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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)

Monday, October 22, 2018

The Saudis Keep Changing Their Story on the Murder of Khashoggi. What Should We Do?

Dr. Ron Paul
by Dr. Ron Paul: The Saudi version of the disappearance and murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi seems to change every day or so. The latest is the Saudi government claim that the opposition journalist was killed in a “botched interrogation” at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Or was it a fist-fight? What is laughable is that the Saudi king has placed Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, a prime suspect, in charge of the investigation of Khashoggi’s murder!

Though the official story keeps changing, what is unlikely to change is Washington’s continued relationship with Saudi Arabia. It is a partnership that is in no way beneficial to Americans or the US national interest.

President Trump has promised “severe punishment” if the Saudi government is found to have been involved in Khashoggi’s murder, but he also took off the table any reduction in arms sales to prop up the murderous Saudi war on Yemen. It’s all about jobs, said President Trump. So the Saudi killing of thousands in Yemen can go on. Some murders are more important than others, obviously.

The killing of Khashoggi puts the Trump Administration is in a difficult situation. President Trump views Iran as designated enemy number one. Next month the US Administration intends to impose a new round of sanctions designed to make it impossible for Iran to sell its oil on the international market. To keep US fuel prices from spiking over this move Trump is relying on other countries, especially Saudi Arabia, to pump more and make up the difference. But the Saudis have threatened $400 a barrel oil if President Trump follows through with his promise of “severe punishment” over the killing of Khashoggi.

The Saudis have also threatened to look for friendship in Moscow or even Tehran if Washington insists on “punishing” the regime in Riyadh. For a super-power, the US doesn’t seem to have many options.

What whole mess reveals is just how wise our Founding Fathers were to warn us against entangling alliances. For too many decades the US has been in an unhealthy relationship with the Saudi kingdom, providing the Saudis with a US security guarantee in exchange for “cheap” oil and the laundering of oil profits through the US military-industrial complex by the purchase of billions of dollars in weapons.

This entangling relationship with Saudi Arabia should end. It is unfortunate that the tens of thousands of civilians dead from Yemen to Syria due to Saudi aggression don’t matter as much as the murder of one establishment journalist like Khashoggi, but as one Clinton flack once said, we should not let this current crisis go to waste.

This is not about demanding that the Saudis change their ways, reform their society on the lines of a liberal democracy, or allow more women to drive. The problem with our relationship with Saudi Arabia is not about Saudi Arabia. It is about us. The United States should not be in the business of selling security guarantees overseas to the highest bidder. We are constantly told that the US military guarantees our own safety and so it should be.

No, this is about returning to a foreign policy that seeks friendship and trade with all nations who seek the same, but that heeds the warning of George Washington in his Farewell Address that “a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils.” If we care about the United States we must heed this warning. No more passionate attachments overseas. Friendship and trade over all.
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.

Tags: Ron Paul, Ron Paul Institute, Saudis, Keep Changing Their Story, Murder of Khashoggi To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Is the Media Polling a Fast One on Voters?

by Tony Perkins: Polling has changed a lot in the last several years. And 16 days out from one of the most significant midterm elections in history, it's important to know how.

If you're like most Americans, you don't know which headlines to believe. You can see two surveys on the same party the same day with dramatically different results. One second, Republicans have the advantage. The next, Democrats do. It's exactly the kind of yo-yo polling that makes most voters throw up their hands in frustration. But, more often than not, it's the liberal candidate or party that has the lead. Is that by design, former Bush writer Ned Ryun asks -- or just a coincidence?

"Most people only see or hear the blaring top line of a poll: 'Democrats leading in congressional generic ballot by 13 points!' and assume that somehow those numbers are a legitimate and accurate presentation of political reality," he writes. "But that's not always so." In a recent article for American Greatness, Nicholas Waddy points out that CNN's generic ballot showed exactly that -- but it made some outrageous assumptions to get there like, "women voting for Democrats vs. men by nearly double the historical trends, the over-65 vote swinging 26 points in Democrats favor from 2016 until now, and that somehow the white vote will drop 21 points for House Republicans in a two year time period. Those numbers," Waddy insists, "are on the level of fraudulent."

How is the media getting away with these predictions, especially, Ned points out, since they're based on "the most historic changes in the voting demographics ever?" "Why not just report the numbers as accurately as possible? After 2016, that reason should be clear: It's because gauging public sentiment emphatically is not the point of every public opinion poll." The goal isn't always to report public opinion -- but to shape it."Opinion polling was born out of a struggle not to discover the public mind but to master it," Christopher Hitchens wrote in Harpers in 1992. "It was a weapon in the early wards to thwart organized labor in the battle against Populism... Polls are deployed only when they might prove useful -- that is, helpful to the powers that be in their question to maintain their position and influence. Indeed, the polling industry is a powerful ally of de-politicization and its counterpart which is consensus."To most conservatives, this isn't news. Debunking polling comes as naturally as breathing to most values voters. We've all read the bleak headlines on marriage or life, only to trace those numbers back to the original question and realize it was phrased to elicit a certain response. As survey houses know better than anyone, how the issue is framed matters greatly.

Then, of course, there's the social stigma. Some people are just reluctant to tell a stranger how they truly feel about a candidate, party, or issue. That's why the natural marriage numbers always polled well under the final outcome on a ballot initiative. It's also probably why an unconventional candidate like Donald Trump managed to win a historic victory.

If you're wondering where the country truly stands, Ryun suggests focusing on polls with "likely voters.""And, don't forget the phenomenon of the shy Trump voter; we now live in a country with radical leftists who are happy to chase Republicans out of restaurants, roundhouse kick pro-life women in the streets, and end friendships over simple political disagreements. In this environment, it's no surprise that many Americans who support Trump's policies and Republican candidates are hesitant to say so out loud."

"The Left might be organizing in the streets, rending their garments and storming the Supreme Court, but that doesn't mean Republican voters won't show up when it counts in November. They know how important this election is, and I'm betting they'll be there to quietly make a big statement."
In the end, polls don't decide elections -- people do. So you do your part to protect your values, and join us in the effort to Pray, Vote, and Stand!
Tony Perkins is President of the Family Research Council . This article was on Tony Perkin's Washington Update and written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

Tags: Tony Perkins, Family Research Center, FRC, Family Research Council, Media Polling, voters To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Yes, Be Very Worried Over Growing Polarization

Victor Davis Hanson
by Dr. Victor Davis Hanson: My Hoover Institution colleague Morris Fiorina has recently written that I am unduly pessimistic in my appraisals of a currently divided America. He cited two essays I wrote, one a Tribune Media Services syndicated column, the other a National Review online essay. Both were published before the recent national hysteria over Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings.

