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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, August 05, 2016

More Obama Doublespeak on Iran

by Newt Gingrich: The Obama administration has instructed us that Obamacare’s tax is not a tax, that its policy of not enforcing immigration law is “prosecutorial discretion,” and that hundreds of American military personnel on the ground in Iraq and Syria are not “boots on the ground.” So it’s not surprising to hear from the President this week that money paid in exchange for hostages is not a “ransom”.

The administration insists that’s not what we should call the planeload of $400 million in cash that arrived in Iran at the same time as four American hostages were released in January.

Thankfully, the facts are in less dispute than the definition of the word.

In negotiations that led to the release of the hostages, the Wall Street Journal reports, “The Iranians were demanding the return of $400 million” sent to the U.S. in 1979, and “they also wanted billions of dollars as interest accrued since then.”

Since it would be a violation of U.S. law to pay the regime in U.S. dollars however, the Journal reports that the Treasury Department asked European central banks to change its payment into Euros and Swiss Francs before loading the notes on a plane and flying them to Iran.

There, one of the hostages involved told Fox News, the Iranian captors told the Americans they were “waiting for another plane” before they would be released.

So to review: the Iranians made a demand for $400 million in exchange for releasing the hostages. The U.S. government went to extraordinary lengths to deliver $400 million to Iran. And as a result, the hostages were released. But this wasn’t a ransom situation?

“No, it was not,” says White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest. “It is against the policy of the United States to pay ransom for hostages.”

“We do not pay ransom,” President Obama echoed. “We didn’t here, and we won’t in the future.”

In his famous essay, “Politics and the English Language,” George Orwell describes words for which “the person who uses them has his own private definition, but allows his hearer to think he means something quite different.” Perhaps President Obama’s own private definition of “ransom” requires the use of a paper bag–or U.S. dollars.

Whatever the President’s beliefs about what he’s done, however, clearly he has sent a signal to Iran that the regime can take hostages and extract concessions. The $400 million in cash will likely endanger more Americans and result in more false imprisonments.

It is worth remembering that prisoners whose stories are known to the public had done absolutely nothing wrong, and should never have been imprisoned to begin with. No payment should have been required to secure their release. And yet the same administration that recently arrested a police officer who tried to send $245 to ISIS has now sent hundreds of millions to the world’s leading state sponsor of terror.

That Iran would take innocent Americans hostage for ransom is a reminder of how untrustworthy and dangerous a regime the Obama administration is dealing with on nuclear weapons. Such actions are one of the reasons there are sanctions on the country in the first place.

Indeed, those restrictions made the $400 million in cash an even sweeter deal than it might seem. It solved a serious problem for the regime.

As a senior U.S. official explained to the Wall Street Journal, “Sometimes the Iranians want cash because it’s so hard for them to access things in the international financial system. They know it can take months just to figure out how to wire money from one place to another.”

In other words, Iran got more than its money’s worth out of the plane full of cash. And what did the regime do with it? As Bloomberg reported, the funds are going straight into their war chest: “Iran’s Guardian Council approved the government’s 2017 budget that instructed Iran’s Central Bank to transfer the $1.7 billion [the ransom plus interest] to the military.”

So the Obama administration hasn’t just struck a deal with Iran that will allow it to obtain nuclear weapons. In paying the ransom money, the U.S. has also funded the military that could seek to use those weapons against us.
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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,Obama Doublespeak, Iran To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Waiting For The Ransom, Polls, Word Vision and Hamas


Mohammed El Halabi, Gaza director of
World Vision arrested & charged with
diverting aid funds for children
to Hamas and its military operations.
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Waiting For The Ransom - Fox Business network interviewed Saeed Abedini yesterday. Abedini is a Christian pastor who was one of the four hostages held by Iran and released at the same time the Obama Administration was flying $400 million in cash to Tehran. Obama yesterday scoffed at the notion that the money was ransom for the hostages.

Pastor Abedini says on the night of their release the hostages were taken to the airport and told they would soon be free. But hours passed with nothing happening. Abedini asked one of their guards what was causing the delay. The guard told him, "we [the Iranians] are waiting for another plane," and only then are we "going to let you go."

Sounds like a classic ransom swap from every thriller kidnap movie ever made. The hostages aren't released until the thugs have the money. By the way, how is the money delivered? By check? Wire transfer? No, the thugs always say "we want cash in unmarked currency" which is exactly what the Obama Administration delivered on that fateful night.

Our "lap dog" media is ignoring Abedini's interview. There were virtually no follow-up questions yesterday to Obama's denial that he paid ransom, and by doing so he has put countless Americans in danger of being seized by foreign dictators and terrorist groups.

Obama's foreign policy of the last eight years, a foreign policy that abandoned our allies while appeasing our enemies, is exactly what we will get under Hillary Clinton.

Polls - Every day brings another poll, and none of them is encouraging. All of them show that Hillary has received a significant "bounce" from her convention, made worse by some mistakes by Donald Trump. The media are promoting a narrative that the polls show that the election is virtually over. That is absurd.

Let's take today's Ipsos/Reuters poll. The poll interviewed 735 Democrats, 572 Republicans and 191 Independents. I think that is an oversample of Democrats. The results among registered voters were Clinton 44% and Trump 36%. That is bad. But when the poll looks only at likely voters the results change to Clinton 43% and Trump 39 %, only a 4-point lead. Still not good, but a gap that can be overcome.

World Vision And Hamas - A big and very disturbing story has erupted in Gaza involving the Christian charity World Vision and Hamas, the Islamic terrorist group.

After a comprehensive investigation by the Israeli government, the director of World Vision's Gaza operation, Mohammed el-Halabi, has been charged with diverting aid funds meant to help children to Hamas and its military operations.

Apparently, el-Halabi has been a Hamas member since his youth. Investigators discovered that he created fictitious humanitarian projects that provided "cover" for the transfer of funds to Hamas. One example cited was a greenhouse project that was then used to hide sites where Hamas was building tunnels to launch terror attacks in Israel.

The list of projects that ended up benefitting Hamas is breathtaking. $1.5 million a year from World Vision's budget was given in cash to Hamas combat units, according to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Another $2 million earmarked for education and health in Gaza went instead for payments to the families of Hamas terrorists.

The World Vision money used in this Hamas plot originated in aid money from the United States, England and Australia. Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has suspended funding of World Vision programs in Palestine. The U.S. should do the same.
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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, Waiting For The Ransom, Polls, Word Vision and Hamas To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

94,333,000 Not In Labor Force; Labor Force Participation 62.8%

by Susan Jones: 94,333,000 Americans were not in the labor force in July, a slightly better showing than June’s 94,517,000; and the labor force participation rate improved slightly, increasing a tenth of a point to 62.8 percent from June’s 62.7 percent, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday.

In September 2015, the labor force participation rate dropped to 62.4 percent, its lowest point since 1977. The best it’s been since Barack Obama took office is 65.8 percent in February 2009, the month after Obama was sworn in amid a recession.

The labor force participation rate is the percentage of people in the civilian noninstitutionalized population, age 16 or older, who are either working or actively seeking work.

As noted by the Congressional Budget Office, the labor force participation rate reflects people’s decisions about the attractiveness of working or looking for work compared with alternatives such as attending school, caring for family members, or retiring.

