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News for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited "smaller" government, free markets, lower taxes, due process of law, liberty & individual freedom. All content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for or by this site - no paid ads accepted - no payments for articles. Fair Use doctrine is posted & used.
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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 (429-347 BC)

Friday, July 15, 2016

Governor Pence -- a Good Choice for VP

by Newt Gingrich: I have known and respected Governor Mike Pence for more than a decade, since he was a smart, principled, conservative member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

In 2005, Mike and I held an event together at the American Enterprise Institute about “The Future of Conservatism.” I was impressed by his eloquent case for smaller, more accountable government. He was an early critic of the fiscal excesses of Congressional Republicans during the Bush years and of federal overreach in general.

As Chairman of the House Republican Conference, Mike was the only member of the senior Republican leadership to address the Tea Party rally in Washington, D.C. in 2010. He was instrumental in helping House Republicans win the majority that year.
He also served for a time as chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a caucus of conservative House Republicans — a sign that he was well-liked and respected among his House colleagues.

Mike went on to win the Indiana governorship in 2012 and he has served a very successful term in that role. He signed the largest tax cut in the state’s history, eliminated the estate tax, and significantly reduced income taxes — all while controlling spending.

Governor Pence’s conservative reforms helped drive an economic boom in Indiana. In just 3 years, the state has added more than 150,000 jobs and reduced its unemployment rate from 8.4 percent to less than 5 percent. Companies like Subaru, Amazon, and Salesforce have added thousands of jobs in the state.

Mike has also been committed throughout his career to defending the rights of the unborn and protecting religious liberty and the role of faith in public life.

As an accomplished governor, a solid conservative, and a former leader in the House who has good relationships with Congress, Mike Pence is a strong vice presidential nominee.

He can help reach out and reassure members of Congress and Republican governors who may be skeptical of Trump’s untraditional candidacy. People who know Mike and have served with him will appreciate his background in the conservative movement.

Mike also brings very practical governing experience which could prove invaluable in a vice president. He knows how to govern from the executive branch, and he also understands the dynamics of a legislative body as a former member of the House leadership.

Mike Pence will make an excellent vice president for Donald Trump. Their partnership has the potential to be transformative, to revitalize our economy and our national security, and to make America great again.
----------------------
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, Governor, Donald Trump, Vice President, candidate, Mike Pence To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Terror Strikes France… Again

Because it was a box truck used for terrorist attack this time in France, will Hillary be calling for a ban on Box Trucks?
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: Terror Strike, France, Hillary Clinton, box truck, assault truck, ban box trucks, editorial cartoon, AF Branco To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Firewall: Is Hillary Guilty?

. . . Of course the fix is in. Of course we see through it. They don’t care. They’ve got us pegged.

Bill Whittle is back with another Firewall video commentary. It takes Bill only 93 seconds to show Hillary Clinton guilty of violating three separate Federal Statutes. It takes him another three minutes to explain why she and Obama simply DO NOT CARE. Transcript below video.
Transcript of Video:

Let’s start by getting one thing out of the way right at the top: there is no questionthat Hillary Clinton committed multiple violations of federal law.

U.S. Code, Title 18, Part I, Chapter 101, Section 2071, Paragraph a:

[ TITLE: COMPLETE TEXT OF A ]

says that anyone who removes -- and doesn’t return -- ANY Federal records regardless of classification has committed a felony.

GOWDY: Secretary Clinton said that all work-related emails were returned to the State Department. Was that true?

COMEY: No, we found work-related emails – thousands – that were not returned.

[TITLE: COMPLETE TEXT OF B ]

Paragraph B says that anyone who attempts to conceal or destroy these records has committed a second felony, which specifically bars the offender from holding any office in the United States government.

GOWDY: Secretary Clinton said that neither she nor anyone else deleted work-related emails from her personal account. Was that true?

COMEY: There’s no doubt that there were work-related emails that were removed electronically from the email system.

And finally let’s talk about 18 U.S. Code § 793: Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information

In order to clear the legal bar for prosecution on that statute – that part of the United States code -- the prosecution would have to prove “gross negligence” on the part of Mrs. Clinton.

GIULIANI: He said during his long statement that she was “extremely careless.” The first definition of “gross negligence” that comes up when you take out the legal dictionary is being “extremely careless.”

Any questions?

FBI Director Comey, acting for reasons unknown and which do not make the slightest difference to this case, laid out point by point the evidence of criminal violations, as well as exposing Crooked Hillary’s initial public statement as contempt for the American People so grand that it would have to be sifted through a very fine filter to find a single particle that was actually true.

What David Horowitz called “the most breathtaking fix in American history” was so flagrant, so audacious, so shamefully and obviously crooked, and reeked of such bottomless contempt, that I take exception to the idea, frequently stated, that they must take us for idiots.

They don’t take us for idiots. They take us for cowards. They know that we know, and they don’t care.

Why don’t they care? Well, they don’t care because we didn’t do anything about changing implementation dates on Obamacare on a whim; we didn’t do anything about the illegal, unconstitutional, dictatorial Executive Orders on something as important as Immigration; we didn’t do anything when Crooked Hillary cut back security in Benghazi while Ambassador Chris Stevens was begging for more security; and we didn’t do anything when the President and the Secretary of State -- who knew within fifteen minutes that the attack was well-planned, well-coordinated and clearly foreseen and forseeable – when those two people stood there, in front of television cameras and claimed – repeatedly – that the disaster was the result of an obscure YouTube video and told the relatives of the heroes that died because of her contempt that she and the President were going to get the filmmaker responsible for their son’s death.

Of course the fix is in. Of course we see through it. They don’t care. They’ve got us pegged.

Oh, and one more little itty bitty thing: surely some of those Top Secret, and above Top Secret, emails went to and from the President. Fortunately for the Commander in Chief, and the presumptive future Commander in Chief, laws don’t apply to top Democrats. Laws are for the little people, the great unwashed army of rubes and hicks in flyover country. You know: you and me.

President Obama will not protect the American people. President Hillary Clinton will not protect the American people. The Justice Department will not protect the American people, the politically appointed generals in the Pentagon won’t protect us, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation won’t do it either.

The only thing left to protect the American People is the American People. Our future and our freedom will end, one way or another, where it started, with WE THE PEOPLE. WE THE PEOPLE will have to defend ourselves from this government, this rough beast, its hour come at last, that we have allowed to go slouching towards Washington to be born.

It’s just us now. Just us, alone.

Tags: Firewall, video, Bill Whittle, Is Hillary Guilty? To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Terror In Nice, Failure Of Western Elites, Clinton & Intelligence, #AmericanLivesMatter

by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author:  Terror In Nice
France has once again been struck by radical Islamic supremacists. A jihadist drove a semi through a crowd in Nice, in southern France, during Bastille Day fireworks celebrations. At least 84 people were killed, including 10 children. More than 50 children were hurt and are being treated in hospitals. Many are in critical condition.

The driver, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, reportedly fired on fleeing pedestrians and shot at police from the cab of his truck. He was eventually shot and killed. I wonder how many people have been murdered this year by thugs whose first names were Mohamed.

Vehicular jihad is not a new phenomenon. This was the fourth vehicular attack in France since 2014. It has been employed in Israel for several years by Palestinian jihadists. It has accelerated in the last 18 months with little word of support or comfort from the Obama Administration to our Israeli ally.

Cars, trucks and even tractors have been used to plow into Israeli crowds. When you see a tactic used in Israel while the world yawns, take note. It won't be long before that tactic is deployed against our country and Europe.

The stabbing jihad deployed in Israel has been used in Paris and London.

As the bodies were being cleaned up, a debate broke out in the media about the attacker. Did he act alone? Was he just a petty criminal? None of that matters! It doesn't matter if he is on the ISIS email list or whether he attends regular jihadi club meetings.

What matters is this: There is a beast -- radical Islamic supremacism -- that is at war with us. It is continually spitting out of its gaping mouth human bullets prepared to use whatever they can get their hands on to kill us and our families.

The Failure of Western Elites
From the sleepwalking Swedes to the intellectuals enjoying their morning bagels on the Paris riverbank, from the faculty lounges of every major university in the Western world to the highest levels in Washington, D.C., from the clueless starlets in Hollywood to the businessmen willing to trade with the devil -- there is a colossal moral failure of the men and women whom Western Civilization has rewarded with more influence, wealth and power than any people in the world.

In the face of the evil we are fighting, they are incapable of putting one and one together and finding two. They go to bed at night not worrying about jihadists but worrying about what common Americans, Frenchmen and Germans might do if we actually conclude we are at war with this radical Islamic supremacist ideology.