In those essays, I had indicated that the polarization within the United States is growing ominous. Given relatively new force-multipliers—such as the asymmetrical consequences of globalization, the rise of social media and instant global communications, red-blue-state geographical self-selection, the Obama and Trump presidencies, and massive illegal immigration—I suggested that we may be on a dangerous trajectory. In my view, the resulting escalation could exceed the factional differences that were ultimately resolved peacefully in the 1930s and 1960s, and instead might approach those of 1860–61.

Before answering Fiorina’s counter-arguments that I am too gloomy, I first would like to address, sine ira et studio, a few of his initial assumptions. First, he locates our disagreement in my own supposed role as an “active combatant in today’s political wars.” And thus, apparently, my “impressions” should be placed in just that partisan and politicized context. In contrast, Fiorina is self-described as a “data guy” and a “noncombatant.” I take that to mean that the disinterested social scientist Fiorina can better assure us of “grounds for feeling much more sanguine about the state of our country.”

Perhaps. I often write op-eds that seek to warn or reassure an audience that contemporary challenges have antecedents in the past, and do so by drawing on historical, literary, and cultural allusions. But I am not a mere political “combatant” trafficking in “impressions,” but an academic historian who has written a number of scholarly books and comprehensive studies of the ancient and modern world, from the Peloponnesian War and the rise of the Greek city-state to the nature and origins of war, and, most recently, World War II.

Data is essential to all those histories that draw on literary, epigraphical, archaeological, and historical footnoted sources, many of them untranslated and accessible only in ancient and modern foreign languages. I think Fiorina would agree that within the confines of the genre of the op-ed, limited by considerations of word length, the popular nature of the audience, and its journalistic editing and format, I cannot draw on the same sort of citations and documentation that I have in my scholarly essays and books. But I remain a historian, for all my seemingly demotic excursions into journalism.

Second, “data” is not always the province of some abstract discipline that is, in turn, proof of disinterested scientific inquiry. We should know this from the past abuse of “data-driven” research to substantiate pseudo-sciences like phrenology, astrology, and scientific racism, all of which variously claimed that their analytics were unimpeachable. Numerical quantification does not necessarily trump the use of historical allusion, common sense, or contemporary custom and practice. Instead “data” is an often inexact tool. And it is subject to a similar range of errors, wrong methodologies, hubris, and partisanship that the historian deals with in analyzing evidence from the past.

Especially worrisome is the recent habit of social scientists and statisticians of claiming near-scientific authority through purported numerical precision. This is certainly not warranted by the wide variances in the manner that questions are asked; in the size and accuracy of samples taken; and in the problematic habit of comparing how those in the past answered the same questions posed in the present—as if culture is static and does not affect attitudes and protocols that warp responses across time and space in ways that we are not quite sure about.

A minor recent example of faux statistical exactitude: on the Tuesday morning of the 2016 Election Day, we were assured by The New York Times that Donald J. Trump had either a 15 percent, 8 percent, 2 percent or less than 1 percent chance of winning the election, based on the Times’s tracking and aggregation of various scientific models and polls. The supposed master of electoral analytics, Nate Silver, was criticized as too pessimistic by many Clinton supporters for stating that Trump had on Election Day a 29 percent chance of winning the Electoral College. Such precise percentages stamped inexact methodologies with a precision they certainly did not deserve—and yet it was likely intended to do so to instill public confidence in such purportedly irrefutable “science,” and in those who deploy it.

Third, Fiorina, in the midst of citing numbers drawn from studies, surveys, and polls, also seems to agree with this skepticism. He finishes with welcome advice, urging us to get out among the people, and trust our senses, as we soak up anecdotes and impressions: “The American citizenry has worked through these kinds of problems in the past (most recently in the 1960s) and I am optimistic that they will continue to do so, despite the efforts of members of the political class to keep political controversies alive and allow societal problems to fester. Whenever you feel discouraged about America, turn off CNN, log off your computer, and go walk the aisles of Walmart.”

I agree—and try to do just what Fiorina advises, and thus commute weekly to Stanford from my rural home in one of the poorest areas of the state in southwestern Fresno County, about 2 miles from a Walmart that I in fact visit biweekly. But what I see there, and in adjoining parking lots, quite candidly sometimes does worry me—although not as much as the recent Norteños gang shoot-out across the street in which my 65-year-old twin brother and neighbor was nearly caught in the crossfire, or the corpse which my wife and I discovered two years ago in our orchard.

So I try to aggregate historical examples, contemporary news, data, and personal anecdote by visiting and talking to all sorts of Americans from all walks of life. Yet the two essays cited by Fiorina were not pessimistically resigned to civil strife in their description of growing fault lines among Americans. They were instead written to cool passions, and to anticipate where we might be headed if we did not take a step back:
“Will America keep dividing and soon resort to open violence, as happened in 1861? Or will Americans reunite and bind up our wounds, as we did following the upheavals of the 1930s Great Depression or after the protests of the 1960s? The answer lies within each of us. Every day we will either treat each other as fellow Americans, with far more uniting than dividing us, or we will continue on the present path that eventually ends in something like a hate-filled Iraq, Rwanda or the Balkans.”As to Fiorina’s more detailed criticisms, of course, those who both deliver and massage the news are a small minority of the population. And those who could be defined as news junkies who are glued to politicized newscasts and social media are also a very small minority. So are political foot-soldiers.

Yet most people do get their “news” from somewhere, most likely through absorption from popular culture. If recent polls accurately suggest sharply divided and incompatible views over the Kavanaugh hearing, that does not mean responders are without some sort of access to such information.

The vast majority likely aggregate news of the hearings not by watching it or listening to it or reading about it. They instead soak it up through anecdote, second- and third-hand telling, conversations with friends and coworkers, and bits and pieces on the car radio and 30-second updates on TV between entertainment and sports fare. Yet those fragments and abbreviations of information ultimately are predicated on, and find their fonts in, polarized cable and network coverage, the Internet and social media, and radio, where there is a new zealotry and advocacy that reflects radical cultural and technological changes, ranging from the rise of the Internet, social media, 24/7 cable news, and upheavals brought about by everything from globalization to changing social mores and massive illegal immigration.

It is now difficult not to witness political sermonizing in popular culture in a fashion not seen in the recent past. The Oscars, Grammys, Hollywood movies, stand-up comedy, and professional sports were never devoid of politics, but they were not perceived as all-political. Such current ideological saturation of entertainment might explain why many of these venues are suffering losses in audiences, of which political weariness may be one contributing cause, and polarization and anger another.