In Friday’s report, BLS said the economy added 255,000 jobs in July, a better showing than analysts expected. That 255,000 compares with a revised 292,000 in June and a revised 24,000 in May.

The July unemployment rate held steady at 4.9 percent, as the number of unemployed persons dropped 13,000 to 7,770,000. At the same time, the number of employed persons increased 420,000 to 151,517,000 in July.

In July, the nation’s civilian noninstitutional population, consisting of all people 16 or older who were not in the military or an institution, reached 253,620,000. Of those, 159,287,000 participated in the labor force by either holding a job or actively seeking one.

The 159,287,000 who participated in the labor force equaled 62.8% percent of the 253,620,000 civilian noninstitutional population.

Long-term outlook
In its long-term budget outlook published in July, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the labor force participation rate will decline from about 63 percent in 2017 to around 58 percent in 2046.

Variations in the participation rates affect the federal budget by changing output and income and by changing the interest rates the federal government pays on public debt.

The CBO noted that its projected 58-percent rate in 2046 could be higher or lower for various reasons, including demographics, economic conditions, and social and technological developments, such as changes in the roles of men and women in the rearing of children or the introduction of a new medical technology that improves the health of the population, leading people to work longer, for example.

CBO concluded that if the labor force participation rate is 61 percent in 2046, the resulting higher gross domestic product would lead to more revenues, higher interest rates, smaller budget deficits, and less federal debt.

But if the labor force participation rate drops to 55 percent in 2046, the slower economic growth would result in larger budget deficits and more debt.

The CBO also projected that the labor force will grow by an average of 0.4 percent a year over the next 30 years, compared with 1.5 percent between 1966 and 2015.

Contributing factors include retiring baby boomers, declining birthrates, and declining participation in the labor force.

Less growth in the labor force means economic growth in the years ahead will be slower than it was in the past 50 years.
------------------
Susan Jones is Morning Managing Editor, CNS News.

Tags: Susan Jones, CNS News, U.S. unemployment, labor force participation, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Iranian Stimulus Package . . .

. . . Iranian Stimulus Package – The $400 million ransom President Obama paid to Iran in the dark of night will no doubt be going to Iran’s nuclear program and to terrorism.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: Iranian Stimulus Package, $400 million ransom, President Obama, Iran, Iran's nuclear program, terrorism, 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!

Fake Republicans for Hillary

The defection of fake Republicans will make the party more conservative.
Fake Republicans Like:
Richard Hanna
Sally Bradshaw
Meg Whitman

by Daniel Greenfield: The media is gleefully touting the defection of Republicans to the Hillary camp. In reality, the Republicans who are defecting were never Republicans at all.

Take Congressman Richard Hanna. Please.

Hanna has announced that he’ll be backing Hillary Clinton. This isn’t so much a change as an admission.

Hanna is a retiring lame duck whose Republican credentials are up there with those of fellow Hillary endorsee Michael Bloomberg. Both men are New York politicians who ran as Republicans because of pure political opportunism. No one seriously believed that Bloomberg was a Republican.

Hanna’s Republican credentials are an even bigger joke.

He opposed ending funding for Planned Parenthood and he’s a Global Warmunist. His credentials on most other Republican issues are extremely shaky at best.

Congressman Hanna, like most of the fake Republicans, blames his defection on Trump. But in the last election, when Trump was not an issue, he was telling attendees at an ERA rally to give money to Democrats “because the other side — my side — has a lot of it.”

Hanna’s hiccup was telling. He viewed Republicans as “the other side.” He’s a Democrat in all but name. Soon he’ll be a Democrat in name as well. His defection was not about Trump. Not when he was urging donations to Democrats in the last election. Trump is just an excuse that fake Republicans like Hanna are using to let their donkey flag fly freely.

Four years ago, Hanna was whining that, “I would say that the friends I have in the Democratic Party I find ... much more congenial — a little less anger.”

No doubt. Because Hanna was one of them.

A year later, he responded to Obama’s State of the Union address by saying that he “agreed with much of it” and during the investigation of Benghazi, he had insisted that, “a big part of this investigation that was designed to go after people and an individual: Hillary Clinton.”

The media will pretend that Congressman Hanna’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton is a shocking development, when it’s really an inevitable one. Hanna found it convenient to play Republican. Now that he’s retiring, he no longer needs to. The fake Republican can tell the truth for the first time.

Then there’s Sally Bradshaw, the close Jeb Bush adviser who was the media’s other big “Republicans for Hillary” catch. Bradshaw’s candidate lost and she has moved on to opening a bookstore. This may or may not be a step up from her chicken farm with the world’s most expensive chickens whose eggs go for $100 a piece. Meanwhile her husband’s Southern Strategy Group lobbyists, closely integrated with Jeb Bush, represented clients like Disney and Apple. But that’s just politics as usual.

Sally Bradshaw was the force behind the Jeb Bush campaign. And her vision proved to be utterly wrong.

Bradshaw had co-authored the GOP post-election autopsy which backed illegal alien amnesty. It complained that conservatism was an “ideological cul-de-sac” still clinging to Reagan. It insisted that Republicans had to “make sure young people do not see the Party as totally intolerant of alternative points of view” by evolving and reforming on social issues.

Republicans had to be “inclusive,” “welcoming” and tolerant.” Illegal alien amnesty was “consistent with Republican economic policies that promote job growth and opportunity for all.” Republicans had to be angry at CEOs and stand for entitlements. They had to stop being so conservative and focus on diversity training. They had to carefully watch their language and avoid saying anything politically incorrect.

While some of the report’s proposals had merit, its overall tone predicted Republican decline and insisted that the GOP had to become more liberal to survive. It was full of tidbits such as, “On messaging, we must change our tone — especially on certain social issues that are turning off young voters” or “the importance of a welcoming, inclusive message in particular when discussing issues that relate directly to a minority group.” There was little in it that Democrats would have opposed.

The campaign process proved Bradshaw wrong. Her defection to Team Hillary is the outcome of a process which disproved her message. Team Hillary follows the GOP autopsy program.

But Bradshaw’s defeatist program didn’t work for Jeb Bush. It didn’t work for the GOP. It wasn’t conservative. It assumed that conservatism had lost. And Bradshaw’s defection is an open admission of that assumption. If the GOP is doomed, she might as well switch to Team Hillary which is very tolerant, inclusive and welcoming to illegal aliens.

So that is what she did.

Then there’s Meg Whitman who became a Republican when convenient, despite not having voted in decades. After wasting massive amounts of Republican resources on a failed bid in California against Jerry Brown, Meg has announced that she is now backing Hillary Clinton as a “proud Republican.”

“Secretary Clinton’s temperament, global experience and commitment to America’s bedrock national values make her the far better choice in 2016 for President of the United States,” Whitman insisted.

Because if there’s anything Hillary Clinton embodies it’s a commitment to American values.

But that says more about Whitman’s values than it does about American values. Meg Whitman backed illegal alien amnesty, she’s for abortion, gay marriage and marijuana legalization. Before backing Hillary, Whitman had served on Friends of Boxer to help elect Barbara Boxer. And she believes in global warming.

