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. Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year] Follow @arra Contact: email@example.com (Pub. Since July, 2006)Home Page
One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics
is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato
Friday, September 09, 2016
Obama Administration Gives Into 'Keep It In the Ground' and Blocks Dakota Access Pipeline Construction
ARRA News Service Editor: Below is a follow-on article to a prior article today. The Obama administration has intervened and blocked the new pipeline. The Obama administration is obviously in disarray! First it approved the pipeline. Then, when the pipeline was challenged, and a Judge rules the pipeline may proceed, the Lame Duck President Obama Administration reverses itself and blocks the new pipeline. The only hope for new jobs, increased revenue, or even for oil to flow via a new pipeline would be the election of Donald Trump. Also from news reports,it appears that the only major item flowing under the Obama administration are billions of dollars to Iran. That's right - the same Iran that wants to destroy the Great Satan - the U.S.A. - and an oil competitor.
by Sean Hackbarth, Contributing Author: No sooner does a federal judge refuse a tribe’s attempt to block construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline does the Obama administration do exactly that. From Bloomberg: The Obama administration said it would not allow work on federal land along the route of Energy Transfer Partners LP’s controversial crude oil pipeline, less than an hour after a judge ruled construction could proceed on the $3.8 billion project.
The Army Corps of Engineers has not yet authorized construction near Lake Oahe along the border of North and South Dakota, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement Friday. As a result, the department asked Energy Transfer to voluntarily pause building 20 miles east or west of the lake until the Corps makes a decision.
Earlier, a federal judge ruled construction could proceed on the Dakota Access Pipeline, a decision seen as a blow to critics who said the project would damage culturally significant sites and create an environmental hazard where it crosses the Missouri River.
The project likely complies with the National Historic Preservation Act, wrote U.S. District Judge James Boasberg in Washington, Friday in a memorandum accompanying his opinion. "The Tribe has not shown it will suffer injury that would be prevented by any injunction the Court could issue," he said.They have been completely co-opted by “Keep it in the ground” extremists.
Let me quote from the administration’s press release [emphasis mine]: Finally, we fully support the rights of all Americans to assemble and speak freely. We urge everyone involved in protest or pipeline activities to adhere to the principles of nonviolence. Of course, anyone who commits violent or destructive acts may face criminal sanctions from federal, tribal, state, or local authorities. The Departments of Justice and the Interior will continue to deploy resources to North Dakota to help state, local, and tribal authorities, and the communities they serve, better communicate, defuse tensions, support peaceful protest, and maintain public safety.
In recent days, we have seen thousands of demonstrators come together peacefully, with support from scores of sovereign tribal governments, to exercise their First Amendment rights and to voice heartfelt concerns about the environment and historic, sacred sites. It is now incumbent on all of us to develop a path forward that serves the broadest public interest.Arson is peaceful?
In August, labor unions were worried about the safety of their members working on the project and sent a letter to North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple: We strongly encourage you to utilize the power of your office to keep our workers safe and to ensure protestors are following the letter of the law of North Dakota. While they may have a right to protest, we also have a right to do our jobs in a safe environment. Protesters who did not avail themselves of nearly two years of public discourse of the project should not be allowed to continue endangering themselves, construction workers, or law enforcement while trespassing on land legally leased to this project.And how peaceful can a worksite be if Gov. Dalrymple to call out the National Guard to assist law enforcement?
Orwell would have a field day with those claiming violence is “peaceful.”
The Midwest Alliance for Infrastructure Now, a business and labor coalition supporting the pipeline, rebuked the administration's decision: Should the Administration ultimately stop this construction, it would set a horrific precedent. No sane American company would dare expend years of effort and billions of dollars weaving through an onerous regulatory process receiving all necessary permits and agreements, only to be faced with additional regulatory impediments and be shutdown halfway through completion of its project.
We hope and trust that the government will base its final decision on sound science and engineering, not political winds or pressure.Public hearings were held, thorough environmental and cultural analyses were completed, and permits were approved. The process was open, but pipeline opponents didn't get their way, and took to extreme measures. And for their efforts they get rewarded.
The lesson here is simple: If you’re an anti-energy activist and can crank up people’s emotions—even if it means violence—and cause enough trouble then the Obama administration with give in.
It happened with Keystone XL pipeline, and it’s happened here.
And we wonder why it’s so hard to build anything in America anymore?
Tags:Editorial Cartoon, AF Branco, Who Failed Who?, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
But today I want to put the headlines aside to remember 9/11 and to reflect on what is the most important issue of all -- the war the West is fighting to defend Judeo-Christian civilization against radical Islamic supremacism.
The events of September 11, 2001, transformed America and the world. Thousands of our fellow citizens were brutally murdered that day. Families were shattered and the nation was shaken as planes fell from the sky, slamming into the World Trade Center Towers, the Pentagon and the fields of Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
The true face of radical Islam, previously hidden behind a veil of ignorance, was revealed for the whole world to see. I will never forget the words of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who said that if the terrorists could have killed 300,000, instead of 3,000, they would have.
Fifteen years later -- 15 years later! -- the war against radical Islam rages on. Osama bin Laden may be dead, but we are not safer. A new CNN poll finds that more Americans (50%) feel less safe on this anniversary of 9/11 than we did five years ago (39%) on the tenth anniversary of the attacks. And with good reason.
