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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, August 19, 2016

Trump’s Two Historic Speeches

by Newt Gingrich: Donald Trump gave two historic speeches this week, each offering a big choice about America’s future at home and abroad.

On Monday, Trump gave a remarkable address about national security and the threat of Islamic supremacism. On Tuesday, he spoke about domestic security and prosperity–specifically, the challenges facing poor Americans in our inner cities.
The two speeches were historic for different reasons.

The first was a speech that finally–almost 15 years after 9/11–treated the threat of Islamic supremacism with the level of seriousness and new thinking it deserves.

Never before has an American presidential nominee stated so clearly and unequivocally that we are in a global war, that we are not winning the war, and that our enemy is ideological in nature.

Trump linked the struggle explicitly to our long wars with the fascism, Nazism, and communism. And he argued that we must meet the threat from Islamic supremacism with equal clarity and resolve.

Trump argued that a serious strategy for defeating our enemies must recognize the ideological nature of the threat.
“Just as we won the Cold War, in part, by exposing the evils of communism and the virtues of free markets, so too must we take on the ideology of Radical Islam,” he said.

That means building tools to keep the ideology from spreading in the United States, and eventually, to defeat it. In a profound break with the national security establishment in both parties, Trump argued for applying the lessons of our struggle against the Nazis and the communists in the 20th century:
In the Cold War, we had an ideological screening test. The time is overdue to develop a new screening test for the threats we face today.In addition to screening out all members or sympathizers of terrorist groups, we must also screen out any who have hostile attitudes towards our country or its principles – or who believe that Sharia law should supplant American law.

Those who do not believe in our Constitution, or who support bigotry and hatred, will not be admitted for immigration into the country. Only those who we expect to flourish in our country – and to embrace a tolerant American society – should be issued immigrant visas.
It would be difficult to overstate how big a difference this proposal is from the status quo–an immigration system that is largely blind to ideology and unconcerned with assimilation–and from the designs of Hillary Clinton, who wants to increase the number of refugees from Syria by 550 percent with no clear plan to adequately vet them.

In this clear and accurate description of reality, Trump laid the groundwork for developing the strategy we urgently need to defeat our enemies.

Trump’s second speech was equally historic in rethinking the dogmas that have dominated our politics for decades.
In his address on domestic safety here in the United States, Trump spoke more boldly and directly to the African American community than any Republican presidential nominee I can remember.

Here again, he argued that the current approach of our policy establishment is failed and discredited.

He described how the left’s policies, its bureaucracies, and its political leaders have led to pockets of inescapable poverty in the heart of great American cities like Chicago, Milwaukee, Baltimore, and Detroit.

He drew on the analysis of Rudy Giuliani and Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke to make the case that these failures of the left lead directly to the despair, desperation, resentment, anger, and eventually, violence that we are seeing in the streets this month.

Trump presented the big choice facing poor Americans in the inner cities–and African Americans in particular–in stark terms: Are they satisfied with the crime, with schools that don’t work, with neighborhoods that have no jobs, with corrupt politicians who cheat and lie to the people, with teachers’ unions that block parents from sending their children to better schools, and with the physical danger they face every day?

Or are they willing to think about making real changes?

No Republican has ever had the courage to pose this choice so clearly and so directly. But more than any time in recent history, the conditions in our cities offer a historic opportunity for a new conversation about how to solve the problems of poverty and violent crime in America.

These two speeches both offer a revolutionary break with the failed, ossified establishment that currently dominates Washington. They represent a pivotal moment in the campaign and set the stage for a great national debate–and a very big choice–this fall.
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, commentary, Donald Trump, Two Historic Speeches To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

‘Completely False’?

After Repeated Denials, Obama Administration Now Admits ‘$400M Cash Shipment To Iran Tied To U.S. Prisoners' Release’

Sen. Tom Cotton
SEN. TOM COTTON (R-AR): “Reports today confirm what many of us have suspected all along: the $400 million payment to Iran was a ransom payment for four Americans unlawfully held by the ayatollahs. … Unfortunately, it's not just the American people who received confirmation: it's also terrorist groups and our adversaries around the world who know the United States will pay cold, hard cash for hostages. Again and again this administration gets caught dodging and weaving to avoid the truth.” (Sen. Cotton, Press Release, 8/18/16)
‘State Department Confirmed Thursday That A $400 Million Dollar Cash Shipment To Iran In January Was Tied To The Release Of Four American Citizens’

“The State Department confirmed Thursday that a $400 million dollar cash shipment to Iran in January was tied to the release of four American citizens who’d been detained in the country. Spokesman John Kirby said … the U.S. withheld delivery of the cash as leverage until the U.S. citizens had left Iran, according to the Associated Press. Both events happened on Jan. 17.” (“State Dept.: $400M Cash Shipment To Iran Tied To U.S. Prisoners' Release,” USA Today, 8/18/16)
“The Obama administration secretly organized an airlift of $400 million worth of cash to Iran that coincided with the January release of four Americans detained in Tehran, according to U.S. and European officials and congressional staff briefed on the operation afterward. Wooden pallets stacked with euros, Swiss francs and other currencies were flown into Iran on an unmarked cargo plane, according to these officials. … U.S. officials also acknowledge that Iranian negotiators on the prisoner exchange said they wanted the cash to show they had gained something tangible.” (“U.S. Sent Cash To Iran As Americans Were Freed,” The Wall Street Journal, 8/3/16)
  • “Revolutionary Guard commanders boasted at the time that the Americans had succumbed to Iranian pressure. ‘Taking this much money back was in return for the release of the American spies,’ said Gen. Mohammad Reza Naghdi, commander of the Guard’s Basij militia, on state media.” (“U.S. Sent Cash To Iran As Americans Were Freed,” The Wall Street Journal, 8/3/16)
  • “The Obama Administration’s handling of the Iran ransom-for-hostages story brings to mind the classic Chico Marx line in the movie ‘Duck Soup’: ‘Who are you going to believe—me or your own eyes?’ After everyone in the Administration from President Obama on down denied that a $400 million cash payment to Iran had anything to do with the same-day release of four American hostages, the State Department on Thursday said your own eyes had it right the first time. While still not using the R-word, State Department spokesman John Kirby said of the two events: ‘We of course wanted to seek maximum leverage in this case as these two things came together at the same time.’” (Editorial, “A Spokesman Calls It ‘Leverage’ For Prisoners, Aka Ransom For Hostages,” Wall Street Journal, 8/19/16)
‘Senior Justice Department Officials Objected To Sending A Plane Loaded With Cash To Tehran’

“Senior Justice Department officials objected to sending a plane loaded with cash to Tehran at the same time that Iran released four imprisoned Americans, but their objections were overruled by the State Department, according to people familiar with the discussions. . . The timing and manner of the payment raised alarms at the Justice Department, according to those familiar with the discussions. ‘People knew what it was going to look like, and there was concern the Iranians probably did consider it a ransom payment,’ said one of the people.” (“Justice Department Officials Raised Objections On U.S. Cash Payment To Iran,” The Wall Street Journal, 8/3/16)
PRESIDENT OBAMA: ‘We Do Not Pay Ransom For Hostages’