Like the rest of the fake Republicans, Meg Whitman was never conservative in any sense of the word. She was a political opportunist who found it convenient to use the Republican elephant as a platform for her political ambitions. And then, when the going got tough, she defected back just as quickly.

Fake Republicans have always been easy to spot. Like Whitman, they speak in generalities about our values, but when it comes to the details they lean to the left. They have no conservative program. Their only linkage to the GOP is a weak attachment to fiscal conservatism. But this fiscal conservatism, shared by fake Republicans like Michael Bloomberg and Meg Whitman does not trump their left-wing positions on social issues. The only kind of Republicanism that they are comfortable with is one that adopts the positions of the left on everything except the economy. And that is a doomed proposition.

The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country,” Thomas Paine wrote. The GOP had more than its share of sunshine patriots and summer candidates who are eager to play Republican when it’s convenient for them, but who have no commitment to a conservative cause. Their defections are not a loss, but a benefit.

Meg Whitman blocked conservative candidates. The departure of fake Republicans clears the way for a more conservative party that will be able to truly articulate conservative ideas because it believes in them. Hillary can have Whitman, Bradshaw and Hanna. Conservatives will take the GOP.
--------------
Daniel Greenfield is Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. David Horowitz is a Contributing Author of the ARRA News Service

Tags: Daniel Greenfield, FrontPage Mag, Fake Republicans, Fake Republicans for Hillary, Richard Hanna, Sally Bradshaw, Meg Whitman, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Republican Party, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Trump’s Road Still Open

by Patrick Buchanan: At stake in 2016 is the White House, the Supreme Court, the Senate and, possibly, control of the House of Representatives.

Hence, Republicans have a decision to make.

Will they set aside political and personal feuds and come together to win in November, after which they can fight over the future of the party, and the country?

Or will they split apart, settling scores now, lose it all, and, then, after November, begin a battle to allocate blame for a historic defeat that will leave wounds that will never heal.

Republicans have been here before.

After the crushing defeat of 1964, Govs. Nelson Rockefeller, George Romney and William Scranton, whose principles required them to abandon Barry Goldwater, discovered that, when the cheering of the press stopped, they carried the mark of Cain.

As national leaders, they were finished.

Richard Nixon, who had lost to JFK, lost to Gov. Pat Brown, quit politics and moved to New York to practice law, took off two months in 1964 to campaign for Barry Goldwater.

Four years later, with Barry’s backing, Nixon was rewarded with the party’s nomination, and the presidency.

Now between Goldwater and Trump there are great differences. A relevant one is this: Trump still has a chance of becoming president.

In August 1964, Barry was 36 points behind LBJ. As of today, Trump is 10 points behind Clinton. From Harry Truman to George H. W. Bush, many presidential candidates have been able to close a 10-point gap and win.

What does Trump need to do? In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, “Keep your eyes on the prize” — the presidency. And between Trump and the presidency today stands not Paul Ryan, but Hillary Clinton.

The Donald, his campaign, and party need to cease attacking one another to the elation of a hostile media, and redirect all their fire on the sole obstacle between them and a Republican sweep.

Nor is it all that complex or difficult a task.

For, as secretary of state, Clinton made a compelling case for her being ranked as about the worst in American history.

She began her tenure by breaking State Department rules and setting up a private email server in her home. She compromised U.S. national security, setting off a criminal investigation that ended with the director of the FBI virtually accusing her of lying about everything she told the country about her misconduct.

As of mid-July, 56 percent of Americans thought the Democratic nominee should have been indicted.

She is a compulsive fabricator, telling a harrowing story about running under sniper fire across the tarmac of some Balkan airfield, until TV footage showed her accepting a bouquet from a little girl.

Her “reset” with Russia was brushed aside by Vladimir Putin. Spurned, she now compares him to Hitler. Is this the temperament America wants in the First Diplomat, in dealing with nuclear powers?

She was a cheerleader for a war in Libya that left that nation a hellhole of terrorism, requiring another war to clean up.

“Benghazi” has today become a synonym both for the selfless heroism of American warriors, and for the squalid mendacity of politicians desperate to cover their fannies. Clinton is in there with the latter, accused of misleading families of the fallen about why their sons died.

Twenty years ago, The New York Times’ William Safire called Clinton a “congenital liar.” Has her subsequent career disproven or validated that judgment?

Trump, though, needs not only to make the case against her, but for himself, and for the ideas that vaulted him to victory in the primaries that brought out millions of new voters.

What are they?

Trump will secure the Southern border and halt the invasion of illegal immigrants.

He will throw out the Obama tax and trade policies that have betrayed American workers and bled us of our manufacturing power. In all future trade deals, Americanism will replace globalism as our guiding light.

Where Clinton regards Ruth Bader Ginsburg as her model Supreme Court justice, Trump’s nominees will be in the tradition of Justice Antonin Scalia.

“America First” will be the polestar in foreign policy. Cold War commitments dating to the 1950s, to fight wars for freeloader nations, will all be reviewed. Allies will start standing on their own feet and paying their fair share of the cost of their own defense.

As for the defense of the United States, Peace through Strength, the Eisenhower policy, will be the Trump policy. And as our strength is restored, Trump will, like Ike, Nixon, Reagan and Bush I, negotiate with enemies and adversaries from a position of strength. But we will negotiate.

America’s era of endless wars — is coming to an end.

Where Clinton will continue all of the policies that produced the unacceptable present, we will change Washington as it has not been changed since Ronald Reagan rode in from the West.

As for the renegade and cut-and-run Republicans who just won’t come home, as they say at Motel 6, “We’ll leave the light on for you.”
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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: Patrick Buchanan, conservative, commentary, Donald Trump, Trump road, still open,  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

UN Backs Secret Obama Takeover of Police

International org calls for federalization of U.S. law enforcement to be 'beefed up,' cover all of America
by Robert Romano: “The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice has provided oversight and recommendations for improvement of police services in a number of cities with consent decrees. This is one of the most effective ways to reduce discrimination in law enforcement and it needs to be beefed up and increased to cover as many of the 18,000-plus local law enforcement jurisdictions.”

That was United Nations Rapporteur Maina Kai on July 27, a representative of the U.N. Human Rights Council, who on the tail-end of touring the U.S., endorsed a little-known and yet highly controversial practice by the Justice Department to effect a federal takeover of local police and corrections departments.

The consent decrees are already being implemented in Newark, New Jersey; Miami, Florida; Los Angeles, California; Ferguson, Missouri; Chicago, Illinois; and other municipalities.

Here's how it works: the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice files a lawsuit in federal court against a city, county, or state, alleging constitutional and civil rights violations by the police or at a corrections facility. It is done under 42 U.S.C. § 14141, a section of the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, granting the attorney general the power to prosecute law enforcement misconduct. The municipality then simply agrees to the judicial finding — without contest — and the result is a wide-reaching federal court order that imposes onerous regulations on local police.

The federal court orders are designed to undo Rudy Giuliani-style policing tactics that were effective at reducing crime in big cities in the 1990s and 2000s.

In short, the much-feared nationalization of local police departments is already being initiated by the Obama administration's Justice Department. And somehow nobody noticed.

