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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, February 03, 2017
Judge Gorsuch – A Brilliant Nomination
Judge Neil Gorsuch
by Newt Gingrich: His nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the United States Supreme Court on Tuesday was a brilliant move on multiple levels.
First, Judge Gorsuch is an eminently skilled jurist who has brought a decade of intelligence, decorum, and wisdom to the 10th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Colorado. While Justice Antonin Scalia is certainly irreplaceable, Gorsuch will do an excellent job filling Justice Scalia’s seat.
It would be difficult to reasonably question his judicial credentials. Gorsuch attended Columbia University, is a graduate of Harvard Law, is a Marshall Scholar at Oxford University, and was unanimously confirmed to his current judgeship by the Senate in 2006.
This brings us to the second reason why Gorsuch was a brilliant pick: His confirmation will be difficult for Democrats to oppose.
Since Trump was elected, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has said Senate Democrats would oppose any nominee who wasn’t “mainstream.” The propaganda media’s own Rachael Maddow already acknowledged on MSNBC that Gorsuch is a mainstream nominee.
So, immediately after the nomination, Schumer conveniently expanded his “mainstream” requirement to someone who will remain independent on the bench, preserve the rights of Americans, and stand up to the president.
According to one of President Obama’s former Department of Justice appointees, Gorsuch meets those requirements, as well.
In a column in the New York Times written the day Gorsuch was nominated, former Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal, who was appointed by Obama to fill the vacancy left when Justice Elena Kagan joined the bench, called him, “an extraordinary judge and man.”
“I have no doubt that if confirmed, Judge Gorsuch would help to restore confidence in the rule of law. His years on the bench reveal a commitment to judicial independence – a record that should give the American people confidence that he will not compromise principle to favor the president who appointed him,” Katyal wrote.
Gorsuch is a widely respected, independent minded judge’s judge. How will Schumer continue to say no?
Third, the timing and manner of Gorsuch’s nomination was perfectly Trumpian.
Over the weekend, the media was in a total frenzy over President Trump’s executive order to impose a 90-day U.S. travel ban on people from seven nations pending a security review.
This list of nations had been identified as dangerous by the Obama administration. Still, the propagandists in the media immediately labeled the order a ban on Muslims. It simply is not a Muslim ban.
Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world. The next largest Muslim populations are in Pakistan and India. These countries are not on the list – nor are any of the other large Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East.
Trump understands the media better than any politician in modern history. He knows the media needs rabbits to chase, or they will make their own rabbits. They were chasing an immigration rabbit to his disadvantage.
So instead of letting the needless furor continue, Trump announced he would move his Supreme Court nomination up two days. As Trump knew they would, the media immediately chased the new rabbit.
Judge Gorsuch is a superb nominee who I’m confident would have made Justice Scalia proud. And Democrats in the Senate who unanimously confirmed him to the federal bench in 2006 presumably agreed. That list includes Senator Schumer, former Senators Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, among others.
He will be approved by the Senate.
---------------------- 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, Judge Gorsuch, Brilliant NominationTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by John Porter, Contributing Author: I have been urged by many to explain the electoral college vs. popular vote provision of our Constitution and the reasoning behind it. Closely analyzed without bias political party thinking it shows the brilliance of the people we call the founding fathers in establishing this type of voting system for selecting a president. It is for that one government position only, because it is the only government job for which we hire someone with a nation wide election.
We must remind ourselves that when these men met to draft our constitution, there was no Federal Government, only states with their individual laws. Writing a Constitution was part of the process of forming the Federal government. It was done in order to, by Constitutional law, set the powers the states were willing to allow the Federal Government to have and the ones they would retain, and to protect the rights of the people which could not be infringed upon by either the State or the Federal Government.
The original proposal was to have the two branches of Congress together elect the president. However, it was not adopted because that would have conceding power to the Federal Government to elect the president. With the Presidency being the only elected position in the Federal Government representing all Americans, the states rightfully and successfully argued that they would have no voice in electing the president, The delegates initiated the process by which each state would establish the choosing of electors to vote for president. Originally, well known leading citizens were chosen by state legislatures. Now the voters under the rules of each individual state or parties within those states determine the delegates and rules for the special purpose of selecting the president. The electors now assemble in their states and cast the electoral votes allotted to that state. The number of votes allotted were the state's number of Representatives and Senators combined. The model for this was the very structure of the Constitutional Convention itself, where each state had a number of delegates representing that state.
Even though it does not function exactly as the Founders originally intended, the Electoral College remains today an essential Constitutional safeguard of, not only American Individual Liberty, but of the liberty of the states from the Federal Government. As stated, each state is allotted as many electoral votes as it has senators and members of the House of Representatives. To become president of the United States of America, a person must, even today, win the national election state by state. We speak of "the presidential election" when, including Washington D. C., there are actually 51 separate elections for president. The United States is a nation of 50 separate sovereign states. The electoral college gives your state a voice in electing the president.
There has been much talk of seeking to eliminate or compromise the electoral college and to elect the president by popular vote. One determined group is headed up by Eric Holder with the financial support of other Liberal Progressives. If successful, the process would completely transform the office of President. The person elected to it would in effect become the president of the big cities of America, and the last trace of independent self government guaranteed the individual states by the Constitution's electoral college system would be lost forever.
We must preserve and protect the Electoral College at any cost.
