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

Friday, October 11, 2019

Pelosi Can’t Play Tic-Tac-Toe

by Newt Gingrich: Some people have written that Speaker Nancy Pelosi is playing checkers while President Trump is playing chess.

After a few weeks of watching what Senator Ben Sasse called “a partisan clown show” and watching Chairman Adam Schiff earn four Pinocchios from the Washington Post for lying, I have reached a different, more disturbing conclusion.

Speaker Pelosi and the House Democrats cannot play a game which requires more than one step.

Even a game as simple as Tic-Tac-Toe requires you to think beyond the opening move. You must ask what your opponent will do and then constantly modify your plan to meet the challenge of your opponent’s effort to win turn-by-turn.

In military planning, a sound principle is to always ask of each plan “and then what?” This was the principle most profoundly violated in Iraq in 2003. We knew we could execute the first move – replace Saddam Hussein quickly and decisively – and we did just that. The initial anti-Saddam operation took 23 days. However, we failed to ask, “and then what?”

If we had planned to simply decapitate the dictatorship and rapidly turn the country over to the Iraqi people with the regular Iraqi Army and police forces intact, we had the right size force and the right campaign.

However, if we had intended to profoundly change the power structure and shift considerable authority from the Sunni to the Shia population, then we needed four or five times as many troops and a totally different attitude.

With General Tommy Franks we got the first result exactly as planned. With Ambassador Paul Bremmer, we attempted the second goal without increasing our forces or changing the thinking of our systems. The result has been an unnecessary 16-year nightmare which is still not over.

Speaker Pelosi is drifting into her own unintended nightmare.

Holding partisan hearings, working with the left-wing media to leak and lie about President Trump, trying to weaken the President for re-election would all make sense as a strategy of attrition. It would maximize the advantage of the left-wing media-Democratic Party alliance and minimize any downside risk.

However, by moving from investigation to impeachment, Speaker Pelosi just gave up all of her advantages and opened up a nightmare for the Democrats.

It all comes from not thinking through the follow-on steps.

First, an impeachment process inherently raises questions of fairness and sets up a standard which opens the Democrats up to charges of hypocrisy and cheating. Having a leaker transformed into a supposed whistleblower only works as long as the news media doesn’t get aroused enough to dig into the facts. (“Leaker” is a more accurate term, since he or she did not know anything first-hand on which to blow the whistle and simply leaked hearsay while using the term whistleblower for publicity and legal protection).

The Kavanaugh hearings should have been a warning about the shift in standards. Judge Kavanaugh could have been subjected to smears in the media as long as they didn’t rise to the level of an official investigation. The minute the smears became the subject of an official investigation, the standards changed even for much of the left-wing media. The length of time Senator Dianne Feinstein’s staff knew about an allegation suddenly became a national story. Reporters began tracking down potential witnesses and undermining the credibility of the accuser. Day-by-day, Judge Kavanaugh became stronger and his accuser grew less believable. Then, in desperation, the Left produced less and less believable secondary accusations. The Republicans, who controlled the Senate Judiciary Committee, insisted that the drama play out until it became clear that Judge Kavanaugh was being smeared. Today he is Justice Kavanaugh.

Speaker Pelosi and the House Democrats seem to have forgotten two key steps in shifting from investigation to impeachment.

First, the House Republicans, the Trump White House, and the non-left media (and to be fair even some leftists in the media) are now demanding a higher standard of accountability and fairness in establishing due process. The 2019 Democrats look pathetically unfair and dishonest compared to both the Democratic controlled impeachment process of 1973 and the Republican controlled impeachment process of 1998.

To go back to the so-called whistleblower, it is inconceivable that he or she will remain anonymous. Accusing the President of the United States of a “high crime” to use the Constitutional standard in secrecy is absurd. It violates every principle of facing your accuser which was the reform to replace the Star Chamber on English common law, which was abolished in 1641 for abusing power.

As a practical matter, the continuous leaks (The New York Times apparently knows the person’s name, identity as a Democrat, and who they worked for) will guarantee that the person be identified in the media in the very near future. If, as currently suspected, this person turns out to be a Democrat who was actually talking with Democratic presidential candidates, his or her credibility will be destroyed for the average American.

This relates to the other flaw in Pelosi’s game of Tic-Tac-Toe. Even if the Democrats can keep the accuser’s name secret in the House and secure an impeachment, how could they possibly think it would remain secret when the Republican controlled Senate took up the case? The answer, of course, is that the identity will be revealed and the Democrats’ effort will be revealed as a partisan absurdity.

Furthermore, if this impeachment effort gets to the Republican Senate, do the Democrats really think no one is going to ask Hunter Biden what he did for $600,000 a year from a Ukrainian natural gas company? Do they also think no one is going to ask former Vice President Joe Biden if he really had no idea his son was earning such a sum in Ukraine when he threatened to withhold more than $1 billion in aid unless the prosecutor looking into his son’s company was fired?

Even during the Democrats’ opening move of this game of Tic-Tac-Toe, they are losing ground and looking more and more incompetent and dishonest.

If the House Democrats move forward, and Republicans get our second move in the Senate, Pelosi will regret the day she learned to spell impeachment.

This is what the absence of planning and thinking ahead does to you.

So, the truth may be that the Tic-Tac-Toe analogy is generous. A tougher view may be that Pelosi is playing solitaire. In politics and warfare, that is a losing game.
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Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) is a former Georgia Congressman and Speaker of the U.S. House. He co-authored and was the chief architect of the "Contract with America" and a major leader in the Republican victory in the 1994 congressional elections. He is noted speaker and writer. This commentary was shared via Gingrich Productions.

Tags: Newt Gingrich, commentary, Pelosi Can’t Play, Tic-Tac-Toe To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Values Voter Summit, A Striking Contrast, Extremism On Display, Deal Or No Deal

Gary Bauer
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Values Voter Summit
The 2019 Values Voter Summit, the year's premier gathering of social conservatives, is underway!

For those who could not join us in person, you can watch the proceedings live online at valuesvotersummit.org.

If you missed my address to the Summit this afternoon, you can watch it here.

A Striking Contrast
President Trump delivered a rousing pro-America speech at his rally in Minneapolis last night!

He presented the 2020 election as a stark choice, and correctly so in my view, between those who want to preserve religious liberty, free markets, the sanctity of life, our Second Amendment rights and our national sovereignty against those demanding open borders, abortion-on-demand, socialism and gun control.

I was particularly struck by how the president talked at length about what it is like to be commander-in-chief. It involves regular trips to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, which are rarely covered by the media. On those visits, the president sees first-hand the horrific wounds our soldiers endure.

It involves going to Dover Air Force Base to receive the bodies of fallen heroes. It involves writing personal letters, not form letters, to every family who loses a loved one serving in the military.

It was a side of the president people don't see very often. When I am at the White House, I see him in a very different mood than what is presented by the media. He is a much more compassionate man than the left would like you to believe.

Sadly, there was violence after the rally ended. MAGA hats were burned. Trump supporters were assaulted. Leftists waved the flag of communist China. Police officers had to create a path for cars to leave because demonstrators were attacking vehicles in the parking garage.

It was a striking contrast. Inside the Target Center, Trump praised our brave men and women in uniform, our soldiers and police officers. He defended our flag and our country.

Outside, the left-wing radicals, the activist base of the Democrat Party, were attacking cops, burning flags, yelling their hatred for America and assaulting conservatives.

I'm not suggesting that Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren would be part of that crowd. But there's no question which candidate that crowd would vote for come November, and it won't be Donald Trump. Nor is that crowd ever denounced by the leadership of the Democrat Party.

On Fox News last night, a Democrat consultant was asked about the violence at the rally. Of course, he insisted it was wrong, but then proceeded to justify the violence by suggesting it was a natural reaction to Trump!

If, after any speech by a leading Democrat, a mob formed outside and began punching people and attacking cars, every network would be running the footage non-stop. Every Republican would be forced to condemn it on the record.

But no elected Democrat today will be asked to condemn what happened on the streets of Minneapolis last night. And I won't hold my breath waiting for any progressives to voluntarily distance themselves from the protests.

Extremism On Display
For the second time in as many months, the Democrat presidential candidates held a town hall dedicated to LGBTQ issues. I still remember when the homosexual rights movement insisted it was all just about the right to privacy for two consenting adults. Clearly, that's not the case anymore. Now we're having town hall events on cable news networks featuring nine year-old kids.