For example, a top French security official warned just a few days ago that his nation was "on the verge of a civil war." But his greatest concern was not terrorism or the Islamists. No, his fear was the pent up rage and reaction of the "far right."

Our left-wing elites, even in the middle of this ongoing carnage, continue to tell us that it is a good and noble thing to bring in more people from the very areas where this radical Islamist ideology is so prevalent. And they use their power in the media and in the halls of government to destroy and ruin anyone who dares to resist their insanity.

Clinton & Intelligence
Hillary Clinton went on Bill O'Reilly's Fox News show last night. No, I'm not making this up. She told O'Reilly that in dealing with ISIS, "One of my priorities is to launch an intelligence surge. We still do not have enough intelligence cooperation between our agencies in other countries, including in Europe, and we need to have a focal point."

Really? Why would anyone share intelligence with Hillary since our own intelligence agency said she is "extremely careless" with sensitive information in her possession?

And if there isn't enough intelligence sharing, what were she and Obama doing for the last seven years? From what we know of their politically correct policies, it seems they were sharing idiocy!

#AmericanLivesMatter
Two Americans were killed in the Nice attack. Sean Copeland, of Lakeway, Texas, and his 11 year-old son, Brodie, were among the victims of this latest Islamist-inspired atrocity. Brodie loved to play baseball and his father was a coach in his youth league.

Americans were killed in the Paris and Brussels attacks. Americans have been stabbed to death in Israel. Here's an idea for a new slogan: "American lives matter!" On behalf of all Americans fed up with the left's politically correct policies, I offer my sincere condolences to the Copeland family.
-------------
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, Terror In Nice, The Failure Of Western Elites, Clinton & Intelligence, #AmericanLivesMatter To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Trump/Pence Ticket!

ARRA News Servce: This morning, presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump  announced on Twitter that Indiana Governor Mike Pence will serve as his vice presidential running mate.
Indiana Governor Mike Pence responded on Twitter:
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump
leaves the Indiana Governor's residence with
Gov. Mike Pence in Indianapolis, July 13, 2016.
(AP Photo / Michael Conroy via WTOP.com)
Michael Richard "Mike" Pence (born June 7, 1959) is an American politician and attorney who has been serving as the 50th Governor of Indiana since 2013. A member of the Republican Party, he previously represented Indiana's 2nd congressional district and Indiana's 6th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013 and served as Chairman of the House Republican Conference from 2009 to 2011. Pence is a conservative and a longtime supporter of the Tea Party movement.

Pence was born in Columbus, Indiana, one of six children of Nancy Jane (née Cawley) and Edward J. Pence, Jr., who ran a string of gas stations. His family were Irish Catholic Democrats. His maternal grandparents were immigrants from County Sligo and County Clare.

Pence graduated from Columbus North High School in 1977. He earned a B.A. in History from Hanover College in 1981 and a J.D. from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in 1986.

After graduating from Hanover, Pence worked as an admissions counselor at the college from 1981 to 1983. After graduating from law school in 1986, Pence worked as an attorney in private practice. In 1991, he became the president of the Indiana Policy Review Foundation, a self-described free-market think tank and a member of the State Policy Network.

Pence left the Indiana Policy Review Foundation in 1994, when he began a career in talk radio. He hosted The Mike Pence Show, which was based in WRCR-FM in Rushville. Pence called himself "Rush Limbaugh on decaf" since he considered himself politically conservative while not as outspoken as Limbaugh. The show was syndicated by Network Indiana and aired weekdays 9 a.m. to noon (ET) on 18 stations throughout the state, including WIBC in Indianapolis. From 1995 to 1999, Pence also hosted a weekend political talk show out of Indianapolis.

In November 2000, Pence was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in Indiana's 2nd Congressional District. The district (renumbered as the 6th District beginning in 2002) comprises all or portions of 19 counties in eastern Indiana. Pence was re-elected four more times by comfortable margins.

After the November 2010 election, Pence announced that he would not run for re-election as the Republican Conference Chairman. On May 5, 2011, Pence announced that he would seek the Republican nomination for Governor of Indiana in 2012.

Pence and his wife Karen Pence have been married since 1985. They have three children: Michael, Charlotte, and Audrey. [Info credit Wikipedia]

Pence For Vice President
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author noted today: In the wake of the Nice attack, Donald Trump wisely postponed the formal announcement of his choice for vice president. But official word came from the Trump campaign this morning that his running mate would be Indiana Governor Mike Pence.

The initial reaction to Trump's selection has been very positive. Consider these headlines:

"Movement Conservatives Praise Mike Pence As VP, 'Home Run Choice'"

"Pence Brings Conservative Bona Fides To Trump."

"Conservatives Rally Around Mike Pence For Vice President"


Every values voter, every pro-life voter, every man and woman who knows the United States and Israel must stand together should be applauding this choice, and that includes some of my fellow pro-family leaders here in Washington, D.C. For those who may not be familiar with Governor Pence, you can read more about him in this IndyStar article.

In addition to all the negative things that happen as you grow older, one of the positives is that you gain a little wisdom.

To my younger colleagues, I'll offer this advice for free: With the country tottering on the edge of an abyss, it is not a good idea to form circular firing squads, obsessing over disappointments with people on your team.

We have a man in the Oval Office, and a woman who wants to replace him, who, if they are successful, will eliminate the First and Second Amendment. They stand against everything we stand for.

In addition to filling Justice Antonin Scalia's vacancy on the Supreme Court, three more justices are 77 years old or older.

We have a chance on November 8th -- quite probably our last chance -- to stop the left's fundamental transformation of the country we love. We have a chance to make America great again -- if we are united and working together. It is time to close ranks.

Tags: Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Republican, ticket, 2016 Election To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

It’s Time To Stop The Nonsense And Back #Trump

Editorial Cartoon by AF  Branco
by Rick Manning: The collective temper tantrum of many in the GOP about Donald Trump’s nomination is culminating in various behind the scenes fights at the Republican National Convention about who gets to vote and are they required to vote for Trump as their state delegate selection rules require.

If Republicans want to lose to Hillary Clinton, all they have to do is take the nomination from Trump through convention chicanery.

Hillary is irretrievably damaged with the scandals of her life clinging to her like dead weights. The simmering suspicion that the entire Democratic Party presidential primary system as a sham designed to deliver her the nomination was confirmed by FBI Director William Comey’s decision that charges should not be filed against her in the classified email scandal, after President Bill met with his boss.

Yet, the #NeverTrump folks continue to demand that Republican primary voters be ignored and the legitimately chosen candidate be denied a place on the ballot to face Hillary out of a purported fear that his outspokenness will cause Trump to lose.

This is nonsense. The real fear is that Trump will upset the apple cart in Washington, D.C. and in New York financial circles, by changing the world economic shell game by challenging the erosion of U.S. sovereignty in the world. By challenging the flatter, less individual nation centric legal and regulatory regime, allowing for easier selling of goods across increasingly indistinct sovereign borders.

The real fear is that many of those who have exerted influence through both personal relationships and hired lobbying guns on administrations of both political parties, don’t carry the same weight with Trump. And what is really scary is they don’t know anyone who does.

The political elites are worried, because Trump, like Andrew Jackson in 1828 represented a rejection of the status quo of Revolutionary War elites or their offspring running the country.

Similar to today, in 1828 the sophisticated notions of currency policy and the debate over the national bank economic policy assumptions were preeminent issues that drove the populist classes to push Jackson to the White House.

There could be no doubt that if he lived in 1828, former Goldman Sachs CEO and Bush Treasury Secretary Hank Paulsen would have supported John Quincy Adams, just as he supports Hillary Clinton today.

All the blustering nonsense aside, here is why Paulsen, Jeb Bush and the President Bushes are wrong about Trump.

First and most importantly, you cannot have spent the past eight years (the Bushes and Paulsen were eerily silent) freaking out about the massive expansion of the federal government under Obama, and oppose Trump. Hillary Clinton will lock in and put Obama’s regulatory assault on the free enterprise system on steroids, accelerating our nation’s decline toward third world status.

Hillary Clinton will push the expanded federalization of our nation’s school systems, nationalize police powers, and reform Obamacare to the single payer system that those of her ilk have long desired.

Should Hillary Clinton win the White House, the left will have control over the federal judiciary for the next generation, and through that instrument of power, what remains of the First Amendment freedom of religious expression will be eviscerated, not to mention the end of the individual right to keep and bear arms.

