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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, September 21, 2018

A Texas Blueprint for A Red Wave Election in 2018

by Newt Gingrich: I have been writing a lot about the power of a big choice election in November.

This week, the Texas Republicans won a special election for a state senate district along the Mexican border. Every Republican campaign in the country should study this race carefully.

You may not have read about this GOP victory, because the liberal national media is not exactly excited to report that Republicans reclaimed a seat they had not held in 139 years. The liberal media is especially shy about reporting on a Republican victory in a district Hillary Clinton carried by 11.6 percent in the 2016 election.

From the Left’s standpoint, this victory is even more frightening because the district is 73 percent African American and Hispanic. Furthermore, at a time when people are touting gigantic Democrat voter turnout and lagging Republican participation, this special election runoff had twice as many voters as the last Texas State Senate special election runoff in February, 2015. In fact, the turnout for this race went up from 26,207 in the first round of the election to 44,487 in the runoff, according to Sam Taylor with the Texas Secretary of State’s Office. The Republicans turned out 23,576 to the Democrats’ 20,911.

Pete Flores, the Republican victor, spent 27 years as a game warden. As Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick told me, “Flores was tireless as a campaigner. He put 7,000 miles on his car during the last five weeks of the campaign.”

In many ways, the Flores all-out, personal campaigning resembled President Trump in the last weeks of the 2016 campaign. This is a good reminder to Republicans that campaigns matter, and you can’t predict who will win six weeks out from an election.

Flores had run four years earlier and lost by 20 points. Now, he is the first Hispanic Republican State Senator in Texas (yet another reason the liberal media is avoiding talking about the race). Since Flores defeated former Democratic Congressman Pete Gallego, his victory has some extra punch to it.

Lieutenant Governor Patrick said this race was a classic example of a big choice campaign. He had read my recent paper, The Republican Choice for 2018: Win or Lose, which outlines the importance of big choice campaigns over small choice campaigns and said this was a perfect example of the potential for a big choice campaign to overwhelm the media bias (a point Brooke Rollins had also made to me).

The big choices in this 17-county border district were:

Right to life versus tax-paid abortion. As devout Catholics, many Hispanic voters simply won’t vote for a liberal once they understand they are for tax-paid abortion. Of course, every Democrat who is campaigning for free government-run health care is campaigning for tax-paid abortion.

Safe borders versus dangerous gangs. As Lieutenant Governor Patrick explained, “most law-abiding Hispanics support controlling the border, stopping criminals, and keeping their community safe from gangs like MS-13.” As he pointed out, he campaigned four years ago on repealing the sanctuary city law in Texas and got about 50 percent of the Hispanic vote. Flores’s own campaign website clearly states: “Our borders must be secure, and our communities must be safe…We will make Texas borders secure and a bad place to be for criminals and gangs. We are and must remain a state where the rule of law reigns.”

Gun rights versus gun control. Many Hispanic voters strongly support the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms. They distrust and oppose liberals who want to have government control their guns.

Local rule versus centralized bureaucracy. Most Hispanic voters favor smaller government, lower taxes, and more community rather than Washington controls (or Austin controls in this case).

Work versus welfare. There is a strong work ethic in the Hispanic community, and the job-creating power of the Trump system is being admired and applauded. Currently having the lowest Hispanic unemployment rate in history is a real asset for Republicans in the 2018 campaign.

Matt Walter, the president of the Republican State Leadership Committee, noted that this was the 38th Republican special election victory in 2018 – more than the Democrats have won. This makes you wonder how big the supposed blue wave is going to be if the Democrats keep losing actual elections – when the people, rather than the media have a voice.

So, every Republican candidate, campaign, professional, and activist should look carefully at this Republican victory in Texas.

If we have the courage to make the 2018 midterm a big choice election.

If we have the courage to campaign on issues which the American people support – even if the liberal media hates them and despises us for raising them.

If we are willing to go into every neighborhood and every precinct and appeal to every American of every background.

If we are willing to challenge liberal lies and distortions head on and force the Left to admit they are not true.

If we do this at the national level in the media and the local level in each campaign.

If we pick up the big choice themes President Trump is beginning to lay out (note his recent rally speech in Montana).

Then I think election night 2018 could be an even bigger upset – with even more shocking and decisive Republican victories – than election night 2016 was.

This is the lesson of the great victory in the Texas State Senate District 19 special election. It is not based on a theory. It is based on real victories, in real elections.

Now, we must believe, act, and fight. The 2018 victory is there for the earning.
----------------------
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, Texas Blueprint, Red Wave Election, 2018 To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Democrats’ ‘Mysterious’ Money

Senate Democrats Continue To Complain Of ‘Dark Money,’ While ‘Mysterious’ Money Flows From Their Super PACs

SEN. CLAIRE McCASKILL (D-MO), on her Supreme Court nomination vote: It’s based “on his positions on several key issues, most importantly the avalanche of dark, anonymous money that is crushing our democracy.” (Springfield [MO] News-Leader, 9/19/2018)

‘Mysterious’ Super PACs Spending Millions On Senate Races Are Funded By ‘Super PAC[s] Aligned With Senate Democrats’

ARIZONA: “A mysterious super PAC that spent $1.7 million attacking Republican Rep. Martha McSally during the Arizona Senate primary was funded entirely by Senate Majority PAC, a super PAC aligned with Senate Democrats, new campaign finance disclosures show.” (“Mystery super PAC that attacked McSally was funded by Senate Democrats,” Politico, 9/20/2018)
ALABAMA: “A mystery super PAC backing Democrat Doug Jones in Alabama is controlled by a pair of groups closely aligned with the national Democratic Party, even as the candidate strives to dissociate himself from Washington interests. Highway 31, which dropped more than $4.1 million in support of Jones … is a joint project of two of the largest national Democratic super PACs — Senate Majority PAC and Priorities USA Action — along with a group of Alabama Democrats, multiple senior officials familiar with the arrangement told POLITICO.” (“Secret Super PAC Backing Jones In Alabama Exposed,” Politico, 12/11/2017)
  • “The group’s backing has remained secret until now because federal laws do not require it to disclose its donors until after the election. Jones' camp has kept its distance from the group, and no information has surfaced until now about its background.” (“Secret Super PAC Backing Jones In Alabama Exposed,” Politico, 12/11/2017)
  • “Chris Hayden, spokesman for the Senate Majority PAC, said Tuesday that the group was the primary backer of the PAC called Highway 31, which spent more than $4 million on hard-hitting advertising and mailings … Because of reporting and payment schedules, Highway 31 didn't disclose its donors during the campaign despite its heavy spending.” (The Associated Press, 12/27/2017)
Senate Dems Attack ‘A Flood Of Unlimited, Dark Money’ Keeping ‘The Identity Of Big Donors A Deep, Dark Secret’

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): “[T]he Roberts Court … unleashed a flood of unlimited, dark money in our politics …” (Sen. Schumer, Congressional Record, S. 4466, 6/27/2018)

SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE (D-RI): “Who pays millions of dollars for that, and what their expectations are is a deep, dark secret. These groups also fund Republican election campaigns with dark money and keep the identity of big donors a deep, dark secret.” (U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, 9/04/2018)

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ): “I’ve only been here five years and I’ve seen the culture of Washington change because of the obscene amount of dark money pouring into our political process … rigging the system.” (U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, 9/04/2018)

And Yet Dems Gather ‘Behind Closed Doors’ And Rally With ‘Dark Money’ Group Demand Justice On The Supreme Court

LEFT-WING ‘DARK MONEY’ GROUP DEMAND JUSTICE: “We’re LIVE on the steps of the Supreme Court with U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Edward J. Markey and U.S. Senator Kamala Harris demanding Democrats in the Senate #DitchtheList of Trump’s SCOTUS nominees.” (Demand Justice, Facebook, 6/28/2018)

“The executive director of Demand Justice is Brian Fallon, a former top aide to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who later advised Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2016.” (“Millions From Anonymous Donors To Influence Kavanaugh Fight,” The Associated Press, 7/12/2018)
Liberal ‘Dark Money’ Group Demand Justice Hides Behind ‘An Additional Layer Of Secrecy’

“Millions of dollars from anonymous donors are helping shape the fight over President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee … The liberal Demand Justice has spelled out plans for a $5 million effort to oppose Kavanaugh … While the groups’ positions on Kavanaugh are clear, their sources of cash aren’t.” (“Millions From Anonymous Donors To Influence Kavanaugh Fight,” The Associated Press, 7/12/2018)

“Demand Justice was formed just a few months ago and is structured in such a way that it doesn’t have to file annual tax returns. That’s because it’s ‘fiscally sponsored’ by a tax-exempt social welfare organization called the Sixteen Thirty Fund. The Sixteen Thirty Fund files federal tax returns but doesn’t have to disclose the identities of its donors.” (“Millions From Anonymous Donors To Influence Kavanaugh Fight,” The Associated Press, 7/12/2018)

Tags: Democrats’ ‘Mysterious’ Money To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Democrats Disproven…Again And Again And Again

Democrats Have Perpetuated ‘False,’ ‘Unfair And Unfounded’ Attacks

‘Three Pinocchios’ For Leahy ‘Throwing Red Meat’ On Bush-Era Surveillance Program

“Considering the context, Kavanaugh’s email in the days after 9/11 is a slim reed on which to hang an allegation of potentially misleading testimony under oath. Leahy asked whether Kavanaugh had seen or heard anything about a specific program, and Kavanaugh said no. No evidence has surfaced showing Kavanaugh knew at the time that a spying program was being developed before or after he sent the email to [John] Yoo. Even though Leahy is careful to say Kavanaugh ‘might have’ misled the Senate, he’s still throwing red meat out without much to back him up, and he gets Three Pinocchios for this one.” (“Did Brett Kavanaugh Give False Testimony Under Oath?,” The Washington Post’s Fact Checker Blog, 9/17/2018)

‘Two Pinocchios’ For ‘Durbin’s Statement That There’s New Evidence That Kavanaugh Misled The Judiciary Committee Regarding The Haynes Nomination’

“These emails do not show Kavanaugh played a ‘substantial role’ in the [Jim] Haynes nomination. The full record here shows that Kavanaugh’s past disclosures about his work on the Haynes nomination line up with these emails…. [Sen. Dick] Durbin’s [D-IL] statement that there’s new evidence that Kavanaugh misled the Judiciary Committee regarding the Haynes nomination is worth Two Pinocchios.” (“Did Brett Kavanaugh Give False Testimony Under Oath?,” The Washington Post’s Fact Checker Blog, 9/17/2018)

‘This One Merits Two Pinocchios For Leahy’ On Judge Kavanaugh And The Pryor Nomination

“[I]t’s important to keep in mind that [Kavanaugh] disclosed in his written answers to Durbin and [Sen. Ted] Kennedy [D-MA] in 2004 that he had been involved in meetings and discussions about [Bill] Pryor and 18 other nominees…. This one merits Two Pinocchios for [Sen. Pat] Leahy [D-VT].” (“Did Brett Kavanaugh Give False Testimony Under Oath?,” The Washington Post’s Fact Checker Blog, 9/17/2018)

Judge ‘Kavanaugh’s Answers … Were Accurate’ On Pickering Nomination

“Kavanaugh at the 2006 hearing told then-Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) … ‘This was not one of the judicial nominees that I was primarily handling,’ Kavanaugh said. ‘I was not the associate counsel in the White House counsel’s office assigned to Judge Pickering’s nomination,’ Kavanaugh added in a response to Feingold’s written questions…. In this case, Kavanaugh’s answers to Feingold were accurate …” (“Did Brett Kavanaugh Give False Testimony Under Oath?,” The Washington Post’s Fact Checker Blog, 9/17/2018)

‘Without Merit’: ‘Perjury’ Claims Are ‘An Unfair And Unfounded Attack Against Judge Kavanaugh’

DAVID LAT, Above the Law: “The most recent attacks accuse Judge Kavanaugh of committing perjury. He has testified for dozens of hours at three separate confirmation hearings — in 2004 and 2006 for the D.C. Circuit, and last week for the Supreme Court — and his opponents have been scouring this voluminous testimony to try and find what they view as false and misleading statements…. After viewing the testimonial and documentary evidence, I concluded that the claims lack merit.” (David Lat, “In Defense Of Judge Brett Kavanaugh,” Above The Law Blog, 9/10/2018)
PREVIOUSLY

‘False’: Judge Kavanaugh Did Not Call Contraceptives ‘Abortion-Inducing Drugs’

“Did Brett Kavanaugh call birth control abortion-inducing drugs? No … We rate this statement False.” (Did Brett Kavanaugh Call Birth Control Abortion-Inducing Drugs? No,” Politifact, 9/10/2018)

WASHINGTON POST’S FACT CHECKER: “[Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA)] earns Four Pinocchios -- and her fellow Democrats should drop this talking point.” (“Did Brett Kavanaugh Signal He Supports ‘Going After Birth Control’?,” The Washington Post’s Fact Checker Blog, 9/11/2018)

‘Exaggerated’: ‘Democrats Overstate Kavanaugh’s Writings on the Affordable Care Act’

“As they try to block his nomination to the Supreme Court, Senate Democrats have exaggerated Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s hostility to the Affordable Care Act in his public statements and writings.” (“Democrats Overstate Kavanaugh’s Writings on the Affordable Care Act,” The New York Times, 7/12/2018)
‘Disingenuous’: ‘Democrats Aren’t Telling The Full Story About What Kavanaugh Said’ On Investigating A President

