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News Blog for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited "smaller" government, free markets, lower taxes, due process of law, liberty & individual freedom. Content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for or by this "Blog" - no paid ads - no payments for articles. Fair Use Doctrine is posted & used.
Blogger/Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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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, September 16, 2016

Trump’s Help for Working Families

by Newt Gingrich: If social scientists agree on anything, it’s that strong families are a key to success in many of the most important aspects of life. Strong families make an enormous difference in building communities and solving problems like drug addiction, crime, and keeping children in school. In fact, research shows that for Americans born into poverty, three simple steps make it more likely than not that they will join the middle class: 1) graduate from high school, 2) get a job, and 3) after age 21, get married and have children
This clear path to success suggests that encouraging and supporting strong families should be a central focus of social policy. This week, Donald Trump gave an important speech with a plan to do just that by making child care more affordable–both for working parents and for those who choose to do the hard work of raising their kids at home.

The plan, which reflects especially the advice and contributions of Ivanka Trump and House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (both mothers of young children), would be a significant help to mothers and families struggling with the high costs of child care.

The plan’s most important provision is based on a simple conservative principle: letting Americans keep more of the money they’ve earned. Our tax code gives deductions for health expenses, home mortgages, charitable gifts, green energy expenditures and many other things. Trump’s plan would include child care in that list, giving families a tax deduction for the average cost of child care in their state. That would be significant relief for millions of Americans, since as Trump pointed out in his speech, for many working and middle class families this is their highest monthly expense.

In addition, the Trump plan offers help to the poorest working Americans afford child care through an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit. As he explained, “Working parents can get an expanded EITC benefit that equals up to half of their total payroll tax – a major relief for low-income parents. This translates to as much as an extra $1,200 dollars in EITC benefits for working families.”

In the modern world, caring for family members often means helping take care of older Americans as well. For this reason, the Trump plan offers a tax deduction of up to $5,000 a year for elder care in addition to child care, to benefit those families who have adult dependents.

Notice how different Trump’s plan is from the social proposals of Hillary Clinton and her left-wing allies, who want to use child care as an excuse to create a new, government-run bureaucracy that can be unionized and controlled by bureaucrats. The left’s approach is virtually the opposite of a plan based on letting Americans keep more of the money they’ve earned, to spend on their families as they see their needs.

A few conservatives have expressed concern that Donald Trump’s plan to actually help families, children and mothers who work in the home is somehow not conservative enough, even though it is based primarily on reducing working families’ tax bills. In fact, however, the Trump child care plan, along with the tax reform plan he outlined Thursday, are both firmly within the conservative tradition of pro-growth, pro-family policies that help make life easier for hard-working Americans.

In addition, the plan would be paid for in part by bringing to government the techniques businesses use routinely to detect, stop and recapture fraudulent payments. Our government currently pays many tens of billions of dollars each year to crooks who abuse Medicaid, Medicare, unemployment, false tax refund, and dozens of other programs.

Under a Trump administration, a competent government focused on fraud could save well over $100 billion a year–and instead of paying crooks, we could offer relief to working families.

The Trump child care plan is worth reading and sharing with the working parents in your life. You can learn more about the plan here.
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, help 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!

Whom Do You Trust, Media Bias, Trump's Revenge

by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Whom Do You Trust? Desperate to figure out which way the political winds are blowing, pollsters are peppering voters with lots of questions. Here's are a few from the latest Quinnipiac poll that jumped out at me.
  • Asked whether they thought Hillary Clinton was honest, 65% of voters said "No." Only 32% said "Yes." That's a whopping 33-point honesty deficit.
  • In a follow-up question, 55% of voters said that Clinton "was not honest enough to be president."   (This would seem to be a disqualifying issue. I don't understand how anyone could vote for a candidate they believe is lying to them.)
  • Asked which candidate they thought was more transparent, 37% of voters said Hillary, while 54% said Trump. That's a 17-point transparency gap.
The results of these questions had left-wing talking heads setting their hair on fire this morning, which is proof that these folks are living in an alternate universe.

I don't have the time or space here to recount all the Clinton scandals. But just think about her mishandling of classified information. How many times did she lie about that?

Just a few days ago, she tried to mislead us about her health. Yesterday, she blamed the deception on her campaign staff. When asked by reporters about the lack of answers after her sudden exit from the 9/11 memorial service Sunday, Clinton said, "You know, my campaign has said they could have been faster and I agree with that." But Hillary IS the campaign. Does she expect us to believe that her campaign was withholding information about her health that she wanted out?

So exactly who on the campaign knew she had pneumonia? Who was supposed to tell the press? Clinton didn't want anyone to know given that her health was already an issue.

Even her running mate, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, appears not to have known. Clinton was asked twice yesterday whether he knew she had been diagnosed with pneumonia, and twice Clinton refused to answer the question.  At one point she responded, "We communicated, but I'm not going to go into our personal conversations."

Of course, she's not . . . because that conversation most likely never happened.

And the left wonders why voters question her honesty and commitment to transparency.

Media Bias - During a radio interview this week, Donald Trump, Jr. was talking about the media's bias and how the Democrat primaries were rigged against Bernie Sanders. Here's what he said: "They've let her slide on every discrepancy, on every lie, on every DNC game trying to get Bernie Sanders out of this thing. If Republicans were doing that, they'd be warming up the gas chamber right now."

Immediately, Trump Jr. was branded an anti-Semite.

What, you don't see it?

Well, neither did most people. But the left and media will smear the Trumps and any conservative every chance they get.

His alleged offense was that he had referenced the Holocaust by using the words "gas chamber."  But that doesn't make any sense at all because the conversation had nothing to do with Jews or Israel. Trump was making a reference to capital punishment.

The gas chamber was widely used as a form of capital punishment in this country starting in 1922. Three states still use it today.

Now, here's the real Holocaust issue. The media are ignoring the nuclear deal that Obama and Clinton made with the Holocaust-denying regime in Iran. They gave that radical regime billions of dollars in cash and the deal guarantees that Iran will be able to get nuclear weapons and do in eight minutes what it took Hitler years to do.

Iran's announced goal is a second Holocaust, to "wipe Israel off the map," to "annihilate the Zionist entity," to destroy the state of Israel. Not one reporter that I am aware of has ever asked Hillary Clinton to explain her support for giving a Jew-hating regime billions of dollars in aid.

Trump's Revenge - As frustrating as the media's bias can be, Donald Trump got his revenge today!

It was widely reported yesterday that Donald Trump had refused to answer a question about where Barack Obama was born. "I'll answer that question at the right time," he said to a Washington Post reporter. "I just don't want to answer it yet."

The media went nuts. "Donald Trump Again Won't Acknowledge Obama Was Born in U.S.," blared the New York Times. Dozens of other media outlets ran similar headlines. Hillary Clinton piled on, too, saying that Trump owed Obama and America an apology.

It looked like Donald Trump had once again stepped on his success, just as his poll numbers were rising. The pressure was on and growing. So Trump announced that he would hold a press conference today in Washington, D.C., to make a major announcement about the controversy.

The media could barely restrain themselves as the time for Trump's press conference neared. The anticipation of his "major announcement" was, well, HUGE. When the press conference began, the news networks broke away from their usual programming to cover it live.

Lt. General Michael Flynn walked out to the podium and said, "Before we get started, most people probably don't know, but it is MIA/POW Recognition Day."

