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

Thursday, May 24, 2018

2018: The Surprising Republican Opportunity

by Newt Gingrich: Despite the Democratic hopes for a “blue wave”, there is good reason to be optimistic about Republicans’ chances in the 2018 midterm elections – and the 2020 elections as well.

I think Republicans stand to gain four to six seats in the Senate, and while we may lose some seats in the House, we will still keep control. I think we could potentially do even better – and there are plenty of reasons to support this belief.

Every Republican candidate should pay attention to – and be very encouraged by – the recent Reuter’s poll that found Republicans leading the 2018 generic ballot. According to Reuters, 39 percent of registered voters, when asked last week, reported that they would vote for Republicans in November. This is compared to 36.7 percent who said they would support Democrats. This more than 2-point lead is significant when you consider that in early April Democrats were leading by more than 10 points. A swing of 12 points is a big deal.

I have no doubt the Republican surge is happening because the left-wing media is finding it harder and harder to ignore the positive outcomes of the Trump administration’s policies. As I point out in my new book, Trump’s America: The Truth About Our Nation’s Great Comeback, under President Trump, we have seen ISIS effectively destroyed, we have seen the biggest tax cut in 31 years, the lowest unemployment rate in 17 years – the lowest Black unemployment rate in our history – and one of the healthiest, robust stock markets in decades.

Furthermore, on May 21 Gallup reported that Americans’ optimism about the ability to find good jobs is at a record high. According to Gallup, “67 percent of Americans believe that now is a good time to find a quality job in the U.S., the highest percentage in 17 years of Gallup polling. Optimism about the availability of good jobs has grown by 25 percentage points since Donald Trump was elected president.”

This finding, combined with the dividends from more than a year of Republican leadership, totally validate the Trump administration’s economic policies and totally repudiate the arguments of the so-called experts and left-wing politicians and pundits who have spent the last 17 months misleading the American people about how the economy works. (By the way, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta is estimating 4.1 percent economic growth for the second quarter of 2018. In 2016, these same experts said this was nearly impossible).

The fact is, when you combine the massive Trump-Republican deregulation effort, the tax cuts, and a Republican agenda that is being fueled and guided by innovation, America’s future looks very bright. By virtually every major metric, America is becoming great again – and Americans are starting to feel it.

However, as I also discuss in Trump’s America, the comeback is not guaranteed. Republicans – officials and citizens alike – must realize that we are in a real fight. It is a political-cultural civil war. The forces on the Left are bitterly opposed to President Trump and those who support him because they genuinely want to change this country into something other than America. They see their supposed blue wave collapsing, and they will not go down quietly.

This is not a fight that will end in a compromise. One side will win, and one side will lose. Republicans must not get complacent or allow their enthusiasm or energy to falter. Every time a Republican candidate is asked by media about the supposed blue wave, they should push back. They should point out every way that Republicans have made – and will continue to make – life better for all Americans.

Republicans everywhere should take the recent improvement in American attitudes as a clear signal to continue pushing forward with smart, common sense solutions that make Americans’ lives better. The Left will continue to try to wage niche social fights fueled by identity politics and zany socialist principles.

Let them.

Republicans must stay above the nonsense, fight the fights that matter, and keep delivering good outcomes for the American people. This is the only pathway to success in 2018 and beyond.
----------------------
Newt Gingrich is a former Georgia Congressman and Speaker of the U.S. House. He co-authored and was the chief architect of the "Contract with America" and a major leader in the Republican victory in the 1994 congressional elections. He is noted speaker and writer. The above commentary was shared via Gingrich Productions.

Tags: 2018, Surprising Republican Opportunity, Newt Gingrich, commentary To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

US Has Leverage in Dealings With Iran, North Korea

Dr. Victor Davis Hanson
by Dr. Victor Davis Hanson: There has been a lot of misinformation about both getting out of the so-called Iran deal and getting into a new North Korean agreement. The two situations may be connected, but not in the way we are usually told.

Getting out of the Iran deal did not destroy trust in the U.S. government. Our departure from the deal does not mean that North Korea cannot reliably negotiate with America, although negotiations were stalled this week when President Donald Trump canceled a summit meeting with Kim Jong Un that had been planned for June 12 in Singapore

In 2015, the Iran deal was not approved as either a Senate-ratified treaty or a joint congressional resolution. Had the deal been a treaty, Trump could not have walked away from it so easily and with so little downside.

Former President Obama knew that he did not have majority congressional support for his initiative. Therefore, he desperately sought ways to circumvent the constitutionally directed authority of the Senate and redefine a treaty as a mere executive order

Obama got the deal approved by the Iranians in part by paying them ransom for hostages through huge nighttime cash transfers.

A cynical North Korea knew only too well that in the past, President Obama either entered into agreements or avoided them based on his therapeutic notion that human nature was both changeable and essentially noble.

The North Koreans now seem worried that a more unpredictable Trump has a quite different, pessimistic and tragic view that humans are predictably capable of almost anything -- if not strongly deterred.

After Trump's rejection of the Iran deal, North Korea now concedes that it cannot cajole a flawed agreement with the current U.S. president, who is mercurial rather than scripted in his reactions.

North Korea is the stealthy and illegal supplier of ballistic missile and nuclear weapons technology to Iran. Should North Korea enter into a detente with the West, Iran might lose a rogue nuclear patron -- one of the keys to its efforts to get a bomb.

Tough international sanctions work slowly. But despite occasional cheating, they do in the end work well enough to injure economies. The tragedy of the 2015 Iran deal was that an embargoed Tehran had been brought to the brink of social and economic chaos before the deal was struck.

Had the global boycotts continued, Iran might not have had either the cash or the public calm to spend vast fortunes simultaneously on nuclear proliferation, global terrorism and proxy wars in Lebanon, Syria and Yemen. Unfortunately, the Iran deal ensured Iranian nuclear proliferation after sanctions had been inhibiting it.

Iran looked at the sweetheart 2015 deal as a rescue. Before Trump canceled it, Iran had planned to use the deal for the next decade to regroup, to earn billions in foreign exchange as sanctions ended, to spread its influence throughout the Middle East, and to ready itself to produce bombs in 2025.

Then, when the agreement expired, Iran would have been far richer, more technologically sophisticated, far more powerful in the region -- and far more likely to get more advanced bombs.

In both the Iran deal and a potential North Korea deal, the United States has enormous leverage -- and it should never forget that fact.


Global sanctions can wreck the relatively small and vulnerable Iranian and North Korean economies. Even American sanctions alone and the ripples from them can injure Tehran and Pyongyang.

The U.S. can also deter Iran and North Korea in a variety of other ways.

New American efforts at missile defense can nullify some of their offensive capability.

