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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, January 13, 2017
The Wollman Rink vs. the Congressional Budget Office
The Wollman Rink
by Newt Gingrich: Congressional Republicans are about to be confronted with the first great choice of the Trump era, and it will be interesting to see if they can apply the lessons of the November 8th victory and the country’s desire for real change.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is simply incompatible with the Trump era.
President-elect Trump won as an entrepreneurial change agent who would “drain the swamp”, get Washington under control, take charge of the bureaucracies, and get things done in an entrepreneurial, common sense way.
The Congressional Budget Office is the opposite of these commitments.
It is a left-wing, corrupt, bureaucratic defender of big government and liberalism. Its scoring of ObamaCare was not just wrong, it was clearly corrupt. CBO literally brought in the architect of ObamaCare to be the adviser on scoring the very Obamacare legislation that he helped write. The score was a lie. It was so wrong it was totally indefensible. A year later the CBO produced a new score that was so much more expensive that it was clear ObamaCare would have been defeated if it had been the original score.
In the four years during which I was Speaker of the House, CBO was consistently difficult to work with. If we hadn’t fought with them constantly we would never have balanced the budget.
President-elect Trump presents a perfect test case for CBO in one of his best stories, the repairing of the Wollman Rink in Central Park.
Every citizen should read the chapter on fixing the Wollman Rink.
In 1980 the skating rink stopped making ice.
For six years at a cost of $13 million dollars the city bureaucracy failed to fix it. The very sophisticated, expensive system they installed did not work. You could tell it did not work because there was no ice.
Trump’s penthouse looks out over Central Park. He got tired of looking at the empty skating rink so he began taunting Mayor Koch in the newspapers.
Finally, Mayor Koch responded, saying the city would give Trump $3 million and six months to fix the skating rink.
What tells a lot about Trump and Trumpism was his reaction to Mayor Koch’s challenge.
Trump admits he did not know anything about fixing ice skating rinks. He also knew he had to solve the situation or be ridiculed.
There is a great deal to learn about President-elect Trump from studying his thought process.
He asked himself, ‘Who fixes ice skating rinks?’
He concluded, Canadians – because of their great love of hockey.
He then found the Canadian firm that had built the most ice skating rinks for the NHL.
Everyone recommended the same firm.
Trump called the company and their CEO explained the principles of building ice skating rinks.
The Canadians flew in and were astonished at how dumb the New York City bureaucracy had been.
Within four months, for $2,250,000, the Wollman Rink was fixed. In its first year back, 225,000 people used the rink.
If we are truly moving into the Trump era, we must confront the amazing public policy implications of this story.
An entrepreneurial, problem solving, red tape cutting approach had solved the skating rink for 1/5 the cost in 1/18 the time.
How would the Congressional Budget Office accurately score the Trump approach?
All the current estimates for the wall with Mexico assume traditional bureaucracy with traditional red tape moving at traditional speed (ultra slow).
All the current projections for getting back to the moon and on to Mars are based on NASA red tape, NASA bureaucracy, and a system so badly run we currently put American astronauts on the space station using Russian rockets.
Every reform effort will get a false score from CBO.
It is impossible for the current CBO to come anywhere close to an honest, accurate score of a red tape cutting, entrepreneurially hard charging system.
The current obsolete, inaccurate, and dishonest CBO bureaucracy should be replaced with two bold reforms.
First, a competitive system of bidding should provide three to five scores for every legislative proposal. Over time, the projections should be measured against reality and the worst performers should be dropped while new performers should be added.
Second, all the secret formulas which CBO today refuses to release should be made public.
In the modern information age, it should be possible for anyone to work through the scoring conventions and produce their own estimates.
Recognizing the importance of the Wollman Rink example and insisting on replacing the Congressional Budget Office would be a bold step in the right direction for Congressional Republicans.
---------------------- Newt Gingrich is a former Georgia Congressman and Speaker of the U.S. House. He co-authored and was the chief architect of the "Contract with America" and a major leader in the Republican victory in the 1994 congressional elections. He is noted speaker and writer. The above commentary was shared via Gingrich Productions. Tags:Newt Gingrich, commentary, Wollman Rink, Congressional Budget OfficeTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Obama Blocks Cubans Fleeing Regime, Scraps Defectors Program
With only 8 days left before leaving office, Obama punishes the Cuban Americans community & supports communist Cuban Castro.
Group of men from Cuba hug after coming ashore in Key West, FL
in June 2016. (Mike Hentz, Key West Citizen via AP & PJMedia)
by Bridget Johnson: President Obama has revoked the “wet-foot/dry-foot” policy that has provided refuge for Cubans escaping the communist island since the mid-1990s, prompting Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) to accuse the administration of turning its back on people fleeing persecution.
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), whose family fled Cuba when she was 7 years old, declared that Obama eliminated the refugee policy, and the Cuban Medical Professional Parole program that encouraged defections of doctors and nurses working abroad, "because that's what the Cuban dictatorship wanted and the White House caved to what Castro wants."
“Castro uses refugees as pawns to get more concessions from Washington so there is no reason to do away with the Cuban medical doctor program, which is a foolhardy concession to a regime that sends its doctors to foreign nations in a modern-day indentured servitude," Ros-Lehtinen said.
The Department of Homeland Security said the programs were scrapped for the sake of "ongoing normalization of relations between the governments of the United States and Cuba" and "a commitment to have a broader immigration policy in which we treat people from different countries consistently."
"The United States will now treat Cuban migrants in a manner consistent with how it treats others; unauthorized migrants can expect to be removed unless they qualify for humanitarian relief under our laws," DHS said in a statement, adding that the Cuban government "has agreed to begin to accept the return of Cuban nationals who have been ordered removed."
"Cuba and the United States will work to further discourage unlawful migration to the United States and promote bilateral cooperation to prevent and prosecute alien smuggling and other crimes related to illegal migration."
Obama said the policies were "designed for a different era" and the elimination of the medical parole program was for the benefit of Cubans. "By providing preferential treatment to Cuban medical personnel, the medical parole program contradicts those efforts, and risks harming the Cuban people," he said. "Cuban medical personnel will now be eligible to apply for asylum at U.S. embassies and consulates around the world, consistent with the procedures for all foreign nationals."
"With this change we will continue to welcome Cubans as we welcome immigrants from other nations, consistent with our laws," the president added. "During my administration, we worked to improve the lives of the Cuban people - inside of Cuba - by providing them with greater access to resources, information and connectivity to the wider world. Sustaining that approach is the best way to ensure that Cubans can enjoy prosperity, pursue reforms, and determine their own destiny."
On a White House call with reporters this evening, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said there has been "a continued uptick in Cuban migrants coming to the United States" since the administration's policies to deepen relations with the regime have gone into effect, and officials "did not want to speculate publicly about the likelihood of this change for fear of inviting even greater migration flows."
"There's obviously an enormous number of -- there's a very large Cuban American population, and many Cuban migrants are already here. It was going to be too complicated, frankly, to significantly return people who are already here," Rhodes said. "We wanted to get things right going forward."
Rhodes added that "the best way" for Cubans to have opportunity "is for them to be able to pursue it at home through an economy that has continued to pursue market-based reforms."