Flanked by veterans, Gen. Flynn proceeded to rip Hillary Clinton for suggesting that the veterans supporting Donald Trump were "deplorable people."

At this point the media were starting to get nervous. This wasn't following big media's script.

Flynn then announced that more than 160 flag officers and 17 Medal of Honor recipients were endorsing Donald Trump for president.

Then Trump came out. He introduced a Gold Star Mother in the audience and then asked two Medal of Honor recipients to address the crowd. They delivered ringing endorsements of Donald Trump!

Then one retired general after another stood at the podium and publicly endorsed Donald Trump for president. The media were covering a Veterans for Trump rally live!
Finally, Trump stepped up to wrap up the event. At last -- the moment the media had been waiting for! What was Donald Trump going to say about Obama's birth certificate?
"Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it. President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period. Now we all want to get back to making America strong and great again."Brilliant! And the media were fuming.

CNN's John King said, "We just got played. We just got played."

"It's hard to imagine this as anything other than a political Rick Roll," added a seething Jake Tapper.

"Donald Trump Games The Media," tweeted Politico's Dylan Byers.

Well played, Mr. Trump. Well played.
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, Whom Do You Trust, Media Bias, Trump's Revenge To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

No Lame Duck Internet Giveaway & Democrat Dick Dubin's Response

Bill Smith, Editor, ARRA News Service: Today, Americans for Limited Government (ALG) put out the following press release:
Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging Congress to stop the Internet giveaway now and not wait until a lame duck session to attempt to stop the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) from ceding the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN):

"Congress has a very specific choice. Are members going to allow President Obama to give away the Internet to a cabal of multinational corporations, creating an unaccountable global monopoly over Internet functions, or are they going to stick up for the interests of the American people and maintain U.S. oversight over the Internet's domain name system. Simply kicking this issue into the lame duck session could create the extreme likelihood that these corporate interests will be able to secure the giveaway after the elections when voters will no longer be able to hold their elected leaders accountable.

"Failure to secure U.S. oversight of the Internet's domain name system past the Obama administration, even if the desire is to somehow win the issue in the omnibus, will understandably fuel perception that the fix is in, and that the outcome has already been rigged. No political benefit to a temporary delay will materialize, because everyone will know the final battle remains on the horizon in December. And the American people will be forced to assume that the reason is because U.S. oversight of the Internet is scheduled to be terminated when it is too late for voters to react. Now is the time to fight and win this issue."
Three hours later ALG shared the response by Democrat Senator Dick Durbin response threatening a government shutdown over what he called an 'obscure and irrelevant' Internet giveaway. Senator "Dick head" said:"Can Ted Cruz and Republicans dream up an any more obscure and irrelevant issue to stop the business of the American government?" Durbin said. "If Senate Republicans can’t control Cruz at this point, imagine when he gets in full gear and starts running for president. [sic., in future years]"

"I couldn’t believe it when they told me this could stop the CR," he said, referring to the continuing resolution needed to keep the government funded after Sept. 30.
In other words Sen. Durban doesn't believe the Internet invented by Americans or American technology should remain under the control of U.S.A. . It appears to be solely another giveaway by the Obama Administration with no accrued benefit to the United States of America!

Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning responded to Durbin's comments and the Obama administration position on giving away the Internet.
"If the Internet giveaway is such an 'obscure and irrelevant' issue then why do Durbin and Senate Democrats care about it? Are they saying they will or will not vote for the continuing resolution over stopping the Internet giveaway? They have already voted for funding bills last year and the year before when the Internet giveaway was defunded. Now suddenly we are supposed to believe that Dick Durbin and others of his ilk want to shut down the government over it and yet is 'obscure and irrelevant.' Maybe Team Durbin just cares more about their corporate overlords Google, Amazon and Facebook who are pushing for the end of U.S. oversight of the Internet's domain name system.

"The simple fact that the government has not engaged in any due diligence to make certain that the transfer of Internet governance to its vendor would not unalterably disrupt the basic processes of the Internet due to antitrust litigation should make it clear to members on both sides of the aisle that extending the current contract at least another two years is the only prudent course. I am confident that Senator Durbin and his colleagues on the Democratic side of the aisle don't want to be forever known as the jokers who broke the Internet due to their petulance and political gamesmanship."
Contact your Senators and Representative immediately and tell them, in your own words of course, "that you mad as hell and that you do not want the control of the Internet's domain name system given over to control by either corporate globalists or potential foreign control."

Once given away, it is gone just like all the Gitmo terrorists released by President Obama. And there will be no long term good result for the people or business of the United States of America when foreign powers can intrude in our Internet operations be it via  denial of services, restriction of free speech, control of information, and more.

Tags: Stop, Internet Giveaway, ALG, Americans for Limited Government, Democrats, Dick Durbin, ARRA News Service To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Using Uninformed Protesters

Anti-Energy Protesters Target North Dakota Pipeline
by Bob McDowell, Contributing Author : It continues to irritate and offend me to see plastered all over the national media stories about groups protesting this or that proposed major project that would find, produce, refine, or transport products needed for our energy.

The way that they seem to ‘suddenly’ show up, complete with fancy signs and expensive bull-horns, lends to the supposition that they are being quietly and heavily financed by one of the billionaires who have an axe to grind. This is very similar to the situation called "Black lives matter" working on a totally false proposition of an incident in a suburb of St. Louis, MO, last year.

At least two suspects for being instigators and financiers of these ‘protests’ come to mind rather quickly. One is, of course, the infamous George Soros, who has been listed as the money behind the ‘occupy Wall Street’ series of sit-in protests and the black lives matter successor in action. Mr. Soros has been widely listed as an avowed Socialist who detests the USA and also accused by President Putin of manipulating the Russian currency.

Another suspect would be Mr. Warren Buffett who is the head of Berkshire-Hathaway the Omaha NE based multi-billion investment firm with numerous subsidiaries including newspapers such as the Tulsa World, and railroads including the BNSF which hauls numerous ‘unit-train’ coal hopper cars and oil tank cars. Thus we might rightly assume that he would prefer that large crude and product pipelines not be built.

It is really too bad that these protest are induced / encouraged to rallies in opposition to such projects. The most recent to be covered extensively by media has been an American Indian opposition to a pipeline under construction from the North Dakota oil fields to the East.

The route requires the line to go under the Missouri River, which construction could be accomplished by either ditching from the river surface or boring under the river bed from the shores. Both are quite common methods in the pipeline construction business. Usually, the process involves installing a larger pipe called "casing" in the ditch or bore into which the actual flow line is inserted. Thus, if there ever is a leak, it would be contained in the casing and the fluid leaking would show up in vent pipes at each end of the casing so that flow could be quickly contained.

It appears that this pipeline has been under construction for some time, But now, TV news programs have substantial coverage of people from various tribes gathering to protest its construction.

 A recent Tulsa Daily newspaper story on the protests caught my attention. An 11-year old third grade student from Northeast of Arizona made the trip to the Black Rock Sioux Reservation in ND to join in the protest. I doubt that she would be in any way comprehend the truth out this pipeline project. Wonder where the money came from to get her from AZ to ND to protest?

Also, if all these protesters are truly sincere in their objection, they should be willing to FORGO the gasoline and other energy sources for themselves. However I wouldn’t hole my breath in hopes that will ever happening.
Editor’s Note: Since Mr. McDowell submitted his article, ARRA News Service Reported:From Bloomberg: The Obama administration said it would not allow work on federal land along the route of Energy Transfer Partners LP’s controversial crude oil pipeline, less than an hour after a judge ruled construction could proceed on the $3.8 billion project.