Al Qaeda's co-religionists among the Islamic State are today rampaging over much of the Middle East and into Africa. They have infiltrated Europe and even America.
Meanwhile, Western leaders are at best clueless. How can you explain Germany's Angela Merkel? She eagerly invited hundreds of thousands of so-called "refugees" into her country and then acts stunned when German women are raped and "refugees" engage in terrorist acts.
After the brutal carnage in Nice, France, left more than 80 people dead, the French prime minister declared, "The times have changed, and France is going to have to live with terrorism."
Thankfully, the British had the good sense to divorce themselves from this insanity -- but the vote was close.
Here in America, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton refuse to identify the enemy. Worse, Obama cut a terrible nuclear deal with the radical Shiite extremists who control the Islamic Republic of Iran. Because of that deal we may see the day when 300,000 Americans, Europeans or Israelis are killed.
Like Merkel, Obama vowed to bring in 10,000 Syrian refugees even though top security officials questioned the government's ability to adequately vet them.
While radical Islam wages its jihad against Western Civilization, the political left wages a relentless cultural war against our American values from within.
It constantly denigrates the values that built this nation and mocks the idea of American exceptionalism, offering nothing in return but materialism and licentiousness. Those are not values that will inspire a generation to sacrifice, that will rally a nation to victory against Islamic supremacism.
This has been a long war. Sadly, I fear it has a long way to go -- perhaps a generation or more. And given the leadership that the left has to offer, there is no guarantee of victory.
In the meantime, there are things you can do. Tell your husband, wife, children, parents that you love them. Thank our first responders -- policemen, firemen and anyone you know or see who serves in the U.S. military. Thank them for their service to our country and all that they do to keep us safe and free.
Remind yourself why you are blessed to be in America. And rediscover the God of Abraham, who said, "I have set before you life and death. Now choose life so that you and your children may live."
Values Voter Summit -
If you missed my address before the Values Voter Summit today, you can watch it in the MRCTV archives here or below.
------------- 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, Values Voter, summit To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
This is the Internet giveaway to foreign powers. You know all about it because you've formed the grassroots that has stopped this surrender of U.S sovereignty the past two fiscal years as Congress has prohibited the use of funds to transfer away the free and open Internet.
But now these courageous Congressmen need to hear your support. Multinational corporate interests that want the U.S. to give away oversight of the Internet to the international community — so they can make more money, naturally, and create a global monopoly over the domain name system — are making one final push to pressure Congress into surrendering your vital Internet freedoms.
Now is the time show Congress that when they do the right thing, you've got their backs. These four members need to hear from you, so please take the time to give them a call and thank them for protecting the free and open Internet and tell them you want them the U.S. to continue overseeing the contract with ICANN, which protects Internet freedom since no government contract can violate the First Amendment. Tell them not to give away oversight under any circumstances!
Here are the members and their direct numbers:Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.): (202) 224-2321
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa): (202) 224-3744
U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.): (202) 225-5431
U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.): (202) 225-3761Please be courteous and thank each of these Congressmen for doing the right thing in sticking up for you and protecting the free and open Internet from capture by foreign powers, multinational corporations and maybe even the United Nations!
Tell them not to back down and to stand strong.
With your support, these members will know that the American people are solidly behind them on this issue — and they won't surrender!
Let's keep fighting!
---------------- Robert Romano is the Senior Editor of Americans for Limited Government. Tags:Robert Romano, Americans For Limited Government, Urge Congress, Not To Surrender, The Internet, UNTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
NavyMan Norm, Letter to Editor: Throughout his career, Donald Trump has been a master builder of buildings around the world. The Trump name stands for Pride; Quality; and Integrity. Donald Trump will apply these same qualities to the Oval Office. As a Navy Veteran and parent of an Iraq War veteran, these are the qualities we expect in our Commander-in-Chief.
The same can’t be said of Hilliar, a career politician who has never built anything; never worked a day in the private sector; and has destroyed America’s standing and reputation in the world. She has insulted our military and veterans and parents of veterans with her stream of lies. For example, as Secretary of State, she was responsible for ALL State department personnel and activities. She has claimed that on her watch that NOBODY died in Libya. Forgetting four brave Americans who did: Ambassador Chris Stevens; Glen Doherty; Ty Woods; and Sean Smith. The ‘truth’ also died in Benghazi, thanks to Obama, Susan Rice, and "the Hilliar." All claiming a video caused the attack, when they knew otherwise.
America deserves better than these three and their world wide apology tour. Americans and America’s military deserve a real Commander-in-Chief, Donald Trump, who will put our security first; who will strengthen and rebuild our military, and not destroy it. Donald Trump will care for the men and women he may have to put in harm’s way, in and out of the service.
Ronald Reagan put it simply:”We maintain the Peace through our strength; Weakness only invites aggression“.
---------------- Navyman Norm is a Strongsville, OH resident. [Hilliar is Hillary Clinton] Tags:Trump The Builder; Hillary Clinton, Hilliar, The Destroyer, NavyMan Norm, letter to editorTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
The involvement of a man who has written, “We have to keep 80 percent of the fossil-fuel reserves that we know about underground,” shows us what this protest is really about.
It isn’t about water or cultural concerns. It’s about making it so hard to get energy from where it’s produced to where it’s consumed that production stops. “Block the infrastructure, block the development,” Rob Port wrote last month.
