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

Friday, February 20, 2015

“Legitimate Grievance” or Mortal Enemies?

by Newt Gingrich: President Obama’s oped in the Los Angeles Times this week made clear why his administration is hopelessly losing ground to radical Islamists.

“Efforts to counter violent extremism,” the President asserted, “will only succeed if citizens can address legitimate grievances through the democratic process and express themselves through strong civil societies. Those efforts must be matched by economic, educational and entrepreneurial development so people have hope for a life of dignity.”

This is so profound a misunderstanding of radical Islamists and what motivates them that it is frightening for the security of the United States over the next two years.

Secretary of State John Kerry reinforced the President’s totally false analysis of Radical Islamism in his own bizarre remarks.“The most basic issue is good governance,” he said. “It may not sound exciting, but it is vital. People who feel that their government will provide for their needs, not just its own, and give them a chance at a better life are far less likely to strap on an AK-47 or a suicide vest, or to aid those who do.”So in the Obama-Kerry worldview, “legitimate grievances,” “good governance,” and “the democratic process” are at the heart of our problem with radical Islamists.

Let’s check this analysis against the clear statements of our enemies about what they want and believe.

ISIS wants us to convert to a strict interpretation of Islam or be beheaded, burned alive, or killed in some other grisly manner. They recently beheaded 21 Egyptians for being Christian. Presumably we could alleviate their grievances if we all became Sunni (not Shia) Muslims.

Hamas is clear that its grievance is the existence of Jews. It wants every Jew to leave Israel or be killed. A Hamas imam in Gaza said in a sermon last year, “Our doctrine in fighting you [the Jews] is that we will totally exterminate you. We will not leave a single one of you alive, because you are alien usurpers of the land and eternal mercenaries.”The Hamas Charter says that “Israel will rise and will remain erect until Islam eliminates it as it had eliminated its predecessors.”

What does “eliminate” mean? More from the charter:“…[T]he Hamas has been looking forward to implement Allah’s promise whatever time it might take. The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!”Maybe we could satisfy Hamas by allowing every Israeli Jew to migrate to the United States, thus creating a Jewish-free zone for Hamas to ruin, and thus reducing Tel Aviv to the standard of living in Gaza.

In 2006, by the way, Palestinians had the chance to “address their grievances through the democratic process” (to use President Obama’s phrase). They voted-in Hamas.

Boko Haram in Nigeria is even clearer about its grievance. The term “Boko Haram” means “Western Education is a sin”. So presumably if we closed every Western school and especially quit educating women, we would address some of their grievances.

Radical Islamists are consistently hateful and violent to women, gays, and anyone who is not a Muslim. Their core grievance is the very existence of the Western world with its freedom to live in ways not defined by sharia law.

Ayatollah Khomeini described America as the Great Satan precisely because the attractiveness of our open, consumer culture threatened to attract Iranians away from his austere religious theocracy.

Secretary Kerry’s notion of “good governance” as the fundamental problem is equally as bizarre as the President’s idea that the Islamists have “legitimate grievances”.

How would Kerry explain the radical Islamists in the United States, Canada, Britain, France, Denmark, Australia, and almost every other Western country in the world? Does he really believe that Minneapolis, Denver, London, and Paris lack good governance? If so, why aren’t other demographics in those places strapping on suicide vests?

And if the problem is economic and educational opportunity, as President Obama suggests, how does he explain “Lady al Qaeda,” the “MIT-educated neuroscientist” in prison for planning a terrorist attack on the United States?

The Obama doctrine is tragically and dangerously wrong.

We are not faced with addressable grievances.

We are faced with mortal enemies who want to destroy our way of life.

Congress has to become much more aggressive in filling the gap in leadership which is increasing the threat to our country and our civilization.
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: Newt Gingrich, mortal enemies, Hamas Charter, ISIS, radicals, convert or die, kill all Jews,   To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Obama's VA Priorities . . .

. . . Veterans waiting for care while Obama places a priority on solar panels for V.A. Hospitals.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: President Obama, priority, solar panels, VA Hospitals, Veterans, waiting for care, Veterans priorities, care, health care, survival, 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!

Obama's Lawless Amnesty: Activists Put Pressure On Silent & Supporting Governors

Multi-State Lawsuit Against President Obama's Lawless Amnesty
Raleigh, NC - An activism based Political Action Committee, ALIPAC1 that has been at the center of efforts to stop illegal immigration and any form of amnesty for illegal immigrants has asked its national network of supporters to begin contacting the Governors of the 12 states that are neutral and the 12 that are supporting Obama's lawless amnesty decrees!

The office of Iowa Governor Terry Branstad is falsely telling activists who call that their state is not defending Obama, yet ALIPAC stands by the new targeted contact list that was created based off of a report written by Jon Feere writing for The Hill on Jan. 16, 2015. The Hill article that was used to identify which states are defending Obama's "Executive Action" on immigration links to a friend of the court document specifically showing Iowa as one of the 12 states on board with Obama.

"We want our activists to really hammer the Governors of these 12 states that are silent and the 12 that are supporting Obama's lawless and clearly unconstitutional amnesty plot!" said William Gheen, President of ALIPAC. "Our activists are the voice of the 62% of US voters who oppose what Obama is doing on immigration, and we hope that more of the silent states will join the 26 states suing to stop Obama and that the 12 state governors helping Obama and the illegals will stop!"

According to The Hill report, the 12 states and Governors currently defending Obama's lawless amnesty plans for illegals are

Governor Jerry Brown of California, Governor Dan Malloy of Connecticut, Governor David Ige of Hawaii, Governor Bruce Rauner of Illinois, Governor Terry Branstad of Iowa, Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland, Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, Governor Suzanna Martinez of New Mexico, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York, Governor Kate Brown of Oregon, Governor Peter Shumlin of Vermont, and Governor Jay Inslee of Washington State.ALIPAC's legendary activists are also contacting the Governor's of the states that are silent so far in the hopes they will join the 26 state lawsuit against Obama's clearly lawless amnesty actions. These Governors are Governor Bill Walker of Alaska, Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado, Governor Jack Markell of Deleware, Governor Steven Beshear of Kentucky, Governor Mark Dayton of Minnesota, Governor Jay Nixon of Missouri, Governor Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, Governor Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island, Governor Terry McAuliffe of Virginia, and Governor Matthew Meade of Wyoming.ALIPAC's activism alert titled "Let's Get More States Suing To Stop Obama's Lawless Amnesty" asks Americans to call and write these governors to ask them to stop supporting Obama's unpopular and nationally destructive immigration amnesty plans and to instead join the 26 state lawsuit filed by Texas that just led U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen to issue an injunction ordering Obama to stop all efforts to register illegal immigrants for amnesty. activists have been lobbying states to join the Texas led lawsuit against Obama since it was first filed.
1 ALIPAC: Americans for Legal Immigration PAC.