Donald Trump is a wild card. But remember this important fact. Unlike any other nominee in recent history, Donald Trump had to navigate through massive government regulations to build things. He had to figure out how to get the politicians and regulators to act, just so he could do business. While battling the system that is set up to stop things from getting done, Donald Trump figured out how to beat it.

It is this history that makes Donald Trump the most likely presidential candidate in recent history to actually understand how regulatory roadblocks to progress work in the real world, and as a result, he is the most qualified to identify and deconstruct those that are most harmful to economic growth.

Others will attack Trump for working the system, but an honest appraisal can only lead one to believe that it is this exact experience that will make him the most likely person since FDR’s establishment of the massive federal bureaucracy to have the personal experience needed to tear large parts of it out by the roots. While many, including this author, would prefer that Trump take on the regulatory regimes out of a personal limited government philosophy, it is instead his real world experience fighting petty government regulators and their craven political bosses, which will make his first instinct to clear the underbrush that gets in the way of economic growth.

And for those making their fortunes in Washington, D.C. representing companies in the arcane bureaucratic administrative law systems, and those big businesses that benefit from using these laws as weapons against their smaller, less resourced competitors, an attack on the regulatory morass is an attack on their livelihoods and competitive advantages.

If America is going to turn this nation around, it doesn’t need hollow rhetoric, it needs someone not tied to the interests that profit from a declining America. We need an Andrew Jackson, a person who scares everyone with their fingers in the till. To my #NeverTrump friends, it is time to grow up and honestly choose.

It is Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. It is locking in the status quo decline regardless of who wins Congress, or it is taking a leap to actually try to stop it.

Trump may or may not succeed in making America great again, but we know that Hillary’s election will drive a final nail in the coffin Obama has built for individual liberty. It is a time for choosing, and anyone who chooses Hillary (or her “Libertarian” vote syphon) can no longer claim the mantle of fighting for constitutional governance and individual rights. This is the last stand, and sometimes we don’t get the leaders we want, but the ones we need, and the GOP voters have chosen Donald Trump to carry that banner.

So, #NeverTrumps, get on board, or get out of the way, we have a nation to save.
---------------
Rick Manning (@rmanning957) is President of Americans for Limited Government and was on the ALG Blog: NetRight Daily.

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You Have No Rights Without Natural Law

Jim DeMint
by Jim DeMint: While musing on the writings of author and philosopher G.K. Chesterton in his personal notebook, a young John F. Kennedy wrote, “Don’t ever take a fence down until you know the reason why it was put up.” Fences hold things in we want to keep close, and protect us from things we want to keep out. But Chesterton and JFK were not making a point about physical fences. They were speaking of the ideas, principles, and institutions that surround the things that make life worth living, and protect us from threats to those things we value and love.

This is the sort of fence we are currently “taking down” in America. Since its inception, America has been surrounded and protected by a unique set of ideas that created the strongest, most prosperous, most secure and compassionate land of opportunity that has ever existed. These ideas were considered by America’s founders to be “self-evident” because they were based on the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” (from the first sentence of the Declaration of Independence).

Generations of Americans have lived in security and freedom because our leaders have generally been faithful to the belief that nature’s God, the Creator, imbued all people with unalienable rights, including the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The second sentence of the Declaration is all based on the assumption of what we call natural law:We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. – That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed …
Our rights as Americans are considered unalienable only because they were inherent in the natural order of life established by the laws of nature and nature’s God.
Natural Law Is How Nature Teaches Us Truth
The idea of natural law, an inherent order to the universe that can provide governing principles reached by human reason, was accepted by thinkers from Plato to Thomas Aquinas to John Locke—although they each interpreted the concept differently. Natural law often informed arguments of both faith and reason even outside of a Judeo-Christian context, as shown by the ancient Roman statesman Cicero:True law is right reason in agreement with nature; it is of universal application, unchanging and everlasting; […] one eternal and unchangeable law will be valid for all nations and all times, and there will be one master and ruler, that is, God, over us all, for He is the author of this law, its promulgator, and its enforcing judge. – Cicero, The Republic, II, 22Natural law was seen as knowable without divine revelation, but ultimately originating from a Supreme Being. Of course, the divine origins of the natural order are made explicit in the Hebrew scriptures:Created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female he created them (Gen 1:27)

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh (Gen 2:24)
Today, we’re seeing the consequences of a political Left that has rejected the concept of natural law—regardless if arrived at through faith or reason—because it pointed to uncomfortable truths regarding sexuality, marriage, human nature, and a higher purpose. But when we reject the very foundation of our unalienable rights, those rights become arbitrary things granted by government, and very alienable indeed.

Taking Down the Definitions Means Anarchy
For decades, the Left in America has been deconstructing the fence of natural law. It has eliminated any acknowledgment of a creator God from schools and the public square, promoted the idea that the only sin is the belief that there is sin, redefined the nature of marriage, and now is muddling the idea that mankind has two distinct sexes that are determined before birth.

If one would do away with the distinctions of male and female, sin (or acting contrary to one’s nature), and the natural union of man and woman in marriage, one does away with natural law. If there is no natural law, then people were not created equal, nothing is self-evident, there are no unalienable rights, and governments are not instituted to protect rights: they exist to prescribe them. If there is no natural law, there is no common sense—no commonly understood truth.

As the saying goes, “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.” Americans enjoy unprecedented freedom and prosperity, but because too few of us understand how and why we have these blessings, we have allowed the Left to take down the fence that protects them. Our government is already stepping over the fallen fence and infringing on free speech, freedom of association, freedom to buy and sell according to our beliefs, and the principle of democratic self-governance. In short, it is infringing on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Politicians will not rebuild the fence of natural law. It must be rebuilt by individuals, families, churches, schools, businesses, and volunteer organizations. It will only be rebuilt by We the People if we have the courage to tie our rights back to an eternal natural order.
---------------
Jim DeMint (@JimDeMint) is the president of The Heritage Foundation, He rose from modest South Carolina roots and a career in marketing to build and lead a resurgent conservative movement.

Tags: Jim DeMint, The Heritage Foundation, natural law, rights, natural law, anarchy, Bill of Rights, Cicero, Declaration of Independence, human rights, Law, liberty, marriage, philosophy, political, philosophy, sexuality, We The PeopleTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Who Gave Us Justice Ginsburg?

by Patrick Buchanan: “Her mind is shot.”

That was the crisp diagnosis of Donald Trump on hearing the opinion of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the possibility he might become president.

It all began with an interview last week when the justice was asked for her thoughts on a Trump presidency. Ginsburg went on a tear.

“I can’t imagine what this place (the Supreme Court) would be — I can’t imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president. For the country, it could be four years. For the court, it could be — I don’t even want to contemplate that.”

Yet she had contemplated the horror of it all, as she quoted her late husband as saying of such a catastrophe, “It’s time for us to move to New Zealand.”

This week, Ginsburg doubled down.

“Trump is a faker,” she vented in chambers on Monday, “He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head. … He really has an ego. … How has he gotten away with not turning over his tax returns? The press seems to be very gentle with him on that.”

Sounding like Democratic Party Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Ginsburg attacked the Senate for not voting on Judge Merrick Garland to fill the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

“That’s their job. There’s nothing in the Constitution that says the president stops being president in his last year.”

True, your honor, but there is also nothing in the Constitution that says the Senate must vote expeditiously, or at all.

Ginsburg hailed Justice Anthony Kennedy as “the great hero of this term” for his votes upholding abortion rights and affirmative action.

“Think what would have happened had Justice Scalia remained with us,” she added, which comes close to saying the death of the great jurist was not entirely unwelcome to the leading liberal on the court.

“I’d love to see Citizens United overruled,” Ginsburg volunteered, which gives us a pretty good idea how she will vote when that question comes before the court again.

As the Wall Street Journal notes, under Section 28 US Code 455, “(a)ny justice, judge or magistrate judge of the United States must disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” Since “himself” and “his” refer to men, perhaps Ginsburg does not think the rules apply to her.

The federal code of judicial conduct for U.S. judges, says the Chicago Tribune, states that a “judge should not … publicly endorse a candidate for public office.”

But does not Ginsburg’s relentless trashing of Trump constitute a political attack on him, to help his opponent Hillary Clinton?

Ginsburg “should resign from the Court before she does the reputation of the judiciary more harm,” says the Journal.

There is a precedent. Justice Abe Fortas resigned in 1969 in a scandal when his ties to a convicted swindler became known.

