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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)

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Maxine Waters: 'There Is No Law' on Impeachment

by Tyler O'Neil: On Thursday, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) called on the black community to support impeaching President Donald Trump. She told a Congressional Black Caucus town hall that Congress can use any pretext for impeachment, and that "there is no law" restricting the practice.

"Impeachment is about whatever Congress says it is. There is no law that dictates impeachment," Waters declared.

While the congresswoman admitted that the Constitution says "high crimes and misdemeanors," she argued that the founding document suggests members of Congress could "define that."

"Bill Clinton got impeached because he lied," Waters declared. "Here you have a president who I can tell you and guarantee you is in collusion with the Russians, to undermine our democracy. Here you have a president who has obstructed justice, and here you have a president that lies every day."

"When is the black community going to say, 'Yeah, impeach him!' It's time to go after him," she declared.

Waters has become one of the most vocal advocates for a Trump impeachment, starting a catchphrase "Impeach 45." Many of her fellow Democrats have been rather hesitant to jump on board.

To some extent, Waters is correct that Congress determines the full meaning of "high crimes and misdemeanors." She was wrong to suggest that "there is no law that dictates impeachment." The Constitution is the highest law of the land and its position on impeachment is clear.

Specifically, Article II Section 4 stipulates the reasons for impeachment.


The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.Unless Trump can be accused of "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors," he cannot be impeached.

While Waters claimed Clinton was impeached for "lying," he was actually impeached for perjury — lying under oath.

Words have meanings. Liberals may bandy about the word "treason" like it's going out of style, but that crime is expressly defined in the Constitution, and neither the nebulous "collusion" nor withdrawing from the Paris Agreement foots that bill.

The Russia "collusion" investigation would have to prove a great deal more damning — to Trump and his motives specifically — than it appears right now.

Even "obstruction of justice" would be a hard pill to swallow. It sounds reasonable at first, except when liberals consider the fact that if Trump obstructed justice by directing FBI Director James Comey to go easy on Michael Flynn, Obama was just as guilty of the same, when he delivered a not-so-veiled message that Hillary Clinton ought not be investigated. Andrew C. McCarthy has a solid, pithy, and poignant piece on this very point at National Review.

Interestingly, while many Americans agree with Waters that Trump should be impeached, they actually admit he doesn't deserve this, a poll from May found.

While 43 percent of voters said they want Congress to begin impeachment proceedings, which represents an increase from 38 percent last week, a full 54 percent of these people said he should be impeached for reasons other than those stipulated by the Constitution.

These activists for impeachment agreed with the statement, "President Trump has proven he is unfit to serve and should be removed from office, regardless of whether he committed an impeachable offense or not."

In May, a grand total of 18 percent said Trump has actually done something worthy of impeachment under the Constitution.

Ultimately, impeachment is a political question, and it is rather telling that only 18 percent of Americans agreed with Waters that Trump has actually done something worth being impeached over.
--------------------
Tyler O'Neil is Assistant Editor of PJ Media, Tyler O'Neil is a conservative fundraiser and commentator. He has written for numerous publications.

Tags: Maxine Walters, impeachment, Tyler O'Neil, PJ Media 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 Most Pro-Trump Jews In America . . .

. . . and the secret to beating the Left.
by Daniel Greenfield: Imagine if the majority of Jews had voted for President Trump while only 13% had voted for Hillary.

You don’t have to imagine too hard. Those are the actual numbers among Orthodox Jews. And Orthodox Jews are on track to become the majority among Jews, first in New York, and then nationwide.

Trump’s favorables among Orthodox Jews clock in at 71% positive to 27% negative.

These numbers come from the 2017 American Jewish Committee’s Survey of American Jewish Opinion. And the AJC’s director of publications glumly wrote them up as, “We have seen the future, and it looks Orthodox". What does the future look like? Only 3% of Orthodox Jews describe themselves as liberal.

69% of Orthodox Jews identity as politically conservative.

The extinction of the Jewish lefty is now a matter of generational demographics. Orthodox Jews have far higher marriage rates (83%), far higher birth rates (4.1) and higher identification rates (99%).

60% of Jewish children in New York City are Orthodox. Another analysis found that over a quarter of Jews under 18 are Orthodox.

Don’t look for these numbers to swing too many presidential elections. Yet.

Jews are heavily concentrated in Blue States. I have lived in New York and California. The only consistent thing about my vote is that it never mattered. Romney scored over 90% in some Orthodox Jewish areas in New York. And it had absolutely no impact on the election. But many of my Orthodox Jewish peers are moving to escape the blue bubble of rising taxes, declining quality of life and tottering governments.

The real impact won’t be electoral. At least not for a generation. It will be cultural and political.

The left appropriates Jewish identity even as it grows more militantly anti-Semitic. This comic opera Jewface consisting of mock exclamations of “Oy” and attributing anti-Semitism to anyone on the right, including actual Jews, makes the sombrero and fake mustache Halloween costumes bewailed by the intersectional left on college campuses seem appropriate and dignified.

The political plantation at the heart of leftist identity politics has erratic success rates. Some, like African-Americans, move in and don’t go. Others, Hispanic Evangelicals or white gay men, show less interest in taking up permanent residence in Hotel California where you can check out, but never leave.

Jews have been living on the plantation for generations since the days of FDR. And the AJC’s survey suggests that instead of parting ways with the Democrats over Israel, most are realigning their positions. A majority oppose moving the embassy to Jerusalem now and support an Islamic terror state inside Israel. Except Orthodox Jews who oppose the “Palestinian” terror state by a whopping 78%.

Disappointing? Yes. Surprising? No.

FDR and Truman became political icons to generations of Jews despite being among the most anti-Semitic figures to sit in the White House. Even before his government actively obstructed the escape of Jews from Nazi Germany, FDR was building his New Deal around attacks on Jewish businesses.

Truman warned that no Jew had been inside his house. Eddie Jacobson, his old friend, on whom so much of the Jewish legend of Truman as the man who made Israel possible is built, was the “Jew clerk.”

Presidential anti-Semitism has never dissuaded liberal Jews. Just ask Jimmy Carter or Barack Obama.

Contrary to popular myth, Jews don’t vote based on the tribal instinct of, “What’s good for the Jews.” Like most Americans, they vote along cultural lines. If you’re a New Yorker binging on a season of Orange is the New Black and looking for hip new Thai places, Obama’s support for Iran’s nuclear program was not likely to change your vote whether you have a Jewish last name or not.

The last election hammered home just how culturally divided Americans are. Politics has become an expression of cultural differences. Deplorables vs. nasty women. Red caps vs. pink hats. Big city vs. country. Intersectionality vs. free speech. The coasts vs. flyover country. Votes shift based on issues when those issues crystalize cultural differences. That’s what the immigration debate is really about.

There are independent thinkers who can vote across cultural lines. But mostly culture determines political allegiance. And that is just as true among Jews as among any other group.