Needless to say, the extremism of the Democrat candidates, and the left generally, was on full display last night. Among other things, we learned it was "violence" to mispronounce a transgendered individual's name.

Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren fully supported taxpayer-funding for sex change operations. Biden also insisted that he would make gay rights a top priority in his foreign policy agenda.

Kamala Harris felt it was important to let the nation know that her pronouns were "she, her, and hers." Evidently, they are Chris Cuomo's preferred pronouns too!

And Cory Booker promised to do even more to push the gay agenda in the public schools.

But the clear winner of the night's "Crazy Award" goes to Beto O'Rourke.

His campaign is melting down politically, but it has nothing to do with the radical positions he's taking. O'Rourke is being abandoned simply because he can't compete against Biden, Warren and Sanders on the national stage. But all the other candidates shares his views on open borders and gun confiscation.

I bring this up because last night O'Rourke officially declared war on America's churches and non-profit ministries. He said that any religious organization that opposes same-sex marriage will lose its tax exempt status.

This issue has always been a battering ram to marginalize and attack the church. O'Rourke has done us a favor by stripping away the camouflage.

We predicted this years ago. If normal marriage is defined as bigotry, then no traditional faith-based group is safe.

Justice Samuel Alito raised the specter of religious institutions losing their tax-exemptions during the 2015 case that legalized same-sex marriage. The Obama Administration attorney replied, "It's certainly going to be an issue. . . I don't deny that."

Neither does Beto. And if asked, I'm sure every other Democrat would agree with him.

My friends, you see what is at stake next November.

Help us reelect President Trump, Vice President Pence and send more pro-family, pro-life, pro-Trump conservatives to Congress!

Deal Or No Deal?
President Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu are meeting today to discuss trade issues. There is considerable hope that the two men can iron out some sort of a deal, even a partial deal. And the Chinese are clearly eager for one.

One of the communist regime's main propaganda outlets printed an editorial today declaring:

"A partial deal is a more feasible objective, and one that would be in the common interests of both sides. Not only would it be of tangible benefit by breaking the impasse, but it would also create badly needed breathing space for both sides to reflect on the bigger picture. . ."

Whether there is a deal or not, this much is clear: The president would have been much more successful if he only had to deal with the Chinese communists. Unfortunately, he has also had to contend with a big swath of U.S. capitalists.

Whenever a Chinese delegation came to the U.S., they often flew into New York City first, where they would meet with Wall Street CEOs. As they headed to Washington, the CEOs would start lobbying on China's behalf.

As Lenin reportedly said, "The capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them."

"Season of our Rejoicing!"
Carol and I wish all of our Jewish friends and supporters a blessed Sukkot as they celebrate God's providence.

NOTE: Our office will be closed Monday for Columbus Day.
The "End of Day" will resume Tuesday, October 15th.

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Gary Bauer (@GaryLBauer)  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, Values Voter Summit, A Striking Contrast, Extremism On Display, Deal Or No Deal To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Clapper: We Only Did 'What We Were Told To Do' By Obama

James Clapper was director of national intelligence under
President Barack Obama from August 2010 - January 2017.
by Free Press International: Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said that the Department of Justice’s investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia probe is “disconcerting” because he and his intelligence community colleagues had only “done what we were told to do by the president.”

That president would be Barack Obama.

In an Oct. 7 interview, CNN’s Jim Sciutto asked Clapper: “As you know, the President has members of this government, you have the Attorney General traveling the world now meeting with U.S. intelligence partners trying to find out, in his view, whether they participated in some sort of Obama administration led effort to undermine President Trump in the last election here. You also know that John Durham who is a prosecutor here, a senior justice department official, he’s pursuing his own investigations on the origins of that probe. Are you concerned that Barr’s or Durham’s investigation will find wrongdoing and seek to punish former intelligence officials?”

Clapper responded: “Well, I uh, I don’t know. I, I, I don’t think there was any wrongdoing. I think at the time all of us were trying to navigate a very, very difficult, politically fraught, highly charged situation. I know, for my part, my main concern was the Russians, and the threat posed by the Russians to our very political fabric. The message I’m getting from all this is, apparently what we were supposed to have done was to ignore the Russian interference, ignore the Russian meddling and the threat that it poses to us, and oh, by the way, blown off what the then commander-in-chief, President Obama, told us to do, which was to assemble all the reporting that we could that we had available to us — and put it in one report that the president could pass on to the Congress and to the next administration. And while we’re at it, declassify as much as we possibly could to make it public, and that’s what we did.”

Sciutto: “One issue I’m — (crosstalk)”

Clapper: “It’s kind of disconcerting now to be investigated for, you know, having done our duty and done what we were told to do by the president.”

Clapper’s revelation on Oct. 7, analysts say, is another major sign that the deep state is in panic mode as the DOJ investigates the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation.

Radio host Rush Limbaugh said: “Folks, can you say in any other time and place ‘bombshell?’ ”

“I’ve been waiting for this,” Limbaugh said. “A lot of people have been waiting for this. Here’s Clapper saying, ‘I didn’t do anything wrong! We didn’t do anything wrong, ’cause we were doing what Obama told us to do.’ The question he was asked is (summarized), ‘Are you worried about this investigation that Barr and his team’s running against you? Are you worried? You, Clapper and Brennan, are you guys worried?’ (muttering) ‘Oh, no. Of course not. Why? (muttering) The president told us to do all that! (muttering) Obama was the president of the United States. Uhhh, the chief executive, uh, commander-in-chief told us to do all that.’ ”

RedState’s Elizabeth Vaughn noted that Clapper “makes these statements in such a deadpan voice, we don’t realize at first the gravity of his words. But this is the first time a deep state insider has connected Obama to this travesty.”

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Free Press International News Service, aka: Free Pressers (@FreePressers).

Tags: Free Press International, News Service, Free Pressers, James Clapper, We Only Did, 'What We Were Told To Do' By Obama 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 Did Not Betray The Kurds

by Caroline Glick: The near consensus view of President Donald Trump’s decision to remove US special forces from the Syrian border with Turkey is that Trump is enabling a Turkish invasion and double crossing the Syrian Kurds who have fought with the Americans for five years against ISIS. Trump’s move, the thinking goes, harms US credibility and undermines US power in the region and throughout the world.

There are several problems with this narrative. The first is that it assumes that until this week, the US had power and influence in Syria when in fact, by design, the US went to great lengths to limit its ability to influence events in Syria.

The war in Syria broke out in 2011 as a popular insurrection by Syrian Sunnis against the Iranian-sponsored regime of President Bashar al Assad. The Obama administration responded by declaring US support for Assad’s overthrow. But the declaration was empty. The administration sat on its thumbs as the regime’s atrocities mounted. They supported a feckless Turkish effort to raise a resistance army dominated by jihadist elements aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Obama infamously issued his “redline” regarding the use of chemical weapons against civilians by Assad, which he repudiated the moment it was crossed.

As ISIS forces gathered in Iraq and Syria, Obama shrugged them off as a “jayvee squad.” When the jayvees in ISIS took over a third of Iraqi and Syrian territory, Obama did nothing.

As Lee Smith recalled in January in the New York Post, Obama only decided to do something about ISIS in late 2014 after the group beheaded a number of American journalists and posted their decapitations on social media.

The timing was problematic for Obama.

In 2014 Obama was negotiating his nuclear deal with Iran. The deal, falsely presented as a non-proliferation pact, actually enabled Iran — the world’s greatest state sponsor of terrorism — to develop both nuclear weapons and the missile systems required to deliver them. The true purpose of the deal was not to block Iran’s nuclear aspirations but to realign US Middle East policy away from the Sunnis and Israel and towards Iran.

Given its goal of embracing Iran, the Obama administration had no interest in harming Assad, Iran’s Syrian factotum. It had no interest in blocking Iran’s ally Russia from using the war in Syria as a means to reassert Moscow’s power in the Middle East.

As both Michael Doran, a former national security advisor in the George W. Bush administration and Smith argue, when Obama was finally compelled to act against ISIS, he structured the US campaign in a manner than would align it with Iran’s interests.

Obama’s decided to work with the Kurdish-YPG militia in northern Syria because it was the only significant armed force outside the Iranian axis that enjoyed congenial relations with both Assad and Iran.

Obama deployed around a thousand forces to Syria. Their limited numbers and radically constrained mandate made it impossible for the Americans to have a major effect on events in the country. They weren’t allowed to act against Assad or Iran. They were tasked solely with fighting ISIS. Obama instituted draconian rules of engagement that made achieving even that limited goal all but impossible.