PRESIDENT OBAMA: ‘We do not pay ransom for hostages’ Q: “What is your response to critics who say the $400 million in cash that you sent to Iran was a ransom payment? Was it really, simply a pure coincidence that a sum that was -- a payment that was held up for almost four decades was suddenly sent at the exact same time that the American prisoners were released? … PRESIDENT OBAMA: “…we do not pay ransom for hostages.  We've got a number of Americans being held all around the world.  And I meet with their families, and it is heartbreaking.  And we have stood up an entire section of interagency experts who devote all their time to working with these families to get these Americans out. But those families know that we have a policy that we don't pay ransom.  And the notion that we would somehow start now in this high-profile way and announce it to the world -- even as we're looking into the faces of other hostage families whose loved ones are being held hostage and say to them that we don't pay ransom -- defies logic. … We do not pay ransom.  We didn't here.  And we don't -- we won’t in the future -- precisely because if we did, then we would start encouraging Americans to be targeted…” (President Obama, Press Conference, 8/4/16)

SEC. OF STATE JOHN KERRY: ‘The United States of America does not pay ransom and does not negotiate ransoms’ Q: “The U.S. Government has said repeatedly that the $400 million payment and the $1.3 billion in interest paid to Iran in January was not a ransom payment of any sort. The money was delivered at the same time, though, as the nuclear deal was finalized, and U.S. prisoners were released from custody there. It’s hard to not see this as a package. Do you think the U.S. prisoners would have been released in absence of that payment?” … SEC. OF STATE JOHN KERRY: “First of all, the United States of America does not pay ransom and does not negotiate ransoms with any country. We never have and we’re not doing that now. It is not our policy.” (Sec. Kerry, Press Conference, 8/4/16)

Tags: Obama Administration, Now Admits, $400M Cash Shipment, To Iran, Tied To U.S. Prisoners' Release To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Trump's Regrets, How Should Christians Respond, Another Home Run, Back To Basics

by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author:  Trump Expresses Regrets
There was an extraordinary moment in Donald Trump's speech yesterday in Charlotte, North Carolina. He said the following:"As you know, I am not a politician. I have worked in business, creating jobs and rebuilding neighborhoods my entire adult life. I've never wanted to learn the language of the insiders, and I've never been politically correct. . .

Sometimes, in the heat of debate and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don't choose the right words or you say the wrong thing. I have done that, and I regret it, particularly where it may have caused personal pain. . . But one thing I can promise you is this: I will always tell you the truth."
If you missed it, you can watch it here.
For those of us who believe it is absolutely essential that Donald Trump win the presidency, that statement was extremely important and significant.

Of course, big media and the Clinton campaign immediately asserted that those words were forced on Trump by Kellyanne Conway, his new campaign manager, and thus mean nothing. Yes, you read that right -- Hillary Clinton is accusing Donald Trump of lying. Liars gonna lie.

As some of you know, I have been friends with Kellyanne Conway for several decades. She is a woman of tremendous character. Earlier today on "Good Morning America," Conway adamantly asserted that those words were Donald Trump's own. He heavily edited drafts of the speech and said exactly what he wanted to say.

By the way, the Donald Trump who expressed his regrets last night is the man I know from repeated meetings and exchanges. He has always been kind, thoughtful and decent to me and everyone else in every interaction I have witnessed.

How Should Christians Respond
I confess that as a Christian, unlike others, I have not been conflicted about how I should vote this November. After the primary, it was not a difficult decision for me to support Trump. Let me just remind you of a few reasons:
  • Supreme Court appointments
  • Thousands of other judicial and government appointments
  • The future of religious liberty
  • The chance to end abortion-on-demand
  • Defeating radical Islam
  • Stopping Christian genocide.
I could go on and on.

But I certainly know and respect many Christian friends who have been put off by Trump's admittedly tough rhetoric, particularly against some of his competitors in the Republican primaries. Last night he expressed regrets about that rhetoric, especially if it personally wounded someone.

With so much at stake for the country, I hope that the reaction among fellow believers will be one of grace, and a redoubling of the requirement that we pray for all those who seek and hold higher office, as well as our commitment to act responsibly as good citizens when it comes time to vote.

Another Home Run
While Trump's remarks about his regrets are getting most of the attention, the rest of his speech was also remarkable. Trump continued reaching out to minority voters in ways that McCain and Romney did not, and he is using rhetoric that, quite frankly, is Reaganesque. Consider these few excerpts:"To be one united nation, we must protect all of our people. But we must also provide opportunities for all of our people. We cannot make America Great Again if we leave any community behind. Nearly four in ten African-American children are living in poverty. I will not rest until children of every color in this country are fully included in the American Dream. . .

"This is what I promise to African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and all Americans. . . I refuse to let another generation of American children be excluded from the American Dream. Our whole country loses when young people of limitless potential are denied the opportunity to contribute their talents because we failed to provide them the opportunities they deserved. Let our children be dreamers too. . .

"Finally, we are going to bring this country together. We are going to do it by emphasizing what we all have in common as Americans. We are going to reject the bigotry of Hillary Clinton, which sees communities of color only as votes and not as human beings worthy of a better future.

"If African-American voters give Donald Trump a chance by giving me their vote, the result for them will be amazing. Look at how badly things are going under decades of Democratic leadership -- look at the schools, look at the 58% of young African-Americans not working. It is time for change.

"What do you have to lose by trying something new? . . .This means so much to me, and I will work as hard as I can to bring new opportunity to places in our country which have not known opportunity in a very long time. . ."
Now, don't expect Trump to take the edge off his attacks on Hillary Clinton and what the left is doing to America. You may not always be comfortable with the language. But in the politics of personal destruction practiced by the left, candidates who try to be "Mr. Nice Guy," i.e. John McCain and Mitt Romney, end up going down to defeat, while the left's agenda continues destroying our country.

Bill and Hillary Clinton are the most corrupt politicians seeking office at a time when corruption is rampant throughout our society and in Washington, D.C. It would be political malfeasance for Donald Trump to not say that every day to every audience he can.

By the way, the Trump campaign is launching a major ad buy in key battleground states today. The ad targets Hillary Clinton's left-wing policies on illegal immigration and how they undermine our homeland security. You can watch it here.
Other News
  • The Trump/Pence team visited flood-ravaged areas of Louisiana today. Barack Obama is still on vacation.
  • Paul Manafort resigned his position as campaign chairman today. The media highlighted his departure as yet ANOTHER shake up. No it isn't. This is part of the same reorganization that occurred earlier this week. Manafort's departure was expected. He is leaving on good terms and will remain "an outside confidant of the campaign."
  • Last week, Hillary Clinton enjoyed wide, sometimes double-digit leads in the polls. But now they appear to be shifting in Trump's favor.
A new poll by the Pew Research Center finds Clinton leading by just four points -- 41% to 37%. The Los Angeles Times daily tracking poll has Clinton leading Trump by just two points -- 45% to 43%. And the latest Rasmussen poll also finds a two point race -- 41% to 39%.

Back To Basics
From Baltimore to Milwaukee, America's big cities have been led by the left for decades. The results speak for themselves. It's time to get back to basics. Click here to watch my latest web video. You can also watch it on my Facebook page.
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, Donald Trump, speech, campaign adTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Regulations Make Americans $4 Trillion Poorer

Too many rules are putting a major drag on economic growth.

by Ronald Bailey: Is America's accumulating pile of regulations slowing down economic growth? According to a new study from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, the answer is yes: Thanks to regulatory drag, the U.S. economy is $4 trillion smaller than it otherwise would have been.

