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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics
is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato
Friday, December 30, 2016
New Year Resolutions
by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: As this year is winding down, it is time to start a new year. As we begin a new year, I wanted to pass on some advice. In previous Viewpoints, I have talked about the value of using this time of year to change something in your life. There is nothing magical about using January 1 as a start date, but why not use it to improve yourself?
First, I would recommend you pick just one thing to change. If you try to change too many things at once, you are probably not going to succeed. And I would also recommend that you make it a specific, concrete goal that you write down. The more specific you are, the greater likelihood you will be successful.
Second, aim low. In previous New Year’s commentaries I have quoted from Tristan Taylor who encourages people to “strive for mediocrity.” Don’t pick something that it too big to achieve. Start small. After all, you are where you are right now due to dozens of small changes or compromises you made in the past.
I realize the motivational speakers challenge us to strive for excellence. We should pick a goal that challenges us. But also pick a reasonable goal so you can see and enjoy some level of success. Short-term success can lead to greater success.
Third, expect difficulties. It seems like the moment you start a diet, people around you start inviting you to banquets and all-you-can-eat buffets. The day after you join a fitness club, your life gets busy and you cannot find time to get to the gym. The moment you decide to do a daily quiet time, your boss asks you to come in earlier for work.
Fourth, accept failure. You might find that for every two steps forward you take one step back. Sometimes you even take two steps back. This is where dedication and perseverance come into play.
Finally, plan a reward. This gives you a goal to achieve and a reward for your dedication. Use this new year to improve something in your life.
----------- 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. New Year, ResolutionsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Later killed in Milan, Italy, Amri had been wanted in Tunisia for “hijacking a van” and jailed in Italy for arson and a “violent assault at his migrant reception center.” And yet with all that known or easily knowable, the German authorities couldn’t prevent him from killing innocent Germans.
Years before the Boston Marathon bombing, the FBI had tracked Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the bombers.*
“In case after case . . . authorities have come forward after the fact to say that they had enough cause to place the suspect under surveillance well before the violence,” the Washington Post recently noted. This was the case with the majority of recent lone-wolf terrorism plots.
“If any lesson can be learned from studying the perpetrators of recent attacks,” a report in The Intercept concluded, “it is that there needs to be a greater investment in conducting targeted surveillance of known terror suspects and a move away from the constant knee-jerk expansion of dragnet surveillance . . .”
Yet intelligence agencies are still grabbing our metadata in violation of the Fourth Amendment. That needs to stop.
The fact that known threats are consistently not being stopped suggests curtailing mass surveillance won’t hurt our security, but improve it.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
* The same is true regarding the Ft. Hood (work-place) shooter, Nidal Hasan. Likewise, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad (formerly Carlos Bledsoe), who was under the active eye of the FBI after returning from Yemen . . . until he opened fire on a Little Rock, Arkansas, recruiting station killing one soldier and wounding another. Ditto Ahmad Khan Rahami, the less deadly bomber in New York City and New Jersey.
------------------ Paul Jacobs is author of Common Sense which provides daily commentary about the issues impacting America and about the citizens who are doing something about them. He is also President of the Liberty Initiative Fund (LIFe) as well as Citizens in Charge Foundation. Jacobs is a contributing author on the ARRA News Service. Tags:Paul Jacob, Common Sense, In Plain Sight, TerroristsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Tom Fitton: For a couple that has spent eight years apologizing for their country, the Obamas have nevertheless managed to enjoy its taxpayer-provided bounty.
This week, thanks to the work of our intrepid investigators and hard-charging lawyers, we released to the public several reports from the Secret Service and the Air Force that bring the known total of Obama travel expense over the past eight years to a staggering $96,938,882.51.
The new reports contain details of the costs of Obama’s Earth Day trip to the Florida Everglades, a political fundraising trip to San Diego, Michelle’s annual Aspen ski trip, her trip to Morocco, the family vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, as well as Hillary’s ride with Obama on Air Force One to North Carolina.
Secret Service records reveal that Barack Obama’s April 22, 2015, Earth Day trip to give a global warming speech in the Florida Everglades cost taxpayers $145,752.36, which brings the total cost of the trip to at least $1,012,367.76.
The Secret Service records for Obama’s October 2015 fundraising travel to San Diego reveal expenses totaling $180,187.09. Including the U.S. Air Force expenses, the total cost of Obama’s San Diego trip was at least $2,181,655.99.
Michelle Obama’s February 2016 ski trip to Aspen with her daughters cost taxpayers a total of $222,875.58. The Secret Service expenses were $165,806.78. Judicial Watch previously obtained records from the Air Force revealing that Michelle Obama’s weekend trip to Aspen, Colorado, last year cost American taxpayers $57,068.80 in travel expenses alone for the 7.4-hour round-trip flight.
Judicial Watch obtained records from the U.S. Air Force and the Secret Service revealing that Barack Obama’s trip to Cuba and Argentina in March 2016 cost taxpayers $7,146,015.18 in Secret Service and Air Force travel expenses.
Judicial Watch recently obtained Air Force records which reveal that the Obama’s August 2016 vacation to Martha’s Vineyard cost taxpayers $450,295 in flight expenses alone.
Judicial Watch also recently obtained records from the Air Force showing that in July 2016 taxpayers paid $360,236 for Hillary Clinton to accompany Obama on Air Force One for a campaign trip to North Carolina.
Also, in October 2016 Michele Obama joined Hillary Clinton in North Carolina for a rally reportedly to “encourage early voting in North Carolina.” Documents regarding this trip have been requested but have not yet been received. The First Lady typically flies in a C-32 A so the 1.8 hour flight could safely be estimated to have cost taxpayers $28,522.80.
The Obamas’ notorious abuse of presidential travel perks wasted military resources and stressed the Secret Service. JW estimates that the final costs of Obama’s unnecessary vacation and political travel will well exceed $100 million. You can see how President-elect Trump can immediately save taxpayers money by reforming presidential travel.