During his tenure as Trump’s national security advisor John Bolton hoped to revise the US mandate to enable US forces to be used against Iran in Syria. Bolton’s plan was strategically sound. Trump rejected it largely because it was a recipe for widening US involvement in Syria far beyond what the American public – and Trump himself — are willing to countenance.

In other words, the claim that the US has major influence in Syria is wrong. It does not have such influence and is unwilling to pay the price of developing such influence.

This brings us to the second flaw in the narrative about Trump’s removal of US forces from the Syrian border with Turkey.

The underlying assumption of the criticism is that America has an interest in confronting Turkey to protect the Kurds.

This misconception like the misconception regarding US power and influence in Syria is borne of a misunderstanding of Obama’s Middle East policies. Aside from ISIS’s direct victims, the major casualty of Obama’s deliberately feckless anti-ISIS campaign was the US alliance with Turkey. Whereas the US chose to work with the Kurds because they were supportive of Assad and Iran, the Turks view the Syrian Kurdish YPG as a sister militia to the Turkish PKK. The Marxist PKK has been fighting a guerilla war against Turkey for decades. The State Department designates the PKK as a terrorist organization responsible for the death of thousands of Turkish nationals. Not surprisingly then, the Turks viewed the US-Kurdish collaboration against ISIS as an anti-Turkish campaign.

Throughout the years of US-Kurdish cooperation, many have made the case that the Kurds are a better ally to the US that Turkey. The case is compelling not merely because the Kurds have fought well.

Under Erdogan, Turkey has stood against the US and its interests far more often than it has stood with it. Across a spectrum of issues, from Israel to human rights, Hamas and ISIS to Turkish aggression against Cyprus, Greece and Israel in the Eastern Mediterranean, to upholding US economic sanctions against Iran and beyond, for nearly twenty years, Erdogan’s Turkey has distinguished itself as a strategic threat to America’s core interests and policies and those of its closest allies in the Middle East.

Despite the compelling, ever growing body of evidence that the time has come to reassess US-Turkish ties, the Pentagon refuses to engage the issue. The Pentagon has rejected the suggestion that the US remove its nuclear weapons from Incirlik air base in Turkey or diminish Incirlik’s centrality to US air operations in Central Asia and the Middle East. The same is true of US dependence on Turkish naval bases.

Given the Pentagon’s position, there is no chance that US would consider entering an armed conflict with Turkey on behalf of the Kurds.

The Kurds are a tragic people. The Kurds, who live as persecuted minorities in Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran have been denied the right of self-determination for the past hundred years. But then, the Kurds have squandered every opportunity they have had to assert independence. The closest they came to achieving self-determination was in Iraq in 2017. In Iraqi Kurdistan, the Kurds have governed themselves effectively since 1992. In 2017, they overwhelmingly passed a referendum calling for Iraqi Kurdistan to secede from Iraq and form an independent state. Instead of joining forces to achieve their long-held dream, the Kurdish leaders in Iraq worked against one another. One faction, in alliance with Iran, blocked implementation of the referendum and then did nothing as Kurdish-controlled Kirkuk was overrun by Iraqi government forces.

The Kurds in Iraq are far more capable of defending themselves than the Kurds of Syria. Taking on the defense of Syria’s Kurds would commit the US to an open-ended presence in Syria and justify Turkish antagonism. America’s interests would not be advanced. They would be harmed, particularly in light of the YPG’s selling trait for Obama – its warm ties to Assad and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The hard truth is that the fifty US soldiers along the Syrian-Turkish border were a fake trip wire. Neither Trump nor the US military had any intention of sacrificing US forces to either block a Turkish invasion of Syria or foment deeper US involvement in the event of a Turkish invasion.

Apparently in the course of his phone call with Trump on Sunday, Erdogan called Trump’s bluff. Trump’s announcement following the call made clear that the US would not sacrifice its soldiers to stop Erdogan’s planned invasion of the border zone.

But Trump also made clear that the US did not support the Turkish move. In subsequent statements, Trump repeatedly pledged to destroy the Turkish economy if Turkey commits atrocities against the Kurds.

If the Pentagon can be brought on board, Trump’s threats can easily be used as a means to formally diminish the long hollow US alliance with Turkey.

Here it is critical to note that Trump did not remove US forces from Syria. They are still deployed along the border crossing between Jordan, Iraq and Syria to block Iran from moving forces and materiel to Syria and Lebanon. They are still blocking Russian and Syrian forces from taking over the oil fields along the eastern bank of the Euphrates. Aside from defeating ISIS, these missions are the principle strategic achievements of the US forces in Syria. For now, they are being maintained.

Will Turkey’s invasion enable ISIS to reassert itself in Syria and beyond? Perhaps. But here too, as Trump made clear this week, it is not America’s job to serve as the permanent jailor of ISIS. European forces are just as capable of serving as guards as Americans are. America’s role is not to stay in Syria forever. It is to beat down threats to US and world security as they emerge and then let others – Turks, Kurds, Europeans, Russians, UN peacekeepers – maintain the new, safer status quo.

The final assumption of the narrative regarding Trump’s moves in Syria is that by moving its forces away from the border ahead of the Turkish invasion, Trump harmed regional stability and America’s reputation as a trustworthy ally.

On the latter issue, Trump has spent the better part of his term in office rebuilding America’s credibility as an ally after Obama effectively abandoned the Sunnis and Israel in favor of Iran. To the extent that Trump has harmed US credibility, he didn’t do it in Syria this week by rejecting war with Turkey. He did it last month by failing to retaliate militarily against Iran’s brazen military attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil installations. Whereas the US has no commitment to protect the Kurds, the US’s central commitment in the Middle East for the past 70 years has been the protection of Saudi oil installations and maintaining the safety of maritime routes in and around the Persian Gulf.

The best move Trump can make now in light of the fake narrative of his treachery towards the Kurds is to finally retaliate against Iran. A well-conceived, and limited US strike against Iranian missile and drone installations would restore America’s posture as the dominant power in the Persian Gulf and prevent the further destabilization of the Saudi regime and the backsliding of the UAE towards Iran.

As for Syria, it is impossible to known what the future holds for the Kurds, the Turks, the Iranians, Assad or anyone else. But what is clear enough is that Trump avoided war with Turkey this week. And he began extracting America from an open-ended commitment to the Kurds it never made and never intended to fulfill.
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Caroline B. Glick is the Senior Contributing Editor of The Jerusalem Post and the Director of the David Horowitz Freedom Center's Israel Security Project. For more information on Ms. Glick's work, visit her website at carolineglick.com. Originally published in Israel Hayom.

Tags: Caroline B. Glick, CarolineGlick.com, President Trump, Did Not Betray, The Kurds To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Dear NBA, You Can’t Get ‘Woke’ By Ignoring China’s Tyranny, Concentration Camps & Slave Labor

by Rick Manning: It is time for D.C.’s political pundits to get woke on the economy, while one particularly obnoxious group of wealthy virtue signalers are finding their true selves revealed.

While the focus in D.C. is rightfully on the fake impeachment being foisted upon America by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, there are some hard economic truths that are amazing and good political news for the President.

Unemployment remains low as the September unemployment number of unemployed continued to plummet to just over 5.7 million people out of 164 million giving us an unemployment rate of 3.5 percent — a 50 year low. But to me the important information is how many people who want a job can’t find one — and that is 5.769 million Americans. It was December of 2000, when our nation last had this few people who were actively seeking employment who couldn’t find work and there were 21 million fewer Americans in the workforce then.

And in case you are wondering if the job situation has changed direction, the Labor Department reports the number of unemployment insurance claims filed nationwide each Thursday, and this number remains remarkably low with the weekly total reaching 210,000 new claims. The more reliable four week average was up slightly to 213,750, still an amazingly low number of new applications, meaning that the job market remains at its strongest level in at least half a century.

This matters because there is a swath of voters, primarily women, who are known as security voters. They don’t want to rock the boat if things are going well, and America is working, people are making more money and inflation is remains extraordinarily low, with September prices flat according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and inflation over the past year increasing only 1.7 percent.

When voters evaluate the Democratic field, there is not a single candidate who is not pushing sweeping economic changes, exactly the wrong message for the security voters who were the basis of the famous Democratic consultant James Carville’s reminder, “It’s the economy, stupid.”