Historians often cite the 1856 caning in the Senate chamber of northerner Sen. Charles Sumner by South Carolinian Representative Preston Brooks—roughly five years before the outbreak of conflict at Fort Sumter—as an iconic warning that previous heated rhetorical differences would increasingly likely be resolved only through violence. In our own era, there was a “Brooks moment” when Bernie Sanders-partisan James Hodkinson tried to take out a cadre of 24 Republican congressional representatives at an Alexandria, Virginia, baseball game, a shooting that resulted in the near-death of Republican Majority Whip Steve Scalise. Physical confrontations such as the recent cornering of Sen. Jeff Flake in a Senate Elevator or California Representative Maxine Waters’s call (“If you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd, and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”) have had real consequences. I do not recall guards ever being needed before, as they sometimes now are after the Kavanaugh hearing, to escort senators to congressional hearings.

In the last decade-and-a-half, we have seen the growth of a new genre of presidential assassination chic, voiced in mainstream venues such as novels (e.g., Nicholson Baker’s 2004 Checkpoint), films (the 2006 “docudrama,” Death of a President), and newspapers (in Charlie Brooker’s 2004 Guardian piece) that imagine, or even hope for, the assassination of a sitting president. These are not isolated incidents of wackiness. Google “Johnny Depp and President”…

Today’s university campuses would likely not tolerate a free-speech area analogous to what was originally conceived by Mario Savio at Berkeley in 1964, in which anyone could express unpopular opinions. Scientists fear to express openly their skepticism about man-caused global warming and its government remedies, or socially constructed gender orientations, without real fears of career damage. The recent Kavanaugh hearings reflect that some of the nation’s most powerful elites do not really believe that traditional constitutional norms of due process, or at least its spirit that emanates from the courtroom—vigorous cross examination, the right of the accused to be presumed innocent, adjudication of doubt by witnesses, testimonies, and physical evidence, the inadmissibility of hearsay, and the idea of a statute of limitations—should apply in the matter of alleged sexual harassment.

So, we do not always need reliance on data to sense recent polarizing developments have worrisome precedents. Nearly 500 American cities or jurisdictions have declared themselves entirely exempt from the full enforcement of U.S. immigration law. The obvious parallels are the states-rights efforts in the turbulent 1960s to nullify federal integration edicts, or perhaps even the antebellum nullification crises.

Statistics do report that in actual numbers and percentages, America is currently experiencing a near-record number of immigrants, both in quantum (ca. 60 million) and percentages (14.7 percent). I agree wholeheartedly with Fiorina that the engine of the melting pot, while damned in the abstract, still works in the concrete. And I can attest that Americanization (a now near-pejorative word) continues both in my own racially mixed extended family, and from what I witnessed in 21 years of teaching classics to mostly immigrant and first-generation American students.

But the numbers of arrivals is now so high, and those who now come without legal sanction so numerous, that there is increasingly less margin of error when assimilation, integration, and intermarriage are so often (by our own institutions) considered passé, at least in comparison to the attractions and career enhancements of the salad bowl and identity politics.

To conclude with some “data.” In a December 2017 Pew Research Center poll, an “overwhelming majority (86%) of Americans” stated that conflicts between Democrats and Republicans “are either strong or very strong,” much more so than over traditional divides of race or class. The point is not to suggest that the Pew poll is necessarily accurate or proves that worse is to come; it is only to warn that, increasingly, Americans may see their contrasting agendas with a new degree of passion and less confidence in the possibilities of compromise. More recently, Michigan State professor Zachary Neal’s data suggested that political parties had become the most estranged and polarized in modern history: “What I’ve found is that polarization has been steadily getting worse since the early 1970s. Today, we’ve hit the ceiling on polarization. At these levels, it will be difficult to make any progress on social or economic policies.”

Popular culture can certainly provide a much-needed veneer of commonality in language, fashion, and habit. But without a commitment to shared values, a common agreement on constitutional norms, allegiance to the rule of law, and some deference to collective American traditions and customs, factions that superficially seem similar in their language and habits might devolve into violence of the sort now associated with Antifa or attacks on invited speakers to college campuses (or even on congressional representatives).

The lesson from the American Civil War and the French Revolution, the rise of Nazism in Germany or of Bolshevism in Russia, is not that clear majorities of partisans and countless news junkies are needed to foment extremism and tear apart a country. Instead, it is that zealous and sometimes warring tiny minorities can escalate tensions, nullify opposition, and bully the silenced majority to sanction--or at least not object to--the violence by which they eventually make their illiberal agendas go mainstream.
Victor Davis Hanson (@VDHanson) is a senior fellow, classicist and historian at the
and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution where many of his articles are found; his focus is classics and military history.

Tags: Victor Davis Hanson, Be Very Worried, Growing Polarization 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 Caravan Continues, What Next, The Harassment Continues

Gary Bauer
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: The Caravan Continues - Late Friday, the illegal immigrant convoy from Central America breached the Mexican border.  Reports indicate that the group has now doubled in size to at least 7,000 people.

The Washington Post reported over the weekend that individuals previously expelled from the U.S. in Mexico are now joining the caravan, hoping to get back into the United States.

It is important to understand that there is much more to this caravan than what the media are telling us.  Does anyone really think that a few Central Americans just happened to decide to walk to America and arrive just before the election?  This is a well-orchestrated political operation.

Let's correct some of the lies you're being told.
  • The caravan was not spontaneous.  It is being organized by a group called Pueblo Sin Fronteras, which translates as People Without Frontiers or Borders. Who is funding this group?
  • They are not walking.  According to the Wall Street Journal, the caravan started October 12th in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.  It's roughly 1,420 miles from San Pedro Sula to McAllen, Texas, on the Mexico border.  To reach the U.S. border around Election Day, people would have to walk roughly 55 miles a day.  Between "photo shoots," the crowd is being transported by trucks.  (Herehere and here.) 
  • Has anyone thought about the logistics of moving an army of seven or eight thousand people across 1,400 miles?  Who is feeding them?  Where are they using restrooms along the way?  Where do they sleep at night?  Why are no journalists asking any of these questions?;
  • Why aren't national media outlets raising concerns about national security?  How are Border Patrol officials supposed to differentiate the refugees from the criminals? Hezbollah is operating all over Latin America. How do we determine whether anyone in the caravan is a jihadist foot soldier?  Or a member of MS-13?
  • Let's assume they are all legitimate refugees.  How many times will our elites insist that our values require us to take any poor person who demands to be let in?  A Gallup survey last summer determined that 150 million people would like to migrate to the United States.
  • The "process" of vetting migrants at ports of entry is a sham because it requires a court hearing.  And the system is already overwhelmed.  So migrants get processed, get assigned a court date and are released.  Then they disappear into the American interior where they are protected by sanctuary cities run by Democrats.
What is happening right now is bigger than Donald Trump.  It is about whether America can and will defend its borders.  And it is shocking to see one of the two major political parties unwilling to speak out against it.

