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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, April 07, 2017

Russia Slams U.S. Strikes, Warns 'New WMD Attacks Can be Expected'

Russian President Vladimir Putin
reflects on U.S. President Trump's
response to Syria's use of Chemical
Weapons on Syrian civilian men,
women, AND CHILDREN!
by Bridget Johnson: After the pre-dawn U.S. strike on a key airfield in Syria, Russia rushed to the defense of ally Bashar al-Assad while Syrian rebels warned that the United States must persist as civilians are in danger of retaliatory attacks from the Syrian leader.

Fifty-nine Tomahawks from two U.S. warships in the Mediterranean, the USS Ross and USS Porter, targeted Shayrat Airfield in Homs province at 4:40 a.m. local time. Defense officials reportedly used radar tracking to pinpoint the base as the originating location of the planes that dropped a neurotoxin on a town in Idlib province Tuesday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights bumped up the death toll in the Khan Shaykhun sarin attack to "at least" 86, including 30 children and 20 women; the toll was expected to rise given the gravity of injuries.

Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said the missiles "targeted aircraft, hardened aircraft shelters, petroleum and logistical storage, ammunition supply bunkers, air defense systems, and radars."

Defense officials informed Russia ahead of time about the planned airstrike time and location, citing their previous deconfliction agreement to improve flight safety after near-misses as the Russians flew missions with Assad forces against Assad's opposition and the U.S. flew missions against ISIS. "U.S. military planners took precautions to minimize risk to Russian or Syrian personnel located at the airfield," Davis said.

Russia's foreign ministry, arguing that Assad doesn't have chemical weapons, lashed out in a statement shortly after the strikes, calling it "not the first time that the U.S. chooses an irresponsible approach that aggravates problems the world is facing, and threatens international security."

Russia further warned America of "abetting international terrorism and making it stronger," ominously warning "new WMD attacks can be expected."

"It is obvious that the cruise missile attack was prepared in advance. Any expert understands that Washington’s decision on air strikes predates the Idlib events, which simply served as a pretext for a show of force," the statement added, also announcing the suspension of the memorandum of understanding on flight safety under which they received advanced notice of the strikes.

"It is regrettable that this is damaging Russian-U.S. relations, which are already in poor shape," Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a news conference in Uzbekistan today. "I hope these provocations will not produce irremediable results, although the media are citing joyful statements by former members of the Obama administration to the effect that Russian-U.S. cooperation looks utterly unrealistic after these strikes. I hope they will be brought to shame, although we will draw conclusions from this situation regarding the future of our relations with Washington."

"As for possible victims among Russian servicemen, I have no information on this issue," he added. "It appears that there were none."

The Syrian regime's official news agency, SANA, said nine were killed in the airbase strikes and "huge material damage" was inflicted. They released a statement from Assad's office slamming the strikes as "an unjust and arrogant aggression."

"Targeting an airport of a sovereign state by the U.S. is an outrageous act that clarifies in conclusive evidence once again what Syria has been saying that the succession of administrations of this regime does not change the deep policies of its entity which is represented by targeting states, subjugating peoples and the attempt to dominate the world," the statement said.

Syria's Army Command called the U.S. a "partner" of ISIS, which has been the target of daily airstrikes as the anti-Assad, anti-ISIS-and-Qaeda Syrian Democratic Forces close in on the ISIS capital, Raqqa.

The National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces, which met with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini in Brussels on Thursday to call for an international response to the gas attack, called for "the continuation of those operations" like the U.S. airstrikes "until the overthrow of the Assad regime."

The coalition also called on Syrians to seize the moment and "unite and close ranks in one front politically, militarily" to "fight against terrorism in all its forms" while establishing "a pluralistic democratic system."

In a statement, the Free Syrian Army called the strikes "a first step in the right direction towards the international community assuming its moral and legal responsibility to protect Syrian civilians and save them from the genocidal war that has been waged by the head of the regime and the war criminal Bashar al-Assad against the Syrians since 2011, free from any punishment for his actions, taking advantage of the reluctance of the former U.S. administration and the failure of the international community."

"The factions of the Syrian revolution view this strike as a turning point in the fight against impunity and as part of the international war on terrorism," the FSA added, acknowledging they now fear retaliation against civilians by Assad "and therefore we call on the United States and all countries friends of the Syrian people to stand clearly against the war criminals in the Syrian regime and put an end to their violations and bring them to trial for their crimes against the Syrians and all humanity."
------------------
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: Russia Slams, U.S. Strikes, Warns 'New WMD Attacks, Can be Expected, Bridget Johnson, PJMedia To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

No Longer 'Leading From Behind' , Gorsuch Confirmed!

Img via @LisaDaftari
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author:  No Longer 'Leading From Behind' -  As you know, President Trump ordered a missile strike on a military base in Syria in response to the Syrian government's chemical weapons attack earlier this week, which killed more than 80 civilians. The target of the missile strike was the airbase from which the chemical weapons attack had been launched. Here are my thoughts.
  • Trump and the United States military sent a strong message yesterday that the days of the U.S. "leading from behind," the phrase one of President Obama's advisors used to describe that administration's approach to foreign affairs, are over.
  • After the chemical attacks, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley delivered an impassioned speech excoriating Russia over its role in supporting the Assad regime in Syria. Following the speech, she received a text message from another ambassador on the U.N. Security Council, saying, in Haley's words, "Thank you for what you said today. It's so good to see America lead."
  • Trump's strike on the Assad regime is full of irony. For one thing, it was President Obama who in 2012 said that the Syrian government's use of chemical weapons on civilians would be a "red line," which, if crossed, would warrant U.S. military action. The Assad regime crossed that line but Obama did nothing. Trump has in effect enforced Obama's red line five years after the fact.
  • Another irony: Since he began running for president, Trump has been portrayed in the media as uncompassionate. His goal of tightening up the vetting process for refugees entering the United States has been seen as evidence of his cruelty and bigotry. But Trump said it was the images of women and children writhing in pain from the chemical attack that prompted him to act. "It was a slow and brutal death for so many, even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack," Trump said in announcing the successful attack last night. "No child of God should ever suffer such horror."
  • Keep in mind, Trump acted under more perilous circumstances than Obama faced. Since Obama set his "red line" and then retreated from the region, the Russians have filled the vacuum. Which raises a third irony.
  • According to the Left, Trump and Putin colluded to win the presidential election. The Left believes Russia wanted Trump to win because he'd be much easier to push around than Hillary Clinton. That scenario never made sense to me, as I outlined here. I doubt this morning that Putin would agree with the Left's assessment. Remember that it was Obama and Clinton whose weak policies invited Putin into the Middle East after we and our allies had kept the Russians out since World War II.
  • The Pentagon says this strike doesn't signal the beginning of war with Syria. Trump has always been skeptical of regime change, and, as is usually the case in the Middle East, there's no telling what would replace Assad should he be thrown out of power. There are more than 1,000 entities fighting in Syria, and there doesn't seem to be anything that can be described as a viable democratic force for the U.S. to support. Probably the best option for now is to finish the job of eradicating ISIS fighters from the region and to try to strike a deal with Russia to remove Assad.
  • It was striking this morning to see Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio, all of whom have had major disagreements with Trump, praising the president for his courage and steadfastness in ordering the strike. I was also amazed by the poise Trump exhibited as he announced the attack. He was in the middle of a state dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Such an event would normally command the full attention of the president. But even while taking that meeting, Trump was being briefed by military officials about the strike he had ordered. I would have loved to be in Xi's mind as he was pondering this.
  • The next few days and weeks will be very important. There are many questions: Will anybody strike back at us? What will Russia do? Will Iran react, perhaps through its proxy Hezbollah? No matter what happens, Trump is sending a strong signal to Assad, Putin, the mullahs in Iran and the entire world that there's a new sheriff in town.
Gorsuch Confirmed! Judge Neil Gorsuch was confirmed today by the Senate to become the 113th justice of the Supreme Court. Gorsuch won 54 votes in favor and 46 against confirmation. As someone who will interpret the Constitution as it was originally written, Gorsuch is an ideal heir to Antonin Scalia, who died in February 2016.