--------------- Tom Fitton is President of Judicial Watch Tags:Barack Obama, Travel Cost, $96 Million, Over Eight Years, Judicial Watch, Tom Fitton, Editorial cartoon, Dave GranlundTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Americans for Limited Government Editorial: It is the end of 2016 and while many on the left view the year as the worst one ever, for those of us at Americans for Limited Government, it was a year of restored hope.
Contrary to the common lament, 2016 is the year when the American people finally declared that enough was enough and that they were taking back their government from the crony capitalists, Beltway bandits, big government unions, green job killers, the lobbyists, media conglomerates and the Silicon Valley oligarchs who thought they had permanently seized power.
It remains to be seen whether the red state rebellion will hold or if those who run D.C. will slither their way back into power stopping it before the calendar turns to 2018, but the initial signs are great.
The Trump Cabinet is largely outsider business types who view the federal government and its massive regulatory regime as an impediment to economic revival. The Trump White House economic team is being set up to be a group of very smart leaders who disagree on the approaches to restoring our nation’s economic footing. This creative disagreement will allow Trump to hear and compare various approaches to limited government policy options rather than just plunging ahead without competing advice.
Obama’s arrogant continual abuse of his power, effectively ends any talk that might have creeped into the conversation about not looking back, instead forcing the new Administration to focus on undoing the Obama presidency brick by brick. All the while, pushing forward with the Trump agenda.
The net effect promises to be a freeing of job creators from the unnecessary and punitive shackles that Obama has placed upon them, providing the same effect as a stimulus package without adding to the national debt.
The effect will give hope to those who have either left or never entered the workforce that they can experience the American dream and don’t have to be shunted off to the sidelines suffering through a quiet despair.
The effect will be to encourage those who are underemployed in the workforce as they see new opportunities emerge where they can better utilize their skills or pursue opportunities that were previously closed to them.
If the revolution holds, 2017 will usher in a new American era where the economic marketplace and demand of consumers drives job creation and not a detached, agenda driven D.C.-based command and control system that picks winners and losers based upon whose back needs to be scratched.
No one can doubt that 2016 was a difficult year, but like a hard childbirth, the resulting change in how our government views its own people will make it worth it.
So, when you hear or read a celebrity, newscaster or sportswriter bemoan how 2016 was a terrible year including the election results as an example, just nod your head and smile, because out of the storms of this past year, there is the bright sunshine of hope just ahead.
----------------- Editorial by Americans for Limited Government. Tags:2017’s Bright Promise, Americans for Limited Government, year of restored hopeTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
“President-elect Trump, thank you for your warm friendship and your clear-cut support of Israel,” gushed Bibi Netanyahu, after he berated John Kerry in a fashion that would once have resulted in a rupture of diplomatic relations.
Netanyahu accused Kerry of “colluding” in and “orchestrating” an anti-Israel, stab-in-the-back resolution in the Security Council, then lying about it. He offered to provide evidence of Kerry’s complicity and mendacity to President Trump.
Bibi then called in the U.S. ambassador and read him the riot act for 40 minutes. Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer charged that not only did the U.S. not “stand up to and oppose the gang-up” at the U.N., “the United States was actually behind that gang-up.”
When Ben Rhodes of the National Security Council called the charges false, Dermer dismissed President Obama’s man as a “master of fiction.”
Query: Why is Dermer not on a plane back to Tel Aviv?
Some of us can recall how Eisenhower ordered David Ben-Gurion to get his army out of Sinai in 1957, or face sanctions.
Ben-Gurion did as told. Had he and his ambassador castigated Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, as the Israelis dissed John Kerry, Ike would have called the U.S. ambassador home.
Indeed, Ike’s threat of sanctions against Prime Minister Anthony Eden’s government, which had also invaded Egypt, brought Eden down.
But then Dwight Eisenhower was not Barack Obama, and the America of 1956 was a more self-respecting nation.
Still, this week of rancorous exchanges between two nations that endlessly express their love for each other certainly clears the air.
While Kerry has been denounced for abstaining on the U.N. resolution calling Israeli settlements on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem illegal and an impediment to peace, this has been U.S. policy for years.
And Kerry’s warning in his Wednesday speech that at the end of this road of continuous settlement-building lies an Israel that is either a non-Jewish or a non-democratic state is scarcely anti-Semitic.
Prime Minister Ehud Barak, the most decorated soldier in Israel’s history, has warned his countrymen, “As long as in this territory west of the Jordan River there is only one political entity called Israel, it is going to be either non-Jewish, or non-Democratic.”
“If the bloc of millions of Palestinians cannot vote” added Barak, “this will be an apartheid state.” Of John Kerry’s speech, Barak said, “Powerful, lucid … World & majority in Israel think the same.”
Defense Secretary-designate Gen. James Mattis warned in 2013 that Israeli settlements were leading to an “apartheid” state.
After Joe Biden visited Israel in 2010, to learn that Netanyahu just approved 1,600 new units in East Jerusalem, Gen. David Petraeus warned: “Arab anger on the Palestine question limits the strength and depth of U.S. partnership with governments and people in the region.”
Yet facts and reality, however unpleasant, cannot be denied.
The two-state solution is almost surely dead. Netanyahu is not going to remove scores of thousands of Jewish settlers from Judea and Samaria to cede the land to a Palestinian state. After all, Bibi opposed Ariel Sharon’s removal of 8,000 Jewish settlers from Gaza.
How will all this impact the new Trump administration?
Having tweeted, “Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching,” and having named a militant Zionist as his ambassador, Trump is certain to tilt U.S. policy heavily toward Israel.
Politically, this will bring rewards in the U.S. Jewish community.
The Republican Party will become the “pro-Israel” party, while the Democrats can be portrayed as divided and conflicted, with a left wing that is pro-Palestine and sympathetic to sanctions on Israel.
And the problem for Trump in a full embrace of Bibi?