Only a Jewish cultural break with the dominant leftist culture could make a political break possible.

For most Jews who lean to the left, pop culture is identity. 99% of Orthodox Jews say that being Jewish is very important in their lives. As opposed to only 30% among those who identify as “Just Jewish”.

Everyone votes their culture. The dominant culture in New York, Los Angeles and so many elite urban centers is the hip trendy trail mix of leftist politics, transgressive sexuality and narcissistic pop culture. Escaping its pull takes either an extremely strong sense of self or an alternative culture.

Orthodox Judaism is an alternative culture. It’s traditional, religious and conservative.

The middle ground in Jewish life, as in American life in general, is swiftly collapsing. The Jewish institutional infrastructure that once represented the middle ground is being colonized by the left. Formerly respectable Jewish organizations are making alliances with Islamists. The Center for Jewish History picked David N. Myers, a virulent BDS-friendly anti-Israel activist, to head its organization.

Meanwhile the demographics of the base that this infrastructure was built to serve are swiftly vanishing.

When institutional anti-Israel advocates like Myers insist that anti-Israel hate groups like If Not Now or J Street U represent the Jewish youth of tomorrow, ask them if they’ve looked at the numbers.

The left is winning institutional battles and losing the demographic war. Its vast fortunes and its insider networks have allowed it to seize control of Jewish institutions with the backing of media allies at the JTA and the Forward. But these institutions are becoming hollow charades with no one to represent.

The outcome has implications beyond the Jews.

The left has utilized the same strategies nationally and internationally that it did in the Jewish community. The lessons of how the left won and lost in the Jewish community apply equally well.

The left can’t be defeated politically in any enduring way without also being defeated culturally.

The same religion that enabled the Jews to survive slavery, exile and oppression for thousands of years also held the secret to defeating the left. Even when totalitarian systems command your body, only you can give them control of your mind. The left seeks physical power as a means of controlling your mind. What it most wants is for you to become complicit in your own corruption at their hands. If it fails to control your mind, it will lose. That is the lesson to be taken away from the fall of the Soviet Union. If the left is defeated in America, that is how it will fall.

And even as the left wages its culture war, one community is showing how it can and will be defeated.
--------------
Daniel Greenfield is Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. David Horowitz is a Contributing Author of the ARRA News Service

Tags: Daniel Greenfield, FrontPage Mag, Most Pro-Trump Jews, In America 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 vs. Kim, Unmasking Update, The Trouble With Amnesty

Gary Bauer
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Trump vs. Kim - President Trump today ratcheted up the pressure on North Korea. He issued an executive order instructing the Treasury Department to target individuals, companies and financial institutions that do business with the rogue regime.

"Foreign banks will face a clear choice: Do business with the United States or facilitate trade with the lawless regime in North Korea," President Trump said today. This will have a major impact on North Korea as companies and countries are forced to choose between Pyongyang and access to the United States.

In a related development, Reuters reports that China's central bank has instructed the country's financial institutions to stop dealing with North Korean customers. China is North Korea's biggest trading partner. By some estimates, China accounts for 90% of North Korea's trade and 40% of its GDP.

In July, Trump expressed his frustration with China's coziness with North Korea. In a series of tweets, the president wrote: "I am very disappointed in China. . . they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk. We will no longer allow this to continue. China could easily solve this problem!"

I can only hope that China has gotten the message that the weakness and appeasement of the past eight years is over.

Obamacare Repeal Round II? Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced yesterday that the Senate will "consider" another Obamacare reform plan, this one offered by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA). There could be a vote sometime next week.

The Graham/Cassidy bill is far from perfect. Sadly, the votes for a full repeal of Obamacare do not exist in the Senate today. So the question is what -- if anything -- can be accomplished in the meantime.

The legislation is modeled after the 1996 welfare reform effort led by former Senator Rick Santorum. It would restructure Obamacare and block grant the funding directly to the states. It would also enable states to seek waivers from various regulations, potentially lowering costs.

Responding to critics, such as Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) who feel the bill doesn't do enough, Santorum explained, "This is a starting point. The point is that [if] we don't get this started now we're going to be stuck with this for a long time. This is really an opportunity to get the ball rolling."

The White House is fully behind this effort. Vice President Pence was on Capitol Hill earlier this week making the case for the bill, and Trump has been tweeting his support.

Yesterday, Trump tweeted this: "Rand Paul is a friend of mine but he is such a negative force when it comes to fixing healthcare. Graham-Cassidy Bill is GREAT! Ends Ocare!"

Meanwhile, Politico reports that the left is on "full war footing" to stop this latest GOP effort. In fact, Barack Obama has even come out of "retirement" to denounce the Graham/Cassidy bill.

Obama said it was "aggravating" that liberals were having to constantly defend his signature initiative, and he accused Republicans of "inflicting real human suffering on their constituents."

I must say, it is hard to take Obama seriously when he talks about human suffering when he pursued policies that took the lives of hundreds of thousands of children in the womb every year.

Unmasking Update - Several weeks ago, news broke that one Obama official had been particularly aggressive in demanding the unmasking of U.S. citizens in classified intelligence reports. While it is legal to do so, there has to be a very good reason for it.

As former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy explained, "It is unlikely that any single instance of unmasking would be found to be a violation of law. . . Nevertheless, were a pattern of unmasking established, divorced from any proper foreign-intelligence purpose, that would be a profound abuse of power."

In late July, Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, wrote to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats that he had discovered "that one official, whose position had no apparent intelligence-related function, made hundreds of unmasking requests during the final year of the Obama Administration."

According to Fox News, that official is former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power.

Sources told Fox that Power "was 'unmasking' at such a rapid pace in the final months of the Obama administration that she averaged more than one request for every working day in 2016."

That is unprecedented and appears to confirm what we have suspected -- that the Obama Administration politicized our intelligence agencies in an effort to destroy the Trump Administration.

The Trouble With Amnesty - While much of the media attention about the so-called "Dreamers" has focused on tensions between President Trump and the GOP, Democrats are facing significant divisions of their own. The Hill reports today, "Liberal Unrest Threatens Dem Immigration Strategy."

House Democrat Leader Nancy Pelosi was recently heckled by radical amnesty advocates who oppose any deals with President Trump that include stronger border security. And they want much more than just protection for "Dreamers."

In fact, at a press conference yesterday, Pelosi admitted that the DREAM Act was just the first step. "The list goes on and on about how we want to advance and protect the Dreamers until we can pass the bill, and protecting their families, of course, [is] the logical next step," she said. "Their families did a great thing for our country, bringing these kids here."

Once again, we are seeing the trouble with amnesty -- it never ends! Ronald Reagan tried it, on the promise that we would secure the border. That never happened and the amnesty only encouraged more illegal immigration.