Let me give you an example of what could and would in fact have happened on November 8, 2016 if we had a national popular election instead of the Electoral College. I hope this will help readers understand the true wisdom of the writers of our Constitution. These numbers were put together on November 28 and there might have been a small number of votes still being tabulated in a few counties across some states. Sources for the 2016 Election results are from The Associated Press, Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections, and The Cook Political Report.
The total popular vote count showed that Donald Trump won the popular vote in 30 states and Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in 20 states plus D.C.. The total count for all states, Trump was 62,510,659 ----- Clinton was 64,817,808. The difference shows Clinton winning the popular vote by 2,307,149. However, totaling all states excluding California, Donald Trump won the popular vote. Now, in California the vote count was Clinton 8,292,775 ---- Trump 4,276,750. Lets deduct Clinton's California vote from her national vote -- 64,817,808 - 8,292,775 = 56,525,033. Now let's deduct Trump's California vote from his national vote -- 62,510,659 - 4,276,750 = 58,233,909. The difference is Trump winning by 1,708,876.
So, in effect, Hillary Clinton was elected president of California and Donald Trump was elected president of the rest of the country by a substantial margin. This is the finest example I can relate to you of the wisdom of the Electoral College system used to elect our American President. It prevents the vote of any one densely populated state from overriding the vote of all the others.
Ask yourself, "Do I really want California, or any other state, electing the president for the rest of us?" Without the Electoral College that is exactly what will happen.
------------------ John Porter is an Americans first, constitutional conservatives second. His allegiance is to the Constitution. He seeks to help save America from the grips of socialism and an all powerful, intrusive government, and from the evil of Islam. He is a contributing author to the ARRA News Service. Tags:John Porter, Electoral College, United States, elections, 2016 Presidential ElectionTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Sessions Nomination Moves to Full Senate. NRA Member Action Needed Now!
by NRA-ILA: On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee approved President Donald Trump’s nominee for U.S. Attorney General, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), by an 11-9 vote. Sessions’s nomination now moves to the full Senate, where a confirmation vote will likely take place in the coming week.
The Judiciary Committee’s approval came a day later than anticipated, after Democrat committee members delayed the vote in order to express their displeasure with the Trump administration. The move led Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) to remark, “Our friends on the other side seem to be upset about the outcome of the election on November 8. I guess you could say they're going through the stages of grief.”
Before turning contentious, Tuesday’s Judiciary Committee meeting was opened with remarks from Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who was effusive in his praise of the nominee. Grassley noted that Sessions “knows the Department better than any nominee for Attorney General in recent memory,” adding, “He's a man of integrity. He's a man of his word. And he'll enforce the law, regardless of whether he would've supported passage of that law as a legislator.”
Grassley’s words echo the sentiments expressed by others in Sessions’s confirmation hearing last month. During the hearing, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) remarked, “I can vouch confidently for the fact that Jeff Sessions is a person of integrity, a principled leader, and a dedicated public servant,” and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said of Sessions, “You're a good and decent and honorable man. You've got an outstanding record that you should be proud of, and I know you are and you should be.”
During that hearing Sessions made clear his devotion to the U.S. Constitution, noting in his opening statement that “the Justice Department must remain ever faithful to the Constitution’s promise that our government is one of laws, not of men.” Sessions went on to condemn efforts to use the Department of Justice for political purposes, as the Obama administration did in Operation Chokepoint, explaining that such behavior has “a corrosive effect on public confidence in the constitutional republic of which we are sworn to uphold.” When asked about his views on the Second Amendment, Sessions responded, “I do believe the Second Amendment is a personal right. It's an historic right of the American people, and the Constitution protects that and explicitly states that. It's just as much a part of the Constitution as any of the other great rights and liberties that we value.”
Of course, Sessions’s commitment to the Constitution and our right to keep and bear arms stretches far beyond his statements to the Judiciary Committee. During his 20-year career in the U.S. Senate, Sessions has compiled a sterling voting record on matters concerning Second Amendment rights. Sessions has also been a vocal advocate for stringent enforcement of existing federal gun laws against violent criminals. Moreover, as ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, Sessions led the effort to challenge Barack Obama’s U.S. Supreme Court nominees on their records concerning the Second Amendment.
Through his words and deeds, Sessions has earned the support of every NRA member. However, as evidenced by Sessions’s contentious confirmation hearing and the delay in his Judiciary Committee vote, some will stop at nothing to halt Sessions’s confirmation, if only to stymie President Trump.
That is why gun rights supporters must take action to ensure that Sessions is confirmed as U.S. Attorney General.
Please contact your U.S. Senators NOW at (202) 224-3121, or by email using our Take Action tool. Ask your U.S. Senators to support Jeff Sessions for Attorney General! Tags:Senator, Jeff Sessions, Nomination, Attorney General, Moves to Full Senate, NRA, Action Needed Now!To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
In 1973, American Indian Movement co-founder Dennis Banks was convicted of riot and assault for a 1973 courthouse gun battle in South Dakota. Banks had been having an affair with AIM activist Anna Aquash, who in 1976 was found murdered, shot through the back of the head. That year Banks fled to California, and Governor Jerry Brown refused to extradite him.
Banks took full advantage of Brown’s protection by studying at UC Davis, teaching at Stanford, and serving as chancellor of Deganawidah-Quetzalcoatl University (DQU), a ramshackle outfit near Sacramento. Banks fled when Brown left office but it wasn’t until the mid-1980s that the fugitive surrendered to authorities in South Dakota and served 18 months on the 1973 charges.