How do regulations harm economic growth? "For each new regulation added to the existing pile, there is a greater possibility for…inefficient company resource allocation, and for reduced ability to invest in innovation," explain the Progressive Policy Institute economists Michael Mandel and Diana Carew in a 2013 policy memo. "The negative effect on U.S. industry of regulatory accumulation actually compounds on itself for every additional regulation added to the pile."

Mandel and Carew offer three explanations for how that pile slows growth. In the first, regulations act as "pebbles in the stream." Tossing a few small rocks into a stream will have no discernible effect on its flow, but the accumulation of regulatory pebbles eventually dams the river of innovation. (The development of mobile health apps, for example, has arguably been blocked by the accretion of medical privacy rules, Food and Drug Administration approvals, and insurance regulations.) The second explanation rests on how regulations can interact in counterproductive ways—think of how fuel economy standards push automakers toward lighter vehicles even as safety standards favor heavier cars. The third focuses on "behavioral overload." As the web of regulations becomes more complex, confused managers and workers must direct more resources to compliance and away from innovation and company growth.

The proliferation of federal regulations ultimately affects the rate of improvement in total factor productivity, a measure of technological dynamism and efficiency. Regulations also affect the allocation of labor and capital—by, say, raising the costs of new hires or encouraging investment in favored technologies.

The Mercatus Center's new study refines the earlier work of two economists, John Dawson of Appalachian State University and John Seater of North Carolina State. In a 2013 Journal of Economic Growth article, Dawson and Seater constructed a regulatory burden index by tracking the growth in the number of pages in the Code of Federal Regulations since 1949. That number, they note, increased sixfold from 19,335 to 134,261 in 2005. (As of 2014, it had risen to 175,268.) The authors devised a pretty standard endogenous growth theory model and then inserted their regulatory burden index to calculate how federal regulations have affected economic growth.

Their astonishing conclusion: Annual output in 2005 was "28 percent of what it would have been had regulation remained at its 1949 level." If not for the growth in the regulatory burden, gross domestic product would have been $53.9 trillion in 2011 instead of $15.1 trillion—a 2 percent annual reduction in economic growth cumulated over 56 years. Americans are significantly poorer due to federal regulations, without which 2011 U.S. per capita income would have been almost four times higher, at $168,000 instead of $48,000.

The compliance costs alone are enormous. The Competitive Enterprise Institute's report Ten Thousand Commandments 2015 estimated that it costs consumers and businesses almost $1.9 trillion—more than 11 percent of current GDP—to comply with current federal regulations. That exceeds the $1.82 trillion that the IRS is expected to collect in both individual and corporate income taxes for 2015. The report notes, "Federal regulation is a hidden tax that amounts to nearly $15,000 per U.S. household each year."

But as bad as that is, regulatory compliance costs pale in comparison to the loss of tens of trillions in overall wealth, as calculated by Dawson and Seater.

To update those findings, the Mercatus researchers devised a new regulatory database analyzing all federal regulations between 1970 and 2014, seeking to determine the magnitude of the limitations and mandates being imposed on specific industries. The information trove, called RegData 2.2, enables researchers to probe how rules handed down from Washington affect key decisions in particular industries, such as amounts of investment, product and service outputs, and market entries and exits. In the study, three economists focus on 22 major industries, including oil, coal, natural gas, chemicals, machinery, metals, computers, trucking, finance, air transport, health care, and entertainment.

The Mercatus researchers cranked their data through an endogenous growth econometric model to estimate the regulatory effect on entrepreneurs' investment decisions throughout the U.S. economy between 1980 and 2012. "In endogenous growth theory, innovation is not an exogenous gift from the gods but rather the result of costly effort expended by firms to realize gains," they explain. "The growth generated by that entrepreneurship can be thwarted by misguided public policy." Money and brainpower spent on compliance cannot be invested in innovative technologies and processes that boost productivity, create new companies, and speed up economic growth.

So what did they find? "Our results suggest that regulation has been a considerable drag on economic growth in the United States, on the order of 0.8 percentage points per year," the Mercatus economists report. Though their estimate is a bit less than half that found earlier by Dawson and Seater, they believe that "it is still within a reasonable range, especially since their study covers a longer time horizon."

Slowing economic growth by slightly less than 1 percent per year may not sound like much, but it adds up over time. Consider that in 1980, U.S. GDP in 2009 dollars was $6.5 trillion; by 2012, it had multiplied to $15.2 trillion. This implies an annual growth rate of 2.7 percent. If the economy had grown at a rate of 0.8 percentage points more—or 3.5 percent total per year—U.S. GDP in 2012 would have been $19.5 trillion.

"The economy would have been about 25 percent larger than it was in 2012 if regulations had been frozen at levels observed in 1980," the authors say. "The difference between observed and counterfactually simulated GDP in 2012 is about $4 trillion, or $13,000 per capita."

Just for fun, let's apply the Mercatus finding that regulatory drag has been slowing U.S. economic growth by 0.8 percent per year to calculate its cumulative effect since 1949. So instead of growing at 3.2 percent, the economy would have expanded at a rate of 4 percent annually. In that scenario current U.S. GDP would be nearly $28 trillion instead of $16.5 trillion today, and per capita GDP would be $36,000 higher. This suggests that regulatory drag has made Americans 41 percent poorer.

In 1982, the public choice theorist Mancur Olson famously argued in The Rise and Decline of Nations that economic stagnation and even decline set in when powerful special-interest lobbies—crony capitalists, if you will—capture a country's regulatory system and use it to block competitors, making the economy ever less efficient. The growing burden of regulation could someday turn America's economic growth negative. Dawson and Seater argue that in the long run that will "not be tolerated by society." Let's hope they're right.
Ronald Bailey is a science correspondent at Reason magazine and author of The End of Doom (July 2015). Reason is an editorially independent publications of the Reason Foundation, a national, non-profit research and educational organization.

Tags: Government, Regulations, Make Americans, Poorer, Ronald Bailey, Reason To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

How The Media Work

Ann Coulter new book "In Trump
We Trust E Pluribus Awesome!"

Available August 23, 2016
by Ann Coulter: If the media can strangle Trump by terrorizing people about everything he says, then it's already over. I'm inclined to think Americans hate the media too much for that to work, but even sensible people can't think straight in the middle of one of these hate campaigns.

It can be very difficult for people to overcome whatever meaning the press superimposes on what someone has said, no matter how psychotic. Throw in incessant repetition and uniform agreement among the pundits (Hillary cheerleaders versus Never Trumpers), and completely deranged interpretations become historical facts.

Last August, Trump said the following about the way he was treated at the first GOP debate: "(Megyn Kelly) starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions, and you know, you can see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her -- wherever, but she was, in my opinion -- she was off base."

This was nearly identical to what Trump said about Chris Wallace a few sentences later: "There's a big difference between Mike Wallace and Chris Wallace because I watched them last night, you know, blood pouring out of his eyes, too."

Suddenly the words "her wherever" were being described as a clear-cut reference to Megyn's menstrual blood! (I have it on good authority that Chris Wallace has never menstruated.)

Trump expressed shock, saying of his accusers, "They have all dirty minds -- I never even thought about it ... I was thinking of ears or nose." (Accused by the same forces of something revolting, Whittaker Chambers gasped, "What kind of beasts am I dealing with?")