Tags: press release, ALIPAC, Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, President Obama, lawless amnesty, activists, State Governors, Let's Get More States Suing, Stop Obama's Lawless Amnesty To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Congress Is About to Impose Another Unfunded Mandate on Doctors

by John Grimsley and John O'Shea, M.D., Center for Health Policy Studies, Heritage Foundation: Doctors in their day-to-day practice already face a mound of federal regulations.

Now, starting Oct. 1, doctors will face a new unfunded mandate as they will be required to transition to a costly and complicated coding system for payment.

While the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) system was originally designed specifically for disease classification, since the 1980s, public and private payers alike have required that health care providers use the ICD-9 system when they file reimbursement claims. If, for instance, you go to the doctor’s for treatment for the flu, the doctor’s office will use the ICD code for flu when billing your insurance.

Last week, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a hearing to examine the implementation of the upcoming ICD-10. Most of the testimony focused on how the health care IT community is ready for implementation.

However, what about private practices, hospitals, state governments and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services? Are they ready?

A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report has been referenced as providing evidence that Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has undertaken a number of efforts to prepare for the October transition and therefore implementation should proceed as planned.

What seems to have been ignored, however, is the twenty of 28 stakeholders contacted by the GAO that had serious concerns about the Centers’ outreach and education efforts as well as the lack of adequate testing.

According to the congressional testimony of Dr. William Jefferson Terry, a practicing urologist in Mobile, Ala., as many as 25 percent of physician practices are not ready. Although this is a numerical minority, they cannot be ignored. Many of these practices are small, independent practices in rural locations with narrow operating margins. If faced with substantial reimbursement disruptions due to ICD-10, they may be forced to close their doors and they will not be easily replaced.

Moreover, as of November 2014, only two Medicaid programs had tested the system and another 23 are still updating their systems and not yet able to begin testing, according to Robert Tennant, director of health information technology policy for the Medical Group Management Association. If a state government isn’t ready for the transition, doctors will not be reimbursed for seeing Medicaid patients.

Although a more detailed disease classification system may sound like a good thing, there are significant costs and tradeoffs. Most importantly, the majority of the burden of transitioning to ICD-10 will fall on health care providers, especially doctors in smaller, independent practices.

So, the benefits are vague and long-term, while the financial costs of investing in software programs, hiring and training new staff and productivity losses are real, immediate and quite large.

The reality of medical practice is that doctors do not treat codes; they treat patients according to the individual clinical condition. A doctor gets far more meaningful information from talking to the patient and consulting their medical record than they could ever get from the most detailed coding system. Therefore, doctors, who will bear the majority of the burden of transitioning to ICD-10 will see little, if any, benefit in treating patients on a day-to-day basis.

Given the disastrous roll-out of Obamacare, the already burdensome impact of the reams of federal rules and regulations imposed on doctors and other medical professionals, and the fact that many medical practices are not ready, Congress should be careful when considering imposing another unfunded mandate on the medical profession.
John Grimsley is a current graduate fellow at the Center for Health Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation and a medical student at Georgetown University. John O’Shea, MD, is a senior fellow in the Center for Health Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation. He has been a practicing general surgeon for more than 20 years, and was formerly a senior health policy advisor for the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Tags: Congress, unfunded mandate, Federal Regulation, Doctors, transition, costly, complicated, coding system for payment, ICD-10 To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

DNC Chair Debbie Schultz (Rep, D-FL) Medical Pot Offer Left Twisting in the Wind

Bill Smith, Editor, ARRA News Service:  Any day that the DNC's "kook-in-chief" Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Rep-FL) is left twisting in the wind by a fellow democrat is a good day!  Last week, The Daily Caller identified that Schultz has been seeking the revocation of a fellow Floridan's public criticism of her previous opposition on the legalization of medical marijuana.  Even fellow Floridians not that "she is a bully."

Word on the street, "Debbie" want's to position herself for a  run for the U.S. Senate in 2016.   She couldbe the new "Reid replacement" annoyance in the U.S. Senate.  If you have heard her speak, you know what I mean.

The Daily Caller reported: The office of Florida U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz — also the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee — offered to reverse her opposition to medical marijuana legalization if an Orlando attorney and activist would retract his criticism of her.

Wasserman Schultz’s office issued the proposition to a middleman for activist-attorney John Morgan, according to Politico.

“In a tizzy over this Politico story. Saying she might be willing to support new amendment. Any chance you’ll retract your statement,” Ben Pollara, a Morgan associate, wrote in an email to him on Thursday.

Pollara was referencing an article published earlier ... in which Morgan and other medical marijuana activists slammed Wasserman Schultz’s prohibitive stance on the issue.

Morgan replied to Pollara shortly after, declining the Democrat’s quid pro quo, according to emails Morgan sent Politico later in the day.

She is a bully. I beat bullies up for a living,” Morgan wrote Pollara.

Though it not entirely clear why Wasserman Schultz or her staffers sought to quiet Morgan, it likely has to do with reports that she is considering running for Senate in 2016.

In the initial Politico article, Morgan said that Wasserman Schultz’s opposition to the legalization of medical pot “disqualifies her from the nomination.”

“A United States senator from the Democratic Party should be in favor of the decriminalization of marijuana as a base test. Debbie is more severe,” Morgan added. “Her position denies terminally ill and chronically ill people compassion.”

Morgan and Wasserman Schultz have a tumultuous history. The Democratic party leader publicly opposed Florida Amendment 2, which Morgan spent $4 million of his own money to get on last November’s ballot.

The amendment did not pass, however, coming just two points shy of the 60 percent needed to pass.

Last June, Morgan called Wasserman Schultz an “irritant” who is largely “despised.” He also vowed to never donate to the Democratic party while she was in leadership.

Morgan explained why he declined the offer from Wasserman Schultz’s office as well as why he put her on blast.

“Actions have consequences,” he told Politico late Thursday. “Her days of pushing people around are over.”

Tags: Debbie Wasserman Schultz, DNC Chair, U.S. Rep, Florida, John Morgan, Marijuana To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Job Growth in 2014

by Paul Jacob: President Barack Obama takes full credit for the job growth in 2014. Democrats on the Internet relentlessly push these growth rates with typically goofy superlatives like “highest ever” or “highest growth rate in decades.”

So, what did Obama and the Democrats do in 2013 and 2014 that led to the growth we saw last year?

Well, Obama refused to renegotiate with Republicans on any unemployment or budget reforms.

As 2013 ended, we heard Democrats complaining that stingy Republicans were letting federal government extensions of unemployment compensation (which had been re-extended many times) lapse altogether. Obama predicted disaster. The Keynesian economists who circle the Democratic Party like moths to a candle held to a simple prophecy: because of a hit to “aggregate demand,” unemployment would increase.

Instead, in 2014 employment bounced back.