Menendez said Congress "was not consulted prior to this abrupt policy announcement with just nine days left in this administration."
"The Obama administration seeks to pursue engagement with the Castro regime at the cost of ignoring the present state of torture and oppression, and its systematic curtailment of freedom," the senator said.
DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson said on the White House call that "the discussions leading up to this were very sensitive," and that's why Congress was left in the dark.
"The policy that we're announcing today is effective immediately. We did not want for there to be a mass exodus from Cuba in anticipation of a change in policy," Johnson said.
White House official said they hoped Congress would repeal the Cuban Adjustment Act, the 1966 law allowing migration of Cubans able to escape. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) acknowledged that the law needs reform, but said "the Obama administration’s characterization of this change as part of the ongoing normalization with the Castro regime is absurd."
"We must work to ensure that Cubans who arrive here to escape political persecution are not summarily returned to the regime, and they are given a fair opportunity to apply for and receive political asylum," Rubio said.
He called on the incoming Trump administration to reverse the part of the executive order eliminating the medical parole program and "allow these doctors to seek asylum at U.S. embassies or consulates in other countries."
Menendez said the eliminated policies "reflect our commitment to the values of liberty and democracy."
"We should never deny a Cuban refugee fleeing a brutal regime entry into the United States. We must remind ourselves every day of the continued oppression and human suffering that is happening – not only halfway around the world, but just 90 miles off our shores. The ongoing repressive behavior of the Cuban regime still haunts our hemisphere today," the New Jersey Dem said. “The fact is the recent ill-conceived changes in American policy towards Cuba have rewarded the regime with an economic lifeline while leaving everyday Cubans less hopeful about their futures under a brutal totalitarian dictatorship."
"And while more needs to be done to prevent the small universe arriving from Cuba who may seek to exploit the privileges and freedoms that come with the 'wet-foot/dry-foot' policy, those few actors should not destroy our efforts to protect the many who are forced to flee persecution."
------------------ Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill. She is the Washington Editor for PJ Media. Tags:President Obama, Blocks Cubans, Fleeing Regime, Scraps, Defectors Program, Bridget Johnson, PJMediaTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
ICYMI: Barbara Bush: DeVos Should be Confirmed Secretary of Education
Betsy DeVos has the courage to do the right thing for parents and their children.
Extract from article by former first lady Barbra Bush:
by Barbara Bush, The Press Herald: I am enthusiastically endorsing Betsy DeVos to be our next secretary of education. Mrs. DeVos has a real compassion for children and a proven record of championing reforms to improve literacy and learning in our nation. I am confident that she will provide the leadership we sorely need to raise the bar on education in America and provide better opportunities for our most vulnerable students.
.... Betsy DeVos has helped pass reforms to drive gains in literacy. The Great Lakes Education Project she founded in Michigan was instrumental in passing a comprehensive reading law last year that provides extra tutoring to struggling students and other intervention strategies to ensure that kids are leaving third grade with the literacy skills they will need to succeed in later grades. Reading is truly the building block of a successful education, and Mrs. DeVos has fought hard to ensure that elected officials in her home state and across the nation are giving literacy its proper attention.
.... I also believe Mrs. DeVos has the right priorities on important issues such as school choice, early childhood development and accountability in education. I have worked with Mrs. DeVos’ advocacy organizations for years and I know that her commitment to children runs deep. She believes passionately that children should have access to high performing schools regardless of their race, income or zip code. That is why she has fought valiantly to give parents of at-risk children the right to send their kids to charter and private schools when the public school system is letting them down.
.... I believe Mrs. DeVos is an educator at heart. She is a woman who has dedicated much of her adult life to fighting some really tough battles on behalf of our nation’s school children, including mentoring children for decades in her home state of Michigan. There are powerful forces in our education system that are resistant to change. Mrs. DeVos has the courage to do the thing for parents and their children.
I know Betsy DeVos is the right woman to help usher in an era of education reforms that can drive significant improvement in student achievement. She has a big heart, a strong backbone and she wants to serve in Washington for only one reason: to make a difference in the lives of America’s school children. We need more people like Mrs. DeVos in our nation’s capital. She is the type of leader and reformer who can bring positive and lasting change to America’s classrooms. Tags:Barabara Bush, endorses, Betsy DeVos, Secretary of EducationTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Obama Does It Again, The Left's Priorities, Defunding The U.N., Fighting Christian Persecution
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Obama Does It Again - With just one week left before he leaves office, Barack Obama is still attempting to "fundamentally transform" America. Last night, the White House announced another major change to American foreign policy by terminating the "wet foot-dry foot" policy toward Cubans fleeing the repressive Castro communist regime.
For many years, our policy has been that Cubans who make it to America are permitted to stay. Those caught at sea are returned. Now Obama is planning to deport all Cuban refugees no matter where we find them. Now he gets tough on deportations?
Whatever one thinks of the policy itself, I am struck by the many contradictions of the president's actions.
Since Obama began "normalizing" relations with the Castro regime, tens of thousands of Cubans have fled the island: 40,000 left in 2015 and 56,000 left last year. That speaks volumes about Castro's "workers' paradise."
But Obama and the left are big advocates of open borders. Obama has broken our immigration system with his quasi-amnesty orders. He has handcuffed our Border Patrol agents. He has tolerated and encouraged sanctuary cities, where American citizens are murdered by illegal immigrants who shouldn't be here.
But suddenly, just as he is walking out the door, Obama slams the door on Cubans who want to escape tyranny.
There was bi-partisan condemnation for Obama's action. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) said, "This last act of diminishing lifelines to Cubans languishing in totalitarianism is one final despicable betrayal of a people who deserve better from an American president."
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) blasted Obama, saying his policies would "tighten the noose the Castro regime continues to have around the neck of its own people." Menendez added that Obama was "ignoring the present state of torture and oppression" in Cuba.
But the Castro regime is happy. Once again, Obama has given a major concession to an enemy without getting anything in return.
Conditions in Cuba have not improved since Obama began appeasing Havana. A human rights activist was arrested just this week.
Of course, it's exactly the same with Obama's Iranian nuclear deal. Obama gave the ayatollah virtually everything he demanded. We lifted sanctions. We sent Iran billions in gold and cash.
Nothing good has come of it. Nothing has changed in Tehran. Iran still chants "Death to America." Iran still promises a second Holocaust of the Jews. And Iran is still the world's leading state-sponsor of terrorism.
January 20th can't come fast enough!
The Left's Priorities - Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), President-elect Trump's nominee to lead the CIA, was testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee yesterday as part of his confirmation process. Needless to say, this is a unique opportunity for senators to ask important questions about the most critical national security threats facing our country.
What might you ask the future CIA director? His plan to defeat ISIS? How to stop radical Islam in America? The threats we face from China or North Korea? How about protecting our electrical grid from hacking? Those would be great questions.
But none of that was on the mind of the left coast's newest senator, freshman Kamala Harris of California. Instead she quizzed Pompeo about same-sex marriage, bigotry against Muslims and global warming.