Federal requirements include how searches are conducted, what constitutes legitimate use of force, the mandatory use of on-body cameras by the police, and so forth. The agreements impose years-long compliance review regimes, implementation deadlines, and regular reviews by federal bureaucrats. This makes local police directly answerable to the Civil Rights Division at the DOJ.

One example includes a 77-page March 30 consent decree between the department and the City of Newark, New Jersey, that resulted from a 2011 investigation, a 2014 series of findings by the Civil Rights Division, and then finally a federal lawsuit alleging police misconduct in the U.S. District Court in the District of New Jersey.

The original complaint alleged that the Newark Police Department (NPD) "has engaged in a pattern or practice of constitutional violations in its stop and arrest practices, responses to individuals' exercise of their rights under the First Amendment, uses of force, and theft by officers. The investigation also revealed that the pattern or practice of constitutional violations stems in part from deficiencies in NPD's systems that are designed to prevent and detect misconduct, including its systems for reviewing force and investigating complaints regarding officer conduct."

The city of Newark, via the consent decree, agreed to the allegations and to implement a "comprehensive and agency-wide policies and procedures that are consistent with and incorporate all substantive requirements of this agreement," including rules on stops, searches, use of force, etc. The city has two years to implement, with the full agreement lasting five years. Meaning — even if the political parties change power in the city of Newark, the new mayor and city council would still be required to implement the court order.

These consent decrees are in essence regulations. That, is, without the niceties of administrative procedures requirements, public comments, or even any congressional oversight.

Remarkably, congressional offices contacted by this author were generally unaware of the regulation of local policing via DOJ consent decrees with cities — even though the agreements have been implemented for years. Not a single hearing or word of protest has occurred on this topic.

The lack of oversight is pathetic enough — but to make matters even worse, this could actually be the first step in a new wide-ranging body of federal rules on local police.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development regulation "Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing" (AFFH) actually originated as a consent decree in 2009 against Westchester County, New York, requiring affordable housing units to be built in the county. Afterward, Republican Robert Astorino was elected county executive and yet was still required to implement the court order.

Westchester became the basis for AFFH, where every city and county in the country that accepts any part of $3 billion of annual community development block grants to 1,200 recipient cities and counties now has to comply with HUD's dictates on zoning along racial and income guidelines.

DOJ may very well end up doing the same thing with the local police — that is, if Congress does not wise up to what's really happening and defund implementation of 42 U.S.C. § 14141. This is dangerous. What is most chilling is how far along the Obama Justice Department is in this process. The breadth of regulation here shatters any notion of local governance or federalism. The Obama administration has been pursuing the federal takeover of local police right under Congress' nose — and Republicans in Congress were apparently unaware it was happening.

No doubt the practice would continue under a Hillary Clinton administration too. Do you want a Clinton Justice Department running your local police force? That is how important the election in November suddenly becomes — with law and order already hanging in the balance and police being targeted by domestic terrorists in the slayings in Dallas and Baton Rouge.

As Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning noted in a statement calling attention to the U.N.'s interest in the DOJ program and urging Congress to act, "The fact that the U.N. Human Rights Council — which includes some of the worst abusers of human rights in the world that hate the U.S. — is cheering for this DOJ national takeover of the police should tell members everything they need to know. It's time to support local police, not render them impotent via federal restrictions against maintaining law and order. No less than the very existence of local government is at stake."
----------------
Robert Romano is the Senior Editor of Americans for Limited Government and ARRA News Service regular. This article provided by ALG was first shared on Polizetti.

Tags: UN, Backs, Secret Obama Takeover, of Police, nationalization, local police departments, Robert Romano, Rick Manning, Americans for Limited Government 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 Russians Are Coming

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: There’s no accounting for taste, especially regarding humor.

For instance, the 1966 filmThe Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming” is, to me, a classic. And I think Donald Trump’s recent sarcasm — “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.” — was funny.

And surprisingly appropriate to the situation.

Did the Russians give WikiLeaks the hacked DNC emails? We don’t know.

Was Trump malevolently, traitorously standing in the middle of Fifth Avenue inviting a foreign adversary to criminally cyber-attack his political opponent, as hyped? No.

Still, I’m not copasetic with Trump’s apparent buddy-fest with Russian President — and thug — Vladimir Putin. Yet, Trump is hardly the first American politician to act the fool before Putin.

Republican President George W. Bush bizarrely claimed to have looked into Putin’s soul. It was cloudy that day.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton jetted over to the Kremlin with a silly “Reset” button. Still, friendly Russian interests have been financially generous to the Clintons.

Russia bailed out President Obama (and Assad) after Syria crossed Obama’s apparently evanescent red line. Recall that open microphone that caught Obama telling outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to let Putin know, “After my election, I have more flexibility.”

Vladimir Putin must wonder how his Soviet forebears could have possibly lost the Cold War to a country led by such ninnies.

In 2012, Republican Mitt Romney called Russia our number one geopolitical foe . . . only to be ridiculed by Obama and mocked in the media. “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back,” scoffed a contemptuous Obama. Current Secretary of State John Kerry called it a “preposterous notion.”

Since then, Russia has annexed Crimea, made war in eastern Ukraine and occasionally bombed U.S. forces in Syria.

The Baltic nations, some of which have significant Russian minorities, understandably feel threatened. America has pledged to militarily defend these tiny countries bordering Russia.

But no discussion of that on the campaign trail.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
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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.

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Cost to Raise a Child

by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: One of the reasons the fertility rate in America has been dropping is due to the rising cost of raising a child. Every few years, the Department of Agriculture recalculates the cost to raise a child in America. In fact, there is a USDA Cost of Raising a Child Calculator that you can use to personalize your calculations.

One of the biggest factors in the increased cost of raising a child is due to childcare costs. The cost of childcare alone (when adjusted for inflation) has climbed nearly twice as fast as other prices since the recession ended in 2009. On the other hand, the cost for housing has remained fairly constant over the years. Some costs for basic items have actually decreased slightly due to advances in agriculture and technology.

One of the biggest variables in cost has to do with where you live in the country and how much you earn. The Department of Agriculture estimates that the average cost of raising a child to age 18 is $245,000. However, high-income families who live in the urban Northeast are projected to spend nearly $455,000 to raise their child. By contrast, low-income rural families will spend approximately $145,500. In other words, you could spend $200,000 more or $100,000 less depending on your geography and income.

The above numbers also explain a phenomenon I have written about in the past. The fertility rate in America varies from group to group. Religious people (especially Christians) have more children than secular people. Also, conservative people generally have more children than liberal people.

The Bible teaches us that: “children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” As Christians we understand that children are a gift from the Lord and thus worthy of our focus and attention. We understand that they are worth the time, effort, and cost.
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Kerby Anderson is a radio talk show host heard on numerous stations via the Point of View Network endorsed by Dr. Bill Smith, Editor, ARRA News Service

Tags: Kerby Anderson, Viewpoints, Point of View, Cost, to raise, child 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 Screeches She is Raising Taxes on the Middle Class

Bill Smith. Editor, ARRA News Service: The following video was posted by Robert Kraychik who is an author at Breitbart. In the video has Hillary saying she will raise taxes on the Middle Class.
Hillary was corrupt while she lived in Arkansas. Now she continues to prove she is a blooming extreme liberal socialist. However, she must not have taken her meds that day to actually slip up and say what she "really" intends to do versus what she meant to political say.