While you are watching this caravan on the evening news, remember the names of every governor, mayor and city councilman who refuses to cooperate with federal immigration authorities and calls for ICE to be abolished.  The stories about sanctuary cities in the U.S. are being printed throughout Latin America.

By the way, there are going to be tens of thousands of people at a Trump rally tonight in Texas.  Have you noticed any large rallies like that for the Democrats this year?  Former Vice President Joe Biden attracted about 500 people to a rally in Las Vegas over the weekend.

Sadly, the biggest Democrat rally you will see this political season is currently marching through Mexico right now.  They can't legally vote now.  But the left's plan is to ensure that they can vote in the future.

What Next? It's not obvious how this "invasion" helps the left, unless the assumption is that it demoralizes the conservative base.

But given the violence we have seen from the left lately, what if something happens to the caravan and lots of people get hurt?  No doubt the left would exploit those images, just like it did with the family separations at the border earlier this year.

So what can President Trump do?

This morning he tweeted that the wave of illegals was a "national emergency," and that his administration "will now begin cutting off" the "massive foreign aid" we give to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Fox News reports, "The three countries received about $500 million" from U.S. taxpayers last year.

Here's an idea.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has introduced a bill to fully fund President Trump's border wall.  McCarthy's bill also includes other commonsense border security measures.  Republican leaders want to tackle the issue after the elections, during a lame duck session of Congress.  That's a mistake.

President Trump should call Congress back into session now.  He should address the nation and demand Congress hold a vote on McCarthy's bill before the November elections.  It's time to force Democrats to either own this crowd planning to storm our border or take some responsibility for securing our borders.

Ask Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi how many millions they will let in before they decide we need a wall.  By then I promise you it will be too late.

The Harassment Continues - Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was accosted by a group of demonstrators at a Louisville restaurant Friday night.

There is tremendous concern that this kind of harassment will discourage people from volunteering for campaigns, putting signs up and even voting.  My friends, we can't give in to the left's fascist tactics.

Senator McConnell does not deserve this kind of treatment.  But here's another example.  A similar thing happened to Henry Kissinger last week.

Henry Kissinger was born in Germany in 1923.  He grew up in a nation where these kinds of tactics took over the country, which he fled in 1938.

I have not always agreed with Henry Kissinger over the years.  But it is beyond disgusting that a 95 year-old man is forced to endure these kinds of tactics from so-called "progressives" who are constantly lecturing the rest of us about tolerance.
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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NRA Gives $3,000 Grant To Arkansas College Shooting Club

NRA Foundation awarded Univ. of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana
 Iron Horse Shooting Sports Club a $3,000 grant
by Tom Knighton: The National Rifle Association is constantly under fire (no pun intended) because it refuses to support gun control. After all, when a gun grabber demands something, the only reasonable reaction in their minds is total capitulation with those demands. The NRA is so rude not to do precisely that.

In reality, the NRA does what it can to protect shooting and shooting sports, and that means making a stand against anti-gunners.

It also means helping college clubs attend shooting events.
Just a little help from your friends can go a long way. Recently, the NRA Foundation awarded the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana Iron Horse Shooting Sports Club $3,000 in grants to help fund the team’s registration fees for the upcoming Arkansas State Championship Shoot. The competition will take place in the spring and is meant to support the Pulling for Education Trap Shoot.

“The UAHT Foundation is grateful for the support of our local NRA Chapter,” said Anna Powell, executive director of the foundation. “Without this local support, many of our students would not have the opportunity to participate in shooting sports. This grant also helps provide many students with the ability to continue their education because it supports the college’s Pulling for Education Trap Shoot which provides student scholarships.”
Of course, the NRA provides a ton of grants for a ton of different groups and for a ton of different reasons. Yes, I know, that’s a lot of tons. Whatever.

What I do see is that the NRA may spend a lot on fighting the good fight on Capitol Hill, but it isn’t so focused on it that it forgets all of the other good it can do with the money we pay for membership dues.

Grants like this do a lot of good since they ultimately help promote shooting sports. Shooters are far less likely to support gun control, which means these grants help create new opponents to gun confiscation schemes that we know are the endgame for the gun control zealots in Congress and state legislatures throughout the nation.

Plus, it’s a good thing to do. School shooting clubs typically get little to no support from their schools, often because of the simple fact that they’re shooting clubs. They refuse to fund them like they would any other organization, which is funny because every other political club gets that kind of money.

It’s only too bad that they aren’t considered a sports team. I mean, they’re representing their school in a competition. It stands to reason they should be, especially if they compete against other schools.

Of course, that happening is a pipe dream at best. I’m pretty sure clubs like Iron Horse Shooting Sports Club are barely even tolerated at their schools, and if they are, they’re fortunate. They’re the exception.

Luckily, if their schools won’t offer support, it seems the National Rifle Association will. A $3,000 grant may not be much when we look at the kind of money flying around in news stories on a regular basis, but for the folks of the Iron Horse Shooting Sports Club, I’m sure it made a world of difference.
Tom Knighton is a Navy veteran, a former newspaperman, a novelist, and a blogger at Bearing Arms. He lives with his family in Southwest Georgia..

Tags: Tom Knighton, Bearing Arms, NRA, Gives $3,000 Grant, Arkansas College Shooting Club, University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana 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 Migrant Caravan Invasion . . .

. . . What our president must do to seal the border.
by Joseph Klein: A migrant caravan from Central America is currently heading en masse to the United States. Its members, several thousand strong, are intent on pouring into the U.S. in what amounts to an invasion force. President Trump has correctly branded the caravan an "onslaught" and an "assault on our country." The president has promised to use military troops if necessary to close the southern border with Mexico. He also threatened to cut off all foreign aid to those Central American countries that are not doing enough to stop the migration caravan in its tracks.

Members of the caravan have already demonstrated their violent streak during an early stage of their trek, as they approached Mexico. They “forced their way through Guatemala's northwestern border and flooded onto a bridge leading to Mexico,” AFP reported. These migrants, mainly from Honduras, engaged in violent clashes with Mexican riot police as they tried to surge through police lines and cross the bridge into Mexico. Four Mexican police officers were reportedly injured. "Violent entry into the country not only threatens our sovereignty, but also puts the migrants themselves at risk," Mexico’s President Pena Nieto said. "Mexico does not permit and will not permit entry into its territory in an irregular fashion, much less in a violent fashion."