Gorsuch's confirmation already arguably makes Donald Trump the most pro-life president in history in terms of Supreme Court picks. Republican presidents have had an unfortunate tendency to nominate moderates to the high court. But Trump made it clear from the beginning that he'd nominate a judge from a list of about 21 candidates vetted by conservative legal groups. He followed through on that promise by nominating Gorsuch.

We are proud, with your support of playing a role in this victory!
-------------------
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, No Longer 'Leading From Behind, President Trump, ordered, missile strike, Syria, Gorsuch Confirmed To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Gorsuch Confirmed As 113th Justice of the Supreme Court

by Dave Andrusko: The Washington Post headline today was succinct and to the point: “Senate confirms Neil Gorsuch to Supreme Court.”

But those seven words offered pro-lifers the assurance that pro-life President Donald Trump was serious about choosing someone in the mold of the late Justice Antonin Scalia and a reminder that pro-life Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had vowed unequivocally that Judge Gorsuch would become Justice Gorsuch.

Securing kudos from the Post, however grudgingly, is like pulling teeth. But Ed O’Keefe and Robert Barnes conceded Gorsuch’s confirmation as the 113th Supreme Court justice was “a marquee accomplishment for President Trump” and a “big legislative win for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)” who displayed “unflinching discipline.”

But no Post story about the Trump administration would be complete without the usual loaded verbiage [“ram through”] and dismissive put downs [“Trump introduced Gorsuch to the country in a slickly produced prime time address from the White House”].

Not to be confused, of course, with that plain-spoken former President Obama who would never have been caught doing anything that smacked of slick. The blatant double-standard and tunnel vision from the publication that now tells us (without a hint of self-awareness) that “Democracy Dies in Darkness” is stunning.

But who cares? This is par for the course and the result is “Gorsuch is expected to be sworn-in in the coming days, allowing him to join the high court for the final weeks of its term, which ends in June.”

As NRLC explained elsewhere today [“In landmark week, united Senate Republicans win ‘historic victory’ on Supreme Court nominations”], there were continued machinations by Senate Democrats this morning. Three Democrats joined 51 Republicans in voting to confirm the Denver-based judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit.

However, note, all three of those senators voted a day earlier to preserve the 60-vote hurdle, even after seeing that to do so would prevent Gorsuch – and presumably, any other nominee not blessed by the abortion lobby and other left-wing activist groups – from being confirmed.

However the far most interesting Post story came late last night from David Weigel who was channeling grievances from pro-abortion Democrats (“With Gorsuch filibuster, Democrats look ahead to a ‘political’ Supreme Court”).

We’re told that “progressive groups and labor leaders” saw the decision of Republicans not to play dead while Democrats filibustered Gorsuch as a “power grab.” This, of course, was preposterous and believable only to those whose historical memory goes back no further than this morning.

National Right to Life Senior Policy Advisor Douglas D. Johnson explained what had really happened. “For decades, liberal senators and interest groups had attacked Republican judicial nominees with procedural and political weapons that Republicans were slow to match. This week, the Republicans took decisive action to restore parity to the judicial confirmation process, and we commend them for it.”

Then there is that remarkable last quote from a pro-abortion Democrat funneled through Weigel. It’s enough to give hypocrisy a bad name.

“Four years ago, Democrats, facing incredible, unprecedented obstructionism, decided to change the rules,” [Senator Bernie] Sanders said. “But with the Democrats in control, what they also said — I was in the room, and there was a debate — was no, not the Supreme Court. It’s so important that it does not become a place where you can just ram someone in.”

So, in this telling, when Senate Democrats, under the leadership of then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, decided to initiate what has come to be called the “nuclear option”– eliminating the 60-vote hurdle for all presidential nominations other than Supreme Court–they excluded Supreme Court nominations out of a sense of nobility and devotion to the sanctity of the High Court.

This is the kind of fairy tale you tell children. Note that neither Sanders nor Weigel mentioned what happened in 2016 when Democrats were convinced Hillary Clinton would be the next President.

Prominent Democrats, including Reid himself (in an interview with “Talking Points Memo”) and vice presidential nominee Sen. Tim Kaine, (as reported by the Huffington Post) explicitly said that Democrats would not hesitate to extend the simple-majority principle to nominations to the Supreme Court, if Republicans ever tried to filibuster the Supreme Court nominee of a Democratic president.

NRLC congratulates President Trump and Sen. McConnell for a job well done. As NRLC President Carol Tobias said today:“All too often, our efforts to protect unborn children and other vulnerable humans have been overridden by judges who believe they have a right to impose their own policy preferences. Judge Gorsuch appears to believe that judges are constrained to enforce the text and original intent of constitutional provisions, and on all other matters should defer to democratically elected lawmakers – this heartens us, and alarms those who have relied on activist judges to impose their radical pro-abortion policies.”-----------------
Dave Andrusko writes for the National Right to Life News Today.

Tags: Neil Gorsuch, Supreme Court, confirmed, 113th Justice, Supreme Court To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

March 2017 Border Apprehensions Hit 17 Year Low

H.S. Sec. John Kelly
According to written testimony from Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, less than 12,500 illegal aliens were apprehended on the U.S.-Mexico border in March, which is the lowest figure in 17 years and a 71% decline since Dec. 2016.

Secretary Kelly also reported that the number of unaccompanied minors (UAC) and family units continued to decline. Less than 1,000 UACs were apprehended and fewer than 1,100 family units were caught crossing the border last month.

Historically, apprehension numbers normally increase 10%-30% from February to March. Yet, these numbers are significantly lower than February, which reached a five-year low.

Secretary Kelly wrote that the decrease was “no accident” and credited the decline to Pres. Trump’s executive orders.

Read more on this story at The Chicago Tribune.

Tags: March 2017, Border Apprehensions, Hit 17 Year Low, illegal aliens, U.S.-Mexico border To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Should I Break Up With My Trump-Hating Girlfriend?

by Rod Martin, Contributing Author: The following is an answer to a question on Quora: “My girlfriend thinks Donald Trump is an idiot and constantly insults him even though she knows I am a diehard supporter. Should I break up with her?”