Now if we grant amnesty to the "Dreamers," what about their parents? What about other family members? Well, according to one analysis, amnesty for the so-called "Dreamers" could easily expand into the millions.
-------------------
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, Trump vs. Kim, Unmasking Update, The Trouble With Amnesty To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Returning Power To The States

SEN. GRAHAM: ‘Take The Money And Power In Washington And Send It Back Closer To The Patient’

PRESIDENT TRUMP: ‘Repeal & Replace Obamacare. Money Direct To The States!’

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “I hope Republican Senators will vote for Graham-Cassidy and fulfill their promise to Repeal & Replace ObamaCare. Money direct to States!” (@RealDonaldTrump, Twitter, 9/20/2017)
VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: “Went to the Senate today to say @POTUS & I fully support Graham-Cassidy plan to repeal/replace Obamacare. Let's get this done.” (@VP, Twitter, 9/19/2017)

SEN. MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “[Graham / Cassidy] would repeal the pillars of Obamacare and replace that failed law’s failed approach with a new one: allowing states and governors to actually implement better health-care ideas by taking more decision-making power out of Washington Governors and state legislators of both parties would have both the opportunity and the responsibility to help make quality and affordable healthcare available to their citizens in a way that works for their own particular states.” (Sen. McConnell, Floor Remarks, 9/19/2017)

HOUSE SPEAKER PAUL RYAN (R-WI): “I appreciate Senators Graham and Cassidy continuing to work on a plan to pass the Senate. I’ll take federalism over Obamacare any day.” (Speaker Ryan, @SpeakerRyan, Twitter, 9/15/2017)

SEN. GRAHAM: ‘Take The Money And Power In Washington And Send It Back Closer To The Patient’

“I'm a doctor. For 25 years caring for those who didn't have coverage. It is my goal to continue to bring them coverage. I think the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson does a far better job for this than status quo.”
(Sen. Cassidy, Press Conference, 9/19/2017)

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): “I'm trying to take the money and power in Washington and send it back closer to the patient. If you believe government closer to the people is the best government, why not healthcare?” (Sen. Graham, Press Conference, 9/19/2017)
  • SEN. GRAHAM: “What we do is we'll repeal the individual mandate, the employer mandate. We take all the money we'd spend on Obamacare and block grant it back to the state…. It will allow governors to control health care with the state legislators.” (Fox News’ “The Story with Martha MacCallum,” 9/13/2017)
SEN. JOHN BARRASSO (R-WY): “Problems with the American healthcare system, as a result of ObamaCare, continue to get worse …” (Sen. Barrasso, Congressional Record, S. 5839, 9/19/2017)

SEN. ROY BLUNT (R-MO): “There is no argument that what we have now is not working…. I do think we could do a better job serving healthcare needs for people in the 50 States and the territories if, in fact, we gave them more authority to do that.”
(Sen. Blunt, Congressional Record, S. 5846-7, 9/19/2017)
  • SEN. BLUNT: “Let's take advantage of the Constitution and the Federal system of government … Let's try to create an environment where everybody gets to deal with this where there is the greatest opportunity, greatest sensitivity, greatest availability, and greatest understanding of how, if those things aren't working, to uniquely come up with a solution to the problems in that State …” (Sen. Blunt, Congressional Record, S. 5847, 9/19/2017)
SEN. DEAN HELLER (R-NV): “Doing nothing to try to solve Obamacare’s failures isn’t an option…. The Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson plan is the most viable solution to achieving our health care reform goals by recognizing Obamacare’s failed one-size-fits-all approach and returning power to the states…. I urge my colleagues to join us in supporting a plan that allows our governors and legislatures the flexibility to support programs that are currently working in our states and to explore new options to address coverage and cost.” (Sen. Cassidy, Press Release, 9/13/2017)

SEN. RON JOHNSON (R-WI): “Returning more health care decisions to the states and ensuring equal treatment for states like Wisconsin that spend taxpayer dollars wisely will allow local leaders to tailor their health care system to the needs of its citizens while maintaining protections for those with high cost and pre-existing conditions.” (Sen. Cassidy, Press Release, 9/13/2017)

SEN. JEFF FLAKE (R-AZ): “Graham-Cassidy plan to Repeal And Replace Obamacare has my support. It ought to be brought to the senate floor.” (Sen. Flake, @JeffFlake, Twitter, 9/17/2017)

SEN. RICHARD SHELBY (R-AL): “This is what a lot of us ran on — we’ve been advocating it for years. Let the states run it. They know more about it. They run the Medicaid program. They run our highway programs. We send 80 percent of money to various transit and highway stations — there, where the rubber hits the road. … Our states — our 50 states — are very flexible, very innovative. Much more so than we are here. I think it will work, and it will be a big step toward federalism.” (“GOP Senators Are Rushing To Pass Graham-Cassidy,” Vox, 9/20/2017)

Tags: Returning Power, To The States, Graham-Cassidy, fulfill promise, Repeal & Replace ObamaCare 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 Hidden $700 Billion Debt Owed to Public Workers . . .

. . . The state pension mess is even worse than you think.
by Eric Boehm: States collectively owe more than $1 trillion in pension benefits to current public workers and retirees, but that oft-cited figure does not include the cost of other retirement benefits for government workers and public school employees.

That's largely because states don't bother accounting for their so-called "Other Post-Employment Benefits," or OPEB, costs in the same way that they do for pensions. Instead of putting money away year-after-year to pay for those liabilities, most states fund OPEB costs on what accountants call a pay-as-you-go basis, meaning that revenue is appropirated from the state budget each year to meet those needs. The majority of OPEB is in the form of health care benefits, including retiree health insurance and other expenses like dental, vision, life, and disability insurance.

States paid more than $20 billion towards OPEB costs during 2015, according to a new analysis from the Pew Charitable Trusts. That sounds like a lot of money, but it's really just a drop in the bucket compared to the estimated $692 billion owed to public workers over the next few decades.

Some states have done better than others when it comes to keeping up with OPEB costs, but only six states (Alaska, Arizona, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, and Utah) have set aside more than half of the the assets necessary to meet thier long-term OPEB obligations, according to Pew's analysis. By comparison, 30 states have less than 10 percent of the necessary savings.
Think about it like this. Much like pension costs, OPEB costs are a long-term thing. When a state government hires a new worker, or a school district brings in a new teacher, the employer (the government) has a number of years to save-up for the eventual retirement of that employee. How much those retirement benefits—pensions and OPEB—will cost varies from employee to employee, but actuaries do a pretty good job of predicting costs in the aggregate. Based on those projections, actuaries come up with an "annual required contribution," which is exactly what it sounds like, except governments often ignore the "required" part.

The ARC is the equilavelnt of a miniumum payment on a credit card bill. Pay this much every year and you'll meet the obligations that you owe. A large part of the reason why so many states are underwater in pension payments today (though not the only reason) is that they ignored those ARC payments for years. Just like what happens if you fail to make your minimum credit card payments, the result is that the bills got bigger and more expensive.