Defunding The U.N. - As you know, the U.N. Security Council approved a measure last month that labeled East Jerusalem and parts of Judea and Samaria as "occupied territories." Instead of blaming Palestinian terrorism for the lack of peace, the U.N. blamed Jews living in areas where Jews have lived for thousands of years. The Obama Administration had previously vetoed a similar resolution. But last month Obama betrayed Israel and allowed it to pass.
Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have joined forces to punish the United Nations. They have introduced legislation defunding the United Nations until Security Council Resolution 2334 is repealed.
Speaking on MSNBC yesterday, Sen. Cruz said, "Congress must hold the U.N. accountable and use our leverage as its largest contributor to push for the repeal of this resolution, making it clear to the world that Congress stands unequivocally against efforts to undermine Israel."
"Twenty-two percent of the money to fund the U.N. comes from the American taxpayer," Sen. Graham added. "I don't think it's a good investment for the American taxpayer to give money to an organization that condemns the only democracy in the Middle East."
I couldn't agree more! We will keep you posted as this legislation begins to move on Capitol Hill.
Fighting Christian Persecution - Kudos to Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey. He is once again introducing legislation designed to provide emergency relief to Christians facing genocide and persecution in the Middle East.
As we have noted repeatedly, Christians have been relegated to the end of the line when it comes to Obama's Syrian refugee policies. According to CNSNews, "Christians only accounted for 0.8 percent of the refugees resettled in 2016" -- a fact Rep. Smith has denounced as "unconscionable."
Rep. Smith traveled to Iraq last month and spoke with Christians there. "These genocide survivors told me the United States and global community had abandoned them," he said. "They are at-risk from freezing winter temperatures and require emergency help."
His legislation would provide emergency aid to organizations assisting persecuted religious minorities in Iraq and Syria, as well as those investigating allegations of genocide. In addition, Smith's legislation amends refugee policies to make it easier for members of persecuted religious groups in Iraq and Syria to apply for asylum.
------------------ Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families Tags:Obama Does It Again, The Left's Priorities, Defunding The U.N., Fighting Christian Persecution, Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working FamiliesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Jim Mullen, Contributing Author: Watching a child covering both ears, teeth clinched and eyes tightly closed, repeatedly screaming, “I can’t hear you” over something they find objectionable; like an adult forcing them to face truth and reality, is somewhat amusing and sometimes “cute.”
Watching and hearing adults exhibiting this child-like, petulant behavior, however, is bizarre. A significant segment of the Democrat Party, academia, and the mainstream media ignore the obviousness of the recent presidential election. These infantile ignoramuses, who, despite the overwhelming victory by Donald Trump, insist Bill’s wife, won the election.
These pitiful pundits and pretenders imagine they are of superior intellect, blessed with God-like insightfulness, and that they are endowed with the divine right to rule over the sweaty, unknowing masses. They fancy themselves far above such trivial matters of or resembling reality and truth. These trifles just hold them down and inhibit their ascension to the high moral ground and self-important smugness.
Leftists live, write, and speak employing preprogrammed liberal talking points (aka preconceived lies) sprinkled with bountiful fairy dust fantasies. Depths of thought and introspection are sorely absent. These thoroughly indoctrinated, idealistic, pipe dreamers living in their own fantasy world will not change reality regardless of how hard they try, invectives they hurl, or how loudly they scream.
Twisted logic, bullying, and misrepresenting facts (AKA) lying, will not liberate anyone from truth and the real world. Recognizing the world as it is will purge those talking points from those overly programmed minds.
Come on all ye left-wingers - may I suggest you put on your ruby slippers, click your heels together three times, and say, “there’s no place like reality,” and maybe you’ll be transported - or should I say, transformed and liberated.
Ah, yes. The starkness of the world can be stone cold sobering, but accepting it can allow you to live at peace with the truth. You behave like spoiled brats with your incoherent wailing. You’re so used to getting your way you pout and insist the world change to fit your warped version of existence.
As you begin your long journey back to earth from your aerie home in La-La Land, remember; set your unsteady feet squarely in the Republic of the United States of America, and consider the following:
Our nation is not a direct democracy, but rather a constitutional representative democracy - otherwise referred to as a republic. We elect representatives to vote for president, and we elect senators and congressional representatives to represent us in Congress. Each state is represented individually in presidential elections; therefore, nationwide voting totals for president are irrelevant. Since each state is apportioned delegates according to their population, this system works well and prevents sizable population centers like California, New York, and a few other states from overwhelming smaller states and repeatedly selecting the American President. As a result, contenders for president must campaign and interact with voters across the nation, rather than campaigning full-time in large states.
Ignorance of these facts says volumes about the deplorable failures of the government, the media, and especially the corrupt education system with which our nation has been cursed for decades. There was a time when eighth-grade civics taught Americans more about their government and how it works than graduate students in college know today.
Now, for all those back into the realm of reality, get the ludicrous idea that Russia hacked the presidential election, allowing Trump to win, completely out of your mind. Clinton’s soon-to-be campaign manager, John Podesta, fell for an obvious phishing sting and revealed his email password to scammers. His emails provided grist for every political mill in the world. They gave a repulsive insight into the Clinton campaign and exposed corruption, media collusion, racism, anti-Semitism, and seamy discourse between staffers. Clinton’s own staff directed the unflattering, glaring light upon the incompetence and corruption of Mrs. Bill Clinton. No one disputed anything in this tell-all, soap opera- scenario of Podesta emails; in other words, the inconvenient, bare bone's truth, well known by the media was, at last, unmasked and confirmed.
Our country hacks nations - friends, and foes alike, all over the globe. Likewise, they hack us. In the eight years of Obama’s corrupt regime, our nation was hacked by Russia, China, Iran, Korea, and dozens of other countries. However, nothing even ruffled a feather in Obama’s defensive quiver; until Clinton fumbled at the goal line and lost, what he thought was a sure-win election. In spite of the theft of millions of federal workers’ personal information, nothing moved him to launch a diplomatic or punitive arrow toward the Chinese perpetrators. In the end, no experts believe Russia hacked our election. Likewise, no experts believe that revelations of these emails or unmasking the truth, led to Clinton’s loss. Americans simply wanted change from the Marxist policies of Barack Obama on which she campaigned. Additionally, she had one qualification for president; she married Bill Clinton.
Continual histrionics of carping and whining that Bill’s wife won the election is delusional, and smacks of desperation. To be perfectly clear, let’s paraphrase from that infamous, narcissistic, hero-god of liberalism - Barack Obama. Elections have consequences; we won; you lost. Let that penetrate the closed-minded little neurotic worlds of all you liberal ideologues. In the real world, you don’t get to change or make up rules after an election, like you carry out in your progressive dreams. Allow the inevitable to sink in - Donald J. Trump is President of the United States!
------------------ Jim Mullen is a West Virginia conservative Republican activist writing articles at Freedom For US Now and a contributing author to the ARRA News Service Tags:Jim Mullen, Freedom for US Now, Liberals, Due For, Reality Check, They LostTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Editor's Note:The inserted comments in brackets are the editors. Note, the alledged spy reported actions by businessman Trump even if true were not illegal. Trump was not then and not even yet president yet and thus not a U.S. government official. Also, the "dirty" actions by alt-right conservatives have not only been disturbing but evidence that they can no longer be trusted as credible sources and damage even the voices of other conservatives not involved in their nefarious actions. Obviously, the democrats, liberals and communists in America are estactic with their actions.