Britain and France, which voted for the resolution where the U.S. abstained, are going to go their separate way on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, as is the world.
Egypt, Jordan and the Gulf Arabs will be pressured by their peoples and by the militant states of the region like Iran, to distance themselves from the Americans or face internal troubles.
And once U.S. pressure ends and settlement building in the West Bank proceeds, Netanyahu, his hawkish Cabinet, the Israeli lobby, the neocons and the congressional Republicans will start beating the drums for Trump to terminate what he himself has called that “horrible Iran deal.”
Calls are already coming for the cancellation of the sale of 80 Boeing jets to Iran. Yet, any U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal, or reimposition of sanctions on Iran, will further split us off from our European allies. Not only did Britain and France vote for the Security Council resolution, both are party, as is Germany, to the Iran deal.
Having America publicly reassert herself as Israel’s best friend, with “no daylight” between us, could have us ending up as Israel’s only friend — and Israel as our only friend in the Middle East.
Bibi’s Israel First policy must one day collide with America First.
-------------------- 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, Israel First, America First, President-elect Trump, Bibi Netanyahu, John KerryTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Many people like to turn a new page at the beginning of a new year. We all like to forget about unfortunate events in the past. We want to jettison our problems and focus on becoming better people. New Year's resolutions are always positive, right?
Many people may be inclined to think, "Well, we won and we can all work together now on positive changes for America." That would be nice. But it is unlikely to happen in a deeply divided America, especially if the left has anything to say about it.
As I have reported, radical groups like Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, the Sierra Club and others have reported record fundraising since the election. They are not going to spend that money helping to "Make America Great Again." The left is determined to fight tooth and nail for every inch of ground it gained over the past eight years.
Many on the left want bigger government and higher taxes, not smaller government and lower taxes. They want Israel thrown overboard. They think it is good that we are reaching out to enemies like Iran and Venezuela. They think religious liberty should surrender any time it comes into conflict with their radical social agenda. They want more abortions, not fewer. They will not go quietly into the night.
Even though he is leaving office, Barack Obama remains the leader of the left. And unlike his predecessors he is remaining in Washington, D.C. But he is not done yet. Every day, step-by-step, he is working to corral Trump/Pence, to tie their hands and limit their options.
Don't take my word for it. Check out this headline from The Hill: "Nearing Exit, Obama Seeks To Tie Trump's Hands."
Politico is reporting that Obama will meet next week with congressional liberals to discuss ways to "shield Obamacare from efforts to dismantle it."
The Washington Examiner reports that the Obama Administration issued nearly 4,000 new regulations -- just this year alone!
I'll make a prediction: In the coming days, Trump/Pence appointees will be shocked at the little "time bombs" they discover in the departments in which they are working. Perhaps the biggest time bomb was setup over the past eight years with the left's takeover of the federal courts.
Yes, the Supreme Court was spared from total left-wing domination. But you cannot take back the entire federal judiciary in six months. There are grave concerns that much of what the new administration tries to do will be challenged and struck down in courts dominated by left-wing Obama judges.
Just look at the headlines today. I am no fan of Vladimir Putin. But the idea that Obama is suddenly getting tough and taking action against Russian meddling now, after the past eight years, is absurd.
And over what -- leaked emails? Give me a break. This contrived controversy is just one more attempt to create trouble.
Buckle up, folks. There are huge battles ahead. The 2016 election may be over, but the battle for the heart and soul of America is still raging as fiercely as ever. We are already looking to 2018 -- identifying Democrat senators who can be defeated so we can reach a filibuster-proof majority.
All of which is to say that I look forward to continuing to serve you and our values throughout 2017. Your continued prayers and financial support are essential to our success.
Thank you for standing with me. God bless you, and may God bless America in 2017!
---------------- 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, The Year Ahead, time bombs, government employees, courts, justicesTo 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 lane duck agenda appears to be lighting the fuse for destruction, a fine mess for the next president to clean up.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco
Tags:Tony Branco, editorial cartoon, Angry Duck, Obama, lane duck agenda, lighting the fuse, for destruction, fine mess, next president to clean upTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Dr. Thomas Sowell: Thomas Sowell has just published a revised and enlarged edition of his classic “Wealth, Poverty and Politics.” At the very beginning, he quotes Alexander Hamilton, who said, “The wealth of nations depends upon an infinite variety of causes.” The book’s 16 chapters apply Hamilton’s notion to domestic, as well as international, differences in wealth. In both academic and popular literature, it is implicitly assumed that economic equality is natural, automatic and common. Thus, people see wealth inequality as a mystery that must be explained. The fact of the matter is precisely the opposite.
The ancient Greeks had geometry, philosophy, architecture and literature at a time when Britain was a land of illiterate tribal people living at a primitive level. Of course, by the end of the 19th century, Britain was far ahead of the Greeks and ultimately controlled one-quarter of the planet’s land. Such historic reversals have occurred elsewhere. The ancient Chinese were far ahead of Europeans, but by the 19th century, the relative positions of the Chinese and Europeans were reversed. Just these two examples prove that the same people are not always on top.
Sowell argues there are many factors that explain wealth differences among nations, as well as people within those nations. One of the more obvious explanations is that some people have greater productive capacity than others. Or they seized more of what others produced or had what they produced taken from them. For example, Spain conquered indigenous people in the Western Hemisphere. Spaniards looted 200 tons of gold and 18,000 tons of silver. But despite that wealth transfer, Spain is one of the poorer countries in western Europe today, surpassed economically by countries — such as Switzerland and Norway — that never had an empire, so there obviously are many factors at play when it comes to wealth differences.
Sowell discusses the impact of a number of these factors. One is geography. Hardly anyone considers its impact on achievement and wealth. For example, because of soil differences, crop yields per acre in Africa are a tiny fraction of what they are in China and the U.S. The absence of navigable waterways and mountain ranges has isolated people and created differences in their skill sets.