She was going to play the "Tax the Rich" card. But as we all know with the Clintons various enterprises and the Clinton Foundation, the Clintons are in the "Rich Class."

Do you really believe she want more taxes on the Rich?  Look at Obamacare formerly aka, Hillarycare. Who is being hit the hardest: the Middle Class and some of the "Professional" class, e.g.: Doctors, Nurses, etc.

Who got ripped off in the Clintons' "Whitewater scandal"? It was the middle class seeking to relocate to Arkansas near the White River. When things were not going so well they opted for other things like Governor Clinton pressuring David Hale "into providing an illegal $300,000 loan to Susan McDougal, the Clintons' partner in the Whitewater land deal." While other people went to jail, The Clintons conned America and slipped off to the Whitehouse.

When Argentina raced down the dictatorial path of socialism, they first wiped out the middle class making more people poor. The wealthy either tried to send their money and even members of their families out of the country,  or they joined those in power in the pillaging of Argentina in hopes they would survive.

With regard to this video and Hillary's speaking event  I submit that Hillary made a freudian slip, and screeched what in her twisted heart. She intends to raise taxes/fees etc. on the Middle Class. A process that has already been carried out in numerous forms by the Democrat bureaucrats in Washington. D.C. during the Obama administration.

The video has over a million views as of  this article. Hopefully, readers will share it around the net and we can see that number significantly increase.  We need to stop this blooming socialist democrat from gaining access again to the White House - this time as President.

Tags: Hillary Clinton, Taxing, Middle Class, video To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

A Thinker You Should Know: Bertrand de Jouvenel

Great necessities, angers, and enthusiasms have made us impatient toward everything that stops the will and slows action. . . . [But] wills must acknowledge limits. We have dearly learned old truths that periodically are erased from the social memory: rights exist that it is not just to offend, rules that it isn’t prudent to violate. Respect for these rights and these rules imposes itself even when transgressing them appears to provide an opportunity to remedy a great evil or procure a great good. For there is no more profound or durable evil than their discredit, there is no more salutary and fecund good than their being placed outside of assault and attack. ~ Bertrand de Jouvenel

by Daniel J. Mahoney: There are many reasons to recommend the rediscovery of this unduly neglected thinker. To begin with, Jouvenel’s voluminous oeuvre managed to combine profound theoretical reflection with remarkable attentiveness to the issues of the age. His work scrupulously addressed the present age without ever losing sight of those permanent verities that inform responsible thought and action. Furthermore, as Pierre Manent has pointed out, Jouvenel had the additional merit of writing with eloquence and charm in an era that too often succumbed to the spirit of abstraction and the allure of “scientificity.”

He was a civic-minded moralist as much as a political philosopher and social scientist. In the spirit of his two great nineteenth-century inspirations, Benjamin Constant and Alexis de Tocqueville, he renewed an older wisdom that recognized that “there are things too heavy for human hands.” Like these forebears, he set out to rescue liberalism from that revolutionary inebriation that refused to bow before any sacred limits or restraints. Jouvenel never succumbed to the temptation of confusing the Good with an unfolding historical process or with the unfettered will of the one, the few, or the many, even as he accepted the inevitability and desirability of the open or dynamic society. He was the conservative liberal par excellence, a principled critic of progressive illusions who fully appreciated the folly of attempting to stand athwart the historical adventure that is modernity.

In the years before World War II Bertrand de Jouvenel made a living from journalism. He wrote for such prominent newspapers as Le Petit Journal and Paris Soir. During those years he became a practitioner of political celebrity journalism and had occasion to interview a host of famous statesmen—and tyrants—such as David Lloyd George, Neville Chamberlain, Winston Churchill, Mussolini, and Hitler (as we shall see, his controversial interview with Hitler would haunt him for the rest of his life, even though it was considered to be something of a coup at the time of its publication). In the years after 1945 he was simultaneously a journalist, professor (he taught or lectured at various times at Oxford, Cambridge, Cal-Berkeley, Yale, and at the Institut d’études politiques and the Faculty of Law and Economic Sciences of the University of Paris), political philosopher, political commentator, and pioneer author of sober, economically literate, and philosophically informed excursions into ecology and “future studies.” He thus brought to his writings the powers of description typical of a journalist, thephilosopher’s appreciation of enduring and universal truths, and an admirable openness to the contribution that social science could make toward understanding the transformations characteristic of modern life. In addition, his writings go a long way toward recovering the classical understanding of political science as the architectonic science whose ultimate subject matter is nothing less than the comprehensive good for human beings. In important respects, then, Jouvenel’s work bridges classicism and modernism, political philosophy and social science, the traditionalist’s preoccupation with “the good life” and the enlightenment Left’s preference for the open or dynamic society.

Bertrand de Jouvenel was a Frenchman intimately familiar with and sympathetic toward the United States; his English (spoken with an American accent) was impeccable. He regularly acknowledged the indispensable contribution that Britain, the cradle of parliamentary liberty, had made to the cause of freedom in the modern world, and he wrote respectfully, even admiringly, about the American constitutional order (the gravitas that still marked the United States Senate in the 1950s particularly impressed him).

It is not surprising, therefore, that he was the first French political thinker of any note to rediscover the political wisdom of what might be called the “English school” of French political philosophers, those nineteenth-century French liberals such as Constant, Guizot, and Tocqueville who were horrified by revolutionary despotism and who admired the civility and moderation characteristic of Anglo-American political life. Yet for reasons that will be fully explored in the final chapter of this work, Jouvenel has yet to receive his rightful measure of recognition in his native land. In France his reputation has been marred by the lingering impression that he was a collaborator of sorts during the Second World War (he was not) and by the fact that he committed two major faux pas in the period leading up to the war, the first being his aforementioned interview with Adolph Hitler in February 1936, and the second his ill-advised membership in Jacques Doriot’s Parti populair français (PPF) from 1936 until 1938.

Thus, though there is no shortage of self-proclaimed “liberal” political thinkers in France today, few explicitly acknowledge indebtedness to the political philosophizing of Bertrand de Jouvenel (the intellectual circles around the journals Commentaire and Futuribles are something of an exception in this regard). In France he remains a rather marginal figure best remembered for his 1945 classic On Power and for his forays into political ecology and future studies. Indeed, Jouvenel’s intellectual achievement has never been fully acknowledged by either the French general public or intellectual establishment, not even by those who share his core philosophical principles. As a result, some of Jouvenel’s most important theoretical works are not even in print in France today (this is the case with both Sovereignty and The Pure Theory of Politics), while many more of his major works are available once again in the United States (thanks especially to the good offices of Liberty Fund and Transaction Publishers). In the English-speaking world, in fact, Jouvenel is now considered to be a political philosopher of some importance, one of the most penetrating conservative- minded thinkers of the twentieth century.

In the years between 1945 and 1968, Jouvenel produced an impressive body of work belonging to the tradition known as conservative liberalism. These writings explored the inexorable growth of state power in modern times, the difficult but necessary task of articulating a conception of the common good appropriate to a dynamic, “progressive” society, and the challenge of formulating a political science that could reconcile tradition and change while preserving the freedom and dignity of the individual.