When it comes to OPEB, most states don't even pretend to care about the ARC payments. That's why things are getting worse, not better. Compared with the same survey in 2014, Pew found that 31 states saw their OPEB liabilities grow during 2015. Even though states paid about 6 percent more towards those costs in 2015, the overall liability grew by better than 5 percent.

That's a worrying tragectory. Many states are already struggling to fund their pension promises, which are eating away at parts of state budgets meant to fund schools, roads, social services, and more. Because most states fund OPEB costs directly from state budgets, the lack of long-term savings threatens to cause more budgetary pain.

Like in Connecticut, for example. Last year's state budget (the current state budget is still being hammered out) projected $731 million to cover health care costs for retired state employees in 2017, compared to just $698 million for the health care costs of current employees.

Because Connecticut failed to save-up for the long-term costs of their retirees, state taxpayers are now paying more money to cover the costs of people who aren't providing any government services—because they are retired—than for people who actually are.
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Eric Boehm is a reporter at Reason.

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They Don’t Call It ‘the Great Tweet Of China’

Time for Trump
Administration to
Read This Book!
by Ann Coulter: During the campaign, Donald J. Trump made lots of promises -- he'd be the greatest jobs president God ever created, he'd cut taxes, he'd balance the budget, he'd give all Americans fantastic health care, he'd renegotiate NAFTA, he'd scotch the Iran deal and so on.

But there was one central promise without which he wouldn't have been elected: He said he'd build a wall.

Either Trump understood the urgency of our border crisis, as his every campaign speech suggested, or it was just meaningless boilerplate to get himself elected. If it was the latter, then our search continues for one politician who won't lie to us.

It was precisely the Nietzschean Eternal Recurrence of politicians promising to get tough on immigration, but never, ever doing it, that caused voters to cling to Trump like a life vest in a tidal wave.

If Trump actually believed what he claimed to believe, he would treat the building of a wall as a far more urgent priority than sending FEMA after a hurricane.

Taking nothing away from the fine people who lost their lives in the recent hurricanes, since the 2005 hurricane season, about 200 Americans have died in hurricanes, plus 82 in Hurricane Harvey and 50 in Hurricane Irma.

That's 332 deaths from hurricanes in the past 12 years.

Even a federal government determined not to tell Americans how many illegal immigrants are committing crimes admits that -- at a minimum -- there are 350,000 illegal immigrants incarcerated in state prisons and jails, and 3,500 are in for murder.

Considering that the average time served for murder in America is six years, that means that, in the last 12 years, hurricanes have killed 332 Americans, and illegal immigrants have killed 7,000 Americans.

Throw in the more than 30,000 Americans who die every year from heroin and fentanyl brought in by Mexicans, and illegal immigration is a problem at least 100 times more urgent than Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and every other hurricane since 2005, combined.

(If we're including U.S. territories and Hurricane Maria ends up killing another 100 people -- current estimates are zero dead -- illegal immigration is still 80 times worse than the last 12 years of deadly hurricanes. Of course, if we're including territories, then we also must note that illegal immigration is especially disastrous for Puerto Ricans living in the U.S., in terms of crime and diminishing job prospects.)

There is no question but that illegal immigration dwarfs any other issue, not only in dead Americans, but also in welfare expenditures, taxes, lost jobs, police and prison expenditures, declining neighborhoods, ruined schools, overwhelmed hospitals, facial reconstruction surgeries and rape counseling services, to name a few costs.

We thought Trump understood this. We were counting on him to fight for us on the border -- not with rallies, not with hats, not with tweets, but by building a wall.

And yet, as of Wednesday this week, Trump will have been in office 243 days without having begun the wall. Imagine if Hurricanes Harvey and Irma had hit 243 days ago and all we'd gotten from the president were assurances that FEMA would be coming any day now -- just as soon as he got the go-ahead from Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan! (Or worse, from Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.)

The more accurate analogy would be if Trump responded to the recent hurricanes not only by sending zero federal aid, but also by demanding that we dismantle FEMA and the National Hurricane Center. That's exactly what he's doing by proposing we respond to the crisis of 40 million illegal aliens in our country with an amnesty that will lure another 40 million across the border.

We hoped we wouldn't have to spell it out. We thought Trump understood that this was an emergency. We believed he was capable of getting the job done.

If he did understand, then 243 days ago, he would have sent the Navy Seabees and Army Corps of Engineers to start building the wall.

For most of the nation's history, the primary job of the military -- of which President Trump is the commander in chief -- was building walls and fortresses on our borders. That's why we have an Army Corps of Engineers. It may not seem like it from recent history, but the job of our military is to protect America's borders -- not Ukraine's borders, not Jordan's borders.

This is our one and only chance to get this done, and we're losing the fight. While Trump dallies, last week California became a sanctuary state. Sixteen-year-old girls are taking lessons to learn to be safe drivers, but when they're smashed into by drunk-driving illegal aliens, the state won't tell ICE, and taxpayers will spend $40 million to pay for their defense.

The wall has to get built, and nothing else matters.

Trump will not be able to tweet his way out of not building the wall. He will not be able to change the subject by attacking the media or Crooked Hillary. He will not be able to get away with blaming Republicans in Congress.

Obviously, it suits the rest of the traitorous GOP -- which ferociously opposed him -- to pretend that Trump's election had nothing to do with immigration.

I don't know about a lot of things. I don't know where women let you grab them if you're a rich celebrity. I don't know how to play a wind instrument. But when everyone else said Trump was a joke, I said, nope, he's going to be our next president. If anyone is telling Trump that a "virtual wall," drones, a conga line or a "Don't Cross!" sign are as good as a wall, he can get his stock tips from them, but not his political advice.

If Trump doesn't get that wall built, and fast, his base will be done with him and feed him to Robert Mueller.
-----------------
Ann Coulter is a conservative author of ten New York Times bestsellers, writes numerous columns and is a frequent guest on numerous radio and TV shows. Her web site is AnnCoulter.com. She is the author of Adios America which she signed and gave to the ARRA News Service editor at the 2015 Eagle Council.

Tags: Ann Coulter, editorial, President Trump, Build that wall, Adios America To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Intellectual Property Theft - And a Worldwide Child Sex Trafficking Ring

by Seton Motley, Contributing Author: The thing about criminals is – they commit lots of crimes. They don’t find one secluded illegal niche – into which they nestle down, breaking just this law or that one. Criminals – are criminals. They break laws – plural. Of all sorts. Their respect for the law is…hampered. They are quite comfortable – operating entirely outside the realm of legality.

But even amongst the criminal class – there are some lines which most will not cross. The most readily apparent line they draw – is abuse of children, especially sexual abuse. Child sex abusers fare particularly poorly in prison.

We non-criminals are, of course, utterly revulsed. It really is beyond comprehension.