Regional neighbors and allies of the United States -- Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt -- have the ability to go nuclear themselves. Yet these pro-American nations stay non-nuclear only because of the restraints imposed upon them by the U.S. That is a condition that in the future can be recalibrated to fit the behavior of Iran and North Korea.

Without China, neither Iran nor North Korea can obtain the diplomatic cover or the technological support needed to build a sophisticated nuclear missile arsenal. And China can be convinced not to endanger its lucrative commerce with the West for the sake of irritating the United States and Europe with rogue nuclear proxies.

Finally, Russia is a regional neighbor of North Korea and Iran. It has no strategic self-interest in having two unhinged nuclear countries nearby.

Before the onset of the hysteria about Russian "collusion," the United States and Russia discussed areas of mutual benefit, such as limiting the number of dangerous third-party nations with nuclear weapons.

For all the evil of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the potential evil of a nuclear Iran and North Korea is greater. It is time to talk about mutual strategic interests with the Russians to nullify a North Korean and Iranian nuclear threat.

In sum, for all their obnoxious bluster, the rogue governments of North Korea and Iran are more vulnerable than ever.
-----------------------------
Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow, classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He can be read at PJMedia and his website. He shared this article on Townhall.com

Tags: Victor Davis Hanson, US, Leverage in Dealings, Iran, North Korea 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 Cancels Summit, Comey's Grandchildren, About That Poll

Gary Bauer
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Trump Cancels Summit - by the antics of North Korea's rogue regime, President Donald Trump today cancelled the planned June summit with dictator Kim Jong Un.  The Hermit Kingdom has been sending mixed messages for days about what it is really prepared to do.

But after the latest outbursts directed against Vice President Mike Pence, President Trump called Kim's bluff. In a letter, the president essentially told Kim to get back to him when he is serious about meaningful talks.

Comey's Grandchildren - James Comey's book sales must be lagging.  His tweets yesterday morning were good examples of over-the-top attention seeking.  Here's what he wrote:



"Facts matter. The FBI's use of Confidential Human Sources (the actual term) is tightly regulated and essential to protecting the country.  Attacks on the FBI and lying about its work will do lasting damage to our country.  How will Republicans explain this to their grandchildren?

"Dangerous time when our country is led by those who will lie about anything, backed by those who will believe anything, based on information from media sources that will say anything.  Americans must break out of that bubble and seek truth."
Wow! Someone really has an overinflated sense of self-importance.  And it seemed to me like he was referring to the Obama/Clinton years in that last tweet.  But let's ponder Mr. Comey's pontifications for a moment.

This former FBI director allowed a presidential candidate and former secretary of state to get away with the "extremely careless" handling of classified material.  He allowed all of her aides who knew about it to avoid justice too.

He failed to empower a grand jury, and he never seized key evidence even when it became apparent that Hillary's co-conspirators were destroying evidence

He leaked FBI memos for the stated purpose of exacting revenge.  He wanted his professor friend to leak the information to the media in order to secure the appointment of a special prosecutor to harass the man who fired him.

That's exactly what happened, and it has hobbled our newly-elected president for 18 months.  He misled Congress.

His key deputies -- Andrew McCabe, James Baker, Peter Strzok -- were driven by raw partisanship and all have been fired or demoted.  Either Comey winked at their behavior and looked the other way or he was such a poor manager he had no idea what they were doing.

Comey allowed the FBI to be so politicized by the Obama Administration that no matter how many murderous jihadists yelled "Allahu Akbar" before they killed us, FBI spokesmen still struggled to find a motive.  They turned "See something, Say something" into a joke.

By the way, several FBI agents are reportedly begging Congress to subpoena them so they can tell their stories about the abuses they witnessed under Comey.

With an abysmal record like that, I think Mr. Comey is the one who should be worried about explaining things to his grandchildren.

Media Malpractice - In the media's rush to be first, much of what is reported often turns out to be wrong.  For example, when Jared Kushner had his security clearance suspended, the media eagerly wrote stories speculating about how much trouble he was in, how it might be proof of collusion and how he might be headed to prison.

Well, yesterday, Kushner got his permanent security clearance. So it turns out that everything the media wanted us to believe was completely wrong. The intelligence community would not clear a top White House aide if they had any concerns about collusion with a foreign power.

About That Poll. . . Earlier this week, I referenced an outlier poll on the generic ballot for control of Congress. It stood out because Democrats have been leading all year long, in some cases by double digits.  While individual polls are just snapshots in time, several recent polls confirm that Democrats are losing their lead

I don't know if this latest poll showing Republicans up six points history is not on the GOP's side.

But I was thinking last night about factors that might explain a sudden pop in support for the GOP.

For starters, the economy is improving and wages are up for the first time in a long time.  That is one possible explanation.  But I also wonder if it has anything to do with the issues that have been driving headlines in recent days.  Consider this:

In the past week, the president's political opponents have defended Iran when he walked away from the nuclear deal.

They defended Hamas when it attacked Israel.

And now they are defending MS-13 gang members after Trump called them animals.

Avowed socialists far-left progressives have won several Democrat primaries.

I realize this is no longer the same country that elected Ronald Reagan in two landslide victories.  But I don't think we are Venezuela yet either.
-------------------
Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

Tags: Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, Trump Cancels Summit, Comey's Grandchildren, About That Poll To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Media Is Avoiding Santa Fe School Shooting Because Texas Students Don’t Want Gun Contro

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)
by Genevieve Wood: Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, says students from the high school near Houston where the deadly shooting occurred told him they don’t believe more gun control is the way to make schools safer.

In an interview in his Senate office Tuesday with The Daily Signal, Cruz said support for the Second Amendment in Texas is why CNN and other media outlets aren’t giving these students the kind of wall-to-wall coverage that followed the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Cruz also talked about why the Senate should work full workweeks and potentially skip the August recess to get more done. From making tax reform for individuals and small businesses permanent to repealing Obamacare’s employer mandate, the Texas senator said plenty of legislative priorities could be passed with a simple majority and Republicans should take advantage of the relatively rare opportunity of being in charge in Washington.

Cruz also applauded President Donald Trump both for listening to many views and for standing up to much of official Washington and fulfilling his promises to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and get America out of the Iran nuclear deal.

Watch thefollowing video of the full interview below. This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.

Genevieve Wood: Sen. Cruz, thank you for sitting down with The Daily Signal. We appreciate it.

Sen. Ted Cruz: Always glad to be with you.

Wood: Let’s start first with our home state of Texas. A tragedy happened last week at a high school in Santa Fe. What are you hearing from folks on the ground there?

Cruz: The shooting Friday morning was just horrific. Santa Fe is a town that is about 30 miles outside of Houston, which is my hometown, about 30 minutes from my house. I was at home Friday morning when the shooting occurred, and I spent the entire day in Santa Fe.