Jouvenel was far from doctrinaire in his approach to political matters. A critic of the centralizing propensities of the state, he nonetheless appreciated that political authority was indispensable for maintaining social trust as well as economic equilibrium. A charter member of the classical liberal Mont Pélerin Society (whose leading light was the distinguished economist and social theorist F. A. Hayek), he rejected the individualist premises underlying modern economics and reminded his contemporaries that the good life entailed something more fundamental than the maximization of individual preferences. In his mature writings, Jouvenel vigorously challenged the “progressivist” conceit at the heart of modern thought, the illusion that social and economic development necessarily entail moral progress. But he never rejected modernity per se. The coherence and insight that characterize Jouvenel’s synthesis is perhaps the foremost reason for studying him today.
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Daniel J. Mahoney holds the Augustine Chair in Distinguished Scholarship at Assumption College. He is the author, most recently, of The Conservative Foundations of the Liberal Order (ISI Books, 2011) and The Other Solzhenitsyn: Telling the Truth about a Misunderstood Writer and Thinker (St. Augustine’s Press, 2014). Excerpted from Mahoney's excellent book, Bertrand de Jouvenel and .

The Intercollegiate Review (IR) published by Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) which is dedicated to advancing the principles that make America free, virtuous, and prosperous. ISI shared this article with the editor of ARRA News Service.


Tags: A Thinker You Should Know, Bertrand de Jouvenel, Daniel J. Mahoney, book excerpt, ISI, Intercollegiate Studies Institute, Intercollegiate Review To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

ISIS on the Metro?

by Jenn Jacques: A Washington, D.C., Metro Transit police officer, who converted to Islam and once dressed up as Jihadi John for Halloween, was charged Wednesday with attempting to provide material support to ISIS.

36-year-old Nicholas Young of Virginia is the first law enforcement officer to be charged with an ISIS-related crime. According to a criminal complaint unsealed Wednesday, authorities found Young attempted to send money to the terror group ISIS for their recruiting efforts using mobile-based gift cards and an unnamed messaging service.

The $245 was actually sent to an undercover FBI agent and redeemed by the agency. The criminal complaint connects Young to two previously convicted DC-area terrorists, Zachary Chesser and Amine El Khalifi.Chesser was sentenced in federal court in 2011 to 25 years in prison for aiding Al Qaeda affiliate Al Shabaab. He is also known for threatening the creators of South Park for the show’s depiction of the prophet Mohamed. Khalifi was arrested in 2012 for attempting to detonate an explosive vest in the U.S. Capitol Building and was eventually sentenced to 30 years in prison for his crimes.

Court documents show federal investigators also questioned Young about trips he had taken to Libya in 2011. Young told FBI agents he traveled twice to the North African nation to assist rebels attempting to overthrow the regime of then-dictator Muammar Qaddafi.
“Since I received my first briefing on this matter, [Metro Transit Police] Chief [Ronald] Pavlik and I have worked hand-in-glove with the FBI in the interest of public safety and to ensure that this individual would be brought to justice,” a statement from Metro General Manager/CEO Paul Wiedefeld said.

Young was also searched by Customs and Border Protection on one outbound trip. The search uncovered he had traveled with body armor, a Kevlar helmet, and “several other military-style items,” according to the criminal complaint. He also maintained a large cache of firearms.

In 2015, Young admitted to the Metro Transit Police Department in an interview that he had dressed up as Jihadi John the previous Halloween. According to the criminal complaint, his costume featured a stuffed “orange jumpsuit with paper to portray a headless hostage, and he carried that around with him throughout the party.”

His employment with the Metro Transit Police was terminated Wednesday.
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Jenn Jacques (@JennJacques)is a conservative blogger and blogs at Guns and Curves. H/T BearingArms.com for sharing this article.

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Thursday, August 04, 2016

Rebuilding the Middle Class One Good Job at a Time

by Newt Gingrich: This year’s presidential campaign has revealed much about the state of the union in 2016, but surely one of the most important revelations has been the existence of a stagnant economy with declining real wages and a great hollowing out of the Middle Class as millions of Americans are dropping out of the labor force.

As Jim Clifton of Gallup wrote last year, we need a “minimum of 10 million new, good jobs to replenish America's middle class”.

At the heart of the problem is a real gap between the skills many Americans have and the skills they need to get a good job. According to the Department of Labor, there are nearly 6 million job openings in the U.S. Frequently, these positions are unfilled because businesses cannot find employees with the skills they need.

Bridging the skills gap is both a cultural and training challenge. The cultural challenge is that there have to be enough people willing to do the type of work required for the jobs that are available. The training challenge is that we have to have systems of education available to provide the skills these jobs require.

While graduates of top universities may have little trouble finding the highest-paying jobs, millions of other students are getting a far more questionable bargain from our current system of higher education. As Mike Rowe, host of Dirty Jobs, has described the challenge, “we are lending money that ostensibly we don't have to kids who really have no hope of paying it back in order to train them for jobs that clearly don't exist.”

Americans who are past the typical age of an undergraduate student are in an even worse position. Traditional universities and community colleges focus intensely on academics over practical knowledge, which often makes them a poor choice for people who need to learn new skills at middle age.

Our political leaders are finally catching on to this reality.

The Republican Party platform called for “new systems of learning to compete with traditional four-year schools,” including “technical institutions, online universities, lifelong learning, and work-based learning in the private sector.” Public policy, the platform said, “should recognize that a four-year degree from a brick-and-mortar institution is not the only path toward a prosperous and fulfilling career.”

Hillary Clinton echoed the sentiment in her acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention last month, acknowledging “something we don’t say often enough: College is crucial, but a four-year degree should not be the only path to a good job.” We need, she said, “to help more people learn a skill or practice a trade and make a good living doing it.”

Those are excellent words from the Democratic nominee for president. Unfortunately, her party’s platform explicitly attacks the programs and businesses that are necessary to make her words a reality.

The Democratic Party platform calls for special regulations targeting private sector colleges, universities and career education programs--and many of these appear designed to put the career-focused schools out of business. For instance, the Democratic platform lauds the Obama administration’s Gainful Employment Rule, which requires only private-sector programs to prove that graduates, on average, earn enough money so that their loan payments are less than 8 percent of their monthly incomes.

They don’t define programs by academic quality, simply by the debt-to-earnings ratio in year 3 of one’s chosen career. What does that mean? If you are poor, and pursue an occupation with lower starting wages, your program soon will not exist!

The administration now supports a newly proposed “defense-to-repayment” regulation, which would require all schools to set aside funds to forgive student loan debts for those students who can claim that their schools made misrepresentations to them even if no harm resulted and even if no intent to defraud could be proven. The proposed regulation would be a dramatic expansion of the legal arguments trial lawyers could wield on behalf of their student clients to not pay back their student loans.

We all support students who are academically defrauded being able to seek appropriate loan forgiveness. But a regulation that imposes penalties before conviction and encourages class action law suits by trial lawyers would eliminate the good schools providing good programs.

Even the Washington Post editorial board has labeled this proposed regulation an “overreach.”

