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News for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited "smaller" government, free markets, lower taxes, due process of law, liberty & individual freedom. Content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for or by this site - no paid ads - no payments for articles. Fair Use doctrine is posted & used.
Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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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)

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Not Always Like This

Walter E. Williams
by Dr. Walter E. Williams: One of the unavoidable tragedies of youth is the temptation to think that what is seen today has always been. Nowhere is this more noticeable than in our responses to the recent Parkland, Florida, massacre. Part of the responses to those murders are calls to raise the age to purchase a gun and to have more thorough background checks — in a word, to make gun purchases more difficult. That's a vision that sees easy gun availability as the problem; thus, the solution is to reduce that availability.

The vision that sees "easy" availability as the problem ignores the fact of U.S. history that guns were far more available yesteryear ( With truly easy gun availability, there was nowhere near the gun mayhem and murder that we see today. I'm tempted to ask those who believe that guns are today's problem whether they think that guns were nicer yesteryear. What about the calls for bans on the AR-15 so-called assault rifle? It turns out that according to 2016 FBI statistics, rifles accounted for 368 of the 17,250 homicides in the U.S. that year. That means restrictions on the purchase of rifles would do little or nothing for the homicide rate. Leaders of the gun control movement know this. Their calls for more restrictive gun laws are part of a larger strategy to outlaw gun ownership.

Gun ownership is not our problem. Our problem is a widespread decline in moral values that has nothing to do with guns. That decline includes disrespect for those in authority, disrespect for oneself, little accountability for anti-social behavior and a scuttling of religious teachings that reinforced moral values. Let's examine elements of this decline.

If any of our great-grandparents or even grandparents who passed away before 1960 were to return, they would not believe the kind of personal behavior all too common today. They wouldn't believe that youngsters could get away with cursing and assaulting teachers. They wouldn't believe that some school districts, such as Philadelphia's, employ more than 400 school police officers. During my primary and secondary schooling, from 1942 to 1954, the only time one saw a policeman in school was during an assembly period where we had to listen to a boring lecture on safety. Our ancestors also wouldn't believe that we're now debating whether teachers should be armed.

There are other forms of behavior that would have been deemed grossly immoral yesteryear. There are companies such as National Debt Relief, CuraDebt and LendingTree, which advertise that they will help you to avoid paying all the money you owe. So after you and a seller agree to terms of a sale, if you fail to live up to your half of the bargain, there are companies that will assist you in ripping off the seller.

There are companies that counsel senior citizens on how to shelter their assets from nursing home care costs. For example, a surviving spouse may own a completely paid-for home that’s worth $500,000. The costs of nursing home care might run $50,000 a year. By selling her house, she could pay the nursing home costs, but her children wouldn’t inherit the house. There are firms that come in to shelter her assets so that she can bequeath her home to her heirs and leave taxpayers to foot the nursing home bill. In my book, that’s immoral, but it is so common that most of us give it no thought.

There is one moral failing that is devastating to the future of our nation. That failing, which has wide acceptance by the American people, is the idea that Congress has the authority to forcibly use one American to serve the purposes of another American. That is nothing less than legalized theft and accounts for roughly three-quarters of federal spending. For the Christians among us, we should consider that when God gave Moses the commandment “Thou shalt not steal,” he probably didn’t mean thou shalt not steal unless you get a majority vote in the U.S. Congress.
Walter Williams  is an American economist, social commentator, and author of over 150 publications. He has a Ph.D. and M.A. in Economics from the UCLA and B.A. in economics from California State University. He also holds a Doctor of Humane Letters from Virginia Union University and Grove City College, Doctor of Laws from Washington and Jefferson College. He has served on the faculty of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics, since 1980. Visit his website: and view a list of other articles and works.

Tags: Walter E. Williams, Not Always Like This, Parkland, Florida, school shooting To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Millennial Means Nothing

by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: In my commentaries I often refer to the millennial generation. But what does the term “millennial” really mean? According to John Quiggin, “millennial means nothing.” That is the title of his op-ed in the New York Times.

He is on to something. Some social commentators make broad statements about a particular cohort of people: baby boomers, baby busters, or millennials. As we all know, for any general rule there are bound to be exceptions. That is why he rejects what he calls “the generation game.” That is the insistence on dividing society into groups based on birth year.

When I wrote a book years ago on baby boomers and when I speak in various venues today about the millennial generation, I always talk about the fact that the trends we see are general rules. I even say that if you know millennials, you may notice that the trends I am talking about don’t necessarily apply to them. If you are a millennial, you may say some of the trends don’t apply to you.

Once we have that disclaimer, it then seems fair to notice general trends within a generation. After all, people born in the 1950s grew up in a time of unprecedented economic expansion. Young people born after the year 2000 grew up in a time when America was at war with terrorists. Even though there are important differences within a particular generation, they all had some common social experiences.

And I believe that one factor that really binds a generation together is the shared technological experiences. Computers, the Internet, video games, and smartphones have had a profound influence on the millennial generation and the following generation (often called the iGen). In many ways, that common experience unifies a cohort like never before. That is why I am not ready to say millennial means nothing.
Kerby Anderson is a radio talk show host heard on numerous stations via the Point of View Network endorsed by Dr. Bill Smith, Editor, ARRA News Service

Tags: Kerby Anderson, Viewpoints, Point of View, Millennial Means Nothing To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Good Guy With Gun

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: Short version of the story: a good guy with a gun at a Maryland high school stopped a bad guy with a gun. In less than a minute. How? Because the good guy had a gun and was inside the school with the gun.

The bad guy was able to shoot a 16-year-old female student, apparently someone with whom he had a previous relationship, as well as a 14-year-old male before an officer on site responded. This officer, Blaine Gaskill, was on the spot in less than a minute. Gaskill and the assailant fired simultaneously. The assailant fell dead. What exactly happened is still unclear; there has been some media speculation that the bad guy may have shot himself.

But the 17-year-old shooter is dead. The female victim, though still alive, is unfortunately in critical condition. The male victim is in stable condition.

The good guy was armed — with a gun. And he was on site. If you’re learning about the incident here first, it’s because the story isn’t being plastered all over the place 24-7 as it would have been had the shooter been able to wreak much more havoc because nobody could quickly counter him.

So, is it okay to let responsible, well-trained administrators, teachers and others in schools be armed?

Well, ask the question a different way. If you happened to be inside the school at the time, would it be okay to survive when some maniac with a gun starts shooting at you and others inside that school?

Let’s defend our loved ones.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
Paul Jacob is author of Paul Jacob, 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, Good Guy With Gun To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

IRS & Congress Ignoring Millions of Felonies by IlIegal immigrants Stealing Identities . . .

. . . Why is this still happening?
by Printus LeBlanc: Despite the media and amnesty proponents on both sides of the aisle declaring illegal immigrants don’t commit crimes, a recent report from CNS News should shut down the amnesty debate. After reviewing several Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) reports, CNS found the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) routinely ignores massive numbers of possible identity theft. According to the report, there were 1.2 million cases in 2017 in which illegal aliens filed tax returns using Social Security Numbers (SSN). Why are the IRS and Congress ignoring a problem costing American citizens billions of dollars and countless years to fix?

This is not the typical identity theft most people think of, but employment identity theft. Employment identity theft is when someone uses another person’s identity to get a job. The IRS can identify the theft through the ITIN/SSN mismatch process. The process detects instances in which an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is listed as either the primary or secondary Taxpayer Identification Number on form 1040, and the Form W-2, included with the return has an SSN.

What is most infuriating about the recent report is the lack of enforcement of federal law. The IRS found 1.3 million cases of employment-related identity theft between 2011 and 2016. But in the same time frame, the IRS made 20,986 prosecution recommendations with only 4,329 being recommended for identity theft.

The list of crimes being committed by the millions of illegal immigrants is numerous:
  • 18 U.S. Code 1028 – Fraud and related activity in connection with identification documents, authentication features, and information (identity theft)
  • 18 U.S. Code 1341 – Frauds and swindles (mail fraud)
  • 18 U.S. Code 1343 – Fraud by wire, radio, or television (wire fraud)
  • 18 U.S. Code 371 – Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud United States (conspiracy)
Every day American citizens are investigated, charged, and convicted of these crimes. Why should illegal immigrants be any different?