The day after Trump allegedly referred to Megyn's period, I happened to have a number of social engagements with people who hadn't heard about the scandale. So I gave them Trump's exact words, told them the media were in hysterics about it, and asked them to guess why.

None of them -- an Obama-voter, a conservative actor and a union organizer -- were able to guess the ludicrous interpretation being placed on Trump's words. At least one was visibly angry about the accusation (probably because he was on his period). But after a few weeks of media propaganda, even he flipped and became totally convinced Trump was, in fact, referring to Megyn's menstrual blood.

Most people are highly suggestible. That's why companies spend billions of dollars on advertising.

The only way to see how media propaganda works is to remove yourself from the immediate panic. In the calm light of day -- without people hectoring you from every news outlet, every moment of every day -- you can clearly see that two plus two does not equal five, but four.

My entire career has been a test-run for the hounds of hell they're unleashing against Trump on a daily basis right now. These hate campaigns were waged against me every few months for about a decade, until the media gave up and decided the better part of valor was to pretend I don't exist. It happened so often, I can't even remember them all, but a fan reminded me of a good one last week.

On "Good Morning America" about 10 years ago, I was asked about a (fantastic*) joke I'd told about John Edwards four months earlier. (That joke was also lied about, but that's not today's topic.)

Here's the "GMA" transcript, June 25, 2007:


(Off-camera) You say you were joking.


"Oh yeah. I wouldn't insult gays by comparing them to John Edwards. Now, that would be mean. But about the same time, you know, Bill Maher was not joking and saying he wished Dick Cheney had been killed in a terrorist attack. So I've learned my lesson. If I'm gonna say anything about John Edwards in the future, I'll just wish he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot."

I'm not a rhetorician, but I believe this would be called a "syllogism," or "deductive reasoning":

It is acceptable for a person to say X;

I am a person;

Therefore it's acceptable for me to say X.

Or maybe it's just sarcasm about the media's rank hypocrisy.

Whatever it's called, the screamingly obvious point was to illustrate how our constitutionally protected guardians of liberty in the press go mental over my every joke, but don't make a peep about far more aggressive rhetoric from liberals.

Among the possible responses to what I said on "GMA" are:

-- That's different! Maher was talking about Dick Cheney.

-- We have a firm policy of pretending not to understand jokes about Democrats.

-- OK, OK, you're right. We were just trying to make you cry, so you'd either come to our side or stop writing.

In the realm of the sane, however, the possible responses do not include: ANN COULTER CALLED FOR JOHN EDWARDS TO BE KILLED IN A TERRORIST ATTACK!

Guess which one the entire media went with?

Mike Baker, Associated Press, Tuesday, June 26, 2007: "Elizabeth Edwards pleaded Tuesday with Ann Coulter to 'stop the personal attacks,' a day after the conservative commentator said she wished Edwards' husband, Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, had been killed by terrorists."

Marc Ambinder, Atlantic Online, June 26, 2007: "Coulter herself said, 'If I'm going to say anything about John Edwards in the future, I'll just wish he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot.'"

Tom Foreman, CNN correspondent, June 27, 2007: "Conservative commentator Ann Coulter jokes about Democratic contender John Edwards being killed by terrorists."

CNN's Kiran Chetry, "American Morning," June 27, 2007: "Elizabeth Edwards confronting conservative commentator Ann Coulter ... She was referring to Coulter's comments the day before when Coulter said she wished Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards had been killed by terrorists. Coulter responded to Edwards' request with a laugh."

Harry Smith, CBS' "The Early Show," June 28, 2007: "Welcome back to 'The Early Show.' Conservative political commentator Ann Coulter is known for making outrageous comments. This week she said Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards should be killed in a terrorist assassination plot."

Hundreds of news outlets repeated this lie, without even mentioning Maher -- i.e., what we call "the point" -- although a few sportsmen included vague references to Maher's comment deep within their stories.

This isn't taking something "out of context" -- it's a lie. Try quoting the full sentence! Ironically, the media's rewrite pretty forcefully proved my point about the gigantic double standard for liberals and conservatives: In order to prove I was a monster, the media put a liberal's words in my mouth -- the exact same words they hadn't minded when a liberal said them.

I keep hearing abstract claims about Trump being "out of control," making "mistakes," saying "outrageous" things, but whenever I ask for a specific example, all I get are the media's apocryphal versions of what Trump has done -- never something he actually did.

All campaign news coverage today is an adaptation of MSNBC's "In Other Words" game, where a Republican saying, "I don't think Obama has been a good president" becomes HE CALLED OBAMA THE N-WORD!

The media may think their versions are logical extensions of what Republicans have said, but this is a presidential election. I think voters deserve to hear the truth and not Rachel Maddow's demented translations.

(*I'm not a professional comedian, but when a room full of 7,000 college Republicans laugh -- it was funny.)
Ann Coulter is a conservative author of ten New York Times bestsellers, writes numerous columns and is a frequent guest on numerous radio and TV shows. Her web site is She is the author of Adios America which she signed and gave to the ARRA News Service editor at the 2015 Eagle Council.

Tags: Ann Coulter, the media, How The Media Work,  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Three Most Important Issues For 2016: Immigration, Immigration, Immigration

. . . America's most underrated -- and consequential -- challenge.

by Michael Cutler: In real estate it is said that the three most important factors to consider are “location, location, location.”

When considering the candidates Americans should vote for in the upcoming elections, the key issue is simply immigration or, as I wrote in a recent article, “It’s the Immigration Problem, Stupid: Secure borders are synonymous with safety and that's what Americans want in 2016.”

Elected officials and government employees, especially those in law enforcement and intelligence, hold positions of trust. They take an oath, upon entering on duty, in which they swear (affirm) to uphold the Constitution and our laws and protect our nation from all enemies.

There is no ambiguity where the purpose of that oath is concerned.

The preface of the official government report, “9/11 and Terrorist Travel: Staff Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States” begins with the following paragraph:It is perhaps obvious to state that terrorists cannot plan and carry out attacks in the United States if they are unable to enter the country. Yet prior to September 11, while there were efforts to enhance border security, no agency of the U.S. government thought of border security as a tool in the counterterrorism arsenal. Indeed, even after 19 hijackers demonstrated the relative ease of obtaining a U.S. visa and gaining admission into the United States, border security still is not considered a cornerstone of national security policy. We believe, for reasons we discuss in the following pages, that it must be made one.The 9/11 Commission identified failures of the immigration system as vulnerabilities that the terrorists exploited to enter the United States and embed themselves as they went about their deadly preparations. The Commission made it clear that this was not unique to the 9/11 hijackers but to other terrorists they investigated who entered the United States in the decade before the attacks of 9/11.

The Commission also noted that terrorists gamed the visa process and obtained lawful immigration status by committing fraud. They obtained local, state and federal identity documents, including driver's licenses, through fraud and by purchasing altered and counterfeit identity documents.

Yet “Sanctuary Cities” shield illegal aliens from detection, thus encouraging aliens to enter our country illegally. I addressed this lunacy in my articles, “Sanctuary Cities Endanger - National Security and Public Safety” and “Terrorism, Enclaves and Sanctuary Cities: How sanctuary cities facilitate the growth of terror enclaves in America.”