Cultural factors, such as education, have an important impact on wealth, too. Natural resources are of little consequence in explaining wealth differences. Even physical capital is of little or no use without the cultural prerequisites to maintain it, repair it and replace it. Evidence for this lies in the fact that the physical wealth of Germany was destroyed in World War II but in just a few years it was again a wealthy nation. Some people attribute Germany’s resurgence to the Marshall Plan. But that’s not right, because massive foreign aid has been provided to Third World countries and has yet to produce the economic results Germany has had. The human capital in Germany, developed over centuries, has not existed on the same scale in Third World countries.
In later chapters, Sowell discusses the impact of political institutions and the welfare state on inequality. One of the more important contributions of “Wealth, Poverty and Politics” is Sowell’s discussion of earnings differences. We’ve all heard statements such as “the income gap between the richest and the poorest members of our society has been growing rapidly.” Studies of actual people over time suggest just the opposite. A University of Michigan study traced people over a 15-year period and found that 95 percent of those in the lowest quintile at the beginning of the study were in a higher quintile by the end. Remarkably, 29 percent had moved to the top quintile. An IRS study of tax filers between 1996 and 2005 found similar results. Sowell says that over time, there are different people in different income categories.
These few snippets here in no way do full justice to Dr. Thomas Sowell’s work. To get all the nuts and bolts, you’ll just have to purchase a copy of “Wealth, Poverty and Politics.”
-------------- Thomas Sowell is an American economist, social commentator, and author of dozens of books. He has a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago and degrees from Columbia University and Harvard University. He is a retired professor of Economic and presently is a Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow, The Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Visit his website: tsowell.com and view a list of other articles. Tags:Thomas Sowell, commentary, Wealth, Poverty and PoliticsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
A new report from Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, casts a different perspective. According to Grassley, the committee that processes nominees operated much the same as it did under Democrat control.
In fact, Obama ended up with three more judicial confirmations than his Republican predecessor, President George W. Bush. Obama had a Democrat-led Senate for six of his eight years in office, while Bush had slightly less than six due to a party-switching senator in 2001.
It’s certainly true that Trump has a remarkable opportunity before him to transform the federal courts. But to suggest that Obama didn’t do the same during his eight years simply isn’t true.
Obama appointed two of the eight current members of the U.S. Supreme Court. Justices Sonia Sotomayor (age 62) and Elena Kagan (age 56) could spend the next 30 years or longer shaping legal opinions during their lifetime appointments.
U.S. courts of appeals often wield more influence, too. Because of the limited number of cases heard by the Supreme Court each term, appellate judges frequently have the last word.
Obama also appointed 268 judges to U.S. District Courts—seven more than Bush.
In his report, Grassley noted that the Judiciary Committee “has considered nominations at a pace similar to that of the 110th Congress … when the Senate majority was controlled by a different political party than the White House.”
Here’s how those numbers compare: In the current 114th Congress, which Republicans control, Obama’s nominees had 54 hearings, compared to the committee’s 57 hearings for Bush during the 110th Congress.
Grassley cited the Senate’s constitutional responsibility to provide a check on the president’s nominations in the “advice and consent” clause of the U.S. Constitution. When confirmed by the Senate, a president’s judicial nominees serve lifetime appointments (unless they choose to retire or are impeached).
Several of the Obama nominees Grassley shepherded through the Judiciary Committee did so in spite of protests from conservatives.
“President Obama has repeatedly ignored the separation of powers over the past seven years,” said Heritage Action CEO Michael Needham. “Given the administration’s disregard for Congress’ role in our constitutional system of government, the Senate should refuse to confirm any more of the president’s judicial nominees.”
Of course, the biggest confirmation battle came after the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in February. Obama nominated U.S. Appeals Court Chief Judge Merrick Garland in March to replace Scalia. Garland never received a Judiciary Committee hearing or Senate vote, and it’s now President-elect Donald Trump’s opportunity to pick Scalia’s replacement.
In his report, Grassley also noted the Judiciary Committee’s work beyond nominations. He cited a “commitment to bipartisanship, an increase in productivity, and a return to regular order” that resulted in passage of 24 bills in the Senate, 17 of which became law—albeit not all of them conservative.
Those numbers outpace the work of the previous Congress, when Democrats controlled the Senate and the presidency.
The Senate Judiciary Committee also plays a role in government oversight, and Grassley has given whistleblowers a platform to report “waste, fraud, and abuse within the federal government,” according to the report.
He also helped advance three government transparency bills through the Senate to enactment: the FOIA Improvement Act, the Federal Bureau of Investigation Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, and the Inspector General Empowerment Act.
----------------- Rob Bluey (@RobertBluey) is editor in chief of The Daily Signal, the multimedia news organization of The Heritage Foundation. Tags:No GOP Blockade, judicial confirmations, Obama Tops Bush, Judicial Confirmations, Rob Bluey, THe Dailoy Signalo, Heritage FoundationTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: The President-elect has had some difficulty booking celebrity acts for his inauguration. And instead of taking this as a cue to trim down on celebratory excess, his team has extended the guest performer list to include New York's world-famous chorus line dancers, the Rockettes.
The leggy, sequined showgirls might seem a perfect fit for the President-elect's celebration -- more, say, than a ballet troupe, or a string quartet -- but one among the Rockettes protested. Being a part of a performing team might seem a dream job, but not for Phoebe Pearl. She was, she wrote on Instagram, "overwhelmed with emotion," and not in a good way. She felt "embarrassed and disappointed" that the gig "has been decided" for her.
She feels . . . coerced.
Dan Avery, writing before Christmas, characterizes the contract as a matter of "force."
Welcome, Ms. Pearl, to the world that most American workers already know.
But the silliness reached high pitch with actor George Takei, who tweeted: "The members of the Rockettes and the Mormon Tabernacle are like all of us: Forced to go along with something horrible they didn't choose."
Democracy -- oh, my!
Most people have had to put up with democratic results they did not like. Are Democrats only now understanding this?