The president-elect was referring to a 35-page dossier of lurid details of his alleged sexual misconduct in Russia, worked up by a former British spy. A two-page summary of the 35 pages had been added to Trump’s briefing by the CIA and FBI — and then leaked to CNN.
This is “something that Nazi Germany would have done,” Trump said. Here, basically, is the story.
During the primaries, anti-Trump Republicans hired the [so-called trustworthy] ex-spy to do “oppo research” on Trump, i.e., to dig up dirt.
The ex-spy contacted the Russians. [Allegedly] They told him that Trump, at a Moscow hotel in 2013, had been engaged in depraved behavior, that they had the films to blackmail him, and that Trump’s aides had been colluding with them.
When Trump won the nomination, Democrats got the dossier and began shopping it around to the mainstream media. Some sought to substantiate the allegations. None could. So none of them published the charges.
In December, a British diplomat gave the dossier to Sen. John McCain, who personally turned it over to James Comey of the FBI.
On Jan. 7, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and his colleagues at the NSA, CIA and FBI decided the new president needed to know about the dossier. They provided him with a two-page synopsis.
Once CNN learned Trump had been briefed, the cable news network reported on the unpublished dossier, without going into the lurid details.
BuzzFeed released all 35 pages. The story exploded.
Besides Trump’s understandable outrage, his Jan. 11 press conference produced related news.
U.S. intelligence agencies had for months contended that it was Russia who hacked the DNC emails and those of Clinton campaign chief John Podesta. Putin’s objectives, they contend, were to damage both U.S. democracy and Hillary Clinton, whom Putin detests, and to aid Trump.
Trump had previously dismissed claims of Russian hacking as unproved conjecture, and also as being advanced to delegitimize his victory.
Wednesday, Trump conceded Russia did it: “As far as hacking, I think it was Russia,” adding, Vladimir Putin “should not be doing it.”
The stakes in all of this are becoming huge.
Clearly, Trump hopes to work out with Putin the kind of detente that President Nixon achieved with Leonid Brezhnev.
This should not be impossible. For, unlike the 1970s, there is no Soviet Empire stretching from Havana to Hanoi, no Warsaw Pact dominating Central Europe, no Communist ideology steering Moscow into constant Cold War conflict with the West.
Russia is a great power with great power interests. But she does not seek to restore a global empire or remake the world in her image. U.S.-Russian relations are thus ripe for change.
But any such hope is now suddenly impaired.
The howls of indignation from Democrats and the media — that Trump’s victory and Clinton’s defeat were due to Putin’s involvement in our election — have begun to limit Trump’s freedom of action in dealing with Russia. And they are beginning to strengthen the hand of the Russophobes and the Putin-is-Hitler crowd in both parties.
When Secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson went before the Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Marco Rubio demanded to know why he would not publicly declare Putin a “war criminal.”
The more toxic Putin-haters can make the Russian president, the more difficult for President Trump to deal with him, even if that is in the vital national interest of the United States.
The sort of investigation for which McCain has been clamoring, and the Beltway drums have now begun to beat, could make it almost impossible for President Trump to work with President Putin.
The Washington Post describes the engine it wishes to see built: “The investigators of Russian meddling, whether a Congressional select committee or an independent commission, should have bipartisan balance, full subpoena authority, no time limit and a commitment to make public as much as possible of what they find.”
What the Post seeks is a Watergate Committee like the one that investigated the Nixon White House, or a commission like the ones that investigated 9/11 and the JFK assassination.
Trump “should recognize,” writes the Post, “that the credibility of his denials of any Russian connections is undermined by his refusal to release tax returns and business records.”
In short, when the investigation begins, Trump must produce the evidence to establish his innocence. Else, he is Putin’s man.
This city is salivating over another Watergate, another broken president. But President-elect Trump should be aware of what is at stake. As The Wall Street Journal writes:
“Mr. Trump’s vehement denials (of collusion with Moscow and [Alleged] corrupt behavior) also mean that if we learn in the future that Russia does have compromising details about him, his Presidency could be over.”
Yes, indeed, very big stakes.
-------------------- 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, Trump’s Enemies, See an OpeningTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Tags:AF Branco, editorial cartoon, Whine Country, Golden Globe, Snowflake Awards, whining about, president-elect TrumpTo 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: The millennial generation may reject God but they feel entitled to go to heaven. That is the conclusion of Nick Pitts in a column he wrote last year. He was on my program last week to talk about various aspects of the millennial generation. This conclusion was one of the most interesting.
Quoting from some of the research by Professor Jean Twenge, Nick Pitts shows that Americans are much less spiritual than they were in the past. Americans are five times less likely to pray as compared to the 1980s. Twice as many do not believe in God. And the biggest decline is among the 18-29-year-olds, known as the millennials.
What do Americans believe about the Bible? In 1984, about 14 percent believed the Bible “is an ancient book of fables, legends, history and moral precepts recorded by men” rather than the word of God. Thirty years later, the percentage was up to 22 percent. Among millennials that percentage was already up to 29 percent.
What do Americans think about church? More and more think it is irrelevant as illustrated by the growing number who do not attend any religious service. In the early 1970s, only 6 percent reported not affiliating with any religion. By 2014, that percentage increased to 21 percent.
Here is the irony. In the midst of so many religious indicators that are decreasing, there is one that is increasing. Americans in recent years have become slightly more likely to believe in an afterlife. Nick Pitts says: “Though there is a decrease in religious participation and beliefs relative to the faith, they still have faith in the afterlife.” Jean Twenge believes this is another example of entitlement (expecting privileges without effort).
If you think about it, maybe this makes some sense. If everyone on the soccer team gets a trophy, then everyone in America should go to heaven. Unfortunately, that’s not the gospel.
----------- 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, millennial generation, Headed to Heaven?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 Robert Romano: President-elect Donald Trump has promised to take a fresh view of our trade relations around the world to make certain they are in the interests of American workers. One place his nominee for the U.S. Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer can start would be to embrace Representative Ted Yoho’s plan for ending sugar subsidies known as “Zero for Zero.”
The Yoho Zero for Zero plan would legislatively end domestic sugar subsidies after other major international sugar dumpers like Brazil, India and Thailand agree to stop subsidizing their sugar industries in a reciprocal manner.
In a column in Town Hall on Jan. 10, Yoho explained the problem: “Sugar is widely considered the world’s most distorted commodity market. Global sugar prices have fluctuated more than 200 percent since 2008 alone and often fall well below the cost of producing sugar. Why? Because of the actions of a few government-dependent producers.
“Brazil, with the aid of more than $2.5 billion a year in subsidies, has seized control of nearly half of all exports and has used this stranglehold to exert OPEC-like control over sugar pricing. Other major players like Thailand and India have been forced to create billions in other subsidy schemes — some of which break global trade rules — to keep pace.”
Hence, Yoho’s proposed Zero for Zero solution.