It is clear that America's borders are its first line of defense and last line of defense. There was a good reason that the enforcement and administration of America's immigration laws was vested in the Department of Homeland Security.

Yet the administration and many politicians blithely ignore the inherent risk that non-secured borders and the presence of unknown millions of aliens who have evaded the inspections process represent to national security and the safety of our citizens.

In point of fact, many politicians, including Hillary Clinton, have advocated for providing lawful status and a pathway to citizenship to millions – likely tens of millions of illegal aliens. In this scenario, there would be no way to conduct in-person interviews let alone field investigations of aliens who entered the United States without inspection

Ms. Clinton would also greatly increase the number of Syrian refugees admitted into the United States even thought there is no way to vet them. She has been extremely critical of the Obama administration's supposed aggressive enforcement of our immigration laws.

In reality Obama has failed to enforce the immigration laws both along our borders and from within the interior of the United States.

Indeed, the administration has released tens of thousands of criminal aliens who, upon release, committed still more homicides and assaults.

Clinton's Vice-Presidential nominee, Tim Kaine, has echoed her sentiments about immigration and even addressed the Democratic Convention in both English and Spanish and also amplified Hillary's promise (threat?) to provide all of the illegal aliens present in the United States with United States citizenship.

Our legal immigration system admits roughly one million lawful immigrants annually. Legalizing illegal aliens makes a mockery of the legal immigration process.

I fully support the notion of people learning multiple languages. As a native New Yorker, I love the diversity of the cultures to be found in my hometown.

My mother came to the United States as a fourteen-year-old girl who had to leave her mother behind in Poland prior to World War II and the Holocaust that saw the slaughter of upwards of 17 million people, 6 million of whom were Jews.

My mother's mother, for whom I was named, was one of those killed. My mother came to America fluent in Yiddish and Polish, but did not speak a word of English. Her first task, upon securing a room in a rooming house and a job at an umbrella factory, was to learn to speak English.

My dad was born in Brooklyn, but his family came to America from Bessarabia located in Russia/Romania.

His family came to America speaking Russian and Yiddish, but quickly learned to speak English.

My parents used Yiddish as a “secret language” when they did not want me to know what they were discussing, providing me with a very strong incentive to learn Yiddish.

When I attended Border Patrol Academy, at the beginning of my career with the INS, I was required to develop Spanish-language proficiency.

However, a common language is the mortar that holds a society together. Our nation has turned itself into a bilingual country without the consent of the citizens of the United States. This has been done by our politicians who were pandering to ethnic voters and to the businesses that want to market their goods and services to as many people as possible.

In many states drivers may take motor vehicle tests in a wide variety of languages even though road signs are only posted in the English language. Globally, English is the language of aviation. Yet in states such as New York, drivers who cannot read the road signs share the roads with pedestrians and other drivers. You have to wonder how many people have been injured or killed because many drivers cannot read the road signs. Yet this irrational and dangerous practice continues.

This probably makes the auto repair shop owners, trial lawyers and funeral home directors happy, however.

Politicians, pollsters and pundits have divided America into a Balkanized country where ostensible “Latino voters” have different goals and dreams from other Americans. This is a dangerous, divisive and disgusting course of action.

All citizens of the United States have essentially the same goals -- to live in a secure country where our enemies are held at bay overseas by our military; where police keep our towns and cities as free from crime as possible and where the “American Dream” provides opportunities for Americans willing to acquire a good education and work hard to achieve success.

Effective immigration law enforcement is critical to achieving those goals.

Incredibly, the open-borders anarchists have created the deception that anyone who wants our borders secured and our immigration laws enforced is a racist.

As I have repeatedly written, our immigration laws have absolutely nothing to do with race, religion or ethnicity. Those laws were enacted to prevent the entry and continued presence of aliens in the United States who would pose a threat to national security or the safety, well-being, lives and livelihoods of Americans. Period.

Indeed, immigrants living in the various ethnic communities around the United States, who come from all around the world, are often the most likely victims of transnational criminals. It is not likely that victims of crime take solace in the knowledge that they or their loved ones have been victimized by thugs who share their ethnicity.

When politicians push for a massive amnesty program they are advocating for dumping millions, if not tens of millions, of newly authorized foreign workers, into a labor pool of desperate American workers who cannot find decent jobs.

My article “Hillary Clinton’s Immigration Goals Make Her Economic Promises Impossible to Achieve” focused on her game of “bait and switch” promising “wage equality” and a minimum hourly wage of $10.10. At the same time, her Clinton Foundation had partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Gates has pumped well over one billion dollars into pushing for an endless supply of H-1B visas to destroy the wage structure of high-tech workers in America.

On August 14, 2016 CBS News, New York reported, “Carpenters Persevere In Camping Out For Union Training, Better Life.” The report noted that for several days hundreds of people had camped out on the sidewalk hoping to become apprentice carpenters and beating out the competition, even though the temperature had soared to nearly 100 degrees. There is no shortage of American workers, but there most certainly is a shortage of jobs. There is no job an American won't do for a living wage.

The shortage of a lack of jobs would not be solved by adding more workers. This wrong-headed notion, that admitting many more foreign workers would somehow enable unemployed Americans to find jobs, makes as much sense as claiming the best way to deal with a hole in the bottom of your rowboat is to drill more holes, hoping that magically the water will leave through those additional holes.

Any politician who refuses to secure our nation’s borders and effectively enforce our immigration laws would be defying his/her oath of office and breaking promises about helping struggling American families or protecting America from the threats posed by international terrorists.
Michael Cutler is a retired Senior Special Agent of the former INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) whose career spanned some 30 years. He served as an Immigration Inspector, Immigration Adjudications Officer and spent 26 years as an agent with half of his career in the Drug Task Force. He has testified before well over a dozen congressional hearings, provided testimony to the 9/11 Commission. His website is He writes for FrontPage Mag a publication of theDavid Horowitz Freedom CenterDavid Horowitz is a Contributing Author of the ARRA News Service

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Does Barack Obama Care About Black People?

by The Patriot Post: Louisiana is under water. Thirteen people are dead because of flooding, and tens of thousands have been displaced. Offering a bit of perspective on this disaster, The American Conservative’s Rod Dreher writes:
Hillary devoted three times that number of tweets to congratulating US women athletes at the Rio games. Hey, I have no problem with celebrating their victories. But let’s see: over 100,000 people have lost their homes in Louisiana. More than half of them are women, it stands to reason. This is not a secret. If you want to win the attention of the Democratic nominee for president, it’s much better to be a woman athlete than a Louisiana woman made homeless by the flooding, it would appear. …

To his credit, the president has released disaster aid to Louisiana, and has sent the FEMA chief down. But he is not interrupting his vacation on fancy Martha’s Vineyard to come give comfort and show compassion to his own countrymen who are in extreme pain.

Despite George W. Bush’s folly on Katrina, which left a permanent mark on his legacy, Obama remains on vacation, just as Bush did.
After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, rapper Kanye West once famously declared, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” Is the same true of Obama, who ripped Bush for “unconscionable ineptitude” in 2005?

Clearly, this president would rather be golfing. Recall that in 2014 he was caught yukking it up on the links just minutes after denouncing the Islamic State beheading of journalist James Foley, and again a year later when video was released of the Islamic State beheading 21 Egyptian Christians.
H/T The Patriot Post

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Saudis Ramping Up Oil Output To Gain Leverage In OPEC Talks

by Tsvetana Paraskova: Saudi Arabia suggests it may be increasing its August crude output to a new all-time high as it could give it more leverage to influence the September informal talks on a possible production freeze, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing industry sources.

