it will be completely up to ICANN to set these fees.
The problem here is that 15 U.S.C. § 2 prohibits and makes a felony any attempt “to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations.” 15 U.S.C. § 13 and § 14 forbid any business practice where the effect “may be to substantially lessen competition or tend to create a monopoly in any line of commerce.”
Here the penalties are even stiffer. Violations of antitrust “shall be punished by fine not exceeding $100,000,000 if a corporation, or, if any other person, $1,000,000, or by imprisonment not exceeding 10 years, or by both said punishments, in the discretion of the court.”
Antitrust law challenges to IANA functions administrator were anticipated in the 1998 NTIA statement of policy: “Several commenters suggested that the U.S. Government should provide full antitrust immunity or indemnification for the new corporation. Others noted that potential antitrust liability would provide an important safeguard against institutional inflexibility and abuses of power.”
To which, NTIA responded, saying it would seek no such immunity for the corporation and that antitrust would actually help keep the corporation in line: “Applicable antitrust law will provide accountability to and protection for the international Internet community. Legal challenges and lawsuits can be expected within the normal course of business for any enterprise and the new corporation should anticipate this reality.”
So, what the heck is NTIA doing? It is knowingly, based on its past statements, not only planning to transfer a governmental function to a singular corporation in violation of the law, but also to create a global monopoly over the world’s Internet domain name system, which carries an even greater penalty.
This is significant because NTIA administrator Lawrence Strickling has claimed he consulted with Congressional staff on the rider’s intent, but clearly, he never consulted with the only one who mattered and that was Duffy. Nobody ever asked that office. Who did they consult with? Opponents of the defund?
“So yes there was a rider attached into our budget in the budget bill last December that said that we can’t spend appropriated dollars to complete transition before the end of next September,” Strickling said, adding, “And so we have taken that seriously and I’ve reported out that there will not be a transition before next — the end of next September. At the same time though there was some commentators, not necessarily anybody with any expertise were saying ah this shuts down NTIA. They have to sit on the sidelines and not do anything. You know, like our hands are tied. And so that concerned us. We didn’t read the bill that way or the law that way and we’ve consulted with — informally with both the House and the Senate, both Democrats and Republicans to get an understanding as to what exactly they intended.”
Then Strickling offered, “So one of the things was even in the rider it said you must provide us regular reports and updates on how the transition is going. So they clearly intended us to do things like come to the ICANN meetings and watch and report back what’s going on. We clearly are participating in the GAC and none of that affects that. And the only real issue was to what extent do we provide feedback during the process to the community.”
Except, Congress never required regular reporting to “provide [Congress] regular reports and updates on how the transition is going.”
In fact, the only reporting in the omnibus spending bill for fiscal year 2015 Congress directed “NTIA to inform appropriate Congressional committees not less than 45 days in advance of any such proposed successor contract or any other decision related to changing NTIA’s role with respect to ICANN or IANA activities.” That’s it. Report if there are any changes to the current contract. Not, travel all over the world and create a plan for relinquishing the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions.
Another reporting requirement was Congress required NTIA to submit a report due January 30, 2015 “regarding any recourse that would be available to the United States if the decision is made to transition to a new contract and any subsequent decisions made following such transfer of Internet governance are deleterious to the United States.”
In response in its first quarterly report, NTIA told Congress that “Our preliminary answer is that the criteria for the plan that NTIA established in its March 2014 announcement will ensure an outcome that is not ‘deleterious’ to the United States.”
In response in its first quarterly report, NTIA told Congress that “Our preliminary answer is that the criteria for the plan that NTIA established in its March 2014 announcement will ensure an outcome that is not ‘deleterious’ to the United States.”
Besides this vague assurance, NTIA never produced its contingency plan should the IANA functions transition harm U.S. interests in its subsequent quarterly reports to Congress here, here, here, here and here.
Again at the Jan. 2015 State of the Net Conference, Strickling said, “The act imposes regular reporting requirements on NTIA to keep Congress apprised of the transition process.”
So, while on one hand, Strickling seems to want to follow reporting requirements that Congress never enacted, and then cite those reporting requirements as somehow empowering him to work on the IANA functions transition that is prohibited by law, on the other hand, his agency has failed to follow the actual reporting requirements that Congress did enact. This is sloppy work to say the least.
Strickling also offered this gem, “And on that, you know, the assurances I got from most of the staff on the Hill was they didn’t see any problem with that because… we want to protect the interests of the United States in all of this.”
But as noted in a complaint to the Commerce Department Inspector General by Americans for Limited Government Foundation President and Counsel Nathan Mehrens alleging the Antideficiency Act violations, “it is not Hill staff that decide whether there is a problem, but rather the actual language passed by Congress should be examined.”
Which says, again, that none of the funds may be used to relinquish responsibility for the IANA functions, and which the author of the bill stated does not even allow NTIA consider transitioning the functions.
In a statement reacting to the transition, Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning was emphatic, “This clear slap in the face of Congress’ power of the purse transcends the important issue of whether the U.S. should divest their oversight over Internet governance and cuts to the heart of whether the power of the purse rests with Congress at all.”