Many traditionalists on the right have chosen a less ambitious and more politically naïve approach to ending sugar and other agriculture subsidies by simply calling for them to end — unilaterally no less — a more than 70-year policy objective failure.
We should not be fooled again, but fortunately, smart conservatives are gravitating toward the Yoho plan, because it loads the trade gun for the U.S. Trade Representative in negotiating these subsidies with the major sugar exporting nations. Congress will have already affirmatively ended subsidies pending negotiations so Lighthizer will be negotiating from a position of strength.
Given the President-elect’s position on putting American interests first, those concerned that sugar dumping will destroy hundreds of thousands of U.S. sugar industry jobs should be assuaged that a bad deal can’t happen under the Yoho plan. Those opposed to subsidies will have moved one giant step closer to ending them everywhere and could even reach their goal before Trump leaves office.
Once the process has been proved to work with sugar, it then can be broadened to other agricultural subsidies making it easier to open up markets to America’s farmers to compete and win—from a position of strength. This is why the Yoho Zero for Zero plan needs to be a top priority for the Trump trade team’s Congressional agenda. Winning this issue in Congress will open the door to real negotiations at the World Trade Organization, where too often foreign interests of developing nations are put first.
Once proven successful in creating honest, open sugar markets, the opportunities for winning other much more impactful issues for the entire agriculture sector allowing our farmers to do what they do best — produce plentiful crops and feed the world.
As the President-elect himself might say, “Under Zero for Zero, there will be so much winning that people will forget what it was like to lose.” All that needs to happen to get the ball rolling is for the Trump trade team to embrace the Yoho legislation and for Congress to act. In past Congresses this seemed like the impossible dream, but in the rapidly draining swamp of D.C., it can and should become a reality.
---------------- 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, Yoho, Zero for Zero, Sugar Policy, Trade Win-WinTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
It fell, almost certainly, because of a storm. The ground got wet, undermining the sturdiness of the tree’s root system. And the winds got fast, sending the tree crashing to the ground.
But that’s not the hole — er, whole story.
The obvious reason it fell down is that the “hollowed-out” tunnel amounted to a huge cut. It is almost as if loggers started the felling job nearly seven score ago, and it took all that time to fall.
That is not “ironic,” in case you were wondering. It’s to be expected. The real wonder is that it stayed up so long.
Which should remind us: more than one cause can contribute to a singular effect. We are always tempted to focus on only one factor when we argue about an event. But in society, as in trees and forests, multiple influences are always at work.
Life isn’t monocausal, to put it in professor-speak.
Anderson dubbed the tree “iconic.” Now, an icon is an image used to stand in for other things that look similar. That tree didn’t stand in or represent, did it, other trees in the forest? It stood in memory by standing out as different, distinct — one of a very few hallowed, hollowed California sequoias. The opposite of “iconic.”
Still, in using the tree’s toppling as an object lesson in complexity, the fallen timber might be iconic. It stands for a common sense view of how tragedies happen.
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:Tree Fell In a Forest, Paul Jacob, Common SenseTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
The Process Republicans Are Using to Repeal Obamacare
by Melissa Quinn: There’s a lot of talk about the procedure Republicans are using to dismantle Obamacare, but what exactly is reconciliation and how does it work?
Reconciliation is a budget tool used for legislation that changes taxes, spending, or the deficit. The procedure is especially powerful in the Senate, since a reconciliation bill only needs 51 votes to pass.
This year, GOP lawmakers are taking a crack at repealing the health care law through reconciliation, and the Senate took the first major step toward dismantling the law Thursday.
After a lengthy voting session, the upper chamber passed a budget resolution for 2017 that instructs four congressional committees to start writing the repeal bill.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell praised his Senate colleagues for taking “an important step” toward repealing Obamacare.
“The American people have called on Congress to act and finally bring relief from Obamacare,” McConnell said in a statement after the Senate passed the budget resolution. “I am pleased that the Senate took this critical step towards keeping that commitment tonight, and I look forward to our House colleagues passing it soon.”
The House is expected to vote on the budget resolution Friday.
Once both chambers have passed the fiscal blueprint, the committees that oversee the Affordable Care Act can begin working on the actual bill that will repeal Obamacare.
They have until Jan. 27—just one week after President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration—to complete the legislation.
----------------------- Melissa Quinn (@MelissaQuinn97 ) is a news reporter for The Daily Signal. Tags:Melissa Quinn, The Daily Signal, Process, Republicans, Using, ,Repeal ObamacareTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Clapper Calls Trump, Trump's Lesson, A Personal Observation, Capitol Culture War
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Clapper Calls Trump - The fallout from President-elect Donald Trump's contentious press conference yesterday continues. First, the good news.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper called Donald Trump last night and expressed his "profound dismay" over the continued leaks about Trump's intelligence briefings.
Clapper also reiterated to Trump that the scandalous dossier was "not a U.S. Intelligence Community product." (More on that below.) In addition, Clapper told Trump that he did not believe the leaks came from his people, and he reassured the president-elect that the intelligence community "stands ready to serve his administration."
I'm glad to hear it. But that cannot be the end of the story.
As many as eight members of Congress -- presumably the bi-partisan leadership of key committees -- had access to the information. Did a member of Congress or Hill staffer leak it? It has been done before
The left-wing outfit Buzzfeed, which published the dossier, could be facing lawsuits.
In a statement, Buzzfeed Editor Ben Smith defended publishing the document, claiming that transparency was the goal. Smith added that "publishing the dossier reflects how we see the job of reporters in 2017." Let me translate for you: "Facts be damned; smear Trump at all costs!"
And what about the dossier itself? It was produced by a left-wing opposition research firm that attacked Republican donors in 2012. More recently, it attempted to discredit the videos that exposed Planned Parenthood's profiteering from aborted baby body parts.
Trump's Lesson - In 2012, conservative reporter Neil Munro got a little aggressive during a Rose Garden press conference. Obama smacked him down, and the entire Washington press corps attacked Munro for his unprofessional behavior.
I'm waiting for reporters to step up and hold CNN's Jim Acosta to the same standard for his behavior at yesterday's press conference with the president-elect. But of course they won't.
When they blasted Munro, the media were defending their man in the White House. When he accosted Trump, Acosta was attacking the man the liberal media didn't want in the White House. Once again, the media's double standard is obvious and disgusting.
Whether they realized it or not, every elected Republican was enrolled in a free course at Trump University yesterday. It was entitled, "How To Deal With Hostile Media."
If they were taking notes, which they should have been because they will be repeatedly tested over the next four years, they would have learned that everything they have been taught by professional consultants is wrong.
The liberal media are held in very low esteem. When left-wing reporters act like Acosta did yesterday, the proper response is to punch back as hard as you are being punched.
No one on the left, whether it's a Hollywood star, a professor on a college campus or a reporter at a press conference, should get away with taking shots at our values. We need to give it as good as we get it. That is what Donald Trump and Mike Pence are proving.
A Personal Observation - I was in Washington, D.C., all day visiting multiple senators and helping to coordinate hundreds of Christians United for Israel activists on Capitol Hill. They were there to support a resolution condemning last month's biased U.N. Security Council vote against Israel. In addition, they urged senators to back efforts to move the American Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and to support the quick confirmation of David Friedman as ambassador to Israel.