McKibben, Kleeb, and their friends don’t like the shale boom at all and want to take us to a fantasy world where fossil fuels aren’t used. But that’s ignores history. These energy sources have lifted billions of people out of poverty, fueled our economic prosperity, and allowed so many of us to live healthy lives. Abandoning politically incorrect energy will leave many of us living shorter, harsher, more-miserable lives.
Blocking energy infrastructure like the Dakota Access Pipeline holds America back at a time when we’re enjoying an energy renaissance, as Matt Koch of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy explains:Yet we run the risk of losing the advantages due to the politicization by environmentalists of the pipeline and transmission line projects needed to move energy to where it is needed. Many areas in the U.S. are already missing out on the full benefits of our energy revolution because it has been difficult to move our energy from where it is produced to where it is needed.Along the pipeline’s construction route, August was marred with arson and threats of violence — all the while law enforcement and security personnel displayed tremendous patience and restraint.
Things continued to be ugly over the Labor Day weekend, NPR reports:n a statement, the Morton County Sheriff's Department said protesters marched from their encampment onto private lands, where the pipeline is being constructed.
"Once protestors arrived at the construction area, they broke down a wire fence by stepping and jumping on it," the sheriff's office said. "According to numerous witnesses within five minutes the crowd of protesters, estimated to be a few hundred people became violent. They stampeded into the construction area with horses, dogs and vehicles."
Tensions are so high that the National Guard will provide backup for law enforcement as we wait for a federal judge to rule on injunctions that may or may not delay construction or protests.
UPDATE: A federal judge denied the Standing Rock Sioux's request for a temporary injunction to stop work on the pipeline.
In the meantime, the protest has turned into a cause celebre. Movie stars make a blurry video supporting the pipeline protesters. Protesters are collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations to support a long-term protest: propane; water; food; and blankets.
Americans for Prosperity: Every two years, Congress comes back after Election Day and spends their "Lame Duck" session trying to sneak harmful legislation through when they think Americans aren't paying attention. This year, Americans for Prosperity volunteers like you have successfully saved taxpayers billions of dollars. But we have one more job to do this year.
We need one more push this year to make sure lawmakers don't come back after Election Day - after many of them have lost elections and are headed out of office - to pass even more billions of dollars in spending. When they're ready to retire, they're not accountable to the public anymore - that's the worst time to let them spend our money!
Because Congress fails time and time again to pass a real budget and go through the appropriations process, the crisis-driven spending just keeps piling up.
No more spending in the lame duck! Let's fund the government straight into 2017, so that we can plan ahead and the public can start scrutinizing how our money is spent.
Tags:Lame Duck Session, after election day, Congress, no more spendingTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Hillary’s paranoid fantasy on Trump, Russia obscures her failed Russian reset
by Robert Romano: You’d have to be a complete idiot to believe the conspiracy theory being peddled by Hillary Clinton that Donald Trump is colluding with Russian intelligence to win the presidential election. It’s not merely over the top. It’s a paranoid fantasy.
Did U.S.-backed Panama Papers revelations provoke a Russian-backed threat to expose Clinton’s private server emails and then the DNC email release via Wikileaks? If so, these document dumps could actually be a high stakes spy game of tit for tat between Russia and U.S., designed to weaken both administrations.
None of that implicates Trump, really. He was responding to news dispatches at the July press conference. And if the original June Washington Post report on the DNC email hack was to be believed, it was not just the DNC that had been breached. Trump too was targeted, according to report, which stated, “The networks of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were also targeted by Russian spies, as were the computers of some Republican political action committees, U.S. officials said.”
But that didn’t stop Clinton. Within 9 days of the Wikileaks hack, she appeared on Fox News Sunday linking the hacks to Trump for good measure, saying, “We know that Russian intelligence services hacked into the DNC, and we know that they arranged for a lot of those emails to be released, and we know that Donald Trump has shown a very troubling willingness to back up Putin, to support Putin.” Here, Clinton is implicating her opponent, Trump, of engaging in espionage, admittedly via innuendo.
“The American people deserve to have a full understanding of the facts from a completed investigation before they vote this November,” Reid added. Yeah, right. Sure the FBI will get right on that one. Talk about a conspiracy theory.
President Barack Obama briefly alluded to the espionage once again at the G20 meeting in China on Sept. 5, suggesting, “[O]ur goal is not to suddenly, in the cyber arena, duplicate a cycle of escalation that we saw when it comes to other arms races in the past, but rather to start instituting some norms so that everybody is acting responsibly… [W]hat we cannot do is have a situation in which suddenly this becomes the Wild, Wild West, where countries that have significant cyber capacity start engaging in competition — unhealthy competition or conflict through these means when, I think, wisely we’ve put in place some norms when it comes to using other weapons. So that’s been a topic of conversation with President Putin as it has been with other countries.”
But these are all just distractions from what is truly animating these apparent spy games between the U.S. and Russia. As if the progressive deterioration of U.S.-Russian relations has occurred in a vacuum.
Which, if you’re going to take over Russian satellites, fine. But you better win. And when you lose those wars — Obama’s “red line” means nothing, Russia owns Crimea and Ukraine is embroiled in civil war — and suddenly top party officials’ dirty laundry starts appearing in the news, like Hillary Clinton’s pay to play racket at the State Department and her private email server storing classified information, don’t act surprised. Those things probably happened for a reason. And they have nothing to do with Donald Trump.