But a dissent here. Why should Ginsburg resign? Did anyone doubt she held these views? Did she hide her radical liberalism from the Senate that confirmed her 96-3 in 1993, with only three Republicans dissenting, led by the venerable Jesse Helms?

Ginsburg was an ACLU lawyer and feminist-activist when she was named to the appellate court by Jimmy Carter. Her views were no secret to anyone when the Senate confirmed her.

Let us not pretend we did not know. Thus, why should she step down for airing political and ideological views everyone knew she held?

Liberal angst is understandable. Ginsburg is giving away the game.

How can liberals credibly uphold the pretense that Supreme Court decisions, where the left is the majority, represent judgments based on the Constitution, when Ginsburg, the leading leftist, has revealed herself to be a rabid partisan who can’t wait to use her judicial power to impose her ideology upon the United States?

Ginsburg detests Trump. She wants to kill super PACs. She thinks discrimination against white males is fine if it advances diversity. She thinks Republican Senators are blockheads who do not know their duties.

She thinks the death penalty is barbaric, and that abortion on demand and same-sex marriage are progressive. She is waiting for a case to come before her so she can restrict gun rights.

In a democratic republic, she has a right to hold and air these views.

But a democratic republic no longer exists when justices of the mindset of Ginsburg, who have never been elected, but serve for life, can impose these views, anti-democratically, upon the country.

Since the Earl Warren era, the Supreme Court has usurped the legislative power and imposed social policies, and Congress, which has the power under Article III to shackle the Ruth Bader Ginsburgs and restrict the court’s jurisdiction, has lacked the courage to do so.

This is the problem, not Ginsburg. She does what leftist ideologues do. The problem is elsewhere.

Pogo said it best, “We have met the enemy — and he is us.”

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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: Supreme Court, Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, liberal, attacks, Donald Trump. Patrick Buchanan, conservative, commentary To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Too Much – Part 2

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: Yesterday, we discovered that modern America asks police to do “too much.” Which prompts the next question: What should police stop doing?

Here are two immediate reforms where police can do less, while protecting the public more:

(1) End the War on Drugs. Preventing violence and fraud is the rightful role of police. Not preventing people from engaging in activities that are peaceful, however misguided or self-harming. The criminalization of marijuana means more than 150 million Americans are criminals, warranting police involvement.

Now, Mr. Obama has released some convicts serving long drug-related sentences, but we need a president who will go much farther in changing law enforcement priorities.

(2) Stop Using Civil Asset Forfeiture, whereby police steal people’s stuff without charging and convicting those people of any crime. Not only do federal agencies from Justice to the IRS take our property in violation of our rights, but the Feds encourage state and local police to join them in this bad behavior through their “equitable sharing” program.

While Obama has spoken against seizing assets without a criminal conviction, he hasn’t stopped it. And he could at the federal level, with a stroke of his pen — as I have advocated at Townhall. Ending civil asset forfeiture is an executive order actually within his constitutional power.

Would these two steps end all racism or violence or crime? No, no, no.

They would be, however, two steps forward toward a more principled, lawful and respectful style of policing that would better serve to unite rather than divide citizens and police.

It’s a different two-step than reformers have been witnessing.

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, Too Much – Part 2 To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Death to Law & Order . . .

. . . Anti-Cop Rhetoric – (based on lies) has resulted in the deaths of 5 Dallas policemen, and is just the beginning. Law & Order is deteriorating right before our eyes.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: Anti-Cop Rhetoric, based on lies, deaths of 5 policemen, Dallas, Texas, Law & Order, deteriorating, editorial cartoon, AF Branco To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Democrat AGs Targeting Climate 'Dissenters' Face Legal Demand to Disclose Ties to Environmental Groups

"Zero credibility": A spokesman for New York Attorney General
Eric Schneiderman, here with former Vice President Al Gore on
 March 29, 2016, dismisses a House committee's subpoena.
(Photo:  Andrew Schwartz/Splash News & Pictures/Newscom
via The Daily Signal article.)
by Kevin Mooney: State government figures spearheading an effort to obtain documents from scientists and researchers who dissent from the Obama administration’s position on climate change are being asked, once again, to come clean about their relationships with environmental organizations.

But this time around, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey have only two weeks to comply with a demand for information from a House committee that the two Democrats have resisted previously.

That’s because the demand comes in the form of subpoenas issued Wednesday to Schneiderman, Healey, and eight environmental advocacy groups. The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology took the action after being rebuffed in previous efforts.

In response, a spokesman for Schneiderman lashed out at the committee as “radical Republican House members” with “zero credibility” who are trying to “block a serious law enforcement investigation.”

Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, the committee chairman, saw it differently.

“The attorneys general have appointed themselves to decide what is valid and what is invalid regarding climate change,” Smith said in a press statement. “The attorneys general are pursuing a political agenda at the expense of scientists’ right to free speech.”

Smith added:The committee has a responsibility to protect First Amendment rights of companies, academic institutions, scientists, and nonprofit organizations. That is why the committee is obligated to ask for information from the attorneys general and others. Unfortunately, the attorneys general have refused to give the committee the information to which it is entitled. What are they hiding? And why?On March 29, state attorneys general calling themselves AGs United for Clean Power held a press conference in New York with former Vice President Al Gore to announce formation of “an unprecedented coalition of top law enforcement” that would “defend climate change progress made under President Obama.”

All but one of the attorneys general are Democrats.

Some of the elected officials, also dubbed the Green 20, have subpoenaed documents, communications, and research in an effort to acquire the work material of more than 100 academic institutions, nonprofit organizations, and individual scientists, the House committee notes.

These organizations and individuals were targeted because they questioned the merits of President Barack Obama’s climate change agenda, the panel says.

On July 6, Smith sent letters to Schneiderman, Healey, and the environmental groups now on the receiving end of the subpoenas. He reminded them of his May 18 and June 20 requests for documents and communications.

Smith set a deadline of noon July 13 for compliance. The committee issued the subpoenas when the state attorneys general and the environmental groups declined to comply.

The eight green groups subject to the committee’s inquiries include the Union of Concerned Scientists, Greenpeace, 350.org, the Climate Accountability Institute, the Climate Reality Project, the Rockefeller Family Fund, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and Pawa Law Group.

The Daily Signal sought comment from Schneiderman’s office in New York and Healey’s office in Massachusetts.

“The extent to which Chairman Smith and Republican committee leadership, at the behest of Big Oil, [are] attacking the legal authority of state attorneys general to investigate whether major corporations misled investors and consumers is very troubling, and an affront to states’ rights,” Healey spokeswoman Cyndi Roy Gonzalez said in an email to The Daily Signal, adding:This isn’t a fight about the First Amendment because the First Amendment doesn’t protect false and misleading speech. Our office seeks only to understand what Exxon’s own scientists knew about the impact of burning fossil fuels on climate change and on Exxon’s business and assets, when they knew it, and what they told the public. Congress does not have the authority to interfere with a state inquiry into whether a private company violated state laws, and we will continue to fight any and all efforts to stop our investigation.Schneiderman’s office did not respond, but a spokesman for the New York attorney general, Eric Soufer, released this statement:The American public will wake up tomorrow morning shaking their heads when they learn that a small group of radical Republican House members is trying to block a serious law enforcement investigation into potential fraud at Exxon. Chairman Smith and his allies have zero credibility on this issue, and are either unwilling or unable to grasp that the singular purpose of these investigations is to determine whether Exxon committed serious violations of state securities fraud, business fraud, and consumer fraud laws.

This committee has no authority to interfere with these state law enforcement investigations, and whether they issue a subpoena or not, this Attorney General [Schneiderman] will not be intimidated or deterred from ensuring that every New Yorker receives the full protection of state laws.
Where the New York attorney general sees “serious law enforcement,” however, others see an assault on free speech rights and honest scientific inquiry.

“The state attorneys general who are spearheading the green witch hunt are not just sabotaging Americans’ First Amendment rights. They are carrying out a frontal assault on the fundamentals of scientific inquiry,” Bonner Cohen, senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research, told The Daily Signal.

Cohen added:In saying the science is ‘settled’ on climate change, they are only revealing their colossal ignorance of what science is all about. The science isn’t settled on anything. What we think we know about biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, and, yes, climate science, is constantly undergoing revision resulting from new findings and discoveries. What’s really going on here is the ruling class telling the rest of us to shut up and do as we are told. And if we don’t, there’ll be a knock at the door.In response to the House committee’s subpoena, Ken Kimmell, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists, released a statement challenging the congressional investigation.