The Army Corps of Engineers has not yet authorized construction near Lake Oahe along the border of North and South Dakota, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement Friday. As a result, the department asked Energy Transfer to voluntarily pause building 20 miles east or west of the lake until the Corps makes a decision.

Earlier, a federal judge ruled construction could proceed on the Dakota Access Pipeline, a decision seen as a blow to critics who said the project would damage culturally significant sites and create an environmental hazard where it crosses the Missouri River.

The project likely complies with the National Historic Preservation Act, wrote U.S. District Judge James Boasberg in Washington, Friday in a memorandum accompanying his opinion. "The Tribe has not shown it will suffer injury that would be prevented by any injunction the Court could issue," he said.
Robert "Bob" McDowell, Jr. is a retired Professional Engineer and Geologist with over 50 years experience in creating drilling prospects, supervising drilling, well completion, production operation, and pipeline design for oil and gas including repair of problem wells. McDowell is a conservative activist and member of the Oklahoma Republican Assembly. He Contributes opinion and commentary articles to the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Bob McDowell, Uninformed Protesters, North Dakota Pipeline, Obama administration, blocks pipeline To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

No Equivalency Between The Clinton Foundation And The Trump Foundation

Lamestream media propping up Hillary Clinton Campaign
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco
by Rick Manning: If Hillary has a massive Clinton Foundation problem, then the media must find some problem with the Trump Foundation.

That’s the equivalency game that continually gets played by the left, and quite frankly I’m sick of it.

When emails reveal that Hillary is literally selling appointments to donors to the Clinton Foundation, right on cue, her sycophants in the media pick up her contention that Donald Trump’s business deals will somehow conflict him in foreign policy.

Here is what the little read, but somehow still published Newsweek had to say, “If Donald Trump is elected president, will he and his family permanently sever all connections to the Trump Organization, a sprawling business empire that has spread a secretive financial web across the world? Or will Trump instead choose to be the most conflicted president in American history, one whose business interests will constantly jeopardize the security of the United States?”


The Clinton Foundation takes millions upon millions of dollars in gifts that smell like bribes from foreign governments while Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State and Newsweek is concerned that Donald Trump has business interests all over the world that may impair his judgment?

What a farce. In fact, those business contacts all over the world would seem to be an asset in terms of getting different perspectives on the real, on the ground, situations to supplement the normal foreign policy channels at the disposal of a U.S. President.

But the Clinton campaign desperately needs to offset her corruption and malfeasance by creating an equivalency in Trump, and so they attempt to take an asset and worry that it might be “conflicting.” The sycophantic media then parrots the concern as if it is real, and wham, bam, the public is being told that Trump has a Foundation problem, with no mention of Hillary’s abject corruption.

NBC Nightly News, hosted by Lester Holt who will be the not very impartial moderator of the first debate between Clinton and Trump, weighed in on another fantasy Trump Foundation problem “reporting” on a recent New York Attorney General investigation into whether portraits of Trump were appropriately purchased or not.

Somehow, having the Foundation paying for a portrait or to purchase an autographed football helmet (both of which are legal under the IRS code) and the attention seeking Democrat New York Attorney General will open an “investigation” with Lester Holt dutifully reporting it. Take tens of millions of dollars from countries that jail or execute gay people into your Foundation, nothing to see here. In fact, according to Media Research Center, Holt’s reporting on the Clinton Foundation seems to be limited to breathlessly breaking news that Bill Clinton won’t be on the Board of the group should Hillary become President. All ethical problems solved. Yay.

But equivalency has been achieved, Trump Foundation pays for portraits equals Hillary selling access to her office through her Foundation. While rational people would recognize that the Trump “problem” is the equivalent of a pimple, and Hillary’s is melanoma, in the world of the left’s coverage they are both skin conditions cancelling each other out.

And of course, Hillary’s pay for play connections around the world are what qualifies her for President, but Trump’s business relationships are potentially conflicting to his being able to make foreign policy.

If there were an honest press corps, this would be shocking, but given that we are well beyond that fantasy, it is just important to know. If the media reports on a scandal or Hillary attacks on one, rest assured there is a much larger problem in her campaign which is either being offset or minimized.

Just a little helper in interpreting the opaque world of political reporting.
Rick Manning (@rmanning957) is President of Americans for Limited Government. This article was also shared on the ALG Blog.

Tags: Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, media, No Equivalency, Clinton Foundation, Trump Foundation, Rick Manning, Americans for Limited Government To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

After 8 Years Of Obama, Time To Reset The U.S.-Israel Alliance

. . . The key steps the next president must take to undo nearly a decade of damage to U.S.-Israel relations.
by Ari Lieberman: It is no secret that the U.S.-Israel alliance has been under a severe strain for the last eight years, principally due to the non-friendly and often hostile positions of the Obama administration. The United States and Israel have had their differences under previous administrations and, at times, there were sharp disagreements but they rarely made it to the front pages. This is because leaders of both nations understood that disagreements, to the extent that they existed, were best addressed behind closed doors and away from prying eyes.

Obama changed all that during his first year in office with his infamous apology tour when he went to the Mideast to visit various Muslim countries to apologize for contrived wrongs and deliberately skipped over Israel despite the fact that he was a mere 20-minute plane ride away. It was a spiteful snub designed to show the Israelis and Arabs that Obama intended to fundamentally change the nature and dynamic of the U.S.-Israel alliance. The snub was followed by additional indignities including shabby treatment by the Obama White House of visiting Israeli dignitaries and guttural name-calling by anonymous White House aides. The person (likely Ben Rhodes) responsible for hurling the “Chicken-sh*t” vulgarity was never disciplined.

Obama’s plan to realign America’s alliances backfired miserably. He expected Israel to grovel but under the steady stewardship of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel did not cave into the pressure. Instead, Israel sought new alliances forging strong bonds with India, Africa, the Balkan countries and various eastern European countries. Relations also warmed between nations harboring traditional enmity toward Israel, like Russia and China.

By contrast, the Muslim world spiraled further into medieval backwardness. Arab nations that were spared the chaos brought upon by the so-called “Arab Spring” sought new alliances. Saudi Arabia and the Gulf nations watched as a feckless Obama appeased the Islamic Republic and allowed the mullahs to run amok and have their way. They too moved closer to Israel as a result.

The next president will be presented with daunting Mideast challenges. ISIS, the catastrophic Iran deal, Iran’s regional meddling and the Muslim migrant crisis. The list seems endless but there is one thing the next president can and must address upon assuming office and that is to reset the U.S.-Israel alliance. These two great democracies share ethical values and strategic interests, and the alliance must be strengthened for the sake of regional stability and moral clarity.

The first thing the U.S. must do is move to recognize Israel’s 1981 annexation of the Golan Heights. The Golan was liberated by Israel from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War. Prior to its liberation, the strategic Golan Heights served as a platform for Syrian bombardment of Israeli communities in Galilee. The area is sparsely inhabited by roughly 20,000 Jews and 18,000 Druze. Many of the Druze, who were formerly citizens of Syria, accepted Israeli citizenship and the number of those accepting Israeli citizenship continues to rise.