“Democrats pounced on a years-old statement by president Donald Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh to drum up concern about how he might shield the president from Robert Mueller’s investigation…. But we found that Democrats aren’t telling the full story about what Kavanaugh said.” (“Trump's Supreme Court Pick Said Presidents Shouldn't Be Investigated, Schumer Said,” Politifact, 7/10/2018)

NOAH FELDMAN, Harvard Law Professor: “Properly understood, Kavanaugh’s expressed views actually support the opposite conclusion: that the president can be investigated and maybe even indicted unless Congress passes a law saying he can’t — which Congress has not done.” (Noah Feldman, “Kavanaugh’s Papers Don’t Help Trump Avoid Indictment,” Bloomberg Opinion, 7/10/2018)

Michigan State University law professor calls Democrats’ claims “disingenuous.” (“Trump’s Supreme Court Pick Said Presidents Shouldn’t Be Investigated, Schumer Said,” Politifact, 7/10/2018)

Tags: Democrats Disproven, Again, false reports, Judge Kavanaugh To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Georgia Gubernatorial Candidate Brian Kemp Right About Guns & Schools

by Tom Knighton: Georgia gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp may not have enjoyed the NRA’s endorsement during the Republican primary, but that doesn’t mean that he’s anti-gun by a long shot. He made that clear in some recent comments regarding school safety.

Georgia’s Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp has unveiled a $90 million proposal for school security focused on mental health and local control. But absent from his plan was any mention of the topic that has dominated the national conversation around school safety: guns.

“This is a school safety proposal. This has nothing to do with Second Amendment protections or gun control ideas that my opponent might have,” Kemp said, referring to Democrat Stacey Abrams.

The plan includes funding for a support counselor program in high schools to assist students dealing with issues such as mental health problems, opioid abuse, bullying and violence in the home.

The proposal also calls for a one-time $30,000 infusion for each of Georgia’s 2,292 public schools that local officials can use for “school security purposes” specific to their schools. Kemp also wants to create a new school safety division within the Georgia Department of Education using existing funds from the department.

But Abrams’ campaign said that gun safety measures are essential to keeping Georgia’s schoolchildren safe.

“Commonsense gun safety measures, including repealing campus carry, are essential to ensuring our schools are safe,” said Abrams’ spokeswoman Priyanka Mantha.
Too bad that campus carry makes our schools safe.

Kemp is completely accurate. School safety isn’t a gun issue. It shouldn’t be. It’s about prevention and hardening schools, so they’re not targets in the first place. Banning so-called assault rifles or imposing waiting periods doesn’t change that. Most school shootings are carried out by a kid with a stolen handgun, not an AR-15, contrary to what the media might want you to believe.

Trying to enact gun control isn’t going to happen, but even if it did, it wouldn’t solve the problem of school shootings.

By focusing on school safety without infringing on the Second Amendment, Kemp is making it clear that he sees the solutions as making schools a bad choice of target, which is the preventative measure that works for most crime. Don’t believe me? Whose house is most likely to be broken into? The one with burglar bars and a home alarm system, or the one with overgrown bushes to hide behind, no lights outside, and no alarm?

It’s important to remember that the vast majority of school shooters aren’t able to legally purchase guns anyway, so adding further restrictions to firearm purchases won’t make a dent in the problem.

But make it so that schools are too difficult a place to kill a lot of people, and guess what? You end much of the problem.

It won’t eliminate the problem because nothing will. It will, however, minimize it which is about the best you can do until we somehow figure out a cure for violence. Since that’s not likely to happen, how about we harden schools and punish people who had nothing to do with these shootings. In the meantime, Abrams and her people would do well to remember that campus carry puts more good guys with guns on Georgia campuses, thus making them all far, far safer.

Just a hunch, but I don’t the Parkland killer was dissuaded in the least by Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s gun free zone status.
---------------
Tom Knighton is a Navy veteran, a former newspaperman, a novelist, and a blogger at Bearing Arms. He lives with his family in Southwest Georgia.

Tags: Georgia, Gubernatorial Candidate, Brian Kemp, Right About, Guns & Schools, Tom Knighton, Bearing Arms To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Kavanaugh, Desantis & the Human Cost of Fake News

. . . The media’s lies have a price.
Ron DeSantis
by Daniel Greenfield: Politico, the media outlet of choice for flacks and hacks, has declared that Ron DeSantis, the conservative Republican running for Governor of Florida, against the media’s favorite new socialist, suffered his “fifth race-related” controversy.

That fifth “controversy” is about something that somebody who isn’t DeSantis tweeted. The fourth controversy also involved a DeSantis donor. The third controversy falsely smeared the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s Restoration Weekend attended by DeSantis (and Medal of Honor winner Clinton Romesha). The second involved a GOP official who also isn’t DeSantis. And the first was that DeSantis had been added without his knowledge to a Facebook group where other people said racist things.

And the media actually dares to get offended when people call it, ‘Fake News’.

What the five “race-related” scandals have in common is that none of them involve DeSantis. They’re all guilt by association. Even by the loosest possible association, a donor, a GOP official, someone on the same Facebook page or someone in Florida.

These fake news scandals aren’t being generated because there’s any basis to the racism smear. It’s a strategic campaign decision made because DeSantis’ opponent, Andrew Gillum, is African-American. Since Gillum is black, the Democrats decided to accuse DeSantis of racism. (If DeSantis were running against a woman, he would be accused of sexism.) And the media decided to advance the smear by inventing “race-related” scandals based on the flimsiest of premises to help the Democrats win.

The fake news template is to find somebody in Florida who said something controversial, then to demand that the DeSantis campaign disavow it. And presto, there’s another “race-related” controversy.

But the DeSantis fake news blizzard is mild compared to the campaign against Brett Kavanaugh.

Like DeSantis, the Kavanaugh smear was a purely tactical decision. Once the Democrats had decided to narrow the focus of their campaign to abortion, accusations that played on sexism were inevitable.

The shoddiness of the accusations were equally inevitable.

NBC News decided to go with a Facebook post by a classmate of the Kavanaugh accuser, which she later pulled. “Kavanaugh Accuser's Classmate: 'That It Happened Or Not, I Have No Idea'”, became a headline. Giving NBC a run for its money, The Guardian ran with a claim that a professor, who is not Kavanaugh, had advised students who wanted to clerk for Kavanaugh to dress attractively.

Third degree hearsay is what the media does now.

This isn’t just bad because the media is turning the political culture into a toxic pool of poison, destroying anything that smacks of civility or ethics (while trashing its own reputation in the bargain.)

There is a human cost to fake news.

The media took up the banner of fighting fake news after the election (by banning opposition media outlets and embedding its own fact checks into social media) as a threat to democracy. Fake news is bad for democracy. And the media ought to know that since there isn’t an election anywhere in the country for a position higher than town dog catcher that it doesn’t try to hijack with smears and lies.

But fake news hurts its human targets more than it wounds some abstract concept of civil society.

