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

Monday, June 21, 2021

The Lying Left, Iran's New President, Confronting Anti-Semitism


Gary Bauer
by Gary Bauer
: The Lying Left
The left is lying to the American people again. Rep. Ilhan Omar tweeted this nugget of wisdom Saturday:

"Republicans love to create outrage over things that aren't actually happening. People should be asking them, what elementary, middle and high school is teaching Critical Race Theory and why they are spinning false narratives."

Rep. Omar is lying. She knows she is lying.

Left-wing teachers, school administrators and school boards are admitting they are teaching children critical race theory. They are also telling parents that they will have no chance to opt out because the Marxist-based curriculum is "happening in all content areas" and is "woven through all classes."

We have seen published contracts for the curriculum. CNN's Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo are attacking parents for opposing it. So, obviously it's real.

The American left routinely denies reality and lies to the American people, whether it's the humanity of the unborn child or basic biology. Because of the left's warped views, we are now referring to women and mothers as "birthing people."

Why? Because some left-wing social justice warriors insist that "it's not just cis-gender women that can get pregnant and give birth." (Why do women tolerate this insulting nonsense?!)

Remember when Rep. Jerry Nadler said Antifa was a myth? Remember when Joe Biden said Antifa was just an idea, not a real organization?

They can only get away with this insanity because Big Media are covering for them. In fact, NBC's Chuck Todd suggested that the outrage over critical race theory was a "manufactured" distraction by the Republican Party.

Yeah, right. And these are the same people who kept telling us that all the violent riots we saw last summer were "mostly peaceful protests."

With all due respect to Republican leaders, this uprising against left-wing ideology in the schools caught them completely by surprise, just like the Tea Party movement caught them off guard. They are late to the game.

But the left is in full-blown panic mode now because polling shows Marxist critical race theory is tremendously unpopular, and some of the most articulate and vociferous opponents of critical race theory are minority parents (here, here and here).

Iran's New President
The Islamic Republic of Iran elected a new "president" Friday. I put the word in quotes because the "president" has no real power in Iran. The real power in Tehran is, as his title implies, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

That said, Iran's "president-elect" is Ebrahim Raisi, a hard judge and prosecutor who is under official sanction by the United States for his role in the execution of five thousand Iranian dissidents.

Raisi is widely considered a Khamenei loyalist and likely successor to the 82 year-old supreme leader. He's refusing to meet with Joe Biden. He's refusing to negotiate over Iran's ballistic missile program and Iran's support for terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett responded to Raisi's election by warning world leaders to "wake up." Bennett said:

"Raisi's election . . . is a signal to world powers that they need to wake up. . . They must understand who they're doing business with and what kind of regime they are choosing to strengthen. A regime of executioners cannot have weapons of mass destruction."

Bennett is absolutely right. But some in Washington seem to have learned the wrong lesson. According to the New York Times, the Biden Administration views "the next six weeks before Mr. Raisi is inaugurated [as] a unique window to strike a final deal with Iran's leadership."

Here's the bottom line: Any deal with Iran is a bad deal with a regime that cannot be trusted. But as we all know, mistakes are made when things get rushed, and a rushed deal with Iran is guaranteed to be even worse.

By the way, Israel isn't the only country deeply worried about another Biden nuclear deal empowering Iran. Arab states are demanding a say in the talks. They're also insisting that any deal on sanctions relief must deal with Iran's missile program and "destabilizing behavior."

Confronting Anti-Semitism
During a recent interview, former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer discussed the recent conflict with Hamas and the shocking rise of anti-Semitism we've witnessed in recent years.

Dermer denounced the media for its deliberately biased coverage of the Gaza conflict, saying, "It's not gullibility. I think it's more malicious. I think it's an attempt to cast Israel as the evil actor."

He lamented that the "demonization of Jews is a very old problem," and that whatever gains had been made in suppressing anti-Semitism after the Holocaust were fleeting, with many societies essentially reverting back to "a return to the norm of anti-Semitism."

But there is a big difference today. Dermer said:

"The difference now is that the Jewish people have a state, the Jewish people have sovereign power. We have a shield, we have a refuge, we have a voice and we're going to use it. . . We have sovereign power, and we have to use that power."

Dermer is right!

Ragged Old Flag
In a recent opinion piece, singer Macy Gray attacked our American flag. She said it was "tattered, dated, divisive and incorrect." Gray compared it to the Confederate battle flag, and said it "no longer represents democracy and freedom."

Gray added, "It no longer represents ALL of us. It's not fair to be forced to honor it. It's time for a new flag." I won't bother describing the politically correct mess she proposed to be the new flag.

I was furious when I read Gray's outrageous statement. I can only imagine how angry my father, Spike Bauer, would have been if he were alive today. He fought under that flag in the Pacific theater during World War II. And he would fight any man today who disrespected it.

The Stars and Stripes will fly many more years after Gray and leftists like her are long gone and forgotten. But her description of the flag reminded me of Johnny Cash's song Ragged Old Flag. You can look it up online.

It's about a guy who walks into a small town square and notices that the flag is a bit ragged. He tells a local man that the flag has seen better days, and the man tells him all the places the flag has been -- from Washington crossing the Delaware to the Alamo, from Flanders Field to Vietnam.

Here are the last two stanzas:

"In her own good land here She's been abused.
She's been burned, dishonored, denied an' refused.
And the government for which she stands,
Has been scandalized throughout the land.
And she's getting thread bare, and she's wearin' thin.
But she's in good shape, for the shape she's in.

"Cause she's been through the fire before,
And I believe she can take a whole lot more.
So we raise her up every morning,
And we take her down every night.
We don't let her touch the ground,
And we fold her up right.
On a second thought, I do like to brag,
'Cause I'm mighty proud of that ragged old flag."

My friends, we should be proud of that flag, too.
-------------------------------
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, The Lying Left, Iran's New President, Confronting Anti-Semitism TAGS To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

IRS Leak Shows Government Can’t Be Trusted with Gun Owner Data

by NRA-ILA: On June 8, ProPublica published a story titled, “The Secret IRS Files: Trove of Never-Before-Seen Records Reveal How the Wealthiest Avoid Income Tax.” The salacious item focused on how America’s ultra-wealthy navigated the Internal Revenue Code to lessen their tax burden. ProPublica relied on “a vast cache of IRS information,” including individuals’ private tax returns, that it presumably obtained through a politically-motivated government leaker. On June 16, ProPublica published an article based on similar IRS information targeting a candidate for Manhattan District Attorney ahead of the June 22 New York City Democratic primary.

The exact source of the leaked IRS data is unknown. On June 14, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) stated, “Look, either the IRS leaked this, or there was a hack. And my guess is the IRS, somebody at the IRS leaked this in order to affect the tax debate and remind people that there are some very wealthy Americans.”

This episode should prove instructive to gun owners. The leak suggests that government agencies or individuals within them will abuse sensitive information on private citizens in order to advance a political agenda. Moreover, government agencies have shown an inability to secure private data even in the absence of internal malevolence. This understanding should inform all policy debates concerning increased surveillance of the gun-owning public.

Billionaire and gun control financier Michael Bloomberg was one of the wealthy individuals targeted in the leak. A Bloomberg spokesperson responded to the ProPublica investigation in a press release which stated,

The release of a private citizen’s tax returns should raise real privacy concerns regardless of political affiliation or views on tax policy. In the United States no private citizen should fear the illegal release of their taxes. We intend to use all legal means at our disposal to determine which individual or government entity leaked these and ensure that they are held responsible.

For once, Bloomberg is correct. Sensitive data that the government keeps on private individuals, or that private individuals are forced to hand over to the government, should be protected from public disclosure. However, as this case illustrates, the federal government has proven that, despite harsh punishments for leakers, it is not equal to the task.