At this point, we know that this deranged gunman, this young man who was a student at the school, he came in at 7:30 in the morning with a shotgun and revolver, and he murdered 10 people—eight students and two teachers. He injured an additional 13.

It was truly horrific. I spent a great deal of time with law enforcement officers, teachers, with parents, with students. The shock and trauma, it’s powerful. I went to the hospital and visited with some of the students who had been wounded.

I remember one particular hospital room, where there was a young man named Clayton who had been shot in the leg and he’d been shot in the arm. He’d just come out of surgery and he was conscious and in good spirits. Clayton is a bull rider and also a pole vaulter. I asked him what his best height was, and he said 13 and a half feet.

It was his left elbow that had been shot pretty badly. He had pins all up and down his left arm. I asked him, “Are you a lefty or are you a righty?” He said, “I’m a lefty.” He just smiled and said, “But I’ll learn to ride bulls with my right hand.”

Wood: Great spirit.

Cruz: It was that kind of—even in the face of horror—that spirit of hope and optimism. Probably a dozen students were there in that hospital room visiting Clayton, most of whom had been at the school. The agony the parents went through, I mean, that’s every parent’s nightmare. You send your daughter, your son off to school that morning, and they never come home.

Wood: Many parents, obviously in Texas but across the country, are asking, “Should I be worried about any of this?” Where does this move us in the whole issue addressing school safety?

Cruz: Well, listen. There have been too dang many of these. We’ve seen them over and over again, whether Santa Fe, or Parkland, or just six months ago in Texas, Sutherland Springs, the worst church shooting in the history of our country. I’ve too many times gone and cried with and held and comforted and prayed with the victims of these shootings.

Something’s wrong. When we were kids, this wasn’t a part of going to school. You might worry about getting a black eye at school or something, but you didn’t worry about someone, some lunatic coming in and shooting and murdering as many people as they could. That was not part of school.

Wood: And you have a lot of folks saying mental health problems here are an issue, and violence we see in video games and movies and all the like. But so, what do we do about that?

Cruz: I think there’s a lot we can do about it. You can focus on schools, but you can focus on also gun violence more generally. On schools, it was interesting: We’re in that hospital visiting with those students. I was there with the governor of Texas [Republican Greg Abbott], the two of us were there. We asked: “What’s the answer? What should we do?” And then we just shut up, we just listened.

And it was really striking. Out of a dozen students who just hours earlier had been in this shooting, every one of them said the answer is not gun control. They said, don’t take our guns. They said if you take our guns, it won’t make us safer, it will just mean the killers and murderers have guns.

A lot of the students there said, “Well, maybe more metal detectors in schools. Maybe more armed police officers in schools, so that you’re able to stop something like this when it happens.” Several of the students brought up that they thought teachers should be able to be armed.

One student who was there, he was in the adjoining classroom … he said his teacher was a former Marine, who was trained to handle a firearm, obviously, in the Marines. He said he wished his teacher had been armed; he might have been able to stop the killer before he killed so many people.

Those are the ideas that the students were suggesting. Now I will say, it’s fairly striking that, you look at the mainstream media, CNN, after the Parkland shooting, it was round-the-clock coverage of the students calling for aggressive gun control because that happens to be the political agenda of most of the media. In this case, where the students aren’t calling for that, suddenly … the media isn’t interested in covering it.

Wood: They’re not as interested. And you know, this is so much of a local issue, a state issue. But is there something at the federal level that …

Cruz: There’s a lot that can be done and should be done. Just a couple of months ago, in the federal budget deal, we included $2.5 billion of funding that could be spent on school safety, could be spent on things like metal detectors and police officers.

Things like examining the footprint of a school and reducing the number of entrances and exits, so that you don’t have—this shooter came in essentially a back door of an annex, where the art [class] was. If you had just one or two entrances where you had metal detectors and armed guards …

Wood: The way you have in this building [the Dirksen Senate Office Building].

Cruz: The way you have—

Wood: Several entrances were closed when we tried to enter here today.

Cruz: In this building … there are a ton of buildings where [you have] one or two entrances, and you have a security point to keep people safe. I think that’s something that should be examined closely.

I also think that there’s a lot more we can do going after violent criminals. Inevitably, people say, “We’ve got to do something.” That’s right, we do have to do something. But we need to do something that works. The proposals from Democrats, of taking away the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, they don’t work. They’re not effective in reducing violent crime.

If you look at the jurisdictions across the country with the strictest gun control, almost inevitably they have among the highest crime rates, the highest murder rates. It’s actually what the students told me on Friday is true, that when you disarm the law-abiding citizens, then it means the criminals are the ones that have guns.

If you want to stop these kinds of crimes, there are things we can do. In 2013, I introduced legislation along with Chuck Grassley from Iowa, it was called the Grassley-Cruz legislation. It targets violent criminals. On the school safety front, it provided $300 million in additional school safety funding, funding that maybe could have made a difference preventing Parkland, preventing Santa Fe, if there were additional officers there.

Sadly, Grassley-Cruz, the Democrats filibustered it. They didn’t allow it to pass into law. We’ve got a majority of senators voted for Grassley-Cruz, but the Senate Democrats, [then-Minority Leader] Harry Reid and the Democrats demanded 60 votes and they killed it.

But not only that, Grassley-Cruz focused on the bad guys. If you look at Sutherland Springs, it was already contrary to federal law for that gunman to have a firearm. He had a felony conviction, a domestic violence conviction. But the Obama administration never reported his conviction to the background check database, so it was never in the database.

Grassley-Cruz required an audit to make sure that every conviction is in that database, so the database doesn’t have holes. And it required the Department of Justice to prosecute felons and fugitives who tried to illegally buy firearms.

What that means is, if Grassley-Cruz had passed into law, if the Democrats hadn’t filibustered it, the shooter at Sutherland Springs, when he tried to illegally buy that gun, he would’ve been arrested, he would have been prosecuted, and he would have been in federal jail instead of murdering innocent men, women, and children at that beautiful church in central Texas.

Wood: Would you consider reintroducing Grassley-Cruz? Is that something that could come back?

Cruz: It is, and I have reintroduced it. I’m pressing for it. Let’s take it up for a vote. Let’s pass it into law. Let’s focus on what actually works. The odd thing is, the media and many Senate Democrats, they aren’t interested in what works to reduce crime.

Sutherland Springs is another shooting they never like to talk about, because what stopped that shooting was another citizen. Stephen Willeford, law-abiding citizen, lived a block away from the church, who heard about it, ran over barefoot with his AR-15 and engaged the gunman. And ultimately saved many, many lives. Far too often what stops a bad person is a good person with a gun.

But that’s not what the media wants. They want to ban firearms for law-abiding citizens. If you want to stop violent crime, focus on the criminals. That’s something I’ve led the effort to do in the Senate. That’s something I’m going to continue leading the effort on.