Mexican government officials have said that Mexico would be willing to consider asylum requests from members of the caravan on an individual basis, with the assistance of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner on Refugees (“UNHCR”). Mexico is proposing that UNCHR establish shelters along Mexico’s southern border with Central American countries. Individuals deemed by the UN agency to be eligible for asylum protection, presumably after performing its standard vetting, would be eligible for placement in a host country willing to accept them, which could be Mexico or the United States. Those deemed not to have a legitimate claim would be sent back to their home countries. If someone manages to slip through this system and travels through Mexico before crossing the Mexico-U.S. border into the United States, Mexico has indicated that it would be willing to accept the return of that individual if the U.S. so wishes. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the United States welcomed and would cooperate with Mexico’s initiative to have Central American migrants processed for possible asylum in Mexico first with UN assistance. The initiative conforms with international law on the handling of claims for refugee status and is an orderly and humane solution to the migration crisis that the caravan has precipitated.

However, the migrant invaders are impatient. “We are going to the United States,” said one of the migrants. “Nobody is going to stop us.” The Associated Press has reported that despite Mexico’s attempt to intervene, “a growing throng of Central American migrants resumed their advance toward the U.S. border early Sunday in southern Mexico.” Their numbers have reportedly grown, after migrants in the caravan decided not to submit to Mexico’s asylum process that would have enabled them to enter Mexico legally. Instead, they took the law into their own hands. Mexico now appears to have largely given up and is doing little to stop them.

The caravan migrants believe that they are entitled to simply pass through Mexico without any interference and ensconce themselves in the United States. A press release issued by the organizers of a similar migrant caravan earlier this year stated a “demand of Mexico and the United States” that “they open the borders to us because we are as much citizens as the people of the countries where we are and/or travel.” This “open borders” demand is a direct challenge to U.S. national sovereignty. Migrants are not entitled to insist upon a “right” to choose the United States as their destination country, including would-be asylum-seekers if they are offered the chance for asylum in Mexico first.

Some of the caravan migrants cry poverty and use children as shields while pleading their case. Others in the caravan have likely learned - from the migrants who preceded them and from open borders advocates encouraging their migration - the playbook of how to exploit the loophole-ridden U.S. immigration laws. They know that their sheer numbers will further overwhelm an already overstretched adjudicative process with many more amnesty claims. Once in this country, the migrants, especially those with children in tow, are likely to be released into the community-at-large, pending the outcome of their asylum hearings, which could take place years later. They may well skip their hearings altogether, as many before them have done, and remain free to live in our country at American taxpayers’ expense indefinitely. Other migrants in the caravan who manage to make it to the U.S. border will simply enter illegally at unguarded points without even the pretense of seeking asylum unless they can be stopped first. Terrorists and criminal gang members are free to take part in the caravan with little chance of detection.

President Trump has vowed to use the military to seal the southern border of the United States with Mexico, if necessary – a stretch of territory as long as 2000 miles. Aside from logistical issues, questions have been raised as to whether the president has the legal authority to take such action in enforcing U.S. immigration laws, at least with respect to utilizing active-duty members of the army, navy, air force and marines. Those who claim that the president does not have such authority cite the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, as amended from time to time, which prohibits active duty military troops from executing the country’s laws unless expressly authorized by the Constitution or an Act of Congress. This statute does not apply to the National Guard operating under state authority.

A federal court has held that the Posse Comitatus Act “makes unlawful the use of federal military troops in an active role of direct law enforcement by civil law enforcement officers,” which includes “arrest; seizure of evidence; search of a person; search of a building; investigation of crime; interviewing witnesses; pursuit of an escaped civilian prisoner; search of an area for a suspect or other like activities.” Military personnel can do little more than maintain border fences and vehicles and perhaps also assist with surveillance, including in connection with drugs smuggling, if the Posse Comitatus Act is interpreted as restrictively as open borders proponents are likely to advocate in court.

However, repelling an organized force of unvetted migrants, who may include terrorists and foreign criminal gang members, from entering this country in the first place is not simply civil domestic law enforcement. It is a military response to a genuine threat to U.S. territorial sovereignty and national security originating from foreign territories. The military response would be directed by the president of the United States who is vested with the constitutional authority of commander in chief. The president would be using the military to implement the constitutional mandate of Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution that the “United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion.”

Moreover, the Posse Comitatus Act was intended to protect Americans within the boundaries of the United States from military rule. Its original purpose was to put an end to the use of federal troops to police state elections in the ex-Confederate states where the civil power had been reestablished. As one federal court stated, the Posse Comitatus Act is “the type of criminal statute which is properly presumed to have no extraterritorial application in the absence of statutory language indicating a contrary intent.” There is nothing in either the legislative history or text of the Posse Comitatus indicate that its drafters intended to prohibit the president’s use of military troops to block aliens gathered together in a horde from attempting to cross into our country after having violently clashed with the police of another country en route and having willfully evaded that country's laws. Terrorists may well be concealing themselves in the migrant caravan. Hezbollah, for example, has already managed to penetrate the U.S. border with Mexico, posing a serious national security threat.

The Supreme Court recently upheld the constitutionality of President Trump’s executive order limiting the entry of aliens from certain countries on national security grounds, pending a thorough review of the vetting process. The Court relied on §1182(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which enables the President to “suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens” whenever he “finds” that their entry “would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.”

Analogously, if the president determines that it is necessary to use active members of the military to enforce federal authority in situations he deems potentially dangerous to national security, there is a statutory exception to the Posse Comitatus Act which should allow him to do just that (10 U.S.C. § 332, renumbered §252). This provision states that the president may “use such of the armed forces, as he considers necessary,” to enforce “the laws of the United States” whenever he “considers that unlawful obstructions, combinations, or assemblages” make it “impracticable” to enforce such laws “by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings.” The migrant caravan aimed at entering the United States is an “assemblage” by definition. This assemblage has already acted unlawfully in violent clashes with Mexican riot police, after which some members then entered Mexico illegally despite being given the chance to submit to a legal process for asylum claims. U.S. border enforcement officials have already been overwhelmed by the number of illegal aliens and would-be asylum seekers from Central America. The current migration caravan will further burden the adjudicative system for amnesty hearings to the point of implosion.

President Trump tweeted on Sunday: “Full efforts are being made to stop the onslaught of illegal aliens from crossing our Southern Border. People have to apply for asylum in Mexico first, and if they fail to do that, the U.S. will turn them away.” If he needs the military to protect the border from the migrant caravan invasion, so be it.
Joseph Klein is a Harvard-trained lawyer and the author of Global Deception: The UN’s Stealth Assault on America’s Freedom and Lethal Engagement: Barack Hussein Obama, the United Nations & Radical Islam. His article was in FrontPage.Mag, a project of the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

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Fowl Blood . . .