Yes.

I’ve been married for a long time, happily. I have three successful children, two of whom are happy in their marriages (the other is still single).

I’ve also seen a great many marriages crash and burn, as I’m sure you have also.

If there’s one consistent truth I’ve seen, it’s this: to be successful in a marriage, you want to minimize the potential points of conflict as much as you possibly can. I am not suggesting that you should suppress what one or the other of you believes: far from it! (And don’t try it!) I am saying that you should be of one mind and one heart to the greatest degree that two very different individuals are capable of being. And since that is absolutely impossible on many many things, you should make sure the things you each most deeply care about — whatever they are — are in sync.

It doesn’t matter all that much if he/she is especially attractive (though I was blessed in that regard, as my wife is a beauty), though of course you should be attracted to each other. You will both age and most of your life neither of you will look like you do today.

But it matters a very great deal if you are arguing over fundamentals, given that you will necessarily argue (or at least disagree) over plenty of things life just throws at you.

In the Bible, we are told not to be “unequally yoked.” Boy ain’t that the truth!

Find someone who believes as you do on the things you care most about: once the new wears off the relationship, these things will become deal-breakers quicker than you think. Some people weather that. Most people don’t.

You’re much, much, much better off arguing about superficial things, like where to have dinner, or how you squeeze the toothpaste tube, or which bills get paid in what order. These things can either be reasoned out or, at least, compromised.

But the definitional things, like what you believe about religion, and politics, and what you’re going to teach your children to believe, and how you’ll raise them, and in what sort of school, and who will pursue what career where?

No, you better get that in sync from the start. Keeping it in sync will be problem enough. Failing to be pointed in the same direction on foundational matters has the same effect over time as an earthquake on a physical foundation: it splits it apart.

Marriage and relationships are hard enough without needless, pointless conflict. Move on.
------------------
Rod D. Martin, writes at RodMartn.org, and is founder and CEO of The Martin Organization, a technology entrepreneur, venture capitalist, author and conservative activist. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the Council for National Policy, a Past President of the National Federation Republican Assemblies. and a contributing author to the ARRA News Service.

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Senate Republicans Nuke The Scotus Filibuster

. . . Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch to become a reality

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
by Matthew Vadum: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell delivered on a key Trump campaign promise yesterday, brushing away an arcane procedural hurdle and in the process clearing the way for the swift Senate confirmation of originalist Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.

It is also the first in what promises to be a long series of crushing major defeats for Democrats in the current Congress who are desperate to placate their increasingly rabid far left-wing base.

The “nuking” of the filibuster rule yesterday bodes well for President Trump’s agenda. Trump is in a good position to remake the Supreme Court because so many of its members are elderly and are likely to vacate their seats over Trump’s four- or eight-year presidency. Three of the current eight justices are of retirement age. Left-wing Clinton appointees Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer are 84 and 78, respectively. Swing vote and occasional conservative Anthony Kennedy, who is 80, was appointed by President Reagan.

The senior Kentucky senator led the way as Senate Republicans invoked the so-called nuclear option yesterday, voting 52 to 48 along party lines to abolish the filibuster for nominations to the Supreme Court. Rule changes supposedly require a supermajority vote – 67 senators voting aye – in the Senate but four years ago under then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) the supermajority requirement was ignored and filibusters were disallowed for all judicial nominees below the Supreme Court. Lowering the 67-vote requirement to that of a simple majority is the so-called nuclear option, also known as the constitutional option.

Although there was never a formal requirement that a Supreme Court nominee had to garner 60 votes to be confirmed, Democrats’ insistence that one had to be observed forced McConnell’s hand. The matter is now settled. Going forward, high court nominees, including Gorsuch, will need only a simple majority of senators to be confirmed.

It needs to be pointed out that the filibuster is entirely a creation of the Senate. The Constitution is silent on the matter. For those not versed in parliamentary arcana, under Senate rules any member is entitled to filibuster, that is, talk a bill to death or prolong debate indefinitely to prevent a matter from being voted on. A filibuster may be ended only if enough senators vote to invoke “cloture,” that is, vote to cut off debate.

McConnell denounced Democrats’ move to filibuster Gorsuch, saying it was part of a “much larger story” wherein the Left has been trying to politicize the judiciary and the confirmation process for years.

“It’s a fight they have waged for decades with a singular aim, securing raw power no matter the cost to the country or the institution,” he said on the floor of the Senate. “It underlies why this threatened filibuster cannot be allowed to succeed."

Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) whined on cue about Judge Gorsuch for the media.

"Far from being the kind of mainstream candidate for the Supreme Court that could earn 60 votes, he may very well turn out to be one of the most conservative justices on the bench," Schumer said.

"The nuclear option means the end of a long history of consensus" on high court nominees, he said. The 60-vote threshold served as a "guardrail" against judicial extremism, said the senator who expressly endorses judicial extremism and activism if it advances the twisted agenda of the Left.

This idea that a Supreme Court nominee must receive 60 votes in the Senate to overcome a filibuster is ridiculous. Six Supreme Court nominees, including two members of the current high court – Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas – have been confirmed with fewer than 60 votes.

Democrats, still dazed after being devastated at the polls in November, had been complaining with increasing intensity in recent weeks that Republicans somehow “stole” the Scalia-Gorsuch court seat because they refused to advance Obama nominee Merrick Garland, a garden-variety judicial left-winger, last year. Republicans counter that the Constitution’s requirement that the Senate provide “advice and consent” on certain presidential nominations does not mean the Senate is necessarily required to do the president’s bidding.

In the end, this is a case of Democrats finally reaping what they have sown.

They’re the ones who ushered in the era of scorched-earth judicial nominations with their character assassination of Supreme Court nominees Robert Bork in 1987 and Clarence Thomas in 1991. And they blocked George W. Bush’s judicial nominees with impunity and relish including the eminently qualified Miguel Estrada to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 2003.

The change in the filibuster rule was a long time coming and it is an outgrowth of Barack Obama's destructive legacy. He left his party at its weakest in a century, reduced to a regional rump of coastal elites, machine politicians, and burnt out labor leaders who reminisce about the good old days.
---------------
Matthew Vadum, senior vice president at the investigative think tank Capital Research Center, an author at the David Horowitz Freedom Center's FronPage Mag, an award-winning investigative reporter, and author of the book,Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts Are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers.

Tags: Senate Republicans, Nuke, Scotus Filibuster, Sen. Mitch McConnell, Jusge Neil Gorsuch, Matthew Vadum, FrontPage Mag To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

A Show of Force in the Middle East

by Tony Perkins: The video was the stuff of nightmares. Dads cradling the dead bodies of their sons and daughters. Children writhing on the ground in pain. Others foaming at the mouth, the result of a deadly poison gas attack by the Syrians' own government. When news reached the White House, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson knew exactly where to place blame. "There is no doubt in our minds that Syria and the regime under Bashar Assad were responsible for this attack," he told reporters. "It's a serious matter; it requires a serious response."