Politics has always been a dirty business. And any open political system ought to be able to survive the worst of what political campaigns and their media allies dish out. (Eavesdropping, FBI investigations and prosecutors doing the dirty work of political campaigns is another matter. And that’s why the Clinton campaign’s ability to inject its opposition research into the DOJ and the FBI, is a serious threat.)

Individuals are another matter.

Brett Kavanaugh is an individual. He isn’t running for public office. Republicans confirmed both of Obama’s justices without demanding FBI investigations going back to when they were 17. (Sotomayor might have survived such an investigation, Obama wouldn’t have.) Accusing him of being a rapist based on a claim so flimsy that if it were put forward against an inner city youth would have every ACLU member up in arms, has a real, individual human cost.

It doesn’t end with Kavanaugh or DeSantis. With no meaningful material against their target, the media is forced to drag in all sorts of unrelated third parties. When all you have is guilt by association, then all sorts of random people end up being collateral damage in the politics of personal destruction.

To get to DeSantis, the media has to smear all the attendees of the Restoration Weekend, including a Medal of Honor winner, as racists. It has to jump on anyone who can be used against DeSantis.

The human cost of fake news isn’t limited to the two targets. It can be almost anyone.

The monstrous disease eating our political system, known colloquially as the Mueller investigation, began in the same way, with campaign opposition research injected into the media to create fake news. It then ballooned into eavesdropping, raids, arrests, show trials and a pile of convictions on unrelated charges, all with the aim of bringing down President Trump.

The havoc wreaked on our political system by a piece of Clinton opposition research developed by a covert media smear firm is severe. But the price has been paid by the individuals who became collateral damage in the campaign to undo the results of a free and open election by any means necessary.

Politico, the same site behind DeSantis’ fifth “race-related” controversy, ran a smear piece targeting Chabad Chassidim, an Orthodox Jewish denomination, as “Trump’s kind of Jews”. Collateral damage for that one included a Rabbi in Long Island who had previously been in the news for the way that his synagogue had weathered the damage from Sandy, but was now deemed to be one of the “shortest routes” between Trump and Putin.

The Rabbi was forced to issue a statement denying that, “I nor any of our staff know, or have been in contact with, any current or former members of the Ukrainian parliament.”

Politico, the BBC and the rest of the media quickly moved on, but the fake news damage was done.

That’s what life is like in the age of fake news where some media outlet (with a campaign’s opposition research team whispering suggestions in its inbox) may decide at any moment that you are one of the shortest routes between Trump and Putin, between Ron DeSantis and racism, or between Brett Kavanaugh and its smear of the moment.

Fake news is hard on its victims. It’s even harder on the random people who become collateral damage.

The media’s fake news destroys trust, it poisons the culture and rewards unscrupulous behavior. (There’s a reason the #MeToo movement found plenty of grist for the mill in the media.) But it also harms real people. It turns a husband and father into a rapist, and a friend into a racist.

It can also make a Rabbi on Long Island seem like a Russian spy.

Its fake news techniques rely on hearsay, implication, rumor, gossip, and innuendo. These techniques are rarely subject to the media’s fact checking. They don’t make definitive statements. Instead they misleadingly connect the dots into a blizzard of conspiracy theories that can never be pinned down.

There’s no way to stop them, except by calling them what they are. Fake news.
-----------------
Daniel Greenfield is Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and a New York writer focuses on radical Islam and the radical left. David Horowitz is a Contributing Author of the ARRA News Service

Tags: Daniel Greenfield, FrontPage Mag, Kavanaugh, Desantis, Human Cost of Fake News To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

If Brett Kavanaugh Is Not Confirmed to the Supreme Court . . .

. . . Republicans could be annihilated in the midterms
by Robert Romano: The GOP Senate has one very important job, and that is to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, maintaining the balance of power on the nation’s highest court.

When Justice Anthony Kennedy retired, it was a gift to Republicans, giving them an opportunity to confirm a replacement that would be nominated by a Republican president and confirmed by a Republican Senate.

To highlight the importance of Kavanaugh’s confirmation, one need only look through the prism of time to see what lies ahead should he be delayed or defeated. If Kavanaugh is held up or voted down, it will be because a few — and that’s all it will take — Senate Republicans who sabotaged their own party by scuttling the confirmation.

If Senate Republicans fail here and now, there likely won’t be enough time to confirm an alternate to Kavanaugh before 2019. It would be a betrayal of Republicans voters who wanted a constitutionalist majority on the court to interpret the law as written, and could risk suppressing conservative turnout in the 2018 midterm elections in November.

Put simply, the GOP simply cannot afford to lose the Kavanaugh confirmation.

Senate Democrats, should they wrest control of the Senate away in November, are already citing the Merrick Garland precedent to say that no GOP nominee should be confirmed with a Democrat-controlled Senate, and that the 2020 presidential election should be a referendum on the Supreme Court, leaving the court split four to four indefinitely.

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) has already said as much to Politico, who threatened to leave the seat open until 2020: “I think we’ve had those kinds of vacancies before, and we certainly had over a one-year vacancy with Merrick Garland. So the world does not come to an end because we don’t fill all of the nominees.”

The only nominee who might be confirmed at that point would be one chosen by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who at that point would be Senate Majority Leader.

Again, Senate Republicans were elected to do one very important thing, confirm constitutionalist judges and at a minimum maintain a constitutionalist majority on the Supreme Court. Parties tend to lose midterm elections when they deal themselves defeats legislatively and disenfranchise their own supporters.

Exhibit A is the Republican failure to repeal and replace Obamacare. A small handful of Senate Republicans held up the legislation, and the outcome was extremely dispiriting to Republican voters.

Republicans are defending nine Senate seats: in Arizona, two in Mississippi, in Nebraska, in Nevada, in Tennessee, in Texas, in Utah and in Wyoming. They should win them all — and compete to pick up seats in the nine states that Democrats are defending that Trump carried in 2016 — but after the loss of the Alabama Senate seat last year, and particularly if Kavanaugh is defeated because Senate Republicans betray their constituents, there might be no safe seats.

In short, losing the confirmation of Kavanaugh would be devastating to the Republican Party, sending it into utter disarray as the Trump administration and the Senate scrambled to get somebody else confirmed before 2019, undoubtedly in the lame duck session. They cannot afford failure.

Especially since, on balance, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) actually have a very good story to tell voters come November about getting judges confirmed.

So far, 68 judges including Neil Gorsuch nominated by President Donald Trump have been confirmed by the Senate to district courts, appeals courts and the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh would be number 69. To stay on pace — an average of 163 judges are confirmed each presidential term going back to 1952 — the Senate would need to confirm about 10 more before the end of the year.

Confirming Kavanaugh would keep them on track and instead possibly deal a blow to Democrats’ enthusiasm come November — especially if a few red state Senate Democrats vote in favor of Kavanaugh in a bid to save their own skins.

Failure to confirm Kavanaugh on the other hand would nullify the Senate GOP’s sole accomplishment, negating the argument for a Republican majority and effectively overturning the outcome of the 2016 elections. Republicans can ill afford such an outcome on the eve of the midterms, making next week’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearings and vote of paramount importance. For the GOP, it’s Kavanaugh or bust.
----------------
Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.