Wood: You also have teamed up with some other senators who recently said there are a number of things that we need to do instead that aren’t getting done. I think you sided with maybe 16 other senators that sent a letter … to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saying, “Why don’t we work on Monday and Fridays? Why don’t we cancel the August recess?” Not only so you can get more nominations through, but we don’t end up against the clock on funding the government bill. Where are you on that? Do you think the majority leader is going to agree?

Cruz: You know, I hope so. But we’ll see. We need to get—

Wood: Why is it so important? Why are things so jammed here?

Cruz: We need to get more done. And we need to take advantage of the opportunity we have. A few weeks ago, I did a presentation to the Senate Republican Conference. I was walking through an elaborate PowerPoint where I said in the last 100 years, we have had unified Republican control of the federal government—Republican House, Senate, and White House—four times, in 100 years. Since World War II, it’s only been a total of eight years that we’ve had unified Republican control. History teaches us this is rare.

This is an unusual opportunity. In my view, we shouldn’t waste a second. We should be working every minute of every hour of every day as long as the voters entrust us with unified control.

Now listen, in the last year and a half, I think we’ve gotten a great deal done. A great deal done that the media never talks about. They’re obsessed with whatever the latest porn star eruption is. I have to say, in Texas nobody cares about that.

If you look at what we’ve gotten accomplished: historic tax cuts, major regulatory reform, lifting job-killing regulations from small businesses and job creators, repealing the Obamacare individual mandate, which is real tax relief to the 6 and a half million Americans who are fined every year by the IRS because they can’t afford health insurance, confirming a record number of constitutionalist judges. All of those are critically important.

We’ve gotten those accomplished, but what I’ve been urging our leadership and my colleagues to do is let’s keep working and delivering. That means, let’s not take recesses, let’s not take vacations. Right now, the Senate typically works a three- to four-day week.

We’re facing historic Democratic obstruction, filibusters. The mantra of the Democrats—they’re listening to their extreme left wing—is fight, obstruct, resist. Resist is what they say over and over again.

Wood: So you don’t think they want to get anything passed?

Cruz: They want nothing. The Democrats’ position right now is “Hell, no.” On everything. They’re captive to the far left wing of their party. That can’t be an excuse for us not to deliver on the promises we made to the voters.

Wood: And as you all have said, we really want to make sure we don’t come up against the clock in September on spending, we want to get more nominations through. Democrats are also blaming Republicans right now for an increase in health care premiums. Is there a chance in your view to go back and revisit complete repeal of Obamacare between now and November?

Cruz: Absolutely. What I did in the presentation to the Republican conference, I walked through probably 30 or 40 bills that different Republican senators had introduced, all across the conference, all sorts of different senators.

I said, look, these are all bills that I think have a real shot at getting 50 votes, at unifying the Republican conference, that will deliver real results. They run the gamut, from things like, on tax reform, making the individual tax cuts permanent, making small business tax cuts permanent, making [business] expensing permanent.

On Obamacare, there are a lot of things that could easily get 50 votes in the Republican conference. Ending the employer mandate, which would be an enormous benefit to jobs and small businesses. Expanding health savings accounts. Letting people who use health savings accounts to pay for premiums. That would effectively reduce premiums 20 to 30 percent like that. Codifying association health plans and short-term limited duration plans, which gives consumers more choices and drives down the cost of health care.

All of those are things we could do. Regulatory reform, codifying the REINS Act that says any economic regulation that imposes $100 million in cost to the economy or more can’t go into effect without an affirmative up-down vote from Congress. Enormously impactful.

What I urged my colleagues to do is, if you look at almost everything we got accomplished last year, we did it through legislative vehicles that only take 50 votes, that can’t be filibustered. So what I encouraged everyone, let’s decide what we want to accomplish as a conference in the next eight months and then let’s take up legislative votes that the Democrats can’t filibuster.

We know they’re going to obstruct. So let’s actually fight to win. Let’s have a strategy of here’s what we want to go to the American people saying, we promised you we would deliver and we did. Here’s our strategy to get it through in the face of Democratic obstruction.

I think there are a lot of members who agree with me on this. This is an active debate within the conference. I hope we’ll follow through and step up.

Wood: We’ll be watching to see. Final question. On the international front, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a big speech this week on what’s next after the Iran deal. One of the things he talked about was the administration believes this probably ought to be a treaty if we’re going to move forward with something. Is that something you think the Senate would take up?

Cruz: I absolutely believe that any deal with Iran should be a treaty. It should be confirmed by two-thirds of the Senate. One of the things that Barack Obama did with the Iran deal is he subverted the constitutional requirements for a treaty because he knew it couldn’t get confirmed.

Remember, the Obama Iran deal was opposed by a bipartisan majority of both houses of Congress. Not only couldn’t he get two-thirds to ratify it, he couldn’t get even a majority of either house.

Whether there’s a new Iran deal or not, I want to say that President Trump in the last two weeks has been incredibly consequential to foreign policy. Two events that occurred within days of each other. One was opening the American Embassy in Jerusalem.

Last Monday, I was in Jerusalem. It was the 70th anniversary of the creation of the modern state of Israel. It was truly a moment of history. When David Ben-Gurion formed the modern state of Israel, 11 minutes later President Harry Truman recognized Israel. America’s leadership with Israel has been powerful for the 70 years since then.

Presidents of both parties have promised they would move our American Embassy to Jerusalem. It’s the capital of Israel, it’s where the government is based, it’s where the Supreme Court [is], it’s where the Knesset is, it’s where the prime minister is, it’s where the president is. And yet, [U.S.] presidents of both parties have failed to follow through.

In the Trump administration, there was a big, active debate and argument about whether and when to move the embassy. The State Department and Defense Department both pressed back against moving the embassy. I was very, very active urging the president to do it and that this was the right thing to do.

Those within the administration who didn’t want the embassy moved, what they said is, “Look, we want to see peace in the Middle East. Moving the embassy makes that harder.” I’ll tell you what I told the president.

I said, listen, No. 1, the impediment to peace is not Israel. No one wants peace more than Israel. It is the Israeli babies that are being murdered. The impediment to peace is as long as the Palestinian leadership refuses to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state and embraces terrorism, I don’t believe there will be peace.

But what I also told the president is that whatever the chances are of peace, they are increased by moving the embassy. Why is that? Because although we can expect, and this did happen, that our Arab allies in the region would protest, we would see cries of dismay from Egypt and the Saudis, the Jordanians. They would have to, they would believe for domestic political reasons they would have to.

What I told the president is that I believe privately they would be incredibly relieved. Because what they would say is that a president strong enough to stand up to the criticism of the global media elite, to say to the world, “We stand by our friends and we stand up to our enemies,” is also a president strong enough to pull out of Obama’s Iranian nuclear deal. For our Arab allies, they recognize that a nuclear Iran is the greatest threat to our security, to their security, to Israel’s security.