Saudi Arabia – OPEC's biggest producer — pumped a record 10.67 million barrels per day in July, up by some 120,000 bpd compared to June. The Saudis are usually ramping up production in the summer with the higher demand for crude, but what was unusual was that production hit a record high, above last summer's peak.

After holding output steady in the first half, the Saudis started pumping more from June onwards, and further increases in production would mean attempting to out-produce the world's top oil producer, Russia, which is not an OPEC member. Higher output would also give the Saudis a few more bargaining chips at the September meeting, according to Reuters' sources.

The Saudis are "quietly telling the market" that production may increase in August to 10.8 million-10.9 million bpd, a non-OPEC source told Reuters.

It seems that Saudi Arabia is mastering the art of tipping the oil prices with a carefully uttered word, and just last week, its oil minister Khalid al-Falih proved that by saying that the Saudis would "take any action to help the market rebalance". Oil jumped, and investors hurried to cover large bets against the oil prices.

Saudi Arabia will surely be the primary negotiator of any production freeze talks in September. It killed the Doha talks in April, the previous such attempt to reach an agreement, after it insisted that any deal must include Iran, which of course, Iran never agreed to, just having been relieved of several years of oil sanctions.

The September informal meeting between OPEC and non-OPEC partners is largely expected not to reach a production cap deal either.

Today's reports of increased Saudi output come as former OPEC chief, Chakib Khelil, told Bloomberg that the heavyweight OPEC members Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq, as well as non-OPEC Russia, may be willing to agree on a production freeze because they have already grabbed all market shares up for grabs.

Following a downbeat early trade on Wednesday, oil prices began climbing shortly after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) published its weekly inventory report, which showed that crude oil inventories last week fell by 2.5 million barrels in the week to August 12, standing at 521.1 million barrels.
Tsvetana Paraskova authored this article contributed by James Stafford the editor of, the leading online energy news site, to the ARRA News Service.

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LA Times/USC Poll: After Milwaukee, Trump Jumps 10 Points Among Blacks

by Robert Romano: After delivering his Milwaukee speech promoting law and order on Aug. 16, Donald Trump has increased support among blacks by nearly 10 points — the LA Times/USC daily tracking poll finds.

In the speech, Trump asked for blacks’ support — “I am asking for the vote of every African-American citizen struggling in our country today who wants a different future” — and they responded.

The result marked a jump from 4.8 percent support on Aug. 15 — to 14.3 percent on Aug. 16 and 14.6 percent on Aug. 17.

That is nothing short of a political earthquake, representing more than a million potential voters suddenly swinging in Trump’s direction. That’s huge.

Democrats got 95 percent of the vote of blacks in 2012, 99 percent in 2008, 93 percent in 2004 and 95 percent in 2000, according to Gallup. It is a vital constituency for Democrats. One they simply cannot win without.

Even though he would still lose the vast majority of those votes, if a swing that dramatic were to hold true on Election Day, Democrats would be wiped out in a massive landslide. They would be roadkill.

Milwaukee and the LA Times/USC poll is a dramatic turn of events, potentially forecasting one of the most historic shifts in electoral behavior in a generation.

The Hillary Clinton campaign must be beyond panic with these findings.

How did Trump do it? Besides Hillary Clinton’s historically soft support from blacks, Trump’s carefully scripted, well-timed speech said blacks were those who were suffering the most by the riots in Milwaukee: “The main victims of these riots are law-abiding African-American citizens living in these neighborhoods. It is their jobs, their homes, their schools and communities which will suffer as a result.”

Trump added, promising to restore order in the cities, “There is no compassion in tolerating lawless conduct. Crime and violence is an attack on the poor, and will never be accepted in a Trump Administration.”

The speech was also very pro-police. “The problem in our poorest communities is not that there are too many police, the problem is that there are not enough police. More law enforcement, more community engagement, more effective policing is what our country needs.”

And pro-family. “For every one violent protestor, there are a hundred moms and dads and kids on that same city block who just want to be able to sleep safely at night. My opponent would rather protect the offender than the victim.”

That was a bold message, and for a significant segment of blacks, it struck a major chord.

10 points. That’s unbelievable. But it happened. You can measure it.

In principle, if Trump were to deftly deliver the same message again to a wider audience, he could begin to consolidate a growing base of supporters among blacks that did not exist three days ago. Could he grow that base?

Because, if the result were to be replicated in cities across America, November might not even be close.

Who saw this coming?

Apparently, after a generation of failure in America’s inner cities, the events in Milwaukee have caused a huge crack in the traditional Democrat coalition that has included blacks since the Great Depression — and Trump is exploiting it by promising to restore law and order. He blamed Democrat one-party rule in the cities on the problems facing blacks today.

And it resonated.

Hillary Clinton is more vulnerable on law and order than anybody could have imagined among black voters who have been left behind by generations of failed big government policies.

If this becomes a trend, it could mean be the beginning of a shift away from the Democrat electoral coalition. Keep watching the LA Times/USC poll. This is getting interesting.
Robert Romano is the Senior Editor of Americans for Limited Government. His article was first shared on the ALG's NetRight Daily blog.

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FOH – Friends Of Hillary . . .

. . . Trump wants tougher vetting policies for people coming into the U.S. from countries that don’t hold our values, but Hillary disagrees.

Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

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Wars by Atheists

by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author : One of the perennial arguments by atheists is that religion is dangerous and that religion has led to wars and untold suffering. I thought about that claim when I was interviewing Ray Comfort about his new book and video on atheism. He has some arresting statistics.

He documents that the ideas of Karl Marx, for example, led to the deaths of more than 90 million people. Joseph Stalin alone accounted for the deaths by murder or starvation of as many as 60 million. Mao Zedong is responsible for that many or more. Add to that the atheistic regimes of dictators like Vladimir Lenin and Adolf Hitler, and you can see that it is atheism that is has been the scourge of humanity.

In some of his earlier books, Dinesh D’Souza came to a similar conclusion that the atheist regimes were much more deadly than any religious conflict. He wrote that “death caused by Christian rulers over a five-hundred-year period amounts to only 1 percent of the deaths caused by Stalin, Hitler, and Mao in the space of a few decades.”

Dr. R.J. Rummel is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Hawaii. He estimates that since 1900, the total body count is approximately 262 million dead from the bloody hands of atheistic governments.

The Encyclopedia of Wars says that there have been 1,763 wars during human history. About 123 could be considered religious wars, and over half of those religious wars were pursued in the name of Islam. Even so, that number represents merely 7 percent of all wars. In other words, 93 percent of all wars were not religious but political in nature.

These are just a few facts and statistics to consider the next time you hear an atheist rail against religion and claim that religion is dangerous and the reason we have had so many wars and suffering in the world.
Kerby Anderson is a radio talk show host heard on numerous stations via the Point of View Network endorsed by Dr. Bill Smith, Editor, ARRA News Service

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Why Hasn’t Hillary Clinton Put Donald Trump Away Yet?

by Robert Romano: While much of the political and media class have declared the presidential race for 2016 all but over — with the never say never #NeverTrump now urging the Republican National Committee to abandon the race for the White House — a funny thing has happened.