When I came out of the Russell Senate Office Building, there was an eye-catching demonstration. Men in orange jump suits were marching in chains through the streets of Washington. Hundreds of people were following them. The leader of the march was yelling something about "freedom."
I wondered if this was a demonstration in support of Christians or other religious monitories being held prisoner by radical Islamists in the Middle East or Africa. No. Was it a cry for help for political prisoners in North Korea, China or Iran? Nope.
Instead, they were demanding the release of the remaining inmates at Guantanamo Bay -- the worst jihadists we've captured, those implicated in the 9/11 attacks, other terrorists plots or captured on the battlefield fighting and killing U.S. soldiers.
Fifteen years ago on that very corner, I searched for our oldest daughter on the morning of 9/11, trying to get her out of Washington, D.C., before more planes came crashing from the sky into the power centers of America.
We have seen unmitigated horrors in the years since.
All of these attacks and many others were carried out by the co-religionists of those now held at Guantanamo Bay. But, incredibly, there were Americans marching in the streets of Washington, D.C., outraged not by terrorist atrocities but by the incarceration of terrorists at Gitmo.
And yet our elites wonder why Donald Trump's theme of "Make America Great Again" resonated with so many Americans. By the way, Trump is pledging not to close Gitmo, but to "load it up with some bad dudes."
Capitol Culture War - A culture war over art is raging on Capitol Hill. It all started when Rep. William Clay (D-MO) hung a painting that depicted police officers as pigs.
Rep. Duncan Hunter, Jr., (R-CA) took it down. Rep. Clay put it back up.
Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) took it down. Rep. Clay and other members of the Congress Black Caucus put it back up.
Reps. Brian Babin (R-TX) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) took it down. Rep. Clay put it back up.
Clay is complaining that Republicans are trying to deny "fundamental free speech rights." Really?
Democrats and their radical allies are pulling down statues and other symbols left and right. They are doing everything they can to silence and shutdown religious business owners. They are even suing nuns!
I hope Speaker Ryan jumps in. He has been handed a gift on a silver platter. Every Republican on Capitol Hill should be issuing statements and giving speeches, asking, "What happened to the party of Harry Truman, JFK and even Bill Clinton?" The left is creating an atmosphere of hate against law enforcement and it is having a chilling effect.
The brave men and women on the thin blue line deserve our respect, not ridicule. If the Democrats want to defend that picture, let them. But Republicans must keep calling them out for it.
---------------- 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, Clapper Calls Trump, Trump's Lesson, A Personal Observation, Capitol Culture WarTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
The shooter allegedly flew from Alaska to Ft. Lauderdale. He had legally checked his gun and ammunition with the appropriate authorities. He did not have access to his gun or ammunition during the flight. Taking a gun on a plane is legal, if the passenger brings the weapon in a case that locks and checks the suitcase containing the gun. The gun is not with the passenger on the airplane. The gun cannot be loaded in its locked box, though regulations allow travelers who fill out a declaration form to also bring ammunition. This is done hundreds of times daily throughout the country.
A good friend of mine, a deputy sheriff, does this checking of his service semi-automatic pistol every time he flies on a vacation. My good friend and hunting buddy who lives out of state but hunts with me in Arkansas, each year legally checks his rifle and ammunition with the airline. In essence, he brings his own equipment.
This shooter went to the baggage claim area after arriving. This area is outside of the secure area. He then took his gun and ammunition to a bathroom; loaded it up and then emerged on a shooting spree.
I anticipate that the media and some politicians will now want to change the law concerning transportation of firearms on airplanes despite the fact that there has never been a similar problem before.
But, please let me explain why this is ridiculous.
First, the baggage area of every airport is not secured. It would have been easier for a shooter to just drive up to the arrival baggage area, jump out of his car or taxi with a rifle or gun and run into the building and start shooting. Why take an airplane to get to the baggage area?
Equally unsecured is the departing area or ticketing area at every airport. Again, anyone can just pull up and jump out of their car and be inside the building in seconds. Hundreds of people are standing around and all are unarmed.
In March 2016, just that happened in Brussels, Belgium, except they used bombs. The same happened recently in Turkey.
Some might say, let’s not let anyone in the arrival or departing areas or the buildings until they are screened curbside. Let everyone stand outside until we know they don’t have weapons. So, now hundreds of people are standing outside all grouped up. Has anyone ever heard of a drive by shooting? That would really make it easy for a deranged person or a terrorist to kill many people and then speed off in their car.
Bottom line is that there really is no way to 100% protect people from those who want to kill and maim, especially if they don’t care if they die during their heinous act. This has now become just a fact of life.
Please, let’s not overreact to what happened today by changing a perfectly good law. The law isn’t the problem. The firearm isn’t the problem. The shooter who ignores the law and wants to kill innocent people is the problem. It is impossible to find and detect all such individuals and that’s an unfortunate fact.
------------------- Jack Sternberg, MD, is a retired medical doctor and former Chairman of the Garland County TEA Party Patriots in Arkansas, and a contributor to the ARRA News Service. Tags:Jack Sternberg, Not Overreacting, Ft. Lauderdale ShootingTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Fake News: When Leftist Foundations Fund Activism Posing As Journalism
by Seton Motley, Contributing Author: #FakeNews is currently in the news “big league.” Thanks to ridiculous Buzzfeed’s ridiculous release of a 35-page Donald Trump disinformation litany (to which we absolutely will not link). A litany so fake - it was printed under the heading “Disinformation.” But ridiculous Buzzfeed released it anyway.
This litany had been floating around Washington, D.C. for months - untouched by DC’s alleged journalists. But DC’s alleged journalists - once Buzzfeed broke the seal - piled in behind them like Japanese subway commuters to further amplify it.
This is by no means the only flavor of fake news that exists. Another long-standing-though-less-ballyhooed version is when Leftist foundations fund Leftist activists - who generate “news” that the media then mindlessly parrot, without any mention of the mammoth money behind it. All the while, the media roundly lambastes much tinier right-of-center efforts to tell their story.
“(T)he Kochs…can’t hold a candle to the foundation funding machine on the Left, which largely operates outside of political disclosure rules and without much media scrutiny. The…lack of media scrutiny — is the most troubling. Given how much time and energy Politico, the Washington Post, NPR, and much of the mainstream media spend on ‘Koch funding,’ you would think the Koch brothers were uniquely large political players. In reality, on a 2013 list of the top 100 U.S. foundations (by asset size), the Ford Foundation was #2, with 38 times more assets than the combined Koch groups. In fact, none of the Koch groups was even in the top 100 foundations by asset size or the top 100 foundations by annual giving. And yet, a recent Google News search showed almost three times more results for ‘Koch brothers’ than for ‘Ford Foundation.’”
Screeching about the Koch brothers, while ignoring the much-more-massive Ford Foundation - is fake news. And is a template the media uses over, and over, and….
Another huge foundation player - ranked #16 to Ford’s #2 - is the Rockefeller Foundation. And they, too, massively fund Leftism - which the media dutifully reports. All while assaulting Rockefeller’s victims for having the temerity to attempt to defend themselves.