The regulation would also impose a significant cost on taxpayers. By its own estimate, the Department of Education believes the implementation of the proposed regulation could cost the taxpayer $43 billion over the next ten years in the form of student debt that would go uncollected and be left to the taxpayer to foot the bill.

Both Republicans and Democrats should be for accountability in higher education and reasonable regulations, including even some version of the gainful employment and defense-to-repayment rules. At the same time, accountability standards must apply to everybody equally--public and nonprofit universities, community colleges, and private-sector schools alike.

Any unequal application of federal rules in higher education should be taken as a clear sign that the regulations are not principled consumer protection measures. Instead, unequal application of accountability rules is a sure sign that one sector of higher education is being punished, and another benefited, strictly on ideological grounds. This double standard in enforcement of the law is inherently unfair and should face bipartisan rejection by Congress.

The Obama administration should realize that when they punish good, law abiding institutions that focus on skills training and career education, they are really punishing the forgotten middle class--the very people that the career schools are serving and that traditional schools aren’t serving. They are also punishing the very people who are in the best position to close the skills gap and help rebuild the Middle Class in this country one good job at a time.

In light of the historic gap between our comfortable elites and the rest of the country, we urgently need a renewed, bipartisan commitment to improving opportunity for all Americans. That will require new thinking about how we train people for careers that are available now, how we accredit the institutions that are helping students learn the skills they need, and how we hold schools equally accountable for producing results.

With her fine words about skills education in her acceptance speech last week, Hillary Clinton has the opportunity to lead her party in a new direction and away from an ideologically driven assault on career education.

Donald Trump and the Republican majorities in Congress have already signaled their clear commitment to career education in the Republican party platform. Congress has a rare bipartisan opportunity before it to help rebuild the Middle Class by closing the skills gap. It only has to make sure that new costly and punitive regulations out of the Department of Education are revised so that they don’t destroy the very schools that will help make this happen.

If not, the real losers are those students, often adults, with only one road to the middle class – through a career program providing real skills leading to real jobs, real income and real place in America’s middle class.
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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, Rebuilding, Middle Class, One Good Job, at a Time To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Bill Clinton Got Millions From Sharia Education Network

by Daniel Greenfield: Is there anyone Bill Clinton wouldn't take money from? The jury is out on that one. And I do mean a jury, rather than a Sharia court.Former President Bill Clinton collected $5.6 million in fees from GEMS Education, a Dubai-based company that teaches Sharia Law through its network of more than 100 schools in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation.

The company’s finances strictly adhere to “Sharia Finance,” which includes giving “zakat,” a religious tax of which one-eighth of the proceeds is dedicated to funding Islamic jihad.

The company also contributed millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation.

The former president served as honorary chairman for GEMS Education from 2011 to 2014, according to federal tax returns he filed with his wife, 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
The company is incorporated in the Caymans which is a whole other red flag, but the Clintons probably have plenty of money socked away in the area as well.

Digging deeper, The Daily Caller finds all sorts of issues with the complex financial networks involved, but really this is business as usual for the Clintons who are unimaginably greedy, have no self control and have a long history of being willing to take money from anyone, whether it's international fugitives or theocrats.
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Daniel Greenfield is Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. David Horowitz is a Contributing Author of the ARRA News Service.
Tags: Bill Clinton, Clinton Foundation, Hillary Clinton, Investigative Group, Islamic terrorism, muslim jihad, Sharia Finance, Daniel Greenfield, FrontPage Mag To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Paying Ransom To Thugs, London Terror, Trump Meets Gold Star Families, Memorial Service For French Priest

by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Paying Ransom To Iranian Thugs
Drip. Drip. Drip. More facts emerged today in the Obama Administration's payoff of $400 million in hard cold cash to the Mullahs of Iran for the release of U.S. prisoners being held in that radical Islamist country. Now we have learned top officials at the Justice Department reportedly objected to the deal, warning Obama and Kerry that the "optics" were terrible and would appear to the public to be a violation of longstanding U.S. policy not to pay ransoms.

Just as important, we also know that Iran believed the payment was in fact a ransom. When you think about it, what they believed is all that matters - not the Obama Administration's "spin" on the story. If Iran thought seizing innocent U.S. citizens would result in Iran receiving $400 million from the U.S. then they will be encouraged to take additional "hostages," which is exactly what they have done in recent months.

But never fear! Hillary Clinton will clean up the mess if she wins in 97 days. [Sarcasm] Yesterday, Hillary had already activated her lie button. "This is old news," she said. She added, "We already knew about this in January." From emails to Benghazi to Iran, Hillary's strategy is always the same - deception and bald-face lies. Sadly, with a compliant media, it seems to work for her.

London Terror
A Somali man went on a knife attack rampage in London last night. An American woman in her 60s was stabbed to death. Five other people suffered wounds. The newly elected Muslim mayor of London urged citizens to remain calm. British authorities today said they believe the attack was due to mental illness. But radical Islam is a form of mental derangement. They also point out that he did not scream the jihadist "signature" slogan "Allah Akbar" (Allah is the greatest). Okay. But when attackers do shout it out while killing us, the same "authorities" caution that "the motive for the attack isn't clear."

Finally, police add that they can't find any evidence that the man was "recently radicalized." I am just a layman, but wouldn't it be fair to suggest that his stabbing spree is the evidence of his recent radicalization? It looks like spontaneous jihadism.

By the way, knives have been the jihadist weapon of choice in Israel over the last year along with ice picks and axes. In addition last night's attack took place in Russell Square, one of the sites in 2005 where jihadists killed 52 people. Coincidence? I doubt it.

My advice to Londoners - Ignore your mayor and don't remain calm.

Trump Meets With Gold Star Families
Donald Trump met with six Gold Star families Wednesday night ahead of a rally in Jacksonville. But I doubt you heard about it in the mainstream media, which is still obsessing over the Khizr Khan controversy. I guess the only Gold Star families that matter to Big Media are the Muslim ones.

The families sat down with Trump for about 30 minutes, relaying their concerns about national security. Karen Vaughn, the mother of a Navy SEAL who was killed in action, set up the meeting, which was attended by 10 family members of fallen soldiers. Afterwards, Vaughn said, "It was really a chance to tell our stories, but also talk about problems with the rules of engagement (for troops in war zones) and the failed policies of the current administration. I walked out feeling like I understood where his heart is, regardless of the comments that he made that may seem insensitive to some."

Everyone knows about Khizr Khan, but why isn't Mrs. Vaughn a media celebrity? She gave a moving speech at the Republican National Convention and in 2012 launched a charity to benefit the children of troops who die on the battlefield. But Big Media never talks about her.

Vaughn raised an important issue. Why does the United States not win wars anymore? There are many reasons, of course, but an important one is that we follow the rules of engagement preferred by the editorial board of the New York Times and the politically correct crowd. This must end, and we know it won't if Hillary is elected.

Many conservatives are frustrated by the lack of discipline that Trump has shown during the campaign. But please don't lose sight of the role that the media play in perpetuating stories that hurt Trump and stifling those that might help him, like his meeting yesterday with Gold Star families.