And this is why you can ignore polling numbers around the Trump name, because when people pull the curtain to vote in secret, they pretty reliably cast their ballot based upon their own circumstances and security, and 13 months from the election, those circumstances are pretty darn good.

Speaking of circumstances being pretty darn good. The National Basketball Association has been riding a high with good television ratings with enormous wealth being generated. The NBA stars have become larger than life as a complaint by Golden State Warrior player Stephen Curry led his shoe company CEO (Under Armour President Kevin Plank) to drop off of a Presidential economic advisory council, because Curry didn’t believe that the President denounced racism strongly enough.

Now that is power, because to Plank, preserving the relationship with the face of his brand far outweighed providing economic advice to the President of the United States.

Imagine the surprise when the opinionated Curry and the entire NBA leadership from top to bottom, was revealed to be nothing but frauds. You see, the Houston Rocket franchise’s General Manager made the mistake of tweeting seven words which ripped the façade right off the virtue signaling league, when he posted, “Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong.”

In the aftermath of the Chinese government retaliation against the Donald Trump hating NBA, we have seen the Houston General Manager forced to take down his tweet, Houston Rockets gear pulled from Chinese stores, Disney-owned ESPN posting a map of China indicating dominion over Taiwan and the entire South China Sea, NBA games featuring superwoke LeBron James pulled from Chinese television and the League’s expansion plans and massive revenue increases generated from selling to the billion person Chinese market put in jeopardy.

And this was over a single pro-freedom tweet, imagine if the NBA superstars currently touring China in an exhibition game series were to actually ask about the Muslim concentration camps, the forced organ donations from live victims, the slave labor used to stitch the Nike’s star players make millions off of, and the jailed believers in Christ — persecuted because they were caught with a Bible.

It is enough that Jerry West, whose likeness is used for the NBA logo, should demand that they change it to a picture of Chairman Mao, whose political descendants are now calling the shots for the exposed League.

While the subject of China is on the front burner, remember the 1.7 percent annual inflation rate for the past twelve months, wouldn’t you think that with all the threats about President Trump’s tariffs increasing prices to American consumers that you would eventually see prices jump? They haven’t, because of one of the very reasons that we have a trade war to begin with, currency manipulation by the Chinese.

And the perpetually wrong purveyors of tariff doom still don’t get it. China uses a devaluation of their currency, the yuan, to the dollar as a way of effectively increasing the price of U.S. goods versus the price of Chinese goods around the globe. It is the Chinese people who are eating the cost of tariffs as their money becomes worth less with staple items like the cost of oil rising due to Chinese money manipulation.

President Trump has told and is expected to tell the Chinese again in a meeting in Washington, D.C. that they must end this currency tariff on U.S. goods along with their on-going theft of U.S. company’s intellectual property in order to end the on-going increasing tariffs on their goods.

Unlike the NBA, President Trump is punching back against the bullies of Asia and re-balancing our two nation’s relationships.

And when it comes to basketball, perhaps the continually agitated NBA no-ballers should be reminded that it was President Trump who secured the release of three University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) basketball players who were detained in China a couple of years ago on charges of shoplifting, creating a “Bruinous” international dust up.

Is it possible that Steph, LeBron, and other NBA millionaires will wake up to the fact that it is their government in Washington, D.C., which is fighting for freedom around the world, while their Beijing benefactors are the evil empire. Now, that would be truly woke, but that would require them to break the gold chains which blind them.
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Rick Manning is the President of Americans for Limited Government.

Tags: Rick Manning, Americans for Limited Government, Dear NBA, You Can’t Get ‘Woke,’ By Ignoring China’s Tyranny, Concentration Camps, Slave Labor To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Time to Fix the Bus

by Tom Balek, Contributing Author: Back down the road we Americans shared a "magic bus" with four tires - two left and two right. The wheels needed to be aligned every once in a while, but generally they all pulled in the same direction and took us to a place that was better than where we came from. If we ran into a rough road, we were able to pull together to get to the other side.

The conservative right side were the sensible ones, watching the checkbook, protecting us from those who would harm us. The liberal left side were the champions of the needy, the downtrodden, and the oppressed. They were thought to be the conscience of America.

But then somehow the left became mean and ugly, adopting a one-world, "America-is-evil", big-government-over-individual-freedoms ideology. They are now consumed with killing babies, obsess over color of skin instead of content of character, and deny biological science.

Meanwhile the right took their eye off the road and when they had opportunities to do great things for the people, some of them were only interested in holding on to their comfy positions of power.

Now that the Democrats own Congress, they seem to have lost interest in serving the people.
  • "Nonsense" Pelosi could be dealing with the homeless crisis in her own backyard. Instead, we learn that three years after Los Angeles taxpayers put up $1.2 billion for homeless housing, not a single unit has been built. Cities all over the USA are dealing with record numbers of homeless, despite the best employment numbers in our history, and instead of working for solutions, Democrat leaders double down with policies that make things worse.
  • Democrats decry the state of education in our country, but instead of taking meaningful steps to improve the quality of our schools by stopping illegal immigration, implementing school choice including support for home schooling, and focusing on productive curricula, they emphasize social/sexual/political indoctrination.
  • Liberal leaders promote extreme socialism that would consume our annual GDP many times over, thrusting the proleteriat into abject poverty, without a shred of concern for quality of life as long as the ruling class is protected.
True conservatives would happily join forces with Democrats who sincerely want real solutions to humanitarian problems, preserving the best of our American way of life and standard of living. But the liberals are suddenly determined to go off-roading.

Our bus is broken. The wheels on the left side of the bus have fallen off, and the right rear tire is flat. Our president is driving to our future on a treacherous mountain road in a Godless vehicle with only one good tire.

We have to get our bus fixed before we run completely off the road and into a ditch we can't get out of. Liberals must turn away from the blatant dishonesty of their "big wheel" leaders. Conservatives must get back to the business of serving all of their constituents, not just the ones that will get them re-elected.

All aboard.
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Tom Balek is a fellow conservative activist, blogger, musician and contributes to the ARRA News Service. Tom resides in South Carolina and seeks to educate those too busy with their work and families to notice how close to the precipice our economy has come. He blogs at Rockin' On the Right Side

Tags: Tom Balek, Rockin' On The Right Side, Time to Fix, The Bus, Democrats own Congress, seem to have lost interest, in serving, the people To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Biden's Bogus Buffoonery

David Limbaugh
by David Limbaugh: Joe Biden’s rhetoric grows more inflammatory with every new Democratic presidential poll, as rival Elizabeth Warren has surpassed him in the national polling averages and he realizes pretend moderation won’t sell.

In surveying his multitudinous rivals, Biden doubtlessly sees himself as a man of superior wisdom, experience and gravitas. By gosh, he’s wanted this job a lot longer than some of these upstarts have even been involved in politics, and he’s paid his dues with scandal-ridden, failed efforts and an eight-year deferential stint as Barack Obama’s vice president. In short, he’s paid his dues just like Hillary Clinton did, and it’s his time.

Biden must be in shock as he watches his beloved party move so far to the left that it sometimes makes Obama appear center-left. OK, I might be exaggerating a tad here. But it’s not easy for an old dog to learn new tricks, and it’s even harder to perform those tricks in broad daylight.

It’s as if Biden is finely calibrating his campaign message to appear presidential to the broad swath of voters while retaining credibility with the radical Democratic base. He knows it’s very tough to win the plurality of Democratic voters without making himself unelectable in the general. That’s why you see him moving further left by the hour and sometimes changing his positions overnight. His groveling on environmental issues has to be humiliating, even for him.

Unlike Warren and many of his other foes, Biden was urging caution in the Democrats’ efforts to impeach President Trump, suggesting that he should only be impeached if he defies Congress in its investigation. But all of a sudden he’s all in, warning that our Constitution and democracy hang in the balance, and that unless Trump is impeached, they, along with the republic, will perish.

It is unbearably rich for any modern Democratic leader to admonish us about threats to the Constitution. One of Obama’s central missions was to undermine our system as founded — to fundamentally transform this nation. The entire field of Democratic presidential candidates is committed to a “living Constitution” and confirming Supreme Court and other appellate judges who radically reject the framers’ original intent. With their manufactured scandals against Judge Kavanaugh, we see just how far they’re willing to go to prevent a majority of Constitution respecters on the court.