The truth is, Hillary Clinton has nobody to blame but herself for her reckless use of a private server to hide her interactions with Clinton Foundation donors that apparently put U.S. policy up for the highest bidder, exposing herself and her country to being blackmailed — and for the Obama administration’s failed Russian reset, which has rapidly escalated into a dangerous standoff with Moscow that has made the world less safe.
---------------- Robert Romano is the Senior Editor of Americans for Limited Government. His article was first shared on the ALG's NetRight Daily blog. Tags:Robert Romano, Americans For Limited Government, Hillary Clinton, paranoid fantasy, on Donald Trump, Russia, failed Russian resetTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Bill Donohue: It is the most anti-First Amendment report issued to date by any agency of the federal government. On September 7, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights released a scathing assault on religious liberty titled, Peaceful Coexistence: Reconciling Nondiscrimination Principles with Civil Liberties.
The title of the report is only one of many fundamental errors in the document: the findings and recommendations make it clear that there is no attempt to reconcile any competing rights. Instead, the document says that when there is a conflict between religious liberty and nondiscrimination, the former should be subordinate to the latter. Never mind that religious liberty is enshrined in the First Amendment and the latter right is mostly encoded in statutes.
The lead finding in the report is dismissive of the First Amendment. "Civil rights protections ensuring nondiscrimination, as embodied in the Constitution, laws, and policies, are of preeminent importance in American jurisprudence."
That is factually wrong: laws against discrimination are important, but they are not preeminent. What is preeminent is the first right found in the First Amendment, namely, the right to religious exercise. This agency has now decided to invert these rights. This is indefensible.
The second finding all but guts the meaning of religious exemptions. It holds that when such exemptions are granted from civil rights laws, e.g., statutes governing race and sexual orientation, they "significantly infringe upon these civil rights." The obverse is more accurate: the denial of religious exemptions, in most instances, significantly infringe upon the First Amendment.
Rights are not absolute, so when two rights conflict, decisions to favor one over the other must be made; this requires sound jurisprudential reasoning. For example, the Bill of Rights explicitly protects religious liberty, and it says absolutely nothing about gay rights or gay marriage. Why, then, is this federal body awarding preferential treatment to rights nowhere found in the Constitution while diminishing rights plainly encoded in it?
The findings and recommendations both speak about the First Amendment's "Free Exercise Clause" and the "Establishment Clause." Such literary casting is factually wrong. Constitutional scholar John Noonan says it best: "There are no clauses in the constitutional provision. Clauses have a subject and a predicate. This provision has a single subject, a single verb, and two prepositional phrases."
Noonan is not being cute. His point is substantive: the Framers never contemplated disharmony between religious liberty and the establishment of religion. Indeed, these provisions complement each other. The free exercise of religion puts brakes on the power of the federal government to deny religious liberty; the establishment provision puts breaks on the federal government to prescribe religious exercise.
Madison, who authored the First Amendment, did not keep us guessing as to what he meant by the establishment provision: It was designed to stop the establishment of a national church and to prohibit government favoritism of one religion over the other. Moreover, it had no application to the states, which is why state churches existed until the fourth decade of the nineteenth century.
The rendering offered in the report incorrectly pits the two religious liberty provisions—free exercise and the establishment of religion—against each other. According to this logic, the two rights cancel each other out. This is bad history and lacks common sense. But it does allow the report to erroneously conclude that the establishment provision precludes a robust understanding of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
If there were any doubt that this report is a searing indictment of the First Amendment, the statement by the chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights settles the matter. Martin R. Castro, an Obama appointee, is blunt in his contempt for religious liberty.
"The phrases 'religious liberty' and 'religious freedom' will stand for nothing except for hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy or any other form of intolerance."
Absent from his list of horrors is the real threat to the Constitution: militant secularism. And who is he talking about when he cites "Christian supremacy"? He should man up and be specific. Or is the term "man up" another horror?
Castro then blames religion for slavery. "In our nation's past religion has been used to justify slavery and later, Jim Crow laws." Perhaps he missed those classes on the religious basis of the abolitionist movement; or Catholic teachings on natural law; or the efforts of Rev. Martin Luther King, and all the other faith-based opponents of discrimination.
Interestingly, Castro's remarks are preceded with a quote from John Adams: "The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion." Tell that to the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1892, it ruled that the U.S. "is a Christian nation."
Leaving that debate aside, it is undeniably true that the U.S. was founded on the Judeo-Christian ethos. More important, it was Adams who pointedly said that the Constitution was made "only for a moral and a religious people." This explains why attempts to diminish our religious heritage—including this salvo by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights—must be resisted.
-------------- Bill Donohue is President and CEO of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. Tags:Federal Agency, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Trashes, Religious Liberty, Bill Donohue, Catholic League for Religious and Civil RightsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Iran May Have Received as Much as $33.6 Billion in Cash, Gold Payments From U.S.
John Kerry, in kinder terms, is a 'World Class Doofus!' $33.6 billion secret transfer of cash & gold to Iran all made on his watch under Obama.
by Adam Kredo: Iran may have received an additional $33.6 billion in secret cash and gold payments facilitated by the Obama administration between 2014 and 2016, according to testimony provided before Congress by an expert on last summer’s nuclear agreement with Iran.
Between January 2014 and July 2015, when the Obama administration was hammering out the final details of the nuclear accord, Iran was paid $700 million every month from funds that had previously been frozen by U.S. sanctions.