The last several years have shown that the federal bureaucracy is increasingly the domain of partisan ideologues. Consider the federal bureaucracy’s incessant leaks during the Trump administration. The Federation of American Scientists reported on April 8, 2019 that “Leaks of Classified Info Surge Under Trump,” and that “the number of leaks of classified information reported as potential crimes by federal agencies reached record high levels during the first two years of the Trump Administration.” One need not wear a MAGA hat to understand that the federal bureaucracy is a mostly one-way partisan sieve.

Even when the federal government has every incentive to protect private information, as in the case of the private data of federal bureaucrats, the regime has proven impotent. In 2015, hackers breached the Office of Personnel Management’s records. OPM maintains private data on millions of current and retired federal employees and contractors.

According to a 2016 item in Wired magazine,

The hackers had first pillaged a massive trove of background-check data… OPM’s digital archives contain roughly 18 million copies of Standard Form 86, a 127-page questionnaire for federal security clearance that includes probing questions about an applicant’s personal finances, past substance abuse, and psychiatric care.

The article went on to note, “The hackers next delved into the complete personnel files of 4.2 million employees, past and present. Then, just weeks before OPM booted them out, they grabbed approximately 5.6 million digital images of government employee fingerprints.”

Now consider some of the gun control movement’s favorite policies. While running for president in 2020, Bloomberg sought to “Require every gun buyer to get a permit before making a purchase.” The 2020 Democratic Party platform supported “licensing requirements for owning firearms.” Candidate Joe Biden called for the registration of tens of millions of commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms such as the AR-15. Biden ATF director nominee David Chipman and the gun control lobbying organization he works for (Giffords) also support forcing law-abiding gun owners to register their firearms with the federal government.

All of these schemes would require the government to maintain sensitive information on law-abiding gun owners. The secrecy of this private data would be dependent upon the goodwill of partisan bureaucrats – a thing in which no reasonable person would choose to put their faith.

Moreover, consider ATF and its allies in the legacy media’s constant complaints about the National Tracing Center.

Federal law requires those who purchase a firearm at a gun dealer to fill out a form 4473. This record of the firearm transfer is then stored by the dealer on their premises. This creates a system whereby if a gun is found at a crime scene ATF can trace the firearm to the last retail purchase. However, since the records are stored with each FFL, the system is decentralized in a manner that protects against government abuse of gun owner data.

Gun dealers are required to maintain 4473s for 20 years. When a dealer goes out of business they must send their last 20 years of records to ATF’s National Tracing Center to facilitate firearm traces.

In May, the New York Times groaned,

The gun lobby, led by the National Rifle Association, has for years systematically blocked plans to modernize the agency’s paper-based weapons-tracing system with a searchable database. As a result, records of gun sales going back decades are stored in boxes stacked seven high, waiting to be processed, against every wall.

At the time the New York Times article came out, NRA-ILA pointed out that a “modernized” and easily searchable compilation of the tracing center’s data would amount to a partial firearm registry and facilitate firearm confiscation. Of course, any such “modernization” of 4473 data would also make it easier for malicious actors inside or outside the government to target their political enemies through the disclosure of gun purchase data.

The IRS leak suggests that the federal government is populated with partisans willing to break the law to divulge sensitive information on private citizens in order to push a political agenda. Therefore, gun owners are right to expect that of any scheme to collect gun ownership data would result in a similar abuse of power. As the threat of severe punishment has proven inadequate in stemming politically-motivated leaks, the goal must be to deprive the federal government of this information entirely.
---------------------------
NRA-ILA
Tags: NRA-ILA, IRS Leak, Shows Governmen, Can’t Be Trusted, with Gun Owner Data To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

A Plan to Get Divisive & Radical Theories Out of Our Schools

by Donald J. Trump: For decades, the America-blaming left has been relentlessly pushing a vision of America that casts our history, culture, traditions, and founding documents in the most negative possible light. Yet in recent years, this deeply unnatural effort has progressed from telling children that their history is evil to telling Americans that they are evil.

In classrooms across the nation, students are being subjected to a new curriculum designed to brainwash them with the ridiculous left-wing dogma known as critical race theory. The key fact about this twisted doctrine is that it is completely antithetical to everything that normal Americans of any color would wish to teach their children.

Instead of helping young people discover that America is the greatest, most tolerant, and most generous nation in history, it teaches them that America is systemically evil and that the hearts of our people are full of hatred and malice. Far from advancing the beautiful dream of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. -- that our children should “not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character” -- the left’s vile new theory preaches that judging people by the color of their skin is actually a good idea.

Teaching even one child these divisive messages would verge on psychological abuse. Indoctrinating generations of children with these extreme ideas is not just immoral -- it is a program for national suicide. Yet that is exactly what the Biden administration endorsed recently in a rule published in the Federal Register aimed at inflicting a critical race theory-inspired curriculum on American schoolchildren.

The rule explicitly cites the New York Times’ discredited 1619 Project as a motivation. The Times has described the goal of its endeavor as the “re-education” of the American people, and the project even includes a lesson plan that encourages students to practice “erasing” parts of the Declaration of Independence. The Biden rule also directly cites a left-wing activist and leading proponent of critical race theory whose textbook states, “The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.”

This is what the Biden administration wants to teach America’s children.

The Department of Education rule stems from an executive order Biden signed on his first day in office. Biden’s order abolished the President’s Advisory 1776 Commission I created to honor America’s founding principles, and reversed an executive action I took to stop these depraved theories from being imposed upon federal employees in workforce training sessions.

Thankfully, most Americans oppose this insanity. The left has only gotten away with it until this point because not enough parents have been paying attention and speaking up. But that is quickly changing. From Loudoun County, Va., to Cupertino, Calif., parents are beginning to make their voices heard against the left-wing cultural revolution. What they need now is a plan to actually stop it.

Here are the reforms that every concerned parent in America should be demanding.

First, every state legislature should pass a ban on taxpayer dollars going to any school district or workplace that teaches critical race theory, which inherently violates existing anti-discrimination laws. Inspired by my executive order last year, Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Oklahoma and other states have already taken steps to pass such laws. It needs to happen everywhere — and Congress should seek to institute a federal ban through legislation as well.

Second, each state should create its own 1776 Commission to examine the public school curriculum and ensure that students are receiving a patriotic, pro-American education — not being taught that the United States is an evil nation.

Third, parents have a right to know exactly what is being taught to their children. Last year, many parents had the chance to routinely listen in on classes for the first time because of remote learning. As students return to the classroom, states need to pass laws requiring that all lesson plans have to be made available to parents — every handout, article, and reading should be posted on an online portal that allows parents to see what their kids are being taught.

Furthermore, in many places, there are rules preventing students from recording what teachers say in class. States and school boards should establish a “Right to Record.”

Fourth, parents need to organize locally — in every school district in America — to eliminate “Action Civics” and other versions of the effort to contort traditional civics education into a vehicle for political indoctrination. The left’s new argument is that our “divisions” stem from a lack of “civics education” — a problem they intend to “fix” with lots of new taxpayer money and a redefinition of “civics” in schools, just as they are trying to redefine the meaning of “infrastructure.”

Right now, Congress is working on a $1 billion bill known as the Civics Secures Democracy Act. No Republican should trust the Biden administration with a billion dollars to spend on such programs. Even worse, the legislation threatens to establish a de facto national curriculum for history and civics, effectively bribing states into adopting the left’s anti-American curriculum. It is Common Core all over again -- but much more extreme. And like Common Core, parents must unite to stop this new federal power grab.

Fifth, any parent who objects to the material being taught to their child in public school should get an automatic voucher, empowering them to pick another school of their choice. The government has no right to brainwash students with controversial ideologies against their parents’ will.