And how about those warnings about Trump’s assault on our democracy? Set aside, if you will, the progressives’ annoying mischaracterization of the American system of government as a democracy, rather than a constitutional republic. And set aside that Biden’s former boss Obama routinely abused his executive authority, to the fawning approval of his entire party. Biden, his rivals and the liberal media establishment have dedicated themselves to undermining the process by which the people and states elect the president. They have flagrantly ignored the will of the people and the Electoral College by savagely attacking the 2016 election results.

Remember Clinton’s outrage when Trump wouldn’t pledge his unconditional approval of the election in advance of the results because he wanted to reserve the right to challenge substantial irregularities? According to Clinton and her media amen chorus, there couldn’t have been a graver threat to our system.

Yet immediately upon Trump’s victory (and, actually, significantly before), they all conveniently forgot their outrage and pursued their Russia conspiracy to do exactly what they were mortified Trump might do — but probably never would have done had he lost fairly and squarely, like Clinton did.

They haven’t let Trump take a governing breath. His entire presidency has been encumbered by their Constitution- and democracy-defying maneuvers to steal his power and disenfranchise American voters. Now they’ve moved on to the manufactured Ukraine scandal, transparently sequencing their “bombshell” revelations against Trump while expecting the public to ignore their just-failed coup with the Russia hoax. Chutzpah-drenched Rep. Adam Schiff audaciously leads this phony charge, despite a disgraceful record of making objectively false claims against Trump on Russia. He doesn’t skip a beat, and if he ever were to, the leftist media would be right there with their defibrillator.

For all the criticisms of Trump’s character, every one of the competitive Democratic presidential nominees would take America and its culture to a moral abyss from which we might never be able to escape. They would dismantle core ideas that have made America unique, exceptional, prosperous and free. And their leading two candidates, Biden and Warren, have exhibited sufficient character flaws that disqualify them from judging Trump at all.

Biden has a serious problem with the truth and a disturbing thirst to be the toughest guy on the planet — so much so that he buffoonishly embellishes his biography with more tales of his machismo every time he gets a chance.
At least with Trump the people know what they’re getting. The chameleon Biden is willing to remake himself each day, if necessary, to regain voter support. And that will be true of almost all the Democratic candidates; if they win the nomination, they will instantly move center to make their insane positions, from the environment to the economy, more palatable to the still-not-quite-crazy voting majority.

Let Biden and the Democratic pack continue with their feigned fears of Trump’s character and so-called threats to the Constitution while they continue to exhibit their own deeply flawed characters and engage in their ongoing actual assault against our system.
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David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney. His latest book is "Jesus is Risen: Paul and the Early Church." Follow him on Twitter& @davidlimbaugh and his website at davidlimbaugh.com.

Tags: David Limbaugh, Joe Biden, Bogus Buffoonery To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

How Obama's Senior Response Director Profited From Disaster in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Still Damaged
by Daniel Greenfield: By September 2018, despite billions of dollars in aid, Puerto Rico was still a mess. By August, FEMA had stopped paying for the nearly 2,500 displaced Puerto Ricans who had been living in hotels after Hurricane Maria had wrecked their homes. But the FEMA times were good at Casino Del Mar.

San Juan's Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz had become a CNN celeb by wearing a, "Help Us We Are Dying" t-shirt. But no one was dying at the luxury resort in San Juan with its 15,000 square feet of gaming tables and its seven restaurants. Except maybe some especially unlucky gamblers. Its blue neon wave walls were shimmering, the machines were jingling and there were some high rollers at the tables.

One of those high rollers was a FEMA administrator.

Ahsha Nateef Tribble’s job had been to get Puerto Rico working again. That’s why Ahsha had been appointed FEMA's Power Sector Chief and Infrastructure Chief for Recovery.

And she was certainly helping one part of Puerto Rico recover.

At Casino Del Mar, Donald Keith Ellison, the former president of Cobra Acquisitions, who has been indicted alongside Tribble, was seen in surveillance footage picking up $3,000 worth of casino chips. The indictment alleges that Tribble and Ellison were together at the gambling tables and the cash cage.

Tribble and Ellison were gambling in more ways than one. The stakes would have easily broken the Casino Del Mar. Ellison’s Cobra had received $1.8 billion in federal contracts to restore Puerto Rico’s power grid. And Tribble had the authority to dispense $200 million in public assistance projects.

What was a mere $3,000 compared to the millions and billions that they were already playing with?

The indictments of Tribble and Ellison ended the game. The dice have come up snake eyes and the croupier is taking back all the chips. But the game of profiting from catastrophe was a fun one.

At Casino Del Mar, Ahsha Nateef Tribble was enjoying the good life at the top of a meteoric career. But while her annual salary of $149,000 placed her among the top 10% of employees at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), it wasn’t enough to buy her everything she wanted.

And that’s what Ellison was allegedly doing by, in the language of the indictment, promising, offering and giving “Ahsha Nateef Tribble a stream of things of value, including airfare, ground transportation, helicopter fights, hotel rooms, meals, entertainment expenses.” $149,000 a year only goes so far.

Not that Ahsha had anything to complain about. After earning a BS in Math from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, an MS in Meteorology from Florida State, she had traveled out of state to the University of Oklahoma for a PhD in Meteorology. And the year she graduated she was somehow already the Technical Chief of Staff at the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce at NOAA.

Two years after graduating, she was the Executive Officer at the NOAA National Hurricane Center.

Five years after graduation, she was the Chief of the Climate Sciences Division for NOAA's National Weather Service.

With that kind of resume, Ahsha must have been brilliant. But her indictment doesn’t suggest a genius. Even an evil genius would have done a better job of cashing in than hotels, a casino and a copter.

There is, unfortunately, another explanation.

And it’s why the blame for the Puerto Rico mess falls squarely on the Obama administration.

Under Obama, the former Florida girl was in D.C. as a senior policy advisor coordinating with the White House. Obama's White House then put her on staff as a director at the National Security Council.

Ahsha Nateef Tribble became Obama's Senior Director for Response and even served as an interim Deputy Homeland Security Advisor.

In the waning days of the Obama regime, Ahsha was appointed a Deputy Regional Administrator at FEMA. Either Ahsha had guessed correctly that the next administration would not have the word 'Clinton' in it or she didn't have the right connections. But she had landed safely. And someone had decided that with her impressive resume, she would be perfect for tackling Puerto Rico's power crisis.

Hadn't she served as a senior advisor to Obama's Secretary of Energy?

And, according to her FEMA bio, "led or supported White House response coordination and operational policy for major disasters including Hurricanes Sandy and Irene."

There was just one problem.

The Institute for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency. Disaster relief needs competence, not diversity. But FEMA, like every other part of the government, had gone mad for diversity without ever recovering. For Black History Month, its Diversity and Inclusion unit had promoted a livestream of a transgender panel from the U.S. Air Force Academy. FEMA might not be very competent at managing disasters, but it was great at promoting random lefty social agendas and spending taxpayer money.

Ahsha was the daughter of Israel Tribble Jr, an affirmative action advocate who claimed that the education system pandered to European elitism and was unsuited for those who were “dark or different”. The names of his children reflected the academic’s belief in his own form of Afrocentric Egyptology. In Puerto Rico, affirmative action ran into a wall of corruption and human misery.

A casino in San Juan was a long way from Ahsha’s glory days of traveling to disaster sites with Obama and Biden. Or representing the United States at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

But there were still opportunities here. And she allegedly knew how to take them.

Puerto Rico was a crisis. And the thing to do with a crisis was play it up and then cash in. And Ahsha Nateef Tribble was allegedly influencing the payments going to her new friend’s company.

While contracts in the hundreds of millions of dollars were dispensed, she enjoyed the little things, a helicopter ride, a hotel room, and a fun time in a casino. Also riding the Puerto Rico gravy train was Jovanda Patterson, another FEMA employee and a good friend of Ahsha’s, who got a job with Ellison.

“Thank you both for My day will be great when I get a picture of Ahsha getting her treatment today please,” Jovanda had emailed Ellison and Ahsha.

Times were still hard in parts of Puerto Rico, but there were other priorities for FEMA’s best.

“I’m on it. I will get her down there at 1pm,” Ellison replied.

You didn’t have to be in a disaster area to get personal service like that. Just tasked with managing one.

A Twitter account with Jovanda Patterson’s name and tweets about FEMA and Puerto Rico, includes a retweet of anti-American racist activist Colin Kaepernick, Barack Obama and Senator Kamala Harris.