Members of Congress were not impressed with the NTIA announcement either.
Chairman of the House Commerce, Science and Justice Appropriations Subcommittee Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas) fired a letter off to the Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker warning, “Section 539 of the Fiscal Year 2016 Omnibus prohibits funds provided in the Act from being used to relinquish the NTIA’s responsibility for the authoritative root zone file and the IANA functions, and I will ensure this section is fully enforced.”
Culberson added, “As we have previously discussed, I continue to oppose the use of any funds to plan for, prepare for, work on [the] transition [of] the Internet Domain Name System functions.”
“Today’s announcement by the Obama administration is a clear indication that it has flagrantly violated federal law,” Cruz, Lankford, Lee and Duffy said. “This is the latest step in a troubling series of steps that the administration has taken to relinquish its responsibilities, and it should send a concerning message to every American. If the United States relinquishes its supervision of the Internet — which it has nurtured from inception to become the greatest source of information in human history — authoritarian regimes could try to undermine the new system of Internet governance and thereby threaten free speech around the world. Congress must enact the Protecting Internet Freedom Act and continue to fight for a free Internet.”
The only question is if anybody in Congress or law enforcement will truly do anything about it. Maybe we’ll find out if the laws Congress writes are worth the paper they’re printed on or not.
---------------- Robert Romano is the Senior Editor of Americans for Limited Government. His article was first shared on the ALG's NetRight Daily blog. Tags:Robert Romano, Americans For Limited Government, Obama Internet Giveaway, Criminal Conspiracy?To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
I’m old enough to remember Watergate. The un-making of President Nixon, before our very eyes, informed Americans in a deep and profound way. It led, in part, to the election of Jimmy Carter, often referred to as one of the least effectual presidents. And the Carter presidency led to Ronald Reagan.
While living under Watergate’s dark shadow, not all of us took away the same lesson.
We outsiders learned, once again, that power corrupts.
Insiders, on the other hand, learned something different: never willingly play a part in your side’s unmasking and un-making.
We tend to forget, what with the economic rebound and end of the Cold War, that the Reagan Administration had significant scandals. At the time, Reagan was dubbed the “Teflon President,” because Reagan & Co. figured out how to react: shrug; stall; deny, deny, deny. For this reason, scandal flowed off him, not sticking, as water off a well-oiled duck’s back.
Reagan and the Republicans did not allow what Republicans had allowed in Nixon’s day: there was no turning on one’s own, no (or few) breaking of ranks.
Then, President Bill Clinton took the effrontery of denial and stonewalling to new heights. With great help from fellow Democrats.
And so it goes, even to the present day, with Hillary Clinton carrying on her husband’s tradition. She, the first candidate to run for the presidency while under official investigation by the FBI, just received the current president’s endorsement.
The back-room deal has been made, perhaps? Obama will not allow Hillary to be prosecuted. It would tarnish his legacy.
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 This Too Shall Pass To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
In 2011, the Army had more than 566,000 active duty personnel. By the end of this summer, that number will be around 475,000 due to budget cuts. Photo: Sgt. Daniel Johnson)
by Justin Johnson & Adam Lemon: Today, the United States and its allies face a wider and more serious array of threats than at any point since the end of the Cold War a quarter of a century ago. While the demand for troops to confront these challenges is increasing, the size and readiness of the U.S. Army is in steep decline.
Years of budget cuts have rapidly shrunk the Army to a size unseen since before World War II. The preparedness of the troops has been damaged as well. The Army has been forced to cut training and next-generation weapons programs that are vital for preparing the force for 21st century conflict.
Gen. Daniel B Allyn, the vice chief of staff of the Army, has witnessed firsthand the damage done by the defense budget cuts. Allyn will discuss the state of the U.S. Army at The Heritage Foundation on Monday, June 13. Before rising to the No. 2 position in the Army, Allyn served in a number of combat commands and is uniquely positioned to discuss the serious challenges facing the U.S. Army.
In 2011, the Army had more than 566,000 active duty personnel. By the end of this summer, that number will be around 475,000 due to budget cuts. That smaller force will be called upon to do far more tasks than it did in 2011.
Among these will be training and reassuring allies, destroying the Islamic State, and deterring Russia, China, and Iran. This is all in addition to maintaining a lasting presence in Afghanistan. The decline in numbers will continue through 2018, when the Army is expected to bottom out at 450,000 troops.
This decline is even more troubling when considering the number of brigade combat teams, the building block of deployable Army forces. The Army totaled 45 brigade combat teams of active duty personnel in 2013. By the end of 2018, there will be only 30. While the brigade combat teams have been reorganized to increase combat power, a 20 percent decline in troops is causing a 33 percent decline in brigade combat teams, thus the Army will have fewer units to rotate through an increasing number of operational tasks.
Since budget cuts began, the Army’s readiness to deploy and fight effectively in the event of conflict has suffered dramatically.
The Pentagon has tried to remedy this by decreasing or cutting funding to several Army weapons modernization programs in order to better fund readiness and training. Yet with all this effort, according to Pentagon officials only one-third of active and reserve Army brigade combat teams are sufficiently ready for combat. Of the roughly 20 active and reserve teams that are ready for combat, 11 are already assigned to combatant commands, leaving only nine brigade combat teams for unforeseen contingencies.