In 2011, Saul Isidro-Aucencio and Francisco Delgado, Mexican nationals in the United States illegally, gunned down Jamir Miller, 15, Richard Ward, 16, and Robert Corpos, 20, in Rancho Cordova, near Sacramento. Isidro-Aucencio used an AK-47 to shoot Miller in the head and Corpos in the back as he sought cover behind a tree. When Jamir Miller’s mother protested that the shooters were in the country illegally, judge Helene Gweon told her the case has “nothing to do with illegal aliens.” Jerry Brown, California Attorney General from 2007-2011, said nothing about the case.
Brown was California governor again in 2014 when Luis Enriquez Monroy Bracamontes, a Mexican national in the United States illegally after several deportations, gunned down Danny Oliver, 47, a Sacramento County Sheriff’s deputy. Bracamontes then shot Anthony Holmes, a motorist who refused to give up his car, and later the illegal killed police detective Michael Davis with an AR-15 and wounded Jeff Davis, a deputy. Bracamontes is on record that “I killed them cops,” and recently pleaded guilty while threatening to kill his attorneys.
Governor Jerry Brown ignored the case and devoted no attention to the victims’ families. The murders prompted no effort by California’s governor to prevent such violent criminals from entering the state. Likewise, the murders did not prompt Brown to question the practice of cities such as San Francisco from offering sanctuary to violent criminals in the country illegally.egally.
Governor Jerry Brown ignored the case and devoted no attention to the victims’ families. The murders prompted no effort by California’s governor to prevent such violent criminals from entering the state. Likewise, the murders did not prompt Brown to question the practice of cities such as San Francisco from offering sanctuary to violent criminals in the country illegally.
Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, also known as José Inez García Zarate, is a felon who had been deported five times. Lopez-Sanchez had been serving 46 months in a southern California federal prison but was returned to San Francisco to face a 20-year-old marijuana charge. On April 15, 2015, San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi duly released Lopez-Sanchez. On July 1, 2015, police arrested Lopez-Sanchez in the shooting death of Kathryn Steinle, 32, on a San Francisco pier.
In December, 2015, radical Islamic terrorists Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik gunned down 14 people in San Bernardino, California. Brown delayed his trip to Paris by only one day, but did not seek “to minimize the significance of this terrorist attack.” He called it part of “a global phenomenon,” adding, “people who are committed to this jihadist doctrine are going to be killing people in very unexpected places.”
Brown said “we have to be on guard, and we have to do whatever we can do. And I’m going to be spending some time making sure that our federal-state collaboration really is working.” As the deadly terrorist attack confirmed, it is not working, and Brown did nothing to make it work.
Brown sees terrorism as a gun-control issue, and he expressed alarm at the gun laws of Nevada and Arizona, “a gigantic backdoor through which any terrorist can walk.” The governor expressed no concern that any terrorist could simply walk into the United States across the porous border with Mexico, and proposed no tightening of the border or changes to immigration laws.
Jerry Brown ran for president three times but did not mount a campaign in 2016. He backed Hillary Clinton and after her loss Brown posed as leader of the anti-Trump forces. Like many other California politicians, he cranked up the volume after President Trump’s limited executive order on travel. As it happened, California’s travel ban was already in force.
Last September, Brown signed a bill effectively barring state employees from traveling to North Carolina, with its dreaded bathroom bill, and other states with similar measures. The bill also restricts travel for University of California and Cal State University sports teams, and could also halt travel for conferences and training.
California chose to use cheap Chinese steel on the new span of the Bay Bridge, $5 billion over budget, completed ten years late, and still riddled with cracked welds, corrosion and other problems. When apprised of the lingering safety issues, Brown famously said: “I mean, look, shit happens.”
Targeting Tehran, Another Leftist Riot, Democrat Delusions
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Targeting Tehran - In yet another dramatic break from the past eight years, the Trump Administration announced this morning that it was imposing new sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The sanctions target "multiple entities and individuals involved in procuring technology and/or materials to support Iran's ballistic missile program, as well as for acting for or on behalf of, or providing support to, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force."
These measures come in response to recent Iranian missile tests, which included a nuclear-capable cruise missile. In addition, Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen attacked a Saudi warship. However, the Pentagon suspects that U.S. ships were the intended target.
Wednesday, National Security Adviser Michael Flynn warned Iran that this administration would not tolerate Tehran's continued belligerence.
"The Obama Administration failed to respond adequately to Tehran's malign actions -- including weapons transfers, support for terrorism, and other violations of international norms," Flynn said. "Instead of being thankful to the United States for these agreements, Iran is now feeling emboldened. As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice."
This morning, President Trump tweeted, "Iran is playing with fire -- they don't appreciate how 'kind' President Obama was to them. Not me!"
Thankfully, when it comes to combatting Iran's aggression, there is still some bipartisan cooperation in Washington, D.C. Yesterday, 22 senators -- 10 Democrats and 12 Republicans -- sent a letter to President Trump expressing their concern about Iran's recent activities.
The letter stated that "Iranian leaders must feel sufficient pressure to cease deeply destabilizing activities." In addition, it stated that "Full enforcement of existing sanctions and the imposition of additional sanctions" against Iran was necessary. (It is very telling that ten Senate Democrats obviously felt that the Obama Administration was not fully enforcing existing sanctions against Iran.) Lastly, the letter expressed the senators' full support for administration "efforts to hold Iran accountable."