Sixth, states need to take back control of their schools of education and credentialing bodies to ensure they are not churning out radicalized teachers. To be clear, the overwhelming majority of our nation’s teachers are some of the most selfless and wonderful people there are — but regrettably, many have graduated from extremely biased education schools and may not even be aware of the degree to which leftist ideology has permeated their curriculum. States should set up alternative credentialing bodies that can certify great teachers who know how to instill a sense of love for America. School districts can then make it a priority to hire teachers with these certifications, especially for English, history, and social studies roles. States could even set up their own versions of Teach for America to get passionate and patriotic young people into the classroom.

Finally, states need to break the tenure monopoly in public K-12 schools. Tenure was originally supposed to protect competent teachers from being subjected to undue political influence; it has turned into a mechanism to protect incompetent teachers who themselves wield undue political influence over our children. Educators who are alienating children from their own country should not be protected with lifelong tenure; they should be liberated to pursue a career as a political activist.

Make no mistake: The motive behind all of this left-wing lunacy is to discredit and eliminate the greatest obstacles to the fundamental transformation of America. To succeed with their extreme agenda, radicals know they must abolish our attachment to the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and most of all, Americans’ very identity as a free, proud, and self-governing people.

The left knows that if they can dissolve our national memory and identity, they can gain the total political control they crave.

A nation is only as strong as its spirit. For our children, we must act before it is too late.
------------------------------
Former President, Donald J. Trump.
Tags: f0rmer president, Donald J. Trump, A Plan, to Get Divisive & Radical Theorie, Out of Our Schools To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Inside Job

Biden gave Putin a list of targets that are off Limits. Hope that didn’t include the nuclear codes?
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

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The Biden No-Go Zones

The Democratic Party won the long march through journalism, but this Pyrrhic victory has meant the destruction of every principle of journalistic integrity liberals ever claimed to champion.
Victor Davis Hanson
by Victor Davis Hanson: In American journalism, there are supposed to be some clear, nonnegotiable third-rails.

One is zero tolerance for overtly racist language and comportment among our movers and shakers. Reporters, for example, for four years damned Donald Trump for his neutralizing summation that there were both “fine people” and extremists mingled among the hordes of protestors during their occasionally violent encounters in Charlottesville, Virginia.

It mattered little to the media that Trump added qualifiers of “many” and “both” sides of the protests:

We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence, on many sides . . . And I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists because they should be condemned totally—but you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists, OK?. Now, in the other group also, you had some fine people, but you also had troublemakers and you see them come with the black outfits and with the helmets and with the baseball bats—you had a lot of bad people in the other group, too.

Selected words from the above quote were recycled ad nauseam as proof Trump was a racist.

Another no-go zone is any hint of contextualizing sexual harassment or assault. No statute of limitations can provide exemption, much less a “she said/he said” defense in the age of “women must be believed.”

The Brett Kavanaugh circus of September 2018 was a reminder that a lack of evidence, credible witnesses, or basic logic is no defense against the 30-year-old charges of alleged teenage sexual misbehavior. Bill Clinton managed to use his progressive credentials as an insurance policy to avoid for months any condemnation that he was a callous womanizer, but finally the press corps found his exploitative appetites too egregious to ignore.

A third zero-tolerance zone is any hint of presidential debility. We were told in the dark days of 1973 that Nixon was non compos mentis, nursing his wounds with drink as his legendary constitution finally cracked under the pressure, making him supposedly unable physically to withstand the impending impeachment. Saturday Night Live made an industry out of Chevy Chase replaying Gerald Ford’s stumbles.

Ronald Reagan was all but declared senile by the press for using index cards in some of his summits and speeches, or putting his hand to his ear and claiming he could not fathom reporters’ gottcha questions amid the din of swirling helicopter blades on the White House lawn.

Finally, lying, fibbing, and even presidential exaggeration are deemed intolerable—or so we are told by the media. It does not matter that the newsroom is currently one of the great purveyors of untruth, as we saw in the Russian collusion hoax, the dubious Wuhan wet-market narrative, or the yarn about the Lafayette Square militarization to green-light a Trump photo-op.

Reporters never let Richard Nixon live down his “tricky Dick” reputation for his purported bouts of misinformation. Lyndon Johnson’s lies about the supposed impending victory in Vietnam doomed him.

George H. W. Bush never got free of his “Read my lips: No new taxes” pledge. Bill Clinton was impeached because what he said about his sexual misadventures, sometimes under oath, could not be squared with the facts.

There is no need to rehash the media’s echo chamber of “Bush lied, people died” in connection with the flawed CIA intelligence about weapons of mass destruction in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. One reason why the media’s canonization of Barack Obama ultimately failed was the latter’s blatant lies. (Who can forget “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor”?) The Washington Post and an epidemic of “fact-checkers” tallied up all of Trump’s exaggerations and contradictions to convince the public that he was an inveterate liar.

Americans may disagree with these journalistic rules, but to quote Hyman Roth about the state of our media, “This is the business we’ve chosen.

Yet it is arguable that while no other president in modern memory has trespassed more egregiously on these no-go areas than Joe Biden, he has received no criticism for his transgressions.

Joe Biden (never mind his son, Hunter) has compiled the most glaring rap sheet of racist quotes of any current modern political leader. He characterized Barack Obama as the first “clean and articulate” black presidential candidate. He told a group of accomplished black professionals that Romney would put “y’all back in chains,” as if they were helpless laborers.

Biden’s rants about Indians and donut shops, the Corn Pop fables, his dismissals of black journalists with put-downs such as “you ain’t black” and invectives such as “junkie” would have disqualified any other candidate. His earlier treatment of Clarence Thomas during his Supreme Court nomination confirmation hearing, his idolization of fossilized racist kingpins in the Senate, his rhetoric on busing and black career criminals, were all couched in racial condescension.

At a time when the current incarnation of Biden is siccing the federal government—and the Pentagon in particular—on a mythical, nationwide white supremacist conspiracy, the president’s own son is revealed to have habitually used the N-word and emulated what he thought was a backward black patois. Was Joe warning America about Hunter, when he charged that white supremacy reigned and must be dethroned?

While Joe Biden is also pointing fingers at white America with despicable false accusations of anti-Asian hate crimes (in truth, these attacks disproportionately are committed by black males), the press is quiet about Hunter Biden’s exchanges with his cousin Caroline Biden over set-up “dates.” In one, Caroline warns Hunter “I can’t give you f—ing Asian sorry. I’m not doing it.” Hunter trumps her racist slurs with his own agreement: “No yellow.

That story was buried by mainstream journalists who have long ago fused with the progressive cause.

As a senator, vice president, and presidential candidate Joe Biden was often caught—and occasionally even apologized for—habitually touching, smooching, squeezing, hugging, and breathing on women, some of them preteens, in a manner that can only be called creepy, with all of the females recoiling at his advances. When the intrusions became too great to ignore, the would-be president said only he would be “mindful” of invading the private space of women.

Tara Reade, a former assistant in Senator Biden’s office, replayed the role of Christine Blasey Ford with charges of sexual assault—but with far greater credibility and detail (“There was no exchange, really, he just had me up against the wall . . . I remember it happened all at once . . . his hands were on me and underneath my clothes.”). Reade provided corroborating evidence, and explicit details of assault, yet the same journalists and politicians—again so often joined at the hip—who had sought to destroy Brett Kavanaugh gave Biden a pass, absurdly citing the statute of limitations, and even questioning the sanity and stability of Reade herself.