“Chairman Smith’s subpoena is an abuse of power that goes way beyond the House Science Committee’s jurisdiction and amounts to nothing more than harassment,” Kimmell said, adding:By attempting to interfere with the attorneys general investigations, Chairman Smith directly undermines efforts to hold Exxon Mobil accountable for misrepresenting climate science. It’s also just plain wrong to investigate a nonprofit for doing its job—in this case, providing public officials with science and evidence to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for deception on climate change, one of the world’s most pressing problems.But Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation who has tracked the story, said he detected hypocrisy.

“The reaction of the state attorneys general shows what total hypocrites they are,” von Spakovsky told The Daily Signal. “They have clearly conspired with environmental groups to initiate these outrageous investigations and prosecutions of anyone who doesn’t agree with them about an unproven, disputed scientific theory, including voluminous, harassing subpoenas. Yet when they are targeted with inquiries about what they are doing, suddenly they are outraged.”

Committee members insist Schneiderman, Healey, and the other state attorneys general, along with the environmental groups, are at fault for jeopardizing free speech and honest scientific inquiry about whether human activity has resulted in global warming—what adherents to the idea now call climate change.

“Since March, these attorneys general have attempted to use questionable legal tactics to force the production of documents and communications from a broad group of scientists, companies, and nonprofit organizations,” said Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas, who chairs the space subcommittee.

“These actions are an attempt to chill the scientific research of those who do not support the attorneys general and environmental groups’ political positions,” Babin said in a formal statement adding:These actions amount to a political attack rather than a serious inquiry based on the law. Today’s action by the Science Committee and Chairman Smith sustains the commitment to protect the First Amendment rights of the individuals and groups targeted by the attorneys general and environmental activists.If the committee does not receive a response from Schneiderman, Healy, or any of the green groups, it could hold a vote on whether a “contempt of Congress” finding should be sent to the full House.
--------------
Kevin Mooney (@KevinMooneyDC) is an investigative reporter for Heritage Foundation's The Daily Signal.

Tags: Democrat AGs, New York Attorney Genera,l Eric Schneiderman, Targeting Climate ‘Dissenters’, Face Legal Demand, Disclose Ties to Environmental Groups, Kevin Mooney, The Daily Signal To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Hillary Clinton And Personal Honesty

by Andrew P. Napolitano: When FBI Director James Comey publicly revealed his recommendation to the Department of Justice last week that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton not be prosecuted for espionage, he unleashed a firestorm of criticism from those who believe that Mrs. Clinton was judged by different standards from those used to judge others when deciding whether to bring a case to a grand jury.

The FBI investigation had a bizarre ending to it. FBI recommendations are never made public as this one was. Attorney General Loretta Lynch had been compromised by her politically disastrous but legally consequential meeting out of the view of the media with Bill Clinton just one week before Mr. Comey's announcement. Whatever they discussed, the overwhelming public impression was such that Ms. Lynch removed herself and her senior aides from the case, effectively leaving the FBI to have the final say. This is unheard of in the post-Hoover FBI.

The Comey announcement itself gave two reasons for recommending against indictment. One was that "no reasonable prosecutor" would take the case. That is not a judgment the FBI gets paid to make. The FBI's job is to gather, present and evaluate facts and evidence, not predict what prosecutors might do with it. The other stated reason for recommending against indictment was that though Mrs. Clinton may have been "extremely careless" in handling state secrets, she was not "grossly negligent," which is the standard required by the espionage statute.

Yet Mr. Comey also acknowledged that Mrs. Clinton sent state secrets to nongovernmental colleagues who lacked national security clearances, that those people were hacked by hostile intelligence services and that she used her numerous non-secure mobile devices recklessly while inside the territorial borders of those hostile governments. If all that is somehow extremely careless but not grossly negligent, then many who have done far less than Mrs. Clinton - and have been prosecuted and convicted - were wrongly prosecuted.

Since Mr. Comey's announcement last week, several new factors have come to light. One is that the Department of Justice never presented any evidence to a grand jury. It never sought subpoenas from a grand jury. This is unheard of in major criminal investigations because the FBI alone has no subpoena power and needs a grand jury to issue subpoenas for it.

The absence of a sitting grand jury also makes one wonder about the circumstances under which and the purpose for which the Justice Department obtained immunity for Bryan Pagliano, Mrs. Clinton's internet technology adviser. She paid him $5,000 to migrate her public and her secret State Department email streams from the government's secure servers to her own non-secure servers. Immunity, which is essentially the pre-indictment permanent forgiveness of criminal behavior, cannot be given lightly and can only be given in return for testimony - usually to a grand jury or a trial jury. Strangely, that was not the case here.

Nevertheless, Mrs. Clinton's persistent problems with personal honesty have brought her face to face with three more criminal investigations. One is for public corruption. The second is for perjury. And the third is for misleading Congress.

The public corruption investigation has been underway for a few months. The allegations are that she exercised the powers of her office as secretary of state to enrich her husband and herself. The evidence here is ample. There are dozens of documented instances in which foreign governments and individuals received beneficial treatment from her State Department - usually exemptions from compliance with American laws or regulations - and then collectively gave hundreds of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation at a time when it was not a registered lawful charity.

The second investigation Mrs. Clinton faces is for perjury. This arises out of a Freedom of Information Act civil lawsuit during which she swore in writing and under oath, citing the phrase "under penalty of perjury," that she surrendered all of her work-related emails to the State Department. When she left the State Department, she effectively took all of her emails with her. Then, when the FOIA cases began, she returned about half of what she had taken, claiming that the other half was personal.

The FBI found that she failed to return thousands of work-related emails, some of which she and her lawyers attempted to destroy and some of which they succeeded in destroying. Who ordered the destruction?

Finally, Mrs. Clinton will most likely be confronted with charges of misleading Congress. Misleading Congress consists of intentionally creating a false impression in response to material congressional questions. She did this when she denied to the House Select Committee on Benghazi that she had sent or received emails via her home servers that contained state secrets.

The FBI found 110 emails in that category, at least two-dozen of which were at the highest level of protection that the government accords its secrets. She also told that same committee that she had surrendered all her work-related emails to the State Department.

Former New York Yankees pitching great Roger Clemens was tried twice (after a trial that ended with a hung jury, he was ultimately acquitted) for misleading Congress when he was forced to speak to a House committee about the contents of his blood and urine as a baseball player. Mrs. Clinton has misled Congress about her lawful obligations as secretary of state, and she skates free.

Back in the Whitewater days, when the propensity of both Bill and Hillary Clinton to lie routinely and naturally first became apparent to the media and the public, the late, great New York Times columnist William Safire referred to Mrs. Clinton by a moniker that enraged her husband. He became so fearful of the truth and so furious with Safire that he publicly threatened to punch Safire in the nose.

Safire called Hillary Clinton a congenital liar. He was right. That was 20 years ago. Some people never change
-------------------
Andrew P. Napolitano, a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, is a contributor to The Washington Times. He is the author of seven books on the U.S. Constitution. H/T Government is N Not God. and posted with permission from The Washington Times.

Tags: Hillary Clinton, congenital liar, personal honesty, Andrew Napolitano To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

How Obama Divides America

One man can neither unify us nor break us apart on his own. But it’s been a long time since we’ve had a president as divisive as this one.

by David Harsanyi: At the funeral service for five slain Dallas cops, Barack Obama delivered another one of his needlessly politicized lectures. As is customary these days, those who were critical of his rhetoric were branded racists and unthinking haters.

That’s one theory.

Another one is that people might be put off by Obama’s grating habit of turning every tragedy into a sermon about our supposed collective failings. I doubt the president is substantively more partisan than the average politician, but like most people on the Left these days, he no longer bothers to make a distinction between a policy position and a moral struggle.

The issue of gun control, for example, isn’t a good-faith disagreement between people of different persuasions, but — like civil rights or suffrage — a struggle waged by the righteous against the evil (and sometimes those poor souls tricked by the NRA).

Seemingly every political battle waged by the modern Democratic Party — gay rights, immigration, climate change, inequality — is imbued with a kind spiritual certitude that justifies circumventing debate. If a person who opposes the administration’s transgender bathroom policy is just like a Klansman, why even discuss the matter? In this context, the histrionics of Democrats in Congress over guns or the media’s melodramas make all the sense in the world.

In this context, why wouldn’t the president lecture us about gun control in his speech? Why wouldn’t Obama offer completely unsubstantiated claims about guns? “It’s easier for a teenager to get his hands on a Glock than a computer … or even a book,” was a contention Obama made that no rational person could ever possibly believe. It’s meant to convey the idea that half the nation cares more about the NRA than about children.