To a degree, I sympathize. Which is why I want limits placed on government. Perhaps Democrats should have thought of this every time they cheered as their elected candidates increased presidential power. Did they not realize that someday they might lose?
And if you want a right of refusal, make sure it is in your contract.
The Rockette does not have a leg to stand on.
This is Common Sense. I'm Paul Jacob.
------------------ Paul Jacobs is author of Common Sense which provides daily commentary about the issues impacting America and about the citizens who are doing something about them. He is also President of the Liberty Initiative Fund (LIFe) as well as Citizens in Charge Foundation. Jacobs is a contributing author on the ARRA News Service. Tags:Democracy - Oh, My!, Rockettes, Paul Jacob, Common Sense,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 Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: This Christmas season we probably ate too much candy. Walter Williams in a recent column reminds us why so much candy is now produced in other countries. It is another example of why many American companies decide to leave the United States.
Chicago, he reminds us, used to be America’s candy capital. It isn’t anymore. Brach’s used to employ about 2,300 Americans. Most of their jobs now can be found in Mexico. Ferrara Candy Company also moved much of its production to Mexico.
You might immediately guess that the reason for these moves is the fact that wages in Mexico are lower than in this country. That is part of the reason, but there is more here than just the difference in wages.
Life Savers has been manufactured in America for 90 years. Now they moved to Canada, where wages are similar to American wages. So why did they move? The cost of sugar is lower in Canada than in the U.S. By moving, they saved about $10 million a year in sugar costs.
There are all sorts of government-imposed costs that eventually push American companies overseas. One obvious one is the high corporate income tax. But others are things like sugar restrictions that force CEOs to consider relocating their business.
The sugar lobby has successfully convinced Congress to impose restrictions on foreign sugar. These take the forms of tariffs and quotas. American sugar producers benefit because they can charge higher prices and achieve higher profits. But companies that use sugar (like these candy manufacturers) have to pay higher prices.
Donald Trump wants to prevent American companies from leaving the United States. If he and Congress are to be successful in keeping companies here, they need to look at all the reasons companies leave. Our high corporate income tax and higher wages are just two of the reasons. Tariffs and quotas (on products like sugar) are another reason.
----------- 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, Candy, Sugar Restrictions & PoliticsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Defund The U.N., Dershowitz Agrees, Judenfrei, 2017 & Christian Persecution
Learn What This Hate Filled Word Means Below
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Defund The U.N. - In 22 days, Barack Obama, John Kerry and the whole crew of left-wing ideologues will be out of office. Unfortunately, the United Nations will still be here, doing its best to undermine the free nations of the world, while turning a blind eye to the acts of the thugs and dictators who make up a substantial portion of its membership.
More than any other nation, Israel has been the target of the haters at the U.N. In the coming days, we will be announcing exciting new efforts to defund the U.N. -- all or in part.
Perhaps the time has come for the United States and Israel to start a "Federation of Freedom," with the membership limited to those nations that believe in the values of Western Civilization.
Dershowitz Agrees - Celebrated Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz agrees that we should defund the U.N. It must be noted that Dershowitz is no right-wing conservative. He is an avowed liberal Democrat who supported Barack Obama (although he may be having second thoughts about that).
During an interview yesterday, Dershowitz brilliantly prosecuted the case against continued funding of the corrupt U.N. Here are some excerpts of his remarks: "There is an automatic anti-Israel bias at the U.N. Consider the following story: This happened less than a year ago. The head of the U.N., Ban Ki-moon put Saudi Arabia on a blacklist of countries that mistreat children during wartime, and the head of the Saudis called Ban Ki-moon and said, 'Unless you take us off of the blacklist we will stop sending money to the U.N.' And Ban Ki-moon said, 'Alright,' and he took them off the blacklist.
"So money counts at the U.N. And so what the United States should do now is threaten to defund the United Nations unless the United Nations stops showing this incredible bias against Israel. Forty resolutions this year against Israel, four against the entire rest of the world at a time when Syria is imploding when Russia took over the Crimea. So many violations of human rights are occurring in the world.
"Forty resolution against Israel, only four against the rest of the world. That shows you something about the bias of that U.N. building."Dershowitz is absolutely right. Even Secretary GeneralBan Ki-moonadmits the U.N. is biased against Israel.
As President-elect Trump said yesterday, "When do you see the United Nations solving problems? They don't. They cause problems."
So why on earth do we continue to pay the largest percentage of dues to a problem-causing, corrupt organization that is biased against our most reliable ally?
"Judenfrei" - One of the arguments being advanced by the Obama Administration as to why Israel must surrender Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem is that these areas are predominately inhabited by Arab Muslims. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed this point earlier this week. He reminded people who may be ignorant of history why the demographic imbalance exists. Here's what Netanyahu wrote: "The United Nations has consistently ignored the fact that Jews were ethnically cleansed from these territories. . . Some context: In 1929, Arabs carried out a massacre in Hebron against the Jews who were living there, including women and children. . .
"In 1948, during Israel's War of Independence, the Jewish residents of Gush Etzion were expelled and murdered. The Arab Legion from Jordan destroyed the Jewish villages of Kalya (near the Dead Sea) and Atarot (north of Jerusalem). The Arab Legion also ethnically cleansed the Jews who were living in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, and then blew up all of the synagogues there.
"Not a single Jew remained in any of the territories conquered by the invading Arabs in 1948. The reaction of the United Nations to this reality? Silence."So now comes President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry essentially saying that there shouldn't be any Jews in these areas, that they should be expelled once again. The descendants of the Jews not slaughtered by radical Muslims in the 20th century are now at risk of being forced out of their homes by the manipulation of international law.
During the Nazi years, one of the most disgusting phrases often heard was "Judenfrei" or "Jew free." As we sadly know, when the Nazis meant "Jew free" they were not only willing to drive people out of their homes, they killed millions of Jews throughout Europe in the Holocaust.