In a droll quasi-opinion piece, “President Costanza’s Jobs Boom,” the Wall Street Journal reports that “job growth in 2014 was roughly 25 percent higher than any post-2009 year. Joblessness plunged to 5.6 percent from 6.7 percent. Net job creation averaged 246,000 a month.”

Citing a National Bureau of Economic Research study by economists Marcus Hagedorn, Iourii Manovskii and Kurt Mitman, which treated the abrupt policy change as a “natural experiment,” the Journal reveled in the knowledge that the increase in incentives from lapsed benefits led unemployed workers to (gasp!) seek jobs.

And they found them. Granted, many of the new jobs are not as good as their pre-bust jobs. But they are jobs, which is better than nothing.

So when your big-government promoting friends attribute 2014’s job growth to Democratic policies, ask which policies, precisely. And ask why Obama’s predictions of 2013 for disaster in 2014 didn’t pan out.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
Paul Jacobs is author of Common Sense which provides daily commentary about the issues impacting America — and about the citizens who are doing something about them. He is a contributing author on the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Job Growth, 2014, Paul Jacob, Common Sense, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Obama’s ISIS Policy: “Above US Only Sky”

Editorial Cartoon by Michael Ramirez, Editor, IBD
by Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison, Contributing Authors:: The increasingly desperate attempts of the Obama administration to figure out what motivates ISIS and other Islamist terrorists are wearing thin. Now, even liberals think this administration has lost the bubble.

Take State Department Spokeswomen Jen Psaki and Marie Harf as two examples. They daily put us in graver danger by their juvenile responses to serious questions. Marie Harf was at pains to name the KONY rebels in East Africa as examples of Christian terror groups. So we shouldn’t single out Islamists, she was arguing.

KONY is about as Christian as Hungary’s Nazi-led Iron Cross in WWII or our own KKK was. As heinous as KONY is, the leader and his gang of outlaws cannot begin to compare with decades-long terror campaigns waged by al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, Boko Haram, and a seemingly endless list of Islamist killers.

The recent attacks in peaceful Denmark are an indicator. In Copenhagen, a home-grown 22-year old Muslim yelled “Allahu Akbar as he first tried to kill a cartoonist who had depicted the Prophet Mohammed as a dog and then as he attacked a synagogue where a Bat Mitzvah was going on. Danish mourners gathered to remember the victims. They sang John Lennon’s popular song, “Imagine.” It contains these nihilist lyrics:Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...
Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...
You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one
To quote another English writer, William Shakespeare, “something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” And anyone who thinks we will be saved or even made safe by such thin gruel is deluding himself.

Several years ago, an Anglican Bishop of Rochester said England’s identity comes from English law and the Christian religion. Every day, Bishop Michael Nazir-ali said, England is yielding up her law and her religion before the demands of politically correct politicians, journalists and lawyers—all to accommodate the insatiable demands of Islamists.

Should the Muslim muezzins be allowed to give the call to prayer from minarets in Rochester, England, the Bishop asks? Of course — as soon as church bells can ring out in Mecca!

Bishop Nazir-ali should know about the dangers of cultural relativism and the hopeless idea of appeasing the Islamists’ demands: He was born and raised in Pakistan, where Christians are murdered for saying: Jesus is Lord. Bishop Nazir-ali receives death threats regularly for his outspoken opposition to cowardly self-abasement.

With the murders this week of twenty-one Coptic Christians on the beach in Libya, the world has seen an example of the cruelty and barbarism. The Obama administration regularly denies it has anything to do with Islam.

Egypt’s Gen. Abdul Fattah al-Sisi knows better. Gen. Sisi seized power from the Muslim Brotherhood’s man, Mohamad Morsi. Gen. Sisi went before the Muslim clerics at Al Azhar Mosque in Cairo. He boldly challenged them:It’s inconceivable that the thinking that we hold most sacred should cause the entire umma [Islamic world] to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world. Impossible!

That thinking—I am not saying “religion” but “thinking”—that corpus of texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the centuries, to the point that departing from them has become almost impossible, is antagonizing the entire world. It’s antagonizing the entire world!

Is it possible that 1.6 billion people [Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants—that is 7 billion—so that they themselves may live? Impossible!
Why can’t President Obama say this? Why can’t he be this courageous?

Islam must change. The world cannot survive another ideology of slavery and murder. Young girls must not be enslaved or bound over to older husbands in arranged marriages. Young women who seek to marry outside the religion must not be murdered in dishonor killings while the authorities look away.

Christians and Jews must not be persecuted in every Muslim majority land. And above all, Islam must cease its drumbeat of hatred for the Jews.

Liberals hoped for much when President Obama came to office in 2009. And they published books and magazine articles showing him as the second coming of FDR.

But on one vital matter, the very liberal Franklin D. Roosevelt and Barack Hussein Obama are radically different — and it is not their race.

FDR’s son Elliott told Winston Churchill at the first summit meeting ever held “my father is a very religious man.” That was in August 1941.

Churchill already knew that. That’s why he chose Christian hymns for an emotional joint worship service on board the battle-scarred HMS Prince of Wales. As newsreel cameras showed both leaders singing “Onward Christian Soldiers” among thousands of U.S. and Royal Navy sailors, Justice Felix Frankfurter called it one of the most moving experiences of his life.

Justice Frankfurter was a secular Jew. He felt no threat from the Christian worship service. Justice Frankfurter knew that Hitler planned the annihilation of all the Jews—just as the jihadists do today.

FDR’s administration published war posters showing a Nazi dagger stabbing into the Christian Bible. “Our Enemy” was the caption. President Roosevelt’s personal message and signature was included in hundreds of thousands of Bibles—New Testament and Hebrew Psalms—distributed to our troops.

The Obama administration fawns before jihadists abroad, invites their apologists into the White House, and persecutes Christians in the military. He complains of Jews housing Jews in Jerusalem and shuns the Israeli Prime Minster.

Is it any wonder that FDR won World War II in four years and, after six years of desultory action this most anti-Israel, most anti-Christian administration in U.S. history is still groping for answers?

Jihad Johnny, the British-accented beheader of ISIS notoriety, put his knife to the throat of a poor young Syrian Muslim as he prepared to kill him. Jihad Jonny cried out: Obama — Dog of Rome — we’re coming for you!”

Constantinople, the capital of the Eastern Christian Byzantine Empire, fell to Muslims in 1453. ISIS calls the Byzantines the Cat. And they view Western Christians as Dogs of Rome.

Neither the Pope nor President Obama would claim that affiliation for him. But he had better soon claim something more than a “jobs for jihadists” program, a swap of our stimulus for their stilettos.