In addition to poor readiness in general, the Army has focused so much on dealing with insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan that it is ill-prepared for conflict with conventional threats like the rapidly expanding and modernizing militaries of Russia and China.
As Congress debates the 2017 defense authorization bill, it must recognize that the Army is smaller, faces greater threats in more varying regions of the world, and is ill-prepared to fight a modern war. Our military commanders have been raising the alarm, but Congress is yet to act decisively. Join The Heritage Foundation on Monday, June 13, for an important discussion about the future of the Army.
------------ Justin T. Johnson (@jus10j) specializes in defense budgets and policies for The Heritage Foundation’s Allison Center for National Security and Foreign Policy. Adam Lemon is a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation. Tags:U.S. Army, shrinks, threat proliferate, Gen. Daniel B Allyn, Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, Justin Johnson, Adam Lemon, Heritage Foundation, The Daily SignalTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
CONNECTICUT:“Some of Connecticut’s major health insurers are seekingrate increases far beyond medical inflation, including an average increase of 26.8 percent for the individual plans offered by the state’s biggest insurer, Anthem Health Plans, according to filings made public Monday. . . The requested increases ranged from a low of 2.1 percent sought by Oxford Health to 32 percent sought by Golden Rule . . .” (“Major Health Insurers Seek Sharply Higher Rates In Connecticut,” The Connecticut Mirror, 6/06/2016)
(“Insurers Seek Big Premium Boosts,” Wall Street Journal, 5/26/16)
PENNSYLVANIA:“Health insurer Highmark is requesting premiums hikes of as high as 48 percent for plans sold on the Affordable Care Act's online exchange. Another major insurer, Geisinger Health Plan, also is requesting hikes of more than 40 percent for some plans. … The Pennsylvania Insurance Department says the proposed premium increases requested by all health insurers doing business in the state average 23.6 percent…” (“New Obamacare Premium Proposals Threaten Sticker Shock In Pa.” PennLive, 5/25/16)
“Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico might return to the state's Obamacare exchange for 2017 - but it wants to raise average rates for individual plans by more than 80 percent over what it charged last year. Two other carriers - New Mexico Health Connections and Presbyterian Health Plan - are seeking average increases of more than 30 percent next year for individual plans.” (“New Mexico Health Plans Seeking Steep Rate Hikes For Exchange Plans,” PoliticoPro, 5/20/16)
NEW YORK:“It’s enough to make you sick! Health insurers operating on New York’s Obamacare insurance exchange are seeking to boost rates next year by an average of 17.3% for individual policies, according to data released Wednesday by the state. The proposed increases, which must still be approved by the state’s Department of Financial Services, range from 6.1% sought by MVP Health Plan Inc. and HealthNow New York Inc., to a whopping 89% requested by Crystal Run Health Plan LLC.” (“New York's Obamacare Firms Eye Big Rate Hike” New York Daily News, 5/19/16)
ARIZONA:“Arizona enrollees under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, will see a significant increase in their health care premiums(“Arizona Among States Facing Hikes In Obamacare Premiums And Deductibles,” Arizona Business Daily, 5/18/2016)
VIRGINIA:‘The average rate hike that state insurers requested: 17.8%’ “Next year, the combination of a sicker-than-expected insured group and the end of a temporary ObamaCare program to offset the cost of the sickest patients will send premiums soaring in Virginia, the first state where 2017 rate filings have been made public. …the average rate hike that state insurers requested: 17.8%, as calculated by ACASignups.net, which tracks ObamaCare enrollment.” (“Why Anthem Obamacare Premiums Will Soar In Virginia As Humana Bolts,” Investor’s Business Daily, 4/15/16)
MAINE:“Insurers selling plans on Maine's Obamacare exchange want to hike rates by at least 14 percent in the individual market next year. Community Health Options is seeking the biggest average increase in premiums at 22.8 percent, followed by Pilgrim Health, which is asking for rate hikes of 18.7 percent. The other two companies competing on Maine's exchange, Aetna and Anthem, are each requesting average increases of just over 14 percent for individual plans.” (“Maine Insurers Seek Double-Digit Rate Hikes For Exchange Plans,” Politico Pro, 5/11/16)
VERMONT‘Vermont health insurance companies seek 8 percent rate hike.“Vermont's largest health insurance companies say they need to raise rates substantially next year. Blue Cross-Blue Shield and MVP filed their requests with the Green Mountain Care Board this week to raise premiums starting in January for policies sold on the state's health exchange, affecting tens of thousands of customers. Blue Cross is asking for an average 8.2 percent increase, while MVP wants an 8.8 percent hike.” (“Vermont Health Insurance Companies Seek 8 Percent Rate Hike,” WPZT.Com, 5/12/16)
CALIFORNIA:“California's health insurance exchange estimates that its Obamacare premiums may rise 8% on average next year,(“Obamacare Premiums In California May Rise 8% Next Year,” CNN Money, 5/12/16) Tags:Repeated Warning, ACtion Alert, Historically Large, Health Insurance, Premium Increases, media links,, To 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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