Why was Hurricane Maria so devastating?

The answer has little to do with President Trump and a great deal to do with the existing corruption by local officials in Puerto Rico, which has already resulted in multiple arrests, and within FEMA.

It was one of Obama’s NSC staffers who had traveled with him and with Biden, who allegedly conspired to rob taxpayers and to abuse money meant to help Puerto Ricans.

What happened in Puerto Rico is the same thing that happens in Chicago, Detroit and Baltimore.

In another hurricane procurement scandal, FEMA gave Tiffany Brown a $156 million contract to serve 30 million meals to hurricane victims. Brown's company had no employees and no experience in large-scale disaster relief. And was not able to actually provide the meals. But "Dr. Brown" does boast that her Tribute Contracting LLC is a "a minority-owned government consulting firm".

The government can help people. Or it can help itself.

It can help the minorities it claims to care about. Or it can just help the well-connected ones.

A quick walk around Newark, Los Angeles or San Juan can clue you in on who’s really being helped.

The money that’s supposed to help people never actually reaches them. But that’s fine. There’s better uses for that money. And the worse things get, the more money will be spent on not fixing the crisis.

And, if you’re lucky, you can have a fun night in a casino in San Juan where everyone is always dying.
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Daniel Greenfield (@Sultanknish) is Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an investigative journalist and writer focusing on radical Left and Islamic terrorism.

Tags: Daniel Greenfield, Obama's Senior Response Director, Profited From Disaster, Puerto Rico To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Blizzard Fallout

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: “I’ve already deleted my Blizzard account,” offered the young man while taking my Starbucks order.

Blizzard Entertainment is a video game developer based in Irvine, California. Earlier this week, the company rescinded the Grandmasters tournament winnings of Hearthstone esports player Ng Wai Chung, whose professional name is “Blitzchung,” banning him from pro competition for one year.

Why? In a post-match interview, the Hong Kong native, donning a gas mask, declared, “Liberate Hong Kong!”

The company claims Blitzchung violated tournament rules disallowing “any act that, in Blizzard’s sole discretion, brings you into public disrepute, offends a portion or group of the public, or otherwise damages Blizzard.” More likely, the censorship comes from Tencent Games, a large Chinese company, with a 5 percent ownership stake in Blizzard’s parent company.

“I can’t just sit there doing nothing,” Chung told reporters, “watching our freedom being destroyed bit by bit.”

Blitzchung’s courageous stand has, thankfully, received rewards, too, for he is receiving offers from other, more politically conscious gaming outfits.

And Blizzard faces a serious customer backlash, along with employee walkouts and dissent.

On Wednesday, I bemoaned the fickle stand taken by Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey, who tweeted, “Fight for freedom! Stand with Hong Kong!” but then deleted the tweet under pressure from the Chinese government. Then, yesterday, an NBA spokesperson apologized that a CNN reporter was blocked from asking Rocket players a question about the controversy.

The NBA may be scared of totalitarian China’s economic bullying, but fans are speaking out. At exhibition games between NBA and Chinese Basketball Association teams, in both Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., fans wore shirts and held signs saying, “Free Hong Kong.”

Speaking truth to power across the globe.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
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Paul Jacob (@Common_Sense_PJ ) 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.

Tags: Paul Jacob, Common Sense, Ng Wai Chung, Blizzard Fallout, Liberate Hong Kong,   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 Rise of Young Black Conservatives

by Larry Elder: This past weekend, I spoke for the second time at the second annual Black Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., hosted by Turning Point USA. Turning Point was founded in 2012 by then-18-year-old Charlie Kirk. Its website describes its goal as seeking “to identify, educate, train, and organize students to promote the principles of freedom, free markets, and limited government.”

In addition to the Black Leadership Summit, Turning Points holds other annual gatherings, including the Young Women’s Leadership Summit, the Young Latino Leadership Summit and the Student Action Summit. Turning Point, according to Kirk, has established chapters at over 1,000 college campuses across the country. In a short time, the organization has become quite a force.

In an interview with Business Insider, Kirk asked: “Have you ever seen a conservative shout down a liberal speaker on campus? Isn’t that kind of strange, though, that the left does that every day and conservatives don’t?” He argues: “We live in a broken culture. Where the conservative movement is making gains really quick and where the left is really struggling right now is that we are offering remedies for a broken culture.”

Not too surprisingly, Turning Point is not without controversy. A column in the conservative Washington Examiner written by a college senior insists: “TPUSA is initially attractive to many young people due to the organization’s savvy marketing using memes, posters, and catchy slogans such as ‘socialism sucks.’ And at first glance, this may seem like a good thing for the conservative movement.

“But everyone should be concerned by the mainstreaming of TPUSA and Kirk. … In reality, it’s an organization that pulls kids too young to know any better into a group that’s deeply troubled and dishonest at its core.”

A piece in the Wall Street Journal written by a senior at Dartmouth criticizes groups like Turning Point for receiving funding by wealthy donors. The student wrote: “These groups are well-organized, well-funded political operations, not grass-roots gatherings or student-led movements. There’s nothing necessarily wrong or unethical about them, but they often convey a deliberately false image of themselves as bottom-up movements when in fact they are top-down, highly purposive national organizations. Students approached by their recruiters — or handed “educational” material by their activists — should ask about their sponsors and objectives.”

What I know is this: Some 400 young blacks recently gathered in D.C., where they heard criticism of Democrats, liberals and the left. Speakers such as former Turning Point Communications Director Candace Owens, now a podcast host for Prager University, questioned blacks’ overwhelming allegiance to the Democratic Party, arguing that the party pushes the narrative of systemic, structural and institutional racism for power and votes. After I spoke, young person after young person came up to me and said things like, “You introduced me to economics professors Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams,” and, “because of you and your books and videos, I began to question the horrible things I was taught about the ‘racist’ Republican Party.”

These young people did not think of themselves as victims. They recognized their good fortune as Americans living in a country of opportunity where their own future will be bright if they work hard. In my speech, I quoted black liberal Harvard sociology professor Orlando Patterson, who 28 years ago wrote: “The sociological truths are that America, while still flawed in its race relations … is now the least racist white-majority society in the world; has a better record of legal protection of minorities than any other society, white or black; offers more opportunities to a greater number of black persons than any other society, including all those of Africa.”

At last weekend’s summit, the narrative of “structural racism” by the police was challenged with facts, studies and data. The Democrats’ opposition to private vouchers was questioned, given studies showing that school choice improves reading and math scores, graduation rates and parental satisfaction. Democratic policies of reparations, race-based preferences, government-mandated minimum wage and taxes on job creators were challenged.

I have known Sowell and Williams for nearly 30 years. Their presence loomed large this weekend in Washington, D.C. For years, they were lonely voices questioning blacks’ devotion to the Democratic Party. They have long argued that the welfare state has destabilized families, encouraging women “to marry the government” and men to abandon their financial and moral responsibilities. They have long argued against the job-destroying impact of the minimum wage. They have long argued that one’s fate is determined not by racism but by one’s willingness to invest in oneself through education, hard work and sacrifice.

Turning Point’s Black Leadership Summit shows that Sowell’s and Williams’ books, columns, television appearances and speeches have spawned a generation of hopeful young black men and women who believe in themselves. These bright, energetic young people get it. As then-first lady Barbara Bush said, “Your success as a family, our success as a society, depends not on what happens in the White House, but on what happens inside your house.”

What a weekend!
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Larry Elder (@larryelder) is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host, an American lawyer, writer and radio and television personality who is also known as the "Sage From South Central." To find out more about Larry Elder. Visit his website at LarryElder.com for list of other articles.

Tags: Larry Elder, commentary, The Rise, Young Black Conservatives To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Beijing Bounce . . .

. . . NBA caters to an oppressive communist state and shuns the Hong Kong freedom protesters.
Editorial Cartoon by AD "Tony" Branco

Tags: AF Branco, Editorial Cartoon, Beijing Bounce, NBA caters, oppressive, communist state, shuns the Hong Kong, freedom protesters To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

End Impeachment Secrecy

Byron York
by Byron York: There have so far been two hearings in the House Democrats' effort to impeach President Trump over the Ukraine matter. Both have been held in secret. One was Thursday, the other Friday, and the public does not know what was said in either. Two more are scheduled for this week and will be held behind closed doors, too.

The hearings are part of an effort to remove the president from office. There could not be a matter of more pressing public concern. There could not be a matter in which the American people have a greater stake. And yet the public has no idea what is being discovered.