As far as presidential health goes, even Donald Trump’s enemies have remarked on his almost unnatural stamina and energy, characterized by 20-hour workdays and near inexplicable rapid recovery from COVID-19. No matter. By mid-2017 there was a nonstop journalist mantra that Trump was “crazy” and “unhinged,” and too “sick” to remain president. The clamor continued until Trump himself took the Montreal Cognitive Assessment and aced the exam’s questions. A Yale psychiatrist achieved mini-celebrity status by unprofessionally diagnosing Trump in absentia as mentally challenged and in need of a forced intervention—unhinged charges that nonetheless enhanced reporters’ frenzied calls for the invocation of the 25th Amendment.

Contrast this with Joe Biden. He has trouble walking up the steps of the Air Force One. He forgets names and events. His days are short and his attention span shorter, his press conferences rare—and scripted. At the recent G-7 summit he displayed a mishmash of bizarre interruptions, “get off my lawn” temper tantrums at reporters, slurred words, incomplete thoughts and sentences, cognitive freezes, and general fragilities. His own administration, or more likely those around Vice President Kamala Harris, habitually leak to their lackeys in the media portentous “worries” that Biden’s infirmities are such that they can longer be successfully hidden. And yet the ruse continues.

Finally, Biden says things that are just flat-out lies. He declared that no Americans had been vaccinated until he took office, despite a presidential photo-op of him greeting the vaccination on December 21, 2020, and the fact 1 million people had been vaccinated by the day he took office, including him.

At the G-7 meeting, Biden offered his most egregious untruth—that Trump supporters had killed officer Brian Sicknick—although the autopsy report, now several weeks old, found Sicknick had died of natural causes a day after the riot.

While the border is wide open, Biden ignores the chaos and asserts the border is secure and closed.

Hunter Biden’s laptop, Joe insists, was a result of “Russian disinformation.”

Almost everything Biden has said on illegal immigration, the effects of his proposed tax hikes, and the January 6 Capitol assault is untrue.

Reporters ignore the mounting lies, ironically winking and in acknowledgment that most are the result of Biden’s own cognitive deterioration—as if it is more reassuring that a president does not know what he is saying rather than is saying something untrue.

How can we explain this utter dereliction of American journalism?

The media was always left-leaning. But after 2016, it openly announced that it could no longer remain unbiased given the existential threats supposedly posed by President Trump. CNN transmogrified from a leftist airport news aggregator into a purveyor of whoppers, open threats against the president, and outright obscenities.

Remember the blasé reporting about presidential decapitation and poisoning? On-air discussion of defecation? The forced retractions of fake news? The retirements and firings for fabricating stories? All that characterized CNN after 2015.

But aside from Trump, another reason why journalism died was the rise of Silicon Valley and related left-wing billionaires, enriched from monopolies of social media and Internet communications, buying up media companies.

Abetted by the subversion of higher education that turned journalism schools into ideological factories, the tech oligarchs made war on the First Amendment, which they hate almost as much as the Second. Reporters were rewarded handsomely for upholding woke orthodoxy, knowing that while an accurate story offering a positive view of a conservative could stall a career, any inaccurate negative take on conservatism was likely to be job enhancing.

Finally, there is no longer a Democratic Party—at least not of the kind that Joe Manchin and earlier incarnations of Joe Biden and Bill Clinton used to represent. The Left talks of Representative Liz Cheney’s (R-Wyo.) psychodramas and fissures in the Republican Party, but only because civil war for control of the Democratic Party is long over, and was won by the hardcore neosocialist left. Now it is only a matter of mopping up stragglers and relics.

Translated into presidential coverage, reporters know that any tough question or honest reporting on Joe Biden will not be praised for disinterested journalism or personal courage, but damned as apostasy and disloyalty. In truth, Democratic politicians treat the media now as if they were obedient poodles. They consider any who timidly bark when not so instructed to be in need of neutering.

The final ironies? The Democratic Party won the long march through journalism, but this Pyrrhic victory has meant the destruction of every principle of journalistic integrity liberals ever claimed to champion.

Now, its most progressive leaders—Biden, Kamala Harris, Nancy Pelosi—have grown so accustomed to fawning Soviet-style reportage that they no longer have the ability to answer any real journalist’s questions.

Stranger still, the beneficiaries of media obsequiousness have nothing but contempt for the helots who now serve them. Remember Ben Rhodes’ haughty putdown of slavish journalists who “know nothing” and were unknowingly drowning in the swampy echo chambers he had so cynically created?

Once politicians lose all fear of the press, they will say and do anything in their hubris, as we now see with the completely unmoored Joe Biden. And having lost not just the respect of the public but also the regard of the very progressives they idolize, America’s journalists are routinely slapped down as the fawning toadies they have become
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Victor Davis Hanson (@VDHanson) is a senior fellow, classicist and historian and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution where many of his articles are found; his focus is classics and military history. He has been a visiting professor at Hillsdale College since 2004. Hanson was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 by President George W. Bush.
Tags: Victor Davis Hanson, The Biden No-Go Zones To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Federal ‘Infrastructure’? State-Local Government and Crony Bail Outs and Slush Funds

by Seton Motley: To paraphrase George Santayana:

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to look like idiots supporting politicians who are repeating it.”

We immediately warned of a few things when Washington yet again began pretending their “infrastructure” bill had anything to do with actual infrastructure.

We warned that government has time and again wasted HUGE coin in alleged attempts to “stimulate” economies, “create” jobs and “build” infrastructure. Including rather recently.

Barack Obama Admitted $787 Billion Stimulus Was Utter Failure, ‘There Were No Shovel Ready Jobs’

We warned that all of the Democrats’ alleged effort to pass this infrastructure bill with Republican support is a lie. It is Bipartisan Legislative Theatre.

President Joe Biden and his cohorts all along have planned to ram it through unilaterally via reconciliation. Because they want to spend as much money as possible. Because they want to use it to fundamentally transform America. And Republicans are an impediment to that.

Democrats’ Cynical Ploy: Everything Is ‘Infrastructure’

Biden Inc.’s ‘Infrastructure’: ‘White House Moves to Reshape Role of US Capitalism’

Senate Democrats Eyeing Roughly $6 Trillion Reconciliation Package on Infrastructure, Healthcare and Climate Change

Watch what ends up passing – and how it’s passed….

We warned that a mere 5% of US infrastructure – roads, bridges, tunnels, etc – actually belongs to the federal government:

“The private sector owns 65% of it, including power stations, freight railways, pipelines, factories, broadband networks, and much else. State and local governments own 30%, including highways, schools, and airports. The federal government owns just 5%, including dams, postal facilities, and other assets.”

Which means a mere 5% of US infrastructure is the federal government’s responsibility. Which means the trillions they are looking to spend? Are for bail outs and slush funds – for state and local governments and private sector cronies.

The whole reason we have the government privatize things – is because the private sector does things better than government. Private companies are supposed to build the price to maintain and expand their infrastructure into the price they charge for their goods and services.

If these companies have not done so – or if they have and are now lyingly crying “poverty” to get government money – the government have made VERY poor outsource choices. Which means the government probably chose them for crony rather than capability reasons. And the federal government is about to reward all of these failings – by handing these cronies hundreds of billions of dollars more.

We have for many decades paid loads and LOADS of state and local government taxes. So that infrastructure should already be VERY well maintained. That it is not – is reason to criticize state and local governments. Not reward them with hundreds of billions more of our money – handed to them by the federal government.

But that’s exactly where the Democrats are headed. Unilaterally jamming through trillions of dollars for cronyism – not infrastructure, jobs or stimulus.

Only 5% of $2 Trillion ‘Infrastructure’ Bill Funds Roads and Bridges

Speaking of state and local government bail outs and slush funds….

Democrats Raring to Go on Broadband Legislation:

“That measure would provide more than $90 billion….”

Government Is Lying About What Broadband Is and What We Need From It:

“(W)e have tried government-run ISPs since basically the inception of the Internet – and government is awful at it. More than 450 attempts at government-run Internet service – nigh all abysmal failures.”