. . . Is Cultural appropriation to advance one’s condition wrong? Whether you’re claiming American Indian status to advance your career or a turkey claiming to be a bald eagle to save your life. Who’s really the turkey here?
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

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America Cannot Afford for Congress to Abandon the Budget Caps

by Romina Boccia & Justin Bogie: When recently asked about the soaring national debt, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., blamed entitlement spending and Congress’ lack of interest in taking up entitlement reform.

He was right, of course. Entitlements are a major driver of our debt, which is projected to reach $1 trillion next year and skyrocket from there.

But aside from entitlements, McConnell and his colleagues have a critical opportunity to restrain spending right now by preserving the budget caps, which were put in place by the Budget Control Act of 2011.

The last time the federal government balanced the budget was in 2000. Pivotal to achieving that were the discretionary spending caps put in place by the Budget Enforcement Act.

Congress implemented that law in direct response to rising deficits at the end of the 1980s. In less than 10 years, it helped turn a more than $340 billion deficit into a surplus.

The 2019 appropriations cycle is nearing completion and attention will soon shift to 2020. It could be another year of budget-busting deals, burdening citizens with more deficit spending.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Congress should recommit to establishing spending caps and reject another irresponsible budget deal like the one passed this year. Without maintaining strict fiscal controls, the U.S. is on course for a budget meltdown.

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, the third deal to raise the spending caps put in place by the Budget Control Act, created a large spike in funding. Congress now faces a steep cliff in 2020 and 2021, the last two years when the discretionary caps will be in place.

This all but ensures Congress will push for another deal to increase spending.

This is the last thing we need. Rather than growing the deficit further, Congress should keep the current caps in place through 2021 while providing additional necessary funding for national defense, without abandoning the budget caps altogether. It merely requires some prioritizing and cuts to other programs.

Beyond 2021, Congress should implement a cap on all non-interest spending. This would reflect a bipartisan commitment to living within each generation’s means, enforced through sequestration.

The Budget Control Act was signed into law in August of 2011. The agreement came after a tumultuous seven months that brought the federal government close to the debt limit and a credit rating downgrade by Standard and Poor’s.

The act provided a means of raising the debt limit by $2.1 trillion. It also required Congress to vote on a constitutional balanced budget amendment.

The first $917 billion in cuts came from spending caps, while the other $1.2 trillion was to be determined by the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. Ultimately, the committee failed to agree on the additional spending cuts, and a fallback plan was implemented that further lowered the discretionary spending caps and cut spending for non-exempt mandatory programs.

The Budget Control Act has proven to be an effective tool in curbing the growth of discretionary spending. Yet Congress has continually undermined the act’s effectiveness by passing budget deals to raise the caps.

From fiscal years 2014 to 2017, two budget deals raised the discretionary spending caps by $141 billion. The first two budget deals were mostly paid for, at least on paper, but the most recent deal increased spending by $296 billion through 2019, most of which was not paid for.
What’s next for the Budget Control Act?

The discretionary caps are set to remain in place through 2021, but because of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, that would require a $71 billion cut to defense spending and a $54 billion cut for non-defense programs in 2020.

There are many non-defense programs that fall outside the responsibilities of the federal government that could be eliminated, but it’s unrealistic to think that in light of current and emerging security threats, Congress would allow defense to take a large cut.

For fiscal year 2020-21, it’s likely that Congress will push to raise the spending caps by at least $125 billion—but that would just maintain current funding levels. If the last budget deal is any indication, Congress could raise the caps by much more.

This would be an irresponsible approach with long-term consequences. Congress should hold the line on the Budget Control Act caps and provide additional defense funding through cuts to other programs.

Beyond 2021, things get scarier. To not have spending caps in place could lead to a spending free-for-all.

One of the flaws of the Budget Control Act is that it exempted Social Security and Medicaid from being subject to spending restraints and severely limited cuts to Medicare. This means that almost two-thirds of the budget was out of scope.

To put the country back on a sustainable budget course, Congress should enact statutory spending caps on all non-interest spending. Capping discretionary spending is not a long-term fix.

Placing all spending on the chopping block would force lawmakers to confront entitlement programs, which are what’s really driving the debt. Enforcing the budget caps through sequestration would provide a backup measure if Congress is unable to reach consensus on how to achieve the required savings.

As the Budget Control Act and Budget Enforcement Act have proven, spending caps work. But statutes are only as good as Congress’ will to abide by them.

A permanent solution would be for the country to adopt a smart balanced budget amendment, modeled after the Swiss debt brake. This would stabilize the debt and put Congress on the hook to live within the country’s means.

Though imperfect, the Budget Control Act has been an effective tool to restrain spending. A world without budget caps could lead to more spending and hasten the looming fiscal crisis. Congress shouldn’t take that chance.

It’s past time for Congress to address the nation’s unsustainable budget. The country can’t afford to wait any longer.
Romina Boccia (@RominaBoccia) focuses on federal spending and the national debt as director of the Grover M. Hermann Center for the federal budget at The Heritage Foundation. Justin Bogie (@JustinBogie)is a senior policy analyst in fiscal affairs at The Heritage Foundation. H/T The Daily Signal

Tags: Romina Boccia, Justin Bogie, Heritage Foundation, The Daily Signal, America can not afford, Congress, Budget Cuts 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 Trump Manufacturing Jobs Boom: 10 Times Obama's Over 21 Months

by Chuck DeVore: The Great Recession officially ended in June 2009, six months into former President Obama’s first term. The economy continued to shed jobs until the following March. Manufacturing was particularly hard hit, with almost 2.3 million manufacturing jobs—some 1 in 6—lost between January 2008 and March 2010.

As is the case during recoveries, jobs bounced back, with seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment expanding almost 12% from March 2010 until January 2017, when President Obama handed over the presidency to Donald Trump.

But during the same period, manufacturing employment grew only 7.7% with manufacturing payrolls virtually flat in the last 21 months of the Obama administration.

We were told it was the new normal.

At a town hall in June 2016, President Obama famously said that some manufacturing jobs “are just not going to come back.” He went on to mock then-candidate Trump by saying he’d need a “magic wand” to make good on this manufacturing job promises.

Months later, as the shock of a President-elect Donald Trump was still being absorbed, New York Times columnist and economist Paul Krugman tweeted on November 25, 2016, “Nothing policy can do will bring back those lost jobs. The service sector is the future of work; but nobody wants to hear it.”

Well, a funny thing happened—Trump’s policies, and just as importantly, the expectation of Trump’s policies, ignited a manufacturing resurgence.

In the first 21 months of the Trump presidency, nonfarm employment grew by a seasonally adjusted 2.6%. In the same period, manufacturing employment grew by 3.1%, reversing the trend under Obama when overall employment grew faster than employment in the manufacturing sector.