A total of $11.9 billion was ultimately paid to Iran, but the details surrounding these payments remain shrouded in mystery, according to Mark Dubowitz, executive director at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
In total, “Iran may have received as much as $33.6 billion in cash or in gold and other precious metals,” Dubowitz disclosed.
New questions about these payments are emerging following confirmation from top Obama administration officials on Thursday that it was forced to pay Iran $1.7 billion in cash prior to the release of several U.S. hostages earlier this year. The administration insisted that cash had to be used for this payment.
Top administration officials were adamant that the cash payments were the best way to ensure that Iran got immediate access to this money due to its ongoing difficulty accessing international funds still sanctioned by the West.
Lawmakers and others are now pressing the administration to disclose how a slew of other payments to Iran were made in the years leading up to the final nuclear accord.
“In July, the Associated Press cited U.S. officials who estimated that Iran ‘brought home less than $20 billion.’ Were these funds repatriated to Tehran in cash or in gold and precious metals? Through the formal financial system? Or through some combination?” Dubowitz asked in his testimony before the House Financial Services Committee.
“The administration should also clarify if the $20 billion dollars is inclusive of the $11.9 billion in [Joint Plan of Action] funds, or if the $20 billion was in addition to the $11.9 billion,” he said. “Either way, it is important to understand how funds were sent. The worst-case scenario here is that Iran may have received as much as $33.6 billion in cash or in gold and other precious metals.”
At least some of this money was likely sent in cash and other assets, according to Dubowitz.
The Obama administration was forced to disclose on Thursday that current sanctions and banking restrictions prohibited it from transferring funds to Iran via electronic methods.
The cash payment of $1.7 billion earlier this year was the easiest way to ensure Iran got immediate access to the money, according to these officials.
“Iran had to have it in cash,” Paul Ahern, assistant general counsel for enforcement and intelligence at the Treasury Department, told lawmakers. “Iran was very aware of the difficulties it would face in accessing and using the funds if they were in any other form than cash, even after the lifting of sanctions.”
A cash delivery “was the most reliable way that they received the funds in a timely manner and it was the manner preferred by the relative foreign banks,” Ahren said.
Given the situation, it is likely that the multiple past payments to Iran were conducted in a similar fashion, according to Dubowitz.
“If the White House could only send cash to Iran from the start of the JPOA period through the Tribunal payment that could amount to a grant total of 33.6 billion,” he said. “Did any of this money go through the formal financial system? If so, the administration is not being truthful about the 1.7 billion. If many billions arrived in Iran on pallets [of cash] this would be a pretty astounding revelation.”
Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon official and expert on rogue regimes, said that cash payments of this nature are “highly irregular.”
“There’s no reason it needed to be paid now. After all, successive administrations, both Democratic and Republican, have delayed payments so as to avoid funding Iranian terrorism,” Rubin said. “Likewise, if the United States freezes accounts linked to al Qaeda or Hamas, releasing it and saying, ‘It’s their money anyway,’ would not be a tenable explanation. Cash payments are highly irregular.”
The Iranians have been clear that they “perceived the payment to be a ransom” despite the administration’s protestations, Rubin explained.
“Not only has the delivery of the millions of dollars been perceived as a ransom, provided as an incentive to seize more hostages …. but because the money was delivered in cash the payment bolstered the strength of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and augmented its ability to finance and conduct terrorism,” he said.
------------------ Adam Kredo is senior writer for the Washington Free Beacon. Formerly an award-winning political reporter for the Washington Jewish Week. Kredo’s work has been featured in outlets such as the Jerusalem Post, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Politico and others. Tags: National Security, Iran, Iran Nuclear Deal, Obama Administration, Sanctions, Adam Kredo, The Washington BeaconTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Tags:Editorial Cartoon, AF Branco, Who's Got your Ear, Hillary's earpiece, Hillary Clinton, George SorosTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: We all know that the cost of living varies from state to state and from city to city. The Tax Foundation has produced a map that shows the real value of $100 in each state. Prices for the same goods are often much cheaper in Missouri or Mississippi than they are in New York or California. The same amount of money can buy more in low-price states than in high-price states.
The first thing you notice by looking at the map is the obvious correlation with politics. In general, the low-price states are the red states, and the high-price states are the blue states. The west and northeast are not only the blue states, but they also have less buying power. The red states clustered in the south and Midwest have more buying power.
The regional differences are striking. Alan Cole writing for the Tax Foundation explains that real purchasing power is 36 percent greater in Mississippi than it is in the District of Columbia. Put another way, you need an after-tax income in D.C. of about $68,000 to equal an after-tax income of $50,000 in Mississippi. To compensate, government and businesses often pay higher salaries in these high-price states.
He also compares the states of California and Nebraska. People in these two states earn approximately the same amount in dollars per capita. But after adjusting for regional price parity, people in Nebraska can buy more.
There is obviously a difference in real value within a state. The cost of living in Manhattan, for example, is much greater than living in the Adirondacks in upstate New York.
These differences in the cost of living also have policy implications. Most economic policies (tax brackets, food stamp eligibility) set at the national level do not take in account the significant differences in the cost of living. This map is a reminder that $100 goes much further in some parts of America than in others.
----------- 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, real value, $100To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Obama’s Radical Proposal Could Result in Censorship Online
This is a portion of remarks Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, delivered on the Senate floor on Thursday.