Another Leftist Riot - Radicals and anarchists flooded the campus of New York University last night in yet another attempt to deny the First Amendment rights of those with whom they disagree. This time the target was Gavin McInnes, a libertarian commentator and co-founder of VICE, who was at NYU to speak to the College Republicans.
But several social media accounts alerted area radicals to his appearance. The message was essentially the same, "Shut him down!" That may as well be the left's motto. That is what it is trying to do to speech it doesn't like. That is what the left is trying to do President Trump, his cabinet nominees, his government and even Judge Gorsuch.
Incredibly, Senate Democrat Leader Charles Schumer is even refusing to meet with Judge Gorsuch!
Earlier this week, Senate Democrats refused to show up for committee hearings. They thought that would prevent confirmation votes for President Trump's cabinet nominees. The constituents of these liberal senators who are refusing to do their jobs should demand that their "public servants" return their paychecks to the Treasury!
Thankfully, the New York Police Department was prepared last night and did its best to mitigate the damage. Gavin McInnes was able to speak, albeit with repeated interruptions. There was some violence and four arrests were made.
Democrat Delusions - Former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich, now a professor at UC Berkeley, has a bizarre theory about the violence we witnessed earlier this week. According to Reich, it's all part of the vast right-wing conspiracy. Seriously, folks.
Speaking on CNN last night, Reich said he was there and knows what he saw. "Those people were not Berkeley students. They were outsiders, agitators. I've never seen them before," Reich said.
Okay, so far so good. But here's where it gets weird. Reich continues: "There's rumors that they actually were right-wingers. They were part of a group organized and ready to create the tumult and danger you saw that forced police to cancel the event."
Host Don Lemon was shocked by Reich's bizarre suggestion. He asked Reich if he really thought it was a right-wing strategy. Reich replied: "I wouldn't bet against it, Don. Again, I saw these people. They all looked almost paramilitary, not from the campus. And I've heard -- again I don't want to say factually -- but heard there's some relationship there between these people and the right-wing. And the movement that is affiliated with Breitbart News."I think Professor Reich must be smoking something. California did legalize pot last November.
Left-wing demonstrators trashed Seattle in 1999 and Washington, D.C., the next year.
Left-wing radicals were at the inaugural last month. I was confronted by two of them. There were videos of them attacking people outside of inaugural balls. They attacked people at various Trump rallies last year.
The idea that this is some new group and that it is orchestrated by Breitbart is totally absurd.
Project Veritas secretly videotaped the anarchist group planning to attack the inaugural. One leader was arrested, which would blow the cover off the whole right-wing conspiracy theory.
If Robert Reich is really looking for violent demonstrators who are not who they appear to be, he should look at last year's leaks about Democratic operatives who were sending violent thugs into Trump rallies hoping to provoke violence.
It is beyond disingenuous for Reich to suggest that the Berkeley riots were the result of planned right-wing violence. It is the left, not the right, which is becoming increasingly violent and threatening free speech in America.
---------------- 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, Targeting Tehran, Another Leftist Riot, Democrat DelusionsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
“On his first day in office, President Jimmy Carter had eight of his Cabinet nominees confirmed. Within two days of his inauguration, Ronald Reagan had 12 of his nominees in place. Within 24 hours after his inauguration, Bill Clinton had 13 in place. Even President George W. Bush, whose transition period was swept up in a dramatic Supreme Court decision about his election, had seven of his nominees confirmed on Jan. 20, and four more in four days. President Obama — as Republicans are pointing out — had seven in place by the time he and Michelle Obama had their first dance.” (“Two Weeks In, Donald Trump Has The Smallest Confirmed Cabinet In Decades,” Washington Post, 2/2/17)
“The progressive Donald Trump doomsday clock is still at a minute to midnight even as the President-elect has named a string of mainstream cabinet nominees, and Senate Democrats are signaling that they plan to fight nearly all of them.They’re even calling themselves ‘the resistance,’ which does accurately capture the combination of melodrama and failure to accept the election defeat.”(Editorial, “'The Resistance’ Vs. Trump’s Cabinet,” The Wall Street Journal, 12/23/16)
By day 14, only four members of President Trump’s cabinet have been confirmed. By the same point in time other recent presidents have had more than twice as many confirmed:
President Barack Obama had 12 of 15 Cabinet officials confirmed
President George W. Bush had 13 of 14 Cabinet officials confirmed
President Bill Clinton had 13 of 14 Cabinet officials confirmed
President George H. W. Bush had12 of 13 Cabinet officials confirmed
President Ronald Reagan had 12 of 13 Cabinet officials confirmed
“Democrats are spending the opening weeks of the Trump administration trying to flex their muscle any way they can -- boycotting confirmation hearings…But as Democrats throw every procedural hurdle they can think of at Trump, they're facing a bleak reality: they have virtually no power in Washington.”(“Democrats Face Their Powerlessness,” CNN, 2/2/17)
Sessions, Pruitt, Mnuchin, & Price Nominations All Advance
Tuesday: “In an unusual step, Democrats boycotted planned Senate Finance Committee votes on Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., to become health secretary and financier Steven Mnuchin to head the Treasury Department. … ‘They ought to stop posturing and acting like idiots,’ said committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. ‘Are they that bitter about Donald Trump? The answer has to be yes.’” (“Democrats Force Delays In Votes On 3 Cabinet Nominees,” Washington Post, 1/31/17)