Tags: Brett Kavanaugh, if not confirmed, Supreme Court, Republicans, could be annihilated, in the midterms To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Ford's Demands, Threats All Around, Why It Matters

by Gary Bauer
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Ford's Demands - Late yesterday afternoon, lawyers representing Dr. Christine Ford issued a list of conditions for her testimony. Here's what they are demanding of the Senate Judiciary Committee:
  • Dr. Ford will not speak on Monday. After saying she would testify, it seems Monday does not fit into her schedule. She wants to wait until Thursday to present her case. No judge would permit a witness to determine the court's calendar and Ford does not get to decide the Senate's schedule. Judge Kavanaugh sent Chairman Grassley a letter yesterday afternoon promising to be there Monday to "clear my name."
  • Kavanaugh must testify first; Ford insists on speaking second. But how can Judge Kavanaugh defend himself if he doesn't even know what Dr. Ford is going to say? Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz blasted this demand as "the most absurd, anti-due process, anti-American concept."
  • Kavanaugh must not be present during Ford's testimony.
  • They are demanding that the committee subpoena Mark Judge. But Judge has denied that the event Ford described ever happened, as has another alleged witness. And Judge never asked to testify about it, so why should he be dragged through the mud too?
  • No questions can be asked by committee lawyers. This is intended to maximize political optics. They know Republican senators are likely to pull their punches, not wanting to appear "mean" to the female witness. And if they do aggressively question her, Ford and/or committee Democrats will react angrily to their "verbal and emotional abuse."
These demands are ludicrous. They make a mockery of the process. They are blatantly political and only further undermine Ford's credibility. And it does not help that Dr. Ford is surrounded by left-wing lawyers and political hacks who have a history of savaging Supreme Court nominees.

Here's something to consider. Progressive senators and commentators -- who have never met Dr. Ford and who do not know her -- are running to the nearest microphone to vouch for her veracity. They have already condemned Judge Kavanaugh. What happened to the concept of innocent until proven guilty?

Meanwhile, three alleged witness have said the incident never happened. And there are hundreds of people -- judges, lawyers, clerks and neighbors -- who do know Judge Kavanaugh and not one of them has come forward to accuse him of anything. They know him to be a man of great ethical and moral character.

And no one on the left is calling for an FBI investigation of Rep. Keith Ellison, the deputy chairman of the Democrat National Committee. The allegations against him are much more recent and include much more evidence. There are multiple accusers and even police reports.

There cannot be one set of rules for sexual assault allegations against Democrats and a completely different set of rules for allegations against Supreme Court nominees.

Sadly, the left is now fantasizing about sending Kavanaugh to jail -- even if he is confirmed. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow noted last night:

"There is no statute of limitations for a felony like this in Maryland. Local authorities . . . now say that . . . the reason they have not opened a criminal investigation of this matter is because they have not received a criminal complaint [from] the alleged victim in this case. . .

"[Ford] could, at any point, make that criminal complaint to the police in Maryland. Such a complaint could start a criminal investigation of a sitting Supreme Court justice for felony attempted rape. . ."


Threats All Around - Ford's lawyers are really playing up the fact that she has reportedly had to leave her house due to threats. Well, someone finally noticed yesterday that Judge Kavanaugh and his family have also faced threats. In fact, some are so vile they could not be read on network TV.

I am sure that Kellyanne Conway, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and anyone else prominently serving in the administration can testify to receiving the same kind of garbage from the left. I certainly can.

When I served President Ronald Regan, I regularly received threats against me and my children. We had to hire security simply because I was promoting the Reagan agenda.

My point, my friends, is simply this: The left's vitriol and the breakdown of our public discourse is not Donald Trump's fault. The left has been bitter, angry and violent for decades.

Why It Matters - During my remarks at the Values Voter Summit today, I reminded the audience about the history of recent Supreme Court battles and why this one is so important. (If you missed my speech, you can watch it here.)
In 1987, Ronald Reagan nominated an intellectual giant, Judge Robert Bork. The left savaged him. Democrats invented a new term -- to "Bork" a nominee. Bork's defeat gave us Anthony Kennedy, who was not a reliable conservative.

In 1991, George H. W. Bush thrilled conservatives when he nominated Clarence Thomas. Remembering what happened to Judge Bork, I created a committee to support Thomas. Virtually every conservative in Washington knew and respected Clarence Thomas. But at the very end of his hearings, Anita Hill emerged.

Thomas had overcome much in his life, but he made one mistake: He was a black man willing to defend conservatism and the left had to destroy him. Thomas fought back, and he was confirmed. Year after year since then, he has been the most reliable conservative on the Supreme Court.

Here we are today. The left is terrified that there might be one more vote on the Supreme Court to limit abortion on demand. So it has to "Bork" Judge Kavanaugh. When the left can't win the argument, it resorts to intimidation.

But if this smear works, what conservative judge would be willing to submit themselves to that kind of abuse and character assassination?

The left must not succeed in destroying Judge Kavanaugh.

It must not succeed in destroying the Trump presidency.

And that is why we cannot let the left prevail at the ballot box this November.
-------------------
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, Ford's Demands, Threats All Around, Why It Matters To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Republican Congress Using Defense Bill to Fund Planned Parenthood & Aborted-Baby-Parts Research

Senate Appropriation Chair Richard Shelby (R.-AL)
by Terence P. Jeffrey: The Republican-controlled Congress is moving to enact a Defense appropriations bill that has morphed into a multi-agency "minibus" and continuing resolution that funds Planned Parenthood and research that uses fetal tissue taken from aborted babies.

The bill passed the Senate Tuesday and is expected to come up for a vote in the House next week.

The bill is based on H.R. 6157, which started as the stand-alone Defense Department appropriations bill that the House passed on June 28.

But in a floor speech on Aug. 16, Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby explained that the Senate version of H.R. 6157 “marries” Congress’s two biggest spending bills.

“Today the Senate begins debate on an appropriations package that is absolutely essential to the strength and security of this nation,” Shelby said.

“The package before the Senate,” he said, “marries the two largest fiscal year 2019 appropriations bills: Defense and Labor-HHS-Education. Each of these bills carries the near unanimous support of the Appropriations Committee.”

The version of the Labor-HHS-Education bill that was approved by the House Appropriations Committee on July 11—but never brought up for a vote on the House floor—defunded both Planned Parenthood and federal research that uses tissue taken from aborted babies.

The version of the Labor-HHS-Education bill approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee on June 28 permitted funding of Planned Parenthood and research that uses tissue taken from aborted babies.

By joining the Defense Department funding bill to the Senate Appropriations Committee’s version of the Labor-HHS-Education bill, the Republican leadership made it impossible for a senator to vote against funding Planned Parenthood and fetal tissue research without also voting against funding the Defense Department.