The whole world is watching. All the while, Islamist Iran is moving closer to the Bomb.
Ken Blackwell is a conservative family values advocate. Blackwell is a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission and is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and a visiting professor at Liberty University School of Law. Bob Morrison is a Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council. He has served at the U.S. Department of Education with Gary Bauer under then-Secretary William Bennett. Both are contributing authors to the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Ken Blackwell, Bob Morrison, President Obama, ISIS policy, jobs for Jihadist program, Iran, nuclear bomb,  editorial cartoon, Michael Ramirez  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Summit Of Fools, Obama's Losing

Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Summit Of Fools: President Obama's White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism contributed nothing to winning the war against radical Islam. Instead, Obama and the other speakers employed rhetoric and arguments more likely to prevent us from understanding our enemy and making the hard decisions to counter it.

Even worse,  His repeated narrative that American Muslims are being unfairly treated and that they are the victims of hate is likely to inspire more radicalization here at home.

In short, the conference actually weakened us and strengthened our foes.

Obama asserts that "violent extremism" is "not unique to one group or to one geography or one period of time." But there is one group -- radical Islamists -- who at this period of time is threatening, killing and enslaving more people than any other expansive ideology.

When he claims that groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda have nothing to do with Islam, he defies the evidence plainly in front of our eyes. He makes it less likely for Muslim leaders to confront the spreading cancer. Why should they? The president says it has nothing to do with them.

The March issue of The Atlantic, a prominent mainstream magazine, features an article by Graeme Wood entitled, "What ISIS Really Wants." Wood's piece is the result of months of research and personal interviews with ISIS leaders and sympathizers around the world. Here's an excerpt of what he found about the centrality of Islam to the Islamic State:
"The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic. Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers, drawn largely from the disaffected populations of the Middle East and Europe. But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam.

"Virtually every major decision and law promulgated by the Islamic State adheres to what it calls, in its press and pronouncements, and on its billboards, license plates, stationery, and coins, 'the Prophetic methodology,' which means following the prophecy and example of Muhammad, in punctilious detail. Muslims can reject the Islamic State; nearly all do. But pretending that it isn't actually a religious, millenarian group, with theology that must be understood to be combatted, has already led the United States to underestimate it and back foolish schemes to counter it."
Wood interviewed Princeton scholar Bernard Haykel, the leading expert on ISIS theology. Wood writes, "In Haykel's estimation, the fighters of the Islamic State are authentic throwbacks to early Islam and are faithfully reproducing its norms of war," which Haykel says includes, "Slavery, crucifixion, and beheadings."

Needless to say, neither Wood nor Haykel were at the White House conference. If they had been, they could have dispersed the fog that kept the truth hidden. Instead, the far-left that currently controls our government spent the day talking to American Muslim leaders who want to play the victim card. Everyone agreed to continue the charade while the world burns.

Obama's Losing The Debate: If Obama's politically correct nonsense sounds idiotic to you, take heart. He is starting to lose folks on the left, too. We've told you about Bill Maher's recent comments on radical Islam. Now even some talking heads in the media are breaking ranks.

MSNBC's Chris Matthews says that we are being "morally humiliated" by Obama's weak response to ISIS.

Left-wing loud mouth Ed Schultz understands that "it's a religious war."

NBC's Chuck Todd said, "Look, it comes across as if they are trying to be so politically correct that they're losing focus on what the problem is."

And MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell dismissed the president's summit on violent extremism as "more of a dog and pony show."
Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

Tags: Summit of Fools, Countering Violent Extremism, radical Islamists, Obama loosing, liberal media, Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

What’s Next for Libya, Now an ISIS Stronghold?

by James Phillips: Egypt retaliated for the decapitation of 21 Egyptian Christian workers held hostage in Libya by supporters of the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL) by bombing bases and training camps controlled by that revolutionary terrorist movement. Some of the targets were located near the cities of Derna and Sirte.

Eastern Libya long has been a stronghold of support for Islamist extremism and the Islamic State is estimated to have approximately 800 men under arms inside Libya, some of whom have returned from fighting overseas in Syria and Iraq.

Libyans were disproportionately represented in the ranks of the forerunner of the Islamic State, al-Qaeda in Iraq, and among foreign fighters flocking to Syria/Iraq.

The Islamic State also has been joined by defectors from many of the Islamist militias that have struggled for power since the fall of Libyan dictator Muammar Qadhafi in 2011. Last year, the Islamic State announced that three “provinces” had been established in Libya: one in Derna, one in the south and one around the capital of Tripoli, in the west.

The propaganda video of the execution of the Egyptian hostages was the first propaganda exercise carried out by these Libyan “provinces” of the Islamic State. It included a warning about “Rome” being bloodied, a reference to the apocalyptic struggle it sees itself waging. The video is likely to be followed by more videos as the Islamic State flexes its newfound muscles in Libya.

Although the Obama administration has turned a blind eye to Libya, Egypt and other countries have become increasingly concerned with the expanding strength of the Islamic State and other Islamist extremist groups in Libya. Cairo has called for a U.N. Security Council resolution that would support its military efforts there.

Italy has signaled that it is considering a military intervention in its former Libyan colony to thwart the Islamic State and also would want a U.N. mandate to back it up. Italy is particularly alarmed at the upsurge of illegal immigrants landing on its shores after passing through chaotic Libya. But it is unclear if Russia, China or even the United States would support a U.N. military mission in Libya.

Libya has been shattered by factional infighting between two major regional coalitions, Libya Dawn in Tripoli and the west, and the Dignity coalition in the east, which supports the recognized Libyan government, now sitting in Tobruk.

If the Islamic State is to be defeated in Libya, it would require herculean efforts to unite Libya’s quarrelling factions long enough to gain their help in dismantling its newly established “provinces.” Unfortunately, this is unlikely to happen any time soon.
James Phillips is the Senior Research Fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

Tags: What's Next, Lybia, ISIS stronghold, James Phillips, Heritage Foundation To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Dems in Their Own Words: It Was Unconstitutional Before It Wasn’t

Sen. Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV,
and Sen. Dick Durbin, D-IL (photo by
Bill Clark via Heritage Foundation article)
by Genevieve Wood: Hypocrisy is a given in Washington.

So much so that Senate Democrats must believe no one notices just how much of it they are guilty of in their attempts to prevent Congress from funding the Department of Homeland Security.

First, Democrats say they want to fund Homeland Security–yet they have filibustered any and all attempts by Republicans to even bring the bill up for debate.

Second, while numerous Democratic senators have made public statements saying President Obama was wrong to take executive action to change the country’s immigration laws without consent from Congress, none of these folks now appear willing to vote for or even discuss the Department of Homeland Security funding bill that would prevent Obama’s executive amnesty plans from taking place.