Monday: “Democrats asked to postpone a Senate Finance Committee vote on Treasury nominee Steven Mnuchin this afternoon so they could attend a candlelight vigil… Democrats asked to postpone a Senate Finance Committee vote on Treasury nominee Steven Mnuchin this afternoon so they could attend a candlelight vigil in response to President Donald Trump's travel restrictions, a spokeswoman for ranking member Ron Wyden said. ‘This delay will allow members to protest the president… while voting on Mr. Mnuchin’s nomination little more than 12 hours later,’ spokeswoman Rachel McCleery said.” (“Democrats Say Trump Travel Ban Vigil Behind Mnuchin Delay,” Politico Pro, 1/30/17)
Examples Of Ridiculous Dem ‘Stall Tactics’
Steve Mnuchin Nomination For Secretary Of The Treasury ‘Democrats Asked To Postpone A Senate Finance Committee Vote’ For 12 Hours ‘To Protest The President
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY):“Ms. DeVos' hearing was at 5 o'clock in the afternoon, in an blatant attempt to prevent more Americans from watching the hearing and the news coverage of it.” (Sen. Schumer, Press Conference, 1/18/17)
‘Her Hearing … We Sent Out Just A Video Of A Couple Of The Questions, 15 Million People Have Seen It … These Issues And Others Deserve To Be Thoroughly And Rigorously Reviewed By The Senate’
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY):“Betsy DeVos…we sent out just a video of a couple of the questions, 15 million people have seen it, and if you go look on the social media…These issues and others deserve to be thoroughly and rigorously reviewed by the Senate.” (Sen. Schumer, Press Conference, 1/19/27)
Ryan Zinke For Secretary Of The Interior Cantwell Delays Hearing Over EPA Website Changes
On March 19, 2014, NTIA official Fiona Alexander wrote an email to Cerf initially soliciting an oped to bolster the government’s case in favor of the U.S. proposal to transition oversight of the Internet’s domain name system, writing, “While the press has gotten better there have been a couple of unhelpful oped’s including one in tod[a]y’s Wall Street Journal. Obviously those folks are uni[n]formed but our press folks were wondering if you were going to write something.”
NTIA Administrator Lawrence Strickling was cc’ed on the email.
It turned out Cerf had already written an oped on the subject for ICANN, but was having trouble getting sign-off from Google for similar efforts. Cerf expressed frustration, writing, “I am frankly struggling with the PR team at Google who seem very reluctant to let me get out in front of this because they don’t want this to be about Google. Let me see if we can accelerate the ICANN piece.”
Cerf attached his oped for the agency to review, which officials were more than willing to oblige, offering edits to the oped. Alexander replied, “Larry and I are getting ready to board for the flight to Singapore so Juliana and Heather will be following up with you directly. We have a few suggestions including the need to directly counter the WSJ opinion piece today that says this will facilitate/allow censorshiop [sic].”
“Obviously this guy lacks any technical understanding,” Alexander added, referring to Crovitz.
Then, Juliana Gruenwald replied to everyone, offering, “As Fiona said, she and Larry believe it would be helpful to add a line to your piece countering the Wall Street Journal op-ed’s claim that this will lead to censorship.”
Gruenwald also offered for Cerf to insert an additional paragraph, writing, “the paragraph below could be helpful to counter claims that this will lead to a governmental takeover of the DNS. (This graph could possibly go below the line related to censorship)…”
The suggested additional paragraph read, “There has been some concern that this could lead to a governmental takeover of these functions. There is little likelihood of that outcome and we would oppose such a development. The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which made Friday’s announcement, has made it clear that it would not accept a proposal that replaces NTIA’s role with a government led or an inter-governmental solution.”
Agency officials even offered to help place the oped, which was eventually published in May/June 2014 edition of IEEE Computing Society.
Although the line about censorship never made the cut in the final oped, a shortened version of the suggested paragraph on governmental takeover did ultimately get published: “Some concern has arisen that the NTIA’s proposed change could lead to a governmental takeover of these functions. We would oppose such a development. The NTIA has made it clear that it would not accept a proposal that replaces its role with a government-led or intergovernmental solution.”
This raises some disturbing questions.
Just how ethical is it for agencies to shape propaganda in private media outlets authored by an employee of a corporation, Google, that owns many top-level domains — including .ads, .app, and others — that stood to benefit from the government action creating the new Internet domain name system cartel that the oped expressly advocated for?
Making matters worse, by covertly inserting government talking points into an oped on an issue that was heavily lobbied in favor of by Google, the agency was directly engaged in propaganda on an issue of public import, which was prohibited in Title E, Section 718 of the 2014 Consolidated Appropriations Act: “No part of any appropriation contained in this or any other Act shall be used directly or indirectly, including by private contractor, for publicity or propaganda purposes within the United States not heretofore authorized by the Congress.”
Further complicating the matter, the oped was actually not on behalf of Google, but on behalf of ICANN, which at the time was an NTIA government contractor of the very IANA functions the oped advocated relinquishing to ICANN.
As Cerf noted in his email to NTIA’s Alexander, “ICANN has an op-ed…” and “[I] am urging ICANN to get this out” and “Let me see if we can accelerate the ICANN piece.”