So when a criminal ring is busted – and we discover one of their many crimes is child sex trafficking – it is unfathomably nauseating and pernicious. And the full weight of the legal system must be dropped directly upon them.

It was the pursuit of intellectual property (IP) thieves – that led to the other, awful discovery.

CoStar Sues Longtime Competitor Xceligent, Alleging Data Theft: “CoStar alleged it has found thousands of examples of its copyrighted photos and data on publicly accessible portions of Xceligent’s site.

“It also alleges that Xceligent contractors in India and the Philippines ‘bombard’ one of CoStar’s sites to copy CoStar’s content ‘despite technological blocking and repeated notice…that such conduct is prohibited.’…

“The filing of CoStar’s lawsuit was timed with the execution of a search-and-seizure order issued by a regional trial court in the Philippines that was requested by CoStar. That order…instructed sheriffs to raid offices of Avion BPO Corp., a Filipino company that CoStar alleges has been a contractor to Xceligent.

“According to the search-and-seizure order, the Filipino court found ‘probable cause’ that ‘Avion is committing contributory infringement by…stealing Costar Realty copyrighted photographs for the benefit of Xceligent, a client of Avion.’”

The raid on the massive server farm – netted more than just stolen IP.

“Backpage” is, amongst many other things, a child sex trafficking website. Much of their heinous catalog – was stored on servers on the same server farm as CoStar’s heisted IP.

Backpage Critics Find Surprise Ammunition in Philippines Raid: “It was a daring raid carried out with military precision in a remote city of the Philippines – an operation that yielded surprise ammunition for a legal battle over the classified ad site Backpage, which has been accused of promoting sex trafficking….

“The mastermind was the U.S. company CoStar, a multibillion-dollar enterprise that runs Apartments.com. The target: the headquarters for a firm called Avion where hackers were believed to be stealing proprietary real-estate photos and information on behalf of an industry rival.

“Wielding a court order, the teams swept through Avion’s sprawling facility — eight hours from Manila and accessible by a single road — and emerged with 262 hard drives containing 35 terabytes of data.

“CoStar says the trove contained proof its intellectual property was being ripped off, a claim its competitor denies.

“But there was also something far more disturbing: indications that Backpage used Avion to drum up business in the sex trade overseas.…

“‘We got 1.7 million photographs,’ Curtis Ricketts, senior vice president of CoStar, told NBC News of the December 2016 raid.

“‘It was building picture, building picture, porn, porn, prostitute ad, building picture and then – bang! – a picture that couldn’t be anything other than, you know, child pornography.’…

“‘We just immediately shut the computer off, picked the phone up, called the attorneys. They called the FBI.’…

“An Avion employee manual includes step-by-step instructions on how to use a fake IP and email address to pose as someone responding to an adult ad on a rival site. It details how to create escort ads on competitor sites, by copying photos from real Backpage ads, to widen the pool of customers and then invite them to Backpage.”

We delve into all of this awfulness – to make a couple of points.

The obvious point is already made – Backpage’s repulsive site and practices should be legally crushed.

The other point is – IP theft…is theft. Crimes are crimes.

And crimes committed – erase the lines we as a society must have to exist in an orderly and sane fashion.

Down the road of lawlessness – lies madness.
----------------
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, Intellectual Property Theft, Worldwide, Child Sex Trafficking Ring To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Shock and Awe

. . . If You love America you probably approved of Trump’s UN speech, if you’re a Dictator or a leftist you most likely hated it.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: editorial cartoon, AF Branco, Shock and Awe, President Trump, UN Speech To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Why Donald Trump Should Celebrate Today, The 300th Birthday Of The Gold Standard

by Ralph Benko, Contributing Author:  Today, September 21, 2017, is the 300th anniversary of Sir Isaac Newton’s accidental invention of the gold standard. This really is a monumental moment. Newton, as Master of the Royal Mint of Great Britain was, at Parliament’s behest, attempting to restore the silver standard. The “pound sterling” represented one pound of sterling silver. Due to a long era of shenanigans, the quality -- and value -- of the British coinage had depreciated. Newton set out to restore it. What he did still matters.

By inadvertently overvaluing gold to silver, Newton sowed the seed of the gold standard, which ramified into the world’s dominant monetary system presaging a Golden Age. The gold standard was a system that, together with other factors, helped propel England from an unimportant small island nation to the center of the world’s financial system. The true classical Newtonian gold standard also served America, and the world, very well for a long time. It could again do so.

Candidate Trump hit on something important respecting restoring America to greatness during the campaign. As I wrote here:
As I have repeatedly observed Donald Trump shows a strong affinity for gold. He has also shown a keen intuitive grasp of  how the gold standard was crucial to having made America great:

“Donald Trump: ‘We used to have a very, very solid country because it was based on a gold standard,” he told WMUR television in New Hampshire in March last year. But he said it would be tough to bring it back because ‘we don’t have the gold. Other places have the gold.’

“Trump’s comment to GQ: ‘Bringing back the gold standard would be very hard to do, but boy, would it be wonderful. We’d have a standard on which to base our money.’

Trump has been misled to believe that “we don’t have the gold. Other places have the gold.” In fact, the United States, Germany, and the IMF together have about as much gold as the rest of the world combined and America has well more than Germany and the IMF combined.
Stay tuned on that.

For today, how did two centuries of a Golden Age begin 300 years ago?

Pretty much everyone knows the tale of Sir Isaac seeing a falling apple in his mother’s orchard, and, pondering that, thereby discovered the Law of Gravity. Newton’s apple is an icon. A descendant from that same apple orchard has been planted at my daughter Jessica’s alma mater, St. John’s College in Annapolis, in homage to that fateful moment.
So too was the classical gold standard iconic. It just might become so again.

Many are aware of Sir Isaac’s status as the founder of classical physics. Fewer know of his work in optics, fewer still of his having lost a fortune in the South Seas Bubble from which he observed that he “could calculate the motions of the heavenly bodies, but not the madness of the people.” Even fewer know of his long, secret labors in alchemy (which was not yet differentiated from chemistry).

Perhaps Newton's greatest moment occurred 300 years ago today.

Hardly anyone in America is aware that Newton was Master of the Royal Mint of Great Britain. Therein he performed a famous miscalculation. It was a most happy accident.

Per JP Koning’s blog Moneyness: (described by no less than David Beckworth as “a ‘must read’ for anyone serious about understanding money and its history”):
By 1717, the silver outflow was getting significantly bad that the authorities decided to do something about it. Newton, still Master of the Mint, noted that the market price for the guinea was around 20s 8d, given the exchange rate between silver and gold in other European markets, and suggested an initial rate reduction from 21s 6d to 21 shillings.