Syria is no longer a sovereign nation in any sense. The area formerly known as Syria has been Balkanized. Assad is a mere puppet of Iran and his army has been reduced to a mere 50,000. Iran, with the help of its mercenary forces, including Hezbollah and the remnants of Assad’s army, controls much of western Syria, on a north-south axis. The Kurds control much of northern Syria. ISIS controls large swaths of eastern Syria while a smattering of Islamist and other Sunni militias control pockets in between. No one in their right mind seriously believes that Israel will ever hand over the Golan to Assad, ISIS or the Iranians. In sum, Syria is a mess and the realities of the situation dictate that the Golan Heights should remain Israeli. It is incumbent upon the United States to come to terms with this fact.

The second thing the next president must do is to comply with existing congressional legislation mandating that the U.S. embassy be moved to Israel’s capital of Jerusalem. The U.S. embassy is currently and irrationally situated in Tel Aviv. In 1995 and again in 2002, congressional legislation directed the president to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Every 6 months, the executive branch exercises a waiver which enables it to legally circumvent the law. The official U.S. policy is that the ultimate status of Jerusalem is to be determined by the parties to the conflict. This strange and counter-productive policy has at times led to bizarre and comical exchanges between members of the press corps and government officials with the latter unable to name Israel’s capital city.

It is time to put an end to this charade. In 1948, Israel secured the newer western portion of the city while the Jordanians seized and occupied the eastern portion. The Jordanian occupation, which lasted for 19 grueling years, could best be characterized as cruel and inhumane. Jews were ethnically cleansed from places where they lived for generations. Jewish institutions in the eastern portion were dynamited or turned into garbage dumps. Even Jewish cemeteries were not immune from Muslim cruelty. Headstones in the ancient Mount of Olives cemetery were used as paving stones and to build latrines for the Jordanian legion. Christians didn’t fare much better. During the Jordanian occupation, the Christian population was halved.

The Six-Day war brought an end to the inhumanity. Israeli forces liberated the eastern part of the city and unified it with the west. Jerusalem has always been central to Jews and Judaism. It is the site of both the first and second temples and was designated the capital city under two Israelite commonwealths. Under Israeli rule, the city is now a thriving metropolis where all faiths are free to worship as they please but it was rendered a backwater when under Ottoman Turk and then Jordanian occupation.

Any move to recognize Jerusalem – any part of Jerusalem -- as Israel’s capital would naturally meet with hysterical protest from the Muslim world. An attempt to mute that protest by placing the embassy in the western half of the city – a relatively benign action – would meet with the same frenzied outcry. Half-hearted attempts to satisfy everyone will end up pleasing no one. The U.S. action with respect to the embassy relocation must therefore be resolute and unequivocal. Therefore, the ideal location for the future embassy would be along the imaginary dividing line, between the eastern and western sides of the city. This would send a clear message to all parties that the United States recognizes all of Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel. It is the moral and correct thing to do. Other friendly nations would quickly follow suit. As for the Arab protests…well, let them protest.

Lastly, the next president should recognize that Judea and Samaria (commonly referred to as the West Bank) are territories that are disputed, not “occupied,” and that the so-called settlements (a pejorative term meant to denigrate thriving communities) are legal under international law.

An announcement of this nature would not be without precedent. During his term, Ronald Reagan noted that he did not believe that settlements were illegal and George W. Bush gave implicit recognition to the legitimacy of settlements when he unequivocally stated that, “In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949…”

Jews have been residing in Judea and Samaria long before the first Muslim colonizer set foot in the Land of Israel. This inconvenient truth has not prevented the Palestinian president for life, Mahmoud Abbas, from boorishly declaring that “In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli — civilian or soldier — on our lands.” Israel’s fascist critics are quick to obscenely label Israel as an “Apartheid state” but the reality is that it is the Palestinian Arabs who practice Apartheid in both word and deed. They will not be satisfied until every last non-Muslim is ethnically cleansed from what they consider to be “Muslim soil.”

A famous and common Muslim chant during the years leading up to the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict was “first Saturday then Sunday,” an ominous reference to finishing off the Christians after dealing with the Jews. That hateful and xenophobic expression resonates in today’s Middle East. Following the expulsion of 1,000,000 Jews from Muslim lands, the Arabs turned their unwanted attentions to other minorities including Christians, Kurds and Yazidis.

It is undisputed that Obama has had a deleterious effect on the U.S.-Israel alliance and has placed it under enormous strain. Even members of his own party have had to rein him in from time to time. The alliance nevertheless endured despite his best efforts to sabotage it. Let’s hope that the next president, whoever that may be, works to improve relations between natural allies facing common enemies. Implementing these recommendations would instantly reverse the damage inflicted by Obama during the past eight years and would send the right signals to the enemies of democracy.
Ari Lieberman is an attorney and former prosecutor who has authored numerous articles and publications on matters concerning the Middle East and is considered an authority on geo-political and military developments affecting the region. He is an author at FrontPage Mag an outreach of the the David Horowitz Freedom Center.  David Horowitz is a Contributing Author of the ARRA News Service

Tags: American Foreign Policy, Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel, Ari Lieberman, FrontPage Mag To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Missouri GOP Overrides Gun Bill Veto

by Liz Sheld: Missouri Republicans engaged in some legislative jujitsu yesterday, using a parliamentary maneuver to stop a Democrat filibuster and force a vote to override Democrat Governor Jay Nixon's veto on a gun bill.The maneuver, known as “calling the previous question,” was once rarely used — only five times in the Senate from 1970 to 2001, when Republicans captured the majority. But it’s now been used five times since 2014, including three times this year.

After shutting down debate Wednesday, the Senate voted to override the governor’s veto on a 24-6 party line vote. The bill moved to the House, where it was quickly approved 112-41.

It becomes law in 30 days.

On the final day of the legislative session in 2016, legislators approved a bill that would allow a person to carry a concealed firearm without a permit. Previously, a Missouri resident could carry a gun by passing a criminal background check and taking a gun-safety class.

The anti-gun Nixon said the bill would allow “individuals to legally carry a concealed firearm even though they have been or would be denied a permit because their background check revealed criminal offenses or caused the sheriff to believe they posed a danger.”

Do those requirements stop a criminal from concealing a firearm? No.

The NRA said the bill “seeks to expand the fundamental right to self-defense of Missourians and strengthen their ability to protect themselves and their families.”

GOP Rep. Kevin Engler said the gun controllers have repeatedly predicted deadly consequences on all the gun legislation ever passed in Missouri.

“This bill will not do the crazy things that are being said,” he said.

In addition to loosening restrictions on concealed carry, the bill reduces the penalty for carrying a firearm into prohibited buildings from a felony to a misdemeanor, and also implements a "stand your ground" law. Missouri residents will no longer be obligated to retreat before using deadly force if they perceive their life is in danger.

Great work, Missouri GOP!
Liz Sheld is Editor-at-Large at PJ Media. Follow her on twitter @starchambermaid.

Tags: Missouri, GOP, overrides, gun bill, veto, PJMedia, Liz Sheld To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

The Social Security Disability Insurance Return to Work Act

by Senator Tom Cotton & Rep. French Hill: Last month marked the 81st anniversary of the Social Security Act, which established the our current retirement payment system for senior citizens.

Today Social Security serves as a major source of income for millions of retired Americans, but its solvency is threatened by the explosive growth of enrollment in a different Social Security program: Social Security Disability Insurance, a program established to provide for the “totally and permanently disabled” members of our society.

Social Security Disability Insurance is critical to a state like Arkansas, where nearly 300,000 of our state’s population rely on the program.