So maybe some conservatives are put off by Obama’s awe-inspiring propensity to create strawmen and offer false choices at every opportunity — all under the guise of thoughtful discourse. Maybe it’s that he never offers a fair or reasonable assessment of his opposition’s positions before pretending to debunk them. Or maybe it’s that, no matter what actually happens, he clings to a predetermined message before blaming the half of America that didn’t vote for him.

Last week, the Dallas chief of police told us that the murderer of five cops, Micah Xavier Johnson, was “upset about the recent police shootings” and “wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.” In the same way, the Orlando shooter, Omar Mateen, was a Muslim motivated by ISIS to murder as many gay Americans as he could. Because neither of these storylines comport with the president’s worldview, in each instance he laid down collective responsibility and implored us to be more liberal and thus avoid more incidents like them. We are better than this.

As John Podhoretz recently put it:

As usual, Obama made strange use of the word ‘we,’ because when he says ‘we,’ he means ‘you,’ and when he means ‘you,’ he means people who aren’t as enlightened and thoughtful as he and his ideological compatriots are.When speaking about the Dallas shooter, Obama claimed that “None of us are entirely innocent” when it comes to racial discrimination … “and this includes our police departments.” Actually most cops and most people are entirely innocent when it comes to discrimination. Yes, there are racists and bigots in all our institutions and communities, but most Americans don’t need to “open our hearts” on the subject simply because liberals accuse them of harboring ugly thoughts. We need to fix police departments. We need to fix our inner-city schools. And we need to fix the economic prospects of minority populations. People have different ideas about how to go about it. Every day, though, the vast majority of citizens peacefully interact in families, in friendships, and in commerce.

If you continually claim that every problem in America is driven by hate, people might start believing you. According to a new Pew Research Poll, Americans’ perception of race relations is more negative today than it has been in 20 years. Around 48 percent of those polled claim that “race relations are generally bad.” And 36 percent of adults say that “too much attention” is paid to race and racial issues today. Are things really worse today than they were 30 years ago? Fifty years?

When Obama calls for unity (you’ll recall this was a big part of his first campaign), he’s not talking about a nation that maximizes its freedom so that there is space for an array of cultural outlooks and ideas. He means a nation of diverse people who can all agree that progressivism is right for the nation.

This administration has made a habit of using the power of the state to coerce and compel others to accept its cultural attitudes. For him, unity means little dissent. In his last State of the Union, for example, Obama laid out a progressive agenda, then implored us to embrace “American ideals” as if they were the same. (He offered Trumpism as the only other choice. It’s not.)

Obviously, the nation is divided because Americans have deep-seated, legitimate, and meaningful disagreements about the future. One man can neither unify us nor break us apart on his own. But it’s been a long time since we’ve had a president as divisive as Barack Obama.
-------------
David Harsanyi is a Senior Editor at The Federalist.

Tags: Barack Obama, Dallas, Dallas shooting, gun control, ISIS, John Podhoretz, Micah Johnson, Micah Xavier Johnson, NRA, Omar Mateen, David Harsanyi, The Federalist To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

U.S. Senate Back To Work Under Republican Leadership

Stack Of Major Legislation Passed By The Republican Senate This Year Continues To Grow: Combatting Opioids, FAA Legislation, Biotech Labeling, Puerto Rico Restructuring, Modernizing The Toxic Substances Control Act, Trade Secrets, FOIA Updates, North Korean Sanctions & More

SEN. MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): ‘We’ve clearly put the Senate back to work’ (Sen. McConnell, Floor Remarks, 7/14/16)

A GROWING LIST OF 2016 ACCOMPLISHMENTS

CARA: ‘A Bill To Tackle The Nation’s Opioid Crisis

SEN. GRASSLEY (R-IA): “I want to thank the authors of CARA for their leadership in crafting the legislation… Real lives will be saved … that's not something that we can say every day around this Senate.” (Sen. Grassley, Floor Remarks, 3/10/16)

“The Senate on Wednesday approved a bill to tackle the nation’s opioid crisis, sending to the president’s desk the most sweeping drug legislation in years in a rare instance of consensus in Congress.” (“Senate Approves Bill to Combat Opioid Addiction Crisis,” The New York Times, 7/13/2016)
“The measure, which passed, 92 to 2, would strengthen prevention, treatment and recovery efforts, largely by empowering medical professionals and law enforcement officials with more tools to help drug addicts.” (“Senate Approves Bill to Combat Opioid Addiction Crisis,” The New York Times, 7/13/2016)

“Public health advocates have lauded the bill as a crucial policy shift, recognizing addiction as a disease rather than a law enforcement problem.” (“Congress Sends First Major Opioids Bill To Obama's Desk,” The Hill, 7/13/2016)
FAA: ‘The Most Significant Airport Security Reform Bill In A Decade’

SEN. JOHN THUNE (R-SD), Commerce Committee Chairman: “Today, Congress passed the most significant airport security reform bill in a decade… Reforms in our bill will help protect air travelers in South Dakota and around the country, and it will help ensure that attacks like those in Brussels and Istanbul do not happen in American airports. I’m proud of the Commerce Committee’s work in leading this effort, and I look forward to seeing the president sign this bill into law before the end of the week.” (Senate Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, Press Release, 7/13/16)

“The Senate on Wednesday approved a bipartisan bill to extend the mandate of the Federal Aviation Administration… The legislation, which the Senate passed by a vote of 89-4, now must go to President Barack Obama to be signed into law. The compromise short-term extension includes many of the provisions Senate leaders had pushed for.” (“Senate Passes FAA Reauthorization Bill,” The Wall Street Journal, 7/13/16)
‘Ramp Up Airport Security’ “Senators backed a package of amendments to the long-term reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration that would ramp up airport security…” (“Senate Adopts Airport Security Amendments In FAA Bill,” The Hill, 4/7/16)

BIOTECH: ‘A National Standard For Labeling Will Put An End To A Fight That Has Roiled The Food Industry For Years’

SEN. PAT ROBERTS (R-KS): “Tonight’s vote is the most important vote for agriculture in the last 20 years. We worked hard to ensure the marketplace works for everyone. I mean everyone. Our legislation allows farmers to continue using sound science to produce more food with less resources, gives flexibility to food manufacturers in disclosing information, and gives access to more food information that consumers demand.” (Sen. Roberts, Press Release, 7/8/16)

“A federal bill that would require labeling of foods made with genetically engineered ingredients passed a major hurdle in the Senate… significantly raising the odds that a national standard for labeling will put an end to a fight that has roiled the food industry for years.” (“G.M.O. Labeling Bill Clears First Hurdle in Senate,” The New York Times, 7/6/16)

“The U.S. Senate on Thursday approved legislation that would for the first time require food to carry labels listing genetically-modified ingredients... The Senate voted 63-30 for the bill that would display GMO contents with words, pictures or a bar code that can be scanned with smartphones. The U.S. Agriculture Department (USDA) would decide which ingredients would be considered genetically modified. The measure now goes to the House of Representatives, where it is expected to pass.” (“U.S. GMO Food Labeling Bill Passes Senate,” Reuters, 7/8/16)

“A bill to create a federal labeling standard for foods with genetically modified ingredients and block states from issuing their own laws sailed through the House on Thursday. The bill, which passed by a 306 to 117 vote…” (“House Passes GMO Labeling Bill,” The Hill, 7/14/16)

“The White House plans to support legislation creating a national labeling standard for foods containing genetically modified organisms … White House spokeswoman Katie Hill said in an e-mail. ‘We look forward to tracking its progress in the House and anticipate the president would sign it in its current form.’” (“Obama Ready To Sign Food-Label Bill Consumer Groups Dislike,” Bloomberg, 7/13/16)

PUERTO RICO: PROMESA ‘An Example Of Conservative Reform In Action’

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): ‘With PROMESA, not a single taxpayer dime will be spent on paying Puerto Rico’s debt’ “The Puerto Rico Oversight Management and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA) is an appropriate first step by Congress to deal with this calamity. The bill would create a fiscal oversight board to help fix the mess. …most importantly, with PROMESA, not a single taxpayer dime will be spent on paying Puerto Rico’s debt.” (Sen. Rubio, Op-Ed, “Helping Puerto Rico Without A Bailout,” Florida Today, 6/28/16)

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: “[T]he Republican Congress is using conservative principles to solve an urgent problem caused by progressive government... [T]he overall bill steers the commonwealth in the direction of free-market reforms and fiscal discipline after years of welfare-state politics.” (Editorial, “Puerto Rico Breakthrough,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/23/2016)