But even at this lower price the English authorities were still overvaluing the yellow metal. They had now fixed the silver to gold ratio at 15.069 to 1, but because the rate was 14.8 to 1 in Holland and France, a profit still remained on exporting silver and importing gold. This silver outflow would continue over the decades until most silver was gone. England had gone from a bimetallic standard to a monometallic standard. Though it was still de jure bimetallic, de facto it had become a gold standard.
Thinking that others might find the tercentenary of this signal event worthy of celebration, I inquired among several substantial gold and gold standard aficionados, journalists specializing in the arcane, and monetary economists. Even the Royal Mint, which remains deeply devoted to its most famous Master.

To no avail. This column is one lonely 300th birthday tribute to the gold standard.
Join the birthday party!

From the Royal Mint Museum:
Isaac Newton was appointed Warden of the Royal Mint in the spring of 1696 on the recommendation of Charles Montague, Chancellor of the Exchequer. …

The Royal Mint was then in the Tower of London and it was accordingly to the Tower that Newton came in April 1696 to take up his new duties. It was a time of great activity, for the Royal Mint was grappling with the recoinage of old silver coins dating back to the reign of Elizabeth I and beyond. …

Appointment as Master
In 1699 the post of Master of the Royal Mint fell vacant by the death of Thomas Neale. Though technically less senior than that of Warden, it was a more lucrative post because the Master acted as a contractor to the Crown and profited from the rates at which he put the work out to sub-contractors. The Mastership was offered to Newton and he took up its duties with effect from Christmas Day 1699. Surviving the political upheavals of those troubled times, he remained as Master until his death in March 1727.

…  His famous report of 21 September 1717 paved the way for a reduction in the value of the guinea to the familiar 21 shillings
The gold standard is even more interesting when counterposed with John Law’s infamous and nearly contemporaneous experiment in a ruinous paper money scheme, the “Mississippi Bubble” (for which the word millionaire was first coined). As recalled by the Federal Reserve’s erudite James Narron and David Skeie in the New York Fed’s Liberty Street Economics:Convicted murderer and millionaire gambler John Law spotted an opportunity to leverage paper money and credit to finance trade. He first proposed the concept in Scotland in 1705, where it was rejected. But by 1716, Law had found a new audience for his ideas in France, where he proposed to the Duke of Orleans his plan to establish a state bank, at his own expense, that would issue paper money redeemable at face value in gold and silver.
....
…Law needed to print more money and broke the link to gold, which quickly led to hyperinflation, as we saw in our post on the Kipper und Wipperzeit.
John Law’s paper standard imploded within a very few years, ruining France (and Law). Isaac Newton’s gold standard lasted for almost two centuries, bringing vast prosperity to England, America, and the world.

There is a fascinating coda to the story of Sir Isaac Newton. The great Lord Keynes coined the famous indictment of the barbarous “gold-exchange standard” -- oft misunderstood as an indictment of the gold standard -- as “a barbarous relic.” Yet Keynes's last words were devoted to Newton. As recorded here:
The Royal Society of London planned an event to celebrate the tercentenary of Isaac Newton's birth in 1942. However World War II made it essentially impossible and the celebrations did not take place until July 1946. Lectures were given by E N da Costa Andrade, H W Turnbull, Niels Bohr and Jacques Hadamard. John Maynard Keynes had also been invited to lecture but unfortunately he died in April 1946, three months before the celebrations took place. Keynes was fascinated by Newton's manuscripts and had been the first person to see some of the manuscript material by Newton which had been kept secret until his papers were sold in 1936. Keynes' lecture, Newton, the man was delivered at the celebrations by his brother Geoffrey Keynes. Here is the text of the lecture:

….  In the eighteenth century and since, Newton came to be thought of as the first and greatest of the modern age of scientists, a rationalist, one who taught us to think on the lines of cold and untinctured reason.

I do not see him in this light. I do not think that any one who has pored over the contents of that box which he packed up when he finally left Cambridge in 1696 and which, though partly dispersed, have come down to us, can see him like that. Newton was not the first of the age of reason. He was the last of the magicians, the last of the Babylonians and Sumerians, the last great mind which looked out on the visible and intellectual world with the same eyes as those who began to build our intellectual inheritance rather less than 10,000 years ago. Isaac Newton, a posthumous child born with no father on Christmas Day, 1642, was the last wonderchild to whom the Magi could do sincere and appropriate homage.

         … Why do I call him a magician? Because he looked on the whole universe and all that is in it as a riddle, as a secret which could be read by applying pure thought to certain evidence, certain mystic clues which God had laid about the world to allow a sort of philosopher's treasure hunt to the esoteric brotherhood. He believed that these clues were to be found partly in the evidence of the heavens and in the constitution of elements (and that is what gives the false suggestion of his being an experimental natural philosopher), but also partly in certain papers and traditions handed down by the brethren in an unbroken chain back to the original cryptic revelation in Babylonia.
Thanks to Newton’s miscalculation, the classical gold standard became the world’s fundamental monetary system for most of two centuries. The “gold standard,” although no longer in effect monetarily, still connotes, according to the New Oxford American Dictionary, “the best, most reliable, or most prestigious thing of its type.”

As Senator Nelson Aldrich, chair of the National Monetary Commission, observed to the Economic Club of New York in 1909: “[T]he study of monetary questions is one of the leading causes of insanity.” This almost certainly was a sly swipe at William Jennings “Cross of Gold” Bryan, the leader of the Silverite faction of the Democratic Party and thrice-failed presidential nominee.

Few are aware of the gold standard’s splendid scientific provenance. Before Newton, the gold standard was anticipated by Copernicus, discoverer of heliocentricity, in his Essay on the Minting of Money, in which he wrote:
ALTHOUGH THERE ARE COUNTLESS MALADIES that are forever causing the decline of kingdoms, princedoms, and republics, the following four (in my judgment) are the most serious: civil discord, a high death rate, sterility of the soil, and the debasement of coinage. The first three are so obvious that everybody recognizes the damage they cause; but the fourth one, which has to do with money, is noticed by only a few very thoughtful people, since it does not operate all at once and at a single blow, but gradually overthrows governments, and in a hidden, insidious way.Joseph Priestley, the discoverer of oxygen and a titan of chemistry, devoted extensive attention to the gold standard, published in 1793 in his Lectures on History and General Policy.

Thus, we observe an iconic astronomer, an iconic physicist, and an iconic chemist in the gold standard’s provenance. No small matter.

Aldrich’s observation that “the study of monetary questions is one of the leading causes of insanity” is clearly true as applied to most economists and conventional politicians. Yet in the hands of scientists, it was otherwise. Really, the dollar’s definition as the fundamental unit of account for the economy properly belongs within the jurisdiction of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, right next to the ounce and the inch.

As Nathan Lewis, author of erudite books on the gold standard, including, recently, a splendid contribution to the literature Gold, The Final Standard, wrote forForbes.com (perhaps slightly exaggerating for effect, as Britain was then somewhat less of a backwater than most of Europe, yet point well taken):
Britain – which in the 17th century had been an economic backwater of no great significance – then became the financial capital of the world, the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, and ruler of the greatest global empire of the era.