Is there not a mainstream reporter anywhere in Washington, D.C., willing to point out that Kerry and Obama are suggesting that Jews living in Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem cannot be tolerated because that territory supposedly belongs to Arab Muslims? They are demanding that this land be "Judenfrei."
Not surprisingly, the Palestinians have made this demand before. Five years ago, the Palestinian representative to the United States said, "I think it would be in the best interest of the two people to be separated." In other words, a future Palestinian state should be free of Jews.
Three years ago, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told Egyptian media, "In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli . . . on our lands."
Over the last eight years I have often been angered by various actions and statements by this administration. Today I am horrified that the leaders of my country, built on the belief that our liberty came from the God of Abraham, would embrace the idea that there are places in the Holy Land where Jews should not be permitted.
2017 & Persecuted Christians - As the New Year approaches, it is heartbreaking to see what is happening to Christians in Muslim-majority countries around the world. The barbarism of ISIS is almost impossible to imagine. But the persecution is hardly limited to that satanic death cult. It is a defining feature throughout much of the Middle East and beyond. Sadly, too many of our political and cultural elites are in denial.
Read more in my latest opinion piece at The Daily Caller..
---------------- 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, Defund The U.N., Dershowitz Agrees, Judenfrei, 2017 & Christian Persecution, Muslim Countries, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Half a century has passed. The Berlin Wall fell. So did the Soviet Union. But John Kerry remains the same.
A few months after he slimed his way into the Senate, Kerry flew to Nicaragua to meet with the ruling Communist thugs to try and sabotage aid to the resistance against their regime in the name of “peace”. The Sandinistas treated Kerry like a pathetic patsy, humiliating him by allying openly with the USSR right after their man in Washington D.C. had successfully pleaded their case to his colleagues.
Comandante was only the first of many dictators and terrorists to humiliate John Kerry. But Kerry has never resented any of his Communist or Islamist tormentors. You can set Kerry’s hair on fire and dunk his head in the toilet to put it out… and he will still come crawling back to take your side of things.
But there is one thing that Nantucket’s greatest windsurfer will not forgive or forget. Freedom.
For the worse part of five decades, Kerry has waged a vicious war against countries that have freedom on behalf of those that don’t. Nothing gets his goat like a civilized country, his own or any other, staving off a murderous band of thugs and terrorists. And no country has endured so well in that fight as Israel.
Kerry’s career as Secretary of State has been a miserable failure highlighted by stretches of spectacularly incomprehensible stupidities, from his Syria WMD non-offer to boycotting the solidarity march after the Charlie Hebdo massacre and then trying to compensate by flying in James Taylor to sing, “You’ve got a friend.” Less publicized though was his spectacular failure to negotiate “peace” between Israel and the Islamic terrorists of the Palestinian Authority who are still trying to destroy it.
The Ketchup Gigolo threw everything he had into making “peace”. Just like his effort to make peace with the Viet Cong and the Sandinistas, not to mention sundry other tyrants and terrorists, he went in assuming that the bad guys were the good guys and the good guys were the bad guys.
In the twisted mind under those Frankenstein hair plugs, peace is what happens when the bad guys win.
John Kerry didn’t try to implement the two-state solution that he keeps raving about by encouraging Israel and the Islamic terrorists to negotiate with each other. That would have been absurd. Instead he pretended to act as an intermediary between the two sides while actually representing only the PLO.
As one Israeli official said, “We discovered that throughout the entire period, the Americans didn’t actually talk to the Palestinians, only to us.” Why bother talking to the side that you’re already on?
But, just as it had in Nicaragua, that proved to be a serious mistake. While Kerry focused on pressuring Israel to make concessions, he, like Bill Clinton, hadn’t figured out how to get the Islamic terrorists to accept them.
Kerry brought his wonderful peace proposal to Mahmoud Abbas, a fine graduate of the USSR’s Peoples' Friendship University, along with Timochenko, the head of the Marxist FARC narcoterrorists. Kerry would, very predictably, meet with Timochenko earlier this year, despite his own State Department having a $5 million reward on his head, in yet another failed bid to force an ally to make peace with terrorists.
Excitedly, the traitor revisited the scene of his past treason, meeting with Abbas in Paris, to give him the good news. Kerry expected the terrorist leader to be overjoyed as the gift that he had brought over. Instead the terrorist turned up his nose. Kerry desperately passed the gift, of land, blood and security, extracted from Israelis, over to Obama to give to Abbas. Obama and Abbas met for two hours in the Oval Office. Abbas told Obama he might think it over and call. Like the bad date he was, he never did.
Kerry desperately wanted to be friends with the terrorists. But the terrorists didn’t want to play. “I have exhausted my time with John Kerry,” Abbas cried. "This is it."
Instead of negotiating any kind of peace, Kerry relayed blackmail threats from the terrorists. If Israel didn’t release large numbers of convicted terrorists with innocent blood on their hands, Abbas would go to the UN. Israel released most of the prisoners. Abbas went to the UN anyway. Kerry went to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and blamed Israel for the lack of peace.
Since then John Kerry has nursed a special hatred for the Jewish State.
John Forbes Kerry isn’t just a traitor. He’s a failed traitor. His treason has never amounted to anything except publicity stunts. The terrorists and tyrants used him, abused him and threw him away. For five decades, Kerry has been trying to defect, but no one, not the Viet Cong, the Sandinistas, Assad, FARC, Iran or the PLO would take him and keep him.
Israel was his last big bid to achieve something. And it failed. And like Carter, he blames the Jews.
Kerry and the rest of Obama Inc. have tried to cloak their campaign against Israel by claiming that they are only attacking the Jewish State because they are just so very devoted to peace.
The Hero of the Purple Band-Aid has denounced Jews living in Israel as the “obstacle to peace”. But the peace that Kerry and his boss are devoted is not the peace of coexistence, but of the triumph of evil. Instead of trying to mediate, Kerry, as always, took the side of the terrorists. He failed because it is the terrorists who refuse to make peace. It does not take a Solomon to understand this simple truth.