What no one on Capitol Hill or the media is talking about, is the damage a stolen identity can do to a person. It may not seem like much to use someone else’s identity to get a job, but it can take years to get the official records corrected. Home loans are denied, interest rates rise, and jobs are denied when there is an identity theft problem. It is hard to find someone that has not been impacted by identity theft, including myself:

Several years ago, a friend of mine separated from the military. He and I were training for a contracting job with the State Department. After training, as we were getting ready to deploy, he was told he could not go because an update to his security clearance, which he previously possessed, found someone had stolen his identity. This honorably discharged Marine Scout Sniper was being denied a job because someone stole his identity. That’s how serious stolen identities are.

A stolen identity can ruin a person’s life. Why is Congress trying to grant amnesty to people hurting American citizens?

The first thing that should happen is the IRS must make criminal referrals to the Justice Department for cases of identity theft. The DOJ must then move to prosecute and deport any illegal immigrants that committed identity fraud. This cannot continue, the lack of punishment for committing multiple felonies only invites more lawlessness.

Congress must also act. It must move to pass E-Verify. E-Verify will ensure illegal immigrants cannot be hired. The ITIN program must also be abolished. The program is filled with fraud and abuse costing taxpayers billions a year in improper payments. This must be done before any agreement is worked out on the DACA program or amnesty for Dreamers. Before any deal is done, Congress must demand an audit of potential DACA recipients and Dreamers to find out who amongst the group committed identity theft. Congress cannot reward identity theft with a green card.

Congress and the federal government need to show the American people they matter.
Printus LeBlanc is a contributing editor for the Daily Torch at Americans for Limited Government.

Tags: Printus LeBlanc, Daily Trourch, Americans for Limited Government, IRS, Congress, Ignoring,Millions of Felonies, illegal immigrants, Stealing Identities To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Trump: Sanctuary State Places ‘Innocent Americans at the Mercy of Hardened Criminals’

President Trump holds a law enforcement roundtable
on sanctuary cities at the White House.
by Fred Lucas: Mary Ann Mendoza was enraged that the illegal immigrant who killed her son—police Sgt. Brandon Mendoza—wasn’t deported for a crime committed in Colorado two decades earlier.

Though she wrote a letter to President Barack Obama after her son’s death in 2014 expressing her concern, she found a more receptive voice Monday when participating in a roundtable discussion at the White House with President Donald Trump.

“This is actually a mass murder happening in the United States by illegal aliens killing American citizens,” Mendoza, who lives in Arizona, said Monday in a meeting that included Cabinet officials, members of Congress, and state and local law enforcement officials.

“Over 63,000 Americans have been killed since 9/11 by illegal aliens,” Mendoza continued. “It’s a crime spree being left unchecked and these sanctuary state and city officials are putting American lives in harm every single day. We have become collateral damage to their personal agenda.”

Trump called out California, the first and only state to become a sanctuary state, making it illegal for local law enforcement to report illegal immigrants.

“California put innocent Americans at the mercy of hardened criminals, hardened murderers in many cases,” Trump said Tuesday during the roundtable discussion.

The president noted that Democrats in Congress have opposed legislation to withhold federal funds from sanctuary cities.

“Democrats’ priority is to protect criminals, not to do what’s right for our country,” Trump said. “My priority and the priority of my administration is to serve, protect, and defend the citizens of the United States.”

Sanctuary jurisdictions reject “detainer” requests from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement by refusing to share information relating to potentially removable aliens. “Detainers” are used to request that a state or local law enforcement agency hold a criminal alien in local custody for up to 48 hours to allow ICE to take custody and initiate removal proceedings.

A bill to cut federal funds to sanctuary cities, sponsored by Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., can’t overcome the 60-vote threshold in the Senate to pass. Toomey called this “frustrating.”

The Justice Department filed a legal action regarding three California laws that intentionally obstruct the enforcement of federal immigration law.

“Federal law is supreme law of the land,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said during the White House roundtable event. “It was made clear by the Supreme Court the federal government has immigration responsibilities.”

The American Civil Liberties Union, a liberal legal group, has opposed any crackdown on sanctuary cities. In a February statement, the group said:The Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act perpetuates unconstitutional immigration detainer practices, and upends hundreds of community trust policies. Rather than taking a punitive approach to local law enforcement agencies that are working hard to balance their duties to uphold the Constitution and to keep their communities safe, the Senate should end DHS’s unconstitutional detainer practices, or fix the constitutional deficiencies by requiring judicial warrants for all detainer requests.During the White House roundtable, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said the jurisdictions defying federal law “are not sanctuary cities, they are outlaw cities.” He added, “it’s past time for Congress to give the administration the tools it needs.”

During fiscal year 2017, which began in October 2016, Immigration and Customs Enforcement made more than 140,000 administrative arrests and affected more than 225,000 removals, according to the White House. During that time, 110,000 of those arrests came under Trump’s time in office. That’s compared to 77,806 arrested for fiscal year 2016.

Of those arrests, 81 percent were of convicted criminals, said ICE acting Director Thomas Homan, who pushed back against the notion that his agency was making indiscriminate arrests. He said there have been “no raids and no sweeps” and that arrests are targeted.

“We are told on one hand to focus our efforts on criminals. … but those same folks who want us to focus on criminals say don’t come into their county jail. It defies logic,” Homan said during the round table talk.

He added that criminals are aware of sanctuary cities.

“These policies are being used by criminal organizations in Mexico and Central America,” Homan said. “It’s a selling point to smuggle aliens to a sanctuary jurisdiction where even local law enforcement won’t cooperate with them, thereby bankrolling the very criminal organizations that smuggle these aliens.”

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said she is “horrified” that local elected officials were “pitting” local law enforcement officers and federal immigration agents “against each other.”
Fred Lucas (@FredLucasWH) is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal.

Tags: President Trump, Sanctuary State, Places ‘Innocent Americans, Mercy of Hardened Criminals, Fred Lucas, 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!

Gun Rights Could be Affected by Socialist Ideals

by Wayne LaPierre: Here’s the truth: The transformation of many national Democratic leaders to outright socialists—although many won’t admit it—imperils our freedom in a way we’ve never seen before. And you, America’s gun owners and voters, are not being told the truth about this movement’s true goal—turning our country into an unrecognizable, socialist nation devoid of the basic freedoms that the founders enshrined in the Constitution.

These European-style socialists believe in a complete redistribution of wealth and government control of major components of the U.S. economy, such as our health care system. And they fawn over socialized medicine, higher taxes on most Americans to pay for more government welfare programs, government-paid college tuition and more.

Bernie Sanders, who was arguably cheated out of the Democratic nomination in the last presidential election, is a self-avowed socialist—and proud of it.

“I’m not afraid of the word,” Sanders said in an interview with The Nation published in 2015. “When I ran for the Senate the first time, I ran against the wealthiest guy in the state of Vermont. … He kept attacking me as a liberal. He didn’t use the word ‘socialist’ at all, because everybody in the state knows that I am that.”

Others are socialist at heart, they just haven’t yet worked up the nerve to say as much in public—far-left political elites like U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, California Gov. Jerry Brown, U.S. Sens. Chris Murphy and Chuck Schumer, Democratic National Committee Deputy Chairman Keith Ellison, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and many more.

Two others­—U.S. Sens. Kamala Harrisand Elizabeth Warren—are even being mentioned as front-runners in the 2020 presidential election. It’s more than obvious that this socialist wave is rapidly mounting, backed by nearly unlimited funding from socialist billionaires like George Soros, Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer.

Sure, CNN, The New York Times and left-leaning bloggers will see this and start their usual mocking and derision. “Wayne’s gone crazy, again,” they’ll say with a smirk. They do it every time, and likely always will.

Yet that doesn’t bother me, because they aren’t impartial reporters like they are supposed to be. They no longer report the facts and let their readers and viewers make up their minds on an issue, as they did in the past. They are actually a big part of the problem.

Fact is, so-called “mainstream” media, academia and hard-left elitist politicians have formed a kind of unholy trinity, working together to usher in an era of socialism while derailing the freedoms we hold so dear.

Democrats Or Socialists?
I entered the political world as a Democrat, and let me tell you, things were very different then.

There was a time when many Democrat politicians at the national level supported the constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms right alongside Republican and Libertarian lawmakers. They believed in the Constitution and the rule of law. They had the best interest of Americans in mind, and worked to protect our nation’s sovereignty and freedom.

Well, in case you haven’t noticed, that time is past.

The change began decades ago, but has greatly accelerated in recent years.

These closet socialists (and some who admit it outright) might say, “But Wayne, we haven’t changed our stance on important issues over the years.” They want you to believe the Democrat party of today is the Democrat party of 40 years ago.

But they’re lying.