By the way, did you know that the Jacksonville rally was attended by an estimated 16,000 people? Of course you didn't, because the media didn't report it.

About 1/3 of the crowd in Jacksonville, FL at the
Donald Trump Rally.  Img via ActionNewsJax
Memorial Service For French Priest
"Be gone, Satan." Those were the words Jacques Hamel uttered moments before his throat was slit by two jihadists at his church in northern France last week. Father Hamel's final words were revealed at a memorial service for him Tuesday.

During his homily for Hamel, Archbishop Dominique Lebrun told the thousands of people who had gathered to mourn the priest, including some Muslims, "You who are tormented by diabolical violence, you who are drawn to kill by a demonic, murderous madness, pray to God to free you from the devil's grip. We pray for you, we pray to Jesus who healed all those who were under the power of evil."

At a separate memorial for Father Hamel, another priest compared the god worshipped by Islamic terrorists to Moloch, an ancient pagan god of death.

"Those who wrap themselves in the trappings of religion to mask their deadly project," he said, "Those who want to announce to us a God of death, a Moloch that would rejoice at the death of a man and promise paradise to those who kill while invoking him, these cannot expect humanity to yield to their delusion."

Yesterday, we expressed concern that Pope Francis does not seem to comprehend the true nature of Islamic terrorism. Here we should be reassured that there are still priests and bishops who understand the Satanic nature of the enemy we face.
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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, Paying Ransom To Thugs, London Terror, Trump Meets Gold Star Families, Jacksonville, FL, rally. Memorial Service For French Priest To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Government Debt and Spending in 4 Graphs

by Antony Davies & James R. Harrigan: “A power over a man’s subsistence amounts to a power over his will.”

So wrote Alexander Hamilton in Federalist no. 79 in 1788. In pointing to the need for an independent judiciary, Hamilton stressed that the president and members of the judiciary could only be truly independent if they did not have to rely on Congress for their paychecks. Without this independence, the other two branches of government would simply become puppets of the legislative branch.

Hamilton was right, but why stop there? If placing the livelihood of some in the hands of others creates a structural problem within the government, then yoking the immediate financial interests of citizens to the government would cause much the same problem without. Just as the executive and judicial branches would be bought and paid for by the legislature, the entire citizenry would become nothing but vassals of the state.

This is exactly what came to pass in the twentieth century. As the size and scope of government ballooned, so too did Americans’ dependence on it. And a disastrous synergy was born. Citizens demanded ever more from the government, and politicians obliged, steadfastly refusing to balance the budget in the bargain. Instead, the government borrowed what politicians needed to keep the people fat and happy. It ran up $19 trillion in official debt, or (conservatively estimated) $120 trillion including unfunded liabilities (think promised future Social Security and Medicare benefits).

Equal parts debt and dependence resulted.

Debt and Dependence
The federal debt is simply the accumulation of annual deficits. How bad have these annual deficits become? Figure 1 shows the inflation-adjusted per-capita deficit. In the 1960s, the deficit averaged $200 per year per person (in today’s dollars).This number tripled to more than $750 in the 1970s, then more than doubled again to over $1,600 in the 1980s. It held constant in the 1990s, then increased by 50% in the 2000s and again in the 2010s. Adjusted for inflation, the annual deficit per person today is almost seventy times what it was in 1960.

Figure 1.
And what is the government doing with all this spending? It’s buying off voters in two ways.

First, the government buys off today’s voters with tomorrow’s voters’ money. Tomorrow’s voters will pay for today’s deficits through increased taxes, reduced government services, or inflation resulting from monetization of the federal debt.

Second, the government buys off the majority of voters with the minority’s money. According to the Congressional Budget Office, only the top 40% of taxpayers (on average) pay more to the federal government than they receive back in the form of tax credits and transfers (figure 2). This means that a majority of Americans—almost a supermajority—have a personal interest in expanded government. The more government spends, the more they stand to receive.

In the end, politicians buy dependence with money the government does not have. This is doubly destructive, because it chains dependent citizens to a ship that is slowly sinking.

Figure 2.

How Much Is Too Much?
Today’s government grows at the expense of tomorrow’s taxpayer through the accumulation of debt, so the obvious question seems to be "How much government is too much?" There is no clear answer, because this isn’t the right question. The right question is “How much government is possible?”

“How much government” can be measured by federal receipts (all federal government revenue) as a fraction of GDP. This ratio measures the fraction the government takes of value the economy creates. It is a reasonable measure of the government’s “footprint” on the economy, and the government’s footprint has remained remarkably constant for a long time.

Figure 3 shows federal receipts as a fraction of GDP from 1950 to the present. Over this period, the ratio has averaged 16.9%, with a low of 13.1% in 1950 and a high of 19.7% in 2000. What’s noteworthy is that the ratio has remained relatively stable despite wide fluctuations in tax rates. Over this period, the top marginal income tax rate fluctuated from a low of 28% in 1988–89 to a high of 92% in 1952–53. Social Security and Medicare tax rates fluctuated from a low of 1.5% in 1950 to a high of 15.3% from 1990 to the present. The top capital gains tax rate fluctuated from a low of 15% from 2003–7 and 2010–12 to a high of 39.9% in 1976–78. The average effective corporate tax rate ranged from a low of 20.2% in 1985 to a high of 45.3% in 1960. Finally, the estate tax rate moved from a high of 77% from 1950–76 to a low of 0% in 2010.

Despite the rhetoric, government can neither raise nor lower taxes. Government can only raise or lower tax rates. Taxes are what emerges when the government applies tax rates to economic activity, and economic activity is controlled by individual people. How much government is possible? The answer seems to be 17% of the economy. That’s all the revenue the economy appears willing to deliver.

Figure 3.

But the government can control spending. While the government has collected a relatively constant 17% of GDP, it has spent a relatively constant 20% of GDP, as figure 4 illustrates. In other words, the government consistently chooses to spend more than it can take in, to the tune of about 3% of GDP. In any given year, the government spends about 15% more than it should. Since 1958, federal receipts have only been large enough to support the size of government we had eight years prior.

Cutting spending to match the 17% of GDP the government collects every year is the first step.

Figure 4.

The second step is addressing the near supermajority of Americans who receive more from the government than they pay in. The present trajectory is both unreasonable and unsustainable. The solution could be quite simple. About 15% of Americans live below the poverty line. It is wholly reasonable that these people receive more, perhaps significantly more, than they pay in. Another 35% are above the poverty line but below the median income. These people should neither pay nor receive anything. Finally, 50% are above median income, and these are the people who should pay more than they receive.

Taking one of these steps without the other is pointless. Hamilton was right: the power of a man’s subsistence is power over his will. And where citizens are concerned, this is a dangerous thing. It is so dangerous that it has resulted in a crushing debt that will cripple, if not annihilate, the United States in the coming years. Citizens who want things at no cost and politicians who want to dole those things out in exchange for votes will have to put their short-term interests aside if they have any desire to keep their republic.
-------------------
Antony Davies is associate professor of economics at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. James R. Harrigan is director of academic programs at Strata in Logan, Utah. Article shared with ARRA News Service by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.

Tags: Government Debt and Spending, 4 Graphs, Antony Davies, James R. Harrigan, Intercollegiate Studies Institute 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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