But it might have been devastating at the time. The fact that the agency would collude with a vice president at Google and a government contractor, ICANN, illegally as it turned out, in formulating an oped beneficial to Google and the monopolist ICANN, would have been scandalous.
It most certainly would have been torn apart by the Wall Street Journal’s Crovitz, who ended up writing frequently on the Americans for Limited Government FOIA requests in 2014 and again in 2016.
Such a scandal might have very well torpedoed public opinion against the Internet transition. Who knows?
And the agency apparently shielded it from public disclosure under FOIA — for almost three years. Did agency lawyers block the disclosure, knowing the oped scandal was illegal?
Because, we’re pretty sure that’s illegal, too. A big-time felony, in fact, under 18 U.S. Code Section 1519: “Whoever knowingly … conceals [or] covers up … any record, document, or tangible object with the intent to impede, obstruct, or influence the investigation or proper administration of any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the United States … in relation to or contemplation of any such matter or case, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.”
Remember, the crime is bad, but the cover-up is always worse.
There is no question NTIA believed Americans for Limited Government was entitled to these documents under FOIA — they were eventually released. Years later. What was the hold up?
Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning blasted the FOIA bombshell disclosures in a statement, saying: “This revelation raises the question of whether NTIA engaged in illegal covert propaganda by placing talking points into an oped by a Google employee on behalf of a government contractor, ICANN, prohibited conduct by both agencies and contractors in the 2014 spending bill. Also, whether it was covered up to help justify creation of the Internet monopoly after we issued a legitimate Freedom of Information Act request the same year.”
Manning added in conclusion, “The seeming collusion between the NTIA and the corporations Google and ICANN that stood to benefit the most from the Internet transition was an unbelievable abuse of power. All this warrants immediate investigations by the U.S. Justice Department and Congressional committees — and calls into question the very legitimacy of the Internet transition itself.”
---------------- 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, NTIA, Illegally Inserted, Government Talking Points, ICANN, Google, Oped In Favor of Internet Transition, Covered It UpTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Polls Show Popular Support For Trump Order On Refugees
by Chris Chmielenski: Two polls -- both conducted since last weekend's news coverage of protests against Pres. Trump's Jan. 27 executive order -- show that significantly more Americans support the President's order to pause the refugee program for four months than oppose it.
A Rasmussen Poll, conducted from Jan. 31-Feb. 1 found that 52% of likely voters support the action compared to 43% who oppose.
Meanwhile, a daily tracking poll by Reuters/Ipsos, conducted from Jan.31-Feb. 2, found that 48% support compared to 42% who oppose.
Both polls are consistent with public opinion measured before Pres. Trump signed the order. A Rasmussen poll taken after the executive order was leaked to the press, but before Pres. Trump signed it, found that the majority of Americans support a pause. A poll conducted by Quinnipiac in early-January also found that more Americans support a pause in immigration from terror hot spots than those who oppose.
These are the only polls taken after the weekend that have been made public.
Rasmussen's question added more context, helping to explain why it found majority support for the order. The question noted that the pause is only for four months and the purpose is to implement a better system for vetting refugees."The federal government has banned refugees from all countries from entering the United States for the next four months until there is a better system in place to keep out individuals who are terrorist threats. Do you favor or oppose such a ban?"The Reuters/Ipsos poll asked about both the pause on refugees and the pause on visas from seven countries identified as hot spots for terror. But the question posed the visa pause as a religious test -- mentioning Muslims -- rather than describing the actual reason the seven countries were chosen. The poll still found more support than opposition, but not as much as the Rasmussen poll."Do you agree or disagree with the Executive Order that President Trump signed blocking refugees and banning people from seven Muslim majority countries from entering the U.S.?"The Reuters poll is a daily tracking poll using a five-day rolling average. In each of its three releases, the number of Americans who support the order outnumber those who oppose.