Former president Barack Obama as much as admitted his socialist bent when pledging to “fundamentally transform” America—not-so-secret code for changing our American way of life forever. He wasn’t able to accomplish all his goals, but he did change the conversation to the point that socialist norms became everyday principles and part of the Democratic talking points. And his success in some areas—including immigration and health care—did fundamentally affect freedom’s future.

Don’t believe me? Just look at the immigration issue as an example. Obama basically gutted our immigration process by instructing his administration to ignore the laws that have been on the books for years and throwing open our southern border. Yet only three years before being elected to his first term, he claimed to have much different ideas.

“We all agree on the need to better secure the border and to punish employers who choose to hire illegal immigrants,” Obama said in a 2005 c-span interview. “We are a generous and welcoming people here in the United States, but those who enter the country illegally, and those who employ them, disrespect the rule of law, and they are showing disregard for those who are following the law.

“We simply cannot allow people to pour into the United States undetected, undocumented, unchecked and circumventing the line of people who are waiting patiently, diligently and lawfully to become immigrants in this country.”

Now, Obama and others on the far left decry any mention of securing the border, much less deportation of illegal aliens—even criminals. Many don’t even accept the word “illegal” as a correct description of someone entering our country illegally.

Media Matters
This dramatic left turn toward socialism has been aided, abetted and even lead in some instances by big national media interests that have gone so far overboard that they can’t be considered anything but socialists.

Who can possibly argue that The New York Times hasn’t made that leap from ultra-far left to outright socialism? How about CNN? Or The Washington Post, CBS or USA Today?

Big media are so enthralled with European socialism that they can hardly contain their glee when attacking anyone who still speaks up for American liberty. Consider their hatred of President Donald Trump, and how they have united to collectively skew their coverage and push their fake news, and fake determination of what news is, to try and discredit him.

A recent analysis from the Media Research Center revealed that ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts covered the Trump presidency for one out of every three minutes of their evening news airtime. Not surprisingly, the tone of coverage was incessantly hostile, especially considering that first-year presidents typically get a pass from the media. A full 90 percent of the network coverage was negative, compared to only 10 percent positive.

Additionally, more than two-fifths of the coverage (some 43 percent) focused on controversies rather than policy, with the bogus Russia investigation alone accounting for one-fifth of all the coverage.

The media coverage on Trump has been so bad and so overwhelmingly negative that, according, the American public has become increasingly polarized over the coverage. The report stated that in September, Gallup discovered that record numbers of Democrats are reporting “trust and confidence in the mass media to report the news ‘fully, accurately and fairly,’” with 72 percent of Democrats saying they trusted the press in 2017, compared to just 51 percent who said that a year ago. Conversely, a Politico/Morning Consult poll just a month later revealed that 76 percent of Republicans “think the news media invent stories about Trump and his administration.”

Meanwhile, the media constantly fawn over the disastrous socialist policies that we see destroying the lives of citizens not only in parts of Europe, but Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and other countries around the world.

Academic Dishonesty
Now, look at American college campuses. These educational institutions were once bastions of free speech—places where people could discuss important issues in a “free and open exchange of ideas.”

What a difference a few decades make!

Now academia, with a few exceptions, is simply a place where a whole generation of young people is being taught to despise capitalism. These former homes to an “open exchange of ideas” are throttling conservative thought and speech, silencing and turning away anyone who doesn’t believe and preach their socialist ideals.

Consider that chapters of Young Democratic Socialists of America, the American affiliate of the International Union of Socialist Youth, jumped from 12 at the end of 2016 to 47 by June 2017, then to nearly 100 by year’s end. According to, college students can even earn academic credit for promoting socialist causes on their campuses through a program operated by the group.

Such activities are applauded and enabled by socialist professors who have a tremendous amount of influence over their students.

Econ Journal Watch published a study that looked at faculty voter registration at 40 leading universities. The results are staggering.

Out of 7,243 professors, Democrats outnumber Republicans 3,623 to 314, or by a ratio of 11.5-to-1. In history classes—vastly important to students learning the truth about our American freedoms—liberals outnumber conservatives by a 33.5-1 ratio.

Is it any wonder, then, that in 2016 MarketWatch reported that The Communist Manifesto still ranks among the three most frequently assigned texts at American universities? And that Karl Marx is the most assigned economist on U.S. college campuses, according to data from the Open Syllabus Project?

The end result is college students—America’s future leaders—embracing socialism at an unprecedented rate.

A survey by Reason-Rupe revealed that 53 percent of respondents in the 18- to 29-year age range view socialism favorably, while only a quarter of Americans over 55 do so. Since then, a YouGov survey found that 43 percent of respondents younger than 30 viewed socialism favorably, compared to 32 percent thinking favorably of capitalism.

And according to a survey conducted in late 2017 by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, 44 percent of Millennials would prefer to live under a socialist system than a capitalist one.

Socialism And The Second Amendment
If these socialists win majorities in Congress and the U.S. Senate, all of our freedoms could be lost—especially our rights protected by the Second Amendment.

History proves it. Name a socialist country where citizens have a true right to keep and bear arms. You can’t do it.

Every time, in every nation in which the scourge of socialism rises to power, its citizens are repressed and their firearms are not just banned—their guns are taken away.

Venezuela is but one example, its resources stolen by the socialist ruling class. At the same time, children are starving in the streets and good, lawful citizens are left defenseless against violent criminals, who don’t follow any gun laws.

Don’t think the same couldn’t happen here. Gun-hating politicians are already chomping at the bit to tear apart America’s so-called “gun culture” one step at a time. They claim on one hand they don’t want to take anyone’s guns, while at the same time calling for a ban on entire classes of firearms. Once they’re banned, it’s only logical that they’ll need to “buy back” or otherwise somehow confiscate the ones still in private ownership.

Of course, once they accomplish this, there will still be people who are armed—namely criminals who prey on the disarmed law-abiding Americans. Those politicians who are pushing to usher in a new era of a gun-free America won’t be giving up their protection anytime soon. They already call for you and me to give up our guns—making such statements at press events where they are surrounded by armed private bodyguards that they can afford, but that the average American cannot.

Once they get our guns, the rest is easy. Then they could dismantle the rest of our freedoms piece by piece, all the while moving closer to the European-type of socialism they believe our country should embrace.

Fortunately, after eight years of a rabidly anti-gun administration, we beat back the tide in 2016—but just barely. We shunned socialist Bernie Sanders and far-left Hillary Clinton, and put Donald Trump in the White House.

As a result, the socialist movement in the U.S. has shifted into overdrive. And this new acceleration is what threatens to greatly, and irreparably, harm our nation.

The Trump Connection
How do they get us from where we are now to where they want us to be in the next decade or so? The answer is simple, and you can see it happening all day, every day, by simply turning on your television.

With their main goal being what they consider a socialist “paradise,” their chosen pathway to get there is easy to determine—utterly destroying Trump and the rest of his presidency.

They hate that Trump is appointing dozens of judges who will uphold our constitutional rights, including those protected by our Second Amendment. They hate that he is working diligently to stop the flow of illegals from all over the world who are coming across our southern border.

They hate Trump’s tax cuts putting more of Americans’ money into their own pockets.

They hate that Trump’s policies have spurred the economy so successfully, resulting in record-low unemployment and a record-high stock market.

And with their constant battering of the president, they’re looking to ride this wave right into the 2018 midterm election, where they hope to cut Trump off at his knees and completely turn the tide. Or as Obama would put it, “fundamentally transform the nation.”

That’s something we simply cannot let happen.

As you well know, the NRA is no stranger to fighting for freedom. And we’re determined to battle this new socialist wave with the same tenacity and fury we’ve battled threats to American liberty in the past.

We’re “Freedom’s Safest Place.” And we’ll prove it once again.
Wayne LaPierre is the NRA's Executive Vice President.

Tags: Wayne LaPierre, NRA Executive Vice President, Gun Rights, 2nd Amendment, Could be Affected, Socialist Ideals, media coverage, gun hating politicians To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Republicans Set To Keep Funding Sanctuary Cities

. . . Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory?
by Matthew Vadum: Congressional Republicans appear poised to betray conservatives and hand Democrats a spectacular victory over President Trump by funding left-wing priorities such as illegal alien-shielding sanctuary cities in the must-pass omnibus spending bill this week, media reports suggest.

The sanctuary movement gave illegal aliens permission to rob, rape, and murder Americans by, among other things, stigmatizing immigration enforcement. Some left-wingers call sanctuary jurisdictions "civil liberties safe zones" to blur the distinction between citizens and non-citizens by implying illegal aliens somehow possess a civil right to be present in the U.S. Leftists also like to refer to all migrants, including illegal aliens, simply as “immigrants” in order to further muddy the waters.