And late last night, the new president gave it one -- launching the first-ever direct strike on Syrian forces in the last six years. American forces blasted the airbase with 59 Tomahawk missiles to send the message that the U.S. will not tolerate aggressive violence against innocent men, women, and children. "I will tell you," President Trump said to reporters in the White House Rose Garden on Wednesday, "that attack on children yesterday had a big impact on me -- big impact. That was a horrible, horrible thing. And I've been watching it and seeing it, and it doesn't get any worse than that."

Rallying other nations, he called on the world to help "end the slaughter and bloodshed in Syria." The chemical attack on the innocent took the lives of more than 70 people -- many women and children. "It was a slow and brutal death for so many," President Trump said soberly. "Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this barbaric attack. No child of God should ever suffer such horror." His swift response will certainly make other governments think twice. In an encouraging show of strength, the president's team was decisive and in sync. What a difference from the previous administration, who would have almost certainly had a long and ponderous debate about what to do, if they did anything at all. While the world's attention has been captured by this one military response, it has yet to be captured by ISIS's genocide against Christians and other religious minorities in the region. We must continue to draw attention to this problem and other international religious freedom violations where they occur around the world.

As FRC's Lt. General Jerry Boykin (U.S. Army-Ret.) pointed out, this should debunk any rumors that President Trump's national security team is in disarray. "They made a quick decision," General Boykin said, "and they executed it. That's not a sign of a disorganized team." In many ways, he went on, the strike was more symbolic than destructive. Five dozen Tomahawks are devastating, but the U.S. response could have been much more extensive -- marking several more targets, killing several more people. But it was meant to send a message -- not only to Assad, but to the Russians. "President Trump is telling the Russians and Iranians that America isn't messing around. It also sent a message to the Chinese, which set the stage for the president to be able to negotiate with China in regard to North Korea: either you handle it, or we will."

In the aftermath of last night's strike, though, the biggest question for the administration is whether they want a regime change or a behavioral change. "When the U.S. brought down Saddam Hussein, we got Iranian radicals in his place. When we took down Muammar Al Gaddafi, we got the Muslim Brotherhood," General Boykin explained. "So while Assad is evil, what's the alternative? Is it ISIS? Assad has never killed Christians and never attacked Israel. So as malicious ad brutal as he may be, we need to ask this question." Meanwhile, Americans can be grateful that we have a commander-in-chief who not only recognizes our nation's responsibility to stand up for the vulnerable, but who will not hesitate to use the force necessary to hold the world's powers accountable.
--------------
Tony Perkins is President of the Family Research Council . This article was on Tony Perkin's Washington Update an written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

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Nixon, LBJ & the First Shots in the Judges’ War

Patrick Buchanan
by Patrick Buchanan: The Democrats’ drive to defeat Neil Gorsuch is the latest battle in a 50-year war for control of the Supreme Court — a war that began with a conspiracy against Richard Nixon by Chief Justice Earl Warren, Justice Abe Fortas and Lyndon Johnson.

By June 1968, Nixon, having swept his primaries, was cruising to the nomination and probable victory in November.

The establishment was aghast.

Warren’s bitterness toward Nixon dated to their California days. Sen. Nixon had worked behind the scenes for Ike’s nomination in 1952, though Gov. Warren was California’s favorite son. Warren had been crushed and humiliated — but Nixon was rewarded with the vice presidency.

Now, 16 years later, the chief justice was ready to step down, but desperately did not want his nemesis Nixon choosing his successor.

So, Warren and LBJ colluded in a plot. Warren announced his resignation from the court contingent on Senate confirmation of his successor. LBJ then named Warren’s ally and his own longtime crony, Fortas, to succeed Warren.

The fix was in. Nixon was boxed, and adopted a posture of benign neutrality on Fortas’ elevation, having been warned by future Secretary of State Bill Rogers that he would be accused of anti-Semitism if he blocked the first Jewish chief justice.

With Nixon’s knowledge, some of us on his staff ignored his neutrality posture and urged Senate conservatives to block Fortas.

Foremost among these was Strom Thurmond, who needed little prodding, and who was provided with “Flaming Creatures,” a graphic film of transvestite sex which Fortas, alone among the nine justices, had deemed acceptable for public viewing.

Senators were invited to a closed room for a screening. Some walked out wobbly. And as I told friend Sim Fentress of Time, the “Fortas Film Festival” was going to do in our new chief justice.

And so it did. Fortas was rejected in early October. In May 1969, President Nixon named Judge Warren Burger to succeed Earl Warren.

By that May also, Attorney General John Mitchell had learned that Fortas was on a $20,000-a-year secret retainer from swindler Louis Wolfson. Mitchell went to see Warren to suggest that his friend Abe resign, rather than be impeached. Fortas got the message.

Now, with a second vacancy, Nixon, to honor his promise to select a Southerner, chose Harvard Law grad and Chief Judge of the 4th Circuit Clement Haynsworth, the youngest chief judge in the nation.

Joe Rauh, counsel for the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, instantly branded Haynsworth a “hard-core segregationist” and liberal Democrats painted him as a grifter steeped in petty corruption, whose court decisions were steered by his stock portfolio.

This was all trash talk. Haynsworth had released black militant H. Rap Brown from jail, without requiring him to post bail, and ruled that lawyers for black defendants had a right to discover whether jurors belonged to any organizations known for bias against blacks.

No matter. Haynsworth was depicted as a corrupt and racist judge and liberal Democrats and Rockefeller Republicans united to vote him down. But while painful to the judge, his vilification by the left had split the nation along a new fault line.

Nixon’s defiant response: He sent another Southern judge up to the Senate, G. Harrold Carswell. Less distinguished than Haynsworth, Carswell got the same treatment. In a statement he had me write, Nixon tore into the Senate for an “act of regional discrimination” against the South.

While losing Beltway battles, we were winning the bigger war.

Nixon then, fatefully, sent up a third nominee, Judge Harry Blackmun of Minnesota, who was approved 94-0.

Suddenly, in 1971, there were two more openings, as Justices Hugo Black, FDR man and former Klansman, and John Harlan resigned.

Nixon called to tell me he was sending up the first woman, a state judge from California, along with an Arkansas bond lawyer.

The heart sank. But Divine Providence intervened.

The American Bar Association voted 11-1 that Mildred Lillie was “not-qualified” and Herschel Friday got a split decision — six “not-qualified” votes and six “barely qualified.”

Panic ensued. Nixon swiftly pivoted to Lewis Powell, ex-head of the ABA, and William Rehnquist, a brilliant young conservative and legal scholar, whom Reagan would elevate to chief justice when Burger retired.

Three days after Nixon’s second inaugural, in Roe v. Wade, written by Blackmun, the court declared the right to an abortion had been hidden in the Constitution, though it had been a crime in every state when Earl Warren was appointed by Ike.

All doubt was now removed. The Supreme Court was using its right to declare what the law says and what the Constitution means — to reshape America in the image of Earl Warren and his judicial clones.

Realization that these were now the stakes, and power the issue, is the reason why Reagan nominee Robert Bork was savaged, and Bush I nominee Clarence Thomas was brutalized.