And since all of this new federal government money will go into state and local government bank accounts already stuffed-to-overflowing with our money – things get fungible and funky quite quickly.

And, of course, even more expensive for We the Taxpayers.

New Study Finds Electricity Rates Rise When Cities Shift Costs of Government Broadband Networks to a Municipal Electric Utility:

“‘Municipal broadband systems typically require subsidies from city finances,’ says study author and Phoenix Center Chief Economist Dr. George S. Ford.

“‘When a broadband network is attached to a municipal electric utility, the data show electricity rates rise to cover the costs. Cities contemplating a utility-funded municipal broadband system should consider the effects on electricity rates on their constituents.’”

Governments have tried being broadband companies over 450 times. And they have failed – over 450 times. And when they fail – they hide and subsidize their fail by charging us even more for other government stuff.

Oh: Is this the first time the federal government has handed state and local governments billions of our dollars to fail at broadband? Heavens no.

Obama Stimulus Bill Includes $7.2 Billion for Broadband

Undaunted by all of this history, the federal government is now going to give a hundred billion of our dollars to state and local governments. To have state and local governments yet again fail at pretending to be broadband companies. And then yet again charge us even more for other government stuff to hide their fail.

The only thing shovel-ready? The Democrats’ effort to bury the nation in debt.
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Seton Motley is the President of Less Government and he contributes articles to ARRA News Service.
Tags: Seton Motley, Federal ‘Infrastructure’?, State-Local Government, Crony Bail Outs, Slush Funds To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Catholic Democrats Lecture The Bishops

Rep. Rosa DeLauro
by Bill Donohue comments on a letter by Catholic Democrats directed at the bishops: Seems like everyone is lecturing the bishops these days.

The latest to do so are 59 Democrats who identify as Catholics. Leading the charge is Rep. Rosa DeLauro. On June 18, she issued a “Statement of Principles” that chastises the bishops for addressing the issue of Catholic public figures who reject core Catholic moral teachings; 73% of the bishops voted to consider a document on the suitability of these self-identified Catholics to receive Holy Communion.

DeLauro has a long history of telling the bishops what to do.

In 2006, she issued a “Statement of Principles,” signed by 55 self-identified Catholic Democrats, saying that one can be a Catholic in good standing and promote abortion rights. In 2007, she was one of 18 self-professed Catholic Democrats to criticize Pope Benedict XVI on this subject. In 2015, she led a contingent of 93 self-identified Catholic Democrats telling Pope Francis what issues he needs to address when he comes to the United States: the right to life was not among them, but climate change made the cut.

In the latest “Statement of Principles,” DeLauro and company say they are proud to be part of the Catholic tradition that “expresses a consistent moral framework for life,” adding that they “agree with the Catholic Church about the value of human life.” Yet virtually all the signatories have a pro-abortion voting record.

DeLauro has voted for human embryonic stem cell research, a process that involves the killing of nascent human life. She opposes making human cloning for reproduction against the law. She has consistently voted against bans on partial-birth abortions, and has a 100% rating from NARAL on pro-abortion legislation.

The “Statement of Principles” expresses dismay over poverty, saying what is needed is greater “access to education for all.” Yet DeLauro has voted against requiring able-bodied welfare recipients to work. In other words, she wants to keep the poor on the dole instead of enabling them to work themselves out of poverty.

She has also voted against every school choice bill ever proposed, making it risible for her to suggest that she wants “access to education for all.” In fact, she voted against reauthorizing the Washington D.C. opportunity scholarship program, the initiative that has worked so well for poor African Americans.

DeLauro and her self-identified Catholic Democrats have made their biggest media splash saying how hypocritical it is of the bishops to focus on abortion and not the death penalty, both of which the Catholic Church opposes. Perhaps that is because they are not equal.

It is estimated that between 1973 and 2019, 61,628,584 innocent children were killed in their mother’s womb. The number of convicted criminals who were executed during that time was 1,512.

Curiously, the “Statement of Principles” encourages “alternatives to abortion.”

But why are alternatives needed if abortion does not kill? Is there something lurking inside these pro-abortion self-identified Catholic Democrats that is giving them pause? We need to know what it is, because if they do, in fact, understand that abortion kills innocent human life, they would be getting off easy if the bishops simply denied them Communion.
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Bill Donohue (@CatholicLeague) is a sociologist and president of the Catholic League.
Tags: Bill Donohue, Catholic Democrats, lecture, Bishops To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

McConnell Declares ‘Compromise’ Election Takeover Dead on Arrival in the Senate

by Robert Romano: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has all but declared Senate Democrats’ latest proposed version of S. 1 — legislation that would nationalize election law away from the states — dead on arrival in the U.S. Senate.

Under regular order, Democrats will need at least 10 Senate Republicans to sign on to the new plan, but so far, McConnell and the Senate GOP appear to be holding the line.

“Senate Democrats seem to have reached a so-called ‘compromise’ election takeover among themselves,” McConnell noted in a June 17 statement, amid political reports that Democrats are presently attempting to court moderate Republicans in the Senate.

But so far, besides Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who has already co-sponsoring legislation to reinstate Justice Department oversight of state election law, no other Senate Republicans have declared any support for Democratic election legislation in the Senate.

Which is little wonder. According to McConnell, the new and improved S. 1 is just as bad as the old S. 1: “In reality, the plan endorsed by Stacey Abrams is no compromise. It still subverts the First Amendment to supercharge cancel culture and the left’s name-and-shame campaign model. It takes redistricting away from state legislatures and hands it over to computers. And it still retains S. 1’s rotten core: an assault on the fundamental idea that states, not the federal government, should decide how to run their own elections.”

That doesn’t sound like something most elected Republicans could possibly support, and so it probably won’t reach 60 votes.

McConnell’s statement came as Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has come on board Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) latest push in an attempt to woo Republicans with an apparent bid to water down the original legislation.

In a recent effort, Manchin has draft a memo outlining what he would support in an election bill, included expanded absentee mail-in ballots, removing state legislature powers on redistricting and restoring DOJ oversight of state election laws.

The memo followed a June 14 meeting called by Manchin and “attended by GOP senators as well as civil rights groups” to discuss a potential compromise, Politico’s Laura Barron-Lopez, Marianne Levine and Burgess Everett reported on June 16.

According to the report “Attendees of the Monday meeting included Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Susan Collins (Maine), Mitt Romney (Utah) and Tim Scott (S.C.), according to senators and sources familiar with the meeting. In addition, Manchin invited Sens. Richard Burr (N.C.), Ben Sasse (Neb.), Dan Sullivan (Alaska), Thom Tillis (N.C.), and Todd Young (Ind.).”

Sen. Graham explained his presence as a favor to Manchin: “I did it because I was asked by Sen. Manchin… We have differences on S. 1 but I’d like to make voting easier. Maybe have some uniform standards on how you do mail-in balloting. There might be some things we can do … He’s always trying to find a way forward on stuff.”

But that doesn’t mean any compromise was reached at all, McConnell noted after Manchin released his memo of what he would support.

What it does mean is that if McConnell and Senate Republicans hold the line, this bill is going nowhere fast.
-------------------------
Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.
Tags: Robert Romano, Limited Government, Senator McConnell, Declares ‘Compromise’ Election Takeover, Dead on Arrival, in the Senate 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 Breaks The Record On Wealth Transfers: $4.9 Trillion

by I & I Editorial Board: The Democrats’ new favorite term is “human infrastructure,” which pretty much means anything they want to spend money on.

That raises the question: Just how much does the government spend on “human infrastructure” today? Turns out, it’s an eye-popping $4.9 trillion this year alone – a new record.