Sanctuary cities should be called traitor cities because they are in open rebellion against the United States just as much as the Confederate Army was when it opened fire on Fort Sumter. Their modern-day campaign of massive resistance against federal immigration authorities can only end in civil strife.

Blocking Department of Justice law enforcement assistance grants to sanctuary jurisdictions is a Trump administration priority but for the most part Congress has been cool to the proposal.

Although some details of the $1.3 trillion spending legislation have been trickling out, the text of the bill was reportedly being kept under “lock and key” and had not become publicly available as of late Monday. If fresh funding isn’t approved by the end of the day this Friday, March 23, the federal government will run out of money and partially shut down for the second time in the current calendar year. It has been reported that the House will begin considering the mystery bill on Wednesday.

If Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) do in fact shiv the conservative voters who gave them their respective majorities, a booming economy may not save GOP office-holders from the backlash. They may very well be drowned in the much vaunted “blue wave” NeverTrumpers like Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.), as well as erstwhile conservative columnists Bill Kristol, Max Boot, and Jennifer Rubin are praying for. Double-crossing conservative voters on immigration, the thinking goes, will make those voters stay home on Election Day this November 6, and hand control over Congress back to the increasingly affective, radical Democrats.

Let the Democrats retake the House of Representatives and some say President Trump will be impeached, likely for something as jaw-droppingly stupid and implausible as the Left’s tinfoil-hat Russian electoral collusion conspiracy theory. Although getting 67 of the 100 senators to convict a president of “high crimes and misdemeanors” is not easy, cobbling together that kind of supermajority to remove the low-polling Trump from office wouldn’t necessarily be unthinkable given the passions he inspires, especially if Senate Democrats have a strong showing in November.

Robert Donachie, a congressional reporter at the Daily Caller, offered a sobering scenario in a video embedded in a recent article:
Conservatives and Republican voters put Donald Trump in office and many of the conservatives who came in 2016 on the promise that they would make a border wall, that they would cut funding for sanctuary cities, that they would be tougher on immigration, so only time will tell exactly how this plays out. But if it plays out that Congress caves to Democrats and undercuts their own party, Republicans could very well lose the House in 2018 and they only have a 51-seat majority in the Senate, and there are a number of senators who are up for reelection.Despite political pressure from the GOP grassroots, there is little evidence that lawmakers are serious about beefing up border protection and enforcing the nation’s long-neglected immigration laws. Providing funding in the omnibus bill for the proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border that was a centerpiece of Trump’s election campaign has apparently not yet been ruled out, but it seems like a longshot. And because congressional elections take place this year, not too many lawmakers are likely to take courageous stands on controversial issues.

To boil it down, congressional leaders don’t give a farthing’s cuss about the president’s priorities, an unidentified senior Republican aide told Donachie:
House and Senate leadership has rolled over and played dead on border security. When it comes to a border wall, they say it is not our problem. When it comes to funding sanctuary cities, they say it is not our problem. What they are essentially saying is we are going to pass bills with more Democrats than Republicans.

This is a sign to the administration that leadership doesn’t care what the White House wants. Even though GOP members ran on these issues. Conservatives mean it. The administration means it.
As of this past Friday, language in the draft bill would do nothing to block the flow of federal grant monies to sanctuary jurisdictions like San Francisco that brazenly obstruct federal immigration enforcement, Donachie reported, citing his source. As of Friday, the spending measure included funding for Planned Parenthood, gun-control language, an Obamacare-related bailout for insurers, and a new tax on Internet-based transactions, according to the source.

A legislative fix allowing those who have benefitted from the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program seems unlikely to be included in the omnibus bill. There are around 700,000 DACA-eligible individuals who came as young people to the U.S. but they are a small subset of perhaps around 4 million or so so-called DREAMers, many of whom failed to apply for relief under DACA but could conceivably qualify under the kind of amnesty Democrats want.

DREAMers are the stuff of leftist myth. The expression comes from the DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) Act, a legislative proposal to grant underage illegals immigration amnesty. The conceit was invented to promote the illegal immigration Democrats need to win elections. Contrary to what the word implies, DREAMers tend to be less educated and less established than typical Americans.

Although Trump ordered DACA ended, an overreaching leftist judge ordered the administration to continue taking renewal applications under the program from status-holders who failed to meet an October deadline. The court remains in effect.

Media reports that came after Donachie’s article suggest that some of the more controversial items have been stripped out of the draft omnibus legislation in order to assure its timely passage.

In a discussion about Obamacare, House Republicans said yesterday that the omnibus measure “will not include funding for cost sharing reduction or reinsurance,” according to Inside Health Policy. But Senate Health Committee chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said “he would try to force a floor vote that would attach funding for cost-sharing reduction payments and reinsurance to the omnibus, and warned that Americans will see premiums skyrocket ahead of the mid-terms if Congress refuses to act.”

As previously reported, federal prosecutors are considering filing criminal charges against elected officials harboring illegal aliens in sanctuary cities.

"The Department of Justice is reviewing what avenues might be available,” Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told a Senate panel Jan. 16. “The context of this is of course not only putting my ICE officers at risk but also finding an efficient and effective way to enforce our immigration laws,” Nielsen said.

Will congressional leaders try to interfere with any prosecutions arising from sanctuary jurisdictions leaders obstructing federal immigration law?

We may soon find out.
Matthew Vadum, senior vice president at the investigative think tank Capital Research Center, is 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.

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Another School Shooting, Free Speech Under Siege, Left-wing Chutzpah

by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author:  Another School Shooting - There was a shooting this morning at a Maryland high school about 60 miles southwest of Washington, D.C.  Early reports indicate that two students were injured, and no one other than the shooter was killed.

However, the situation could have turned out very differently.  According to St. Mary's County Sheriff Tim Cameron, the shooter was confronted and shot by an armed school resource officer.  In other words, a good guy with a gun stopped a bad guy with a gun.  But don't expect to hear that from the left-wing media.

Free Speech Under Siege - The Supreme Court heard a critical First Amendment case today.  The challenge emerged from a California law that forces pro-life pregnancy resource centers to promote abortion.

Incredibly, the law requires pro-life medical clinics, which are dedicated to saving the lives of innocent unborn babies, to post signs in large font and in as many as a dozen languages advertising the availability of taxpayer-funded abortions.  Other blue states have adopted similar anti-life, anti-free speech laws.

This is one of those moments when it becomes painfully obvious just how far we have strayed from the vision of freedom that our founding fathers intended for this country.  The vote in this case should be nine to nothing.  And any justice who thinks a branch of government can force people to say what they do not believe should resign.

This is not a pro-life case or even a religious liberty case.  It doesn't matter what your views on life or faith are.  Everyone should instinctively know that government in America cannot compel speech.  For example, the Supreme Court ruled decades ago that students cannot be compelled to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

It appears from initial reports of today's oral arguments that a majority of justices were inclined to strike down the California law.  Even two the court's liberal justices seemed skeptical of the law's constitutionality.  A decision is expected later this summer.

Left-wing Chutzpah - Former Attorney General Eric Holder ripped into current Attorney General Jeff Sessions during a speech last night at Georgetown University.  Upset by the firing of Andrew McCabe, Holder said:

"You're the attorney general of the United States.  You run the damn Justice Department, you know?  And you've got to have the guts to look at the president every now and again and say, 'No!'"i

I was struck by several things.  First, I'd like to see a list of all the times Holder told Obama "No."

For example, when Obama wanted to ignore the federal Defense of Marriage Act, I doubt that Eric Holder said, "No, Mr. President, you're required to uphold the law whether you like it or not."

When Obama wanted to ignore immigration laws and created an amnesty by executive fiat, I doubt Holder said, "No, Mr. President, you can't do that."

Of course, he never did that.  Holder and Obama were on the same page in their belief that America needed to be "fundamentally transformed."

I also noticed that Holder wasn't upset by McCabe's lying.  But then again, Mr. Holder had a high degree of tolerance for "lack of candor" during his tenure at the Justice Department.

That's why he became the only attorney general ever to be held in contempt of Congress. And he has the chutzpah to give Jeff Sessions advice.

But, wait!  There's more. . .

Did you happen to catch last-night's blockbuster show "Inequality In America?"  All three central stars deserve Oscars for their performances.

The 90-minute online event featured Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Michael Moore talking to an audience of 450 people about poverty and the economic struggles of working Americans.