Comparing the last 21 months of the Obama administration with the first 21 months of Trump’s, shows that under Trump’s watch, more than 10 times the number of manufacturing jobs were added.
Three things likely sparked this manufacturing jobs spike.

First, eight years of the Obama Administration’s piling on regulation upon regulation, from labor rules, to the Clean Power Plan, to the implementation of ObamaCare, placed industry into a defensive crouch. Business leaders were fearful of investing capital, not knowing how the federal rules might capriciously change, thus wiping out their expected return on investment.

That defensiveness ended in November 2016 when the expectations of additional regulatory burdens under a prospective President Clinton vanished. Not coincidentally, manufacturing employment started its sustained upswing the very month of Krugman’s tweet.

Second, the Trump Administration’s deregulatory practice exceeded expectations, with red tape being cut at a faster clip than achieved under President Ronald Reagan 36 years earlier.

Third, with the Republican Congress, President Trump delivered on a major overhaul of the tax code, including a significant cut to business taxes as well as a change to the treatment of overseas profits that incentivized the repatriation of some $300 billion in the first quarter of 2018 out of what the Federal Reserve estimates is $1 trillion in multinational profits held abroad.

Whether this manufacturing jobs boom will continue is now largely dependent on the Trump Administration’s high-stakes trade stand-off with the People’s Republic of China.

Some economists warn that Trump’s tariffs put our healthy economic expansion (stimulated by tax cuts and deregulation) at risk. The administration’s defenders, on the other hand, see tariffs not as an end to themselves, as they were with the protectionist Smoot-Hawley Tariff of 1930, but as part of a wider effort to renegotiate the terms of trade with China. Included in the effort are the difficult issues of widespread and systematic Chinese intellectual property theft and opaque non-tariff barriers.

Past performance is no guarantee—but so far, President Trump’s pro-growth policies have confounded his critics’ predictions with the prime beneficiaries being hard-working Americans.
Chuck DeVore is Vice President of National Initiatives at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. He was a California Assemblyman and is a Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Army Retired Reserve.

Tags: Trump Manufacturing Jobs Boom, 10 Times Obama's Over 21 Months, Chuck DeVore, Texas Public Policy Foundation To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Return to Civility?

by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: After some of the political battles on Capitol Hill and after the political ads during the mid-term elections, I think most of us would like a return to civility. Hillary Clinton explains when civility might once again become part of the political process.

She told CNN, “You can’t be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for.” So she concluded that if the Democrats were “fortunate enough to win back the House and/or the Senate, that’s when civility can start again.”

Michael Barone made two observations about Hillary's comments.
First, you can be civil even if you are convinced the other party is not. Don’t say that you cannot be civil when what you mean is you don’t want to be civil.

Second, her prescription for civility is essentially this: “Just let Democrats win the elections, and then Republican senators and their wives can eat dinner in restaurants without being forced out by jeering crowds.”

Michael Goodwin expressed alarm at Hillary Clinton’s comments and wondered why there wasn’t any significant outrage or response to her comments. “Clinton knows we’re already in the danger zone when it comes to the political temperature. Her comments, then, are as reckless as bringing a can of gasoline to a bonfire.”

One other anomaly is also worth mentioning. Not only is there little outrage about the comments by Hillary Clinton, Maxine Waters, and others. There also seems to be a deliberate attempt to prevent anyone from using the word “mob” to describe the menacing actions by progressives. David French details the number of times just on CNN when guest commentators were told not to describe these actions as mob behavior.

Not only can we not expect civility any time soon, but we cannot even use appropriate words to describe incivility.
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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Corruption, Arkansas-Style

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: On Friday, the Arkansas Supreme Court struck Issue 3, a citizen-initiated measure to restore legislative term limits, from Arkansas’ November ballot. The Court declared, 4-3, that there weren’t enough “valid” signatures.

This, despite opponents never disputing that more than enough Arkansas voters had signed the petition.

In recent years, legislators have enacted a slew of convoluted laws, purposely designed to wreck the initiative and referendum process.* The regulations give insiders and partisans a myriad of hyper-technical “gotchas” that can be used to disqualify whole sheets of bonafide voter signatures.

“The legislature,” explained former Governor Mike Huckabee recently, “sucker-punched the people of Arkansas and expanded their terms. They did it, I think, very dishonestly — by calling it an ethics bill . . . that had nothing to do with ethics. It was all about giving themselves longer terms.”

Since getting away with that 2014 ballot con job, giving themselves a whopping 16 years in office, seven Arkansas state legislators have been indicted or convicted of corruption. The author of that tricky ballot measure, former Sen. Jon Woods, just began serving an 18-year federal prison sentence for corruption.

Other corruption, that is.

“It’s one reason I think term limits are a very important part of our political system today,” said Huckabee. It is, he argued, “easier to get involved in things that are corrupt the longer you stay.”

Now, sadly, after 2014’s fraudulent ballot measure and two 4-3 state supreme court decisions neutering the entire ballot initiative process, political corruption can continue unabated in the Natural State.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

* The state supreme court has ignored the clear language in the state constitution regarding such petitions: “No legislation shall be enacted to restrict, hamper or impair the exercise of the rights herein reserved to the people.”
Paul Jacob is author of Common Sense which provides daily commentary about the issues impacting America and about the citizens who are doing something about them. He is also President of the Liberty Initiative Fund (LIFe) as well as Citizens in Charge Foundation. Jacob is a contributing author on the ARRA News Service.

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Trump’s Proposed 5 Percent Spending Cuts Would Pay For The Wall

by Robert Romano: “I’d like you to come back with a 5 percent cut. Get rid of the fat. Get rid of the waste, and I’m sure you can do it.”

That was President Donald Trump on Oct. 17 ordering his Cabinet secretaries to come up with plans to slash the federal budget. After a $779 billion deficit for Fiscal Year 2018 as the national debt has topped $21 trillion, something’s got to give.

More than half of the increase in the deficit, $65 billion, came as 10-year treasuries interest rates have jumped from 2.2 percent in Sept. 2017 to about 3.2 percent today.

In his prior budgets, Trump has called for $4.5 trillion of spending cuts, including repealing Obamacare.

Now that the military and law enforcement were taken care of in the budget, with major spending increases, Trump said it would free up Congress to be more aggressive in cutting spending elsewhere.

For this particular proposal, non-defense discretionary spending authority was about $572 billion for Fiscal Year 2018, according to the Office of Management and Budget.

So, 5 percent off the top would amount to about $28 billion a year of cuts.

Which raises the question, if the Trump administration can find $4.5 trillion of non-defense cuts, why can’t Congress?