THE WASHINGTON POST: “[The bill] would put a temporary halt to lawsuits by creditors and put an oversight board, appointed on a bipartisan basis by Congress and the president, in charge of Puerto Rico’s finances. . . [N]ow the referee will be an impartial panel of experts armed with a reliable audit of the island’s obligations.” (Editorial, “Much-Needed Relief For Debt-Ridden Puerto Rico,” The Washington Post, 5/19/2016)

AMERICAN MANUFACTURING COMPETITIVENESS ACT: ‘Helping U.S. Manufacturers Save Billions In Costs’

SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R-UT): “This legislation helps American manufacturers level the playing field through tariff relief which lowers production costs on parts that simply can’t be found here at home. While long-overdue, this legislation represents a true bipartisan, bicameral commitment to helping our economy with more jobs, bigger paychecks, and a stronger American manufacturing base.” (Senate Finance Committee, Press Release, 5/10/2016)

“President Obama on Friday signed a long-delayed tariff relief bill aimed at helping U.S. manufacturers save billions in costs. . . The bill will overhaul the process for reducing or eliminating tariffs on imported inputs and products not available or in short supply domestically. . . Without a measure in place, manufacturers said that companies have faced an annual $748 million tax hike on manufacturing in the United States, representing a $1.85 billion loss to the U.S. economy.” (“Obama Signs Tariff-Relief Bill,” The Hill, 5/20/2016)

“Business groups have been urging Congress to renew the legislation since the last measure expired at the end of 2012.” (“Obama Signs Tariff-Relief Bill,” The Hill, 5/20/2016)
TSCA: ‘A Major Overhaul Of The Nation’s Primary Chemical Safety Law’

SEN. JIM INHOFE (R-OK): “This historic piece of environmental regulatory reform is a great example of the Republican-led Congress working for the American people by enacting meaningful and commonsense legislation... This soon-to-be law will protect and support millions of domestic jobs and spur economic growth for decades to come by providing regulatory certainty to encourage new manufacturing investment here at home, on American soil. It will safeguard interstate commerce while also protecting public health; it will strengthen transparency and oversight – holding EPA accountable to Congress and the American people – while also protecting small business from bureaucratic hurdles and burdensome mandates. The Lautenberg Act is long overdue, as it is the first major environmental reform to be enacted in over a quarter century.” (U.S. Senate Committee On Environment & Public Works, Press Release, 6/07/2016)

“The Senate on Tuesday gave final approval to an overhaul of the nation’s 40-year-old law governing the use of toxic chemicals in homes and businesses, sending the bill to President Obama for his expected signature. The Senate passed the measure on a voice vote; the House approved it last month, 403 to 12.” (“Senate Approves Update of Toxic-Chemical Regulations,” The New York Times, 6/7/16)

“The bipartisan accord represents the most sweeping environmental measure to pass Congress in a quarter-century. The bill, which drew support from the chemical industry, trial lawyers and many public health and environmental groups, updates a 40-year-old law long criticized as ineffective.” (“Sweeping Overhaul Of Nation’s Chemical-Safety Laws Clears Final Legislative Hurdle,” The Washington Post, 6/7/16)

“The measure—H.R. 2576… the most far-reaching and influential environmental statute passed by Congress since the body updated the Clean Air Act in 1990.” (“United States Poised To Approve Major Chemical Safety Overhaul,” Science Magazine, 5/25/16)

TRADE SECRETS: ‘Defending The Processes, Blueprints, And Recipes That Underpin Hundreds Of Billions Of Annual Revenues And Millions Of Jobs’

“The Senate on Monday passed legislation to authorize companies to go directly to federal court to fight trade-secret theft, an avenue that has been unavailable when defending the processes, blueprints, and recipes that underpin hundreds of billions of annual revenues and millions of jobs.” (“Senate Passes Trade-Secrets Bill,” The Wall Street Journal, 4/4/16)
“After languishing for more than three years... The Defend Trade Secrets Act sailed through the Senate this past week with no opposition.” (“Lawyers Ready to Reap Work From Federal Trade Secrets Act,” The Recorder, 4/8/16)
INTERNET TAX FREEDOM: ‘For Years, The Drive In Congress To Permanently Bar Taxes On Internet Service Has Languished’

SEN. JOHN THUNE (R-SD): “For successful 21st century innovators and entrepreneurs, the Internet is their lifeblood… We should be celebrating their success, not taxing the tools they use to achieve it. Our bill… would permanently ban Internet taxation…” (Sen. Thune, Press Release, 2/10/15)

“State and local governments would be permanently barred from taxing access to the Internet under a bipartisan compromise that Congress is a step away from sending to President Barack Obama. The Senate was expected to vote Thursday to approve the language, part of a wide-ranging measure that would also revamp trade laws.” (“Congress Likely To Give Final Ok To Local Internet Tax Ban,” AP, 2/11/16)
  • “Since 1998, in the Internet's early days, Congress has passed a series of bills temporarily prohibiting state and local governments from imposing the types of monthly levies for online access that are common for telephone service. … For years, the drive in Congress to permanently bar taxes on Internet service has languished…” (“Congress Likely To Give Final Ok To Local Internet Tax Ban,” AP, 2/11/16)
NORTH KOREA: ‘Legislation That Would Impose Tighter Sanctions Against North Korea’ Now Law

SEN. CORY GARDNER (R-CO): “The new sanctions against North Korea represent a positive first step toward putting serious pressure on this belligerent regime, and I am encouraged that the Administration has acted swiftly to implement portions of my North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act.” (Sen. Gardner, Press Release, 3/16/16)“President Obama on Thursday signed into law legislation that would impose tighter sanctions against North Korea after that country's recent nuclear and missile tests.” (“Obama Signs North Korea Sanctions Bill Into Law,” Washington Examiner, 2/18/16)

“The legislation comes in response to frustration on both sides of the aisle that President Barack Obama's policies toward North Korea have failed to stop its outlaw behavior. The bill passed 96-0.” (“Senate Approves New North Korea Sanctions,” CNN, 2/10/16)

“Most of the bill’s new sanctions on North Korea are mandatory, forcing the president to freeze the assets and impose travel bans on anyone engaging in trade or financial transactions that support the country’s nuclear, weapons, precious metals and raw materials industries, human rights abuses, and cyber threats.” (“Senate Passes North Korea Sanctions Bill As Nuclear Worries Grow,” The Washington Post, 2/10/16)

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT: ‘Obama Signs FOIA Reform Bill’

SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R-TX): “An open and transparent government is paramount to a healthy democracy… This legislation will update and strengthen existing law to ensure the American people can better access information from their government…” (Sen. Cornyn, Press Release, 3/15/16)

“President Barack Obama signed a bill Thursday aimed at improving the government's often-sluggish responses to Freedom of Information Act requests.” (“Obama Signs FOIA Reform Bill,” Politico, 6/30/16)

“When it comes to providing government records the public is asking to see, the Obama administration is having a hard time finding them. In the final figures released during President Barack Obama's presidency, the U.S. government set a record last year for the number of times federal employees told disappointed citizens, journalists and others that despite searching they couldn't find a single page of files requested under the Freedom of Information Act. In more than one in six cases, or 129,825 times, government searchers said they came up empty-handed, according to a new Associated Press analysis.” (“US Gov’t Sets Record for Failures to Find Files When Asked,” AP, 3/18/16)

CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT: The Most Comprehensive Overhaul Of Customs Law In Decades’

SEN. HATCH (R-UT): “Years of stagnation had enabled countless trade problems to accumulate, many of them crying for legislative resolution. Today, Congress responded and moved to enact legislation that will strengthen and modernize U.S. international trade institutions and policies for generations to come. This is a big win for American job creators and the future of trade policy in our country. Even more, it further underscores that through bipartisan persistence and hard work Congress can accomplish great things.” (Senate Finance Committee, Press Release, 2/11/2016)

“The Senate gave overwhelming final approval Thursday to the most comprehensive overhaul of customs law in decades, giving presidents new tools to combat unfair trade . . .” (“Senate Sends Sweeping Trade Enforcement Bill to Obama,” The New York Times, 2/11/2016)
  • “The 10-year customs bill includes an overhaul of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, streamlines trade rules that aim to keep importers from skirting U.S. antidumping and countervailing duties, adds new protections for intellectual property rights and provides more tools to identify and crack down on currency manipulation.” (“Customs Bill Expected To Clear Senate On Thursday,” The Hill, 2/09/2016)