The post-convention poll bounces are over, for both candidates, and the race for president has settled into a fairly competitive contest.

On August 12, the USC Dornsife-LA Times poll had the race within the margin of error, with Hillary Clinton at 44 percent and Donald Trump at 43 percent nationally. By August 15, it is at 45.6 percent to 42 percent in favor of Clinton.

Trump still leads among seniors, 48 percent to 46 percent. And males, 47 percent to 42 percent. Clinton leads similarly albeit wider among women and younger Americans. Trump still leads with no college and some college, 48 percent to 42 percent, and 45 percent to 41 percent, respectively. Watch these numbers closely, as they could prove to be a critical factor come Election Day when it comes to turnout.

Still, the race on whole is fairly close. Close enough to eventually flip. Trump appears to be hitting the demographics he needs to win, but he must press his advantage.

Clinton of course is notorious for not finishing off her opponents in presidential races. She couldn’t put away Barack Obama in 2008. And only by the grace of DNC superdelegates — and more than a little help from national party leaders — did she beat Bernie Sanders in 2016.

Now faced with a Republican candidate in Donald Trump who nobody gave any chance of winning the nomination, let alone the general election — who seemingly creates new, shocking headlines on a daily basis that would cause any other candidate to self-destruct — and once again Clinton cannot seem to finish the job.

After the Khan episode and even the Second Amendment stand Trump has taken, all the smart people in the room have once again declared the race to be over — even though not a single vote has been cast.

Yes, Clinton got a bounce out of her convention. But so did Trump out of the Republican convention in Cleveland. Now, the race is evening out headed into September and the debates.

But why hasn’t Clinton put Trump away?

The fact is, it’s still too early to declare the race is over. Trump is fond of noting that he has not spent any money on television ads yet, even though his opponent has spent hundreds of millions of dollars against him. And still, the race is tight.

Trump appears to be keeping his powder dry, apparently for the fall, when the debates will happen and then the final sprint to Election Day in November.

If we get through August and the race still appears to be tight, the questions will begin to circle on Clinton and why she underperforming — not on Trump, who everyone has already been told is finished and cannot win.

The American people like an underdog. And so far, thanks in no small part to the media’s narrative to count Trump out the race, he has been successfully cast into that role.

Trump’s path is there. But to get there, he needs to expand his leads with older Americans, males and those disaffected by the weak economy, particularly those without college degrees. Talking on security, law and order and promising new jobs and expanding industries helps, and Trump can narrow Clinton’s lead among the wealthy with a supply side, low-tax message.

So much of today’s politics is about building expectations, where one side attempts to dispirit the other with a spate of negative news cycles and the like.

But one thing we’ve learned in 2016 is that voters appear to be in a mood to shatter those expectations. This could be a change election year. Clinton is not inevitable.

Time will tell if it ultimately benefits Trump at the ballot box, but prognosticators declaring the race now finished should remember Yogi Berra’s old adage, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”
Robert Romano is the Senior Editor of Americans for Limited Government. His article was first shared on the ALG's NetRight Daily blog.

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The Truth About How Many Americans Are Living on Less Than $2 a Day

Over the past 20 yrs, welfare reform has reduced poverty
per the experts. The majority of families designated as
living in alleged 
“extreme poverty” in a government
 survey owned cell phones, DVD players, or computers.
by Leah Jessen: Over the last 20 years, welfare reform has reduced poverty trends, national welfare experts say.

President Bill Clinton signed into law the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act in 1996. This comprehensive, bipartisan welfare reform act contains work requirements and supports families moving from welfare to work.

After the law went into effect, welfare rolls dropped by 60 percent, employment among low-income Americans rose, and poverty rates for single mothers dropped to historic lows.

“The official poverty rate, this would be about $17 per day per person, drops dramatically after welfare reform,” Robert Rector, a senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation, said Tuesday during a lecture at Heritage.

Rector, who played a key role in writing the original Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) legislation 20 years ago, says there has been a downward trend in official poverty levels. He says that both regular poverty and deep poverty are trending downward and there has been a reduction in dependency.

In Kathryn Edin and Luke Schaefer’s book “$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America,” Edin and Schaefer allege that 4 percent of all families with children live on less than $2 per person per day and that poverty is on the rise.

Of about 273,000 observations in a government survey collected over a 30-year period, researchers found 61 instances of families spending less than $2 per person per day. Extreme poverty levels of $2 per day per person are consistent with poverty standards in Third World nations.

Heritage’s Rector said of the book’s conclusions:When you look at the survey data that is being used to proclaim that children live with less than $2 per day, the actual living conditions in those families in no way resembles anything that would be considered extreme deprivation. … When you look at consumption, you see that these families are spending over $20 for every dollar of income. When you look at over 30 years of consumption data, you can virtually find no families whatsoever that spend less than $2 per day.Only 1 percent of Americans in the government data said they didn’t have enough food to eat.

“The reports of the death of welfare are greatly exaggerated,” Bruce Meyer, McCormick Foundation professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy Studies, said Tuesday at The Heritage Foundation.

Meyer says that those at the bottom of the economic ladder are better off than when welfare reform passed.

Looking at consumption data gives you a better idea of people’s living standards than income data, Meyer said.

“Statements about a rise in extreme poverty are based on faulty data and should be dismissed,” Meyer said. “Conservatives should acknowledge that our programs have reduced deprivation, but liberals should acknowledge that we are spending more and more and not always spending it well.”

Almost 90 percent of Americans agree with the idea that welfare beneficiaries “should be required to work or prepare for work in exchange for receiving benefits,” according to recent polling from The Heritage Foundation.

Moving forward, Heritage’s Rector says that the same principles from welfare reform should be taken and applied more broadly to other programs.
Leah Jessen (@_LeahKay_) is a news reporter for The Daily Signal.

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ISIS Terrorist Tells Feds He Has Jihadist Brothers in Mexico

Judicial Watch: An ISIS operative arrested and criminally charged in Ohio this month has confirmed that the terrorist group has cells in Mexico, according to federal authorities. Judicial Watch has reported this for years, documenting it in a series of articles as part of an ongoing investigation on the connection between drug cartels, corruption and terrorism on the southern border. In fact, last spring Judicial Watch broke a story about an ISIS camp just a few miles from El Paso, Texas in an area known as “Anapra” situated just west of Ciudad Juárez in the Mexican state of Chihuahua.

Though a number of high-level law enforcement, intelligence and military sources on both sides of the border have provided Judicial Watch with evidence that Islamic terrorist cells are operating in Mexico, the Obama administration has publicly denied it, both to Judicial Watch and in mainstream media outlets.

Now we have a terrorism suspect in custody proudly affirming it. His name is Erick Jamal Hendricks and the U.S. has charged him with conspiring to provide ISIS and ISIL material support. Hendricks created a sleeper cell with at least ten members, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ), and claims that some of his jihadist “brothers” are just south of the U.S. border in Mexico. The 35-year-old lived for a short time in Charlotte, North Carolina and was arrested and charged in Ohio last week. Hendricks tried to “recruit people to train together and conduct terrorist attacks in the United States,” according to the government’s criminal complaint.