The irony is that all three of these "progressive socialists" are multi-millionaires.  In 2016, Sanders bought his third house, a lakefront vacation home.  Their combined net worth is approximately $55 million.  But I guess they do know a lot about the wealth gap in America because they are all wealthy!

Keep Digging, Hillary - Hillary Clinton is still trying to climb out from the mess she made in India.  But, she keeps digging the hole deeper.

As you may recall, she suggested that white women were intimidated by their husbands, bosses and even their sons into voting for Donald Trump.  Maybe she has forgotten that we do have secret ballots in America.

But Hillary did touch on a truth.

I know lots of women in the Northern Virginia area who enthusiastically voted for Donald Trump.  But they were afraid to tell anyone or put a bumper sticker on their car or put a sign in their yard because every time they turned on the news they saw women like themselves being physically attacked by Antifa and by Clinton supporters.

So Hillary was right -- there was intimidation.  But it wasn't coming from Trump supporters.  It was coming from those "with her."

By the way, Hillary did apologize, sort of, for her remarks in India.  In a Facebook post this weekend, Clinton essentially said she was sorry if you misunderstood her.
Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

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Who's Afraid of Mergers?

Stephen Moore, Economist
by Stephen Moore: Donald Trump is producing the kind of shoot-the-moon economic recovery that we last saw under Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. He's copied a lot from the Reagan playbook: Deregulate; cut taxes; promote American energy. He should also think about adopting another Reaganite initiative: Let American companies grow, merge, restructure and become more profitable so they can compete on the global stage.

In other words, bench the trustbusters.

One of Reagan's first and wisest initiatives was to effectively shut down the antitrust division of the Justice Department. Whereas Jimmy Carter had supported anti-merger activity -- the imbecilic case against AT&T was prosecuted under Carter -- Reagan understood the virtues of allowing companies to exploit the synergies of mergers for greater efficiency and lower costs.

Reagan cut the rate of antitrust enforcement in half. Clinton also had a light touch when it came to approving mergers and acquisitions. Is it an accident that the stock market exploded in these years?

Shareholders usually greatly benefit from mergers. The companies that do the acquiring typically see a rise in their stock prices over time. And shareholders of the companies that are being acquired see even bigger benefits. Given that more than 100 million Americans own stock -- as do all pension funds in America -- it's not clear why this isn't a win-win for everyone.

The counterargument, of course, is that monopolistic hobgoblins will raise prices on consumers. Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple and so on are said to be taking over the world.

Donald Trump has tended to side with the "big is bad" crowd. Last week the Justice Department announced it might block parts or all of the $62 billion merger between Bayer and Monsanto. Similarly, the DOJ intervention against the $85 billion ATT-Time Warner merger goes to trial soon.

Can anyone really believe that there is a danger of monopoly in the entertainment, phone and TV industries? Every American with a camera and a cellphone and a Facebook account is a media player. Cable TV now competes with YouTube, Netflix and hundreds of other entertainment outlets.

As for the Bayer-Monsanto merger, this marriage can leverage knowledge and talent to bring new innovations to market for farmers and consumers both at home and abroad (where we must aggressively compete to sell our agricultural products). The new firm has promised to invest $8 billion in America -- so this could mean more, not fewer, jobs.

Just as the Dow-DuPont merger has allowed America to retain world leadership in chemicals, the Monsanto-Bayer merger would ensure that the U.S. is firmly positioned long-term as the life sciences capital of the world.

If the Justice Department blocks the merger, the big winner could be China, whose state-owned enterprises might swoop into this space. That hardly puts America first.

This isn't 1900, when Standard Oil was thought to be taking over the world and gouging consumers. It's 2018. Global competitiveness, because of trade and technology, has never been more cutthroat. Mergers and hostile takeovers also help eliminate the flab: inefficiencies and sometimes-excessive salaries and benefits of corporate management.

Companies such as Microsoft, IBM and General Motors -- businesses that were once thought by Justice Department officials to be gobbling up the marketplace like Pac-Men -- are facing swarms of domestic and international competitive forces. Today Google and Amazon are on top of the world and seem indomitable. Twelve years from now they could be the next Circuit City or Sears.

It was Barack Obama who promised "to reinvigorate antitrust enforcement," which he said is how "we ensure capitalism works for consumers." As usual, he had it backward. Free-market capitalism always works for consumers. It's government edicts and regulations that are the enemy of consumers and, in too many cases, the friends of our international adversaries.
Stephen Moore (@StephenMoore) formerly wrote on the economy and public policy for the The Wall Street Journal. He is the Distinguished Visiting Fellow for Project for Economic Growth at The Heritage Foundation, and an economic consultant with Freedom Works. He served as president of the Club for Growth from 1999 to 2004. Moore has encouraged the ARRA News Service editor to blog his articles. His article was in Rasmussen Reports

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She Won’t Go Away!

. . . The Democrat party is through with Hillary Clinton and wishes she would just go away, but she continues to make a fool of herself.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: Hillary Clinton, she won't go away, making a fool, of herself, AF Branci, editorial cartoon To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Defense Dept Gives Trump Enemy Bezos Ten-Year, Monopoly Cloud Contract

Bezos Having a Laugh - 
at Our Exorbitant Expense
by Seton Motley, Contributing Author: Most of us know the expression “Stop biting the hand that feeds you.”

Republicans have a long history of flipping that script – and feeding the hands that bite them.

We’ve had various times during the past several decades where Republicans controlled both houses of Congress and the Presidency – and yet Republicans continue to have government fund the Leftism that seeks to destroy them.

The list is long: Non-essential government personnel, government unions, Planned Parenthood, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, environmentalist whack job groups, ridiculous colleges and universities and their ridiculous studies, and on, and on, and….

Thankfully, a few of these nonsensical government-money-recipients only receive relatively small grants. Too many receive huge wages and extravagant benefits.

But the hugest government coin – is in contracting. But most Leftists are completely incapable of doing anything useful – and therefore can not qualify for these most massive dollar deals.

That is – until the Tech Revolution took over the world. Just about everything digital – is created and run by Leftists. The Silicon Valley REALLY loathes anyone to the right of Josef Stalin and Mao Zedong.

So for the first time ever, really – Leftists are getting in on the really huge government contracting coin. So they can REALLY take it to anyone to the right of Josef Stalin and Mao Zedong.

Currently, the Leftist leading the government-money-receiving charge – is Jeff Bezos and his Amazon. Bezos-Amazon are cashing multiple huge government checks – for their cloud computing services. President, Chief Executive and Chairman Jeffrey Bezos laughs as he answers a question at the Consumer Reports headquarters in Yonkers, New York, May 11, 2011. Bezos was taking part in Consumer Reports’ “ShopSmart”, a summit on tips, scams and deals from Consumer Reports Magazine. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES – Tags: BUSINESS) – RTR2M9RF

And Bezos – really, REALLY loathes Donald Trump:

“There is no greater antagonist of the Trump Administration than Jeff Bezos. Mr. Bezos personally helped lead that court fight in Washington state against the President’s travel ban and has opposed virtually every important policy initiative proposed by the Trump Administration, from immigration to regulatory relief.

“And the #FakeNews Amazon Washington Post has been the single largest thorn in the Administration’s side as the president has attempted to move forward with his electorally-mandated agenda.”

Back during the Bezos-crony Barack Obama Administration, Amazon benefitted thusly:

The Details About the CIA’s Deal With Amazon: “A $600 million computing cloud built by an outside company is a ‘radical departure’ for the risk-averse intelligence community.”

But the federal government was only getting it’s Amazon-check-stroking arm warmed up.

Enter the Donald Trump Administration – which has bizarrely continued to feed the Bezos hand that bites them.

Pentagon’s Next Cloud Contract Could Be Worth Billions: “The Defense Department intends to award a cloud computing contract next year that could disrupt the entire federal market….

“According to an internal strategy document…the Pentagon aims to award a 10-year cloud computing contract – potentially worth billions – to a single company by the fourth quarter of 2018.

“The contract would call on one commercial cloud service provider to host unclassified, secret and top secret Defense Department data, and the Pentagon’s approach mirrors the CIA’s enterprise-wide approach to cloud four years ago, which resulted in a 10-year, $600 million contract with Amazon Web Services.”

Wait a second – “a single company?” “One commercial cloud service provider?”

Monopolizing Defense Department cloud service is an awful idea – for several different reasons.

One provider – is going to inherently become complacent. And slack off in attending to short-term needs – and innovating long-term betterments. One provider with a ten-year contract – is thus a REALLY bad idea.

And any sort of ten-year contract in Tech – is egregiously awful. A decade in Tech – is an eon in evolutionary terms. If you’ve got inherent complacency – in the Tech world, for a decade – you end up with REALLY bad problems.