----------------- Chris Chmielenski is the Director of Content & Activism for NumbersUSA Tags:Chris Chmielenski, NumbersUSA, Polls Show, Popular Support, Domnald Trump, Executive Order, RefugeesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Senate Pushes Back Against Harmful Obama Administration-Era Regulations
Congressional Review Act… Could Become More Familiar In The Coming Weeks’
SEN. MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “This Republican-led Congress is committed to fulfilling our promises to the American people. That work continues now as we consider legislation to push back against harmful regulations from the Obama Administration. On its way out the door, the Obama Administration forced nearly 40 major — and very costly — regulations on the American people. Fortunately, we now have the opportunity to work with the new president to begin bringing relief from these burdensome regulations.” (Sen. McConnell, Press Release, 2/2/17)
‘Senators Voted … To Kill An Obama Administration Coal Mining Rule’
“Senators voted 54-45 Thursday to kill an Obama administration coal mining rule, giving President Trump his first chance to formally take off the books an environmental rule from the previous administration. The Congressional Review Act (CRA) challenge passed by the Senate undoes the Interior Department’s … regulation…” (“Senate Votes To Block Obama Coal Rule,” The Hill, 2/2/17)
President Obama’s ‘Punitive 11th-Hour Regulation On Coal,’ Would Have Put ‘Between 112,757 And 280,809’ Total Jobs At Risk
KENTUCKY COAL ASSOCIATION:“The undeniable truth is that … [this rule] will have a real impact on the real world. It will cause real harm to real people, who support real families in real communities. And those real families and communities desperately need Congress to intervene on their behalf to rebuke the actions of an out-of-control federal agency by passing a resolution to overturn the SPR and send it to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law.” (Kentucky Coal Association, Letter To Sen. McConnell, 1/30/17)
UNITED MINE WORKERS: “…thank you for introducing a Joint Resolution to overturn the Stream Protection Rule (SPR) under the Congressional Review Act. The United Mine Workers of America wholeheartedly supports your legislation and will work to see that it is passed. … The last thing America’s coal-producing regions need at this time is another regulation that will have the effect of reducing employment even more and further stifling economic development.”(United Mine Workers Of America, Letter To Sen. McConnell, 1/30/17)
“The Obama Administration has … [issued] a punitive 11th-hour regulation on coal. Issued by the Interior Department’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM), the rule takes effect Jan. 19 as a classic example of the job-killing rules that Mr. Trump has vowed to overturn.”(Editorial, “Coal In Trump’s Stocking,” Wall Street Journal, 12/20/16)
STUDY: “Total number of jobs at risk of loss, including mining and linked sector employment is between 112,757 and 280,809 (30 to 75 percent of current employment levels).”(“Economic Impacts Of The Office Of Surface Mining’s Proposed Stream Protection Rule (SPR),” Ramboll Environ, 2016)
“Direct mining jobs at risk of loss are predicted to range from 40,038 to 77,520, with both surface and underground mining adversely affected.” (“Economic Impacts Of The Office Of Surface Mining’s Proposed Stream Protection Rule (SPR),” Ramboll Environ, 2016)
“CEO Robert Murray called the stream protection rule ‘the single greatest threat to the jobs and family livelihoods of our employees that I have seen in my 58 years of coal mining.’”(“Coal: Lawmakers Argue About Proposed Stream Rule's Job Loss Numbers,” Greenwire, 10/27/15)
14 STATE ATTORNEYS GENERAL: “As chief legal officers or as environmental regulators for our States, we write to urge Congress to use its power under the Congressional Review Act to disapprove … 81 Fed. Reg. 93,066… which was issued by the Interior Department’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (‘OSM’). The Rule is an unlawful attempt drastically to limit coal mining in vast areas of the country. … The Rule would have a disastrous effect on coal miners, their families, workers in related industries, and their communities.” (14 State Attorneys General, Letter To Sen. McConnell & Speaker Ryan, 1/17/17)
‘Senate Sends SEC Disclosure Rule To The Dust Bin’
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY):“We all want to increase transparency, but we should not raise costs on American businesses only to benefit their international competition. Let’s send the SEC back to the drawing board to promote transparency without the high costs or negative impacts on American businesses.” (Sen. McConnell, Press Release, 2/2/17)
“Senate sends SEC disclosure rule to the dust bin:The Senate Friday gave its thumbs up to a resolution to nullify a SEC rule…It was the second time this week lawmakers sent President Donald Trump a Congressional Review Act resolutionundoing an Obama administration regulation. He is expected to sign it.” (“Senate Sends SEC Disclosure Rule To The Dust Bin,” Politico, 2/3/17)
“…the votes were first in a series of actions to reverse years of what they see as excessive government regulation during Obama's presidency. … Republicans voted to repeal the Obama-era rules using the Congressional Review Act, an obscure oversight tool that could become more familiar in the coming weeks as Congress uses it to overturn regulations federal agencies issued late in Obama's presidency.” (TIME, 2/1/17)
Rule Could Have Cost American Businesses Up To $590 Million Annually
Senate Reverses the War on Coal! Bill Heading To Trump's Desk!
by Phil Kerpen, Contributing Author: Victory! yesterday, in a bipartisan 54 to 45 vote, the Senate repealed Obama’s so-called “stream buffer rule” that was designed to be “atomic” for the coal industry!
Four Democrats did the right thing and voted yes: Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Claire McCaskill of Missouri. Kudos to them and to the American Commitment members who wrote to them to put the pressure on. One Republican, Susan Collins of Maine, voted no.
President Trump will sign the resolution and officially strike down this disastrous rule – the first piece of Obama’s anti-American War on Coal of many to be reversed.
We need to get the Senate to stop stalling President Trump’s highly qualified nominee to run the EPA, Scott Pruitt.
Stopping the Office of Surface Mining’s Stream Buffer Rule is a huge victory, but we can’t truly end the War on Coal and the most costly, aggressive attacks on American energy and jobs until Pruitt gets to the EPA and cleans house.
Thanks to you and other American Commitment members, who have been fighting back against the War on Coal since day one, we scored a huge victory in overturning the Stream Buffer Rule.
In January, U.S. Gained 5,000 Manufacturing Jobs & Lost 10,000 Government Jobs
ARRA News Service Editor: Manufacturing jobs creat tangible things for society and provide taxes for all levels of government. Excessive and needless government jobs are sucking the life out of the economy and adding to bith State and the National debt. Government is too big, too expensive and is failing to do the very functions they were created for including protecting us from potential enemies be they foreign military forces, barbarians seeking to take what is not theirs, or hords of invaders seeking to change our culture and the American dream. It is past time for both the Federal Government and State Governments to drastically cut invasive programs and significant numbers of government employees so as to both reduce burdensome costs and regulations on its legal citizens and American businesses. The 2016 January jobs update follows.
by Terence P. Jeffrey: The United States gained 5,000 jobs in manufacturing in January while losing 10,000 in government, according to numbers released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In December, jobs in government in the United States outnumbered jobs in manufacturing by 9,950,000. In January, the margin dropped to 9,935,000.