Not bad.

Britain’s monetary leadership faltered after World War I. The devaluation of 1931 was followed by a period of floating currency, and then several devaluations after WWII.

After 1914, the world’s greatest example of gold standard discipline was the United States. Although there was a devaluation in 1933, the dollar remained linked to gold afterwards, and there were no more devaluations until 1971.

The United States, which had been secondary to Britain in 1914, then rose to be the world’s financial center, the leading example of industrial excellence, and ruler of what amounted to the greatest global empire of the era.

What a coincidence.
What a coincidence....

If Donald Trump is to succeed in making America great again he will check in with his very good brain, discover that restoring the gold standard would not, after all, be so very hard to do, and propel America and the world into a new Golden Age. Restoring the gold standard would be, in some ways, as easy as an apple falling from a tree.

So, happy 300th birthday to the classical gold standard. And thank you Sir Isaac Newton, “the last wonderchild to whom the Magi could do sincere and appropriate homage,” for your splendid miscalculation.
---------------------
Ralph Benko is an advisor to nonprofit and advocacy organizations, is a member of the Conservative Action Project, a contributor to the contributor to the ARRA News Service. Founder of The Prosperity Caucus, he was a member of the Jack Kemp supply-side team, served in an unrelated area as a deputy general counsel in the Reagan White House. The article which first appeared in Forbes.

Tags: Ralph Benko, Donald Trump, Should Celebrate, 300th Birthday, The Gold Standard 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 Great Faction

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: Politics isn’t a pretty business.

Frédéric Bastiat called the beast it serves “that great fiction” not because it doesn’t exist — intrusive state power sure persists — but rather because what it promises cannot really happen: “everyone living at the expense of everyone else.”

What can we do? How do we counteract a game that is rigged to increase the insanity, not reduce it?

Last week I indicated one thing a minor party with that goal in mind could do: use its power of spoiling elections to change major party behavior, and thus give citizens a fighting chance to restrain governmental metastasis.

Cancer.

I also suggested “blackmailing” the major parties into setting up a system of voting that . . . ends the power to blackmail! I believe that system — ranked choice voting — holds many positives, not the least of which is ending strategic voting, wherein voters are tempted to “falsify” their own preferences and support candidates they might dislike. This is as corrupting to the citizenry as the Great Fiction itself.

Let’s hope a savvy minor party leverages the major parties, gaining reforms to improve the system. Regardless, we can all — independently — push two other limits on political power:
  1. term limits at all levels, and

  2. initiative and referendum rights in all the states, not just the 26 that have it now.
Initiative and referendum rights would give ordinary citizens the leverage to possibly restrain the mad rush to live at each others’ expense. With the initiative, citizens can gain term limits, which produce more competitive legislative elections and lead to fewer legislators captured by the interests loitering in the capitol. This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
------------------
Paul Jacobs is author of Common Sense which provides daily commentary about the issues impacting America and about the citizens who are doing something about them. He is also President of the Liberty Initiative Fund (LIFe) as well as Citizens in Charge Foundation. Jacobs is a contributing author on the ARRA News Service.

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As Alabama Goes, So Go The Rest Of The Primaries

by Peter Hong: You can tell a person by the company he keeps, especially in politics. You can tell more about where a politician stands or is going to stand by those with whom he surrounds himself than by the words that come out of his mouth.

Nowhere is that clearer than in the Alabama Senate GOP runoff scheduled for September 26th. At first glance, little seems to separate appointed Senator Luther Strange and former State Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore: two older, white, Republican political figures who basically agree on most issues.

But as sides are being drawn, the dividing lines between the two are bold and stark.

First, consider Strange, the former Alabama Attorney General who was appointed by disgraced, then- Governor Robert Bentley to the seat left vacant by current U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Strange counts among his supporters: Senate Majority Leader McConnell; the National Republican Senatorial Committee; most members of the Senate GOP Conference, including fellow Alabama Senator Richard Shelby; and a bevy of DC and Alabama lobbyists. Bankrolling the multi-million dollar Strange effort are McConnell’s Senate Leadership Fund, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the National Rifle Association.

On the other hand, Roy Moore, who was twice removed from the Alabama Supreme Court for refusing to take down a replica of the Ten Commandments from the Alabama Judicial Building and issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, includes among his supporters: many members of the House Freedom Caucus, including his former opponent Rep. Mo Brooks; Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham; former Governors Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin; Breitbart News’ Steve Bannon; Ann Coulter; and the Senate Conservatives Fund.

In other words, it’s pretty much a GOP family feud pitting the candidate of the GOP Establishment (Strange) against the candidate of the “rest of us” caucus (Moore). The race pretty much tracks the current front lines in the internecine battle for control of the Republican Party.

There is one notable exception. President Trump is supporting Strange, a peculiar decision, given that most of the energy behind his anti-establishment, take no prisoners campaign is behind Moore. Even Trump-aligned super PACs are split on the race: America First Action is running a digital ad campaign for Strange while Great America Alliance is hosting Sarah Palin and Sebastian Gorka on behalf of Moore.

The President himself is appearing at a pro-Strange rally in Alabama on Friday, to be followed on Monday by Vice President Pence. After Trump’s endorsement before the August 15th primary helped Strange squeak past Brooks to make it into the runoff with Moore, the President’s Twitter account went quiet on the Alabama race. This radio silence led many to wonder if Trump had abandoned Strange after he fell well behind Moore in the polls. The situation was further complicated when Bannon left his post as White House chief strategist and declared war on Strange and other incumbent Republicans in Congress.

Despite a tremendous financial advantage, both in actual campaign dollars and the multi-million dollar effort by McConnell-aligned PACs on Strange’s behalf, “Big Luther” finds himself swimming upstream. After finishing nearly 10 points behind Moore in the primary, Strange has never been ahead or tied in the polls, even the push polls released by his allies.

Perhaps realizing that he could not be seen as a puppet of the unpopular McConnell and win, Strange announced that he was switching his position supporting the use of the filibuster. While his newly found opposition officially sides him with President Trump and against McConnell, the move may seem a bit disingenuous, given that in April, Strange signed a bipartisan letter supporting the dilatory tactic. If Strange is willing in his first few months in office to switch positions so blatantly for political gain, what – Alabama voters may wonder – would prevent him, once elected, from switching back? Or from flip-flopping on other issues?

Aside from his ties to McConnell and the dreaded Establishment, Strange has his own personal areas of vulnerability, such as being the subject of a disturbing number of ethics charges. Plaguing the former attorney general is the deep impression in Alabama that his very appointment to the Senate was tainted by the criminal activities of ex-Governor Bentley. Republican voters in Alabama who want to put this sordid tale of sex and corruption behind them may not see Strange and the cloud of scandal enveloping him as the most prudent choice.

The largest obstacle facing Strange may be something he can’t-do anything about: that Roy Moore, while not the Trump-endorsed candidate, may be the most “Trumpian” choice in the race.