And then late last week, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) made the suggestion that the Senate do something he said just a few years ago was unconstitutional. He recommended the Senate create its own Homeland Security funding bill, pass it, and send it to the House. But back in 2007, Durbin was emphatic that the Constitution required all spending measures to begin in the House. During a debate with Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) over appropriations, he said the following:

This is a Senate appropriations bill. As the senator from Texas knows, the Constitution requires that spending bills originate in the House. So the House would either object or ignore this bill or blue slip the bill in a way that would mean that whatever we would do here would not achieve the result asked for by the senator from Texas. (Durbin, Congressional Record, 12/11/07)On another occasion, but making the same “all spending bills must originate in the House” argument, another Democrat, then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) put it this way:Not only is this vote unnecessary, it is totally meaningless. It is a motion to proceed to a Senate appropriations bill. Let me repeat that it is a motion to proceed to a Senate appropriations bill. Everyone knows, even in elementary school, that under our Constitution revenue bills must originate in the House of Representatives. So even if the Senate were to pass his bill, the House would refuse to act on it. This would be the case regardless of which party controls the House of Representatives. (Reid, 11/16/07)To be clear, the Constitution says that revenue bills have to originate in the House. It is silent on spending or other bills. So, as Heritage’s senior fellow in Economic Policy David Burton says, “Durbin’s assertion that spending bills must originate in the House under the Constitution was just wrong.”

And that is perhaps the ultimate hypocrisy. What is “constitutional” or “unconstitutional” according to Senate Democrats seems to depend on the outcome they are aiming for. In this case they are calling something constitutional that they previously said was unconstitutional in order to allow something truly unconstitutional to happen. If you can follow that logic, you should apply for a job in Washington.
Genevieve Wood (@genevievewood) advances policy priorities of The Heritage Foundation as senior contributor to The Daily Signal.

Tags: Democrats, Constitution, spending bill, begin in House, Genevieve Wood, Heritage Foundation To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Shovel-Ready Jobs for Beheaders?

by Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison, Contributing Authors: Stung by criticism that he has no strategy for confronting ISIS, President Obama told his hastily convened “summit on violent extremism” that what these young men need is jobs.

Presumably, there are shovel-ready jobs these young terrorists could readily perform. Like grave-digging?

Has there ever been a more fatuous response to murderous savagery? Yes. At the beginning of World War II, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain ordered the Royal Air Force (RAF) to bomb Nazy Germany — with leaflets. He ordered young RAF flight crews to risk their lives in order to drop German-language appeals to the people in Hitler’s Reich. When one bombardier failed to cut the strings tying up one of these propaganda bundles, he was sharply rebuked: “That bundle could have killed someone on the ground!”

Chamberlain has gone down in history as the arch-appeaser. He seemed utterly blind to the rising storm of Nazi fury. And to the mortal threat it posed to England. Sixty thousand Britons died in the Blitz. The Luftwafffe didn’t fool around with dropping leaflets. Hitler’s air force dropped deadly bombs, including an especially cruel kind—those with delayed action fuses. These insidious weapons were designed to terrorize quiet English villages and demoralize the British population.

These terror weapons called for a new, more manly response. By the time the bombs rained down, the hapless Chamberlain had been tossed out of office and replaced by Winston Churchill. It was Winston who had been warning all through the 1930s that hate-filled killers like the Nazis could not be appeased. Churchill responded to the devilish ingenuity of the Germans’ delayed fuse bombs by creating the Bomb Disposal Unit of the Royal Engineers. Their story of heroism in the face of death was dramatized in the BBC series, Danger: UXB. (Unexploded Bomb). Danger UXB signs cropped up all over London and many a British city and town.

Perhaps we should put a Danger UXB sign up outside the State Department. President Obama’s violent extremism summit (a word Churchill invented) included members of Muslim Brotherhood front groups. The Muslim Brotherhood was a twin of the Nazis. It survived WWII, and it has brought forward into our time the Nazis’ violent Jew hatred. They called it Judenhass and it was the propellant for those bombs and rockets.

President Obama told the summit participants that ISIS murderers “crave legitimacy.” So what does he do? He calls them ISIL—their preferred term for themselves — meaning Islamic State in the Levant. The Levant includes all of Lebanon, most of Syria, much of Iraq, and, of course, all of Israel. By using that term, President Obama has given ISIS the legitimacy he says they must not have.

Only the President of the United States has the power to extend or deny diplomatic recognition to foreign states. Harry Truman used that power to recognize Israel just eleven minutes after the Jewish State declared its independence in 1948. Dwight Eisenhower used that power to withdraw U.S. recognition of the murderous Castro regime in Cuba in 1961. Ike said memorably: “There is a limit to what the United States in self-respect can endure. That limit has now been reached.” Ike believed in American Exceptionalism. And he kept this nation safe at home and respected abroad.

Under President Obama, there seems no limit to what we must endure. Under President Obama, the United States is daily humiliated. He bowed to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia—the same Abdullah who refused us access to the al-Qaeda finance chief, Madani al Tayyib in 1998.

If we had been allowed to question al Tayyib, might we have unraveled the 9/11 plot and prevented it? Or might we have found Saudi subsidies to those “violent extremists,” as the President says we must call them?

President Obama thinks we have to do a better job of showing respect for Muslims around the world. It’s not enough that he thinks NASA’s real job is to shore up Muslim self-esteem. It’s not enough that he holds Muslim dinners at the White House, but scolds Christians at their Prayer Breakfasts.

Perhaps President Obama himself should go to Duke University and recite the Shahada—the Muslim call to prayer—from the Bell Tower of that famous, once Christian, temple of learning. He boasts that he can still recall the words he learned as a boy in Indonesia. Pity he didn’t also learn the Pledge of Allegiance.

It’s not enough that he meets with Mahmoud Abbas, the PLO boss, on every occasion while stiff-arming Israel’s elected Prime Minister. Benjamin Netanyahu in the only democratically chosen leader in the Middle East.

The PLO was for decades listed as a terrorist organization by our State Department. They invented airline hijacking for terror purposes. But in 1989, they were declared a partner for peace. We’ve given them billions of dollars in foreign aid since and are no closer to peace.

The “Roadmap” for Middle East peace is studded with Danger UXB signs. This administration has put us in jeopardy everywhere in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Whether it’s in the Middle East (another term Churchill invented) or in Communist Cuba, there is no limit to what we, as Americans must endure. He openly trades the worst of their terrorists for the worst of our soldiers.

He gives Fidel Castro everything he demanded for for fifty years and got nothing in return. Not even a modicum of respect. The Castros displayed their greatest trophy in a half-century conflict. They paraded a brainwashed Eliàn Gonzalez at a celebratory victory rally. Eliàn was the six-year old Cuban refugee whose mother died trying to get him to freedom. The Clintons seized at gunpoint and tossed back onto that Island of Tyranny.

This is what the Obama administration calls Smart Power. This is their mantra: Don’t do stupid stuff. But to us it seems they do nothing else.
Ken Blackwell is a conservative family values advocate. Blackwell is a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission and is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and a visiting professor at Liberty University School of Law. Bob Morrison is a Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council. He has served at the U.S. Department of Education with Gary Bauer under then-Secretary William Bennett. Both are contributing authors to the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Ken Blackwell, Bob Morrison, President Obama, appeaser, Obama administration, BBC series, Danger: UXB, Smart Power, shovel-ready jobs, beheaders, terrorists To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Too Many Lies, Too Much of the Time

“He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world's believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions.” ~ Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, Aug. 19, 1785
by Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: I am beginning to wonder if Americans have grown so accustomed to the lies told by the President, his administration, and others said to be highly regarded, that we are losing a sense of outrage?