Buried in President Joe Biden’s 2022 budget is a document called Historical Tables, which breaks down annual federal revenues and spending in a variety of ways. One of the tables in this document tracks what the government calls “direct payments to individuals.”

These payments, mind you, don’t count salaries paid to federal employees or the cost of buying equipment. It’s just what the name states – direct money transfers. As the budget document explains:‘These are federal government spending programs designed to transfer income (in cash or in-kind) to individuals or families. To the extent feasible, this category does not include reimbursements for current services rendered to the Government (e.g., salaries and interest).’ Under Biden, direct payments hit a huge new record high. Think about it this way. At $4.9 trillion, “direct payments to individuals” this year are equal to the entire federal budget of just two years ago. These money transfers will account for 22.3% of the nation’s entire GDP.

If this income transfer were a country, it would be bigger than Germany’s entire economy and slightly smaller than Japan’s.

Worse, the government will have to borrow $1.3 trillion of the money it’s transferring. That’s like robbing Peter’s children and grandchildren to pay Paul.

Nor do these numbers account for Biden’s bloated “American Jobs Plan” and “American Families Plan,” which would vastly expand the already massive wealth transfer state.

Much of this year’s explosion in direct payments came from the COVID-19 relief bills, with Biden’s bloated $1.9 trillion “rescue” plan adding to the pile.

But even without those one-time payments, the government has in recent decades become little more than a gigantic check-writing machine, thanks to the growth of middle-class entitlements.

This year, for example, the government will send out $1.1 trillion in Social Security checks to retirees, and another $843 billion to pay retiree medical bills. It will send another $139 billion to help students pay for college. It will write $379 billion in pension checks to retired federal workers.

Surprisingly little of this wealth transfer actually goes to the poor.

This year, only 5% of the $4.9 trillion will go toward welfare spending, 4% to food programs, and 11% toward Medicaid. So a lot of the money middle-class families are paying in taxes is just going back to them in the form of government checks.

Worse, much of it will go to the wealthy. Almost 12% of retirees collecting Social Security checks have incomes of $100,000 or above. A 2011 report by then-Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., found that millionaires were collecting $9 billion in retirement checks from the federal government.

A study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that other giant middle-class entitlement – Medicare – results in “net transfers from the poor to the wealthy,” both because of how it’s paid for and the fact that wealthier retirees tend to live longer and spend more on health care.

Does anybody have any idea whether any of this massive wealth transfer machinery is worth it? Of course not. Big-government leftists like Biden just keep adding new programs on top of the old ones on the promise that the extra money will solve some problem or another. Plus, the more money the government redistributes, the greater control these leftists have over the populace. By taking an ever-larger share of people’s income, they can dictate how, when, and where people get their money back.

So, before another dime gets spent on “human infrastructure,” taxpayers should demand that the government account for all the money it’s already transferring from one taxpayer’s pocket to another.

Otherwise, we are truly doomed. As Alexis de Tocqueville warned, “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.
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Written by the I&I Editorial Board
Tags: I&I Editorial Board, Joe Biden, Breaks The Record On Wealth Transfers, $4.9 Trillion 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 Family

Judd Garrett
by Judd Garrett
: In 1996, then first lady, Hillary Clinton published a book, It Takes a Village – the title lifted from an old African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.” “The village” she argues for is not simply comprised of our extended family and immediate neighbors, but the government itself. She wrote in her book, “Let us stop stereotyping government and individuals as absolute villains or absolute saviors, and recognize that each must be part of the solution. Let us use government, as we have in the past, to further the common good.” And that “common good” is raising our children. She also envisioned, not just a small provincial “village”, but of a “global village.”

Considering Hillary Clinton’s history of Communist sympathizing, most evidence with her close relationship with her mentor Marxist Saul Alinsky, it is fair to conclude that her book is an argument for the eventual Communist takeover, not solely of America, but of the world disguised as a quasi-parenting manual. One of the fundamental goals of Marxism is to devalue, and eventually destruct the nuclear family so, the state can replace the family, and wrest the ultimate power from the people.

Marxist organization Black Lives Matter used very similar language as Hillary Clinton in its original charter, when they wrote, “We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement, by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages’ that collectively care for one another.” How has the “village” approach worked in the black community where over 70% of kids are born out of wedlock requiring the state, to act like “the village”, and assume the role of raising these children?

Breaking down the family unit is essential for the state to control the individuals by dividing and conquering. Slave owners used to separate family units of their slaves as a method of control over them. People become weakened when separated from their family unit, and isolated. The Bolsheviks in Russia promoted the breakdown of the family and encouraged promiscuity as a form of emancipation, and precursor to the elimination of private property.

Starting in the 1960’s, Lyndon Johnson’s great society promoted the breakdown of the family to create dependence on the state for the necessities of life through legislation like welfare laws that required fathers to be out of the house for families to get benefits. Culturally over the last 50 years, there has been a concerted effort to destroy the traditional western family with the institution of no-fault divorces, promotion of promiscuity, normalization of infidelity, legalization of drugs. And the results have been devastating to our children, our families and our society.

Fathers have become a target in this cultural war. The diminishing of the father is the easiest and best way to destroy the family. TV shows and commercials, continually portray fathers as clueless idiots and selfish fools while the mother is the self-sacrificing hero. Rarely is the father portrayed as a strong figure, the moral compass of the family. That would be interpreted as evil patriarchy, or “toxic masculinity” to the woke-mob that controls our culture.

Our culture no longer promotes the image of the strong patriarch. Popular culture has shifted away from Father Knows Best, and Ward Cleaver to Archie Bunker, Al Bundy and Homer Simpson. The father has become not only the butt of the joke, but the joke itself. This is the foundation of the assault on family, and why the concept “patriarchy” is so often vilified by the left. So, any suggestion that fathers, male parents are good, beneficial, necessary must be quashed. The glorification of single motherhood screams that fathers are unnecessary, and useless. All depictions of the strong father, the wise patriarch must be neutered or even vilified.

This is evidenced in screenwriter Aaron Sorkin’s rewriting of the character of Atticus Finch in his Broadway play adaptation of Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. In the novel, Atticus Finch is a heroic and humble single father teaching his children about the evils of racism and prejudice, risking everything to stand up for what is right, but that archetype does not or cannot exist in the far-left mindset. So, Sorkin turned Atticus Finch into a stereo-typical southern racist, complicit in the racially motivated death of a black man.

Sorkin turned one of the best characters in 20th century American literature into a villain to be hated. And that is a glimpse of what has happened to American fathers and ultimately to families. Fathers are being turned into villains, and the more fathers are portrayed in a similar bad light, then less important and necessary the role of father will become.

This is all done for a reason. Diminish the role of father, disrupt the western nuclear family, and have “the village” aka, the state to raise our children. Not only does this require a collectivist mentality turning our individual sovereignty over to the will of the state, but it opens the door to the indoctrination of our children to the collectivist, Marxist ideologies that are pushing this shift. This is why there is a pushback against Charter schools and school choice. The Marxist want all of our children taught in the government run public schools in order to indoctrinate them in far-left ideologies like divisive and racist Critical Race Theory.

The results are evident, across all races, life outcomes for children raised in single-parent households subsidized by the government are decidedly worse than life outcomes of children raised in two-parent homes. Private and charter school children have much better life outcomes than public school children. So, the push to break up the family and take down private and charter schools, is not a push to improve the lives and future of our children, it’s solely about political power by the far left.

The worse off the child is, the more the village steps in on behalf of the child, and the more power and control the state will eventually take over society as a whole. And that’s the purpose of all this, power. And a slew of broken families and broken children are left in the wake of the left’s unquenchable quest for power.

There is an old Chinese Proverb that says, “if families take care of families, then the country will take care of itself.” Is it a wonder that the Asian people in America who emphasize family first, outperform every other demographic group in our country, especially the ones who rely heavily on government support to raise their children?