Like Trump in 2016, Moore is not only the anti-Establishment candidate; he actually frightens the Establishment. Based on his record on the Alabama Supreme Court of refusing to back down on principle, a Senator Moore could very well make even Tea Party favorites Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Rand Paul look pretty Washington by comparison. For Alabama Republicans wanting to poke the Establishment in the eye, a vote for Roy Moore would be like a gouging.

Also, like Trump, Roy Moore may be impervious to the millions of dollars of negative advertising being run against him by the Establishment. In Alabama, Roy Moore is a known quantity – and no amount of money is likely to move the needle in any significant way. If you’re a Republican in Alabama, you may think Roy Moore is nuts, but he’s your nut. And you might just resent the millions of dollars being spent by the Washington Establishment to persuade you otherwise. You might also wonder why this money is being spent to defame a Republican in Alabama, as opposed to going after any number of vulnerable Senate Democrats across the country.

It may be that this Trump-like appeal is exactly what gets Trump supporters in Alabama (and there are a lot of them) fired up for Moore, in spite of the Trump endorsement. And if Roy Moore becomes Senator Moore next Tuesday, he won’t owe a thing to anyone inside the Beltway – including Trump and McConnell.

Take cover Washington – the rising crimson tide of Hurricane Roy may come crashing down on a swamp near you!
------------------
Peter Hong is a contributing editor for Americans for Limited Government

Tags: Alabama, Roy Moore, Peter Hong, Americans for Limited Government To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Millennial Trends

by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: According to a new U.S. Census Bureau report, the millennial generation has been reversing some of the social trends that were true of previous generations. For example about one third of all millennials still live with their parents. They also apparently rely on them financially as well. The millennial generation is also postponing marriage, having children later, and buying homes later. Instead, they are pursuing education and various job opportunities.

Many of these reversed trends have taken place recently. In 2005, only 25 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 34 lived with their parents. Today, that number is 34 percent. To put this in perspective, more people in that age group live with their parents (22.9 million), than live with a spouse (19.9 million).

Education is one reason for this remarkable change. Young women are much more likely to attain a college degree than just a few decades ago. They are also much more likely to have a full-time job. By contrast, young men are slightly less likely to be employed than in the recent past.

Another study done by the firm, Age Wave, in partnership with Merrill Lynch uncovered how much parents were financially helping their adult children. When Mom and Dad give their adult children $100 here and $200 there, it adds up. The average amount given is $6,800 annually. Some financial counselors suggest that parents reconsider this and instead shore up their own retirement nest eggs.

Millennials are also marrying later in life. In 1976, 85 percent of women and 75 percent of men had been married by age 29. Today, only 46 percent of women and 32 percent of men say they were married before they turned 30. Instead, many more are living together. Cohabitation has grown 12-fold over the last 40 years.

These trends show how the millennial generation is changing the world around us.
--------------
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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The End is Near (sort of)

by Jim Musser: Ten years ago, the main concern for the Social Security Trust Fund was that dedicated tax revenues would fall below program costs starting in 2017. That has come to pass. According to the Trustees of Social Security and Medicare, Social Security will run an annual non-interest deficit of approximately $51 billion between 2017 and 2020 after which it will steeply rise.

According to current projections, the Social Security Trust Funds will be exhausted completely in 2034, which is seven years earlier than the Social Security Trustees thought just ten years ago in 2007. What this means for current and future beneficiaries is when the Trust Fund balance reaches “zero” there will be an across the board cut to benefits to match the amount of dedicated Social Security taxes being paid. That cut to current beneficiaries will be as much as twenty-five percent of what they are receiving. The social consequences of such a substantial cut would be disastrous for the millions of seniors dependent on Social Security for their survival.

Social Security will not go bankrupt as some in the chattering class say. The law does not permit the program to pay out more than it takes in through the Old Age and Survivors and Disability Insurance taxes withheld from everyone’s pay. That is why there will be such a dramatic cut in benefits. Congress could choose to make up the shortfall by taking money from general revenues but that is not a sustainable proposition given that Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, and interest on the debt already consume more than two-thirds of all federal spending.

The problem is exacerbated by the huge wave of Baby Boomers retiring, which has begun and will continue over the next fifteen years. This retirement wave is increasing the cost of Social Security payments just at the time when there are fewer workers coming into the workforce and paying into system. According to the Social Security Administration, there are now fewer than three workers supporting each beneficiary and that number will drop further in the coming decade. Longer life expectancy and lower fertility rates undermine the program even further.

The problem facing Social Security is inherent in its design. The system was created in 1935 as an innovative form of “social insurance” rather than a welfare program and it was based on the premise that there always would be substantially more workers paying into the system than retirees receiving benefits. It also set the retirement age at 65, which, at that time, was the average life expectancy. The theory was that most people would not collect too long or too much and the program designers never anticipated large numbers of beneficiaries collecting payments for twenty years or more.

At the time that Social Security was being designed, a contributory program in which workers provided for their future retirement security by making payments into a system that used the funds to pay current benefits made sense compared to the many radical plans floated during the depths of the Great Depression. The flaw in the design would only become apparent many years later as the number of workers per beneficiary began to decline. In 1940, the first year in which Social Security benefits were paid, there were 159 workers for each beneficiary. By 1950, that ratio had declined to 16.5 workers per beneficiary. By 1960 the ratio had fallen to 4:1, and today there are 2.8 workers for each recipient and that is projected to further decline to only two workers per beneficiary by the year 2030.

In the mid-1990s, Congress passed legislation gradually increasing the retirement age from 65 to 67. While that was a step in the right direction, Congress must act to avert a real crisis which would have devastating effects on not just the beneficiaries of Social Security but all of us.

Clearly, the sooner Congress acts to address these long-range problems the better for the beneficiaries and the taxpayers alike. A combination of further increasing the retirement age, increases in OASDI-dedicated taxes, means testing, and private sector solutions are on the table. As the Trustees say in their report, the projected trust fund deficits should be addressed in a timely way to allow for a gradual phasing in of the necessary changes and to provide advance notice to workers. Making adjustments sooner will allow people to plan properly and avoid personal and financial crises.

The Trustees of Social Security and Medicare are Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Tom Price, Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta, and Social Security Commissioner Nancy Berryhill. There is a vacancy in each of the two Public Trustee positions. Regardless of which party has controlled the White House, the reports of the trustees have been unanimous, bi-partisan, and consistent over time. Congress would do well to heed their advice.
--------------------
James C. Musser is a senior fellow with the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy. Musser has spent over twenty years in the public policy arena serving as Senior Staff Counsel to Congressman Jim Bunning of Kentucky and most recently acting as Special Advisor to the Chairman of the House Budget Committee. Musser previously served as Vice President at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia.

Tags: social security, the end is near,
Ja,es Musser, Thomas Jefferson Institute
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