The IRS System Processing Your Taxes is Almost 60 Years Old

You want a much shorter-term contract for any government service. For Tech – year-to-year is probably the best way to go.

And you want multiple providers – each offering overlapping portions of the Defense Department’s very many needs. Again, for a variety of reasons.

One reason: You have multiple providers constantly competing with each other – to constantly provide the best possible service. No complacency there.

And then there are the national security implications.

If you have but one provider – and it suffers a service interruption – the entire Defense Department suffers service interruption.

And for our military men and women serving in some really bad areas around the globe – service interruptions can and will be deadly.

The Defense Department should build-in to their cloud computing what they build-in to just about everything else they do – multiple redundancies.

Defense should have at least two providers providing each portion of the cloud service – so that if one crashes, you have at least one at-the-ready backup.

So, say, at a bare minimum: Five providers – each providing 40% of the necessary services. For government school victims – that makes 200%. Which means two providers each are providing every part of the total cloud service.

Backup. Fail-safe. Redundancy.

Not one provider – all by its onesies, providing all of the service.

IT Companies Press Pentagon to Pick More Than One Winner in Cloud Competition

It ain’t just IT companies.

And guess who got the ten-year, $100 billion, monopoly gig?
Amazon Scored Billions of Dollars in Cloud Computing

And Amazon’s monopoly contract is turning out to be as highly problematic – as anyone paying any attention at all would expect.

The Amazon Monopoly Built On The Swamp Threatens National Security: “Why would the DoD do such a seemingly obvious and dangerous thing? It didn’t happen in a vacuum. Amazon, led by Jeff Bezos, in recent years has created a powerful lobbying arm to influence Washington….

“The Defense Innovation Board (is) chaired by Jeff Bezos and fellow Clinton supporter and Google Executive, Eric Schmidt, is staffed by ‘Presidential Innovation Fellows.’ These ‘Fellows’ have great power to influence the choices of how government spends its money on the tech of the future.”

Get that? These “Fellows” are – as indicated by Leftist Chairs Bezos and Schmidt – Obama Administration holdovers. Trump’s biggest mistake remains – his not making MANY more people leave DC upon his arrival.

Amazon got these massive sweetheart monopoly deals – thanks to Obama Administration cronyism. Including – after the Obama Administration ended.

Enemies of Trump Killing Competition in D.C. Swamp: “Are Obama holdovers still allowed to funnel contracts to liberal allies and funders of the Democratic Party? Just last week, the Air Force granted Amazon a sole source award for the Air Force Materiel Command, on three days’ notice and with no competition….

“The fact is that the Trump Administration is still filled with Obama-era technology holdovers filling the ranks of GSA’s taxpayer-funded software development corporation ‘18f,’ the White House’s taxpayer-funded technology consultancy, the United States Digital Service (USDS), and numerous digital services around the government.”

You can’t swing a dead cat – without hitting some additional Obama-holdover cronyism:

“The original agreement, signed in February, tasked Rean Cloud, LLC with enabling multiple agencies within the Defense Department to procure cloud solutions in a new streamlined process, but was immediately criticized by some in industry who feared the Pentagon was playing favorites.…

“Rean is an Amazon Web Services partner and reseller.”

So an Amazon company…chose Amazon.

Shocker. How very DC.

Amazon – run by Bezos. One of the world’s largest anti-Trump zealots.

How – sadly, still – very DC.

Thankfully, the all-things-Amazon-monopoly are already starting to raise red flags.

Pentagon’s First Look at Multi-Billion Dollar Cloud Program Leaves Many Unsatisfied

And, thankfully, is already leading to some reductions.

DoD Backs Off Cloud Contract with Amazon: “Defense Department spokesman Col. Robert Manning announced March 5 that the contract’s new ceiling will be $65,000,000, a significant reduction from the original five-year $950,000,000 and that the scope of the work will be limited.”

Well that’s a bit of good news. But it isn’t nearly enough. We need fundamental reform of how the government chooses these things.

Which begins with ridding ourselves of the very many Leftist government embeds.

We’ll very quickly begin making MUCH better decisions.

Dear Donald Trump:

Stop feeding the hands that bite you. It’s not only good politics – it is eminently better policy.

Our armed forces’ men and women – and our national security – will be all the better for it.
Seton Motley is the President of Less Government and he contributes to ARRA News Service. Please feel free to follow him him on Twitter   /   Facebook.

Tags: Seton Motley, Less Government, Defense Dept, President Trump Enemy, Jeffrey Bezos, Ten-Year, Monopoly Cloud Contract To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Did Putin Order the Salisbury Hit?

A Moscow Hotel
by Patrick Buchanan: Britain has yet to identify the assassin who tried to murder the double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury, England.

But Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson knows who ordered the hit.

“We think it overwhelmingly likely that it was (Russian President Vladimir Putin’s) decision to direct the use of a nerve agent on the streets of the U.K.”

“Unforgivable,” says Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov of the charge, which also defies “common sense.” On Sunday, Putin echoed Peskov: “It is just sheer nonsense, complete rubbish, to think that anyone in Russia could do anything like that in the run-up to the presidential election and the World Cup. … It’s simply unthinkable.”

Putin repeated Russia’s offer to assist in the investigation.

But Johnson is not backing down; he is doubling down.

“We gave the Russians every opportunity to come up with an alternative hypothesis … and they haven’t,” said Johnson. “We actually have evidence … that Russia has not only been investigating the delivery of nerve agents for the purposes of assassination but has also been creating and stockpiling Novichok,” the poison used in Salisbury.

Why Russia is the prime suspect is understandable. Novichok was created by Russia’s military decades ago, and Skripal, a former Russian intel officer, betrayed Russian spies to MI6.

But what is missing here is the Kremlin’s motive for the crime.

Skripal was convicted of betraying Russian spies in 2006. He spent four years in prison and was exchanged in 2010 for Russian spies in the U.S. If Putin wanted Skripal dead as an example to all potential traitors, why didn’t he execute him while he was in Kremlin custody?

Why wait until eight years after Skripal had been sent to England? And how would this murder on British soil advance any Russian interest?

Putin is no fool. A veteran intelligence agent, he knows that no rival intel agency such as the CIA or MI6 would trade spies with Russia if the Kremlin were to go about killing them after they have been traded.

“Cui bono?” runs the always relevant Ciceronian question. “Who benefits” from this criminal atrocity?

Certainly, in this case, not Russia, not the Kremlin, not Putin.

All have taken a ceaseless beating in world opinion and Western media since the Skripals were found comatose, near death, on that bench outside a mall in Salisbury.

Predictably, Britain’s reaction has been rage, revulsion and retaliation. Twenty-three Russian diplomats, intelligence agents in their London embassy, have been expelled. The Brits have been treating Putin as a pariah and depicting Russia as outside the circle of civilized nations.

Russia is “ripping up the international rulebook,” roared Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson. Asked how Moscow might respond to the expulsions, Williamson retorted: Russia should “go away and shut up.”

Putin sympathizers, including Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, have been silenced or savaged as appeasers for resisting the rush to judgment.

The Americans naturally came down on the side of their oldest ally, with President Donald Trump imposing new sanctions.

We are daily admonished that Putin tried to tip the 2016 election to Trump. But if so, why would Putin order a public assassination that would almost compel Trump to postpone his efforts at a rapprochement?

Who, then, are the beneficiaries of this atrocity?

Is it not the coalition — principally in our own capital city — that bears an endemic hostility to Russia and envisions America’s future role as a continuance of its Cold War role of containing and corralling Russia until we can achieve regime change in Moscow?

What should Trump’s posture be? Stand by our British ally but insist privately on a full investigation and convincing proof before taking any irreversible action.

Was this act really ordered by Putin and the Kremlin, who have not only denied it but condemned it?

Or was it the work of rogue agents who desired the consequences that they knew the murder of Skripal would produce — a deeper and more permanent split between Russia and the West?

Only a moron could not have known what the political ramifications of such an atrocity as this would be on U.S.-British-Russian relations.

And before we act on Boris Johnson’s verdict — that Putin ordered it — let us recall:

The Spanish, we learned, did not actually blow up the battleship Maine in Havana Harbor in 1898, which ignited the Spanish-American War.

The story of North Vietnamese gunboats attacking U.S. destroyers, which led to the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and 58,000 dead Americans in Vietnam, proved not to be entirely accurate.

We went to war in Iraq in 2003 to disarm it of weapons of mass destruction we later discovered Saddam Hussein did not really have.