Hendricks contacted another ISIS operative, referred to as “CW-1”, who was arrested last summer, about working with him and several other terrorists to carry out attacks. “Hendricks allegedly told CW-1 that he ‘needed people’ and wanted to meet in person; that there were several ‘brothers’ located in Texas and Mexico; that he was attempting to ‘get brothers to meet face to face;’ and that he wanted ‘to get brothers to train together,'” according to a DOJ announcement. Hendricks and his sleeper cell targeted U.S. military members and a woman who organized a “Draw Muhammad” cartoon contest in Garland, Texas last May.

Two men in body armor with assault rifles tried to carry out an attack in the Dallas suburb building where the event took place but were shot dead by police. The FBI says Hendricks was connected with the terrorism-related shooting. Federal prosecutors reveal that Hendricks vetted CW-1 by testing his religious knowledge and commitment to jihad, to die as a martyr and his desire to enter Jannah (paradise), the feds say.

The Hendricks case points to a broader issue of, not only homegrown terrorism, but the immense threat along the southern border. Islamic terrorists are training in southern border towns near American cities and have joined forces with Mexican drug cartels to infiltrate the United States. Judicial Watch has investigated this national security crisis for years and interviewed local, state and federal law enforcement officials as well as military sources on both sides of the border.

Besides exposing ISIS camps just miles from Texas, Judicial Watch has verified that Mexican drug cartels are smuggling foreigners from countries with terrorist links to stash areas in a rural Texas town called Acala. Judicial Watch also uncovered a massive FBI scandal involving a narco-terror ringleader with ties to ISIS and Mexican drug cartels. As part of the FBI cover-up the agency facilitated the ringleader’s release from a Chicago jail last year.
Judicial Watch uses the open records or freedom of information laws and other tools to investigate and uncover misconduct by government officials and litigation to hold to account politicians and public officials who engage in corrupt activities.

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5 Things Hillary Says She Will Do To Your Rights If She Wins

by Frank Miniter: In June 2000, Hillary Clinton endorsed a bill introduced by U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., that would have required anyone who owns a handgun to be licensed and to have their name placed in a national database. Clinton said, “I stand in support of this common-sense legislation to license everyone who wishes to purchase a gun. I also believe that every new handgun sale or transfer should be registered in a national registry, such as Chuck is proposing.”

In January 2008, during her primary fight for the Democratic presidential nomination, Clinton was asked in a debate whether she had “backed off a national licensing [and] registration plan.” Clinton answered, “Yes.”

What had changed was that in 2000, Al Gore ran on an anti-Second Amendment platform and lost. His anti-gun stance even cost him his home state of Tennessee. So, from then until this election cycle, Democratic presidential hopefuls have generally been careful not to stir up America’s 100 million-plus gun owners.

In 2008, Barack Obama was so careful about not poking gun owners that even some who should’ve known better weren’t so sure he was a threat to their gun rights.

In the summer of 2008, I was in studio with the great G. Gordon Liddy talking about gun rights on his radio show (he retired in 2012). I wasn’t then a big supporter of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., for president, as McCain had just impaired our freedom of speech with his campaign-finance law that forbade the expression of political views by some in the time leading up to elections. But I said on air that I would vote for him because I believed he would mostly protect the Second Amendment, whereas then-Sen. Barack Obama would not.

Liddy wasn’t so sure. He noted that Obama was saying he supported the individual’s right to bear arms—this was the official DNC position at the time (it isn’t now). Because of this, Liddy said he would take Obama as a man of his word, at least until Obama proved otherwise. That was very gentlemanly of Liddy, but, being a cynical journalist, I said, “I respectfully disagree. With politicians, their record is a better indicator of future behavior than their rhetoric, and Obama has already established a record of opposition to our right to bear arms.” Liddy shook his head and smiled, as if to say I might be right.

It was difficult to publicly disagree with Liddy, as he is a man who stands so steadfastly by his word that he went to prison rather than break it. But his gentlemanly forbearance also taught me how dishonest politicians can use our better natures against us.

At the Democratic National Convention last month, Clinton said, “I’m not here to repeal the Second Amendment. I’m not here to take away your guns.” She wants us to believe this, even though she has said that the Supreme Court got it “wrong” with the Heller (2008) decision in which the court ruled 5-4 that the Second Amendment is indeed an individual right.

As she is trying to obscure even her own record, it is important to list what she has said she’d do to your freedom. (We’ll cover more in later columns.)

“Assault Weapons” Ban
While being interviewed on “Good Morning America” on June 4, 1999, Clinton said, “If you own a gun or you know people who do, make sure it’s locked up and stored without the ammunition. We’ve made some progress in the last several years with the Brady Bill and some of the bans on assault weapons, but we have a lot of work to do.” To that end, the “issues” portion of her website says she wants to institute another “assault weapons” ban, which would outlaw the semi-automatic AR-15—the most popular rifle in the country. Incidentally, a so-called “assault weapons” ban like Clinton proposes was instituted by her husband in 1994, and was totally ineffective for the 10 years it was in effect.

“Universal” Background Check
In June 2014, Clinton said on CNN, “I believe that we need a more thoughtful conversation. We cannot let a minority of people—and that’s what it is, it is a minority of people—hold a viewpoint that terrorizes the majority of people.” She then said she favors “background checks that work” even as she showed she didn’t know the difference between a semi-automatic modern sporting rifle and a machine gun by saying that mass murderers in the U.S. use “automatic” weapons. Her desire for a “universal” background check is also on her official website. She wants to add real costs and legal entanglements to anyone who wants to loan, give or sell their firearms to family, friends and shooting buddies, even though no one can show this would keep guns out of the hands of any criminals anywhere.

Blacklists In NICS
Clinton has said, “If you are too dangerous to get on a plane, you are too dangerous to buy a gun in America.” She wants to add secret government blacklists to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Adding people on secret government watch lists to the prohibited category, whether or not they’ve been convicted of a crime or even accused of one, is a gross infringement of not only the Second Amendment, but the Fifth Amendment right of due process under the law.

Hold Gun Makers Liable For The Actions Of Criminals
Clinton has repeatedly lied about the protections afforded by Congress to firearm makers and sellers from liability in the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA). The PLCAA does not protect gun makers from liability if they sell faulty products or if they break the law. It simply protects them from being civilly liable for the actions of criminals. (For more, I wrote about this here.) Clinton, when she was a U.S. senator, voted against passage of the PLCAA. She wants to repeal it now so that anti-gun trial lawyers can pile frivolous lawsuit after frivolous lawsuit on gun makers and gun sellers, forcing them to spend millions of dollars in legal fees just to defend themselves.

Continue Battling Against Armed Self-Defense
In May 2014, Clinton took a swipe at the concealed carry of firearms for self-defense, saying, “I think again we’re way out of balance. We’ve got to rein in what has become almost an article of faith that almost anybody can have a gun anywhere at any time. And I don’t believe that is in the best interest of the vast majority of people.”

More recently, she has said that citizens with concealed firearms don’t make us a safer nation. And her proclamation that the Supreme Court was “wrong” on the Heller decision, which ruled that the Second Amendment protects your right to own a gun in your home for self-defense, puts her squarely at odds with Americans who have realized that they are the first line of defense for themselves and their families.
Frank Miniter writes for America's First Freedom.

Tags: Hillary Clinton, Will Do, 5 Things, To Your Rights, If She Wins, Frank Miniter, America's First Freedom 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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