To the degree that Brian Williams’ serial lies have evoked a national discussion, it’s good to know that most people think he has lost credibility to the point of not being a news anchor, but one still has to wonder what NBC will do at the end of the six month suspension it has imposed on him. I am cynical enough to think he may be offered a job at MSNBC.

It is far more significant that, regarding the leading candidate to be the Democratic Party’s choice to run for President in 2016, we know she engaged in similar lies of having been “under fire.”

It’s one thing to expect politicians to lie, but the nation’s future is at stake when we still do not know the truth of Hillary Clinton’s full role in the Benghazi attack that left a U.S. ambassador and three others dead. She was the Secretary of State at the time and we watched her stand at his side as the President attributed the attack to a video no one had ever seen. The fact that the attack occurred on the anniversary of 9/11 was conveniently ignored.

The refusal to identify the Islamic State (ISIS) as an enemy representative of the global jihad is not just politics. It is a lie on the order of the President’s assertion that “The Islamic State is not Islamic.” As we are repeatedly reminded, if you cannot or will not identify an enemy, you are leaving yourself and, in this case, the nation open to attack.

Indeed, many elements of the Obama administration have engaged in lying on a level that goes beyond “politics.” It is a deliberate attack on science itself when the EPA, NOAA and NASA actively engage in distorting data to say that the Earth is warming when it has been in a well-established cooling cycle for 19 years at this point.

How are we expected to maintain any confidence in an administration that lies about employment statistics and other critical data we need to know regarding the economy?

The lie about “income inequality” is the core rational for Communism. There is no such thing as equality when it comes to income because some people enjoy higher pay for higher skills, higher productivity, and higher responsibility. We don’t pay “sanitation engineers” the same as we pay real engineers. And you don’t create new jobs by raising the minimum wage when it will reduce existing and potential new jobs.

Most dramatically, it was a series of lies told by the President that led to the passage of ObamaCare. Its two thousand-plus pages were not read by the exclusively Democratic members of Congress who passed it and, today, we learn that it is a major contributor to the nation’s deficit which is the result of the government spending more than it takes in. For the past six years Obama’s policies have added trillions to our national debt, now $18 trillion and growing. It is going to be a burden on generations to come.

There is no evidence of the tax reforms that Congress knows are needed, nor reforms to the entitlement programs that are just years from becoming insolvent.

Whether it is domestic or foreign affairs, Americans have been at a loss to expect the national press to address the lies because they would have to abandon the protection they have afforded the President for the past six years. Only one news service, Fox News, is credited with providing the truth. Fortunately the Internet has provided access to many other outlets where the truth can be found. And, yes, many that maintain the lies.

It should come as no surprise that the Obama administration wants to regulate the Internet with a program that call “Net neutrality”, but there is nothing neutral about it. The freedom the Internet enjoys is the best example of the value Americans put on an uncensored source of information and communication. The Obama administration wants to control the Internet in the same way that despots around the world want to do.

There is always a far higher price to pay for believing lies than knowing the truth.

We expect our enemies to lie. We should not expect our government to do so in such a routine and obscene fashion.
Alan Caruba is a writer by profession; has authored several books, and writes a daily column, Warning Signs  He is a contribution author on the  ARRA News Service.

Tags: Net Neutrality, Obama administration, regulating the Internet, control of the Internet, President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Brian Williams, too many lies, Alan Caruba, Warning Signs To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Facepalm Moment . . .

. . . Obamacare tax penalty has taken many low information followers by surprise.
Editorial Cartoon by AF Branco

Read ARRA News Service background article: CBS: "Insured Through Obamacare? Prepare For A Tax Headache"; WaPo: "Dems Bracing For Another Obamacare Backlash"

Tags: Obamacare, tax penalty, 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!

CBS: "Insured Through Obamacare? Prepare For A Tax Headache"; WaPo: "Dems Bracing For Another Obamacare Backlash"

ARRA News summary of the following of news reports: Obamacare Really Sucks!

CBS News reports, “If you're among the roughly 20 million people affected by the Affordable Care Act -- either because you bought insurance through health exchanges or will be subject to penalties or exemptions for failing to get coverage -- filing a tax return just got a lot harder.  Indeed, potentially millions of people who never before had to file tax returns will now need to file as the result of the health law. . . .

“[T]he subsidies that may appear to simply lower the cost of insurance premiums are actually ‘advance premium tax credits’ that are paid directly to health insurers. Because those credits are made on each taxpayer's behalf, it's up to individual taxpayers to determine whether the ‘advance payment’ was too much or too little. Though many of these individuals have never had to file before -- they simply earned too little to be required to file -- they will now need to complete tax returns to reconcile the Obamacare subsidies they got with what they owe, according to the IRS.

“Meanwhile, those who didn't buy insurance or had a lapse in coverage that exceeded three months will need to determine whether they're subject to a tax penalty. Both situations involve slogging through new forms and dozens of pages of instructions.

“‘If you didn't have any changes in your situation over the course of the year -- everyone was covered under the policy and your income is exactly the same as it was in 2013 -- it might not be that bad,’ said Mark Luscombe, principal tax analyst with Wolters Kluwer, Tax & Accounting U.S. ‘But if you had a change in circumstances or don't have a perfectly straightforward situation, the amount of time it takes to handle this will increase exponentially.’

“Why? If you received discounted insurance through a health exchange, you'll need to fill out the mind-boggling Form 8962. Although this two-page form officially has just 36 lines, there are actually 90 spaces on just the first page that need to be filed in -- up to six spaces for each official ‘line.’ . . . To put the correct figures in several of these spaces, you'll need to complete charts and worksheets found elsewhere in the 20-page instruction booklet. . . .

“The IRS says it does not have an estimate of the time it will take taxpayers to fill out this form. Experts estimate that someone with a complex situation will spend more time on the 8962 than they will filling out all of their other tax forms combined. . . .

The IRS estimates that about half of the roughly 6 million individuals who got subsidy payments for Obamacare got too much; the rest may actually get additional subsidy payments through boosted tax refunds. . . .

“What if you didn't get insurance through an ACA exchange? If you are covered elsewhere, either through an employer or a individual plan, you only need to check a box this year, tax officials say. (Next year, additional documentation will be required of everyone.) But if you have no coverage or had a lapse in coverage that lasted more than three months, you'll need to fill out the form 8965 to determine whether you owe a penalty or can qualify for an exemption.”