Sen. Ted Cruz: The Obama administration’s proposal to give away control of the internet poses a significant threat to our freedom, and it’s one that many Americans don’t know about. It is scheduled to go into effect on Sept. 30, 2016. Twenty-two days away. Just over three weeks.
Now what does it mean to give away control of the internet?
From the very first days of the internet, when it was developed here in America, the United States government has maintained its core functions to ensure equal access for everyone with no censorship. The government role isn’t to monitor what we say, it isn’t to censor what we say, it is simply to ensure that it works—that when you type in a website, it actually goes to that website and not somewhere else. And yet, that can change.
The Obama administration is instead pushing through a radical proposal to take control of internet domain names and instead give it to an international organization, ICANN [Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers], that includes 162 foreign countries. And if that proposal goes through, it will empower countries like Russia, like China, like Iran to be able to censor speech on the internet, your speech. Countries like China, Russia, and Iran are not our friends, and their interests are not our interests.
Imagine searching the internet and instead of seeing your standard search results, you see a disclaimer that the information you were searching for is censored. It is not consistent with the standards of this new international body, it does not meet their approval.
Now, if you’re in China, that situation could well come with the threat of arrest for daring to merely search for such a thing that didn’t meet the approval of the censors. Thankfully, that doesn’t happen in America, but giving control of the internet to an international body with Russia, and China, and Iran having power over it could lead to precisely that threat, and it’s going to take Congress acting affirmatively to stop it.
You look at the influence of foreign governments within ICANN, it should give us greater and greater concern.
For example, ICANN’s former CEO Fadi Chehadé left ICANN to lead a high-level working group for China’s World Internet Conference. Mr. Chehadé’s decision to use his insider knowledge of how ICANN operates to help the Chinese government and their conference is more than a little concerning.
This is the person who was leading ICANN, the body that we are being told to trust with our freedoms. Yet this man has since gone to work for the Chinese Internet Conference, which has rightly been criticized for banning members of the press such as The New York Times and The Washington Post.
But you know what, even reporters you may fundamentally disagree with have a right to report and say what they believe. And yet, the World Internet Conference banned them—said ‘we do not want these reporters here, presumably, because we don’t like what they’re saying.’—which led Reporters Without Borders to demand an international boycott of the conference, calling China the ‘enemy of the internet.’
Mr. President, if China is the enemy of the internet, do we want the enemy of the internet having power over what you’re allowed to say, what you’re allowed to search for, what you’re allowed to read online? Do we want China, and Russia, and Iran having the power to determine if a website is unacceptable, it’s taken down?
I would note that once this transition happens, there are serious indications that ICANN intends to seek to flee U.S. jurisdiction and flee U.S. laws. Indeed, earlier this summer, ICANN held a global conference in Finland in which jurisdiction shopping was part of their agenda, trying to figure out what jurisdiction should we base control of the internet out of across the globe.
A representative of Iran is already on record stating, ‘we should not take it [for] granted that jurisdiction is already agreed to be totally based on U.S. law.’ Our enemies are not hiding what they intend to do.
Not only is there a concern of censorship and foreign jurisdictions stripping U.S. law from authority over the internet, there are also real national security concerns. Congress has received no assurances from the Obama administration that the U.S. government will continue to have exclusive ownership and control of the .gov and .mil top-level domains in perpetuity, which are vital to our national security. The Department of Defense, the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marines all use the .mil top-level domain. The White House, the CIA, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security all use .gov.
The only assurance ICANN has provided the federal government regarding .gov and .mil is that ICANN will notify the government in the future if it decides to give .gov and .mil to another entity. So if someone is going to the IRS, or what you think is the IRS, and you’re comforted that it’s on a .gov website so that you know it must be safe, you may instead find yourself victims of a foreign scam, a phishing scam, some other means of fraud with no basic protections.
Congress should not sit by and let this happen. Congress must not sit by and let censorship happen.
Now, some defenders of the Obama proposal say ‘this is not about censorship. It’s about handing control to a multi-stakeholder unit. They would never dream of censoring content on the internet.’
Well recently, leading technology companies in the United States—Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Microsoft—reached an agreement with the European Union, to remove ‘hate speech’ from their online platforms within 24 hours. Giant U.S. corporations signing on with the government to say, ‘we are going to help you censor speech that is deemed unacceptable.’
And by the way, the definition of ‘hate speech’ we have seen can be very, very malleable depending upon what norms are trying to be enforced. For example, the Human Rights Campaign, which is active within ICANN, has featured the Family Research Institute, the National Organization for Marriage, the American Center for Law and Justice, and other conservative and religious groups in a report entitled ‘The Export of Hate.’
We are facing the real possibility of an international body having the ability to censor political speech if it is contrary to the norms they intend to enforce. In their view, it is hate to express a view different from whatever the prevailing orthodoxy is being enforced.
Now it is one thing dealing with government organizations that try to stifle speech that is profoundly inconsistent with who we are as Americans. But to hand over control of the internet, to potentially muzzle everybody on the internet, is to ensure that what you say is only consistent with whatever is approved by the powers that be, and that ought to frighten everybody. And there is something we can do about it.
Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wis., is the leader in the
House on the Protecting Internet Freedom Act.