Some 4,500 U.S. dead and tens of thousands of wounded paid for that rush to judgment. And some of those clamoring for war then are visible in the vanguard of those clamoring for confronting Russia.

Before we set off on Cold War II with Russia — leading perhaps to the shooting war we avoided in Cold War I — let’s try to get this one right.
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, Vladimir Putin, assassignation attempt, Britain, Sergei Skripal To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Pompeo and Haspel are Symptoms of a Deeper Problem

Dr. Ron Paul
by Dr. Ron Paul: President Trump’s recent cabinet shake-up looks to be a real boost to hard-line militarism and neo-conservatism. If his nominees to head the State Department and CIA are confirmed, we may well have moved closer to war.

Before being chosen by Trump to head up the CIA, Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo was one of the most pro-war Members of Congress. He has been militantly hostile toward Iran, and many times has erroneously claimed that Iran is the world’s number one state sponsor of terror. The truth is, Iran neither attacks nor threatens the United States.

At a time when President Trump appears set to make history by meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong-un face-to-face, Pompeo remains dedicated to a “regime change” policy that leads to war, not diplomacy and peace. He blames Iran – rather than the 2003 US invasion – for the ongoing disaster in Iraq. He enthusiastically embraced the Bush policy of “enhanced interrogation,” which the rest of us call “torture.”

Speaking of torture, even if some of the details of Trump’s CIA nominee Gina Haspel’s involvement in the torture of Abu Zubaydah are disputed, the mere fact that she helped develop an interrogation regimen that our own government admitted was torture, that she oversaw an infamous “black site” where torture took place, and that she covered up the evidence of her crimes should automatically disqualify her for further government service.

In a society that actually valued the rule of law, Haspel may be facing time in a much different kind of federal facility than CIA headquarters.

While it may be disappointing to see people like Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State and Gina Haspel as the head of the CIA, it shouldn’t be all that surprising. The few areas where President Trump’s actions are consistent with candidate Trump’s promises are ripping up the nuclear deal with Iran and embracing the torture policies of President George W. Bush. Candidate Trump in late 2015 promised to bring back waterboarding “and a whole lot worse” if he became president. It seems that is his intention with the elevation of Pompeo and Haspel to the most senior positions in his Administration.

We should be concerned, of course, but the real problem is not really Mike Pompeo or Gina Haspel. It is partly true that “personnel is policy,” but it’s more than just that. It matters less who fills the position of Secretary of State or CIA director when the real issue is that both federal agencies are routinely engaged in activities that are both unconstitutional and anti-American. It is the current Executive Branch over-reach that threatens our republic more than the individuals who fill positions in that Executive Branch. As long as Congress refuses to exercise its Constitutional authority and oversight obligations – especially in matters of war and peace – we will continue our slide toward authoritarianism, where the president becomes a kind of king who takes us to war whenever he wishes.

I am heartened to see some Senators – including Sen. Rand Paul – pledging to oppose President Trump’s nominees for State and CIA. Let’s hope many more join him – and let’s hope the rest of the Congress wakes up to its role as first among equals in our political system!
Dr. Ron Paul, Chairman of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, is a former U.S.Congressman (R-TX) for 21 years. He twice sought the Republican Party nomination for President. As a MD, he was an Air Force flight surgeon and has delivered over 4000 babies. Paul writes on political and economic theory, American foreign, domestic, and monetary policies, the military–industrial complex, the War on Drugs, the Federal Reserve, and compliance with the U.S. Constitution.

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Robert Mueller’s Michael Flynn Misconduct May be the Key to His Dismissal

by Robert Romano: Did former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn ever even lie to the FBI on Jan. 24, 2017 about his Dec. 22, 2016 conversation he had with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak?

The Washington Examiner’s Byron York reported on Feb. 18 that the FBI did not think so, reporting, “[Former FBI Director James] Comey told lawmakers that the FBI agents who interviewed Flynn did not believe that Flynn had lied to them, or that any inaccuracies in his answers were intentional.”

Ultimately, lying to investigators was exactly the charge brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller that Flynn has pled guilty to. But now, Flynn’s sentencing has been delayed amid reports that the Mueller was compelled to turn over exculpatory evidence to Flynn’s attorneys. Before that, the judge that was overseeing the case was similarly compelled to recuse himself after it was revealed he was the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court judge who had authorized surveillance on one-time Trump campaign advisor Carter Page.

The Flynn matter is also presumably what Mueller or Congress will most likely be bringing against President Donald Trump for removal on a fanciful charge of obstruction of justice.

I write “fanciful” because nobody at the time thought that Flynn had done anything wrong by having the conversation with Kislyak — including the FBI which investigated the conversation concluding no crime had been committed, the Washington Post reported a day prior to his questioning on Jan. 23, 2017 — even if the conversation did mention the Obama administration’s midnight implementation of sanctions against Russia. That was no crime.

Meaning, as of Jan. 24, 2017, there was no crime for the FBI to have been investigating Flynn for having committed, by the FBI’s own account, nor one to have questioned Flynn about. If the reporting by the Washington Post on Jan. 23, 2017 is correct, there should be a record of the FBI inquiry into the legality of the Flynn conversation with Kislyak, calling into question what the purpose of the interview was.

Was the Justice Department trying to set Flynn up with a process crime by interviewing him? Either way, the public and Congress should be allowed to review the transcript of the interview in its entirety immediately so we can make up our own minds about what really happened. No more guessing.

Since that time, the American people have learned that it was Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates who was obsessed with the idea that Flynn had committed a violation of the Logan Act by talking with Kislyak.

As the Examiner’s York reported on Dec. 3, 2017, “Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates has told Congress that the Logan Act was the first reason she intervened in the Flynn case — the reason FBI agents were sent to the White House to interview Flynn in the Trump administration's early days. It was that interview, held on Jan. 24, 2017, that ultimately led to Flynn's guilty plea.”

But the Justice Department’s interest in the Logan Act might have predated the Kislyak phone call. As York reports: “Starting in the summer of 2016 and intensifying in the transition period, the Logan Act, while mostly unknown to the general public, became a hot topic of conversation among some Democrats. A number of lawmakers, former officials, and commentators called on the Obama administration to investigate the Trump team for a possible Logan Act violations — and to do it while Democrats still controlled the executive branch.”

So, what if the Logan Act investigation had actually begun months prior to the Flynn’s conversation? After all, the investigation of Trump campaign “collusion” with Russia was already active as early as July 2016 based on public reporting.

And while the public has been primarily focused on figures such as George Papadopoulos or Carter Page as having been the nexus of this investigation, one other figure, almost mentioned in passing in the Christopher Steele dossier was Michael Flynn.

Flynn appears in the Steele dossier because of his speaking engagement, which was really an interview led by a Russian reporter, Sophie Shevardnadze, in a public forum, at the Russia Today 10-year anniversary in Moscow in Dec. 2015. Steele wrote in Aug. 2016: “Kremlin engaging with several high profile U.S. players, including… former DIA Director Michael Flynn… and funding their recent visits to Moscow.”

Apparently, it was not all that controversial at the time of his visit, since Flynn apparently briefed the Defense Department both before and after the event and had his security clearance reupped in April 2017 after the fact.

Raising the question of what eventually made it so suspicious to the Justice Department later? York’s reporting puts the interest in the Logan Act dating back to the summer of 2016, not Dec. 2016. Perhaps the interest was to justify an ongoing criminal or counterintelligence investigation into Flynn with ongoing surveillance. Like the Page FISA warrant, Flynn’s mention in the Steele dossier might have fueled the inquiry into Trump’s top foreign policy advisor. Flynn was the main target all along.

Then there was the topic that Flynn spoke of at the Russia Today event, which was the potential for U.S.-Russian cooperation to defeat Islamic State, focusing on “mutual interests” and restoring “strategic stability” to the Middle East.

Flynn was there to sell the idea that the U.S. and Russia had a common enemy in Islamic State and more broadly radical Islam, a proposal candidate Trump would adopt in 2016.

Flynn stated, “This back and forth, and I do appreciate it… and I respect it, because we have to have this debate, we absolutely have to have this debate, and we have to have it now. And we can’t—the United States—and I’m speaking as a really a private citizen—the United States can’t sit there and go, Russia, you’re bad, and Russia can’t sit there and say, the U.S., you’re bad. What we have to do, like we have done in the past, and I could go into a couple of historical examples where Europe would not be the Europe that it is today, thriving, had it not been for Russia and the United States working together 75 years ago, and in other places [is] where we have worked together. So, this idea of us not being able to work together is a misnomer, and I think we have to step back and we have to say, okay, what are the common interests, and then, what are the common goals that we want to achieve, and those goals I believe the number one goal is to… eliminate the cancerous idea that exists inside of the Islamic religion, we must do that.”