Last year, Congress passed a temporary bailout that provided five additional years of funding to the program, but that failed to include substantive reform. Congress must act to make real reforms to Social Security Disability to ensure the program helps the temporarily disabled return to work and remains viable for future generations.

First it’s important to understand how we arrived at this problem in the first place. Social Security Disability Insurance is funded through the payroll taxes of American workers. When the program was established in 1980, it cost about $25 billion annually. But in 1984, Congress made changes to Social Security Disability Insurance that made it easier to qualify for the program.

The problem? There was no mechanism put in place to help those who are able to recover return to work and transition off the program. As a result, enrollment in Social Security Insurance grew exponentially and payments to beneficiaries now far exceeded the amount of money coming into the program—today Social Security Disability Insurance costs a staggering $140 billion annually.

Many Arkansans who receive Social Security Disability Insurance are truly permanently disabled and we are committed to protecting those individuals. But we also know many on Social Security Disability are able to recover.

A January 2015 report from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service noted the employment rate among working-age individuals with work-limiting disabilities has fallen from 24.4 percent in 1981 to 14.4 percent in 2013In July of this year, nearly 9 million working-age Americans received disability payments, compared to just over 5 million in 2001, and most of these beneficiaries are unlikely to ever return to work.

Reports of fraud, abuse, and overpayments also continue to plague Social Security Disability, further straining the program and costing taxpayers billions of dollars. Last year, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that the program incorrectly paid beneficiaries $11 billion over the past 9 years and the Office of Management and Budget designated SSDI as one of 16 “high-error” government programs for improper payments. Massive fraud conspiracies in New York, and West Virginia, also illustrate the need for reforms and additional oversight.

We must preserve this program for the Arkansans who truly need it, while getting rid of the fraud and helping those who can recover return to work. That’s why we’ve introduced the Social Security Disability Insurance Return to Work Act.

This bill brings much needed reforms to Social Security Disability Insurance by creating a timeline for those expected to recover. With a timeline, SSDI can be a temporary reprieve and a tool to return to the workforce.

Our bill also reinvests some of the savings of these reforms into continuing disability reviews (CDRs). CDRs are used to root out fraud.

The Social Security Administration estimates that every dollar spent on CDRs reduces future benefits by approximately $10, ultimately saving billions of taxpayer dollars.

Currently, a massive backlog at the Social Security Administration has made it difficult to review each disability case carefully. Allocating additional funds to CDRs will help resolve this backlog and benefit the oversight and management of disability enrollment.

Some believe the solution to the problem is throwing additional money into the Social Security Disability Insurance Program. But that’s only a temporary fix. Without real reforms to Social Security Disability, we will find ourselves in the same situation in just a few years. We cannot continue to kick the can down the road for our children to deal with—we must confront the issue now.

Every day that we do not act to preserve the future of Social Security our options to address the pressing issues facing the program shrink.

Congress should take action to help those who are able to recover return to work and to ensure our most vulnerable population continues to receive the care and benefits they need.
Republican French Hill represents the 2nd District of Arkansas in the U.S. House of Representatives. Republican Tom Cotton represents Arkansas in the United States Senate. Article provided to ARRA News Service by Rep. Hill's office and was also on Fox News.

Tags: Social Security, disability insurance,   French Hill, Tom Cotton, introduced, The Social Security Return to Work Act To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

‘The World Is More Dangerous’

‘If It Didn't Send Chills Down Your Body Thinking About That, It Should’

SEN. BARRASSO: ‘The World … Has Become More Dangerous Over The Past 7 ½ Years’

SEN. JOHN BARRASSO (R-WY): “Mr. President, people all around the country know that the world is a very dangerous place. It has become more dangerous over the past 7 ½ years, and even over the course of this summer. As a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, I come here again to the floor because I have seen one example after another--examples of how the Obama administration seems to not know what is going on when it comes to foreign policy. I believe the Obama administration--and specifically Secretary Clinton as well as President Obama--have been embarrassingly naive…” (Sen. Barrasso, Congressional Record, S.5595, 9/13/2016)
SEN. CORY GARDNER (R-CO): “This is a time where men and women across this country are standing on guard, engaged in combat today around the globe. This is a nation whose military is standing guard in South Korea, watching a madman in North Korea detonate nuclear bombs--not because he just thinks they are fun to show off but because he wants to use them against the United States and our allies.” (Sen. Gardner, Congressional Record, S. 5600, 9/13/2016)

SEN. SHELLEY MOORE CAPITO (R-WV): “I just returned from a trip over Memorial Day to the South China Sea, and we learned there about China constructing military facilities on man made islands.  Just last week, North Korea conducted its latest and largest nuclear test. If it didn't send chills down your body thinking about that, it should, because they want to get the capabilities to reach our western coast. … The instability is remarkable.” (Sen. Capito, Congressional Record, S. 5598, 9/13/2016)

SEN. MIKE ROUNDS (R-SD): “It was just this last Sunday that we marked the 15th anniversary of the bombings we have referred to as 9/11, the terror attacks which took nearly 3,000 American lives and occurred in New York, Washington, DC, and Pennsylvania. Fifteen years ago these attacks were perpetrated by terrorists whose sole goal was to terrorize American citizens and destroy our way of life. Fifteen years later, that risk and that threat have not gone away.” (Sen. Rounds, Congressional Record, S.5595, 9/13/2016)

SEN. STEVE DAINES (R-MT): “We see ISIS expanding into places like Libya and managing to influence people and attacking Western targets in Paris, in Belgium, and even in our homeland, in San Bernardino and Orlando.” (Sen. Daines, Congressional Record, S. 5596, 9/13/2016)

SEN. DAN SULLIVAN (R-AK): “[L]ook at where our forces are right now--all over the world. There are 5,000 troops in Iraq. They are in combat. The White House doesn't like to use the word ‘combat,’ but those troops are in combat. Our troops in Syria, brave pilots, are bombing ISIS, terrorist groups, on a daily basis. They are in combat. Their families know it. Again, we have a White House that doesn't want to talk about combat. The Press Secretary will not mention the word, but our forces are in combat.” (Sen. Sullivan, Congressional Record, S. 5598, 9/13/2016)

SEN. DAVID PERDUE (R-GA): “[T]oday I believe the world is more dangerous than it has ever been... The early removal of our troops from Iraq created a vacuum into which ISIS has grown. They needed territory to validate their caliphate, and they got that.” (Sen. Perdue, Congressional Record, S. 5710, 9/14/2016)

SEN. JAMES LANKFORD (R-OK): “The President's failure to enforce his own redline in Syria has led to instability throughout the Middle East, as no one knows where the lines are for anyone. Making a statement like ‘they won't use chemical weapons,’ when every year since 2013 the Syrian Government has used chlorine gas on its own people, had our administration responding with: Well, that is not crossing the redline because chlorine was exempted from this deal. They couldn't use other chemical weapons, but they could gas their own people with chlorine. That makes absolutely no sense to anyone. The Syrians have continued to use chlorine gas on their people year after year, mocking the President's redline and diminishing American leadership around the world.” (Sen. Lankford, Congressional Record, S. 5599, 9/13/2016)

SEN. JONI ERNST (R-IA): “One of the most alarming things in this administration--one of the most alarming things they have done is not only ignore threats but also fuel those threats, just as they did with the Iran nuclear deal. The nuclear deal that this administration brokered with Iran is putting taxpayer dollars into the pockets of the largest State sponsor of terrorism.” (Sen. Ernst, Congressional Record, S. 5708, 9/14/2016)