So on Monday [May 14], we finally opened that embassy. It was a piece of history. I was there for it. There’s no way I was going to be anywhere else but right there in Jerusalem.

Also, within days [on May 8], the president did the right thing, pulled out of the Iran deal. There was the exact same debate within the administration. The same forces that didn’t want to move the embassy didn’t want to end the Iran deal. Once again, I spent a great deal of time urging the president, this is the right thing to do.

I’ll tell you, I was sitting in the Oval Office with President Trump and with [national security adviser] John Bolton 30 minutes before the Iran speech pulling out of [the nuclear deal] and helping, working with them on that speech.

It’s the right thing to do because the Obama Iran deal sent billions of dollars to the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. It put Iran on an inevitable path to acquire nuclear weapons. The Ayatollah [Ruhollah] Khomeini, when he chants, “Death to Israel” and “Death to America,” I believe him.

What I urged the president to do and what he’s done, and what Secretary Pompeo’s speech said, is under no circumstances ever will the Ayatollah Khomeini be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons. That’s what the position of the United States should be, and I’m very gratified that’s the position the administration is taking.

Wood: Final question for you. As you saw him walk through that decision-making process … President Trump, how does he make these decisions? Why do you think he came down the way he did?

Cruz: Listen, on a great many of these issues, you’ve got multiple voices. You’ve got voices within the Cabinet. You’ve got voices in the business community. You’ve got the media pushing you. I can tell you, I think he hears all of them.

Wood: He just met with the French president [who supports the Iran deal].

Cruz: He did. President [Emmanuel] Macron. And also all of the European leaders were pressing him to remain in the deal. I will say … my office is speaking with the White House every day, and sometimes every hour.

Really, the two things that are consuming my time in the Senate are, No. 1, doing everything I can to encourage the president, encourage the administration on a positive direction, not a negative direction. No. 2, doing everything that I can to bring Republicans together in the Senate to deliver on our promises, not to waste this unique opportunity.

I’ve been very, very pleased that—there’s a lot of chaos, it’s the political circus, it’s insane. In Washington, the media are consumed with the scandal of the day. My approach when I walk down the hallways in the Capitol and the reporters start asking questions, I say, you know what? I don’t comment on tweets, I won’t comment on the random comment of the day.

If you want to talk substance, you want to talk policy, you want to talk tax reform, reg reform, Obamacare, judges, you want to talk national security, Iran, Israel, North Korea, I’ll talk about any of those. But if you want to talk about whatever has the talking heads on cable lighting their hair on fire, I’ve got nothing to say.

I’m not going to defend the indefensible. But what Texans are interested in, they’re not interested in the latest clutch-my-pearls scandal in Washington. They’re interested in real results. More jobs, higher wages, more opportunity, protect our rights.

That’s my focus, and I’ve been very encouraged that the Trump administration, over and over again, the president has been willing to make the right decision after hearing counsel from a lot of people.

Wood: Sen. Cruz, thank you very much.

Cruz: Thank you.
--------------------
Genevieve Wood (@genevievewood) advances policy priorities of The Heritage Foundation as senior contributor to The Daily Signal.

Tags: Genevieve Wood, Heritage Foundation, The Daily Signal, interview, U.S. Senator, Ted Cruz, Texas, Media Is Avoiding Santa Fe School Shooting, Because Texas Students, Don’t Want Gun Control 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 Last Commencement Speech

by Anthony Sacramone: I have never been asked to deliver a commencement address, owing, no doubt, to a lack of worldly accomplishments and my $3,500 per diem. But I know at least three people who have, none of whom is still speaking to me. So, should you find yourself roped into such a commitment, only to realize you haven’t a thing to say that hasn’t already been said by someone from the cast of Goodfellas, please feel free to use this winner of a speech, appropriate for any college in the United States or Canada and available for a nominal fee (cash only). You’re welcome.

What do we mean when we say that this is a “commencement”? Is it truly a new beginning, or merely a paradoxical designation for the end of your education? The answer will depend primarily on how much debt you have accumulated. Seeing as this fine institution gouges the working and middle classes to the same extent as other, even better, fine institutions, I will wager that your best years are behind you.

So where does that leave your mortarboarded selves, other than staring blankly into the void like a gaggle of stupefied monks trapped in a Stanley Kubrick movie? As a great superintendent of higher education once declaimed, “Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life.” I disagree. If such were the case, where would that leave CNN? Or Buzzfeed? Or at least five Cabinet appointees?

What is Truth? When that question was famously asked, Socrates was already dead, and so we knew that Truth was something you only thought you knew, like which Kardashian to follow on Instagram, but was in reality too elusive to grasp, otherwise you’d be like Socrates, which is to say dead. And so continuing education was born.

Allow me to tell a story so inappropriate it can only end in a subpoena. Oh forget it. What can I say that won’t result in a riot or another iteration of that crazy Hitler video where he’s suddenly screaming about piñatas and cultural appropriation? What has happened to our great universities, and even our crappy ones? Where did the spirit of debate, free inquiry, and open exchange of ideas flee to? Flanders? And what ever happened to Flanders? How do you lose a whole damn country? Moreover, could Lincoln and Douglas have held their historic debates in this censorious climate, or would they, too, have been deplatformed, forced to do that stupid Joe Rogan podcast and drop F-bombs every five minutes?

When I think of the great minds who have contributed to the best in American education, I never think of John Dewey, who mumbled, “We always live at the time we live and not at some other time, and only by extracting at each present time the full meaning of each present experience are we prepared—” OH SHUT UP. What a pompous ass. May his decimal system be tossed onto the trash heap of history alongside cyclamates, late-night comedy, and penmanship.

Many of you have spent the past six or seven years working on the unfortunately named bachelor’s degree. But how much of that time was spent in a classroom and not marching up and down the campus like an idiot decrying the presence of others? “Why isn’t there more me?” you screamed at the nullity that is the average state-college administration.

Now be honest: when scientists at Shevchenko Transnistria State University first discovered the microaggression—that slight of one’s feelings, that affront to one’s very being, demonstrated in gestures so asthenic only a demented Sherlock Holmes could detect them—you tittered in nongendered delight. “At last, a stick to beat my oppressors with, and one they will never see coming, like the atomic bomb or Pokémon Go.” You should thank the impersonal forces of chance, fate, and an uninhibited weekend in Punta Cana that you were born at a time when ressentiment opens more doors than a Phi Beta Kappa key, and shallow thinking is the sine qua non of social-media popularity. Who knew of the “safe space” back when Cotton Mather roamed the halls of Harvard, wondering how he could get back at his father, Increase, for his ludicrous name? Do you think Jonathan Edwards, fermenter of the Great Awakening, would have had the courage to test that smallpox vaccine if he’d known Princeton was in New Jersey, home to that slave-owning colonel Lewis Morris? Who alive can answer these questions? Or even ask them with a straight face?