After viewing CBS's Report, yesterday’s The Washington Post article makes perfect sense. The Post wrote, “The Obamacare window technically just closed this weekend, but a new round of political headaches could just be beginning for the administration. That's because it's tax season, and many Americans could soon be getting an unwelcome surprise that they owe the government a penalty for skipping health insurance coverage. Up to 6 million Americans are expected to pay a penalty for not having coverage in 2014, according to recent Obama administration projections.”

Even more worrying, “it's likely that a lot of people who will have to pay don't know it yet,” The Post explains. 
“Despite the unpopularity of the individual mandate and the high-stakes Supreme Court case over it three years ago, there's still limited awareness of the penalty among those who could risk triggering it. Nearly half of uninsured Americans weren't aware of the penalty . . . .

That means millions of people won't learn they'll have to pay the penalty until they file taxes this year, and at that point, it will have been too late to buy 2015 coverage since the enrollment deadline was Feb. 15. The minimum individual mandate penalty more than triples this year, rising to $325, or to 2 percent of income. ‘It's the fact that if you didn't apply by Feb. 15, you have no way of escaping the penalty in 2015,’ said Stan Dorn, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute. ‘It's not something that a lot of people have necessarily thought through.’”

Of course, the story notes, “To head off the potential backlash, Democratic lawmakers and groups supporting the health-care law in the past few days have urged the administration to keep the enrollment period open for people who won't figure out they owe a penalty until it's too late. . . . The administration seems to be exploring the idea of extending the enrollment period for those dinged by the individual mandate. ‘You’re going to hear from us, one way or another, within the next two weeks on whether that’s something that we would do,’ Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said Friday, according to Bloomberg.”

Would this mean another unilateral change to yet another deadline in the law by the Obama administration?

Tags: 2015, Income Tax, Affordable Care Act, tax pentalties, IRS Form 8962, tax headache, Obamacare backlash, CBS News, Washington Post To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Poll Shows Americans Want Netanyahu to Speak To Congress

Benjamin Netanyahu
by Josh Rogin, Bloomberg View: How do Americans feel about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressing Congress next month? According to one new poll, more support it than object -- despite the controversy over the way he was invited.

The data, reported here for the first time, was commissioned by the Israel Project, a pro-Israel group. It adds important context to a CNN/ORC poll, released Tuesday, which showed that 63 percent of Americans disapprove of the way House Speaker John Boehner invited Netanyahu to the joint session. Boehner said Sunday that he had intentionally kept his plans secret from the Barack Obama administration, because he feared White House "interference" with the speech, now scheduled for March 3.

While it may be true that most Americans don't like Boehner's tactics, it's not the case that they don't want Netanyahu to go through with it. According to the TIP data, 25 percent of 1,563 respondents to the new poll said they agreed more with the statement:

Some people say Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is in the middle of an election at home, and it is inappropriate for the U.S. to host him for a speech only two weeks before the election is being held. They say this is a Republican attempt to make Netanyahu look stronger before his election.While 43 percent of respondents said they agreed more with the following statement:Other people say Iran is getting closer to building a nuclear weapon. As one of the world's most knowledgeable leaders on the Middle East and the Iranian nuclear program, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu should address Congress before the March 31st deadline for a political framework with Iran.Those are detailed questions for a news survey, which was conducted by Paragon Insights, and one can debate whether the reference to Netanyahu's credentials was relevant. (The full methodology and text of all questions can be found here.) Nonetheless, the responses make clear that more Americans than not now believe it’s a good idea to let Netanyahu make his case.

Also, more respondents than not (47 percent to 32 percent) disapprove of the way the administration has reacted to the coming speech. Obama, Vice President Joseph Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry have all said they won't meet with Netanyahu while he is in Washington, citing a desire not to interfere in the Israeli elections coming March 17.

Breaking down the numbers a different way, the poll asked respondents whether it was appropriate to let Netanyahu speak to Congress considering he is so close to his own election. Only 22 percent of respondents said that Netanyahu should be barred from speaking because of his personal political interests.

Several Democratic lawmakers have pledged to boycott the Netanyahu speech, but the poll suggests that this might have a political cost. More than a third of respondents said they would be less likely to vote to re-elect their congressman if he or she boycotted the speech, while 27 percent said it would make them more likely to support re-election.

"The numbers are stark," said Omri Ceren, the Israel Project's managing director for press and strategy. "Even Americans who may be ambivalent about how the Netanyahu speech came together … would be less likely to vote for a congressperson who boycotted."

The poll was conducted from February 12-16 by Paragon's Nathan Klein, who has been a pollster for the National Republican Senatorial Committee. The interviews were conducted online. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points. Just over half of respondents described themselves as "supporters" or "strong supporters" of Israel.

Taken together, the CNN and TIP polls show that Americans are unhappy with both the Republican Congressional leadership and the Obama administration over their handling of the speech. But that does not mean that Americans don't want to hear what the Israeli leader has to say. Perhaps both Congress and the administration should recognize that Netanyahu is a known entity to Americans, people understand his politics and his motivations, and the success or failure of his speech will depend on its content, not on how leaders in Washington react.
Josh Rogin@joshrogin)is a Columnist for Bloomberg View  and Political Analyst for CNN.

Tags: Bloomberg, Poll, , Americans Want, Netanyahu to Speak To Congress, Josh Rogin, Bloomberg View To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Why Oil Prices Must Go Up - Iraq Is Of Major Concern

If Iraq fails to deliver, the world could see oil prices surge at some point in the coming decade.
by Nick Cunningham:  It may be difficult to look beyond the current pricing environment for oil, but the depletion of low-cost reserves and the increasing inability to find major new discoveries ensures a future of expensive oil.

While analyzing the short-term trajectory of oil prices is certainly important, it obscures the fact that over the long-term, oil exploration companies may struggle to bring new sources of supply online. Ed Crooks over at the FT persuasively summarizes the predicament. Crooks says that 2014 is shaping up to be the worst year in the last six decades in terms of new oil discoveries (based on preliminary data).

Worse still, last year marked the fourth year in a row in which new oil discoveries declined, the longest streak of decline since 1950. The industry did not log a single "giant" oil field. In other words, oil companies are finding it more and more difficult to make new oil discoveries as the easy stuff runs out and the harder-to-reach oil becomes tougher to develop.

The inability to make new discoveries is not due to a lack of effort. Total global investment in oil and gas exploration grew rapidly over the last 15 years. Capital expenditures increased by almost threefold to $700 billion between 2000 and 2013, while output only increased 17 percent (see IEA chart).
Despite record levels of spending, the largest oil companies are struggling to replace their depleted reserves. BP reported a reserve replacement ratio – the volume of new reserves added to a company’s portfolio relative to the amount extracted that year – of 62 percent. Chevron reported 89 percent and Shell posted just a 26 percent reserve replacement figure. ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips fared better, each posting more than 100 percent. Still, unless the oil majors significantly step up spending they will not only be unable to make new discoveries, but their production levels will start to fall (some of them area already seeing this begin to happen). The IEA predicts that the oil industry will need to spend $850 billion annually by the 2030s to increase production. An estimated $680 billion each year – or 80 percent of the total spending – will be necessary just to keep today’s production levels flat.