For instance: “The Rockefeller Family Foundation (which has an endowment of about $130 million) has long targeted the oil industry and honed in on ExxonMobil last January….The agenda was to ‘establish in the public’s mind that Exxon is a corrupt institution that has pushed humanity (and all creation) toward climate chaos and grave harm’ and to ‘delegitimize’ Exxon as a political actor. The ultimate goal would include ‘getting discovery’ from ExxonMobil through legal action brought by public officials, thus ‘creating scandal’ around the country. Participants at the meeting included activist groups like Greenpeace and Public Citizen, and trial lawyers who have won judgments against the industry before….”
So the Rockeller Foundation was ramping up massive fake news assaults on Exxon. And has since executed: “(T)wo Rockefeller family foundations have been involved in an advocacy campaign that accuses ExxonMobil of covering up what it knew about climate change….Meanwhile, Rockefeller foundations have funded journalism enterprises that have produced stories that overlap with the advocacy agenda.”
“Funded journalism enterprises?” Whatever do they mean?: “(T)o be successful, the advocacy campaign needed to strike a chord in the media, and its key themes were covered by InsideClimate News, ‘an independent, not-for-profit, non-partisan news organization’ that covers energy issues ‘plus the territory in between where law, policy and public opinion are shaped.’” But it depends on the meaning of the word “independent”: “The Rockefeller Brothers Fund is one of InsideClimate News’ biggest funders….”
Rockefeller, Inc. didn’t come close to stopping there: “The advocacy campaign’s argument was also amplified by the Columbia Journalism School and its dean, Steve Coll, a well-regarded, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who had previously been a top editor at the Washington Post, head of the New America Foundation and the author of several bestselling books.
“Rockefeller family foundations donated more than $1 million to the New America Foundation after Coll was appointed to run it in 2007. His salary there quintupled over five years to $320,730, nonprofit disclosure forms show. During Coll’s years at the New America Foundation he wrote Private Empire, a sharply critical corporate biography of ExxonMobil.
“In 2012, Coll left New America and the following year signed on at Columbia. The two Rockefeller foundations donated a combined $300,000 to Columbia in 2013 and 2014, which helped underwrite a partnership between the university’s Energy & Environmental Reporting Project and the Los Angeles Times. They teamed up on a series that covered much of the same ground as the InsideClimateNews series and that also was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
“The stories (written by the students who took part in the fellowship) initially failed to disclose — until after ExxonMobil protested — that the Rockefeller family had donated to the Project, along with other liberal foundations like the Energy Foundation, Open Society Foundations and the Tellus Mater Foundation.”
All of this is wall-to-wall fake news. Devised, spawned and funded by the Rockefeller Foundation – to launch salvo after salvo at ExxonMobil. So of course the media had to have condemned it en toto, yes? I kid: “(T)he Rockefellers have not only avoided criticism but have had their liberal do-gooder brand polished by, among others, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the New Yorker, the New York Review of Books and NPR (whose funders include the Rockefeller Foundation).”
Get that? National Public Radio (NPR) – gets money from the Rockefeller Foundation. And then carries water – for the Rockefeller Foundation. In every way they can. To wit: ExxonMobil has, unsurprisingly, tried to fend off the Rockefeller-media tag team assault. And the media has excoriated them for it – including, of course, NPR: “An NPR story last year thrashed the company for ‘pouring millions and millions of dollars’ into dozens of groups, ‘some of which were transparently industry front groups, and some of which were right-wing economics advocacy groups, that themselves spent decades in various degrees of climate denial.’”
NPR using Rockefeller coin – to criticize Exxon. For defending itself against Rockefeller coin-fed assaults – by the likes of NPR. This is the tiniest of closed Leftist circles.
And this cavalcade of fake news served as the precursor to the New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman-led years-long very real legal persecution of ExxonMobil.
Which is simply the next phase of the Rockefeller Foundation’s calculated assault against ExxonMobil. For having the audacity to engage in legal commerce – providing our nation a vital resource.
Just thought we should let you know. Because the Fake News media wouldn’t – and won’t.
---------------- Seton Motley is the President of Less Government and he contributes to ARRA News Service. Please feel free to follow him him on Twitter / Facebook. Tags:Seton Motley, Less Government, Fake News, Leftist Foundations, Fund Activism, Posing As JournalismTo 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 Appoints Dina Habib Powell Asst to the President & Senior Counselor for Economic Initiatives
Dina Habib Powell
ARRA News Service: President-Elect Donald Trump announced today his intention to appoint Dina Habib Powell as Assistant to the President and Senior Counselor for Economic Initiatives. In this role she will build new efforts around entrepreneurship, small business growth and the global economic empowerment of women.
Powell currently serves as Global Head of Impact Investing at Goldman Sachs and President of the Goldman Sachs Foundation and over the past ten years has built the most successful programs focused on global growth and job creation. Before joining Goldman Sachs, Powell had a longstanding career working in government in the White House as Assistant to the President George W. Bush for Presidential Personnel and the State Department as Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs and Deputy Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.
President-Elect Trump said, “Dina Powell is a tremendous talent and has a stellar record of public service as well as a great career in the private sector. She has been recognized for her strategic oversight of key programs and initiatives and is a leader in both economic growth and the crucial empowerment of women in various aspects of business development and entrepreneurial endeavors. I am proud to have her serve as a senior counselor in my administration, where I know she will produce great results working with the highly respected team of experts we have assembled.”
“The Trump administration has a unique opportunity to unleash the untapped potential of small business owners and female entrepreneurs and by working together with the public and private sectors we can ensure they continue to be a critical part of growing the economy and creating jobs,” said Dina Habib Powell. Tags:President-Elect, Donald Trump, appoints, Dina Habib Powell, Assistant to the President, Senior Counselor for Economic InitiativesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Did Obama Politicize False intel To Portray Trump As A Manchurian Candidate?
Editorial Cartoon by AF Branco
by Robert Romano: It is hard to know what to make of the latest dump of information related to Russia and President-elect Donald Trump: A months-old dossier originally produced as political opposition research first by the GOP and then the Democrats after the primary, of unproven, salacious charges that had President-elect Donald Trump essentially acting as an agent of Moscow including coordinating the Wikileaks disclosures of Democratic emails and that the Kremlin had leverage against him that would enable blackmail.
That, in short, Trump was a Manchurian Candidate.
This dossier filtered into the intelligence community and then was made a part of the classified briefing delivered to the President and President-elect of Russia’s supposed actions to influence the elections.
As CNN infamously reported on Jan. 10, “Classified documents presented last week to President Obama and President-elect Trump included allegations that Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump, multiple U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the briefings tell CNN. The allegations were presented in a two-page synopsis that was appended to a report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. The allegations came, in part, from memos compiled by a former British intelligence operative, whose past work U.S. intelligence officials consider credible.”
The report added, “The FBI is investigating the credibility and accuracy of these allegations, which are based primarily on information from Russian sources, but has not confirmed many essential details in the memos about Mr. Trump.”
Those memos were then published by Buzzfeed, and were immediately found to contain multiple false allegations, including that Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen had traveled to Prague to meet with Russian agents and even that Trump had even gathered intelligence on behalf of Russia.