Last week's sessions weren't just secret. They were super-secret. The first hearing, in which the witness was former Ukraine special envoy Kurt Volker, was held in what is known as a SCIF, which stands for sensitive compartmented information facility. It is a room in the Capitol built to be impervious to electronic surveillance so that lawmakers can discuss the nation's most important secrets without fear of discovery.

The second hearing, in which Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson testified, was also held in the SCIF.

Were highly classified matters discussed at the Volker and Atkinson hearings? Apparently not. Neither interview was classified. And even if some classified information were involved, it would be astonishing for Democrats to believe they could attempt to remove the president on the basis of information that is not available to the public.

The secrecy, decreed by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, has taken Republicans by surprise. Some are now speaking out about it.

"Adam Schiff is running an impeachment inquiry secretly, behind closed doors, and he's making up the rules as he goes along," said Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe.

"These proceedings should be public," added Republican Rep. Jim Jordan. "Democrats are trying to remove the president 13 months before an election based on an anonymous whistleblower ... and they're doing it all in a closed-door process."

"This is nothing more or less than a show trial for the media," said Rep. Devin Nunes, ranking Republican on the Intelligence Committee, noting that with secrecy rules in place, the public knows only what is leaked to the press. "The Democrats leak what they want to leak to build narratives."

Of course, that is not how Democrats would describe it. For his part, Schiff has said that secrecy is needed to protect the identity of the CIA whistleblower who started the entire process. "The whistleblower has the right in the statute to remain anonymous," Schiff said recently, referring to the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act, which lays out the process through which intelligence community whistleblowers can file complaints.

In fact, the law says: "The inspector general shall not disclose the identity of the employee without the consent of the employee, unless the inspector general determines that such disclosure is unavoidable during the course of the investigation ..." First, the inspector general is the only official specifically prohibited from disclosing the identity. And second, even if the statute's use of "investigation" refers to the inspector general's probe, the fact is, the whistleblower is now part of an impeachment proceeding. Disclosure is, in fact, unavoidable; Democrats cannot keep entire hearings secret, keep vital information away from the American people, in the name of preserving the anonymity of a whistleblower.

Yet that appears to be what Schiff and his Democratic colleagues are doing. This week the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, is scheduled to be interviewed — behind closed doors. Also this week, lawmakers will interview the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovich — behind closed doors. Republicans can complain, but Democrats, in firm control of the House, can do as they like. (An inquiry to Schiff's office went unanswered Sunday.)

The Democratic drive to impeach Trump over Ukraine is the first impeachment proceeding solely about foreign policy. The exercise of foreign policy sometimes involves secrecy. The imposition of secrecy was an enormous problem in public understanding of the Trump-Russia affair, which ended with the special counsel unable to establish that there had been any conspiracy or coordination involving Russia and the Trump 2016 campaign. In that investigation, the public would have been better served by more disclosure, more quickly.

Now, the American people deserve to know precisely why one party in the House proposes to remove the president. They deserve to know the facts behind the Ukraine matter. It is simply inconceivable that a party could seek to remove a president but say to the American people, in essence: Trust us, we've got good reason.

The impeachment proceedings should be opened up — now.
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Byron York is the chief political correspondent for the Washington Examiner.

Tags: Byron York, Washington Examiner, Opinion, Adam Schiff, Impeachment, Donald Trump, Ukraine, Congress, House Intelligence Committee To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Tax-Exempt Status

by Kerby Anderson: For decades I have been predicting that the federal government would eventually begin to revoke the tax-exempt status of various non-profit groups. At first, they would focus on groups that are controversial.

Then politicians and bureaucrats would broaden it to include other groups so they could bring more taxes into the federal coffers.

An initial first step took place 36 years ago when the Supreme Court ruled that the IRS could revoke the tax-exempt status of Bob Jones University. More recently, the government allowed the college to regain its tax-exempt status. Now the focus is on the US House of Representatives. A Ways and Means subcommittee met last month to consider “How the Tax Code Subsidizes Hate.”

As you can probably imagine, the definition of hate groups is much larger than most Americans would consider appropriate. That’s because the standard being proposed was the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of “hate groups.”

As I have discussed in previous commentaries, the organization isn’t content to merely focus on true hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan. The list also includes the Alliance Defending Freedom, the American Family Association, and the Family Research Council.

That’s why you can find tweets about the meeting complaining that, “Over 60 hate groups receive tax-exempt status every year—meaning taxpayers are subsidizing the continued operation of these organizations.” Statements like this and others are intending (or intended) to arouse the emotions and start a movement to strip tax-exempt status from controversial organizations.

Here’s a simple fact. There are thousands of non-profit groups that promote something you probably don’t like (capitalism or socialism, gun rights or gun control, Christianity or atheism). If we start stripping the tax-exempt status of groups we don’t approve of, I don’t think we will like where it will end.
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Kerby Anderson (@kerbyanderson) is a radio talk show host heard on numerous stations via the Point of View Network (@PointofViewRTS) and is endorsed by Dr. Bill Smith, Editor, ARRA News Service.

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

Mom Fights for Justice After Her Daughter Claims a Gender Fluid Child Assaulted Her in Bathroom

by Rachel del Guidice: Does the transgender ideology pose dangers to school children? Vernadette Broyles is a lawyer representing a girl who claims she was sexually assaulted as a 5-year-old after her school allowed a transgender child to start using the bathroom of the opposite sex.

Rachel del Guidice: We’re joined today on The Daily Signal Podcast by Vernadette Broyles. She is an attorney for Pascha Thomas and the president and general counsel for the Child and Parental Rights Campaign. Can you tell us about her case and why you filed a lawsuit in the first place?

Broyles:
What we ended up filing is actually a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights of the United States Department of Education because we recognize that that was an avenue for her to get relief without having to go through the rigors and the terror and the horrors of a federal court litigation system. …

It was a bit of a strategic decision on our part for various reasons. But we also understood that President Donald Trump had changed the atmosphere in the Department of Education for these kinds of complaints, and they were receptive. So we took that route, which is, frankly, less stressful on the family.

del Guidice: For those who aren’t as familiar with Pascha’s case, can you start from the beginning and give a bird’s-eye view of what happened in her case? Why you filed a lawsuit and her story essentially.

Broyles:
Yes. So in 2017, a group of families had discovered that the city schools of Decatur had effectively implemented a policy that allowed students to access privacy facilities, bathrooms, locker rooms, showers in accordance with their gender identity rather than their sex. So it was allowing persons of the opposite sex into these facilities. It was all done in the dark. Unfortunately, by the time we caught hold of it, the statute of limitations for some things had passed.

However, they began to advocate with the school board to expose this and to encourage them to rescind this policy.

In the midst of that, and after a couple of school board meetings that were highly publicized … and during one of the school board meetings, there was a witness that warned, “This policy is going to be used by boys to access girls and private facilities for mischievous purposes.”

Literally one month later, we understand that a gender fluid boy was allowed access into a girls’ bathroom in a elementary school and sexually assaulted Pascha’s daughter.

Once we learned of this and interfaced with her and so forth, ultimately, we then filed the complaint under Title IX with the United States Department of [Education] Office for Civil Rights and that’s where it’s pending right now.

del Guidice: What’s next for the case, what could happen, what do you potentially forecast [and] what may happen down the road?

Broyles:
Well, we understand that the case has garnered a tremendous amount of interest within the Department of Education and they are taking quite a bit of time to investigate this.

I suspect that there’s a lot of internal conflict over it. There are still actually some more witnesses potentially to be interviewed. So we don’t know when the decision’s going to come down.

Of course Ms. Thomas retains the right, if she so chooses, after a decision is made and depending upon what happens, if she doesn’t feel like she has been given appropriate relief, she would still retain the right to bring a federal court action for violation of Title IX and violation of equal protection for the sexual assault and for sexual discrimination.

So she still has a number of … arrows in her quiver, and we’re following this first step to see what happens here.

del Guidice: What, if anything, can you share about how this little girl is doing, how her family is doing right now? How are they holding up?

Broyles:
This has been very, very hard on them. … What we couldn’t have shared is that the school had called the Department of Family and Children’s Services on this mother when this happened. They made a report that in truth was a smoke screen, in my view, concerning her essentially poverty.