Flynn called on Arab leaders to work with the U.S. and Russia toward that end, and added, “the second common goal is to then, to keep some level of stability in the Middle East that creates a new set of economic conditions, to deal with these… frankly, theses 15-to-35-year-old young men that exist…”

So, in Flynn’s perspective, the destabilizing proxy wars in the Middle East have done much to foster the very conditions that are favorable to groups like al Qaeda and Islamic State. So, his program was to change the paradigm in the region.

Speaking emphatically to both Russia and the U.S., on how to generate trust between the two countries, Flynn flatly stated, “Stop being like two bullies in a playground. Quit acting immature… with each other and know that I have… a disagreement with you, you have a disagreement with me. You know, this is a funny marriage between Russia and the United States, but it’s a marriage… whether we like it or not. And, that marriage is very, very rocky right now, and what we don’t need is we don’t need that marriage to break up. We’ve had our break ups in the past, but we need to… look at this, I mean, I’m deadly serious about this, because I know this enemy… and I think there’s some in this country that know this enemy from having dealt with it in Chechnya and Dagestan and other places. This is a very, very deadly enemy.”

Finishing out his interview, Flynn expressed hope that his idea for cooperation would be accepted in both Washington, D.C. and Moscow to defeat their common enemy and to avoid a larger conflict: “My wish and my hope is that we figure out a way strategically to work together, I think that that’s the way ahead. Whether or not we work together 20 years from now, I don’t know, but I know if we don’t work together right now, the potential for going to a larger conflict against each other or the potential for this enemy to do far more damage than they already have is very, very real.”

Can you imagine anyone proposing such cooperation today in the midst of hysteria over all things Russia? Moreover, think of the level of advice that President Trump was denied at a time when escalation versus Russia would absolutely become a problem in the very regions that Flynn worried about in his Russia Today talk.

The conversation was initiated with a question about the incident of NATO member Turkey shooting down a Russian helicopter. Flynn warned that because of all the “converging interests” in Syria that such incidents were likely and needed to be warded off before they turned into something bigger. After last month’s killing of more than 200 Russian soldiers by U.S. forces in Syria after they attacked a U.S. base, clearly Flynn’s warnings have turned out to be prophetic.

And at the time in Dec. 2015 and the early days of 2016, Flynn’s ideas might have been seen as heresy. They implicate not only U.S.-Russian relations but also the Iran nuclear deal — Iran in many ways is a client state of Russia’s — which Flynn opposed. In a similar vein, you don’t deal with radical Islam in the region without dealing with Iran. Finally, during the transition it was reported by Reuters on Jan. 5, 2017 that Flynn wanted to reorganize the nation’s intelligence agencies. Together, this could amount to a major motive to take out Flynn.

As Trump’s advisor on foreign affairs in the campaign, clearly Flynn had an impact, as the candidate Trump talked up the possibility of working with Russia to destroy Islamic State. The Iran deal was in the crosshairs. The National Security Council was about to be headed by somebody who had bucked the national security establishment. All these things were real possibilities — threats from the establishment’s perspective — after Trump won the election headed into 2017.

Which may be what motivated somebody in the Obama administration to leak the Kislyak conversation to the Washington Post’s David Ignatius, setting forward the chain of events that would ultimately lead to the appointment of Robert Mueller. Likely, if it was not lying to investigators, it would have been the Logan Act or something else. Anything to justify an ongoing investigation that Trump would be available to “obstruct.”

In context, though, it is hard not to wonder if the plan was to stop Flynn’s radical bid for U.S.-Russian cooperation that Trump embraced in the 2016 campaign, to keep the Iran deal intact and to protect the status quo in the deep state.

The real question might be when was Flynn put under surveillance by the Obama administration? After all, how did the FBI get the transcript of the Kislyak conversation? Can Congress find out? Will Mueller tell us?

What if Michael Flynn was not unmasked?

We know based on public reporting that the FBI investigators had a transcript of Flynn’s conversation with Kislyak when they went to talk to him. At the time, the Washington Post reported that “The calls were picked up as part of routine electronic surveillance of Russian officials and agents in the United States, which is one of the FBI’s responsibilities, according to the U.S. officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss counterintelligence operations.” Based on that account and others, everyone tends to assume that Flynn was unmasked.

When you boil it down, the transcript of Flynn and Kislyak likely came into being in one of two ways. Either, A) as is widely believed, Kislyak was under Section 702 surveillance, Flynn was minimized, and then unmasked via procedures approved by the Attorney General; or B) like Carter Page, Flynn himself was under surveillance under Title I of FISA.

When Section 702 was reauthorized, Congressional officials went out of their way to beat back opposition to renewing FISA by noting that all the abuses we’ve seen have come out of the FISA court abuse scandal — i.e. the Carter Page warrant that used the Steele dossier as evidence — have come about because of domestic surveillance, not foreign.

If that proves true in 100 percent of the matters we are considering, then the abuse against Flynn might not have been based on foreign surveillance, but based on domestic surveillance.

So far, over a year in Congress’ intelligence committees looking into the Obama era investigation in Trump and Russia, nobody has publicly produced evidence of Flynn being unmasked and if so by who.

Meaning, Flynn might have been under surveillance himself. Perhaps there was more than one FISA court-ordered surveillance that was abused by federal officials. Recall the fact the conversation had occurred was almost instantaneously leaked to the news media. That was clearly a crime, a leak of classified information.

Now, whether it was an unmasking gleaned from surveillance of a foreign actor like Kislyak or was targeted directly on Flynn is a highly substantive matter, since it implicates how Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s case against Flynn came into being. Was it incidental, or intentional surveillance?

Right now, we don’t know. But Flynn, Congress and ultimately the American people clearly have a right to know. If this is what is going to be used to conjure a B.S. charge of obstruction of justice against the sitting President of the United States and overturn the 2016 election, we should everything there is to know about it, even and especially if certain aspects of how that investigation go started are currently classified. There is simply no other way to tell if the investigation into Flynn was politically tainted as the other parts of the Russia investigation, even as it appears highly likely it was.

Recall, by Jan. 23, 2017, per the Washington Post, the FBI had already concluded Flynn did nothing illegal by talking to Kislyak. A day later, the FBI was sent to question him at the White House by Yates. Months later, we learn via the Examiner’s York that the FBI did not think Flynn had lied at that meeting. And now, the judge overseeing Flynn’s case has ordered exculpatory evidence to be turned over to Flynn.

The misconduct of the Justice Department against Flynn does not suddenly end the moment Mueller was appointed. The transcript of the conversation was taken by the nation’s intelligence agencies before President Trump was sworn into office and therefore prior to Flynn’s appointment as National Security Advisor. Mueller used all this evidence against Flynn.

If Flynn was under surveillance, federal investigators would have had to demonstrate probable cause that Flynn was working as a foreign agent. But what if the evidence for doing so was the same as Carter Page? That is, the infamous Steele dossier, which similarly named Flynn as having been overseas in Moscow? Or rested on some oddball legal interpretation of the Logan Act?

Either way, the fact that Flynn had been in Moscow to speak at the Russia Today 10-year anniversary was already a matter of public record. Financial disclosures about it notwithstanding — those can be amended — this was not something worthy of a national security investigation. Anyone could have just gone to Youtube to see him speaking in a public interview. This was not collusion. It was an interview with foreign media. And, again, by April 2016, the Obama administration had renewed Flynn’s security clearance.

Somewhere along the way, something changed in the posture toward Flynn. By the time the Russia investigation, or should we say, hysteria, was in full swing, Flynn was swept up just as was Trump, Page, Papapdopoulos, Paul Manafort and even Attorney General Jeff Sessions. They needed something they could stick to Trump — to stop him and the agenda Flynn was pursuing.

This all smells bad. It looks like a dirty trick. If it turns out Mueller deliberately withheld exculpatory evidence from Flynn and his attorneys to extract a guilty plea under duress, that guilty plea should be thrown out, Flynn should be pardoned and perhaps even reinstated, and Mueller should be removed as Special Counsel for yet more prosecutorial misconduct.

Because at the end of the day, it sure is looking a whole lot like Michael Flynn was set up as the means to take out President Trump and overturn the result of the 2016 election — come hell or high water.
Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.

Tags: Robert Romano, Americans for Limited Government, Robert Muller, misconduct, Michale Flin, may be key, dismissal 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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