Happy Father's Day!
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Judd Garrett writes for Objectivity is the Objective. His most recent non-writing job was as Director of Advanced Scouting with the Dallas Cowboys. He is a frequent contributor on the topics of sports and politics to Real Clear Politics.
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Ignorance is Bliss

Biden Administration deflects from their disaster at the border to phony “white supremacy.
Editorial Cartoon by AF Branco

Tags: Ignorance is Bliss, Editorial cartoon, AF Branco To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Friday, June 18, 2021

The Pathetic Putin-Biden Summit

A U.S. president mangles his first major leadership test on the world stage.
by Joseph Klein: President Joe Biden met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva on June 16th and came away empty-handed. They agreed to have their minions meet for future talks on cybersecurity and other contentious issues between the two countries.

"Earlier today, President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin finally met for their big summit in Geneva," Jimmy Fallon said on Wednesday's Tonight Show. "When Biden said 'I'll give you my email,' Putin said, 'I already have your email — and password and Venmo, don't worry about it.'" That’s about as good a commentary as any on the insignificance of this summit.

At least prior to former President Donald Trump’s first summit with Kim Jong-un, the North Korean dictator released three American hostages who had been held for months in North Korea’s inhuman labor camps. This time, Putin didn't even release the two former U.S. Marines imprisoned in Russia, Trevor Reed and Paul Whelan, as a symbolic gesture to reciprocate for Biden’s waiver of the Nord Stream 2 sanctions. Russia’s release of the American hostages should have been Biden's minimum condition for holding the summit in the first place.

All that Biden’s summit meeting with Putin accomplished was to give Putin a platform on the world stage where he appeared far more energetic and confident than Biden. It's very troublesome -- and embarrassing -- when the leader of the free world takes fewer than half the questions from the press following the summit meeting than Putin took at his separate press conference. And Biden grew testy at his own solo press conference when the last questioner -- from CNN, no less – asked Biden how his meeting with Putin could be characterized as constructive, given Putin’s past behavior and continued denials of any wrongdoing. "If you don't understand that, you're in the wrong business," Biden barked at the reporter, for which he later apologized.

Putin and Biden had some nice words to say about the summit and about each other. However, Putin remained defiant in denying that any Russians were responsible for the cyberattacks launched against government and business sites in the United States. Thinking that the “best defense is a good offense,” Putin used his solo press conference to charge that the United States was responsible for far more malicious cyberattacks.

In addition to waving off criticisms of human rights abuses in Russia at his press conference, Putin also turned the tables on Biden. He mentioned, for example, the Black Lives Matter protests and Guantanamo in his negative portrayal of the United States. As former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo observed, Putin “was allowed to go up there and spout Russian propaganda to create the context for moral equivalence between the United States and Russia on every front.” Bide

n said at his press conference that he provided Putin with a list of “16 specific entities, 16 defined as critical infrastructure,” including the energy sector and water systems, that were considered off limits to cyberattacks. Biden added that he told Putin “we have significant cyber capabilities” and that the U.S. would respond “in a cyber way” if Russia violates “these basic norms.”

Biden’s statements regarding cyberattacks raise at least two questions. What types of “entities” were not included in Biden’s list and thus presumably not considered off limits? And why hadn’t Biden already demonstrated to Putin how he would respond “in a cyber way” to previous Russian cyberattacks, such as SolarWinds and the ransomware attacks on the Colonial Pipeline and JBS, the world's largest meat supplier? Actions speak louder than words. Instead, Biden has provided Putin with a potential roadmap of targets for Russia’s hackers to exploit.

Biden speculated that Putin’s Russia could be influenced by whether or not other countries believe Russia’s behavior complies with so-called international norms. “What will change their behavior is if the rest of world reacts to them and it diminishes their standing in the world,” Biden told reporters. That is naïve at best. Putin is motivated only by his accumulation, maintenance, and display of raw power. Putin is perfectly happy to consort with other like-minded dictators who share his contempt for Western democratic values.

Biden also told reporters that “all foreign policy is, is a logical extension of personal relationships.” That too is naïve at best. Yes, personal relationships are an ingredient of foreign policy. Good personal relationships help countries’ leaders to interact more smoothly with each other on difficult issues. But individual leaders come and go. The most important driver of foreign policy is each country’s national interest and whether it is compatible or in conflict with other countries’ national interests.

Putin follows a Russia-first foreign policy. China follows a China-first foreign policy. Each U.S. ally follows its own country-first foreign policy. Biden, however, puts America’s national interest behind his desire to be recognized as a full-fledged member of the globalist club.

Germany certainly did not have the free world’s broader interests in mind when it agreed to purchase natural gas from Russia, delivered via the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that runs from Russia to Germany. Ukraine was left out in the cold. Biden was so anxious to please Germany that he waived sanctions on the company building Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany and on its chief executive Matthias Warnig, a Putin ally. Warnig is a former member of Communist East Germany's Stasi secret police. At the very least, the sanctions imposed on Warnig should not have been lifted. But Biden was too afraid of offending Germany.

In his remarks to the press on the tarmac before departing on Air Force One, President Biden inadvertently revealed what is fundamentally wrong with his foreign policy. “You know, one of things that I think, understandably, there was a good deal of skepticism about: would the G7 sign on and give America back it’s, sort of, leadership role,” Biden said. “I think it did.”

The United States does not need the blessing of the G7 or of any other multilateral group to continue leading the free world against Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, and other aggressive dictatorships. The United States is still the world’s most powerful nation, both militarily and economically. It also remains the world’s beacon of hope for freedom-loving people everywhere. Unfortunately -- and tragically -- American now has a president who is groveling for approval from other countries and globalist gatherings.
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Joseph Klein is a Harvard-trained lawyer and the author of Global Deception: The UN’s Stealth Assault on America’s Freedom and Lethal Engagement: Barack Hussein Obama, the United Nations & Radical Islam. Shared article in FrontPage Mag.
Tags: Joseph Klein, FrontPage Mag, The Pathetic, Putin-Biden Summit To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

New Government, New Threats

by Caroline Glick: The day after Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett formed their government, Biden administration officials threw a diplomatic hand grenade at them. Monday administration officials told reporters “unofficially” that President Joe Biden intends to appoint Hady Amr, his Assistant Secretary of State for Israel and the Palestinians to serve as U.S. Consul General to the Palestinians — in Jerusalem.

To deploy Amr to Israel’s capital as consul, the administration will first need to open a consulate in Jerusalem. In accordance with the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1996, the Trump administration closed the consulate and turned the building into the Ambassador’s Residence following the transfer of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem in 2019. And under the Vienna Convention, the U.S. must ask Israel to permit the opening of the consulate and accredit the head of mission.

The administration’s decision to deploy Amr to Jerusalem as ambassador-in-everything-but-name to a hostile, non-Israeli entity is a double assault on Israel. First, the sends the clear message that the Biden administration supports the division of Israel’s capital. Second, by sending Amr specifically to Jerusalem, the administration is making clear that it intends to legitimize and work with Hamas.

Before joining the administration, Amr was a fellow at the Qatar-funded Brookings Institution. He was the founding director of the Brookings Institution in Doha. And from Brookings, Amr wrote and spoke in favor of legitimizing the Iranian-sponsored Muslim Brotherhood terror group. Amr advocated that the U.S. work to integrate Hamas into the PLO.

The administration’s now all but declared positions on Jerusalem and Hamas in turn strengthen Iran’s position inside Palestinian society. They also legitimize the until now unthinkable scenario in which the U.S. supports a Hamas takeover of Judea and Samaria. The administration’s deep-seated animosity towards Israeli sovereignty over unified Jerusalem, makes clear as well just how hostile its positions are in relation to Israel’s strategic requirements and national rights to Judea and Samaria.