On Aug. 23, the Senate took up the version of H.R. 6157 that “married” the Defense and Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bills and permitted funding Planned Parenthood and fetal tissue research. Sen. Rand Paul (R.-Ky.) fought to get a vote on an amendment to the bill that would defund Planned Parenthood.

Before the Republican leadership agreed to such a vote, Paul needed to go to the floor to speak out about what was happening.

“My amendment would end the funding of Planned Parenthood,” Paul said. “Yet my amendment is now being blocked by Republicans.”

“Many voters think Republicans actually care about the unborn,” said Paul. “Many voters think Republicans are really opposed to government-funded abortions. But the dirty little secret is that Republican leadership is blocking my amendment to defund Planned Parenthood.”

“Big-spending Republicans fear that blocking funding for Planned Parenthood would derail their plans to greatly expand the welfare-warfare state,” he said. “So be it. The public has long known that the Democrats are the abortion party. Now the public will know that many Republicans just pay lip service to pro-life issues and are really more concerned with bloated government spending than with saving lives.”

After Paul’s speech, the Republican leadership did allow a vote on his amendment to defund Planned Parenthood—but it failed 45-48.

The Senate then approved the overall “married” Defense and Labor-HHS-Education bill by a vote of 85-7.

Without holding an up-or-down vote on the House Appropriations Committee’s version of the Labor-HHS-Education bill--which would have defunded Planned Parenthood and fetal-tissue research--the House Republican leadership named House members to join a conference committee with members of the Senate to work out a final version of H.R. 6157.

The conference committee's version--like the Senate's version—would marry the Defense and Labor-HHS-Education appropriations.

The conference committee's “married” version of H.R. 6157 also included a continuing resolution that will fund through Dec. 7 all government agencies that do not see their appropriations bills passed by Sept. 30, the last day of the fiscal year.

This final version of H.R. 6157 permits funding of Planned Parenthood and federal research that uses tissue taken from aborted babies.

On Tuesday, the Senate voted 93 to 7 to approve it.

That gives House members this choice: If they want to vote against funding Planned Parenthood and research that uses tissue taken from aborted babies, they must vote against funding the Department of Defense and in favor of closing down any government agencies whose approprations bills are not passed by Sept. 30.

Shelby was happy with the Senate's action.

“Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) today praised the Senate’s passage of the final conference agreement reached on H.R. 6157, the second of three Fiscal Year 2019 minibus appropriations packages, which includes funding bills for the Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies subcommittees,” said a statement published Tuesday by Shelby’s committee.

“The bill also contains a continuing resolution (CR) through December 7, 2018, for any appropriations bills not enacted before October 1, 2018,” the statement said.

“Following passage in the House, which is expected to vote on the legislation next week, the package will be sent to the president’s desk for his signature,” said the statement.

Shelby applauded the Senate Republican and Democratic leaders for pushing the bill through.

“I want to thank my colleagues--particularly Leaders [Mitch] McConnell and [Chuck] Schumer and Vice Chairman [Patrick] Leahy--for their help in moving the Defense-Labor-HHS conference report before the Senate.”

The seven senators who voted against the bill included six Republicans and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I.-Vt.)

Sen. Mike Lee (R.-Utah), one of the six Republicans, delivered a floor speech explaining his opposition to this bill that funds Planned Parenthood and fetal-tissue research.

“For the second straight year of unified Republican governance—unified pro-life governance—Congress’s annual spending bills will include no new reforms protecting unborn children or getting federal taxpayers out of the abortion business,” said Lee.

“The House version of this Health and Human Services spending bill included multiple reforms,” said Lee. “It denied taxpayer funds to the largest abortion provider in the country, Planned Parenthood. It eliminated Title X family planning grants, which cross-subsidize abortion providers. It prohibited Federal funding of research on aborted fetal tissue. It included the Conscience Protection Act protecting pro-life people and groups from funding discrimination.

“None of these modest, commonsense spending reforms survived the House-Senate negotiations—none of them,” said Lee. “None was made a priority by the people empowered to set priorities.”

“Under this bill,” said Lee, “neither the unborn nor taxpayers are any more protected from the abortion industry than they were under President Obama and a unified Democratic Congress.”

---------------------
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.

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Has Russia Given Up on the West?

by Patrick Buchanan: By the end of his second term, President Ronald Reagan, who had called the Soviet Union an “evil empire,” was strolling through Red Square with Russians slapping him on the back.

Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive.

And how have we husbanded the fruits of our Cold War triumph?

This month, China’s leader-for-life Xi Jinping stood beside Vladimir Putin as 3,000 Chinese troops maneuvered with 300,000 Russians, 1,000 planes and 900 tanks in Moscow’s largest military exercise in 40 years.

An uncoded message to the West from the East.

Richard Nixon’s great achievement in bringing Peking in from the cold, and Reagan’s great achievement of ending the Cold War, are history.

Bolshevism may be dead, but Russian nationalism, awakened by NATO’s quick march to Russia’s ancient frontiers, is alive and well.

Russia appears to have given up on the West and accepted that its hopes for better times with President Donald Trump are not to be.

U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley is berating Russia for secretly trading with North Korea in violation of U.N. sanctions, saying, “Lying, cheating, and rogue behavior have become the new norm of the Russian culture.”

Cold wars don’t get much colder than defaming another country’s culture as morally debased.

The U.S. has also signaled that it may start supplying naval and anti-aircraft weaponry to Ukraine, as Russia is being warned to cease its inspections of ships passing from the Black Sea through the Kerch Strait into the Sea of Azov.

The three-mile-wide strait lies between Crimea and Kerch Peninsula. In Russia’s eyes, both banks of the strait are Russian national territory.

With U.S. backing, Ukraine has decided to build a naval base on the Sea of Azov to “create conditions for rebuffing the aggressive actions of the Russian Federation in this region.”

Kiev has several patrol boats in the Sea of Azov, with a few more to be transferred there in coming months. Russia’s navy could sink those boats and wipe out that base in minutes.

Are we going to send our Navy across the Black Sea to protect Ukraine’s naval rights inside a sea that has been as historically Russian as the Chesapeake Bay is historically American?

Poland this week invited the U.S. to establish a major base on its soil, for which Poland would pay two billion dollars, to be called “Fort Trump.”

Trump seemed to like the idea, and the name.

Yet, the Bush II decision to install a missile defense system in Poland brought a Kremlin counter-move: the installation of nuclear-capable Iskander cruise missiles in Kaliningrad, the former German territory on Poland’s northern border annexed by Stalin at the end of World War II.

In the Balkans, over Russian protests, the U.S. is moving to bring Macedonia into NATO. But before Macedonia can join, half its voters have to come out on Sept. 30 to approve a change in the nation’s name to North Macedonia. This is to mollify Greece, which claims the birthplace of Alexander the Great as it own.

Where are we going with all this?