Behind the hostility to the mild-mannered and decent Neil Gorsuch lies the same malevolence that lynched Clement Haynsworth.
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Patrick Buchanan is currently a conservative columnist, political analyst, chairman of The American Cause foundation and an editor of The American Conservative. He has been a senior advisor to three Presidents, a two-time candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, and was the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000. He blogs at the Patrick J. Buchanan.

Tags: Patrick Buchanan, conservative, commentary, Nixon, LBJ, First Shots, Judges’ War, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Leading From the Front . . .

. . . Unlike Obama, Trump followed through striking Syria when it crossed the red line. ISIS, N.Korea and the world take heed.


Tags: President Trump, leading, from the front, Syrai crossed the red line, N. Korea, ISIS, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Reaching Secular Friends

by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: Khaldoun Sweis admits that reaching your secular friends with the gospel is difficult, but there are things we can do to be more effective. He and I have worked together at the International Society of Christian Apologetics, so I was excited to see many commentators like Ed Stetzer and Eric Metaxas quoting him.

Khaldoun says we make a mistake “when we ignore the trends and zeitgeist of the times, and we make grave mistakes when we try to stereotype people into this or that category.” Sometimes the best starting point is to ask a question. When someone tells him they don’t believe in God, he will ask, “What god do you not believe in?” He says that nine times out of ten, it is usually a god that we Christians don’t believe in.

He has three principles we should adopt so that we will be more effective in reaching our secular friends. First, we must ENGAGE. He says we should sit at the table where we can have the attention of our secular friends. Connect with them by getting involved with Apple computers, with Congress, or with sports. We will be more effective if we sit at their table where most decisions are made for government, culture, media, and education.

Second, we must ENQUIRE. That means we need to turn the table by listening and asking good questions. The Bible admonishes us to “let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt” (Colossians 4:6).

He tells of a student who told him he did not believe in anything that is not physical. Khaldoun asked him if his idea was physical. After all, not believing in anything that is non-physical is a non-physical idea.

Third, we should EDIFY. That means we need to reach across the table and learn to love people redemptively. The gospel is ultimately about relationships, and we can demonstrate the truth of the gospel through love.

These principles will help you more effectively reach your secular friends.
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Kerby Anderson is a radio talk show host heard on numerous stations via the Point of View Network endorsed by Dr. Bill Smith, Editor, ARRA News Service

Tags: Kerby Anderson, Viewpoints, Point of View, Reaching Secular Friends To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Gender Offender

The Warren Gap
by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: Tuesday, April 4, was Equal Pay Day. It’s the day 20 percent into the year some use to mark the supposed fact that women earn 79.6 cents for every dollar earned by a man.

This “gender pay gap” is concocted by taking the median pay for all men working 35 hours a week or more and comparing it to the median pay for all women working 35 hours or more — without regard to the actual number of hours worked* or occupation chosen.

It’s a ridiculously phony statistic. I know that; you probably do, too. But does Sen. Elizabeth Warren?

“The game is rigged against women and families, and it has to stop,” the Massachusetts Senator proclaimed on last year’s Equal Pay Day. “It is 2016, not 1916, and it’s long past time to eliminate gender discrimination in the workplace.”

Gender discrimination. That’s bad, no? Sen. Warren fervently argued that the “gap” is the result of evil, insidious sexism.

The money-grubbing misogynists perpetrating this crime against women certainly deserve to be called out and held accountable!

Thank goodness, the folks over at The Washington Free Beacon did just that. Using public records, the Free Beacon found a U.S. Senator exacerbating the problem with an even bigger gender pay gap — women making a mere 71 cents on every man’s dollar. This Senator has hired five men at six-figure salaries, who make more than all the women employees, with only one woman besting the $100,000 mark.

That Senator? Elizabeth Warren.

On Tuesday, each of her 15 female Democratic colleagues took to the Senate floor to jaw about “equal pay.” But not Warren.**

Not even a tweet.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

* Men, on average, work more. The “gap” also ignores work history, and similar factors that have more direct bearing on the choices of women than the discrimination of employers.

** It is worth noting that Snopes.com “debunked” the Free Beacon’s charge using the same arguments economists and others have used to debunk the “gender wage gap” itself — without acknowledging the ominous parallels.

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Paul Jacobs is author of Common Sense which provides daily commentary about the issues impacting America and about the citizens who are doing something about them. He is also President of the Liberty Initiative Fund (LIFe) as well as Citizens in Charge Foundation. Jacobs is a contributing author on the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Paul Jacob, Common Sense, Gender Offender, Elizabeth Warren, The Warren Gap To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Obama Nearly Killed The Monroe Doctrine And Trump Should Revive It

Dr. Bill Smith, ARRA News Service Editor: I have noted previously in the ARRA News Service about visiting with college age young adults from Venezuela who had been sent by their parents to the U.S. with no intention that they should ever return to Venezuela which was economically imploding. Rep. Hill states in the below article: "In 2009, when former President Obama extended his hand to Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, despite deteriorating human rights and democratic conditions, as well as the government's lack of cooperation on antidrug and counterterrorism efforts, he was attempting to create some form of a truce. But, this misguided attempt ultimately ended in the administration's realization of the failure that accompanies doing business with a despot. Eight years later, Venezuela is a bankrupt regime with its citizens fleeing its borders."

by French Hill: For two centuries, since President James Monroe's caution to the European powers, America has offered the Western Hemisphere a beacon of hope and reminder of independence. President Monroe's enduring Monroe Doctrine has served for successive presidents as the building block of our foreign policy, insisting upon resistance to hostile, intrusive actions in the Western Hemisphere, thus preserving order and democracy in our half of the globe.

Nearly two centuries after its introduction, the Monroe Doctrine was at the heart of democratic governance during the Cold War. President Ronald Reagan's confrontation of the Communists in Central America and Grenada, as well as his Caribbean Basin Initiative, were unilateral demonstrations of America's support for the Hemisphere and a response to rising Communist influence. Ultimately, Reagan's policies ushered in one of the great waves of democracy in Latin America during the 1980's.

In the subsequent post-Cold War era, America turned her attention to boosting economic opportunities in the hemisphere, starting with President Bill Clinton successfully hosting the first Summit of the Americas in 27 years, which was also the first located in the United States. This was the culmination of a multi-year effort to tear down barriers to American exports to the region from Mexico to Argentina. The actions by both Reagan and Clinton enhanced American prestige in the region.

Prior to the attacks of September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush had begun efforts focusing on Latin America, with Mexico as the destination of his first foreign visit as president. Despite having many global priorities, President Bush enhanced economic growth and security in the Western Hemisphere by opening up Colombia to greater U.S. exports and contributing to Colombian President Alvaro Uribe's historic defeat of the FARC and diminishment of narcoterrorism.

Like his predecessor, President Barack Obama faced geopolitical challenges, such as wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a reemerging Russian aggression, and Chinese provocation in Southeast Asia. But, unlike those before him, he failed to lead in our hemisphere, and where he did engage, his efforts were ill-conceived.