2015: ‘In Its First Year, The 114th Congress Solved Big, Entrenched Problems…’
(“Beneath The Battles, A Congress That Worked,” National Journal, 12/18/15)

“…Senate Republicans racked up a series of legislative accomplishments last year, including a transportation infrastructure bill, a major education bill and the two-year budget deal…” (“For Reid, Supreme Court Vacancy Offers A Final Fight Before Retirement,” The New York Times, 3/14/16)

“You Can’t Call It A Do Nothing Congress… Congress has struck deals on major highway and education bills. ... Don’t look now, but Congress is actually about to get a lot done.” (“You Can’t Call It A Do Nothing Congress Anymore,” Fortune, 12/2/15)
  • “…Senate Republicans Look to Rack Up More Wins: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Senate is on a roll — and he wants to make sure it stays that way. After reviving Trade Promotion Authority, the Kentucky Republican opted to move next to a bipartisan rewrite of the No Child Left Behind education law in a bid to maintain the chamber’s legislative momentum.” (“After Trade Triumph, Senate Republicans Look To Rack Up More Wins,” Roll Call, 7/7/15)
FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY: First Significant Reforms To Social Security Since 1983
‘Senators … Clamoring For Entitlement Reform Should Welcome These Changes’

SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY REFORMS: “In a political era more known for conflict than compromise, the two-year budget deal that emerged the following Monday came as something of a surprise. The $80 billion package reverses sequester cuts to the Pentagon and other domestic accounts. The agreement also prevents an increase in premiums for seniors on Medicare and halts looming cuts to Social Security Disability recipients. And it raises the debt limit through March 2017 -- well after Obama will have left the White House.” (“In Getting A Budget Deal Passed, Boehner And McConnell Faced A Pivotal Choice,” LA Times, 10/31/15)

MEDICARE REFORMS: “The annual charade of blocking Clinton-era cuts to Medicare has officially ended.” (“The ‘F’ Word: Could Congress Become Functional?,” Fox News, 4/15/15)
  • “President Obama on Thursday signed a $200 billion Medicare reform package, hailing it as a ‘significant bipartisan achievement.’” (“Obama Signs $200 Billion 'Doc Fix' Bill,” The Hill, 4/16/15)
  • SEN. HATCH (R-UT): “The bill also represents a step forward in the effort to reform our nation's entitlement programs. The bill contains bipartisan reforms to the Medicare program - and it's not limited to fixing the broken SGR system. To go along with the permanent SGR fix, the bill includes a meaningful down payment on Medicare reform, without any accompanying tax hikes. These reforms include a limitation on so-called Medigap first-dollar coverage, more robust means testing for Medicare Parts B and D, and program integrity provisions that will strengthen Medicare's ability to fight fraud. …any Senators who, like me, have been clamoring for entitlement reform should welcome these changes.” (Sen. Hatch, Press Release, 4/13/15)
  • “Could this city actually be working? The past week has witnessed several developments… [Congress] ended the annual congressional can-kicking known as the ‘doc fix,’ the result of overambitious cost-cutting targets for payments to physicians.” (Ruth Marcus, Op-Ed, “A Break In Congress's Gridlock?” The Washington Post, 4/19/15)
  • “No more ‘doc fix.’ Gone is an arcane Medicare fee system that has been widely criticized almost since its creation in 1997.” (“Senate Overhauls Doctors' Medicare Payments In Groundbreaking Vote,'” LA Times, 4/16/15)
TAX RELIEF: Breaking ‘Congress’ Habit Of Extending Lapsed Tax Breaks Retroactively’

“…on track to win permanent renewal of tax breaks for individuals and businesses.” (“Winners, Losers In Congress' Year-End Budget And Tax Endgame,” AP, 12/16/15)
“The tax bill would permanently extend nearly two dozen tax breaks for businesses and individuals while temporarily extending others. … The credits being permanently extended include:
  • An expanded Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income earners;
  • The Child Tax Credit for low and moderate income workers;
  • The American Opportunity Tax Credit to help students under age 40 pay college tuition and expenses;
  • Low income housing credits;
  • An expanded research and experimentation credit;
  • Section 179 business expensing, which allows businesses to fully deduct the price of equipment and software investments;
  • State and local sales tax deduction;
  • Tax deductions for food inventory donated to food banks;
  • A deduction for land donated for conservation; and
  • A tax break for individuals to donate to charity from qualified retirement accounts.”
(“Congress Reaches Year-End Deal On Taxes And Spending,” Washington Post, 12/15/15)

HIGHWAY Bill: First Long-Term Bill Since 2005, Longest Since 1998

‘A Legislative Coup A Decade In The Making’

“Congress reaches deal on 5-year highway bill …a legislative coup a decade in the making… delivering a long-term, fully funded highway and transit bill to the White House would be a major coup — the first time Congress has accomplished the feat since George W. Bush was in the White House.” (“Congress Reaches Deal On 5-Year Highway Bill,” Politico, 12/1/15)
EDUCATION: First Significant Reforms Since 2001
‘The Largest Devolution Of Federal Control To The States In A Quarter-Century’

EDUCATION REFORMS: “A bipartisan compromise has emerged from the Senate and House that ... would represent the largest devolution of federal control to the states in a quarter-century. It’s far better than the status quo that would continue if nothing passes.” (Editorial, “No Child Left Behind’s Successor,” The Wall Street Journal, 11/29/2015)
TRADE: First Broad TPA Bill Since 2002
‘TPA-2015 Expands On Administration Transparency And Consultation Obligations

TRADE PROMOTION AUTHORITY:The Republican-controlled Congress delivered… passing a six-year renewal of trade promotion authority intended to advance one of the largest trade pacts in history later this year. ‘This is a critical day for our country. In fact, I'd call it an historic day,’ said Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who co-authored the bill the Senate approved on Wednesday, 60 to 38. ‘This is perhaps the most important bill we'll pass in the Senate this year.’” (“‘Fast Track’ Trade Bill Renews,” USA Today, 6/25/15)
VETERANS
‘The Senate Put Our Veterans First’

HOLDING THE VA ACCOUNTABLE: “A sweeping independent review of the Department of Veterans Affairs health-care system made public Friday shows the multibillion-dollar agency has significant flaws, including a bloated bureaucracy, problems with leadership and a potentially unsustainable capital budget. … The assessments, weighing in at more than 4,000 pages total, were mandated by the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act, commonly known as the Veterans Choice Act, a more than $16 billion emergency funding measure passed last summer in the wake of a systemwide scandal at the VA.” (“A Needs ‘Systemwide Reworking,’ Independent Report Finds,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/18/15)

CLAY HUNT SUICIDE PREVENTION FOR AMERICAN VETERANS ACT: “The bill requires independent reviews of VA and Department of Defense programs aimed at preventing suicide, creates peer support and community outreach pilot programs, and forms a program to repay loan debt for psychiatry students to incentivize them to work in the VA health system. It also creates a website to provide veterans with information about mental health services and allows the VA to collaborate with nonprofit mental health organizations on suicide prevention.” (“Obama Signs Suicide Prevention Bill To Aid Veterans,” U.S. News, 2/12/15)
VETERANS CHOICE ACT: “What is the Veterans Choice Act? This federal program sets aside $10 billion throughout three years for veterans who live more than 40 miles from a VA facility or who find themselves waiting more than 30 days for an appointment. The program allows them to be seen at a participating community health center.” (“VA Opens More Doors To Rural Veterans In Virginia,” Daily Press, 12/7/15)

DEFENSE
NDAA: ‘Contains Hundreds Of Provisions To Assist The Military’

DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT: “The Senate overwhelmingly passed a revised annual defense policy bill, sending the measure to President Obama's desk for a second time. The Senate voted 91-3 on the $607-billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which lays out broad defense policy requirements and restrictions. … The legislation, which passed the House by a 370-58 vote last week, includes restrictions on transferring detainees out of Guantanamo Bay, adding roadblocks to a long-standing campaign pledge from Obama to close the facility.” (“Senate Sends Revised Defense Bill To Obama's Desk,” The Hill, 11/10/15)
HOMELAND SECURITY
MAJOR CYBER SECURITY REFORM:
“The Senate on Tuesday passed a major piece of cybersecurity legislation intended to stem the flood of cyberattacks on both government agencies and private companies. The so-called Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), a piece of legislation years in the making, passed 74-21. The House approved companion legislation in April, so the cybersecurity measure is now on track to reach President Obama’s desk and be signed into law...” (“Senate Passes First Major Cyber Bill In Years,” The Hill, 10/27/15)

Tags: U.S. Senate, Back To Work, Under Republican Leadership 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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