Over the past year—from January 2016 to January 2017—the United States added 162,000 government jobs, while losing 46,000 manufacturing jobs, according to BLS numbers.
In the one month from December 2016 to January 2017, manufacturing jobs rose from 12,336,000 to 12,341,000—for an increase of 5,000.
At the same time, government jobs dropped from 22,286,000 to 22,276,000—a decline of 10,000.
However, over the past year--from January 2016 to January 2017--the number of people employed in government in the United States climbed from 22,114,000 to 22,276,000—an increase of 162,000.
During the same January-to-January time period, the number of people employed in manufacturing dropped from 12,387,000 to 12,341,000—a decline of 46,000.
The number of manufacturing jobs in the United States peaked at 19,533,000 in June 1979. Since then, it has declined by 7,192,000 to the 12,341,000 as of this January, according to the BLS numbers.
---------------------- 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, January Jobs, U.S., manufacturing, governmentTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Patrick Buchanan: When Gen. Michael Flynn marched into the White House Briefing Room to declare that “we are officially putting Iran on notice,” he drew a red line for President Trump. In tweeting the threat, Trump agreed.
His credibility is now on the line.
And what triggered this virtual ultimatum?
Iran-backed Houthi rebels, said Flynn, attacked a Saudi warship and Tehran tested a missile, undermining “security, prosperity, and stability throughout the Middle East,” placing “American lives at risk.”
But how so?
The Saudis have been bombing the Houthi rebels and ravaging their country, Yemen, for two years. Are the Saudis entitled to immunity from retaliation in wars that they start?
Where is the evidence Iran had a role in the Red Sea attack on the Saudi ship? And why would President Trump make this war his war?
As for the Iranian missile test, a 2015 U.N. resolution “called upon” Iran not to test nuclear-capable missiles. It did not forbid Iran from testing conventional missiles, which Tehran insists this was.
Is the United States making new demands on Iran not written into the nuclear treaty or international law — to provoke a confrontation?
Did Flynn coordinate with our allies about this warning of possible military action against Iran? Is NATO obligated to join any action we might take?
Or are we going to carry out any retaliation alone, as our NATO allies observe, while the Israelis, Gulf Arabs, Saudis and the Beltway War Party, which wishes to be rid of Trump, cheer him on?
Bibi Netanyahu hailed Flynn’s statement, calling Iran’s missile test a flagrant violation of the U.N. resolution and declaring, “Iranian aggression must not go unanswered.” By whom, besides us?
The Saudi king spoke with Trump Sunday. Did he persuade the president to get America more engaged against Iran?
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker is among those delighted with the White House warning:
“No longer will Iran be given a pass for its repeated ballistic missile violations, continued support of terrorism, human rights abuses and other hostile activities that threaten international peace and security.”
The problem with making a threat public — Iran is “on notice” — is that it makes it almost impossible for Iran, or Trump, to back away.
Tehran seems almost obliged to defy it, especially the demand that it cease testing conventional missiles for its own defense.
This U.S. threat will surely strengthen those Iranians opposed to the nuclear deal and who wish to see its architects, President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, thrown out in this year’s elections.
If Rex Tillerson is not to become a wartime secretary of state like Colin Powell or Dean Rusk, he is going to have to speak to the Iranians, not with defiant declarations, but in a diplomatic dialogue.
Tillerson, of course, is on record as saying the Chinese should be blocked from visiting the half-dozen fortified islets they have built on rocks and reefs in the South China Sea.
A prediction: The Chinese will not be departing from their islands, and the Iranians will defy the U.S. threat against testing their missiles.
Wednesday’s White House statement makes a collision with Iran almost unavoidable, and a war with Iran quite possible.
Why did Trump and Flynn feel the need to do this now?
There is an awful lot already on the foreign policy plate of the new president after only two weeks, as pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine are firing artillery again, and North Korea’s nuclear missile threat, which, unlike Iran’s, is real, has yet to be addressed.
High among the reasons that many supported Trump was his understanding that George W. Bush blundered horribly in launching an unprovoked and unnecessary war on Iraq.
Along with the 15-year war in Afghanistan and our wars in Libya, Syria and Yemen, our 21st-century U.S. Mideast wars have cost us trillions of dollars and thousands of dead. And they have produced a harvest of hatred of America that was exploited by al-Qaida and ISIS to recruit jihadists to murder and massacre Westerners.
Osama’s bin Laden’s greatest achievement was not to bring down the twin towers and kill 3,000 Americans, but to goad America into plunging headlong into the Middle East, a reckless and ruinous adventure that ended her post-Cold War global primacy.
Unlike the other candidates, Trump seemed to recognize this.
It was thought he would disengage us from these wars, not rattle a saber at an Iran that is three times the size of Iraq and has as its primary weapons supplier and partner Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
When Barack Obama drew his red line against Bashar Assad’s use of chemical weapons in Syria’s civil war, and Assad appeared to cross it, Obama discovered that his countrymen wanted no part of the war that his military action might bring on.
President Obama backed down — in humiliation.
Neither the Ayatollah Khamenei nor Trump appears to be in a mood to back away, especially now that the president has made the threat public.
-------------------- 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, Coming Clash, United States, Iran To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
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