What have you learned in your years here at this fine institution? Probably that your every synaptic discharge is inviolate, like the U.S. Constitution if it hadn’t been rendered obsolete by your every synaptic discharge. “Why should there be freedom of speech when that speech can be used to tsk at my taste in footwear?” you ask between episodes of Broad City. “Why should there be freedom of religion when God produces so many Twitter trolls? Why should there be freedom to bear arms when you can barely bear me? Freedom is for haters!” Then, spitting with rage and soy sauce, you cite that architect of empty grocery shelves Karl Marx: “Democracy is the road to socialism!” And since socialism is the road to ruin, just keep voting for either party and there’s guaranteed a trailer park in your future.

I mourn for this generation. Here you are, heirs of the great Western tradition, of the titanic humanistic thinkers in whose time-honored paths you could be traveling, but instead you’ve set your GPS for Silicon Valley, which makes the biblical Valley of Gehenna look like Walley World. Instead of asking the great questions “Who am I? Why am I here? What is the good life?” you’re too busy googling, “How old do you have to be to sext a senator?” or “What can I do with a degree in Diversity Studies?”—questions that would confound a Parmenides. (I could probably set you straight, but you would not like the process, as it almost certainly means blowing through your parents’ Blue Cross deductible.)

You will meet many challenges once you leave the echo chamber and craven acquiescence of this fine institution. First, there will be people—which is to say, people who are not you. And worse, people who will refuse to affirm your vaunted self-image and who may even contradict you when you evince a knowledge of history so shallow it makes Apple’s new butterfly keyboard look like the Spanish Steps. Then you may be forced to share an Uber with someone who didn’t think Brooklyn Nine-Nine worth reviving or who admits to having seen The Great Wall. Or you may catch a glance of a prom dress that resembles a Han dynasty ruqun but is in fact a Ming dynasty Python robe. Are you prepared to enter the lists of an uproarious history, that malevolent maelstrom with no right side but plenty of commercials for vegetable choppers? I think not.

You’re venturing into the midst of a merciless rabblement for whom success is all that matters. And how is success measured? Facebook friends, virtual followers, digital likes. Equity in Wall Street–traded insecurities. Cryptocurrency. Ever-shifting status symbols and other mirages. Ghosts in machines you keep in your cargo shorts. Your self-worth will be reduced to so much collated data, a mere commodity to people who mean you no good.

So remember: no one on his deathbed ever said he wished he’d spent more time at the chiropractor. Let that sink in. Then get back to me.
---------------------
Anthony Sacramone (@amsacramone) is managing editor of ISI Books and Modern Age journal. Visit him at anthonysacramone.com.  The Intercollegiate Review (IR) is published by Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) and is dedicated to advancing the principles that make America free, virtuous, and prosperous. ISI shared this article with the editor of ARRA News Service.

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Despite Rhetoric, Schools Still Safe For Your Kids

by Tom Knighton: While anti-gun activists are going on and on about how unsafe our children are, building a soapbox out of dead kids to try and make their point, it seems that schools aren’t the murder-death-kill traps they’re described as. Yes, there are some features that need to be addressed in some way, shape, or form, schools are still probably the safest place for your children.

No, really.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) clearly show that school-age children die every year in far greater numbers outside of school in a variety of ways.

Take a look at the raw data. According to statistics compiled by The Washington Post, 80 students died in shootings at elementary, middle and high schools from 2000 to 2016. That includes 11 students who committed suicide.

Considering there are more than 50 million schoolchildren, that makes homicide victims in schools vanishingly rare.

At home or on the streets is where the vast majority of school-age homicide victims meet their end. The CDC data show that during the same time period, a total of 34,227 children ages 5 to 18 died from gunfire. Suicides made up nearly a third of that total, 10,779. Accidental gun deaths accounted for another 1,694 deaths.

In fact, data amassed by the Chicago Sun-Times show that more children ages 5 to 18 became homicide victims in Chicago during 2016 alone — 113 — than perished in school shootings from 2000 through 2016 all across America.

But it is not only guns awaiting our progeny when they are not at school. The CDC statistics show children have died in much greater numbers due to a variety of more exotic causes of death. Some 8,555 drowned during that 17-year period. Of those, 155 were suicides. So more children intentionally drowned themselves than suffered fatal gunshots at school.
Schools are safe places for your kids. It doesn’t get much more simple than that.

The media has pushed this idea that our schools are under attack, but let’s look at the handful of school shootings his year. Now, let’s look at the total number of schools in the nation.

When you compare those two numbers, you see an extremely low percentage experiencing anything of the sort. The risk is actually minimal.

Now, it should be noted that while only 80 died in that 17-year span, we already have a significant percentage of that number in 2018 so far. I get that. Yet let’s say we match that 17-year total in 2018 alone. I pray we don’t, but for the sake of argument, let’s say we do.

That’s 80 kids killed at school.

Yet there were 50.7 million kids attending public school in 2017. Now, I’m not great at math, but I fail to see the statistical significance of 80 people out of a population of almost 60 million people. That’s not a public health crisis, that’s statistical noise.

Don’t get me wrong, I recognize that all of these are real people who were loved by someone. To those loved ones, the loss is a devastating tragedy. I could only imagine what it would be like to lose one of my kids to anything. I get that.

However, we also need to look at the bigger picture when we talk about the risk to our children. While kids may well feel their lives are in danger going to school, that’s an artifact of the media’s attention on Parkland and other shootings, not one based on the actual risks. That’s because the reality won’t push forward the narrative that guns are bad and must be banned.

My guns aren’t going anywhere and in truth? My kids are just as safe as they’ve always been when they’re at school. They have more to worry about from the typical stupid kid stuff than they do about an active shooter entering the building.
---------------
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 and contributes to PJ Media.

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In Calling MS-13 Gang Members 'Animals,' Trump Was Kind

by Larry Elder: President Donald Trump doubled down on calling members of a notorious street gang "animals." Good for him for not backing down and for shining a light on an outrageous phenomenon, especially in Southern California: Latino gangs that target blacks, whether or not they belong to gangs, for death.

Trump, during a roundtable discussion last week with state and local officials from California about so-called sanctuary laws, said: "Deadly and unconstitutional sanctuary state laws ... (offer) safe harbor to some of the most vicious and violent offenders on earth, like MS-13 gang members, putting innocent men, women and children at the mercy of these sadistic criminals."

Margaret Mims, the sheriff of Northern California's Fresno County, talked about the problems caused by the state's so-called sanctuary laws, and that such laws made it harder "to find the bad guys." Mims said, "There could be an MS-13 gang member I know about: If they don't reach a certain threshold (under California's sanctuary laws) I cannot tell ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) about it."