As his attention was drawn from our neighborhood to those elsewhere, Obama saw to the diminishment of the robust Monroe Doctrine, culminating in then-Secretary of State John Kerry's 2013 declaration that the Monroe Doctrine was dead. Reflection on the Obama Administration's hand-holding of Bolivian, Venezuelan and, of course, Cuban dictators offers no better evidence.

The Obama Administration seldom engaged with governments of the Western Hemisphere to offer guidance and assistance as they struggled to isolate and address their internal challenges. Instead, the Obama Administration offered policies like the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which only encouraged tens of thousands of people to flee their home countries and seek asylum in the United States, rather than supporting these same nations' efforts to strengthen their social, economic and security landscapes, which would've incentivized their citizens to stay.

In 2009, when Obama extended his hand to Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, despite deteriorating human rights and democratic conditions, as well as the government's lack of cooperation on antidrug and counterterrorism efforts, he was attempting to create some form of a truce. But, this misguided attempt ultimately ended in the administration's realization of the failure that accompanies doing business with a despot. Eight years later, Venezuela is a bankrupt regime with its citizens fleeing its borders.

Obama's 2014 reset of relations with Cuba was praised and heralded by the left (and even by some on the right), but upon further consideration, other than exotic vacations for the wealthy, what have these past two years delivered? Churches in Cuba are being bulldozed, and the human rights violations continue to mount. The longer Obama's policies continue in Cuba, the more we fill the regime's coffers, pushing Cuba further into dictatorial rule. The fact remains that Cuba is a one-party dictatorship and family dynasty, and the Obama Administration's softening of America's stance towards this oppressive regime did not empower the citizens, thereby encouraging democracy; it empowered only its evil dictators.

Under Obama's watchful eye, the United States of America systematically turned her back on the oppressed in our own backyard, indulging the whims of dictators, terrorists, and criminals while ceding to despots and would-be-kings the moral high ground we are obligated to defend. The outcome of the Obama Administration's failed forays is our enemies' expansion into the gaps created by the absence of a partner like the United States to help defend and protect democracy and independence. Such is the case in the Western Hemisphere, where meaningful engagement evaporated virtually from the first day of the Obama Administration.

Our new Secretary of State Rex Tillerson faces many challenges across the globe. Secretary Tillerson and President Donald Trump should assess the hemisphere and design an engagement plan that promotes economic growth, defeats authoritarianism with free and fair elections, and conquers international drug cartels and global terrorists. The Monroe Doctrine remains an American foreign policy principle. Use it.
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U.S. Representative French Hill represents Arkansas' 2nd District. His article was provided by his office and previously ran in Dallas News;

Tags: Representative, French Hill, Arkansas, President Obama, Nearly Killed, The Monroe Doctrine, President Trump, Should Revive It, Venzuala  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Jobs Report Positive, But More To Do To Bring Back Lost Labor Force

by Rick Manning: “With 472,000 more Americans reporting they have jobs in the household survey — almost a million new jobs since January — the U.S. economy is going a long way to bringing back into the economy the roughly 9 million 16 to 64 year olds who either left the labor force or did not enter on a net basis since labor participation peaked in 1997. President Trump spoke often of underemployment on the campaign trail, so he realizes more than anyone that we’ve still got a ways to go. If those 9 million lost labor force were included in today’s jobs report, the unemployment rate would still be north of 9 percent. Growth still remains low, with the last 10 years being the worst in history from a growth perspective.

“With that in mind, it remains important that Congress support President Trump’s agenda for better trade deals, lower taxes and few regulations so that today’s gains can be sustained with an economy that grows robustly.”

View BLS Latest Job Numbers
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Rick Manning (@rmanning957) is President of Americans for Limited Government.

Tags: obs Report Positive, More To Do, To Bring Back, Lost Labor Force Rick Manning, Americans for Limited Government To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Facing Democrat Filibuster on Gorsuch, McConnell Invokes Nuclear Option

Sen. Mitch McConnell & Judge Neil Gorsuch
by Rachel del Guidice: Four years after Senate Democrats deployed the so-called nuclear option, Senate Republicans triggered it Thursday by a party-line vote of 52-48 to move President Donald Trump’s nominee closer to joining the Supreme Court.

The successful bid by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to invoke the nuclear option means waiver of the 60-vote threshold to end debate on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. Just one vote with 51 senators voting in the affirmative will be required to confirm Gorsuch.

Republicans hold a majority of 52 seats in the 100-seat Senate.

A final confirmation vote for Gorsuch is expected Friday night.

McConnell triggered the nuclear option after the vote to end debate on Gorsuch’s nomination failed 55-45, ABC News reported. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., unsuccessfully tried twice to stall McConnell’s efforts, the network noted.
“This is the latest escalation in the left’s never-ending judicial war, the most audacious yet,” McConnell said on the Senate floor of Democrats’ intention to mount a filibuster to block Gorsuch’s confirmation. “And it cannot and will not stand.”

Trump nominated Gorsuch, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016.

Senate Democrats have refused to support Gorsuch because Republicans didn’t allow a confirmation vote on President Barack Obama’s election-year nomination of another appeals judge, Merrick Garland, to replace Scalia.

In 2013, Democrats used the “nuclear option” to abolish the filibuster on most presidential nominees, except for nominees to the Supreme Court.

McConnell cited this precedent as grounds for triggering the nuclear option to confirm Gorsuch, but warned Democrats not to invite such drastic measures in the future. The filibuster as a tool for the minority to block legislative action remains intact.
Senate Rule 22, requiring 60 votes to end debate on nominees, has not changed, said Rachel Bovard, director of policy services at The Heritage Foundation and a former Senate aide.

“The rules aren’t changed. The way the Senate operates on precedent is changed,” Bovard said in an interview with The Daily Signal.

A Republican Senate aide agreed.

“Literally nothing changed today,” the aide said. “Starting in 2013, all presidential nominees have needed just 51 votes to end debate. None have needed 60. That is still true after today.”

Bovard said the nuclear option “violates” Senate rules, however.

“The nuclear option violates the Senate’s standing rules, which require 60 votes to overcome a filibuster, by setting a precedent for confirmation of Supreme Court nominees at a majority threshold,” Bovard said in an earlier interview. “If the Senate actually wanted to change its standing rules, 67 votes would be required.”

In October, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., predicted his party would “change the Senate rules” to confirm a ninth Supreme Court justice if Democrats won control of the upper chamber in November.
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Rachel del Guidice (@LRacheldG)is a reporter for The Daily Signal. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, Forge Leadership Network, and The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program.

Tags: Democrat Filibuster, Judge Gorsuch, Sen. McConnell, Invokes Nuclear Option, Rachel del Guidice, The Daily Signal To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Time to Stop America’s Innovation Decline

by Ken Blackwell, Contributing Author: On Thursday, President Trump met with Chinese President Xi Jinping – a meeting many observers expected to be tense given the situation in North Korea, as well as each leaders’ commitment to strengthening their respective countries’ positions in the world. The President and his team are no doubt also aware of China’s moves to supplant the US as the leader of innovation and even patent protection. Unfortunately, this ambition coincides with our own actions to weaken patent protection in America.