But it takes a radical leftist to persistently refuse to see it.
The greatest obstacle to peace is not Israel. It’s John Kerry. It’s all the other leftists like him who believe that peace comes when the terrorists win, not when they are defeated. There could have been peace long ago if Israel had been allowed to win. Instead the promised two-state solution peace has never materialized. And instead of admitting that they were wrong, the peacemakers blame Israel.
It’s either that or admit that the false promises of peace were only an excuse for destroying Israel.
The obstacle to peace does not come from Israel. It comes from its enemies. It comes from the PLO and Hamas, from Obama and from Kerry. Kerry and his ilk believe that peace is what happens when the bad guys win. But that’s their big lie. Peace is what happens when the terrorists and their allies lose.
-------------- 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, Israel, John Kerry, PLO, Mahmoud Abbas, United NationsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
But for that to happen, two things must occur: He must follow through on key campaign commitments, and the Republican Congress must act on them.
Here are nine commitments Trump made that the incoming Congress should make happen:
1. Completely repeal Obamacare.
Trump's position paper on health care said: "Our elected representatives in the House and Senate must: Completely repeal Obamacare. Our elected representatives must eliminate the individual mandate. No person should be required to buy insurance unless he or she wants to."
It further stated that reforms put in place after the repeal should "follow free market principles that will restore economic freedom and certainty to everyone in this country."
Congress must immediately repeal Obamacare — and enact only reforms that "follow free market principles."
2. Confirm pro-life constitutionalists to the Supreme Court.
"The freedoms we cherish and the constitutional values and principles our country was founded on are in jeopardy," Trump stated in September. "The responsibility is greater than ever to protect and uphold these freedoms and I will appoint justices, who, like Justice Scalia, will protect our liberty with the highest regard for the Constitution."
In a letter to pro-life leaders, Trump added: "I am committed to ... (n)ominating pro-life justices to the U.S. Supreme Court."
The Senate should confirm only nominees who fit the model Trump advocated.
3. Build the wall and enforce the immigration laws.
In his immigration plan, Trump promised to: "Begin working on an impenetrable physical wall on the southern border, on Day One."
"All immigration laws will be enforced — we will triple the number of ICE agents," said the plan. "Anyone who enters the U.S. illegally is subject to deportation."
Trump's plan also would "turn off the jobs and benefits magnet" for illegal immigrants. "Many immigrants come to the U.S. illegally in search of jobs," it said, "even though federal law prohibits the employment of illegal immigrants."
Congress should enact all legislation needed to build Trump's wall and fully enforce the immigration laws.
4) Pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.
"I am committed to ... (s)igning into law the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would end painful late-term abortions nationwide," Trump said in his letter to pro-life leaders.
Congress should place that bill on Trump's desk by Jan. 27, the day of the 2017 March for Life.
5) Defund Planned Parenthood.
"I am committed to ... (d)efunding Planned Parenthood as long as they continue to perform abortions," Trump said in his letter. Congress should defund Planned Parenthood in the first spending bill it sends Trump.
6) Cut income tax rates and end the "death tax."
"The Trump Plan will collapse the current seven tax brackets to three brackets," says Trump's tax plan. It would cut the top rate from 39.6 percent to 33 percent.
Additionally, Trump's plan would "repeal the death tax," which can be a confiscatory tax on family owned businesses. It also drops the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent.
A great Congress would go further than Trump's plan. It would enact the "Fair Tax Act" that would eliminate the income tax, replace it with a sales tax and set the stage for repeal of the 16th Amendment, which made direct federal taxation of individual incomes plausible.
But enacting Trump's plan to cut tax rates and abolish the death tax is a good start to reining in federal tax collections.
7) Make better trade deals.
In 2015, the U.S. had a merchandise trade deficit of $745.66 billion, according to the Census Bureau. Since 1979, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nation has lost more than 7 million manufacturing jobs.
Trump's trade plan calls for negotiating "fair trade deals that create American jobs, increase American wages, and reduce America's trade deficit." That includes withdrawing from the not-yet-approved Trans-Pacific Partnership and renegotiating NAFTA.
The Senate should ratify better trade deals when they are negotiated.
8) End our nation-building foreign policy.
Trump's foreign policy plan says he will end "the current strategy of nation-building and regime change." Congress should support this, including by reasserting its constitutional authority over the use of military force. That means the president may not use force — except to repel a sudden attack on the United States — unless Congress authorizes it.
9) Enact a balanced budget.
Sean Hannity asked Trump on Fox News on June 17, 2015: "Would you insist on a balanced budget as president?" Trump responded: "I would insist on it relatively soon."
When President Barack Obama took office, the federal debt was about 10.6 trillion. Now it is about $19.9 trillion.
Obama and the last Republican Congress kept America on the road to bankruptcy. President Trump and the new Republican Congress must lead us back the other way — and they cannot do it too soon.
--------------------------- Terence P. Jeffrey is editor-in-chief of the conservative CNSNews.com. Previously, he served for more than a decade as editor of Human Events, where he is now an editor at large. Tags:Terence Jeffrey, CNS News, Nine Things, GOP Congress, Must DoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Phyllis and sons with future Energy Secretary Rick Perry
by John Schlafly and Andy Schlafly: How did it happen that a man we were told could not possibly be nominated, let alone elected, is about to take the oath of office as the 45th president of the United States?
Part of the reason is that Donald Trump spoke to a set of hot-button issues (immigration and trade) that no other Republican was willing to touch, and those issues resonated with thousands of Americans who had previously voted for Obama. But even with the right issues and a brilliant slogan, “Make America Great Again,” Donald Trump still had to bypass the mainstream media in order to speak directly to the American people, as Ronald Reagan did a generation earlier.
For the benefit of Americans too young to remember, Reagan was called the “Great Communicator” because he effectively used television to connect directly with voters. Reagan frequently won people over with a folksy story or a perfectly timed joke, like the way he deflected a hostile question about his age during the final presidential debate by leaving everyone, even his opponent, in congenial uproarious laughter.