That's when Trump dropped the "A-word."

In response to Sheriff Mims' comments, Trump said: "We have people coming into the country -- or trying to come in; we're stopping a lot of them. But we're taking people out of the country. You wouldn't believe how bad these people are. These aren't people. These are animals. And we're taking them out of the country at a level and at a rate that's never happened before."

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., immediately pounced. The Senate minority leader tweeted: "When all of our great-great-grandparents came to America they weren't 'animals,' and these people aren't either."

But even NBC's Chuck Todd admitted that his media colleagues widely misrepresented the President's remarks, especially the initial media reports that failed to note that Trump was referring to MS-13. "This is where I think that my colleagues do us all harm," Todd said. "You know, cover this legitimately. There is plenty of legitimate stuff to ding him on, if you think he deserves to be dinged on. Just be careful. Don't be sloppy about it." As for the "A-word," Todd said: "A lot of people have called violent anybody animals. Anybody who is a violent criminal, in my book, can get called an animal if they're sitting there mauling, killing and raping people. I don't care where they're from."

Cue the selective outrage. Where was this concern for civility when Hillary "deplorables" Clinton said the NRA reminded her of the "Iranians" and the "communists"? Recall, too, Clinton's own "animals"-type description of some black criminals. In 1996, Clinton said: "We need to take these people on. They are often connected to big drug cartels. They are not just gangs of kids anymore. They are often the kinds of kids that are called superpredators."
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Larry Elder 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. Follow Larry on Twitter @larryelder.

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Clapper Spills The Beans On ‘Spygate’ . . .

. . . It was all a set-up from the get-go.
James Clapper
by Kenneth R. Timmerman: Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper spilled the beans on Tuesday in an exchange with Joy Behar on The View that will undoubtedly make its way into the history books.

The question was whether the FBI had ordered undercover agents to “spy” on the Trump campaign in the spring and summer of 2016, well before Donald Trump had won the Republican nomination for president.

Here is the transcript:

Behar: … So, I ask you, was the FBI spying on Trump’s campaign?

Clapper: No, they were not. They were spying on, a term I don’t particularly like, but on what the Russians were doing. Trying to understand were the Russians infiltrating, trying to gain access, trying to gain leverage and influence which is what they do.

Behar: Well, why doesn’t he like that? He should be happy.

Clapper: Well, he should be.
Clapper’s admission – for that’s what it was – was astonishing: the FBI had in fact infiltrated the Trump campaign and was spying on the candidate and his team.

That’s a first. And it’s on the record.

Remember all the indignation from the deep state when Trump claimed that the FBI had “wiretapped” Trump Tower? While Trump might not have used the term of art, he was right. He and his campaign were the targets of hostile U.S. government surveillance.

Clapper has tried to wrap himself in the flag, spinning his monumental admission as an effort to “protect” the Trump campaign from nefarious influence from bad Russian actors.

But such claims fall flat for one simple reason: whenever the FBI discovers through a counter-intelligence investigation that an American has been targeted by a foreign power, they almost always inform the American to warn them off.

I know. It has happened to me. (More on that below).

So when did the FBI warn the Trump campaign of the hostile Russian attempts to penetrate the campaign?

Certainly not in the spring of 2016, when the FBI detected the first effort to penetrate the Trump campaign by a suspected Russian agent, Joseph Mifsud.

How do we know this? Because in their cockamamie indictment of George Papadopolous, Robert Mueller’s legal team told us that a suspected Russian agent, code-named “the Professor,” twice approached Papadopolous in London with an offer to provide damaging information on Hillary Clinton obtained by the Russian government. Papadopolous then blabbed about the stolen emails at a bar with an Australian diplomat, an event the FBI claims “triggered” the investigation into the Trump campaign.

The next attempt to penetrate the Trump campaign came soon afterwards, when Stefan Halper, a long-time CIA asset, again dangled the Clinton emails to a Trump campaign volunteer, Carter Page. As we learned on Wednesday, Halper also met with top Trump advisor Sam Clovis, in a failed attempt to insinuate his way into the campaign.

But Halper wasn’t acting on behalf of the Russians. As we learned just recently, he was an FBI mole.

Clapper wants us to believe that the intelligence community was protecting the Trump campaign and that the President should thank them.

But the truth is just the opposite. Once the intelligence community detected some type of approach by Mifsud – possibly by a Russian agent, possibly not –- they took no steps to notify Donald Trump or anyone involved in his campaign in order to “protect” our political process. Instead, they launched a classic undercover operation in an attempt to entrap campaign workers, and hopefully the candidate himself, into accepting Russian offers to help them against candidate Clinton.

But this also failed, because there never was any Russian offer. The Russia-collusion spin, jinned up in January 2017 by Clapper, Comey and Brennan, was just a sham, a deception to take our eyes away from what had really been going on.

They wanted to hide the sting operation. And no wonder: it’s called treason, a series of overt and covert acts aimed at overthrowing the duly elected government of the United States.

Who was behind the plot against Trump?

Clearly Clapper was involved; he has admitted as much. Senior officials at the FBI and the DoJ also were involved, but according to their accounts, not until they filed the first wiretapping request with the FISA court in late July 2016.

So what other U.S. intelligence leader would have the power and the authority to engage covert assets operating overseas in an operation against an American political campaign? Only one: CIA director John Brennan.

Both Brennan and Comey have been furiously attacking Trump in recent weeks, as Congressional investigators and the Department of Justice Inspector General gets closer to revealing their illegal acts. I believe they both should be indicted for treason.

In 1996, I was reporting on the Gore-Chernomyrdin commission, which the U.S. and Russian governments established to exchange information on (then) alleged Russian assistance to Iran’s ballistic missile programs.

One of my sources at the time was a Russian diplomat, ostensibly a press officer, who offered hard information on the Russian companies helping Iran that he said had been presented by the Russian government to Vice President Al Gore.

I suspected my “source” was an intelligence officer. But I was able to corroborate his information and found it to be genuine—if embarrassing to Al Gore, who was trying to downplay Russia’s involvement in Iran.

I was not terribly surprised when I got a call from an FBI agent, who asked to meet me in a public park in Georgetown. He proceeded to tell me that the Russian was an intelligence officer the FBI was keeping tabs on, and that I should be careful about his efforts to cultivate me.

I thanked the agent, and promised to let him know if the Russian ever pumped me for information (he did not). The Russian was later targeted by the FBI in March 2001 for his alleged involvement in the Robert Hansen case and quietly left the United States before he could be expelled.

That’s how the FBI is supposed to work. Under Jim Comey and his merry band of partisan hacks, it went woefully astray.
----------------
<Kenneth R. Timmerman shared this article on FrontPage Mag.