Sen. John Boozman
SEN. JOHN BOOZMAN (R-AR): “Earlier this month, the regime in Tehran deployed a Russian-supplied surface-to-air-missile defense system around its Fordow underground uranium enrichment facility. This potent missile defense system was part of an $800 million deal Russia signed with Iran in 2007. That deal has been voluntarily put on hold because of a 2010 U.N. Security Council resolution, but that hold was lifted after President Obama's weak Iran deal signaled to Russia that it is acceptable to sell weapons to Iran.” (Sen. Boozman, Congressional Record, S. 5716, 9/14/2016)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): “Today, at a hearing in the House, ‘a top TSA official divulged [for the first time] ... that Cuba has yet to agree to allow U.S. air marshals aboard scheduled airline flights between the two countries--meaning there have been no air marshals on board thus far, despite’ the fact that the administration said there would be... On most, if not all, of these flights there are no air marshals. This is endangering U.S. passengers... [T]his is the latest example of an administration that is so intent on burnishing its legacy, on getting credit for this opening, that they are willing to throw everything else out the window.” (Sen. Rubio, Congressional Record, S. 5713, 9/14/2016)

Tags: World Is More Dangerous, U.S Senators, John Barrasso, Cory Gardner, Shelley Moore, Mike Rounds, Steve Daines, Dan Sullivan, David Perdue, James Lankford, Joni Ernst, John Boozman, Marco Rubio To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Hillary’s Health Is A Problem, But Her Lack Of Honesty Could Be Deadly

by Robert Romano: “Antibiotics can take care of pneumonia. What’s the cure for an unhealthy penchant for privacy that repeatedly creates unnecessary problems?”

That was former Barack Obama chief campaign strategist David Axelrod’s Twitter reaction to Hillary Clinton’s near-collapse as she was entering a van after a September 11 memorial in New York.

Coming from Axelrod, it is a clear shot across Clinton’s bow coming directly from the Democrat Party establishment as rumors begin to swirl about replacing her atop the party’s ticket in November.

The Clinton campaign’s explanation is that she had seasonal allergies leading to a cough, and then pneumonia which led to heat exhaustion at the ceremony on Sunday. But, based on her actions, it is clear that but for the Twitter video showing her wobbling and falling forward into her van amid Secret Service and personal handlers attempting prevent her from hitting the pavement, the American people would almost certainly never have heard about this episode.

How do we know that? Clinton’s destination after her fall was to her daughter Chelsea’s residence, not to a hospital to treat heat exhaustion, which the New York Post reports was to avoid media exposure. The heat exhaustion explanation was only in response to disclosure of the video, and the bout of pneumonia was not included in the official explanation until hours after that. They were going to cover it up. What if it had been a much more serious condition?

That is not a conspiracy theory. That’s what happened. Clinton was comfortable with failing to disclose a major medical episode even as questions on her health and fitness to serve as commander-in-chief were dogging the campaign. And her campaign only came forward when the truth could not be denied.

What else might the campaign be hiding? Did Clinton lose consciousness? Does she have any other ailments? How often does she fall? In 2012, Clinton had another fall and suffered a concussion. Soon thereafter, she had a blood clot in the brain that was treated. Is that everything?

Nowadays, we tend to romanticize past presidents’ ailments — and how the mainstream media tended to cover them up — such as Franklin Roosevelt’s polio or John Kennedy’s battle with extreme pain and anxiety along with the powerful cocktails of drugs he took. The way these are often portrayed is that the illness did not affect the policies or performance of these presidents. But is that really true?

Consider Woodrow Wilson who in 1919 suffered a severe stroke and was incapacitated for the remainder of his presidency. It was covered up, only to be pieced together later by historians, but if the 25th Amendment had been in place then it is highly possible he would have been deposed by his Cabinet for being physically and mentally unable to fulfill his duties of office.

These matters were and are so serious that countermeasures were put in place into the Constitution itself.

So, if the future president was going to have a potentially fatal illness, wouldn’t you want to know about it?

For Clinton, the issue could become a major headache going forward, particularly if voters perceive that she and her campaign sought to mislead the public about her health. In this case, Axelrod is right. Her illnesses can be treated, but the public faith and trust, once lost, will not easily recover.
Robert Romano is the Senior Editor of Americans for Limited Government. His article was first shared on the ALG's NetRight Daily.

Tags: Robert Romano, Americans For Limited Government, Hillary Clinton, health problems, lack of honesty To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Bibi Backs Trump — on Putin

by Patrick Buchanan: Since Donald Trump said that if Vladimir Putin praises him, he would return the compliment, Republican outrage has not abated.

Arriving on Capitol Hill to repair ties between Trump and party elites, Gov. Mike Pence was taken straight to the woodshed.

John McCain told Pence that Putin was a “thug and a butcher,” and Trump’s embrace of him intolerable.

Said Lindsey Graham: “Vladimir Putin is a thug, a dictator…who has his opposition killed in the streets,” and Trump’s views bring to mind Munich.

Putin is an “authoritarian thug,” added “Little Marco” Rubio.

What causes the Republican Party to lose it whenever the name of Vladimir Putin is raised?

Putin is no Stalin, whom FDR and Harry Truman called “Good old Joe” and “Uncle Joe.” Unlike Nikita Khrushchev, he never drowned a Hungarian Revolution in blood. He did crush the Chechen secession. But what did he do there that General Sherman did not do to Atlanta when Georgia seceded from Mr. Lincoln’s Union?

Putin supported the U.S. in Afghanistan, backed our nuclear deal with Iran and signed on to John Kerry’s plan have us ensure a cease fire in Syria and go hunting together for ISIS and al-Qaida terrorists.

Still, Putin committed “aggression” in Ukraine, we are told.

But was that really aggression, or reflexive strategic reaction?

We helped dump over a pro-Putin democratically elected regime in Kiev, and Putin acted to secure his Black Sea naval base by re-annexing Crimea, a peninsula that has belonged to Russia from Catherine the Great to Khrushchev. Great powers do such things.

When the Castros pulled Cuba out of America’s orbit, did we not decide to keep Guantanamo, and dismiss Havana’s protests?

Moscow did indeed support secessionist pro-Russia rebels in East Ukraine.

But did not the U.S. launch a 78-day bombing campaign on tiny Serbia to effect a secession of its cradle province of Kosovo?

What is the great moral distinction here?

The relationship between Russia and Ukraine goes back to 500 years before Columbus. It includes an ancient common faith, a complex history, terrible suffering and horrendous injustices — like Stalin’s starvation of millions of Ukrainians in the early 1930s.

Yet, before Bush II and Obama, no president thought Moscow-Kiev quarrels were any of our business. When did they become so?

Russia is reportedly hacking into our political institutions. If so, it ought to stop. But have not our own CIA, National Endowment for Democracy, and NGOs meddled in Russia’s internal affairs for years?

Putin is a nationalist who looks out for Russia first. He also heads a nation twice the size of ours with an arsenal equal to our own, and no peace in Eurasia can be made without him.

We have to deal with him. How does it help to call him names?

And what is Putin doing in terms of repression to outmatch our NATO ally, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and our Arab ally, Egypt’s General el-Sissi?

Is Putin’s Russia more repressive than Xi Jinping’s China?

Yet, Republicans rarely use “thug” when speaking about Xi.