This is a vulnerable mom. She’s a single mother, African American, low socioeconomic financial scale. And I think they recognized that. So they brought an economically-based report that was extremely intimidating, extremely, on her. So it has been very, very hard on them.

del Guidice: … Correct me if I’m wrong, but it almost seems like there’s some social profiling going of the mother here in this case to address this when that’s not the—

Broyles:
The school system wanted this case to go away. This case was exposing the very risk that we were warning them about, and they really wanted, I believe, this mother to go away and treated her … her horribly, so shamefully, and did not want to meet with her.

To this day, Superintendent David Dude has never met with her, did not want to. And of course they were forced to meet with her, but the dismissive manner in which she and her daughter were treated was shameful. So yes, I think there was some.

del Guidice: That is tragic. So if parents face a similar situation as Pascha has and find out their school now has a transgender policy that allows children born the opposite sex to use the same sex facilities, bathrooms, locker rooms, what have you, is there anything that parents can do?

Broyles:
Yeah, there’s a number of things that parents can do. The most important thing that parents can do right now is to be very present. Look and see what clubs are meeting in your school. If there’s a Gay-Straight Alliance, pay attention. A lot of times the activism is coming through there. Ask your children what’s actually happening on the ground because there could be a policy quietly that’s in place.

If you have any suspicions that a policy has quietly been implemented through some sort of quiet channels, put forth an open records request. … [In] every state in the nation they have open record laws and sunshine laws, and we have templates to put forth the open records request. Find out exactly what’s going on.

Parents have a right to notice if there’s a change in policies … that affect your child, you have a right to notice. And if it was done in violation of your Open Meetings Act or some equivalent state law, you might have a cause of action to undo that, if you catch it in time.

… A second way is in the federal arena agency, of course, to file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights. Now, it is helpful to have an attorney, truthfully, and we have filed on Pascha Thomas’ behalf, but one does not have to have an attorney. So you can get advice from attorney and then file it yourself.

Thirdly, is usually using the federal court system. My law partner and I, and the Child and Parental Rights Campaign, have done a rigorous analysis of the case law, and we’ve come to the conclusion that under the 14th Amendment fundamental parental rights doctrine, due process, fundamental parental rights, that there is a case to be made that what schools are doing is crossing the line.

On the one hand, the case law says that schools have the right to determine curriculum, the use of facilities, and to regulate the environment of their school.

However, there is a line of cases in different parts of the country that says when schools begin to pry into private family matters, begin to directly interfere with the relationship, the decision-making of parents over their children, or begin to coerce children to affirm a belief system that’s contrary to their family’s beliefs, their parents’ beliefs, in violation over their parents’ objections, that it crosses the line now into interfering with the legitimate domain of the parents and the right of parents to be able to direct the care and upbringing of their child and education of their child.

So … after this analysis, we do believe that there is some opportunity for exploiting that. Particularly now that we’re seeing these materials coming out by GLSEN and [Human Rights Campaign], and so forth, that is tutoring teachers and counselors to find ways to circumvent or avoid informing parents about socially transitioning children. These are medical decisions, these are mental health decisions, which lie with parents. I think that that would really bolster a claim.

And then if you have conscripted speech pronoun usage, I think there’s a case to be made that we’re now indoctrinating children. We have captive audiences that are being conscripted to affirm a false worldview, or certainly a worldview that is legitimately contrary to many parents’ beliefs and understanding of science, and that schools have overstepped their bounds and we need to hold them accountable through actions.

del Guidice: What about curriculum? You mentioned parents’ rights—

Broyles:
Legal actions, excuse me.

del Guidice: Yeah. When it comes to curriculum, do parents have any legal recourse? We were talking about that when it comes to schools and what steps they should … but how can parents address a curriculum if they see their kid bring something home, a book they’re reading, what does that action look like?

Broyles:
Curriculum is a very tough area right now. Unfortunately … because of the Fields decision and the Brown vs. Hot, Sexy, and Safer decision out of the … of the 9th Circuit and out of the 1st Circuit, it has really set back parental rights in the area of curriculum.

So right now, the case law is saying that schools have the authority to set curriculum and just because curriculum has material that is objectionable to parents, the parents really don’t have the right to come in and try to change the curricular decisions of the school. So it’s in a very tough state.

However, what my law partner and I are beginning to question is there’s got to be an outer limit to that and whether we have hit that outer limit in the area of transgender ideology where … you’re going beyond simply exposing children to information by having them read a book, having them learn about something that you might not want them to, to coercing affirmation.

Particularly when you’re actually having them engage in activities that reflect, “I accept this as true,” and if it can be shown to have a harmful effect on them physically. If it’s facilitating social contagion, if it’s facilitating children walking down a path that leads to sterilization, interference with their healthy body development, their fertility, and even the loss of healthy body parts.

If that case can be made, and the foundations of this ideology can be attacked, I think we’ve left the ideology in place for too long. I think we need to actually attack its roots in some case, in some public form, and make a record of that.

I find myself wondering if this might be the case where we can say, “The right of schools to choose curriculum is not infinite. It has an outer boundary, and we’ve hit it.” When it begins to harm children, it begins to deceive children, it begins to indoctrinate children, then that’s where it needs to stop, and we need to push it back.

del Guidice: What alternatives would you suggest to parents who don’t want their children to be subjected to a public school education as this issue becomes more and more prevalent? What suggestions do you have for parents?

Broyles:
The easiest response is choose private school because in private school you have far more control; far, far, far, far more control over what happens.

I don’t know if parents … understand this, public schools are protected from most lawsuits, particularly state lawsuits under a doctrine called sovereign immunity, at least in Georgia. And I believe it’s probably very, very similar in most states.

Your child can be beaten to death by another kid at school and it is almost impossible to sue the school for liability under the protections of sovereign immunity for schools. At least in Georgia, and I suspect that most states are pretty similar.

You have to find a federal hook in order to be able to successfully sue schools for the very most part. There’s some exceptions like violations of the Open Meetings Act and things like that, procedural issues.

You lose a great deal of control.

Private school, homeschool. But you know what? Not everybody can afford this. Or as a matter of principle you say I paid taxes, and so I have a right to send my children there, and then my answer is this, “Be very, very present.” Twofold handed. Be very, very present.

I … facilitate and help organize organizations that will have a ameliorative effect on the school. A Bible club. An “empower girls” club. A Fellowship of Christian Athletes club. … Other clubs that would be able to speak with opposing voices because students have free speech rights. Be very, very present because I really believe so much of this is done in the dark because there’s a recognition on the other side that if it’s understood what they’re doing, parents would fight back.

So if you make it clear, “I’m present. We’re present, we’re watching, we’re informed, we’re prepared to act,” I have this feeling that that would dis-empower the bullies, and put them a little bit more on their heels.

del Guidice: Final question, you are involved in the Child and Parental Rights Campaign. You’re the president and general council. Can you give us a sneak peak on how you started this campaign and what you guys are up to right now?

Broyles:
Oh, wow. I was a very happy family law practitioner for 13 years … after having been a prosecutor for a while on a commercial litigator. And I got broken for normal with the Pascha Thomas case, and what happened in Decatur. … I hit this wall. I could not have it that this was happening to our children.


I have a [15-year-old daughter] and a 19 year old son … and I just knew I could not be in this world comfortably. I could not coexist with this madness, with this child abuse. It is child abuse. I was a guardian ad litem for 12 years. I represented the best interest of children in high-conflict custody divorces. I went to bat for them in all kinds of cases, and I just could not coexist with this evil.

Long story short, early in the year I made a decision to begin to shutter my private practice and joined up in partnership with Mary McAlister, and we’ve just hired a paralegal and we’re just going live like now with our website. …

The whole point is to begin to represent and defend parents. To be able to guard their children against the harms of gender identity ideology, whether it’s in cases in the courtroom, or it’s advocacy with legislation, or before school boards, or just getting out information and speaking and activating people in the public square. We want to be there.

del Guidice: Where can listeners follow your work if they want to get involved and read the research, the work that you’re doing?

Broyles:
Sure. So our website [has] just gone live and it’s www.childparentrights.org.

del Guidice: Awesome. Vernadette, thank you so much for being with us today.

Broyles:
You are so welcome.
---------------
Rachel del Guidice (@LRacheldG)is a reporter for The Daily Signal. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, Forge Leadership Network, and The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program.

Tags: Rachel del Guidice, The Daily Signal, interviews, Vernadette Broyles, Mom Fights for Justice, After Her Daughter Claims, Gender Fluid Child, Assaulted Her in Bathroom 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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