With U.S. warships making regular visits into the Eastern Baltic and Black Sea, the possibility of a new base in Poland, and growing lethal aid to Ukraine to fight pro-Russian rebels in the Donbass and the Russian navy on the Sea of Azov, are we not crowding the Russians a bit?

Are we confident the Russians will always back down?

When Georgia, believing it could kick Russian peacekeepers out and re-annex its seceded province of South Ossetia, attacked in August 2008, the Russian Army came crashing in and ran the Georgians out in 48 hours.

George W. Bush wisely decided not to issue an ultimatum or send troops. He ignored the hawks in his own party who had helped goad him into the great debacle of his presidency: Iraq.

So, what exactly is the U.S. grand strategy with regard to Russia?

What might be called the McCain wing of the Republican Party has sought to bring Ukraine and Georgia into NATO, which would make the containment of Russia America’s policy in perpetuity.

Are the American people aware of the costs and risks inherent in such a policy? What are the prospects of Russia yielding always to U.S. demands? And are we not today stretched awfully thin?

Our share of the global economy is much shrunken from Reagan’s time. Our deficit is approaching $1 trillion. Our debt is surging toward 100 percent of GDP. Entitlements are consuming our national wealth.

We are committed to containing the two other greatest powers, Russia and China. We are tied down militarily in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen, with the War Party beating the drums for another and larger war — with Iran. And we are sanctioning adversaries and allies for not following our leadership of the West and the world.

In looking at America’s global commitments, greatly expanded since our Cold War victory, one word come to mind: unsustainable.
----------------
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, Russia, the West? To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

The Air Has Seeped out of the Russia-Collusion Balloon

Michael Barone
by Michael Barone: "I did not, and of course I looked for it, looked for it hard." That was Bob Woodward, promoting his book on the Trump White House, "Fear," replying to talk radio host and columnist Hugh Hewitt's question "Did you, Bob Woodward, hear anything in your research, in your interviews, that sounded like espionage or collusion?"

"You've seen no collusion?" Hewitt followed up. "I have not," Woodward replied.

Can we take this as definitive evidence that there's nothing to the theory, widely bruited these past two years by top intelligence and FBI officials, and by numerous Democrats, that President Trump or his campaign colluded with the Russians?

Not necessarily. As Woodward added, there's always the possibility special prosecutor Robert Mueller or others know something we don't.

But we also know none of Mueller's indictments and guilty pleas point toward confirmation. And the prosecutor's questions to Trump, quoted to Woodward, go to Trump's motives for clearly constitutional acts, like firing former FBI Director James Comey.

So, as I wrote in my Wall Street Journal review of "Fear," "Those anticipating Mr. Trump's downfall for collusion with Russia will be disappointed by 'Fear.'" Trump repeated Woodward's statement, made after Comey informed the president-elect of the lurid allegations in the dossier prepared by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, that the dossier is "a garbage document" that "never should have been ... part of an intelligence briefing."

But that's just about all that partisans like House Intelligence Committee ranking Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff refer to when they say that there's plenty of evidence of Russian collusion already on the table.

Intelligence leaders like former CIA Director John Brennan and law enforcement officials at Comey's FBI may have been prompted to investigate Trump's Russian ties by the candidate's bizarre statements praising Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling for accommodation with Russia and calling on Russia to release emails it may have obtained from Hillary Clinton's illegal server.

But now, two years later, it's apparent that Trump's foreign policy is less friendly to Russia than his predecessor's.

And it's also clear, thanks to my Washington Examiner colleague Byron York's reporting, that that Russia platform plank that was supposedly watered down at the Republican National Convention was actually toughened up.

The mainstream media, as is so often the case, simply got that story wrong in an apparent attempt to make Trump look bad. Recent examples: the Washington Post story on passport denials to Latinos that "withheld" and "distorted key facts," according to the Huffington Post, and The New York Times hit piece on U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley that blamed her for overspending on curtains ordered in October 2016. Animus gone wild is the only explanation for such blunders in attacking a target-rich environment like the Trump administration.

Before 2016, I presumed that no serious person disagreed with the proposition that, as a general matter, it is undesirable to have law enforcement and intelligence agencies investigating political campaigns, particularly those of the party in opposition to the president. The potential for stifling free political debate and partisan competition is obvious.

I was open to the argument that in some circumstances, in some small number of cases, there might be exceptions to this general rule, going even beyond enforcement of campaign finance laws and regulations: the Manchurian Candidate exception. This appears to be what our intelligence and law enforcement leaders thought they were invoking when they launched their probes into and surveillance of the Trump campaign.

Now it appears that, beyond a generalized suspicion, they've been acting on nothing more than the Steele dossier. A document unverified, as Steele himself has admitted in a British court; a document made up entirely of hearsay from unknown and unavailable witnesses; a document bought and paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign.

So it's unsurprising to read that the intelligence and law enforcement agencies are resisting or slow walking a promised presidential order to declassify their documents and deliberations. And that congressional Democratic leaders are insisting that the agencies submit such declassified material to them before making it public. They don't want people to know that intelligence and law enforcement agencies have been violating the general rule that they should not interfere in electoral politics.

"'The entire inquiry,'" Bob Woodward quotes Trump's ex-lawyer John Dowd, "'appears to be the product of a conspiracy by the DNC, Fusion GPS -- which did the Steele dossier -- and senior FBI intelligence officials to undermine the Trump presidency.'"

Does Woodward disagree?
-----------------------
Michael Barone is a Senior Political Analyst for the Washington Examiner and a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institutea Fox News Channel  and co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. Shared by Rasmussen Reports.

Tags: Michael Barone, editorial, Air Has Seeped out, Russia-Collusion Balloon To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

California Dreamin’ . . .

. . . California is broke and in a horrible mess due to years of Democrats in power. Maybe it’s time to try John Cox Republican to clean up their mess.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: Editorial Cartoon, AF Branco, California, Dreamin, broke, horrible mess, years of Democrats, in power, time to try, John Cox, Republican, to clean up, their mess To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Gettysburg Address - Fake News?

by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: Two weeks ago I happened to turn on a campaign rally where President Trump was speaking. As usual, he talked about “fake news” and made a statement that I knew would be criticized by historians.

He said, “You know when Abraham Lincoln made the Gettysburg Address speech, the great speech, you know he was ridiculed.” The point he was making is that there was “fake news” then so we shouldn’t be surprised we have it today. He then went on to remind everyone that Lincoln’s speech was revered years later and believed that would happen to him.

Let’s ignore Donald Trump’s comparison to Abraham Lincoln so that we can focus on an important historical point. How was Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address received at the time?

Generally the northern newspapers were favorable to Lincoln’s speech, while the southern newspapers predictably attacked it. But even looking at the northern papers, you get a bit of a mixed reaction.

Writers doing a fact check on Lincoln’s speech reminded us of two different reactions in Chicago newspapers to the Gettysburg Address. The Chicago Times suggested that, “the cheek of every American must tingle with shame as he reads the silly, flat and dish-watery utterances.” By contrast, the Chicago Tribune praised the speech and believed it “will live among the annals of man.”