Tags: Kenneth R. Timmerman, FrontPage Mag, Former Director, National Intelligence, James Clapper, Spills The Beans, On ‘Spygate’ To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Senate Completes Work on More Nominations, Reform Legislation

ARRA News Service: U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding the work that has been done Senate in the past week:

“We’ve already confirmed two executive branch nominees and will process two more before the end of the week. First up is Jelena McWilliams, President Trump’s well-qualified pick to chair the FDIC Board of Directors. This week, we’ve also seen an impressive proposal to reform the way Congress handles workplace claims, especially claims of harassment. The Democratic leader and I strongly support this proposal, as do our colleagues Senator Blunt and Senator Klobuchar.

“All this comes in addition to two major Senate-passed bills that passed the House this week and are now heading to President Trump’s desk to become law: The legislation championed by our colleague Senator Johnson, which will give terminally-ill patients the right to try experimental drugs that are still making their way through the full FDA approval process. And the major streamlining of Dodd-Frank regulations for smaller lenders and community banks, thanks to the leadership of Senator Crapo. This legislation will help secure access to credit for middle-class families and small businesses -- and the president will sign it just a few hours from now.

“There’s also important activity underway at the committee level. Chairman Barrasso is leading the Environment and Public Works Committee through consideration of measures to improve and expand America’s waterways infrastructure. Chairman Shelby and the Appropriations Committee today have already begun their work on the annual funding bills.

“Following the committee’s robust discussions, I look forward to bringing the appropriations bills they craft here to the Senate floor. And earlier this week, the Armed Services Committee began considering this year’s defense authorization bill. They have a solid foundation on which to build, thanks to the historic agreement reached earlier this year that delivered the highest year-on-year increase in funding for our armed forces in 15 years.

“One bill after another, one confirmation after another, the Senate continues to produce major accomplishments that will directly improve the lives of the American people.

“On that subject -- Yesterday brought yet another piece of exciting news for American workers and middle-class families. The U.S. manufacturer United Technologies announced new plans to invest $15 billion right here in America and hire 35,000 American workers in the next several years. This Fortune 100 company makes a wide variety of engineered products, from jet engines to elevators.

“Now, because of this favorable climate for business growth, investment, and job creation, they are putting billions into research and development and capital investment -- and creating tens of thousands of new job openings. And to help fill some of those job openings, the company is partnering with community colleges, high schools, and other workforce training programs. This all comes on the heels of the company’s other recent investments, like a new 93,000-square-foot facility in Lansing, Michigan and a new 80,000-square-foot facility in Foley, Alabama.

“What’s making all this possible? According to United Technologies’ announcement -- quote – ‘The competitive tax system resulting from U.S. tax reform is encouraging global companies, such as United Technologies, to make long-term investments in innovation in America.’ This announcement is exactly the kind of headline you’d expect to see in an America that is growing again. It’s exactly what you’d expect to happen as Republican policies continue to get Washington D.C. out of the way of American workers and job creators, and let them do what they do best -- build an economy that’s the envy of the world.

“Yesterday’s announcement was no isolated incident. We’re hearing announcements like this from job creators large and small, from national employers to Main Street businesses in my state of Kentucky and all across the nation. Back in 2013, under Democrats’ policy agenda, more than two-thirds of U.S. manufacturers reported that a hostile business climate due to taxes and regulation was a primary obstacle in their way.

“Today, just sixteen months into this unified Republican government, fewer than one in five say that. And this comeback for American manufacturing means new job openings for American workers, more prosperity for our small towns and cities, and higher take-home pay for more middle-class American families.”

Tags: U.S. Senate, Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, Senate Completes Work on More Nominations, Reform Legislation. To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

It Takes A Thief . . .

. . . CNN’s James Clapper on the view admitted to spying on the Trump Campaign (Crossfire Hurricane) but only did it to protect Trump.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

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China Marks Marx Anniversary

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: The Chinese government has sought to honor the birth of Karl Marx (1818-1883) by giving a giant bronze statue of the social philosopher and pseudo-economist to the German city of Trier, his birthplace.

Agreeing that Trier and Marx should be thus honored, local officials shamefully accepted the donation.

Marx was a bad guy. His willfully destructive anti-capitalist theorizing and polemics have been enlisted to enslave and murder many millions of people in the Soviet Union, China, Cambodia, Cuba and elsewhere. The story is told in works like Modern Times and The Black Book of Communism. One effective critique of Marxian ideas may be found in the second volume of Murray Rothbard's History of Economic Thought.

We often hear that Communist implementation of Marxian theory poorly translates "real" communism/socialism/collectivism. No government unswervingly enacts all the ideas and prescriptions of a single intellectual founding father. But there is much in Marx's volumes that openly demands the razing of the division of labor, profit-seeking, and other requirements of civilization.

In one article, Marx scribbled that "there is only one way in which the murderous death agonies of the old society and the bloody birth throes of the new society can be shortened, simplified and concentrated, and that way is revolutionary terror." There's plenty more where this came from.

When a major nation-state gives a town a statue, it's hard to say no. But one needn't accept it at face value. Install it on a base that lists the separate bouts of Marx-inspired mass murder. Or use it as a target in paintball tournaments.

Or just place it in the local cemetery. Where deadly ideologies should go.

This is Common Sense. I'm Paul Jacob.
------------------
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 Barred From Blocking People on Twitter — Judge Rules It's First Amendment Violation

by Tre Goins-Phillips: President Donald Trump is well into his second year in office, and a judge just ruled he can no longer block people from viewing his personal Twitter account.

On Wednesday, a federal district court judge ruled the president cannot block other Twitter users from accessing his account, even though it's his personal handle — @realDonaldTrump — and not the official government page, @POTUS.
Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled that Trump's account is a public forum, and therefore, blocking people with divergent political perspectives is discrimination and constitutes a violation of said individuals' First Amendment rights.

The ruling marks a major victory for the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, the body that brought the lawsuit on behalf of seven people who were blocked from Trump's personal Twitter account presumably because of their political opposition to the Republican leader.
“The president's practice of blocking critics on Twitter is pernicious and unconstitutional, and we hope this ruling will bring it to an end,” Knight Institute executive director Jameel Jaffer said, noting he's “pleased” with the court's decision.
Rather than blocking, Buchwald argued, Trump should simply “mute” users, a setting that blocks Trump from seeing their tweets or responses but doesn't bar them from accessing his account.

“Muting preserves the muted account's ability to reply to a tweet sent by the muting account, blocking precludes the blocked user from 'see[ing] or reply[ing] to the blocking user's tweets' entirely,” she said.

It should be noted Buchwald's ruling applies not just to Trump, but to all elected officials.
It's unclear whether the Knight Institute plans to take action against Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee, or Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.).
----------------
Tré Goins-Phillips is a writer for IJR and previously was a writer for TheBlaze.

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