Since our founding, America has led the world in invention and risk taking. This largely stems from the fact that our founders wrote patent rights into our Constitution and extended the idea of property rights to include ideas, not just physical property. It is one of the concepts that separates us from many other nations, particularly China, and made us the global leader in innovation.

Unfortunately, recent data shows that we are losing ground when it comes to the protection of IP and patents – consequently, we are falling behind in the innovation race. While China has long been seen as a nation which does not respect Intellectual Property and where piracy has been rampant, it appears they may have seen the error of their ways and are increasing their patent protections as we have started to undermine ours.

This past February, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC), released the fifth edition of their International IP Index, which ranks nations according to their ability to foster innovation and economic success. The new edition shows that the United States is losing ground – especially when it comes to protecting our innovations through patents.

At first glance, the U.S. appears to in a strong position, once again taking the top overall spot in the index – although a number of countries are nipping at our heels. Most concerning is that the U.S. has dropped from number 1 to number 10 in the world on protection of “patents, related rights and limitations.” This is the first time that the United States has not held the top position.

Meanwhile, the nations of Western Europe, along with Japan and Singapore, have leaped forward in patent protections – we are tied with Hungary, which continues to recover and reform from its days as a Soviet Union puppet state.

Most significantly, China appears to be gaining major ground as they have started to implement smart policy changes. Gene Quinn at IPWatchDog.com notes, “China has introduced new enforcement mechanisms and specialized IP courts to better combat counterfeiting and piracy, and joining them in these efforts were Pakistan, the UAE and Sweden. And while not reflective in the 2017 rankings, China’s recent patent law changes, which make software and business method patent eligible, should result in a significant improvement in the patent landscape moving forward throughout 2017 and beyond.”

Additional data from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) indicates that these policies have paid off. Patent applications in China surged 45% in 2016, while in the US they declined .9%. CBS News has reported that in 2015, “China accounted for more than one in three of the total 2.9 million patent applications in 2015, followed by the U.S. and Japan with about a half-million each.”

It’s certainly heartening if China is indeed moving away from the model of piracy and IP theft towards greater property rights. It is clearly in their interest to foster an economic environment where the protection of ideas is encouraged. And while it makes sense that nations with economies in transition, like China, would have a higher growth rate, the disparity between its ascent and our decline is very concerning.

Other nations improving their protection of Intellectual Property is something that should be cheered. However, when that progress abroad coincides with the US undermining its own protections, we put ourselves at a dangerous disadvantage. America has led the world in those areas and we cannot allow ourselves to cede that global role, because it compromises our status as the world’s ec super-power.

In recent years, the Obama administration’s Patent and Trademark Office has made it more difficult to defend patent property rights against administrative validity challenges and turned a blind eye to abusive attacks against patents. Additionally, some unfortunate Supreme Court decisions have rolled back patent protections, including for biopharma and software inventions – technology areas that are critical to America’s innovation economy. The Chamber’s IP index specifically points to the PTO’s opposition proceedings and these court decisions as reasons for the US dropping in the patent protection index.

Additionally, Congress has considered broad based “patent reform” that would make it harder to enforce patent rights. Targeted reforms and reigning in of abusive practices are good ideas, but the pendulum has gone too far and it’s beginning to show in the global data.

President Trump, through his appointees and policies, has the chance to ensure the United States will remain the world’s leading innovator and the standard-bearer in protecting U.S. intellectual property through a strong patent protection system. As the President continues his discussions with Chinese President Xi Jinping, he must make sure that China and all our global economic partners know that the U.S. intends to continue to lead on intellectual property.
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Ken Blackwell (@kenblackwell) is a former ambassador to the U.N., a former Domestic Policy Advisor to the Trump Presidential Transition Team, and former Ohio State Treasurer and mayor of Cincinnati who currently serves on the board of numerous conservative policy organizations. He is a contributing author to the ARRA News Service

Tags: Ken Blackwell, Time to Stop, America’s Innovation Decline, China, President Xi Jinping, U.S.. President Trump To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Thursday, April 06, 2017

The Russian Emperor's New Clothes

Editorial Cartoon by Ben Garrison
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by Ann Coulter: The Susan Rice bombshell at least explains why the Democrats won't stop babbling about Russia. They need a false flag to justify using national intelligence agencies to snoop on the Trump team.

Every serious person who has tried to locate any evidence that Russia attempted to influence the 2016 election -- even Trump-haters at the New York Review of Books and Rolling Stone magazine -- has come away empty-handed and angry. We keep getting bald assertions, unadorned with anything resembling a fact.

But for now, let's just consider the raw plausibility of the story.

The fact-less claim is that (1) the Russians wanted Donald Trump to win; and (2) They thought they could help him win by releasing purloined emails from the Democratic National Committee showing that the Democrats were conspiring against Hillary Clinton's primary opponent, Bernie Sanders.

First, why on earth would Russia prefer a loose cannon, untested president like Trump to an utterly corrupt politician, who'd already shown she could be bought? The more corrupt you think Russia is, the more Putin ought to love Hillary as president.

The Russians knew Hillary was a joke from her ridiculous "reset" button as secretary of state. They proceeded to acquire 20 percent of America's uranium production, under Hillary's careful management -- in exchange for a half-million-dollar speaking engagement for her husband and millions of dollars in donations to the Clinton Foundation.

(Politifact rates this claim FALSE! -- LIAR, LIAR PANTS ON FIRE! -- because Trump referred to 20 percent of America's "uranium," not to 20 percent of America's "uranium capacity." This is the sort of serious reporting we get from our watchdog media.)

The last thing our enemies want is unpredictability in an American president, and Trump is nothing if not unpredictable. Actually, that's only the second-to-last thing Putin wants. Russia's only export is energy: The last thing Putin wants is a president who vows to drill and frack, driving down the world oil price.

But let's say the Russians were morally offended by a woman who could be bought (by them) for a $500,000 speaking fee, and what they really longed for was a bellicose American president promising to put our interests first.

Why would anyone, least of all trained spies, think that it would help Trump to release emails showing the DNC had its thumb on the scale against Bernie Sanders?

How was that supposed to work again? I forget.

Accepting everything else the most deranged Trump-hater believes, normal people lose the thread of the conspiracy at the moment when the Russians are supposed to have said to themselves, "HEY, I KNOW -- LET'S TRY THIS!”

Even experts in American politics haven't the first idea how to affect an election. The best minds of the GOP bet $140 million of their own money that Jeb! would be the nominee. (Maybe they should have hired Putin.)

Throughout the primaries, Democrats were openly praying that the GOP would nominate Trump. Democrats had the same hope in 1980 for Ronald Reagan. In 2008, Republicans hooted at the idea of Al Franken running for the U.S. Senate.

Days before the election, America's premier journal of liberal opinion, The New York Times, gave Hillary a 91 percent chance of winning. The Princeton Election Consortium calculated her chances at 99 percent. The Huffington Post's polling aggregator put Hillary's odds at 98 percent.

But we're supposed to believe that a country practiced in spycraft was confident that it not only knew what was likely to happen in a U.S. presidential election, but also knew how to swing it? And no one in Moscow thought to ask: "What will be the predictable, certain outcome of releasing the DNC's 'Get Bernie' emails?”