During the Cold War, we partnered with such autocrats as the Shah of Iran and General Pinochet of Chile, Ferdinand Marcos in Manila and Park Chung-Hee of South Korea. Cold War necessity required it.

Scores of the world’s 190-odd nations are today ruled by autocrats. How does it advance our interests or diplomacy by having congressional leaders yapping “thug” at the ruler of a nation with hundreds of nuclear warheads?

Where is the realism, the recognition of the realities of the world in which we live, that guided the policies of presidents from Ike to Reagan?

We have been told by senators like Tom Cotton that there must be “no daylight” between the U.S. and Israel.

Fine. How does Israel regard Putin “the thug” and Putin “the butcher”?

According to foreign policy scholar Stephen Sniegoski, when Putin first visited Israel in 2005, President Moshe Katsav hailed him as a “friend of Israel” and Ariel Sharon said he was “among brothers.”

In the last year alone, Bibi Netanyahu has gone to Moscow three times and Putin has visited Israel. The two get along wonderfully well.

On the U.N. resolution that affirmed the “territorial integrity” of Ukraine, Israel abstained. And Israel refused to join in sanctions against a friendly Russia. Russian-Israeli trade is booming.

Perhaps Bibi, who just got a windfall of $38 billion in U.S. foreign aid over the next 10 years from a Barack Obama whom he does not even like, can show the GOP how to get along better with Vlad.

Lindsey Graham says that the $38 billion for Israel is probably not enough, that Bibi will need more, and that he will be there to provide it.

Remarkable. Bibi, a buddy of Vlad, gets $38 billion from the same Republican senators who, when Donald Trump says he will repay personal compliments from Vladimir Putin, gets the McCain-Graham wet mitten across the face.
Patrick Buchanan is currently a conservative columnist, political analyst, chairman of The American Cause foundation and an editor of The American Conservative. He has been a senior advisor to three Presidents, a two-time candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, and was the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000. He blogs at the Patrick J. Buchanan.

Tags: Patrick Buchanan, conservative, commentary, Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Bibi, Benjamin Netanyahu To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Colorado's Problematic Solution . . .

. . . The tangled logic behind an attack on citizen initiatives.
by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: There’s a problem in Colorado, or so we’re told. And a solution. But the one doesn’t seem to match the other.

The problem, according to the supporters of Amendment 71, is too many constitutional amendments.

Their solution? Pass another constitutional amendment.

Moreover, even though two-thirds of constitutional changes have been proposed by legislators, not by citizen initiative, Amendment 71 makes it much tougher for citizens to propose amendments, while not altering the legislature’s power.

Maybe that’s because their committee, Rig the Bar . . . er, Raise the Bar, is a bipartisan group of politicians and political insiders. Their amendment would (1) increase the vote required to pass a constitutional amendment to a 55 percent supermajority, and (2) mandate that citizens qualify petitions statewide, as currently required, but also in each of the 35 state senate districts.

This means that to get an issue on the ballot citizens must successfully run 36 petition drives, not just one. And falling short in any single senate district would doom an entire effort. In short, future citizen initiatives would be much more expensive and likely to fail.

Meanwhile, the supermajority vote threshold provides well-heeled special interests with an ability to win even when they lose. Expect the powers-that-be to beat up reform measures with negative ads, knowing that simply by holding YES votes down to 54.9 percent, the establishment wins.

In a recent debate, Elena Nunez with Common Cause explained, “The problem with Amendment 71 is it’s designed to allow the wealthiest special interests in the state to act as a gate-keeper, because the cost of initiatives will go up dramatically.”

This Special Interest Protection Act sure is a problematic solution.

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 also President of the Liberty Initiative Fund (LIFe) as well as Citizens in Charge Foundation. Jacobs is a contributing author on the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Paul Jacob, Common Sense, Colorado, Amendment 71, problematic solution, Special Interest Protection Act To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Demographic Winter

by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: In previous commentaries I have talked about how Europe and other countries in the world are facing a demographic winter, but now it seems that America is headed in the same direction. John Stonestreet talks about this in a recent Breakpoint commentary.

A country needs a fertility rate of about 2.1 children per woman in order to maintain its population. The population will shrink if that number drops below that number (unless compensated by increasing levels of immigration).

Greece, Italy, Spain, and Germany have a fertility rate less than 1.4. The United States currently has a fertility rate of less than 1.9. This is a significant drop off since the postwar baby boom that reached a fertility rate of 3.8 children per woman.

America’s drop in fertility has been masked by immigration. Immigrants produced children that native-born Americans were not having. Also, these immigrants tended to have higher fertility rates.

In previous commentaries, I also have talked about the fact that the fertility rate varies from group to group. For example, conservatives have more children than liberals. Christians have more children than secularists. As you might imagine, secular liberals have been writing about this “fertility gap” because they realize that Christians are giving birth to future Christians, and conservatives are having more future conservatives. That doesn’t always happen since universities and the secular media have been fairly effective at converting Christian kids into atheists and conservative students into progressives.

Sometimes it is difficult to see the prospect of a decline in America’s population when you look at the crowded nursery at your church. Christians in general have higher fertility rates. We know that children are a gift from the Lord and rejoice with a quiver full of them (Psalm 127:3-5). Sadly, we live in a world that does not view children as God’s gift. That is why we are headed for a demographic winter.
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

Tags: Kerby Anderson, Viewpoints, Point of 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!

Two More Guantanamo Detainees Return to Jihad

(ISIS photo)
by Bridget Johnson: A status report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence revealed two more former Guantanamo Bay detainees were confirmed returning to jihad in the first six months of this year.

The DNI report breaks down the number of released detainees -- 693 -- and under whose administration the transfers occurred (532 under George W. Bush, 161 under President Obama).

The confirmed recidivism rate is 17.6 percent, with 122 former detainees determined to be engaged in jihadist activity since their release.

The rate of those suspected but not confirmed of returning to jihad is 12.4 percent, or 86 of 693 cases.

Nine detainees total have been confirmed of returning to jihad since Obama took office, according to the report. Eleven former detainees are suspected of returning to jihad during that time period.

No detainees were named. The terror groups joined were also not detailed.

The DNI prepares the unclassified summary in coordination with the CIA and Defense Department, and has been required to do so every six months since 2012.

"Based on trends identified during the past eleven years, we assess that some detainees currently at GTMO will seek to reengage in terrorist or insurgent activities after they are transferred. Transfers to countries with ongoing conflicts and internal instability as well as recruitment by insurgent and terrorist organizations could pose problems," the assessment states. "While enforcement of transfer conditions may deter reengagement by many former detainees and delay reengagement by others, some detainees who are determined to reengage will do so regardless of any transfer conditions, albeit probably at a lower rate than if they were transferred without conditions."

"Former GTMO detainees routinely communicate with each other, families of other former detainees, and previous associates who are members of terrorist organizations. The reasons for communication span from the mundane (reminiscing about shared experiences) to the nefarious (planning terrorist operations). We assess that some GTMO detainees transferred in the future also will communicate with other former GTMO detainees and persons in terrorist organizations. We do not consider mere communication with individuals or organizations—including other former GTMO detainees—an indicator of reengagement. Rather, the motives, intentions, and purposes of each communication are taken into account when assessing whether the individual has reengaged."

Sixty-one detainees remain as Obama works toward his goal of closing the prison facility by the end of his term. Only 20 of the remaining prisoners have been cleared for transfer to a suitable country.