Along with Congressman Sean Duffy [R-Wis.] in the House, I have introduced the Protecting Internet Freedom Act, which if enacted will stop the internet transition, and it will also ensure that the United States government keeps exclusive ownership and control of the .gov and .mil top-level domains.Our legislation is supported by 17 key groups across the country, advocacy groups, consumer groups, and it also has the formal endorsement of the House Freedom Caucus.
This should be an issue that brings us all together—Republicans, Democrats, all of us coming together. There are partisan issues that divide us, there always will be. We can have Republicans and Democrats argue till the cows come home about the top marginal tax rate, and that is a good and healthy debate to have. But when it comes to the internet, when it comes to basic principles of freedom, letting people speak online without being censored, that ought to bring every one of us together.
As members of the legislative branch, Congress should stand united to rein in this president, to protect the constitutional authority expressly given to Congress to control disposition of property of the United States. To put the matter very simply: The Obama administration does not have the authorization of Congress, and yet, they are endeavoring to give away this valuable, critical property, to give it away with no authorization in law. I would note the government employees doing so are doing so in violation of federal law, and they risk personal liability in going forward contrary to law. That ought to trouble all of us.
. . . And if the Obama administration jams this through, hands control of the internet over to this international organization, this United Nations-like, unaccountable group, and they take it overseas—it’s not like the next president can magically snap his or her fingers and bring it back. Unscrambling those eggs may well not be possible. I suspect that’s why the Obama administration is trying to jam it through on Sept. 30, to get it done in a way that the next president can’t undo it, that the internet is lost for generations to come. To stop the giveaway of our internet freedom, Congress should act by continuing and by strengthening the appropriations rider in the continuing resolution that we will be considering this month, by preventing the Obama administration from giving away control of the internet.
Next week, I will be chairing a hearing on the harms to our freedom that come from the Obama administration’s proposal to give away the internet.
As President Ronald Reagan stated, ‘Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States when men were free.’
I don’t want you and I to have to tell our children and our children’s children what it was once like when the internet wasn’t censored, wasn’t in the control of the foreign governments.
And I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to come together, to stand together and ensure that we protect freedom of the internet for generations to come. It is not too late to act, and I am encouraged by the leadership of members of both houses of Congress to stand up and protect freedom of the internet going forward.
------------- Senator Ted Cruz was elected U.S. senator from Texas in 2012. Hay Tip The Daily Signal for the transcript. Tags:President Obama, Radical Proposal, Censorship Online, Save the Internet, Internet, Ted Cruz, Congressman Sean DuffyTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Patrick Buchanan: Were the election held today, Hillary Clinton would probably win a clear majority of the Electoral College.
Her problem: The election is two months off.
Sixty days out, one senses she has lost momentum — the “Big Mo” of which George H. W. Bush boasted following his Iowa triumph in 1980 — and her campaign is in a rut, furiously spinning its wheels.
The commander in chief forum Wednesday night should have been a showcase for the ex-secretary of state’s superior knowledge and experience.
Instead, Clinton looked like a witness before a grand jury, forced to explain her past mistakes and mishandling of classified emails at State.
“Of the two candidates,” The New York Times reported, “Mrs. Clinton faced by far the tougher and most probing questions from the moderator, Matt Lauer of NBC, and from an audience of military veterans about her use of private email, her vote authorizing the Iraq war, her hawkish foreign policy views…”
On defense most of the time, Clinton scored few points.
And with a blistering attack on Lauer, the Times all but threw in the towel and conceded that the Donald won the night.
“Moderator of Clinton-Trump Forum Fields A Storm of Criticism,” was the headline as analyst Michael Grynbaum piled on:
“Mr. Lauer found himself besieged on Wednesday evening by critics of all political stripes, who accused the anchor of unfairness, sloppiness, and even sexism in his handling of the event.”
When your allies are ripping the refs, you’ve probably lost the game.
Indeed, in this dress rehearsal for the debates, Donald Trump played Trump, while Clinton was cast in the role of Mexican President Pena Nieto, who just fired the finance minister who told him to invite the Donald to Mexico City for a talk.
There are other indices the tide is turning against Clinton.
Consider the near hysteria of a media that has taken to airing charges, in echo of “Tail Gunner Joe” McCarthy, that Donald Trump is somehow the conscious agent of a Kremlin conspiracy.
Why? Because Trump accepts the compliments of Vladimir Putin and refuses to call the Russian ruler a “thug,” which is now apparently the mark of a statesman.
Moreover, when it comes to her strongest suit, foreign policy, before Clinton can elaborate on her vision, she is forced to answer for her blunders.
Why did she vote for the war in Iraq? Why did she push for the war in Libya that produced this hellish mess? Does she still defend her handling of the Benghazi massacre? What happened to her “reset” with Russia?
Most critically, when facing the press, which she has begun to do after eight months of stonewalling, she is invariably dragged into the morass of the private server, the lost-and-found emails, her inability to understand or abide by State Department rules on classified and secret documents, and FBI accusations of extreme carelessness and duplicity.
Then there are the steady stream of revelations about the Clinton Foundation raking in hundreds of millions from dictators and despots who did business with Hillary Clinton’s State Department.
Bill Clinton now describes himself as a “Robin Hood” of Sherwood Forest who took from the rich to give to the poor, with Hillary Clinton presumably cast in the role of Maid Marian of Goldman Sachs.
It is all too much to absorb.