The DNC leaks might have ended up being the best thing that ever happened to the Democrats. What if they had pulled a Torricelli, and forced Hillary to drop out, so they could run Joe Biden instead? Biden is a lot more popular than Hillary!

Isn't the more logical leaker someone within the DNC who'd had enough with David Brock and Debbie Wasserman Schultz steering the party into a ditch? The actual leaker probably thought: I've got to save the party! She's going to destroy us!

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, as well as his associate, former British ambassador Craig Murray, both say that the DNC emails came from a whistleblower within the DNC. Murray has even identified the precise location where a DNC insider passed him the emails -- a park near American University.

Assange may be a misguided zealot, but neither his friends nor his enemies call him a liar. His image is very nearly the opposite: a self-righteousness fanatic -- not a slippery con man.

Hey, did anyone else notice that last week, very quietly, every single staffer at the DNC was fired?

The claim that Russia hacked the DNC's emails to help Trump is the sort of crackpot theory that can only be concocted after the fact.

They would prefer to say that North Korea or ISIS "hacked" our election and somehow installed Trump. But unfortunately, Trump has no business dealings with ISIS or the Pyongyang regime. He -- or people he knows -- have had some vague business dealings with Russia. So the left is stuck with its insane Russia conspiracy.

And now, just as the whole story is collapsing, their need is even more urgent, to distract from the Obama administration's use of national security intelligence-gathering agencies to spy on domestic enemies like Donald Trump.
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Ann Coulter is a conservative author of ten New York Times bestsellers, writes numerous columns and is a frequent guest on numerous radio and TV shows. Her web site is AnnCoulter.com. She is the author of Adios America which she signed and gave to the ARRA News Service editor at the 2015 Eagle Council.

Tags: Ann Coulter, Russian Emperor, New Clothes, Susan Rice, ISIS, Obama administration To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Left Will Stop At Nothing, Mainstream Media Mum About Unmasking, Gorsuch On The Brink

Gary Bauer
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author:  Left Will Stop At Nothing - Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, announced today that he would temporarily recuse himself from investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Nunes is stepping aside because leftwing groups have filed ethics charges against him. Liberals are upset because Nunes says he has seen documents revealing evidence that Obama administration officials may have unfairly unmasked members of President Trump's transition team.

In a statement Thursday morning, Nunes said:

"Several leftwing activist groups have filed accusations against me with the Office of Congressional Ethics. The charges are entirely false and politically motivated, and are being leveled just as the American people are beginning to learn the truth about the improper unmasking of the identities of U.S. citizens and other abuses of power."This is a prime example of why Republicans tried to reform the House ethics office. Under current rules, any outside group can file an ethics complaint, which the office is required to investigate. I fully expect that Nunes will be exonerated and return to lead the investigation. But don't miss the larger point here: that the Left is prepared to do anything it can to bring down this administration.

Mainstream Media Mum About Unmasking -  The "unmasking" scandal seems to be growing by the day, but you wouldn't know it unless you're following a handful of conservative news outlets. Big Media continues to do everything they can to spike the story.

To review: Former Obama administration national security advisor Susan Rice is under fire for mining intelligence reports to spy on President Trump's campaign and transition teams. But the liberal media have mostly ignored the story because it's not about Trump but his predecessor.

The Washington Post ran a front-page story this week about Rice, but it was about her denying the allegations that she leaked the names of Trump officials concealed in intelligence reports. No doubt many Post readers are confused, as the paper didn't print a story about the initial allegations, only the denial of those allegations. The story may soon get enough traction that Big Media simply cannot ignore it anymore.

In new developments overnight:
  • New York Rep. Peter King said that from what he has seen of the intelligence reports, the monitoring of Trump's associates was so extensive that it intruded into their personal lives "sort of like in a divorce case where lawyers are hired, investigators are hired just to find out what the other person is doing from morning until night and then you try to piece it together later on," he said. It looks like it was a big fishing expedition using the blunt force of the federal government.
  • There are reports that Fox News host Sean Hannity and businessman Erik Prince were also monitored. Hannity said, "I will sue the living pants off of anybody who did it - I promise you that."
  • Capitol Hill sources are charging that U.S. national security agencies, including the National Security Council and Federal Bureau of Investigation, are stonewalling efforts to find out who revealed names and leaked information to the media.
  • Perhaps the most intriguing and chilling suggestion of all is outlined in an article in The Tablet. Author Lee Smith suggests that the unmasking tactic used against the Trump campaign had been used previously in the Obama administration's efforts to ram through the Iran nuclear deal over significant opposition in Congress.
Gorsuch On The Brink - In all likelihood, Neil Gorsuch will be confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court by the end of the week. Democrats filibustered Gorsuch's nomination today, which forced Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republicans to break the filibuster and allow Gorsuch to be confirmed with a simple majority vote. The vote was 52 to 48.

Despite what you hear in the liberal media, and even from some Republicans, this move is not extraordinary. It's a precedent then-Majority Leader Harry Reid and Democrats set four years ago on Obama's lower-court nominees. For most of American history, the filibuster was never used to stop votes on appointees, cabinet nominees or judges. It was employed by political minorities only in extraordinary circumstances to stop certain legislation.

It's only in the last couple decades that the filibuster has been used to try to stop judicial appointments. It was Reid who changed the rule to allow a simple majority of senators to confirm judicial nominees. So Republicans' move to do the same thing for a Supreme Court judicial nomination is the natural next step in that evolution-one nobody doubts Democrats would be taking if they controlled the presidency and the Senate.

Congress Reviews Obama Regs -   I'm sure it seems to most Americans that very little is getting done in Washington. Well, perhaps not as much as we would like, but good things are getting done. For example, this president and this Congress are making good use of the Congressional Review Act (CRA).

Passed in 1996 as part of Newt Gingrich's Contract With America, the law allows Congress to review and overturn regulations. Moreover, it prohibits federal agencies from issuing similar rules in the future unless they are authorized by Congress. In short, the law is a powerful tool for reasserting Congress' authority as a co-equal branch of government against executive abuses.

As you know, Barack Obama worked his pen and phone overtime in the waning days of his administration, enacting via regulation as much of his radical agenda as he possibly could. I am pleased to report that President Trump, Speaker Ryan and Leader McConnell are busy undoing it all via the Congressional Review Act.

Prior to this year, the CRA had been used only once. But so far this year, Congress has passed resolutions striking down at least 14 Obama-era rules and President Trump has signed seven of them. Several have targeted Obama's radical job-killing climate change regulations. One targeting Planned Parenthood passed recently as well.

As you may recall, Obama issued an order late last year essentially requiring states to fund Planned Parenthood. In February, the House passed a resolution disapproving Obama's Planned Parenthood regulation by a vote of 230-to-188. And last week, the Senate passed the resolution 51-to-50 after a tie-breaking vote by Vice President Mike Pence.
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Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

Tags: Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, Left Will Stop At Nothing, Mainstream Media Mum About Unmasking, Gorsuch On The Brink 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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