Having grown up in the construction industry, Trump uses a blunt and caustic style that is the direct opposite of Reagan’s affable avuncularity. But Trump has mastered the art of the tweet, sending out very short messages on Twitter, which provides an effective way to connect directly with the public.
Consider the tweet he sent out just before Christmas: “The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.” The media thundered in outrage, claiming the tweet endangered national security and could spark a new Cold War with Russia.
But Vladimir Putin, who controls Russia’s nuclear weapons, dismissed the tweet as “nothing out of the ordinary” because Trump had already promised many times to rebuild U.S. military forces. Most foreign leaders, whether they are friends or adversaries, respect a President who says what he means and means what he says.
Limited to 140 characters (20 to 25 words), Twitter would not have been much help to Reagan, but it has been a perfect fit for Trump’s blunt candor. Trump has a genuine style on Twitter and his voice comes through loud and clear in that medium, as authentic as Reagan’s mastery of speaking on camera.
Effective use of Twitter requires an economy of style and expression comparable to a great bumper sticker, such as “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” Phyllis Schlafly, a master of political communication herself, emphasized the value of honing her message to an effective sound bite, presenting “more facts in fewer words” than other conservatives.
A good example of Trump’s mastery of the media happened in November when a student at tiny Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts burned the American flag to protest the election results, and the liberal college president responded by removing our flag from its place of honor on campus. More than 1,000 veterans gathered to protest that cowardly response, but the incident drew little national attention until Trump unloaded a tweet: “Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag - if they do, there must be consequences - perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!”
The media jumped on Trump with a fierce intensity, keeping the story alive for days, until they realized Trump was being helped, not hurt by their criticism. Most Americans agree with Trump’s opinion even if a divided Supreme Court ruled otherwise.
Even Obama’s press secretary weighed in, saying Trump should submit himself to “skeptical questioning from an independent news media” at a formal press conference with its built-in advantages for the liberal media. As skillful as Reagan was, at times he struggled with rude reporters repeatedly trying to trip him up.
Instead of taking the media bait, Trump lobs Twitter bombs like this one, two weeks ago: “Just watched @NBCNightlyNews - So biased, inaccurate and bad, point after point. Just can’t get much worse, although @CNN is right up there!” He doesn’t spare the late-night shows, either: “Just tried watching Saturday Night Live - unwatchable! Totally biased, not funny and the Baldwin impersonation just can’t get any worse. Sad.”
When the media feel compelled to report President-elect Trump’s tweets, repeating his own unfiltered words, it means he and not they control the daily news cycle. When they have to interrupt their own agenda to report how politicians and pundits respond to what Trump just said, media-created stories get lost in the shuffle.
Without press conferences, liberals have difficulty setting the agenda for a Republican president. The first President Bush held three times as many press conferences in four years as his predecessor Ronald Reagan did in eight, and the outcome was a disastrous defeat in 1992. Americans do not want a president whose agenda is set by the press corps in Washington, D.C.
--------------------- John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) at Eagle Forum whose 27th book was The Conservative Case for Trump. Tags:John Schlafly, Andy Schlafly, President-elect, Donald Trump, the Great Communicator, TwitteTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
The House is planning to take it up as one of the first orders of business in the new 115th Congress, and it is expected to pass, as it has in the House each of the last three Congresses. Each previous Congress it passed the House under a veto threat from President Obama, who was adamantly opposed to any of his regulatory handiwork being scrutinized by our elected officials.
Times have changed.
“I will sign the REINS Act should it reach my desk as President and more importantly I will work hard to get it passed,” Donald Trump said in a statement his campaign provided me last year. “The monstrosity that is the Federal Government with its pages and pages of rules and regulations has been a disaster for the American economy and job growth. The REINS Act is one major step toward getting our government under control.”
It took a while to get to this point. The REINS Act started as an idea in the head of a remarkable 78-year-old tea party activist in Alexandria, Kentucky named Lloyd Rogers.
In 2009, Rogers went to meet with his then-congressman Geoff Davis at a town hall meeting. Both were outraged about an EPA storm water management consent decree that cost the three northern Kentucky counties in a consolidated sewer district about a billion dollars, doubling water fees.
He handed Davis a piece of paper that quoted Article I, Section 1 of the United States Constitution: “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.”
The paper also had a simple legislative proposal: “All rules, regulations, or mandates that require citizens, state or local government financial expenditures must first be approved by the U.S. Congress before they can become effective.”
Davis took the idea back to Washington and huddled with his key advisers to develop the simple idea into a robust, workable piece of legislation. That idea became the REINS Act, and was made a part of the official Pledge to America document on which Republicans won control of the House in 2010.
The REINS Act cuts to the heart of abuse of regulatory power by requiring any major regulatory action to pass the House and Senate and be signed by the president (or have a veto-override), before it can take effect. It seems obvious. The best ideas always do.
The REINS Act’s first Senate sponsor was Jim DeMint, but when he retired it was fittingly taken up by Rand Paul, on whose campaign Rogers was a tireless volunteer. When Geoff Davis retired, the bill’s lead sponsorship was taken over in the House by Indiana’s Todd Young. This time around Doug Collins of Georgia is leading the charge in the House, while Paul and Young (newly promoted by the voters of Indiana) together lead the fight in the Senate under Mitch McConnell – a Kentuckian like Rogers, Davis, and Paul.
That Senate vote will be difficult, as many Democrats – aghast though they might be at the regulations and deregulations to come from Trump appointees in the federal bureaucracy – understand that lack of accountability is a great long-term advantage for their big government ideology. But ten Democrats running for reelection in 2018 are sitting in states that voted for Trump, and they may have a difficult time explaining to voters why they should re-elect someone unwilling to even vote on major regulations. And the House making it a top priority will build strong momentum for the Senate fight.
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