To get her “message” out, Clinton has to punch it though a media filter. But many in this ferociously competitive and diverse media market today know that the way to the front page or top of the website is to find a new angle on the plethora of scandals, minor and major, surrounding Hillary and Bill.
And with thousands of emails still out there, the contents of which are known to her adversaries, she will likely have IEDs going off beneath her campaign all the way to November.
Consider the coughing fits, a repeated distraction from her message. Should they go away, no problem. But if they recur, people will rightly demand to know from a physician what is the cause.
Because of her own blunders, Clinton’s adversaries have achieved a large measure of control over how her campaign is reported.
In a sense this is like Watergate, where, no matter that Richard Nixon might be managing well a Yom Kippur War or a strategic summit in Moscow, the press and prosecutors cared only about the tapes.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump’s message has begun to come through — loud, clear and consistent.
He will secure the border. He will renegotiate the trade deals that have been killing U.S. manufacturing and costing American jobs. He will be a law-and-order president who will put America first. He will keep us out of wars like Iraq. He will talk to Vladimir Putin, smash ISIS, back the cops and the vets, and rebuild the military.
Other than being the first woman president, what is the great change that Hillary Clinton offers America?
The Clinton campaign has a big, big problem.
-------------------- 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, Hillary Clinton, Tide Going Out To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Bill Wilson: Earlier this year — during a celebration of “Sunshine Week” — the Associated Press ran a report outlining an alarming escalation of government secrecy.
According to the AP’s analysis, federal bureaucracies claimed they could not find responsive records in more than one out of six Freedom of Information requests. Meanwhile 77 percent of respondents received censored files — or nothing at all.
Both of these figures represented unprecedented stonewalling from what was supposed to be “the most transparent administration in history.”
Josh Earnest — spokesman for this “most transparent” administration of Barack Obama — told the AP at the time he had not seen its Freedom of Information data and could not comment on it. In other words he stonewalled the stonewalling.
Incredibly, Earnest submitted a letter to the editor of The New York Times this week demanding that the media acknowledge the “important and unprecedented steps that the Obama administration has taken to fulfill the president’s promise to lead the most transparent White House in history.”
According to Earnest, Obama’s publication of a White House visitors’ log and his decision to grant limited press access to political fundraisers somehow constitutes unprecedented glasnost.
“If journalists don’t acknowledge steps that the Obama administration has taken to strengthen transparency, then who will?” he lamented.
It’s worth asking: Did Earnest check for storm clouds as he penned his letter? Because it’s frankly a miracle he wasn’t struck by lightning as he typed it.
In fact the day after this letter was published, the Obama administration was busted hiding secret concessions contained in its controversial nuclear deal with Iran.
Just a week before the AP’s damning “Sunshine Week” investigation was released, the U.S. Department of Justice — responding to a Freedom of Information lawsuit, ironically — acknowledged that the Obama administration had actively sought to scuttle tougher Freedom of Information standards passed unanimously by the U.S. House of Representatives.
“The administration views (the proposed standards) as an attempt to impose on the Executive Branch multiple administrative requirements concerning its internal management of (Freedom of Information) administration,” a DOJ memo noted.
Really? The House — by a 410-0 vote — was merely trying to codify Freedom of Information objectives first proposed by Obama upon taking office in 2009.
Nonetheless, Obama’s administration “strongly opposed passage” of the law — going so far as to refute the “presumption of openness” standard Obama ostensibly endorsed in issuing his first executive order!
Should we be surprised? No.
This is, after all, the administration that secretly negotiated a cash payout to Iran in exchange for the release of American hostages. It is the administration that tried to force law enforcement agencies in Florida to conceal information about the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. It is the administration that continues to stonewall the release of former secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s emails until after the November presidential election.
These are just a few recent examples. From the moment he took office proclaiming historic transparency, Obama has operated instead with unprecedented opacity.
His actions have gone beyond merely keeping public documents out of the hands of the people who pay for them — he’s engaged in a habitual pattern of lying and covering up the truth.
Obama lied about the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack. He lied about “shutting down Iran’s nuclear program.” He lied when he said ISIS was “on the run.” He lied when he promised not to invoke executive amnesty for illegal aliens. He lied when he said his socialized medicine plan would not cover abortions. And of course he lied when he said health care plans would become more affordable under his new law — and that “if you like your health care plan, you can keep it.”
How have these scandals not crippled his administration? Easy: He’s made them disappear.
In the aftermath of the “Fast and Furious” gun running scandal, Obama’s administration “managed an effort to carefully limit and obstruct the information produced to Congress.” Obama’s administration also concealed the IRS targeting of limited government groups in the months leading up to the 2012 election — and hid a damning health care report from the public prior to the April 2010 “Obamacare” vote. Additionally it deliberately delayed disclosing health care premium increase estimates until after the 2014 congressional elections – meaning Americans didn’t find out about this “substantial price increases” until two weeks after they voted. Meanwhile, hard drives have been destroyed at the FEC, EPA and IRS, among other agencies, which obviously makes it much easier to stonewall Freedom of Information requests.
Is any of this transparent? No. But it should be transparently clear at this point Obama will never be held accountable for his lawless actions — or the tragic consequences that have followed from them.
---------------- Bill Wilson is a board member and former President of Americans for Limited Government. His article was initially shared on the ALG Blog. Tags:Lies, Damn Lies, Barack Obama, ,Transparency, Bill Wilson, Americans for Limited GovernmentTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
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