However, now that oil prices are so low, oil companies have no room to boost spending. All have plans to reduce expenditures in order to stem financial losses. But that only increases the chances of a supply crunch at some point in the future. Put another way, if the oil majors have been unable to make new oil discoveries in years when spending was on the rise, they almost certainly won’t be able to find new oil with exploration budgets slashed.

Long lead times on new oil projects mean that the dearth of discoveries in 2014 don’t have much of an effect on current oil prices, but could lead to a price spike in the 2020’s.

All of this comes despite the onslaught of shale production that U.S. companies have brought online in recent years. U.S. oil production may have increased by 60 to 70 percent since 2009, but the new shale output still only amounts to around 5 percent of global production.

Not only that, but shale production is much more expensive than conventional drilling. As conventional wells decline and are replaced by shale, the average cost per barrel of oil produced will continue to rise, pushing up prices.

Moreover, with rapid decline rates, the shale revolution is expected to fade away in the 2020’s, leaving the world ever more dependent on the Middle East for oil supplies. The problem with that scenario is that the Middle East will not be able to keep up. Middle Eastern countries "need to invest today, if not yesterday" in order to meet global demand a decade from now, the International Energy Agency’s Chief Economist Fatih Birol said on the release of a report in June 2014.

In fact, half of the additional supply needed from the Middle East will have to come from a single country: Iraq. Birol reiterated those comments on February 17 at a conference in Japan, only his warnings have grown more ominous as the security situation in Iraq has deteriorated markedly since last June. "The security problems caused by Daesh (IS) and others are creating a major challenge for the new investments in the Middle East and if those investments are not made today we will not see that badly needed production growth around the 2020s," Birol said, according to Reuters.

If Iraq fails to deliver, the world could see oil prices surge at some point in the coming decade. Despite the urgency, "the appetite for investments in the Middle East is close to zero, mainly as a result of the unpredictability of the region," he added.
James Stafford is Editor of contributes articles to the ARRA News Service. Nick Cunningham is a Washington DC-based writer on energy and environmental issues. You can follow him on twitter at @nickcunningham1

Tags: future, oil prices, Midle East, Iraq, oil companies, Nick Cunningham, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Franklin, Francis, Radical Islam, Jobs for Terrorists, and Obama's Pen

Tony Branco: The Obama pen is mightier than the
truth and reality, when it comes to speaking out
about “Radical Islam or Islamic Terrorists.
Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: I was encouraged by Reverend Franklin Graham's clear-headed reaction to the brutal murders of 21 Egyptian Christians. Pope Francis also spoke out in unusually strong terms, saying with clarity what the Obama Administration would not. The pope said:"Today I read about the execution of those 21 or 22 Coptic Christians. . . . They were executed for nothing more than the fact that they were Christian. The blood of our Christian sisters and brothers is testimony that cries out."Few media outlets reported the statements the ISIS jihadists made about targeting Christianity and Rome -- threatening new crusades. (How can anyone possibly cling to the canard that ISIS has nothing to do with Islam?)

You know my strong views about Obama's lame attempt at the National Prayer Breakfast to downplay the jihad going on today by reminding his audience of the crusades, which were fought at least 700 years ago. Here is the worst aspect of what he did: By pointing back to the crusades, Obama adopted the chosen narrative of ISIS and the other radical Islamic groups.

The ISIS magazine frequently promotes the idea that what the jihadists are doing is just a continuation of the crusades. Now they can quote President Obama on the "terrible deeds done in the name of Christ" as justification for the ethnic and religious cleansing that occurs everywhere radical Islam is triumphant.

Even a leftist like MSNBC's Chris Matthews understands that we are being "morally humiliated" by Obama's inept response to ISIS.

Reverend Graham's statement. He ended his remarks in almost Churchillian terms, warning, "The storm is coming."The militant Islamic terrorist group ISIS has released a video called A MESSAGE SIGNED WITH BLOOD TO THE NATION OF THE CROSS showing the beheadings of 21 Egyptian Christians who had been kidnapped in Libya. Can you imagine the outcry if 21 Muslims had been beheaded by Christians? Where is the universal condemnation by Muslim leaders around the world? As we mourn with the families of those 21 martyrs, we’d better take this warning seriously as these acts of terror will only spread throughout Europe and the United States. If this concerns you like it does me, share this. The storm is coming.The confluence of statements by Reverend Graham and Pope Francis should send a strong message to pastors and priests in the United States and around the world. This is a time to preach from the pulpit about this rising threat to Judeo-Christian civilization and freedom.

I hope more religious leaders will follow the examples of Reverend Graham and Pope Francis by doing what our own government leaders refuse to do -- provide us with the truth about the nature of this conflict, and the courage we need to defeat it.

Then there is the opposite of rational discourse: State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf said Monday that the basic problem fueling jihadism was a lack of jobs. She doubled down yesterday on CNN, suggesting that this line of reasoning "might be too nuanced an argument for some." She says her point is "nuanced" -- I think it is insane. What's next? A new Obama stimulus program called "Jobs for Jihadis"?

As ridiculous as her statement sounds, it is just another variation of, "Abdul didn't get a raise at his pizza delivery job, so he decided to blow up a synagogue." Or, "Ahmed in Minneapolis didn't get into the college he wanted, so he decided to join ISIS."

Even the vice president got in on the act at yesterday's ludicrous White House conference on extremism. Biden suggested that the problem in some American Muslim communities is alienation and lack of integration.

Muslims in America, by and large, are enjoying lives that make them the envy of Muslims throughout the world. They are enjoying the same freedoms of religion, speech and assembly that are provided to all who are fortunate enough to be part of this great nation. The number of mosques in America has nearly doubled in the past decade.

This has happened in the middle of a war that became so apparent on the morning of 9/11 -- a war being waged by jihadists who operate in the name of their faith. It is a tribute to the decency of the American people that Muslims are able to live in peace and practice their faith here much more safely than they can in many countries where their co-religionists hold power.

I am hopeful that American Muslims will look for opportunities to express gratitude for, in many cases, their adopted nation. I hope that Muslims take the lead in removing the jihadist cancer that is growing in their midst and that they will fight the scourge of anti-Semitism, which has deep roots in Islam. I hope they reject the false narrative promoted by many on the left that American Muslims are a victimized, oppressed minority. In fact, they are blessed to be living in a nation informed by Judeo-Christian concepts of tolerance and ordered liberty.
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, Franklin Graham, The Storm is Coming, Pope Francis, Radical Islam, State Department, Spokeswoman, Marie Harf, basic problem, fueling jihadism, lack of jobs, jobs for terrorists, editorial cartoon, AF Branco, Obama's Pen 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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