Although Palestinian Authority Chairman and Fatah and PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas initiated the latest round of war last month, he did not benefit politically or militarily from the onslaught against Israel. Hamas did.

An opinion poll published Tuesday by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found that 77 percent of Palestinians believe Hamas won the latest round of war. If elections were held today, Mahmoud Abbas would be wiped out. Abbas would receive a mere 27 percent of the vote while Hamas terror chief Ismail Haniyeh would win the leadership with 59 percent of the vote. The only Fatah leader more popular that Haniyeh is convicted mass murderer Marwan Barghouti, the architect of the 2000-2004 Palestinian terror war. Barghouti is in prison where he serves multiple consecutive life sentences for his direct command of murderous Fatah terror cells.

It is true that the IDF wiped out much of Hamas’s military machine in last month’s mini-war. But even in relation to Israel, Hamas emerged stronger from the last round of fighting than it was before it began its offensive. Israeli Arab imams aligned with Hamas through the Israeli Islamic movement incited pogroms against Israeli Jews throughout the country. Their actions demonstrated Hamas’s long arm of influence inside Israel’s Arab community.

Events surrounding this week’s flag march in Jerusalem made clear Hamas’s strengthened position. Hamas threated to reinstate its assaults on Israel if the government allowed Israeli citizens to parade through the capital carrying Israeli flags. Rather than ignore the warnings, the security establishment, the media and political leaders treated them like strategic threats. For days, Hamas’s threats dominated the discourse at all levels of the ruling class. The obsessive concern over the threats showed that despite the operational damage Israel’s caused Hamas’s military infrastructure, Hamas today is deterring Israel at least publicly far more than Israel is deterring Hamas.

All of this brings us to the new government. Although Naftali Bennett is Prime Minister, the real power in the government is Foreign Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid. Lapid controls 75 percent of the coalition to Bennett’s 20 percent. The last five percent of the 61-seat coalition is controlled by Mansour Abbas, the head of the Muslim Brotherhood-aligned Islamist Ra’am Party.

In the ceremony at the Foreign Ministry marking Lapid’s entry into office, Israel’s effective leader laid out his priorities. His top three goals are to rebuild Israel’s ties with the Democrat Party; with the progressive U.S. Jewish establishment; and with the European Union.

In regards to Iran, ignoring Republican opposition, Lapid said the U.S. return to the 2015 nuclear agreement as a done deal. Lapid said that Israel’s job is to prepare for the inevitable. The 2015 agreement provides Iran with an open path to a nuclear arsenal and enriches it through sanctions relief while placing certain restrictions on its nuclear activities for a limited period of time.

As for the Palestinians, despite the fact that the Palestinians have refused to negotiate with Israel for the past 13 years, and in the meantime, Israel made peace with four Arab states and formed an operational alliance with the Sunni Gulf states and Egypt against Iran, Lapid described the Palestinians and their conflict with Israel as the central axis around which all other regional issues rotate. What happens between the Palestinians and Israel, he said, will “define, to a large extent, all the other arenas.”

Lapid’s priorities dictate his policies. The tensions in Israel’s relations with the Democrats, the progressive American Jewish establishment and the EU were never about personalities. They are and always have been about positions. Relations with all three became acrimonious because the Democrats, progressive Jews and the EU embrace policies – the nuclear deal and Palestinian statehood — that most Israelis consider dangerous to the state’s survival. The only way for Lapid to mend Israel’s relations with these groups is to adopt their dangerous policy preferences.

Although Israel has the power to reject a U.S. request to open a consulate to the Palestinians in Jerusalem, and certainly has the power to reject pro-Hamas Amr as consul, Lapid’s desire to appease the Democrats will prevent him from doing either.

As for Iran, while Lapid told the Foreign Ministry officials who attended his inaugural speech, “Israel will prevent in every way necessary the possibility that Iran will attain nuclear weapons,” this commitment cannot be aligned with Lapid’s top three priorities.

Haaretz reporter Jonathan Lis wrote this week that in all likelihood, to advance the goals he set for himself, Lapid will seek to implement the diplomatic vision he laid out in a 2018 speech. In that speech, Lapid resonated his claim this week that the Palestinians are the axis around which all other regional issues rotate. In keeping with this view, he called for Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians to receive U.S. support on Iran.

In his words, “I believe that a breakthrough on the Iranian issue depends on the Palestinian issue. We need to work to advance a diplomatic agreement with the Palestinians, only as part of a regional discussion.”

He went on, “Can we separate the Iranian problem from the Palestinian problem? Without progress vis a vis the Palestinians, can we enlist the [support of] the Saudi public, the U.S. Congress, American Jewry, the European Union and the money from the Gulf states? Netanyahu says we can. I tell you we can’t. Most security officials say we can’t.”

Lapid’s speech didn’t age well. In the months that followed he pronouncement, then President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem and moved the embassy to Israel’s capital. Trump left the nuclear deal and implemented his maximum pressure campaign against the ayatollahs. The Gulf States formalized their operational alliance with Israel through the Abraham Accords. The U.S. recognized Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights, acknowledged the legality of Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria and accepted Israeli sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria in the Trump peace plan.

In his speech this week, Lapid made clear that none of these events made the slightest impression on him. The path he intends to embark upon is based on ignoring the significance of everything that has been achieved.

This brings us to the opposition, which while controlling only 53 seats in the Knesset, represents the wishes of the majority of voters who elected 65 right-wing politicians to represent them.

Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu needs and his colleagues must base their platform for bringing down the Lapid government on a recognition of reality. Hamas’s clear influence over Israeli Arabs brings home the fact that a Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem would foment Israel’s destruction. If the Hamas-state in Gaza can foment anti-Semitic pogroms throughout Israel, a Hamas state in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem along with Gaza will represent a threat to the country that no government will be able to successfully mount.

The opposition’s platform must begin then, with a full rejection of Palestinian statehood. Instead, Netanyahu and his colleagues should adopt Bennett’s 2013 plan to apply Israeli law throughout all of Area C of Judea and Samaria.

Flowing from that, and from the Biden administration’s effective embrace of Hamas through Amr, the opposition must oppose completely the establishment of a U.S. consulate anywhere within Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries. It must oppose all freezes in recognition of Jewish property rights in unified Jerusalem, in Judea and Samaria.

Netanyahu’s meeting this week with former U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley and Christians United with Israel leader Pastor John Hagee was widely attacked by the anti-Netanyahu media. But it was a critical move. In his speech, Lapid effectively threw both Republicans and Evangelicals under the bus. It is the duty of the opposition to maintain and strengthen Israel’s ties to both group through frequent meetings and exchanges.

Lapid’s idea of linking U.S. policy towards Iran with the Palestinians flies in the face of a generation of strenuous efforts by successive Israeli governments to avoid linkage at all costs. Israel opposed linkage historically because it makes no sense. As the Abraham Accords and the Arab Spring before them made clear, regional affairs have nothing to do with the Palestinians and pretending they are linked is a recipe for strategic failure on all levels.

Today, given the Biden administration’s single-minded focus on realigning U.S. policy towards Iran and away from Israel and the Sunni Arab states, Lapid’s position is indefensible. There is no nuclear deal the administration will offer Iran that will protect Israel’s strategic interests even partially.

The new government both faces and invites new challenges and threats from Hamas, from Iran and from Washington. If he follows through on them, Lapid’s diplomatic policies will gurantee that his government will fail to meet them. Under the circumstances, the duty of the political opposition is to present a clear alternative approach and use the tools at its disposal to advance it.
----------------------------
Carolyn Glick article was originally published in Israel Hayom.
Tags: Carolyn Glick, Israel Hayom, New Government, Isael, New Threats 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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