So far, Congress has passed a full year’s funding for Defense and Health and Human Services, on top of Energy, Miltary Construction and Legislative Affairs that already passed and just continued appropriations at current levels until Dec. 7 for everything else.

That’s the bulk of non-defense spending right there, and it will all come up after the election during the lame duck.

And as Conservative Partnership Institute senior director of communications Wesley Denton told Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning in an exclusive interview that aired on Conservative Commandos, that will also include funding for the southern border wall.

“Kevin McCarthy recently introduced a bill to fully fund the wall during the lame duck session. Now it’s not now attached to an appropriations bill which is what will have to be [done],” Denton noted. “A stand alone bill won’t really get the job done.”

Denton added, “After the midterms, the 2020 cycle is on in full force, and so to a large degree what Donald Trump wants becomes the agenda of the Republican Party… The President’s top priorities that their staff have been saying is we want to fully fund the wall, we want real money for the wall, and we want to reduce overall spending.”
Well, with $28 billion of non-defense cuts — more than enough to pay for the wall — and with the migrant caravan closing in on the southern border highlighting the problem, perhaps Congress will be able to finally get that done. To expedite the process, Denton suggested that Congress work on the spending bills after the November midterms prior to any leadership elections.

“We know that this is important, they want to show people they can get this done, but usually the Speaker’s race is internally held as a conference vote immediately after the election in the first… or second week after the election in November. They shouldn’t do that. They should finish the appropriations process, fund the wall, and… we can base their success or failure and then vote for Speaker,” Denton said.

Emphasizing the importance of the wall, Denton said, “the candidates that run for Speaker, they need to show that they can get the job done before they vote.”

Not a bad idea. Before we reward any Congressional Republicans with new leadership roles, with House Speaker Paul Ryan retiring, they need to show to can keep their promises. They promised they would give President Trump the funding for the wall, so where is it? Maybe try cutting some unnecessary spending, and they’ll find the money.
Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy for Americans for Limited Government.

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Dropping ‘Zero Tolerance’ Signaled Open Door for Illegal Immigrants

Thousands of Honduran climb over a fence into Mexico from
Guatemala. The "caravan" is headed toward the United States.
by Fred Lucas: Feeling the political heat over separating families of illegal immigrants, President Donald Trump took executive action in June to scale back his “zero tolerance” policy for border crossers.

But under existing law, this had fairly predictable results, immigration experts said.

“Catch and release is not an official policy, but it is the default until we have better laws,” Chris Chmielenski, deputy director of Numbers USA, a research group that supports immigration restrictions, told The Daily Signal.

While curbing illegal immigration was Trump’s signature campaign issue, and the Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security have increased enforcement, the problem of illegal border crossings has escalated again in recent months.

Experts say the Trump administration may have done everything possible through executive action, and must rely on Congress to close certain loopholes to better secure the border.

In lieu of consequences, the number of migrant parents illegally entering the United States escalated since Trump ended separation of children from parents at the border, The Washington Post reported this week.

The Border Patrol arrested 16,658 family members in September–the highest on record, the newspaper reported, citing unpublished Department of Homeland Security statistics.

Even before a large caravan began making its way through Central America toward the United States, large groups of 100 or more parents and children were crossing through Mexico into Arizona to make asylum claims.

Under the law, the U.S. is required to adjudicate asylum claims, and cannot detain children for more than 20 days. This can lead to freeing families into the interior of the country who may not show up for their hearing.

“The reason we have border surges is that when migrants get to the border they are either apprehended, but know when they get caught they will get released, or there just isn’t enough space to detain them,” Chmielenski said in an interview with The Daily Signal.

“You can only hold minors for 20 days. Then they are released, usually with the adult they came with,” he said.

He said Immigration and Customs Enforcement lacks detention space, which requires releasing some illegal immigrants while more flow into the country.

Three major issues in existing law impede stopping the large influx of illegal immigrants.

In 1997, the Clinton administration entered into something called the Flores Settlement Agreement, which ended a class action lawsuit first brought in the 1980s. The settlement established a policy that the federal government would release unaccompanied minors from custody to their parents, relatives, or other caretakers after no more than 20 days, or, alternatively, determine the “least restrictive” setting for the child.

In 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit expanded the Flores settlement to include children brought to the country illegally by their parents or other adults.

Separately, Section 235(g) of a law called the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act states that unaccompanied minors entering the United States must be transferred to the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement, rather than to the Department of Homeland Security.

This left the Trump administration with the option of either releasing every immigrant with a child who crosses the border; or to release only the child, as required by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals’ interpretation of the Flores settlement, while holding the parents or other adults who accompany them for a hearing.

On other fronts, the 2001 Supreme Court ruling in the case of Zadvydas v. Davis ended indefinite detentions of illegal immigrants who face deportations.

A loophole used by child smugglers and human traffickers is the Refugee Act, which establishes procedures for admitting and caring for refugees seeking asylum in the United States.

“The reality is when you end the no-tolerance policy with no fixes, then basically, if you come to the U.S. with a child in tow, they have to release you,” David Inserra, a policy analyst for homeland security with The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal. “The number has been spiking in the course of a couple of months.”

The caravan of 4,000 approaching the U.S. through Central America has drawn even more attention to the problems with immigration law. The group originated Oct. 12 in Honduras.

Trump issued two strong warnings Thursday on Twitter, saying he is willing to send troops to the border.
In the case of the caravan, Mexico has stepped up enforcement to prevent it from crossing its border en route to the United States. Meanwhile, law enforcement in Guatemala detained a former Honduran legislator who purportedly is one of the organizers.

This indicates Trump’s threat to cut off U.S. funding from Central American countries could be effective, Inserra said. However, he said, there should be consideration on following through.

“Some countries rely on funding to help fight corruption and instability, so it’s a double-edged sword,” Inserra said. “We don’t want more instability and corruption in those countries, or we could have more migration. But, we do need to ask them to do their part.”

As for putting the U.S. military on the southern border, Inserra said, there may be better options.

“If 4,000 people are trying to force their way across the border, it would justify the National Guard. But that’s an expensive route to go,” Inserra said. “A better route would be keeping them from coming here to begin with.”

“If someone claims asylum,” he added, “what is the military supposed to do? Say no? The military can’t. The military is not a law enforcement agency.”

That said, the military could provide more hands on deck at the border, Numbers USA’s Chmielenski said.

“The military can’t apprehend illegal border crossers, but they can still do a lot of administrative work,” he said. “Drug cartels flood one area of the border to make another border area vulnerable.”
Fred Lucas (@FredLucasWH) is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal.

Tags: Fred Lucas, The Daily Signal, Dropping Zero Tolerance, Signaled Open Door, for Illegal Immigrants 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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