Some of the social media criticism of Donald Trump’s statement about the media reaction to the Gettysburg Address cited the New York Times news story. However, if you read the story, the author merely mentions that Lincoln spoke “in a very deliberate manner” and doesn’t praise the speech. In fact, in a previous sentence, the story describes the prayer of Reverend Stockton as “touching and beautiful.” Nothing like that is attached to Lincoln’s speech.

So it is fair to say that President Trump was at least half right. Some newspapers (the so-called “fake news” of the day) attacked the speech. But others also praised it.
------------
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

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Intentionally Confounding Incumbents

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: The three issues on the ballot in Memphis this November are “not complicated,” writes Commercial Appeal columnist David Waters, “unless you read the actual ballot questions.”

Which is all most voters will see.

All three directly affect the self-interest of members of the Memphis City Council, which placed them on the ballot and determined the language voters will attempt to decipher.

Waters called that ballot wording “incomprehensible” and “intentionally confounding.” His newspaper colleague, Ryan Poe, accused the council of “trying to stack the deck.”

The first measure would weaken the council’s term limits, passed in 2011 with a 78 percent vote and just about to kick in. The ballot language, Mr. Poe explains, “reads like voters are being asked to place limits on council members . . . rather than extend them.” By an extra term.

The second issue would repeal Instant Runoff Voting (IRV), which was brought forth by citizen petition and enacted via a 71 percent yes vote. The confusing ballot wording brings up a 1991 federal court decision without providing voters any context or explanation.

Though IRV has not yet been used, council incumbents fear it.* This becomes especially clear when you discover that the third ballot question is actually a sneakier, second attempt to repeal IRV.

“Instant runoffs, and run-off elections in general, tend to make it easier for challengers to unseat incumbents in multi-candidate district races,” argues Waters. He adds, “Incumbents generally become stronger the longer they are in office.”

To incumbent politicians, reform is a dirty word.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

* Back in February, the council was caught paying a lobbyist to convince state legislators to restrict their city’s ability to implement Instant Runoff Voting.
------------------
Paul Jacob 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. Jacob is a contributing author on the ARRA News Service.

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NY Times’ Nikki Haley Smear Vs. NY Times’ G.H.W.B. Smear

Nikki Haley
U.S. Ambassador to the UN
by Larry Elder: The New York Times’ headline read: “Nikki Haley’s View of New York Is Priceless. Her Curtains? $52,701.” The headline clearly implied that U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Haley was a profligate elitist Republican unconcerned about spending taxpayer money. As a result, the reaction was swift and strong.

Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., tweeted: “This is not okay. As a Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I call on @HouseForeign Chairman @RepEdRoyce to hold an oversight hearing on @StateDept spending on @nikkihaley and her deputy.”

David Hogg, a student gun control advocate, tweeted: “Dear Nikki Haley, There are starving children in America everyday and you have the audacity to misappropriate thousands of tax dollars for your own lavish lifestyle. Resign immediately.”

One small problem — the purchase of the curtains was authorized in 2016 during the Obama administration, and Haley had no role in it, a fact originally disclosed in the article’s sixth paragraph:

“A spokesman for Ms. Haley said plans to buy the curtains were made in 2016, during the Obama administration. Ms. Haley had no say in the purchase, he said.” Clearly, a lot of readers never reached paragraph six.

The New York Times issued a correction but not an apology. The new headline reads, “State Department Spent $52,701 on Curtains for Residence of U.N. Envoy.” The edited article also moved the “plans to buy the curtains were made in 2016” sentences up two paragraphs, from sixth to fourth.

The New York Times did a similar hatchet job on then-President George Herbert Walker Bush. During the 1992 election year, a front-page story depicted a supposedly elitist president, so out of touch with the common people that Bush was unfamiliar with a supermarket checkout scanner. The headline? “Bush Encounters the Supermarket, Amazed.”

The article began: “As President Bush travels the country in search of re-election, he seems unable to escape a central problem: This career politician, who has lived the cloistered life of a top Washington bureaucrat for decades, is having trouble presenting himself to the electorate as a man in touch with middle-class life.”

The article then described a supposedly clueless president:

“Today, for instance, he emerged from 11 years in Washington’s choicest executive mansions to confront the modern supermarket.

“Visiting the exhibition hall of the National Grocers Association convention (in Orlando, Florida), Mr. Bush lingered at the mock-up of a checkout lane. He signed his name on an electronic pad used to detect check forgeries. …

“Then he grabbed a quart of milk, a light bulb and a bag of candy and ran them over an electronic scanner. The look of wonder flickered across his face again as he saw the item and price registered on the cash register screen.

“‘This is for checking out?’ asked Mr. Bush. ‘I just took a tour through the exhibits here,’ he told the grocers later. ‘Amazed by some of the technology.’

“Marlin Fitzwater, the White House spokesman, assured reporters that he had seen the president in a grocery store. A year or so ago. In Kennebunkport.

“Some grocery stores began using electronic scanners as early as 1976, and the devices have been in general use in American supermarkets for a decade.”

One little problem — no New York Times reporter covered this event. Only one “pool” newspaper journalist was there, a Houston Chronicle reporter who filed a two-paragraph report, which said nothing about a befuddled Bush who had never seen a scanner. In fact, after the Times’ scanner story came out, a systems analyst for the National Grocers Association, who showed Bush the scanner, said: “The whole thing is ludicrous. What he was amazed about was the ability of the scanner to take that torn label and reassemble it.”

A videotape from a pool videographer surfaced. An Associated Press story a week later said: “Bush had stopped by prearrangement at the NCR exhibit before addressing the grocers. He viewed some other high tech equipment, then walked over to the model checkout stand.

“A videotape shot by a White House press pool shows Bush saying, ‘This is the scanner, the newest scanner?’

“‘Of course, this looks like a typical scanner you’d see in a grocery store,’ Graham replied.

“‘Yeah,’ said Bush.

“‘There’s one big difference,’ said Graham, lifting off the scanner’s top plate to reveal a scale underneath. He weighed and rang up a red apple.

“The exhibitor had Bush put the machine through its paces before he showed off what he called the machine’s ‘really quite amazing’ new feature.

“He had Bush scan a card with a universal product code ripped and jumbled into five pieces. The machine read it and rang up the correct sale.

“‘Isn’t that something,’ the President said.”

George H. W. Bush lost his bid for re-election in no small measure to the way the media covered him and the economy. Despite over nearly 18 consecutive months of positive economic growth, most Americans considered the economy in recession — presided over, according to the Times, by an out-of-touch Republican patrician.
---------------
Larry Elder (@larryelder) is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host, an American lawyer, writer and radio and television personality who is also known as the "Sage From South Central." To find out more about Larry Elder. Visit his website at LarryElder.com for list of other articles.

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