Trump was understandably quick to dismiss CNN at his Jan. 11 press conference, calling the outlet “fake news” but let’s give CNN its due here. This dossier’s presence in the classified briefing, according to CNN, was confirmed by “multiple U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the briefings…”
Multiple officials who, presumably, should have known the memos were utter trash, but who instead appeared to be taking them quite seriously. According to CNN, a high-level administration official said, “I have a sense the outgoing administration and intelligence community is setting down the pieces so this must be investigated seriously and run down. I think [the] concern was to be sure that whatever information was out there is put into the system so it is evaluated as it should be and acted upon as necessary.”
Sure sounded pretty serious! I’m sure it sounded serious to the CNN reporters credited to the story, Ken Bensinger, Miriam Elder and Mark Schoofs.
But, hold on to your hats. After Buzzfeed dropped the now discredited dossier bombshell on the Internet, NBC quickly reported that the only reason it was ever included was as an example of disinformation, just in case it was needed: “According to the senior official, the two-page summary about the unsubstantiated material made available to the briefers was to provide context, should they need it, to draw the distinction for Trump between analyzed intelligence and unvetted ‘disinformation.’”
Okay, maybe, but then again, maybe not.
If the FBI was still investigating the findings — which the agency has had for some time now — then, how and when did intelligence officials decide it was suddenly “disinformation” that needed to be publicly disavowed after it was included in a section in the classified briefing? Before or after Buzzfeed published it?
Because it seems the only reason the dossier is now being disavowed is because Buzzfeed published it and there were numerous verifiably false claims in it. It’s the only reason the nation is now having this conversation.
Here’s a good question, considering what we are now learning: Why the hell was the intelligence community and the FBI investigating Trump as a potential foreign agent?
This was an unbelievable abuse of power by Obama in an election year against the opposition party’s nominee for president that was used as a political talking point by the Hillary Clinton campaign. The FBI even approached the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for a warrant to begin surveillance of top Trump campaign officials suspected of contacting Russian agents but the court reportedly told the agency to narrow the search. No word if they ever succeeded in getting the warrant, but CNN’s report of the FBI investigation should be taken very seriously.
For those who might draw equivalency to the FBI investigating Clinton’s private email server that contained classified information, the difference could not be more evident. Whereas Clinton’s server should not have even existed since government officials are compelled to use secure government email accounts, and did indeed contain classified information, nothing at all about the Trump memos has been corroborated.
Now the Russia theme is forming the basis for the opposition to Trump and, who knows, maybe his impeachment — after all, being labeled a foreign agent by the intelligence community probably qualifies as an impeachable offense for many members of Congress, with the added bonus that it need not be proven.
Or in the least, the moves could be designed to box Trump in so that the national security state can dictate policy to Trump on Syria, Ukraine and other hot spots that Russia has a stake in. Already, Trump nominee for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has called not sending arms to Ukraine an act of weakness by the Obama administration. Is all the Russia talk getting to top Trump officials that now they feel a political need to act tougher in the face of Moscow? If so, then it might be having its desired effect. I seem to have missed the part of the debate where Trump called for escalating the war in Ukraine, which shares a border with Russia.
Either way, this is looking a whole lot like a setup.
Here’s another question: What if Buzzfeed hadn’t published the dossier?
Would intelligence officials still have been stepping forward to say it was simply intended to “draw the distinction for Trump between analyzed intelligence and unvetted ‘disinformation’” as NBC News reported?
Or would Obama administration officials have continued teasing it out, letting the CNN report stand unchallenged, and leading to calls in Congress for more delusional inquiries, feigning authenticity for what is turning out to be a very dubious case against Russia and against Trump?
This was the same dossier that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) — who chaired the Jan. 6 hearing into Russia’s supposed attack that he pressed intelligence officials to label “an act of war” — thought was so credible that he personally handed it to FBI director James Comey on Dec. 9, 2016 after receiving it from a British Ambassador, demanding an investigation. It was McCain who also pushed for a select committee because of this dossier but was turned back by Senate leadership.
This was the same dossier that compelled former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to pen an Aug. 29 letter to Comey, urging an immediate investigation into Trump, stating, “The evidence of a direct connection between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign continues to mount and has led Michael Morrell, the forming Acting Central Intelligence Director, to call Trump an ‘unwitting agent’ of Russia and the Kremlin.”
“The American people deserve to have a full understanding of the facts from a completed investigation before they vote this November,” Reid added.
It might have even been the same dossier that inspired several electors of the Electoral College to write a Dec. 12 letter to National Intelligence Director James Clapper, demanding that “The Electors require to know from the intelligence community whether there are ongoing investigations into ties between Donald Trump, his campaign or associates, and Russian government interference in the election.”
Who knows? Perhaps it was even teased in the unclassified version of the memo dated Jan. 6, which stated that “Further information has come to light since Election Day that, when combined with Russian behavior since early November 2016, increases our confidence in our assessments of Russian motivations and goals.”
During the recent Senate Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Jan. 5, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper declared, “We stand actually more resolutely on the strength of that statement that we made on the 7th of October” that Russia was attempting to influence the election.
All of which raises a key question: Was this dossier, teased by CNN and then published by Buzzfeed included in the “further information” that increased the intelligence community’s confidence in its reporting about Russia and the election in its Jan. 6 assessment? Was this what caused Clapper to stand more resolutely on the strength of that assessment?
McCain was reported to have given Comey the dossier on Dec. 9, which was after the election. Of course, there’s no way of knowing what the assessment was referring to as “further information” boosting its confidence, since the intelligence community and the Obama administration have refused steadfastly to include any evidence to support any of their claims against Russia and now, Trump.
But if there’s to be an investigation, perhaps it should be into how this crappy memo would ever be briefed to the President of the United States and then partially leaked out by the Obama administration to CNN to portray Trump as a Russian asset.
Thank goodness Buzzfeed published the dossier. If this is what passes for “intelligence” in Washington, D.C. and so many of Congress’ top brass could be so easily fooled for months on end, then perhaps now it should be clear that our leaders lack any.
One of the puzzles of this whole evidence-free Russia hacked the election to help Trump allegation has been why the intelligence community in December suddenly starting treating Trump like he was some sort of foreign agent acting on behalf of the Kremlin?
Perhaps it was because the intelligence community was relying on information that was completely fabricated and really believed it. It told them what they wanted to hear about Trump’s ties to Russia’s supposed interference in the elections. Or, because the Obama administration settled on a post-election strategy to discredit and destroy Trump as a Russian agent and to decapitate the incoming administration.
The Obama administration has expertly timed the release of all this information, politicizing the nation’s intelligence community in what may be its largest scandal ever, first to influence the election and now to delegitimize Trump — which all blew up when Buzzfeed, unauthorized, unexpectedly published some of the administration’s supposed “evidence.” Everyone should be asking: What if Buzzfeed hadn’t published it?
---------------- Robert Romano is the Senior Editor of Americans for Limited Government. His article was first shared on the ALG's NetRight Daily blog. Tags:Robert Romano, Americans For Limited Government, Obama, Politicize, False intel, Portray Trump, Manchurian CandidateTo 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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