The House today passed 244-174 a bill blocking funds for all transfers from Guantanamo Bay until new safeguards are put in place or Obama's term ends. A dozen Democrats voted in favor of the bill, while four Republicans voted against it.

“After the latest report that two more former Guantanamo Bay detainees have returned to the fight, it is more critical than ever that we put the safety and security of the American people first," said sponsor Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.). "The administration has made clear it intends to transfer as many terrorist detainees as possible from Gitmo before the president leaves office in order to fulfill a misguided campaign promise."

"This is reckless, and it puts American lives at risk. Today a bipartisan majority put our national security ahead of politics, voting to pass my bill to pause Gitmo detainee transfers until new safeguards are in place or the president’s term ends.”

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said last month that "we still have to go and do some diplomatic work with other countries to determine who's willing to assume responsibility for these individuals and who's also willing to assist with the implementation of whatever restrictions may be necessary against them after they're transferred."

Asked how Obama could still be confident that Gitmo will be closed by the time he leaves office, Earnest replied, "What we will continue to do is to work to overcome the obstacles that Congress has erected to prevent the closure of the prison at Guantanamo Bay."

"And that's unfortunate, particularly when you consider that Democrats and Republicans, national security professionals in both parties, agree with the conclusion that President Obama has reached, which is that the American people are best served by closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay."

All Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee subsequently warned Obama that he is releasing "increasingly dangerous terrorists" in his rush to fulfill his vow to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.
Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill. She is the Washington Editor for PJ Media.

Tags: Barack Obama, CIA, Guantanamo, House Of Representatives, Intelligence, Terrorism, Bridget Johnson, PJMedia 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, September 15, 2016

Trump Connects, Poll Position, Trump's Big Get

by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Trump Connects - Donald Trump clearly connected with Republican primary voters in a way that the professional consultants, Washington insiders and political class struggled to comprehend. Now he is connecting with average Americans and his success is sending Democrats into shock.

During a speech yesterday in Canton, Ohio, Trump hit Hillary Clinton hard for her "basket of deplorables" comment and for her globalist instincts. He again promised to campaign for every vote in any community, and he blasted the Democrats' neglect of our inner cities. Trump vowed to create jobs by rebuilding our cities, making America great again and uniting us once again.

Here are a few excerpts of his remarks:
"The people of the United States are ready for change. They're ready to discard a failed political establishment that disdains, disrespects and looks down on hardworking people. . .

"There is no greater example of this in our country than Flint, Michigan. The city of Flint was once known as Buick City. More than 80,000 workers were employed by GM in 1970 -- today, it's less than 8,000. Forty percent of the city's residents are living in poverty. Violent crime is among the nation's highest.

"Today I went to Flint, Michigan to address the water crisis. . . This is the catastrophe that happens when we build up other countries instead of our own. It used to be cars were made in Flint and you couldn't drink the water in Mexico. Now, the cars are made in Mexico and you can't drink the water in Flint. . .

"Democratic politicians have run our inner cities for 50, 60, 70 years. Their policies have produced massive poverty, joblessness, and failing schools. . .

"Now, I understand there are going to be some people in these communities who aren't planning on voting for me right now. I will campaign hard for their votes -- we can't stay the course our country is on. If you keep voting for the same people, you'll keep getting the same results.

"I am willing to campaign anywhere. I am willing to go anywhere, visit anywhere, even if some voters openly oppose me in a community I will go there and ask them for their support.

"Hillary Clinton calls people who aren't supporting her deplorable and irredeemable. I call people who aren't supporting me American citizens who are entitled to the same respect as anyone else -- and I will not stop campaigning for every last American vote, in every last American community, right up until November 8th. . .

"Hillary Clinton believes in globalism -- taking jobs from Flint and moving them to other countries. I am not running to be President of the world -- I am running to be President of the United States. . .

"We will rebuild our roads, bridges, tunnels, highways, airports, schools and hospitals. We will rebuild our water infrastructure, and our EPA will abandon political agendas and focus on its core mission: clean air and safe water.

"American cars will travel the roads, American planes will soar in the skies, and American ships will patrol the seas. American steel will send new skyscrapers into the clouds.

"American hands will rebuild this nation -- and American energy, mined from American sources, will power this nation. American workers will be hired to do the job.

"We will put new American steel into the spine of this country.

"I will fight for every neglected part of this nation -- and I will fight to bring us all together as one American people!"

I have often complained that too many Republicans talk like accountants. Marginal tax rates and entitlement reform are important issues, but they don't inspire anyone.

Making cars in Flint and not in Mexico. . . Not running to be president of the world but of America. . . Putting American steel into the spine of our country. . . That's how you connect with Middle America. That is what Donald Trump gets.

Poll Position - The American people are responding to Trump's message (and to Hillary's latest troubles). Virtually every poll this week has shown significant movement in Trump's direction.
  • The latest Quinnipiac poll has Clinton up two points. But in last month's Quinnipiac poll she was up seven points.
  • The latest CBS/New York Times poll has Trump and Clinton tied at 42%.
  • The latest Rasmussen poll has Trump leading by two points -- 42% to 40%.
  • The Los Angeles Times daily tracking poll has Trump up six points -- 47% to 41%.
Of course, as I have noted before, the White House is won not by a national vote, but by a series of state elections that determine the result in the Electoral College. So it is important to watch the polls in key states too.

No Republican in modern history has won the White House without carrying Florida and Ohio. A new CNN poll finds Trump is leading in Florida by three points and in Ohio by five points. New polls also show Trump leading narrowly in Colorado and Nevada.

If Trump carries every state Romney won four years ago, plus Florida and Ohio, he would have 253 Electoral College votes. That means he would only be 17 short of winning the White House.

To prevail, he could win by carrying just Pennsylvania with its 20 Electoral College votes (ECV). Or with some combination of smaller states such as Colorado (9 ECV), Iowa (6 ECV) and Nevada (6 ECV).

And if Trump manages to breakout in a serious way -- with a strong debate performance or if another Clinton scandal erupts onto the front pages -- he could dramatically expand the political map by putting other states -- Michigan, Wisconsin, Virginia -- into play.

Trump's Big Get - There has been a lot of news lately, but there was one major development that took place a few days ago that I want to make sure you know about.

On Monday, James Woolsey -- Bill Clinton's CIA Director -- endorsed Donald Trump and joined the campaign as a senior advisor.

Woolsey is someone I know quite well. He is one of the best foreign policy minds in Washington, D.C., and has devoted significant efforts in recent years to making America energy independent. His endorsement of Trump, who is often knocked for his alleged ignorance of foreign affairs, is a huge development.

In a statement released by the Trump campaign, Director Woolsey said:
"I have been a 'Scoop Jackson, Joe Lieberman,' Democrat all of my adult life, but I am pleased to be asked to participate with others I respect in advising GOP candidate Donald J. Trump on the urgent need to reinvest in and modernize our military in order to confront the challenges of the 21st century.

"Trump's commitment to reversing the harmful defense budget cuts signed into law by the current administration . . . is an essential step toward reinstating the United States' primacy in the conventional and digital battlespace.
"Based on the emails thus far released we know that Secretary Clinton also lacks the ability to lead her senior managers while complying with and maintaining the basic protocols designed to protect our government's sensitive and classified information. Trump understands the magnitude of the threats we face and is holding his cards close to the vest."-------------
 Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

Tags: Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, Trump Connects, Poll Position, Trump's Big Get 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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